Monday morning mishmash (updated)

Hi guys,

1. Yea, the audacity to get things done RIGHT!

TARP gain 27 percent 

Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury’s toxic asset funds have gained 27 percent since they were created to help revive the mortgage-backed securities market, according to data expected to be released later on Monday.

Although furor over the bailout helped Republicans win control of the House of Representatives in the recent election, the government has been recouping taxpayers’ money.

The eight toxic asset funds, run by asset managers such as BlackRock Inc, Invesco Ltd and Marathon Asset Management, are all profitable.

Since the funds were established in 2009, they have used about $5.2 billion of Treasury’s equity investment to buy toxic assets. As of the end of 2010, the funds have gained $1.1 billion to about $6.3 billion, according to the data.

// more


2. Recovery!

 US firms to increase hiring as optimism returns

Optimism over the U.S. economy is improving and firms are planning to ramp up hiring in the coming months, the latest National Association for Business Economics (NABE) survey showed.

In the fourth-quarter poll of 84 companies by NABE found 42 percent of companies interviewed expect to boost jobs in the six months ahead, a Wall Street Journal report said on Monday.

“That’s up from 29 percent in the first three months of 2010. Only 7 percent in the latest survey predict they will shed jobs in the coming six months, down from 23 percent at the start of last year,” says the report.


3. Recovery!

Industrial heartland showing signs of life


4. Sometimes I think that there’s nothing this president loves more than education. A very interesting article: 

Obama Plans To Hit Education Hard In 2011

One thing President Barack Obama made abundantly clear in his first two years as president is that he is at his best when speaking about the issues facing future generations of American voters, now too young to follow the vitriol of most political debates.

For all of the flack he gets for sounding like a “Harvard professor” Obama appeared quite the opposite in Tucson when he eulogized 9-year-old shooting victim Christina-Taylor Green and put the discussion of America’s future in human terms.

He knows this young generation well, living with two of its most famous members—daughters Sasha and Malia, 12 and 9, whom he often mentions in his speeches and weekly addresses.

In large measure, Obama’s goals for his own daughters help frame his compelling case for changes in American educational systems. He wants the U.S. to lead the world in college completion rates by 2020. He wants students to pay less for their education. He wants teachers to be held accountable for the performance of their students.

But his goals are so ambitious that many say they can’t—and won’t—be met.

// more!


5. Did you all read Electablog’ excellent post?


6. Hey, who cares, let’s blame the president and call him a sell-out or some other stupid name.

Wikileak show Congress prevent Gitmo closing

….In cable after cable sent to the State Department in Washington, American diplomats make it clear that the unwillingness of the United States to resettle a single detainee in this country — even from among 17 ethnic Muslim Uighurs considered enemies of China’s communist government — made other countries reluctant to take in detainees.

Many factors worked to thwart Obama’s plans to close the camps — from a tangled bureaucracy to fears that released detainees would become terrorists. But Congress’ prohibition on resettling any of the detainees in the United States hamstrung the administration’s global search for countries willing to take the captives in.

The U.S. refusal to take in the captives “comes up all the time,” acknowledged a senior Obama administration official of U.S. efforts to find homes for released detainees.


 7. Get ready to the SOTU with last year’s address. Once again, it’s amazing how he’s done exactly what he said he’ll do.



8. (Update): Thanks to taiping1, here’s a terrific (long) story about the quick reorganization of the WH stuff. Really good read:

The West Wing, Season II

David Axelrod awoke at three in the morning and checked his BlackBerry. It was January 12, a few hours before Barack Obama would fly to Arizona for the memorial service for the victims of the Tucson shootings, and a few hours after Obama’s speechwriters had handed him a draft of the address he would give there. The president knew well that a big moment was at hand, that what was called for was more than mere eloquence, but a speech that was deeply … his. “I want to work on this,” Obama said to Axelrod upon examining the text. “I’ll have a redraft for you by ten or eleven tonight.”


But those hours had passed without any sign of the president’s revisions.

Now, as Axelrod combed his in-box in the predawn darkness, he saw an e-mail from Obama, time-stamped 1:20 a.m. Although the early portions of the draft remained largely intact, the president had thoroughly rewritten the crucial last two pages—from the call for a new era of civility in our discourse to the grounding of that challenge in the imperative of living up to the expectations of the fallen 9-year-old, Christina-Taylor Green. Axelrod recalled the last time his boss had taken such personal ownership of a piece of oratory: his speech on race in March 2008. Obama had labored over that one, too, late into the night, and after reading it in the morning, his message guru e-mailed him back, “This is why you should be president.” The Tucson speech inspired in Axelrod a similar reaction.

 And not just in him. From the left, right, and center, the verdict was nearly unanimous: Here was a speech that was truly presidential, and that therefore—despite being driven by no crass political motives—became part of a larger political story.

// Much, much more



146 thoughts on “Monday morning mishmash (updated)

  1. I cannot wait for the SOTU speech and I know it will be very special. The fun part will be to see who praises it and who doesn’t on Wednesday.

  2. The last sentence in item #4 is:

    But his goals are so ambitious that many say they can’t—and won’t—be met.

    This made me think of one of my favorite sections of the inauguration speech where President Obama directly addresses the cynics. The ground shifting beneath them imagery just blew me away.

    ——–President Barack Obama, 1/20/09 ——-

    Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions – who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

    What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them – that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works – whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account – to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day – because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

  3. A great Monday Mishmash BWD!

    Here is the White House Schedule for today:

    Monday Jan. 24, 2011
    All Times Eastern

    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM President Obama and The First Lady along with Mrs. Jill Biden deliver remarks at an event to coordinate the government’s support for military families.

    12:00 PM Gibbs briefs the press.

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    4:30 PM President Obama meets with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    7:30 PM President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama host a reception for new members of Congress; VP Biden and Mrs. Jill Biden also attends.

  4. What is Reuters talking about? Republicans didn’t win back the house because of the bailout. geesh. where have these people been?

  5. Thanks for your excellent work BWD, keep up the good work.This site is an oasis for those of us who appreciate this great President and the accomplishments he has achieved thus far.

  6. Thanks for the article.

    What Obama seeks is to reconnect with the essence of why he was elected, to reanimate the unifying, postpartisan, pragmatic yet visionary persona that inspired so many in the first place. “What he wants,” says one of his friends, “is to be Barack Obama again.”

  7. Actually, it did have a lot to do with it. A lot of the anger towards Democrats was focused on the bailout of the banks, even though it started under Bush. It was a major talking point of the Republicans about waste on the government. It got to the point that I think less than 30% of Americans thought it started under Bush and a majority thought Obama started it.

    Because ity was unpopular, even though succesful and actually cost far less tahn expected, Dem didn’t try to fight back against the republican lies. That was a major mistake.

    In fact, it was a prominent part of the November elections that many Dem candidates did not promote what had been accomplished, which helped the PL continue their meme of the adminstration being non-progressive.

    I think with the WH changes, you are going to see a far more agressive promotion of accomplishments tahn happened in the past (which is not to say that they didn’t try to promote it before.) I think the same will come clear in the SOTU address, including how we will make money out of the GM bailout and the TARP, and the recovery act and the HCR.

  8. The kos polled PPP is now to the right of Rasmussen. Arianna Huffington is dining out with Darryl Issa (“0bama is the most corrupt president ever). Makes you wonder about the self-proclaimed “progressives”.

  9. More from that piece

    Obama’s people insist they would have preferred to do the tax-cut deal without inciting the wailing of the left. But those Democrats pushing the Alamo strategy did the president a favor. They gave him the grounds to divorce himself from them, and hence to claim virtually all the political credit for one of the most productive lame-duck sessions in history.

    As Obama prepared to set off for Hawaii for the Christmas holiday, he was walking on air. “He loved December, and we loved December, because it felt like what we came here to do,” says White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer. “We ran as a postpartisan problem-solver. We were endorsed by prominent Republicans. We got here, we tried to be that guy, Republicans basically turned their backs to us, and we had a choice: We could do nothing or we could do things. We chose to do things. That had consequences, political consequences. And so [the lame-duck session] gave us a chance to go back to being that sort of less partisan adult from the campaign.”

  10. I disagree a little with the New York Magazine article. Rather than the comparison to Clinton, the 2012 re-election is going to be more similar to Bush’s situation. I know this is shocking to many, but let me explain.

    Bush’s popularity wad not great, but he was still re-elected because when it came down to it, people were unwilling to make a drastic change inleadership during a time of upheaval (wars).

    Our economy is in the process of recovering, and people continue to have optimism, as long as it goes in the right direction, the American people are NOT willing to gamble on this return to progress.

    In fact if the economy showed complete recovery, as it did under Clinton’s last term, people will in fact be willing to go with the other candidate- simply for a CHANGE! No other really good reason.

    So contrary to beltway convention the economy doesn’t have to be fixed, but it must show continued progress! If they have that narrative, no way will the population be willing to upset this delicate balance of improving economy to switch leadership and direction.

  11. First Lady Michelle Obama making powerful statements right now on C-SPAN about Military Family Support Programs. She makes us proud everyday.

  12. I think that New York article is a little harsh. Sure every administration has flaws, but when there is no political price to be paid for across-the-board onstructionism, who’s fault is that? There is nothing President Obama or his administration could have capitulated on to get Republican votes – nothing. The GOP’s plan was to vote on nothing and thus paiint everything as “Obama is being too librul”.

    Frum himself said that HCR borrowed both from Romneycare and the Heritage Foundation’s counter-proposal to Hillarycare back int he early 1990’s. But to hear the GOP and MSM talk about it, it was a bill concocted solely by Speaker Pelosi in San Francisco.

    Democrats such as Krugman and others said the Stimulus should have been at least double. Financial reforms didn’t go as far as putting back the Glass-Steagall regulations. But none of that mattered because the GOP made the strategic decision to supply no votes and then paint everything as far left coming out of the Administration and congress.

    Why would McConnell stop that strategy now? Keep voting no and the press will keep calling Obama out of touch and governing from the far left. Part of the problem is the Conservadems who break with their party to vote with the GOP, giving them the cover to say “See the Democrats are too far left for even the moderates in their own party”. And President Obama had to come play referee within the party, which “lowered” him to seem more partisan.

    You can bet if Pelosi and the Dems don’t supply any votes to Boehner bills, eventually Reid will have to let some through to the Senate floor and they’ll pick up a few Conservadem votes from Nelson, Webb, Manchin and the like. And if the Dems start forcing cloture votes because McConnell can pick up four Dem votes – you can bet the press will be screaming bloody murder that Reid and the Dems are being rank obstructionists and won’t allow a simple and democratic up or down floor vote.

    The game is rigged, the deck is stacked.

  13. Isn’t that the strangest. Where on earth does he get these polsters from? Whomever they are polling is completely out of whack. His poll is the only one showing a negative approval rating. I’d have to say his poll is the outlier. heheheheh!!!

  14. They also said—“Most voters still favor repeal of the health care law, but support for repeal is down to 53%.”

    Am I losing my mind? I thought the numbers in many other polls indicated that most people think it is a waste of time to repeal the bill.

    Great mishmash BWD. As ususal.

  15. There is a trap being set by the GOP and MSM frame – If President Obama focuses on cutting spending, then jobs will be lost and unemployment will hover around 10%, and if the focus is on job creation then there won’t be the cuts the GOP has fooled the MSM into believing are necessary and the attack will be “Obama and the Dems are not serious on the out-of-control spending”.

  16. Someone on WSY gave that woman a new nick name-
    Haggiana. I think it is perfect for her.

  17. Saint Roscoe, I understand what you have written, but bummer.

    I just lost my hope for today.

  18. President Obama continues to weave his cloak of armor by being the only adult in the room and doing the right thing. Let’s see how creative the Republican Party can be in trying to criticize this initiative to support military families. They will only look small if they do.

    Rising poll numbers, economic green shoots, the Tucson speech, focus on supporting military families, Michelle will be on Oprah this week, and tomorrow the State of the Union. The Republicans must be reeling…..

  19. Watching President O is so amazing. Another great speech with themes I love.

    1. Support for military families
    Although I am opposed to war, I appreciate the efforts to support soldiers and their families. They are in a tough situation and we can’t abandon the soldiers like we did in Vietnam.

    2. Regardless of what the Republicans are doing in congress, Obama is working to get things done with the tools at his disposal.

    3. It takes a village. When we all work together to fix the problems we do a better job. Having agencies cooperate is so smart. He is so smart. There are many non profits and individuals that work to help military families. WIW blog has stories of volunteer who send books overseas, guy who gives cars to military families, man who builds houses for them, and artist who paints portraits of the soldiers who have died in Iraq. I am so touched by peoples kindness.

  20. At the same time that Barbara Walters! is again making me angry by defending Oscar de la Renta’s criticism of Michelle Obama’s choice of dress she wore to the State Dinner, that she should have chosen an American designer. That dress! It has received more press attention than most of the other critical issues of the day. Some people are just desperado to find a reason for which they can criticize Michelle. Is Huff Po whispering in Walter’s ear lately, as she spent the whole last week defending Palin, and then wrapped it up saying she knew President Reagan better than his son, Ron Jr. It might be time for her to exit stage right, same as Michael Steele.

  21. I think the WH recognizes the problems with congress and will be going around it to forge partnerships in the private sector to promote jobs. They are sitting on 2 trillion in reserves. Hence the appointment of Daley as chief of staff. I thought the grooming of Gibbs as an outside spokesman also makes sense. We’ve lacked the presence of good talkers selling the policies and countering GOP lies (they’re now trying to take credit for the recovery!)

  22. I disagree Saint Roscoe. You’ve already called out Elvis leaving the building, before the year has even fully gotten way.

    If there is one constant in our political process, is there will always be game changers and surprises!

    So don’t fall into the hype!

    Cab you believe during the 2008 election how many calked it for Clinton early on!! Every one kept saying it was inevitable!

    That’s their favorite word in the beltway!

    How many said it was inevitable for Health Care legislation to die??

    How many said it was over after the midterms for Peesident Obama???

    You assume your prophecy based on a false set of parameters. Already there have been some game changers and variables in recent events .

    Moreover you haven’t even heard the SOTU speech, and what comes out of it!

  23. Via abcnews

    Daniel Hernandez Jr., one of the heroes of the mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz., two weeks ago, tells ABC News that he will be sitting, along with his father, Daniel Hernandez Sr., with Michelle Obama at the State of the Union on Tuesday, which happens to be his 21st birthday.

    “I’m both honored and excited to have the opportunity to travel to our nation’s Capitol for a once in a lifetime event. Also the chance to bring my father along for his first trip to Washington, D.C. The State of the Union is a pivotal moment because it is our opportunity to find where we are and where we will be going as a nation in this upcoming year,” Hernandez said.

  24. They set these all the time, but he doesn’t really operate from a binary place.

    He’ll do both and create a balanced approach from that calm extremely well informed place where he resides, rending their ‘trap’ ineffective.

  25. When it comes down to it, President Obama is making the adult decisions and letting the children (aka PL and tea baggers) complain.

    I, frankly find nothing beneficial in calling President Obama a failure. He’s gotten more positive legislation signed into law than ANY other President, yet the PL wants us to think so otherwise.

    And if I was to listen to the PL, I’d be forced to believe that Obama is going to be making his SOTU speech about how he’s going to gut Social Security, even though there’s been NO evidence that he’s hinting or outright SAID he is going to. Sure, his Deficit Commission made the suggestion, but who’s to say that he’s going to take their word for it and do it?

    I enjoy spaces like this one. We have actual adults on here discussing President Obama, his policies, and his awesome family without the Frustrati muddying up the waters with their garbage. Heck, they’re still mourning the loss of Olby like he’s a legend, and any criticism of Olby ends up getting you labeled right winger, DLCer, or whatever names they can come up with to vindicate themselves. They’re a pathetic bunch, although adding in that Cenk guy, I’m wondering if MessNBC deliberately wanted to cut their throats. I don’t want to hear “Waaaaaaaaaaaa Obama sucks!” for one full hour. If I wanted to hear that nonsense, I’d tune into Glenn Beck or any of the other moonbats on Fox. At least I could get mildly entertained over Beck whining about some old guy named George Soros or comparing Obama to Hitler. I’m not sure how “Obama sucks because he’s hasn’t locked up Bush/Cheney and hasn’t turned the United States into Sweden like the liberal he ran as” is going to be a seller.

  26. What a great gesture to have Daniel Hernandez and his father attend the State of the Union. What other President has reached out to the public the way President Obama has?

  27. Hey Guys – Letter from TIMT. He communicated with MB, who acknowleged a misunderstanding, and the suspension was reversed. He was moved and gratified by our support, but didn’t want to get into the details of the mess over there, and would like to move past it now.

    TIMT really believes in his mission at DK (speaking truth). I personally, think DK is an annoying but insignificant gnat, not appropriate for G-world. But I love and respect TIMT, and if he is pleased about this, I am as well. For him. The orange reaction to this reversal should be fascinating, LOL.



  28. I read the article. Very interesting. And I’m impressed by the capacity of the president and his team for self-critique and self-correction. The article echoed some of my concerns, for example the relations with the press corps, and the necessity to highlight the fabulous Cabinet the White House has assembled. And there can be surely some analysis of why they didn’t have control of the narrative.

    However, my biggest problem with the article is its basic premise: that every diffictulty of the Obama White House is self-inflicted. That if they had done X and Y all would have been perfect. Nowhere in the article we see an analysis of what the GOP has become.

    This particular paragraph made me cringe :

    « But Obama, unlike Clinton, was not elected on the potency of his economic platform or his economic wordplay. He was elected on a more amorphous set of promises—and the disjuncture between them and the ensuing reality has been and remains his biggest problem. “The president didn’t get a huge chunk of the vote to do health-care reform or do a stimulus package or financial reform or all the rest of it,” says one of the grandees who met with Obama after the midterms. “The reason people voted for him was to change Washington. And he accomplished the subcategories in a way that made Washington even more toxic and polarized.”

    Reading this paragraph, I began remembering the whole HCR process. The weeks and weeks of negociation that Senator Baucus had with Grassley, Snowe and Co. only to be rebuffed over and over again. The « strategy of no » of McConnell. The RECORD numbers of fillibusters, on everthing. The RECORD obstructionism on presidential nominations.

    Did the Obama White House made mistakes ? Sure. The task was insane, and everyone makes mistakes.

    But WHEN are the analysists are going to confront the elephant in the room that is the radicalization of the GOP ? The fact that they REFUSE to work with democrats in good faith should be highlighted. The fact they have lost control of their extremists is in my opinion one of the BIGGEST problems the United States faces. THEY, more than anybody else, are responsible for the divisions and the toxic political climate.

    It has become extremely difficult for a democratic president to govern. It was difficult for President Carter, more difficult for President Clinton, and now insanely difficult for President Obama. Republican presidents have a much easier task, because democrats are not extremists and can offer some collaboration in Congress.

    I’m tired of the insidious way the conventional wisdom relates every problem in Washington to the Obama White House.

  29. More from that really brilliant work of journalism by NY Mag:

    The next day, when Obama unveiled the move, the reaction was applause from the Establishment and anguished ululating from the left. But both responses were based on misreadings: that the pick was designed to mend fences (or curry favor with) business and Wall Street; that it represented a pivot to the sensible (or mushy) middle.

    While it’s true that Daley worked for a bank, led the charge in the passage of NAFTA, and criticized the pursuit of health-care reform, the picture is not that simple. His appointment was endorsed by the likes of Howard Dean, Robert Reich, and Bob Shrum—hardly a pro-triangulation triumvirate. “I just think the world of him,” says Shrum, who worked with Daley on the Gore campaign. “He’s tough-minded and he’s fair-minded. Obviously, he’ll talk to the business community, but I think all this liberal brouhaha is foolish. He’s not gonna change, nor would he want to change, in this role, what Obama intends to do.”

  30. Good graphic about comparing the education plans – BUT I disagree that aims were similar: Although “improving education” may have been the stated aim of the Bush NCLB, the true agenda was something quite different.

    NCLB was part of a long-standing right wing goal of eliminating public education, not improving. NCLB does a magnificent job of setting schools up to fail, thereby justifying their closure. If we don’t understand this, no discussion about NCLB makes sense.

  31. Mr President grayson of nutroots now lecturing the actual President on dkos on sotu address. The pre-emptive poutrage freak fest has started. uugghh…

  32. Would that be the SAME Alan Grayson who lost his seat in the midterms because he got drunk off his own koolaid?

    Seriously, why do the PL prop up these clowns? It’s people like Alan Grayson who make Democrats look bad, because all they know is political theatrics and they act all sanctimonious.

    And the PL thinks Alan Grayson is a good candidate to field in a primary against Obama, LMFAO!

  33. I’ve noticed that the First Couple has taken seriously the mandate to turn the WH into the people’s house. Just brilliant.

  34. And this same PPP that polls the president’s approval for Kos also showed Obama with double digit leads over the leading GOP candidates for 2012. So which one is it? There’s something fishy going on here.

  35. I so agree with you. I think that we can handle disappointments as they come, if they come, thus there’s no need to take a pessimistic view when there’s no telling what can happen. Great points, pinkbunny!

  36. The PL and frustrati seem incapable of understanding how strong PBO’s character is, and that no member of his administration makes his decisions for him. GWB didn’t have this quality, and it was easy for Cheney, and others, to govern in his stead. PBO is a totally different person. He wanted the job of POTUS to improve the nation, not to impress his father the way that GWB did. The PL and frustrati will always have problems with PBO because they don’t look at him as being different from GWB.

    I would venture to say that a liberal version of GWB is exactly what they thought they were voting for in 2008, and this is why they’re so disappointed. They seem to have wanted theatrics over results, a bully rather than a skilled negotiator, and their very own president they could manipulate rather than a man who would be the president of all Americans.

  37. I guess people are finally starting to see the negativity of the Republicans, and finally seeing that not everything is Obama’s fault.

    That’s one reason why I’m glad the Republicans won back the House; folks are now seeing that John Boehner and the Tea Party Toy Soldiers are just a bunch of right wing blow hards who care about nothing more than preaching to their shrinking base.

    It looks like their attempts to repeal ObamaCare are backfiring against them. More Americans are reading the actual law and would rather dedicate time to amending and expanding it as opposed to repealing it… and the select few who do support repeal want something else in its place. The few Republican counter-proposals already mirror the current law, except less beneficial for consumers.

    The people are seeing the Republicans for all their bluster, and Obama as the adult who is determined to get things done. All in all, a welcome set up for Obama 2012!

  38. If there’s one thing this president always does it’s surprise. Who thought the lame duck session would get so much accomplished? How many times was DADT declared dead? How many times was HCR’s obituary written. These will be a very fluid 2 years, but I think Obama will navigate the waves quite expertly, as he has already shown.

  39. It’s pretty strange, it’s like folks like the guy personally, but don’t like his major policies?

    Also this is confusing as well –
    “Obama’s approval is now 61 percent in the Midwest – home to key battleground states like Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin – making that his strongest region of the country.”

    Given that Michigan went hard red, Portman and Kasich were elected in Ohio and Wisconsin booted out Russ and elected a GOP Governor as well.

    It just doesn’t make sense. If the midwest likes him, why not vote for and elect Democrats or at least candidates that will make his job easier? Johnson, Portman are not going to vote with Obama on one damn thing. Ever.

  40. Wow; per the PDF, he maintains his traditional high approval ratings with Dems and liberals, with a majority of swing voting Independents now approving of the way in which POTUS is handling his job. Good news; thanks for this.

  41. I totally agree with you on this:

    “Seriously, why do the PL prop up these clowns? It’s people like Alan Grayson who make Democrats look bad, because all they know is political theatrics and they act all sanctimonious.”

    And the fact that Grayson has access to the media helps promote the idea that he, the PL, and the frustrati speak for us when they don’t. IMHO, they are part of the problem, not part of the solution. You couldn’t pay a conservative to do the things that these folks do. Conservatives may not always be right, but they generally do not stab each other in the back the way that Grayson, the PL, and the frustrati keep stabbing PBO in his back. I am so glad that I severed all contact with these types. They were only adding to my stress level and making me depressed 24/7. Here, and on other sane blogs, we can exchange ideas with respect and without all of the bitterness while keeping in our minds that we’re all on the same team.

  42. Now Huff and Puff has Rahm not being able to run for Mayor of Chicago as the main headline…

    Talk about holding grudges, I guess Rahm drove Huff and Puff and the Frustrati PL crazy because he didn’t toe their line, he got things done.

    This is why I love this space. No sensationalized BS, just the facts and a calm and rational discussion amongst adults.

    I feel bad for Rahm, he really wanted to run for Mayor of Chicago, but I suppose there are still ventures for him. He could help out again in the elections next year, especially considering that there are going to be at least 20 Senate Democratic seats up for grabs. Rahm knows how to court support in the extreme red states, but of course it all depends on the candidate running, because politics is local.

  43. I think that’s exactly right: people find POTUS personally appealing, but not everyone is on the same page re: his policies. I wonder if the Midwest approvals are indicative of buyer’s remorse…

  44. I think to some extent it is buyers’ remorse. I’ll be more sanguine when Boehner’s approval craters again. It’s a little bit too high for my comfort at the moment.

  45. “…I’m tired of the insidious way the conventional wisdom relates every problem in Washington to the Obama White House…”

    Lovepolitics2008, me too!

  46. It looks like the people took the saying “politics is local” and proved it.

    I’m thinking Obama had no influence on how they voted, at least the independents anyway. Having Obama campaign with Strickland and Feingold was only going to influence voters who were going to vote (D) anyways, and I guess the indies were probably fed up with the way that Strickland and Feingold had been governing and decided, let’s elect Republicans.

    It makes no sense, but how independents collectively vote never makes sense. I consider myself an independent conservative, and I’m wondering how indies can go one way in one election only to switch the other way in another election.

    It was just a bad year for Democrats, the Democrats didn’t want to run on their successes, and the PL wanted to “send a message” by allowing Republicans to win. Hopefully Nancy Pelosi is right and the Democrats will be back in 2012.

  47. That’s a really good point, and a poll this far out from the election is also pretty meaningless in terms of predictive value. It’s just good to see that at least for now, the majority of the country agrees with the supermajority of Dems about the WH.

  48. I think that we forget that most people don’t follow politics that closely, and aren’t paying that much attention. “They’re too liberal; balance them out” is a compelling argument for people who are not looking deeply into the substance of things. Perhaps the reality of GOP rule is starting to penetrate for these people, who knows.

  49. BlackWaterDog, you’re good, and your today’s mishmash is great as usual…

    But, could you slow down, just a little? You move so fast. I’m tryin’ to “catch up.” lol 😉

    And, btw, I’m glad you’re here!

  50. People like us on this blog and other liberal blogs live in a political bubble. I don’t mean this to be derogatory; it’s a bubble in which we’re pretty well informed about what’s going on in this country and around the world. The vast majority of people only pay attention to politics once an election nears. They don’t attend to every twist and turn of the political drama. They’ve never hears of DKos or Redstate, and probably have never watched Fox or MSNBC. They have a broad sense of what’s going on, and what’s been going on is that Pres. Obama has been seen to be presidential, while the House GOP just wants to smash everything.

  51. I think there are reasons for the dissonance, St. Roscoe. First, there’s Pox Snooze that pushes the GOP agenda 24/7/365, and there are millions who listen to their lies. Second, there’s Citizens United which allows rw candidates to saturate the airwaves with lies and distortions about democrats and PBO. Third, we have a very biased corporate owned media that plays “favorites.” The owners and board members are able to slant the news in a way that will provide them with the politicians who will vote the way they want them to vote on issues that are important to them. The media of today bears little resemblance to the media when I was growing up. There are no more Murrows, Brinkleys, or Cronkites who are willing to risk their careers to tell the public the truth about the wars, the economy, the democrats’ policies, the shallowness of the republicans, etc. It’s all about the money, upward mobility for the journalists, and wielding political power out of public view.

    We know that the republicans have lied about everything the democrats have been trying to do for the last 2 years. I remember reading on Talking Points Memo last month that @ 90% of voters polled didn’t realize that they had been lied to until after casting their votes for tea party type candidates. It may be that since some of the democrats’ legislation is slowly being enacted, people are finally waking up to the realization that everything the republicans have said about PBO and democrats’ policies has been a lie. It also doesn’t help that the republicans are not focusing on jobs and the economy, something the polls show that the majority of Americans want them to address. It also doesn’t help that the republicans have been on teevee recently and have been shown to not have legislation to replace the democratic-sponsored legislation they are working so hard to repeal.

  52. Rahm could try to counter Rove and the third party spending and pull some of the Citizens United money over to the left.

    I think it’s silly that he can’t run. He lived there his whole life, was a congressman there not two years ago, only left because he was asked to move to Washington by the President of the United States to be his COS and that disqualifies him?

  53. I agree with this in its entirety. I think that we forget that most people don’t follow politics that closely, and aren’t paying that much attention. “They’re too liberal; balance them out” is a compelling argument for people who are not looking deeply into the substance of things, go figure.

  54. Big fan of Bob Schrum he always correct the madness of the pundits. Joe Scourbough can’t stand him because he call Joe on his bull.

  55. I had the same though!!! Why should we listen to someone who couldn’t even keep his own seat???

  56. I admit I’ve been concerned a bit about Grayson mounting a primary challenge to President Obama. He has the ego size and the type of personality to do it. Oh he would be crushed. But the damage he would inflict would be great I think. Fortunately, the last weeks and the new numbers for President Obama have made a primary challenge very unlikely.

  57. What would he run on in a primary challenge, though? I’m sure he voted with the President most if not all of the time. “I agree with everything Barack Obama did, but I can do it better”. I agree, there will be no primary challengers, but Grayson would be weak sauce.

  58. “but I think all this liberal brouhaha is foolish. He’s not gonna change, nor would he want to change, in this role, what Obama intends to do.”

    I agree. However, I think the correct wording in the article should be “he CANNOT change, in this role, what Obama intends to do”. That is the main problem I had with the handwringing about the COS appointment. The COS works for the President and does the President’s bidding, plain and simple. I’m sure President Obama listens to all advice, but I trust Obama to make his own decisions. The premise that the COS tells the President what to do is very strange.

  59. I think this points to the grave damage that the Bush administration did to this country. For eight years we had an administration where the real power resided in Cheney’s office. Eight years is a long time; now the pundit class just assumes that presidents are empty suits whose strings are pulled from offstage. It will take quite a while for the damage to be undone.

  60. I have a view about that space and its toxicity which is well-known and does not bear repeating. But I *am* glad that TiMT was able to resolve his dispute amicably.

  61. Mental pictures of grayson carrying a briefcase & wearing a suit slipping through open doors of the capitol still trying to vote…lol..!! #delusional

  62. I think the bigger problem is the media. From the communication issues, to the misinformaiton, to the obfuscation of the right wing strategy of “NO” all the time – even at the expense of the country’s wellbeing… The media has been the source of most of the issues faced in this country – even back to the papering over of the Iraq war build-up. I don’t think Palin would still be in the spotlight, or the opinion-spewers would be making millions per year, or that Health Care Reform would have been as contentious, or that people would believe that the Tea Party represents a legitimate branch of society (given that they were silent during Bush’s reign) or that the country would not have come together to build on the dreams that the President laid out in his substantive two year campaign.

    I think that most of this article focuses on the fact that Washington and the beltway media did not want to change, and President Obama tried to change it – and had to make a decision of whether to get stuff done, or focus on changing Washington. And he preferred to get stuff done. I mean, didn’t we have an article just recently that the media was upset with the Obamas because they refused to partake in the Washington social scene? It’s a game for them. They’re not serious. And they like the status quo just the way it is. The article says that almost directly, they believe the President will now play the game the way they want him to. And they ignore all that has been achieved by the President by doing things his own way.

  63. you know its funny how the left says President Obama has a messaging problem. When all over the blogs you got calls for keith Olbermann . If they can make this a priority then why can’t they make the President and democratic wins a priority. The Republican are now trying to take credit for the economy and we need to stop them now. But they want dare say anything about that, because Keith is more important than the country progress. WoW!

  64. I’d be surprised if Grayson has any real intention of primarying President Obama. I think that he has a niche of supporters who have an emotional need for red meat and authoritarian podium-pounding, and no standards with regards to tolerating disrespect of POTUS and “Pretend President”-ing (in fact, for various reasons, they enjoy watching POTUS disrespected). Grayson is merely playing to that small yet loud niche. God bless him, and more power to him. Perhaps one day after having healed from his political loss (which was probably a very tough one), he might realize that these consumers of theatrics and red meat are a distraction and miniscule amount of the electorate. Grayson had terrific ideas yet his extremist opponent was able to paint himself as the moderate courtesy of nothing more than tamped-down language IMO. That’s a shame.

  65. And every time the “liberal” stations replay and discuss what’s going on at Fox, they extend that reach and exposure even further.

  66. It’s hard to have coattails when you are not on the ticket. I think that mid-term elections are more “local” than Presidential elections which are national. Also, lets not forget the atmosphere in the country months leading to the election. Constant doom and gloom everywhere, right, left and center. There was a concerted effort on the part of the MSM (including the P.L.)and their corporate masters (who refused to hire, thereby keeping unemployment high)to swing this election away from Dems. In my opinion, the P.L. were/are bought and paid for. I guess it is easy to call President Obama a sellout when you have sold out yourself. It was all so well orchestrated, I don’t believe it was a coincidence.

  67. This is why they are so safely ignored. The average liberal, much less the average American, just doesn’t think like this. These are boutique media consumers of sensationalism; no reason to constantly confront them or demand that they get better or spend all day arguing with them.

    Olbermann is walking away with millions of dollars and the end of what appears to have been an unproductive, tense, relationship with his superior. I couldn’t care less and neither can most of the country.

    Utterly agreed that the focus *should* be on the GOP who have gotten pass after pass after pass for their obstruction and are now poised to take credit for Democratic successes. It’s my sincere hope that POTUS, in his state of the union, chooses to highlight those successes and credit them, and that the national media continues to inform us of the GOP’s timewasting legislation and lack of any sort of coherent job-creating policy.

  68. Hello to all of you. I have been skimming and reading but not posting much lately. I am here with you in spirit. I am suffering a MS flareup right now and I am having severe muscle spasms so sometimes it hurts to even type.

    BWD keep up the great work, and to all of you, “we report the news,” while the media “reports gossip.” We have to continue our efforts collectively.

  69. Obamanomics is working- When the pundits on the left and right said he could’nt do it . He simply said YES WE CAN!

  70. Especially people who belong to unions, who are now realizing what Republican rule really means. And when the likes of Bachmann are getting positive feedback in Iowa over their chances at the Presidency, we need the effects of Tea Party reality to be felt widely in order to knock some sense into the uninformed.

  71. Obama is courting corporate America to get to those who push all the levers in the GOP. If the obstructionists are put in the position of choosing purist nut tea party solutions over what is good for the economy the GOP will come to their senses or be left with just the baggers.

    We are not getting out of this Recession/Depression by declaring war on 80% of our economy, the upper class. Those who saw the collapse and said “oh goody now we’ll get French Socialism!” Are disappointed and will vote Nader in 2012.

  72. Hope you are feeling better Tori. Im sorry for the pain. Have you thought of getting a program that types your words as you speak. When you have days like this it could be useful.

  73. Maybe the “messaging problem” meme translates to a “MSM problem” in that the MSM does all it can to obscure President Obama’s message. The MSM skews every story in an anti-Obama light, then blames Obama. If the MSM really believed President Obama has a messaging problem, then why do they complain whenever he ditches the media filter and speaks directly to the public? President Obama is one of the most gifted public speakers this country as ever known, IMO. George W. Bush was not very articulate, I don’t remember him ever having a messaging problem. This reminds me of the 2004 Presidential election when Bush and the GOP took John Kerry’s supposed greatest asset (his purple hearts and honorable service in Vietnam) and used it against him. I still remember the purple heart bandaids they passed out at the Republican convention. Our media seems to be trying to take away President Obama’s greatest political asset, his voice.

  74. Oh please! The last first lady de la Renta dressed was Barbara Bush. And I’m sure Babs Walters has a closet full of his gowns and granny shawls, too. ‘Nuff said.

  75. Oh Tori, I’m sorry- I hope you’ll feel better soon- take care of yourself first and foremost. Also, I hope your MRI went well

  76. A Michelle Bachmannesque move to be sure. Anytime you follow that whacko’s lead it can’t be good! 😀

  77. WiW, I wholeheartedly agree…

    Here’s another organization, which shows our U.S. armed servicemembers, we care about them: (I donate to it, too! ;))

    And, it has a twitter presence, too… @OpGratitude

  78. Bingo Eric~ this is it. It is laughable when the media joins the chorus of “he has a messaging problem”. Okie doke. The media and those who join in their shenanigans are the biggest problem this country has. We get soap opera 24/7 and we get republican spin. Without the media there would no longer be a Sarah Palin.. a tea party.. or most of the rightwing.

    I believe that is why we- the united WE have to correct the media’s lies wherever and whenever possible.. and we have to put out the President’s and the Democratic message.

    It always made me so frustrated when I’d read diary after diary lamenting how the President needs to speak to people more, he needs to get his message out.. well HELLO.. why not use all those diaries and blogs to GET HIS MESSAGE OUT 😉 Which is another reason why this site- and so many others are blossoming imo.

  79. Good afternoon back to you snoopy- hope you’re having a good day. Isn’t this a great thread? Lots of insight here today, I’ve enjoyed reading it.

  80. If TiMT feels he can enlighten the disbelievers, then, I think it is great. I would just say, who cares what they think?

    TiMT is a hero.

  81. I agree Eric. People who have gotten to know Obama, authors who have written books about him, have made it clear that he does not quiver in the face of obstruction, he moves forward and does what he feels it right.

    Let me put it another way–he is NOT indecisive.


  82. I wish you would get the teacher freaks at Gos to understand that.

    They are convinced that PBO is going to destroy education. How dare Obama tell us how to do anything. We know everything is their attitude.

  83. I wish you could get the teacher freaks at Gos to understand that.

    They are convinced that PBO is going to destroy education. How dare Obama tell us how to do anything. Their attitude is that that know everything.

    I think this relates to the concept of change being scary. People get stuck in places and become uncomfortable if someone suggests doing things differently.

  84. “Part of the problem is the Conservadems who break with their party to vote with the GOP, giving them the cover to say “See the Democrats are too far left for even the moderates in their own party”. And President Obama had to come play referee within the party, which “lowered” him to seem more partisan.”

    Look at how many of the conservadems were rejected by the electorate during the midterms. Then the ones that weren’t rejected ended up quitting–Bart Stupak, Evan Bayh, Kent Conrad, Joe Lieberman.

    What was their motivation for voting against the Democratic platform?

    They can’t say, ‘well it’s what our constituents wanted’ because if they were beloved by their constituents then presumably they would have no problem being re-elected and would not have to rush to retirement.

    So why did these “Democrats” obstruct the Democratic agenda and then quit?

  85. “I’d be surprised if Grayson has any real intention of primarying President Obama. I think that he has a niche of supporters who have an emotional need for red meat and authoritarian podium-pounding, and no standards with regards to tolerating disrespect of POTUS and “Pretend President”-ing (in fact, for various reasons, they enjoy watching POTUS disrespected). Grayson is merely playing to that small yet loud niche.”

    What a strange, loud niche they are.

    These are the people that pre-critique every single appointment of the President and during the same period these are the people that they anointed as being qualified for higher office:

    Rachel Maddow for President. Qualifications: A fake speech on her show.

    Russ Feingold for President. Qualifications: Losing in his state against a political zero.

    Alan Grayson for President. Qualifications: A Daily Kos diarist who employed all of their theatric tactics that led him to being invited to seek other career opportunities.

    Keith Olbermann for Senator. Qualifications: Getting summarily fired after years of tension with the people who provided him with his megaphone.

  86. ^True, jan4insight…

    GOPTeaParty is all about demonizin’ our President and his ‘Movin’ America Forward’ agenda, the public sector (which includes local/state/federal workers), unions, taxes, debt/deficit, et al…Of course, there’s bad taxes and good taxes. Same as there’s bad debt and good debt…

    The local/state/federal governments need revenue to help “run” them…Distribute services and products to the American people especially the unfortunates, not their faults, and the vulnerables!

    And, the public sector is better at doin’ certain things than the private sector. They should be workin’ together to make this country into a 21st century nation!

    But, GOPTeaParty don’t see it that way…They want to privatize everything…PROFITs OVER PEOPLE, The RICH vs The POOR!

  87. “Obama’s approval is now 61 percent in the Midwest – home to key battleground states like Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin – making that his strongest region of the country.”

    By and large people like the President. But he wasn’t on the ballot in November. When people think about what they dislike about Washington it is Congress in general, grandstanding representatives and the clubbishness of Senate. Many people are not particularly thrilled by their direct representative but like the President.

  88. I don’t think Grayson could do much damage if he decided to primary the President. He wasn’t even effective enough to win re-election in his own district, and most of the public doesn’t know he ever existed.

  89. “Bingo Eric~ this is it. It is laughable when the media joins the chorus of “he has a messaging problem.”

    My favorite part is when they wring their hands and speak in low-tones about the excessive amount of money being spent on campaigns each year.

    Gee, I wonder who sets the ever-rising prices to run campaign ads? And who gets that money?

  90. Speaking of recovery, here’s an interesting stock market analysis from April 6, 2010:

    It’s Dow 12,000 That Matters

    Posted: April 6, 2010 at 5:03 am

    Print Email Subscribe Follow us on Twitter

    If and when the DJIA hits 11,000 it won’t matter much beyond being a round number. The Dow fell below 12,000 in June 2008 and below 10,000 in October of that same year. 11,000 was not around for long.

    The real stability in the Dow and the period when individual and institutional investors made fortunes was between October 2006 and June 2008. It will take a similar period with the DJIA above 12,000 for most people and firms to make back the hundreds of billions of dollars that they lost in the crash that bottomed last March.”

    Read more: It’s Dow 12,000 That Matters – 24/7 Wall St.

    The market had its first triple-digit gain of 2011 today:

    “Dow average nears 12,000 as tech stocks climb

    The Associated Press
    NEW YORK – The Dow Jones industrial average closed within 20 points of 12,000 Monday, its highest point since June 2008.”

    Read more:
    Watch sports videos you won’t find anywhere else

    A lower unemployment rate based on jobs that pay living wages is the biggest boost that the economy needs, but this 12,000 number is just another bit of good economic news as we head into the State of the Union and the 2012 re-election of President Obama.

  91. Apparently he neglected constituent services. A real no no for anyone seeking reelection in a conservative district.

  92. GN, I am in complete agreement. Grayson is
    too aggressive and dismissive of others. I can not image him being taken seriously.

    He has to have some other plan he is working on to put hims self in the spotlight. The frustrati simply do not have enough people to give him a real base.

  93. GN, I am in complete agreement. Grayson is
    too aggressive and dismissive of others. I can not image him being taken seriously.

    He has to have some other plan he is working on to put himself in the spotlight. The frustrati simply do not have enough people to give him a real base.

  94. Exactly and excellent examples; they’re entitled to their opinions the same as everyone else, but those opinions are many times untethered to the facts. It is what it is.

  95. See, that’s too bad. Seems as if he got too wrapped up in the national issues which the national media loves, when he might have helped himself out with more focus on his constituents. Or he might have been swept in on President Obama’s coattails and simply could win without them; who knows, I’m no expect re: his district, but strong constituent services certainly couldn’t have hurt.

  96. I think that he genuinely enjoys that point of view which is why I say God bless him. I’ve said it before, purity people don’t hurt anyone insofar as the media is not pretending that this is the base. There are some other, much less benign, personalities there as well, but as far as I’m concerned they have nothing to do with me or my world.

  97. Lovepolitics – Thank you for clarifying something for me. I found the overall article interesting though I was uneasy with certain parts. You’ve encapsulated my unease with the summary line ‘that every diffictulty of the Obama White House is self-inflicted.’ I missed that, and realizing it does clarify some things for me. Thanks

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