Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Washington Watch: Week Two

Fireside Chat to Discuss Immigration Reform

The White House hosted a fireside chat with Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council as a Google hangout to address Immigration Reform  moderated by award-winning journalist and immigrant rights activist Jose Antonio Vargas. 

btw...Vargas, formerly with the Washington (& Huffington) Post...was one of the few national journalists to cover our local Obama movement during the first election. He came to Riverside to hang out with us and wrote a feature on me. Vargas  was also one of the first to document and appreciate the role technology played in the election... especially the grass-roots online organizing of the Obama campaign...which is now legendary.  And speaking of legendary...Vargas became the story when he announced he is undocumented. He is now a loud and respected Voice for all those seeking immigration reform. He founded Define American -- an organization which brings the issue to the forefront.    A very nice young man...an American...who loves Langston Hughes and Donny Hathaway. I am one of the throngs who respect him and call him friend. Watch the video.

And just what is the Administration's proposal for immigration reform...here is the summary chart released by the White house:  (or read the summary fact sheet)

Since you Probably Didn't See This on the 'Mainstream' News

President Obama delivered this video-taped message (with Swahili subtitles) to Kenya -- the land of his Father -- on the occasion of their upcoming historic elections. (And, please NO 'birther' nonsense...see below "A Party Divided...Will it Stand?")

He Shoots....He Misses

I'm not going to post the photo that made the rounds last week of Obama holding a shotgun and supposedly skeet shooting at Camp David. I guess it is authentic...but I wish he had not released it.  The purpose was of course to appease American gun owners...showing a camaraderie with them...but again, even if he really does enjoy skeet shooting, I wish he had not released the picture.  It reminds me of a teenager, drinking a lot or taking drugs just to show his or her friends that he or she 'belongs.' We tell our kids not to do this and pray they listen.

I keep thinking of those young Sandy Hook survivors who now see a photo or their President...the one who came to comfort them...shooting.  I wish he would have said, "Yes...there are many who own guns and hunt and that is their right...but I don't want anything to do with firearms."  Instead he coalesced.

A Party Divided...Will it Stand?

So the same people who blew over $300 million in a failed attempt to retake the Presidency and the Senate, are now going after members of their own party.  A Karl Rove affiliated PAC will attempt to keep those on the far right (and the loonies) from winning Primary elections against more moderate Republican candidates. The reason being, the more moderate candidates are more competitive against Democratic challengers. Yes, it has come to this for the Republican party. The 'established' Republican party against the Tea Party. Should be fun to watch.

Next week:  The State of the Union (watch Tea Party House member responses) and the Sequester (forced budget cuts) is coming....

A Nostalgic look at Week Two - 2009:   (Excerpts from my National Scene blog February 3 2009)

    • President Obama expressed his dissatisfaction with the huge bonuses paid to Wall Street execs, many of whom benefited from the recent bail-out.  He stated, “The American people will not tolerate arrogance and greed.”
    • President Obama nominated the third Republican to his cabinet  -Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, as his choice to lead the Commerce Department. Gregg joins Secretary Ray LaHood (Transportation) and Secretary Robert Gates for a total of three Republicans in the cabinet.
    • Eric Holder was sworn in as the 82nd Attorney General of the United States, becoming the first African-American to hold the position.

    • Former Sen. Tom Daschle withdrew his nomination to head the Department of Health and Human Services, after controversy over unpaid taxes and relationships with healthcare corporations.  Daschle, the former Senate majority leader, apologized for failing to pay his taxes in full.

    And, Finally...

    The 100th Birthday of Rosa Parks...are Blacks Still on the Back of the Bus?

    President Barack Obama sits on the famed Rosa Parks bus at the Henry Ford Museum following an event in Dearborn, Michigan. April 18, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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