Thursday morning mishmash

 Hi guys,

1. Today’s schedule:

9:30 AM

PBO and VPB receive the presidential daily briefing.

9:55 AM

PBO holds a meeting on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

10:00 AM  
11:00 AM  
12:00 PM  
12:15 PM

PBO and VPB meet with House Democratic Leadership for lunch.

12:30 PM

Carney briefs the press.

1:00 PM  
1:45 PM

PBO signs the John M. Roll United States Courthouse Bill.

2:00 PM  
3:00 PM

PBO departs the White House en route Andrews Air Force Base.

VPB holds a Recovery Act Cabinet meeting.

3:15 PM

PBO departs Andrews Air Force Base en route San Francisco, California.

4:00 PM  
5:00 PM  
6:00 PM  
7:00 PM  
8:00 PM  
8:45 PM

PBO arrives in San Francisco, California.

9:00 PM  
9:45 PM

PBO meets with business leaders in technology and innovation.

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2. BREAKING: All those Democrats who stayed home in November because they wanted to punish the president or the party – welcome to your new life. You punished yourselves. Listening to the not-so-bright Ed Schultzs of the world, you’d think the president himself voted these lunatic governors into office. Blah, blah, blah.

Here’s the president interview with TMJ4 in Milwaukee yesterday, where he said that this is an assault on unions.

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3. Like a true sellout, the president yesterday promised a full funding of the $900 million Land and Water Conservation Fund for only the third time in its existence.

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4. More from the government of, by and for the people. Gotta love Austan Goolsbee.

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5. This is just wonderful:

Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach to Retire with Full Rank and Pension

Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach, who fought his discharge from the Air Force under the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, will be allowed to retire in October with his full rank and pension.

The South Bend Tribune reported on the news about the Notre Dame graduate and decorated 20-year veteran of combat flight.

“It was a great sense of relief. I didn’t expect it,” said the 41-year-old Fehrenbach to the newspaper.

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173 thoughts on “Thursday morning mishmash

  1. Poor Schultz – his heart is in the right place, but he has wisdom not. In the interview with TMJ4, PBO handled it perfectly – exactly how he handled the Egyptian protests – let the people speak. If he had verbally assaulted the Repub governors as Ed would have liked, well – you know the rest.

    Good morning.

  2. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE VOTED ‘AGAINST THEMSELVES’ IN THE MIDTERMS…THEIR ANGER HAS LEFT THEM WITH A QAIGMIRE IN SEVERAL STATES. OH THE LESSONS LEARNED HERE!
    GOD BLESS OUR PRESIDENT…AKA…THE ENERGIZER BUNNY…OFF AND RUNNIN’ TO CALIFORNIA!!!!!! HIS SHOES ARE SMOKIN’ AND NOONE CAN TOP HIS ENERGY LEVEL…ALTHOUGH THE FIRST LADY MIGHT GIVE HIM A GOOD RUN FOR HIS NICKEL!

  3. Morning, I’m waiting on Ed to say “I was wrong for telling people not to vote” but I’m sure he won’t.

    I Love that the Mish Mash is up when I get to work, I have an hour to read it before others arrive to work.

  4. Good morning everyone! I listened to Ed last night and was appalled how he went after the President. This has to be taken care of at the grassroots level. It is very scarey what The Club for Growth is trying to do. People have to wake up that all this is happening locally. They want to break all unions and make all workers even poorer. I am proud of the President. It’s all the people who didn’t vote who have to fight now.

  5. Ed Schultz = bombast. Wasn’t he one of those urging people to stay home instead of going to vote?

    Well.

    This should be a good lesson for people who think take their voting rights so nonchalantly.

    Also for those who don’t take the time to know the people they are voting for.

    I’d like to wager that among the throngs of people out there yesterady, there has to be some teabaggers, too. I am almost sure some of them are in positions the that are being targeted by the governor and his party.

    This is a live and learn experience. I hope many people will take it to heart. And maybe come next go around they will think first before deciding on who to vote for.

  6. Early good morning to everyone:)
    What do I say about Ed? I turned him off yesterday after he started in on the President. *Click* off! I like Ed’s passion on a lot of things, but he was WAY off base yesterday…
    I’m “over the moon happy” about Victor Fehrenbach, if that’s what he wanted to do. I thought maybe he wanted to stay in the military, but if he wants to get out and leave with his full military benefits that’s not only wonderful, but the way it should be! He has fought quite the battle at home, I can’t imagine how he felt getting this news after all this time. Having seen him on TRMS several times, I can say that he was an asset to the service…they were lucky to have him.Now let’s do the same for others that have served their country well.
    Looks like another jam packed day for the President…how DOES he do it and look so good all the time?

  7. Ok,we don’t get this Ed guy here, i don’t think, but how could any of this be the President fault? How is he justifying that statement? and yes, he was one of the ones telling people to not vote.

  8. I watched trms and decided to watch Ed. Same old, same shssst I am sorry but the tv went off.
    I will continue to find my news here and check out some local Wisconsin tv but Ed is the same as the rest of those teabaggers.

    Thanks for the morning news I didn’t realize how many of my family and friends read it until I missed posting it on my fb.

  9. In fairness, I do think that it has to be noted that when examined against the general historical trend of the midterm elections, it is probable that the excessive hot air of windbags like Schultz and the actions of the people who adhere to their views made little or no difference to the outcome. Throughout the entirety of the modern political era, the party in power has tended to be very lucky if they escape serious losses even in the best of circumstances – and the circumstances last November were about as far from “the best” as it was possible for them to be. Even if the PL had stuck with us (something that was also highly unlikely considering the larger historical picture: the PL have generally been a thorn in the side of their own party since the time of Thomas Jefferson), it would have had no real impact upon the unavoidable fact that the general voting base tend to be fickle in the Congressional Election years, and 2010 was no different from 1914, 1938, 1966, 1982, or 1994.

    In retrorespect, the shellacking that we suffered may turn out to have been something of a blessing in disguise. The losses were devastating, and many of the individuals elevated to office are barely (if at all) qualified, let along worthy of serving, but the section of the party that took the biggest hit was the Blue Dogs, we managed to save the farm with the Senate (thanks largely it must be admitted to the Tea Party, who were good for at least five Senate races we probably would have lost otherwise), and the craziness that is now ensuing gives PBO and the Dems something to run against as well as something to run for in 2012.

    Granted the choice, it was probably far better for the voters to vent their frustration in 2010 than in 2012.

  10. Very, very, very nice analysis. I didn’t know that the PL have been a thorn throughout history,that helps put things in a sharper view. But when it comes to Ed, he’s not so far from Sarah Palin if you ask me…he had a chance to run for public office but decided to keep his tv gig just like Sarah had the chance to run a state but choose to get a tv gig…….They just screech about different things.

  11. Happy Thursday everyone!

    Re: Ed, yeah I dislike him going after President Obama as the next person, but he’s not off base on other issues, especially the way he’s gone after Scott Walker of Wisconsin for going after the middle class and causing those protests in Wisconsin.

    People like Ed and the unprofessional left are exactly why the Republicans are in power, and now they are itching to bitch about how it’s all POTUS fault. It’s not POTUS fault they sit on the sidelines and complain without giving any practical solutions.

    They seem to think that POTUS is a hard right ideologue when he’s a pragmatist. He does what works, whether it be liberal ideas or conservative ideas, or heck even both. And its the ideologues who never succeed in life because they stick to their belief that only their way works, and they wonder why POTUS is a disappointment to them.

    POTUS governs in the real world, not the fantasy Matrix dreamland that they want. I’m glad POTUS does not take advice from them, he needs to listen to the folks who want to get things done.

    People like Ed need to focus on going after the damn Republicans and let POTUS do his job. POTUS got a lot of his agenda done without their carping, and they’ve been consistently wrong the number of times they’ve cried wolf about POTUS, namely about his tax cut deal, how they believed he was going to gut Social Security and about his budget proposal.

    /endrant

  12. And speaking of running for public office, how funny was it that the PL wanted to draft Keith Olbermann for Senate in Connecticut? Talk about being short-sighted; the man has never voted and knows about as much about how politics truly works as Snooki.

    These political pundits are nothing more than entertainers who enjoy hearing themselves talk. The only pundits I’ve got respect for are Lawrence O’Donnell and Rachel Maddow, they both admit when they are wrong and generally aren’t bullies towards POTUS. Although during the gulf oil spill, Rachel’s rewrite of POTUS address was childish and counterproductive. And LOD is effective at holding the right wing liars accountable for their BS, and for a short moment he held the PL accountable, namely Jane Hamsher.

    It’s telling how the media can drag people like Ed and Hamsher out as spokespeople for “the left” when in fact the only “left” they speak to are confined to the online community. Poll after poll has shown that the REAL left still supports POTUS and by a HUGE margin.

    And that goes back to my point that these political pundits are nothing but entertainers, their job is to bitch about POTUS to make money for the media bigwigs.

  13. I stopped watching Ed Schultz a long time ago. But last night I was watching Rachel Maddow and she teased the Ed Schultz Show because he was going to be leading off with the protests in Wisconsin. She made it sound like he was going to have major new updates. Against my better judgment, I decided to see what the latest developments were.

    Within minutes, Ed Schultz was criticizing President Obama for not saying what Ed Schultz thought he should have said about unions in an interview. I could not get to the remote fast enough. The re-run of Criminal Minds was better than his nonsense.

    It really is amazing the lengths that Ed Schultz will go to find a reason to criticize President Obama. No matter what happens, President Obama is at fault in some way. This was the reason he lost my eyeballs in the first place. So the suggestion to stay tuned to Ed Schultz just plucked my nerves. Thanks a lot Rachel….

  14. GM all! Great mishmash BWD😀

    I was riding in my friend’s car yesterday and heard a WI union leader say on MSNBC that President Obama should be marching with the teachers, telling the state legislature not to pass the new law, how disappointed he was in the President, etc. (I think it was the Ed Show – ewww😦 ) I thought to myself how on earth did this guy get elected to a leadership position? Did you not see what just happened in Egypt? The unions mobilized thousands of people to march on the state capitol within hours for God’s sake! Besides, WI voted that teafarty fool in – handle your business!

  15. Excellent historical analysis Axrendale. I always enjoy reading your posts – enlightening and educational!

  16. I do agree Ed is loud and I don,t like the way he goes after the President but he does stand up for the working peoplea. He will never admit he was wrong to tell the people not to vote.

  17. All of these states that voted against the democrats are now having buyers remorse. I was livit with Ed last night. He for got to mention that the president and first lady was down there asking for their votes, they voted against him out of feat that the republicans and tea party gave . he should be highlighting the tea party candidates running for office , but no he goes afrer the president i am waiting for his show this morning i will call in and try to get on. This is wisconsin decisison. I back them all the way, but i think they now see who is really fighting for them.

  18. And POTUS and FLOTUS both campaigned for Russ Feingold, but yet it’s their fault that he lost, according to the PL.

    In the end, those who either fell for the hype and voted Republican to “teach the Dems a lesson” or didn’t vote at all because they needed to “teach the Dems a lesson” are to blame. I’ve read on other blogs from other posters how some of the protesters in Wisconsin actually voted FOR Scott Walker and now have the nerve to complain. They got EXACTLY what they voted for.

  19. Ed Shultz should take some responsibility in his hyperbole and lies. This is what Ed Shultz said in August 2010

    “And I’m announcing today, I’m not going to vote in the midterms. I’m not going to do it. You can say it’s un-American. No, it’s rather revolutionary is what it is. I’m at that point. I’m checking out.
    I’m checking out of the Democrats because they are proving to me that they don’t know how to handle these big babies over on the right that say no. You know what you do? You get in the driver’s seat, you hit the throttle, and you run over ‘em.”
    http://www.bobcesca.com/blog-archives/2010/08/no_sir_i_dont_l_6.html
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/watercooler/2010/aug/1/ed-schultz-audience-boycott-mid-terms-if-dems-dont/

    I blame Ed Shultz and his Hyperbole along with DKos, Huffington and other Professional Left.

  20. They always think it is the other guy whose salary will be cut, and now they are finding out it is their own salary being slashed by up to 1/3. Bringing it home!

  21. Thanks, Rhoda! Every piece of information that reveals the President’s long range focus is reassuring to me. I imagine that those who work with the President either love him or
    ‘hate’ him. He is such a savvy leader that those who think they know it all must find it difficult to have a boss who doesn’t always follow THEIR advice, yet seems to be often on top of things, and those who need direction, would revel in his farsightedness. What a contrast between #43 and #44 – one just wanted the Coles notes version of events before leading with his gut, and the other wants all available information to inform his decision. We got lucky in #44!!!

  22. Here is a must read on Walker and Wisconsin’s budget deficit:

    “To the extent that there is an imbalance — Walker claims there is a $137 million deficit — it is not because of a drop in revenues or increases in the cost of state employee contracts, benefits or pensions. It is because Walker and his allies pushed through $140 million in new spending for special-interest groups in January. If the Legislature were simply to rescind Walker’s new spending schemes — or delay their implementation until they are offset by fresh revenues — the “crisis” would not exist…
    Pay for schemes that redirect state tax dollars to wealthy individuals and corporate interests that have been sources of campaign funding for Walker’s fellow Republicans and special-interest campaigns on their behalf. As Madison’s Democratic state Rep. Brett Hulsey notes, the governor and legislators aligned with him have over the past month given away special-interest favors to every lobby group that came asking, creating zero jobs in the process “but increasing the deficit by more than $100 million.”

    http://tinyurl.com/6z5dcq8

  23. Last night a representative from the DNC spoke at our packed Democratic county committee meeting (at our invitation) and he confirmed much of what axrendale said above. The Republican House as well as the new slate of awful Republican governors, give President Obama and the Dems something to run against and for in 2012. In other words, they can play offense, rather than defense. He also said that the Democratic messaging has dramatically improved in the last two months with White House staff changes, i.e. Plouffe, and that was making a difference in the recent polling. He sees that the president is looking beyond Congress and talking more directly to the American people, which is a very effective strategy.

    We have to work like the devil in 2012, but the winds may actually be with us this time.

  24. Morning Axrendale, I like the way you’ve summarized this.

    ‘In retrorespect, the shellacking that we suffered may turn out to have been something of a blessing in disguise.
    … the craziness that is now ensuing gives PBO and the Dems something to run against as well as something to run for in 2012.

    Granted the choice, it was probably far better for the voters to vent their frustration in 2010 than in 2012.’
    —————
    About a week after November 2, and only in retrospect – jarred by something written on Booman’s blog – was I able to start accepting that the losses might have been a ‘good thing’ because they brought the GOP out of the background, so to speak, and more into a position where their (in)action can be better scrutinized. By the time the 2012 action starts it is to be hoped that voters will vent their frustrations at the right (GOP) targets.

  25. I don’t understand people who think the President should be personally involved in every political fight across the country. In this case, it is Wisconsin that has the problem and it should be people from Wisconsin who are leading the fight not any politician from Washington especially the president. Can you imagine the uproar from the Republicans if the president were to personally get involved in a march against the Wisconsin governor and his policies? The story would stop being about those policies and become all about the President overstepping his bounds.

    This is like the silliness after the gulf oil spill where the pundits wanted him to be in the gulf, looking angry or something, as if that would solve everything instead of being in Washington actually working on seeing the disaster get handled.

    I do remind myself that Ed Schultz is another former Republican turned Democrat. While I’m happy to see that he has changed his mind about his politics, he still has the Republican mindset of show over substance in many ways. Republicans like bluster and negativity. They like to make a big show and think that that equates to doing something. Often it actually just replaces doing anything useful, but republicans are all about optics, not results. President Obama is a democrat, through and through. He cares more about results than about optics. His concern is with the people not with his poll numbers. He knows that anything he gets personally involved in becomes about him and not about the issue to the media. He’s not dumb enough to make the protests in Wisconsin become all about him instead of the issues. Ed needs to learn to think before he speaks–he might find that he is wrong less often that way.

  26. I do wish there had been a larger turnout for Democratic voters but it’s important for us to remember that Democratic voters did come out in the usual amount for a midterm. It wasn’t so much lack of enthusiasm on our side as it was incredibly motivated tea party voters on the other side. I think we underestimated their enthusiasm. They were motivated by fear of the president and fear of the democrats. They were worked into a frenzy by the Rush Limbaughs, Glenn Becks and Fox News. They truly believed that Democrats were going to destroy the country, take their “freedoms”, and turn the US into a Muslim nation ruled by sharia law. It’s so incredibly stupid we didn’t believe it could possibly be believed by anyone but a few less than stable people. That’s where our mistake was. We didn’t understand how that fear would drive the right to the polls in such huge numbers. Telling people not to vote, like Ed did, or doing all they could to dampen any enthusiasm for Democrats like the PL did, didn’t help get our voters out to the polls, but it also probably didn’t deter many people either. The biggest problem was that democratic voters didn’t think it was anything different than an ordinary midterm and so turned out in the normal numbers. It isn’t a case of lots of democratic voters who voted for a republican or stayed home in protest, but just that they reverted to their normal voting behavior while the republican voters showed up in historic amounts due to a motivation that defies logic.

  27. I saw that the three most powerful unions, including the police and firefighters, endorsed Walker. Now they call themselves marching with the teachers because, guess what, they could be next.

    The President told the dems what needed to be done. Feingold and the other dems refused to vote on the middle class tax breaks. They did everything they could to thwart the president and he still campaigned hard for each and every one of them.

    Now the people of Wisconsin have to clean up the mess they made. The President doesn’t need to go anywhere near Wisconsin.

    I loved his interview. He so eloquently explained his approach to the budget. And I love how he put the spotlight on the stupid republicans who have no budget plan.

    Have you noticed the right wing meme is now that the President isn’t showing leadership because he didn’t include entitlements in his budget? This is all they got about his budget because they know it’s solid and visionary.

    The republicans are so incompetent it’s frightening.

  28. Wager big! ’cause you’d win a ton of money. A commenter over at balloon juice provided us with some quotes from a couple of people who said they ‘went to the poles to vote against big government and they didn’t expect this’. HA!

    We really should feel sorry for these people because they are being conned by the Republican party, but its really really really hard to feel sympathy for people who never learn.

  29. Some Republicans in Florida are not pleased with Governor RickScott for turning down the highspeed rail funding. It seems like buyers remorse is breaking out all over the country……

    THIS TRAIN DON’T STOP THERE ANYMORE.

    Yesterday, for reasons that no can explain, Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) announced he’d refuse to accept the money and would instead allow the jobs to go to some other state.

    What I found most interesting yesterday was the reaction from Republican officials in the Sunshine State.

    Representative John Mica, a Florida Republican and the new chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, told reporters Wednesday that he had tried but failed to talk Mr. Scott out of turning down the project.

    Mr. Mica said the “federal government has done everything” it can, including agreeing to put up 90 percent of the rail link’s financing. He added that it “defies logic” that Mr. Scott would cancel the rail line before the state had received bids on the project.

    Mica’s frustrations are really just the start. Republican State Senator Thad Altman called the governor’s decision “tragic” and “bad for the people of Florida.” Republican State Senator Paula Dockery said something similar. Republican State Senator Jack Latvala, chairman of Florida’s Senate Transportation Committee, said Rick Scott “cut off our nose to spite our face.”

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2011_02/028040.php

  30. People like Ed Schultz, the huffpostAOL corporation lady, Jon Stewart, and all of the PL needs to own this disgraceful thing that is happening in WI. The citizens of that state need to be more diligent in the future. They are getting exactly what the Repubs promised which is what they voted or sat home and let others vote for. All I can say is TURN OFF THE PUNDITS AND GET FACTS. Its sad they are gonna lose so much because they listened to propaganda. 😦

  31. So true. And the daddy in the WH can’t fix all of our mistakes with the snap of his fingers. The GOP was utterly clear about their plans to go unionbusting and enforce financial austerity. Did people think that they were joking, or were they too busy imagining that they would “punish” President Obama for the insult of not fixing decades of problems in two years?

    I absolutely hope that people are able to see just how enormous are the differences between the parties, and look with skepticism at those in the national and new media who are making false claims that life is no different when the GOP versus Dems are legislating or in the WH.

  32. I also turn Ed off after Rachel. I am so glad he is no longer on my radio station although Thom Hartmann is no better with his complaining about the president so much that when people say they won’t vote for him because they are so “pure”, Thom backs off and says “oh you have to vote for the SCOTUS” because were screwed if a Republican stacks the court with more corporatists. I was not aware that Ed told people to stay home…what a moron and the morans that listened to him.

  33. Great comment. Swing voters are responsible for the November outcome IMO; swing voters deluded into thinking that change hadn’t come fast enough and that the GOP would have better solutions via a trimmed down budget and jobs.

    Terrific insights.

  34. “We really should feel sorry for these people because they are being conned by the Republican party, but its really really really hard to feel sympathy for people who never learn.”

    I agree, but we MUST feel sorry for all those who did not vote for this – voted against this – and are now going to suffer what the fools did… like my cousin who is a big PBO fan and a loyal Democrat.

  35. POTUS tried to lead a march of the WI people to the voting booth to vote for Dems. It didn’t work. He can’t snap his fingers and fix this mess; voters gave the GOP power, authority and legitimacy to bust up unions. I’m glad that they’re protesting, but I bet some of those marchers voted for the GOP. Vote for Dems and perhaps they won’t have to worry about people trying to get rid of unions.

  36. BWD and anyone who has SIRUS/XM:

    I pulled this from WEE See You about the President being on the Warren Ballentine show. How can we get the transcript?

    “Heads Up! President Obama will be on The Warren Ballentine Show Today! If you have SIRUS/XM Radio, it airs 10am-1pn on ch. 169”

    PBO is going straight to the American people.

  37. My lovely and affable(NOT) Governor Scott had a meeting with the State Black Caucus on TUesday!
    In that meeting, he tried to connect, saying that he grew up poor, and taht nayone can do it(paraphraisng)!
    Many memebers found that to be condescending, as he was implying that Black People must be poor!

    WOW!

  38. President Obama is often mocked for failing to change Washington, and clearly, his lofty campaign vision of post-partisan cooperation hasn’t come true. But behind the scenes of the Beltway perpetual-conflict machine, Obama has made quiet progress towards reforming Washington — not politically, but bureaucratically. The most important reform, launched two years ago today, was tucked inside his unpopular stimulus package, and inside his new budget, he’s trying to expand it.

    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,2049816,00.html#ixzz1EE8s9Ydy

  39. Well, you wouldn’t know that if you watched Ed last night. First of all, his staff either totally sucks or is firmly ensconced in the Loony Left. Because from what I read here today about the WTMJ interview, means Ed Schultz did a hatchet job that Fox would be proud of.

    I’m emailing him today.

  40. Heeyy everybody..!!😀

    From my twitter timeline:

    RT @ramcnn: RT @LisaMirandoCNN: @edhenrycnn reporting #Obama will meet with high tech giants: Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and others tonight. #CNN

  41. And why is this being reported – just gives every autocrat in the area reason to bame America and crack down on any protesters.

    NYT just can’t help themselves.

  42. Ed was particularly brilliant in the weeks he was pushing to can the HCR bill entirely and re-visit it after the 2010 midterms to get a more progressive bill!

    He’s an intellectual lightweight to be sure. The only reason he has the job over other sane progressives is because he bashes the President enough to please his corporate masters. He’s their tool and he doesn’t even know it.

    That was a real hatchet job last night.

  43. So the president has nothing to do? not to say that the protests aren’t important, but Obama is not in office to lead protests. Protests are led by the people and if the president supports it then all the better. I would say the same for bush.

    Obama supports unions and would never sign or support anything that would hurt them. That guy is way off base. Stop waiting around for Obama or some prophet or some hero to save you.

  44. ALL EX-REPUBLICANS! I don’t trust any of these people and refuse to go to their sights anymore. I do not go on HuffnPuff and Dkonfusion anymore. These people are very nasty and only complain, complain, complain about the President until of course he does what they think he should do. This people have a bad case of tunnel vision and can’t see beyond their noses. I hope Ed is cancelled due to low ratings.

  45. I bet you anything Anderson Cooper is beating Ed in the ratings, who watches this guy anyway? There’s probably not a big audience for loud ranting at 10PM.

  46. About Ed shultz, it is my assumption that if these liberal broadcasters want to take up a liberal issue, then they have to blame the POTUS! It is the only way they can report an issue, otherwise they would have to just shelve it! You see how other netwoks have ignored this outrage? That is because they have been told to do just that!
    Corporate MSM is under the gun, so to speak!

  47. Excellent comment as usual. Your statement about there being a silver lining has some merit, but only if the damage done is not too severe. I have a hunch there are times that the Republican Party leaders, including Boehner, wish they hadn’t been quite as successful as they were. Rather, they probably wish some of the Blue Dogs would have held their seats, had the Dems retain the majority technically, but knowing they had enough votes to block anything the mainstream Dems wanted to do.

    That way, they could have still been the party of no, but without really having to bear responsibility for things not getting done. The public looks at which parrty has the numbers, and if the Dems have the majority and nothing gets accomplished, it the Dems fault.

    Same thing with the PL. The Dems had the majorities, so they should have been able to do anything they wanted. The same people who complained about how the Republicans voted in lock step and didn’t have any independent thinkers, wanted the Dems to do the same thing.

    The Republicans, I think, and I hope, have basically, by winning the battle in 2010, may have guaranteed losing the long term war.

  48. Oh cool but I don’t agree with his assessment. He is still doing what everybody associated with politics does, blame the potus (even in this subtle back handed way) for everything. Do not take responsibility for their own short sightedness. The President has been talking to the American people for 2plus years so I don’t see what this guy is talking about and the poll numbers have been raised even before the administrative changes (i like the changes but to say this is the reason for poll numbers going up is hogwash imo).

    Maybe if the Democrats in office, and the party itself had spoken more strongly and stopped making legislation so difficult for the President especially when he was tackling the hardest problems, maybe things would have been diff. I didn’t expect diff actions from blue dog dems but the rest all seemed docile and scared of the repubs. Even tho most voted with potus in the end of the battles they made the process too ugly and people noted that. People saw a united Repub party and a divided Democratic one with only the President running around pushing his legislation. To this day I still do not see any Dems talking much about how great HCR is.How many of them voted against DREAM act?😦 which should have been a no brainer for any DEM.

  49. edwina i was thinking the same thing. Rachel made it a point for you to watch, then Ed made it point to say that MSNBC was the only one reporting this. Their ratings must be shot.

  50. Amen! and I will be there before 2012. There are so many fronts to focus on…New voters, the youth vote, independents, states with Republican governors and secretary of states who can monkey with the votes. I believe if we do not get out there in huge numbers we could relive 2000 all over again. I feel really really good about 2012 more than ever before.

  51. Not only that, but his guests have also agreed(in the pre-interviews) if you want to get on tv, say something nasty about POTUS!
    SCARY!

  52. She pulled the wool over the eyes of the PL didn’t she? She’s laughing all the way to the bank. The same thing with the DADT complainer, Choi. He was yucking it up at CPAC another DKOS darling that is playing both sides, complaining about the president before and after the repeal of DADT.

  53. A quick comment about what Obama said about the union struggles in Wisconsin. I think he hit the nail on the head. There are two major issues in the Wisconsin struggle. One deals with the members paying more for their helath insurance and pension plans. The second is the attempt by the Governor to remove collective bargaining rights.

    Obama basically said that just perhaps, the union members may have to suck it up and agree that the first is not that horrible. The fact is, that many of the public workers around the country, and I know in Wisconsin, have not had to pay anywhere near as much in premiums for health insurance as most working people. With states in aas much financial trouble as they are, paying a little more out of pocket now can repa rewards down the line.

    However, Obama really criticised any effort to remove the collective bargaining power. This is a point where Walker may have crossed the bridge too far.

  54. Not oNly that, but it is another TRAP! say POTUS does get involved. Do you know what the MSM will be screaming? “States rights”! Blah, blah blah!
    The other trap, was the SS and Medicare fight, you know, you go first Mr president so we can nail you!
    Jeesh! D.C. is broke because of the god d*mn MSM!

  55. Wow! Great comments everyone. Your words are so powerful regarding the PL like Ed Schultz – I hope you’ll send your messages directly to him. He really needs to hear what reasonable people think of his rants.

  56. Wow. Imagine that. Yes, I understand the problems people are facing in Wisconsin. But so, let’s see, every time there is such a protest, the president is expected to leave the rest of the country’s business and jump in. Wow!!

    As for Ed Schultz’s criticism of the president, I just sent him an e-mail commending him for shinning the light on the protest down in Wisconsin. But I also told him that he was wrong for his take on the president.

    I reminded him that the ire should be trained and remain on Walker, the person who is trying to jip the workers down there. I also reminded him that the president spoke about this act being an assault on the unions.

    While Ed has done a good job reporting this story, he and so many others with a microphone are so predictable. They want the president to say what they want him to say, when he should say so and how he should say it. If not, they use every adjective in the book to describe his actions. Some of them have even become clairvoyant. They know what POTUS is going to say in a speech, which is always the wrong thing, as far as they are concerned — that is until POTUS actually gives his speech and proves them wrong. I reminded Ed about this, too.

    Yet, it seems they never learn. I am sick and tired of being sick of tired of hearing from them. Still, I think every time they do this sort of thing, we should push back.

  57. OT: BUt i just realized that the NFL will be having a strike next year and collective bargaining will end on March 3rd of this year!

    Holy shit!

  58. There is a selfishness that plagues this country. If what the politician is against doesn’t affect you, “so be it”. I’ve read some pretty uninformed opinions about unions and my thought is “what makes you think that non-union workers can’t have their benefits stripped?” Private companies can do it at anytime and then lobby the government to make it okay and to make sure you have no way to defend yourself.

  59. Don’t worry. The season will start on time. I estimate they will reach an agreement right around August 1. After all, they have to play so my beloved Packers can win back to back Super Bowls.

  60. more from this article:

    Obama wasn’t the first presidential candidate to promise a new era of bipartisanship; his polarizing predecessor, after all, was supposed to be a uniter, not a divider. But it’s a silly promise to make, because your opponents can break it for you by refusing to cooperate. Washington is remarkably resistant to that kind of cultural change. On the other hand, bureaucratic change ought to be genuinely achievable, if only because the 24-hour cable yappers don’t really care about bureaucracy, and the sillier aspects of government are obvious across party lines. Obama’s stimulus did begin to usher in a new era of rationality through competition, where you had to do more than just check the right boxes and extend your hand to qualify for a federal check.

    But the most important competition took place in November, and Obama’s team lost. It’s possible to change Washington, but Washington can change back, too.

    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,2049816,00.html#ixzz1EEGav6L4

  61. Not only TV, in print, too. Over at that place that shall remain nameless for example, that was the quickest way to get to the top of the wreck list.

    Facts be damned. Put the word “Obama” negatively in the title and bam, it shoots to the top of the list.

    At the so-called progressive-AOL site, sensational headlines are used to reach for the maximum clicks.

    Want to sell a book, put POTUS’ name in the title. Although in this case, I don’t think it works as well for the folks trying.

    Scary, indeed. But plain ugly, too.

  62. By Jordan Fabian – 02/16/11 02:45 PM ET

    Vice President Joe Biden will travel to Russia next month as part of a three-country trip to Eastern Europe and Scandinavia.

    Biden is scheduled to depart the U.S. the week of March 7, but further details surrounding his visit have yet to be released.

    While in Moscow, Biden “will seek to build on the reset in U.S.-Russian relations, with a focus on ways to further the prosperity of our two countries,” according to the White House.

    The Obama administration has put a premium on “resetting” relations with Russia, which were on rocky ground during the era of former President George W. Bush and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

    Biden’s visit is the first by a senior member of the administration since President Obama ratified the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia late last year.

    The vice president will also travel to Finland and Moldova on his trip. He will be accompanied by his wife, Jill Biden.

    The Hill-

  63. I just read something this morning written by one of my friends that relates to this, and it is beautifully articulated:
    “What if — and here I simply grab hold of one of the principles of satyagraha, as imparted in the APT Nonviolence Trainer’s Manual — ‘each person’s opinions and beliefs represent part of the truth’? Each person’s! This includes those we mock, those we shut up, those we kill. The idea implies a truth of infinite complexity, which we cannot hope to grasp so much as honor, both by speaking courageously from our own depths and by listening respectfully as others do the same.”

  64. The PL have always had something of a mutual love-hate relationship with the liberal establishment of the day, whether the establishment in question was led by Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, or Lyndon Johnson. The inherent paradox of their reaction with the rest of the base is that they are by turn either absolutely indispensible or utterly insufferable. Specically, when the liberals are out of power, there is nobody more helpful to have with you in the opposition than the PL, and they are natural leaders of “movements”. But when those movements culminate in political success, and liberals actually gain political power, suddenly the PL go from being stalwart champions to royal pains. It’s annoying, but it is worth putting up with because inevitably, sooner or later (preferably later) we will be out of power again, and suddenly the PL become useful and wholesome again.

  65. Mediate has Schultz slightly ahead of Anderson Cooper in the ratings, go figure. I guess without Keith around, some people still need their outrage fix and that is why, my friends, Ed will not tone it down anytime soon. O’Reilly candidly admitted to Obama that there is a lot of money to be made in over-heated rhetoric.

  66. I just sent this headline to Ed Schultz:

    Obama: Wisconsin Gov’s Plan Seems Like ‘Assault On Unions’

    This is the headline over at TPM. I didn’t bother to read the story, but this is the vantage point from which Ed Schultz should have been reporting last night, to my mind.

  67. It is, Temp, and as a Wisconsite, I’ve had my share of feelings such as “Let them reap what they’ve sown,” but that gets all of us nowhere, as it probably only serves to increase the bitterness that led them to vote for such a cretin. Of course, it is difficult to get information to people who willfully avoid it (and the information regarding Walker was out there all along, he’s no surprise to me). I believe in persistence and kindness, but I admit, it’s not easy, especially when it acts slowly (though deeply) in a situation that cries out for immediate remedies.

  68. The biggest problem was that democratic voters didn’t think it was anything different than an ordinary midterm and so turned out in the normal numbers.

    Exactly. As engaged as we were on the blogs, in normal life there were a huge number of people who absolutely had no idea of what was going on with the Tea Party and the fear hysteria that the Repubs had been whipping up since President Obama won. Many are just now starting to get a hint. And a lot were just frustrated and unwilling to listen to reason on anything, they just wanted SOMEONE to pay and well, what’s happened has happened.

    As depressing as it is, this ain’t Egypt. Every single Republican governor broadcasted exactly what they were, and they were still democratically elected. So now those same voters have to do the long, slow slog to put their states back on the right track. And it is going to be long, slow, and painful, but that’s the reality of what they voted in. And I say that as a Floridian.

  69. Isn’t generic just what that particular voter wants in a candidate? Or do they just hear the question and think ‘Democrat or Republican?’

  70. Now, this one I do not agree with(albeit, POTUS has more info that I do, so I trust his judgement)…
    The Patriot act was just approved by the HOUSE, and will be sent to POTUS for signature!

  71. I was devastated by the results of the midterms as well – for any loyal Democrat it was nigh on impossible not to be. But at the end of the day it was a political development that came at the end of an immensely successful period for the Democratic agenda, and its effect on the political landscape is one that, if that agenda is to be continued, must be embraced and exploited for all that it is worth.

  72. Pennyslvania always underpolls Dems. Sestak even made it a race, much tighter than it was polled I believe.

    It will be a race if a Pennsylvanian is on the ticket, but that’s about it.

  73. Again, he is jsut trying to elevate his show to presidential level, his rating msut suck. Just a mater of time before he is gone. Rachel tries to get her viewers to watch his show, aint working!

  74. I second your complement to axrendale, Charmed, and agree with you about Ed, whom I’ve never watched but just heard about. His personality is not the kind that appeals to me, even if I would agree with what he was saying. Sometimes the form matters almost as much as the content.

  75. I don’t think that a majority of the swing voters found the GOP agenda to be in any way attractive. Rather, they had simply grown disenchanted with the Democrats after two years of bitter partisan political mud-wrestling, what appeared to be stagnant economic conditions, and the inability of the Democrats to get their message across.

    These two years are a golden moment for PBO to reach out and not only take back those voters, but also show them that he was on their side all along. Thus far he is off to a flying start.

  76. Good grief, my friends are “the left”, some of them even left of “the left” and they pay no attention to any of those people. Most of them don’t even know that Jane Hamsher exists.

  77. Breaking: FAA bill to pass Senate late today, or early friday! Woot! shh, don’t tell anyone! its a secret!
    Meanwhile, the HOUSE should take this up soon, like within a couple of weeks, as the funding runs out in march for the FAA!

  78. I’m not overly worried about the Republicans being able to do too much damage at the Federal level of government. Even if the GOP-controlled House can get their act together (which is looking more and more unlikely), they still have to get anything particularly serious through the Senate before they will find it confronted with the mightiest weapon in the consitutional arsenal: the Presidential Veto.

    State and Local levels are going to be more of a worry – but the signs are positive that economic recovery is building momentum, meaning that hopefully in 2012 the pendulum will swing back and the process of meaningful reform can begin again.

  79. So why don’t they see a need for a movement now? Right now all I hear are shouts for Obama to do something about the tea party, or talk about racism, or talk about income inequality and the latest is that he should be leading protests. I’ve been wondering for a long time about why they don’t gather and do these things themselves?

    Why didn’t they get together and push back against the tea party and show them what a real grassroots movement looks like? Why don’t they go on the road with a video of Obama’s speech on race and have an honest discussion on race face to face with the American people? Why don’t they gather around the country and talk to the American people about income inequality? Why are they always waiting for Obama to do it all? He gives great speeches but information like that needs to be amplified many times over and over. He can’t do these things by himself.

    To me, the PL of today are nothing but frauds. Major changes in this country or anywhere else in the world came about because the people demanded it and they put in the work it required.

  80. You would think that if someone had a nightly television show, he would educate himself about our government, how it has worked historically and how it works now. Do these pundits actually believe that the President throws his ideas and policies out there with absolutely no knowledge of what he can and can’t do within the creaky apparatus of our political system? Do they believe he has never worked behind the scenes to get what he can get before he presents it to the public? How different our airwaves would be if those who spoke on them had to take courses in political history and process before they were allowed to speak about it.

  81. Another interesting story about a shy man who may have been a cause of the revolutions in the ME

    “Few Americans have heard of Mr. Sharp. But for decades, his practical writings on nonviolent revolution — most notably “From Dictatorship to Democracy,” a 93-page guide to toppling autocrats, available for download in 24 languages — have inspired dissidents around the world, including in Burma, Bosnia, Estonia and Zimbabwe, and now Tunisia and Egypt.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/17/world/middleeast/17sharp.html?hp

  82. And it would have been such a great addition to the protests in Wisconsin if the President and his entire entourage showed up to essentially “steal” the march.

  83. ************Here it comes***************

    House Republicans will wait until the budget fight this spring to attack Social Security head-on. But in the meantime, they’re coming after America’s favorite entitlement at an angle. In the current spending bill, they’re proposing to slash the administrative funds that federal employees use to run the program. Democrats warn this will lead to furloughs and other service interruptions that could delay checks and prevent new retirees from enrolling.

    “To jeopardize a lifeline for half a million new Social Security beneficiaries in order to score short term political points is simply bad policy,” said Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI), ranking member on the House Ways and Means Committee. “This reckless proposal would mean hundreds of thousands of Americans won’t get their Social Security checks this year. It’s a perfect example of how little House Republicans seem to care if their rigid ideological crusade hurts real people.

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/02/check-please-republicans-propose-major-cuts-to-social-security-administration.php?ref=fpb#

    Man, they are going NUTS! Rabies!

  84. There does seem to be a great lack in this country in grasping the ideal of universal brotherhood and sisterhood despite all the Christian babble. It’s endemic throughout the culture, and most manifest in our ideas about “business”. Businesses are considered successful when they make the largest profits rather than when they provide products and services that best serve humanity and are also well-designed.

  85. I feel very sorry. It breaks my heart to see what’s being done to people who went out and voted Democrats, and this is what they get. But honestly, i have to gather all of my empathy to feel bad for those who stayed home because the PL told them so.

  86. Danger lurks in that website. I clicked on a link within it and when the page came up so did a warning that a company that distributes malware is also part of the site.

  87. Exactly Africa, until we let these media folk hear from us- and OUR opinion of their opinion.. they’ll continue to target POTUS for all the blame.. on everything. It is why I gave up teevee- but will definitely also email Ed on his hypocrisy- and his ‘daddy’ complex, because in my opinion there is such a lack of leadership all over this nation so much so that everytime something happens folks look to President Obama to save them from their own bad behavior.

  88. I totally agree. I seldom watch Ed’s show because he goes off the deep end on too many issues, but I happened to be channel surfing and stopped to watch the Wisconsin protests. Then Ed started blasting the President by showing one small clip of him saying that we all have to tighten our belts. I knew that could not be the whole story so I moved on. I intend to email Ed Schultz today. No doubt others will too.

  89. Not odd at all, Jovie. I’m sure Trump has property there or wants some there and he thinks this will buy him a favor down the line. Somehow I don’t think Rahm will play this game Trump’s way.

  90. Is there some way we can agree to a protocol about writing swear words on this blog? It really bothers me. If I wanted to read foul language, there’s all kinds of places I could go on the internet. I think this adult space deserves adult consideration and basic politeness.

  91. Looks like Trump is going to run for POTUS, he was on MSNBC earlier talking about it…

    What’s funny is he said if he was elected, the US would be respected, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  92. The people for whom I feel NO sympathy are those who would normally vote Democratic, but stayed home for whatever reason. THEY are the reason these states are going to be in such a mess for the next couple of years. People all over the world fight and DIE for the right to vote, and here — both in the US and more generally in the West — we take the vote as an imposition on our time, not a sacred obligation.

    I haven’t posted much in the past couple of days. The Egyptian protests just sort of drained me. And I compare those young people to our apathetic and cynical electorate, and it just depresses me. Good for the protesters in WI yesterday; but where was all this activism before the election, when it could’ve turned the races? Here’s my favorite Benjamin Franklin story:

    QUOTATION: “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”

    “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

    ATTRIBUTION: The response is attributed to BENJAMIN FRANKLIN—at the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, when queried as he left Independence Hall on the final day of deliberation—in the notes of Dr. James McHenry, one of Maryland’s delegates to the Convention.

    We’re not keeping this Republic very well.

  93. Now that is funny. Respected by all serious backcombers across the world, except it seems to be a phenomena of the US as I have not seen one anywhere else but in the US. Backcombers, unite! Another “fringe” party.

  94. Exactly, Sheila. Of my friends and family, I’m the only one who goes to political websites and has any idea who Ed and Jane and Markos are. These pundits are speaking to a very small minority. I wouldn’t even know who Thom Hartmann is if I didn’t have Free Speech TV on my satellite system. In the great broiling cauldron of US politics, the PL is a very tiny voice.

  95. I think that this is a beautiful sentiment, but I hesitate a little: one of the triumphs of the 30-year conservative revolution was that facts seem to have become optional and replaced with a sort of “he said she said” style of political discourse: competing opinions, one grounded in empirical data and fact; the other, grounded in a “sounds good” narrative, speculation, caricature, or distortion—both opinions would be given equal weight, thus admitting a really awful degree of ignorance into the public discourse, along with a dishonesty which allowed people in some cases to mask feelings of hopelessness, racism, greed, and/or selfishness in the guise of political ideology.

    I personally think that people have every right to their beliefs and opinions. But they have no right to expect those beliefs and opinions, once put into the public discourse, to go unchallenged if those opinions are not grounded in facts, reality, and logic. My two cents.

  96. I believe Milton referred to it as the “fortunate fall”. Of course, he was talking about Adam and Eve and how the Fall led to the coming of Christ. But I think the same idea can be applied here. As I said upthread, it disgusts me to no end that the people who turn out for Presidential elections then sit home for the midterms. But, that’s what it is in this country. Much better for the “correction” to happen during the midterms — and, again, we DID hold onto the Senate, which is no small beans. All the current polling indicates that 2012 is gearing up to be another 2008, with the example of another 2 years of GOP incompetence.

  97. Message from Wisconsin:

    “Schools are closed for second straight day in Madison. Joint Committee on Finance hearings are on now on Wisconsin Eye at http://www.wiseye.org/. All UW campuses are staging student walk-outs and demonstrations at 10:00 am today.”

    The protesters want more senior Dems to speak out as they all should be.

  98. You want to go there — let them reap what they sow — but we can’t afford to do that.

    I’m from Wisconsin as well (living in Chicago the last 40 years). If Walker and the Republican legislature get their way, they will eliminate the only force that is robust enough to do battle with Citizens United. That’s why we can’t afford to let things take a normal course. If there are no unions to run a robust anti-Republican campaign, then the only voice people will hear is the voice of Big Business. We already know that Americans are lazy when it comes to finding out the truth — so many believe the last lie they were told.

  99. That’s such a dishonest statement out of him. The US is far more respected now than during the previous administration. A reality show star in the WH would take us straight into the idiocracy. I think that Trump’s run just might be a media stunt.

  100. He and several others in the PL need to figure out how to get on message if they want to contribute to reforms rather than serving as a hindrance. I wish they’d consider stopping the Pretend President fixation and just reporting the facts: “no matter how reasonable Walker may sound, the concessions which he is seeking undermine unions and are not necessary for a balanced budget.” All the ranting and raving against President Obama just creates distractions, confusions, and opens the door for saboteurs to undermine liberals and progressives from within.

  101. Trump’s run will be just like Rudy G., if not worse, to my mind.

    He just love to hear himself talk. I would really like to see him and the others go at it in the primaries.

    Really.

  102. I agree with your hesitation, gn, though what I do support is the idea of listening with as much respect as we can muster to those with whom we disagree, something which I know you do (not that it’s necessary here). And to make attempts to understand how people have arrived at their beliefs, why they continue to hold them, and if there is anything positive, however small, that can come from them. I have always found talking about values works better in political discussions rather than talking about actual political stances. But I am not a saint and do not aspire to be one, especially since, after reading some of Butler’s Lives of the Saints, it appears that sainthood often involves suppurating wounds, sometimes self-inflicted.

  103. Same here, Liberal Librarian, and I wouldn’t know who Thom Hartmann is if I didn’t come to this site. I believe one of the most important things we can do to move our country forward is to break down the boundaries between all the different groups. How can we have a dialogue if everyone is only listening to and talking with those with whom they share beliefs? I certainly think this site is very valuable because of the positive facts posted here and because the joined voices inspire one another, but we must all take this inspiration out into the real world and meet with those with whom we disagree.

  104. One thing which I really like about you is that you take the time to answer each person who replies to your comments. I don’t always do that because a lot of times I have nothing to add to a great insight, but in your case it’s such a nice touch.

  105. That’s exactly right japa. Walker’s trying to sneak in union busting under the guise of balancing the budget. Unions make concessions to financially strained companies and municipalities all of the time, and likely would come to some sort of agreement in Wisconsin. The collective bargaining challenge is totally unnecessary and is related to the GOP’s known plans to use states’ financial crises to bust up unions. Dick Morris was salivating over this plan last summer.

  106. …there is a lot of money to be made in over-heated rhetoric…

    Bingo! And people need to think about whether consuming these types of media products is helpful to their agenda in the long term.

  107. I just took your advice. There is a very intelligent site, The Winning Progressive, which is generally spot-on. They took a different view of the budget, and I emailed the following:

    First, thank you for such a terrific site. I have long admired the clarity of your writing, and the clarity of your vision.

    I respectfully disagree with some of your remarks about President Obama’s budget. There is a difference between triangulating which results in legislation such as welfare reform and expansion of the federal prison systems, with attempting to get in front of the GOP’s slashes and minimize the pain as much as is possible. President Obama is clearly engaging in the latter. I think that the expectations that we are going to be able to get a liberal budget in the context of the GOP-controlled House are unrealistic expectations.

    This is going to be an ugly budget.

    The solution is not to attempt to scream at the WH louder than the GOP, in a counterproductive appeal to an authority which President Obama simply doesn’t have, that of forcing a budget through Congress (I’m sure that he wishes that he could take away the GOP’s influence over the budget; I’m sure that he wishes that the country did not buy into the GOP’s deficit fetishizing; but these two realities cannot be screamed away).

    In my opinion, the solution is to join President Obama’s efforts to advocate for a kinder budget, as well as create a sustained and determined effort to return Dems to power by appealing to our fellow Americans while pointing out the governing deficiencies of the Republican party. And never lose sight of the fact that the most conservative Dem is absolutely going to create more progress than the most liberal Republican in the context of which party controls Congress. We must become more disciplined about these matters. This may be less immediately satisfying, but this is what it’s going to take if we’re to create a lasting progress.

    ******************************************

    I’m going to try to periodically reach out to people with whom I disagree (caveat: those who have demonstrated good faith and reasoning abilities) and start a dialogue. Great advice, sheila!

  108. Rachel Maddow even made a plea for people to watch his show last night. I’m sure she’s regretting her endorsement, given that Ed Schultz has it all completely wrong, and instead of focusing on those who are doing harm to the middle class, he’s intent on damaging the only one who’s leading the fight FOR the middle class.

    I even listened to Bernie Sanders on Stephanie Miller show this morning. She tried hard to have him focus on what the Republicans are doing in terms of budget damage, but he was so keen on bashing the President that he kept going back to complaining about the heating support adjustment, and even going all the way back to the Dec tax cut deal. He finished off calling on listeners to send a message to the President not to “cave” again – but he didn’t call for a single message for the Republicans, who are now in charge of the House and mean to cut not just heating or pell grants, but many more critical items for the people.

    It’s hard to get a message out about hope and progress when your own team is more focused on beating you down. The Republicans continue to give so much material to Democrats to launch effective campaigns for truth. Some Democrats are so locked in an attack against President Obama, for whatever reason, that they can’t see how they are defeating their own cause and missing the window of opportunity to highlight the uselessness of the Republican agenda.

  109. I stopped listening to Thom Hartmann, too. He’s irresponsible in the constant criticism, given the enormous clout he has with the “true progressives”. He loves to complain, but when he sees the consequences of his complaints as people turn against the President and administration, he backtracks. That purity can be dangerous.

  110. Good points, especially when you see that a lot of these so-called PL are armchair warriors who haven’t struggled or suffered any hardship on behalf of their “causes”. The people who start and lead movements aren’t usually willing to throw away an inch of progress in the name of purity – especially if that progress comes after decades of activism and advocacy. I always contend that a lot of the loudest complainers have never done a day’s honest hard, sweat-worthy work, or feared that they wouldn’t be able to provide for their families, or even feared for their very lives. I can’t imagine most of these PL leading a Civil Rights March, or sleeping in a square under the threat of military action, so that they can be heard.

  111. gn, you are a true treasure, and the fact that you are one of the most articulate people I’ve ever known bodes well for success at communication.

  112. “Like a true sellout,”

    HA! I love it! It’s great to read this site and not see that term written in every other comment. It’s also nice to see comments free of meaningless buzz words like “corporatist” and “catfood commission.”

    That pic at the bottom MUST be photo-shopped. I was told by the “oh so serious ones” last year that the Boy Scouts of America agreed to a nationwide shun of Prez. Obama after he “dodged” their Jamboree. What gives?

  113. Thank you for the caveat, gn. I was beginning to think I would have to write to Senselessbrenner more often to keep up with you, but the requirements of “good faith and reasoning abilities” leaves him out of themix.

  114. Here’s an update about the demonstrations in Wisconsin:

    “No Democrats were present at the start of the state Senate session shortly after 11 a.m. to vote on a bill stripping public employees of collective bargaining rights. The Democratic members are currently out of state, WISC-TV reported.”

    “State Sen. Jon Erpenbach said the group of 14 Democratic lawmakers are boycotting the vote.They said they want to force negotiations over the Republican-backed bill. Erpenbach told The Associated Press that he and his colleagues had left Wisconsin, but he wouldn’t say where.”

    http://www.channel3000.com/politics/26900252/detail.html

  115. So, let me get this straight: the President of the United States (aka, Commander in Chief of the United States military, currently managing two wars, and unrest across the middle east), his Secret Service detail, including his helicopter oversight, and maybe the National Guard, should be in Wisconsin, on the street, marching in protest against a crazy Governor of an American state. Right.

  116. I’ve posted this information about Wisconsin further downstream, but I’m going to re-post it here.

    “No Democrats were present at the start of the state Senate session shortly after 11 a.m. to vote on a bill stripping public employees of collective bargaining rights. The Democratic members are currently out of state, WISC-TV reported.”

    “State Sen. Jon Erpenbach said the group of 14 Democratic lawmakers are boycotting the vote.They said they want to force negotiations over the Republican-backed bill. Erpenbach told The Associated Press that he and his colleagues had left Wisconsin, but he wouldn’t say where.”

    http://www.channel3000.com/politics/26900252/detail.html

  117. I beg to differ – it’s not standing up for working people when you convince them to vote against their own interests.

  118. The sad thing is that these people who voted with Republicans still won’t equate what’s happening to them as the fault of Republican policies. They’ll justify their vote by blaming the President somehow, and they will be fuelled by the likes of Ed, who are already blaming the President for the actions of Republicans.

  119. It really is great, isn’t it? There is a group at the old place that lives to tear this Prez down no matter what he does. Out of sick curiosity, I read a diary over there yesterday that was written by one of his biggest detractors. She based her gripes on the same alternative universe sources she always uses, in addition to taking comments out of context and adding her own spin. Citizen K had a nice rebuttal, but her followers can’t stand the reality that contradicts her fairy tale narrative where Obama is the Big Bad Wolf, so it never made it to the dreck list.

    It’s sad to see that place is still caught up in same childish antics that drove it downhill over a year ago. But then again, it’s nice to have places like this blog, The People’s View, and Blue Wave News, among others, where one can discuss what this administration has accomplished without all of the armchair experts screaming “SELLOUT!”

    Hope you’re doing well, GN.

  120. I totally agree with you. Plouffe is great, but the truth is that they are using the exact same vehicles they’ve been using these past two years. The difference is that people are paying attention. Same emails and Q&A from the White House to OFA and targeted groups, same weekly and daily emails, same video messages from Cabinet and other Admin officials, same interviewing from POTUS, consistent messaging since before the campaign. Yes, the Whiteboard series is new, and Goulsbee is great. But, they’ve been reaching out via Facebook, Twitter, email all this time.

  121. Doing great here kefauver, I hope that you’re doing well too. Yeah, we were just talking about that the other day. Interestingly enough, the same budget concerns which are raised with such noise and drama elsewhere were quietly discussed here. The difference? No one really throws tantrums here so we were able to post criticisms and thoughts and try to get more information without a lot of drama. I love it here; that other stuff is too exhausting and brings out the worst in everyone.

  122. If you listen to Ed Schultz, these Republican jackasses are somehow Obama’s fault.

    I have so had it with the Professional Left.

  123. That’s important feedback, Sonjia. You often don’t know if your efforts are having any effect until you get that kind of feedback. Cool.

  124. I feel the same way about Thom Hartman, for whom I had the utmost respect. He doesn’t resort to the name-calling but the PL message is the same.

    He totally jumped the shark for me when there was a discussion about pulling out of Afghanistan immediately with someone I considered sane and measured on the subject (I forgot who it was — sorry). Thom said it would be fine if it all blew up at once and then would be remade into some progressive utopia. The other guy said that there was nothing wrong with moving incrementally, adjusting to changing situations. Thom would have none of it. How can someone of Thom’s intellect actually believe that we can assume if something blows up it will be remade the way we want it to be?

    And his constant harping on the GLOBAL COLLAPSE OF THE ECONOMY THAT’S COMING RIGHT NOW!. No matter what evidence to the contrary. No credit for forestalling a complete global collapse. You would think he wants the economy to fall into economic collapse.

    And I had such respect for him.

  125. I can’t agree, axendale, with your first assumption. We had an enthusiasm high coming off 2008, and if the Professional Left had decided to accept progress, no matter how incremental, and build on it, 2010 would have been a lot different. We could have focused on our real enemies — the Republicans — instead of wallowing in the hatred of Obama and his lack of purity in the filthy political climate he had to navigate through.

    As recently as 10 years ago, there would have been nothing but total praise for HCR, and we would have seen 2010 as an opportunity to make it better. I knew there’d be a certain amount of letdown after the 2008 election, but I never expected the implosion of all who have a public forum from the progressive side.

    We may have still lost some seats; but we would have lost the conservadems who muddied our perception of the size of our real working majority. We could have lasered in on the tea party jackasses and defeated them all. Not one tea partier should have been elected in any but the districts that would have voted for them anyway.

    We lost sight of who our enemies really are. We had weak leadership from Tim Kaine, who couldn’t focus on our accomplishments instead of running from them. And for once we had a small but vital presence in the media and we blew it. Obama-bashers have the microphone. Seriously, did you ever hear Rush or Hannity criticize W.? Not until W. imploded — but when it counted they supported his every act. You had a right wing noise machine that praised Bush constantly. Obama had none of that.

    So I respectfully disagree that 2010’s outcome would have been the same.

  126. When Ed got his gig with MSNBC I was hoping they’d give him a staff that would help with him factual challenges. On the radio he’s often quite loose with the facts, not up to date with what’s going on, and often just plain uninformed. I have seen no change in his TV show.

    His intentions are the best. I believe he wants what’s best for the American worker, I really do. But he does not have a working understanding of the government and certainly has no idea how to achieve his stated goals.

    I understand his appeal. It can’t always be Prof. Maddow or even Thom Hartman. We need leftie Rush Limbaughs who can communicate to the working class. Rush has fired them up with lies, it’s outrageous that we can’t fire them up with the truth.

    I’m 60 years old. I protested for civil rights, the end of the Vietnam War, women’s rights. Civil rights legislation was passed, voting rights legislation, Medicare — they were all heralded as breakthroughs. Medicare is much, much more now than it was when originally passed. If there was a far left fringe that bitched that it wasn’t perfect enough, frankly they were not active voices in public perception. The vast majority of liberals heralded the progress made, and we NEVER had to fight a full government takeover by the likes of the John Birch Society. The conversation now is radically different than it was then: this penchant for Perfection and calling everyone some kind of traitor if it doesn’t measure up to their Marxist Utopia, is unprecedented.

    This country was founded on progressive principles and compromise. Can you imagine what today’s loony Left would have done to FDR by placating the racist Dixiecrats? By excluding blacks from some of the important reforms? Would we have gotten anything that we could build on?

    This is a very perilous time. We have this great President who had every reason to expect that the vast majority of his supporters would get it, would be in it for the marathon and not expect a spring. It’s heartbreaking.

  127. It’s really very interesting how so many folks who hate President Obama seem to enthusiastically support Rahm Emmanuel…

    Haim Saban, Donald Trump…

    Stuff that makes one go hmmmm…

  128. Because they want Daddy to fix everything. Because the Left wants superheroes, not honest working people interested in governance. We’re always looking for our larger-than-life heroes to adequately inspire us to action, instead of understanding that our success lies in the little acts of consistency. We don’t vote in sufficient numbers and haven’t in decades. Not unless we’re sufficiently entertained. We withhold our energy, our votes, our efforts. Republicans are never demoralized to not vote. If they hate their candidates, they hate our candidates even more.

    That’s all we need to know. That’s all we have to do. Show up every two damn years and vote. And we don’t do it.

  129. thanks again and again, bwd, as always, and

    in this case, for making it so easy to find out how well this administration is doing, as in pbo using his powers unconnected to the legislative process to move things in the right direction

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