“As long as economic recovery would work to the political benefit of Barack Obama, the Republicans have been, are, and will be in favor of sabotaging the economy”

Not a big revelation, but still a terrific and really upsetting piece from Michael Tomasky:

It’s about time the Democrats started saying openly what has been clear for months or even years now—that as long as economic recovery would work to the political benefit of Barack Obama, the Republicans have been, are, and will be in favor of sabotaging the economy. Senators Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin made the point in a press conference in the Capitol Thursday. Noting that his GOP colleagues are coming out against business tax cuts (read that again: Republicans against tax cuts for businesses) that Democrats happen to support, Schumer said, “It almost makes you wonder if they aren’t trying to slow down the economic recovery for political gain.” Well, not almost. Certainly. And I don’t “wonder.” I think it’s obvious. But this is a start.

Washington is a city of conspiracies, but far and away the most pernicious one is the fiction, in which one must participate if one wants to be regarded as a “serious” person, that both parties are more or less equally to blame for the present malfunctioning of our democracy. One hears this all the time at the sort of panels, dinners, and seminars I attend. The topic is our energy future, our fiscal prospects, whatever. Discussion turns to obvious remedies, which inevitably involve the government taking some minimal amount of action, or the investment of a few modest public shekels. The symposiast will then note, sighing forlornly, that we appear to be light years away from consummating even these modest actions. He will then bemoan a vague “lack of political will” or “absence of leadership” as the reason for the inertia.
Nonsense. There’s nothing vague about it. It’s crystal clear. We can’t do these things because of the extreme nature of the Republican Party and the right-wing noise machine that enforces such rigid ideological purity. Period and end of story. I think most people at these panels and dinners know this deep down. But it’s thought impolite to say it. Often it’s a technical violation of law to say it,

/// More, and a must read

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Mitt Romeny, crook and liar:

Mitt Romney released a much-discussed new video today that hammers away at the “Obama Misery Index” and features one Ryan King of Midland, Michigan, who has fallen on hard times. King, a recent college grad, talks in somber, apolitical tones about his economic situation, claiming he has $3 to his name and that he eats bologna sandwiches because they’re cheap.

“Frustration is the big word,” King says, claiming that prospective employers want experience, even for jobs he’s qualified for. “My hands are tied…how am I gonna get experience if no one will hire me in?”

“Is it my fault that I can’t get a job?” he says. “To a certain point, you just start losing faith in yourself.”

It turns out there’s a bit more to King’s story than that, though.

In 2009, King was identified in the local press as the vice treasurer for the Midland County Young Republicans. He seems to have been a local Republican operative since; his Facebook page shows him partying away at the 2011 state GOP convention.

King’s employment history is also unclear. As late as May, he boasted on his Facebook page of getting a job at Quality Marketing Enterprise in Midland, as a marketing accounts rep. “Got the job, booya!!!” he exclaimed.

// more

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You can’t touch the swagger, you just can’t.

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This is simply awesome:

“Barack Obama, the national security president”

Hi guys,

If you didn’t see PBO’s speech at the LGBT fundraiser in NY last night - You should.

Obama: I Oppose Discrimination, “I Was Born That Way”

President Barack Obama traveled to New York on Thursday for several fund-raisers with LGBT donors where he celebrated his accomplishments to date but stopped short of an endorsement for marriage equality before asking for more support.

During his speech at the $1,250-a-plate Democratic National Committee LGBT Leadership gala in Midtown Manhattan, Obama said that he believes “that gay couples deserve the same legal rights as every other couple in this country,” but he did not explicitly say that marriage is one of those fundamental rights.

In the appearance before LGBT donors, Obama spoke to some 600 people, where he received a warm reception for work toward repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, issuing the directive not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, hospital visitation rights, a comprehensive AIDS strategy, and appointing the first openly transgender person to federal office, which received the loudest applause.

// more

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West Wing Week:

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A bit of good economic news:

Data points to underlying factory strength

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New orders for U.S. manufactured goods and a gauge of business spending plans rose in May, easing fears of a sharp slowdown in factory activity.

Durable goods orders increased 1.9 percent after dropping 2.7 percent in April, the Commerce Department said on Friday.

An improvement across the board in May and revisions to April’s figures that showed smaller declines than previously reported, pointed to underlying strength in a sector that has powered the economic recovery.

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Well, of course, whenever he doesn’t need to work with congress, his awesomeness is limitless:

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) sought to paint then-Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) as too inexperienced to lead the country in a dangerous world.

“Obama and congressional liberals…too risky for America,” said the narrator of a McCain ad that aired in the final month of the campaign.

Three years later, Obama finds himself in a vulnerable political position heading into his 2012 re-election race — thanks in large part to the continued struggles of the American economy.

His saving grace? Ironically, it might just be his leadership on national security and terrorism.

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“Beyond his competence, voters are going to have to believe in his leadership — that America will be secure and safe under him,” said Democratic pollster Fred Yang. “And ironically, given the heavy focus by the Obama campaign in 2008 on domestic issues, his handling of foreign policy since he became president will likely be an important asset.”

Remember that presidential elections tend to turn less on the candidates’ position on any single issue than the overall feeling that he (or she) engenders in the public.

Put more simply: Intangibles matter. And Obama’s polling strength on national security could well help the incumbent win over voters who are on the fence about his overall performance during his first four years in office.

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