“Obama, GOP in Different Galaxy on Budget”

Hi guys,

It’s 2012-budget day, and we know there’s going to be something for everyone (including myself) to be unhappy with. And, it’s going to get noisy today, on Left and Right and Left. My only request is that we’ll keep the spirit of conversation that we built here over the past 3 months, and will use facts and level head.


1. Today’s schedule:

9:20 AM PBO departs the White House en route Baltimore, Maryland.
10:00 AM  
10:10 AM PBO visits a science classroom.
10:20 AM PBO delivers remarks on education and key budget priorities.
11:00 AM  
11:45 AM PBO arrives at the White House.
12:00 PM  
12:15 PM OMB Director Jack Lew and CEA Chairman Austan Goolsbee discuss the White House Budget.


2. PBO will travel to Parkville Middle School in Baltimore where he’ll deliver remarks on the budget.


3. Here’s Jack Lew previewing the budget:


4. And here’s E.J. Dionne puts everything in the right perspective:

….After Obama unveils his budget proposal on Monday, it will be hard to pretend anymore that the president and House Republicans even live in the same political galaxy, let alone have a chance of reaching lots of bipartisan agreements.


Obama’s budget, by contrast, will be a mix of cuts and increases, with the accent on policies oriented toward the future—thus that stress on new education and energy initiatives, the need to fix both our transportation and technology infrastructures, and the ways in which government can foster research, development and innovation.

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5. The party is over:

Budget to make clear that post-9/11 military spending spree has ended

The 2012 spending plan the Pentagon will deliver to Capitol Hill on Monday will feature few surprises, but it will make clear that the post-9/11 military spending spree has ended, congressional aides and analysts say.


Gates announced in January that the White House ordered the Pentagon to cut $78 billion over five years, but added the military was able to largely offset that due to the success of his internal cost-cutting efforts.

“There is clear desire by the White House to draw down total annual defense funding — as soon as possible,” said Jim McAleese, a Virginia-based defense consultant.

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Have a great Monday, and a very happy Valentine’s Day. 🙂


173 thoughts on ““Obama, GOP in Different Galaxy on Budget”

  1. I agree with the cuts, he is proposing. Huff Po has a misleading story about the cuts targeting the middle class and poor. Liheap is being cut but not taking away. We will have to get better with saving on energy everyone including the poor. The pell grant is for summer grants. The fall grants are still in place with the same amount. so I don’t see the big deal.

  2. POTUS got his headlines! All over the newspapers and blogosphere
    President to cut budget by 1.1 trillion!

    That will go a long way in winning back the middle.

    Also, Morning joe is spinning the hell out of it every morning, he says unless POTUS cuts SS and Medicare, then he will not get re-elected!

    Whatevah, JOE!

    They will not mention his tax increases, in the budget, for those over 250k! OOOPS. No wonder repubs are pissed! LOL!

  3. HUffpo is a double agent! She works for both sides! In the end, getting paid by Newts Business happy comglomerates!
    Only differnce is, she does not have a license to kill!

  4. You can count on Huffington Post to skew information in a manner that casts the President and his administration in the worst light possible. Facts be damned, it’s all about President Obama being a sell-out.

    More and more people are on to Huffington and her Breitbart-esque style of faux-journalism. She has no business pretending to be concerned about poor people while she’s lining her pockets with millions of dollars, merging with corporate giants like AOL.

  5. Reid calls on Republicans to completely rule out shutting down the government
    By Andrew Restuccia – 02/13/11 04:34 PM ET

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called on House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) Sunday to completely rule out shutting down the government over disagreements on spending.

    Republicans have stressed that they do not want to shut down the government. “Our goal here is to reduce spending. Our goal is not to shut down the government,” Boehner said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday.

    But Democrats have continued to hammer away at the issue Sunday, continuing to raise the possibility of a shut down.

    “Speaker Boehner said his goal is to not shut down the government,” Reid said in a statement Sunday. “If he is serious about that, he should completely take a shutdown off the table and tell other Republicans to stop with the threats.”

    Reid said a government shut down would have wide-ranging effects on the American people.


  6. Obama has always talked about how what matters is not the size of the government but the efficiency of the government. I think a lot of those “cuts” in programs that the Left views as important are going to be as much in the realm of increasing efficiency by wasting less.

    Remember when the right made a big issue in terms of HCR and the cuts to Medicare. They pushed how Obama wanted to reduce Medicare benefits by $500 billion. What he was talking about was saving Medicare that amount of money by getting rid of inefficient methids and by going after fraud.

    That being said, there are going to be some cuts even I won’t be happy with. Not being happy with them does not mean I don’t think they are necessary cuts, however.

    The PL will hog wild about the cuts to “liberal” programs and say more could have been cut from the defense budget. Of course, they don’t realize that if Obama proposed too much in terms of defense cuts, he would end up a one term President.

    The defense budget can be cut, and it will be over the next 5 years. But it will be done in a way that can not be viewed as weakening the US.

    I think the key in this budget is the long term thinking that Dionne refers to. Invest now, rather than later when the investing will cost a lot more and when it may be too late to make much of a difference.

  7. I am sick and tired of SS being used as some sort of sacrificial lamb when not one penney of the deficit is due to SS.

  8. Believe it or not, Halperin did mention the cuts on MJ. I was shocked. And budget director Lew mentioned them when Morning Joe interviewed him. Lew says they will affect those earning over $250K. Totally fair.

    I’m so sick of these rich folks like Joe who won’t have to depend on Medicare and SS wanting to pull the safety net from the middle class.

  9. Such great comments!!
    I think his budget is wise and fair for the country. Of course there are cuts we wont like. He doesnt either. but its positive and make the Country proud not negative and demeaning like the Repubs. It adheres to his goals. If we cut until the next generation is destroyed our Country will fail..

    I dont go to Huffpost usually.

  10. “The biggest winners coming out of CPAC were Democrats and the president, as it is clear, based on the presentations there, that Republicans have no message and nothing to offer the public accept re-fighting the political and legislative battles – battles they have already lost,” DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse wrote in an email about the new video.

  11. HuffPo headlines and stories are usually misleading. She goes for sensationalism, not truth, in order to maximize the number of clicks.

    Cuts have to be made in spending and revenues have to be increased if we are to tackle the deficit. I’m sure I won’t like all of the choices the President makes but I do know that the choices he lists are carefully thought out with the interests of the people in mind.

  12. I want to know how you even BEGIN to stomach Morning Joke and his side kick? Too early for me to hear that blabber! Let’s see what is unveiled today…military hardware cuts are great with me, as long as the PEOPLE in the military don’t have to suffer much from these cuts. The President has been excellent on veterans issues, unlike the others who SAY they love the military and do nothing for them…I’m looking at YOU, John McCain!Whatever happens, I know that they represent responsible measures, not the extreme, one sided slash and burn from the other side.I trust him to do the right thing for the most people…some of them may be hard to swallow, but, well…I’ll keep an open mind. My biggest headache with this whole deficit issue is, why do dems always have to clean up their messes??? They are never fiscally responsible in truth…they just try and pretend they are. THAT’S what burns my buns.

  13. Oh please, spare us all Morning Bad Joke.

    Had the POTUS proposed to cut SS and Medicare, Bad Joke and his BFF Arianna Huffington would be the first ones to condemn him. So as I said, please, spare us all.

  14. Our local paper headlines the budget at the top of the front page, saying that Obama plans to “freeze many domestic programs for five years, trim military spending, and limit tax deductions for the wealthy.” It goes on to say Republicans are castigating Obama for “proposals that will boost spending in such areas as education, public works, and research” and that his budget will “destroy jobs by spending too much…”

    Well, heaven forbid that we should spend in education, infrastructure, and research — no jobs there, right? And no benefits for future generations either! I have yet to see ONE IDEA from the Repubs that could possibly create the first job. They are just about to get on my nerves here, and I know it’s just beginning…thank goodness BWD has given us this forum to think positively about the changes that must be made.

  15. And while they don’t need to depend on SS, the vast majority will take the benefits anyway while they complain about wasteful spending and a runaway deficit.

  16. Every morning it is all they talk about! Trying to goad or bait the POTUS into doing just that! ONe thing is for sure, he does not trust the republicans, after the stilulus negotiations, he has to use his street smarts on these guys. they are very manipulative!

  17. Nor will they mention that millinon of tax cuts for the millionaires they advocated for.

  18. I agree. No solutions – only trashing of the President with lies and empty rhetoric. The nonstop Obama-bashing at the CPAC events are getting tiresome, if not repulsive. Voters are getting turned off.

  19. Again this is where thee dems should remind them of the tax cuts for millionaires. They canT be to concern.

  20. Because, they wait for a democrat in office, until they start taling about deficits. Then when they get in office, they spend the hell out of the govt and break the banks!

  21. Happy Valentines Day BWD and this wonderful family. I need to wait th hear from the Repubs on thus budget thing. I do believe there needs to be programs that are streamlined. I want to here more about cuts to contractors in the defense budget. I know the repubs will cut domestic before defense. This will be a messy fight for everyone.

  22. The republicans have gotten so used to just complaining and castigating the Democrats that they don’t seem to realize that they are now being judged by their own accomplishments and the free ride is over. They have accomplished nothing since retaking the house and the things they have tried to accomplish pretty much horrify the majority of voters. They have no ideas and just standing back and complaining is no longer a viable strategy so they just look lost and confused.

  23. President Obama’s fiscal year 2012 budget is expected to include a $556 billion plan for the nation’s highways and bridges, including $50 billion in up-front investment that “creates hundreds of thousands of jobs in the short-term.”

    The budget plan set for release Monday morning calls for the establishment of a National Infrastructure Bank and begins investment into a a 25-year plan to improve and expand the nation’s high-speed rail system to provide access to 80 percent of Americans, according to a budget document obtained by The Hill.

    The proposed 2012 budget consolidates 60 duplicate programs that frequently contain earmarks into five programs.

    The Obama administration recently announced a six-year, $53 billion plan to expand high-speed rail. The 2012 budget contains $8 billion for the project. The plan builds on the $10.5 billion already devoted to high-speed rail, including $8 billion in economic stimulus funds and $2.5 billion from the 2010 budget.


  24. You will not hear this in the news, bc POTUS has a plan and republican’s do not! True story! My fear is that they must feel confident that they can get their mnessage out, what with all their buddies in the MSM!

  25. Why is it that we never hear a rebuttal on SS from the Dems? If they would (in unison) talk about raising the cap (more money going into SS) and lowering the retirement age (jobs opening up for younger workers) – and show how advantageous both ideas would be for the economy, well it seems to me that the Repubs would be laughed off the air and out of their seats. Ba-bye!!!

  26. Jovie if that the case then the deficit will be reduce a little more. If he get that through then this man knows how to manuever.

  27. THIS IS WHAT WE ARE UP AGAINST: As it relates to the budget, a lot of lawmakers literally don’t know what they are doing. “Just Plain Nuts” is a must read.

    The Center for American Progress’ Scott Lilly, a former staff director of the House Appropriations Committee, noted late last week that a lot of these lawmakers literally don’t know what they’re doing.

    With many of the 93 freshmen members of the House still asking rudimentary budget questions such as: “what is the difference between an authorization and an appropriation?” or “how do outlays differ from budget authority?” the time frame that Rep. Rogers and his leadership are committed to means that not only will those voting on the proposal have little opportunity to understand it but the authors themselves will not have fully vetted or completely understood what they are proposing.

    There have been no hearings, no requests for testimony, and no opportunity even for staff charged with proposing the cuts to do agency-by-agency analysis of the possible negative consequences. Members will vote [this] week on the package without fundamental knowledge of how major budget changes in literally thousands of federal programs will impact the country in general or their own constituents in particular.

    This really isn’t going to go well. Indeed, it’s no way to run an effective government.


  28. Here’s my prediction: The left will focus all of their energy on LIHEAP and leave the WH and Dems to shout about the devastation that is the Republican budget. Then they will sit back and complain about Dem messaging.

    I don’t mind complaints about cuts, but these pundits who think of themselves as influential should include the WH explanation, an analysis of that explanation and realistic alternatives to that cut.

    yes, I’m asking for too much.

  29. President Obama spoke to the leaders of Britain, Jordan and Turkey today to discuss the latest developments in Egypt, the White House said in a statement.

    The president welcomed the historic change that has been made by the Egyptian people, and reaffirmed his admiration for their efforts. He also welcomed the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces’ announcement today that it is committed to a democratic civilian transition, and will stand by Egypt’s international obligations. The President emphasized his conviction that democracy will bring more – not less – stability to the region. He also stressed the U.S. commitment to provide the support that is necessary and requested by the Egyptian people to pursue a credible and orderly transition to democracy, including by working with international partners to provide financial support. The leaders agreed on the importance of a peaceful transition to a democratic government that is responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people, and agreed to work closely together going forward. The President reaffirmed the United States’ strong commitment to supporting a more peaceful and prosperous Middle East in close consultation with all our regional partners.

  30. HAPPY VALENTINES DAY Blackwaterdog and all the folks who come to “only adult in the room”. The nashing of teeth and bashing will be the tone for the week. The good thing is the President will once again will come out on top because he’s an adult dealing with adults who only want to act like spoiled children.

  31. Its not that he would end up a one term president, a big enough cut in defense to avoid cuts elsewhere would not get pass GO in Congress.

    I want to know what happened to Sen. Frank and Rep. Ron Paul teaming up to slash the defense budget.

  32. I read that. That’s scary. I understand not knowing everything because you are a freshman, but to not seek information or explanation of your legislation’s impact on the country? Scary.

  33. So it’s going to be one of those days, huh ?

    Will be interesting to see how much his own party is behind him.

  34. There was a PEW or Gallup poll where the only cut that got a majority of folks to agree was cutting foreign aid. So while Scarborough might be right that people want cuts, it’s in the abstract – where the GOP have tried to live for th past two years. Now they’re going to have to release their budget and actually specify where they want to cut.

    From that same poll over 60% didn’t want cuts to education – this one could be easy to frame as many families face a similar decision all the time – even when they can’t afford to send their kids to college they do and take on extra debt and cut elsewhere because they know how important that investment is in their children’s future.

    I hope Plouffe has been working almost solely on the budget roll out since he’s been back in the White House. Thisis very important, win the frame war and you get the budget you want while breaking the back of the House GOP caucus. lose the frame war and you embolden the House GOP for the next two years.

    Need to sell Lew as the OMB of the last surplus – a little point like that could score points.

  35. That is the only reason the pubs are mad, everything else is trivial! Remember, these people who donated to the pubs, tell them what to say. They actually give them talking points for everything!

  36. Which means that the GOP Caucus will hold, as the freshmen class will just vote as they’re told. The key will be to win the frame war, and then put pressure on the freshmen – because 50+ seats were in Dem hands, won in the Obama Presidential year, meaning they’re in toss-up seats.

  37. I should have known I could come here and find other people who have noticed the same thing about the Huffington Post. I began watching stories about the President and his policies a while back and have never seen a story, that is not just an opinion piece written by an independent contributor, that gives a balanced view. Usually the headlines are particularly sensationalized as well. I don’t expect the site to cheer lead the Presidetn. On the contrary. However I have concluded that the Huffington Post site is another example of pretending to be one thing and actually being another. The President’s accomplishments are simply not allowed on the site. Since the AOL merger I have been taking even more care evaluating the pieces there. Another observation is that there is little to no content in most of the “articles”. Add to that that long ago I noticed the bent toward tabloid journalism. Also Ariana Huffington seems to me more and more like Donald Trump as I watch her become ubiquitous in the media.

  38. Well look like Obama is doubling down on Eduction and infrastructure. The speech was short to the point and very direct.

  39. TEHRAN — Thousands of defiant Iranian opposition supporters, moving in scattered groups in Tehran on Monday, staged what they said was a rally supporting Arab revolts as riot police armed with batons moved in to disperse them, witnesses and opposition websites said.

    Iranian authorities blocked access to the house of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi to prevent him from attending the rally which he and fellow opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi had sought to hold.

    While Iran has backed the Arab uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, the interior ministry in Tehran banned the rally saying it was a ploy by the opposition to stage anti-government demonstrations as seen in 2009 after the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    Witnesses and opposition websites reported that thousands of opposition supporters were walking in scattered crowds silently towards Tehran’s prominent Azadi Square (Freedom Square) from several parts of the capital as policemen kept a sharp watch and tried dispersing them.

    Riot police on motorbikes armed with shotguns, tear gas, batons, paintball guns and fire extinguishers were deployed in key squares in the capital to prevent the gatherings.

    One witness described how one group of demonstrators was walking silently from Imam Hussein Square to Enghelab Square. “They are being silent and trying to keep a low profile,” the witness said.

    “Some policemen are chasing protesters in order to disperse them,” another witness said, adding around 1,000 anti-riot policemen were also deployed in and around Imam Hussein Square.


  40. Those are the paid RNC trolls! They are all over the blogosphere, and report to work every morning with fresh new talking points!
    I think they have 10k of them hired!

  41. CoC likes infrastructure spending, and 60%+ want no cuts in education spending. Seems like a good place to frame the issue.

  42. Just listened to the President talk about needing education for the future of this country. I really don’t know if the Repubs understand what education is for. They would rather keep the masses dumb and poor. They really scare me. I am so glad we have an Adult in the Room. I only hope the Dems get out there talking about this. The pundits I don’t think will help. We must all spread the word. Thanks again BWD for this place to really learn the news.

  43. No, you will only see a dem on TV if they are bashing this plan! Like defazio or weiner! Yes, expect them to be on tv tonight starting at 8p on msnbc!

  44. The top White House budget official on Monday defended plans to slash billions of dollars in low-income heating and cooling aid in the fiscal 2012 budget proposal.

    President Obama has drawn fire from several Democrats over the White House proposal to cut $2.5 billion — or roughly 50 percent — from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

    But Jacob Lew, who heads the White House Office of Management and Budget, said the budget proposal that Obama is sending to Congress on Monday is packed with tough choices aimed at freezing discretionary spending. Lew, in a CNN interview, also said the proposed heating-aid cut reflects price trends.

    “It’s a program that’s done an enormous amount of good to help people pay their bills. But in 2008, the reason it doubled from $2.5 [billion] to $5 billion was because of a rapid spike in energy prices and it was a way of addressing the fact that energy prices had gone up to a very, very high level,” Lew said.

    “Energy prices now are much more in line with where they were in 2008 before that price increase. And you know, we looked at the budget and we said we can’t just level off at the new funding level,” he added.

    The Hill-

  45. Jovie hears an update from the guardian website about whats happening in Iran:

    3.44pm: CNN reports that “thousands” marched along Revolution Avenue in Tehran in a largely peaceful procession but also says that security forces fired paint-ball guns and teargas at protesters outside Tehran University.

  46. That’s how it appears to me as well. Also I was struck by the fact that by elevating the Libertarians in their midst the GOP has created an alternate reality where Dick Cheney can be heckled for his war crimes at their conservative conference and Ron Paul can say that young people should basically just disconnect from their civic life and he is the winner of a straw poll for candidates. The people I know who are die hard libertarians are pretty consumed with financial conspiracy issues but are not in agreement on the religious fundamentalist positions. Perhaps the GOP will end up diverse but divided. My hope is that the Dems will embrace their diversity but surmount division. We have a head start because we have been diverse for a long time. Also thinking about the GOP, I wouldn’t build a coalition that depends on young people putting their heads in the sand. Think Egypt.

  47. HuffPo is very clearly trying to make the case that the left and right in fact have something in common: disdain and distrust for the President. This has been going on for quite some time now. What Huffington has missed, however, is that rather than coming off as a principled observer who is so factual that she’s partisan neutral, IMO she comes off as a hack with two faces, one for each audience which she’s trying to please (liberal purists at HuffPo; conservatives at AOL’s political sections).

  48. I think Patrick, Kaine, and Napolitano each should run for Senator. I think each of them could win.

  49. Conrad: Obama’s budget doesn’t do enough on deficit
    By Peter Schroeder – 02/14/11 09:23 AM ET

    Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said the president’s 2012 budget request starts strong but comes up short on fighting the deficit over the long run.

    Conrad has been an outspoken advocate for major moves to fight the deficit. He said Monday that the president’s budget “gets it about right” in year one, cutting spending while investing in education and infrastructure. However, in the long-term fight against the deficit, Conrad found it lacking.

    “We need a much more robust package of deficit and debt reduction over the medium and long term,” he said.


    Well, that is ONE against!

  50. Happy Valentine’s everyone.

    I feel so much better after listening to the President laying out his budget. For those of us who have been listening, he has been consistent from day one.

  51. She disgusts me. I saw a headline yesterday that she was on some Sunday talk show pontificating about the revolution in Egypt. So now she’s a foreign policy expert? Why oh why do these egotistical airheads make it so far in our MSM? UGH.

  52. Patrick can’t run in 2012 because he was just re-elected in 2010, meaning the first two years of his term would be splitting duties between running the State and running for the Senate.

    I think Patrick has higher aspirations – and given his term will end in 2014, he’ll jump right into the 2016 Presidential primary ring.

  53. Yeah, that’s what I’d heard as well. It’s basically cutting out the extreme energy inflation from the last couple of years.

  54. I saw the most wonderful metaphor for the situation: the GOP won the House, thus they will have influence over the budget and to imagine otherwise is nonfactual and not reality-based. However, the GOP is coming at these programs with an axe; POTUS is trying his best to salvage the situation by applying a scalpel. I certainly am less than thrilled with some of these cuts, but the context (of GOP influence) can’t be omitted or imagined away.

  55. Far left liberal bashing it isn’t in itself bad, in that it makes it seem like a moderate budget.

    However they should attack it but then make the point how utterly ridiculous and counter-productive the GOP budget is and how the GOP budget will destroy the economy and how maybe that’s what the GOP wants.

  56. If in fact any disruption of service to the people relying on these programs is minimal if not absent because of the decrease in energy prices, I can’t see a thing to complain about in this regard.

  57. Happy Valentine’s Day, BWD and this fine community! Thanks a million for providing such a balanced, drama-low space in which to discuss some pretty controversial matters. Much appreciated.

  58. Yes She is I knew a long time ago that she was a double agent. she is a REPUBLICAN. and we never click on the HuffPO they are garbage.
    yes we can.

  59. POTUS is just doing what he promised: using a scalpel to cut out all excess wasteful spending, which includes Liheap, but it’s not being taken away.

    Of course, leave it to the unprofessional left to once again cry wolf just like they did when he was supposedly cutting Social Security. All they’ve done is panic, panic, panic. It’s gotten old and tiring. You’d think they’d get fed up with being proven wrong.

    It’s not just the GOP in a different galaxy with Obama on the Budget, it’s the unprofessional left! I can understand being outraged over the GOP proposed cuts to CPB funding etc, but to cry wolf over Liheap and other cuts is uncalled for.

    And I agree with the earlier posters that Arianna is a double agent. I got suspended on her blog this past weekend because I got into fights with the right wing trolls and apparently the mods weren’t too pleased with me using the term “baggies” to insult and demean them… where’s the entertainment in having to be polite to them or ignoring them altogether?

    Needless to say, I had to kiss ass and promise I’d behave to get my account reinstated, the only reason I did so was because I have over 3000 fans on the account.


  60. Heeyy everybody..!! 😀

    From my twitter timeline:

    RT @WestWingReport: Obama toured a class where each kid had a laptop. One told POTUS he looks different in person than on TV. Obama: “Better?” Kid: “Better.”

  61. Do not touch my SS and thanks PBO anything coming out of JOE’s mouth is garbage He is a Repub;ican.

  62. What does Conrad say about the GOP Plan? What a putz – and the guy isn’t even running for re-election, so what is his angle?

  63. What Huffington has done is to commodify and cash in on your relationships and passion for liberal progressive change. She has cashed in on people’s feeling that they were building community from the grassroots on up and are reluctant to abandon those virtual feelings of family, which are nearly as powerful as real ones.

    Cashed in to the tune of nine figures, and sold you guys out, sold out your desire to keep company amongst each other rather than spend all day arguing with GOP trolls. She merged a smaller liberal community with a much larger conservative one without batting an eye, and has now decided that her site is no longer liberal at all. For money. For the love of the almighty dollar this so-called anti-corporatist crusader did this.

    I just gotta say, that I hope that at some point, you guys leave what is clearly an abusive scenario. You don’t deserve to be treated like this.

  64. And because of the greed and ego of certain liberal gatekeepers, those trolls have been having a field day dispiriting the left. I can’t thank BWD enough for choosing to moderate her blog, even if it’s at the expense of traffic.

  65. GOP’s in disarray!!!! lol lol:

    GOP leaders’ verdict split on Obama’s handling of Egyptian crisis

    Republican leaders on Sunday talk shows split their verdict on President Obama‘s response to the Egyptian revolution, which uprooted longtime U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak and ended with a military council promising a transition to democracy.

    “I think they’ve handled what is a very difficult situation about as well as it could be handled,” said House Speaker John A. Boehner on NBC‘s “Meet The Press.”

    Sen. John McCain of Arizona echoed those remarks.

    “I think the president has handled this situation well,” he said on CBS‘ “Face the Nation.”

    Two 2012 GOP presidential hopefuls, however, spoke more critically on ABC‘s “This Week.”



    They don’t know *what* to think!

  66. Hi BWD! I’ve been reading this fine space all weekend!

    But isn’t it hilarious watching Arianna twisting herself into a pretzel; she’d consider voting for Huntsman, but POTUS is a selloutprostitutionwhore because he’s too far to the right. Her space is “populist” and “anticorporatist” yet she sure cashed right on in to the tune of nine figures (!) from unpaid and cheap laborers. Now she’s like, “liberal? who said that we’re liberal? we have always liked all points of view…” yeah, okay Arianna. Lord have mercy, this is funny!

  67. Something like that. Everybody wants cuts, but only because they believe the goverment is so bloated and there is so much fat and waste that could be cut. When they realize it’s real programs that they like, they balk at the idea.

    I’m not saying that there isn’t waste, but the GOP has framed it for so long that people believe in their caricature of government spending.

  68. 2012 Presidential hopefuls are hedging their bets. They want to be able to capitalize should it lead to an unfriendly government and then could say “Obama just got lucky” if it’s reasonably smooth.

  69. She appeals to the lowest common denominator, and for her more intelligent audience, she has them wrapped in due to the relationships which they formed with each other; the community or family which she commodified and sold to the highest bidder, throwing her liberal audience to a far larger community of teapartiers. But she knows that people will hang around, because they value each other’s voices. I have had a dim view of Ms. Huffington for some time, as a sensationalist. But with this new move, she’s really lost any sliver of respect which I had for her.

  70. And they’ve got to play to a GOP base, a major component of which irrationally thinks that POTUS is wholly illegitimate and disdains everything he does. This is why I loved the discussion which you guys had this weekend about whether a moderate would be able to win in a GOP primary, no matter the polling which promises that they will prioritize viability over purity. We’ll see about that, lol.

  71. Sen. John McCain of Arizona echoed those remarks.

    “I think the president has handled this situation well,” he said on CBS‘ “Face the Nation.”

    Wow. I don’t know what was said in that meeting held between Sen. John McCain and the President, but Sen. McCain has been nothing but supportive of the President’s message and policies during and after the crisis in Egypt.

  72. Seriously. And I forget which commenter noted this, but when we were debating the merits of that meeting, someone here wisely noted that McCain still holds a great deal of clout within the Republican party on matters of national security. POTUS has just got it going on; this man is simply brilliant. I enjoy being in the peanut gallery and offering my thoughts of political observation as I believe that we’re living through a major period in history, but at the end of the day, he is just doing a stellar job.

  73. Really? Haggiana is misleading her sheep?

    I am a not too happy with the Liheap cuts, but I am happy to know that the pell grants are only the summer grants.

    We know some cuts have to be made, but I wish they were taken from the Defense Department.

    Tulips, did you get anything resolved at your son’s school?

  74. I went to Press TV which is the Iranian 24 hour news station so you wouldn’t have to. It’s a creepy place and totally government controlled. Not a peep on there about their own protests, but AJ is reporting there is something odd going on as some video is getting out but some of it is of the first protests from months ago. AJ is puzzled and on it.
    I don’t know if you can get Press on-line, but it’s not worth bothering.

  75. I don’t get it either. This is how POTUS ends up struggling with swing voters, he gets no credit for his concessions with a few conservative Dems…

  76. He knows Gates is retiring soon and probably wants the gig for himself, or Lieberman.

    I’m only half joking.

    But I do think he wants to form a gang of x in the Senate and realized that he’s seen as a loon now and any gang that would form wouldn’t have him in it, that he’s marginalized himself.

  77. That is a very good point AzGrandma. The dems were certainly vocal in making sure the president did not cut SS. As I remember, they wrote a letter vilifying Obama for even allowing SS to be on the table. Grandstanding I assume.

    I also like your ideas as to how to move forward on this issue.

  78. I am going to have my own little grumpy moment watching Lew as I cannot understand why, if we are going to support education, the summer Pell Grants are being cut. I know my family have used them. Perhaps he will explain it.

    Also the fuel subsidies. The elderly and poor have a difficult time heating their homes in the winter when the prices soar. Since the price of oil is only going to go up and these people can’t afford to switch fuels usually, Granny may freeze solid and that would not be nice. [not me]

  79. I can certainly understand your grumpyness but because the GOP is in the House, there are simply going to be cuts. POTUS appears to me to be trying to minimize the impact. The logic underlying the summer grants cut is that the point of the program was to encourage early graduation, which wasn’t happening. The fuel subsidies cut is supposed to be in line with a decrease in the cost of energy, not decrease in the number of people helped. I’m not wedded to either explanation and as a liberal, am a fiscal dove. But these are the rationale and I understand where they’re coming from.

  80. Temp, you are absolutely right that the repugs would, and probably will, fight the cuts in defense.

    I just keep wishin, hopein and thinkin that we we make some truly serious cuts in military spending.

  81. I really hope this works for the Iranians. They are in a much more dangerous position than the Egyptians, because their leaders don’t care if blood runs in the streets. I hope they stay safe. It’s so inspiring how they are willing to risk their lives so that the future can be better.

  82. 2012 Budget – Austan Goolsbee talking about the budget right now on whitehouse.gov OMB Director Jack Lew to follow…..

  83. What education is for….

    Big issue right now in Wis. Eau Claire profs are starting to post their annual salaries in e-mails flying around. The vast majority of full-time tenured profs earning $42,000 to $48,000. So that’s the value of a Ph.D. and twenty years of public service….

  84. I like to say the President’s “visitors” are sprinkled with magic Obama dust. (Or just his sincere proposals for the betterment of the American people. Take your choice.)


  85. The Cnn crew seems to think that the President is doing what he has to do and that the cuts in LIheap is necessary and that we also have to sacrifice. They made a point in saying that the program is not cut all the way out. I was surprised, especially when the other commentator said we have to sacrafice.

  86. I am cosigning potus budget cuts, sometimes you gotta band your belly, especially after the way the George Bush and his Republican ilk nearly ruined our economy. I stand with Pres. Obama.

    Now in news relevant to my super happy mood this afternoo,, I am so over the moon with Esperanza winning best new artist Grammy award last night. I have loved her ever since I first saw her perform at the wh. She is beautiful, natural, classy, and talented beyond. Congrats to her…well deserved!!

  87. They’re focusing on that issue because it’s a sure goner as the GOP want it gone as well. However Snowe is balking for one, Merkley as well – all cold state politicians are not liking this cut.

    Folks like the idea of cutting, but not the specifics. Snowe wants to play politicial games all last year – guess what, you helped the GOP win the House, you reap what you sow.

  88. Yes Dorthy ! thanks for asking. He admitted that maybe he does put guilt on josh with his facial expressions and that maybe he will work on that. i expressed that abrupt change for children has to be handled delicately, to ensure a successful transition. I also asked him to use better analogy,when comparing any kids. He admitted that that was a mistake, i let him know of my goals for josh and that if any problems he is welcomed to contact me, but please don’t give false accusation about him unless he is sure. He promised to sit and talk with josh and he did’nt. So i am going back up there today to meet with the principle. They wanted to resolve it with her knowledge, but since he went back on his word. i will hold him accountable.

  89. Liheap is based on income, I think he is going to restricted to the poor. Which i think he should. We have to start now saving. People need to do this we are a little spoil and waste. At least there is some assistance.

  90. I feel safe on this blog to ask some questions that could be interpreted only as questions not as if I am a troll or GOP supporter. I have hesitated to ask these questions on the OFA blog because I in no way want to prop up any trolls arguments.

    Some things I have been bothered about for awhile include having to BUY things inorder to keep our economy healthy. It seems being consumer driven is a race to nowhere. Just having more stuff does not make you happier. I know it creates jobs and that is important but as a life value to own more and more does not seem right to me. I really do not think it was always this way but maybe I was just too young or distracted to notice. How can we change to an economy that is more earth friendly, still supporting jobs and what would it look like?

    I would like to see our intrusion into other countries through wars be gone in exchange for letting them run their own countries much like happened in Egypt recently. I would like us to be there for advise or help as needed more of an ambassador role. However, we have built up a military economy and cutting it would mean more jobs gone and soldiers home with no jobs. How can we make a transition out of a military economy and what would it be to?

  91. I only have a small grumpy on the Pell Grants and can live with that, but I can guarantee that fuel prices will not be going down any year soon and grannysicles are not a good thing.

  92. Obama Grandma – correct me if im wrong. If your saying that we have to sacrifice to be more earth friendly i agree, we have to ween away and by doing so we have to stop some programs that promote the oil industries. This is where i think the president is making the push if folks stop whining and pay attention. he is ending oil subsidies, investing in clean energy. the money we spend or give away to big oil should stop and we have to help by being better at energy usuage. This is where the push for innovation starts, electric batteries, wind farms etc. Here in ILLinois we will begin making the pumping stations for electric cars i am so excited that our governor is working with him . They begin instaling these stations this spring.

  93. Az Rep. Jeff Flake is running for the open Kyl seat, he is one of the stronger Republican candidate they could have found. He’s not an ideologue, he’s broken with his caucus on a few occasions, he’s a libertarian more than a wing nut. He votes for smaller government, voted with the Dems on DADT for example, and is against SB1070. This streak could get him a Conservative primary challenger, but he’ll beat any of the freaks and geeks like JD Hayworth, it will need to be a strong staunch conservative with a resume and certain gravitas.

    This seat is definitely in play, but if Flake is the GOP nominee he’s a HUGE upgrade over Kyl.

  94. I have been thinking after reading the book on C Street that the GOP plan is secretly to invade the Democratic Party with people that hold their own political views and destroy the party or convert the party from within. The corporate money seems to entice the politicians with their large sums of money and bennies. This would include Blue Dog Dems and Ariana Huffington.
    I also think that countries can gain great influence and start to own our country through loaning us money instead of engaging us in a war. I am beginning to sound like a conspiracy theorist. Oh oh!!!!

  95. Sounds like they are going to look at the fuel prices before each winter and make adjustments if needed. My grumpy got a little smaller.

  96. Precisely what POTUS is doing: creating new industries through investments in innovation and education, and as we just saw, allowing people-powered movements to drive change rather than pronouncements, demands, and threats from DC. He’s putting long-term solutions in place for precisely the concerns you raise. There’s simply a lot of noise and toxic energies floating around which claim that because these problems haven’t been fixed instantly, nothing’s been done at all. But IMO we’re seeing the foundations for a better country and better world being put in place as we speak.

  97. Here in ILLinois we will begin making the pumping stations for electric cars i am so excited that our governor is working with him…

    That’s awesome, tulips! This is change I can believe in.

  98. I noticed there is a new progressive radio show in my area that replaced the health show that was hosted by Dr Dean O’Dell when he retired. It plays once a week on Sundays here and is called something like Both Sides. It has Mary Matlin on for the GOP and Ariana Huffington for the Progressives. The couple times I have heard it the host acts surprised when both sides are bashing PBO. It gives people the image of no one liking PBO. Some in my family think he has lost his support due to shrinking support on both sides. Well, to me he never had the support of the Right and the Left have left him after seeing they were not going to get everything they wanted exactly when they wanted it. They seem to think it is better to yell and fight for something that has no chance of passing than to compromise and get as much as you can.

  99. It’s truly my understanding that the impact to customers is going to be as minimal as possible, and that previously, because of poor administration of this program, adjustments weren’t made for the price of energy decreasing from the 2008 levels, resulting in somewhat of a giveaway to oil companies. The situation is certainly not as is being depicted by sensationalists and the usual suspects.

  100. This is why it is so foul that Huffington keeps getting booked as the voice of the left. How is the person who has now openly stated that her space is not to the left, and that she will consider voting GOP in 2012 the liberal spokesperson??? This is ridiculous, lol. Have you considered writing into the show and asking why this person is allowed to misrepresent how actual progressives think and feel? Not only does POTUS get a bad rap, but we get a bad rap as well because Huffington’s analyses are ridiculous and made to represent the typical thinking of the left.

  101. I agree. It might even force the energy companies to reduce winter prices.

    Listening to Lew, I almost don’t mind if we don’t have the House as long as we hold the Senate no matter what.

    Laughed about Jeb Bush’s popularity.

  102. I have a strong feeling that Romney will pick a Latino as his running mate. I know he’s Cuban, but what about Marco Rubio? Is it too soon for Rubio? Romney/Rubio would have nice alliteration to it. Mitt could see it as a way to lock-up Florida, and really appeal to the Latino community. It would be a desperation choice as Rubio would bring little else to the table – but hell, McCain chose Palin because he thought it would really help him with the woman vote.

  103. Actually, I really do mind, because rather than making more progress, we’re having to fight tooth and nail to keep what’s already been done, and it’s a fact that some of these cuts, such as those to community groups, would not be necessary if the GOP were not in such a position of influence over budgetary matters. POTUS always takes the hit, but all he’s doing is trying to salvage the situation and he’s got to give into the deficit reduction fetish amongst the population. I would have loved for us to have been more successful with making a compelling case to the country that now is not the time to focus so strongly on the deficit.

  104. Hi Obama grandma

    First off – one of the real strengths of this place is it’s level of acceptance. I ask dumb questions all the time, folks are really nice about it.

    One thing I would recommend is to buy locally. In other words, go to the local bookstore instead of Barnes and Noble or Amazon, put some $$ in a local bank instead of B of A. There is quite a bit of info on how the $$ circulates more when you spend it with local companies.

    Second – ask the clerk if the product is mad with earth friendly materials, even if they don’t know, asking the question will make an impression and eventually that type of question makes it’s way to the boss.

    Finally I would recommend watching this video which starts with David Koren asking a very important question, do people exist to serve the economy, or does the economy exist to serve people.


  105. I don’t like to needlessly bash the opposition, but more of late I wonder if the GOP politicians are even that educated themselves. They ridicule the educated elitists voting Dem and brag about being just like you or all Americans. I also wonder when their so called smartest member is Paul Ryan who presented a healthcare proposal for the GOP with no figures in it then went back and added some but it increased the costs instead of decreasing them.

  106. Like African Americans, Latinos are not going to vote for someone simply because of their racial/ethnic background. Women didn’t vote for the GOP because Palin was on the ticket. The GOP seems to have a hard time learning this lesson and they keep thinking that minorities are women are stupid.

    So Romney can pick Rubio if he wants but he will be shocked to find out (as John McCain did in 2008) that this pandering may actually backfire. Particularly when the GOP blocked the DREAM act from passing and supported the “show me your papers” act in Arizona. Both of these political acts were intended to hurt Latinos, and they won’t forget it.

  107. I just watched a video clip of Esperanza over on OFA. Never having heard of her before I was really overwhelmed by how beautiful her voice is. She even comes from my state.

  108. There’s no way that the GOP doesn’t run an all white ticket. They aren’t going to win without the racist vote and they won’t get that with a Latino on the ticket.

  109. There will be cuts to the DoD.

    The phrase the WH and Gates are using (I paraphrase — sorry): The 9/11 spending frenzy has to stop.

  110. Thank you for the wonderful David Korten link to a PBS interview. That is exactly the kind of thing I was talking about. Getting away from the consumerism buying things economy and towards a more environmental friendly and local economy. It isn’t favored by Wall St. but could be by the population as most of us just want a doable living. We need jobs. We need healthcare, a place to live, and food to eat with some pleasures in our life too.

    Before retiring and moving back to Oregon I read a book about sustainable lifestyle and shrinking your footprint and became concious of needed changes at that time. I bought my present home with that in mind. It is smaller than I was used to but now I can afford to travel some in my retired years. I choose to keep to a tight budget inorder to afford my travel.

    I choose to try avoiding shopping at Walmart for a local employee owned smaller store. I even contacted the manager and asked about having an aisle with made in USA items or stickers on items made in the USA. He told me there are next to no items they could get that were totally made in the USA today. How sad!

    I choose to go to a local grocery store that has local produce. I pay a bit more but watch for sales.

    I bank locally instead of with a large bank.

    I am considering buying an electric car but I live in a rural area that is more than 50 miles round trip so may need something more along the line of the new Chevy Volt that uses both electric and gasoline. I need a vehicle I can get in and out of easily for my age though. I am waiting till I see what I think is just right with the bugs worked out of it at a decent price.

    Our current consumerism economy reminds me of fashion dictating what you need to where when you really want something comfortable and affordable instead of stylish. Now you can find what you want whereas there was a time when you could only find the stylish or fad fashion.

  111. I can’t think of anybody who could beat him in 2012. I think another commenter said it best, the next election is for Obama to lose, not a Republican to win. A whole bunch of bad things would have to occur for Americans to decide that we need to go completely in another direction.

  112. Arianna is a ‘Palin’ like figure in disguise,
    pretending she is so overly concerned about the middle class,the poor, and oh yeah,don’t forget the blacks,as she makes her corporate tysts and more millions. But from day one she has made it very clear wha her agenda has been, with her daily denigration of the president. Her ‘National Enquirer’ of the internet has become a farce, as she encourages the most vicious of comments,as well as the misleading headlines and articles which lack substance. Another sham artist, as most of them are turning out to be.

  113. She’s not the only one making money hand over fist at liberals wanting to create new media spaces for progress and change, either. Far from it. The Professional Left is full of it IMO and really shouldn’t be relied upon to serve as the voice of liberals/progressives.

  114. I wanted to wish everybody a Happy Valentines Day.
    Thank you BWD and commenters for providing excellent information, links and discussions about events in Washington and around the world.

  115. Talk about sad/mad, Sullivan has written a screed against Obama and his budget. He calls him a coward. A man who only cares about politics. PBO is going to let the country go down the tubes. Looks like he is thinking about moving back to the right.

    Daniels is new his hero. Well, it was nice while it lasted.

  116. i was so looking forward to Andrew Sullivan returning, but his attack on PBO and his budget was utterly disappointing. Andrew does tend to have quite the knee-jerk re-actions at times but I thought his screed was particularly fraught with anger and bile.

  117. Damn. It sound like it was going to work. I am sorry that you are in this place. Thinking of you. dr

  118. A lot of bile. I think he started souring to the president because he felt he should have stood behind the protesters from the beginning.

    Sorry Andy–I hope you get your groove back.

  119. How the heck could he call PBO a coward and proceed to trash his leadership when HealthCare and DADT passed into law? And, to boot ends up fawning over some GOP’s suggestion.
    Oh well…can’t win ’em all, eh? And they fickly turn on yer so quickly!

  120. I just read that the disgusting Joe Arpiao (?) is a head in a poll of those running at this point.

    Joe, the horrible sheriff. Cripes, I thought he was under fed investigation.

    That is pathetic news.

  121. I am ready to give up my daily visits to huffpuff for news. Any suggestions for a reality based news site? I find the web offerings of CNN MSNBC and the networks to be sadly lacking.

  122. ^Saint Roscoe, I love your ‘strategy/tactic-related’ suggestions…

    The Dems, definitely, need to get better at politics ….Speakin’ w/One Voice, as much as possible/United Messagin’ (craftin’/framin’ it)!

    B/c they’re always askin’ for our comments and concerns, do you ever contact WH/PBHO?


    PHBO’s “Hotline”: 210-456-1111

    Of course, they’re on Twitter… @whitehouse, @PressSec, @pfeiffer44 (communications director), @davidaxelrod, @BarackObama, et al… (no david plouffe, yet.)

    And, there’s facebook! 😉

    Oh yeah, the Congressional Dems can use some suggestions, too! lol



  123. Thanks, BWD… The “Dumbin’ Down” GOPTeaParty have “nothin’ on” our President: 😉

    @Shoq: How The Fed Budget Process Works (Potus’ Budget is FIRST MOVE in a political CHESS game) via @JeffersonObama

    “… [President] Obama was brilliant in projecting a much higher deficit based on very conserv. income projections. In ’12 election, real #s will surprise…”

    The way Congress develops tax and spending legislation is guided by a set of specific procedures laid out in the Congressional Budget Act of 1974. The centerpiece of the Budget Act is the requirement that Congress each year develop a “budget resolution” setting aggregate limits on spending and targets for federal revenue. The limits set by the budget resolution, along with a companion “pay-as-you-go” rule, apply to all tax or spending legislation developed by individual committees as well as to any amendments offered on the House or Senate floor.

    The following is an overview of the federal budget process, including:

    the President’s annual budget request, which kicks off the budget process;

    the congressional budget resolution — how it is developed and what it contains;

    how the terms of the budget resolution are enforced in the House and Senate; and

    budget “reconciliation,” a special procedure used in some years to facilitate the passage of spending and tax legislation…


    All at the ‘BWD’ community, Happy Valentine’s Day! 🙂

  124. Hi Mel,

    I came to the same conclusion: Huffington is a REPUBLICAN. She is either smart enough to know how to swing with the political pendulum in order to make money; or, she is a Republican plant on a mission to undermine the Democratic party by promoting divisions within the Democratic family.

    What is distressing is to see decent liberals/ progressives being seduced by her phony pretensions of being progressive. All of a sudden, she is viewed as being more of a champion for the poor and and people of color than either President Obama or Vice-President Biden, both of whom are life long Democrats, with impeccable records of promoting progressive policies.

  125. I totally agree with you BWD that Ariana Huffington is “simply disgusting”

    I generally don’t subscribe to conspiracy theories but I am beginning to have some serious doubts about Huffington’s motives. Could it be possible that she is on a covert mission to undermine unity in the Democratic party, by using sensationalism and falsehoods to promote divisiveness in the party, thus making it possible that President Obama will not be re-elected? I am sorry but I do not trust this right wing Republican, who now claims to be a born again progressive, and who, so far as I know, has never said that she is a member of the Democratic Party.

  126. Thanks GN for your astute and reality based comment. I don’t know why people pretend that the President holds all the cards. I know the President talks a great deal about the importance of promoting science and maths, but may be he should also start talking about this country’s dire need of civic education. I’ve really been disappointed by the so called progressives who tend to think that the President alone can dictate policy. Are they not aware of the role Congress plays in formulating policy? Do they really think that the President can dictate everything in a political system based on division of powers among the three branches of government?

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