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Tom Rinaldo

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Member since: Mon Oct 20, 2003, 05:39 PM
Number of posts: 22,218

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We have the President I've been waiting for most of my adult lifetime

And I say that with utmost respect toward all of the prior Democratic presidents I previously voted for, going back to Jimmy Carter. I still give special praise to the "Great Society" enacted under LBJ, who was President while I was a teenager and then unable to vote, but his role in the Vietnamese war can neither be ignored nor forgotten. One can say that Joe Biden benefits in stature from the times during which he has been called upon to lead, and the unique challenges he confronts in doing so. That may be, but Joe Biden has risen fully, even heroically, to meet those challenges. He does so with grace, warmth, clarity and strength. Most importantly he refuses to underestimate either the magnitude of those challenges or our ultimate ability to overcome them. Biden is masterfully mobilizing the resources needed to do so on multiple critical fronts.

Jimmy Carter inherited and restored a democracy nearly broken by the increasingly autocratic tendencies displayed by Richard Nixon, the last U.S. president elected before him. I give Gerald Ford a degree of credit also, but it was primarily Jimmy Carter who restored inherent humility and decency to the American presidency, and a moral compass to America's role in the world. Bill Clinton had to confront a runaway train of right wing economics that had gathered breakaway momentum under 12 years of Reagan/Bush. He was tasked with the proverbial task of reversing the course of an aircraft carrier, and we are fortunate that he took the helm when he did. He made significant progress but that job remained unfinished

Barack Obama is a very special case, his was truly a great presidency. He took office with our nation in economic free fall, with our country embroiled in two hot geographic wars and an international struggle against terrorism. Obama restored American prosperity and furthered the cause of peace while still preserving our national security. Barack Obama shattered one of the most seemingly impenetrable glass ceilings in American history, forever making obsolete the term "old white men" for describing American Presidents while affirming the deep ties that bind all of us to each other as Americans. And Barack Obama secured passage of the Affordable Care Act, something neither the New Dean nor the Great Society was able to accomplish, ultimately saving hundreds of thousands of lives by doing so.

One man, or woman, can only do so much no matter how great she or he may be. Any president must play the hand that is dealt to him or her. Joe Biden has been given the hand of justice to play: economic justice, racial justice, sexual and gender justice, justice in the eyes of the law and justice at the ballot box where the rights of all Americans must now be preserved and protected. As chance would have it I am reading a biography of Thomas Paine, and I am struck by how, over the course of centuries, the true calling of American destiny remains essentially the same. You can read it in "Common Sense." You can read it in our Declaration of Independence. You can read it in the speeches of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr, and we watched it being read to us last night by Joe Biden in his address to Congress.

America always has (and likely always will) fallen far short of its calling, but it remains our core aspiration. That calling has always been our North Star, to look to when we are in danger of losing our way. We are in danger of losing our way now and Joe Biden is pointing toward that guiding star, and setting a course to resume our progress toward that goal. After four decades of growing economic inequality in America we have a President determined to reverse it. The red hot embers of white supremacy still erupt in America 150 years past Reconstruction, but we have a president fully mobilized to combat it.

I wasn't alive for FDR. Joe Biden is the president I've been waiting for.

Think of Joe Manchin as a Republican who somehow votes with Democrats most of the time

Only a Republican can win a state wide office in West Virginia. Joe Manchin won a state wide office in Virginia. Hence, Joe Manchin, essentially, is a Republican. Probably the last of the so called Liberal Republicans to still sit in the U.S. Senate. Except he has a "D" next to his name, and he votes for Chuck Schumer to be the Senate Majority Leader. The hard sad truth is that Joe Manchin is no more blocking Joe Manchin's legislative agenda than is Susan Collins, Mitt Romney, or Lisa Murkowski. Actually less so than any of those.

We need more Democratic Senators

First Controlled Flight on Mars: NOW!

Well, almost now. They are broadcasting the Martian helicopter pre-flight show at this moment. Footage from the hopefully successful flight will arrive from Mars in about ten minutes after traveling many millions of miles to reach our computer screens.

Anyone else watching? Here is the link:
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