Since 2015, if not since 2010, Americans have focused far too much time and attention on a "top-down approach" to politics, magnifying the importance of the presidency in a governmental system in which it holds only one-third of federal power (Congress and federal courts occupy the other two thirds), not to mention the power of … Continue reading President’s Power Comes from the People, Obama Says in Farewell Address
I have a Facebook friend, John, who repeatedly posts provocative or hyper-partisan statements that seem designed to get reactions, but generate more heat than light. It's a far cry from discussing politics with your neighbor who has a completely different perspective but who you listen to respectfully and are always looking to find his good … Continue reading Provoking Online Reaction, But Not Open-minded Dialogue
Despite its reputation for hyper-partisan dysfunction, polarization and gridlock, the 114th Congress did accomplish some significant things -- the most important being $1.75 billion for medical research into curing diseases, and speeding the drug and device approval process. WPost: Republicans boasted of their achievements over the past two years. Ryan reeled off a list including … Continue reading Breaking Gridlock: Bipartisan Achievements in Obama’s Last 2 Years Are Few, But Do Exist
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/ He has broken 22 percent of promises, but not for lack of trying. Included among promises broken are: Cut the cost of a typical family's health insurance premium by up to $2,500 a year Provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants Bring Democrats and Republicans together to pass an agenda End the war … Continue reading Obama Has Kept or Compromised on 70% of Promises
The Wall Street Journal, the flagship of conservative thought, has proven again and again to be wrong about Obama and the economy, but of course will not acknowledge it. "The Obama program is going to test the liberal faith, not observed since the 1970s, that deficit spending and easy monetary policy are engines of prosperity," the … Continue reading WSJ Editorial from 2009 Reveals Wrong-Headed Predictions
When I left the US in 2009 to teach overseas, the Obama grassroots movement was basking in the pride of 2008 success, even winning my home state of North Carolina. It was shocking that this "movement" fell apart, didn't turn out for the midterms in 2010, or in 2014. I didn't know who or what … Continue reading Were Obama’s Routs By the Tea Party in 2010 and 2014 Inevitable?
The United States, in 2016, is one of 86 free countries in the world. Some 59 countries are partly free, according to Freedom House, and 50 are not free. However, the US "received a downward trend arrow because of the cumulative impact of flaws in the electoral system, a disturbing increase in the role of … Continue reading US Is Less Free in 2016