Monday morning mishmash

Hi guys,

1. Today’s schedule:

10:00 AM President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing.
11:00 AM Secretary of the Department of Commerce Gary Locke, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Austan Goolsbee and other W.H. advisers will launch the “Startup America” program.
11:10 AM PBO meets with senior advisers.
12:00 PM  
1:00 PM Gibbs briefs the press.VP Biden meets with Sen. Bill Bradley.
2:00 PM  
2:15 PM VP Biden meets with Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and Mark Ayers, President of the Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO.

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2. Egypt:

 LA Times: White House quietly prepares for a post-Mubarak era in Egypt

Washington Post: Obama administration aligns itself with protests in Egypt

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3. Recovery!

Consumer Spending in U.S. Rose More Than Forecast in December

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4. Recovery!

U.S. Auto Sales May Reach Second-Fastest Rate in 17 Months

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5. Recovery!

Chicago PMI reading rises in January more than expected

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6. The audacity to get bureaucracy out-of-the-way:

Backlog of Farm Loan Applications Cleared 

The Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) has used $181 million in Recovery funds to clear a backlog of federal loan applications and provide assistance to minority and beginning farmers.

 FSA initially received $173 million in Recovery funds for its Direct Operating Loans, which can be used to buy equipment, livestock, feed, seed, fertilizer, fuel, insurance coverage, or to make repairs to fences and buildings. The agency said that the $173 million was later increased by $8 million.

 Prior to receiving the funds in February 2009, FSA had a backlog of 1,783 loan applications totaling $130 million. By the end of March 2009, the agency had processed the applications and awarded the loan amounts. FSA awarded the rest of the money in spring 2010. The agency says the average amount of a Direct Operating Loan is $50,000.

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Have a great day, everyone!

230 thoughts on “Monday morning mishmash

  1. First..!!🙂

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  2. Good day everyone. Thanks BWD for the mishmash. great economic news. So looking forward to our economy bouncing back.

  3. Happy Monday everyone! It is really cold in MT today. I hope someone is enjoying warmth and sunshine. I am very excited about the backlog cleanup in the agriculture dept. I know when this Adminstration took over things were really in a mess. This is getting the work of government done. Tigerfists88 I love your picture.

  4. On Jan. 20, 2009, Pres. Obama cryptically said: “What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them”. How true, how true.

    The Middle East is taking a plunge into uncharted waters, warts and all. Now the guardians of the old order are fast pedaling backwards to retain the moribund old order.

    Truly fascinating to see

  5. Professor Juan Cole has another fascinating post on the turmoil in Egypt. The ending just gave me chills:

    Million-Person March Planned as Elbaradei made Opposition Leader
    —————————————–

    But as one Egyptian woman said, “If they fire on the Egyptian people, Mubarak is finished . . . And if they don’t fire on the Egyptian people, Mubarak is finished.”

    —————————————–

    http://www.juancole.com/2011/01/million-person-march-planned-as-elbaradei-made-opposition-leader.html

  6. Great news on those farm loans dispersal. Weren’t some black leaders questioning what PBO has done for their community ?

  7. Hello, fearless pragmati! Just a reminder that you can vote for BWD and I for Daily Kos Diary of the Year and Diarist of the Year, respectively at PollDaddy.com. If you voted in the first round, you may vote again in this second and final round and you do not need to be a registered member of dKos to participate.

    Voting ends on Tuesday.

    Here are the links:

    Diarist of the Year

    Diary of the Year

  8. zizi, I have thought about that passage many times since I first heard it. I have always been struck by the imagery of that statement. Very powerful. President Obama is just ahead of his time. His wisdom and judgment never ceases to amaze me. I can not imagine any one else leading this country right now.

    I love the fact that President Obama made the Cairo speech back in June 2009. Once again, it is his responsibility to navigate the mistaken foreign policy of previous administrations. He is up to the task.

    BTW: Could you believe the gibberish coming from John McCain yesterday on CNN? I shudder to think where we would be now if he had won the election.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2011_01/027763.php

  9. So glad to hear of the movement on the agricultural front. What had happened to those farmers was criminal. Wonderful to see that backlog cleared and economic justice done.

    Also delightful to see positive economic news. We have a long ways to go, but as a country we’re dusting ourselves off and sorting ourselves out. Gotta keep moving ahead.

  10. Hi MTmarilyn,

    I am in sunny California. I am glad that this president is raising the bar on what can get done. No wonder the MSM does not want to report on his accomplishments. I am so thankful for BWD and all her followers who keeps us informed.

  11. I always remember that statement. It’s such a true statement about human nature that anyone with keen discernment (such as POTUS) could make it with confidence.

    It’s always been true throughout history. Progressives and optimists and visionaries advance us. Backwards-looking people, pessimists, haters, and the dogmatic are relegated to the sidelines and dustbins of history. But they are always too stupid to perceive it as it’s happening to them. They’re left only with bitterness and the crumbs of regrets years down the road.

    History repeats itself over and over again.

  12. My crackpot tinfoil theory is that the Egyptian people might have been willing to tolerate the current regime until Mubarak’s death, but disagree with his plans of succession, namely, the installation of his son. My CT: they want new leadership and some fresh ideas to improve life for average Egyptians. They want their own Egyptian President Obama. And IMO the military and some of the elite are on board with this as well. Of note is how relatively *little* bloodshed has taken place. I hope that the relative peacefulness of the protests continues.

  13. But as one Egyptian woman said, “If they fire on the Egyptian people, Mubarak is finished . . . And if they don’t fire on the Egyptian people, Mubarak is finished.”

    Ladyhawke that’s straight up gangster, the Egyptians are not playing

  14. Anyone notice that there is an inverse relationship between depth of knowledge and insights versus media exposure? Meaning the more willing to spread ignorance (“President Obama hasn’t done anything for black people”) the more media exposure and the more willingness to label such people as spokespersons for entire groups.

  15. Meanwhile the House under TeaOP leadership can’t even get itself together enough to unite and ensure that the US is not thrown into crisis if the debt ceiling isn’t raised.

    It’s clear that the too many members of the GOP aren’t serious about delivering jobs, while the WH is very focused IMO.

  16. The GOP is distracted from the tea baggers and the cuts to spending that they want! Great Britain tried ONLY cuts to spending and their economy is fading!
    Thus, the GOP is misrreading the voters, and is why they want POTUS to go first with the budget… But, you know he is to smart for that washington game!

  17. I knew it was sunny and warm somewhere. Oh, I really do love living here. Just wish for the sun every now and then. Have a great day, JoJothecat!

  18. I just found this article at CBS

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/01/31/tech/main7301476.shtml?tag=cbsnewsSectionContent.5

    IMHO the stimulus has gotten a bad wrap. A few months ago I downloaded WH document “Top 100 stimulus projects” I was impressed. Good for CBS for covering it in a positive way. I just went to their site and posted a comment supporting the Pres and thanking CBS

    If anyone has a personal story about the stimulus or stimulus web resources, please post them here. I would love to add that content to my Stimulus 101 page.

  19. According to TPM the GOP plan if debt ceiling is not raised is to pat foreign debt holders such as China and pass on US obligations such as social security, US bond holders etc. They want to shrink the government at the expense of US citizens, Us and world economy. Hard to believe voters knew what they were voting for. A testament to the unparalleled capacity if our media to promote ignorance.

  20. That plan is suicidal; they can’t be that crazy. I think that the GOP leadership will seek to have POTUS save them from themselves by demanding some budget concessions in order to save face while raising the debt ceiling. To do otherwise would bring serious repurcussions for that party.

  21. They were also quick to demand the resignation of Sec. Vilsack without first noting all that he had done to advance agricultural equality in the country, and address old wrongs. Yes, he was hasty in the firing incident with Ms. Sherrod, but he’s done an awful lot of good, too – and one error doesn’t cancel all of that out.

  22. I have been noticing that CBS above any other network is doing a better job of reporting facts. My local CBS station here in Arizona calls its newcast “Telling it like it is” and they have been very tough on our Governor, our Sheriff and Republican legislators.

  23. I just love this. President Obama (the energizer bunny president) just keeps going and going and going. He is laying the groundwork for getting the economy on a firm foundation for future growth. And what are the Republicans doing?

    – trying to repeal healthcare reform
    – proposing strict abortion legislation
    – proposing draconian spending cuts
    – threatening to shutdown the government
    – doing nothing about job creation
    – focusing on culture wars

    So while the Republicans are pretending to be responding to what the American people want, President Obama is actually doing the hard work of governing. I can’t wait to hear their complaints about the “Startup America” initiative.

    The Republicans can either get on board with investments in infrastructure, education, research & development or be left in the dust.

  24. You to MTmarilyn

    My friend loves montana. I hope we get an opportunity to go to yellowstone this summer.

  25. Keep up the great work, WIW. I visited your site last night – lots of great info. Another good source of information for all of us looking for unvarnished news. Thanks!

  26. This is from Politico (Brrrrrrr), but it’s a really good story about David Axelrod:

    The night that health care passed,” he recalls, “the president and the staff were all in the Roosevelt Room watching it on television and I came in here by myself, and I closed the door and I just had a good cry because I realized that there are other families that won’t have to go through what we went through. No one will have to look at their child and say I don’t know if I can afford what you need.”

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0111/48459.html#ixzz1CdJuRllS

  27. Amk, to my mind, the pundits never get it. They are always so far off left field and they are so predictable.

    Interesting take from AlJ:

    “The well-overdue appointment of a vice president has had no impact on the people I spoke to in Tahrir Square yesterday as they defied a curfew for the 3rd time.”

    Ha, of course. Why should it have? Would Mubarak have even made the attempt to install a vice president, had has hand not being forced?

    I think not.

    Hope you are having a great day, Amk.

  28. Excellent observation. Who remembers FDR’s detractors? Who will remember GWB in anything but a negative light? People fear change, but in the end they favor hope over pessimism. The GOP will learn this the hard way in two years, I believe.

  29. Good Day and Happy Monday to all of you~let it be pleasant..

    I wanted to post a link to an important diary up by RadioGirl.. a diary on RACISM.. and specifically racism at dailykos.. this is what drove me from there- and others too I imagine. RadioGirl is someone I have much love and respect for and I just want to share this in case others would like to read it.. we all have our reasons for not stepping back over there, thus I absolutely understand folks not wanting to go – there are few folks I’ll return there for even briefly, RadioGirl happens to be one of them.. anyway not trying to highjack.. but I know that the racism permeating some of these sites (not to mention- real life) is a real heartache to others besides myself:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/1/31/940139/-Reflections-of-a-White,-Female-Race-Traitor:-Heavy-Heart-Edition

  30. Yes, indeed africa. Good to see Al J agreeing with us.🙂

    I’m doing fine. Was supposed to have visited Tunisia last month (for the second time) but my host asked me to put it off. Situation is still fluid there, he sez.

  31. A tidbit from the UK: Parliament is debating the government’s National Health Service “reforms”. The center of the reform is shifting 80 bn pounds to GPs to spend as they see fit. They can buy services for their patients either with the NHS, *or* private providers. Defenders of the NHS see this as the camel’s nose under the tent leading to a market-based health service.

  32. Boehner is many things, but not suicidal. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s been visited by fellows from Treasury to impart to him the insanity of not raising the debt ceiling. I think what may happen is that in order to get anything done, he’s going to have to cobble together a coalition between the more sane elements of his caucus and the Dems. The teabaggers are less than useless at governing.

  33. I hadn’t known about his daughter until I saw that last night.. its very touching and is truly a lesson in empathy- much of what drove our President and his staff.. and Congress, I imagine- to push this Healthcare bill, was based on their personal experiences.. and their ability to apply their own pain and anguish to something that would prevent others from going through the same horrors.

  34. This is hilarious. David Axelrod causing agita for Mitt Romney. With all of the flip-flop-flipping that Mitt Romney has been doing, this must be driving him crazy:

    ROMNEY PROBABLY DOESN’T WANT AXELROD’S PRAISE…

    In particular, Axelrod reflected on the state of the Republican presidential field — he characterized it as the most unpredictable field in his lifetime — and made one observation about a GOP contender that we’re likely to hear again.

    He pointedly praised one of the leading contenders, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, in a way that spotlighted Romney’s vulnerability within the GOP for signing a state health care law that parallels the new federal law in some ways.

    Romney “did some interesting things there on health care, you know,” Axelrod said. “We got some good ideas from him.”

    Well, that’s likely to leave a mark.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2011_01/027772.php

  35. Hah! Agita indeed.

    The sad thing about Romney is that, for a Republican, he was rather middle of the road while governor of Mass. And HCR is Mass. health plan on steroids. It’s quite depressing that he wants to be in the WH so badly that he’s sold his soul to the most extreme elements of the GOP in order to make it through the primaries — something I don’t think he’ll be able to do because of his Mormonism and the antipathy in which it is held by the religious right base.

  36. Another nugget from CBS, did they have an epiphany over there?

    “Yet America remains by far the No. 1 manufacturing country. It out-produces No. 2 China by more than 40 percent. U.S. manufacturers cranked out nearly $1.7 trillion in goods in 2009, according to the United Nations.”

    “The story of American factories essentially boils down to this: They’ve managed to make more goods with fewer workers.”

    “The industry’s fortunes are brightening enough that U.S. factories are finally adding jobs after years of shrinking their payrolls. Not a lot. But even a slight increase shows manufacturers are growing more confident. They added 136,000 workers last year – the first net increase since 1997.”

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/01/31/business/main7301018.shtml?tag=cbsnewsSectionContent.10

  37. Didn’t maggie thatcher lose trying to screw with NHS ? camay and nicky boy seem to be going her way.

  38. Just received a message about a live town hall meeting:

    Watch live the Town Hall with Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and Filmmaker Spike Lee on the importance of teaching and the future of America.

    I’m not going to be able to watch, have to step away from the puter. But, if anyone is interested, it’s being held at this very moment at Morehouse College,:
    http://morehouse.edu/events/2011/teach/

  39. Thank you Starshine.. tuning in now- didn’t know anything about this, so really appreciate your linking it.

  40. Yep. How can you live your whole entire life in bitterness and pessimism? Just one’s own survival, and that of one’s family, dictates the need for hope and vision. They’re making themselves extinct and they don’t even know it.

    Martin Luther King, Jr. knew the same thing about human nature, and we all benefit today from his prophetic optimism and vision.

    What good ever gets accomplished without hope? I can’t think of a damn thing!

  41. Of course. Having a supposed ally criticize is more of a man bites dog story. Without controversy, the media (in its own opinion) has llittle to sell. What is controversial in having an African American leader extol Obama?

    There was more talk about how some Dems opposed certain programs than there was about the over all solidarity of the Dems behind Obama, or even that some Republicans came into the fold.

  42. Maggie is viewed by the conservatives in England the way Reagan is here. frequently conveniently forgetting those things she did that aren’t totally consistent with the current RW ideology. Although, the RW in England would be fairly centrist in the US.

  43. Is anyone going to listen to Gibbs presser? I have to catch the 6 PM news here and he is on at the same time. Too many countries, too little time. Can’t they schedule these things a bit better?

  44. Romney should look to Rick Snyder’s gubernatorial campaign – in a field of wingnuts, he could grab all the moderate vote and then have a chance in 2012.

  45. The British people view the NHS as the country’s greatest achievement post-war. What will be interesting is whether or not the coalition demands a party line vote. If it doesn’t, I think we can expect some sort of compromise to be worked out. Honestly, I don’t know enough about the NHS’s state to know if it’s in as bad a shape as the coalition leadership contends. But the health service is the third rail in UK politics, much like our Soc Sec.

  46. That might work, except for two things. 1) If Romney seemed to be getting momentum, the wingnuts would coalesce around one of their number in order to stop him. Then, 2) if that happened, there aren’t enough moderate voters left in the GOP for Romney to win. The wingnuts want one of their own at the top of the ticket; they will no longer take the scraps offered by the establishment.

  47. Great insight. Controversy sells and at the end of the day, it’s all about selling media product.

  48. What’s gratifying is that some of these vulnerable teapartiers are not going to be able to straddle the fence and avoid tough situations. Their empassioned and vocal constituency has demands which are abhorrent to moderates. They’re navigating a minefield. And I also wonder if Speaker Boehner has the talent to herd cats as did Speaker Pelosi.

  49. Wow. Big thanks for the link. I don’t go daily to Sullivan’s blog and I would have missed it.

    We should share this video. It is very inspiring. As candidate Barack Obama often said (paraphrasing) : “Ordinary people coming together can do extraordinary things”

  50. Yesterday, someone compared the actions of the 112th congress thus far with the actions of the 111th historic session in a comparable timeframe. No comparison. Schip, stimulus—the 111th was saving the country from ruin and expanding the safety net. The 112th is debating the unthinkable (US default). It’s before and after.

  51. I think it would be salutary to compare the GOP to the Muslim Brotherhood. I was watching Al Jazeera over the weekend, and the anchor had an analyst on, talking about what role the MB would take on in a transition to democracy. The analyst made an interesting observation: the MB would probably contest no more than 30% of the seats for a new parliament, because they’ve never had to govern, and have no idea how to do it. Yes, they want to be an influence, but they’re sufficiently aware of their own shortcomings to not to want to be in charge of the government as Egypt goes through major changes.

    That struck me as something that would be foreign to the GOP. The Tea Party candidates who got elected have NO idea what it takes to govern. To be frank, neither does the House leadership, as they just rubber-stamped GWB from 2001-2007, and then just said “no” to everything PBO sent to Congress for the past two years. I think what’s lacking in our political culture on the extremes is humility. Both the extreme left and extreme right are cocksure that they have the solutions for what ails the nation; however, their solutions have no real-world testing, and are likely to make things worse. Thank goodness the Dems held on to the Senate.

  52. Extraordinary. There is just this sense that this team is truly in place to help people and have the deepest sense of empathy. We are blessed; some of us just won’t realize it until President Barack Obama is termed out and it’s understood that there’s not going to be another WH like this in our lifetimes. These are truly historic times.

  53. FYI ~
    MSNBC is reporting that Huntmans (Amb. to China) will be resigning in the Spring. There is speculation that he is planning to run for POTUS in 2012.

  54. How can someone who’s served as an ambassador then turn around and run against the man who appointed him? In a GOP primary as the GOP is currently constituted? I just don’t see it; the other candidates will tear him to shreds.

  55. Politico has reported that Huntsman spent the Holidays with McCain discussing a potential 2012 bid. He has to be an idiot if he is seeking advice from McCain.

  56. Oh Lord, that’s just too delicious. Everyone on the GOP side is having a major meltdown. Imagine if the Dems had been this disorganized and flailing after taking over both houses in 2007. The MSM would’ve been all over them.

  57. Thank you, sherijr — that diary was the best possible reason to link back There.

    When I grow up I want to be a WFRT like RadioGirl and her heroines.

  58. Good morning Anne. Seattle is pretty cold, and at this very moment, I got a long awaited bit of sunshine. I doubt that it will last for very long.

  59. McCain did pick Scott Brown to run I believe, at least encouraged him to.

    I don’t know what Huntsman is thinking though, not Ambassador for two years. I suspect he’ll try to run as the non-teabagger and hope he can pull all of the moderate vote.

  60. It goes both ways – How can President Obama run against a man who he appointed to such a key ambassadorship?

    Huntsman will be the biggest threat, he’s a likelable guy, not a stuffy white dude, pretty hip to pop culture etc.

    I wonder if this means Romney isn’t running.

  61. I’ve been meaning to ask what the heck are these “We The People” bumper stickers and signs I see in people’s yards and on their cars, mostly in rural areas, but in town, too. I’m thinking tea party. Has anyone else seen them?

  62. This certainly says a lot about Huntsman’s character. A Judas who has been working for the president and all the while planning to run against him. How low can republicans stoop?

    From what I’ve read of Huntman’s record, it’s nothing to brag about. And he’s typical right wing — born with a BIG silver spoon in his mouth. How can he relate to what everyday Americans are going through?

    And he consulted McCain, the man who got his butt whipped so badly, he still feels it?

    How about a reminder of how that night felt, folks:

    <embed allowscriptaccess="never" wmode="transparent" src="http://www.veoh.com/veohplayer.swf?permalinkId=v16474572p6RnMBq9&id=anonymous&amp;

  63. Oh good grief, I’m listening to the Gibbs press briefing.. the willful ignorance of these media people is so frustrating to listen to. Biggest concern: The Muslim Brotherhood. dumbest push: Getting Gibbs to say on behalf of the President that he wants Mubarek (sp) out.. wanting him to tell the Egyptian people who ought to run their country. I cannot imagine how Gibbs has put up with these absolute knuckleheads day in and day out for two years. Seriously, bless his tolerance and patience.

  64. I haven’t… but if they’re tea party inspired- they’ll be cropping up here in ND soon I expect.

  65. I am listening as well. I could not be in Gibbs shoes. They would get some not so nice choice words from me.

    The want the administration to take sides. That would not be a smart position to take and they are to DUMB to realize that. High School or College journalist would do a better job than these idiots.

  66. I admit beeing quite concerned about this. Because if the “elite” decides to use their money and their propaganda system to push him and convince “the base” to get behind him… it could mean serious challenges for President Obama.

    I pray each day that Barack Obama wins a second term. He’s the right man at the right place for his country AND for the WORLD.

    And, after all the *** he has had to deal with, if life is fair he will get a second term to get the REWARDS of all of his hard work.

    Life HAS to be fair sometimes, hasn’t it ??

  67. I too am very happy to have seen the black farmers and the Native Americans being paid their overdue reparations. It means a lot that it was finally settled. This has been a huge issue for me for years.

    Has anyone here ever heard Tavis mention how great it is that this debt is finally been settled? He is constantly belittling our president.

    If he did acknowledge, I would imagine his response would be, well, its too late, the president did not do enough–well actually he had nothing to do with it.

  68. The jackals are asking questions of Press Secretary Robert Gibbs now. Some of the brilliant questions being asked are as follows….

    1) What does the administration mean by free and fair elections?

    2) What does the administration means by orderly transition?. (Same question asked by multiple reporters)

    3) Has President Obama changed his schedule because of the turmoil in Egypt?

    4) When will we hear from President Obama again?

    5) Please interpret tweet from PJ Crowley about rearranging deck chairs.

    6) Is the administration concerned that the turmoil will spread?

    7) Assure us that there are no private back channel discussion that the reporters don’t know about.

    8) Is the price of oil being discussed?

    Robert Gibbs is continuing to stress that it is up to the Egyptian people to determine who will lead their country.

  69. I must respond to your comment. First, of all President Obama is the sitting president and he isn’t choosing to run against anyone. They are running against him.

    Second, I’ve refrained from voicing this, but I sometimes find some of your comments as thinly-veiled gloom and doom criticisms. If I’m wrong, I apologize, but that is how they come across.

  70. He’s the “cool dad” though – from his wiki-
    Huntsman is also a self-proclaimed fan of the progressive rock genre and on July 30, 2007, attended a concert by progressive metal band Dream Theater. Later that day, Huntsman signed a proclamation creating “Dream Theater Day” on that date for the state of Utah. According to Dream Theater’s website, Huntsman is a keyboard player. Huntsman also joined REO Speedwagon on the piano for two songs during their concert at the Utah State Fair on September 16, 2005.

    And has a young family –
    Huntsman is a seventh-generation Utahn; his wife Mary Kaye Cooper is a first-generation Utahn. Together they have seven children: Mary Anne (b. 1985), Abigail (b. 1986), Elizabeth (b. 1989), Jon III (b. 1991), William (b. 1993), Gracie Mei (b. 2000), who is adopted from China, and another baby girl from India, Asha Bharati (b. 2006).

    Huntsman has the best chance of bringing excitement to the campaign trail for the GOP.

  71. They’re not too DUMB to realize that. They want a SCOOP. Their focus is about making news.

  72. When I say “run against” I mean campaign against. I understand it will largely be a referendum on President Obama, but Obama can’t hit on his judgment or character or anything like that as he chose and nominated him for a key post.

    As to your second point, I won’t refrain from voicing this – I don’t care. I have an opinion and I’ll state it. You don’t like it than don’t read it. BWD doesn’t want me here, she can publicly ask me to leave and I will.

  73. Romney needs to take a lesson from John McCain the maverick in 2000 and John McCain the sellout candidate of 2008.

  74. You are right. It is dumb for them to think that the POTUS is going to give them “a scoop”.

  75. Wow! I have been reading about this very thing, but the video made me teary eyed. Their faith in a better future and the desire to “clean” their country is phenom.

    Why is it that Americans do not participate in the same kind of rituals? I know in Germany it is a common practice for those who live on a specific street, to participate in keeping their street clean. I do not think it is the law, but a feeling of joint ownership. Pride is what it is and that is what the video shares with us. Very moving.

    Obviously the two country are different, but the sentiment feels very much the same.

  76. They’re infantile in their constant push to ‘make the news’ rather than report it. I understand part of journalism is to dig, and to look underneath the picture being shown.. but when he has to answer the same dumb ass question repeatedly- its pretty obvious what the bloody answer is.. yowzer they’re annoying. Nothing gets to me like the media in this country, they could be enlightening and informing on so many fronts, with so many things going on in this country and all over the world.. instead they appear to have a collectively slanted right wing ideology – and that imo appears to be their goal- pushing their skewed ideology onto the rest of us.

  77. Isn’t that interesting? I never thought to just google it. The first thing that came up was a fund raiser for the Tea Party. This is great news, actually. When canvassing, if we see a We The People sign in their front yard, or window, we can just mark a 5 on our walk sheet and pass them by. Excellent.

  78. What amazes me is the need for drama among a few reporters regardless of the precarious position in which the US would be placed if the WH charged head first into this conflict. I am not a neoconservative now, and I wasn’t a neoconservative in 2002. I find this viewpoint mistaken. I don’t believe that democracy can be forced upon other people and think that this neocon belief, whether well-meaning or not, is both a conceit and foolhardy in its dismissal of human nature, at best.

    We’re witnessing a movement in Egypt which is IMO (tin foil theory, take with a huge grain of salt) an amalgamation of popular sentiment as well as at least some acquiescence on the part of the military and some unknown portion of that country’s elite, that Mubarak’s plan of succession should be disputed with the country potentially looking beyond Mubarak’s son for a successor. It remains to be seen whose opinion will prevail in that country. But the movement to change the Egyptian regime is far more organic and sensible than a US intervention which would do nothing save allow one party the moral authority of mislabeling the other as an agent of the current US administration.

    Or to put it more succinctly: as Americans, our name is “been it” and we aint in it!

    I wish that everyone in the media, rather than just some reporters, would recognize the delicacy of the situation. There’s been some terrific reporting, and some less than stellar drama and newsmaking which is ill-suited to the current situation.

    /rant off

  79. It is unproductive for each of them to continue to ask the same question in a different way. They are getting the same damn answer. They also act as if there is nothing else going on in the world that deserves attention.

  80. Huntsman is DOA! Working for President Obama alone will kill his chances of ever winning the Republican nomination lol. He is a little known name, and won’t raise any money. What “conservative” state is going to vote for a man that actually worked for the Obama administration? None that I can think of. It is not even a big deal. His first step has to be to win the Republican nomination, and that won’t happen. He should have done himself a favor, and kept his job.

  81. You absolutely do have a right to your opinion. I just find it very strange and disconcerting that an President Obama supporter more often than not seems to find the positive silver lining in everything for the republicans and the “problems” for the president.

    Example, you tout all the reasons why Huntsman would be a formidable challenger but none of the issues he has, such as being against immigration

    I shall continue to exercise my right to free speech as well and continue to point out what I see as a soft sell of doom and gloom for the president.

  82. He’s very dangerous. He’s they candidate that could bring excitement to the Republican field. He’s been out of the country so didn’t get caught up in any of the teabagger hysterics either. I’ve thought he would be a legit contender in 2016, but thought he’d pass on running in 2012 against an incumbent President. But he could feel that all the big fish will be waiting until 2016, so he can try and sneak in there now. And if he runs as a moderate and loses now, he’ll have established a name for himself in 2016.

    I expect that he’ll run as the likable moderate in a field of wingnuts and hope he can win early. He has the money to self-fund as well, his only drawback (with the Evangelical right base) is that he’s a Mormon. Even being born filthy rich won’t hurt him as he’s a likable guy who dropped out of highschool to start a rock band. He’s the “cool dad”, a progressive rock fan with five adult children, though only 50 himself.

    He has a lot of kids, including two adopted ones under 10, one from China and the other from India. I think folks like the idea of young kids in the White House.

  83. Hi sheri! RadioGirl is beyond fantastic. She has a book coming out next month IIRC; anyone commenting there or in email contact, can you remind me of the book name, as I procrastinated but wanted to order a few copies.

  84. Naa, not gonna happen. We each have our own and different way of looking at things. As long as we stay focus on supporting the president, spreading the truth about him and being respectful to one another – it’s all good.

  85. About Paul Ryan’s plan to gut social security. Crooks and Liars has a great story up about how those “evil” social security benefits enabled his mother to support her children and Paul to go to college after his father passed away. Here’s a sample:

    “One day as a 16 year old, Ryan came upon the lifeless body of his father. Paul Ryan, Sr. had died of a heart attack at age 55, leaving the Janesville Craig High School 10th grader, his three older brothers and sisters and his mother alone. It was Paul who told the family of his father’s death.

    With his father’s passing, young Paul collected Social Security benefits until age 18, which he put away for college. To make ends meet, Paul’s mother returned to school to study interior design. His siblings were off at college. Ryan remembers this difficult time bringing him and his mother closer.

    See how that worked? Congressman Paul Ryan loses his father at age 16, and Social Security steps up to ease the burden. Of course, his mother also received Social Security benefits as his father’s surviving spouse. ”

    Here’s a link to the whole article. We should send to Rachel and all other media. Make this hypocrisy viral.

    http://crooksandliars.com/

  86. Thanks all for the recap on the presser part I missed, and it looks like I didn’t miss much except more stupidity from the press.

  87. WIW, good morning. I so agree with what you stated. I also want to add something I just read in Jonathan Alter,s book The Promise.

    In terms of the stimulus he quotes others outside of the White House who have said, “…it was five landmark pieces of legislation in one. If the bill had been split into the biggest tax cuts for the middle class since Reagan, the biggest infrastructure bill since the Interstate Highway Act in the 1950s, the biggest education bill since Lyndon Johnson’s first federal aid to education, the biggest scientific and medical research investment in 40 years, and the biggest clean energy bill ever, then Obama would have looked like Superman.”

    It did not happen that way because they knew they only had one shot at it. Regardless, it is clear that the stimulus at any other time would have been seen as an amazing, of the charts, bill.

    Talk about making me happy this morning–Yahoo!

  88. Ok, this made me /facepalm. From Gallup: “About 7 in 10 national adults, including 88% of Republicans, say it’s important that Republican leaders in Congress take the Tea Party movement’s positions and objectives into account as they address the nation’s problems.”

    I mean, really? That means that a majority of Dems and indies had to agree with that proposition. Really??

  89. Exactly, its such a sign of their immaturity- their inability to basically hear- no – thus they keep wanting a different answer. And as you say, there are so many things going on- this is one aspect of world events they should be reporting on.

  90. You can pretend everything is alright all the time. Huntsman is a big threat, ignore it if you want to.

    Stating that he is a big threat isn’t doom and gloom. I’m not exactly breaking new ground in thinking Huntsman is somebody to be reckoned with and somebody that will concern President Obama, should he make it out of the GOP primary.

  91. I actually agree that Huntsman is a threat – he’s the first serious threat that i can see coming from the GOP – but i’m not sure he can survive the primaries right now and i think he’ll decide not to run in 2012.

  92. This is really astonishing. Here is the second half of the press conference. It was agony and a total embarrassment.

    The White House is doing very careful messaging about the turmoil in Egypt. Explain how you go about doing that.

    Is the turmoil in Egypt distracting from activities for the economy.

    How long does Mubarak have?

    Will President Obama change his views about same sex marriage before 2012?

    How will we know when the Egyptian people are satisfied?

    Who will the new press secretary Jay Carney report to. Will there be changes in the way the Communications Department is structured?

    What about Ambassador Huntsman pending resignation early this year? Who will be his replacement?

    What is the administrations biggest fear about the lawlessness, since Egypt has been a cornerstone for 30 years

    I think there was another question about oil.

    What do you say to the protesters who are not happy with U.S. statements?

    Who is managing the turmoil in Egypt?

    How many staff are working on the crisis?

    What is Vice President Biden’s role?

    What did President Obama say to Mubarak (reporter wanting more specifics)?

    Who is at the table in Egypt?

    A reporter is confused about the US stance on Egypt, feels there are contradictions. Sounds very snarky.

    Questions about Mubarak VP choice and his past. Includes questions about torture.

    Mayor Bloomberg sent undercover agents to Arizona and says there is a dangerous gap in our gun laws. What is the WH response and what are you doing about it?

  93. If I have Obama in my gravitar will that help?

    If I say “Jon Huntsman is a poopy-head” – Does that make you feel better?

    I think it’s important to know your (political) enemies.

    Focusing on Palin, like the left likes to do, is by in large a huge waste of time. She’s a joke and has no chance of winning.

  94. Thanks for saying that bwd.

    I’m going to tread carefully here: I may not always agree with St. Roscoe’s opinions, but I always find his/her analysis.. and opinions interesting and informative.. and even helpful.

    I have yet to read anyone’s thoughts here that didn’t widen my grasp on things political.. all of you here are so informative and thoughtful. ALL of YOU, imo.

  95. thanks symmentry, I’ll keep my eye out for them here, sickening crap imo. But also so typical of the tea party.

  96. Looks like the WH is 100% ready for Huntsman:

    …You could be forgiven for believing that Huntsman being part of the Obama Administration is the kiss of death for his presidential ambitions until proven otherwise.

    It would be surprising if every Republican primary opponent didn’t find some way to pound him on this.

    And the White House is making sure that Republicans don’t even have to work hard for attack lines. They’re providing them. As Politico reported:

    At an off-the-record dinner Saturday night, at which Huntsman was also present, White House Chief of Staff William Daley kept up the mockery.

    “It’s also good to see Jon Huntsman, our ambassador to China,” Daley said, according to a source in the room. “Or as we call him around the White House: the Manchurian Candidate. I want Jon to know that the president has no hard feelings. In fact, he just did an interview with the Tea Party Express saying how integral he has been to the success of the Obama administration.”
    Maybe Huntsman can overcome his Obama connections in the Republican primaries. But as you can tell, it will be hard for him to do so, if the White House anything to say about it.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2011/01/31/133369742/a-jon-huntsman-presidential-bid

  97. BWD, it is not my intent to create any drama on your wonderfully positive blog. But the fact that it is one of the few positive places that we President Obama supporters have makes me a bit protective of it’s purpose and of our wonderful president.

    Huntsman may be viewed as a threat, but his record is far from perfect. Let’s also point out how we can run against him.

  98. If he sides with the tea parties idealogy, then he will put worry to the independent. It will be a battle but I know President Obama is ready. Once he states his stance on thing and start to open his mouth, he will reveal all. We just have to come out in full force like we did for 2008.

  99. He could use 2012 as a launching pad for 2016. Runs as a moderate, and if he loses at least he’ll have that ground staked out for 2016 and have his name established.

    Right now he’s a no name former Governor of Utah.

    If he did manage to get through the primary he’d be a big threat to President Obama, but if he doesn’t he’s still in a better position in 2016 as he won’t have to start from scratch with no name value against the likes of Jeb Bush, Mitch Daniels, Marco Rubio, Mike Pence ect.

  100. This is what I mean by being ready to run against Huntsman and ready to defend our president.

  101. A key difference, as you pointed out, is that the Muslim Brotherhood is aware of its shortcomings and cares enough about the people of the country not to try to force themselves on Egypt. It is very questionable how much the GOP, as currently constituted, really cares about the people of the US.

    Yesterday, there was some discussion of talking points. Well, this won’t fit on a bumper sticker, but a good question to ask people at the water cooler is “Why does the GOP want evrybody in the country to make sacrifices except the top 2% and large corporations?”

  102. The downside of President Obama’s repeated appeals to civility and to “listening to one another”.

    I have to say I’m surprised about those very high numbers though.

    Anyway, the coming months will make people realize what the tea-party political agenda means in real life…

  103. Gibbs confirmed that Huntsman is indeed leaving.
    This could get interesting, depending on who else from the GOP runs, far right candidates could indeed take Huntsman out right away, but still again independents voting in the GOP primaries could gravitate towards him. Either way Obama is my man, I think he will win re-election.

  104. Well done.. that Bill Daley is a funny guy. Smart move on the Whitehouse’s part.

    Didn’t I just hear Gibbs say that Daley was planning to leave in the spring anyway? That he isn’t necessarily leaving in order to run.. maybe I misheard, as I only caught the last part of Gibbs’ statement.

  105. No patience for them today. I just came from volunteering with people on ventilators.

    Get real pundits – shut your mouths, and grap a mop! You waste valuable oxygen vomitting up your facile opinions.

    I’m curious about Radio Girl’s diary, but the idea of accidentally glimpsing those rocket scientist’s anaysis of the Egyptian situation, I’ll be channeling Phoebe in Friends, “My eyes, my eyes!!”

  106. Huntsman *would* be a threat if he made it out of the primaries, especially because of the savaging he’d receive from the other GOP candidates. However, I don’t think he’d make it out of the primaries. The party has been given over to the crazies, and they don’t want anyone who even smacks of moderation, especially not a Mormon, and especially not someone who’s worked with PBO. This is more likely a dry run for 2016.

  107. I don’t think there’s any need to get worked up one way or another. He’s didn’t even announce that he’s running, let alone winning that crazy party nomination. 2012 election is not about him, in any case, it’s about the economy.

  108. Hah! Again, the GOP underestimates this president at its peril. If Huntsman thought he could just waltz into the GOP primaries without the Obama campaign sticking it to him, he was sadly mistaken.

  109. Exactly we need to focus on our game and not what he is up to. The key is the economy and getting the message out. His dealing wiht China has to come to light before President Obama picked him and he will have to run on a different stance, which may not be well recieved.

  110. As the usual republican garbage: good enough for them, but not for anyone else. I sent the story to Rachel and Ed. I hope they cover it.

  111. I agree with you and Saint Roscoe that Huntsman could be a threat. I also agree with Saint Roscoe that examining his strengths is important. And actually, his strengths in a general election is what may be his biggest weakness in the primaries. I tend to think he is positioning himself more for 2016.

  112. And, as we’ve said before in other threads, most people aren’t as politically tuned in as we are, in regards to breathing the stuff. They’re just working, raising families, and so on. So, yes, they want to hear everyone’s ideas. Hopefully, when they hear how insane the TP ideas are, they’ll come to their senses.

  113. Looks like the Democrats are going on the offensive on the spending issue. This is great to see…

    Dems adopting aggressive posture in fight over government spending

    —————————————-
    Don’t look now, but there are increasing signs that Democrats are adopting a surprisingly aggressive and unapologetic posture in the looming political battle with Republicans over government spending. Rather than running from the issue — which has obvious perils for Dems, given that Republicans are trying to tar them as Big Government liberals — they are treating this as an argument that can be turned to their advantage, if it’s framed in the right way.

    The latest sign of this is the new DCCC radio ad that is targeting multiple House Republicans in targeted districts. The ad attacks Republicans for supporting plans to “cut education” and “cut science and technology research,” defending the latter as the way “we get the new products that create new jobs.”

    Crucially, the ad cites specific programs that Republicans would target, and frames the cuts as threats to job creation, an effort to cast Dems as defenders of popular programs and to undercut the GOP case that government spending is inevitably a “job killer.”
    —————————————–

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/01/dems_adopting_aggressive_postu.html

  114. They come across as nosey gossip columnists. Their focus is on process, feelings, impressions, sarcasm, and gotcha. They are all fishing for a sound bite that their network can play 24X7. The lack of substance in their questions is really amazing. I don’t know how Robert Gibbs stands them.

  115. As a commenter at Balloon Juice said, Huntsman will be made to appeal to Repugs PRECISELY because he is LIKE Pres. Obama. What makes him easily sell-able is that he is “white”.

    If we remember, the whole reason for McCain bringing on Alaska Grizzly was because they were suffering from Obama-envy. They wanted their own “global star” plus family-values candidate. They thought they could hoodwink the electorate with Alaska Grizzly.

    If the establishment Repug poobahs decide he is their man, his having worked with the Pres. will be completely airbrushed into a “positive” asset. That his family has strong links with the Koch brothers plus his father’s close ties with Glenn Beck, means the powerbrokers can turn the teatards to his side.

    Daley was on the mark calling him the “Manchurian candidate.”

  116. Why is that the progressive can come out with protest a marches. The president has did his part now its up to the people instead that want to go against him.

  117. We need to go after the insurance companies for promoting this. If we go after them for back hand deals on trying to stop it, then we will win.

  118. “A federal judge in Florida has declared the new health care law unconstitutional, ruling in a lawsuit brought by 26 states against the federal government. It’s the biggest court victory yet for opponents of the law’s requirement that all Americans buy health insurance….

    While the lawsuit addressed in Vinson’s ruling is the largest of its kind – with 26 states having signed on – today’s decision is likely just one more step in the law’s march to the United States Supreme Court.”

    So they’re trying their best to get this decided by the conservative-stacked Supreme Court.

    In the meantime, does anyone know what legal recourse the DOJ has to appeal this particular ruling?

  119. It’ll come down to the circuit appeals courts and probably the Supremes. The Administration can continue implementation, so nothing’s changed there.

  120. Here’s some feedback from Jonathan Cohn at The New Republic. The key seems to be that it did not stop implementation:

    As Expected, 2nd Judge Rules Against Affordable Care ACt

    Vinson did not halt implementation of the law. (That would have been surprising.) And, to be clear, two other federal judges have ruled the law is constitutional while about a dozen more have dismissed lawsuits without even hearing. The final world, almost certainly, will come from the Supreme Court. And it could be two years before a case reaches that far.

    http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-cohn/82509/expected-2nd-judge-rules-against-affordable-care-act

    http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/81708/repeal-health-care-reform-repercussions

  121. The Blog That Shall Not Be Named is reporting a State of the Union bounce on their front page. And for the first time their Approval/Disapproval rating box is more in line with every poll out there–including Rasmussen.

    Their PPP approval/disapproval box says 50/45.

    Also there is great angst about the latest court decision declaring healthcare reform unconstitutional because of the mandate.

    It is taking every ounce of discipline for me to not to point out the irony that they are now furious that the law might be overturned.

  122. Awesome😀

    NEW YORK | Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:08pm EST

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stocks rose on Monday on healthy earnings and signs of a strengthening economy, even as a surge in the price of oil highlighted the potential for increased political risk in the Middle East to upset markets.

    The Dow Jones industrial average gained 68.16 points, or 0.58 percent, to 11,891.86. The Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 9.76 points, or 0.76 percent, to 1,286.10. The Nasdaq Composite added 13.19 points, or 0.49 percent, to 2,700.08.

    For the month, the Dow rose 2.7 percent, the S&P 500 added 2.3 percent and the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.8 percent. It was the fourth month of gains in the last five for the three indexes.

  123. Thanks so much Dorothy. Once I took a look at these stories I was amazed at how good they were.

    I glad to hear others like the Stimulus, that is a great quote, I may add it to my stimulus page.

    If you have the time to take a look at the Stimulus 101 page I would appreciate your feedback. Tien Le is working with me to improve my talking points section. I would love to form other partnerships regarding content. I am labor, I need vision.

    http://www.whatisworking.com/2010/12/stimulus-101.html

  124. StRo, I agree he could be a big threat. Talk at the time of his appointment by Obama was that Huntsman planned to run for the presidency in 2012. Dem pols thought it was a brilliant idea for Obama to ship him off to the east.

    His cons for the reps is that he is too middle of the road. Pros include his demeanor, education and experience. As I remember, he also held some fairly liberal opinions.

    Even though we do not hear much about the moderate repugs, they are out there, and a lot of independents may like him.

    Boy, the repugs are gathering a ton of people
    who want to run against Obama. Regardless of the teabaggers and the rabid conservatives,
    there are still a lot of middle of the road
    people out there.

  125. If the WH continues to praise him for his good work, I think they should word it as “good work implementing the Obama’s agenda on China”. Because if it’s only “good work” no doubt that if he’s a candidate, it will be spinned as if Mr. Huntsman is the sole responsible of better relations with China, which is far from true obviously.

  126. I’m no expert, but I remember reading the blogs the last time a federal court ruled the law (or the mandate) unconstitutional. The really smart people all came to the comment sections and said that this is meaningless because of the Commerce clause in the Constitution. The smart folks all said there’s no way in heck this will ever get to the U.S. Supreme Court. This is just an exercise in futility on the part of the lower courts.

  127. To quote the movie “The American President”, the presidency is all about character. If one is willing to throw their values out the window for the sake of power, then how can they be trusted with the well-being of an entire nation and leadership of the entire world?

    Mitt Romney did a good thing with his health care bill. From all accounts, the execution was lacking, and it’s now got some problems. But the concepts were good. To deny one-self credit for doing something good, simply because you are courting the votes of the crazy amongst your party – well, that’s not rational. Do we really want an irrational man as president?

  128. If he’s going to McCain for advice, then that tells us something about his judgement.

    McCain is such a sore loser. I can’t imagine what he would have done had Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton decided to criticize his every move or statement or goal had the shoe been on the other foot. It’s really pathetic.

  129. I looked Judge Vinson up on wikipedia and found that he was appointed by Ronald Reagan. I can’t help but think that the judges who have ruled against the ACA do so out of political partisanship and not on the basis of existing federal laws. I felt the same way when the judges ruled against the oil moratorium last year. It has become very common for judges to rule in favor of protecting their own interests (oil/healthcare stock/political affiliations) rather than using existing laws as they should be doing. This smacks of corruption to me.

  130. They cannot have it both ways–undermining the president and his legislation on the one hand and angry that what they didn’t want (the ACA with a mandate) may be struck down by federal courts on the other. IMO, they helped to CREATE the attacks on the ACA. It’s good to know that they’re their usual emotionally reactive group of individuals. **last sentence–sarcasm**

  131. While the media continue to bray, our president keeps on taking care of business and the American people are showing their appreciation.

    New PPP polling numbers from the other place. I just pasted the story here. Is this against the guidelines or is it ok as long as I give proper credit?

    Public Policy Polling for Daily Kos. 1/27-30. Registered nationwide voters. MoE 3.1% (Obama polled weekly, others polled bi-weekly)
    FAVORABLE UNFAVORABLE NET CHANGE
    OBAMA 52 (50) 44 (45) +3

    DEMOCRATIC PARTY: 46 (42) 45 (49) +8
    REPUBLICAN PARTY: 36 (36) 49 (51) +2

    APPROVE DISAPPROVE NET CHANGE
    OBAMA 50 (46) 45 (48) +7

    REID: 22 (23) 45 (44) -2
    MCCONNELL: 19 (19) 34 (33) -1

    A State of the Union bounce? In general, 2011 has been good for Obama. Since the inaugural poll on 1/6-9, Obama is up a whopping 11 points in both net favorability and job approvals.

    The two Senate leaders are just treading water, within the float. But the Democratic Party’s bounce is real — some evidence that the party’s fortunes are really tied to the President’s. In a few weeks we’ll bring back the graphs, so we’ll be able to tell as the year shakes out just how closely the two favorability ratings correlate.

    Asking about his reelection chances, 50 percent chose Obama this week, while 44 percent chose the generic Republican. Two weeks ago, it was 47-45 Obama — a four point swing in Obama’s direction. Where did those numbers come from? Independents. They went from a 40-43 edge toward the GOP candidate, to a 53-35 advantage for Obama. Seems like a lot! Could be margin of error (which is larger in the sub-samples). Could be an outlier (either two weeks ago or this week). Could be genuine post-Arizona, post-SOTU movement. We’ll get a better picture of where Obama’s reelects stand in two weeks, when we ask this question again.

    Finally, let’s take a look at the intensity gap:
    Are you very excited, somewhat excited, or not at all excited about voting in the 2012 election for President?

    Dems
    Very excited: 65 (57)
    Somewhat excited: 23 (28)
    Not excited: 12 (16)

    Republicans
    Very excited: 56 (62)
    Somewhat excited: 27 (20)
    Not excited: 17 (18)

    Yup. There’s an intensity gap, alright. But this time, it’s the Republicans on the wrong side of it.

  132. It’s going to be hard for Huntsman to be taken seriously when he’s running against his ex-boss. Also, the teapartiers are never going to let him out of the primaries since he worked for the hated Obama.

  133. I totally agree with you. Here’s a post from Think Progress that says……

    “Judge Vinson Adopts Tea Party Rhetoric In Overturning Health Reform”

    Moments ago, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson — a Reagan appointee on Northern District of Florida — struck down the entire Affordable Care Act, ruling that since the individual mandate is unconstitutional, the entire law is void. “Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void,” he writes.
    .
    .
    It’s the kind of over-reach that will do more to harm the Republican crusade against the law than help it. At one point, Vinson even embraces the entire Tea Party rationale against the Act and suggests that it could lead to total government domination:

    http://thinkprogress.org/2011/01/31/florida-ruling/

  134. The Republican party leaders may want a white Obama, but the voters in the Republican primaries are going to vote for the crazy conservative candidates. Huntsman doesn’t stand a chance of getting out of the GOP primary. The GOP base is much, much more conservative than in 2008.

  135. BWD, I just finished Revival by Richard Wolffe. The epilogue makes it very clear that Wolffe truly believes the president is a true orginal breed of president.

    He is a bit snarkier than Jonathan, but I am so happy they have both written books in which the positives certainly outweigh the negative.

  136. Didn’t you love how the site administrator of that site had to admit the following truths:

    1) But the Democratic Party’s bounce is real — some evidence that the party’s fortunes are really tied to the President’s.

    2) Where did those numbers come from? Independents. They went from a 40-43 edge toward the GOP candidate, to a 53-35 advantage for Obama.

    So it turns out this President may know what he’s doing and that the how the President is killing the Democratic Party and he’s bleeding independents conventional wisdom was conventionally wrong.

    I cannot tell you how glad I am that he never listens to these guys.

  137. One of my coworkers is a Mormon. (She’s also in grad school to become a librarian, so I’m trying to mold her in my image!🙂 ) A while ago, before the holidays, I had a patron at the reference desk, and she was asking me all sorts of questions about politics, because she didn’t know anything. She asked me about who’d run on the GOP side against PBO, and I said that at the moment the front-runner was Romney. I then went ahead and gave her my opinion about him. Anyway, she leaves, and my coworker agreed with me; her exact words were “pick one side or the other, but don’t keep changing depending on which audience you’re with.” So there’s at least one Mormon who won’t be voting for him.

  138. Yeah! WIW, Thanks for spreading the word.
    This is something we all must remember–WE have the power to spread the word about all the good deeds the president has accomplished.

    Even to the nonbelievers. For me, it is difficult here in Seattle. Talk about a frustrati city. Many of them are in total agreement with the repubs. Of course, they would see it differently. They are only holding his feet to the fire. teehee.

  139. And let’s not forget, primaries are base elections. Only the most motivated go out to vote, and the most motivated bloc right now is the TP. I think Huntsman will suddenly find the need to spend time with his family.

  140. My guess it will eventually get to the Supremes… Where it will basically be decided by Reagan appointee Justice Kennedy.

  141. Exactly and a lot of the primaries are closed primaries meaning only Republicans can vote.

    And look at the first 4 states:
    Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida. As a Mormon, Huntsman isn’t going to well in South Carolina or Florida. I’d imagine he’ll split votes with Romney in Iowa. The only state he stands a chance in is New Hampshire.

  142. Brilliant commentary GN! What a tragedy for the majority of Americans that rely on the so called journalists in the MSM to make sense of events, such as the crisis in Egypt. I wish there was a way to expose Americans to first class analysis of issues and events that you continuously display in your comments on this blog.

  143. Huntsman is too rich for my blood…..and I suspect ties with the Koch dynasty. I’m sure the Republicans would be relieved to have him enter the race. President Obama can dirty him up in the Republicans eyes just by speaking of his close working relationship and speaking highly of him. That’s sufficient cause to forever taint him in the eyes of Teabaggers/racists.

    I’ll stand with a President working for all America, as opposed to one protecting and enriching the status quo. President Obama is the man, the people’s man, for these times.

  144. I think it’s worthwhile to remind ourselves that our President has one very distinctive advantage for the election campaign. He will be the only one in the race who has won the campaign for President. Pretty sure he knows how it’s done.

  145. McCain bringing in Palin was a result of the PANIC he felt after seeing the Dem Convention. Her selection was evidence of McCain’s impulsive nature. We really dodged a bullet by not having a Pres. McCain. My feelings on Huntsman are that he will not make it out of the Rep Primaries. The GOP primaries are where Tea Partiers will be at their most powerful and I don’t see how they will support a candidate who has worked for a President they equate to Hitler/Stalin/Joker. The other candidates in the GOP primary field will all attack Huntsman on his working in the Obama Administration.

  146. If Huntsman is really a moderate, his positions won’t satisfy a hard right GOP. If he fronts conservative policy, how does he explain working for Obama. And isn’t he Mormon? Christian conservatives have a hard time with Mormons. No, while he may participate in the primary, I don’t think he is really gunning for 2012. The best he can come off as is kinda Obama light — no pun intended. He runs in the 2012 primary, for the national exposure, contacts and fund raising. He campaigns for congressional candidates, picks up IOUs and support the party.
    After Sara, Michelle or whatever extreme rightwinger is nominated goes down in flames, Huntsman is set up to be a front runner in 2016. IMHO

  147. Exactly. There’s no need to set our hair on fire. Huntsman is the closest thing the GOP has to a “moderate”, and even fictitious moderates are anathema to the base that votes in primaries. Especially if they’ve served in any capacity for the Obama Administration. We don’t know the reasons for his resignation. Maybe he *does* just want to spend time with his family.

  148. I also was at one point a bit upset about
    one of StRos statements. I do think he
    is just a true pragmatist. Looks at
    every angle to analyze new information.

    I am a huge worrier. To think of Obama
    not winning in 2012 would be devastating.
    My world would crumble. It sounds like
    drama, but that is how much I want this
    man in office for as long as possible.

    But I also have to be realistic about new information that could alter my dream
    reality. At least in terms of thinking
    about ugly possibilities.

    In general, I think everyone on the site
    is reasonable. Everyone here adores
    Barack Obama, but we each have different
    ways to deal with new information.
    President Obama.

  149. “Didn’t I just hear Gibbs say that Daley was planning to leave in the spring anyway?”

    I think you meant Huntsman, and not Daley?

  150. The health care law is not in danger, IMO. The issue is whether or not the Commerce Clause gives the fed government the authority to impose the individual mandate. It is settled law that the Commerce Clause applies to almost everything. Many Fed Regulations governing actions within states are based on the power given the Federal Govt by the Commerce Clause (for example federal civil rights laws are enforceble in the states due to the Commerce Clause). Two courts previously ruled that the individual mandate is supported by the Commerce Clause, so this judge does not have a mainstream view of the Commerce Clause. Issue probably headed to Supreme Court, but case law supports a robust interpretation of Fed Gov’t power over the states via the Commerce Clause.

  151. If John McCain couldn’t bring excitement to he GOP camp, why would Huntsman bring excitement? John McCain had an adopted child from Bangladesh. Nowadays, wealthy Americans who adopt children from impoverished countries are not necessarily viewed in a positive light, particularly when there are so many American children languishing in the foster care system.

    Secondly, Huntsman’s life story is not nearly as unique as Barack Obama’s. Unlike Obama, he came from a privileged background and is currently closely tied with the much maligned Koch brothers and Glen Beck. There is nothing particularly surprising about what he has done or intends to do. If he tries to push the “cool dad” or “loving spouse” narrative, he will be seen as an Obama wannabe. Obama has cornered the market on “unique life story” politician. PERIOD. Any post-Obama presidential candidate who tries that angle will be seen as a phony or an Obama copy-cat. Remember Bobby Jindal’s (“my dad came from a distant land..” )rebuttal speech falling flat as a pancake?)

    We know that the GOP would LOVE their own version of Obama. But what they fail to realize is that President Obama was not simply a media creation that can be replicated with optics and hype. Obama’s unique birth story, childhood, academic and social trajectory accounted for 95% of the pre-candidacy ground work. The media accounted for less than 5%.

    Finally, Hunstman will have to differentiate himself sufficiently from his opponent to get former Obama supporters to be in his camp. The only way he can accomplish this is by moving further to the right – in Teabag territory.

  152. I think for a while there he *was* bleeding swing voting Indies; the Democratic base has pretty much rallied around this Presidency and formed a remarkable consensus in terms of liberal, moderate, and conservative Dems holding the WH in supermajority approvals: that kept his overall approvals as high as they were. Swing voters appear to be swinging back to POTUS putting him over 50%, which is wonderful news. The conventional wisdom which I’m soooo glad that the WH ignored is that some of the most vocal people in the new media speak for the base. There’s an indication that the WH keyed into that when Gibbs said that the Professional Left holds views which are distinct from progressives on the ground. The base has more or less always been there. What’s terrific is that swing voters are giving the WH a new look, and he really hasn’t had to perform a welfare-reform styled triangulation to get that new look. Let’s hope that this holds as these voters are so fickle and so prone to falling for media excess.

  153. Acutally, I disagree that Huntsman is going to be a big threat. The only way he would be a threat is if there are some gross irregularities in the way candidates are funded, or the voting system is manipulated.

    He needs to sufficiently differentiate himself from President Obama (who already has a record of accomplishments on BOTH foreign and Domestic policy to run on). He worked for Obama, basically pushing the agenda of his comander-in-chief.

    Also, he may be viewed by some as a traitor and backstabber. Not a very good quality for someone who wants to govern a country.

  154. Guess I goofed up that comment: Yes, I thought I heard Gibbs state that – regardless of the 2012 elections, Huntsman had already planned to resign by spring. Sorry to be so muddy in my specifics🙂

  155. Saint Roscoe,
    McCain may have picked Scott Brown to run, but 2012 is a Presidential election, and not a special off-year election as 2010. Barack Obama, and not Martha Coakley is on the ballot.

    Two VERY different scenarios we are dealing with.

  156. I am so glad to see that many Americans are beginning to wake up and pay attention to the incredible work done by President Obama in just two years. However, I wish to sound a word of caution for our marvelous community here at BWD site. Polls are fleeting, and it is way to early to think that 2012 is in the bag for the President. What we need to do is work as hard as if we were the underdog, given the success of the teabaggers in the 2010 election. This is no the time to start claiming “easy victories.” Re-electing the President, in this toxic atmosphere of overt racism, misinformation, outright lies, against the President, is not going to be easy. My main focus this year is to try to spread the good news, about the positive accomplishments of this President, to as many people as I can. This includes spreading the word about this incredible site, and other sites like TPV, BWN, that focus on highlighting actual news, rather than made up outrages against the President.

  157. From my twitter timeline:

    RT @NicRobertsonCNN: Mood on #Alexandria streets more determined than ever, now calling for #Mubarak execution not just his ouster #egypt #jan25

  158. Thanks for bringing us the summary. I’ve long since given up watching the press briefings because of the sheer stupidity exhibited by the people charged with bringing us the information straight from the mouth of the President’s spokesperson. It’s a very frustrating exercise.

  159. In total agreement with all that you’ve said. David Axelrod says all of the time that the success of their campaign was due to the candidate himself. Barack Obama was/is/will be a once in a lifetime candidate and president. Period.

  160. Idon’t know that we have to worry about that. It would only be a fool who would try and pass off an Ambassador’s work as his sole prerogative, rather than him executing the orders from his President and Secretary of State. Even the Secretary of State is known to execute the orders of her President.

  161. Surely, the fact that the government is required to provide care for those with or without insurance is in line with the “provide for the general welfare” statement in the Constitution to apply as cover in this case?

  162. So true – the voice of reason. Things can change on a dime, and we have to be ever vigilant. There’s just too much at stake.

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