162 thoughts on ““The recovery act helped you, whether you admit it or not”. Also, that’s my home! :)

  1. First..!! 馃榾

    路.路Rock Wuz Here.路.

    FIRED UP…!!

    READY TO GO..!!!

  2. Wow. His message to Walker, Daniels, and Co. is pretty clear. I just KNEW he would talk about it, in the most dignified way possible. Promoting fairness without being mean or divisive.

    God, I love this president.

    Thanks BWD !

  3. So utterly glad that he said that! One thing I’d love to see Dems make far more hay about: the hypocrisy of GOP Reps and Senators who voted against the recovery act, yet posed for pictures in front of stimulus projects, taking credit.

    Pretty much the entire country benefited from this measure which saved and/or created millions of jobs, as well as President Obama’s competent handling of the far less popular TARP vote, started under Bush yet administered much more competently under President Obama’s watch. The stimulus has been distorted as an extension of TARP, or a giveaway to the rich, which is a lie and basis for the false “both parties are the same” GOP-enabling meme.

    So glad to see POTUS articulating the truth, and you, bwd, for carrying his message to us. Thank you!

  4. Bringing this up from the morning mismash; you guys have got to read this letter: http://www.squattable.com/news/022711/letter-wisconsin-republicans-conservative-prison-guard

    It was sent to a WI legislator by a conservative Republican whose scales have fallen off of his eyes with respect to how little care which the GOP has for the working class. You can still detect the GOP thinking there, but for the first time, people like this are having to examine their assumptions and face the truth about the parties. It’s an excellent read (h/t alma@weeseeyou).

  5. The Affordable Care Act debate took a fascinating turn today. President Obama essentially said to the GOP “Be My Guest” if you can meet my requirements.


    Specifically referencing a proposal from Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.), the president endorsed the kind of flexibility Republicans say they want. “[I]f you can come up with a better system for your state to provide coverage of the same quality and affordability as the Affordable Care Act, you can take that route instead,” Obama said, adding, “If your state can create a plan that covers as many people as affordably and comprehensively as the Affordable Care Act does, without increasing the deficit, you can implement that plan and we’ll work with you to do it.”

    The White House has a fairly detailed fact-sheet on this, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius has a related post on the White House blog.

    So, how big a deal is this? It marks a fairly significant departure from the administration’s status quo, but at its root, what we’re seeing is the White House call Republicans’ bluff. The GOP is convinced it can offer comparable coverage at comparable prices using Republican-friendly policies. Today, in effect, the president said, “Be my guest.” Why? Because Obama knows it’ll take more than tort reform and HSAs to make the system work, and he sees a political upside to watching GOP officials scramble to actually craft their own plans, rather than bash his.


  6. Of late, you have seen more of Obama’s inner Clint Eastwood. He’s turning into the “Make my day” kind of guy.

    And the thing is, he means it. If they can, more power to them, but he knows that the only way they can is to go even further towrds single payer or public option than he has, so even if they succeed, it still makes his day.

  7. It will just be sold as Obama admitting the HCR isn’t working. I don’t know if this was a smart move at all.

  8. VPres. Biden made a powerful point about the
    Recovery Act and that is there is no theft
    going on…Imagine how hard it must be
    keeping an eye on folks at the local level
    who are more susceptible to fraud.

  9. It was as if President Obama just got tired of the nonsense, made an offer, and then said checkmate, your move.

    The GOP knee jerk reaction to any proposal or initiative of President Obama is to say NO. They will undoubtedly find something wrong with this, but it will just make the only adult in the room look even more like the only adult in the room.

  10. The comment section was interesting. An awful lot of “both parties are the same” type of talk, some defense of Dems talk, and absolutely nobody defending Walker or the republicans.

  11. SR, I am trying to figure out how that would be. Since he has already said the the HCR that went through is just a beginning and more can be done, that it isn’t perfect, all he is doing here is saying, if you on a state level can do it better, fine, we are willing to listen.

    That isn’t an admission of failure in any sense of the word.

  12. I don’t think so. It’s much more likely to open the door for a single payer and public options, because everybody knows that the Republicans has no serious plan.

  13. I don’t see it that way at all. Obama has is not admitting to any such thing – in fact, the exact opposite. President Obama is so confident that HCR was the best that could be done that accomplishes the goals of reducing the deficit, while increasing coverage for more americans, that he dares the GOP to create something better, knowing fully well that they can’t.

  14. I just wanted to give you a little fact. There were over 75,000 individual projects that went on in your states and a total of 250,000 awards, meaning a check had to be cut to 250,000 different entities. And a group of IGs and outside examiners pointed out there鈥檚 less than 1/100th of 1 percent of fraud in the entire operation. And that鈥檚 because of you. That鈥檚 because of all of you. (Applause.) And it鈥檚 because of the mayors.

    VP Joe Biden

    This undermines Darrell Issa’s plan to hold numerous hearings about stimulus fraud. He can still hold the hearings but now we have on tape that all the governors and the mayors were in charge of implementation and fraud was negligible.

    Does Issa really want to open up hearings that would suggest governors and mayors–including GOP govs and mayors–were crooks?

  15. BWD – this video is excellent. So wonderful to hear him calmly saying what we have all been saying at this blog. Once again the great communicatore.

    I would like to slice and dice the video because although it is very useful it is 30 minutes. I was thinking of bytes that talk about just president talking about how to treat public employees, education, health care, etc.

    Now for my question. BWD I went to the WH website and could not find the file, did you get it from the WH or YouTube? When I can download the video directly from the WH website then it is very easy to cut it up.
    YouTube does not let me download the mp4 file.

    Finally if anyone has a part of the video that is their favorite, list it below so I will make sure I create a clip for that area. You can either tell me what he is talking about or even better time code (found in the lower left corner of the video)

  16. Talk about moving the Overton Window…

    He has set up the terms of the debate. States have a choice between the hard-won reform on the federal level or doing something better.

    If states try to get away with the status quo, while their residents see neighboring states have better healthcare available, they are going to hear from their constituents that they must do better. The pre-healthcare reform status quo is not an option anymore.

  17. He makes so much sense, how can they not understand and support these measures? How can they not see his patriotism, brilliance, and honest efforts to help all Americans?

    I don’t get it. Thanks again so much BWD, for these posts, pictures and great videos!

  18. The message discipline continues. The fact sheet on the Affordable Care Act flexibility proposal announced today is focused on supporting innovation and empowering the states:

    On February 28, President Obama reiterated his belief that States should have the power and flexibility to innovate and find the health care solutions that work best for them and announced his support for accelerating State Innovation Waivers and allowing states to apply for them starting in 2014.

    Beginning in 2017, the law allows States the flexibility to receive a State Innovation Waiver so they may pursue their own innovative strategies to ensure their residents have access to high quality, affordable health insurance. These strategies 鈥 which must provide affordable insurance coverage to at least as many residents as the Affordable Care Act and must not increase the federal deficit 鈥 could include allowing large employers to purchase coverage through State Exchanges or increasing the number of benefit levels to provide more choices for individuals and small businesses.

    Under the bipartisan 鈥淓mpowering States to Innovate Act鈥 introduced by Senators Ron Wyden, Scott Brown, and Mary Landrieu, State Innovation Waivers would be available three years earlier than under current law, so long as States meet certain criteria, including certifying that their proposals would cover at least as many of their residents as the policies in the Affordable Care Act would have covered.

    The proposal offers States more flexibility while ensuring that all Americans, no matter where they live have access to affordable, accessible health insurance. Additionally, the proposal includes built-in protections to ensure that these waivers do not increase the Federal budget deficit.


  19. This whole passage says it all:

    As the Recovery Act funds that saw through many states over the last two years are phasing out — and it is undeniable that the Recovery Act helped every single state represented in this room manage your budgets, whether you admit it or not — you face some very tough choices at this point on everything from schools to prisons to pensions.

    I also know that many of you are making decisions regarding your public workforces, and I know how difficult that can be. I recently froze the salaries of federal employees for two years. It wasn鈥檛 something that I wanted to do, but I did it because of the very tough fiscal situation that we鈥檙e in.

    So I believe that everybody should be prepared to give up something in order to solve our budget challenges, and I think most public servants agree with that. Democrats and Republicans agree with that. In fact, many public employees in your respective states have already agreed to cuts.

    But let me also say this: I don鈥檛 think it does anybody any good when public employees are denigrated or vilified or their rights are infringed upon. We need to attract the best and the brightest to public service. These times demand it. We鈥檙e not going to attract the best teachers for our kids, for example, if they only make a fraction of what other professionals make. We鈥檙e not going to convince the bravest Americans to put their lives on the line as police officers or firefighters if we don鈥檛 properly reward that bravery.

    So, yes, we need a conversation about pensions and Medicare and Medicaid and other promises that we鈥檝e made as a nation. And those will be tough conversations, but necessary conservations. As we make these decisions about our budget going forward, though, I believe that everyone should be at the table and that the concept of shared sacrifice should prevail. If all the pain is borne by only one group — whether it鈥檚 workers, or seniors, or the poor — while the wealthiest among us get to keep or get more tax breaks, we鈥檙e not doing the right thing. I think that鈥檚 something that Democrats and Republicans should be able to agree on.


  20. Good point Japa21. Prez Obama knows the GOP can only hung themselves. They asked for more rope and, the President told them, “Be my Guest!”. If the GOP had a better answer to Affordable Care Act, they would have offered it, instead of saying NO all the time.

  21. President Obama got as much as was possible from the congress he had to deal with. He made great progress in doing so and has established a new starting point. It wasn’t that he wasn’t “for” a public option or single payer, rather he was smart enough to know that neither was possible.

    I think it is highly unlikely the Rs will try to move more in the direction of publicly administered health care. They are still trying to kill Medicare!

  22. Exactly….

    Because Obama knows it’ll take more than tort reform and HSAs to make the system work, and he sees a political upside to watching GOP officials scramble to actually craft their own plans, rather than bash his.

  23. Press Secretary Jay Carney press briefing starting now with Ambassador Susan Rice discussing Libya and the meeting with Secretary General Banki Moon today.

  24. There is a free way to record it, save it and convert it (quickly and accurately) to a bunch of formats. It only works on Windows machines, though. Google Freecorder4. It is a toolbar but one I find useful. Careful during installation not to mess up your search preferences, though.

  25. It might be a good idea to send it to Ed Shultz and Lawrence O’Donnell.
    Then again ,maybe not because they’ll say too little too late and he is not at the pprotests in WI and he should have been there all week.



  27. I think Joe Biden needs to get out more promoting HCR and the stimulus package. 2012 is right around the corner and we need his help.

  28. Hi Everyone

    FiredupinCA quoted a section of Obamas remarks to the governors. 2 good pieces of news.

    1. I found the button at YOuTube that lets me download the mp4 file (duh)

    2. I have made a clip of the segment of the tape FiredUp mentioned.

    I am hopeful you will share it at other blogs, write about it at your blog and in general just “talk it up”

    I have to nap and then teach until 9 pm tonight so I will not be able to make anymore clips until Tuesday morning.

    If you want a specific part of the speech, either quote the text or put in the time code.

    Thanks Fired Up in CA – I’m fired up too.

  29. You could call it Medicare for all. It’s what you see in most countries, one version or another. In effect, the government paus for the care, although, just as in Medicare, there are deductibles, etc. Private, for profit, insurance is used as a back up only.

  30. Thanks, gn. It is uplifting to know that even some conservatives are beginning to think for themselves and are capable of becoming more aware.

  31. In a single payer system, the government is the insurance company for everyone. It is like Medicare for everyone.

  32. This is why it’s important for us to see little comments sections like that, and throw in a few words. IMO “both parties are just as bad” is an easy out for Republicans and swing voters who failed to look after their own best interests. Making comments addresing that misinformation is almost as important as making comments to address the GOP’s arguments. We truly can make a difference.

  33. They thought that the GOP would never come for them…this is irrefutable evidence that they were wrong. Just as the Walker-endorsing WI firefighters and cops learned: we’ll stick together or hang separately. Indeed it’s uplifting to see how strongly this message is resonating.

  34. You don’t think it’s a smart move to place them on center stage, where the burden’s on them to deliver?

    Saint Roscoe, when in recent memory have Republicans produced any legislation that has benefited 98% of Americans?

    Here, I’ll help. NOT NEVER!!

    By all means, let’s see what if they’re up to the challenge. If they’re not…I’m seeing more fodder for campaign ads on the horizon.

  35. Hi BWD
    I fully agree! There are already states getting ready to experiment with single payer. The door is now open for Public Option in a number of dem states and, I love this part, when the PO takes hold the repugs will have to scramble. We already know the PO reduces the deficit. I think I love this Pres and I think I can see the trap the repugs walked into from here.

  36. Walker is losing it (h/t miranda@weeseeyou):

    Walker Welding Capitol Windows NOW to Keep Workers from Passing Food to Those Inside

    This from AFL-CIO Political Communications Director Eddie Vale who鈥檚 on the ground in Madison, Wis.

    As we speak, Gov. Scott Walker & the Senate R鈥檚 are literally having the windows of the capital welded shut to keep people from passing food into the building to the people inside.

    Our attorneys are collecting affidavits from the people who witnessed this, along with people who have been illegally denied access to a public, government, building.

    We will be filing for a TRO [temporary restraining order] to open the Capitol.

    It is a sad for democracy when Governor Walker and his R Senate allies are locking the people of Wisconsin out of their own state capitol.



    He is desperate to get that crowd out of there, isn’t he?

  37. No camera phone vids? Are the welders doing the work members of a union? Wouldn’t that be a fire hazard/safety issue?

    Does he want a hungerstrike instead?

  38. According to a commenter on Balloon Juice, looks like this may have been a premature call and they were just doing some welding work on one window. May have to wait a little bit to confirm.

  39. ‘He鈥檚 [Prez O]turning into the 鈥淢ake my day鈥 kind of guy.

    And the thing is, he means it.’

    He really does! He never seems to be playing games, which is what they are used to, and what they do all the time. IMO this is part of the President’s strength. I feel pretty sure that he wants them to share their ideas because he really does believe that no one person/party has all the right answers. Think what a difference it would make in American politics if politicians would stop politicking after each election and join forces to govern intelligently AND critically for the good of the country!

  40. NYers: if you have time, there’s a phone bank to stand in solidarity with the Wisconsin workers tonight at OFA’s main office in Manhattan.

  41. ‘If the GOP had a better answer to Affordable Care Act, they would have offered it’

    They may not have a better answer as a group, but there might be individual members with ideas on how to tweak relevant sections in their state. Don’t forget that other than saying ‘no’ none of them was allowed by their party to contribute.

  42. Sweet! They’ve knocked aside another argument. Is this what is called a preemptive strike? This Obama-Biden team is soooo smart, determined and focused, and as leaders they are streets ahead of the competition! 馃檪

  43. As much as we want to show how heartless, cruel, corporate owned, etc, that the republicans are, we need to check into everything we hear.

    I don’t blame you for posting the article, but if it something far more innocent, then the afl-cio blog was wrong in what they did.

    Of course, maybe that was their initial intent, to weld everything shut, but when confronted with possible fire code violations, came up with an excuse and backed off.

  44. I agree so much that verifying and correcting all information is key; this is just a casualty of the speed with which information is being transmitted. I’d actually like to think that no one would do something this mean-spirited and malicious, and am happy to have my link corrected actually.

  45. “You could call it Medicare for all. It鈥檚 what you see in most countries, one version or another. In effect, the government paus for the care, although, just as in Medicare, there are deductibles, etc.”

    I thought that was public option. So what’s the difference between the two? Or is it essentially the same thing.

  46. Great find GN but I urge everyone not to bother with the comments to this man’s very real anger and plea because the very first reply is against the horrible “illegal aliens” who take all the money and send it back to Mexico.

    I’m still steaming and wish I had just stopped after reading what this guy had to say. It was a great read and gives me hope.

  47. Wll, looks like the Republican House of representatives will be defending DOMA in court:

    By SCOTT WONG & SIMMI AUJLA | 2/28/11 4:02 PM EST Updated: 2/28/11 5:25 PM EST
    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor came to Speaker John Boehner鈥檚 side Monday, promising action by Friday to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, now that President Barack Obama has said he won鈥檛.

    鈥淚 stand by [Boehner鈥檚] commitment to make that happen,鈥 Cantor (R-Va.) said Monday afternoon at a press conference, promising to outline their plans in detail Friday.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/50357.html#ixzz1FISBm3yz

  48. Their are so many variables to the economy, these days. Like, the Middle east, Oil, european debt concerns, the republicans shut down of the govt, raising the debt ceiling, The republican sabotaugue of the economy, etc.
    That when Chris Matthews says that, how can this President get re-elected with 8-9% unemployment, is a pretty shallow statement!
    Not to mention, who he runs against is huge!


  49. What do you all make of this(DNC is an arm of the Obama administration, so…)?

    Thanks to Amanda Terkel of the Huffington Post, we have the text of a resolution passed by the Democratic National Committee calling for a 鈥渟ignificant and sizable reduction no later than July 2011.鈥 That date, of course, is President Obama鈥檚 idea, announced in his December 2009 speech at West Point, yet left vague enough to mean anything. Lately, the United States and NATO have started talking about 2014 as the date for transferring security control to Afghan forces, which doesn鈥檛 contradict the start of a withdrawal in July, but certainly extends it at least three years, with no guarantee even then that combat troops will leave Afghanistan then.


  50. Meanwhile in Arizona….

    People die and more will be shut out of ACCCHS to suffer and get sicker.

    The plan here is: “Die sucker!” before we have to pay for your health care, especially if you are one of “those people.”

  51. In the public option, there would be a government plan competing against the private insurance companies. With single payer, it would just be the government paln.

  52. No kidding! In AZ that must be hard because I’m sure the Repugnants would really like to spend recovery money buying AK47s for their best friends.

  53. He’s not up for four years, but there are state senators up in 2012 – hopefully they start to realize that it’s their neck on the line not Walkers. Walker is a true believer, but I can’t understand why 19 State Senate Republicans are willing to go ll in with him. I mean are they all ideologues like Walker? That have been in deep cover for years and years?

  54. Which is what Holder had said – the Congress could take up defending it’s constitutionality. I wonder what Choi and his buddies such as GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans will say now, along with the comparible folks on the left. Probably still blame Dems and Obama because they didn’t change the law or something – it’s funny how the Republicans are NEVER blamed.

    Dems supply 59 votes to repeal DADT and it fails to get 60 and it’s Obama and the Dems fault, not the fact that the GOP couldn’t supply one vote. They really don’t make any rational sense, it’s glaringly obvious they have a hidden anti-Dem, anti-Obama agenda.

  55. And so the stupidity of the American Public is complete:

    Twenty-nine percent of likely voters would blame Democrats for a government shutdown, compared to 23 percent who would hold Republicans responsible, according to a new poll conducted for The Hill.

    The results are surprising because most people blamed the GOP for the last government shutdown, which occurred during President Clinton鈥檚 first term. A week before the 1995 shuttering, polls showed the public blamed Republicans by a two-to-one-margin.


    when are we ever going to be smart?

  56. I agree! And those screamers at the Rallies POTUS had in 2010 election, all from the Gay community, probably from Dan choi and his likely comrades, the college republicans! Cahoots!

  57. On MSNBC, the verified reports is that as many as 4 moderates are considering voting NO, but are getting lots of pressure from Walker(and no doubt the national republicans)!
    One said definitely he will vote no, all they need is 3!


  58. Winning the future on trade
    By Ed Gerwin – 02/28/11 04:06 PM ET

    Ni shuo Zhongwen ma?

    Do you speak Chinese?

    Most officials at the U.S. Trade Representative鈥檚 office don鈥檛 either. USTR is the lean, mean 232-person agency that negotiates and enforces America鈥檚 international trade rights and takes the lead in opening foreign markets to American exports.

    But USTR lacks important resources to do its job. Ambassador Ron Kirk recently testified that USTR had exhausted its entire translation budget on one important case involving China. Meanwhile, the U.S. Government has 20 different agencies that play a role in promoting exports. And the Commerce Department still devotes a special office to textiles, even though textiles are no longer a key driver of the national economy.

    These misplaced priorities are emblematic of the hurdles that America faces in increasing exports and lowering trade deficits. Washington is hobbled by a trade structure that is the bureaucratic equivalent of a 1972 Chevy Impala — in a world where other governments cruise in Chevy Volts.

    President Obama has wisely chosen to begin his Administration鈥檚 reorganization efforts with a review of U.S. trade functions. It鈥檚 sorely needed, especially if America is to meet the President鈥檚 goal of becoming an export giant. Reordering trade can truly help America in 鈥淲inning the Future鈥 — but only if we make smart choices.

    Rationalizing trade should begin with a more focused structure in support of trade and international competitiveness. The Commerce Department鈥檚 current massive organization is a bewildering mish mash of offices, including those like National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which have tenuous links to trade and business. Units like NOAA should be housed elsewhere.


  59. Great to hear. However can you trust them? I mean Walker has shown that he would try to lure the Dems back under false pretenses. What happens if they come back to vote and all of a sudden the three switch their votes?

    I’d guess that they’re political careers are likely over as the GOP will primary them etc if the break from Walker. But they’re likely dead anyways if they continue to hold out – might as well say “F-It I’m done either way, I’ll do what I believe is right”.

  60. Choi will be silent on this issue. As you probably already suspect, Choi’s real problem was not with DADT/DOMA, but with President Obama. Choi is a Republican who disingenuously exploited Democrats to further his agenda. Rachel Maddow allowed herself to be deceived by this guy because she didn’t do her homework. When I was still a regular poster on DKOS, I indicated that I thought he might be a Repub plant, I was quickly lambasted by certain anti-Obama posters for expressing my suspicions. That immediately confirmed to me that they knew this to be in fact true.

  61. Dems are HORRID on framing. Was Fox around in 1995? Was the MSM so bloody lame as it is now?

    We just have to hope that once there is a shutdown that the focus will be put on the competing budgets and people will see how draconian and counter-productive the GOP budget it and how it will cause 2M to lose their jobs.

    “The GOP Budget will cause 2M to lose their jobs” should have been shouted from the rooftops for weks now.

    The GOP wants to kill the recovery so they can run on the destroyed economy in 2012.

  62. Get it in the newspapers, make sure everyone knows why you are coming back, and if they reneg, it will be seen as very underhanded!

  63. We know that, but people are reacting in FEAR, and until current tv and Keith olberman comes back(I have a feeling he will be alot less anti obama) we do not have a tv channel that is Not coporate owned!

    BTW: Keiths new wensite, foknews channel, is a daily blog, and pretty cool!

  64. Newsflash: We have a different president. With the left and the right media screaming anti-Obama propaganda morning, noon and night, with the Sunday morning shows saturated with useless Republicans and their nonsensical talking points, with the so-called left leaning blogs failing to attack the Republicans instead of focusing on the President, I am NOT surprised at this poll. I also believe that these polls are increasingly (and deliberately)skewed in favor of the Republicans.

  65. Jovie, I don’t know about Keith Olbermann. Lately, Keith was spending more time on his show screaming at President Obama than anything else. He probably would have been among those pushing for the President to go to Wisconsin to march with the Protesters. I really doubt that he would have had much of an impact in the government shutdown issue.

  66. SR, I think this is more than just an issue of framing. I don’t think that Dems were better at framing in 1995 than they are today. However I do believe that the Republican and pro-GOP corporate media has grown more powerful and determined, and most importantly, better funded.

  67. Have you noticed, that is what Odonell is doing! It is called being lobbied by Huffington, hamsher, maher etc…
    All for ratings! Now that he is on a tv show, owned by al gore, I am sure Al will not put up with constant bashing of the President!

  68. Thanks for the link Jovie! That’s fantastic – I guess he’s now free to do exactly as he pleases without the pressures of the pro-GOP MSNBC corp.

  69. Not really terrible in that there is 48% not represented in either camp. Basically what you seem to be getting is the engaged bases who know a shutdown is coming. Once it finally hits and checks stop being sent etc, then the epic frame war will be on.

    I don’t think th COC wants a shutdown or the GOP budget, I don’t think many big businesses want a government shutdown or the GOP budget either. The GOP budget would devestate the recovery, cost 2M jobs – it will lead to another depression as 2M folks would be collecting unemployment and not paying taxes anymore. Consumer confidence would plummet costing more jobs and the economy would retract further. The damage they want to do isn’t something they could undo should they be successful in getting a Republican into the White House in 2012 either. It would be a lost decade.

    I just have to hold out hope that Plouffe has some epic roll-out ready to frame and blame should the GOP force a shutdown.

  70. By Lynn Sweet on February 28, 2011 2:37 PM | No Comments
    WASHINGTON–Obama 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina hit Chicago last week, taking meetings with big Democratic donors and scouting for some 50,000 square feet in the Loop for the Obama presidential campaign headquarters.

    I talked to several people with knowledge of the Messina visit last Wednesday and Thursday. Traveling with him to Chicago were Rufus Gifford, who will be the 2012 Obama re-elect finance director and April Harley, the Illinois finance chair at the Democratic National Committee.

    Messina is huddling with the big donor community–the Chicago fund-raising group was ground zero for Obama in 2008 with business mogul Penny Pritzer leading the drive–as he is trying to figure out how to energize the bundlers who play a critical role in major money fund-raising. Pritzker is going to be very helpful to Obama but will not reprise her role as national finance chair.

    Jazzing up mega donors is on the to-do list. While some folks are on board, others already have their keepsake pictures with the Obamas–and plenty of events under their belts–and may or may not have gotten hoped for invites to Obama White House doings. .
    Messina et al are also reaching out to figure ways to engage the CEOs and business leaders not in the Obama tent. Since there is no formal campaign structure in place yet, the Chicago visit was part of Messina’s “touching base” with folks–some who he knew and others new faces.

    A few weeks ago, Messina was in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Boston on prospecting missions.

    In 2007, the Obama presidential campaign was headquartered at 233 N. Michigan.
    The campaign took over a turn-key sublease from Accenture, renting 33,000 square feet with built out workstations, meeting rooms and space for the various departments of the Obama campaign.

  71. Very well said, Saint Roscoe. And we need to be ready as well, to provide any sort of assist possible. What you’ve just laid out is fact. We can help to spread this information.

  72. Aquagranny, realize that the comment posted is one person’s opinion and is likely a reinforcement of the sort of tribalism with which the GOP specializes in the context of a clear divide and conquer. Saying, “pardon me, but you need to realize that the GOP talks a big talk about immigration reform, yet does nothing in order to please big business’ desire for cheap, unregulated labor…” you can take the air out of the tires of people like that. Being away from the PL, we can focus on the real problems and correct these guys in the comments section.

    I totally get your rage; that’s what trolls want to do—make people upset, disgusted, discouraged.

  73. The emperor has no clothes. The GOP leadership’s alternative to HCR is to…insist that only THEY have access to the type of quality plans which HCR’s 2014 exchanges are modeled after (ie repeal voters who demand their congressional health benefits which are similar to what will be available to everyone), and everyone can kick rocks. Oh, and tort reform. And btw, blue states can unmoor ourselves from the more conservative states and experiment with a public option.

    Check and mate.

  74. it鈥檚 funny how the Republicans are NEVER blamed…

    Indeed. Or blamed somewhat, but the disproportionate blame is assessed to the party which is largely trying to do the right thing, with a few outliers being contrarian (Democratic party).

  75. Interesting…In households where there is a union member voters now say they鈥檇 go for Barrett by a 31 point margin, up from the 14 point advantage they gave him in November.

  76. I sincerely hope this analysis is correct:

    Why the government won’t shut down

    Fear of repeating Gingrich’s mistakes runs deep within the Republican leadership. Poll after poll suggests that voters — particularly independents — want President Obama and House Republicans to work together. Obstinance, in any form, could well tip the scales in Democrats’ favor particularly with Obama enjoying the benefits of the bully pulpit….

    Put simply: A government shutdown amounts to a political high-wire act without a net. And that’s why it almost certainly won’t happen.

    Washington Post

  77. Mon Feb 28, 2011 at 12:45 PM PST
    More would blame Congressional GOP than President Obama for gov’t shutdown+*

    by David Nir Follow

    In our State of the Nation poll last week, we asked respondents the following two questions:

    鈥 On March 5th, the federal government will shut down if President Obama and Republicans in Congress cannot agree on a budget. If the government does shut down, who would you blame more: President Obama, the Republicans in Congress, or both equally?

    鈥 Would you consider a shutdown of the federal government to be a good thing or a bad thing for the country?

    Second things first: By a very clear 62-26 margin, voters think that a government shutdown would be a bad thing. This opposition is found consistently across all demographics but one: only teabaggers, by a 47-38 plurality, are in favor of seeing government offices close. (When they say “hands off my Medicare,” they really mean it!) Depth of sentiment does vary between groups: Republicans in general dislike the idea of a shutdown by a 35-50 margin, while Dems are against, 17-71.

    Feelings are a lot more closely divided on the first question, though: Overall, 35% would blame President Obama more for a shutdown, while 41% would find greater fault with Congressional Republicans. The D vs. R divide on this one is predictable, but notably, independents narrowly side against the GOP, 38-33, and self-described moderates blame the GOP even more, by a 48-22 margin.

    source kos front page.

  78. I don’t know. Anybody that would have people like Dick Morris and Markos Moulitsas and Ron Christie and David Keene as staff writers, I’m not really all that impressed.

  79. Do not believe this poll. Someone on Balloon juice said that this poll is connected to Rasmussen/Fox poll. Be caeful.

  80. I think this analysis is wrong in that the GOP have nothing to lose. They need a game changer in order to have a shot at taking the White House in 2012. The power brokers would risk losing the House again should popular opinion blame Boehner and the GOP House because they’ll still control th Senate by way of the Dems not having 60 votes.

    Teabaggers want a shutdown – polls show it.

    I think Boehner is banking on the fact that Obama “blinked” in the Bush extra tax cut extension stand-off and will blink again. Boehner gains nothing with a negotiated settlement, as his teabagger supporters want a shutdown and will think he didn’t cut enough. The Obama Administration wins if there isn’t a shutdown as he looks bi-partisan and a negotiator.

    The potential 2012 presidential candidates are pushing Boehner to force a shutdown – Boehner needs to realize he’s going to be the sacrificial lamb in the party. However he might realize with a strong Obama and a weak Republican a top the 2012 ticket, that the GOP holding the House will be tough as Dems will only need to flip 25 of the 60 seats that the Dems won in 2008 that the GOP took in 2010.

  81. I thoroughly enjoyed President Obama remarks today at the National Governors Association meeting. He was on his game and just making sense as usual. He told the GOP governors a bit of truth about the recovery act, the Affordable Care Act and more.

    But what really made me chuckle was when he went after Mitt Romeny about healthcare reform in Massachusetts. You can just imagine the agita this causes for Romney. Hilarious…..

    President Obama said:

    In fact, I agree with Mitt Romney, who recently said he鈥檚 proud of what he accomplished on health care in Massachusetts and supports giving states the power to determine their own health care solutions. He鈥檚 right. Alabama is not going to have exactly the same needs as Massachusetts or California or North Dakota. We believe in that flexibility.

  82. I can’t stress enough how spectacular it is that the public is standing with unions. This is hugely positive news for both organized and unorganized labor.

  83. I just read this on Facebook. Has anyone else read anything about this?

    “UW Madison Faculty Organizing for Change Gov. Walker has replaced Capitol Police Chief Tubbs with Fitzgerald, head of State Troopers (who was appointed by Walker and is the father of Rep. Fitzgerald and Senator Fitzgerald). This is what autocracy looks like. (Tubbs refused to eject peaceful protesters from the Capitol building last night).”

  84. My question with the Medicare for all is how do we get from here to there? It would require more money put in the front end to do that I thought and since we have no money how do we do that?
    I just got onto Medicare this last month myself due to eligible age. I know money was deducted from my pay for years. Also it is deducted from my Social Security payments or retirement now too. Not sure which as I am currently waiting for my first statements to figure it out.

  85. Wow. Those are very telling numbers. President Obama polls around or at 50% meaning there is over 10% that support the Unions but not the President. Yeah, Obama should have went to Madison and made it a hyper-partisan political issue.

  86. From what I have read from our Canadian friends their healthcare program was instigated in a similar fashion as PPACA. The individual provinces started inacting the overall program of covering everyone. This idea almost mirrors how they got their “public option”.

  87. The Republicans’ plan is simple. Shrink the growing economy by cutting public sector jobs. Public sector jobs are “JOBS” and impact the economy. Why are the Republicans cutting jobs? Why did Boehner say if people lose jobs “so be it”? Because the ONLY chance a Republican has in winning the Presidency in 2012 is if the economy really sucks and even more people are losing jobs. The Republicans don’t care about the harm done to Americans. They want to win. They want power. They want to defeat President Obama. AND the only way they can achieve their goals is to bring down the economy and cause more job loses.

  88. I disagree. The State option is already part of the Affordable Care Act. The only thing that is different is the time it becomes available. It was supposed to start in 2017. Under the provisions of the legislation now introduced, it would become available in 2014 – the same time that the Exchanges start. Massachusetts and Utah are already operating Exchanges and those remain in effect under the ACA. This new option would be comparable.

  89. It has a progressive edge to it. Did you see the episode, when Kathy Bates was doing her closing arguments about drugs she slammed the republicans and Rush limbaugh.

  90. Embarrassing!!! This guy is also the one who introduced the bill about Sharia law. Sometimes I am ashamed of my state. Of course, not the state as a whole. Guess I can say I have a very good idea how lots of people in WI feel.

  91. As a resident of Knoxville, I am also quite embarrassed by the politicians in this state.

  92. Yeah, I read about that Shariah Law Bill in the Tennessean last week. Ever since the GOP has taken total control of the State Legislature, they have been wasting the people’s time by playing politics and introducing ridiculously pointless bills. Typical TNGOP. Can’t believe my former state rep lost to a Repub. named Sheila Butt last year.

  93. Thanks GN for sharing this letter. It seems that working class people are beginning to wake up. Lets hope this trend continues. Republican governors, on a mission to destroy unions, are overreaching and workers are beginning to notice. I hope that many working class whites, who may have been attracted to the Republican Party because of its racial overtones, are now beginning to realize that their heros, the multi-millionaires talk show hosts like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, as well billionaires like the Koch brothers, are not interested in the economic plight of working people.

  94. It’s as clear as a bell. Just not sure why such a large percentage of the population doesn’t get it.

  95. Indeed M4tulips! I think a state like Oregon is likely to opt for a single payer or State public option as part of the Exchange plans offered to the public.

  96. Eggs…actly. What we need to be careful with, is ensuring that they don’t slip into this nonsense “both parties are the same” when in fact had these people voted Dem, there would not be anyone in the governor’s mansion trying to bust up unions. That’s an easy way out for them, “well Dem voters can’t rub our faces in it because they’re no better…” when in fact, the GOP has a demonstrated hostility to the working classes, the poor, and the middle class.

    Great discussion of the GOP’s recent breaking of their social pact with working class white folks at wsy: http://weeseeyou.com/2011/02/27/dismantling-the-commonweal/

  97. Just stunning. This is an organizing triumph IMO. The fact that this unionbusting is unpopular and whichever way it ends can prove costly to the GOP is stunning. The fact that the frame is not “employee versus taxpayer” but “billionaire greeds versus average workers” is amazing. Just stellar organizing and strategy; I bow to the people who created it, some in full light, others under the radar.

  98. Excerpt:


    Anyway, back to the good ole US of A and the processes underway to Dismantle the Commonweal, i.e. destroy the very concept of a Common Good. It used to be that in spite of all our internal conflicts, bitter racial history, wealth inequalities, there was some vague notion of an American common interest; a glue that tied us all to this country and its destiny. That, in fits and starts we were forging a 鈥淢ore Perfect Union鈥. No more.

    How? We are all painfully seeing the brazen power-grab of the likes of Gov. Walker unfolding before our eyes, as well as the protests seeking to stop him in his tracks. What remains under the radar is the nature of the Faustian bargain the Republican wingnuts have struck. Ron Bownstein鈥檚 recent article points out the bi-frontal attack on President Obama鈥檚 policies, with total gridlock from Republicans in congress matched by even more hostile Repug state governors who will simply not ACCEPT any federal largess from Pres. Obama. Period. Brownstein argues that the governors actions are new, since never before have governors felt they could ignore the practical needs of their state residents. But now they have turned into the spear of the hard right assault on our country, consequences be damned. Brownstein鈥檚 somber analysis however does not explain WHY the governors choose to do this, as it is without question uber nihilistic.

    Kevin Drum in his article sums up the 30 year crusade of the wingnut movement to siphon public assets to the oligarchy while simultaneously dismantling the New Deal that has led us to this current assault on public workers. When the Koch brothers鈥 response to the prank call is that they are 鈥渧ictims of the left鈥 who will not rest until this country achieves 鈥渇reedom鈥, they mean the freedom to live in a society where there is no social safety net, no restrictions on corporate greed, no regulation whatsoever , no taxes, just the serfs and their billionaire overlords.


    It really is a piece beyond worth reading, savoring, and joining the commenting about in its entirety.

  99. I agree with you Japa. The President never admitted any failure. Instead he challenged the Governors, Republicans and Democrats, to come up with a better health care system that is both comprehensive and affordable. The way I read it was the President telling the governors that unless they have a better plan, his plan is still the best out there. I am sure the Obama haters will always find away of twisting what he said into a negative. They do that about everything he says or does. So I wouldn’t be surprised if they tried to frame this as his admission of failure. But I just can’t see how they can convincingly, and effectively, argue that his challenge to Republicans and Democrats to come up with a better health care plan than his is somehow an admission of failure.

  100. Issa is just grandstanding. His investigations have no basis in reality; they’re are just show cases to keep his name in the media limelight. I would of course revel in seeing him have an egg on his face after his sham investigations turn up nothing, confirming what the VP said.

  101. What a great article, symmetry; it seems like POTUS says little things and makes little references which go over heads, but are highly highly significant:

    There are national implications to this, as President Obama has recognized in his open criticism of Walker鈥檚 union-busting. During the last presidential election, when Obama and McCain were both asked by The New York Times to name books that had influenced them, I noticed that the then-Senator from Illinois had chosen John Steinbeck. He had not, however, made the safe selection of The Grapes of Wrath: a book everybody has read and which paints the American worker in the sentimental colors of the victim. Instead he chose In Dubious Battle, a neglected and highly politicized novel that stars a Red union organizer in the Salinas Valley during the Depression, and climaxes with a bloody fight between workers and strike-breakers. (The title is taken from Milton鈥檚 Paradise Lost: 鈥淚n dubious battle on the plains of Heaven.鈥)

    I was startled at the time that Obama鈥檚 enemies didn鈥檛 make more of it: they probably didn鈥檛 get the reference. Another dubious battle now impends, in which a part of the Democratic Party鈥檚 traditional heart will be engaged with a part of its politically-calculating head.


    We’re going to spend decades unpacking this Presidency; I’m just in awe to be living through it.

    But back to the main focus; indeed, Walker seems to have grossly underestimated the Wisconsin public, as well as the Madison willingness and effectiveness to take to the streets where the provocation is just so high. I’ve read a bunch of headlines describing this as the biggest protest since the Vietnam War. People are really fed up with the GOP’s unionbusting attempts.

  102. GOP House freshmen draw mixed response at home


    Now, Buerkle and some of her colleagues who visited constituents this week in their home districts are facing reactions ranging from support to mild worry over just the cuts they promised they’d make. Even Buerkle acknowledges some of the cuts she supported were “gut鈥搘renching.”

    “It seems as though recent votes taken would unduly give pain to the poor,” said Janet Muir, a self鈥揹escribed fiscal conservative and one of 300 people who attended a town hall meeting Buerkle hosted here Tuesday. Muir said lawmakers should look to the military and other areas to trim spending.

    “You’ve cut domestic spending in ways that are going to hurt taxpayers,” Muir said. “I would like to see this burden shared with the wealthy.”


    Then why did you vote for the GOP, Ms. Muir? Information is clearing up and people are coming back to reality.

  103. Good points hopefruit! Most importantly Republicans did not have the FOX propaganda network in full force. Poor Democrats, the News channel, MSNBC, that supposedly supports them spends more than half of the time attacking a Democratic President. As the saying goes: “With friends like the PL blogs and many talk show hosts on MSNBC, who needs enemies?”

  104. I’m wondering if the reason why so many people voted GOP last year was driven by a mob mentality. All summer long it was non-stop hate and anger. That riles people up and leaves them vulnerable to make rash decisions. Then, when they’ve acted out and had a chance to calm down and look at the damage they’ve done, remorse sets in. It’s sort of like when looters bring back their stolen property after a riot.

    The shame of it all is that the only way the Republicans can win is by using divisive fear tactics. They can’t win on policy, only irrational behavior.

  105. And…this…is why I have such major problems with the PL especially. Because the runup to November 2010 was a massive misinformation environment along the lines of the runup to the Iraq War. We came online in 2004 and wanted to build up alternative media because of the devastation which ensued when a few untrustworthy information gatekeepers fell like dominoes to the media spin and led Americans into acting against our own best interests based on lies in support of that war. Yet when the GOP riled up the country in response to the groundshaking Obamanation revolution, what did the PL do? Aided and abetted. As exemplified by Huffington who now declares that she don’t even have an ideology. And the sellout was for the same reasons: in a bubble, wanting influence, cynicism, ego.

    Anyone who thinks that we’re just doing a vanity project here, or are wasting time…it is so crucial to build up alternative spaces with real information, because the new media conglomerates do not serve the interests of average Americans, at all.

    /end rant lol, sorry to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but I just can’t stress enough that people need to untether themselves from the editorial control of just some real shadiness

  106. The fact that he challenged them to do it better than he did, knowing that they have no real solutions… well, I think that is a win/win for the President. It would be another thing if he was up against his intellectual equals. On either side.

  107. GN, I don’t think your rant sounds like conspiracy. You simply stated facts. I honestly share your critique of the PL. Even before Obama took the oath of office, sites like HuffPost and FDL, and, to some extent, DKos, were out attacking him and his selection of members of his cabinet. I especially remember Arianna Huffington’s obsessive attacks on Obama for selecting Tim Geitner as Sec. of the Treasury. I also remember wondering about the relationship between Tim and Arianna. The way Arianna Huffington went after Tim Geitner reminded me of wounded lovers. I just could not understand her non-stop attacks on him.

    By the time the right wing recovered from their terrible loses in 2008, the progressive purists were already out in force telling the President what to do and questioning everything that he did. Nothing the President did was good enough for the PL. Nothing!

    Beginning in the Spring and Summer of 2009, right wingers began to mount vigorous opposition to the President. With the aid of the media they began organizing the vocal and extremists teabaggers whose sole raison d’etre was the demonization of the President and the Democrats in Congress.

    Amazingly, at the same time that teabaggers were loudly and aggressively attacking President Obama and the Democrats, the PL’s also stepped up their attacks and demonization of the President. After a while it became increasingly difficult to tell who hated President Obama more: Was it the Teabaggers? Was it the pure progressives at HuffPost, FDL, Dkos? Or, was it the reporters and pundits of the so called MSM?

    What really amazes me is the resilience of President Obama. In spite of all the non-stop attacks from the Left and Right, and from the MSM, 50% or more of the American people still approve the job he is doing.

  108. Oh my goodness!!!!!!!!! You live in Knoxville too. How do we hook up???????

    You probably won’t see this. (It’s Tuesday morning.) I’ll Reply to one of your comments later today.


  109. This is exactly right; exactly right. Remember the alliance with Grover Norquist to attack Rahm Emanuel? Or the nonstop proposals that “true progressives” needed to fight the WH in open alliance with the teabaggers? And these are the same voices which are consolidating leftwing new media and placing them under the editorial control of: (1) a frothing at the mouth anti-POTUS loon; (2) an opportunistic Republican-liberal-Republican flipflopper who runs her own business like a plutocrat with lots of free labor creating huge profits confined only to the elite and financiers; (3) an admittedly less egregious but still impatient, prone to fits of purity, individual with so much venom towards the WH that he famously described the First Lady as “classless” in a tantrum and runs an operation which highly values the purity voice and barely tolerates the voice of unabashed admirers of the best POTUS of this generation.

    These are the leaders of lefty online thought and the information gatekeepers of tons of hapless progressives and liberals.

    I too am just so utterly thankful that so many people don’t believe the lies in some portions of the media, supporting the WH despite being told by the right wing and left wing media that we shouldn’t. And am grateful that bwd is devoting so much blood sweat and tears to create a wonderful alternative alongside several other progressive site visionaries. Just beyond necessary.

  110. Thank you Nathan. This is no conspiracy. Like many others, I was also of the impression that there was an Obama Derangment Syndrome going on with the PL. I also frequently questioned Arianna’s relentless attacks on secretary Geithner, and would jokingly and not-so jokingly make comments on the HP regarding a possible failed romantic relationship as being the source of all this anti-Geithner venom. In addition to Geithner, there was a lot of vitriol from the PL directed at Rahm, Gibbs, Summers, Jarrett and Axelrod. Much less vitriol was directed at Clinton and Biden, which suggested to me that many of these PL gripers were former Clinton or Edwards supporters who made it their business to undermine President Obama by attacking key members of his cabinet.

  111. Thanks Symmetry for the link – this is wonderful. What will the PL say now? I hope our President gets to pick at least one more supreme court justice.

  112. Good mishmash! I had to laugh at this one.


    “Perry though made clear that he thinks the Obama may like to hear himself talk, frequently mentioned how 鈥渓ong鈥 the president took to answer some of the governor鈥檚 questions.”

    Instead of just throwing out catch phrases, President Obama actually answered them and gave them something to think about. I’ll be the president used big words, too!!! LOL!!!!

    This just shows what President Obama said in answer to O’Reily’s question about people hating him. The president said they don’t know him. And it sounds like a lot of these Republicans have been watching Fox News or hearing their own bs and now they are finding out that he’s not only a good man, but he wants to help them do their jobs right and wants to help the people of this country.

    What the president of this country wants for the governors will actually help them provide for the citizens of their states and help the people of this country.

    I think he’s a truly great president.

  113. “…. the interpretation of the law is expressly an executive responsibility under the Constitution. Laws are not self-executing; if they were, we would not need an executive branch at all. Federalist arguments at the time of ratification make it clear that the Founders generally assumed that the president would exercise discretion in seeing that legislation not violate the Constitution. (It was assumed, for example, that unconstitutionality was the only valid grounds for a veto.) Whereas the judicial branch’s power to interpret or nullify laws in light of their constitutional standing is nowhere mentioned in the Constitution.

    The Obama administration’s action here is just about perfect: In the federal circuit in question, there is no settled judicial interpretation of the potentially contradicting constitutional and statutory issues, so in defending the case the executive must exercise discretion as to how to interpret and apply the relevant constitutional and statutory standards. Asserting that DOMA did not violate constitutional and statutory equal-protection standards would itself be an interpretation and a nullification of other federal statutes. A conflict exists, no court with direct authority on the case has offered an interpretation settling the conflict, and so the executive branch must do so. The judicial branch will still have final say when the case is heard.

    Had the administration taken this approach in another circuit, or had it issued some kind of order halting federal enforcement of the law by executive fiat, that would have been an inappropriate usurpation akin to the worst of Bush’s signing statements. But it did not. A specific case called for executive discretion, which the executive exercised, and presumably if the court rules otherwise, the executive branch will obey the court. That’s the system working exactly as it should.”

  114. right. It’s really not hard to see a difference between the two. For example, what democratic governor do you know wants to end collective bargaining? or refuse stimulus money for high speed rail and create jobs?

  115. Loved that line, and many others in his “chat” with governors. Indeed, he schooled on many things, including realities of health care, with facts and humor. Yet, typically, the only thing I’ve seen covered in the news were his comments on unions. Glad someone can handle more than one important topic at a time.

  116. It would also take one of their huge issues off the table for 2012, brilliant move, he is so good at playing chess, they are left in the dust.This man was born for this job!

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