Note the date please–2008, the last Presidential election, not today’s. No peaking or Gooling, etc. Guess first, then take a look.
Category : US Presidential Election 2008
We know too that whatever our differences, there is one law that binds all great religions together. Jesus told us to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” The Torah commands, “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow.” In Islam, there is a hadith that reads “None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.” And the same is true for Buddhists and Hindus; for followers of Confucius and for humanists. It is, of course, the Golden Rule ”“ the call to love one another; to understand one another; to treat with dignity and respect those with whom we share a brief moment on this Earth.
It is an ancient rule; a simple rule; but also one of the most challenging. For it asks each of us to take some measure of responsibility for the well-being of people we may not know or worship with or agree with on every issue. Sometimes, it asks us to reconcile with bitter enemies or resolve ancient hatreds. And that requires a living, breathing, active faith. It requires us not only to believe, but to do ”“ to give something of ourselves for the benefit of others and the betterment of our world.
In this way, the particular faith that motivates each of us can promote a greater good for all of us. Instead of driving us apart, our varied beliefs can bring us together to feed the hungry and comfort the afflicted; to make peace where there is strife and rebuild what has broken; to lift up those who have fallen on hard times. This is not only our call as people of faith, but our duty as citizens of America, and it will be the purpose of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships that I’m announcing later today.
But what Mr Obama really needs right now is a television superhero to help him to rescue the US economy. His inauguration as president in 11 days’ time will take place in what can be described, without hyperbole, as the worst economic conditions the US has faced in at least 70 years. Data due from the Labor Department this morning is likely to show that the US lost more jobs, net, in 2008 than in any year since the Second World War. Economic activity in 2009 is likely to decline at its fastest since the same historic landmark.
Most alarming, not only is there no obvious end in sight, the evidence suggests that things are getting worse. Despite the bailouts last year, the financial system, crippled by the housing market disaster and folly, remains clogged and more big financial institutions are likely to be in trouble in the next few months.
The American consumer, the hero of the global economy in every period of weakness in the past decade – from the Asian financial crisis to 9/11 – has gone on strike.
I don’t believe it’s too late to change course, but it will be if we don’t take dramatic action as soon as possible. If nothing is done, this recession could linger for years. The unemployment rate could reach double digits. Our economy could fall $1 trillion short of its full capacity, which translates into more than $12,000 in lost income for a family of four. We could lose a generation of potential and promise, as more young Americans are forced to forgo dreams of college or the chance to train for the jobs of the future. And our nation could lose the competitive edge that has served as a foundation for our strength and standing in the world.
In short, a bad situation could become dramatically worse.
President-elect Barack Obama will say today that the nation’s recession could “linger for years” unless Congress acts to pump unprecedented sums from Washington into the U.S. economy, making his highest-profile case yet on an issue certain to define his early presidency.
“I don’t believe it’s too late to change course, but it will be if we don’t take dramatic action as soon as possible,” Obama said in a speech set to be delivered at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., outside Washington. Excerpts from his prepared text were released in advance by his transition team.
“A bad situation could become dramatically worse,” he added, painting a dire picture ”” including double-digit unemployment and $1 trillion in lost economic activity ”” that recalled the days of the Great Depression in the 1930s.
President-elect Barack Obama on Tuesday braced Americans for the unparalleled prospect of “trillion-dollar deficits for years to come,” a stark assessment of the economic condition facing the country that he said would force his administration to impose tighter fiscal discipline on the government.
Mr. Obama sought to draw a distinction between the need to run what would likely be record deficits by any measure for the next several years and the necessity to begin bringing them down substantially in following years. Even as he prepares a stimulus package that is likely to total in the range of $800 billion in new spending and tax cuts over the next two years, he said he would seek to make sure that money is used wisely and that he would work with Congress to implement spending controls and efficiency measures throughout the federal budget.
“I’m going to be willing to make some very difficult choices in how we get a handle on his deficit,” Mr. Obama said, speaking about the dire fiscal outlook as he met with his top economic advisers for a second straight day. “That’s what the American people are looking for and, you know, what we intended to do this year.”
Barack Obama began work in earnest yesterday, twisting arms and stroking egos in Congress to garner support for a planned $775 billion (Â£525 billion) recovery plan for an economy he described as “very sick”.
On his first full day back in Washington since the election, the President-elect dispatched his daughters to their new school before heading to Capitol Hill to prepare for one of the most difficult inheritances ever faced by an incoming president.
At every turn yesterday, he underlined the gravity of the crisis and the need for national unity. After speaking with his economic team, he declared: “The situation is getting worse. We have to act and act now to break the momentum of this recession.”
President-elect Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are crafting a plan to offer about $300 billion in tax cuts to individuals and businesses, a move aimed at attracting Republican support for an economic-stimulus package and prodding companies to create jobs.
The size of the proposed tax cuts — which would account for about 40% of a stimulus package that could reach $775 billion over two years — is greater than many on both sides of the aisle in Congress had anticipated, and may make it easier to win over Republicans who have stressed that any initiative should rely relatively heavily on tax cuts rather than spending.
[BOB] ABERNETHY: And John, what do you see of particular interest to the Vatican and to U.S. Catholics?
JOHN ALLEN (Vatican Correspondent, National Catholic Reporter): Well, I think in many ways, you know, the mega story of ’09 is going to be church-state relations under Obama ”” both the promise and the peril of that relationship. I think that the peril is maybe a little easier to get our hands around. It would focus on the traditional life issues. The new president has indicated he intends to sign an executive order liberalizing embryonic stem ”” federally funding for ””embryonic stem cell research right out of the gate as part of that first 100-days package. That certainly will produce some backlash in some religious circles. I think the deeper danger is if the Democratic-controlled Congress and the Obama people were to move forward with the Freedom of Choice Act, which is this piece of legislation that’s been around a long time, and you get different readings on how realistic it is, but in effect it would eliminate existing federal and state restrictions on abortion. The U.S. Catholic bishops have certainly made clear that if that were to gain momentum we would, in some ways, be back to a very serious cultural war in this country.
A short sampling being circulated among congressional Republicans includes items from a list compiled by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and from local reporting around the nation. Philadelphia seeks $100 million to redevelop land for a casino. Spirit Mountain, Minn., seeks $6 million for snow-making equipment. A zoo in Rhode Island seeks $4.8 million for a polar bear exhibit and other improvements. Las Vegas, home to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, wants millions for a proposed organized crime museum and a pedestrian walkway to the Tropicana Hotel. Missouri plans to spend the entire $750 million it seeks for transportation on highways, but nothing on mass transit.
These wishes provide Congress with an unparalleled opportunity to pick and choose, a decision process that would lead to the Great Mother of all earmark bills. The Washington Post reports that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Majority Leader Reid want to have the stimulus bill ready for Barack Obama’s signature on Jan. 20, when he is sworn in as the 44th president.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McCon-nell of Kentucky and House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio want to slow the process down, with good reason. It is not enough to demand that projects be ready to go in order to create employment ”” the only criterion being applied at present. They should also fulfill a clear sense of national priorities.
President-elect Barack Obama said that Democrats and Republicans need to act with urgency to address the “great and growing” economic crisis, warning of double-digit unemployment if swift action isn’t taken.
“These are America’s problems, and we must come together as Americans to meet them with the urgency this moment demands,” he said today in his weekly radio address. “If we don’t act swiftly and boldly, we could see a much deeper economic downturn that could lead to double-digit unemployment.”
America’s most irritating atheist is at again. That tiresome Michael Newdow and a bunch of other anti-God types have filed suit to bar prayer and references to God at President-elect Barack Obama’s swearing-in on Jan. 20. Newdow also filed lawsuits to remove prayer from President George W. Bush’s inauguration ceremonies in 2001 and 2005, and you may also remember him as the crank who tried to get the phrase “under God” eliminated from the pledge of allegiance.
The most thoughtful and interesting debate of the two-year-long presidential campaign occurred last August at Saddleback Church between John McCain and Barack Obama, moderated by Saddleback pastor Rick Warren. So it is notable that President-elect Obama’s choice of Rick Warren to give the invocation at his Inauguration next month has brought forth hyperpartisan invective from the Democratic left. It has spent the past week conveying to the world its disappointment and disgust with the choice of Pastor Warren because he opposes gay marriage and abortion.
When Barack Obama takes the oath of office in just over three weeks, he will be confronted with the worst economic crisis since the Depression. NPR News Analyst Juan Williams talks about President-elect Barack Obama’s plans for the economy.
Amid a drumbeat of grim economic reports, President-elect Barack Obama’s top economic advisors met Tuesday to refine plans for a massive stimulus proposal, promising the money would not go toward dubious pork-barrel projects.
Vice President-elect Joe Biden met with seven advisors for an hour here as Obama vacationed in Hawaii. With the incoming administration acknowledging the stimulus plan could cost as much as $775 billion over two years, Biden seemed intent on reassuring Americans the money would not be wasted.
Liberals who see Warren as a garden-variety conservative evangelical defined primarily by his opposition to gay marriage accuse Obama of selling them out. Gays and lesbians enraged by Warren’s strong opposition to gay marriage in last month’s California referendum charge Obama with pandering to white evangelicals and fear the president-elect has gone out of his way to offend them in order to curry favor with straight conservatives.
But a more benign view on parts of the religious left casts Warren as the evangelical best positioned to lead moderately conservative white Protestants toward a greater engagement with the issues of poverty and social justice, and away from a relentless focus on abortion and gay marriage.
The growing alliance of Mr. Obama and Mr. Warren ”” each of the two publicly refers to the other as “friend” ”” suggests that Mr. Obama hopes to capitalize on the signs of potential generational and political divisions within the evangelical Christian flock. For his part, Mr. Warren is increasingly being spoken of as a kind of minister to the nation, a status previously occupied by the Rev. Billy Graham.
V. Gene Robinson, the Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire, whose consecration caused a painful divide in his church because he is openly gay, said that when he heard about the selection of Mr. Warren, “it was like a slap in the face.”
Bishop Robinson had been an early public endorser of Mr. Obama’s candidacy, and said he had helped serve as a liaison between the campaign and the gay community. He said he had called officials who work for Mr. Obama to share his dismay, and been told that Mr. Obama was trying to reach out to conservatives and give everybody a seat at the table.
“I’m all for Rick Warren being at the table,” Bishop Robinson said, “but we’re not talking about a discussion, we’re talking about putting someone up front and center at what will be the most watched inauguration in history, and asking his blessing on the nation. And the God that he’s praying to is not the God that I know.”
Under fire for opposing gay marriage, influential evangelical pastor Rick Warren said Saturday that he loves Muslims, people of other religions, Republicans and Democrats, and he also loves “gays and straights.”
The 54-year-old pastor and founder of Saddleback Church in Southern California told the crowd of 500 that it’s unrealistic to expect everyone to agree on everything all the time.
“You don’t have to see eye to eye to walk hand in hand,” said Warren.
Faced with worsening forecasts for the economy, President-elect Barack Obama is expanding his economic recovery plan and will seek to create or save 3 million jobs in the next two years, up from a goal of 2.5 million jobs set just last month, several advisers to Mr. Obama said Saturday.
Even Mr. Obama’s more ambitious goal would not fully offset as many as 4 million jobs that some economists are projecting might be lost in the coming year, according to the information he received from advisers in the past week. That job loss would be double the total this year and could push the nation’s unemployment rate past 9 percent if nothing is done.
The new job target was set after a meeting last Tuesday in which Christina D. Romer, who is Mr. Obama’s choice to lead his Council of Economic Advisers, presented information about previous recessions to establish that the current downturn was likely to be “more severe than anything we’ve experienced in the past half-century,” according to an Obama official familiar with the meeting. Officials said they were working on a plan big enough to stimulate the economy but not so big to provoke major opposition in Congress.
Many of Barack Obama’s progressive supporters feel let down by his choice of Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the Inaugural. I understand why, but here’s a different way to look at it.
The real story here is not that President-elect Obama has somehow blessed Rick Warren’s views on abortion or gay rights, but that one of America’s leading evangelical pastors has decided to bless the presidency of someone who is strongly pro-choice and committed to the civil rights of gays and lesbians. That’s a rather extraordinary development.
Does anyone think the selection of Rick Warren means that Barack Obama will govern differently on social issues than he said he would during the campaign? I certainly don’t.
Vice President-Elect Joe Biden said the U.S. economy is in danger of “absolutely tanking” and will need a second stimulus package in the $600-billion to $700-billion range.
“The economy is in much worse shape than we thought it was in,” Biden told me during an exclusive interview — his first since becoming vice president-elect– to air this Sunday on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”
“There is no short run other than keeping the economy from absolutely tanking. That’s the only short run,” Biden told me.
Let me get this straight:
A 20-year association with a radically leftist, anti-American, racist preacher whom Obama referred to as a spiritual adviser meant absolutely nothing about Obama’s judgment or philosophy, and illustrated only the bigotry of those who dared criticize it.
A 20-minute association with one of the country’s most well-liked, mainstream evangelical preachers who happens to support traditional marriage cannot be countenanced and illustrates only the bigotry of those who would dare allow it.
President-elect Barack Obama may well be one of the 79 million members of the baby boom generation. But he’s a late-wave boomer, a child of the 1970s — as are half of the two dozen people he’s selected thus far to help him lead the country.
Many of those Obama is bringing to Washington — including his Education secretary, Homeland Security chief, Treasury secretary, United Nations ambassador and Energy czar — came of age in the era of Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.
And their shared experiences offer insights into how they may govern: They tend to be less ideological than early boomers, more respectful of contrary opinions, more pragmatic and a lot less likely to get bogged down by the shibboleths of the 1960s, according to historians, marketers and pollsters.
Watch it all. I see in this piece that there will be an extended interview with Rick Warren tonight on Dateline for those interested–KSH.
RAY SUAREZ: Does this choice represent all of American religious thought, Mr. Cromartie?
MICHAEL CROMARTIE, Ethics and Public Policy Center: Oh, no, of course it doesn’t. But what it does say is that — what we need to know about Rick Warren is that he has become sort of the next Billy Graham in our country, sort of America’s pastor.
In fact, I think if Billy Graham’s health was better now, he would probably be the person doing this. But Rick Warren has become that person.
RAY SUAREZ: But it didn’t sound like Harry Knox is too happy about the idea that this might be America’s pastor.
MICHAEL CROMARTIE: No, that’s right. And I would just remind Harry this is not a cabinet appointment. This is an invocation, a short prayer that will be a very nonsectarian prayer.
Rick Warren, by the way, has an amazingly great reputation with ministers of compassion around the world. He’s an incredibly magnanimous man. And I think that President-elect Obama picked him because he likes him personally.
It is difficult to comprehend how our president-elect, who has been so spot on in nearly every political move and gesture, could fail to grasp the symbolism of inviting an anti-gay theologian to deliver his inaugural invocation. And the Obama campaign’s response to the anger about this decision? Hey, we’re also bringing a gay marching band. You know how the gays love a parade.
Yes, the Rev. Rick Warren, pastor of the humongous, evangelical Saddleback Church in Orange County, Calif., has a sound message on poverty. And certainly, in the world of politics, there is a view that Barack Obama owes Warren for bringing him before fellow evangelicals, despite fierce opposition during the heat of the presidential campaign.
But here’s the other thing about Warren, the author of the bestselling book “The Purpose Driven Life”: He was a general in the campaign to pass California’s Proposition 8, which dissolved the legal marriage rights of loving, committed same-sex couples.
Al Gore wants quick action on climate change. Sen. Edward Kennedy says health care reform can’t wait. Labor unions want a bill making it easier to organize.
The American Civil Liberties Union is calling for the immediate closure of the military’s prison for foreign terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The liberal advocacy group MoveOn.org urges a steady troop withdrawal from Iraq. The National Governors Association is pleading for billions in aid to states, pronto.
And, by the way, Mr. President-elect, the American Lung Association would like you to make all federal work sites smoke-free.
The team President-elect Barack Obama introduced on Monday to carry out his energy and environmental policies faces a host of political, economic, diplomatic and scientific challenges that could impede his plans to address global warming and America’s growing dependence on dirty and uncertain sources of energy.
Acknowledging that a succession of presidents and Congresses had failed to make much progress on the issues, Obama vowed to press ahead despite the faltering economy and suggested that he would invest his political capital in trying to break logjams.
“This time must be different,” Obama said at a news conference in Chicago. “This will be a leading priority of my presidency and a defining test of our time. We cannot accept complacency, nor accept any more broken promises.”
President-elect Barack Obama’s team is considering a plan to boost the recession-hit U.S. economy that could be far larger than previous estimates and might reach $1 trillion over two years, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.
Obama aides, who were considering a half-trillion dollar package two weeks ago, now consider $600 billion over two years “a very low-end estimate,” the newspaper said, citing an unidentified person familiar with the matter.
The final size of the stimulus was expected to be significantly higher, possibly between $700 billion and $1 trillion over that period, it said, given the deteriorating state of the U.S. economy.