Thursday, November 20, 2008

Facing the Future

Here are some rambling thoughts, in no specific or logical order, about the very difficult future that awaits President Obama......

Somewhere in the deep, dark recesses of my mind I hoped that the worldwide terrorist conflict with al-Qeada was somehow all President Bush's fault. Of course, in the logical and reasoning part of my brain, I knew this was not true. The attacks on 9/11 were planned well before Bush took office, during the tenure of President Clinton. And, unlike Bush, Clinton was relatively well like and well respected world wide. And Clinton had worked hard, if unsuccessfully, for peace between Palestine and Israel.

But, somehow in the very back of my brain and in my heart, I hoped the election of Barack Obama might allow a start toward the ultimate end of our conflict with radical Islam. However, Ayman al Zawahiri brought me back to reality. In a scathing communique, al Zawahiri condemned President-elect Obama ion the nastiest possible terms.

In a flashy and well produced video al Zawahiri condemned Obama as a hypocrite and traitor to his race, unfavorably comparing him to "honorable black Americans" like Malcolm X, the 1960s black Muslim leader. Parroting the words of Malcolm X, al Zawahiri called Obama a "House Negro," a docile slave doing the bidding of the white man.

The State Department dismissed the new video as spin control and a desperate tactic by al-Qaedo to blunt the world wide popularity of the new President who not only is black but has Muslim middle name. While this is undoubtedly true, it clearly shows al-Qaeda has no intention of dialing back the rhetoric or scaling back their on going efforts to attack and ultimately destroy the United States and much of western civilization.

As if this news wasn't upsetting enough, today we learned that Iran has enough
nuclear fuel to create their first atomic bomb. Just how long do we believe it will take Iran to use the weapon on Israel or pass it along to a terrorist organization? Clearly the European led negotiations to curb Iran's development of the weapon have failed miserably. Can Barack Obama bring a fresh start to these negotiations or will he quickly learn that Iran's sentiments toward the US are identical to those of al-qaeda. I fear that Iran hopes Obama will be a docile "house negro." Based on what we witnessed during the campaign, I believe Iran will quickly learn he is nothing of the sort.

But the biggest problem that President Obama will face is the collapse of the world economy. I remain convinced we are entering a period similar to, but much worse than, the great depression of the 1930s. Unemployment will quickly move into double digits and major and massive bankruptcies loom immediately as Obama in sworn into office. Even as I write this today the stock market is on the verge of losing 50% of its value from it's peak. And some people I know personally have virtually lost their life's savings.

The big issues will be the loss of jobs and the cascading collapse of the retail marketplace. It will be difficult to overcome these twin problems and solutions don't come easily or quickly.

So far I'm very impressed with the choices Barack Obama has announced for his staff and cabinet. He is assembling a team with depth and talent. He is going to need them. We all will.


Lee said...

So far this announced cabinet has not done much.

1. There is nothing new here, no change. Quite a bit of The Clinton group. And Hillary for Sec o State? That seems more appeasement then substance.

2. His being inclusive of Republicans is looking more like lip service and a couple of Token RiNO's.

Of course that is pretty early in the selection. I'm sure the pre-election Obmama peeps have a different viewpoint.

Stella said...

I'm not sure, Lee, and am waiting to see what happens. FDR was roundly criticized when he assumed the presidency over Hoover. Overall, he did one of the best jobs in history.

Hillary will probably do a great job as SoS, even though she was not my first choice. Hillary is an extremely intelligent person, although I wish she hadn't gone off about ducking fire in Bosnia (lie). She's had some good accomplishments as Senator of NY. To be honest, I'm reserving judgment, as she wasn't my first choice for SoS. And she may not get the post. I think she'd be fantastic as Secy of HHS.

Joe Lieberman was not a RINO, even when he was a DINO. He was full on board with McCain and Bush. His speeches and voting record demonstrate his right-leaning policies. The problem with Lieberman is that he'll always lean towards the people in power, whether it's the GOP, DEMs, FBI, or CIA. (LOL) Lieberman is about himself. Period. I guess in that respect, he's a true independent.

I think the Dems have a lot of good people and Obama may have a phenomenal cabinet if he chooses wisely. I definitely want to see Richardson and Clark in Cabinet posts. And there are some great Republicans out there that don't get credit.

The Cabinet choices are, as you noted, still in its infancy. I agree with Wizard: we are entering a period similar to, but much worse than, the great depression of the 1930s. He's absolutely right: the country is in an upheaval that needs mending.

Lee said...

We disagree on FDR. I have found quite a lot of problems with his policies extending the Great Depression and worsening it considerably.

Looks like The Daily KOS agree's with me (of all things), "So that's 2 DC lifers, 1 billionaire & 1 more Clinton vet. 50% of hires are Clintonites. Lobbyists abound...What's changing?"

BTW The RINO was Jim Leach. Not Leiberman.

I am not convienced of the great depression as well. Unless, of course. The Government tries to 'fix' the economy.

Stella said...

The Daily Kos? LOL, Lee, you always surprise me. I enjoyed the page—many thanks. I need to go through it more carefully.

I'm concerned about Daschle's appointment to HHS Chair, given his poor voting record.

HHS is the position for which Hillary Clinton would have been perfect. She is a passionate health care reformer, as she demonstrated in '92 and as Senator. She would have been a dynamic leader in this position.

You may be right, Lee. I hope I don't find myself asking "What's changing?" I'm taking a wait and see perspective.

Reagan said...

It's tempting to wish that the terrorist attacks could be attributed to something identifiable, temporary, and removable.
It's much more difficult to consider that the hatred will run, unabated, no matter who is in office.
Though I'm no fan of the liberal illuminati, I am somewhat encouraged that Barack Obama has tapped Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State. She's sound on national security, and she's not an activist: something which is a major relief to me.

Vigilante said...

How do people feel about the prospect of James L. Jones Jr. becoming National Security Advisor?

Stella said...

Could Wes Clark be considered for this position, Vig. Jones may be good due to his bipartisanship.

Reagan, what a great comment: It's much more difficult to consider that the hatred will run, unabated, no matter who is in office. With respect to Wizard and all of us, may I request we refrain from the terms liberal or conservative (i.e., PNAC) illuminati? This term promotes polarization, and we have too much to learn from each other.

Lee said...


General James L. Jones Jr. Has an impressive resume. I feel he would be an excellent choice.

Stella said...

Unfortunately, this was a bad choice.

Vigilante said...

Not sure of that Stella.What does Krugman say?

Stella said...

I'm referring to Summers' perspective on women being less able at math, not willing to work 80 hours a week (actually no one should) based on the assumption that women raise children.

I find his bias on nature vs. nurture and assumption that men work and women raise children about five decades out of date.

In his Ivory Tower, I don't think he realizes that 80% of the single-family head of households are women who often have to work two jobs to raise their family. Women make 77 cents on average to the man's dollar.

There's a good explanation here about the ire many women felt relating to his comments.

As concerns his financial expertise, I can't fault the guy. He's highly qualified to serve as chief economic adviser to Obama. And his female colleagues at Harvard seem willing to bury the hatchet.

I guess I should, too.

Lee said...

Ah but bury the hatchet where?

My wife posted about a study conducted by UCLA's Department of Psychiatry has revealed that the kind of face a woman finds attractive on a man can differ depending on where she is in her menstrual cycle.

For example: If she is ovulating, she is attracted to men with rugged & masculine features.

However, if she is menstruating, or menopausal, she tends to be more attracted to a man with duct tape over his mouth and a spear lodged in his chest while he is on fire.

No further studies are expected.

--a bit off topic, but I found it funny based on the hatchet comment--

Stella said...

Lee, you make me laugh! Where Summers' colleagues bury the hatchet could make for a great post.

Ovulation or not, I could enjoy some men with duct tape over his mouth and a spear lodged in his chest while he is on fire. As to the rest, I take the 5th.