Wednesday morning mishmash

Hi guys,

1. Today’s schedule:

9:30 AM
PBO and VPB receive the presidential daily briefing.
10:00 AM
PBO meets with senior advisers.
11:00 AM  
12:00 PM  
12:30 PM
Carney briefs the press.
1:00 PM  
1:15 PM
VPB meets with Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski of Macedonia.
1:45 PM
PBO meets with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
2:00 PM  
2:20 PM
PBO and VPB meet with the Senate Democratic Leadership.
3:00 PM  
4:00 PM  
4:45 PM
PBO delivers remarks on the America’s Great Outdoors initiative.
5:00 PM  
6:00 PM  
6:30 PM
Joe and Jill Biden host a dinner for new senators.


2. More evidence that PBO has lost the base:

CBS Poll: President Obama’s approval among Democrats – 82/11.


3. Recovery!

Jan. housing starts up 14.6% to 596,000

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – New construction of U.S. houses rose to its highest level in four months in January, the Commerce Department estimated Wednesday. Starts rose 14.6% in January to a seasonally adjusted 596,000 annualized units, stronger than the 520,000 pace expected by economists surveyed by MarketWatch. This is the highest level of starts since September.


4. Thanks to all those who sent the link to this excellent piece (and a new addition to the blogroll). It’s really good, informative and the kind of truth-telling we need to maintain 24/7. If we won’t do it, I doubt anyone else will. So go read it, give the author some love and spread it like fire.

The Obama budget: truth or dare


5. Speaking of truth-telling:

U.S. budget to benefit FDA, Gulf restoration

President Obama’s proposed budget for fiscal 2012, announced on Monday, includes requests for Gulf Coast restoration, a 33 percent budget increase for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and a USD 50 million budget decrease for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The FDA’s requested USD 4.3 billion budget will go toward enacting four critical initiatives, including USD 324 million for transforming food safety and nutrition. The FDA, which is responsible for protecting the U.S. food supply, will begin to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act and empower Americans to make healthier food choices through labeling. The administration will establish a prevention-focused food-safety system and leverage the valuable work of FDA’s state and local food-safety partners.

Obama is requesting a USD 5.5 billion budget for NOAA, which includes key investments to strengthen NOAA’s most critical programs and initiatives while addressing the administration’s goals of ensuring long-term economic growth, promoting innovation and American competitiveness and reducing government spending. NOAA is responsible for managing U.S. fisheries.

Praised by numerous conservation groups, Obama also maintained his commitment to Gulf Coast restoration be recommending the first-ever funding to construct wetlands projects to reverse wetlands losses in the Louisiana Coastal Area (LCA) of the Mississippi River Delta. The budget proposes USD 27 million to revive vital coastal resources and benefit the nation’s economy, including USD 10.8 million for wetlands feasibility studies, USD 5.4 million for wetlands pre-construction engineering and design studies, USD 10.6 million for wetlands constructions projects and USD 100,000 for the LCA comprehensive plan.

// more


6. That sell-out:

Obama Threatens To Veto House GOP’s Spending Bill

President Barack Obama isn’t waiting for Senate Democrats to reject House Republicans’ proposed $61 billion in spending cuts for this year’s government operations.

Even before the bill passed the House, as expected later this week, Obama fired a shot across Congress’ bow and threatened to veto the spending bill that would keep the government running after March 4.

The Office of Management and Budget, in an official statement of administration policy, threatened to veto the Republican continuing resolution, which funds the government after March 4 and would cut $61 billion from the budget for rest of this fiscal year.

While the administration supports reducing spending to cut the deficit, the OMB said, it “does not support deep cuts that will undermine our ability to out-educate, out-build, and out-innovate the rest of the world.”


 7. This got to be one of Chris Mathews’ finest moments lately.

8. And this is Rachel Maddow at her very best.


9. Good catch by David Kurtz:

Can I Get An Amen?

I’m not under any illusion that this represents the death of American exceptionalism but let’s take note of Obama’s clear-eyed understanding of America’s role in the world and the real limits of American power as he just stated it in his press conference:

“What we didn’t do was pretend that we could dictate the outcome in Egypt — because we can’t. So we were very mindful that it was important for this to remain an Egyptian event, that the United States did not become the issue …”

That’s no small break with American foreign policy tendencies going back to, well, close to forever. It’s also an explicit rejection of what have been considered immutable domestic political realities that force Presidents to appeal to Americans’ distorted self-image. Huzzah!



10. Finally, am I the only one who feels so much more confident knowing that this guy is around?


209 thoughts on “Wednesday morning mishmash

  1. Thanks so much BWD for a great mishmash once again !!

    I’m particularly grateful for the article ” The Obama Budget: Truth and Dare”. And yes, we have to spread it. Spreading the TRUTH is THE most important thing we can do to help.

  2. BWD, you’re not the only one feeling good about David Plouffe having an office in the WH. He brings dynamism and excellent strategic thinking. I hope he keeps an eye on the campaign though. I wish we could clone him so he could do both full time !

  3. I so utterly agree, Lovepolitics. And it’s simply amazing how the “POTUS sucks!” narrative always seems to collapse when all of the facts, rather than a selective version, are reported. At the end of the day, anyone expecting a liberal budget in the context of a GOP House and public which has indicated a (IMO misguided) desire for spending cuts—anyone who expects a liberal budget in this context is fooling her or himself. But I absolutely know that POTUS is going to do what he can to limit the damage; people who are upset should revise false beliefs about “no difference between the parties” or “because of the Blue Dogs, the House was already Republican-controlled and thus losing the House won’t make any difference.” Huge difference between the House under Pelosi’s leadership versus that of Boehner.

  4. Rachel Maddow did a masterful job of kicking off the Speaker John Boehner sucks at his job meme. You would expect solid reporting like this from Rachel Maddow, but Dana Milbank?

    MILBANK GOES THERE…. It looks like much of the Beltway press was underwhelmed by House Speaker John Boehner’s “so be it” problem, but to his credit, the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank appreciated the seriousness of this in a terrific column.
    This is pretty provocative stuff for a member of the D.C. establishment in good standing. Of course, given that the Speaker of the House, by his own admission, has announced his support for a budget plan that would make unemployment worse, on purpose, I’m not sure why more of Milbank’s colleagues aren’t taking this more seriously.
    In general, the establishment media isn’t pouncing on this — some are strangely insisting it’s not worth the attention — but Chris Matthews mentioned it yesterday, and Rachel Maddow used this to make a larger case that John Boehner just isn’t good at his job. I’m inclined to agree.

  5. Budget: I especially love that he’s forced the R’s to make the first move on Medicare and SS.

    Also, this is great news to me:
    Today Russ Feingold is launching an effort to combat Citizens United. It’s called Progressives United.

    “In my view — and the view of many people — it’s one of the most lawless decisions in the history of our country.” — Feingold

    I hope he goes after Clarence Thomas (et al.) as well.

    More info here:

  6. State of EMERGENCY in WISCONSIN… TEACHERS AND STUDENTS WALKOUT!! Closed schools today to protest TEABAGGER WALKER and his radical moves to stiffle Unions and BUST THEM UP to prevent them from helping Democrats in the future.

    Thousands of protesters lined up the capital and more are expected today. They are even comparing it to EGYPT..Also talk of RECALLING HIS ASS in a year.

    My rant:

    I will never understand how a DEEP BLUE state that has been blue for years, that has voted for Democrats in the past overwhelmingly, could do a complete 180 and betray all those democrats that worked for the people in that state by electing these radical teabag republicans. How do you explain teabaggers infiltrating not only both state houses overwhelmingly, but the governors mansion, the senate seat and a couple of congressional seats that were in democrats hands for decades. How in the hell can these folks explain this? All those students who walked out of their classes in college, WHERE THE HELL WERE THEY ON NOVEMBER 2, 2010? DID THEIR PARENTS VOTE FOR THIS MAN?

    I am not trying to play monday morning quarterback here but there is NO EXCUSE for the state of wisconsin to completely switch parties because folks didn’t bother to either vote or turned on the democrats and put these folks in office. Those same Students and UNIONS who were eligible to vote were WARNED repeatedly by President Obama, Michelle Obama and others what would happen if they took over. Why in the hell did these folks not believe them? Now they are going to be fighting for their livlihood for the next 4 years fighting these radical republicans ideology. This has been plannned for YEARS by them. They have been plotting and planning to GUT UNIONS to prevent Democrats from getting elected, to weaken their ability to raise money to help candidates. WHY DID THEY VOTE FOR THIS MAN?

    Get ready cause this is going to be a repeated movie in several more states mainly OHIO, PENNSLYVANIA and I wouldn’t be surprised MICHIGAN. I read an article right before the election from Detroit Michigan and they were interviewing UNION members who had just been rehired back to work by GM and they admitted that even though Obama and the democrats helped put the state back on track and helped him get his job back he would be supporting the REPUBLICAN GOVENROR running because Govenor grantholm ruined the state and was responsible for the manufacturers leaving the state. HOW IDIOTIC IS THAT? I couldn’t believe my eyes and I also heard that other unions members were voting for the GOP counterpart. SO DAMN STUPID!! Remember the ones that got your back and it ain’t REPUBLICANS. Now Unions are in the fight of their life.

  7. Thomas is crooked as hell. Something is not right with that guy. He hasn’t asked one question from the bench in five years – he’s just a conservative line vote on every issue, doesn’t even seem to care any more. He’s going on Conservative long weekend retreats and strategy sessions, his wife is getting paid almost a million dollars over 6-7 years by hyper-partisan Conservative groups that Thomas “forgets” to report, and Ginnie is very active in partisan politics – it’s unprecedented.

  8. I think I am Plouffe’s biggest fan and I AM SO DAMN HAPPY he is back at PBO’s side. Phew, I feel like I can exhale again! His book was amazing — I devoured it a few months ago. Like PBO, he is steely and completely immune to (and disdainful of) drama — two of my very favorite character traits.

    Have a great day, everyone :-)!

  9. Plouffe has the stuff! LOVE the man.

    And be sure to mark your calendars, OPeople!

    Coming to the WH next Thursday: “The Motown Sound.” This is the latest installment of the PBS “In Performance at the White House.” It will be taped next Thursday and broadcast nationally on Tuesday, March 1. Performers include:

    -Smokey Robinson
    -Natasha Bedingfield
    -Sheryl Crow
    -Jamie Foxx
    -Nick Jonas
    -John Legend
    -Amber Riley
    -Mark Salling
    -Jordin Sparks
    – Greg Phillinganes as the night’s music director

    This will be some great fun!

  10. Dealing with political reality doesn’t generate the clicks and viewers that our opinion makers in the media (old and new) desire. So it gets ignored in order to gin up today’s daily outrage. I am just relieved we have a president who doesn’t worry about the day to day news cycle and is instead focused on the long term effects of his policies.

  11. If Feingold is successful, there are grounds to impeach him (and some of the others too, e.g., Roberts). “High crimes and misdemeanors” includes actions that “hurt the country” for a profit motive.

    Also, during the Kagan hearings, Whitehouse, Franken and Specter laid groundwork on the record for reversal of Citizens United. (I made notes of their arguments if anyone wants to see them.)

  12. Thank you for the updates!! I’ve been following this. Exactly as you said, it’s a move (by Club for Growth and others) to bust unions which are one of the counterbalances to Citizens United.

  13. I just loved this paragraph about Mitch Daniels. Of course, the lazy media stenographers would never point out this important fact. Connecting the dots is not their strong point.
    Overlooked by Mr. Daniels’s Upper West Side coterie was the fact that before he was sworn in as governor, Daniels was director of George W. Bush’s Office of Management and Budget during the years that the national debt exploded to record levels. While the media dutifully reported on Daniels’s dark warning concerning the new “red menace” of debt, they somehow overlooked the fact that Daniels himself was a central player on the economic team that led us directly into that very crisis.

  14. PS: Ironic that it’s happening in Russ Feingold’s state exactly when he’s launching his new campain – “Progressives United” – to combat Citizens United.

  15. And here is the quote from that Scarborough column that sums things up for Republicans in 2012: Still, the biggest reason prospective candidates are so reluctant to declare their candidacy in 2011 is simple: Most of them privately believe Obama will end up winning in 2012.

  16. Where were these voters, the parents, the teachers,etc. I understand the police and firefighter unions supported the Governor. This is what happens when people are so impatient. They wanted to send a message and got their own throats cut. I am glad they have seen the light and will follow through on impeaching him. They should be collecting signatures so that on the 366th day they can file impeachment papers.

  17. Massive misinformation is all that I can say. Just as we are now seeing so much toxic energy masquerading as “information” designed to fracture President Obama’s base, the period immediately before the elections was just a mess in terms of getting a coherent message out to voters. A lot of people were simply misled; swing voters in particular.

  18. He is building up christie every monring! Pathetic! Why does NJ like christie? Even dems are not that tipisie on him! Sad!

  19. Bingo: This is what happens when people are so impatient. They wanted to send a message and got their own throats cut…

    A lot of these politicians are wealthy and/or able to transition back into the private sector easily, obtain high-paying employment, etc. Sending a message by enabling Republicans is just so breathtakingly counterproductive it’s incredible.

  20. It’s criminal that Boehner’s “So Be It” is getting largely ignored – it lays bare the fact that the MSM is carrying water for the GOP. I mean how can they not justify running with it?

    The leader of a party who wan on “Where are the Jobs?” not three months ago, is now saying “If there is job losses – So be it”? Where is the facts being writtent that the GOP budget would cost the economy one million jobs? Now Dems should be shouting this from the roof tops, non-stop so it’s message failure on their part as well, but that is no excuse as to why the MSM is giving Boehner a pass on this ludicrous remark.

    And the best part is –
    But it just so happens that a GE plant that develops the second engine employs 7,000 people in Evendale, Ohio, near Boehner’s district. Rather than take a so-be-it attitude toward jobs his constituents may hold, he’s backing an earmark-like provision in the spending legislation to keep funding the unneeded GE engine.

    The second engine Gates doesn’t want, the Military doesn’t need, and Boehner budgets $3B for it because it’s jobs near his district. I guess “So Be It” only applies to jobs in other districts and other States. Dems should be all over this as well. I hope they’re giving him enough rope to hang himself with here – maybe will pressure other Republicans to turn on him and split his caucus or something.

  21. I am noticing a major shift in a lot of commentary from the PL. Yesterday, Thom Hartmann, who on Monday was pretty critical, spoke about how Obama is in a hard place with all spending needing to originate in the House, and he is doing a good job of turning everything back on the House. And this morning, Bill Press, who was critical yesterday, also started giving Obama credit and spent much more time focusing on the Republicans, such as Walker in Wisconsin, Kasich in Ohio, and Boehner for his “so be it” comment.

    To be honest, I see a little manuevering by Plouffe in all this. The push is now to go after the Republicans, recognizing that they are in a position where they are supposed to govern and are failing miserably.

  22. Plus, you don’t see it put out there that he actually lied about the number of jobs added to the government. Instead of 200,000 it is closer to 46,00. Boehner was taking into account census workers.

  23. I just watched the video from the last mishmash with the medal of honor. What a wonderful group of people! This man we have as a President is so beyond all my expectations. My feelings have been so up and down in my worries for him. But with this wonderful site and this great family here we are learning how to fight back with the truth. With the workers of Wisconsin fighting back, we are all starting to really wake up to what is happening and how we can speak up. Thank you BWD and everyone here for bringing all this great information. I feel so much stronger every time I come here.

  24. They got lobbied by Pelosi and van hollen! These two are dem leadership and support POTUS budget! also, I told you all that Weiner would be on tv bashing the POTUS about the budget, sure enough, he was on countdown, i mean the last word(both the same)! Sigh!

  25. I think they’re holding out to see how this budget show down ends up. There was reports that many of these hopefuls were telling Boehner he could have a shutdown, seems to me they’re looking for a potential game changer already. It didn’t work out too well for Newt, and he’s a helluva lot smarter than Boehner is.

  26. Chris Matthews piece yesterday is about nine years too late. Where was the so-called fourth estate when the drum beat and run up to war was NEVER questioned by him or others. They were the cheerleaders instead of doing ANY investigation, followup, questioning etc., like they do to President Obama. Even when information was coming out that Bushco took us to war on shakey intelligence and was hiding the person who told them lies. This should have been in the news daily and Bush should have never been re-elected. So many men and women, not just young one were killed senselessly. Sending weekend military, the national guard to go to war instead of doing a draft. Sending the same people over and over through stop-loss program. The Shame-Shame-Shame is also on YOU Chris Matthrews and all the media talking actors.

  27. The top Democrats in the Senate are headed to the White House on Wednesday for what is likely to be a talk about President Obama’s budget proposal. At the session with Obama and Vice President Biden will be Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, Chuck Schumer and Patty Murray, the White House said in guidance to reporters.

    Expect more details to emerge at the briefing with Jay Carney, his first one as press secretary.

    Politico 44-

  28. Gibbs as DNC chair, and Kaine as a Senator?:

    If Tim Kaine plans on visiting President Obama on Wednesday to talk about running for Senate, the White House either hasn’t finalized its scheduling or it doesn’t want to draw attention to any meeting.

    The Democratic National Committee chairman told the Richmond Times-Dispatch on Tuesday that he’d talk with Obama “in the next day or two” about running to replace Virginia’s Jim Webb, who is retiring.

    A White House official confirmed to POLITICO that Kaine and Obama will talk within that time frame.

    Kaine appears nowhere on Obama’s public schedule for Wednesday. Though the president does have a block of space between a 10 a.m. meeting with “senior advisers” and a 1:45 p.m. chat with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. And of course, it’s possible that Obama and Kaine would talk by phone, not in the Oval Office.

    If Kaine gets the White House’s blessing to start a Senate campaign, Obama would have another job on his hand: finding a new DNC chairman. (Wonder if Robert Gibbs is up for it.)

    Politico 44-

  29. yep misinformation, and they preyed on their fears of the President. Now they see that he is not what the Gop made him out to be.

  30. I agree, gn. I am not particularly politically perspicacious (how’s that’s for alliteration?), but I am constantly astonished at the pundits and blogging frustrati who seem to believe that the President presents his ideas and policies without examining very carefully what is happening behind the scenes: whose support he can rely upon within his own party, what the system will bear at this time, what can be expected from the American people, etc. Anyone who believes he simply presents his policies without carefully studying all the nuances is a fool. The meme, “He’s giving it all away before he has begun,” is absurd. Though I don’t have high expectations of most of the blogosphere, I do expect more from the liberal pundits, as most of them are not stupid people and they should have a better grasp of how the government works in this country.

  31. The DNC needs to be emailed about this, they can release an ad, to put pressure on the MSM to cover it! and Kaine can ask to be interviewed to discuss it! This is somewhat our fault too! For not going after them! If it was their side, they would!

  32. Watch that Movie Green Zone. matt damon stars in it, very good synopsis for whtta went on, and Hardball was emailed with the story 9 months into the IRAQ war!
    maybe that is why he came out, at that time, against it!

  33. We in Milwaukee had ample time to view Scott Walker’s true colors when he was our County Executive. A little research by voters in the rest of the state would have unveiled his policy “ideas”. I have many friends here working for the state (teachers, lawyers, social workers, etc.), and ALL of them voted (Democratic, of course), but Milwaukee (and Madison) is not indicative of the rural parts of Wisconsin. Tom Barrett is our mayor and I think he would have made a fine Governor, but his heart was not in the campaign, which was lackluster. As for the legislature, we’ve had a Republican legislature not so long ago. You would think the electorate would have remembered what resulted from THAT.

  34. I think Christie is the anonymous would-be front runner that doesn’t want to lose to Obama because it would end his political career. He begged off on the SOTU rebuttal afterall as well. He wants nothing to do with Obama and will wait until 2016.

  35. Dems need to be out among their constituents hammering home the damage that the Republicans are causing, and emphasize how this is or will eventually affect them at the local level. The media is not going to care about anything that doesn’t get them a juicy story. Look at how they’re ignoring what’s going on in Wisconsin. If it was a Dem governor there would be wall to wall coverage.

  36. Now this is cool. The Republican’s Spending Bill, if passed, will take up spending beginning March 4th. Most SS people will get paid on March 3rd, the day before. So there is a month before SS needs to be paid to the majority of the recipients and PBO can veto away on this. There are some payments during March and if those people aren’t paid, the anger will slowly build and BUILD against the Republicans prior to April 3rd. I realize there will be some spill-over anger onto PBO for vetoing it, but if it is explained carefully and fully, as I well know he will, most all anger will be directed at the Pubbies. The Republicans will have at the most a month to repair their damaged reputation and pass a new bill. Or the Senate can ride in like a knight in shining armor and save the day.
    Popcorn, anyone?

  37. The differnce between 1995 and now? MSM is waaay righ wing! Thus, It will not be as bad for the pubs as then, but they will take a hit!
    Also, they are probing, seeing how far they can go! Testing the POTUS a nd his team on messaging!
    Meanwhile, they will all be hitting the MSM and fox news like they did on HCR!

    We need to be busy and vigilant like never before!

  38. I don’t know if Gibbs is right for that role really. I like him outside for awhile. Obama trusts him, as one of his Three Wisemen, and having Gibbs outside of the bubble for the next year+ will be very valuable.

    What about Granholm? I really think she needs to be in a prominent visible roll. Of course her big problem will be she went against the DNC and moved up Michigans primary date and caused all that drama during the primary.

    She could use the spot ton constantly remind the midwest rustbelt about the Detroit3 bail out and how that saved million+ jobs in the area and the GOP as a party wanted GM and Chrysler to die.

  39. 52% approval! That is HIGH! For what he hasa done to that state!
    Bottome line, his policies in that state have not brought down the unemployment rate. It is stagnant!

  40. People are now beginning to appreciate this President. they allowed fear to overtake their interest. After the November election i was so frustrated with the voters. Now they see, they have been played.

  41. Just like Palin blasted Michelle for the healthy school food program – they’re just desperate to pick on anything.

    And I don’t know if I’d want to pick a fight with breastfeeding moms – stores that do that always seem to lose.

  42. I think Walker will like this initially, as he’ll be seen as standing tough against the unions.

    Walker’s just getting warmed up here.

  43. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed cloture on the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill Tuesday evening, bringing the measure one important step closer to final passage.

    The FAA bill has been pending in the upper chamber for more than two weeks in the new Congress as senators have attempted to alter it with dozens of amendments. The biggest controversy has been over how many flights are allowed in, and out, of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

    Now that Reid has filed cloture on the bill it must ripen for one day and one hour before the entire body can vote on whether to bring the bill into a 30-hour period of final debate prior to a vote on passage. In the preliminary vote, which could occur one hour after the Senate convenes on Thursday, the bill must clear a 60 vote threshold.

    Earlier on Tuesday Reid said the bill would clear the Senate this week.

    The Senate adjourned at 8:36 p.m. on Tuesday and is set to reconvene at 10 a.m. on Wednesday. At 11 a.m. the Senate will resume consideration of the aviation bill. Roll call votes are expected throughout the day.

    The Hill-

  44. Yes, it would create somewhere between 100-300k jobs. House republican bill says it would be up to 600k…

    Nobody is talking about it! Just the way I like it!

  45. Not to worry so much, Jovie. A SS check going into the bank carries neither a Republican nor Democratic tag. But you are right in that the messaging from PBO is going to be very important, and I think Plouffe has thought this through very thoroughly in advance.

  46. Sheila, another part of the problem is that there is no liberal radion shows in Wisconsin, for the most part, just right wing crap, including the idiots on WTMJ in Milwaukee.

    Plus you hit on something very important. Barrett ran a lackluster campaign. A lot of Dems did, maybe believing they were doomed, or they were in good shape. Even Feingold ran a rotten campaign. The Republicans had been campaigning for months, whereas most Dems didn’t really start until near the end, by which time it was too late.

  47. Some international news from the BBC

    Libya not immune to winds of change

    By Frank Gardner

    The violent clashes reported from Benghazi, on Libya’s north-east coast, could well be a foretaste of what is to follow.

    Opponents of the regime are calling for major protests this Thursday, spreading the word by internet…..

  48. Thank you chris mathews, for doing something that should have been done long time ago. Calling them out on thier lies and people who paid the ultimate price for thier lies. Dick Cheney is out there claiming to be a tough guy when he had a chance to show how tough he is took five defferements. Chicken Hawks.

  49. EVERYBODY KNEW HE WAS CROOKED AS SHIT!!!! Thats exactly why black people said fuck no to him replacing Thurgood Marshall.

  50. h/t weeseeyou, quoting msnbc

    “It’s an understatement to say we have tough budget decisions to make, but there’s a ton I’ll cut before we slash home heating help in a brutal winter when heating oil costs are sky high,” Kerry said Monday in a statement.

    Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, where nearly 1.5 million households are expected to get aid this winter, was even more blunt.

    “I don’t think we should balance the budget on the backs of seniors who cannot afford the rising costs of heating their home,” she said.

    Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., a key Obama ally on environmental and energy issues, was similarly critical: “We should not be trying to balance the budget on the backs of our poorest families who are struggling to make ends meet.”


    Kerry’s the only one of the three who sounds remotely reasonable, yet even he misses the WH’s argument that the subsidy decrease is not going to impact customers, and will be monitored monthly for potential funding increases if energy costs rise back to the 2008 levels. IMO Gillibrand (who was a Blue Dog while she was in the House and a fiscal conservative!) and Lugar are spreading untruths, period. It’s one thing to raise objections as did Senator Kerry. Quite another to claim that President Obama is trying to “balance the budget on the backs of the poor.” That is netroots garbage and the type of fact-free ranting which led multiple Dems to have eggs on their faces following the tax cut deal. Ridiculous.

  51. A letter from OFA this morning, asking for our imput.. Am posting this for those not signed up with OFA (hopefully you don’t mind BWD):

    Sheri —

    This week, the President sent his budget to Congress.

    It’s a plan to rebuild our economy and win the future — a plan that will prepare our country and our children for the jobs and industries of tomorrow.

    It’s a proposal to live within our means so we can invest in our future.

    But the budget can be complex, confusing, and easy to distort in a partisan environment. President Obama will rely on our help — the on-the-ground organizing we know works — to make the case alongside him.

    That’s why we want your input.

    Take a minute to learn about the President’s top budget priorities, and then let us know which is the most important to you.

    Your feedback will help guide the work we do and the strategies we employ in the coming months, as the fights in Washington over the budget come to a head.

    The President’s vision is ambitious yet responsible. While making the tough decisions on some things we can’t afford, the budget also makes targeted investments where we need them to create jobs and secure a brighter future for new generations.

    It comes down to whether we’re able to live up to the vision the President laid out in five pillars:

    — Innovate: Invest heavily in research and development, more than double funding for energy efficiency advances, and put 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

    — Educate: Expand the Race to the Top program, encourage school funding reform by rewarding success and innovation, train 100,000 new math and science teachers, and make it more affordable for millions more students to pay for college.

    — Build: Create hundreds of thousands of jobs off the bat with investments in infrastructure, bring high-speed Internet access to 98 percent of Americans, and support the goal of supplying high-speed rail to 80 percent of Americans within 25 years.

    — Be fiscally responsible: Reduce the deficit by more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years, bring non-security discretionary spending to the lowest levels since Eisenhower, and live up to the President’s pledge to cut the deficit he inherited in half before the end of his first term.

    — Reform government: Embrace competitive grant models that encourage innovation and save taxpayer dollars, cut administrative overhead costs by billions, and establish a process to reorganize government to make it better serve the goal of a competitive America.

    Whether we can out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world depends on the direction this country takes right now.

    And each of us is a critical messenger for this administration.

    When we talk to friends and family, when we knock on our neighbors’ doors, and when we discuss the news with coworkers, we communicate so much more than any talking head or political ad ever could.

    We’ll be the ones making the case in our communities. So weigh in on what part of the President’s vision you want to see take priority:



    Mitch Stewart
    Organizing for America

  52. Seriously? What kind of goofball raises objections to breastpumps becoming tax deductible? She has a problem with healthy babies? FLOTUS isn’t telling anyone what they can or can’t do in terms of breastfeeding; she’s simply making it easier for moms who make that choice.

  53. I can’t understand why this story is not being broadcast nonstop everywhere. It is major that the leader of one of the chambers of commerce has publicly admitted that he simply doesn’t care about creating jobs. People are so wrapped up spreading lies about President Obama’s budget that once again the GOP gets a pass.

  54. Yes Thanks a lot BWD!
    yes last night rachel did unecellent job on crayiung John Boehner it’s ti,e to take on those laying GOP”Syes we can

  55. Some of them (like Gillibrand) are too busy running to the media accusing President Obama of “balancing the budget on the backs of the poor” and spreading fact-free narratives to focus upon the GOP. It’s really amazing.

  56. I am not very politically astute, but this I know to be true.

    Ya don’t want to tick off the teachers.

    Out here in California, Meg Whitman bragged about how the teachers union was against her, it was like a badge of honor. Well she lost the election and the teachers union helped with that.

    If Wisconsin has teachers walking out, parents will get behind them, and the state may soon be blue again. One of the things that strike me about the tea baggers is they don’t seem to realize when they go too far. I am grateful this is happening now, so that in 2012 folks may be seeing things more sensibly.

  57. Sheila – Loved your alliteration marker!

    This is of a different variety, but did any word snobs notice this part of the President’s remarks on one of the Presidential Medal of Freedom awardees:

    “Yo-Yo … his talents know no bounds … ”

    I’m thinking President Obama’s speechwriter was having a little fun with the “Yo-Yo” and “know no” line! It jumped out at me, and I had a good chuckle. Must be fun for the speechwriter to put forth something light-hearted for a change.

  58. Speaking of Walker in Wisconsin, apparently his constituents aren’t too happy with him:

    “WISCONSIN SAW its biggest labor rally in memory Tuesday as an angry crowd estimated at as many as 20,000 turned out to oppose Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s efforts to gut public-sector unions of their bargaining power, break them financially and force workers to pay for the state budget deficit.”

    Mike Imbrogno, a shop steward in American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSMCE) Local 171, described how union members surged inside the capital building, chanting their demands: “I’ve never seen anything like it. It wasn’t just teachers and union members from the University of Wisconsin (UW), where I work. There were Steelworkers, Teamsters, Pipefitters, building trades unions and more–unions I’ve never seen at a rally in 10 years.”

    “The most amazing thing is when the firefighters came in a delegation. Along with police, Walker has exempted firefighters from the legislation–but they came with signs that said, “Firefighters for workers’ rights.” People were crying.”

  59. Sherij – virtual hugs for sharing this one.

    Brilliant, just brilliant to ask folks to offer feedback in this way. So empowering to the average person. The communication, use of the Internet and social media has taken huge leaps forward in the past few months. Yay Plouffe.

  60. This is why I found it so perplexing when there were complaints about POTUS not engaging OFA in legislative strategy. They’ve been doing things like this for a long time, IIRC.

  61. I can’t understand this. There is a huge protest going on at Madison Wisconsin against Walker’s attack against workers rights , but all the major networks are covering only the middle east protests some of them are smaller than the Madison protests. If what I am hearing is correct Walker is Paul Ryan’s guy and if they are successful their plan is to put Paul Ryan against PBO. I used to love Wisconsin these pople are ruining this state.

  62. Good catch, Rhoda! Anyone interested in reading more can also go directly to Russ Feingold’s site, Citizens for more information.

    Glad to see that he didn’t fade away into the sunset!

  63. If people are curious as to why some of us were adamant that “poor” and “black” used interchangeably signals an ignorance or hostility, this article also provides some insight (h/t wsy):


    Gov. Rick Scott alienates some black lawmakers at luncheon

    At a tension-filled meeting with black legislators, the governor made remarks that some in attendance found offensive.

    Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott welcomed black legislators to lunch Tuesday at the Governor’s Mansion, but his choice of words left some feeling more alienated than ever.

    In discussing his own humble origins, Scott implied that all black lawmakers grew up poor.

    “I grew up probably in the same situation as you guys,” Scott said to the group of 20 Democrats. “I started school in public housing. My dad had a sixth-grade education.”


    Afterward, she said, “He assumed that everyone [in the room] was poor and that can only be because you’re black.”

    Rep. Joe Gibbons, D-Hallandale Beach, said Scott’s choice of words was unfortunate even if he was trying to “empathize” with the black caucus.

    “Some of us might be from the projects, but we come from all spectrums of life,” Gibbons said.

    “I grew up in the projects, too,” said Sen. Gary Siplin, D-Orlando. “I would hope he would be sensitive to his own background. We don’t want a handout, but some jobs.”

    For an hour over lunch, the lawmakers voiced opposition to Scott’s plans to end state support for two historically black colleges, to abolish a state office that helps minority-owned businesses get state contracts and to lower unemployment benefits and health care funding for the poor. They also expressed concern that Scott so far has not appointed any black agency heads and asked him to stop using the term “Obamacare.”


    This also serves as more evidence that the claims that there’s no difference between the parties or life under Dem versus GOP leadership are patently untrue.

  64. Unfortunately, from what I’ve read, Governor Walker can’t be recall until one year has passed. But given how angry the people of Wisconsin are I’m sure they’re organizing to do exactly that.

    It’s interesting, too, that many people have said they were “caught off guard” by his actions because he campaigned as a “moderate.”

    But these days what does that term actually mean in the Republican party?

  65. I imagine that folks in Wisconsin will have plenty of time to think about what they lost by not re-electing Russ Feingold to office.

  66. Well – the firefighters know that they might be next, as well. These are real people, with real families and real citizenship in this country. What these Republicans are doing is so wrong.

  67. Thank you, jacqueline, I didn’t notice it either. I have had little time lately and it was only just brought to my attention by a friend that Bush Pere received an award also. As my friend asks, “Was this really necessary?”, though in general I am in agreement with our President reaching out to the other side. If he gives one to the son, well then, no line in the sand (don’t lines in the sand dissipate after a minute or two?), but I would be disappointed.

  68. The MSM may be asleep but we’re wide awake and can circulate this information all over the Internet, as well as on FaceBook and Twitter.

    In no way should we allow this information to be buried quickly and quietly like it didn’t happen!

  69. You are right, japa, and I had not thought about the radio aspect. From what we know, Barrett had a bit of PTSD from his incident outside of Summerfest, and it is unclear to me whether or not he really wanted to be Governor. Perhaps there could have been a better candidate. We could not have done worse than Walker. Thompson almost looks good in comparison.

  70. I loathe Rick Scott with all my heart. And yes black does not equal poor and dumb. Still can’t believe all the fools who voted for him.

  71. Crooks and Liars had a post on yesterday that exposed the connection between Citizens United and Thomas. It just so happens that when Thomas was nominated, CU ran ads on his behalf to counteract the opposition it anticipated receiving from democrats. They were also pizzed that Bork wasn’t confirmed. Thomas should have recused himself in the CU case, but he didn’t. He knew that the organization had acted on his behalf back in 1991 to help him get confirmed, so he decided to return the favor by voting in CU’s favor in the case. IIRC, CU spent @$100,000 on ads supporting Thomas.

    You’re right, St. Roscoe. It just seems that the evidence keeps piling up about the ways that Thomas has broken the law and has retained his position on the SC. First, his wife starts a tea party group intended to oppose a sitting president. Then, she works, is paid, and the income isn’t reported. And, now this revelation about Thomas’ prior ties to CU. He should resign, but I don’t think he will. He’s probably counting on the same thing happenening that usually happens with republicans–their transgressions get overlooked, they close ranks, and any wrongdoing is later classified as “a mistake.”

  72. Well said from start to finish. I don’t have a word against anyone who is critical of that particular medal or any specific, particular policy or program. I distinguish that from the efforts to focus almost exclusively on areas of disagreement and create a false narrative that POTUS’ entire presidency is problematic because of that selective factual recitation.

    But I was also feeling like, “why is Bush senior getting a medal” and don’t fault anyone who felt the same. On balance, this POTUS is still doing a spectacular job.

  73. Tommy at least had a sense of humor and some integrity. He didn’t last long in the Bush administration, and from someone I know who was closely connected with him, it was mainly due to what he saw happening there. He couldn’t stand it any more and quit.

  74. Japa, do you think the fact that Feingold doesn’t, or didn’t, accept campaign contributions have an impact on the election?

  75. I know this is petty, but I would like to see Ryan and Walker, two of the dorkiest men ever to walk the earth, not to mention two of the most meanspirited, go up against President Obama. Remember Bobby Jindal?

  76. Chicago and Hawaii vying for the site of the president’s library. Hah!! There will be enough material from THIS President to fill FIVE libraries.

  77. Surprise, surprise. Did he speak to the issue of Israel also? Did he say POTUS is stabbing the Israels in the back?

    I can hear rumblings from a couple of sites that Weiner is a REAL MAN. An honorable man who should run against Obama in 2012.

  78. As a Floridian I have grown used to being in a state where you can count on the majority of voters to vote against their own interests just to stick it to the dirty liberals, but I’m amused to see that even some of the generally right-wing commentators on my newspaper site notice that Rick Scott is full of it. Granted, he still has his defenders, but generally there’s almost always overwhelming support for any republican proposals. Not now. Luckily I’m now doing well enough that I can help out my less fortunate family members who are going to be impacted by his stupidity, but everybody ain’t able. It’s going to be a long four years.

  79. This is why Christie is so popular, but I think his decision will come back to haunt him, as time progresses.

    “Governor Chris Christie’s decision yesterday to throw the switch on the ARC passenger rail tunnel brought two decades of transportation policy planning to a screeching halt.”

    “First, Christie acknowledged the state would lose the $3 billion federal New Starts grant, has wasted $250 million in state funds on the tunnel and might owe the federal government $350 million it spent on the project.But where is the rest of the $5.7 billion going? Christie said yesterday he didn’t know.”

  80. Spectacular indeed. I doubt that the
    president actually picks those who
    receive medals. He probably approves
    or disapproves the individuals selected.

    Or, on a sneakier level, perhaps
    someone thought giving a medal
    to Bushy 1 was good politics.

  81. To a degree, I think it did. But quite honestly, I am not so sure that he wasn’t all that into getting elected again. The other thing is that, on the whole, he tended to avoid negative campaigning, and his opposition wasn’t.

    A key aspect, in Wisconsin ads, was the “government take over of healthcare” and I don;t think Feingold did much to counter that. Keep in mind, I am in Illinois, but from Wisconsin, and being a Packer fan, I listened to a lot of Wisconsin radio, so I got a sense of the advertising and the amount each had.
    Perhaps, if Feingold had more money from contributions, he would have run a more dynamic campaign, but I am not so sure. He had been closing the gap towards the end, but he didn’t go for the throat, although his opponent had a lot of negatives in his history.

  82. True, true, true. David is a fabulous strategist. Which he had been on board earlier.

    BWD, a great mishmash as usual. So many things to ponder, think and write about.

  83. I wish that more of them would think before running to the press with this type of content. Rant in private until the full story is known, because it is a fact that the netroots, led by HuffPo IMO, will publish very misleading stories about this administration and lead Dems astray.

  84. I hope we see that Chris Matthews segment in as many ads as possible between now and Nov 2012.

    Vote Republican if you like killing and dying for lies.


  85. Fingers crossed. What a great way for Russ to move forward. Feingold was never a group thinker. This kind of pursuit may be the perfect life for him.

  86. Exactly. We tend to focus on the national media, but I can tell you that a lot of the damage that the repubs do start with them schmoozing the locals. Our local tv news station, though I have to side-eye them when they cover the Tea Party like they’re legit, are quite willing to give any politician who’s willing to talk air time. Marco Rubio was just on talking about how his amendment to the FAA bill needed to be passed to destroy the terrorists or something, I don’t know. Bill Nelson is on from time to time as well. If all our dem congress critters in every state would do this and show some discipline (ha) that would be huge.

  87. Good on you for looking out for your family, Rina! Love your values. And indeed, it is pretty frustrating watching people realize after the fact that they were tricked into acting against their own best interests. It’s almost like, “what did you think this guy would do???” This is why it’s just so important to try to establish and maintain even some small sources of nontoxic information, like this space.

  88. Oops unnecessary. Just tell everyone that I wrote the comment for you. After all, even if I proof read my comment two times before posting, I will still find an error.

  89. Discipline is correct. Dems need to get on the same page or at the very least, do as Kerry did and raise objections in a tempered fashion. Why run to the media with a statement like “President Obama is trying to balance the budget on the backs of the poor”—it’s a lie, one, and two, it’s so extreme and strident that it’s hard to walk back when real information becomes available.

    I’m particularly upset with Gillibrand because she did not display this same thinking about the poor when she once again took a netroots narrative and ran with it during the tax cut deal, preferring that POTUS create a line in the sand at the expense of people needing unemployment benefits.

    It’s like they’re so concerned about being accused of walking in lockstep that they miss the hazards of running to the media before all facts and information is clear.

  90. “Massive” lies, more like. Here in AZ, Miss Muffet Gov of ‘Sleepy Hollow’ with her story of headless bodies littering the desert. It was 24/7 fear mongering and race baiting. Those of us doing GOTV faced a mountain of these lies that we just couldn’t clime. We also had to deal with some big outside money financing some of the races here.

    Now, people are just waking up to the price we will have to pay for keeping Brewer and giving that “unperson” Russell Pearce de facto governorship and practically supreme power in AZ.

    Corporate Prison interests have bought and paid for this State. Lax supervision allowed two vicious criminals (both citizens and white, I will add) to escape last Summer, go on a spree and kill at least two people. But our Repugnants in the Legislature here don’t think it’s necessary to have over sight or more regulation and control of our prisons. “Let the corporation take care of that. They are sorry about what happened and won’t do it again.”


  91. I did catch it and it gave me a good chuckle.. at first I didn’t think it was purposely done, but then I realized – of course it was & very cute too.

  92. Good points, Dorothy, but whatever their reasoning, liking every single decision out of the WH is not a condition of my strong approval of this Presidency. The vast majority of Dems feel the same if polling is any indication.

  93. I saw this on CNN earlier

    Insurer medical costs falling – 1st time in 10 years

    By Parija Kavilanz, senior writerFebruary 16, 2011

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — For the first time in 10 years, the U.S. health insurance industry is expected to report a decline in medical expenses, according to a new report by Weiss Ratings.

    Weiss, an independent provider of insurance company ratings, based its findings on a study of 852 health insurers.

    The study showed that medical costs fell 1.6% in the first nine months of 2010.

    For all of 2010, Weiss estimates that insurers’ medical expenses,will fall 3% less ‘reinsurance costs’ bought by health insurers to limit risk.

    “This is a critical change from the steady and rapid increases of prior years,” said Gavin Magor, senior insurance analyst for Weiss.

    “If it continues in 2011, it should help boost health insurer profits while also pressuring them to curb premium increases and give consumers some much-needed relief.” …….


  94. Really a gun reference? How could he possibly believe this is appropriate after what happened in Tucson. And to say something like this about our First Lady. Disgusting. Where was he when Laura Bush was promoting literacy.

  95. Calendar marked! I love Smokey Robinson etal plus Jordan Sparks is a hometown gal. I didn’t realize she would be there too. This should really rock!

  96. Jay Carney is really good! The WH rabid press dogs are trying their darnedest to trip him up but he has his game on. This being his very first day at the job, I am very impressed. He just keeps swatting away their stupid questions and in a very nerdy way. Great.

  97. Bone head is not the brightest bulb on the Christmas Cactus and he is playing way out of his league.

  98. The rhetoric being tossed around right now is just so strident and extreme. Indeed, it’s incredibly disappointing that after the events of Tucson, people still insist on throwing around the most heated and emotion-laden rhetoric that they can get their hands on. Where are the grown-ups? This is why I appreciate people like Kerry even when I don’t agree with him; because he always keeps it tempered and real.

    Tucker Carlson’s statement was horrendous IMO.

  99. If I saw Bachman face to face I would have to be restrained from physical violence and I am a pacifist.

  100. Thanks, Sherijr for posting this. I got that email too and I am so with OFA. Bravo and salud to better days!

  101. I agree zizi. I like Jay Carney. I think he handled the jackals pretty well for his first briefing. Isn’t it astonishing the stupid questions they ask? I always say they sound like nosy gossip columnists instead of real journalists asking thoughtful, relevant questions.

  102. QUE????? How many ways can I scream? That was just plain evil. My fax machine will be smoking! Tucker Carlson can…….fill in the blank.

  103. I wonder how many democrats who stayed home, and how many independants who voted republican last november are regretting it now …

    I hope the unions succeed in their pushback against the policies of the new governor. And then, I hope they organize and vote democrat IN DROVES in 2012!

  104. The campaign against Citizens United is a very important one. And I have to add this is one where pragmatists AND ideologues should unite. Many independants and some republicans could be brought into the fight too.

  105. And how does the PL respond to what is happening in Wisconsin, at least Big Eddie? By going after Obama. Quote “It took one day for the President to voice support for the protestors in Egypt, but the protests in Wisconsin have been going on for 6 days and not one word from the President. Disgraceful.”

    I am assuming he was using the word disgraceful to describe himself for saying the prior words.

  106. thnx for the info but i went to the site and that video clip he has at the top turns me off, watch the 1st few seconds and i became uncomfortable the rhetoric. *my credit card goes back in my pocketbook*

  107. OT, but headline and sub from CNN business website: “Why middle class is now underclass
    9:28am: Incomes for 90% of Americans have been stagnant for at least 30 years. Meanwhile, the richest 10% are getting much richer.”

    Gosh, what was going on 30 years ago. The new morning in America of Reagan. They should have called it “The new mourning for America.”

  108. I hope they’ve learned their lesson. It seems that since their is so much misinformation out there, the only way to wake those people up is that they EXPERIENCE what the new GOP is like. They WON’T forget.

  109. Michelle Obama has been in the news often lately. And it’s obvious she’ll be a great asset in the 2012 campaign. She’s wonderful, she’s a GREAT communicator and americans LIKE her.

    I’m not surprised AT ALL to see the attacks against her ramping up. Palin, Backman, Tuckson, and others. I’m absolutely convinced that the GOP operatives have laid a plan to discredit her as most as possible. Those guys know how to play dirty politics.

  110. Another vote for Jay Carney. Very good job. Fluid in his delivery, calm, focused, giving information without falling into any trap.

  111. I looked Tucker Carlson up on Facebook to leave him a message.. interestingly he has a commentary up posted via his ‘blog’ about how the left used the shooting in Tucson to score political points.. ironic that he then makes this horrendously violent comment about FLOTUS. I didn’t leave a message, as firstly wasn’t able to on Facebook, comments seemed to be disabled (like a true repug).. and the comments on his ‘blog’ are all so supportive of his hate-speech regarding the Tucson shootings that I can’t bring myself to bother. I figure any human that would say this filth about the First Lady is beyond caring how dispicable he is, and secondly the folks that support his hate are as self-indulgent as he is. EFF him and his crazies.

    Now my question, is he a member of the Press Corp? If so, then we ought to go after him on that count.. ask that he be removed, put some pressure on that front if possible.

    I am so sick of the media not being anything more than lying scoundrels for the rightwing in this country.

  112. Bingo! Dems have always needed better spokespeople. With Fox leading the way with lies day after day, ( by the way when is common knowledge they do, how do they get away with it? Truly boggles the mind.)Hoping David P in the WH will prioritize confronting this & all the other nonsense. We need a spokesperson that can debunk any & all untruths as quickly as they are spoken. Thank goodness we have this wonderful place that grows by miles every day, but we need a national spokesperson that gets heard each & everyday. The opposition knows everything negative about Dems & The POTUS will be repeated over & over on Fox. Shouldn’t we have someone speaking truth for us?

  113. good grief gn, and to think this person is supposed to be ‘governing’ all the people of Florida.. think how hopeless its really going to be for folks to get fair and equal treatment from someone who believes as he obviously does. I figure he is a fine example of the very narrow thinking way too many people continue to have in this country.. and not all of them on the right side of the political spectrum.

  114. As much as it pains me I have to agree with you. But people like Michelle even if they don’t agree with Dems or our President. I saw this more than once with Repubs when I was GOTV last year. Especially women, told me how “gracious” how “well spoken” “what a good mother” etc that they saw in her even when they said they didn’t like President Obama.

    I think that attacking Michelle is a huge mistake. Regardless of the extremists, most women want healthy children, they worry about their children’s diets and the meals they provide. They don’t like too much of their children’s time in front of TV, computer and video games. Michelle speaks directly to a mother’s heart.

    Michelle is a Mom just like them, trying to raise her children in the best way possible. Most will identify with her and they will not welcome too much ugly criticism.

  115. Agree with you about that article. I’m glad BWD has added the Reid Report to her blogroll.

  116. Russ Feingold was known as being a “purist” when he was in Congress. There aren’t many positions that he took which I’ve disagreed with. He went to bat for the people in his state.

    In fact, he was the ONLY senator who voted against the Patriot Act. I believe he also refused to take campaign contributions from corporations. He had an excellent strategy for eliminating fraud and waste in government, but couldn’t get the necessary support to get it through–although several components of his bill were used by others.

    So, if he’s willing to push back against the corporations and corruption in government, I ain’t mad at him…because it needs to be done, sooner rather than later.

  117. You captured my feelings exactly on Feingold’s campaigning. He didn’t seem to be very enthusiastic the few times I saw him during the election.

    But maybe he has found his passion again in pushing back against Citizens United.

    Time will tell…

  118. I think Jay is a good guy and tried awfully hard but I didn’t think he shined today. I hope it’s just the jitters of a new job. I was hoping he would sound more forceful and resolute. He stammered a lot and although he seemed somewhat calm, I didn’t get the impression that he is talking with a lot of confidence yet or ready to fight off the Jake Tapper combative posers.

    On that note, it saddens me to hear this about Bill Burton because I really like him and thought he did a great job:

    Bill Burton, Sean Sweeney (former Rahm Emanuel staffer) leaving White House
    By Lynn Sweet on February 16, 2011 3:09 PM | No Comments
    WASHINGTON–With the arrival of Jay Carney, the new White House press secretary, one of the top deputies to former press secretary Robert Gibbs–Bill Burton– on Wednesday announced he was leaving.

    Carney briefed the press for the first time on Wednesday–taking questions for 53 minutes.

    Burton, a Deputy Press Secretary, said in an e-mail to colleagues he will leave the White House Friday, to start a firm with Sean Sweeney, the top staffer to former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, now running for Chicago mayor.

    Burton, who was with the 2008 Obama presidential campaign from the beginning was on the short list to replace Gibbs; he is also expecting his first child.

    “And while I have felt a real fulfillment in this position — from the walls of this building to the shores of Honolulu — painting the new baby’s room this past weekend gave me clarity about a house I might want to spend a little more time in,” Burton said in the note.

    Sweeney was chief of staff for Emanuel. His last day will also be Friday. The two are forming a firm “focused on political and strategic consulting.”

    Sweeney’s and Burton’s connections with Emanuel goes back years. Sweeney was Emanuel’s staff director when he was in House leadership and was the political director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee when Emanuel was the chair. Burton was Emanuel’s communications chief at the DCCC at that time.

  119. Oh, the Chamber of Commerce that’s become embroiled in a recent scandal:

    “Last week, the hacker group Anonymous released more than 40,000 of HBGary Federal’s emails, followed by another 27,000 from its sister company, HBGary, over the weekend.”

    “Those files, stolen in retaliation for an attempt by HBGary Federal CEO Aaron Barr to penetrate Anonymous and identify its members, revealed a long list of borderline illegal tactics. Ars Technica has posted a well-constructed narrative of the firm’s bad behavior.”

    “The short version: It proposed services to clients like a law firm working with Bank of America and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that included cyberattacks and misinformation campaigns, phishing emails and fake social networking profiles, pressuring journalists and intimidating the financial donors to clients’ enemies including WikiLeaks, unions and non-profits that opposed the Chamber.”

  120. Here’s how it’s starting to play out: The Republicans can whine all they want about the debt (the deficit THEY blew with tax cuts, two unpaid-for wars and a Republican spending spree), as long as they are unwilling to raise taxes on the people who got richer during this recession, then they have no credibility. As long as the Democrats stay razor-sharp on this message, we win the perception game. Keith Ellison had some excellent language today on the House floor that every Democrat should repeat.

  121. I don’t know, Sheila. But I think that it’s poetic justice that her son, Harrison, joined Teach for America, one of the programs under the Americorp umbrella, in 2009.

    After all, she publicly demonized Americorps as being part of a “….re-education program for young people, where young people get trained in the philosophy the government puts forward and then they have to go work in these politically correct forums.”

    What further proof does anyone need of the potential benefits derived from breast feeding…

  122. Wisconsinites didn’t elect Walker. Democrats stayed home, allowing him to be elected.

    This is the legacy of the frustrati and the PL. But I still blame individuals who don’t see through the noise and vote the way Republicans vote. Republicans have not had a majority of the American people on issues in decades, yet they continue to win because too many Democrats aren’t sufficiently ‘inspired’ or Perfect Progress doesn’t happen instantly.

    Only wish the Moral Majority in 1984 had acted like so many progressives acted in 2010 — the loony Right would have imploded.

  123. Anti-tea party should have been reason enough to vote against Walker. It really shouldn’t be that hard to understand the outrageous damage of these people.

    I’m from Wisconsin and have lived in Chicago for 40 years. At least Illinois, who was not enamored of Pat Quinn, voted against our own resident right-wing loon. And we still should have had better turnout to defeat Mark Kirk. Alexi ran an okay campaign but Kirk wasn’t loony enough (on the surface) to get the voters’ attention.

  124. I was waiting for that explanation. Yours is the first I’ve seen. Even Boehner’s heartless gaffe was reported (I heard it during the day yesterday), they let the 200,000 jobs number go un-refuted.

  125. They sound like idiots. They just want some sensationalistic quote that they can run with and so they keep asking the same stupid questions over and over and over. It’s no wonder our media is so bad at keeping people informed, they have morons collecting the “news”. I think Jay Carney did very well for his first day and will surely grow even better at it over time.

  126. Which is why the PL’s credulous readership is being taken for the ride of rides. The attempt to take down President Obama regardless of the consequences in terms of enabling the GOP couldn’t be more obvious at this point, nor could the PL’s connections with the hard right.

  127. I come here for solid information, from BWD and fellow posters, and for Inspiration. For the news I cannot get from either the far-right or the far-left.

  128. Wisconsin IS NOT a deep blue state!!

    This mistaken assumption never ceases to amaze me.

    Remember our contribution to the Bush administration? One of our longest-serving governors, Tommy Thompson.

    We are a deeply purple state.

  129. I don’t see Granholm. She seems very tuned in to MI but I just don’t see her as a national figure.

    But someone has to replace Kaine — please. He’s dreadful.

  130. March 3 is not the only date SS is paid. I think it’s spread out through the month. My husband gets his check on the third Wednesday of every month.

  131. They gave Buscho a pass in 2000 in just the same way they are now given Boner a pass in 2011 with his “so be it” comment and his general mishandling of the house speakership.

    In other words, the MSM is always a day late, a dollar short when it comes to criticizing the GOP and their mishandling of this country. The MSM is always focusing on the wrong person, thing, issue in order to avoid calling out the GOP while they damage the economy and country.

  132. Here is the article that I couldn’t find earlier about the Chambers of Commerce which describes what they were up to:

    “The Chamber’s efforts to target opponents began after a ThinkProgress investigation last year raised questions about whether the business lobby was using money from foreign corporations to fund its political attack ads.”

    “According to one document prepared by Team Themis, the campaign included an entrapment project….creating a “false document, perhaps highlighting periodical financial information,” to give to a progressive group opposing the Chamber, and then to subsequently expose the document as a fake to undermine the credibility of the Chamber’s opponents.”

    “In addition, the group proposed creating a “fake insider persona” to “generate communications” with Change to Win in an attempt to mislead and undermine them.”

    “Even more disturbingly, emails reveal that HBGary, which spearheaded the work for the Chamber, apparently thought families and children were fair game, as an executive with the firm circulated numerous emails and documents detailing information about political opponents’ children, spouses, and personal lives, such as where they attended religious services.”

  133. Bravo Sheila! How I wish more Americans were exposed to thoughtful commentary like yours, instead of those who dominate the media, speaking on behalf of liberals/progressives.

  134. I totally agree with you WIW. California teachers really mobilized against Whitman and they had the support of other unions, especially the health care workers. I don’t know very much about Wisconsin politics, but it seems to me that Walker may be in for a very rough ride. I am not sure that it is smart politics for him to begin his governorship antagonizing teachers, or, for that matter, dumping on Unions and government workers. It may be true that Unions no longer command massive support from all the workers, but Unions are still formidable because they are highly organized and have the capacity to sustain a long struggle. I was really pleased to see many other Unions, such as the Teamsters and the Firefighters come out in force to support the teachers. Walker may have naively thought that by exempting Police Unions and Firefighters’ Union from his punitive anti-union measures he was buying their loyalty. However, the fact that Firefighters came out in strong support of the teachers shows that Walker’s tactic of “divide and conquer” failed miserably.

  135. Excellent comment Saint Roscoe! Just imagine what the MSM, Right wing blogs, and Left wing blogs would be saying if Speaker Pelosi had said these same words: “If there is job losses – So be it.” I bet all of them would be attacking her, from right to left; I am also certain many would be calling on her to immediately resign as Speaker. I also applaud Rachel Maddow for devoting a segment on her show to highlight Boehner’s incompetency.

  136. With Republicans now in control of the House of Representative, the Chamber of Commerce is in the driver’s seat when it comes to making policy. I think calling the House: the Chamber of Commerce Congress is spot on.

  137. Absolutely true Jovie! In 1995, Fox was still in its infancy and the other MSM had not yet quite been cowered to follow Fox News’ lead. I am convinced that, if we fail to mobilize in force to counter the Right wing propaganda machine, government shut down, if it does take place, will be entirely blamed on the President. That is why I endorse your call: “We need to be busy and vigilant like never before!”

  138. Thank you GN for the link. I really don’t know why it has become so fashionable for people to be so outraged about everything the President does before they know all the facts. I hope the President’s meeting with Senate leaders will go along away to quell the untruths being spread around by MSM, PL blogs, and self anointed liberal pundits, about his proposed budget. I really think that Markey’s and Gillibrand’s statements were quite intemperate. I have no problem with people disagreeing and challenging the President. I just detest Democrats who use language intended to inflame the passion of people to make them turn against a Democratic President. May be they think they would be better off with a Republican President.

  139. Thanks again for another gem. I just get so sick of people who are always condescending to African Americans thinking that they being empathetic. The may fool some of us some of the time, but they will never fool all of us all the time.

  140. Sorry GN, but you are being entirely too kind to this cowardly, weasel of a man. His rhetoric is not just “strident and extreme,” it is down right evil and ugly! Tucker Carlson needs to be shamed for spreading evil and ugly lies about the First Lady. Just because he is obsessed with guns (who knows what personal weaknesses he is trying to compensate for) does not give him a license to tell lies that Michelle Obama intends to raise other people’s kids “at Gunpoint.” We must all shout it out loud and clear: TUCKER CARLSON IS A COWARDLY DESPICABLE MAN WHO THRIVES ON TELLING LIES! I hope you forgive me for yelling in replying to your righteous comment, something I don’t usually do. It is just that i’ve had it with these blatant lies being told about the Obamas; lies that are constantly repeated without them being vigorously challenged and debunked. What is even more shameful, in my opinion, is that people who repeatedly spread these lies are still viewed as respectable people.

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