#47 Afghanistan Speech and Presidential Approval Ratings

On December 4, 2009

I’ll touch on two topics this time.

Afghanistan Speech

I think President Obama’s speech on Afghanistan was pure Obama – balanced, complicated, nuanced. No demagoguery, rather: “…al Qaeda – a group of extremists who have distorted and defiled Islam…” Not “Islamic extremists.” Focused on al Qaeda (mentioned over 20 times), not exporting democracy or nation building.

#46 Expectations

On November 12, 2009

Last week marked the first anniversary of Barack Obama’s historic electoral victory.

Since I’ve had the audacity to write these commentaries, folks now regularly ask me “How’s he doing?” Remembering that President Obama has been in office less than ten months, my considered response is “Even better than I expected.” Let me explain.

#45 Health INSURANCE Reform

On September 8, 2009

After a long hesitation, I think it is time to weigh in on what has been mistakenly called the “health care” debate.

I know enough about health care to be dangerous. My mother and a couple of aunts were nurses. I served three years as an officer in the hospital administration section of the Army, working on bringing information technology to its largest hospitals.

#44 Video Taped Recollections of My “View from the Front Lines”

On July 6, 2009

During my 45th Amherst College reunion, two classmates, Terry Segal and Jesse Brill, and I talked about our front line experiences during the presidential primary and general elections.

If you click on this link, you will be able to watch our panel presentation: https://www.amherst.edu/alumni/events/reunion/multimedia/2009/how_obama_won/

#43 A “new foundation”

On June 17, 2009

As my long-time readers know, during the campaign I struggled to understand what was really happening, not just what the media was reporting. Now, I am trying to get my mind around what is really happening as our economy is being re-structured in fundamental ways. What is the Obama Administration trying to do and why?

#42 No Ordinary Time – Thinking Strategically

On April 29, 2009

In this dawning age of Twitter, those of us trying to penetrate the superficial babbling about President Obama’s first 100 days in office have some serious reading to do. More than “140 characters” worth

#41 This Recession Is No Great Depression

On April 9, 2009

In January, I wrote an Obamagram entitled “Another Great Depression?” In it, I wrote,

…I am frustrated these days as commentators and politicians far and wide ominously liken the current credit crisis to the Great Depression…Not so fast. It isn’t that simple. Or that scary. I surely won’t pretend to know where we are headed, and I don’t mean to diminish the seriousness of our situation. But, I do think we need to be reticent to cry “the sky is falling”.

#40 Culture of Addiction and Impatience

On March 12, 2009

This is my third Obamagram since the election and 40th in all. My current thoughts about the economy and the Obama administration started to come into focus last week. Chance encounters with two wealthy friends helped that happen. They had supported Senator Obama’s run for president, but were now separately grousing that he was doing too little to fix the economy, wasn’t acting fast enough in doing so, and with his three-pronged budget agenda – energy, education, and health care – was trying to do too much at one time. He was taking his eye off the ball.

#39 Inauguration Day, Excessive Pay, and Tom Daschle

On February 5, 2009

This is my second post-election Obamagram.

Before getting to the meat of the matter, let me offer a few observations about our experience at the Inauguration.

#38 Another Great Depression?

On January 8, 2009

You may have been wondering where I have been since my last Obamagram on October 23. Well, I’ve been trying to figure out what to make of Barack Obama’s remarkable victory and whether to continue writing Obamagrams or not.