Thursday morning mishmash and a call to action (UPDATED)

Hi guys,

1. First, call to action. OFA is doing grassroots training as we speak. Please go over to check it out, and see if you can join. The Republicans’ first primary debate is May 2. They started campaigning against President Obama on Jan 20, 2009. Every day any of us is not in campaign mode is one day we cede to Republicans. Let’s move!


2. Today’s schedule:

9:20 AM PBO departs the White House en route Andrews Air Force Base.
9:35 AM PBO departs Andrews Air Force Base en route Marquette, Michigan.
10:00 AM  
11:00 AM  
11:40 AM PBO arrives in Marquette, Michigan.
12:00 PM  
1:00 PM  
1:15 PM PBO views the Northern Michigan University’s WiMAX demonstration.
1:30 PM PBO delivers remarks on the National Wireless Initiative.
2:00 PM VPB meets with police chiefs to discuss law enforcement issues.
3:00 PM PBO departs Marquette, Michigan.
4:00 PM  
4:30 PM VPB meets with Rep. Emanuel Cleaver.
4:55 PM PBO arrives at Andrews Air Force Base.
5:00 PM  
5:10 PM PBO arrives at the White House.


3. No strings attached:

Obama lays out plan for wireless Internet expansion

Reuters) – President Barack Obama will outline his plan on Thursday for expanding high speed wireless Internet service to 98 percent of Americans while reducing the U.S. deficit by $9.6 billion over the next ten years.

During a trip to Marquette, Michigan — a politically important state that has been especially hard hit by the rough U.S. economy — the president will propose investing $5 billion into a fund that will ensure fast wireless technology is made available to rural areas across the country.


4. further proof that the recovery act didn’t help. Here’s an eye opening map, showing the true impact of the recovery act on the unemployment rate.


5. Help you can believe in, but not really hear about it:

$7.6 billion federal effort to help unemployed homeowners avoid foreclosure will soon be running in all 18 states sharing the funds


6. All aboard:

California high-speed rail planners prepare to put out billions in contracts


7. More doomed news:

Quinnipiac New Jersey Poll: PBO at 55%


8. interesting story about complete trust between PBO and VPB:

Biden is Obama’s point man on almost everything

// snip

…”When your relationship is forged in crisis like that, you find out a lot about the other guy,” said top Obama adviser David Axelrod, who left the White House last month to plot the 2012 re-election campaign. Over the past two years, he said, Obama learned “what a faithful adviser and advocate Biden could be.”

Obama and Biden see each other nearly every day when they’re in town, often for three or four hours. Biden typically attends the president’s morning briefing, as well as economic huddles and meetings of the Cabinet and national-security teams. In Oval Office sessions, Biden typically sits in the wing chair next to the president. They share weekly lunches. They’ve also spent some time bonding over girls’ basketball, with Obama’s younger daughter and one of Biden’s granddaughters playing for the same team.

// much more


9. The first lady celebrates Let’s Move! first anniversary:



Jobless claims drop to 2-1/2 year low

Reuters) – New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits dropped more than expected last week to touch their lowest point in 2-1/2 years, a government report showed on Thursday, offering assurance that the labor market was strengthening despite January’s poor jobs numbers.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 36,000 to a seasonally adjusted 383,000, the lowest since early July 2008, the Labor Department said.

350 thoughts on “Thursday morning mishmash and a call to action (UPDATED)


  2. The thrill of being the ones to lead the FLOTUS into your classroom will be remembered forever! Such beautiful faces.

  3. What good news to share with my family and friends on fb. My family call me the news collector. Can’t wait until 1:30 to hear what plans the president has for deficit reduction. Have a great positive day everyone.

  4. I’ve stepped up in my OFA participation and took on as Event coordinator for our local community OFA team! I enjoyed so much hosting the SOTU.

    Next event our team is planning a strategy session with old & new volunteers 🙂

    We also have service activities planned with the downtown mission for the homeless. I’m really excited about the possibilities our group will be able to execute!

    Have a great day all!

  5. I live in the inner city. I am concerned about getting the vote out here, when this administration has done virtually nothing for those living in the inner city, stuck in crummy schools and at 24% unemployment. I read on Huffpost today (don’t trust it, but still) that he intends to cut fuel assistance to the poor. The demographic that must turn out in force is the AA population. We cannot count on the black vote just because the President is bi-racial. I wrote to Plouffe about this. It was one of the problems in the midterms. We did not get enough of this vote. PBO needs to announce an iniative that will get to this constituency. A lot of people feel he has turned his back on the 48 million Americans living in poverty. I don’t really know what to say to these voters, except that 32 million more will get health coverage, at some time in the future. States are cutting medicaid. Among college educated people, the unemployment rate is 5 %. Good for them, and for all the emphasis on education for the future. But for right now, we need something for those most in need. I love the President, but it is time to do more than hand out turkeys at the shelter on Thanksgiving.

  6. i know, first it was the all important, get it below 450,000 and you are creating jobs. Then they raised the bar to 425k, when we hit that, it was 400k that was very important! Can’t wait til they say that 350k is the all important number! LOL!

  7. Agree. Face to face is so important. One of the best ways is to begin the voter registration push. It’s a chance to talk to people for a few minutes and make an important connection that can lead to a vote. And it’s something we can each do in our own community. We don’t have to wait for someone else to get it started.

  8. Happy Thursday Bwd Family.. I just went back over to OFA and read something interesting posted there on mybo page: 400 Teacher jobs created in ND thanks to stimulus funds.. will read further on it and will certainly use this info here in Rightwing Town in which I reside 😉 thanks for the call to Action bwd- I love that.

    And especially love reading about the connection and loyalty between VP Biden and POTUS, it shows imo anyway.

    And those two kids in their cowboy hats with FLOTUS make me wanna hug them.. they are too adorable..

  9. anita, I think you have a very legitimate concern. At times I have felt there is too much emphasis on the middle class, ignoring those who aren’t in that strata yet. I really don’t know the answer.

    Yes, he pushed for more funding to states and municipalities to keep police and firemen and teachers employed which can be a help in those areas you are talking about, and this was done over Republican objections. So in a way, the situation woudl be far worse if he wasn’t President.

    But that really isn’t a good enough answer.

    Part of the problem, I think, is that with the bad economy, the Dems, as a whole, had to pick and chose their battles. Plus, and I really hate to say this, if he pushed too hard for the the AA community, the whole “He is racist against whites” meme would gain a lot of strength.

    I really don’t think it is a case of his not caring, that is obvious from a lot of the things he does do on a personal level. Again, he is the ultimate pragmatist and probably realizes what trying to accomplish the unaccomplishable will do to his attempts to accomplish the possible.

    Whether we like it or not, a stable and growing middle class is more likely to be willing to help the lower classes more, but when the middle class is concerned about its own security, that willingness is not there.

    Now, all that being said, if I were one of those people you were talking to, I would say something like “That’s all well and good, but I need help now, and I don’t see him doing anything to help me.” Kind of hard to come back with a satisfying answer to that.

  10. That is the one area that Christie wants to cut that is very unpopular in NJ! Cutting public schools is a non starter with most people, so is vouchers for kids instead of public schools!

  11. Anita – I understand your concern, and it’s a valid one. However I think this is a bigger and more complex socio-economic issue than can be addressed by this President even if he had 3 terms.

    Here’s the thing, some of the basic fundamental problems facing people in inner cities and specific minority groups such as the Black community, has been a problem in the making for a very long time.

    There are certain things a President/government can do to help temporary troubles. ie you are basically skilled & educated, but due to recession you can get unemployment and/or re-training for another job.

    But if you are an individual, which didn’t even have skill sets or education that could even get you above a minimum wage job in the first place, that’s an even bigger issue.

    Right now, there’s nothing the President can do about changing people’s background and situation to make them magically employable (for those who don’t yet have basic skills & education for workplace). That’s the reality, he can try to set up an environment to help get them the needed education and skills, but it will take time.

    This is why it’s so important and why the President is focusing on the young people, because while he can’t go back in time to fis everybody’s education and upbringing, he can put resources to already get to the kids so that they are growing up with the right education and training.

    Every year a person grows older, it gets THAT much harder to catch up and re-train.

    Example: being young, and deciding to become a doctor, you will already plan on the classes and education needed, and work towards that goal.

    When you are already in your 40s, can you decide to change careers and become a doctor?? Maybe/Maybe not, will you have the necessary abilities in math & science, the energy to make that career change???

    For many who are trying to survive with only high school education, it’s difficult enough to make a living, but when you are in a recession, it becomes a nightmare, because you are then competing with more educated/skilled/experienced people who are also out of work, and who may need to take a lower level position despite their capabilities/experience.

    There is a limit to what any President can do to change overnight what has been a problem in the making for decades.

    Here the community and the individual MUST realize that they have already prepare themselves for their futures at a young age. If young kids are not already being focused on doing well in school, then I’m not going to say it’s impossible, but it becomes much harder for them each year that they don’t turn their lives around.

  12. “Handing out Turkeys at the shelter on Thanksgiving”….I’m sorry but I don’t think you have been paying attention if this is your summation of what the President has been doing for the poor and the needy.

    First of all the stimulus was a dramatic lifeline during the emergency that he inherited called the worse recession since the great depression. He provided over a billion dollars to the potential homeless to keep a roof over their heads, he increased the maximum food stamps, gave $2 billion for child care subsidies and another $2.1 billion for Head Start and provided $13 billion in Title 1 money for disadvantaged school kids.

    While the Dems were in the majority I believe they extended unemployment benefits 3 times. The Federal Government does not create jobs. They can establish the climate for employment through tax cuts for small businesses or government subsidies for businesses to hire more people or fund innovation.

    Now that the economy is starting to recover he is pivoting to job creation and innovation. He is doing everything he can to get the business sector to create new jobs that will put people to work and provide them with their basic needs. Fat Cats are sitting on billions of dollars and won’t invest in businesses so the inner cities will be able to get jobs and pull themselves out of poverty.

    Yes tough decisions will have to be made with the record deficit that we have in this country. I don’t agree with everything that this President has done (tax decreases for the rich, salary freezes and the heating subsidy) but the reality is that sacrifices are going to HAVE to be made and it hurts but there are going to have to be cuts in order to get our fiscal house in order. I am sure that the President would have loved to have inherited the budget surplus that GW got when he walked into office but the reality is that he didn’t and now he has to deal with the reality he faces for this country.

    BTW President Obama has over 90% approval rating with Blacks and the ones that did vote in the midterm election voted at a 92% clip in favor of Dems. I’ll say this again. We were NEVER going to get 2008 level of voters for a mid term election. Not enough people in this country even understand who their Representative is much less to go vote for them every two years. We lost that election because Independents swung to Republicans because they felt this President and the Dem Congress had overreached during a time of recession. It had NOTHING to do with blacks staying home out of frustration. I live in a solid blue state and I am AA and we came out in force to re-elect our Democratic Governor because he was a very good candidate and campaigned all over the state to motivate us to come back to the polls but there was no where near as many people (no matter what color) voting in 2010 as in 2008. It just doesn’t happen in off year elections. It was wishful thinking on the part of Democrats.

    Also, HuffnPuff/AOL is a rag piece of crap website that is loaded IMO with fake dems in the comment sections posing as supporters and they have done a masterful job of divided our Party with their BS.

    Just my 2cents…

  13. If those inner city folks want the pols to notice them, then they should the one sole weapon given to them by the constitution – their vote. In countries like India, it’s the poor and the socially disadvantaged that turn up at the polls and hence they get the most attention from the candidates. By not voting, for whatever reason, people only marginalize themselves with the pols.

  14. Aviation infrastructure is vital to winning the future
    By Nicholas E. Calio – 02/09/11 01:55 PM ET

    In his State of the Union address, President Obama focused the nation’s attention on the economic importance of investing in infrastructure. America can win the future, and successfully compete against emerging powers such as China if we transform our economy with modern technology and infrastructure.

    As Congress moves forward with the reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), lawmakers have an opportunity to pass a jobs bill that will enhance the global competitiveness of the U.S. economy. It is vital that our government better utilize aviation policy to fuel economic growth, mindful that our competitors are effectively using commercial aviation to further their national ambitions.

  15. The high unemployment rate in the inner cities concerns all of us. I think this is one of the reasons that the president has concentrated intensively on promoting small businesses which create about 70 percent of inner city employment. He has reinforced the message of incentives for small businesses in virtually every economic message he’s delivered and in his budget initiatives.

    Focusing on infrastructure is another way to bring business and jobs to the inner city and he has urged Congress and corporations to fund major investment in building better access to and from cities.

    Education does not just lift middle class prospects, it reaches to inner city schools as well. His calls for better standards for schools and for teachers will make an impact on ALL schools in time.

    Things don’t happen fast enough for people in need, but big undertakings take time and this president has been inundated with daunting problems that would have sunk a lesser man. He had to get the economy moving again or there would be no hope at all for any segment of the population. And he had to get health insurance passed to that there would be access to affordable health care for everyone.

    The Medicaid cuts are coming from the state level where the effect of Democrats staying home has been the rise of regressive Republican governors. Staying home in 2012 means a Republican president who would make the Bush years seem like happy days.

    Elections are about alternatives. A lot of people ignored that in 2010 to express their pique and look at what we’ve got. In 2012 the choices will be stark. Move forward with the chance of a better future or move backward with no chance at all.

  16. I can vouch for that.

    NJ has high taxes, but they have some of the absolutely best public schools in the country. I have relatives in the Princeton area public schools that are years ahead of private schools in other areas of the country.

    That idiot Christie touches public school funding at his own peril.

  17. Hi Anita,

    I’m surprised that you cited Huffington Post as a possibly credible source on something that the President hasn’t done yet, and most likely won’t. No where did I ever read or hear that the President intends to cut off fuel assistance the poor. There is probably an untold bigger story that HuffnPuff delberately left out. That is all a part of Huffington Post’s nasty and vicious attempt to turn Blacks against this President – the one President who is most likely to help them. A corporate tabloid rag like HuffnPuff that just got sold to AOL has no business feigning concern for poor people. They are a HUGE part of the problem of the massive disparity in wealth, not the solution.

    Furthermore, I do not agree that this administration has done “virtually nothing” for poor communities. Besides health care reform, the President has also made available increased pell grants and student loans at more affordable rates. Just because the President is not explicitly announcing initiatives designed solely for poor Black communities doesn’t mean that his overall vision and policy strategy will not benefit these communities. Blacks communities are underresourced not because of single individual policies, but because of deeply entrenched structural inequities that require a systematic overhaul of economic/financial laws, tax code, health care laws, educational reform, etc.

  18. He put 400 billion in pell grants. People in the inner city need to go to school, period (especially if you’re out of work). The times are changing and people need to upgrade their skills. He also plans on disproportionally funding low-income schools in the up-coming year.

  19. I wasn’t able to view FLOTUS’ appearance on Regis & Kelly until late last night. Thanks, BWD, for posting it.

    I must say those last two minutes where she is talking about what type of person her husband is were phenomenal. No wonder they call her The Closer. She had everybody hanging on her every word and eating out of her hand. It was magnificent.

    I can’t think of a better asset PBO has than Michelle Obama.

  20. House Repubs want to cut WIC by $758 million and I’m sure HuffPuff had a huge headline insinuating that the administration will accept that (which he most likely won’t).

  21. Just a note about fuel assistance.. I do believe you have your culprits confused- it is the Republican House that is attempting to cut funding for fuel assistance via their little budget cut hopes. Not the President. I have not heard him either express any desire to cut or have cuts implemented regarding fuel assistance.. I mean that doesn’t even compute with this President’s makeup. As to help specifically for inner cities.. what about stimulus funding? Has that not effected inner cities as well as rural areas?

  22. Also- if you read it on Huffington Post- don’t believe it unless way more reliable sources can be found in addition.. I’m sorry but the agenda at huffpuff ought by now to be very clear to one and all- it is untrustworthy, particularly when it comes to articles about either this President or his Administration.

  23. Obama may say middle class a lot but those policies aren’t exclusive to them. What he is doing is framing the issue so that members of congress and the American people won’t recoil from his policy ideas. There are still too many people in this country (and congress) who hear the word poor and think lazy blacks and illegal immigrants. I remember hearing a story about a private health care reform meeting with Obama and his staff and someone mentioned that the bill would help a lot of poor people. He was immediately told not to repeat that fact outside of the room – they weren’t joking.

  24. With all due respect Anita, one thing which I’ve noticed in the new media, particularly spaces like the one hosted by the Huffington/AOL Corporation, is the usage of narratives and memes in the place of facts. Readers should beware of credulously absorbing such media products, particularly the anti-POTUS/Dems ones, and repeating their spin.

    It is nonfactual to declare that President Obama has done nothing for: people who live in the inner-city, the impoverished, and/or African Americans (which are not wholly overlapping groups). That is a fact-free declaration which can be dispelled by a cursory glance at the policy initiatives undertaken by this administration such as the stimulus, S-CHIP expansion, partial dismantling of welfare reform, increased funding for community colleges, or the massive Medicaid expansion set to take place in 2014, for an extremely truncated list. I agree that states are facing budgetary problems and are cutting some programs, but there is little to nothing which POTUS can do about that with the GOP holding the purse strings (elections have consequences and everyone who bought the poison meme that there’s no difference between Dems versus the GOP are about to find that out IMO). I also agree that POTUS is about to make some budgetary suggestions which he would not have otherwise made had Dems retained control of the House and if our fellow citizens had less of a deficit fetish. I will point out that the oil subsidies program which you cite has been critiqued as a giveaway to oil companies which in many states/municipalities are barred from eliminating service even for customers who are in debt arrears.

    So, I hope that the “a lot of people” who believe some of the memes and narratives floating through the new and national media choose to review the facts!

    It’s just wrong to refuse to credit the President for what he’s done, instead, just repeating a conventional wisdom that POTUS has done “nothing” for various groups.

  25. The map that BWD references in point 4 is fascinating. It covers a lot more than unemployment rates. One of the things you can look at is the state of the nation’s bridges. Looking at it state by state can be very scary. NY, I think, is a place where 48% of the bridges are considered structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Lots of other states in the same boat. After the disaster in MN a few years ago, it makes one leery of driving over any bridge. It is just a metter of time before another MN happens.

    Investing in this type of infrastructure not only creastes jobs, gets good bang for the buck, but also is one way to protect our citizens.

  26. I completely believe that the economy is improving but I wouldn’t put much stock in the unemployment claims drop from last week. Half of the country was under one of the worst snow and ice storms in history. We learned that from the January numbers, so even though part of the picture may signal good news, I wouldn’t put too much stock in last week’s numbers.

  27. Donna your comments are spot on. And at the risk of being inflammatory, something about Anita Preer’s comment reeks of Professional Left talking points. Citing a specious headline from Huffington Post (while claiming to not trust them), and advancing the false notion that Blacks didn’t vote in the midterm because they were unhappy with the president. And the comment about handing out turkeys at Thanksgiving is downright hostile.
    That’s why I am curious as to whether he/she is actually part of the inner city as she claims to be.

  28. Anita, this is a call to action for you. That handing out turkey’s comment is a little unfair. I am in the inner city and have had all sorts of help available to me for the past couple of years. I don’t consider 99 weeks of unemployment, medicaid (with dental), the immediate help I got when I needed food stamps, access to free computer classes, student tax credit, zero taxes on a portion of my unemployment payments to be just handing out turkeys. When walk around the city I see tons of small businesses, mostly black owned, that have received 17 different tax cuts from Obama.

    I say this is a call to action because when you come across someone who needs help then this your chance to do some research and help that person find agencies that can help. When you come across someone who says Obama has done nothing for them, this is your opportunity to go research what the administration has actually done that would affect that constituency or town. has plenty of tools to show where the money has gone. This is your chance to get these people involved in their state and local politics. Obama is not the beginning and the end when it comes to jump starting the economy and getting people back to work. He could put forth a bill that gives $50billion to every state,but congress could kill it. IF congress doesn’t kill it then your governor, mayor or other local and state officials could turn it down or misuse it. You see what the Republican governors of NJ, OH and WI have done already.

    I am not absolving Obama of anything but I get frustrated when people target the person or group who would do whatever you ask if it were up to him/them alone. We must target and/or appeal those that obstruct.

    The help is there and more can be had if we approach the right people, frame the issue properly instead of just saying Obama doesn’t help black people.

  29. I agree. In California we mobilized and went door to door, talked to people, asked them to vote for democrates, especially the young people and we won across the board with key democratic candidates. I am an OFA member but need to get back into the game. We need to get young people voting and excited about voting for the president and democratic candidates.

  30. Published: February 10, 2011

    Updated: 8 min. ago

    TAMPA – Florida’s foreclosure activity dropped for the fourth straight month in January, hitting the lowest level since July 2007.

    But Calif.-based RealtyTrac, which monitors the data, said the decrease is part of a temporary stall, and Florida foreclosures will likely jump one more time before stabilizing latter this fall, said Darren Blomquist, spokesman for the company.

  31. I’ll say more, skeptical thy name is crazycanuck of Anita. I’ve been on enough boards to know when people are trying to ‘bamboozle’

  32. Pinkbunny, no need to enlarge on your and japa’s replies to anita. You both did a fine job in pointing out the intricacies of the situation. This being said, I think all of us should put pressure on our political representatives and on the business and personal communities to address the issue of poverty in this country, as it is an obscenity that no enlightened culture should tolerate.

  33. Thanks for recommending the Organizing for America efforts!
    It’s one of the best ways all of us can use to harness the energy and enthusiasm that are generated here in order to actually accomplish something–whether it is service projects as described above, or re-electing President Obama and better Democrats!

    Get out there, people! The Beatles were wrong: “All you need is love”—nope; you need the love, and a whole lot of action!
    (As in the song: “A little less talk, a little more action”.)

    Sign up with OFA now, take the training, get in gear!


  34. Another fine comment, donnadem. It is apparent why I feel little need to add comments of my own when issues are so well covered here by the other posters.

  35. Sigh!!
    I know hopefruit2 but I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt (until proven otherwise) but I must say that the “Turkey” comment gave me a hmmmmm moment as well.

  36. There were some actual facts about a WH proposal to cut the program, but I haven’t had a chance to follow it up.

  37. In countering the claims, on various fronts, that the President has done “virtually nothing” for poor communities, I imagine that his detractors are unaware of the program that he has created to eliminate homelessness. Even though there isn’t much fanfare or news coverage about these policies that are being enacted, doesn’t mean he isn’t focusing on these issues…and getting it done!

    “Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,$1.5 billion dollars have been allocated to the new Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program…. This plan targets the “uninsured, chronically ill individuals as well as children, youth, and adults experiencing homelessness.”

    “As President Barack Obama has said, “In a nation as wealthy as ours, it is simply unacceptable for individuals, families, children, and our nation’s Veterans to be faced with homelessness.”

    The Executive Summary for this plan can be found at or

    AND there’s also the article that I came across today on Alternet entitled,”Vision: New Approach Brings U.S. Homeless in From the Cold,” which states:

    “The “Housing First” strategy calls for identifying people who are most likely to die on the streets — drug addicts, the mentally ill and those with chronic health problems — and immediately moving them into their own flats.”

    “Perhaps the most ambitious program is the 100,000 homes campaign, a nationwide effort first launched in New York that aims to eliminate chronic homelessness by providing homes for 100,000 people by 2013.”

    “Since its formal launch last July the campaign has housed more than 7,200 people, including more than 1,000 in Washington alone, with a 90 percent retention rate.”

    “The government has also come around to the approach, incorporating Housing First into a comprehensive, $1.4 billion program to try to end chronic homelessness by 2015 and family homelessness by 2020.”

  38. Hi Jovie..I saw that too..

    From my twitter timeline:

    RT @BBCWorld: Military and ruling party in #Egypt say President #Mubarak will meet protesters ‘demands’ amid speculation he ‘s leaving office today #jan25

  39. The President also needs to work within one of the most cumbersome and often callous bureaucracies known to humanity. What he has accomplished in two years is admirable. But the system operates mainly for the interests of business rather than for the interests of individual people, and this is something that must be changed if we are to become a humane culture that renders support to all of our citizens. I have great respect for President Obama, who is willing to take on the creaky behemoth by working within its belly and doing what he can — in his position, he does not have the freedom to take ideological stances — but if we want a better system, it is up to us to demand it and continue to work to improve it. When a critical segment of our populace actually begins to care about eradicating poverty, then, and only then, will it begin to happen.

  40. Well, I did my homework. Ignore the ‘exclusive’ from HuffPo and Marc Ambinder about them hearing about sources who had been briefed by unknown WH sources to — wait for it — The National Journal.

    It’s your typical PL outrage. And the right knows just how to play the left — they go all nutty every. single. time.

  41. Let’s not over-react to Anita. Poverty is a real issue in our culture and I am in total agreement that our government (with the collusion of the American people who are not poor) has ignored it for far too long. I disagree with her in regard to the President’s purported lack of interest in it, and with him losing support among African Americans, but that’s okay. We are not a monolith and don’t want to be one.

  42. Oh, and there’s more: What the source of the source of the source to the National Journal! actually said was that it may be something they will consider in order to get something from Republicans on something else.

    Well the loony Left never remembers that sometimes this actually works and in most cases, IT’S NOT TRUE.

  43. Not one threat, not one bomb. Pure patience and diplomacy well done Mr. President and Secretary Clinton. WELL DONE!

  44. I so appreciate this website! It is the first thing I read when I open my email, and it never fails to put me in an optimistic mood. Please continue to highlight the extraordinary things that are happening under President Obama’s administration. Thank you.

  45. They are just looking for anything to be agaisnt the POTUS on! Their was a recd diary on Rahm losing ground in chicago, and everyone was happy, UNTIL, the poll this morning came in- that rahm was pulling away with a 40 point lead! LOL!

  46. Fully agree. The problem remains what I alleduded to and that Temp expanded on. This country (or a significant portion of it) has a mindset that still believes people are poor because they deserve to be. There was the War on Poverty that LBJ started and which did have significant results. It also came at a time of prosperity in the country.

    Unfortunately, under Reagan particularly, the attitude I referenced above took precedence, and the poverty rate has risen ever since.

  47. Don’t get hopes up yet. Mubarek leavi ng would just be a start. It is what ccomes afterwards that really matters. If Suleiman continues the same course, than only the face of the government will have changed, not the style. Much as I hate to use something from the 2008 elections, “Put lipstick on a pig, it is still a pig.”

    I don’t think the portion of the Egyptian populace that has been protesting or supporting the protesting will stop unless they see reason to think the change is more than just who the leader is.

  48. It does’ nt matter they wanted Muburak to step down and hopefully he will. The People are being heard. Who takes charge is up to Egyptians.

  49. Just heard on MSNBC that John Kyle of Arizona will retire. He will not be seeking re-election.

  50. I am thinking that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to impress upon those whom we meet the fact that sitting at home on election day and allowing the republicans to win will only compound the problems they have now. PBO needs their help to be able to act more boldly on his policies. I think many people would understand that the president would have been able to do much more than he did had he not had to battle the dems and the republicans at the same time. We need to be backing the most progressive candidates for Congress we can find. I think most Americans understand that with a republican in the WH and a republican majority in Congress, the middle class and the poor are always neglected because they’ve seen it before.

  51. Shiela I agree that poverty is a real concern for some Black communities as has ALWAYS been the case. In this instance however, I don’t believe we are over-reacting to Anita’s comment. I just resent people exploiting poor minorities to advance their own political agendas. Based on Anita’s remarks, it appears that the focus is more on PBO (and his standing in the Black community) than the actual poverty (which existed long before PBO took office).

    I can smell faux concern from a mile. The language does not strike me as someone who has lived the life of a poor inner city minority. The talking points in that comment are consistent with a middle class, well educated professional who is very attuned to politics. And citing Huffington Post, a pro-corporate, anti-Obama tabloid is not helping Anita’s credibility either.

  52. Yes Faith the National Journal (a right leaning paper) leaked a story on Monday that an annonomous source from the WH said that the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) would be cut in the Presidents budget back to 2008 levels of assistance. The AP and other news outlets have picked up the story as well.

    I don’t agree with doing this at this time but the Republicans plans to cut the program all together in their budget cuts. So if this is true he is probably trying to head them off like he did with the Gov salary freezes so that he has some control over what gets cut and by how much.

  53. So, ensuring that unemployment benefits are extended for approximately 13 months for those without jobs is doing “virtually nothing?”

    I’m sure that the families who will be able to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads because their benefits weren’t terminated would disagree with you.

    And those who are having a hard time choosing between paying the rent or eating can in all likelihood qualify for food stamps until the economy turns around or jobs are created by the Republicans…remember them? The party that claimed it had all the remedies for what ails this country? Have you written them as well because the last time I looked they were one of the biggest obstacle to policies being enacted that would actually benefit ALL Americans…not just the inner city…because everyone is hurting now.

    And I find it more than a little offensive that you insinuated minorities voted for Barack Obama based on the color of his skin.

    Really? Come on, Anita…

    For the record, specific benefits of the Affordable Health Care Act went into effect in September 2009. I don’t mean to come off as being harsh, but you don’t seem to be too well-informed about what has been accomplished thus far, policy-wise. If you’re interested in learning more about, you may want to check out, which keeps track of what the President has done so far or you can go to to read about policies that have been enacted by this administration to help “the constituency.”


  54. Gabby Giffords would have been the perfect candidate to challenge Kyl, and even moreso going after the vacant seat. We’ll never know what the shooter took from America, but Giffords and Gillibrand were on my list as potential first woman Presidents.

    She verbally asked for toast yesterday, which is another great sign, and her husband is going up on the 2 week space flight in a months or so, so he has to be comfortable enough with her care and prognosis as well.

    Call me crazy, but I think Arizona could be in play. It was said that in 2008 Obama might have carried the state if McCain wasn’t the GOP candidate.

    Will JD Hayworth or another teabagger run for the seat? If Napolitano went back, I think she could have a real chance. I can’t see her doing DHS for much longer, as it’s a really intense job with 16-18 hour days.

  55. The key phrase is the African Americans who did vote in the midterms voted dem at 93%, This is less than in 2008, where he ended up with 98% of the black vote. And the fact is, a lot of African Americans did not vote. I do believe the President does care, and I agree with what most of you all are saying, but you are not going to get this group out to vote in 2012 by saying he extended unemployment benefits, when most of those people were not even working. Stimulus jobs went mainly to the contractors who always do the work. Here in Boston, supposedly 50% of those jobs should have gone to Boston residents, but they did not. The same contractors from Braintree, or some other suburb were used, even to do over the projects, which I think could have hired some of those who lived there. Reich proposed that 14% of the stimulus be reserved to specifically hire the unemployed. That was not done. In fact, employers who are hiring, are not hiring unemployed people. This is a fact. They see them as losers. Maybe for McDonald’s. but you would be surprised at who is working at mcdonald’s now. college students, not high school students. PBO was handed an economy that has been in decline for average workers for 30 years. I realize this. But the emphasis on the “middle class” is becoming annoying to me. The middle class does not help the poor. They try to get into the upper middle class and so on. He has a head of urban development in his cabinet, what does she do? I desperately want the President to have a second term. He must turn out the AA vote in force to win. Make no mistake about that. I know he plans long range. But even if he outlined an urban plan that was feasible and could be worked on in stages, that would be a help. Believe me, regular folks in the Black community are not happy. They respect him, but getting them to the voting booth,well, they just ask me, “Where’s the change?”
    As far as homelessness, I like his initiative on that score, but it will be awhile before we see any results, and the number of homeless people has increased with the foreclosure crisis. I am raising an issue that needs to be addressed, I am afraid. I don’t have the answers, obviously, but he must do something. I had though Eric Holder would have tackled racial profiling or the prison system, at least. 65& of the over two million people in jail are black or brown. Many if not most have permanently lost their right to vote. That could be something to give people hope. We can’t simply ignore this issue. What was the point of all those registration drives in minority communities, all these years, starting with the millions Jackson registered, if we can not give them a reason to come out and vote.

  56. That’s a lot of retirees – Conrad, Lieberman, KBH, Webb and now Kyl. Could be more yet. Nelson of Nebraska seems like he’s running, but DiFi and Nelson of Fla could both be looking to retire. Snowe is facing a really tough re-election chance as well and might retire rather than get teabagged in a primary. Sen. Akaka is 86 and there are swirling rumors there, and Ensign is unsure if he will run.

    Scott Brown has raised $7M so far, and plans on having $25M war chest. Luger is running again as well, and is an institution so is safe from any teabagging.

  57. You are blaming the victims. I registed a lot of black voters. It is a sensitive issue for them, given that they were beaten and killed and had the dogs set on them for even trying, and they do not believe that anything will fundamentally change for them. Which is ususlly true. So there is a mindset, stemming from slavery one must be sensitive to. I wouldn’t compare the people of India with the African American population of America. Also, there were a lot of educated, young, white kids who did not bother to vote in the last election(!)

  58. Registering new voters and getting out 2008 first time voters is paramount. Plouffe has said that among voters who had voted before in 2008 Obama/Biden won only 50-49, however amongst first time voters they won 71-29.

    GOP will copy Obama’s strategy from 2008 and go ona massive rgristration kick, Dems will have to at least match them new voter for new voter.

  59. He should not do it at all. Beside the real pain that this will cause, it’s terrible politics and saying that this is better than what the Republicans will do – won’t make it look any better in the eyes of the public. Let Republicans propose such cruelty. This specific cut will do nothing to help balance the deficit, it’s meaningless, and it’s just all around bad move – which i still hope is not true and is just some trial balloon.

  60. Excellent post, Donna. One other point – there was a report that the Stimulus Plan kept millions out of poverty over the last two years. I think that there is quite a bit of evidence that from education, to health care, to justice issues, to perception – this President has done a great deal for the poor and minorities. He got his start workign with the underpriviledged – it’s quite disingenuous to say he’s turned his back on them. I believe Tulips mentioned only last week that she was seeing many people getting help through the cold and with food stamps. If a person is getting their “news” from Huff&Puff, where Ariana has been on a mission to sell her book and perpetuate her perception of minorities being the “Third World” of America, then it’s no wonder that this is the impression of current events.

  61. I agree about Huffpost. In truth, I just read the headline. Can’t stand that site. Nevertheless, to ignore the problem isn’t useful, I think. I also agree with your last sentence, but the fact is, nothing ever changes, even with a black President, do you agree? The numbers of murdered kids is so great, they don’t even report it anymore; it is completely accepted. The “turn off the tv and stop giving your kids pop-eye chicken” is not enough. I think he must overcome the fear that, as a bi-racial person, people might think he is favoring blacks to at least mention the poor. If you saw that Fox focus group of Iowan republicans, most think he is a Muslim who hates America! Don’t need to go after those votes. Middle class means white people to most African Americans, who if they work, are really the “working poor,” not the middle class. This group cannot continue to be expendable. Kids growing up poor cannot concentrate in school. Family breakdowns, through drug abuse, prison, nobody at home, cuz they are working two or three jobs. I have seen it as a teacher for 37 years. And, far from getting better,it either stays the same or gets worse.

  62. Very well said. And people need to realize that some ugly, ugly cuts are coming. I don’t like it, but nor am I willing to imagine that POTUS is callously or gleefully trimming programs. We can’t ignore the fact that major portions of our country believe the GOP’s hype about spending and budget cuts.

  63. I didn’t hear that about Rahm’s poll. Yea! Frankly, even if he’s not my favorite Democrat, I think Mayor of Chicago is the job he’s born to do.

    The diary you reference is by a Chico paid operative who tries to look like he’s just a citizen. I get on there with every lying diary this guy writes and let the readers know what a sham it is.

    He lied about the poll saying Chico was ‘surging’. The truth: Carol Moseley-Braun imploded because she called an opponent a crack head while Chico and del Valle sat between the yelling two and looked like scared rabbits. So Chico picked up a little of the CMB vote but was still 20 points behind Rahm. ‘Internal’ polls that no one sees.

    That being said, I’m happy that Rahm’s ahead. He hasn’t even started to hit Chico back for his lies about the “rahm tax”. Chico’s attempt at outrage over Rahm’s ad about city workers was a failure: our union-loving, worker-loving city has some problems with the 50 year Chicago machine and its City employees. Rahm’s ad went straight to the voter, over Chico’s noise.

    You can see I take my local politics seriously.

  64. pinkbunny, if you don’t mind I’d like to email you and get some details about your service activities with the mission, am a member of an OFA group and need some ideas.

  65. I totally agree with you. I watched it late last night, too, and replayed those last few minutes over and over. Simply stunning! It just goes to show how propaganda can create a whole different reality out there – this is who she’s been all along, but you would never have known that she is so spectacular and amazing during the campaign.

  66. Well call me naive, but ‘The National Journal’, ‘anonymous sources’.. aren’t persuadable or reliable in terms of anything the President may or may not be doing, thinking, contemplating.. or otherwise considering. And HuffPuff? I ain’t buying none of it until I hear the president say or one of his on the record advisors say it.

    Winter is severe right now and cuts of heat assistance to needy households isn’t even in the realm of common sense or human decency, imo.. and our President has been nothing if not sensible and humane, also my opinion.

  67. You know how the middle class helps the poor, by working and paying their taxes that fund all these government assistance programs. All Americans could do more on a personal level to help the poor but that takes cultural change. Change that Obama is trying to instill by handing out turkeys, promoting mentoring and giving back (like in the SOTU, “want to make a difference become a teacher”). Yes the middle class wants to better themselves but everybody wants to better themselves, that’s not a bad thing that’s the American Dream. The President isn’t telling lies when he says they are the backbone of this country and has the made the country the superpower it is. So the Presidents focus on the middle class and small business owners is correct in that we need them up and running, working and spending to get the economy moving.

  68. Absolutely, japa, and that is a belief that must be changed, though I am at a loss as to how, since our media has no interest in disseminating the true facts.

  69. Okay, you will have to explain the “partial dismantling of welfare reform.” That is something I have not heard. community college in MA has gone up. I know cuz I just paid the tuition for a former student. It went form $333 per class to $393. A lot of kids are not eligible for financial aid because they defaulted on their student loans. Money problems (You still gotta live while going to school) cause a lot of them to have to drop out, try to work, but never make enough to get back to school. Medicaid in 2014, like I said, is down the road a piece, to say the least, and states are cutting medicaid as we speak, to say nothing of what the House will do. White people often don’t understand, if you have a record, which most inner city black men do, it is hard to get a job. A minimum wage job will get you nowhere. All those Walmart commercials notwithstanding. I would like to see the democratic party stand up for the poor. It is not just the President. But I am focusing on him, because of the OFA stuff about getting revved up for the next election. I don’t feel confident about the commutnity I am working with, and you all should not get a false sense of secutity. I have written to Plouffe about it, as I said, and to the White House. I am not giving up. I am just pointing out a difficulty that we still have time to overcome.

  70. I agree with you, blackwaterdog, but I am wondering if there is wastage in this program that might be eliminated. I simply do not know the details so I cannot comment with any authority.

  71. I definitely understand your point, and could be totally wrong, but even the nationaljournal article which is causing all of the outrage has the following concession buried within it:
    How many people, if any, might actually lose the assistance is difficult to determine…

    Meaning that it isn’t even clear that trimming the subsidies is going to have *any* customer impact, and:
    Critics say that the program is poorly administered and that, contrary to intentions, it’s become a subsidy for energy companies, most of whom are prohibited by law from turning off services to delinquent bill-payers during weather emergencies.

    That said, some very trustworthy, knowledgable, and intelligent voices such as John Kerry have raised strong objections to the idea of any cut, matching your analysis. It’s just that for me, when there’s a lot of hype and a POTUS sucks story floating around, I always suspect that there’s more to the story than spaces like HuffPo report.

  72. We might point out that there are as many poor whites as poor blacks, though they are not as visible, being found more in rural communities than in urban populations.

  73. gn, I would most like to see taxes raised for the wealthy and huge cuts in the war machine, but I do not object to researching ways social services might be streamlined to be more efficient and to get help more directly to the people that need it. I still believe the most humane way of dealing with our deficit is to do what I stated in my first sentence, but the President cannot do this on his own.

  74. In 2008, a lot of people had been out of work for quite awhile. Thus unemployment benefits did not help them. I am talking about entrenched, intergenerational poverty. I don’t have any hidden agenda, and resent whoever said that. I have worked with poor people all my life and do not need a lecture on how it is my cue to help. I have three people living with me now who were homeless, I worked almost 40 years in the inner city schools, donating money, time, materials, etc. when I could have made a lot more money elsewhere. So spare me the lectures. What I am saying is that OFA needs to work on this. I want to win, do you? Obama could not have won without the black vote. Neither could Clinton. Don’t take things for granted. And don’t spout off about things you have not lived through.

  75. I agree with Donna Dem. During a severe recession the poor will always be the hardest hit, no matter who is President. President Obama has done more than any democratic president could, black or white, to help the poor. The payroll tax holiday helped poor people, the extensions of unemployment insurance helped poor people and the healthcare law does alot to help the poor. Most polls I have seen show Pres. Obama’s support among African-Americans and Latinos to be very high. President Obama is governing under the premise that a “rising tide lifts all boats”. In addition, African Americans have historically been very politically savy. AA knew GWB was a dangerous fool long before the general population caught on. When the GOP and MSM tried to impeach Clinton, it was AA who were his most loyal backers. In other words, we don’t vote against our interests (unlike many poor whites who vote for Republicans). I would suggest that you read the Huffington Post with alot of skepticism. It has an agenda to lessen African-American support for Pres. Obama. THis agenda is not to help black people, it is to hurt Obama politically.

  76. So, POTUS has done “virtually nothing” for people having hard times, yet he extended unemployment and flooded states with stimulus money. POTUS has done “virtually nothing” about the prison crisis, yet drastically decreased the crack-powder sentencing disparity and got the ball rolling on prison reform legislation. What I’m reading here appears to be the idea that because POTUS was not able to overturn centuries of economic disadvantage for African Americans in three years, we’re all depressed and will withdraw our support. This makes no sense to me. For people asking “where is the change” how about outlining what POTUS has done rather than nodding in agreement? Just wondering.

  77. He’s done way more for the poor, for the inner cities, and for African Americans (three distinct groups) than give out turkeys. I don’t know why Anita said that.

  78. I think we are all in agreement here, hopefruit, about our final goals, including anita. Poverty has been with us a very long time. If I remember correctly, the statistics have not changed very much since the sixties, around 20% of the population still lives beneath the poverty level, though I believe there was a slight alleviation in that number due to Johnson’s War on Poverty. I do not blame President Obama for not addressing this issue more forcefully. He has only been in office for two years and has a huge bureaucracy with which to contend, but I think it is important that all of us contact the White House, our Congressional representatives, and the media repeatedly to let them know this level of poverty (or any level of poverty) is not acceptable to us.

  79. Oh, i know that there’s more to the story, and I’m quite sure that i don’t have to prove my faith in this man….;) But this specific issue is not something to be logical about – this is a terrible potato to even touch right now. All the “poorly administered” issues should be dealt without cutting a cent. Not now. Do it in 2013. There’s a limit even to “not listening to the polls and taking difficult decisions”. This is not a difficult decision, this is wrong on every level. Again, i hope that there’s absolutely no truth to those reports, but the fact that someone like John Kerry – not HP or those other idiots – stepped up like that, tells me that there is. Seriously praying that by Monday, this will not be in the budget.

  80. Hey GN. On my way to my parent meeting. I want to thank you again for your advice. Im in my level headed mode thanks to your sound advice.

    Majii I also did what you suggested and wronte my question down. Thanks again to all of my family.

  81. HuffPo appears to devote the most venom and betrayal thematics towards Dems, or towards the idea that the parties are indistinguishable.

  82. Food stamps? My daughter is on disability, with MS. She gets 65 dollars in food stamps per month. Can that feed her? My husband in on SSI. He gets 124 dollars in food stamps per month. Can that feed him? Get real. What do you know about it? Stop insinuating that I am stupid or ill informed. This is feeling like DK to me. I maxed out on donations to the President, going into debt to do it. Did you???

  83. “The “turn off the tv and stop giving your kids pop-eye chicken” is not enough.”

    Is that how you characterize President Obama’s attitude towards the Black community?

    Not only is this characterization false, it borders on some underlying hostility – just like the “handing out turkeys” comment you made earlier.

    Secondly, if you “cannot stand” Huffington Post and “agree” that they are not to be trusted, then why are you using their dubious narratives to support your arguments here?

    Thirdly, the 2010 midterm elections should not be directly compared with the 2008 Presidential elections in terms of youth and minority turnout because it is ALWAYS the case that minority and youth turnout drops during midterms. Can you tell me how many youth or minority voters even know who their House rep is?

  84. I find it really amazing that people are still of the mistaken impression that POTUS has done nothing for groups like African Americans, poor people, urban people, etc. It’s just a falsehood IMO.

  85. hopefruit, this is not meant to criticize your remark, as I know you are sincere and you and I are in agreement about what the goals of our country should be. But I want to point out that I have a close friend who is an incredibly-eloquent writer, has a syndicated column (mainly about peace) and has just had a book of his essays published, and he lives in an inner city neighborhood with many of the problems which Anita wrote about.

  86. From my twitter timeline:

    RT @nytimesworld: President #Mubarak will speak to #Egypt from his palace in Cairo in a few hours, state television said #jan25

  87. I know he has. Anita and a lot of extreme left wing supporters are upset that the middle class is his focus and not the underclass but I think it’s easier and wiser to get the middle class back on it’s feet before we can work on the overhaul needed to get the underclass into the middle-class which requires a lot of educating, job training, and frankly patience.

  88. Anita, you seem to be blaming low AA turnout for the midterm losses. That is a faulty premise. Americans (of all races) vote in lower numbers during midterm elections. It is unwise to try to compare a presidential election (with Obama on the ticket) to a midterm election (without Obama on the ticket).

  89. I think you need to stop patronizing Black people. They know exactly who has and who doesn’t have their best interests. They KNOW that the Republicans, MSM, PL, Huffington Post, etc do NOT have their best interests. This is why Velma Hart was not embraced by the Black community in her media-pandering criticisms of President Obama. They know that this president is constrained under a deeply entrenched system backed by a regressive congress and supreme court. And they are willing to support him as long as he is trying and working on the people’s behalf.

    And Blacks are not voting for this President because he is “biracial.” They voted for him because he was the best candidate and continues to be the best candidate at this time.

  90. Mrs Preer, I understand your frustration but how do you know this president isn’t helping the poor? In fact he has…Want to see the list?

    As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Obama Administration has made a broad and significant investments to help reduce and assist people that have become victims of the increased poverty made worse by economic crisis.

    1. A $20 billion increase for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps.

    2. A $1 billion in funding for the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) that is intended to revitalize low-income communities via “Job training and placement assistance”, “Financial literacy programs”, et al, to helping families become self-sufficient.

    3. A $2 billion in new Neighborhood Stabilization Funds that will allow ailing neighborhoods be kept maintained.

    4. A $1.5 billion in Homelessness Prevention Funds to keep people in their homes and prevent homelessness.

    5. A $5 billion increase for the Weatherization Assistance Program to help low income families save on their residential energy expenditures by making their homes more energy efficient.

    6. A $4 Billion program, The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, “authorizes funding for federal school meal and child nutrition programs and increases access to healthy food for low-income children.”

    7. As part of the HCR bill, subsidies will be available to the uninsured and families with income between the 133 percent and 400 percent of poverty level($14,404 for individuals and $29,326 for a family of four).

    8. Estabilished Open Doors to end the 640,000 men, women and children who are homeless in America by 2020.

    9. Increased the amount of federal Pell Grant awards so that funds are available to those with less access to have opportunity.

    10. Provided $510 Million for the rehabilitation of Native American housing.

    11. Expanded eligibility for Medicaid to all individuals under age 65 with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level ($14,400 per year for an individual).

    12. Providing assistance to low-income workers through the Earned Income Tax Credit giving millions of working families the break they need.

    13. Education being the way out of Poverty, kicked off the “Race to the Top”, a $4.3 billion program, that rewards via grants to States that meet a few key benchmarks for reform, and states that outperform the rest.

  91. You are making so many generalizations here Anita, I don’t even know where to begin. First, you do understand that most black people are not impoverished, right? This is not to say dismiss the reality that African Americans are disproportionately impoverished, but the majority of black people aren’t poor, so I’m not sure where this “middle class means white to most African Americans.” Then, the statement that President Obama’s initiatives for African Americans is limited to telling people to stop watching TV and eating popeyes??? There is simply no factual basis for such a statement. And adding his mixed heritage as the source of some imagined “reluctance” to address black people…I really, I’m sorry, but this is just not reality-based. In no way shape or form has POTUS even hinted that impoverished African Americans are expendable. I just don’t understand the basis for some of these assertions.

  92. I totally agree with you japa21. If he pushed too hard for the AA the racist theme will be at top speed. When PBO took over two years ago everyone was hurting economically and therefore he had to look at the larger picture than at individual communities. I have a feeling that after he is re-elected he will begin to concentrate on those communities that require special attention. Hopefully the economy will continue to recover. Let’s not forget the man has been in office for only two years and we should not expect him to magically erase centuries of inequality. Having worked in those disadvantagd communities himself, President Barack Obama knows exactly what is at stake.

  93. Like I said, it will take years to see any real progress on that, like on Medicaid. People are thinking of their lives now. Especially those on a survival level. I am not blaming the President, but urging him to get something going for that constituency. Which is an important one, and which, by the comments here, is, as always, being taken for granted.

  94. Absolutely. And I’d like to see a slew of these loopholes closed. I like that the IRS is vigorously going after the wealthy for tax bills under existing laws and that’s a very positive development, but I’d love to see a simplified tax code which restricts a lot of the tricks which enable wealthy people and very profitable corporations to avoid tax obligations. A thousand percent agreed about the war machine. What I won’t do, along with you, is to omit the context of a country which does not completely agree with me, or is not paying attention thus enabling the GOP to have a great deal of influence on spending, and slam POTUS or claim that he’s done “nothing” because he has not been able to single-handedly deliver the above. We do not have an authoritarian-styled government. As frustrating as it is to see Republicans influencing legislation, that is preferable to living in a dictatorship which can quickly go south.

  95. Good Morning All

    As I read the posts about the plight of the inner city poor, a little nagging voice in my head was saying

    “the post by Anita is valuable because it gives us a heads up to create talking points, facts, figures, and phrases that we can use when talking to these voters.”

    Creolechild, your post is exactly what I had in mind. Many Thanks. I have a section on talking points in my blog, I would love to add an area on this issue.

    Right now I am uber busy with work and a health care video but in a while maybe we could email and collaborate.

    As a general piece of advice, as we encounter unreasonable criticisms of the President, remember, this information can be used to help us launch an effective defense.

  96. Yep, it’s being covered by all the major international news outlets … Currently 720p in Cairo and awaiting the address by Mubarak – may it be his last as President.

    And, thank all who receive thanks from us mortals, once again, for President Obama and his spectacular team of VP Biden, Sec Clinton, et al.

  97. Anita, what can any President do about the systemic problems (like Black on Black violence) that have been festering for decades in this country. The breakdown of the family unit is the base cause of what you are speaking. You seem to be rather hopeless in your point of view. I pray you don’t pass that point of view on to your students. How will President Obama “talking about poor people” change any of the problems you mention? How will electing a Republican President remedy these problems? Healthcare reform, payroll tax holiday, college grants and extending unemployment insurance don’t seem to count in your view. What can Pres. Obama do that will count, in your view?

  98. When you talk about “entrenched intergenerational poverty” in the same breath that you state the President hasn’t done enough.. or apparently anything useful.. you are contradicting yourself. In two years I’m asking what you think he ought to have accomplished on behalf of “entrenched intergenrational poverty”? Multiple strategies have been cited here, multiple accomplished, some short term and some long term have been cited here in regards to your initial commentary- proving your initial comments less than accurate.. and still you’re determined to continue with the thesis that because the President has done nothing, or not nearly enough.. black folks won’t be voting in 2012. Then it would behoove you to not only cite the examples given here how they (those folks in your community) have been helped.. but also to do more homework as to how they’re going to benefit moreso in another two years.. or six under a Democrat as opposed to the Republican administration that left them and all of us in such a poor state for the 8 years prior to these last two.

    I’m a bit tired of this omg we have poor people.. why hasn’t Barack Obama fixed and eradicated poor people in America. We’ve had poor people in this country for as long as we’ve been a country.. and the poor, particularly poor people of color have always gotten the shortest broken stick. Do I think thats going to go away in 2 years? hell no.. nor in 6 years for that matter. But I absolutely know – because there is proof- that it will be lessened, and it will be chizeled away- under this President and under his administration.

    And fyi, Barack Obama didn’t give us a Republican House- the good ole smart thinking American public pulled that bs right out of their own briliant selves, poor, rich and otherwise.

    And I do receive food stamps and disability and I’ve lived in some hard ass places and I’ve had a son in prison- so I have a wee clue. It took a damn long time for things to get this severe in this country.. and lets be real honest: black folks have Never been equal under the law or elsewhere in America.. and Barack Obama- bad ass as he is, can’t fix that in two years either.

    Now I imagine I’ve pissed off a whole mess of folks here, so I shall be on my way.

  99. “faux concern?” Did you read that I have worked with poor children all my life? I was married to a black man when it was illegal in 14 states, I have a bi-racial child. I have worked on registering minority voters since Jackson’s Poor People’s campaign in 1984. I marched with Doctor King. I had a dead racoon tied to the back of my car, my name was burned off my mailbox, I had death threats, and this was in the 70’s in Cambridge. Some of my closest friends have been murdered or arrested. What do you know about any of this? God forbid, someone should bring up the unmentionable – poor folks. And how they are suffering. I am not blaming the President for their fate. Only asking for some attention to it. What is the matter with you all???

  100. I cannot believe it’s been four years! Seems like four months. (Or four hundred years, since it’s been a ‘fight the good fight’ all the way for all of us!)

  101. Hi Sheila,

    I think this is a good debate we’re having actually, so I don’t view it as a criticism at all. But I’m not referring the eloquence of the writing here. I’m referring to the talking points, which smack of professional left narratives. The idea that Blacks didn’t vote in 2010 because of dissatisfaction with Barack Obama’s administration is a false talking point I’ve seen repeatedly on sites like DKOS, HuffingtonPost etc. The commenter (who purportedly can’t stand HP) seemed to have uncritically taken an HP headline and used it here to bolster her argument. I do have concerns about that.

    It doesn’t comport with the fact that Blacks consistently support this President with 90% yet they failed to vote in the midterms because they were unhappy with him?

    The truth is that Blacks and youth are typically less likely to vote in midterms. The house reps are not as prominent as even the senators or the President. Many minority voters and youth do not even know their house reps, which is why the house was so easily taken by the GOP who had an advantage with older white voters.

  102. I just want to make the point that many of his initiatives which are designed to assist the middle class, such as HCR, have major components in them which are targeted to assist the poor. Another example is the focus upon small business which are the overwhelming majority of employers in urban settings. So I reject the idea that the administration’s help for the poor and the middle class are two mutually exclusive endeavors. I think that you’ve made great points, but I just want to make that clear.

  103. Starting your own business can be so empowering. I posted this before but it is worth a repeat. There is a group in San Francisco that has been helping low income women start their own business for 20 years.

    I wrote to them and the lady actually wrote back. How cool. My suggestion was that she try and hook up with Startup America, because their program could be done on a nationwide level.

    Women’s Initiative for self-employment

    I will try and also go to the startup america website and recommend this group.

  104. I am not asking him to eradicate poverty. But to address it and to have some kind of plan for it; he needs to at least try. The issue is getting the African American vote. In 2012. A massive turnout. That is the issue. You gotta give people something to vote FOR. That is all I am saying. You can list all the stuff you want. There is still 24% unemployment in the Black community. I think too many people are just taking that vote for granted, hope the President has a plan.

  105. I think that the disconnect arises because several of us are saying, “wait a minute, he has many initiatives in place to help the poor,” all of which you dismiss because of your correct contention that conditions remain dire for many people. I find the expectation that POTUS could cure these problems instantly to be utterly unrealistic; black people did not hold President Clinton to such a standard and at least as far as polling indicates, refuse to hold President Obama (whose policies towards the impoverished, African Americans, and urban America—three distinct groups with some overlap—are way to the left of Clinton’s) to this new unrealistic standard.

  106. Excellent post, Nonie. Thanks for the info.

    A little bit more than “Thanksgiving turkeys.” 🙂

    May those who want to see, see and those who want to hear, hear.

  107. This all part of the “Messiah” nonsense people voted for. They call us “Bots”, yet it turned out that we’re the realistic ones. We knew that we elected a human being – spectacularly gifted – yet, a human being. They really believed that they got their magic negro. And in the end, we are the “blind cheerleaders”…

  108. Okay, I’m beginning to get a sense of what Ms. Preer’s issue with PBO really is:

    Here is what she said:
    “I maxed out on donations to the President, going into debt to do it.”

    So it’s not really about poor Black people, it’s about her own disillusion that she hasn’t personally benefitted despite all these donations she made to the presidential campaign. That echoes the sentiments of a lot of disgruntled PL individuals who feel that their donations somehow entitle them to instantaneous and personalized benefits from this president.

  109. Why is the left believing article fron from the national journal? The cuts to the energy funding may not be real.

  110. I agree. It seems both like the blink of an eye and also like an eternity.

    It’s telling that no Republican seems to want to step up to the mic and declare their candidacy as boldly as POTUS did. They’re still hemming and hawing. Guess it’s no fun to volunteer for an a**whooping. LOL.

  111. sheri’s comment was correct. Your baseline assumption that President Obama has not created any strategy to help the poor, “to at least try,” has been proven incorrect with numerous citations to policy initiatives, each of which you’ve dismissed because they are (of course) insufficient to instantly eradicate poverty. That is an unrealistic expectation, as sheri said. And I have to tell you Anita, African American concerns absolutely include the profound issue of poverty, but are not limited to that issue. I’d argue that President Obama has given us plenty of reasons to vote for him, yet his record has been maligned and distorted by spaces such as HuffPo/AOL.

  112. I wanna call hogwash here, but I won’t, because I’m sincerely not interested in being rude. I’m not sure its been pointed out to you yet, but you speak for yourself.. not any community. Now its likely that you have neighbors, friends, a huge swath of folk who agree with every word you’ve written here.. but I know this: you don’t speak for the Black community anymore than Tavis Smiley does.. black folks are not of one brain or thought.

    And, once again you’ve agreed this is a longtime in the making problem: the poor. And you’ve admitted you read whats been written to you here in terms of what has been done for the poor on by President Obama and his administration.. and oh that small entity called Congress.. lets not leave them out either. And yet you are threatening, ney promising.. that unless he does ‘something’ he’s going to lose that AA vote in 2012. The hell he is. See I can speak for masses of people too.

    What you’re choosing to ignore is what has been done, what is being done. No its not enough – it has never been enough in this country, what we do and don’t do for the poor. But tell me, us- what is your answer? What do you want now? What will satisfy you so that you are able to go to the people you know, the people you say won’t vote for Obama without proof apparently that he cares about and is working on behalf of the poor, the AA poor that you cite? Because the fact is – he does care and the fact is he is doing good things for the poor, for AA poor. So really, imo, the question is- what will it take for you to go out and tell those FACTS to your friends.. and to other voters? Because either you’re going to choose to enlighten them, or you’re gonna choose to buy into the BS talking points that he isn’t doing anything.

  113. Please forgive my ignorance, but there is no law that says that every penney budgeted needs to be spent, is there? IOW, keep the funding at current levels (to avoid the appearance you are concerned about BWD) and work on elimintaing the waste within the current structure. Going back and talking about how efforts resulted in spending less than budgeted may have more of an impact, both real and political, than just cutting the funds to begin with. Once the waste is removed, then a budget cut to keep in line of what is actually needed is more appropriate.

  114. Re: welfare reform and the stimulus, the following link is informative; forgive the source, but the GOP had the most thorough analysis because they found the situation outrageous:

    And again, you are conflating the reality that times are very difficult for a lot of people, with the contention that therefore President Obama must not care, or must not have done anything to assist poor people. This is simply not the case.

  115. You seem to have a blame Obama first attitude for problems you yourself say are multi-generational. I’m sure a Pres. McCain would have CUT whatever gov’t aid you and your family gets. You lost me when you discounted health care reform because “it does not go into effect until 2014”. That does not jibe with someone who is trying to address multi-generational problems.

  116. The crowd in Tahrir Square look so alive. They realize that they’ve achieved something that hasn’t been achieved in modern Arab history: they’ve overthrown a strongman not through a palace coup, but through a mostly peaceful revolution. It’s just awe-inspiring.

  117. I think that this is a great discussion; I don’t agree with Anita about pretty much anything said in this particular thread, but the discussion has elicited terrific comments like yours sheri! I personally welcome it.

  118. Yeah, I understand that the situation is dire for too many people, but I have never understood how people could be so dismissive of that Medicaid expansion. To quote our fabulous VP, it really is a big f-ing deal!

  119. For someone who has had such a long history dating back to the 1960’s of interacting with “poor” disadvantaged Blacks, you should be well aware that there is nothing that this administration can do in 2 or even 6 years that would eliminate the problems that you speak of.

    However, this administration has done plenty to lay down the foundations for fundamental changes in the entrenched system. People have provided you with the information via links here, but you seem determined to ignore them and continue with your desired narrative.

  120. Agree.

    And, for those of you who don’t have the link, Al Jazeera has a live (youtube) video feed and English interviews with various members of the Egyptian opposition/resistance/democracy moment.

    Interesting conversation about the ‘morning after’ if Mubarak does step down.

  121. I just want to make a general comment about this site as illustrated today. Anita started a very vigorous and perhaps heated discussion upthread. There was a lot of disagreement with her basic premise, although she also received some support from others. But other than possibily one comment, there was absolutely no animosity shown towards her, nor none back at those who chose to disagree. No name calling. No derision. No condescension. And I know that there is no way BWD monitors every comment posted.

    There aren’t many places in the blogosphere you can go and have that long, involved and contentious (which is not a negative) discussion with this type of clarity and non-degeneration into the lower levels of incivility.

    Someone noted yesterday that this place offers some of the best comment threads to be found, and this is as pure an example of that as you are going to find.

  122. That volunteer line was hysterical. Every time some news “source” mentions a potential R candidate for 2012, I get so amused … they are … er … so lackluster!

  123. Yes, the “morning after” is always the rub. I have hope for the morning after, as the revolution was mostly peaceful. I think the army taking over temporarily — or having a great influence on the interim govt — might be beneficial, as the US has huge leverage over it via our military aid program. The army won’t want to do anything to jeopardize that flow of money.

  124. I have mixed feelings about it.. however, what it did for me is that I have far more info at hand now for knocking on doors with as we get closer to canvassing. It appears we’ll need to be heavily armed (fact-wise) this election go-round. So yep that is a positive.. lots of good/smart info here.. Nonie’s list is excellent.

    But.. see it stops being a discussion when folks.. one after another are citing true info, real facts grounded in real action.. and those realities are being ignored, or being made small. Thats when I gotta say: huh? If I come here and post a concern, an issue that is a threat to OUR future, seriously now stay with me here: OUR future is being threatened by the likes of… oh so and so group ain’t gonna vote because POTUS didn’t do this, is doing that.. etc. And when we then cite true info to alleviate that poster’s concerns.. to give them real ammo to arm themselves with when they go back to their ‘community’.. and those bits of ammo are treated as ‘nothing’- well then I think wtf? What exactly are we playing at here? Is PROGRESS not our goal? Are we not trying to better our society? For each of us? Should we all not be doing our part? Is this all really about the president, is he the only damn resident in America anymore.

    Thus my mixed feelings… 😉

  125. We’ve all heard what Anita has to say and I think it’s time we stopped giving her too much attention. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and how they reached it. This site if for highlighting this administration’s positives and we know exactly where to go for the negatives and believe me we go to those other places so we are not having our heads in the sand.

  126. Agree.

    And, it is for each of us, at a moment when we begin to post a statement that indicates our disagreement with someone, on any topic, that we honor the spirit in which BWD created this haven for each of us to disagree, agreeably and respectfully.

    Thank you.

  127. I don’t post much, but I had to chime in here. I consider myself one of the working poor…even before current economic conditions. I recently moved from an inner city neighborhood where I lived 8 years as a child, and where I later returned for another 18 years to raise two kids of my own. My neighborhood was once a lovely place to live, but like many traditionally black areas in many towns across the US, my neighborhood had seen better days. I left because my apartment complex became so dilapidated due to old plumbing that I had mold in the form of mushrooms growing from the walls, and crime was becoming rampant. I later joined ACORN in an effort to improve living conditions, but our rallies fell through because of poor resident input. It was so frustrating to try to fight for better living conditions and have folks just shrug and turn away. I stayed until because I couldn’t afford to move, but left when a friend offered me residence in her home.

    It is galling to me when I read about all this concern for the inner city’s blight and laying it at the feet of President Obama…as if the inner city just arose from the midst in the last two years. Not all inner city residents are uninformed, uneducated, disinterested, helpless, etc. Some of these programs that may be cut also didn’t help the working poor at all because of income limitations and I’m not talking about high incomes either. Try making $7 an hour and applying for some of these programs like the energy assistance program.

    I could go on and on but the tales from the poor are as varied as there are poor people in this country. No one I know is blaming the President because our struggles have been a long time coming.

    I am posting this and my thoughts are jumbled….I hope I make sense.

  128. Excellent addition to the stellar comments on this thread; this was a really good discussion, everyone. I hope that you chime in again, CeeJay.

  129. Our President will be giving brief remarks on the events in Egypt soon. Live coverage on CNN, MSNBC, etc

  130. Thank you CeeJay.. what you wrote is exactly what I’m talking about. You spoke to it so perfectly.. and I will chime in next to gn and ask that you continue to speak and write your thoughts, experiences here.

  131. And no matter what, not voting is the worst answer. Just because all of our myriad of problems have not been fixed is no excuse to let Republicans run the country.

    This is why we haven’t had real power for the last 30 years. Because our side doesn’t vote unless all of the circumstances are perfect for them to do so. Republicans ALWAYS vote in sufficient numbers to skew the electorate. But then again, it doesn’t matter if our side DOESN’T VOTE, and that was the implication in Anita’s first comment that brought on this thread. That the poor are too demoralized to give a shit enough about stopping Evil Republicans and voting. I don’t question Anita’s sincerity in the least, but the attitude is a symptom of why Democrats are not taken seriously. I just read the other day that even though Republicans are tea partiers to the bone, they want a candidate that will BEAT OBAMA.

    Anita, it is unrealistic to expect an entrenched 30-year mindset to be changed overnight. Things will get better but not unless we stop the Republicans. And give this President and the Democratic party the room to do what’s right because we can be relied on.

  132. Well I think you are very aware that the feeling is quite mutual gn. You are so kind and I thank you very much.

  133. The military can be effective, potentially, in facilitating a transition to a freely elected civilian government and, perhaps, the emergence of a new Egyptian constitution.

    As you know, the Egyptian military, at all levels of command, have long-standing, close relations with the American military. And, the $$$ do speak.

    But, my sense of much of what underlies the mostly peaceful process the opposition has pursue – the social network-enabled campaign that Wael Ghonim largely is responsible for launching – indicates that a rather large number of Egyptians, including many in the military, expect to participate in a process that transitions Egypt to democracy – not a sham, not a military controlled state.

    If they have any sense of the military merely standing in for the corrupt Mubarak cabal until the ‘storm passes’ – well, the ‘morning after’ will be anything but peaceful.

    Thank you.

  134. He’ll speak on the issue before Mubarak speaks – I expect a brief account now and maybe a bigger one tonight when he gets back to Washington at 5pm when Mubarak would have spoken.

    I hope Mubarak does the right thing and turns it over to the military for the time being.

  135. Richard Engle siad the DNI chief clapper said the msulim brother hood is largely secular is WRONG and that is terrifying! Richard engles words!
    This guy clapper is an idiot! He also had no idea when asked about an overseas incident, earlier!
    DNI chief, huh? Sadly, this President will be to blame for this Intelligence mans failures! Sigh!

  136. If the AA’s stay home then they are part of the problem. Strong words, but it is completely ridiculous that because Obama has not eradicated poverty in this poisonous political climate that he will lose support. That is an unacceptable position.

    This is precisely why we have not had the longterm power we should have had the last 30 years. We don’t vote unless we are sufficiently ‘inspired’ to do so. We should vote to stop Republicans. We should vote to start righting a ship that has been sinking for 30 years. We should vote to give this President a real majority with which to address all of our nation’s problems.

    Anita, the Tea Party is running the Republican Party. They are the reason the economy imploded, that unnecessary wars have decimated our treasury, that women’s rights are literally on the chopping block, that this country has turn from education excellence to a deification of ignorance.

    I’m sorry things haven’t changed fast enough. We will lose America if our side doesn’t vote and we may never be able to get it back. Are your daughter’s food stamps going to go up under President Pawlenty or Huckabee? Do you stand a chance in hell of your life improving under Republican majorities?

    I only wish Republicans had acted in the 1980’s the way the Left is acting now: if the Moral Majority had stopped supporting Republicans because Roe v. Wade wasn’t reversed by 1984. No — they kept voting and voting and voting until they earned their ‘right’ to purity. We have to do the hard work over the long haul. If we behave, it will take a decade. We MUST stop this mindset and understand that we’re in a marathon and not a sprint.

  137. There could be a significant delay before any Democratic candidates declare for the Senate seat of Republican Whip Jon Kyl, who has announced his retirement. As TPMDC has learned, for some time one of the top possible Dem candidates for the seat has been Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who is in physical therapy after she was shot in the head during a constituent event last month.

    A Democratic source in Arizona told us that possible candidates for the seat include Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, former Reps. Harry Mitchell and Ann Kirkpatrick (who were defeated in the 2010 Republican wave), and 2010 candidate for attorney general Felecia Rotellini. Interestingly, the source said there had not been indications that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who was previously the state’s two-term governor, might run.

    However, the source said, Giffords had long been viewed as a top-tier candidate to either challenge Kyl or run for an open seat, before the events in January. “In our view, she ought to have the right of first refusal,” the source said, “and hopefully others will allow her the space and time to recover and make that decision.”

  138. lol.. blushing now. In the words of my favorite President, President Obama: “I love you back”.

  139. Thank you, Ceejay, for giving us your profound thoughts.

    I love hearing the well-rounded comments from all. Life in this country is multi-faceted and dynamic, and I think most of us respect that.

  140. thanks Tori for the reminder.. listening now. Love how he’s talking about the colonies.. onto the railroal. So cool how he always reminds us of the past.. to get to our future.

  141. Yes he’s now doing his regular speech (carried on CSPAN 2). Tonight as you said we will hopefullyget a more comprehensive account of the situation in Egypt.

  142. Unfortunately, I’m afraid this number may have more to do with a snow storm that covered half the United States. That being said, the economy is improving. I know that is precious little comfort if you still can’t find a job, but I honestly believe that without Obama/Pelosi/Reid the last two years we would have had unemployment numbers much higher. Obama stopped the bleeding.

    And in case some need reminding, he wanted a MUCH bigger stimulus than he finally was able to get passed. Thing would be even much better if he’d had real majorities, not the fake ones he had to deal with because of Blue Dogs and other conservative Democrats.

    No one gets to ignore the political realities of what faced this President coming in and the most obstructionist, damn near unAmerican behavior from the opposition party. We’ve made progress and no one is happy that it wasn’t more. But it’s all been in the right direction and that’s immensely important to remember.

  143. Referring to the President’s speech about expanding wireless internet, a couple weeks Christine O’Donnell on GMA said that expanding the internet to every household is “wasteful spending.”

    That’s the level of idiocy we’re grappling with in the GOP.

  144. I had also read that the military has the people’s respect. It’s the police that don’t.

    We hear ‘military’ and we think of some South American junta. In Egypt that is not the case.

  145. And now Speaker Boehner is crying because Dems won’t support his parliamentary tricks. He’s lost three important votes over the past few days because he tried to fast track the process, which requires a 2/3 vote. The Dems didn’t play — and some GOP as well — and he’s complaining about the Dems. Never mind that his whips didn’t have the votes; a smart leader would’ve tabled the fast track, and gone through normal procedures. The GOP is so not ready for prime time.

    (And allow me another rant about Google: the ad scrolling at the top of my Gmail is for the Tea Party website “It’s Time to Govern”. Now, part of me is glad that the TP money is being wasted on my eyeballs. But I can’t help but thinking that this is a subtle form of propaganda. Really, would an OFA ad targeted at me be so hard to put up. All the political ads I get on Gmail are from wingnuts.)

  146. As far as I can tell, the military is the only Egyptian institution that has the people’s respect.

  147. And thats because SHE already has the internet.. and probably takes it for granted. Or its even more devious in that- what better way to keep folks uninformed – but to prevent them from accessing literally the WORLD. To me, there is nothing greater, nothing larger than the internet in what it offers all of us in terms of knowledge and connectedness with one another and the world at large. It is a great thing President Obama is wanting to do here.. and I hope we all support him in getting it done. And in truth this is him thinking of the ‘least of us’, those ‘poor’ folks being discussed elsewhere in this thread.. this is President Obama in FACT thinking and ACTING very clearly on behalf of America’s poor.

  148. Always take a breath before you hit “send”. Although this site is here to foster the positive news, it’s also got to be okay to air problems and solutions here (not trying to speak for you, BWD, but that’s why I’m here). I’ll listen to anyone’s point of view unless it turns into dark name-calling with only anger and no thinking. I’m a huge cheerleader for this President, but cheerleading cannot be our only function or we become as insular as the places we’ve left.

    So even if our blood boils a little from time to time take a breath before you hit ‘send’. Let’s keep it a civil and yes, ongoing discussion. Then we all win, in my humble opinion.

  149. Girl you are spot on in your commentary. You plucked that comment right out of my brain but you said it far better than I ever could have.

  150. I actually think that this site posts both positives and negatives. There’s ongoing discussions about the Afghan War, and even in this thread, discussions about the oil subsidies. What distinguishes this space is reader insistence that critiques have a factual and logical underpinning. I find this space to be one of the best in the new media.

  151. I worry about the morning after. It’s easy to be against Mubarak, but when he’s gone – what is the tie that binds? Democracy is an abstract, everybody will want and expect something different. They’ll support different ideas and different politicans for leadership and how will that all play out.

    As crazy as it is to say, what they
    ‘ve historically done has been the easy part.

  152. I personally don’t think that this place has ever been insular. There have always been policy disagreements and critiques here. As I said above, I think that what distinguishes us is a pretty rigorous standard that those disagreemenst, critiques, concerns, etc. are based in reality and have some sort of logic to them. This is a “you can have your own opinion but not your own facts” type of place, and I just love it!

    Great comments, faith, japa, and bob!

  153. Its remarkable how President planted the seed over in Egypt and thousands of miles away planting a seed Broadband expansion at home. President Obama don’t stop.

  154. Richard Engel, who has my utmost respect, has been very emotional concerning the issues in Egypt. He was one who wanted the President to instantly support the protesters over the government, when it seemed clear to me that Obama had gone as far to the line as was reasonable, making clear what he expected. He has a thin tightrope to walk — there are many, many concerns afoot that we know little about. A real balancing act.

    Engel became an advocate for the protesters instead of a reporter. He means well but I would have preferred more reporting and less editorializing from him on this.

  155. I swear you all are blowing me away with some of the comments on this topic and Faith yours was nothing but the truth…so help me god.

  156. Why is Christine O’Donnell being asked about ANYTHING other than how she’s lived off being a candidate for 10 years.

  157. Everyone needs the internet. I remember my mom having to purchase an entire edition of Encyclopedia’s when I was in school, so that when I had to do school projects, I had access to the information. Today, all of the information that you need is on the internet. You don’t need a book dictionary, you can just look it up. It is faster and more efficient. Since I home school, there are so many resources that I use online that enhance my children’s learning. These tools would be helpful in traditional schools as well. It is time to catch up with the rest of the world.

  158. Watching him now, knowing Egypt is at the back of his mind. America better wake to the President we have and appreciate his efforts.

  159. Absolutely glorious, and just reaffirms my support for him daily. Like the First Lady said yesterday, “We need an intelligent President at this time, and Barack is very intelligent.” I couldn’t agree with the First Lady more. By the way, she is very intelligent and graceful herself.

  160. I want to add that none of my comments to Anita were intended to run her off: hear that Anita, I expect you to stick around, I have high hopes that you’re going to check out these links provided, that you’re going to view whats been going on in this country by this President in an effort to lessen and as I stated- chizel away the obstacles placed in the way of the poor for centuries. I have high hopes that you’ll recognize the level of work being done in the context in which its occuring.. and in the context of real progress in real time for real folks.. and I have even higher hopes that you’re going to share this information with those folks who you cite as skeptics.. because we need your voice too- in here and out there, imo.

  161. You make good sens. I too live in the inner city. Southside Chicago, about 20 blocks away from the president. Inner city resident are very in tuned to the happening around the world. glad you are hear ceejay.

  162. Well trust me on this Donna- I need all the additional brains I can utilize.. so thank you for your mind-meld, lol. Team effort all the way.

  163. Just keep your cool, ms4t.

    It’s going to be okay. Thanks for letting us know, and please, inform us of the results of the conference.

  164. Just look at this thread. I’m loving it. People can call us Obots all they want. bots and blind followers don’t come hard with the facts that so many have here.

  165. Exactly! George Stephanopoulos wanted her
    take on the President’s SOTU address – as though O’Donnell’s “no-pinion” has any relevance to reality.

  166. Excellent comment Donna. I think it is unfortunate that people use snide remarks: “Handing out Turkeys On Thanksgiving”, which, in my judgement, are aimed at inflaming people to create more negativity and divisiveness. As you ably detailed, only people who are not paying attention can fail to grasp the fact many of the policies the President has undertaken help poor people.

  167. It was IMO one of the best threads for informing the public. Yes it started with someone who seemed disgruntled by what she perceived was lack of interest and care in the poor community by the Obama Administration but look at all the fact based information we are all armed with because she brought this topic to this site.

    For that I thank Anita. 🙂

  168. I’ve learned more in the last ten minutes of watching Al Jazeera, than I did in two hours of watching MSNBC with Richard Engel on the ground. Thanks for the link! I didn’t realize that Mubarak tried to hand over power earlier to his VP Suleiman, and that’s when the military stepped in and staged their “coup”, and then they came on TV and announced they had taken over. History, indeed.

  169. The American Revolution experienced the same angst, I’m sure, and they didn’t have President Obama to help guide them through. I think there will be bumps, but it will be all right.

  170. thank you pb! sent you an email with my moniker kittypat in the header, really appreciate it.

  171. Thank you for pointing out just some of the positive things Obama has done for everyone.

    The media can be so destructive in the way they massage the truth. Haggiana is one of the worst.

    Damn,in a way she is worse than Rush, Glenn and all of faux news, because they are crazy, she is cunning and destructive.

    Let’s not forget her site was set up by hollywood
    types as a site for supporting Hillary for President. Talk about a wolf in sheeps clothing. She takes the prize.

  172. I’m going to annoy BWD but I’m going to do it anyway, because this is just TOO amusing. They are actually fighting at the Orange site about the difference between Obama saying that he ‘supported the protesters’ as opposed to ‘supporting the Egyptian people.’ Supporting the protesters is GOOD. ‘Supporting the Egyptian people’ isn’t good enough or must be code for ‘supporting every dictator on the planet’, or some such nonsense.

    They are getting real hard up for a way to bash this President. And don’t worry, BWD, when they switch over the DK4 I’m not spending ten seconds trying to figure it out, so I’ll be all yours. Aren’t you the lucky one.

  173. The President and the Democrats in Congress passed numerous extensions of unemployment insurance and medicaid. These were some of the key things also included in the tax deal after the mid-terms.Unfortunatly, a large number of Afican -Americans are in these groups and would have benefitted. Without these measures, many would now be in starvation.
    He settled the Pigford farmers’ claims (and those of Native Americans) and overall Africa-Americans will have benefitted from the small improvements in the economy and health care.
    I think it is wrong to expect that they will be traeted “special” and should be told so because otherwise they are behaving like Tea Party people. Yeah, we believe in the Constitution once it does not apply to us.

  174. From the BBC: President Mubarak will announce constitutional procedures before handing over his powers to the vice president, Al- Arabiya TV said on Thursday, citing its own correspondent.

  175. Sheila, I have studied this issue. A book called The Other America is all about the rural poor. They not only are scrapping by but they don’t even have an infrastructure. No sense of community. That is true for both blacks and whites.

  176. I’m counting on you, BWD, to post the whole speech. I’m having broadband problems and the MSM cut away as soon as he finished talking about Egypt.

  177. I completely agree with you about Richard Engel. He completely lost his objectivity on this one.

    This is such an emotional moment in history, and it’s so impressive that President Obama has been the voice of reason and handled this situation as well as anyone could have hoped. I have the utmost respect for the people of Egypt, the courage they’ve shown, and what they appear to have accomplished with their peaceful actions. I hope for the best for them after tonight. It’s going to be difficult for them as different entities try to get power during the vacuum..

  178. The Pigford Farmers case is another VERY important issue- thank you for remembering that and putting it here. How long did that lawsuit go on? 10-20 years I think.. how many administrations? How many Congress sessions? And whoop in two years.. President Obama and the 111th Congress. boom.

  179. Heres a list of things the President had done for the community.
    1. reopening community health centers.
    2. expanded Food stamps to more people
    3. More funding for Community colleges
    4. Expanded and increased the pell grants
    5. Weatherization programs expansion to actually fixing up homes, along with assistance for utility bills.
    7. Tax credits that benefit the middle class and the poor.
    8. coverage for people with Pre existing condition a big problem in the inner cities. One of the hardest hit area of uninsured with pre condition.
    9. Extending funding for military families and their caregivers. Military families are mostly middle class and the poor. reform. which effected the poor and the middle class more than any other group, especially blacks and latino. you would be amazed at how many people i have told about the new healthcare law and now is seeking care and the benefits. When you appreciate what you got then more will come. look for the positive and not the negative.

  180. In light of how this movement in the Middle East has been fueled by the internet, it brings new light to the Republican attempts to keep the internet from being expanded to areas previously unreached. Another way for them to keep people in the dark and uninformed. They know how powerful unfiltered information can be – and now, the whole world has seen it.

  181. Imagine if PBO had come out at the outset forcefully for the protests: the demonstrators would have been branded agents of the West, and Mubarak would have been able to crush them without much of a problem. Or, if he had come out with full support for the regime: the protests would have turned bloody, with the protesters saying that the West just wanted to protect Mubarak because of Israel, and we may have had the beginnings of a civil war. Obama was on a tightrope with no net; he’s still on that tightrope, but getting closer to the end.

  182. When the media calls on “know-nothings” and “do-nothings” to give an uneducated and uninformed opinion on the actions of the smart, informed and educated people – that says more about the quality of journalism than it says about the matter under discussed.

  183. And as we can see today with President Obama’s new wireless initiatives, these pressing problems are far from ignored.

  184. I am very lucky! And yes, that was actually very amusing. They can all go to do you-know-what…Both them and their twins from the Right. All wingnuts.

  185. I’d like to say that I have tremendous admiration for the Egyptian people and the manner in which they have conducted themselves. Am watching this unfold and wish them the very best.

  186. Exactly so. And lets not forget about a brilliant young senator who received millions of online donations to fuel his campaign for president.. and community organize a country with this good old internet.

    I love the internet, I want everyone who wants it to have it- it is a wonderful resource. Sometimes I just google stuff.. just to see what I can learn.. lol.

  187. Very well said BWD. By the way, only a delusional person believes that a “Messiah” can be elected President of the United States. I also find it insulting to equate support for President Obama with worshiping him. All Presidents had many people who liked and defended them and their policies. People who supported Bill Clinton or George Bush, or for that matter any of the other presidents, were never accused of worshiping those Presidents. I keep wondering what is it about President Obama that makes his opponents so delusional?

  188. THESE MONEYGRUBBING MUTHAFUCKAS!!!!!!! I’m sorry BWD, but this needs to be put on blast. Notice all of the “progressives” who are just peachy keen about the Arianna merger with AOL

    Left laments HuffPo move
    By: Patrick Gavin
    February 9, 2011 02:54 PM EST

    This week’s news that AOL would acquire Arianna Huffington’s Huffington Post website is causing some nervousness among progressives who fret what the move means for the future of their message, since the website has traditionally been viewed as a liberal — and, perhaps more importantly, popular — counterpart to the more conservative Drudge Report.

    The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel sent an e-mail showall to readers that was blunt in its critique of Huffington’s transaction.

    “But while mergers and conglomerations might confer economies of scale, they come at enormous cost: independence,” vanden Heuvel wrote Tuesday evening. “That’s a price that The Nation has never been willing to pay.”

    The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank wrote Wednesday that “the sale of Huffington Post to AOL for $315 million (including a large pile of cash going to Huffington herself) means this powerful liberal voice is formally joining the ‘corporate media’ its writers have long disparaged.”

    Adding to any concern about the merger is not simply that The Huffington Post will now have a corporate partner, but that that partnership might very well water down the website’s typically liberal skew. In interviews since the announcement was made, Huffington has been doing her part to play down the site’s liberal reputation, telling POLITICO that, “We don’t see ourselves as left.” In a conference call with reporters, she said, “We used to be all about politics, now we’re not.”

    And, when asked by The Wrap if AOL’s acquisition of The Huffington Post would turn AOL into one giant lefty site, she said, “Of course not. … AOL is not a political site. AOL has Politics Daily, a section which covers politics, but it’s not a political site. I was always clear that HuffPo would not just be a political site. I always wanted it to be an Internet newspaper, covering every aspect of life.”

    This has some progressives worried that they’ve lost a crucial voice in the nation’s political discourse. Overall, however, the liberal blogosphere — not always a cheerleader for corporate acquisitions of independent media outlets — is keeping faith in Huffington’s ability to stay true to the site’s original core beliefs.

    “Arianna has stuck to her principles throughout,” said FireDogLake’s Jane Hamsher. “It’s extremely ironic to me that many of the people criticizing her for ‘selling out’ progressive values have been only too willing to do so themselves. She has consistently called for an end to the war in Afghanistan when others went silent once it became Obama’s war. I consider it nothing but a boon for true progressives that Arianna will now oversee the content read by 117 million unique visitors a month.”

    Said The Political Wire’s Taegan Goddard: “From Fox News to Rush Limbaugh, conservatives have long crushed liberals in the traditional broadcast media. However, the merger of Huffington Post with AOL’s massive traffic is a dramatic response that could go far to balance the scales.”

    It’s also been hard to view the acquisition as a loss to liberals when it is conservatives who seem most outraged by the partnership. Tucker Carlson stole Politics Daily’s Matt Lewis away from the site in the wake of the news, saying, “AOL’s announcement this morning that it will be handing editorial control to Arianna Huffington sealed the deal” for Lewis.

    Media Research Center’s Brent Bozell said in a statement that “AOL News is fooling only itself in thinking there is no journalistic conflict in merging with a hate-filled, vicious, radically left-wing rag.”

    Any progressive frustration at the HuffPo-AOL merger may very well be exacerbated by the fact that another favorite liberal voice — former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann — parted ways with that network. Although he will soon host a prime time show on Current TV, the cable network doesn’t have nearly the mainstream influence that Olbermann enjoyed while he was “Countdown” host. When, during Olbermann’s conference call with reporters, he said that “nothing is more vital to a free American than free media, and nothing is more vital to my concept of a free media than news that is produced independently of corporate interference,” there was as much chatter about him possibly referring to The Huffington Post-AOL merger as there was about the more likely suggestion: Comcast’s acquisition of NBC. (Olbermann wouldn’t provide specifics during the call.)

    Some are taking more of a wait-and-see approach.

    “I don’t see the merger as a sell-out since I know what it takes, money-wise and man-hours-wise, to produce a good news site,” said John Aravois, founder of AMERICAblog. “These things don’t write themselves for free, so I’m not going to knock someone for figuring out how to make their site financially sustainable. As to whether the merger is a setback, the real question is whether the left may now somehow lose HuffPost’s important progressive voice. I think it all depends on the degree to which AOL interferes with Huff Post’s editorial direction.”

    “If she has problems operating within the AOL corporate environment, I’m sure we’ll hear about them,” said Hamsher. “But she won’t be some 32 year-old who can be easily lured into complicity by having stock options and promotions dangled in front of them.”

    All about the GODDAMN money. Thats what they are all about. Isn’t there a way to blacklist these sons of bitches? I’m sorry, but that just pissed me off so bad today, I can’t think straight.

  189. It’s a narrative which paints a picture and draws an emotional response, rather than a fact. I generally discount this type of content as there’s no real information in it. Great comment, Nathan.

  190. Hopefruit, I think you hit a nerve. Every time
    I am around a frustrati, one of the first
    things they say is, I campaigned for him, I
    sent him money, and he is not doing what I
    want him to do.

    It has become an easy way for me to move on.
    To argue is a waste of time.

  191. This is me laughing LOUDLY at this:

    “Arianna has stuck to her principles throughout,” said FireDogLake’s Jane Hamsher. “It’s extremely ironic to me that many of the people criticizing her for ‘selling out’ progressive values have been only too willing to do so themselves. She has consistently called for an end to the war in Afghanistan when others went silent once it became Obama’s war. I consider it nothing but a boon for true progressives that Arianna will now oversee the content read by 117 million unique visitors a month.”

    Now THATS a ringing endorsement. Yep.. nothing like the “priniciples” of these “TRUE Progressives”.. as said by none other than the mighty ‘true progressive’ pal of Grover Norquist.. about that other “true Progressive” pal of Newt Gingrich.. Arianna Huffington.

    Don’t let these FOOLS and scoundrels get to you.. they are the same republicans they’ve always been.. its only the media, and one another of themselves that think they’re fooling much of anybody… I can’t imagine anybody but relatively deseperate hangers-on will buy into their spin for much longer.

  192. And gee, people actually willing to go where the facts lead them instead of an ideological revision of reality. Ain’t it refreshing?

  193. The entire “progressive” movement has become a real joke. No wonder no one takes them seriously anymore, if people like Jane whats-her-name are the “voice” of the Left.

  194. A wingnut is a wingnut no matter what wing you’re from (or something equally profound. I just made my head hurt.)

  195. From my twitter timeline:

    RT @abuaardvark “@AymanM on AJE giving #Obama credit for restraining #Egyptian military over last 2 weeks; don’t tell DC pundits.”

  196. :mrgreen: SOOO many insightful and intelligent comments here. It is really an education and an inspiration.

    Yes, Yes, OFA training will give us new and innovative ways to get the word out on the President’s accomplishments. This Message Training will be the foundation for many events in the coming months. And–it will be fun! So, participate if you possibly can. RSVP:

  197. RE: Egypt

    So funny to watch the right wing piss and moan as they try to find a reason, no matter how loopy, why Democracy in Egypt is bad!

    Don’t you know, if Bush was still in office they would instead be heralding from the mountain tops how this is all thanks to Bush’s “liberation” of Iraq.


  198. Very interesting. Unfortunately we now have a dynamic where bashing President Obama is the ‘leftie’ thing to do. So I’m all too afraid that HuffPo will continue to do it and call it ‘balance’. Where have I heard THAT before?

  199. Oh, thank God. That is good news. My blood pressure just lowered itself. Thanks so much.

  200. Of course Jane Hamsher of Firebagger Lake would be such a vocal cheerleader.

    I saw the handwriting on the wall last year: it became evident that these PL types were looking to CASH IN on bashing Democrats from the left — from POTUS on down. They decided that would be their niche. People like Hamsher, Cenk, and Huffington determined this would be their way to get attention and make a buck. I even said so in DKos comments. (I got my first, and last, sanction at DKos for calling Miss Jane a firebagger, tee-hee.)

    The first inkling I had of this was the comment section at Huffington Post on any given article. The article could be *relatively* fairhanded, or even progressive, but the comments would be a freaking cesspool. You could tell there was no moderation, and what moderation there was was random or even slanted toward letting any right-wing slander get through. Quite a few comments I made there never even got posted — they’re floating in the ethernet somewhere, “awaiting moderation.”

    That’s when I knew it was a sham, and that all that craziness in the comments was just to keep people glued to the site. So this doesn’t surprise me at all.

    Nothing progressive about these types, never was. Once POTUS didn’t become their errand boy, they threw their media-backed fits and haven’t stopped.

  201. My only concern about them is that they are allowed to call themselves representing liberals/progressives on teevee night after night- as some grand voice of / for – us. When they’re so full of bs and smarmy self agrandisement and don’t represent nothing in reality but their own fame and fortune.

    Thats my beef.. I fear the people out in the world being exposed to their nonsense via their teevee everynight Lawrence or Rachael throws them up as ‘representing’.. which of course as we all know is their largest moneymaking venture: to cast doubt and suspicion on President Obama- from the ‘left’.

    I don’t watch teevee, but I’d appreciate knowing when they’re on.. because thats when I feel we ought to try to- ACT as one here -as much as is possible and email/call those shows and tell them to knock off framing Hamsher/Greene/Huffington as the voice of the left.

  202. Right on sherijr, I’m trying to think of the number of people I’m acquainted with in real life who care what JH has to say or even know who the hell she is.

  203. Hey, if Halliburton wasn’t responsible, screw it. Democracy can only be brought by “liberation tactics.”

  204. Exactly Junkessa. “awaiting moderation” love that, lol funny.

    And too right about the “errand boy”.. thats exactly what they were hoping for and expecting from their very own “magic negro”.

    And lets never forget: $$$- Everybody is making heavy loot off attacking one President Barack Obama. Mention his name with that little derogatory caveat here and there.. and voila!, prepare to become a star on everyone’s nightly ‘news’.

  205. Great point about the help these programs already provide. I remember seeing some energy assistance info while signing up for food stamps and was appalled at how much they gave to recipients. I thought to myself, “what’s the point?”.

  206. According to the translation I’m following he said he would turn over ‘some’ of the responsibilities to the VP.

  207. I blame the media for this circus. Once again, they show that the quality of journalism is a joke, because they reported something that just wastn’t substantiated. And they were calling for reactions from the White House hours ago, to something that hadn’t happened yet. I feel for the people of Egypt – what a disappointment.

  208. LOL, in all honestly I knew I needed to stay out of it and did, because at the time I read the discussion I knew I wasn’t going to provide anything other than drama. Y’all handled it well, and I’m glad I didn’t end up posting anything I know I’d regret, especially as I hate admitting that I’m wrong. 🙂

  209. What I find to be a source of almost constant amusement, LL, is the idea that Boehner has that dems should vote for republican bills because “it’s the right thing to do.” I thought the ARRA, HCR, the unemployment extensions, and other measures that were meant to help in economic recovery were the right things to do in 2009 and 2010 and wished the republicans would have voted for them.

    Boehner isn’t liking the taste of his own medicine he’s getting from the dems. Serves him right. He and the GOP worked hard and lied hard to win a majority in the H. of Rs. Boehner was so happy that he cried in the interview after the midterm elections. He just didn’t expect to have to deal with the dems and the un-cooperative, unaware members of the tea party caucus. The lesson for Boehner and the GOP in dealing with their new problems in getting anything passed is that quality is always superior to quantity. Boehner is reaping what he sowed when he stood in front of every camera he could find in 2009 and 2010 and told lie after lie about the democrats and PBO. Little did he know he’d have these kinds of headaches in assuming the Speaker’s position. Ms. Pelosi ran rings around him when she was Speaker, and she didn’t have to blame the republicans for not getting legislation passed.

  210. AJ is heads and shoulders above any American “news” outlet. I have had a different view of the protests in Egypt than that I’ve seen expressed in American media and on the internet simply because I’ve been watching AJ since shortly after the protests began. The MSM wastes too much time on politicians’ and pundits’ opinions instead of providing on the ground reporting the way that AJ does.

  211. Call me dumb, but the Egyptian protesters are the Egyptian people! According to Al Jazeera, people from all walks of life are participating in these protests–rich, poor, well-trained professionals, unskilled laborers, etc. IMHO, this is an attempt to create a non-troversy that can be used to further discredit and de-legitimize PBO. It’s the same old game–never give the president credit for doing anything right and call his successes failures because he didn’t handle the issue the way you would have handled it.

  212. I do, too!

    A lesson gone unlearned – again . . .

    I finally learned two years ago to never repeat and accept what the media, pundits and speculators have said as “gospel”. I don’t believe anything that somebody said that somebody said or somebody did that somebody said they did until I hear from that person specifically, or I witness an event with my own two eyes (and sometimes that’s not so good).

    Remember Balloon Boy?

    I told my co-worker this morning that although I hoped that Mubarek would concede, I didn’t want to pin my hopes on what mainstream media and bloggers were saying. The truth is that nobody but Mubarek knew what he was going to do. But the story was spun so out of control that as far as we know, he may have even rebelled because of it.

    Another EPIC FAIL on the part of mainstream media.

  213. Your facts about voting patterns are what I have heard also, hopefruit. But I worry about us having been somewhat tainted by our previous experience elsewhere, which might cause us to over-react. I believe there are lots of reasons to believe poverty has not been addressed by our leaders, but I think it is systemic rather than attributable to any one individual. The fact that we allow even one child (or adult, for that matter) to go hungry in this country is a black mark for us all.

  214. I love love love how they conflate financial sustainability (such as a small blog selling ads or taking subscriptions) with selling a “liberal” blog to a corporation like AOL for a nine figure payout, with the ultimate goal being page clicks, not progress. Those two scenarios are nothing alike. And I just am giggling myself silly that the “anticorporatist” “populists” don’t seem to notice that HuffPo’s main attraction to AOL was the “efficiency” of its content production, meaning, AOL pays most of its content leaders while HuffPo does not.

    I don’t know who these people are, but they’re not my opinion leaders; they don’t speak for or represent me or my interests. Clapping for media consolidation and sketchy profiteering business models while having the nerve to rail against the WH. I’m actually enjoying this story.

  215. Nathan, I sometimes think it is his serene temperament. A perpetually-agitated person who gets his or her feelings of self-worth from his or her “righteous” outrage needs to project this on others in order to feel validated. When someone refuses to react in like manner, it is like they have let go in a tug of war. I don’t believe a tug of war is a very effective way to accomplish much of anything productive, which is why the President appears to be doing a great job to me.
    I hate this long thing threads. The box isn’t large enough to contain my typing and I can’t edit the work that is outside the white box. Sorry for the complain, blackwaterdog. I love this site, but I find this one detail irritating.

  216. I think perhaps Anita’s situation, which is one I’ve never been in, might cause her to see things somewhat differently than those of us who are living in more fortunate situations. Let’s all try to understand that and agree that we all hate poverty and we all want to see President O bama re-elected. We can all learn much from different interpretations of situations and from differences in tactics as to how to achieve our goals.

  217. Me too, actually, but it is what it is. It’s the format and i can’t change it, unless I’ll switch to a completely different theme – which may happen in the future. Sorry.

  218. Totally agree. These “anonymous sources” leaks about the “scary” things Obama plans to do reminds me too much of the diaries over at DailyGrossExaggeration. Not reliable sources in the slightest.

  219. No one is blaming the victims. People shouldn’t complain when they don’t vote. Period. And again, a drop from 98% AA turnout to 93% AA turnout from Presidential year to Mid-term year is not that big of a deal, par for the course really. Besides, 2008 was one of those special election years. There was no way those turnout results were going to be duplicated in 2010.

  220. Most inner city black men “have a record?”

    Okay, now you just sound like one of the misinformed ones over at DailyGrossExaggeration. You wouldn’t also go by the moniker “ThAnswr,” would you?

  221. Sherijr, This was huge in my mind. And who resolved, PBO. So many things he has done in two years.

  222. Whew! What a thread! And virtually no acrimony! 😀

    ‘President Mubarak will announce constitutional procedures…’

    I read a post that someone linked her last week about constitutional problems re Mubarak stepping aside and it made sense to me. Unfortunately I spent the last 19 minutes trying to locate it and was unsuccessful. Basically what I understood it to say was that the Egyptian constitution in its current form would allow a totally unacceptable man to step in as leader if Mubarak just stepped aside. So the intent was to have him go away, but not abdicate the position. That way he would still theoritacally be in control, and then the world leaders, or whomever, along with the appropriate factions in Egypt, could help in the writing of a new more appropriate constitution. If the person who posted this remembers and can repost I’d appreciate it. This time I’ll save it. 😉

  223. No, no, I like the format in general, especially the dark, palimpsest-like background. I just get frustrated when I can’t see all of what I am typing to edit it for mistakes. It’s a small enough imperfection considering the value of this site.

  224. I tried watching Cenk yesterday when he and Dylan Ratigan were solving the problems of the world. Both of them know nothing. About anything.

    Why would anyone give Cenk a job? His voice is like fingernails on a chalkboard. He rambles, he’s incoherent. To paraphrase our beloved V.P., “noun, verb HATE OBAMA.”

    All that Dylan Ratigan knows is that his health insurance isn’t good enough for him and he wants a public option for himself.

    When MSNBC fired David Shuster and replaced him with one of those generic, mindless automatons, I knew they had serious management problems. Lawrence O’Donnell has gone to some place I no longer recognize, where Jane Hamsher and Dana Milbank (who Keith kicked off MSNBC) are supposed to tell us what to think.

    I hate CNN even more. MSM is pathetic.

  225. I don’t pass anything but hope on to my students. The President said he wanted to be President of all the people, that includes black people, and poor people. I think what he did the last two years is commendable. I am talking about NOW< the lead up to the 2012 election. Cuts in programs for the poor is a really bad idea. Besides going to one job training facility, he has not been visiting inner city communities. Or those really on the bottom. It is the truth, nothing to run away from And it is true, that when he speaks to a black audience, they get a lecture, like as not, on how to be better parents. Even the obesity campaign is targeted at inner city kids. I am not criticizing what I see as a good thing. But these kids are already lacking self-esteem. To say, you are lazy,you are violent, you are bad parents, you are fat, you don't try hard enough in school…I mean, I think a white President would be talking about the poor more,ironically.

  226. These policies are not getting to those who really need it. Entrepreneurs! Start a business! Let’s nurture all the Bill Gates out there and out invent everyone. Even if we get high speed rail, unless he designates some of those jobs for the unemployed, you know who will get the contracts and the money. Poor people have no capital and lousey credit. No access and no clout. I understand what he had to deal with in his first term. Why can’t you concede what he needs to do to get out his core constituency? And I am not patronizing anyone.

  227. I am not threatening anyone. I hope I am wrong. Whoever said the poor are trying to get into the middle class was spot on. Give them a real leg up. Go into your black communities in your town and prove me wrong. It would be good for OFA to engage themselves there.

  228. That is a rotten thing to say. I am trying to prove to all of you that I have been and still am a staunch Obama supporter. I am trying to signal a necessary change in at least some of the rhetoric and action, leading into 2012. The gays got DADT, great, that is six percent of the population, and some of them are republicans. I am bringing up an issue that must be addressed. Talk about an enthusiasm gap. You can say if someone doesn’t vote, he is to blame, and I agree. You can also say that you need to motivate your core constituents to vote,it is part of the process. Ignoring it won’t make it go away. It is hard to get AA;s and the poor to the polls, always has been.

  229. You’re right, nothing ever changes…unless enough people expend the time, effort, and energy to help make sure that things do change.

    That said, would you agree that youth violence is a national and one that involves families and communities as well. As I recall, the President has spoken on several occasions about the need for black men to step up as fathers and become more engaged and visible in their children’s lives. But this is this applies equally to mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts, and grandparents too.

    And if we’re going to be brutally honest about the situation, it doesn’t matter what the President, or anyone else, says about the issue if the primary stakeholders (parents, families, friends, and communities)are not involved and working together in partnerships to turn the the tide on violence, education, drug abuse, health care and other issues that affect them on a local level. But as a teacher you know that already…right?

    If I recall correctly, young people and adults who are either underemployed or unemployed have been encouraged by the President to go to school to gain additional education and skills that would enable them to compete in the job market. There are many programs that are up and running for people who are willing to make the effort. And the recent increase in Pell grants (thanks to the President who is “virtually ignoring” those who live in poor communities) ensures that students from low-income and working poor families will be able to pursue secondary education, so that instead of feeling hopeless and being angry about their circumstances they can actually do something that will help to improve their lives. But I guess, for some people,that isn’t enough…

    In my opinion, and with all due respect, you seem to have an issue with the fact that the President is comfortable in his own skin. And you seem somewhat fixated on his identity. If you really thought about it you’d understand that it isn’t necessary for him to take a public stand for black people, per se, because he does that whenever policies are enacted which benefits everyone. Does it make the policies any less effective because they’re not singled out for black people or steeped in identity politics? And if that’s the “criteria” you need in order to feel that he’s not ignoring a segment of his constituency then I think it says more about your state of mind…than his.

    I’m very surprised, Anita,that as a teacher you are so dismissive of the need for children to have healthy diets and to exercise regularly, given the exceedingly high rate of diabetes, asthma, obesity and other health-related related illnesses, which have had a negative and serious impact on the young in our communities for the past decade.

    As you pointed out, a lack of nutritious food impairs children’s ability to learn AND has long-lasting consequences for them, both mentally and physically, that is difficult to reverse.

    Please, help me out here? What does a handpicked focus group stating that they believe the President is a Muslim have to do with this particular discussion? Seems like you’re throwing out anything and everything to see what will stick? Is that it? Correct me if I’m wrong but that’s the impression that I’m getting.

    That said, even if the President was a Muslim…so what? I don’t know where you were going with that train of thought and it’s a road that I don’t wish to travel. I will say in conclusion that you’re entitled to your opinions…I just don’t happen to agree with them.


  230. It is a fact that the stimulus prevented millions of people from entering into poverty and held out a lifeline for those who were not so fortunate. This is fact. And I also take issue with the caricature of the small business initiatives when those businesses are the main employers in the inner city. Perhaps someone’s jerk chicken restaurant or pharmacy is not on the scale of Microsoft but those are places which supply the jobs which you note are sorely needed.

    I have absolutely no intention of buying into an argument which posits that unless President Obama has been able to eradicate these problems, he can and should be blamed and people should do themselves the disfavor of buying into the false idea that there is no difference between the parties. That is false and nonfactual.

    A different discussion pertains to creating a comprehensive analysis and plan for empowering impoverished African Americans, but that discussion is going to have to go far beyond POTUS snapping his fingers and fixing deep-rooted issues and into an analysis of multiple institutions, both political and social, in a nuanced manner. The WH is not a magic bullet to cure all ills.

  231. Entrenched intergenerational poverty is a byproduct of institutional racism, which has been embedded in the federal government for decades. Therefore, it’s not something that can be remedied overnight or in two years’ time because many of the policies are still in place. And no one is trying to lecture you but it seems that you’re not very well-informed about the root causes of poverty…given that you’re a teacher.

    Incidentally, you don’t know me well enough to “assume” that you know what I take for granted. And you certainly don’t have a clue about what I have or have not experienced in life. So, I suggest that you follow your own advice and not “spout off” about things that you don’t know about.

  232. Here’s some interesting information about tuition costs in MA. Isn’t that where you live, Anita?

    Bunker Hill Community College
    Massachusetts residents:
    Fall: $131/credit
    ($24 Tuition + $102 College fees + $5 Technology fee)

    Spring: $131/credit
    ($24 Tuition + $102 College fees + $5 Technology fee)

    Roxbury Community College
    Massachusetts residents:
    Tuition:$26 Fees:$107 Total:$133

    Quincy Community College
    Massachusetts residents:
    Liberal Arts and Sciences -$165.00
    Computer Science and Technology – 175.00
    Science Labs (1 credit each)- $220.00
    Computer Science and Technology – $195.00
    First Year Seminar (IDS 165)- $125.00 / course

    Peace be with you Anita.

    (BTW, Eric, I think you’re right!)

  233. I forgot to add that it’s standard practice that those who have defaulted on their loans aren’t eligible for federal loans. This is nothing new. But most colleges have work study or provide employment for students off-site so that they can obtain experience in their chosen fields.

    And there are merit scholarships, part-time grants, Pell grants, and in-house college scholarships to help students meet their financial needs.

    And your statement that “most inner city black have a record” is not only false but sounds very similar to a statement made by Ron Paul that “Given the inefficiencies of what D.C. laughingly calls the “criminal justice system,” I think we can safely assume that 95% of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.”

    No words for you, or to you, Anita…I’m done.

  234. Still don’t understand what Pres. Obama “talking about the poor more” would do to alleviate any of the problems you cite. Pres. Obama asking African-Americans to be fathers to their children, read to their children and take their children’s education and health more seriously seem to be concrete steps that can be taken to break the negative cycles that you say you want eliminated. We have had plenty of white presidents, have any of them spoken about poor/black people to your satisfaction? What effect has the talk about poor/black people by your favorite white president done to solve the problems you cite? The cuts to the budget you are reading about are cuts the REPUBLICAN house of reps want to make. If you and people who think like you don’t vote, chances rise that more REPUBLICANS will be elected and more cuts will be made that hurt poor people. Finally, as many have pointed out, all black people are not poor. African-Americans have a middle class too. White people are poor in this country too. The MSM likes to put a black face on poverty in this country, but in reality white poverty is a problem in this country too.

  235. I went to the ACLU site, but can’t find a link to the stats that show that most inner city black men have a criminal record. If you could provide a link to those ACLU stats, that would be dandy.

  236. That’s great advice Faith. I had to step back a few times during the discussion to do some tai chi to keep my spirits positive and calm. Then I re-read my comments before hitting ‘send.’

    I was getting a little annoyed but I think I kept it in check and believe that we had a lively but respectful discussion. I don’t think anyone crossed the line.

    I’m so happy to be on a site where compassion, intelligence, and vision are on constant display.

    Thanks guys!

  237. Good comment Creolchild. There does seem to be a fixation on Obama’s racial identity. John Edwards TALKED alot about poor people when running for president, but did NOTHING for poor people, white or black, while in the Senate.

  238. I want to thank you gn, for responding to that tonight.. as there was no way I could do it. The entire tone was more than I could speak to respectfully. Well stated, thank you.

  239. Very, very well put Pinkbunny…Thank you!

    Unfortunately, I think Anita is stuck on no…

    I’ve read some of her posts including her subtle and not so subtle condescending digs at the President and I’m not convinced that this Anita Preer is really interested in progress or moving things forward…

    President Obama is not responsible for “crummy schools” in the inner cities or aywhere else for that matter and neither is he to blame for 24% unemployment. The idea that he in the midst of all he inherited has not instantly reversed years of damage is another one of those tell it to hate him stories…

    As much as President Obama has failed to live up to the supernatural miracle worker projection that some of the same people who in 2 short years have turned on him would have him be, he is the only hope for people like Anita and the very negative gloom and doom voices she speaks on behalf…

    Folks can stay home again like they did during the 20midterms just to spite

  240. But…but…but…I thought we were all for “building democracies” in foreign countries.


  241. Excuse me when did the POTUS or FLOTUS *ever* put forth that black people are lazy, angry, violent, bad parents, or that kids are problematic????

    This is a straight up untruth, and your final sentence is extremely curious to say the least.

  242. You seem to be condemning Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative. You’re getting awfully close to Republican talking points . .

  243. Sorry meant to finish up my post by writing:

    Folks can stay home again like they did during the 2010 midterms just to spite President Obama.

    But *they* lose not him.

    Contrary to all the threats to make this President a “one term” president, it is Barack Obama who does this country the favor and not the other way round!

    President Obama will be just fine with or without a second term, but the United States of America and the world will certainly be worse off if the fail to re-elect this brilliant, decent, honorable and exceptional visionary of a man.

  244. I agree with everyone here in regard to what the President has accomplished, and I firmly believe he cares very much about the poor and the plight of African Americans. Working within a deeply-flawed system, he has had remarkable results. However, Ms. Preer is speaking from a situation which most of us probably do not share, and I think we are being too hard on her. She sees what she sees and we should be tolerant about her expressing it. Ideally, it would be great to have a site where even rightwingers could comment now and then in a civil manner (I know, they are hardly ever civil), with a lively give-and-take discussion that fosters mutual respect even though our ideas may be very different. We speak often of spreading the word, but until the various sides can learn to trust one another personally, we won’t get very far.

  245. So, no link I take it?

    Anita, if you’re going to make bold generalizations like “most inner city black men have a record,” then you need to back it up with actual data pointing to that assertion. For all I know, you’re correct in that assertion, but without providing data to back it up, it just sounds like stale, right-wing gibberish.

  246. Sheila, with all due respect,I agree with most of what you wrote, EXCEPT this:

    “However, Ms. Preer is speaking from a situation which most of us probably do not share, and I think we are being too hard on her.”

    There is no way for anyone to know what individuals on this site have experienced in their lives unless they disclose that information. I would suggest that the lives of many people of color in this country can be ranked equal to, or worse than, on some levels to what Ms. Preer has endured simply based on our skin tones. Please know that this is not a tit-for-tat or comparison of personal travesties to gauge who has suffered more.

    The point I’m trying to make is that being tolerant of others requires being open and respectful…not dismissive and condescending. I’m not accusing Ms. Preer of either but in my opinion there were times when it seemed that she was venturing closely in both areas by informing us of what we thought and about what life was like in black communities. Excuse me if I do not defer to her perspective given that I, and others on this site, are living it. Furthermore, I believe we are as entitled to our opinions as she is to hers.

    As for being “too hard” on her…well, I’m sorry that you felt that way but I didn’t see it as such. Perhaps you got that impression because several posters, myself included, pushed back with clear-cut facts and supportive actions against some of her positions which were ill-informed and not wholly credible.

    In my opinion, tolerance is a two-way street. While I will freely acknowledge to becoming a little testy in my responses with her, I was never uncivil. And my responses in those instances were a direct result of snarky comments that were directed towards me. My default position is to always treat people that same way that I want to be treated by them. I don’t have a reputation for being thin-skinned, or confrontational, but I will defend myself when the need arises.

    And I think BWD provides an excellent site where diverse opinions can be discussed with mutual respect. She’s not going to have it any other way…and the minute that changes I’ll be gone. However, I appreciate the fact that you have expressed your concerns. It’s something to keep in mind as we go forward.

    Have a great weekend and peace be with you.

  247. Please spare us all the missionary complex Anita…

    So yeah, you’ve been married to a black man, registered minorities, had a raccoon tied to the back of your car, have a bi-racial son, have black friends etc…

    And that gives you the right to denigrate and demean President Obama because of course you’re “progressive”, smarter and more concerned than he is with regard to “poor blacks”…

    And you couldn’t possibly have any questionably uncomfortable underlying prejudices you struggle with and deal with by projecting all these negatives onto him…?

    Your very passive aggressive and hostile posts betray far deeper feelings about this President that obviously have absolutely nothing to do with his policies, accomplishments or his intentions…

    With all your “knowledge” and years working to “save” black America you really think you know and do better than the “bi-racial” President Obama and his black wife begotten of slaves…

    But in the end actually, people like you wittingly or unwittingly, end up doing so much more damage and harm with your manipulation of facts and encouragement and dissemination of information and messages designed to demoralize and defeat the very same groups you purportedly advocate for…

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