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Tell The Nation: Obama at One | The Nation

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Tell The Nation: Obama at One

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You Are Either With Us or Without the Will to Change

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The Nation is America's oldest weekly news magazine, and one of the most widely read magazines in the world for...

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Gary Younge pokes some major holes in America’s faith in “eternal progress,” then lays out next steps for racial justice with M Adams, Christine Neumann-Ortiz, and Mandela Barnes.

The high point has been that he and his family are actually occupying the White House. I think it made many black Americans proud and simultaneously shocked that such a thing could happen in a racist country like America. Hopefully, the longer they are there, the more it will serve to unite us.

However, I'm sharply disappointed that any one of us Americans is subject to become "disappeared" according to the way the Bush administration ruled over the country. Yet President Obama has done absolutely nothing to roll back the dictatorial, subversive and militaristic way in which law enforcement is encroaching upon our freedoms.

We're going down the wrong road and not even a man of Obama's integrity can make it right. I know that most Americans understand what integrity is, yet the ruling minority attempts to obfuscate the majority by using Joe the Plumber, Sarah Palin etc. to foil such extremely important qualities. That's where Obama needs to use some audacity of the type Bush brandished when he declared that you are either with us or with them. For example: you are either with the majority of Americans, 70 percent of whom want single-payer healthcare, or you are with them, the minority who don't want change.

Thomas Davey

A Gifted President with a Dysfunctional Congress

Even a gifted president with national support cannot cancel out a dysfunctional Congress that is bought and sold by corporate and other special interests. They have special privileges and little accountability since few are removed. They forget that they are elected to represent us, not to make fortunes, to get re-elected or for other sundry purposes that are generally labeled "self-interest."

What has happened this year reveals how the system works and how it uses power. Perhaps the phrase "common good" is not understood. The high points include hope of something different as well as a nominee for the Supreme Court; Obama's willingness to take his time and think, not just react (for the most part); his openness; his insistence on healthcare. I see Copenhagen as starting the conversation.

Low points include his bowing to military solutions and allowing detention centers, military bases, etc.; not using the bully pulpit when needed with Congress and corporate and financial enterprises.

Lisa Smith, 66
San Diego, CA

The People in This Country Need a Voice

In my opinion, the highest point of President Obama's first year in office was his receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize, despite his reluctance to accept it because of his rather meager record and contribution on the world's political stage. It is amazing to me that the mere utterance of his aspirations for a more equitable world garnered him this most prestigious prize. He received a lot of flak for this and he took the high road instead of firing back to his critics, especially on the right.

The sharpest moment of disappointment for me was President Obama's relenting to omit the public option from the current healthcare bill, which is now being negotiated by the House and Senate for final passage. This option should never have been taken out of the bill. It would have made the lives of millions of poverty-stricken Americans much better. And it would have made President Obama a more respected political figure. Political expediency is often not a good thing for people in this country who have no voice whatsoever in Congress. Too bad. It speaks volumes for how our political system can be a detriment to Americans.

Antonio T. Pangelinan, 56
Castro Valley, CA

Media Madness

I think President Obama's high points are many. He has provided changes to actions made by George Bush that hurt mankind, both physically and environmentally. He has worked hard to repair relationships with countries we need in our corner. Do we hear about these things? No! which brings me to my sharpest moments of disappointment, and who perpetuates them:

The media! Who continually promote those who wish to harm hard-working middle-class families by sucking the tits of Wall Street. The media persistantly giving an open mike to "birthers," "deathers," reporting BS like Sara Palin's death panels, the ex-vice president (who should be in jail) and all the other factless morons who invade our living rooms every damn day. They are allowed to spread unfounded rumors and down right lies, without question.

In his first year President Obama has done more for this country than any other in recent history. Those who are truly uninformed will always be uninformed and we can't change that, unfortunately, but why do we allow our media to be the ones who perpetuate the lies?

Fran Balasquez

20 Points

Here are the high points:

1) Healthcare reform, including children (CHIRP)
2) Establishing a national electric grid.
3) Funding electric car development
4) Funding green jobs development
5) Allowing state medical marijuana
6) Restoring Community Block Grants to fight poverty
7) International consensus before action
8) Ending missile defense in Eastern Europe
9) Scrapping F-22 funding
10) Ending no-bid contracting for defense
11) Withdrawing from Iraq
12) Closing Guantánamo
13) Ending CIA secret prisons
14) Re-affirming Geneva Conventions
15) Appointing first Latina to Supreme Court
16) Appointing first openly transgendered person
17) Lifting global gag rule on abortion
18) Ending twenty-year ban on neededl exchange to combat AIDS
19) Authorizing the EPA to enforce the Clean Air Act against Big Coal

Here is the low point:

20) Failed to rein in moneyed special interest groups and their lobbyists, which weakens all progressive reform efforts.

Metteyya Brahmana, 47
Santa Cruz, CA

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