Tuesday morning mishmash

Hi guys,

First, have a morning laugh:

Obama Would Beat Palin in Tennessee

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Now we can begin:

1. Today’s schedule:

10:30 AM
PBO receives the presidential daily briefing.
10:45 AM
VPB and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood deliver remarks on infrastructure at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
11:00 AM  
12:00 PM  
12:30 PM
Gibbs briefs the press.
1:00 PM  
2:00 PM  
2:30 PM
PBO meets with the National Policy Alliance.
3:00 PM  
4:00 PM  
4:30 PM
PBO and VPB meet with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

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2. That sell-out still taking care of the people:

WSJ: Obama Budget Proposes Broader Unemployment Taxes

President Barack Obama’s budget proposal is expected to give states a way to collect more payroll taxes from businesses, in an effort to replenish the unemployment-insurance program. The plan could cause controversy at a time when the administration is seeking to mend fences with corporate America.

The proposal would aim to restock strained state unemployment-insurance trust funds by raising the amount of wages on which companies must pay unemployment taxes to $15,000, more than double the $7,000 in place since 1983.

The plan, which would take effect in 2014, could increase payroll taxes by as much as $100 billion over a decade, according to a person involved in its construction.

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3. NYT story about the real effect of the health care law and what would happen if it’s gone:

…For example, Hillary St. Pierre, a 28-year-old former registered nurse who has Hodgkin’s lymphoma, had expected to reach her insurance plan’s $2 million limit this year. Under the new law, the cap was eliminated when the policy she gets through her husband’s employer was renewed this year.

Ms. St. Pierre, who has already come close once before to losing her coverage because she had reached the plan’s maximum, says she does not know what she will do if the cap is reinstated. “I will be forced to stop treatment or to alter my treatment,” Ms. St. Pierre, who lives in Charlestown, N.H., with her husband and son, said in an e-mail. “I will find a way to continue and survive, but who is going to pay?”

As judges and lawmakers debate the fate of the new health care law, patients like Ms. St. Pierre or Alex Ell, a 22-year-old with hemophilia who lives in Portland, Ore., fear losing one of the law’s key protections. Like Ms. St. Pierre, Mr. Ell expected to reach the limits of his coverage this year if the law had not passed. In 2010, the bill for the clotting factor medicine he needs was $800,000, and his policy has a $1.5 million cap. “It is a close call,” he said.

// more

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4. Winning the future and all that:

Salazar, Chu Announce Major Offshore Wind Initiatives

NORFOLK, VA – Unveiling a coordinated strategic plan to accelerate the development of offshore wind energy, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Energy Steven Chu today announced major steps forward in support of offshore wind energy in the United States, including new funding opportunities for up to $50.5 million for projects that support offshore wind energy deployment and several high priority Wind Energy Areas in the mid-Atlantic that will spur rapid, responsible development of this abundant renewable resource.  

Deployment of clean, renewable offshore wind energy will help meet the President’s goal of generating 80 percent of the Nation’s electricity from clean energy sources by 2035.

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5. Didn’t you just love the knee-jerk reaction by the usual suspect to the president’s smart and brilliant speech yesterday? I wonder how many of those keyboards heroes actually bothered listening. Oh well, i guess it’s time to throw the Unions under the so-called progressive bus:

Greg Sargent: AFL-CIO: We liked Obama’s challenge to Chamber of Commerce

….My understanding is that labor officials expected Obama to repeat his insistence on more infrastructure spending — which after all isn’t that controversial, since the Chamber supports the idea in principle. But labor types didn’t expect, and were cheered by, Obama’s defense of government regulation, the emphasis on reforming the tax code so it benefits everyone, and the insistence that corporations need to ask themselves what they can do for America and its workers.

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6. Expect this to go very quietly under the MSM radar:

Statement by the President on the Intent to Recognize Southern Sudan

On behalf of the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Southern Sudan for a successful and inspiring referendum in which an overwhelming majority of voters chose independence.  I am therefore pleased to announce the intention of the United States to formally recognize Southern Sudan as a sovereign, independent state in July 2011. 

After decades of conflict, the images of millions of southern Sudanese voters deciding their own future was an inspiration to the world and another step forward in Africa’s long journey toward justice and democracy.  Now, all parties have a responsibility to ensure that this historic moment of promise becomes a moment of lasting progress.  The Comprehensive Peace Agreement must be fully implemented and outstanding disputes must be resolved peacefully.  At the same time, there must be an end to attacks on civilians in Darfur and a definitive end to that conflict.    

As I pledged in September when addressing Sudanese leaders, the United States will continue to support the aspirations of all Sudanese—north and south, east and west.  We will work with the governments of Sudan and Southern Sudan to ensure a smooth and peaceful transition to independence.  For those who meet all of their obligations, there is a path to greater prosperity and normal relations with the United States, including examining Sudan’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.  And while the road ahead will be difficult, those who seek a future of dignity and peace can be assured that they will have a steady partner and friend in the United States.  

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7. Finally, two excellent comments from the previous thread, that i want to re-post:

From Catzmaw:

I watched him today quietly letting the air out of the business balloons they were getting ready for the Republican convention. He’s already establishing a consistent, coherent rhetorical approach. He started with the SOTU with the motto “Win the Future”. Last week he was in Green Bay and at Penn State, touring businesses and again reiterating his message, and including with it his push for infrastructure investment, tax credits for creative ideas, investment in clean energy, and revision of the tax code.

Today he extended his outreach to business, focusing on revision of the tax code and reformation of the humongous regulatory machinery of the government, but also appealing on a very basic level to their sense of future viability – noting that the current situation is unsustainable – and also to their sense of patriotism. Now, the naysayers of the site which shall not be named were out in force poo-pooing his appeal to patriotism and I would agree that the most rapacious among our business interests are not really interested in such an archaic notion; however, the CofC represents tens of thousands of businesses and has enormous influence even on businesses which are not members, and most of THOSE people DO believe in patriotism and contributing to this country’s welfare. Obama really went to town on them, talking about the public/private partnership of WWII era business and the way it responded to FDR’s call to join with him for the war effort. People forget that business was pretty mad at FDR before the war. He appealed to their sense of patriotism and industry fell in line for most of the war with only a few labor disruptions here and there.

In future I think we may hear Obama start talking about the relationship of WWII to Health Care Reform (yes, there IS one). The whole reason businesses started offering health care coverage for employees was by way of satisfying the demands of labor without actually having to raise salaries in wartime. The labor supply was very limited and they needed something to offer, so it was health care. If I were the POTUS I’d start educating the public about this fact and point out that even though we still have health care tied to employers it is no longer a ball and chain keeping people in jobs they would otherwise leave. And with the severing or at least weakening of the link between work and health care we can see a new rise in innovation and start-up companies. If you KNOW you can get health care insurance even if you leave your job, then you’re MORE, not LESS likely to strike out on your own to try that new business idea.

I hope this has all been choreographed and scripted and we will hear these themes elaborated upon and introduced in the next few months. He is presently laying the groundwork for a successful second run and for the major items which will occupy his second term: tax reform, immigration reform, streamlining of government, and education reform. He expects (especially since he’s a Constitutional lawyer) to win the health care challenges in the high court. This will force the Republicans to finally sit down and deal with him. His approach to the CofC was great today because the one thing the businesses have been whining about is uncertainty about the HCR and about taxes. The lawsuits against HCR INCREASE that uncertainty and it’s going to lead to strains between the business community. Some of them are going to get tired of the libertarian train ride with the Kochs because this constant obstructionism is hurting their business chances.

From Nathan Katungi:

What is really distressing about the so called progressive bashers of Obama is their immaturity. They are always bashing the President for being a “Corporatist.” Sadly, they forget that the United States is still a capitalist country where corporations still play a major role-and especially when it comes to employment. No president can solve the economic problems facing the country without dealing with businesses, including the giant corporations.

By the way, the other distressing thing about the PL is their ignorance of history. Strangely, they have joined the right wingers in creating mythological heroic presidents. For the right wingers the hero president is Ronald Reagan. Never mind the fact that Reagan created the largest deficit compared to the presidents before him. Never mind the fact that, in his second year in office, the unemployment was still over 10%. And, of course, never mind the fact that Reagan raised taxes to try to deal with the massive deficit.

As for the so called Progressives, their mythical heroes are FDR and LBJ. Never mind the fact that in FDR’s second year in office the unemployment rate was still over 20%. Never mind the fact that it wasn’t until his third year in office that Roosevelt was able to pass major legislations like Social Security and the Wagner Act (giving workers the right to collective bargaining with their employers) which, by the way, were severely compromised, in order to win the support of the Dixiecrats (perhaps to day’ s blue dogs). Never mind the fact that many of the commendable New Deal Programs discriminated against African Americans. And as for LBJ, people forget that LBJ’s Civil Rights successes had a great deal to do with the assassination of JFK and the massive Civil Rights protests. For Example: the monumental Civil Rights Act of 1964, signed into law by LBJ was initiated by JFK in response to the Sit-Ins and Freedom-Rides. Somehow, this context is omitted by those who try to paint Obama as weak compared to LBJ. As much as I detest the “teabaggers,” I still give them credit for their mass demonstrations (though these demonstrations may have been artificially engineered by people like Dick Armey) in opposition to the President’s policies. Unfortunately, we who call ourselves progressives were no where to be found in support of progressive legislations. sadly, the professional left turned on the president, despite the fact that he was out there fighting on our behalf, to get the best deal he could.

Personally, I am very proud of President Obama’s accomplishments, in his two years in office, despite all the hostility from both the Republicans and the self anointed progressives.

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159 thoughts on “Tuesday morning mishmash

  1. Good morning BWD and fellow Obama supporters!

    I enjoy seeing our President succeed and prove all the critics wrong.

    GoBama!

  2. Morning all, Can’t wait to see what news today will bring as it is coming fast these days. Great post BWD!

  3. Good morning to you all, and an excellent mishmash indeed this morning, BWD! :D

    One of the great consolations of the PL’s general ignorance of historical context is that at some point in the future, PBO is almost certainly going to take his place amongst the pantheon of their heroes, and will be held up as an example with which future liberal/progressive politicians can be beaten over the head and admonished “this is how you should be doing it!

    The great story to watch over the coming period (apart from ongoing developments in the Middle East) will be the upcoming showdown between President Obama and the 112th Congress over the budget. It is almost inconcievable that the Republicans will let him get by on it without a fight, but it is equally inconcievable that PBO will not fight back with everything that he has to force as much of his preferred policy line through as possible.

    The possibility that borders on the truly frightening is that the GOP will be crazy enough to actually force a government shutdown, which is the last thing that we need in our present environment.

    It’s all in the hands of President Obama and his allies in Congress, though I find the former thought to be far more comforting than the latter.

  4. I look forward to seeing more of our President forging ahead on new frontiers not just trying to clean up the messes left by his predecessor. It could not be helped that he walked into such an amazingly broken situation but now we can see how he works to remove the occasion for war. Did anyone see his town hall with young leaders from all over Africa? It was the most amazing thing. I distinctly remember him talking with the youth about when its their time to be influential in their countries to resist the temptation to set themselves up in positions of power that have no democratically imposed term (think Mubarak).

  5. ” I distinctly remember him talking with the youth about when its their time to be influential in their countries to resist the temptation to set themselves up in positions of power that have no democratically imposed term (think Mubarak).”

    AJ had a deep discussion this am on the corruption of the wealthy in Egypt and what it does to the remaining 99% of the country even down to affecting their ability to marry and the high divorce rate among those who do marry.

    Your comment does remind me of another trap where one political party stays in office far too long and becomes corrupt across the entire party, yet another reason for frequent elections and term limits. The Republican party tried and still would take the US down the road to being another Egypt if they could. 1% of the people of a country cannot hold all the wealth and still have a viable country. When you think about Republicans, think Mubarak.

  6. Good morning all, it’s so great to be able to check in here first, before the noise of the day begins.
    Thank you BWD especially for quoting the above comments from Catzmaw and Nathan. I don’t have time to read all comments, and I know there is a wealth of knowledge here.
    As a long time liberal I’m just — shocked, saddened, embarrassed, often at a loss for words — at my former fellow travelers. People I used to look to for guidance, like Amy Goodman.
    Have they gone mad, have I, have we always been? It’s really made me think, self examine, pay careful attention, all of those things.
    This is why President Barack Obama is so amazing. He’s not just a distant political figure out there, he is a personal force in my life. For the better.

  7. NO CAMERAS ALLOWED: President Obama has a slew of meetings at the White House on Tuesday, but they’re all behind closed doors and won’t be shown to reporters or the public. According to the White House, after Obama gets his daily briefing, he’ll meet with the National Policy Alliance in the Roosevelt Room. He’s then got a session planned with Vice President Biden and Defense Secretary Robert Gates in the Oval Office.

    Meanwhile, Biden and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will ride to Philadelphia to talk about infrastructure.

    Politico-

  8. HIS AGENDA – In a wide-ranging interview with POLITICO, Upton said that he has no plans to work on a comprehensive energy bill during the next two years, and likewise doesn’t expect to spend much time on Obama’s proposed clean energy standard. But he does see room for smaller deals on nuclear power licensing, development of natural gas and electric vehicles, and anything else that finds support from both parties. “The rule of thumb is we’ll move bipartisan amendments first. They’re going to go ahead of the queue,” Upton said. “I told my Republicans over there, ‘I want you to find a Democrat.’”

    ———

    The big comprehensive bill was already off the table! what is on the table is what they are talking about! That is fine! Get it done!

  9. Lisa Jacksons Birthday today! Hapy Birthday Lisa!
    BTW: She testifys on wed. in the house kill the epa meeting! Good luck!

  10. That weather-related catastrophes cause a lot of destruction is well known. But the prospect that increasing floods, droughts and storms will prompt many millions of people to migrate to safer areas is still poorly understood and anticipated, according to a forthcoming report from the Asian Development Bank.

    “In the past year alone, extreme weather in Malaysia, Pakistan, the People’s Republic of China, the Philippines and Sri Lanka has caused temporary or longer-term dislocation of millions,” the organization, which is based in Manila, said on Monday, citing the study, which is to be released in early March. “This process is set to accelerate in coming decades as climate change leads to more extreme weather.”

    http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/07/climate-change-to-force-mass-migration-study-warns/?smid=tw-nytenvironment

    How lovely!

  11. This is quickly becoming the place with the best, smartest contributors in the blogosphere. Those two comments in today’s mishmash (and many more in the numerous posts here) are proof.

    I have felt and observed the same things that were expressed in these paragraphs and I’m glad to see these sentiments expressed so eloquently.

    I am amongst my people and it feels good, lol!

  12. Five months away from when President Obama said troops would start to leave Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus is still saying the pace of withdrawals will be “determined by conditions on the ground.”

    “As [Obama] has said, it’s a task to be carried out a pace determined by conditions on the ground, and we’ll obviously have to be closer to that time to have a sufficiently rigorous understanding of the conditions on the ground to inform those options and that recommendation,” Petraeus, the top American commander in Afghanistan, told the Financial Times in Kabul.

    Petraeus said that come July, he will provide Obama with possible strategies “with assessments of risk for each course of action,” then make a recommendation on how to initiate a “responsible drawdown” of American forces sent to Afghanistan.

    However, Petraeus was careful to downplay the 30,000-strong ISAF surge, pointing out that the bigger increase in security was with Afghan forces.

    “We intend to actually increase the pressure on the Taliban this year, ‘we’ now meaning our Afghan partners and ourselves,” he said.

    “I think a strategic level commander has to be conscious of the strategic context within which he is operating,” Petraeus added. “The challenge that faces any coalition commander is always that you have to capitalize on the strengths of certain contingents, recognize, say, the challenges of other contingents, complement what one does with what another does, and at the end of the day take the hand you’re dealt and play it as best you can.”

    Obama signaled in December that he was committed to the July timeline, saying that success in Afghanistan was “a result of us having sent a clear signal that we will begin the transition of responsibility to Afghans and start reducing American forces next July.”

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2e77d09e-32f4-11e0-9a61-00144feabdc0,Authorised=false.html?_i_location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ft.com%2Fcms%2Fs%2F0%2F2e77d09e-32f4-11e0-9a61-00144feabdc0.html&_i_referer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.politico.com%2Fpolitico44%2Fperm%2F0211%2Fleaving_afghanistan_65de4b46-e3f0-4790-adbc-1cc2317635db.html

  13. An especially awesome mishmash today BWD. Great food for thought. Thanks for starting my day with a laugh (that TN goes Obama in 2012! :D)

  14. I watched the town all with the young leaders from Africa. It was indeed AMAZING.

    I’ve been equally impressed by all the town-hall meetings President Obama has had all over the world in the past two years.

    What he’s basically saying to young people all over the world: “BE the change”, that is, if you want to create the best world that can be, you yourself have to become the best person you can be.

  15. Good morning all. Great mishmash and comments. What a community you are creating, BWD! I am grateful every day.

    Axrendale had a wonderful history, all the way back to Teddy Roosevelt, of the frustrati on Feb. 4. I copied it, put it in a Word doc, and put it in a folder on my desktop called Keeping Sane. It has ever been thus. There’s a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, which I’d love if LIberal Librarian could find (I think it’s in her letters) about how FDR’s worst nightmare were the Dems. And there’s Al Roger’s famous line: I don’t belong to an organized party, I’m a Democrat.

    The Republicans hold together no matter what. Can you imagine how Kay Bailey Hutchison felt when, after all her decades of hard work and service to her party, McCain picked a photogenic, unknown ignoramus over her to be his vp? And yet there she was the next day, on television, supporting the move, smiling away. It must have been like swallowing poison.

    The Dems would have been all over a candidate who did something like that. And they should have been! Despite my frustration with the Dem tendency to be a circular firing squad, I’m still glad we’re don’t fall in line with policies like robots.It makes for lots of robust debate. It’s just that a loud few don’t know when to get back into the tent. And some don’t want to. It’s very fashionable to be enraged these days.

  16. How did I miss the comments from Catsmaw and Nathan? Luckily, I read them this morning, and was blown away! That BWD has created a site with this much knowledge and insightful thinking at our disposal, is nothing short of wonderous. I learn so much by just coming and reading. Thank you all for sharing…so many intelligent posters here to learn from and share opinions and thoughts with, and I’m grateful:)Have a good day…

  17. What was the story with Elizabeth Warren? I was notified by e-mail that there was a post here on her.

  18. Good morning everyone!

    Tavis Smiley, an unrelenting critic of President Obama, currently has a traveling exhibit purporting to tell the story of African Americans. Smiley’s inflammatory stance towards President Obama has created a great deal of controversy within the black community. Smiley recently hosted a conference featuring Arianna “we don’t consider ourselves as left” [now that she's playing to AOL's right wing leaning commenters] Huffington, and along with a few self-appointed black leaders, can generally be counted on for negative commentary towards POTUS.

    That is all to say that it makes the following quite interesting:

    http://weeseeyou.com/2011/02/07/w-e-e-peeps-monday-link-sweep-49/#comment-142271793

    The Making of a Walmart Photo Op
    Posted by Lydia DePillis on Feb. 1, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Here’s something I didn’t realize yesterday: Walmart wasn’t just sponsoring the opening reception for the National Geographic Museum’s new exhibit, America I Am: The African American Imprint. They’ve actually underwritten the whole thing, which is in the middle of a four-year, ten-city tour that’s already stopped in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Atlanta and moves next to St. Louis. When mastermind Tavis Smiley came up with the idea, he told the august crowd at least night’s reception, he traveled to Bentonville, met with his friend Lee Scott, and walked away with a check large enough to make it all happen (they’ve declined to divulge exactly how large, but I’d put it in the eleven-digit range).

    Clearly, it was a good deal for Walmart too: There are few people more bulletproof against charges of racial discrimination than Smiley, and having the radio host profusely thank Walmart for its generosity is helpful in shutting down would-be critics. But in no city, perhaps, has the exhibit been more helpful than Washington, which is in the midst of a heavy charm offensive to smooth the entry for at least four stores. All you needed to do was watch last night’s performance to realize how helpful.

    http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/housingcomplex/2011/02/01/the-making-of-a-walmart-photo-op

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    So, it’s A-OK for Crabis to be bffs with the CEO of Wal-mart in exchange for tickets to his exhibit, but it’s oh so wrong for PBO to compromise with GOP in order to get tax cuts, uneployment benefits…etc for the poor and working class?

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    I don’t demonize public-private partnerships. But I find it interesting to say the least that Smiley was willing to take millions of dollars to fund this exhibition and introduce WalMart as a friendly face because of it. I do not ever want to hear not a single solitary word from this guy about President Obama selling anyone out or showing little real concern for the black community, or about this President as weak because he plays the hand which he was dealt and makes compromises while seeking improvements for the impoverished and working classes. That is all.

  19. My problem is that it seems as if because we have someone in the WH whose policies have the approval of the supermajority of the party, there are people who are contrarian just for the sake of it, or as you note, to be fashionable. Making them easy prey for sensationalists looking to merchandise “POTUS sucks!” content and twist them into acting against their own best interest. As Nathan pointed out, maturity plays a role here, and it’s time for the new media progressive movement to simply grow up. Raging against the machine is well and good when the machine was as entrenched and corrupt as BushCo. It makes absolutely no sense to just pretend that President Obama is the second coming of Bush and treat him accordingly. Just bad politics.

  20. I couldn’t access the Elizabeth Warren post either. Kept getting error messages.

    The comments about this being the site with the best news roundups and most informative comments is right on. I learn more here each day than on any other site I’ve been on and I don’t have to wade through a toxic swamp of snark to get it. What a refreshing place!

  21. Once again BWD you have outdone yourself. What a great way to start the day. I know I get my enegy here. I too appreciated the President’s speech to the CoC. It’s about time the businesses get asked to contribute to our country. I hope all of this wonderful family has a great day!

  22. I know. It’s nuts. This is the best it will get in our lifetimes, and the screamers just scream. It’s bad politics, bad strategy, bad analysis, bad sense of history. Not to speak of bad manners. And now everyone has a soapbox. Including me! ; )

  23. Great mishmash.

    Re the Obama/Palin polling in TN: It’s sad that there is even a contest; it’s tragic, and a sorrowful testament to our electorate that it’s so close.

  24. While the constant naysayers have always been a part of the Democratic party, the media environment of today makes their influence greater than in the past. We now have a media whose ownership is concentrated into a very few hands, hands that are nearly all conservative. They get to choose what voices will be allowed to represent the left to the nation and it suits their purposes very well to have “liberal” voices who attack any and all Democratic officials and policies. That then feeds the egos and desire for fame and influence of the frustrati. They learn that being contrarian gets them on TV, either in actuality like Hamsher or in mention as “the base”. The fact that they are actually a very small minority within the Democratic base is ignored because their opinions suit the conservatives’ message that they want to get out there. They complain that the president doesn’t use his “bully pulpit” enough, never acknowledging the fact that it’s not that he doesn’t speak enough, it’s that the media shows as little of it as they can get away with and then “interprets” it so that it has as little effect as possible. But they are given a bully pulpit of their own on a regular basis and they don’t use it to advance liberal causes but instead use it to undermine all progress as not good enough and to spread doubt and mistrust of Democrats (Think Cenk). Sometimes our “allies” are a bigger problem than our opponents.

  25. With all due respect (and I truly do respect her), Amy Goodman has always been a little mad. Although the progressive backlash was much faster and much more virulent than I imagined, I knew that Amy Goodman and others like her would be the first to start bashing Obama. She is the template for unrealistic ideology, even if her intentions are the very best.

    These are the people who think Ralph Nader would make a great President because he says he’ll abolish all corporations. Oh, come on. As mentioned in a comment on the last thread, we are intrinsically a capitalistic nation. That corporations must be regulated in the public good is our duty as a government. But the idea that corporations will be destroyed is total hogwash. And I hate to give this little newsflash to the loony Left: all the yelling in the world isn’t going to make it happen.

    Amy Goodman wants a kind of socialism that has never been achievable in the over the century that it has been proposed. A perfect socialism has never happened, and brings with it consequences that stifle innovation and personal achievement. A total corporatist mindset is obviously damaging. But a combination of innovation and a moral government that has the muscle to make sure corporations operate in the public interest can create a just and vibrant society.

    I forget which Supreme Court decision it was (a long time ago) that made it the payoff to the stockholder the main function of a corporation. There are literally thousands of lawsuits fighting regulations on this issue alone. It used to be that a corporation had a codified responsibility to the public interest. That was wiped out and now we have to fight for every regulation we get.

    One thing about Amy Goodman over the likes of Arianna and Jane Hamsher: she’ll never sell her show to AOL. Of this I am certain.

  26. I have a general question for all of you: I used to go to the Orange Site because the news would change and usually they were up to date. I used to go to HuffPo for the same reason, but I’ve been done with HuffPo for a long time even before her recent ‘windfall’.

    My question: where do you guys go to find out what’s going on as it happens?

  27. Me three, my page goes from

    Tuesday morning mishmash

    to

    The only adult in the room. Again

    no error message but no post

    must be “blog gremlins”

    Having said that, so wonderful to be here, read the wonderful mismash, and hear your contributions. Just love this place.

  28. Due to issues both at work and home, I have had to just be a lurker the last few days, popping in and out to read the posts and comments. So I would like to catch up on a few things, all of which, ultimately tie together into a picture of the President.

    First of all, I did not have a chance to actually see the interview with Bill O’Reilly, though I will at some time in the future. A lot of people on the left think it is a mistake for the President to go on Fox, as if it gives them some degree of authenticity that it shouldn’t have.

    The problem is that, for a lot of people, Fox already is an authentic “news” source, and to ignore it completely is unwise. Now, if it were Bush going on MSNBC, from the right’s perspective, that would be a mistake, specially against the likes of Maddow. But the President is a unique individual who I trust in those situations not to come across asa worse than the host.

    Regarding the mythology of previous Presidents. It has always happened and always will. In retrospect, Presidents will be seen as either greater or worse than they actually were. And in the future, the same will apply to Obama. However, I really don’t care about how he will be seen in the future, and I don;t think he does either. What I, you and he craes about, is doing the best with what he has now to create positive change.

    Despite all their whining, the PL serves a purpose that is actually a net positive for the President. The more they complain, the harder it is for the right to paint him as some pinko, radical socialist, Muslim, foreign bogeyman. And this also plays into why it is important for him to give interviews to the Fox audience occassionally. Sure there will be some watching who won’t believe a thing he says, but he will make some wonder about what they have heard in the past and change their opinions of him.

    The other thing about the PL is that, if one overlooks the language they use (caving in, betraying trust, corporatist, etc.) they have valid concerns in terms of what they woudl like to see happen in this country. In fact, I agree with a lot of them. However, they live in as unrealistic a world as many on the right.

    One of the things I am most thakful for in our having the President we have at this time, is that he has helped me to see the difference between what is desirable and what is achievable. And he has given me hope that obtaining what is achievable is the first step to achieving what is desirable.

    Unlike some who have lost hope of achieving the desirable because only the achievable was gotten, I am totally the opposite. If giving up on the achievable had been done because it wasn’t the desirable, we would not have nay hope of reaching the desirable.

    Reading over the last few sentences, I realize that it may sound confusing, but I will leave it as is.

  29. I wonder how the GOTeaP will spin this headline. My guess is that their willful ignorance will continue unabated. Facts have a liberal bias so they must be ignored.

    For 3rd Straight Year, Americans Paying Less In Federal Taxes Than They Did Under Bush

    The rise of the Tea Party — “Tea” standing for “Taxed Enough Already” — was inspired by the myth that Americans were suffering under an oppressive tax-raising regime of President Obama. Yet the reality is quite the opposite. As Obama noted in his pre-Super Bowl interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly on Sunday, “I didn’t raise taxes once. I lowered taxes over the last two years.” Yesterday, the Congressional Budget office provided the numbers to back that claim up, the AP reports:

    http://thinkprogress.org/2011/02/08/taxes-less-bush/

  30. FL Michelle Obama will be on Live with Regis and Kelly in the morning.

    She has also pre-taped an interview with Matt Lauer highlighting the year anniversary for her let’s move campaign. That interview will also be tomorrow on the Today Show.

    P.S. A Public Policy Poll showed that President Obama would also carry my state of SC if SP was the Republican nominee lmao! Run Sara Run.

  31. Advise the Advisor – Your Direct Line to the White House

    Staying connected to the American people is incredibly important to President Obama. That’s why he tries to get out of Washington as much as he can and it’s why he reads ten letters from Americans across the country every day. And it’s why we’re kicking off a new program today called Advise the Advisor.

    Think of it as your direct line to senior staff at the White House.

    Here’s how it works: one of the President’s closest advisors will post a short video to let you know more about what’s going on here at the White House and ask for your advice, opinions and feedback on important issues. We’ll go through as much of your feedback as possible and post a summary of what you’ve told us later in the week. http://blog.dearmrpres.com/2011/02/08/advise-the-advisor–your-direct-line-to-the-white-house.aspx

  32. Good morning, all! For the first time in about six months or so, I watched a little of The Daily Rundown with that dorky Chuck Todd this morning.

    AFL-CIO President Richard Trumpka was on, totally in concert with the President’s remarks to the U.S. Chamber of Horrors … er … Commerce. Yee-haw! If you get a chance to watch the video, I’d highly recommend it.

    One disgusting story I also saw this morning was that the narcissistic Donald Rumsfeld’s book is out (who cares, I might add), wherein he claims to have done everything at Defense right regarding Iraq – but puts the blame on Colin Powell and Condi Rice (even dismissing her as an “academic”). The total opposite of President Obama’s Team of Rivals, which is working so nicely at present.

  33. Faith, fabulous. The only thing I would add is the name Thom Hartman. He too believes in her fantasy world.

  34. I will join you on a Happy Birthday to Lisa. At this point in time the EPA is critical to our
    moving forward on climate change.

    And, I also wish her luck. Do you know the time of her appearance on Wednesday?

    You are overflowing with good info.

  35. This is OT, but so important to share.

    For anyone who wants to keep up with what’s going on with the revolution in Egypt, the link below is a must see. It’s an interview with just released Wael Ghonims, the Google marketing executive who was kidnapped and held by police for 12 days for his role in helping to organize the revolt as the administrator of a Facebook page about the death of Khaled Said, a blogger beaten to death.

    http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/08/subtitled-video-of-wael-ghonims-emotional-tv-interview/

    If you don’t have time for the whole interview, at least see the first and last videos. They are beyond compelling and will leave you in tears. This is what is going on in Egypt.

    Please post to your Facebook pages and twitter.

  36. If you looked up “hater” in the dictionary you would find a picture of Tavis Smiley glaring at a photo of Barack Obama brushing his shoulders off.

  37. Terrific piece at planetpov: Corporington Post

    http://planetpov.com/2011/02/07/corporington-post/

    Excerpt:
    It’s not as if the corporate buyout of Huffington Post will come to many familiar with it as a big surprise. This was the ultimate goal of the hedge funds that financed and controlled this business.

    This is a great thing for them and Arianna who have now profited immensely from the freely contributed time and energy that many have and continue to invest there (don’t hold your breath waiting for any trickle down of any of that $315 million to those blogging at HP). However, as every mega-corporate buy out of an independent news or media entity has shown (we still miss ya KO), integrity does not increase with corporate revenues, just the opposite. Principles and civic responsibility are disruptive to profit.

    Here we are in the 21st Century, with the wealthy and corporations, the Kochs and Comcast and AOL avidly buying up or buying off whatever aspects of free expression they can.

    And the sadly Orwellian aspect of this is that, alongside Fox News spouting “Fair and Balanced” there will no doubt be the aggressively promoted doublespeak from HP about how “Independent” and “Progressive” they are.

    Let’s be real, being owned as part of a $4 billion media empire is not what most of us consider being independent or Progressive…unless one is pursuing “progress” towards a fully corporately owned America.

    *******************************************

    Indeed. Up is down, down is up.

  38. I don’t usually like calling people haters. But Tavis Smiley is a straight-up hater, no way around it.

  39. HI Tori

    Thanks so much for this resource, I have already used it to suggest that the group that helps women start their own businesses team up with the startup america project.

    So many good things happening all at once.

  40. Thanks. Very good choices. I use the sites of course, but they hadn’t been my go-to for actual news and updates. Thanks.

  41. Really thoughtful, japa, but I must disagree with part of your post. In theory, fauxgressive claims that POTUS is too right wing would result in him appearing centrist. This isn’t what is happening and this is why their poison memes are not benign:

    Fauxgressives have gone beyond labeling POTUS as too centrist. They label him as secretly hostile to the goals which he promoted on the campaign trail. That is a character attack which meshes with the right wing assertion that POTUS is a fraud or a phony. This sort of characterization impacts swing voters.

    They have also, immediately before the 2010 elections, begun spreading a narrative that the government is already Republican, Republican-controlled, or right wing. This took the form of some of our favorite people at dkos making statements such as “the GOP already controls the House because of the Blue Dogs,” “Blue Dogs losing en masse is a win for us even if we lose the House because it’s already a GOP chamber anyway.” The result was a calcification of a feeling that elections don’t matter and that working for Democratic candidates was a waste of time, because in effect there is no difference between a Democratic House or a Republican House. I certainly do not need to tell the intelligent commenters here that this sentiment is both patently false and dangerous. They have appeared to pivot onto a WH version of this meme, with their contention that the Obama administration is a de facto Republican one.

    These people are not benign, they are not helpful, and they are NOT progressive. Huffington’s commodification of the liberal/progressive community which built what they thought was an online space for progressive activism, sale of these people and their relationships to the right-leaning AOL for almost a third of a billion dollars, and subsequent new stance as a nonideological, non-left critic of the WH, should be clue number one that we are in a pretty serious situation in terms of some awfully sketchy people serving as our spokespeople and leading fooled progressives into the arms of the GOP by way of attempting to undermine President Obama.

    We can’t sleep on this situation and have to continue to build alternative spaces for activists to assemble, charge batteries, and exchange information.

  42. Vice President Biden might as well have been a spokesman for Amtrak on Tuesday as he promoted the White House’s plans to build more rail and roads, saying in Philadelphia that people need only look to the national rail operator to see how better and faster trains would be welcomed.

    “I love it when there’s bad weather in Washington or in Philadelphia, and all of a sudden, everybody has to get on Amtrak,” but they complain about delays, which might be for only five minutes, said Biden, who famously took the train from Wilmington to Washington as a senator.

    “I’m like the ombudsman for Amtrak,” he continued. Then, in character — after Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood introduced him as “the conductor of America’s train to the future” — Biden said, “Tell me, how long do you wait at the airport?”

    Amtrak “has been both an economic boon and a logistic necessity” and is “the best bargain there is,” said Biden, who wrote a cover story about trains for Arrive magazine last year. He called Amtrak a solution for commuters sitting in traffic, in which he said 4.8 billion hours of productivity are lost “every single day.”

    “I mean, every year,” he corrected himself. “Time’s money.”

    Politico 44-
    ————–
    Good Ole Joe! Love the guy!

  43. I’d add a “hater for hire” designation. He can gush over WalMart’s CEO yet he has nothing but a sour word for President Obama? This individual does not represent me as a black person and his thoughts and opinions are just that: his thoughts and opinions.

  44. 3 plead guilty to insider trading! This AG has filed charges on 30 people since the crash of 08!
    So much for this administration NOT going after anybody! NEXT!

  45. gn, thank you for the thorough response. One of the best things about this site is the respect we show each other, even in disagreement. Additionally, it makes it easier to adjust one’s own views when the differing opinion is given without a personal “attack”.

    So I agree with a lot of what you say. There are times when the form of delivery has more impact than the message of the delivery, and I think you are correct in your statement about the form being damaging.

    The ultimate perceived message is that Obama is a Republican in Dems clothing (patently false) when the underlying message, if put forth reasonably, is that there is disappointment that Obama hasn’t pushed for far more progressive ideals.

    I think there is a spectrum here from those who idolize Obama to the point he can do no wrong (far fewre people than is sometimes thought) to people such as most of the people here who respect the President, may wish he had been able to do more and may even disagree from time to time, to people who are more verbal in their disagreement with his policies or decisions but still realize that he is progressive in his thinking, to those that think he has betrayed the progressive movement and is a more personable version of GW.

    Both ends can do more harm than good. Those in between the ends can do a lot of good.

  46. If a budget isn’t approved, can the govt continue to be financed by an ongoing resolution? It would be suicidal for the GOP to shut down the govt — it worked so well under Clinton. The GOP leadership is right-wing enough; however, they’re being held hostage to a large extent by the Tea Party. The next few months should be tres interessant.

  47. So I closed out the Orange Site and went to Think Progress and Washington Monthly. How nice to just get news. How refreshing.

  48. The MIT economics whiz who crafted President Obama’s national health-care overhaul now plans to explain the complex and controversial plan to the masses — in one long comic book.

    Jonathan Gruber, a nationally recognized health economist who devised the economic underpinnings of Obamacare (Gruber hates the term), said his three comic-loving kids encouraged him to use the hip format of the graphic novel — basically an expensive comic published in book form — to tell the story of the complicated plan to 300 million Americans.

    Unlike most comic books, Gruber’s won’t have a superhero like Batman or Captain America or a villain like the Joker, he said.

    “I’m going to use the facts to tell the story,” Gruber, 45, told the Pulse yesterday. “I’m the narrator guiding the reader through the law. It’ll have lots of pictures and text.”

    Hill and Wang, a division of publishing powerhouse Farrar, Straus and Giroux, plans to release Gruber’s book, tentatively titled “Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It’s Necessary, How it Works” this fall.

    Ben Smith-

  49. Well rritz, as far as Amy Goodman goes, she’s not a liberal as we understand the word. She’s much more of a radical leftist/socialist. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but she looks askance at both parties. She’s in the Noam Chomsky school of politics, where there isn’t a bit of difference between the two parties. So you shouldn’t be too taken aback at her pillorying of the Obama administration.

  50. So, 4 moderate dems want to get rid of the individual mandate! McCaskil, Tester, Manchin and Ben Nelson!
    That still does not get them to 60, but still, come on!

  51. You’ve touched on precisely what I’m getting at, japa (and respect is freely given where that respect has been so well earned such as in the case of your always-spectacular commentary). I personally have never made agreement a condition of respect, as we’re all individuals with our own thoughts and ideas, which is a beautiful thing.

    But you really keyed into the point which I was trying to make: *form* of disagreement. Why parts of the PL are descending into a counterproductive force for progress is that they do not state their disagreement in measured, balanced, factual terms. Instead they choose to weave a larger narrative about an utter disappointment, betrayer of a POTUS. Instead they choose to couch their disagreements in a stridency which far outproportions the cause of their outrage of the day. Instead they choose to use their media perches to, not merely inform readers or viewers, but create a reward/punishment scenario by which they imagine that they will “force” President Obama to heed their demands under the threat of unrelenting negative media content.

    Or in other words, condemnation masquerades as “criticism,” and sensationalism masquerades as progressive “activism.” This not only opens the door to profiteers who cynically collect money in exchange for merchandising outrage, but it also promotes passivity, as if pounding the keyboards with outrage against President Obama is sufficient to agitate for change.

    Differences of opinion really and truly don’t bother me. The sheer dishonesty of attempting to label this POTUS as a Republican, of promoting the idea that Dems win when we lose power right before a crucial set of elections—that’s what I find unacceptable, and when I read that content at dkos published unabated with no objections from that site management, it was my final indication that I was consuming a media product which had gone rancid.

    Thanks for the very thoughtful exchange of ideas, japa! I find your comments beyond insightful and your grasp of history very educational to me personally.

  52. That’s most certainly a step in the right direction! And to think, just a few years ago, that company was in bad shape.

  53. Yes he can and Thank you BWD we are very happy with PBO, just ignore the ignorants from the other site.

  54. Even Arianna’s fair-haired boy Keith Olbermann has this up on Twitter:

    “Am I missing something or has the primary appeal of The Huffington Post been its independence from big $ media?”

  55. gn, you have me blushing.

    And let me say the same holds true in reverse. The level of civil and informative commentary on this site is amazing. Of course, to keep it that way, I am sure BWD has to read tons of other junk and dispose of it.

  56. So, NASA will not be getting any cuts:

    By Pete Kasperowicz
    The Senate on Tuesday approved an amendment to the FAA authorization bill that will likely spare NASA from future budget cuts.

    The amendment from Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) eliminates language in the FAA bill that would have created an advisory committee to examine whether NASA should continue its research and development activities related to civilian aircraft. The commission was thought to be a step toward a recommendation that this R&D should stop.

    The Senate approved Nelson’s language in a 96-1 vote. Only Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) voted against it.

    The vote on the Nelson language was the only Senate vote on the FAA bill today, although more are expected early next week.

    The Hill-

  57. Oh I love it here. And am beyond grateful to BWD for this space! I’m sure that I’m not the only one who loves your comments. This is growing into a great community.

  58. This just really feels like a presidency for the 21st century because of stories like this. I love graphic novels and will certainly be purchasing that one.

  59. What a load of good news up there today.. Great comments.. and a
    HUGE CONGRATULATIONS SOUTHERN SUDAN!!!

    Happy Tuesday fellow HopeMongers ;)

  60. Hey, cuphalffull, I watched that town hall with the young leaders from Africa. It was really inspiring, informative and educational. Since am from Africa, I was really touched and it hit a code because God, Africa needs prayers to get rid of those murderous, corrupt, thieving dictators. In my country of origin, Uganda, the dictator is poised to again rig the elections scheduled for 18 Feb 2011. And mind you, he has been in power for 25years, longer than my life on this earth. People are kidnapped, murdered, tortured, and made to dissappear, while looting the national coffers blind, while nationl, regional and refferal hospitals dont have even the basic drugs like tylenol. Unbelivable, but this is what people have to deal with day in day out and all have lost hope because its such a hopeless situation, but what really hurts is that the western countries look the other way and continue to give these thieves money which they know pretty well that it never reaches the nationals and its all stolen by these goons. Sorry guys for the rant, but it is too personal for me when you watch your people live in such horrible conditions. When I listen how these teabaggers whine about how they live in a dictatorial country and how the US govt is interferring in their lives, I almost go crazy.

  61. There was some veiled speculation on other sites yesterday that Mr. Olbermann’s “big announcement” today might be of a move to HP/AOL. So glad that didn’t happen. He’s got his quirks, KO does, but he’s got his principles too.

  62. Jovie, I truly hope they do start reducing forces as he has stated. At this point I am unable to see “success” in Afgan.

    I am somewhat fearful that if he does not start the withdrawal, he may lose in 2012. I certainly do not want that to be the outcome of a war that he did not start.

    The president is a responsible person, and I think he feels that since this country went to war there, that we have to clean up the mess.

    I am very, very doubtful on this issue.

  63. I’m wondering two things about KO’s new project: a) how will he transfer from being talent to being the boss, and b) how will he change the channel’s news gathering? Will he buy programs from AJE and BBCW? Will he bring on other hosts? KO has a chance to create something really interesting practically from the ground up. I hope he seizes the opportunity. I for one will be watching with great interest, and a bit of hope. (Also, I hope he realizes that kneecapping people who agree with you 95% of the time is not a good way to get your agenda ahead. But that’s just me.)

  64. Ten years into the Afghan War, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the war was never about Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, or 9/11. It was, if you will, the camel’s nose under the tent; it was a dry run to get the US populace frightened and willing to lash out at anyone that seemed like a threat, so that GWB and the neocons could finally realize their pet project, which was to install a friendly regime in Baghdad and have access to reliable oil supplies. Once Afghanistan served its purpose, it was quickly allowed to languish. There weren’t enough resources to fully fight two wars, and at any rate having a low simmering war in Afghanistan served the administration’s purpose, as it continued to drive fear into the citizenry. I think Afghanistan will be even more of a black mark on GWB’s legacy than Iraq.

  65. This is not OT–Wael could have been killed and I’m happy that he was found alive. Thanks a million for the link!

  66. Very astute LL. Not a surprise. So what is the answer going to be? What do you see happening?

  67. Tavis has been shuckin and jivin for the dollar for about 10 years now. I see nothing has changed!

  68. Axrendale, first, what time do you get up in the morning? 5:23 am?

    Actually I was reading below that you posted a treatise looking at the history of the far left in politics. Is that available somewhere?

  69. Oh, if I had any idea I’d be on the WH NSC staff. There really are no good solutions to Afghanistan. That country has already been the graveyard of two empires; even Alexander the Great couldn’t impose his will on it. The only hope is that pouring enough resources for Afghan reconstruction and Afghan security will dent the influence of the Taliban. But if stability isn’t brought about by the time that NATO citizens get fed up and demand withdrawal, I can see Pakistan meddling again, and the Taliban are still their preferred party.

  70. I am lucky enough to have all those “foreign” news channels, but on top of those I also use a personalized version of Google news and if I am particularly interested in a topic, I set up a Google Alert to send me an e-mail with links “as it happens”. The topic of Egypt is bringing many, many links right now.

  71. I love Al Gore and really like what I’ve seen on Current TV. I’m hoping KO will remember that his new boss – our former VP – shows great respect publicly for President Obama.

    One of my favorite Gore quotes in the early days following the ’09 inauguration came after a reporter asked him if he had any advice for President Obama. Vice President Gore said something in response like, “Oh, I would hesitate to give him any advice. He’s doing so well.” He has shown total political class in the last 11 years and beyond, in my opinion.

  72. Hey Joe!

    It’s just an indication that we have a ton of work to do trying to appeal to the better angels of the American consciousness. We’ve got less than two years to do it, and our work cut out for us, lol.

  73. BWD, I’m blushing at your decision to run my little comment.

    I would add that there is very little going on with Obama which is extemporaneous or in the moment. He’s doing what he did when he first decided to run, looking at the long term. His short term goals appear to be: a) to set the framework for reelection; and b) to gradually re-frame the issues and shift the attitudes to the point where he can achieve his long term goal, which IS to attain as much transformational change as he can during a second term. Frankly, to achieve what he wants WILL require a paradigm shift, meaning that he has to gradually pull a country which has been drifting rightward for 30 years back toward the center and then hopefully more to the left.

    I don’t think he’s ever seriously contemplated that he would be a one term President, although he covered his bases by achieving what he could in his first year with Health Care and financial reform. He went after whatever he could get, then cut his losses by “caving” to the Republicans so he could slip past them for that easy layup he did during the Lame Duck Congress. BTW, to understand our President one should be conversant with basketball, Aikido, and Sun Tzu. One must also distinguish between strategy and tactics. His ultimate strategy is pretty consistent. His tactics can and have changed. Having failed at getting cooperation from the Republicans and faced with a bewildering and continuous hostility from a powerful “news” organization, he’s simply shifted his approach. Tackling them head on makes no sense to him. There’s one of him and a lot of them and they’ll block him every time. He’s got unreliable teammates who sometimes aren’t where they’re supposed to be or like to go for the low-percentage three point throws. So he’s playing a long game, dribbling around the outside, passing and passing, faking right and then left, and when he sees an opening he flits in through the defenders and gets his layup. He’s trying to shift the momentum of the game. And every once in a while he leaves the basketball game to do a little Aikido, which is the martial art of winning by using your opponent’s strength against him.

    I’ve seen the naysayers criticizing him for spending his vacation studying Ronald Reagan, and they go nuts when he says complimentary things about Reagan. Again, they show an utter lack of imagination. Reagan’s one of the most successful messengers in American history. He framed his message so well and insinuated it so skillfully into the American psyche that he got people who’d actually benefited mightily from their government to turn on it and consider it the enemy, even as he was expanding it. Obama wants to know how Reagan did it. He’s a student of rhetoric and has set himself to thinking through HOW he’s going to do what Reagan did. The only way to make this country veer left again is to sell that message to the American people. He has terrible obstacles Reagan never had, and one only has to look at Faux Noise and Citizens United to know what I’m talking about.

    As a student of rhetoric myself I look forward to the next couple of years. I believe he is going to win in a landslide in the election and he’s going to shock some of the Republicans who’ve been playing to the right into coming back toward center.

  74. Wow Catzmaw- yours is such an insightful and spot-on comment imo, its what I see too in POTUS and yet could never have put it into the words and frame that you’ve so skillfully done- I so agree with all of it.. thank you.

  75. Obama edges out Palin in Tennessee? Awesome! Shows not everyone in my home state is a moron. At least there are a few smart people left.

  76. Blown away by this analysis. Perhaps this is how POTUS consistently outsmarts me, because I don’t know a thing about sports lol! In all seriousness, excellent insights.

  77. I’m hoping that there’s not a great deal of pressure to turn a profit in the near future or achieve a large viewership. Without that pressure, there’s much more room for quiet contemplation and quality analysis. This could be a game changing event if indeed this is an effort to build measured, thoughtful content which sees the WH as an ally of progress rather than an impediment to it.

  78. This is one of the best comments sections in the political blogosphere. I always learn things when I visit, and everyone is pleasant and respectful of others’ opinions.

    Thank you again, BWD, for creating this space.

    It’s shaping up to be a vital, enthusiastic and very smart community.

  79. I took the liberty of finding this comment. It truly is a terrific analysis:

    [Posted in the 2-04-11 Fridays Mismash thread]

    http://blackwaterdog.wordpress.com/2011/02/04/fridays-mishmash-2/

    **********************************************

    axrendale:

    Hi Amk!

    Yes, the Professional Left does indeed have a long history – they are in their own rather bitter way quite possibly the least successful unoffical political institution dating from the Founding of the Republic. The term “Professional Liberals”, from which the modern term is derived, was originally coined during the 1960s by none other than President John F. Kennedy, who was driven to great frustration by the sheer bad attitude of the liberals who should have been his natural allies – they shared most of the same goals after all – but who instead preferred to complain and criticize him for “compromising too much” and “being too friendly with big business” (the PL get very low marks for originality). JFK offerred a very astute insight into the mentality of the Professional Liberal: “They [the PL] would rather go down in flames than compromise to get most of what they want. I suppose that’s why so many of them see Adlai Stevenson as the Second Coming.” (substitute Bernie Sanders for Stevenson and you can pretty much say the same thing today). Kennedy further speculated that at a basic level, liberal ideologues almost seem to fear the very idea of actually being in power, and having the responsibility to govern in a moderate manner so as, yet again, to achieve most of their objectives, even if this means sacrificng ideological purity.

    Every time in American history that there has been a successful progressive President, he has been assailed by the contemporary version of the PL, who inevitably lambast him for compromising too much, making the wrong sort of appointments, appeasing the opposition too much, etc, etc. Thomas Jefferson was attacked for using Federalist-style powers to effect the Louisiana Purchase. Andrew Jackson was assailed for failing to create a democratic paradise or adhere strictly to the dogma of some of his more extreme supporters. Abraham Lincoln as we have seen above was scorned by the radical abolitionists, who viewed him as too weak in moving against Slavery, and regarded even the Emancipation Proclamation as a “pathetic half-measure”. Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson both recieved similar treatment from the far left wing of the progressive movement, and from the socialist movement: their achievements were based on too much compromise and not enough ideological purity for the tastes of the PL of the early 20th Century (it probably didn’t help that TR coined the phrase “lunatic fringe” to describe them). It was the same story with the Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal – the leader of the Socialist Party, upon hearing that the Social Security Act had been ratified, sniffed that The President has carried out the Socialist agenda… on a stretcher!” – with John F. Kennedy, and with Lyndon Johnson (who thought that JFK’s phrase “Professional Liberals” was far too polite – he preferred to describe them simply as “f*cking crazies”.

    It is something of an irony that all of these figures are today held up by the PL as heroes worthy of emulation, pressing modern day liberal and progressive politicians to be “more like them”. Give it a few decades, and you will find that the professional left of the future will lambast some future liberal president by saying: “He’s compromising too much and not getting enough done! Why can’t he be more like Barack Obama? He was a president who knew how to get things done!”

    The Professional Left do of course make in their own way invaluable contributions at times to the liberal movement. They have played an active role in many of the great social causes of history, from Abolitionism to Civil Rights. Still, it is very hard not to agree with Franklin D. Roosevelt when he said:

    “I am not bitter, and nor am I a cynic. But I do wish that some people would show a little bit more maturity in their political thinking.

    **********************************************

  80. I’m fine with the individual mandate being removed from the Healthcare Law, so long as the gov’t restricts the amount of the resulting increase in premiums consumers will be forced to pay. This points to the belief of Congress that the individual mandate is severable from the law, which is contrary to the conclusion of the Federal Judge who ruled the whole law is Unconstitutional due to the presence of the individual mandate. He was the only judge to go that far, and his opinion was truly an outlier. I think that judge’s reasoning was faulty, to put it kindly, and will be overturned on appeal.

  81. The fact that our MSM continues to prop up Sarah Palin and give her every inane utterance the megaphone treatment never ceases to amaze me. If, by some act of God, she suddenly agreed with everything Pres. Obama does, I bet her microphone would be shut off immediately. She provides the MSM with reliable and consistent anti-Obama content. Very similar to the MSM treatment of the PL. Bash Obama enough and you too can be a star, rake in the bucks, and get your own TV show(s). The PL has figured this out and fall over themselves to provide this anti-Obama content. It’s not a coincidence. And they have the nerve to call Pres. Obama a sellout.

  82. I agree. But the world is watching this time. And what will they all do in 2016? Fade into obscurity? All good things must come to an end.

  83. I agree. I’m actually looking forward to this new venture. It has the possibility of being a true liberal/leftwing voice in the media landscape.

  84. Gates weighs in on Egypt:

    “U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the pro-democracy demonstrations in Egypt and Tunisia should inspire other governments in the Middle East to enact reforms he says the United States has been advocating for years. In his first public comments since the Egyptian protests began two weeks ago, Gates also said the Egyptian military has done everything U.S. officials have asked, and made a contribution to what he called “the evolution of democracy” in the country…”

    http://tinyurl.com/5w4pvof

  85. And so does the European Union:

    “Ashton said the EU was prepared to provide experts to help draft a new constitution, organize elections, develop the “capacity to provide information for people” and invigorate Egypt’s economy…”

    http://tinyurl.com/6f3t4mp

    And now I have to go and finally watch local news. You all have kept me busy reading most of the day. :-)

  86. But, you know, PBO should get up on his podium and tell Mubarak to “Getoutnow”. The US is not Venezuela. A small country can brandish rhetorical swords. The US is still the world’s only superpower, and must tailor its rhetoric to the situation. People might call our differing rhetoric to Egypt and Belarus as hypocrisy; I call it the price of being the world’s effective leader.

  87. Belarus is yet another knotty problem, but it seems even Russia is trying to reform things there. Belarus is a sort of ugly pile of poop in their back yard these days.

  88. How much money is ‘enough?’ I’d read that last year was the first year that HuffPo was profitable. So they sell the company and make a windfall.

    HuffPo had started to make money. You could assume that they would continue to do so. There would have been a modest, buy growing return on their investment, all the while keeping HuffPo independent.

    Why isn’t ‘enough money’, enough for these people?

  89. Love and so appreciate your analysis…..clearly you are very smart, and a very skillful communicator. So many great minds here…..an oasis of sanity and thought.

  90. From my twitter timeline:

    RT @BBCWorld: Michelle Obama says President #Obama has quit smoking and hasn´t smoked at all in almost a year, from AP

  91. Um, because they’re waging the people’s battle against the horrible WH and are anticorporatist populists who believe that the country is starting to resemble the third world because a financial elite extracts more and more profit from labor and keeps that profit for themselves and their venture capitalists…oh, wait. Something here doesn’t seem to make any sense lol.

  92. Now that is nice news… it is HARD HARD HARD to quit smoking.. so- Congratulations Mr. President. I’m on my 19th day.. and lemme just say, I am struggling today :(.

    Thanks tigerfists.

  93. sheri, nicotine gum has been a godsend for me. Are you using any nicotine replacement products?

    (proud of you for quitting!)

  94. I still can’t imagine giving up a lifelong vice like that during the pressures of the campaign and now running the country. I can’t even give up Coke for a day. More power to him.

  95. Hey gn.. I am using the 14mg patches- 21mg are too much. YES to the gum.. I have chewed a couple of those a day when I really feel the urge… that gum has saved me more than once from running out to buy cigerettes.. but I ran out and the VA still has not sent more.. it takes them forever here to get my prescriptions to me (I’m pretty pissed at my VA today- for other reasons). Anyhoo, yes to the gum- and congratulations to you gn- if you’re also quitting.

  96. good point RinaX, cannot even imagine giving up smoking while running the country.. uh uh, sheesh I’m having trouble getting my mascara on- while not smoking, lol.

  97. Yes, I quit in August 2009. Beware of dreams of smoking (I had a few of those). Also, someone gave me the best insight: change your morning and nighttime habits. Something as simple as changing my walking route to the subway from one side of the street to the other and changing the place where I bought coffee while en route absolutely helped to snap me out of a routine which incorporated smoking. Change the way that you like to talk on the phone; if you used like to sit in a certain chair or couch and smoke while talking, pick another chair/couch. Congrats to you!!!

  98. EricF, I know the President suggested we try to be more agreeable in our dissent, but aren’t you being excessively generous here? ;)

    ‘She provides the MSM with reliable and consistent anti-Obama content’

    ‘Reliable anti-Obama content’??? I’ll admit she’s ‘consistent’ in trying to push herself into the dialogue, but nothing I’ve heard her say to date has been reliable, or even sensible! Of course if you meant realiable in the sense that she can be relied upon to eventually add her confusing take to the discussion, then I’d have to agree. :)

  99. Hang in there Sheri! I wish you continued success. ;) The President has been my first addiction and I’ve had the hardest time trying to break myself from checking the blogs daily. Notwithstanding that before his advent I’d always prided myself on my ‘self-control’. First I was going to stop (or at least cut down my computer time) after the 2008 elections,no sweat, then it was going to be after the inauguration, then at the end of the next week, etc. etc. I still haven’t been able to take an entire day off since the summer of 2008!!! There’s so MUCH this president has taught me about myself. :( :)

  100. I agree. People like Amy make it difficult to listen to her because she has no ability to bend even a hair.

    My fantasy would be that she was put into a situation to manage even a small country and state, she would be ousted in no time.

    So, she is just screaming at the wall. Unfortunately too many people listen to her. The media always listens to the screamers. thank you LL

  101. And the people to whom she screams aren’t Obama or Democratic voters anyway. Also, I don’t think she has a wider influence; I’ve never seen her on the yak shows, much like Chomsky. That section of the left is anemic politically, and has neither power nor influence.

    (Full disclosure: In my youth I was an avid Chomsky fan, and I still consider him worth listening to. But, yes, if he or Goodman ever had to run a country, they’d either have to turn to coercion to act on their policies, or they’d be run out on the next election.)

  102. Believe me, gn, Smiley doesn’t speak for me. IMO, he is listened to only because he has his own program on GPB. As for the majority of blacks in this country knowing who he is, I’d say that they don’t. He isn’t even a blip on most of our radar screens when it comes to us taking advice from him, and we have lots of experience in dealing with black folks like him. He’ll keep chipping away at PBO, and he’ll keep failing. We have more faith in PBO than we’ll ever have in Crabis.

    Crabis is a wanna be. He knows he’ll never be POTUS, and he knows that his appeal is limited whereas, PBO has worldwide appeal. I sincerely believe that Crabis is jealous of our president. If Crabis were going to do anything for blacks in America, he’d have done it by now. It’s very irritating to me that he has sat on his butt for 20 + years and done very little, but all of a sudden he wants PBO to perform miracles in less than 3 years. Crabis doesn’t seem to understand that it is not the president’s job to cater to any one group. PBO has been doing things that are meant to improve the lives of all Americans, and I agree with the way he’s doing things. Crabis needs to get a life. Not once has Crabis contacted the president and asked how he could be of service. I think that if he didn’t raise a fuss in years past, he now needs to sit down and let the adult handle things.

  103. Oh no- Congratulations to YOU! Well done & thank you for all the advice, I will use it gn.

  104. Well I think he & our country are probably in the healthy addiction area.. as opposed to smoking. I also have the same addiction you do- but I think our participation is both warranted and necessary, especially since theres so much untruths being perpetrated. I’m glad you are still here- please stay addicted at least until 2013 ;)

  105. In the event of a failure to ratify a budget, a Continuing Resolution would finance the various parts of government that we simply cannot afford to stop running, but a government shutdown would all the same probably have deeply unpleasant consequences, especially considering the fragile state of our economic recovery at the moment.

    The last time the GOP tried shutting down the government, under Clinton, they did indeed get hammered. The key things is what lessons they draw from that – whether they realise that the mere act of a government shutdown is a sure loser, or instead conclude that they can pull it off a second time round if they do things differently.

    It would probably be fascinating to watch if the welfare of the country were not riding on the outcome.

  106. I typically get up at about 5:30am. The East Coast time zone seems to be an hour ahead of the one that appears on this blog, and so I posted that comment at 6:23am.

    Much thanks to gn, for finding said treatise. :)

  107. I look forward to every one of your posts, and I always learn something. Today I learned a lot.

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and your knowledge.

  108. Have you tried an electronic cigarette? It sounds weird, but it really can help.

    Wishing you fortitude — it’s terribly difficult — a harder habit to break than heroin addiction.

  109. I think Sarah Palin is reliable only in the sense that she can be counted upon to disagree with the president (and Democrats) no matter what.

    Literally (as VP Biden would say), if President Obama observed that the sky is blue, she’d tweet that it’s orange. (Or perhaps claim prejudice because the president declared that the sky was Democrat blue.)

    Beyond that, Sarah Palin is not at all reliable. She couldn’t even keep a commitment to her fellow Alaskans who made her governor.

  110. And sheri, don’t beat yourself up if you slip. I was able to walk away from cigarettes but I was very ready and had compelling reasons. If you slip up, don’t beat yourself up at all and just try again. That’s so important. Just like POTUS stopped, then slipped a little, then stopped, then slipped, then finally stopped for good, that’s another route to quitting. No judgments of yourself.

    I think you can do it! Congratulations again and please keep us posted!

  111. Hey Catzmaw:

    Another excellent commentary! I am amazed at how you are able to combine your knowledge of “basketball, Aikido, and Sun Tzu” to analyze the President’s tactics and strategies.

  112. There is a good answer, which sadly won’t be implemented: it is to stop fighting in Afghanistan and just buy the entire opium production of the country at source on a Fairtrade basis, for use in manufacture of medical opiates. It’s much cheaper than fighting a war, it gives Afghanistan a functional economy. Bonus social effect: enough medical-grade opiates to put every heroin addict on a clean, prescribed supply until they can detox. Criminal organisations which profit from heroin trading are undercut at both ends, losing both their supply and their customers.

    Every so often somebody floats the idea at the UN, but it always has to be rejected by Serious People.

  113. THANK YOU ALL for your wonderful commentary and take on Amy and the left of the left :)

    My self examination continues daily, and this is where I start.

  114. ^Catzmaw, I love your ‘analogy(ies)’ analysis…Art of War… about our President’s winnin’ strategies/tactics against our adversaries… So will @jeffersonObama: @LiberalJaxx The Marxists call me an Obamabot as well when I link his Art of War brilliance. They hate him more than the fascists. ;)

  115. Thank you Ivee.. no I haven’t heard of those, will have to google it though, no I’m curious.

  116. Hey gn, happy wednesday. I have slipped several times, because I’ve been at this for about two years now. And frankly this 20 days have been my longest yet.. except for the one year I had in 3 years ago. I am determined to make this happen- and it helps more than you know when folks like you tell how you did it- and more importantly that you’ve succeeded at it.. I’m very glad for President Obama too- that he’s gotten this far. Its been my one addiction, breaking its been ultra hard- because I like it too :) I just hate all that it does. Right now I’m also keeping track of how much I’m saving by not buying cigerettes.. and that is going into it’s own little account. Thanks for all your good wishes~

  117. Va. Sen. Jim Webb (D) won’t seek re-election; George Allen, the previous senator, will run for his old seat – NBC

    …With Webb not running for re-election, the speculation turns to whether DNC Chairman (and former Virginia Gov.) Tim Kaine (D) will run.
    A Democratic strategist tells NBC News that just because Kaine has not indicated interest in the Senate seat doesn’t mean that he won’t run. (The question is whether Democratic leaders can pressure Kaine to run, and whether Kaine really wants the seat.)
    Another Democratic name — if Kaine passes — is former Virginia Congressman Tom Perriello, who lost his bid for re-election last November.
    Democrats point out that Obama won Virginia by six percentage points in 2008.
    That said, without Webb or Kaine on the ballot, Democrats might have a difficult time holding on to this seat, even in the 2012 presidential year.

  118. That is what I meant by “reliable” i.e., no matter the situation you can rely on Palin to criticize the President. The MSM can “rely” on her to bash Obama. Trust me, I was not complimenting Palin. She is a supreme idiot IMO.

  119. Don’t know if this has been posted, but a new PPP poll finds President Obama beating EVERY repub in the swing states. This is why the right wing heads just keep exploding.

    A quote:

    “Across 36 horse race match ups against Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, and Mitt Romney in Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Colorado, New Mexico, Virginia, Iowa, Nevada, and Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District Obama is 36 for 36. If he stood for reelection today against one of the current Republican front runners Obama would almost certainly win the same number of electoral votes he did in 2008, if not more.”

    http://publicpolicypolling.blogspot.com/2011/02/obama-in-swing-states.html

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