PDHblog This is a place for members of Progressive Democrats of Hawai‘i to express their thoughts, hopes and exasperations about political happenings.

January 3, 2010

Progressives Come Out Asking Obama To Do Better

Filed under: 2Healthcare,5Economics,Barack Obama,General,National Politics — frosty @ 4:15 pm

This past Saturday, a number of progressive activists, including a number of PDHers come out to Kailua to urge President Obama to do more, to do better.

A number of us have been disappointed by his position on a number of issues, including the health care reform bill that could be much, much better, and has provisions that don’t solve the problem, but rather serve as a boondoggle for private insurance companies. While many of us strongly support a Single-Payer system of health insurance, given the political realities we’re today faced with, we were happy to settle with a ‘strong’ public option, which is in danger of being excluded from the final language.

We’re also unhappy about Obama’s decision to send more troops into Afghanistan, escalating a war that’s been waging for the better part of a decade, with no end in sight.

We also haven’t seen the financial reform he promised during the campaign. Instead, its been more of the same complicit favoritism toward the same financial firms and banks who’s irresponsible practices caused the worldwide financial meltdown and current economic crisis.

Obama can and must do better.

Here’s some pictures from the morning.


  1. Thanks for posting, frosty! I wasn’t able to be there and am glad to see that there was a decent turnout. It was mentioned on NPR news the next day. 🙂

    Comment by rachel — January 5, 2010 @ 10:03 am

  2. Great pics. I would disagree with Bart’s sign though…. I think that the Mongols took over most of Afghanistan because it was on the silk route from Europe. The route was the source of power and wealth that Kublai Khan had. Problem was that the Plague caused the lost of much of the empire because cities just shut off themselves to prevent the spread of the disease. On the open plains of Mongolia, the plague kill off many of their people. It wasn’t so much that a foreign enemy or the Afghans were able to free themselves. Nevertheless, it’s a daunting thing to keep control of Afghanistan.

    Like the Romans, the Mongols were pretty good at managing the whole empire and might have controlled the empire much longer. Without the plague, they might have extended their control to Europe and Africa. It’s interesting that I’ve read that they gave up attempts to go deeply into SE Asia because the hot humid weather caused a lot of disease in their ranks.

    Comment by Al — January 10, 2010 @ 3:33 pm

  3. There was a demonstration today outside the White House to mark the eighth anniversary of the opening of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. They called attention to Obama’s failure to live up to his timeline for closing down the camp. This statement caught my eye:

    “We’re here in anger and in sadness,” Berrigan said.

    You can read the story here:

    OK, Al, I’ll accept your qualifier to my sign.

    The Macedonians, the Brits and the Russians were unable to subdue the Afghans, but I gotta admit I hadn’t considered the Mongols. You may be right.

    I suspect the Brit and Soviet experiences were more comparable to what the US is attempting, however, and therefore more illustrative for our needs.

    I heard a clip of a CBS newscast where they were interviewing the former top commander for the Soviet troops in Afghanistan. He was warning us that Obama “would have to make more trips out to the airport to greet the returning bodies” as a result of his surge. The Soviet general was extremely skeptical that the US could avoid the problems which plagued the Soviet occupation. I agree with the Soviet general.

    Comment by Bart — January 11, 2010 @ 10:26 pm

  4. Great link on Gitmo. I’m not surprised that the fraction of detainees that have joined the fighting is so low. 20% probably represents the small number that were enemy combatants and those that oppose the US due their ill treatment in Gitmo. It may be that the vast majority 90% didn’t belong there in the first place. It’s more important that we continue to release the large numbers of innocent detainees than try to keep the few guilty ones that may comprise the innocent numbers.

    It’s also important to try to convince the combatants the wrongness of their beliefs. I don’t believe that Al Queda purposely recruits crazy people or criminals. They want smart people that they can trust. So you would think that an educational program would have a good chance of success?

    Comment by Al — January 23, 2010 @ 5:55 pm

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