published Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Pam's Points: On rhetoric, power grabs and justice shelved

President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Imperial kings of misinformation

Enough already with all the right-wing babble about Barack Obama's "imperial" presidency.

The wing-nut rhetoric would make you think Obama is as much a dictator as recently ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. But it's just more hate labels. Anyone delusional enough to think the claims are correct should raise their hand and move to Ukraine. In addition to Ukraine's street fighting, residents' per capita economic output there is only about $7,300, even adjusted for the lower cost of living. That compares to about $51,700 in the United States. Ukraine ranks 137th worldwide, behind El Salvador, Namibia and Guyana.

What has prompted the sudden right-wing chirping over "lawless" Obama? Answer: The GOP's own inability to work together even in its own party, let alone in Congress and with a president. After all, who shut down the government? The GOP. Which party's personality is increasingly anti-government? The fractured and reeling GOP.

In his State of the Union address recently, Obama promised a year of action to overcome the nation's stalemate. With his "pen and phone" he already has led the way on rebuilding the middle class, advancing immigration reform and combating climate change. He did this by executive orders to raise the minimum wage for U.S. contract employees, to defer deportations of hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants brought to this country by their parents, and to strengthen regulations on carbon emissions at power plants.

With the GOP harping about the poor roll-out of the "flawed" Affordable Care Act, he extended deadlines to make transitions easier for enrollees and employers. He plans to create a new, government-backed private retirement savings plan (called the MyRA), and speed up implementation of a previously announced program to connect schools to wireless broadband.

After the speech, the GOP called his actions "small potatoes," but with Americans increasingly warming to having affordable health insurance [Chattanooga has some of the cheapest health care exchange rates in the country], and a slowly improving economy, right-wingers now are resorting to claims of "imperialism," "lawlessness" and rants that the president "can't be trusted."

Well, cry into your approval ratings, right-wingers. Obama, 45 percent; Congress, 12 percent. Guess that leaves the right-wingers no recourse but to spew disinformation.

Women raped by "systemic failure"

Could there be a more blatant signal that women don't matter than the pervasive backlog of untested rape kits in Tennessee and across the country?

Of course, women do matter, but one wouldn't deduce that from a backlog so old that victims such as Memphis resident Meaghan Ybos waited nearly 10 years for the evidence in her case to be analyzed -- and it finally was tested only after the 27-year-old woman drew police attention to similarities in her own rape at age 16 to new publicized cases.

"We had a systemic failure here," said Memphis Mayor AC Wharton.

What an understatement.

But Memphis, with more than 12,000 untested rape kits going back to the 1980s, isn't alone. Estimates indicate at least 400,000 rape kits have remained untested for years nationwide. So far Tennessee is among 17 states with proposals that range from requiring law enforcement agencies to inventory their kits to analyzing them in a certain amount of time.

Proposals are talk. How about some real action?

Tennessee GOP power grab

A proposed bill on the state Senate calendar this week would give the state Legislature unprecedented power over the state attorney general. The power play would allow state senators and representatives to direct the attorney general to take up or drop lawsuits.

That could mean a conflict over the separation of powers among the state's legislative, judicial and executive branches.

Bill sponsors say the move would bring the attorney general one step closer to public accountability. He or she now is appointed by state Supreme Court justices, who are appointed by the governor. That system has worked well enough in this state for 100 years and has brought the state AG's office very high ratings among experts.

Bill opponents call the effort a short-sighted "power play" that would serve only to politicize the office, which now is charged simply with handling issues and cases as they relate to law -- not the political whim of the day.

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.

Yeah, Pam, and you don't have a crush on him. You're thinking with your ovaries instead of your brain. You're an ignorant partisan. The number you should be crying about is the actual unemployment rate, which actually around 14% or so, according to Forbes. BO bitched that his poll numbers weren't high enough because of racism. He was elected twice. What do you care about his numbers, anyway, he's not running again. You're just typical of the women who voted for BO. He just sound soooooooooo good, and he's tall and has nice smile. Imperial is the right word, by the way. "i can do whatever i want". He's a smug lefty who has no respect for our Constitution, or for our system of checks and balances. If you nutjobs had your way, you would anoint him dictator for life. That's how you liberal women are.

February 25, 2014 at 3:37 p.m.

Your typical of women who stick with a bad man just because he just says the right things, and how he says them. Only a donkey would sing BO's praises at this point.

February 25, 2014 at 3:42 p.m.
hotdiggity said...

zab, instead of braying about someone who has offered solutions to our problems perhaps the right should climb out of their clown car and address issues other than God, guns, and gays. You need to look no further than our state and some of their wacko legislation.

February 26, 2014 at 6:15 a.m.
volsam said...

hotdiggity, Your issue was addressed in the constitution. They gave us a Republic, if you don't like living here you have the right to move to a more progressive state like California or New York.

February 26, 2014 at 8:34 p.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »


Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.