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The weekly Daley: The new national agenda

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From page A6 | January 25, 2013 | 10 Comments

In the fallout from President Obama’s Second Inaugural Address, we hear that he was too aggressive, too liberal, too progressive, too in-your-face, too outrageous, too radical, too partisan and too uncompromising. Some highlights:

Immigration Reform — Partisan, progressive, aggressive? Figuring out how to deal with 11- or 12- or 20 million people who are in this country “illegally” is a partisan, radical, outrageous thing to think about? When did it become a negative to want and need to discuss a really significant issue? It’s a problem that we all share in and the solution should be something we all share in. We can’t send them all home, wherever that might be, and we can’t put them all in jail — for what? Being brought here in violation of our immigration laws at the age of 6?

Human Rights/Civil Rights — Suggesting some kind of universal equality before the law is radical, aggressive, in-your-face? Expecting people to be protected the same by civil authorities in all 50 states and however many American territories is partisan, impossible and too liberal? One could suggest that’s among the bigger no-brainers we should have to deal with.

Gun Violence/Reduction thereof — Well that’s just crazy. What kind of society would even consider taking a look at how many people get murdered every year by guns? Or how many people take their own lives by using a gun? Someone must have done a study that shows only radical liberals and radical liberal kids get killed by guns and that’s why only radicals and liberals care about gun violence.

Gender Equality/Equal Pay for Equal Work — A partisan issue if I ever saw one. Clearly only women of the Democratic persuasion are discriminated against in the workplace and in the pay envelope. Otherwise, Republicans and Independents and non-alligned citizens would also be up in arms about the fact that women on average make about 70 percent of what men make in comparable positions. Changing that situation would surely be not only impossible but also radical, partisan, outrageous and possibly un-American.

Climate Change — Polar ice is melting at an alarming rate, according to climate scientists. Rising surface temperatures of the oceans are contributing to the severity of hurricanes, they also conclude. Rising ocean levels (see melting polar ice) are threatening island nations with inundation if not annihilation, experts warn. And that’s a liberal, radical, outrageous and partisan matter that shouldn’t even be discussed by a president?

Energy/Resource Development — All our oil and natural gas will run out one day. It might be 200 or even 500 years from now, but one day there won’t be any more. Natural resources are finite, and that’s not a liberal, partisan, outrageous fact. It’s just a fact. If we’re truly concerned about our descendants, we might want to give that issue a second glance.

Infrastructure Upgrade — Those who know such things advise that this nation’s infrastructure is beginning to look like that of a third world country. Bridges are decades old. Even our best highways can’t handle the traffic load from day to day. Airports and seaports built in the 1940s and 1950s need some serious overhauling. If, as the experts say, we can expect bigger and more devastating natural disasters in the future, it might be a good idea to consider how to protect those valuable assets. To suggest that efforts to upgrade all these facilities should be dramatically increased isn’t a progressive idea or a starry-eyed liberal notion. It simply needs to be done.

Critics evidently think the president should only have talked about the national debt and the deficit as they relate to how much can be cut out of the federal checkbook. Apparently, the president should only have mentioned how overtaxed we are as that relates to government spending on Social Security, Medicare and the like (not including what we spend on defense, interminable wars that have been waged on borrowed money or other excessive expenditures that for some reason don’t count as partisan,  outrageous, out-of-control and unsustainable).

Now, if opposing parties representing disparate philosophies actually were inclined to gather around a large table, or a campfire or anywhere else and agree that we all have problems that need to be addressed, that would be radical. It might even be “progressive” in the sense that we might actually see some progress in any number of areas where progress would be welcome. I think most of us could get behind something that outrageous.

Chris Daley is a staff writer and columnist for the Mountain Democrat. His column appears each Friday. 

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 10 comments

  • Terri KlineJanuary 25, 2013 - 7:23 am

    Thank you so much Mr. Daley for being the only voice of reason in todays edition of the Mountain Democrat.

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  • Jack MartinJanuary 26, 2013 - 6:18 pm

    Voice of reason? Let's consider: Reagan granted blanket amnesty in 1986 to approximately 8 million illegal immigrants. He did so against the cautions of some close advisors because they said it would send the wrong signal to prospective illegals and open the floodgates. It did. Now we have approximately 20 million illegals. If Obama was to have his way, he'd grant amnesty to all of them, this is not a secret. The next wave will be 50 million. We've had universal equality before the law since 1965 and no one is asking to repeal that. What we object to is "special treatment" for certain persona merely because they declare themselves to be somehow not 100 % mainstream. I'm left handed, living in a right handed world. I deal with it, and I do not expect or even want the government to intervene so that everything is "neutral." Gun Violence? The two cities with the harshest gun restrictions in the country also have the highest rates of gun crimes. Furthermore, the national Academy of Sciences found NO correlation between gun restrictions and gun violence in their 2004 report. http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2004/12/17/naspanel/ Climate change? 1998 was the hottest year on record and we have, on average, been cooling ever since. And the ANTarctic sea ice is expanding at the fastest rate we have ever measured. Global Cooling (1970's) Global Warming (1990's) and Climate Change (2000's) is the greatest economic and social hoax ever perpetrated on mankind. Now, to a greater or lesser degree, I can find some common ground on the discussions of green energy and infrastructure. As for Daley's ridiculous assertion "Critics evidently think the president should only have talked about the national debt..." well, that is simply false. But he should have at least MENTIONED it, since it is now the greatest threat to our economic recovery. Daley reveals himself with each successive article to be more and more of a hard bitten Obamist, just as much in the tank for Obama as the alphabet news sources. I'm surprised Daley didn't reveal that he got a "thrill up his leg" (ala Chris Matthews) when he heard Obama's speech.

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  • EvelynJanuary 29, 2013 - 6:50 am

    THE UNTOUCHABLES: HOW THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION PROTECTED WALL STREET FROM PROSECUTIONS - "PBS' Frontline program on [January 22] broadcast a new one-hour report on one of the greatest and most shameful failings of the Obama administration: the lack of even a single arrest or prosecution of any senior Wall Street banker for the systemic fraud that precipitated the 2008 financial crisis: a crisis from which millions of people around the world are still suffering. What this program particularly demonstrated was that the Obama justice department, in particular the Chief of its Criminal Division, Lanny Breuer, never even tried to hold the high-level criminals accountable. What Obama justice officials did instead is exactly what they did in the face of high-level Bush era crimes of torture and warrantless eavesdropping: namely, acted to protect the most powerful factions in the society in the face of overwhelming evidence of serious criminality. Worst of all, Obama justice officials both shielded and feted these Wall Street oligarchs ... as they simultaneously prosecuted and imprisoned powerless Americans for far more trivial transgressions." - HERE ********** Personally, I don't give a damn what President Obama says. Look to what they do. Or don't do.

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  • EvelynJanuary 29, 2013 - 7:00 am

    Regarding our "freedoms": On March 8, 2012, President Obama signed into law the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011. This law permits Secret Service agents to designate any place they wish as a place where free speech, association and petition of the government are prohibited. - HERE ********** Posted in the interests of a more reality based assessment of what we have become.

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  • EvelynJanuary 29, 2013 - 7:02 am

    If it's any comfort, I don't find this column too "cerebral" by a long shot.

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  • EvelynJanuary 29, 2013 - 7:41 am

    Pre-election 2012, weren't there suggestions of closing Guantanamo? Well, fuhgettaboutit. "Obama Closes Office Working to Shut Down Gitmo", signing on to the belief that individuals can be held forever without due process. - HERE

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  • EvelynJanuary 29, 2013 - 7:50 am

    Cerebral Humor: "Government to Dispose of Radioactive Waste By Putting It In Our SILVERWARE" - HERE

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  • James E.January 29, 2013 - 8:25 am

    Evelyn, no need for the office as the Congress wouldn't allow the prisoners to be removed to the United States (even though there is a brand new empty prison available). So, in support of those who want a reduced government, the office was closed. I await the attaboys for the president from our local Republicans.

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  • EvelynJanuary 29, 2013 - 9:20 am

    James: Seriously now, pressure for reduced government is responsible for the office closure?

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  • James E.January 29, 2013 - 10:25 am

    Evelyn, no, not pressure from Republicans, just the acknowledgement that why have an office if Congress won't authorize the closing. You read my comment backwards -- wouldn't you think Republicans would cheer the closing of a government office? They want a smaller government, and this is one step in that.

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