The mishmash (Updated)

Hi guys,

1. Recovery: Initial Jobless Claims in U.S. Fell to 404,000 Last Week

The number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment insurance payments fell more than forecast last week, adding to evidence the labor market is healing.

Applications for jobless benefits decreased 37,000 in the week ended Jan. 15, the biggest decline since February 2010, to 404,000, Labor Department figures showed today. Economists forecast 420,000 claims, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. The number of people on unemployment benefit rolls fell, while those getting extended payments rose.


2. Recovery: December Sales of U.S. Existing Homes Jump to 7-Month High

Purchases of existing houses, which are tabulated when a contract closes, increased 12 percent to a 5.28 million annual rate, the most since May and exceeding the highest estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.


3. Recovery: Leading Indicators Index in U.S. Increases More Than Forecast

The index of U.S. leading economic indicators increased in December more than forecast, a sign the recovery will gather steam in the new year.

The Conference Board’s gauge of the outlook for the next three to six months rose 1.0 percent after a 1.1 percent gain in November, the New York-based group said today. The December reading, the sixth consecutive monthly increase, exceeded the 0.6 percent gain in the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.


4. It’s official: 2012 campaign headquarters will be in Chicago. Interesting read from Lynn Sweet:

WASHINGTON–President Obama’s team made it official on Thursday: his 2012 re-election campaign will be based in Chicago and will formally kick-off in March or April. The Sun-Times has learned White House Social Secretary Julianna Smoot will be leaving to take on a large role in the drive for a second term.

Obama headquartered his 2008 national campaign from a high rise at 233 N. Michigan Ave., an ideal location at the time since Obama was an Illinois senator living in Chicago and his top advisor–David Axelrod–and his top fund-raiser–Penny Pritizker–lived in the city and Chicago was a central jumping off for the early primary states.

Axelrod, now a senior White House advisor, will be leaving Washington in a few weeks to return to Chicago for the re-election campaign. A lease has not yet been signed on heaquarter office space.


*The Democratic National Committee will start moving field resources to Chicago, including Mitch Stewart, the director of Organizing for America, which was the Obama for America 2008 successful grass roots effort. DNC executive director Jen O’Malley Dillon will move over to the 2012 campaign as the deputy campaign manager.

*The new DNC executive director will be Patrick Gaspard, who now runs the White House political office. That office, a Democratic official told me, will soon be closed and all political activity run out of the DNC and the re-elect campaign.

And more from the New York Times:

WASHINGTON — President Obama will close the office of political affairs at the White House, aides said, restructuring his organization to prepare for his re-election campaign, which is to start building a fund-raising and grass-roots operation based in Chicago by late March.

Mr. Obama has signed off on the plan to set up his campaign headquarters away from Washington, a first for a modern-day presidential re-election campaign. To avoid turf battles, chaotic communications and duplicated efforts, aides said, a significant realignment is underway in the West Wing, with the duties of the political office being taken up by the Democratic National Committee.

The president intends to formally declare his candidacy in about two months by filing papers with the Federal Election Commission, aides said. That step would allow him to start raising money and hiring a team of advisers, whose job it would be to make him the second Democrat since World War II to be elected twice to the White House.




5. They’re talking our Frreeeedommmmmmm!

Michelle Obama, Wal-Mart announce healthy food campaign

First lady Michelle Obama joined Wal-Mart executives at a Southeast Washington community center Thursday morning to announce a campaign by the low-priced retail giant to offer more healthful foods and push its suppliers to do the same.

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Michelle Obama and Bo surprises visitors on White House tours on the second anniversary of the inauguration of President Barack Obama. This is HILARIOUS.


97 thoughts on “The mishmash (Updated)

  1. Oh God it’s starting already. The ’08 campaign felt like yesterday and I’m still bruised about the ’10 elections. This has been the fastest 2 years ever!

  2. You know the healthy food campaing has really taken off. More and more people including myself is more conscious when shopping for food. im glad she took this on.

  3. Amazing mismash as per usual! I’m thrilled to see that Team POTUS is gearing up for 2012 alongside this news about a brighter 2011 on the economic front. Happy Thursday, everyone.

  4. Just as with her organic gardening, FLOTUS is a terrific trend setter. I don’t think that the positive impact which these two, POTUS and FLOTUS, have had on this country will even be quantifiable for many years to come. Very uplifting.

  5. Thanks BWD. Wow, it is almost that time again. It seems like he was just elected. We haven’t even stopped, because then we had to continue our efforts with all the legislation. Wow, it starts again in two months. I am fired up and ready to go.

  6. The economic news is getting very good. I can only hope it accelerates and the republicans have to eat all their words. Soon they will have nothing left to campaign on. Heh!

  7. They’re going to try to take credit, just watch lol. This is why I’m not upset that the first thing which House Republicans did was to go on record against HCR. That is at least one wonderful measure for which they can’t even attempt to take credit.

    But I think that it’s going to be super-important to remind people that the policies which Dems put in place are responsible for this recovery, so that we don’t go backwards.

  8. Working with Wal-Mart instead of fighting agaisnt them is the pragmatic thing to do, even if I have to spit after each time I say Wal-Mart(pah-tooie) to get that bad taste out of my mouth.

    It’s the same thing as working with big oil companies to start moving to greener energies rather than trying to start green companies from scratch to challenge big oil for energy market share.

    Do I think Wal-Mart is doing this out of the goodness of their corporate hearts – hell no. They see th trends to healthier eating and want to get on that money train.

    However Wal-Mart is so big, it almost has the same power as the Government in making changes. Think about the changes they are claiming they are going to make, and think if the Government tried to legislate those same changes. The latter would have a huge outcry, and yet the former, Walmart making these changes, will largely have the same result. If companies want to have their products in Wal-Mart then they’ll have to make these changes – and EVERYBODY wants their products in Wal-Mart.

  9. What are the big issues that are going to be tackled in the net congress? Comprehensive immigration Reform? Energy/Climate? Or is the next two years about jobs, jobs, jobs domestically and more Presidential focus on FP matters?

    With the GOP having the house they’ll have much more say in setting the agenda, but the Presidential Bully Pulpit and the Senate could go a long way in controlling the narrative as well.

    Climate/Energy and immigration reform was never going to be a strictly partisan issue anyways – coal state Dems would be against climate/energy bill and immigration will be way too messy a political issue to have it fall on one party.

    Will this be something that is discussed in the SOTU next week?

  10. Really interesting thoughts, Saint Roscoe. I have huge doubts pertaining to whether the GOP has the intention (or even the ability considering the demands of their base) to move away from stridency and into pure cooperation. But this SOTU speech will be a very interesting indication of the WH’s thinking.

  11. In this corporate culture, if you want social change you have to change corporations. They’re not going anywhere, and are in fact becoming more entrenched. Sure, at some point we could have a worldwide revolution, but I’m not holding my breath. So pragmatic cooperation — and even cooptation — is probably the best avenue we have for change at the moment. And if Walmart presents its customers with healthier food choices through the gentle prodding of the First Lady and the growing dictates of the market, then more power to them.

  12. Eclectablog has a piece up on his site and The People’s View that shows that 46% of the bills an average Republican has sponsored or cosponsored pertain to eliminating or defunding ACA. They’re doubling down on the crazy. They should read the NBC poll and digest its findings.

    I’m giddy at the thought of the SOTU. Hopefully I won’t be on the reference desk so that I can listen to it.

  13. I just hope they don’t start requiring their local providers of produce to start farming the Wal-Mart way. Can you see it? Tiny edible RFID chips in every ear of corn…yum. Or issuing edicts that if they want to sell their produce to Wal-Mart they have to use Monsanto products. Shiver.

  14. Wow, just…wow. What a statistic! One great thing of many about this blog is that even if you miss the SOTU in real time, you’ll have a link to it here super-fast.

  15. I was talking to a woman in the store this morning. We were talking about our kids and how we moved them to more healthy choices.

  16. Haven’t you heard? It’s all because Republicans took control of the House. Nothing to do with Obama. God, those jerks.

  17. So, I watched Morning Joe this morning just to see Ol’ Joe choke on the latest boffo NBC poll of the pres (53-41 approval) and they HAD to have Huff and Puff there. So, since Joe’s mission in life is to bring down the president, they spent the beginning of the show giving the pres grades for his two yr anniversary.

    All of the usual suspects gave the Pres an A for potential(yeah, thanks?), for other things such as Leadership, Bipartisanship, Economy, Foreign Policy…Mika gave the Pres an average of B+,A-, same with Harold Ford, Pat gave the pres what you would expect, but the real kicker Huff and Puff and Ol’ Joe grades were damn near similar. And of course…they rounded out to be C-,D+. Huff said the reason she was giving Obama a D on the economy is because “real unemployment is still blah blah” Foreign Policy C- (Afghanistan is still blah blah blah)…of course the Frustrati’s obsession “Bipartisianship,” she gave Obama an A..cus he gives Republicans everything they want (what is she a smart-ass 16 yr old?).

    She is the epitome of what my mom used to say “Some people aren’t comfortable being happy” Not to harp on this, but the economy IS in bad shape, but how bad of a shape would it have been if the president sat on his hands, A-freaking-Mazing. Anyway Gallup has the pres at 51 today, so I won’t let huff n puff get to me. I know polls are finicky, but I took it like a champ when the pres was doing…and I will humbly accept it when he is up:)

  18. President Obama will we the 2nd Democratic president re-elected for a 2nd term. The last one was of course Bill Clinton which was after WWII. Other that, Thank you BWD for all the positive things you post about our President. I got into with a co-worker who emailed a Huckabee video to repeal HCR and I told him to never send me these lies ever again. I gave him many of the good things that went into effect that benefit ALL Americans.

  19. It’s amazing how quickly the buyers’ remorse over the GOP House has taken over. I think Speaker Boehner will have a very short term.

  20. Huff n Puff is still a Republican, but overall a Frusturati who wants perfection over the good.

    Unemployment dropped to 9.4%, we are losing jobs less and less, even President Obama has acknowledged that we aren’t out of the woods yet… but Huff n Puff will always be on her soapbox about how Obama should have done X, Y, and Z… and she wonders why no one with an ounce of common sense takes her seriously.

    A LOT more positive reforms passed during Obama’s tenure than under Bush’s tenure, but leave it to the Frustrati to muddy up the waters and start the “Obama is Bush” nonsense.

    Overall, I give Obama a B. There are things I would have seen him do differently, but that’s neither here nor there. He’s done a much better job than most of these ArmChair Presidents could dream of.

  21. About Walmart – I still don’t like the company and don’t shop there, but have to admit they have done some good things: a long list of cheap generic drugs (Target has a similar list), and weren’t they going to sell only those long-lasting light bulbs?

  22. OFA has put out a downloadable PDF called “Promises Kept” by President Obama… so please folks- it will come in handy for phone calling and door knocking and debunking faux left liars:

    Also, I took a quick check at the old site.. and once again see that the frontpagers are fear mongering on social security cuts.. they’ve determined that President Obama will have SS cuts in his SOTU address.

    And though imo, our First Lady oozes glamour and brilliance.. I have got to say that her hairstyle today is ultra flattering.. and love the dress too. What she is doing for nutrition – particularly for our children is so important- we really are what we eat (and how we do or do not exercise).

  23. Oh good grief- my link got mixed up with my comment… I’m so sorry- I will repost it more coherently.

  24. Here, Here…I Completely agree. I know someone was worried that we on this board would fall victim to group think…I give the pres a solid B too, one of the things that I would have liked him to do was a follow up with Bush jr and Clinton on Haiti..but I know the conservatives would howl about how we are not fixing our own country. Also, sometimes I think he waits too long to punch back at his critics….but EVERY time I am proved wrong….he is not taking too long, he is just giving his opponents enough time to tie the rope around their own neck…don’t want to get your hands dirty, ya know?

    And hey Sarah, how’s that dismal approval rating (EVEN a quarter of repubs hate you) thing working out for ya? I couldn’t resist:)

  25. yep and now I’ve received an email from MoveOn (who I unsubscribed to sometime ago)repeating the dailykos BS.. heres one line from MoveOn’s email- right out of the frontpage at dk:

    Washington has been whipped into a frenzy over the deficit, and there are rumors the White House may try to cut a deal with Republicans by offering cuts to Social Security in the State of the Union1, just like they did over the Bush tax cuts.

    Notice the word RUMORS. That is what this whole frenzy is based on. So who are they going after? Who do they want to
    ‘send a message’ to? Well President Obama and the Whitehouse of course.. based on rumors, based on republican bs and frustrati manufacturing. Heres the entire email (check the bottom and see where they’re getting their info- other than rumors):

    Dear MoveOn member,
    Yesterday, Republicans passed a bill to repeal health care reform. We know that bill won’t become law.

    But their next target is Social Security—and there, they might just succeed.

    Washington has been whipped into a frenzy over the deficit, and there are rumors the White House may try to cut a deal with Republicans by offering cuts to Social Security in the State of the Union1, just like they did over the Bush tax cuts.

    Some key Democrats in Congress have also signaled that they’re open to cutting Social Security.2 But cutting Social Security is massively unpopular3, and if we can spread the word that this threat is more real than ever, we can create an outcry loud enough to stop it in its tracks.

    So we’re aiming to get 150,000 signatures saying that any cuts to the most successful government program in history have to be completely off the table. We’ll deliver the petition to the White House before the speech next week. Will you add your name?

    Click here to sign the petition to President Obama

    Tea Party hysteria about deficits is pushing Republicans—and many Democrats—to support big cuts to Social Security benefits. Speaker of the House John Boehner wants to cut benefits3 by over 20%4, and he’s not alone. Members of the media, and even leading Democrats like Steny Hoyer are trumpeting Social Security cuts—even though Social Security runs a surplus, can’t contribute to the deficit, and can be secured for decades without any cuts to benefits.

    If the rumors are right, President Obama could be next to embrace cuts, even as soon as the State of the Union address next week. Social Security belongs to us, the people who pay into it, and benefit cuts are deeply unpopular—not to mention devastating for the middle class workers who count on benefits to make ends meet.

    We can stop benefit cuts in their tracks, but President Obama needs to hear from us. We need a massive outcry in defense of Social Security, to convince the President to take benefit cuts off the table. We’re aiming for 150,000 signatures to get things started—can you add your name?

    Click here to sign the petition to President Obama

    Thanks for all you do.

    –Daniel, Joan, Duncan, Nita, and the rest of the team


    1. “Liberals warn of Democratic schism if Obama backs Social Security cut” The Hill, January 15, 2011.
    2. “Raising the Social Security Retirement Age” Washington Independent, July 7, 2010

    3. “If Obama Moves Right He Loses Everybody—and Everybody Loses” Huffington Post, January 19, 2011.

    4. “John Boehner: Raise Social Security Retirement Age to 70″ CBS News, June 29, 2010.

    5. “Social Security: A Consensus Based on Confusion” Brookings Institution, July 19, 2010.

    January 20, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    sherijr Oh good grief- my link got mixed up with my comment… I’m so sorry- I will repost it more coherently.

    January 20, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    LOL when the pres was “Down”…damn you HP laptop

    January 20, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Reply Leave a Reply Cancel reply
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  26. I don’t think it’s a case of wanting perfection over good. I think she is just jumping on the most profitable bandwagon, and angst gets more viewers than contentment. If the issue du jour was clean water, she’d be arguing that the rivers are still polluted since the President was elected. For her to grade the President over Afghanistan, when they have let Bush off the hook for leaving that country in a neglected war for nine years – that’s outrageous.

    I immediately switch off the channel if I see or hear that Huff&Puff woman. She’s toxic.

  27. I agree with you, I have yet to hear Obama say that he was going to do anything with Social Security, and yet that is all everyone is talking about.

  28. I watched Mrs. Obama and Bo greet visitors live this morning on the White House livestream and it was the sweetest thing. I also watched it last year and it’s incredible how warm she is to everyone. Mr. President, we love her, too!

  29. And.. I just want to add that I am EXCITED about the President’s reelection campaign getting up and going- it inspired me to set-up a $10.00 monthly donation to OFA.. I know it is a very small amount, but on disability its a little hard to go higher.
    Anyway- I am ready to rumble and it appears that OFA is too. 😉

  30. Those folks need not criticize the irresponsible, unserious, incompetant and sleep-on-the-job Press in this country…they are NO better.
    And what’s worse is they really think they are.

    The only way a story should be based on rumors is if they’re discussing the Fleetwood Mac album.

    Damn shame. SMH

  31. The press loves putting words into President Obama’s mouth before he actually says them.

    The Frustrati Left, like the Teabaggers, always need a boogie man to rant about. They always rant and rave about Obama caving on Issue X or how he’s supposedly pissing progressives off when he still polls highly with folks who describe themselves as liberals or progressives.

  32. Sherji The obama diary have the full video up now its great to see the expression on people faces.

  33. That was soooo fun! I could only focus on the left screen though, gonna have to go back and watch them as they’re waiting to enter, I bet some of the reactions are priceless.

    And BTW….she is looking positively stunning today.

  34. What an absolute waste of mobilizing effort from MoveOn. To launch a petition to stop a rumor? To request that a rumored action not proceed? To get worked up over something that doesn’t exist? This is why I cut my ties to MoveOn ages ago – a complete waste of energy.

    Where is their petition for the Republicans to focus on the people’s business, instead of prioritizing the destruction of a presidency? Where are their petitions for the oversight committee to be chaired by someone who doesn’t have a dodgy past? Where are their petitions for the likes of Sarah Palin to be ignored by the media so that real matters can take up the airwaves?

    A complete and utter waste of energy – that’s what this petition is. And they’ll claim credit when these fictitious social security cuts aren’t brought up in the SOTU. They are opposed to all reform, and leave no room for improvement or difficult steps in any direction. Once again, there’s only one “adult in the room”.

  35. This is the same tactic that the right uses to control the Tea Baggers and ill-informed. Repeat the lie/rumor until people think it’s true – because they’ve heard it so often, that they forget where they heard it and assume it’s just true. Propaganda – just like the Congressman said.

  36. My sentiments exactly!

    They are active and not productive. Maybe we should start calling activists productivists to distinguish. LOL

    And pointing out the fact that they aren’t going after the GOP once again exposes their wierd hesitance to confront the real problems.

  37. I love the energy saving light bulbs. They have saved me a small fortune on my electric bill. Have been using them for about 3 years now. Ours are guaranteed for 5 years, so I just mark the carton they come in with the date I bought them, and if one goes before 5 years, I return it for a new one.

  38. It’s the same MoveOn that wanted the tax cut compromise that President Obama worked out to fail. They wanted tax cuts on the low and middle income earners to go up and UEI benefits for the unemployed to be cut off.

    So much for standing up for “progressive” principles/ideals.

  39. I must have missed it here in your mishmash bwd, sorry for that. I had a lot of problems trying to view it at the whitehouse site, so will see if I have better luck here. What I’ve watched so far had me crying and laughing.. she is so wonderfully sweet and gracious to everyone.. and I saw nearly everyone greet her with a smile.. I love how a couple of college guys mentioned her “swag” last night – she liked that, very cute. It all made me feel how important it is that our leadership be approachable and down to earth.. a whole lotta folks could take a cue from Our First Lady.

  40. I will never understand the Professional Left. They seem to aways want to be on the losing side of any issue. For example, they could have embraced HCR as a historic step in the right direction instead of the “Kill the Bill” self-defeating nonsense. During the HCR debate Bill Moyers said that Pres. Obama should fight for a bill with the Public Option even though the votes aren’t there so that in 10-15 years we can revisit the healthcare issue. The dumbest shyte I have ever heard. Another example, the P.L. wanting to defeat blue dogs so Dems lose the House. They seemed to not understand that in the real world there will be no Speaker Pelosi without blue dogs (i.e. to constitute a majority in the House and the country, Dems have to have a big tent). They seem to live in a dream world.

  41. Best Flat Stanley Ever. Thanks BWD for sharing the video of the First Lady and Bo greeting visitors. How lucky for all of them.

    Did First Lady Bush hug people?

  42. I watched the entire hour of the Michelle and Bo Show. Absolutely EXTRAORDINARY!

    Sorry Left Fringe. You are, as Bush would say, NOT LEARNING, and now, formally…LEFT BEHIND.
    It will be lonely, and eventually will suck to be you. C’est la vie. Good Bye.

  43. O.M.G….

    Everyone should take the time to watch this!! I LOVE it!!! A first I figured it was gonna be a short video… but then it kept going on… and I didn’t care. I loved watching the changes in faces… the hugs to the kids (well, the kids seem to expect that the First Lady would simply love to hug them, and she obviously doesn’t mind at all!)

    My favorite was this young girl who was so engrossed in the brochure (map?) of the whitehouse, she didn’t realize that the First Lady was there until she literally tripping over her!! LOL

    I also just love seeing the people’s expressions at the door as they realize who is in the next room!!!

    Thanks BWD for posting this. I LOVE this video. It truly shows Michelle and ALL her charm!!!!

    PS – She looked stunning in that red gown last night!!!!!!!!

  44. I just spent my whole lunch hour watching this thing!!

    I loved how some of the teenage boys tried to act nonchalant. The expressions on the surprised faces were wonderful!

    Thanks BWD!

  45. The only way to get on TV as a progressive is to bash Obama. Didn’t you get the memo?

    The only way to get a job in ‘progressive’ radio is to bash Obama. I turn on the radio in the car sometimes to WCPT, progressive radio in Chicago, and I swear I’m listening to Rush Limbaugh half the time.

    Stephanie Miller thinks like we do and she’s funny, too. The other end of the spectrum in Norman Goldman, who if he can’t have Utopia RIGHT NOW, Obama is a sell-out, a lover of all things Wall Street, a crook, no better than Bush, etc. And he plays loose with the facts in order to fit his bias.

    With friends like these, who needs enemies.

  46. well… anyone who sees there are tears and immediately reaches out to hug them… well…

    That’s our First Lady!!!

    She really is the best. I loved seeing the young people just so excited about meeting her.

    Oh – and one of the other moments I loved were the school kids 5th grade. Michelle asks them how they’re doing in school, if they’re having fun, they’re all responding in unison… and then she asks, are you eating your vegetables and there’s… silence.


    Then they get the lecture about good foods!! But you see them just listening to her hard, and nodding their heads. She is such a good influence on our future generation!!!

    Oh – and I loved the way the young guys were suddenly either whipping off their hats and trying to fix their hair or they were trying to straighten out their collars . 😉

  47. Wellll.. I just finished the video of Michelle and Bo.. omg, it was so moving to me, she hugged every single one of those little girls with such love.. greeted every single visitor as if they were long lost friends- if I didn’t love and respect First Lady Michelle Obama already.. this video would have sealed it. A gracious human being on all counts.

  48. Whew, the first lady. Man, if my wife ever finds out my private thoughts…….. I shudder to think!!!!!

  49. I hope that this is not duplicative: VPOTUS just distributed an email about a very nice “Promises Kept” report created by the WH. It can be downloaded for free, or printed copies requested for a modest donation:


    Telling the story of the past two years will be critical to the fights ahead. And it’s not just the story of this president or this White House—it’s your story.

    It’s proof that the organizing you do on the ground, and the conversations you have with your friends and neighbors, is working.

    Take a look at the Promises Kept report of all the work we’ve done in two years.

    I haven’t had a chance to download it yet, but it looks terrific!

  50. Those reactions tickle me as well! You know those kids will never forget this for the rest of their lives.

  51. I would like to comment on our First Lady & Bo greeting the Visitors today. That was so Interesting, & entertaining. You know, I just got a big kick outta Bo. He’s so cute & funny. I found myself chuckling at him a couple of times. He’s just as caring & compassionate as the Obamas. And he’s so discipline, & obedient too. But yeah, our First Lady got It going on, she’s definitely a Winner. She’s got hospitality plus 🙂

  52. Terrific post. My impression of the 2012 campaign team is professional and rock solid. It will be exhilarating!

    Good for the First Lady for engaging Walmart in healthy eating practices. That’s a favorite shopping place for the middle class and will raise the consciousness of a lot of people. That’s along with the healthy eating she is promoting for children. She’s raising my consciousness about eating more healthy, too. She sweeps us all in. I have a feeling of being a part of a team with a common, loving goal.

    Loved the First Lady and Bo greeting tourists at the WH! Some from foreign countries. That would be so much fun to meet her. It seems impossible, but she looks more beautiful every time I see her. She so loving and just glows with health and strength. I feel so lucky to have this wonderful First Family.

  53. Sheri, I think that’s just absolutely terrific. Remember, this is part and parcel of what made 2007–2008 so special. There were tons of big donors giving in accordance with their finances, and that’s wonderful. But there was also a huge group of small donors who pooled together and collectively financed a massive campaign operation. I think that the total number of donors was 3 million??? (please correct me if I’m wrong everyone). Just some huge, unheard-of number. Those small donations really add up!

  54. IMO the GOP has no real mandate. In actuality, they underperformed in November no matter how painful and unjust the loss of the House was. Incredibly, people like Reid (with high unfavorables) survived and we held onto the Senate.

    It will take a huge task to try to retake the House in 2012 and hold onto the Senate and I’m not underestimating that, but I think that the public is definitely willing to hear a case that the GOP has done nothing for years and deserves to be held accountable, not returned to power to destroy the economy all over again just when Democratic policies have kicked in to make things better.

  55. For those of you commenting that Republicans want to repeal health care and don’t have anything in it’s place. My GOP Rep is “Taliban” Dan Burton. I called to tell him I supported President Obama’s healthcare and was told (politely) that Burton wanted to replace it with his own health care legislation. I looked at it and it was not detailed, but supposedly he has submitted a bill. I can’t get the link to work right now, but this is his site

    He has a poll on there asking if you want health care repealed or not and asking that you give your email address.

    What is happening now is that the benefits are starting to kick in for people and the WH is doing a great job of getting the message out about the benefits. The President, First Lady, and members of the Administration meet with so many people week after week. They show their concern, they listen, and they take action. That’s why the President’s approval is so high — those people can tell this is a sincere administration that cares about the people. That’s the constant message in all that he does. It’s not the professional left or the far right, but it’s millions of people who know what the President is all about.

  56. The world of MSM is really upside down. Otherwise, what explains the prominent role given to Huffington, a former right wing Republican, as the spokesperson for the progressive liberals? Huffington has been obsessed with Treasury Secretary, Tim Geitner, from day one. I wonder why she has been so obsessed with this man?

  57. The most recent polls show that the electorate trusts Obama more than the GOP House. Only 25% of voters think that the GOP has the right ideas to lead the country, and a majority prefers the direction to come from the president. That’s why I’m hopeful about 2012.

  58. Wal-Mart is already incredibly controlling with all its suppliers. You want to do business with them, you do it their way. That’s all there is to it.

  59. They already have. Don’t you know that the trillion of dollars business is sitting on is from the Tax cut deal President Obama signed on December.

    Of course the good economic quarter that shows the big improvement is the third quarter which is July – September, but don’t tell the Republicans that. They will take credit for the good things and blame President Obama for the bad things.

  60. In fact our corporate culture may grow to emulate the Chinese, one or two major companies per sector, operating just outside the definition of a monopoly, with a pipeline to our tax dollars by means of government projects that guarantee them customers (Big Oil,Pharma, Agbiz, Health Ins., carmakers). Fighting these forces with little fists of rage is unrealistic. Better to work for win/win solutions.

  61. Well if you demand perfection you never have to worry about running out of things to gripe about. Job security for the Talking Heads

  62. Thank you so much for posting the video of Michelle surprising the tour group. They seemed shocked and kind of overwhelmed. I can’t remember previous first ladies doing this.

  63. Yup, Jovie, the MSM doesn’t want to give the Spokane bombing too much life, because there’s no way to think a “leftie” did that since it was an MLK Day parade.

    Once again, facts, getting in the way of the meme-du-jour.

  64. You absolutely hit the nail on the head EricFive. My other critique of the “Professional Left” is their revisionist history. And, with all due respect, that includes the esteemed Bill Moyers. I too saw Moyers’ comments and I was really disappointed because I respected him a great deal. I wished I had a chance to ask Mr. Moyers if he thinks FDR should have forgone the passage of Social Security Act, so as to revisit in “10-15 years,” as it did not cover all Americans, because he could not get the votes of Southern Dixiecrats who insisted on excluding agricultural and domestic workers. I also wonder if people like Tom Hartmann, who love Thomas Jefferson and the founders, think about all the compromises they entered into-and especially on the issue of slavery? I recently saw the ranking of Presidents (excluding President Obama) by British scholars. I was particularly intrigued by the two presidents ranked first and second. FDR came in first and Abraham Lincoln came in second. Undoubtedly these two were great presidents. They however were not perfect presidents. Many of FDR’s policies, such as Social Security, FHA, AAA, minimum wage, discriminated against African Americans. It was FDR who sent Japanese American to detention camps, simply because they were Japanese. Moreover, FDR, for fear of loosing Southern Democrats, did not actively support anti-lynching legislation. As for the revered Abraham Lincoln, the “Great Emancipator,” his Emancipation Proclamation was limited to slaves in rebel territories and did not free slaves in states and areas loyal to the United States. So you see, honest examination of history leads one to respect President John F. Kennedy’s recognition of the limits of Presidential Power.

  65. Thanks BWD, the video of FOTUS greeting the visitors was delightful to watch. I need to watch it again on a better screen so I can see the expressions on the visitors face. I really like Bo, he is so well behaved
    (/|\) ✌

  66. As usual, very good, BWD! I so love FLOTUS in this outfit! As usual, POTUS is doing great! I never doubted it for a minute!

  67. But nobody cares what they say. The Teabaggers have more impact, so they worry me more. If the left fringe had any capital, they lost it by behaving like loons the last two years. And thank heavens, they do not seek attntion through violence.

    They could not even manage to keep their flagship blog reasonably popular, and the headmister’s books are bargain bin inventory. So, they are irrelevant. Sarah has peaked. Boehner will never be able to handle a non-ceremonial position without chemical help (just a guess). I still worry about what the mega dollars can do. Although in CT, it did not help Linda.

    Roscoe – you and I could play off each other – I’m reasonably optimistic about our chances 🙂

    And if anyone is thinking get well gifts…I’d like donations to Re-Elect Barack Obama, por favor..

  68. I watched the entire video and all I can say is hat-tip to FLOTUS and Bo. There is no way my dog would sit for an entire hour and seem so well behaved. No way.

  69. I just invited Howard Dean to post a version of his diary at dKos over here and at He’s asking what matters to us as progressives and how we can move things forward in 2011. The comments were the most vile and outrageous I have ever read.

    So I took the liberty of inviting him to my two new favorite sites, where we discuss solutions with respect and hope.

  70. I thought they adored Dean?

    It hasn’t been about politics over there in a long time. Just a big grabbag of displaced anger and hostilty toward Lord knows what – their demons, I suppose. Virtual punching bag. How convenient for them.

    Hope they can get their deposit back on their next convention center.

    Thank you, Faith. It would be great to “meet” Dr Dean! I’m sorry he was under the impression that was still a viable blog. The then Senator Obama learned quickly enough.

  71. I had to chuckle watching FLOTUS & BO. One kid didn’t see BO and just about landed on top of him. That would be me or my son, klutzy!

  72. Tulips, you know, citizens in states, just like OH…NJ, VA, AZ, FL, SC, AL, ME, WI, PA et al… probably, feel the same way…Do ya blame ’em? lol

  73. “Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Watch as the President welcomes the presidents of China and Pakistan, serves the community in observance of Martin Luther King Day, speaks in remembrance of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke and President John F. Kennedy, and more.”

  74. Like BWD and other ‘BWD’ community members, our First Lady is a woman of action w/a mission(s)!…One of hers is takin’ care of our nation’s children! 😉

    I love the WH vid clip of Mrs. O as the gracious hostess of “The People’s House” and of course, there’s Bo! 🙂

    PBHO’s Recovery Act in Action… (But, he had this unfathomed, decades-old challenge, and he still does…

    Although it was signed in Feb 09, It’s still “alive & kickin’ ” and “makin’ a difference” in America’s economy and in American people’s lives… (

    And, I’m glad the Obama/Biden 2012 Re-election Campaign is gettin’ off the ground…To fight off GOPTeaParty/FoxPAC’s evilness/apathy/greed/corruption, we need to start early, and we’re gonna have to “give it our all”…financially & physically!

    I BELIEVE the 2010 mid-election wasn’t fair and honest…At the local/state-level, there was voter intimidation, voter suppression and voter cagin’… (Citizens United/Rove/Koch/Armey/Gingrich)… Certain SCOTUS judges should be impeached!

    Before his swearin’ in, just like PBHO’s “plate,” U.S. AG Holder’s “plate was/is full,” too… So unfair to ’em! 😦

  75. Exactly.

    Norman Goldman especially has a problem; it’s his ego. I turn him off. Thursday when I heard him in his opening say he wouldn’t vote again for Barack Obama; I got so mad. Worse, he had a survey of callers whom he caters to mirror him.
    What is he thinking? Does he want the repubs to take back power? Then there’s Thomn Hartman, a knowledgeable and brilliant man, on again and off again rants. I will give him credit for not going as far as Norman Goldman.
    Whenver Thomn realizes he has crossed the line he’ll take it back. Thomn is in tune with wanting the Supreme Court to not go right. I’m at the point,frankly speaking, if I could get through to call and tell him the President cannot be FDR. President Obama is who he is. It’s as simple as that. Furthermore, President Obama has done more than any President since FDR. Duhhh
    Ed Schultz gets caught up in the moment and is the water boy for the young, impatient, ambitious progressives who have no clue about history. But, I do think Ed is sincere in wanting the President to win. Ed is just not that astute.
    My two favorites our Stephanie and Bill Press. If Bill Press has an issue he disagrees with he doesn’t bash the President.
    The bottom line is Huff&Puff and her acolytes, I think, haven’t gotten over that Master control thing.
    Somehow they have a problem with a black man making decisions uninitiated by them.

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