Two Years Of Recovery

Hi Guys,

1. Here’s a graph we should spread like virus – a good virus :). It’s quite an amazing chart of two years of recovery. The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The analysis from Political Correction is just as good. (Click on the image to see it in huge size).


2. Weekly address:


3 Here’s PBO speech at Intel in Hillsboro, OR.


4. Finally, I’d like to kick off a discussion about what more can we do to spread the truth and change the narrative, because Republicans – being the ugly politicians that they are – will always be better than Democrats in this dirty game. If we won’t help, we’re lost.

As a sub-thread, it really bugs me to see what happened to OFA message board. It’s unacceptable that such an important place of gathering is being killed by three trolls. Maybe the moderators are sleeping – and clearly the good people on that board could try a little harder to ignore those thee jerks – but the bottom line is: That message board is dying. It didn’t bother me that much until now, but this is 2011 and we need to switch gears.

So, what can we do?

Have a great weekend.


134 thoughts on “Two Years Of Recovery

  1. This site is amazing, thank you for this. I can only imagine that amount of effort involved in keeping this going. I’m so sick of the liberal-er-than-thou crowd trying to convince us that President Obama is an utter failure even in the face of the shear quantity and quality of his accomplishments over the past couple of years. Little do they realize that it only serves to show his strength and dignity in the face of constant attack from, not only his opponents, but from his supposed “base”. Actually, I should thank Glen Greenwald (and his disgusting tweet) for bringing this site to my attention. Like the lead in “The Shawshank Redemption”, I had to swim through the sewer to get to someplace good.

  2. That is a very interesting and telling chart. It is sad that the media will not champion the recovery job being done by this administration. All we hear is negative stuff from the Republican Lie Machine – repeated over and over by the cable news networks. I sure wish somebody really rich,
    liberal and willing to fight would buy a news outlet and start spreading the truth. Kudos, BWD, for doing more than any other progressive site to tell our story with photos and facts.

  3. Good morning everybody, and thanks to BWD not only for such great work, but for acting as and creating a shinging example that answers the very question posed – helping to spread this kind of information around is precisely one of the best ways that we can help to effect a change in the narrative that dominates the political landscape.

    To craft a lasting narrative that will have the transformative effect upon the political scene that we hope for will require an effort that comes from both directions – just one is not going to be sufficient. Effort must be made from both the top-down and the bottom-up. The former, we can state with confidence, is well covered by the stellar political ability and dedication of President Obama and his machine Barons – the men and women of his inner circle who helped him to build a socio-political empire that revolutionized the electoral process in 2008, and which will be invaluable to him in his efforts to continue engaging with the public for the rest of his presidency.

    One of the key elements of the political narrative is the importance of defining the figure who lies at the center of it. When he was running for office, PBO succeeded in defining himself and the movement that he was leading in the eyes of the voters to an extent unmatched by any political figure in almost half a century. Over the first two years of his presidency however, as he devoted himself body and soul to the process of crafting a policy-based strategy for saving America from her travails, that figure become ill-defined once again.

    This is due in no small part, I think, to the fact that the manner in which the truly great Presidents define themselves and their political personna in the eyes of the public can be seperated into two very distinct styles, of which PBO clearly belongs to one rather than the other. Some great Presidents, such as Theodre Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, or John F. Kennedy, possessed an ability to imprint themselves on public imagination right from the get go, drawing the body politic into a relationship with a personna that was defined instantly through its sheer power, and they built their success upon this foundation. President Obama is not like this. He possesses a style that is equally great, but in some ways far more nuanced – a style that bears more resemblance to Abraham Lincoln.

    Lincoln too was a mysterious, ill-defined figure in the eyes of much of the citizenry during his first two years in office. Some at the time believed that this was a sign that he had failed to connect with the people, but such critics were committing the error of focussing only on surface attitudes. Beneath that surface, more perceptive observers were able to marvel at the way that Lincoln slowly, quietyly, but unstoppably radiated his unique political personna outwards, imbuing the political scene with it bit by bit, so that the people, without even really knowing it, were coming to know him. It was in his third year that the moment came when a great part of the body politiccame to the snap realization of discovering that they had come to know their President for who he truly was as a leader: a man of historic greatness, whose example they could admire, respect, even love, as they finally came to percieve his leadership at its shining best.

    For Lincoln (who to draw further parallels also had difficult relations with both the liberal and conservative wings of his party, suffered a “shellacking” in the midterms, and faced devastatingky hardline opposition from the opposition, but was ultimately vindicated as both a policy-maker and moral leader), the great transformative moment when he truly came into his own as a leader defined in the eyes of the public was when he delivered the Gettysburg Address. I believe that Obama’s moment came when he delivered the Tucson Address, which might not have had the same historic overtones as the former, but which was just as moving an expression of its author’s literary character. Lincoln’s problems in maintaining control of the political narrative of his day were by no means over after Gettysburg – on the contrary there were great sections of the body politic that did not come to accept him until after his tragic death – but it provided a foundation upon which his subsequent successes could be built upon. So it is with President Obama. He has many, many political battles that are lying ahead in the future, waiting to be fought. But he has seized the initiative, and it is up to us to get behind him and help him charge ahead to win those future battles, in short, to Win the Future.

    A word on the economic recovery – although President Obama’s surface achievement in guiding the American economy from the edge of the precipe to the brink of recovery is an achievement in Presidential politico-economic leadership the likes of which has not been seen since Franklin D. Roosevelt vanquished the Great Depression with the New Deal, I believe that in the long run this surface achievement (to those who are not hell-bent on denying it) will be seen as having concealed the true great accomplishment of PBO’s politico-economic policies. Just as the true great achievement of FDR’s New Deal was not to have guided the American economy to performance levels that exceeded the pre-Great Depression peak within his first four years (although this was a fantastic achievement) but rather to have effectively created a modern middle class that would be the engine of American socio-economic progress for years to come, so President Obama’s truly great achievement in this area is not to have saved America from a second Great Depression, but rather what one commentator has described as his “Green Deal” – the “green keynesianism” based policies that are building up what the President himself described as a “New Foundation” for driving social and economic progress in this country – tailored to match both the opportunities and challenges of the 21st Century.

    In the end it all comes down to Winning the Future. We really are blessed to have in our President a man who is probably the most talented figure to ascend to the glittering pinnacle of the American political system in almost four decades, and is equipped with the potential for moral leadership the likes of which has not been seen in half a century.

    It’s evidence that sometimes, we really do get the leaders that we need, not the ones that we deserve.

  4. We’re the only ones we can count on to tell the story, door by door, call by call. I may be a crazy optimist, but I continue to believe that young people (like the students in WI) aren’t fooled by cable gasbags or the blowhards on the traditional media. In the social media, internet world that young people inhabit, we have as much reach as anybody. We have to keep pushing out the truth, everyday just as BWD does here.


  6. I plan to print out your post and put it up in my house, as a constant inspiration. Thank you!

  7. Excellent, Ax. You said about FDR:
    ” to have effectively created a modern middle class that would be the engine of American socio-economic progress for years to come”
    and I so agree. However, the modern Republican party is hell-bent to destroy that very middle class, destroy its wage base and health care and retirement security. Can these greedy people not see past their noses to realize what it would mean for the country to end these programs, or do they really desire a return to feudalism?
    I worry about this more than anything else, and the attacks on the unions deeply concern me. There seems to be no way, at the moment, and perhaps not until it is too late, to get the Dems to rise up and put a stop to this madness. US, thy name is Egypt in a few more years going down this road. PBO can’t bend that arc all by himself.

  8. BWD, I blithely said to invite the OFA people over here and only thought later how much more of a burden I might have put on you – not with the OFA people but the trollish messages that will come with them that you will have to delete all day long. Sorry.

  9. Axrendale,

    I think your analysis is sooooo right on. Thank you.

    To comment on just one part of it, I think Obama’s “Green Deal” legacy is a huge part of it. And I’m reminded of one of the best articles I’ve read about that titled How the stimulus is changing America.

    It was written back in August of last year, but with the 2 year anniversary of the stimulus passing, I think I’ll read it again and perhaps write about it as my small way of contributing to the dialogue.

  10. In response to your query as to what could we do to get our message out in a way different from the nastiness of the current Republican insanity ….
    * How about celebrations about the best our country has to offer … keep telling the stories of how kindness and respect for others really DOES work better … ex: how Social Services has helped to transform the lives of specific people … show the pictures!!!
    * Have a funny (no nastiness please) campaign/protest sign contest
    * Have a cartoon contest/page
    * Make sure the moderator is on the ball

  11. I stopped going to the OFA blogs in 2008, the day after PBO won the Democratic nomination — it was way too trollish. Didn’t even know they were still around.

    Mentioning that fact here is a great first step to getting the notice of those moderators. Thanks for doing that.

    I had sent email to the moderators back then, and tried to report the trolls, but to no avail. So I bounced. Hopefully they’ll get their act together. Being called out can only help.

  12. Axrendale, you are a phenomenal historian and an asset to BWD’s blogsite as well as the Pragmatic progressive community.


  13. Thank you BWD for always keeping us updated and motivated as well. I think the messaging is beginning to improve (I smile every time I hear some media type talk about the “adult” this or that – where did that come from?) But seriously, we have our work cut out for us. I totally agree with you on the OFA site and wish they would start some monitoring so people don’t get totally discouraged and leave. But beyond that, we all have to get a little creative in order to defeat the right-wing/tea party’s and the holier-than-thou “progressives” constant drumbeat of negativism. I am still working on our rapid response team and would like to add a “Did you know that…..” campaign of sending short messages on any one topic to all my contacts with the request to share. Does anyone have any suggestions? Of course, I send a link to this and other pro-Obama sites to everyone I know. I can’t ever thank you enough BWD for all the great work you do.

  14. Good morning everyone. Once again thanks BWD for all the great information. And to this wonderful family the comments so far have been outstanding. I am working out how I am going to pass this information on. We are working against the powerful with all the money and the msm does not care. I am looking forward to reading the comments in this discusion.

  15. It’s okay, not too many trolls around lately – i think they know they have no chance of actually posting here. I’d love to have OFA people here, but i think it’s more important to restore that place, as we get closer and closer to the election.

  16. Absolutely wonderful chart that illustrates the whole recent history on this mess and our recovery from it.

    You are building an amazing blog with intelligence and consistency and a really wonderful community. What a breath of fresh air to be around thinkers and people who have faith in the extraordinary and visionary leader we have in President Barack Obama. THANK YOU again and again and again, one and all. I’m so happy for this place!

  17. Sorry, BWD…what happened to the message board? Been out of the loop the last few days.

  18. I agree, but the good guys might need a bit of R & R here to perk them up again. I did write to the Office of Communication at and asked for a response.

  19. This space most certainly helps without a doubt. We’re in a challenging time media-wise because people selling over the top rhetoric, sensationalism, and “both parties are the same” false equivalencies pretty much dominate both the national and new media. There’s a status-quo-preserving argument to suit any ideological taste:

    “He doesn’t even have a birth certificate and his wife is too bossy; they both need to go home.”—for the hard right racist, enables the GOP

    “He said he’d work with both parties in a common sense way, but he’s just Pelosi’s Pet: a tax and spend liberal with San Francisco values who can’t find solutions for the economy; nice guy, but his time is up.”—for the moderate swing voter, enables the GOP

    “You thought that you were getting Suge Knight but you got Steve Erkel; primary this lying deceitful corporatist coward!”—for the liberal racist, enables the GOP

    “President Obama can do what he can, but at the end of the day, this country’s just broken and nothing is ever going to change; just give up.”—for the earnest liberal, enables the GOP

    There’s been kind of a bait and switch in that liberal media voices created during the Bush years are now getting viewers/making money by spreading their ire towards President Obama, which has left us with very, very few trustworthy and steady voices in the media.

    The solution is to keep participating in sites of this type. Also, as sheila suggests, reach out as well. People from this space going to the NYT and WaPo comments section with a positive word and link to this site every other day could have a tremendous impact. And they are not nearly as hostile to liberals in terms of moderating content than what I hear about HuffPo. We can definitely make a difference.

  20. My perspective on this is to learn from Obama’s “long game” strategy. If we get too caught up in the need for instant success, we’re probably going to fail.

    RFK had the same idea…

    Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation…It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

    Or as Gandhi said…

    Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.

  21. Good Morning Folks

    Such good ideas brewing here, very exciting.

    Yesterday Sharmm asked me to edit the Recovery Act Cabinet meeting. How timely. I have finished the edits and the video clips can be found at

    I hope this group can help spread the word about the recovery act. Please use any clip you like.

    I am happy to do editing on a regular basis.

    In the future if someone makes an editing request and has the time to send me “time code”
    that cuts my editing time in half. To explain “time code” is found at the bottom left corner of a video, as you play the movie the time will change. If for example, you can tell me, “make a movie out of 1:20 – 4:15, then I will do just that”.

    The edits I made on the recovery meeting were “my best guess”, and I am willing to do that again whenever needed, however if you can give me the in and out points it makes it go faster and I don’t wonder if this is “what you really want”.

    One final note, I do not write as well as many at this site. If anyone would like to collaborate (I make video clips and you write text) I would love it. We could post at whatisworking, the pragmatic progressive, and probably a few other blogs if we hunt around.

    Virtual Hugs

  22. Does OFA actually have moderation. I left due to the trolls. I think the critical step is to recognize that to have a productive site where people will come to discuss rather than to trash and snark the site has to embrace moderation as a necessary means to that end.

    Obama to Florida for Nelson fundraiser
    By: CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser

    Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama will travel to Florida next month to headline a fundraiser for Sen. Bill Nelson, who could face a rough road to re-election next year.

    The president will attend the March 4 event along with Nelson and Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, chairwoman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, according to a source with knowledge of the event. The dinner and reception is being held at the Miami Beach, Florida home of Judith and Michael Adler, large contributors to Democratic candidates and causes.

    The source tells CNN that the money raised at the event will be split between Sen. Nelson’s re-election bid and the DSCC.

    The two-term Nelson is under the 50 percent mark against possible Republican challengers in five 2012 hypothetical general election matchups, according to a recent survey commissioned by Ron Sachs Communications and conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research.


    Office of the Press Secretary

    February 18, 2011

    Statement by Press Secretary Jay Carney on the President Traveling to Latin America

    The President and First Lady will travel to Brazil, Chile and El Salvador March 19-23, where the President will meet with the leaders and speak to the peoples of these countries to discuss a broad range of issues including economic prosperity and job creation through increased trade and partnerships, energy and security cooperation, shared values and other issues of regional and global concern. The trip will provide an opportunity to engage key bilateral partners, to highlight the President’s engagement with the hemisphere, and to advance our efforts to work as equal partners to address the basic challenges facing the people of the Americas. The visit will include events in Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago and San Salvador.

    Additional details about the trip will be released at a later date.

    Read more:

  25. The way Republicans succeed in the message game is to attach their odious policies to bigger ideas. Democrats are TERRIBLE at that, even though progressive ideals are the heart of the American dream.

    We focus on aspects of policy which is frankly easy to dispute. “children can stay on insurance until they’re 26”. “But I don’t have a child under 26, so I don’t care.” They’re even dumb enough to think that because they don’t have a pre-existing condition — yet — that they’d rather have their employer insurance that pays for a battery of tests every time they have a sniffle than to help a 52 year old diabetes patient who just lost his job, to be able to keep health insurance.

    After the 2010 elections, the Obama message machine made health care about freedom — the freedom to start a business because you don’t have to stay at a dead end job just to keep health benefits. It was a great start, but the messengers were terrible. Kathleen Sebelius said the words, but without the passion to understand the power of attaching HCR to freedom.

    Tax cuts = freedom in wingnut world. And to extend the message: every tax dollar you pay takes away your freedom. It’s powerful. It’s simple. The pesky facts can’t refute that powerful a message.

    George Lakoff talks about the connotation of positive messages on one side, while attaching the negative to the other side. Do you ever hear Republicans say, “Well, I know we do it, too,” the way Democrats qualify everything they advocate? “Everyone is guilty of earmarks, yada yada”. As soon as you do that, you weaken the message. It doesn’t soothe anyone. It doesn’t get credit for ‘fairness’. It just means that the other guy’s message is more powerful than yours.

    How do we build a narrative? Attach all of our efforts to Big American Ideals. Use facts as a back-up not as an end in themselves.

    Obama needs to put better messengers in the field. A passion like Grayson who can be kept on message. Instead of just reading an albeit effective script, I would have loved a HHS Secretary to almost tear up about the idea of an entrepreneur who can now leave Starbuck’s because he can get health care for his kid who has asthma. And to demonize the other side: “we’re prisoners of the health care system as it is now. We shovel money to those who deny us the freedom to keep our homes if we get sick.”

    Find buzzwords and talking points that hit the gut. Facts take work. Find the words that do the work for us.

    Why Obama doesn’t hire George Lakoff is beyond me.

  26. This came to me this morning before I logged into BWD, so maybe it is providential. One important thing someone can do (sorry it can’t be me due to time restraints), is to compare the legislation that was introduced in this Congressional session under GOP control versus legislation introduced under the last Congress under Dem control. As an example, the Dems introduced and passed the living wage raising the minimum wage for the first time in years, increase Veterans’ benefits and health care, etc. While the GOP introduced legislation to kill NPR, defund Planned Parenthood, repeal health care reform, etc.

    You get the picture. Who is in charge matters because Repugs are going to take away rights, cut funding, and generally screw the average American, whereas Dems were trying to better the plight of the average American.

    The comparison and contrast would be stark and quite clear. If someone takes this on, it would be huge in illuminating the differences. Then all one needs to ask is: who would you prefer—Dems or Repugs? The answer will be obvious.

    Thems me thoughts!

  27. If Dems do their job right, he should not face a serious challenge. The shenanigans of Florida’s new governor, coupled with what is happening in Wisconsin and Ohio, we may be in the midst of an awakening of the American people. However, the narrative has to be consisent and repetitive. I am hoping for the chant of recall of Scott, Christie and Walker.

  28. Extremely well said. With so many different memes out there, each specifically catered to a different segment of the population, it actually shows what a remarkable person President Obama is to have an approval rating in the 50% range.

    And that becomes the foundation from which everything else is built. Despite all the efforts to make him look like an alien, Muslim, crypto-fascist, socialist, Kenyan, anti-colonialist, blood sucking corporatist, the plurality of the country isn’t buying it.

    We have to be his foot soldiers and make sure that the 50% that approves of him provides him with a working majority to get things done.

    The Republican worked very hard this past election to win offices at every level, and thy succeeded due to lies they told and the general mood of the electorate.

    Yes, we want to make sure Obama is re-elected next year, but I think part of what needs to be focused on is getting Dems at all levels, from local committeemen to Senators and Representatives elected as well. If we do our job at that level, the Presidency will not be a problem.

  29. Dude,
    OFA is understaffed, until 2012 rolls around. Rigth now, the DNC is in much better shape than the RNC and has a surplus.
    Also, as I have noted in recent posts, POTUS is starting his fundraising events…
    Thus, the lull over at OFA will be temporary!~ That place is a money machine, and is why the trolls hang out there!

  30. Thanks Axrendale, that is a great post. When I look at the future horizon there are so many challenges coming up to face us. I don’t want to see global warming hurt our agriculture and environment. Energy is drifting into a state of crisis that could really damage our economy in a permanent way. A lot of our economy is dedicated to goods and services that are saddling us with long term costs and environmental and health harms that are accumulating and that we can’t afford.

    Only the adults in the room are looking past the immediate news cycle and the immediate election season to think about the forecasts and a strategy for meeting the challenges. And that’s what I think President Obama’s administration is focusing on. He wants to position America for success over the 40-year term. For the children. “Green Deal” is a good label, but I think of Obama’s policies as a matter of survival. He’s the oarsman of a raft shooting the dangerous, tricky rapids.

  31. I so agree with you. My husband and I constantly ask the question where are the liberal millionaires and billionaires who could invest in a network? I know Keith Olbermann is going to Current TV, but he’s just one person. Current had to give Comcast (very conservative) an equity share of 10%. It is my understanding that Comcast will not have a say in programming. Current is in about 80 million homes, but that’s insufficient. We need a ravel to FOX.

  32. The HOUSE jsut blocked every epa issue, from mining protections to oil royalties to the states, to clipping its wings on oil permits, to blocking regulating greenhouse gases and last but not least, the GOP had considered to cut even more than they 60 billion that just passed! Yes, they wanted an additional 22 billion, but it got disapproved by leadership!
    Can any of you guess what got disapproved?
    YUP! Defence!!!

    These guys are ramming stuff through! Talk about hypocrits!

  33. LOL@Like the lead in “The Shawshank Redemption”, I had to swim through the sewer to get to someplace good.

    Really glad you found this space, Henry!

  34. Spot on, japa! It really is a testament to this country that POTUS maintains relatively high job approvals and amazingly high personal approvals. I don’t want to underestimate the challenges, as swing voters have demonstrated an ability to empower the GOP without thinking about it, but this country is not as stupid as some might suggest when we’re given the chance to have a bit of accurate information.

  35. So basically the GOP is already on record as wanting to spend over two hundred billion dollars in order to pursue their health care reform repeal. Good to know!

  36. I agree with BWD in that it would be a good idea to get it up and running sooner rather than later. 2012 is right around the corner…

  37. If OFA thinks moderating the comment board would be un-Democratic and un-American and be attacked as such – as squelching dissenting opinions they don’t like and all that jazz, they should just shut down the comments section.

    I mean to have “” picking and choosing what is posted isn’t the message they probably want.

    It’s obvious that the people there can’t self-moderate by simply ignoring the trolls. If they weren’t being successful with their disruptions they’d probably get bored and leave if they’re not getting paid to troll, and if they are professional trolls, they’d have to rachet up their trolling at which point they could get banned for cause.

    Another way to combat it – make the zipcode provided have to match the ip address. This would eliminate folks hiding behind proxies at least. Usually trolls hide behind proxies so they can’t be IP banned. Also confirm the email address to make sure the address they’re using is actually real and theirs.

  38. Okay, here’s a lesson in bad Democratic messaging: I was just watching CNN where they’re reporting on the spending cut bill passed by Republicans yesterday, cutting all funds to implement HCR, cutting all funding for Planned Parenthood, curtailing the EPA.

    As reported, the bill is “expected to meet opposition from Senate Democrats, who called the cuts, “extreme”.

    “Dangerous to the health of women”.
    “Undrinkable water and unbreathable air” is what Republicans give you.”

    Anyone here want to chime in on more effective ways to criticize these tax cuts than calling them “extreme”? Remember what Republicans said about HCR?

    And if I hear one more Democratic Senate leader say he is “disappointed” in Republican actions, I’m going to scream.

    This is what drives me insane about our Democratic message machine.

  39. (Reuters) – Intel Corp plans to build a $5 billion, cutting-edge microchip factory in Arizona by 2013, sharply ramping up its U.S. manufacturing capacity as part of a major global expansion.

    The state-of-the-art plant, which will crank out microchips with next-generation 14 nanometer line-widths, is expected to bring thousands of jobs to the cash-strapped western U.S. state, which is offering more incentives to lure businesses.

    The announcement came after the White House announced it had appointed Intel chief executive Paul Otellini to a panel of experts advising President Barack Obama on jobs. Obama will tour Intel’s Oregon manufacturing base on Friday.

    Obama met with Apple Inc Chief Executive Steve Jobs and other technology industry leaders in Northern California on Thursday as part of a campaign to promote technological innovation as a means of boosting the struggling economy and reducing the 9 percent unemployment rate.

    Construction on Intel’s plant should kick off in the middle of this year, it said in a statement. When completed, the plant will churn out next-generation 14-nanometer line-width transistors and microchip wafers of 300 millimeters.

    Intel said in October it plans to spend $6 billion to $8 billion on high-tech manufacturing facilities in Arizona and Oregon, creating as many as 8,000 construction jobs.

  40. Hi everyone, I am new to this site (came over from OFA). OFA was my start up page for the last 3 years, so many good people there too, but I got tired of the trolls and the Ed Shultz mentality of some. I love the heart of OFA, it is still there. One of my friends sent me here….I found a new home. Last night I was in tears, reading about the attack on Planned Parenthood, the Union demonization, and I watched Bill Maher and had to turn it off too. The hate towards our President comes from both sides, I have always been a Dem, but I now find a lot of Dems that do feel holier than thou. So thank you for this place.
    I am a physician, and a teacher of Anatomy at a Community College in Ca. I am tired of having unions (teachers are the big ones here) being demonized. For the past few years the Repug mantra was Unions are the problem, they have been demonized for so long that many Americans want to destroy them. Waiting for Superman movie had me feeling ashmed to even call myself a teacher (that feeling left, for I know how hard we work, the extra hours (10-15 per week) that many of us put in that are unpaided. We are the problem?
    So I look forawrd to this gathering place. I am ready anytime you guys want to do A Million Woman March on Washington to protect all women fron the Repug attack on us.

  41. We need a dose of good ol’fashioned fear.

    “You want Republicans and their corporate masters to take your money and your future to funnel it to corporate headquarters in Dubai?”

    “They’d rather give Sam Walton another billion than give you health ‘security’.

    I said this a few weeks ago. Not ‘health care reform’. ‘Health security’. Attach everything in the HCR reform bill to ‘health security’. Make it clear that that is what Republicans want to deny the American people in order to get donations from the Koch brothers.

  42. Well, my assessment is, that ariana is such a tool for the pubs she would want a leftie independant to take away support from POTUS in 2012.
    She already has a article up suggesting that a thrid party would be wonderful!
    BTW: She is from GREECE, so she is out! just like arnold!

  43. I just printed out that compelling recovery timeline to share with 250 other people at an OFA grassroots training in Portland today. We are getting fired up again in Oregon!

  44. Why Arizona?????? The land of papers and shootings. Couldn’t they find a state with sunshine and a bit less of the “we got ours” attitude?

  45. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad said the Democratic-controlled chamber will cut this year’s U.S. budget by about half what House Republicans are demanding and urged House Speaker John Boehner to stop making threats about a government shutdown and start negotiating.

    The Republican plan “will not be successful in the Senate, even though I think virtually everybody understands we’ve got to cut spending,” Conrad said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” airing this weekend.

    Conrad, a North Dakota Democrat who isn’t seeking re- election next year, said Boehner risks a government shutdown with his demands and should start negotiating with the Senate. Boehner on Feb. 17 said he wouldn’t accept a short-term extension of the government’s current spending authority without more cuts.

    “That kind of talk, absent negotiations, really risks a shutdown of the government, which is in no one’s interest,” Conrad said. “I hope he’ll, instead of issuing that kind of threat, negotiate. That’s what we do to resolve problems.”

    The House early today passed a spending plan for the remaining seven months of this fiscal year that includes at least $61 billion in cuts from last year’s budget. It would make broad reductions to programs ranging from health and education to energy, science and the arts to fulfill a Republican campaign pledge to shrink government. Democrats reject the plan as extreme and harmful to the economic recovery.

  46. here’s what I think is critical to the narrative:

    Every cut matched by a revenue increase.

    25% more millionaires last year.
    Millionaires sacrificed nothing during the recession.
    Millionaires depriving the middle class of basic services while buying themselves Mercedes.

    They don’t get to cut everything without increasing in revenue.

    “balance means balance”. We’ll talk cuts when you talk revenue increases.

  47. Somebody rich and liberal did start a news outlet. His name is Ted Turner. He started CNN aka Clinton News Network. It’s gone downhill ever since Clinton left office and CNN was sold to Time Warner.

  48. Republicans don’t need the RNC as long as they have Citizens United.

    That’s what the fight in WIsconsin is all about — defunding unions so they can’t compete with Citizens United.


  49. That’s awesome in terms of the timing of that announcement; American jobs, don’t count this country out just yet!

  50. Best weekly address ever.

    I watched it from another site, and I was dismayed by the negative comments.

    Keep up the good work.


  51. Hi Carla! Great comment; we may indeed end up having to march against this Republican House in DC. Change is going to, again, have to come from the ground up. A lot of our former liberal media allies have pulled a bait and switch. Please don’t lose hope and get sucked into the hate that they are trying to spread; as we noted above, despite the nonstop attacks from all sides and challenging economic climate, the country still gives POTUS really decent approval ratings.

    Yes we can!

  52. Let’s not let the OFA site be taken away from us! I admit I am guilty of not posting there as often because of the trolls. But we need to show those trolls that they cannot shut down our voices.

    We must truly master the discipline of ignoring them like PBO ignores his detractors and get the job done of spreading the good news.

    Example: The wonderful chart BWD posted. Just keep posting the good news and information that people can share with their friends, families and local media.

    Screw the trolls! Don’t let them win! I’m going back and post every day over there.

    We cannot let them take PBO’s site.

    Also for my part, I created a personal email list of friends and family that I send information and links to.

    Look how fast the community of blogs that focus on spreading the correct information about PBO has grown? There’s a hunger out there for this information.

    I also agree that we should post on the other message boards — NYT, Wash Post, CBS — to combat the republican lie machine.

  53. A lot of people really do not get the extremity of what we’re up against and have been lulled into thinking that POTUS can snap his fingers and stop these problems. GOD BLESS the union organizers and members, OFA, DNC, college kids, high school kids, and people from all walks of life who are standing up in Wisconsin.

  54. Yeah, that was a really good one, everyone should watch that video. I find that a lot of the vituperative commentary elicits from people who simply hold POTUS in disdain or are in a personal crisis. Best to leave it alone IMO.

  55. “I had to swim through the sewer to get to someplace good.”

    LOVE that quote!! And in the spirit of true liberalism, I’m going to use it one day!

  56. Welcome, Carla:)You have found your new refuge…like the rest of us.Prepare to find your voice again, and feel energized.Sanity is a wonderful thing!

  57. Every single person who warned about the Republican-enabling Huffington: vindicated. Liberals will thump the bible according to that site at their own hazard. There is no way in the world that she should be the liberal standard-bearer. Talking about POTUS attacks the poor when the programs he’s trying to limit cuts to had funding raised on his watch in the first place (LIHEAP was increased due to the energy spike under President Obama—so how can he hate the poor). Huffington is absolutely going to be advocating for a third party spoiler. The trick is that the GOP needs somebody who would not take votes from their own candidate.

  58. I’m guessing it’s because Intel already HAS a plant here in Chandler…they wouldn’t have to start from scratch….as to your question of “papers please” and “I got mine mentality” baffles me as well….when those workers get here, and they will have to “get here” as we probably don’t have enough educated population already here to support this plant (education is NOT a prized possession here).You can bet the house on the fact that the idiot that is sitting in the Gov. office, will take credit for this….Think Progress has another “nice” tidbit about the Gov that’s being reported today…check the blogroll and wander over there to check it out. The only “good” thing about the crazies totally running this state…is when this idiot mindset of theirs fails, and it will, they will have NO ONE to blame this time but themselves….there are not enough Dems here in elected positions to effect any change. THEY WILL HAVE TO OWN IT!

  59. I totally agree about posting at CBS etc, one person makes a teeny tiny difference, but if a bunch of us from this site go over to MSM and post throughout the day, we can make a huge difference.

    OFA – When I started blogging I went to OFA daily and always came away depressed. Then I found BWD and stopped going to OFA. I have been going back to OFA in the last few weeks, I see a few familiar names there and hope to see many folks there soon.

    Today from OFA I saw a video clip of Wisconsin protestors chanting FOX lies which made my day (unkind I know but sometimes I am just tacky)

  60. I agree. We live in a “sound bite” and “one liner” culture. Democrats lost the message war, IMO, because we are too long-winded for the populace. We need ‘jingle’ writers. Seriously. People who are experts at writing one-liners to sell products. For example: “McDonald’s – You Deserve a Break Today” (Well maybe a little longer). Or people who are experts at writing simple messages on greeting cards.

  61. Henry this is the place to be I feel the same way, but we must stay focus and positive, yes we can

  62. We won’t give them the keys, Tulips!! They are to immature and iresponsible to drive the car again after they snuck it out earlier. They’re grounded from EVER having the car keys again!!! Let’s make SURE they never get the keys!

  63. Absolutely ! In the 2010 mid-terms there were 3 Unions in the top 10 largest contributors. The other 7 were corporations who gave to the Republicans. If the Republicans can kill off the Unions they can ‘run the table’. Walker in WI is using the old “bait and switch” method. He says it’s about the budget, but in truth it’s about busting the Union. The workers have said that they’ll give up the money, but not the right to bargain. Walker said “NO” – which clearly shows his intentions.

  64. I did not find this unkind at all, not when it comes to Fox. They have no problem lying 24/7 about our President. They have no problem insulting him and his wife. Insulting liberals and lying that we are evil because we believe in helping people. Fox and Murdoch and Ailes are despicable and hell bent on destroying and controlling our country. We cannot let that happen. They must be stopped.

    What really makes me mad is that Murdoch came here as a foreigner and this country welcomed him and allowed him to get richer. He shows his thanks by trying to destroy our democracy. I wish we could strip him of his citizenship for reasons of treason.

    Kudos to Wisconsin for having the guts to tell the truth right to their faces. I’m so proud of them for standing up.

    This is what all of us democrats must do.

  65. I was speaking of non-corporate owned station – somewhat on the order of Current TV, which was started by Al Gore. Anytime a network is owned by corporations, you can forget about it being progressive. Even though the rightwing likes to call MSNBC progressive, that’s not true. There three commentators on MSNBC that I would call progressive and one is so far left he almost meets up with the right. Plus he’s a light weight.

  66. See, now what WiW does actually works. Her site is amazing and her devotion to spreading the word enables us to be better at getting the word out. She’s one person doing what she can and is making a difference one video clip at a time.

    Thanks, girlfriend. You totally rock.

  67. They don’t need staff to moderate the OFA blog. All they have to do is give a core of faithful posters moderator status and they can take care of it for free. Simple fix. One I’ve suggested to them more than once, I can assure you.

  68. Don’t need staff to accomplish those fixes either. That can all be done with software.

    As for the complaint above about deciding what does and what does not get posted…they give moderator status to the people who ‘own’ groups so they can moderate comments made on those blogs. So why not the main blog? There are Terms of Use on and they specify that the site is not to be abused. These people routinely abuse the site.

  69. I’m writing in response to your question as to how we can spread the truth and change the narrative. I’ve been asking myself this question for months.

    As you correctly stated, it is extremely difficult to compete with a lot of the noise many of the Republican Party are making. I wouldn’t go so far to say that all Republicans are bad, but there sure are a lot of them out there who are spreading fear and hatred while making it seem that being irrationally impatient and rude and flatout lying is acceptable.

    It seems that such “newscasters” as Fox (they’re a propaganda machine, not giving the news) have a stronghold on a lot of Americans who don’t take the time or make an effort to inform themselves. Fox seems to be telling them what they want to hear. It’s a huge battle to wage against these national television figures and radio personalities.

    I live in Germany but am from Massachusetts. My husband is German and was born during WWII. We watched the Rachel Maddow video “Who’s got your back” that you suggested. I find this woman to be very good and my husband agrees. She was right that those of us who don’t watch Fox or similar broadcasters are shocked and appalled at the stuff coming from these people. My husband said that these people are demagogues like the ones who manipulated the people in Nazi Germany. Are so many people in the US blind to this fact? Apparently. I am absolutely flabbergasted that anyone would give someone like Palin or Bachmann any credibility. They seem so incredibly ignorant to me.

    I’ve been sending information via internet to family and friends. Most never react. It could be that they only will become active when something that effects them is endangered. I don’t know for sure.

    I think that there are many more people who share the opinions voiced in your blog. Without being able to spend money for television time, I think one chance is through the internet. There are a lot of websites that share these opinions. How could it be possible to get them to work together? There’s a problem with online petitions being credible, though.

    I also think that if more celebrities or sports stars would speak out there would be more of a possibility to change some people’s minds.

    A friend of ours suggested that I start something on Facebook, which so far I cannot seem to warm up to.

    As you see, I’ve thought a lot about this matter and haven’t come up with anything yet. If anyone out there has a viable suggestion, I would be extremely grateful.
    Barbara Yeo-Emde
    Wettenberg, Germany

  70. My goodness, Axendale, this is so well stated. I hope you have a blog, too–or will start one soon!

  71. Best. video. ever.

    LOL, you notice that the poor reporter tried to distinguish himself by saying, “this is Fox Business Network, just fyi…” meaning, “hey, it’s not me! I’m not Sean Hannity!” And when the wingnut anchor tried to muse about whether the protesters preferred “state run television” he defended them as nice with the exception of the one person who chanted through the entire interview (and I loved that guy too). We live in a damn good country.

  72. Thanks, BWD, for bringing to our attention what’s happening over at OFA. I agree with you that something must be done or that site will become irrelevant in the upcoming 2012 presidential election, and we all know how important it was in helping to raise money and get out Obama’s message of “Change” that ultimately led to his victory in 2008, becoming this nation’s first AA President.
    I’m a 51 year-old AA woman who made donations, posted, lurked and forwarded links of OFA to my friends during the heydays of the heated Obama v. Clinton primaries and the subsequent presidential race between Obama v. McCain. Now I can hardly stand to link the OFA site due to the invasion of trolls. It’s almost gotten as bad as that Orange place that I stopped linking to almost six months ago. (I was never a regular poster there, but I lurked almost daily for two years). I also stopped lurking and posting at HP in 2009 after the inauguration because of the hyperbolic headlines and anti-Obama filth they spewed as “news.”

    As an AA woman, I can tell you that the President’s message is just not reaching the African-American base the way it should be. Last week I missed the heated discussion on this blog devoted to whether or not the President has lost or is losing his African-American base. I don’t want to open up that discussion right now, but I do know President Obama’s image as a leader of positive change and his vast accomplishments as President is just not resonating with this segment of the population — which could ultimately result in weakened and unenthusiastic participation among African Americans in the upcoming presidential election. From my vantage point, I see three main factors causing the disconnect:

    1) The overwhelming onslaught of half-truths, distortions, and flat out lies from the MSM, especially Fox News which has simply mesmerized older black viewers (I mean to the point where they seem addicted to watching Fox (Faux) News 24-7 even though they are often personally offended by what they see and hear. I can’t seem to get across to my 84-year-old mother and 78-year-old mother-in-law that they need to turn off that crap.

    2) Ongoing negative messaging by respected members of the “Professional Left,” including AA pundits like E. Robinson and Herbert who feel that they must add to every positive fact about President Obama some negative undercutting meme.

    3) Weak to poor levels of engagement/involvement on the part of AA grassroots, political, and news organizations (NAACP, black radio, Ebony, Essence, BET, black newspapers, where are you?) Many of them seem to have bought into the meme that “The President is not doing enough to help black people.” Even factions of the Congressional Black Caucus are echoing this message. And when they’re not negative, they are all just too “low key” in regards to touting the accomplishments of the President and how the Obama Administration has not only helped to turn around the nation’s economy, but have helped Americans as a whole in many regards, including and especially Black people.

    I am not sure what strategies will be most effective in helping to counteract the ongoing effort to hurt President’s Obama’s changes for re-election or to undo the troll damage to OFA. I believe working our message from the bottom up will prove to be a good start. I am encouraged by the increasing presence of pro-Obama blogs like The Only Adult in the Room, the Obama Diary, and others. Hopefully, we can help to salvage OFA’s voice on the Internet. Maybe we can employ the “money bomb” concept again over there to counter every negative troll posting with a small donation. I am not a Face Book user (my husband has become an avid late bloomer), but I feel this medium which reaches so many people ought to be used more effectively as a vehicle for reaching the masses in general , and the AA population in particular with particular strategized messaging. We need to figure out how to do this with an organized and consistent message.

    Despite the challenges we face, I am positive about the future. In the words of gospel great James Cleveland, “I don’t feel no ways tired . . .” I plan to recommit myself efforts to helping to make a difference in my small, rural community in deep south Alabama by staying informed through this blog and others, and working from the grassroots levels. As the President alwyas says we have to start, “Block by block . . .”

  73. Sorry, but I’m of touch with a lot of the abbreiviations you all use. What is MSM, for example?

  74. Yes! I’m so interested in how to change the narrative. Thanks for asking the question. I’d like to suggest something on a micro level. At work we ocnduct retrospectives every week and then run experiments to try to do better. We’re trying “Yes. And…” The first sentence responding to all difficult, freighted, political, etc. emails or conversations should be some form of Yes. The next sentence is the (tactful) No or the maybe or the this is what I want or this is why you are wrong. We have to know what people want and we have to respond to what they want in a way that lets them know that we value them on some level even if we are totally frustrated by their ignorance. If the first sentence is “Yes, that is an important question,” maybe the next sentence that explains the facts will be more effective? (Probably only possible with sheep who get mis-led by the wolves and not with wolves.) Sorry if this is too long; new here.

  75. MSM = Main Stream Media

    OFA = Organizing for America (formerly
    Obama for America)

    PL = Professional Left

    AA = African American

    BET = Black Entertainment Television

  76. PUMA = Party Unity My A$$ (hard-line Hillary supporters)
    FP = Foreign Policy
    CR = Continuing Resolution (keeps government running while the new budget is being worked on)

  77. h/t = hat tip, credit to an informational source

    HuffPo = AOL HuffingtonPost

    PBO = President Barack Obama

    POTUS = President of the United States

    FLOTUS = First Lady of the United States

  78. The other way to improve communication with people who might be on the fence about a certain topic is the ‘easy yes’ approach. I learned this from that episode of Leverage this season where they had to fix an election.

    You give someone a choice and the second choice is always an ‘easy yes’.


    Do you want to see more jobs shipped to China, or do you want to invest in more factories here in the United States?

    A question posed in this fashion allows the voter I’m speaking with to express an opinion that mirrors my own, but at the same time implants the idea that investing in America is a good thing. I don’t need any facts that might activate the voter’s cognitive dissonance. I’m not arguing with them, or introducing any conflict. I’m simply guiding the voter to a place where he or she might be more open to the concept of spending tax dollars on something like subsidizing advanced battery production.

  79. Maybe we could collect some ‘easy yes’ questions to use with friends, family and co-workers.

  80. The message now is simply to point attention towards the Republicans.

    That said,I think we still have too many people calling themselves Progressives who are, at best, indifferent towards President Obama’s reelection efforts. I believe many of them are going to complain and then they will come parachuting in around September 2012.

    We’ve seen this pattern now with health care and also with the midterms.

    At the moment, the Republicans are in the midst of self destructing at the local, state, and national level.

    The next important battle is the looming government shutdown. Should the Republicans take the federal government hostage, and they will have all but guaranteed President Obama’s reelection.

    Nothing focuses the mind as missing “checks”. I’m willing to bet that people…Independents specifically…didn’t vote for a government shutdown.No amount of Fox spin can make up for the inability of million of seniors not able to buy necessities.

    Once Republicans piss off seniors and Independents, there is no other place they can return for votes. Trust broken is not going to be regained by any of the prospective Republican nominees be itRomney, Palin, Huckabee(needed on ticket to compete in the South), Jeb, or whoever.

  81. Tien, It’s a Dem site but you might not always agree with them on every issue. They will start sending you more things and those you might find a bit of a pain in the bottom. Just unsubscribe and they will do it.

  82. New Century Woman, this was a great post. I’m also an AA woman, and you hit the nail on the head with the issue of many of the AA pundits being all too eager to push the meme about the President not doing enough. Unfortunately, it goes back to the same issue that plagues way too many white progressives, with them simply not educating themselves enough with actual facts and just going off what someone else in their circle said and just spreading it around without looking too deeply into it. And yet to this day they’ll still defend Bill Clinton with their last breath.

    Another issue is that many times the problems that affect AA are exacerbated by the state governments. In their minds people have a hard time distinguishing between policies from a local, state, or government level and just know it’s not working. The harsh sentencing laws here in Florida has done a lot of damage to black men here in Florida, as has consistently underfunding or cutting off services that benefit poor communities. Then that leads to kids who see no way out, with parents who in the best of circumstances are working themselves to death to stay above water and just not having the time to address serious issues with their kids until they’ve fallen into the wrong crowd, and commit acts that doom their futures.

    It all comes down to education. This blog in the past few months has provided me with more information and paths to more information than I ever got from the big name blogs over the past two years.

  83. Excellent analysis!

    Nothing focuses the mind as missing “checks”. I’m willing to bet that people…Independents specifically…didn’t vote for a government shutdown.

    Nope. And they didn’t vote for union-busting, and they voted for spending decreases but not for the sorts of draconian slashes in the GOP’s budget. The GOP is overreaching…again.

  84. One small thing I’ve done is join the board at my local newspaper site. I’m encouraged that there’s now some level of debate there, whereas before it was all Republicans all the time in lockstep. I know many of us simply get repulsed by what we see in the comments of many sites such as yahoo, other newspaper sites, etc. But I think we don’t start forcing ourselves to post there, even if we’re the lone voice of sanity there, and even if it’s just posting a link to all of the great stuff that BWD tirelessly searches out to post here.

    I’m swamped at work because we’re understaffed, and having to help take care of the children of some family members who need some help right now, but I’m hoping to squeeze in some time before the year is out to get involved in our own OFA chapter and at least get in some hours on the weekends when I can.

  85. He was just being nasty, which is why it was striking that in response to that, the reporter noted that pretty much everyone there was very nice and Americans are entitled to our opinions. It just tickles me that even reporters connected tangentially to Fox”News” don’t want to be associated with the wingnuttia. I really love that video for a multitude of reasons. Go Wisconsites!

  86. But I think we don’t start forcing ourselves to post there

    *I think we need to start forcing ourselves to post there

  87. This site also lead me to places like WEESeeYou, Eclectablog’s site, The People’s View, What is Working, and all of the other great blogs that BWD has highlighted on her blogroll, for which I’ll be forever grateful.

  88. You Rock, BWD… 😉

    Solidarity w/Wisconsinites, other states, and America undersiege by GOPTeaParty Governors!

    @Shoq: VIDEO – “Wisconsin Is About The Survival Of The Democratic Party.”.. via @Maddow #solidarityWI #seiu

    @Shoq: #Wisconsin democracy virus starting to infect other states… #wiunion ^@KagroX

    Pash1994: Watching live stream of Wisconsin #wiunion & AFSCME march is HUGE!… via @Karoli

    By the way, how do you emb a vid clip…Anyone?

  89. This is a lot to digest, but all so true. I agree with all you’ve said, and was a witness to the dis-connect this morning, listening to am radio here in Philadelphia. I am afraid a lot of AA’s are not paying attention and/or are not doing individual research on the Obama admin’s accomplishments. Too many are one-issue voters and are concerned with their own personal issues. Too many are not far-sighted, and believe the negative hype. I call it pure laziness. This problem requires a serious and furious effort to inform the masses. Sigh! President Obama has had the most difficult political job in decades, I would say, just getting through the bs. He needs all of our best work.

  90. Blush, sigh, thanks

    With that in mind I have to share my favorite clip from this speech. Ray LaHood who runs the dept of transportation and is a Republican. go figure. He thanks the President and is very supportive of the Stimulus

    Ya gotta love this guy

  91. ‘I sure wish somebody really rich,
    liberal and willing to fight would buy a news outlet and start spreading the truth.’

    I so agree. This is what I was trying to state shortly after I discovered BWD’s site. However, I wasn’t thinking really rich so much as rich enough, then the rest of us could subscribe like they did decades ago when public television was trying to get its feet. I vaguely remember them having membership drives for the public to commit to monthly, or one time, subscription. Then, instead of hiring the big name ‘ejeets’ who are too full of themselves, this station could hire younger journalists who are still pliable enough and honest enough to practise genuine research and reporting. I’m sure there are lots of possible employees out there, and I suspect that there would be many willing to become financial members of such a venture, even if their commitment had to be small. I know I would be. The problem as I see it is to find someone (or a board) to spearhead this. It is quite frustrating to see the other side poisoning the airwaves, flashing their evil around, busing it from state to state without financial concern and not be able to do much about it.

  92. ^Co-sign…

    Yeah, we need to “send Murdoch and Co. packin’!”

    As I believe, WiW has mentioned before (several threads back), there’s an ongoin’ ‘Drop Fox’ campaign at @mmfa (Media Matters on BWD’s TOAITR Blogroll), along w/ @stopbeck, to slowly rid us and America of this scum:

    Soon, there maybe a ‘DropCNN’ campaign! (It has become Fox”News” lite…Grrr!)

  93. This. He needs to start a blog. I’ve learned so much!

    Lurker from the UK, y’all and have been cheering on BHO since 2004.

    Thanks for this space, BWD, you’re amazing.

  94. VAIL, Colorado — First lady Michelle Obama is among the Presidents Day weekend crowd.

    Obama arrived Friday night for a weekend of skiing in Vail and Beaver Creek, according to local sources.

    A motorcade of about a dozen vehicles, including 15 state and local law enforcement officers, traveled from the Eagle County Regional Airport to Vail on Friday night, according to the Colorado State Patrol. Roads were temporarily blocked to make way for the motorcade in Eagle.

    The motorcade entered an underground garage beneath the Sebastian hotel in Vail Village shortly after 9:30 p.m.

    No stranger to the slopes

    It won’t be the first lady’s first time on skis. She took daughters Sasha and Malia for a quick trip to Liberty Mountain Resort, in Carroll Valley, Pa., in February 2010. It was the first time on skis for the first daughters, according to Anne Weimer, marketing director at Ski Liberty.

    During an interview posted by Liberty Mountain, the first lady was asked about some her favorite hot spots. Instead, she talked about a cool spot.

    “We discovered skiing. My girls had never been skiing,” she said. “With a couple hours, you’re skiing.”

    Ski Liberty is 60 minutes from the White House.

    “You can go from 60- and 50-degree weather to being on a slope. Not too many places in this country you can do that and still be at the seat of power. It’s kind of cool,” she said in the interview.

    Obama has made health and fitness one of her primary causes, and skiing burns up to 400 calories an hour, ski-industry sources say.

    Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden is spending the Presidents Day holiday weekend in the Florida Keys.

    The White House says Biden and his wife traveled to Key Largo on Thursday night. The couple will remain in the Upper Keys through Monday.

    No public events are scheduled for the first lady’s visit to Vail.

  95. I am so jealous. Wish I could ski. I’m happy for the Obama girls, and for the First Lady, too. You go, girl! Too bad the President couldn’t go; I wonder does he ski. I’d like to see them both in their ski gear 😉

  96. I really like this idea, Tien, but not sure I know how to use it. Will keep thinking about it and see if I can come up with any ‘easy yes’ approaches.

  97. Axrendale I just wanted to add my name to all the others to thank you for your very insightful comments, and I’m so glad you post here at BWD’s blogsite. I agree with hopefruit2 that you are a phenomenal historian.

  98. Great insight and analysis,as usual. The President did a speech early on in his presidency that laid out the three stools of his domestic policy. I always thought that the speech didn’t get a great deal of attention, even though Nancy Pelosi used the framework every chance she could. I think those three stools speak to a lot of what you describe as the new foundation – which is the way the President described it. He’s really quite remarkable, and a pleasure to watch. Here’s the video:

  99. [Lincoln] truly came into his own as a leader defined in the eyes of the public […] when he delivered the Gettysburg Address.

    What was absolutely astonishing to me as a foreigner was this succinct remark in the Wikipedia article about the Gettysburg Address:

    Other public reaction to the speech was divided along partisan lines.

    Only in retrospect I saw that the mistake I made was to think the Gettysburg Address was always considered a great speech.

    Now think about the broad support for President Obama’s “Tucson speech”.

  100. Again about changing the narrative: I think we have to follow the extraordinary example of the Obamas – dignity, respect, tolerance and staying amazingly calm and positive despite dealing with truly agressive, sometimes belligerent politicians and journalists.

    I’m worried that if I’m not careful, I’ll be guilty of being as intolerant as the people who are disrespectful and belligerent.It blows me away that a journalist like Bill O’Reilly can get away with the type of interview that he had with Pres. Obama before the Super Bowl. I would have loved to ask O’Reilly how it feels to have millions of people not liking him (possibly even hating him). He asked questions and sometimes didn’t even want to give the President a chance to answer.

    Some of the suggestions made in this blog were good. The question is how to get all of this energy bundled. I truly do appreciate the opportunity to converse with like-minded people, but I still don’t see how we can constructively concentrate our efforts so that one huge voice can be heard. Those of us who take part in this blog are all members of the same choir. How do we get the different like-minded choirs to sing together?

  101. Dear Barbara, go for it! I just started a facebook outreach of sorts too. Every little bit helps.
    We have to drive this much needed change and we are up against some really awful people with a lot of money and a strong propaganda machine. But we can do it if we put our minds to it.
    Thank you for helping from so far away, thank you!

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