Thank You, Mr. President!

Citizens Thanking President Obama

Much is being written all over the Internet today about President Obama’s speech last night, what these events portend, who should take credit for bin Laden’s death, and whether credit should be apportioned for political gain.  I am re-printing here what I wrote in a Note to my friends on Facebook this morning, entitled “President Obama:  Getting The Job Done:”

I am reading with great interest some of the comments here and elsewhere in reaction to yesterday’s news from the President that Osama Bin Laden has been neutralized.

While I agree with the concerns that we not “rest on our laurels,” so to speak, simply because Bin Laden was taken out, I don’t think any reasonable person can deny that President Obama has achieved an extraordinary outcome benefiting our Nation.  He, and those around him, have done what the Bush Administration merely paid lip service to in order to advance their own distorted view of world order.

President Obama demonstrated to me the qualities of a true Commander-in-Chief — contemplative and cautious when he was presented with information about Bin Laden’s whereabouts; yet, determined and decisive, when it came down to striking out.

In everyday speak, folks, that’s called “Gettin’ ‘er done.” He deserves our praise, thanks, and respect.  Can you imagine what the press, the people, the Republicans would be saying had this mission gone the way of President Carter‘s failed attempt to rescue the Iranian hostages.  Remember that?

President Obama is not the kind of President who would, now, shrug his shoulders and say, “Guess that’s over and done with…We can all rest easy…Mission accomplished.”  Whatever doubts I may have from time to time about our President, who does not make me happy all of the time, my faith in him was strengthened immeasurably last night.

Beyond this Note, all I have to say, as a citizen of the United States, is thank you, Mr. President.  You make me proud of our Nation!

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All Progressive Roads Lead To Illinois? Illinois Bans Death Penalty


Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn

Illinois is not precisely dead-center on a map of the United States, but it certainly forms part of what we Americans typically refer to as the Nation’s “Heartland.”  Bordered by Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Iowa and Wisconsin, Illinois – quite literally these days – forms a bastion of progressive ideals amidst a sea of conservatism.  So, do all progressive roads lead to Illinois?


For example, if you have been following at all the political debacle taking place in Wisconsin, then you probably know that Wisconsin’s 14 Democratic state lawmakers recently fled to Illinois in protest over Wisconsin’s governor, Scott Walker’s, attempt to end the collective bargaining rights of public employees in that state.  The exodus by these lawmakers has effectively shut down Walker’s efforts by denying the Wisconsin Legislature a quorum, a move that is being hailed by progressives across the country.

Did you also happen to know that a similar exodus took place involving Indiana state lawmakers?  In late February, as events in Wisconsin unfolded, a similar fight was brewing in the Hoosier State.  There, over three dozen of Indiana’s Democratic lawmakers took to the broad, well-kept interstates that lead one into the Land of Lincoln.

As a New York Times article put it, “Illinois [has] suddenly found itself as the refuge of choice for outnumbered Democrats fleeing their states to block the passage of such bills.”  In truth, Illinois has a long and proud tradition of progressive politics.

Obama Launches Presidential Bid At Illinois State Capital
U.S. Sen. Paul Simon, courtesy of Illinois Public Media

Though it is  the birthplace of Ronald Reagan, Illinois is also the state from which President Obama catapulted to national attention as a U.S. Senator.

Prior to Obama, Illinois was well-known as the home state of liberal U.S. Senator Paul Simon, pictured to the right.  Simon unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for President in 1988.

On a personal note, this writer is proud to say that I was an Intern Staff Assistant for Senator Simon in 1988.  Even now, I continue to revere Simon for his profound honesty, sense of purpose and overwhelming decency.

Simon was the kind of leader who believed it was wrong – morally and politically – for an elderly person, who had lived and worked all their life, to not be able to afford medical care.  He told you his beliefs, and he voted his beliefs.

Of course, Illinois also produced President Abraham Lincoln.  While Lincoln may have been a “Republican,” we should get real about his political leanings, people.  Lincoln would not be caught  in the same room as some of these modern-day, neo-fascists. Lincoln lived by a motto that included, “With malice towards none, with charity for all.”  Those are not the words of modern-day Republicans that hand out enormous financial breaks to the wealthiest, while fomenting discord to advance their regressive policies.

This writer is proud also to remark that my home state is continuing its progressive tradition.  Today, Illinois’ Democratic governor, Pat Quinn, outlawed the death penalty.  In a surprising show of bi-partisanship, Illinois’ death penalty was first called into serious question over a decade ago by former Republican Governor George Ryan.  Ryan declared a moratorium on executions after 13 condemned inmates were cleared of the charges that led to their imprisonment on Illinois’ death row.

Quinn’s order takes effect on July 1.  However, the governor’s order immediately clears death row, so no executions can take place in Illinois.

President Signs Reauthorization of Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act

Official presidential portrait of Barack Obama...
Image via Wikipedia

My colleague, Lori Paul, posted an important article on her family law blog, discussing the fact that President Obama has signed the Reauthorization of Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act.

As a survivor of childhood abuse, I believe the safety and welfare of children is of paramount importance.  Sadly, as Ms. Paul’s article mentions, over 770,000 children were victimized by abuse or neglect in 2008.  This is outrageous and, frankly, unfathomable when one considers how much attention has been paid to the problem in the last several years.

Fortunately, President Obama and Congress appear to recognize that the problem warrants continued focus until every child in our country can grow up without fear or harm.

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Lawyer – Wait, I Mean Dentist – Orly Taitz Files Lawsuit Against New Health Care Law

Care to know who has joined the “illustrious” group of lawyers filing lawsuits against the new health care bill signed into law by President Obama?  You guessed it, Claimed Lawyer – Apparent Dentist – Birther Queen – and  All-Around Weirdo Orly Taitz.  In a barely-reasoned, badly-drafted Complaint – in which she mis-spells the title of her own court document – Taitz alleges that the new health care law is a:



But, wait…it gets better. Dr. Orly waxes on, eloquently pleading:

“Health bill, as being prepared and reconciled, will create an enormous machine of governmental burocracy which will intrude into Plaintiff’s practice, will affect her doctor-patient relations, will undermine her Hippocratic oath, will force her to ration medical care and de-facto deny medical care to elderly, whom some committees of burocrats will deem to be too old to receive such care, meaning too old to live.” (Multiple and inexcusable errors in original.)

Orly Taitz concerned me enough when I only knew her to be a sham lawyer, completely incapable of sound legal reasoning, and apparently absent from law school the day they discussed the “actual cases and controversies” clause from the Constitution.  But she’s also a dentist!?!  I mean, I knew she put Dr. in front of her name, but I certainly did not think she seriously meant that she provided, gulp, medical care to actual people.  With sharp instruments and everything!?!

Apparently, Orly did not get a big enough cup of hot, steaming whoop-ass from her last foray into a courtroom.  As some of you may recall, Orly was sanctioned and severely criticized by a Federal judge last year for filing a frivolous lawsuit against President Obama.  In a 30-page opinion, the Judge criticized Orly for, among other things:

  1. Using “rhetoric” that is designed to inflame the “emotions” of her followers instead of real legal arguments; (Orly:  “What are legal arguments?”)
  2. Failing to properly file and serve the defendants in the case so as to give them notice of the case; (Orly:  “That rule didn’t apply to me, did it?”)
  3. An attempt by Taitz to dump two of her clients because she did not like working with their counsel; (Orly:  “I never said I was a people person.”)
  4. Asking supporters to contact the court in an attempt to influence the decision; and (Orly:  “Is that wrong?”)
  5. Possibly asking some witnesses to perjure themselves before the court.  (Orly:  “They were just little, white lies.”)

You can link to additional articles about Orly here and here.

And, yet, no article about Orly Taitz would be complete without at least one photo of the Dr. herself – now, ask yourself, would you want her standing up for you in court?  Or, coming at you with a dentist’s drill and a pair of pliers?  If you answer yes to either of these questions, you need more than a dentist.

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Child Slavery Reaches Record Levels In Haiti; Poverty Blamed As Cause

There is a startling new report just released by the Pan American Development Foundation, reporting that almost 225,000 Haitian children have been forced into child slavery in Haiti as a result of poverty.  Most of the children – nearly 2/3 in fact – are young girls, and are subjected to extreme physical, psychological, and sexual abuse.

Although the plight of these children is apparently commonly known, and is a source of great shame in the Caribbean country founded by a slave revolt, the practice of enslaving children has become widespread.  According to the report, nearly half of the children interviewed in just one village (257 total ) were living as slaves.

A previous count of the number of enslaved Haitian children was attempted by UNICEF in 2002.  That attempt resulted in a count of 172,000 children, but was criticized as being a gross under-estimation of the problem.  The current report used a broader counting methodology and was funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

In May 2007, USAID awarded the Pan American Development Foundation $6.4 million to combat trafficking in persons, torture, and organized violence in Haiti.

You can link to an excellent article discussing the problem of child slavery in Haiti here.  The link here is a link to the Pan American Development Foundation.  Finally, I am including a link to a resource showing the current state of slavery conditions in countries around the world as reported by the U.S. State Department, here.


A disastrous earthquake struck the already impoverished island nation of Haiti on Tuesday.  The quake measured 7.0 on the Richter Scale, was shallow – only 6 miles deep, and struck the island’s capitol, Port-Au-Prince, especially hard.  The quake, together with the nearly 30 major aftershocks that followed it, have decimated the country.  Thousands were crushed in the rubble as buildings collapsed, and one Haitian Senator fears that the quake may have claimed as many as 500,000 people.  The quake is the largest earthquake to strike Haiti in a century.

According to MSNBC News, the Presidential Palace and most government buildings have been destroyed.  The Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church in Haiti, Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot, was killed.  The scene has been described as one of utter devastation.  President Obama has pledged ‘aggressive’ help, but the generally poor infrastructure of the country is expected to hamper relief efforts.  You can link to President Obama’s remarks here and here.

You can link to articles discussing this disaster here and here, as well as MSNBC News here.

The so-called “Reverend” Pat Robertson remarked that the earthquake was Haiti’s own fault.  Here is the text of what this psychotic had to say about the earthquake from today’s 700 Club:

ROBERTSON: [S]omething happened a long time ago in Haiti and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French. Napoleon the Third and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, “We will serve you if you get us free from the prince.” True story. And so the devil said, “OK, it’s a deal.” They kicked the French out, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free.

But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other, desperately poor. That island of Hispaniola is one island. It’s cut down the middle, on the one side is Haiti, on the other side is the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, etc. Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same island.

They need to have, and we need to pray for them, a great turning to God. And out of this tragedy I’m optimistic something good may come. But right now, we’re helping the suffering people and the suffering is unimaginable.

Not to be outdone by Rev. Insanity, Rush “the Devil’s Douchebag” Limbaugh, had to get in on the game, saying that President Barack Obama and company would use Haiti to get closer to the “light-skinned and dark-skinned black [communities] in this country” while adding that the U.S. has “already donated to Haiti. It’s called the U.S. income tax.”  You can link to a news article discussing these remarks, as well as Robertson’s, here.

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President Obama To Lift HIV/AIDS Immigration Ban Tomorrow

As he stated that he would, President Obama will lift the 22-year immigration ban which has stopped anyone with HIV/AIDS from entering the U.S.  According to the BBC article which you can link here, President Obama said the ban was not compatible with US plans to be a leader in the fight against the disease.

In addition, the US plans to host a bi-annual global HIV/Aids summit for the first time in 2012.

The ban was imposed at the height of a global panic about the disease at the end of the 1980s.  As we reported here at CRW in the post entitled, “World AIDS Day 2009” immigration bans related to other health issues were lifted in the 1990s, but the ban related to HIV/AIDS was left as the only such ban.  The effect of this ban was not only to prevent immigration by adults, perhaps seeking treatment.  The ban also disrupted and prevented countless adoptions of HIV-infected infants from around the world by U.S. citizens.

Here is an additional article link summarizing how the law was repealed.

At CRW, we are proud of President Obama.  This decision is undoubtedly unpopular with the President’s sharpest critics.  Nevertheless, this is an example of a true leader’s core competency – the President stated what his plan of action would be, and then he carried it out.  Perhaps, along the way, President Obama has done something to sponge away the stigma raised against people with HIV and AIDS.

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