The Mishmash

1. Check one more for the good side (just don’t read the comments. Not even one sane person left in the world…):

In Sunday-evening surprise, Senate unanimously passes food safety bill


2. More selling out of progressives priorities:

Senate passes community radio bill: Low power FM to be expanded nationwide


3. And even more under the radar change we can believe in:

US now a net exporter of Solar

As reports that China has already won the race for global domination in the clean energy sector dominate the news, a new study suggests that early reports of the demise of the U.S. solar industry may be greatly exaggerated.

The report, published this week by GTM Research, found U.S. net exports totaled $723 million in 2009 with U.S. solar installations creating $2.6 billion in direct value to support the U.S. economy. And as compared to the U.S. overall economy, the report shows that U.S. trade in the solar industry is more balanced than in the overall economy, which had a trade deficit of $374 billion in 2009.

“The U.S. imports and exports product from every continent. But in addition to being a major net exporter of solar energy products, the industry is creating significant wealth in the United States and jobs in all 50 states,” said Rhone Resch, President and CEO of Solar Energy Industry Association, the largest solar industry trade association in the U.S.

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Thanks to The Obama Diary.


4. Thank you very much, MSM, really…

LA Times: Two down – Obama ends first half of term with big victories

 WASHINGTON — President Obama is ending the first half of his term the same way he began it — with a storm of activity of impressive, even historic, dimensions. Year-end victories on taxes, economic stimulus and landmark cultural change are reshaping the image of a president who seemed isolated and out of touch only a month ago in the wake of an enormous midterm election defeat.


Obama is “a progressive leader who, in fact, understands that politics is all about the art of the possible,” Vice President Joe Biden said Sunday on NBC.

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5. Sometimes I think that this guy is the only pundit that actually gets president Obama:

Andrew Sullivan:

I think of Frank Rich and Paul Krugman as brilliant men, but profoundly resistant to the core rationale of the Obama presidency (and the underlying dynamic of its accumulating success). That rationale is an attempt to move past the paradigms of the boomer years to a pragmatic, liberal reformism that takes America as it is, while trying to make it more of what it can be.


This is particularly important since so many of his opponents are white and disproportionately affected by this long recession. Trying to get them to see him accurately through the haze of Fox propaganda and cultural panic is not easy. But he seems to understand that persistence and steadiness are better tools in this than grand statements, sudden moves or grandstanding attempts to please his own base. He really is trying to be what he promised: president of the red states as well as the blue states. And a president who gets shit done.

The results after two years: universal health insurance, the rescue of Detroit, the avoidance of a Second Great Depression, big gains in private sector growth and productivity, three stimulus packages (if you count QE2), big public investments in transport and green infrastructure, the near-complete isolation of Iran, the very public exposure of Israeli intransigence and extremism, a reset with Russia (plus a new START), big drops in illegal immigration and major gains in enforcement, a South Korea free trade pact, the end of torture, and a debt commission that has put fiscal reform squarely back on the national agenda. Oh, and of yesterday, the signature civil rights achievement of ending the military’s ban on openly gay servicemembers.


From the perspective of this Christmas, after the many bewildering twists and turns of the last two years, Obama is looking good because he kept his nerve and retained his restraint. That’s a tough combo: nerve and restraint. It takes a cold-bloodedness to pull this off, and there are times when ice seems to run through the man’s veins.

I occasionally used to day-dream about a ‘one-nation’ Tory U.S. president, a second Eisenhower of a sort. Little did I know he would be a black man with a funny name.



191 thoughts on “The Mishmash

  1. Thanks, BWD. There is so much “analysis” and negative news in the MSM and the blogs, it’s nice to have a site that actually provides information on the positive things that are happening every day.

  2. Precisely why I DON’T pay attention to the mainstream cable media. Every day they attempt to push yet another Obama nontroversy to get everybody’s panties in a twist.

    It seems the only purpose the media serves is to piss people off. They’ve certainly done very little to support President Obama or the issues he’s been attempting to get taken care of.

  3. As soon as anyone knows what time the START vote will happen, please give us a post; the whole world outside the US is waiting.

    Since the repubs got religion on the 9/11 bill and it will go to a vote, I have hopes, from the way they are talking, that DREAM may have a second life. The pubs have finally figured out and are saying out loud that they have po’d the entire Latino community and had better do something about that quickly.

  4. Yours is the first thing I read this morning and the Andrew Sullivan article made my day. Somebody actually gets it in media land! I come here to find the good about the President, so thank you for all that you do.


  5. Good Morning Rational Thinking People

    Here is your daily White House Schedule

    AWAITING HIS SEAL: President Obama has no public events scheduled for Monday, according to guidance sent to reporters, but a bill ending “don’t ask, don’t tell” is on its way to his desk for his signature. President Obama plans to sign the legislation before he leaves for Hawaii.

    Monday December 20, 2010
    All Times Eastern Standard Time

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing.

    10:30 AM President Obama meets with senior advisers.

    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    12:30 PM Robert Gibbs briefs the press.

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM

    Have a great day everyone!

  6. This is what I could find:

    “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) filed cloture on the treaty Sunday night, which sets up a vote on Tuesday to end debate, according to what Kerry said on the floor. That would need 50 votes to succeed, after which there is still a maximum of 30 hours of additional debate before the final vote has to occur, placing the final vote on Thursday, December 23, the last working day before Christmas, Kerry said.”

  7. Good morning wonderful ones!

    Hope you all have a day filled with all good things. 🙂

    Have to head out to watch the beautiful grandboy in awhile, but will be waiting with you on the START treaty vote. Can’t wait to see the President sign DADT repeal.

    Really loved the MishMash today blackwaterdog. 🙂

    We’ve gotten so much accomplished it just makes my head spin.

    I’m profoundly thankful for our President, and of course, all of you.

  8. I wish I had the money to start a sexy, young cable news station that actually reported on what is going on and was positive and didn’t live to foment anger and controversy. Wouldn’t that be totally cool? No dueling talking heads in boxes. No hyped up nontroversies. Just really good visuals and pacing and use of social media interactivity to keep viewers in the multimedia age engaged while not dumbing everything down to the lowest and basest common denominator.

    It’s a fantasy I have.


    I’m sitting here watching CNN International and guess what? The standoff with North Korea has been averted, all the result of Bill Richardson’s presence in Pyongyang. North Korea is now talking about returning the remains of 200 US soldiers who died there during the Korean war.

    Now North Korea is saying that the “military exercises” taking place in South Korea, and for which they were threatening WAR just a couple of days ago, is “not worth” their time.

    Yeah, real quiet diplomacy…under the radar.

  10. I love this in Sullivan’s piece:

    “…an attempt to move past the paradigms of the boomer years to a pragmatic, liberal reformism that takes America as it is, while trying to make it more of what it can be.”

    That really hits the nail on the head. Very insightful.

  11. The history books will put liberals to shame. I can still not believe the way bwd was treated. But everything happens for a reason. Now, I don’t have to wait a week for a bwd reality check. Call me crazy, but hat feels like an early xmas baby!!!! Go Dems, go Obama!!! I love u guys

  12. Yup. BBC.

    “Meanwhile, veteran US politician Bill Richardson is in North Korea on an unofficial visit, attempting to ease tensions.

    Mr Richardson, governor of New Mexico, told CNN that he had held “very tough” talks with Maj Gen Pak Rim-su, who leads North Korean forces along the border with the South. He said he was confident progress had been made.

    CNN reported that northern officials told Mr Richardson they would allow UN nuclear inspectors back into the country, but there has been no official comment.

    The BBC’s Jane O’Brien in Washington says the US is walking a diplomatic tightrope, as there are 28,000 American troops stationed in the South, and they would almost certainly be drawn in if hostilities erupt”.

  13. We could all chip in and buy shares. That would be doable. After all, we funded candidate
    Obama’s run for the White House to the tune of $750 million

  14. I’ve had dreams about that as well:) I can’t do it, but I sure wish that someone would…

  15. WOW! What wonderful news!!!! I just read the headline on MSNBC’S page that said that S Korea was going to go ahead with the live fire exercises and everyone was hunkering down in bunkers! Thank you, Gov. Richardson:) One more catastrophe averted.

  16. Sullivan said all the things that most of us have been thinking but the MSN never said. His words and thoughts were masterful. He “gets it”!! Perfect statement. Just perfect.

  17. Yep. It reminds me of something I read ages ago… I think it was a New Yorker piece on Rahm E. They were talking about the critics of the administration (and this was before the Al Franken race was resolved) and he said, yeah, Krugman has a lot of good ideas, but does he know how to get the fucker in his seat so we can have another vote?

    The real world.

  18. You do know–I hope–that Andrew Sullivan is a flat-tax, no-welfare, abolish-Social-Security Conservative, right? (Being gay does not make one automatically a liberal.)

    You do know that “Tory” means Conservative, right?

    Look: I am delighted that President Obama has managed to accomplish so very much of the liberal agenda. And I always come to your blog for some genuine pleasure at the frequent updates of the accomplishments. But it remains true that we all have a long way to go, and that Andrew Sullivan is not likely a good guide.


  19. President Obama is getting things done and there are still so-called Progressives agitating for a primary challenge.

    I understand the man isn’t perfect and arguments can be made about policy, message, and tactics, but I fail to see how any intellectually honest Progressive or liberal could see merit in mounting a primary challenge.

    I predict that when he wins a second term, many of these same people now posting negative diaries will somehow claim responsibility for his reelection. It’ll be the health care battle all over again as they tried to kill the bill and then when it became apparent that wasn’t going to happen, they jumped to the right side and claimed responsibility for making it “better” and therefore worthy of their support.

    I say they either get on board or go ahead and continue to self-marginalize. I never thought I would question identifying as a Progressive, but I have to wonder if I am identifying with ideologues and/or racists with a leftward bent?

  20. Hi MOZ,
    You had me at “no hyped up non-troversies.” that alone would make me become a dedicated viewer.

  21. I suppose that if you aren’t accustomed to plan development, implementation, focus, evaluation, regrouping and flexibility, this presidency COULD look like a failure thus far; after all, we’re still at war, there are still millions out of work, new business development is moving slowly, etc.

    That’s the joy that IS this presidency however; there is a plan, it is developed, implementation has taken place in a specific, ordered manner, there is mind numbing focus on the individual and overall goals, evaluation of success or failure is taken at each step on the way, and flexibility and regrouping are always acceptable parts of the plan.

    Midterm what?

  22. I got most of that from the article. Taking a hand shake from the “other side” might be what that new a new paradigm looks like. Doesn’t mean I’m giving up my core beliefs, as Krugman’s column today suggests Obama is doing.

    It’s business. Not personal.

  23. Andrew Sullivan has been particularly insightful through all of this, going on DADT where no one has gone: that keeping Lieberman in the tent yielded the results on the repeal and other observations that were particularly effective. Now this post this morning, that envisions progress based on reality that moves us subtly yet substantively in the right direction.

    This is what I expected from punditry on the Left and why I am so horrified at its absence.

    Thanks to Andrew Sullivan.

  24. Joe, I am well aware of Sullivan’s leanings and don’t view him as a fellow liberal or progressive. He is, however, one of the few sane conservatives left out there. And it is interesting to get a sane conservative’s perspective, a perspective that is not filled with bile.

    I think he views Obama through a different lens. He has many times pointed out that he doesn’t agree with the President’s policies in a lot of areas. But he has a tremendous admiration for the President.

    It is interesting that he compared him to Eisenhower. In today’s world, Eisenhower would be considered a liberal. I always viewed Eisenhower as the pause to refresh President. After a World War and the Korean War, Eisenhower was a step back from the franticness. Obama, on the other hand, is presiding in a frenetic world, which doesn’t allow for that pause.

    What Sullivan sees is that Obama is playign the Right and winning. If the Right were in anyway a reasonable part of the society, I am not sure Sullivan would be happy about it, but he hates what the Republican Party has become. He sees Obama, in a way, as the person who will ultimately reshape the Republican Party toward a more sane institution.

  25. I’m afraid I’m not hopeful. This is a defeat the Republicans would love to hand this President and I don’t see them resisting.

    “Party over Country” was a great phrase I found in comments at dKos today (Yes, I’m still a bit of a masochist).

    Every time Republicans open their mouths, this is the soundbite we have to shove back down their throats.

  26. Good news, but you can’t trust NK for nothing. What is interesting is I never really saw Richardson as a tough guy negotiator with necessary gravitas, but he must have some cred in that because he was on the pundits short list for Secretary of State.

  27. IIRC, he has been involved in talks with NK before. I think Clinton used him for talks. If Bush had been smart (wishful thinking) he woudl have used him too.

  28. And despite them, he continues to wrack up one success after another. At some point, they will get the message. By then historians will be, even if they do it grudgingly telling it.

    It is simply amazing to see how every time they breathlessly tell us that he is out and done, he shows them. This has been going on since he began his run for the presidency.

    Think they will ever learn? Naaaaaah.

    Yes, Andrew Sullivan is one of few in the pundit world that truly gets this president. Even when he threw tantrums about what he perceived as the president moving slow on DADT, he continued to give him his just due on other issues. Meep, meep, Andrew. Holla!!

    Great to come here and see all you wonderful people and read all this positive news. It is rather intoxicating. I love it, love it!!

    Now I am off to do my charity work, picking fruits for the needy.

    BTW, our local channel is coming out to cover us today. As I mentioned before, our members range in ages from 3 to one feisty 91-year-old.

    I hope we get START today so that prez can go and join his family on their vacation.

    Good day, all.

  29. Thanks for the reminders, Joe. I appreciate Sullivan’s support for this President, but in general, I would hate to see many of his conservative ideas put into place.

  30. Well-stated, japa21. I do think it is important to have a true understanding of Sullivan and his values, but I agree that respecting what he gets right is important. If many on the extreme right and extreme left had a more nuanced picture of their idols, they would save themselves a lot of disappointment and be capable of more effective action on behalf of their own “principles.”

  31. Um, thanks for making me almost do a spit-take at your “meep, meep. Holla.” How can you be both so right and so wrong at the same time?!

  32. The MSM will never “get it” they don’t wanna get it. They are only concerned with ratings, nothing else. The sad part is the damage done to the country. But that’s what capitalism is all about, make money at all cost.

  33. The “tory president” thing struck me as odd at first glance.

    I’ve been occasionally reading Andrew Sullivan for years. He seemed to be what I see myself as — somebody with evolving political ideas — somebody who isn’t an ideologue. And I think he might have been speaking a little bit to his personal evolution.

    I suspect he was speaking about the irony of a wish fulfilled. As he noted — he had always wished for a “one nation” tory — expecting him to be more like Eisenhower. I interpreted it to mean who would have expected that one day he’d get the type of president he dreamed of but that president would be so unlike he imagined.

    Obama is my dream president. If I could gather together all my posts over the years speaking about the kind of president I wanted — you would think I was psychic. However — I expected that should I get my wish — it would come in the form of something like John Kerry. I never imagined it would be a “black man with a funny name” — either.

    Now — I’m black so it’s not a matter of assumption that said dream president would look like me. It’s also not that I didn’t believe a black person could win. It’s that I believed only a very conservative “token” type black could win — and I certainly didn’t want that kind of president.

    Maybe I’m projecting — but — I gather that Sullivan — like me — is pinching himself in a combination of disbelief and amazement.

    I frequently still — in spirit — fall on my knees in gratitude. Obama is a wish fulfilled beyond my dreams — a miracle to me.

  34. Thank you Don[na?] Corleone*! I have had my qualms with Sullivan over the years but he is sounding like the most adult and reasoning pundit in the pool.

    *Okay, so why does Mozilla have Corleone in its lexicon but not Obama yet?!

  35. Good morning everyone! It is so great to come here to get news first thing. I can’t listen to any msm and I can’t listen to radio anymore.
    President Obama is amazing for the amount of real work he is getting done, in spite of all the pundits. It is refreshing to read all the comments and not want to throw up. Thanks BWD for being strong and creating this Blog! I really believe START will pass. I think there will be enough repubs who think of country over party.

    By the way, it is a beautiful day here in Montana. We just got 6 inches of light fluffy snow. I love it. Have a wonderful week!

  36. I think Andrew Sullivan is proof positive that those of us who don’t want to continue the dogmatic (liberals can be dogmatic — too) and partisan “fighting” are not out of touch with reality.

    We didn’t necessarily think it would be easy — but we believe it possible and we believe it the better path to making widespread and meaningful progress.

    Obama isn’t pushing my personal wish list — either. I didn’t expect him to and didn’t want him to. My personal ideology and my political ideology are very different things because I believe in freedom and democracy and understand that that those things mean that it’s unlikely that anything is likely to soon or easily look like I wish it did.

  37. Nicely said. I think Sullivan has a better understanding of President Obama than just about anyone out there. I don’t think he meant that he sees the President as a Tory, but that he sees the president as one who leads for the entire country and not just for his party the way he had hoped a Tory president one day would. Sullivan clearly stated that he saw the president’s success at enacting progressive policies but that he also refuses to be only about pleasing the progressives and instead is interested in doing what is right for the whole country. That’s what drives some on the left crazy. Though, it is what he has been telling the country he believes in since 2004, so why it surprises anyone is a bit of a mystery. While President Obama’s ideas about what is right for the country are decidedly liberal, they are not implemented in a way that shuts down the other side, calling them evil or dangerous. He refuses to “call them out” and further divide the country along partisan lines.

    Sullivan imagined a president who would govern that way, but in his imagination that would have been a conservative Tory president, not the definitely liberal Obama. I think he was saying that President Obama has changed his mind (or opened it may be a better way of stating that) about a liberal being able to govern that way.

  38. LOL! You, too?

    Maybe we should send them a note letting them know that more than enough time has passed for their spellchecker to stop questioning that we meant to type Obama.

    Or maybe I should assume something negative and switch browsers. I don’t know.

  39. Joe…you are absolutely right that Andrew Sullivan is a conservative, but on this point that he’s made, he was right on target.

  40. On the plus side, I have so much more time for other things now that I don’t listen to cable news in the evenings or spend time on most blogs. Thanks BWD for giving me the information I need in one nifty package (plus photos that make me smile!)

  41. I nearly put the “GF” reference in there but I thought… everyone will get it 🙂

    And about that Obama spell check! It drives me CRAZY! I mean really. What are they thinking? He’s the President of the United States of America. The leader of the free world, but… maybe it’s a typo*??

    Who do you complain to? I’m up for a letter writing campaign to get that done and over with.

    *and sorry about my earlier typo. I’m very tolerant of others, but when I do it, it drives me mad.

  42. Bless you, BWD, for bringing joy and upbeat news about President Obama into my life. I found and lost you via DKOS, but somehow managed to discover this blog recently. I don’t know how you do it–so much news, so constantly, so professionally. In my mind I imagine you as a fairy sitting on the President’s shoulder, all-knowing, all-seeing. Our country is sorely in need of the news you–and no one else seems to–deliver.

  43. I remember quite well when Black churches (in NYC anyway) were endorsing Hillary Clinton in the primary. Not that there was anything wrong with that, she was our Senator, and she did right by our city and state.

    But there was a very strong sentiment that a Black man could not win. No one knew better how racist this country was than the Black community. Deep, deep, deep stuff.

  44. thanks for the links – I also really enjoyed Sullivan’s piece. I think Rich and Krugman “just don’t get it.” Too bad it takes a conservative (though independent-minded) like Sullivan to get it right.

  45. I think an Internet news station would be possible. Much less expensive.

    It would require some rich sponsors at first, but if it became popular, the station could function with monthly subscriptions.

  46. Right click on “Obama”, click “Add to Dictionary”, and then you won’t have to deal with the red line anymore. 🙂

  47. Wow. Just wow. I was VERY nervous about what what happening in Korea.

    Talks of North Korea allowing UN inspectors ???

    Wow again.

    I choose to be optimistic. I’m going to pray for peace. Really.

    Enormous thanks to Bill Richardson and all people who are working behind the scenes right now.

  48. Your optimism is a great choice. This WH continues to wrack up accomplishment after accomplishment. Aside from the benevolence, this is simply a hopelessly competent administration in place. Making progress inch by inch. Richardson’s diplomatic prowess was already well-known; it’s terrific to see another demonstration of why that good reputation is deserved.

  49. This is my number one critique of the Professional Left. When people are content to discard reality and context, and merely advocate for an outcome possible only in lollipop land, their analyses thus have a decreased utility.

    I too could easily spend all day creating and promoting a wish list of liberal items which would be possible if everyone in the country agreed with me, and if our national, state, and local politicians were not compromised by a system of patronage which we as Americans irrationally keep in place (rather than demanding public financing of campaigns). I could rail against President Obama for not implementing this wish list and label anyone who tries to inject reality or balance, a collaborator in a broken system. It would be easy and ego-satisfying, but *regressive* and inadvertantly preservative of the status quo.

  50. I love love love that there are now several BWD reality checks per day rather than one a week or so. This is indeed fantastic. I love that this space was in place; there’s no where else I’d rather observe the lame duck session than on the pragmatic blogs. Factual, reality-based, and full of terrific commentary.

  51. My take on Sullivan is that he most likely represents what a “sane” conservative should be like, hence the reference to President Eisenhower who warned of the danger of the military-industrial complex over 50 years ago, and who wanted universal healthcare. I’ve run into a few conservatives on the internet who admire the president and defend him, but not many. Most of them are Foxbots so caught up in ideology and Beck/Limbaugh rhetoric that they can’t think clearly enough to see that many of these policies will benefit them.

    BWD, you were right. Those comments on “The Hill” post regarding the Food Safety bill are clear signs to me of the negative influence of the corporate-driven tea party movement. Some posters are believing that this bill will have FDA inspectors coming to their homes to inspect the crops they grow in their own gardens.

    The usual tea party language is all over the place. Some examples are: this is a government takeover, their freedoms are being taken away, the republican majority in 2011 will overturn all of the legislation passed, hate for Michelle Obama, revolution, expressions of hatred for the republicans who voted for this bill, threats to primary those republicans, etc. It’s very frightening to think that these are our fellow citizens. that’s why I pray daily for God to protect and help President Obama and his family.

  52. Well said. Not sure where we’re writing love letters to Sullivan’s ideology (in fact, previous comments sections have made note of Sullivan’s blind eye towards the utter wreckage of his own party as well as the glaring flaws with his ideology).

    This is merely crediting astute political observation.

    IMO Krugman is an ideologue, and thus to him, compromise and deal-making in pursuit of progress is less meritorious than principled lines in the sand and pyrrhic victories. He’s intelligent, but this one weakness in his analyses.

  53. I did that long ago but anytime I use a public computer or some computer other than mine, the red line irks me to no end. Limbaugh’s name is not redlined, not even Schwarzenegger’s so why is the President of the United State’s name not yet (2 whole years after the fact!!!) not yet added to the dictionaries of these software/browser makers? It’s an insult

  54. Thanks to all who left comments regarding Andrew Sullivan; the comments were thoughtful, and helped me in my own thinking.

    The positive tone here is really delightful. So, thanks!


  55. This is one of the many wonderful things about this site. Your initial comment was an important reminder to any who may believe Sullivan is “one of us.” And I think the responses to you were well thought out and were obviously helpful to you. And none of the comments were condescending.

    I think it is important that we all, occassionally, through out those little questions or statements to give us all pause from time to time.

    My wife tells me that I like to play the “Devil’s advocate” way too often. But by throwing something out there, it helps me to clarify my own thinking as well to hopefully help others clarify theirs.

    And so far, what I see happening here is respectful disagreement when disagreement does occur.

  56. Oh, I don’t know. There were some decent posts there:

    Wow, the echo in this chamber is deafening … its like a dittohead daisychain!
    You obviously ALL drank the Kool-Aid …

    P.S. I’m with RDRCK … Fight the Power! .. “DOWN WITH SAFE FOOD!”

    Man, these anti-Obama, anti-legislation comments are horrifying. What a sick, screwed up population.


    Of course, you knew I’d go look once you told me not to, BWD. *L*

  57. I’ve a confession: in my heart of hearts, once Pres. Obama got the nomination… I was steeling myself for a McCain victory.

    I truly didn’t think this country was ready.

  58. lilaf — you did a much better job of expressing what I was trying to say.

    In a job related situation — I met an 80-something year old white man from Virginia who talked about how much he loves Obama. And this is his reason — that Obama avoids nasty fighting and tries to be president of all the country.

    I was working so I wasn’t at liberty to really discuss it with him — but that man made my day. I’m still carrying around that positive energy.

  59. What is strange to me is that Obama get no credit from the left, but yet Clinton was praised. Clinton did more damage to left than anyone, e.g DADT, the 3 strike you out rule, he opened up the credit markets, and pushed ahead with NAFTA, as well as openly lied. Now Obama is trying to clean up all this mess that Clinton help put in place, and yet Obama get treated like a dog. Don’t get me wrong Clinton is okay with me, but he did not get this kind of treatment when he was doing all of the wrong stuff. Obama is trying to do all of the right things for this county and he gets trashed.

  60. I sometimes think Krugman is taking a long view. Well, let me first say, I think he believes in what he’s saying. Everything he’s studied and experienced supports his theories. And the world pretty much agrees — the Nobel Prize. I’m not even saying that he’s wrong.

    But Sullivan is hinting that a slight shift, a re-thinking, might be in order. And what looks “wrong”, might work.

    But what I started to say is, I think Krugman, feeling that his predictions will ALL come true, is thinking he will look like the smartest man in the press. The one who said “I told you so”. He’s imagining a time when people look back and say why didn’t they listen to HIM! So, he wants to be consistent, clear-eyed, and unsentimental. I think he thinks to deviate from everything that has been true up until now, would be folly.

    I don’t know the answer.

  61. Clinton also screwed up Welfare reform. I have worked for TANF programs on and off for the last 14 years and while I agree there needs to be reform, they way they went about reform is not helpful to families. In TN you have a 5 year time limit. Which means you must get your education and find a sustainable job with in that time. No expections. This would be fine if there was funding for ED and/or training. We are going to have so many single parents/famililes coming off of the TANF roles that are not self sufficient. It’s just plain scary. I worry about there children. Clinton did a lot of helpful things, but he also did things that have done damage to this country.

  62. I read the L.A. Times article and it depressed me somewhat. Why does the MSM have to put a negative spin on EVERYTHING this President does. Example: The article basically says that Pres. Obama failed to deliver for the Latino community due to the failure of the DREAM Act. No mention of Obama appointing the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice, no mention of Republican demogoguing and race baiting regarding the immigration issue. No mention of Bush II failure in his attempt to tackle immigration. As Marvin Gaye would say “What’s Goin’ On”?

  63. I saw an elderly white man last week with an “I Heart Obama” hat on. This was in the K Street area of D.C., where black faces aren’t all that common. I studied him, trying to get a read. He was somewhere between 70 and 80 and had on nice shoes and coat.

  64. Agreed, I guess because anytime I use my last name, its red-lined. I’m so accustomed to it that it didn’t strike me as odd when the President’s name was red-lined.

    But, since you mentioned it, it is odd that Schwarzenegger’s name isn’t red-lined.

  65. Well that (cartoon) is just hysterical, I’m nearly speechless from the accuracy of it.. having read statements exactly like that too many times. Very funny stuff, thanks for posting it 🙂

  66. yes he did it increased homelessness also. Look now with those limits in place many is not eligible for help.

  67. Mornin’ everyone:

    Hilarious comment at the top of the comment section in the article on the passage of the food safety bill at The Hill.

    The poster complained how useless the Administration was in making sure there will be an increase in foreign foods imported here with little regulation–yet Happy Meals (R) are being attacked.

    I guess the poster only prefers American e coli and salmonella over foreign food related illness – (which is already governed).

    Gosh darn it, I may die of food poisoning–but at least it was an American bacteria that got me!!!

  68. Bill Clinton was a Center Right president i.e. a conservative democrat. With NAFTA, Welfare Reform, deregulation of Wall Street, and DADT Bill Clinton was not a liberal president. I did, however, like the racial optics of the Clinton presidency (golfing with Vernon Jordan). I think that was the true gift of the Clinton presidency. Although he damaged his racial legacy during the 2008 campaign.

  69. Clinton got mostly a free ride because the economy was so good: the boon from the end of the cold war to the dot-com phenomenon – which was actually the beginning of “too big to fail.”

    I think part of the reason why the left are so pissed off is that their classic stance needs to change, and the free ride is over. Sullivan nailed it – the fear of losing cultural relevance – or as he calls it: culture panic.

  70. hey i just realize you can edit after you post. click where the correction is needed it will bring back to the comment box, make the correction, and then repost.

  71. So far all questions are based on Republican Party talking points. Republican issues with the START Treaty and why are we doing so much in the lame duck session. You know, why are we jamming so much at the end. It is hard to believe is was an actual questions from a “reporter”. These people sound like gossip columnists to me. It’s always process over policy.

  72. When Clinton was in office, I remember my that my uncle, who was then a union organizer, saying that Clinton was a Republican in Democratic clothing.

    During NAFTA, there was a very large protest/riot in Seattle. Just googled it, to make sure:

    Well, that’s a long url, lol.

    I think with blogs and the 24/7 news cycle, we’ve become more aware of the “noise”.

    All that being said, Pres. Clinton took his fair share of abuse, Pres. Obama has taken much more than his fair share.

  73. WE can win for these next 2yrs if we just fight, fight hard and protest. Republicans do not like bad press or a bad reputation. They melt. I know i am going to be hard on mark Kirk. We are many in numbers and we must be very vocal for these next 2 yrs. We can push back on the right and the tea party. our voices are much louder.

  74. There’s some pearl clutching going on at Balloon Juice over an unsourced Politico article claiming that the tax cut deal is only the opening salvo in a larger kabuki dance with the Republicans. Supposedly in the State of the Union, PBO will adopt most of the deficit commission recommendations, including the Social Security cuts. I read only a few of the comments, but the first few told Cole to get a grip. Sigh.

  75. Nice. It makes me feel good when I try to help the larger community. Thank you for what you are doing.

  76. I look forward to a time at which we didn’t jump from crisis to crisis to crisis. I think that POTUS would be highly mistaken to touch the third rail of social security, particularly after agreeing to tax cuts for the rich. Highly mistaken. However, there is no need to clutch pearls and hyperventilate about every single rumor or decision made. Particularly in the case of rumors. It is counterproductive and emotionally draining.

  77. No doubt. And maybe there are some people who actually don’t know that. But he’s been pretty right on in his last few posts since the DADT repeal.

  78. It’s pretty much the Bush trap. Run u the deficit spending on his wars while cutting taxes to bankrupt the system, besically forcing entitlement cuts because raising taxes to pay for his spending spree is political suicide.

    I read that by 2016 if the debt continues to grow at current levels that come that year the interest owed yearly on the debt will surpass DOD yearly budget/spending.

    This needs to be addressed, either under a Democratic President or the next Republican one. Tough questions will have to be asked and tougher decisions will have to be made.

    Just as America can’t simply cut spending to reverse course, she can’t simply raise taxes on rich folks to do it either.

    I wish the first think President Obama would have done was institute a “War Tax” to get people to realize wars cost a lot of money. I think too many people don’t pay any mind to the wars, only the folks with family fighting do.

    As it is now, it looks like Bush’s wars are going to be paid with entitlement cuts.

  79. We’re in a crisis culture, at least among the commentariat. The media have abandoned their role of providing lucid, calm analysis for the latest outrage of the day. A site like Politico definitely thrives on this lurching from crisis to crisis.

  80. This is pretty much what the Eurozone countries are facing — Spain, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, maybe soon Italy. Governments of both the left and right are making cuts to social services — in the cases of Greece and Ireland draconian cuts. France and Britain are going down the same road. Living on credit is not a sustainable economic plan. I don’t know what the answer is, but the next decade will probably be painful for the majority of us. Drastically cutting the military budget and ending the empire would save hundreds of billions of dollars. But the military complex serves as a Keynesian engine in many respects. This is definitely going to be threading the proverbial needle.

  81. Don’t give up hope. The president is working the phones hard to line up votes and both Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are confident that they can get the votes.

  82. It is wonderful isn’t it? We had such a need for a place for reality based analysis and now we have BWD to thank for this one and so many others that are on her blogroll. It’s a long needed and very welcome development.

  83. I can understand you feeling that way. But, maybe because I’m white, I knew he would win because I saw the level of acceptance he got from other white people. And it was on a level I’ve never seen a person of color get before.

  84. Can we find another term for the looney left? I read comments that use Liberal and Progressive as a blanket terms for everything that comes from the peanut gallery. I consider myself a Progressive, possibly even a Liberal, but I’m most definitely not a member of the radical left. I think it’s important to make the distinction. Not everyone on the Left is divorced from reality.

  85. I loved your comment which provoked a great exchange. What I like about this place, is that there are no heroes of the week. Thus, you can trust us to compliment Sullivan for getting some recent observations correct without having to worry that we buy into his entire worldview or ideology.

    But your reminder of who Sullivan is politically is 100% correct IMO.

  86. Maybe the Shock Doctrine Left? Make everything awful enough so that the revolution will commence forthwith.

  87. Thanks for the warning about the comments (re No1) BWD but because of that I had to have a look.
    Wow, I cannot believe how ignorant,bitter and racist some of these Repug/tea party types are.
    Doesn’t The Hill moderate? Maybe that’s a good thing so we know just what the Pres is up against,. It’s not just opposition, it is unhinged hatred and dissent.Yuk.

  88. What a silly question: “why are you doing so much?” Because the American people need progress on these matters and we cannot trust a legislative body which contains a chamber controlled by the GOP to get these necessary measures accomplished.

  89. Has anyone ever done a comparison study of the radical left and the radical right? The more I read about the radical left these days, the less I see a difference between them and what I imagine the radical right to be. I think they might both be outward expressions of a certain personality type that has extreme issues with authority (government) and a pathological need to be ‘right’ even in the face of empirical evidence to the contrary.

    There is someone in my family who has this sort of narcissistic need to be right at all costs, has massive problems with authority, and is completely out of touch with reality. He has been this way since childhood and is now in his sixties. He’s also a Libertarian. But were his politics from the left, he’d still be just as belligerent and unreasonable because of his basic personality flaws.

    I think this is why the radical left is so comfortable with their hatred of our President. He represents the authority they despise and distrust. I think it’s more a personality disorder than a real political stance. The radical left and right are just two sides of the same coin.

  90. Clinton also got a free ride from the “left” because of the impeachment scam. It was such an outrageous misuse of the process that even those of us who were thoroughly disappointed in him came to his defense.

  91. I agree with you that Bill Clinton essentially carried on Reaganesque policies in his Presidency, and he gets a pass from most of the frustrati. They did the same with Edwards, totally ignoring his record to deem him the true “progressive” in the race. Both Clinton and Edwards’ records when they were actually in government were far more centrist than President Obama’s,, and yet . . . hmm, what is the basic difference between them and him? It’s difficult to get around that white elephant in the room.

  92. Yikes! You were right about the comments section in The Hill. That place is infested with Tea Baggers!

  93. MY governor (for another 10 days) Bill Richardson has a long history of diplomatic successes, goign back to his days as congressman from NM in the early 90’s. His work has saved many lives, counting hostages for whom he has won release as well as conflicts he has kept from coming to blows. I believe his success comes NOT from beiong the tough guy (although he can) but from his willingness to sit down and talk.

    I was very relieved when I learned he was in North Korea this past week, and I believe it’s due to him that the North Koreans have dialed down their recent posturing about attacking the South.

    Thank you for your good work, Gov. Richardson!

  94. I know that’s right. Obama will do the right thing for the country not what’s politically right for him, that is why I love and totally support him.

  95. Hey all.. happy monday (I so very much appreciate all the comments I read here, so smart and thoughtful & once again, bwd- thank YOU for bringing the NEWS 😉 I just wanted to post this letter from OFA regarding DREAM, recieved today. Posting for the folks that may not be connected with OFA:

    Friend —

    This weekend’s vote on the DREAM Act was a disappointment. Republicans voted against a measure to give folks who are American in everything but their legal status an opportunity through military service or education.

    I’ll be blunt: this vote failed because a group of Republicans stood with their party, instead of their principles.

    Senator John McCain cosponsored the DREAM Act in 2003, 2005, and 2007. But this weekend, he voted against it.

    Senator Chuck Grassley cosponsored the DREAM Act in 2003 — and voted against it this weekend.

    Neither of them were alone — there are five Republican senators who have voted for the DREAM Act in the past decade, but failed to support it on Saturday.

    We need to send a clear message to the Republicans that none of us are going away — that we will continue to fight. That’s why we’re asking people who support the DREAM Act to call the GOP leaders and express their disappointment — and to tell them to stop playing politics with immigration reform.

    Call Representative Boehner at (202) 225-6205 and Senator McConnell at (202) 224-2541 today.

    When President Obama was in the Senate, he was a cosponsor of the DREAM Act. It remains a major priority for him today.

    And OFA supporters like you — along with advocates across the country — have done the important organizing work in our communities to build support for this crucial measure.

    But the fight ahead of us will be difficult.

    Prominent Republicans have come out against birthright citizenship, fought for English-only laws, and generally moved their party toward greater levels of extremism.

    With the House under Republican control in the next Congress, we need to make it clear that we will stand strong for an America built on hard work, fairness, and equality — not one ruled by xenophobia and fear.

    This fight isn’t over — and when it comes up in the next Congress, we need to be on the record saying that Republicans can’t hold reform hostage to political games.

    Let’s start by telling that to the Republican leaders today. Will you call Representative Boehner at (202) 225-6205 and Senator McConnell at (202) 224-2541?

    Thanks for fighting,


    Mitch Stewart
    Organizing for America

  96. I also wanted to mention this… today I started my political/news reading day with: The People’s View, Norbrook, The only Adult in the Room and Weeseeyou.. and lemme just say: I feel good.. I feel smarter and I feel hopeful and strengthened by the articles and by the commentors. It is a vast blogosphere with many intelligent thoughtful folks outside the hate everything bubble. smartest thing I’ve done is venture forward blog-wise 😉

  97. I tried to call a while ago from over here (Ireland) but Boehner’s mailbox is full and McConnell’s line was busy. Somebody please keep trying for me as the calls get expensive from here.

  98. Thank YOU granny.. not to fear – I’ve called and will continue to call tomorrow.. hopefully the mailboxes will get emptied.

  99. Hi Joe…Respectfully I have to say the problem I have with your comment is, even though Mr. Sullivan is a conservative, I personally appreciate and applaud anyone who is factual and not hard right like what has happened to most in the conservative party or hard left like what is slowly permeating on the liberal side.

    If a conservative cannot say something factual which actually turns out to be good news pertaining to president Obama without us getting mad about the news carrier’s political leaning, then potus should just sit in the wh and do nothing cause it’s a wrap if that is what America has become.

  100. Congres also approved:

    bill that electric cars will make a sound, because the TSA were worried that the BLIND would not hear these silent cars, and get run over.
    This bill prohibits that, and will go to the POTUS for signature this week!

    Another good Progresssive bill the POTUS gets NO credit for!

  101. Thank you so much for that tip. I am still learning the ropes here. There have been so many times when I thought my proofreading was good and the my post said otherwise.

  102. Forget about supporting the President – they haven’t even just informed the people. The fact that people don’t know the reality of all the legislation that has been passed, that they are not taking advantage of so many of the tools and support supplied over these past two years, that people don’t know that they got a tax cut from the Stimulus – it’s a shame. It’s only the public service announcements that occasionally spread some of this info – the media always posts only a portion of each story, and only the part that can be misconstrued to make the President look bad. They (the media) have not done their part to heal this economy.

  103. Hey tulips, here ya go:

    Representative Boehner at (202) 225-6205 and Senator McConnell at (202) 224-2541?

  104. Me too sherijr. I have to train my self to do the same and it does make you feel better. I have them bookmarked on my tool bar in order.

  105. overseasgranny, what is ireland like, i’m seriously considering settling there, sometime in the future.

  106. Wow Jovie, that is a really sound reason for a bill- this is the kind of thing Congress ought to be doing all the time.. looking out for the least of us – being the voice of the people. I would have never thought of something like this being a hazard, I doubt many would. thank you for sharing this.

  107. Give them hell for me, Sherijr! Ask them why they hate Latino’s and how do they think they will ever get anyone elected if they continue voting against them. Ask nicely, of course.

  108. At the moment, it is too damn cold and snowy and icy. e-mail me at reojan at and I’ll answer your questions. You do understand that if you live here you will get involved in the politics of two countries and you brain will get exhausted?

  109. I totally agree with you sherijr. Blackwaterdog starting her own blog has been so liberating for me. I have been introduced to a ton of new, amazing blogs that I just didn’t know about before. I left DailyNO’s in the dust.

    I have a feeling of connectedness with all of the commenters here. It’s such a good feeling to know there are so many people who are just like me in admiring and respecting President Obama. He is an intelligent, effective and charismatic leader and we are so lucky to have him.

    Bottom line, we are family and for me, home base is right here with BWD.

  110. I will indeed (give them hell.. actually I left messages today and will email them tomorrow again) I don’t really know how to sway republicans anymore, they seem to have (collectively) no sense of right and wrong.. I just told them I’m and American citizen and an army veteran and I’m fed up with their politicizing every single issue and that I expect as a citizen that DREAM be enacted as it benefits ALL Americans. I like your idea better ;0

  111. Gn thank you for this you introduced this site to me. I think i will email the tea party asking them to explain them running on government take over of health care was a lie, if they are truly for helping this country they need to call this out for the lie it is.

  112. Isn’t that betting on failure, though? If Krugman is so right, then why doesn’t he schedule another roast dinner with the President to share his ideas(I believe the President is free and alone this week)? My problem with Krugman is that he seems to enjoy tearing down and has not stepped up to participate in the work. Wasn’t he offered a role in Clinton’s administration, which he declined because he didn’t want the accountability (that’s my interpretation of his reasoning).

  113. I got use to that a long time ago. This pres will always be the underdog, the quiet fighter. MSM will never give him his due respect or tell the true story. I stopped all my subscriptions to every mag, newsy, blogs(except the ones I feel I need to positive comment on potus behalf)donations to so called progressives etc. The nation is the only subscription I still have.

    Truth be told even some of the AA newsies seemed to be trying to sneak in some concern troll “journalism” too. They tried…..

  114. I read your comment over there GN.. and I’ve always agreed that we really have to take on the media and their bias. I cannot forget how we did this so well when we united during the primaries via OFA.. calling / emailing the media on their spin, lies etc. Some of that continued over at dkos for a while- the call out of the media.. what has been so frustrating to me particularly is how they joined the media in that messaging.

    The thing is, if we don’t get serious about informing folks now, about calling out the media now.. we will have just that much more work to do when we start knocking on doors again.. there will have been so many lies gone unchecked that it will be even more of an uphill battle telling folks the facts, imo.

  115. I commented and it said your comment will be reviewed by a administrator before publishing. So obviously that site is very much pushing the trolls comments.

  116. I do think it’s betting on failure, certainly on a metaphysical level.

    But I think for Krugman, he is just trying to be responsible to his readers and to ideals.

    I disagree with his approach, but I don’t know about his enjoyment level in all of this. I suppose it could be looked at in that way. I don’t know why he declined the position in the Clinton Administration either.

    I guess I don’t know more than I know, but I’m not willing to speculate on his motives, beyond what he says.

  117. Wow, that is huge. The Obama administration has done an excellent job at diffusing foreign policy situations.

  118. GN, I saw that post at Blue Wave News earlier today and I thought it was excellent and spot on. The feckless traditional media has a built-in firewall that tries to filter out any good news about President Obama. The next two years needs to be all about effective messaging that circumvents that firewall.

    Sites like Media Matters, FactCheck, Politifact, and Snopes are great, but letters to the editor can be very powerful. BWN had lots of good suggestions on how to push back and I plan to do whatever I can to help.

  119. Well said. It’s easy to forget that the national media consists of people just like you and me, prone to error, with the additional problems and constraints arising from media consolidation and limits to how much they may rock the boat. Agitation for improved reporting absolutely needs to start at a grassroots level, and like you, I’d rather do that now than tote the little diagrams and articles from door to door right before the elections, and attempt to disabuse people of notions they have held for months.

    Change begins with us. And if we want to set an example of focused, positive advocacy, we’re going to have to do just that. Last week, I posted a comment to a NYT piece amongst of sea of disparaging remarks and purity viewpoints. It was selected as a highlight. I have no intention of making “home” anything other than progressive blogs, but we really can make a difference venturing to spaces like NYT and WaPo comments sections and expressing our viewpoint as well as correcting mistaken fact-free rants.

  120. You don’t seriously expect anyone to ignore the comments in The Hill after you dropped a hankie like that, do you? Your country has some sadly deranged people.

    I like what Andrew Sullivan said about Pres. Obama having ice water in his veins. He thinks that’s good! 🙂

  121. I read those sites plus washingtonmonthly daily to get an idea of what is happening in the world. Love having these places that are free of drama, rumor-mongering and lies to get news.

    I don’t know if you’ve seen Leanne’s project –

    It pulls the feeds from all the pragmatic progressive sites into one spot so you can see what is going on at those blogs.

  122. thanks askew.. I had picked up that link to Leanne’s site over the weekend.. and then forgot all about it, so thank you for the reminder 😉 and by the way it has been so lovely to see you here and read your comments~

  123. His involvement really helped on DADT. So I am also the same strategy will work this time.

  124. His involvement really helped on DADT. So I am hoping the same strategy will work this time.

  125. Hey marabout (Hachiko 🙂 Now that is class, is it not? Our President didn’t have to do that, didn’t have to even go there.. and yet he would care how much this would mean to Lt. Choi.. I wonder if Choi will be as gracious.

  126. Better have secret service check him twice. The guy is in the midst of a breakdown it seems.

    Hopefully Choi turns it down.

  127. I never in my life thought that I would find myself agreeing with Andrew Sullivan more than any other pundit. I still have trouble getting my brain around that.

    For eight years, progressive columnists like Krugman and Rich attacked Bush’s strutting and preening as a poor substitute for intellectual engagement. Now we have a reasonable, thoughtful man in office and the same people attack him for not grandstanding. It gets harder and harder to respect them.

  128. Thank you for this post as it is right on! It gets discouraging to see so many negatives out there when PBO is ticking off accomplishments one after another.

    Sometimes I wonder if most people do not see small steps in a direction as success and only think getting every single thing completely the way they want when they want it as success.

    I see people not understanding a more modern leadership style of compromise and consensus. They seem to think dictatorial leadership and fighting the enemy is the only way to lead. I wonder if that thinking mainly comes from people experiencing that model of leadership and they were not in the work force when the consensus model started to be used.

  129. i agree about sullivan; he wrote the truth there, so smart to recognize the president’s amazing moral strength

    a person so grounded that he can be open and decisive

    but what does sullivan mean about dreaming of a tory president?

  130. i think it’s become clear that the nonpolitically-addicted voter is impressed with the president’s cool ability and impeccably moral positions

    this kind of recognition is what has been needed from the voters, and i think they “get” it now

    now that they’ve had two years of the man holding up through the most challenging circumstances and determined opposition

    mr. obama’s life of principle is being seen, despite the nonjournalism of the msm, and people know the truth when they see it

  131. Isabelle, I love your last paragraph soooo much! His ‘life of principle’! Yes, that is what’s cutting through all of the noise and yes, people know the truth when they see it. Beautiful.

  132. That’s great, and not the least bit surprising. I can’t wait to see Harry give him his ring back!

  133. I send Andrew Sullivan’s positive articles to my dad regularly to keep his spirits up. He is a huge President Obama fan and cannot watch the news anymore; he gets too mad. Thanks for spreading Sullivan’s words…

    I venture into Daily Kos once every few days, to see if the tone has changed any due to this huge civil rights victory, etc.., and wow. Minds and hearts seem to have cemented into a very fundamentalist position…I choose not to spend my time with fundamentalists and closed minded people if I can help it….there is no debating, no going forward, with those who are dead certain that they are right, and everyone else who doesn’t believe the same thing are wrong, and going to hell.

    Thanks for all your hard work. Please keep it up!

  134. Senate about to vote on two judges – Benita Pearson, a black female, and Bill Martinez.

  135. Probably not too hard, but i prefer not to. IMO, this is the beginning of all troubles. It sets up chase after ratings and it turns everything into a competition. For me, all comments here are equal, and for now it will stay this way.


  136. “I Stand With The President”

    A couple of weeks ago I was wondering where I could get a supportive bumper sticker for my car. A few people here suggested OFA. I got the above bumper sticker promptly (no shipping charges) and I’ve noticed a few things already.

    First, the car had been dirty for awhile — I usually let it go during the bad weather months, but I couldn’t put my shiny new sticker on a dirty surface, so now, my car looks lovely.

    Second, once I was driving, I wanted to drive in the best way possible. I didn’t want anyone to think, ‘look at that asshole with the Obama sticker!’ because I cut them off or went through a red light. So, my driving has improved.

    And third, when I had time, I opted for a busier road so that more people would see it. I also drove a wee bit slower (saying a lot for me) so everyone could read it.

    I highly recommend the experience. 🙂

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