I think I need a cigarette (Updated with video)

Did you guys see this performance? Did you see this amazing bastard clean the floor with just about everyone out there?! IMO, this was one of his best speeches as president. It was marvelous and brought me to tears more than once. I’m still a little shaky.



Jonathan Bernstein:

Liberals have wanted a full-throated affirmation of why government is a good thing? Obama delivered, with perhaps his strongest case for a liberal vision of government that he’s given so far during his presidency.

Liberals wanted some strong pushback against the substance of Paul Ryan’s budget? That’s what Obama delivered, describing what will soon be the House GOP budget as a tradeoff between health care on the one hand (for seniors, the disabled, the poor) and tax cuts for the wealthy on the other.

Liberals like to think of themselves as the grown-ups of the budget debate? Obama gave both a budget history lesson and some facts about the composition of the budget that positioned himself — and liberals — as serious, compared to those who talk about waste, abuse, and foreign aid.

And then, liberals are paranoid highly suspicious that any changes at all in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security put those programs on a slippery slope to, basically, full repeal? Obama challenged them to, basically, knock it off, and buy into the idea that reform doesn’t mean weakening those programs.

That’s what I heard.


Steve Benen:

As heartening as it was to hear President Obama’s full-throated condemnation of the House Republican budget plan — he didn’t pull any punches — what made his remarks this afternoon especially satisfying was his defense of the progressive vision.

The point of the remarks was primarily to advance two goals: explain why Paul Ryan’s radical proposal must be rejected and present a “balanced” alternative towards long-term deficit reduction.

But along the way, the president made a point of reminding his audience that government, the institutions of the modern welfare state, and the modern social compact are worthy of a spirited defense. Indeed, to hear Obama tell it, the progressive vision is the American vision.


The “sellout of the left” this wasn’t. What we saw today was an unapologetic defense of a progressive vision of government, cased in terms that were equal parts moral and pragmatic. America doesn’t hear it often enough, and Obama delivered it with passion and conviction today.


John Cole:

Not sure if you are watching, but all the chicken little shit about Obama going after Medicare and Medicaid seems to have been, well, a little premature (which now means the usual suspects will spend the next few days furiously congratulating themselves that their outcry on blogs is what changed Obama’s mind). Obama is also simply taking it to the Ryan plan, pointing out what a joke it is. He can barely suppress a laugh as he repeatedly points out how unserious it actually is.




Substance: Much better than many of us feared. Hardly any Bowles-Simpson — yay!

The actual plan relies on some discretionary spending cuts, this time including defense — good, although I think too much is being cut from domestic spending. It relies on letting the Bush tax cuts for the rich expire — finally! — plus unspecified reductions in tax expenditures.


Overall, way better than the rumors and trial balloons. I can live with this. And whatever the pundits may say, it was much, much more serious than the Ryan “plan”.


321 thoughts on “I think I need a cigarette (Updated with video)

  1. This was a terrific speech, and a masterful oratorical backhand of the Republicans – and also one against the various frustrati and PL who have been whining. I loved the very pragmatic statement about showing that it works – in other words, yes, we can do this, but we also have to show that it does what it’s supposed to do.

  2. OMG, BWD! You gave me the greatest snicker that I have had in a long, long, time. I was just dissecting an excerpting PBO’s speech, and having a blast highlighting its brilliance. The speech was downright yummy, historic, informative, insulting and in-your-face to the Repubs and solid as a rock.

    I am so absolutely proud that Obama is President of the United States of America. One of many of my favorite quotes is as follows:

    “They want to give people like me a two hundred thousand dollar tax cut that’s paid for by asking thirty three seniors to each pay six thousand dollars more in health costs? That’s not right, and it’s not going to happen as long as I’m President.”

  3. Why must they continue to doubt this president? He, once again, hit it out the park!

  4. Can’t believe that I cried through much of the speech. A pragmatic approach to dealing with the budget and an affirmation of out commitment to care for our society as a whole. Simply he is the man I voted for and the man I have wanted to vote for for the past 55 years.

  5. He was simply brilliant. He gave a history lesson on how we arrived at this point via Bush’s tax give sways of Clintons surplus. He explained why Paul Ryan’s plan is laughable, then explained in simple terms why tax cuts for the wealthy are unacceptable when asking everyone else to sacrifice, i.e., you can’t ask 33 seniors to pay for each millionaire to receive a tax cut. Magnificent stuff.

    I think I’m fired up….

  6. As I was on the reference desk, I relied on you guys for the gist of the speech. Man. I’m getting a contact high simply from the comments on here.

  7. Loved the speech! Loved the stark terms about millionaires & billionaires. Now I’d like to see that reflected in policy. We need to return to a truly progressive income tax. One that doesn’t top out at $400,000, and one where the discussion of taxing “the wealthy” doesn’t begin and end at $200,000.
    You want to tick up the marginal rates on those earning $200,000, fine, but then for those making $2 million add a few more % points, and more for those making $20 million & $200 million & $2 Billion.

    God Bless President Obama!

  8. Folks, I missed it all. And he had to give this speech today of all days when I am teaching all day and well into the evening. Well I will just have to watch it after 9:00 PM .

    But the reactions of the fauxgressives do not surprise me…. They will relax now until the next hour when they will find their new outrage du jour.

  9. I simply love how he eloquently weaved in the words Progressive Vision 🙂 ahhhhh!

  10. From downtown…I mean, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…BANG!(Missing KO, bad, today)
    Paul Ryan, who?
    Numfar, do the dance of electoral joy

  11. I think Obama will be seen as the “liberal Reagan”. Just as Reagan transformed the politics of this country towards a much more conservative bent — much to its detriment — PBO is attempting — and I think he will succeed — to turn them back to the left. It won’t be the same “left” of the liberal consensus of the 1930s – 1970s; it’ll be one that’s updated for the 21st century, and the globalized world in which we live. The Chinese curse is turning out to be a blessing: May you live in interesting times.

  12. LOL@ I think I need a cigarette. PBO knocked it outta de park. Thanks for the pics, BWD.

  13. At the end of the day, what I got from the President’ speech is that he cares about me and my family and will fight for us. He’s just awesome!

  14. By the way, I thought that the so-called “liberals/progressives” said yesterday that he was going to give-away Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Instead, he said the following:

    “But let me be absolutely clear: I will preserve these health care programs as a promise we make to each other in this society. I will not allow Medicare to become a voucher program that leaves seniors at the mercy of the insurance industry, with a shrinking benefit to pay for rising costs. I will not tell families with children who have disabilities that they have to fend for themselves. We will reform these programs, but we will not abandon the fundamental commitment this country has kept for generations.

    That includes, by the way, our commitment to Social Security. While Social Security is not the cause of our deficit, it faces real long-term challenges in a country that is growing older. As I said in the State of the Union, both parties should work together now to strengthen Social Security for future generations. But we must do it without putting at risk current retirees, the most vulnerable, or people with disabilities; without slashing benefits for future generations; and without subjecting Americans’ guaranteed retirement income to the whims of the stock market.”

    Oh well. Maybe next time (NOT!)

  15. I’m obviously way excited and fired up. But I just have to say how brilliant it was for PBO to through their hero, Ronald Reagan, in their faces by saying:

    “The fact is, their vision is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in America. As Ronald Reagan’s own budget director said, there’s nothing “serious” or “courageous” about this plan. There’s nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. There’s nothing courageous about asking for sacrifice from those who can least afford it and don’t have any clout on Capitol Hill. And this is not a vision of the America I know.”

  16. Our President was calm, relaxed, and focused.
    What a brilliant man we have been blessed with as our POTUS. He even threw a little sweet humor at his extrodinary VPOTUS. I love my President. He took care of the business that he came to take care of this afternoon. How many times does this President have to tell the boys and girls to behave and start taking the business of this nation seriously. How many times does this President have to take them and after snack and nap time to be nice, and now get your work done the correctly. How many times do these men and women of Congress need to sick and read over and over what the President has already said to me. Just how many times do these people need to realize that we have a President in charge and he knows how to get the job done. You do not “play”this President. No way, no time, no place, and not in this Presidency. Thank God for a caring, intelligent, compassionate, focused, and humble man in the Oval Office.

  17. Paul Ryan and the republicans were pissed. He and the republicans said that he lacked a serious plan and what he aid was untrue, partisan, and campaign rhetoric. LOL !

    They know that President Obama ate their lunch again. And that their plan is a joke.

  18. Man, that was some speech. He absolutely destroyed Ryan’s plan and now the GOP are running around hysterically whining that their plan is the “serious” one. Good luck with that.

  19. He’s masterful, isn’t he? He always rises to the occasion, and then some. I saw the fun he was having too. He’s right, we know it, he knows it. Again—the only adult in the room. True, truer, truest.

  20. I think after this speech, every single GOP goon planning on running for President just said: “Shit, this is really gonna’ suck.”

  21. Glad he pointed out that SS has nothhing to do with the current deficit. Bringing truth to the fore.

  22. The Republicant’s just wrapped up his press conference. J’Orange said “Ryan’s Budget or bust,” while Cantor decried that “they are leading,” but they just “wish the President would.” They said he is setting up another “commission to put his speech into an actual proposal.” Then of course they are blaming you know that 12% spending on the deficit problem while causing “tax hikes(on the wealthy I might add) a non starter.”

  23. We are BLESSED to have this GREAT MAN represent us, and to lead us into a better future for us and our children. Thank You GOD for this great gift. You do work in great mysterious ways.

  24. I agree. I always pictured Obama as a transformational president and he has been so far and I expect more great things into his second term.

    FDR and Reagan were presidents that lead to a change in political direction and philosophy.
    Obama knows that you can’t get 100% of what you want and no president or party has but this president is moving this country in a center left direction.

    A form of liberalism for the 21st century not the liberalism of the past.

  25. Yes, dcsandy. Throughout the entire speech that is the message that I received from the President. Listen up boys and girls, it will not be the way you are spinning it. This is the way it will be done. No playing games with me anymore, you have hit a nerve too long now, plus your have not gone to the intelligent, practical, compassionate, clear-minded, logical, and just plain common-sense doctors to fix this open sore that is eating up the people who do not deserve to be thrown under the bus any long. “Enough!” “You all do not want me to go off up in this place, okay? Now have a nice day ladies and gentlemen.” You go on Mr. President.

  26. I know right. WE have to acknowledge how we got to where we got,soe that we can see where we are now, before we can set goals to move forward. It’s called stopped traveling down that river in Egypt called DENIAL.

  27. That is exactly what I thought. They continue to make judgments and doubt him before he even opens his mouth.

    I am sooooooooo sick of it.

    Trust the man, he knows what he is doing.

  28. Zizi, I hope that you will be able to see the speech after your long day of work. Get you a nice glass of wine, sparkling cider, or a nice cup of tea, relax and enjoy your brilliant President. He did knock it OUT of the park while being so cool and collective. Enjoy.

  29. Well, in their minds “serious” means good for the top 1% and pain for everyone else with a bonus of getting rid of all social contract items like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and hopefully dismantling all consumer and worker protections. Anything else is not serious. So what if no one agrees with them? Those people aren’t “serious” either so they don’t have to listen. (covering their ears, closing their eyes and repeating “I can’t hear you” over and over).

  30. Hey BWD, I posted a youtube link in the comments. Please let me know if this isn’t the right thing to do. Thanks.

  31. He served them with a quote from Reagan’s budget director????

    Oh my. That will hurt. LMAO!

  32. Such a seemingly simple concept but so hard for so many to understand. They don’t want progress they want utopia.

  33. Good. Let them go all in on the draconian Ryan Budget. Let them wrap their arms around giving tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires while forcing old timers to pay $6000 more for their healthcare. Let them celebrate not cutting a dime from the DOD, but massacre education spending. This is a debate we should all relish.

    I worry about the conservadems in the Senate though, McCaskill, Nelson, Landrieu undercutting the message though.

    I hope PBO is on the road repeating this message again and again in the upcoming days and weeks.

  34. They know the president scored a direct hit on their plan when he said he didn’t want 33 seniors to pay $6000 more for health care so he could get $200,000 more in tax cuts. Because that’s what their oh so serious plan does. They thought they could cover that up and that no one would dare point it out in such straightforward way.

  35. As the multiple pictures on the intertubes say: “Everyone, chill the f*** out! I got this.”

    Maybe now people in the Dem caucus will have his back.

  36. I was thinking more along the lines of smoosh, but backhand is much better.

  37. Just wait until Simpson starts in on them. Attacking this long term budget is attacking the Simpson/Bowles Fiscal Commission findings. Simpson doesn’t suffer fools lightly.

  38. That damn speech was saweeeeeeeeeeeeet. Paul Ryan and his croonies need to take the bill and shove it up his ass cause it is DOA of getting passed. If he is serious about the deficits he needs to sit his ass down with both sides to start trying fix this problem. EVERYTHING needs to be put on the table without sacrificing this country’s future.

  39. Yes, I could feel that also in my spirit BWD. He looked and sounded like he was having delight in speaking for those who do not seem to have a voice except for him. And now once again, he had to take all of the non-listeners, and off-taskers back to the drawing table with complete confidence. I hope others came away with a calmness, and assurance, and faith that he will get it done for the people who are so much in need righ now and will be in the future. Thank you, Mr. President.

  40. I am pretty sure that he will take his message directly to the people. And as long as those 3 in the Senate confine themselves to bashing Ryan’s plan, which even they should be able to do, and not undercut what Obama is saying, that’s fine with me.

  41. Really. The republicans put out a loser of a plan that relies on a very pessimistic view of our country’s future and the President just pointed that out to the nation. But let them cling to it and champion it as much as possible because the more they do, the more it will hurt their party.

  42. This is why I think he just wanted to get that budget deal over with, and start this debate. This is so classic. And it’s golden campaign material.

  43. Yes, this country has a short attention span, if no one reminds them, the GOP would convince half the country that president Obama created this deficit.

  44. OMG, everyone, I can’t wait to get home and watch this. I can’t tell you for those of us who couldn’t watch it this was an amazing place to come and see what was happening!

    Thank you BWD and everyone for your insights.

    They are very much appreciated!

  45. Oh yes he did! He threw their “hero” in their faces, and in the faces of the media. And by the way – internationally!

  46. Finally a thoughtful and thorough look at the federal budget. And an affirmation of a positve view of America.

    After I finished applauding- I sent my first donation

  47. Cantor said he “wished the President would lead”?

    Do you hear that “progressive” lurkers? Cantor is using your words. Now, are you going to continue to give the Republicans talking points or are you going to get on board with the Democrats? Because you have been and are still being played by the Republicans and you don’t even realize it. Go ahead and try to justify your actions and words from the past two years, and know that it ain’t gonna work. Not around here.

    So, who are you going to align yourselves with? Those of the Ryan Plan or Democrats?

  48. Here’s my quick missive to the WH:

    I just finished watching Pres. Obama’s speech. I can’t even begin to express how happy I was with it. His plan deals seriously with our out-of-control budget deficits — deficits that he inherited from the previous administration — while making good the promise of the social compact, without which this country would descend into Third World status. I want to express my gratitude and support.

  49. McCaskill must be needing a lot of money. I swear the woman has written to me 30 times in the last two days. She needs to look and see which side of the bread the butter is on.

  50. The other thing about “getting the budget deal” over with, is that it was a set up for his part about needing to be able to afford progressive programs and to make sure money spent on those programs is spent efficiently.

    Plus, it takes away the “pie in the sky” meme that he isn’t serious about the deficit, which gives this speech and plan more credibility.

  51. That’s what I think as well, the president needed to get last year’s budget out of the way with the fewest cuts possible, the hammer the wing nuts today.

  52. On Monday, after writing an Op-Ed about Prof Krugman that I submitted to the NYT (no delusion here, they’ll never publish it, but I have honored their stipulation to give them three days to respond and will then share it with all of you), I wrote the following at TPV.

    I am not sharing it to pat myself on the shoulder. To the contrary, I’m simply sharing it as an example of what a citizen who pays attention to the actions of our President, not just his words, felt quite comfortable predicting.

    In other words, I’m saying that an open, hyper-critical mind (I’m a scientist), a person who has serious concerns about the President’s approach to Afghanistan, but has the discipline merely to observe the behavior of our President, had very little trouble perceiving his depth of understanding, empathy, balanced decision making and honest leadership that he consistently brings to every issue.

    Those whom distort and ‘whinge’ do so at the total expense of any their credibility and intelligence. The frustrati/PL are bankrupt and it is time to foreclose on them.

    So, here goes:

    A tad bit of completely humble speculation, i.e., I have no crystal ball and have zero delusions about having any special insights.

    President Obama knows that Medicare and Social Security are essential components of a stable American society.

    He also knows that our defense budget is off the rails and has been since the end of the Korean war (relative to other countries).

    He knows the Republicans have one agenda – protecting the wealthy at any cost to the every other American.

    When you have an adversary that is that inelastic, that brittle you have so many different ways to ablate them.

    A rather simple way for the President to proceed is to say to all Americans, here’s the deal. Our parents and grandparents busted their butts to give us the America we all have enjoyed these past few decades. Are we going to torment them in the remaining years of their life with the daily worry of where their next meal is going to come from, how they are going to pay for their medication, can they keep a roof over their heads. Is that how we show our gratitude for all they sacrificed for us.

    Pivot to we have seen the gap between those with almost everything and those with not enough to survive widen so greatly in the past decade we are looking at not only a default on our responsibilities to our parents and grandparents but to the very stability of our democratic society – the single biggest threat to our national security we could ever imagine.

    So, here’s the deal, I’m going to ask those with the most – individuals and corporations – to do the ethical, honorable and kindly thing for all those who worked so hard to bring us to where we are today and for the young folk who are our tomorrow. You need to pay your fair share – no more, no less – and we all know what fair looks like.

    We will examine every aspect of Medicare, Medicaid, but also, way more importantly, our Defense budget and other major mandatory expenditures to remove any expense that is either wasteful, ineffective, or unnecessary.

    I’ll never pretend to even have an ounce of the wisdom and skill that President Obama has, but that would be the way I’d proceed. Open the dialogue with all Americans and place the onus on those who have (literally) everything to reflect on their insatiable greed and start behaving like responsible citizens because that is the only way their wealth and privilege have any chance of sustainability. Call it enlightened selfishness, or whatever, but President Obama must know he cannot put anymore burden on the bulk of Americans – they simply have been exploited by the few, too long.


    Thank you, again, BWD for creating a community of thoughtful, respectfully critical thinking, fellow citizens.

  53. Norbrook, very perfectly stated.

    BWD, can I join you. I feel like I just shot up. I am having a difficult time keeping my feet on the ground.

  54. They have already come close to it. And they have convinced more than half the country that he created the bank bail-out. And we know almost 30% either believe he was not born here or at least have doubts about it.

  55. Mr. Cantor lied on the President yesterday with that same comment. Also about “having to drag the president to the table even while the president was kicking and screaming. Mr. Cantor, if I were you, I would find some other odd language to describe the President of the United States attending an important meeting that he called. He just has to simply walk into the room, and that his history. So if you want to make history, and become the best President ever, study, work hard, stop chasing the Speaker’s job, and stop lying on the President. Oh, and please have them to write you some new “talking points for the rest of the week.” Thank you, Mr. Cantor. Now Get Over It. He is the President of the United States, and a mighty fine one at that(mentally and physically, ladies.)

  56. “Backhand?”

    This was more like: All you butt heads can kiss my plastic Jesus! Well, that’s what I might have said but he is smarter and more polite than I am. It’s a good thing I’m not President and PBO is.

    This was a real challenge to both Left and Right. He is really, “the only adult in the room.”

    ♥ Mr. President! This is just reason why I have your back all the way!

  57. Absolutely an amazing speech indeed. Oh my, what are they going to say? why don’t I have faith they will come back tomorrow and do their thing…ugh.

    Thank you for the round up BWD.


  58. I told him it was a grand slam home run of a speech, and then I got that captcha thing right on the first try. Must be providence. A glorious day all around.

  59. Nicholas Kristof on Facebook:

    Watching the speech by President Obama right now. I agree with him on the need not to fund tax cuts for the wealthiest by slashing benefits for the neediest Americans. But mostly, I’m thinking: Wow, it’s a relief that we have a president who is smart, who is a grown-up, who doesn’t insult our intelligence.

  60. In the second vid (2 of 3) posted above at 11:20 – 11:36 in President Obama rattles off seven “We Will’s” that needs to be edited out into a smaller clip for easier distribution.

    “We will invest in medical research,
    We will invest in clean energy technology,
    We will invest in new roads and airports and broadband access,
    We will invest in education,
    We will invest in job training,
    we will do what we need to do to compete,
    And we will win the future.”

  61. I think that most Americans will “get that.” I already talk with lots of people who have gotten benefits from what he has done and credit PBO for getting it.

    This was a great speech.

  62. So, I had a spare moment at the reference desk this morning, and I was wondering from whence came the word “pundit”. I assumed it was from the Hindi “pandit”, but went to my trusty Wikipedia to confirm.

    The term originates from the Hindi term pandit, which in turn originates from the Sanskrit (a language from ancient India) term paṇḍitá, meaning “learned” (see also Pandit). It refers to someone who is erudite in various subjects and who conducts religious ceremonies and offers counsel to the king.

    So, I think that explains more than a bit of the punditry’s gobsmacking self-centeredness: they do consider themselves “learned” enough to counsel the president, and are just furious that their “counsel” is roundly ignored. Not only is it ignored, but it’s proven over and again that their advice would’ve led us into a worse place.

    I would here like to thank J.R.R. Tolkien for my abiding interest in philology and word origins.

  63. We so desperately need to bring broadband costs down. I have a 12 mb download speed internet connection from AT&T, for which I pay $50 a month. If I lived in the UK, for pretty much the same price I could get a 30 mb line, phone, and digital television. That just incensed me when I did the comparison.

  64. Watched it. Loved it. The President stated his case beautifully for building a future we can be proud of while cutting the deficit back to manageable proportions. He’s still five moves ahead of the other guys and he’s still playing chess while they are fumbling with tiddly winks. Wow.

  65. I am still awestruck by this speech.
    As I said on the last thread, our President shone his brilliance and cut through the fog of ignorance that is blanketing some of the feeble-minded out there.

    Thanks for this work of art PBO. Educator-in Chief is what you are and we are the better off for it.

    WE will never have this experience in our lifetime again folks so enjoy the ride.

    BWD…cigarette comment was hilarious. Thanks for the laugh.

  66. I saw it right after I dropped teh link. LOL You’re quick woman. And you’re doing an awesome job! Thanks for all that you’re doing for our POTUS, BWD.

  67. It seems that both the democrats and the republicans want PBO to do their job for them. When the 64 senators sent the letter to the president about the budget, complaining about him keeping himself at a distance, I thought that was a very good decision on his part. Had he become too involved too soon, he would have been attacked by both parties. It would have allowed rw media to use their “dictator” and “takeover” claims again. PBO neutered both sides. He can’t be head of the executive and legislative branches at the same time. I think he played it just right. He gave them the time to iron out the differences and stepped in when things stalled. It seems that PBO understands the way the government is supposed to work better than the members of Congress.

  68. Nonie, Ryan and nem knew that nonsensical bill he concocted did NOT stand a snowball’s chance in HELL of passing. Ryan wanted to show everybody how big his balls are. NOT!

  69. Front page of CBS news

    It’s on: Obama takes iron fist to GOP

    “Mr. Obama’s speech was striking not for the details of his plan as much as the way he set up the choice between his proposal and the one offered by the GOP. Mr. Obama said his plan to save $4 trillion over 12 years was grounded in staying true to the idea that “each one of us deserves some basic measure of security and dignity.”

    And that, he said, means protecting the social safety net – Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and unemployment insurance – even while reforming the programs involved. Those programs, he said, are integral to America’s exceptionalism. “We would not be a great country without those commitments,” argued the president.”


    Only 9 comments so far, time to let our voices be heard.

  70. If not, they’ll probably will have to explain to many constituents *why* they don’t.

  71. Here’s what I said:

    Thank you Mr President for thinking of all the people and not just a few. You might believe, if you read the pundits and watch MSM, that we ordinary people don’t appreciate what you do or how difficult your job is.

    This isn’t true at all. So many of us support you every day, trust you to guide us through some difficult times and believe you when you say you are working for a better future for all of us. We’ve got your back Mr President.

  72. THIS: “But mostly, I’m thinking: Wow, it’s a relief that we have a president who is smart, who is a grown-up, who doesn’t insult our intelligence.”<

  73. Heads up, folks. The new distraction: focusing on VP Biden’s nodding off during Obama’s speech. They’re going to be talking about nothing but that for the rest of the week. I swear, it’s always something.

  74. I love it!

    In the words of Ice Cube, “I have to say, today was a good day.”

  75. They wouldn’t know Utopia if they landed on it in a big cargo crate with “Ship to Utopia” stenciled on it.

    All they know is complaining. I think most of them are fakes anyway. The kind of ugliness they’re ginnng up on the other sites just doesn’t ring true for progressives or liberals.

  76. Light up another cigarette, BWD. I posted this on the mish mash, but it deserves a second post:

    Israel’s attorney general has announced that the foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, will be indicted on corruption charges but will be allowed a standard final hearing before he is charged.

    Lieberman, a hardline member of Binyamin Netanyahu’s cabinet, has been under investigation on various charges for years.

    The attorney general’s office said Lieberman would be indicted on charges of fraud, breach of trust, aggravated fraud, money laundering and harassing a witness.


    We may get peace in the ME yet.

  77. Just so we don’t forget what’s happening in the Middle East, here’s a quick rundown on the Libya conference today in Qatar:

    – A political solution is the only way to bring lasting peace to Libya and reaffirmed their strong commitment to the sovereignty, indpendence, territorial integrity and national unity of libya

    – United in believing that Gaddafi’s continued presence would treaten any resolution of the crisis

    – Participants agreed the need to monitor any potential threat from “extremist elements” who could seek to take advantage of the situation in Libya

    – Participants noted that Gaddafi’s regime was weakening as his followers left him

    – Participants support eforts of the UN to help the Libyan people develop a political transition plan, consitutional and electoral processes.

    – Participants agreed to continue to provide support to the opposition including material support and humanitarian aid.

    – Participants agree that a temporary financial mechanism could provide method for the inc and intl community to manage revenue to assist with the short term financial requirement and structural need in libya

    – Participants said approx 3.6million people could need humanitarian assistance.

    And from one of the Twitter feeds I follow: Let’s see if the Syrian government will open fire on a march with grandmothers, women and children only. #EpicGranny #Syria

  78. It’s always something petty because they can’t attack him on substance. They know he wins if people concentrate on his message so they do all they can to distract from that. It’s our job to keep pushing the substance back up to the top of the discussion. Just laugh at their obvious attempts to change the subject and let them know we see that they can’t win in an argument over what the president said and that is why they are trying to bring up extraneous matters.

  79. Hopefully it will be someone who ran on Obama’s legacy, much as Democrats ran on FDR’s legacy after his death.

  80. Not sure if it was the Arab Awakening, but something sure just touched Lieberman hard. This should bring down the government, hopefully with a better, more balanced one to come.

  81. Joe shouldn’t have eaten at all before the speech LOL ! He should come up in the press room tomorrow and joke that he knew all the speech by heart ( which is surely true… ) !!!

  82. For lunch today I had the President’s speech and the pleasure of injesting every nugget. I’m still “eating”. Here is a special gem that I somehow overlooked. It speaks directly to the fake progressives/liberals and calls them out ‘professionallly’ and with a great deal of wisdom:

    “Indeed, to those in my own party, I say that if we truly believe in a progressive vision of our society, we have the obligation to prove that we can afford our commitments.

    If we believe that government can make a difference in people’s lives, we have the obligation to prove that it works – by making government smarter, leaner and more effective.”

  83. How hilarious would it be if they never get a candidate to run (into the ground)?!?! LOL!

  84. I have learned, quite early in President Obama’s administration, to not jump to conclusions about the president’s motives. It amazes and irritates me when I hear liberals wailing and gnashing their teeth, tearing their clothes and pouring ashes over their heads in fear that President Obama is “selling them out”. It happens every time the man makes a decision and/or comment and every time, after all is explained, the hyperbole was for nothing.

    I always thought liberals were the smart ones but after the last 3 years I’m really beginning to wonder. They still haven’t figured out that this president really does have their best interests in mind when he makes decisions. Maybe it’s PTSD from all those years of Bush/Cheney but damn!

    Anyway, waiting for break time to watch the speech. I love this president and I’m proud to call him my president. Do I agree with everything he does? Of course not, but that doesn’t mean I have to dislike him, it only means we don’t agree on everything. Which makes him like every other human in my life.

    He’s still the best president I’ve seen in my 53 years!

  85. The PL had me all psyched up that the prez was gonna cave and capitulate. He was gonna cut Medicare for my mom. I was so surprised by his TONE! He came out swinging and I can just see the commercials now – GOP wants to cut medicare to give the prez a tax cut.
    Simply brilliant!

  86. A 3 pointer over, and over he never misses, very classic, smart and a show of knowledge of history so mr president you are the BEST, thank you. thank you thank you.

  87. Have you pointed that out to her? I would. They need to hear from their constituents.

  88. I know the origin of the word (Pandit Jawarhal Nehru), but I always thought it was used ironically in terms of “news” commentators. You mean it’s not?

  89. More from Wikipedia:

    In the English-speaking West, pundits write signed articles in print media (blurbs included), and appear on radio, television, or the internet with opinions on current events. Television pundits may also be referred to as talking heads. In a BBC television interview following the murder of John Lennon, former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson insisted that in selecting the Beatles for OBEs, he was acting on his belief that the pop group was doing something new that ‘the pundits’ (by which he presumably meant people such as newspaper music critics) had not recognised. This derogatory use of the word is an indication of the low esteem in which commentators (particularly cultural commentators) are held in Britain (particularly by politicians).

    So the Brits look down on them. And the way they’ve been behaving the past two years, I think their sale by date is coming due here as well.

    But to answer your question, no, at first — and even now — the word wasn’t used ironically.

  90. As always, the President delivered another great speech that encapsulate the major issue of the moment such as he did with the speech on race relation, the speech when he lost the New Hampshire primary, the speech in Arizona, etc. It is unhealthy for the rightwing and the PL to continue try and prejudge this wise man.

    He makes them look like fools every time. Don’t expect any of them (in particular the PL) to come back and apologize for their ignorant behavior. That was an absolute marvelous speech.

  91. “…we are looking at one budget that won’t work, and one budget that might.”

    ” Obama’s budget, aware that it might not pass and, if it does pass, it might not work, proposes to make automatic cuts to discretionary spending and tax expenditures if the promised savings don’t materialize. If Ryan’s budget falls shorts, there’s no comparable failsafe. That is to say, Obama’s budget has two plausible ways to get to its number, while Ryan’s budget has none.”


  92. Frum’s piece is right on. Ryan is such a true believer that he gave President Obama and the Dems exactly what they needed. Ryan served up both tax cuts for the rich and cutting medicare/medicaid in the same breath. He made the linking of the two for the Dems, made it impossible to run away from. In the past the GOP was smart enough to try one or the other and try and frame it accordingly – Tax cuts are good for rich folks for trickle down economics or entitlement cuts are necessary because our debt is out of control. Ryan puts them both out in the same budget and hangs it plainly for all to see – GOP wants to give tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires on the backs of retirees and the poor.

    Ryan’s Budget is a gift to Democrats – we just have to keep our fingers crossed that Plouffe has his messaging machine ready to roll out as soon as tonight/tomorrow morning. If we play our cards right, the Ryan Budget could be a game changer.

  93. Allow me to be a geek, but Plouffe is a Jedi Knight compared to Rove’s Sith Lord. And the Jedi eventually win. 🙂 I would be gobsmacked if Plouffe hasn’t already tested out lines of attack/messaging.

  94. Poor Mitt Romney, he has such poor timing. It was just yesterday when he launched his exploratory committee and was quoted saying this about President Obama and his administration:

    He criticized Obama’s stewardship of the economy and offered a preview of his expected campaign theme: Romney is a proven business executive while Obama remains unqualified to lead.

    “(Obama) and virtually all the people around him have never worked in the real economy. They just don’t know how jobs are created in the private sector,” Romney said.

    I hope Mitt took notes today because the speech President Obama gave was a lesson in leadership. There’s no doubt about it. It’s the OBAMA DOCTRINE. Suck on that Mitt.


  95. Poor Joe is probably exhausted from last week. I’m sure he worked his buns off with little sleep. He isn’t a young man.

  96. He’ll have time to spread this message across the country…it’s not like he’s going to be signing any legislation.

  97. This was a brilliant speech. I can’t really add anything to what has already been said.

    As for the PL, I took a peek over yonder to see what the reaction was. And I was pleasantly surprised to see one of the usual critics on Old Orange (TomP) AGAIN with a top rec’d diary titled “I’m all In!” praising the President’s speech, and announcing that he has donated to Obama’s re-election campaign…WOW.

  98. Prescient. You really predicted this perfectly. By doing nothing more than observing President Obama, who is so consistent that he’s near-boring.

    Excellent piece of writing, bob.

  99. How the ‘mighty’ will fall. Thanks Granny for sharing that. Pax vos biscum.

  100. LOL…Watching Katie Couric now and she said that the president extended his hand to the Republicans but instead of giving a olive branch he was swinging a baseball bat ……LMAO…best line of the day.

  101. Here’s to PM Zipi Livni soon! I wonder how Ehud Barak feels now about his decision to abandon Labour.

  102. So much is happening in the world right now that it’s hard to keep track of it all.

  103. Mitt’s Bain Capital also benefited from using off-shore tax shelters in the past.

    President Obama has run the country for the past two years, Romney’s attack plan would have made much more sense in 2008 – but the GOP had already decided to run with McCain on his FP experience – and then the economy crashed.

    Let’s keep passing this around as well – http://multiplechoicemitt.com/

    Also I read somewhere that Pawlenty launched yesterday or today as well. Didn’t seem to register much fanfare.

  104. I am just a little perplexed as to why our president had to make this speech at all. It should have been the duty of Harry Reid. I believe that the far left of the progressive wing of the Democratic party have scared the Democratic congress, and our president had to once again become the only adult in the room.

    Congress is the 2nd branch of our government, that’s been granted by the constitution the ability to enact laws,and Harry Reid, being the Senate majority leader, should have told Paul Ryan, not only no, but hell no, in a press conference.

    Al Sharpton was exactly right. President Obama should not be the face of congress, because these people fear to do the work of the people. As I asked on another blog, what is next, president Obama donning supreme court robes, to hear cases?

  105. Wouldn’t this make a great campaign visual…the millionaire from monopoly supported by 33 old people with a slash thorugh it….or something like that i would try to do it but have not talent. or you could make a great cartoon.

  106. That reminds me of my favorite Woody Allen quote, from “Manhattan”: “Well, well, a satirical piece in the Times is one thing, but
    bricks and baseball bats really gets right to the point.”

  107. LOL…me too, and with a drug name I hadn’t heard since childhood: Bacitracin. Odd word for captcha, but hey, I’m waiting for the one that says Republican Hoser. I just know I’ll get that one right.

  108. Although most of that site turns me off, I have always liked TomP, even when I’ve disagreed with him. He’s always been fair, IMO.

  109. While I completely agree, the MSM doesn’t give Congressional Dems any coverage. To them it’s Obama as the Democratic Party and all of the GOP Congress and pundits as the opposition voice aka Obama versus everybody else.

    I’d love for the Senate Dems to be out in full force like they were against the proposed cuts to Planned Parenthood, backing this budget plan.

  110. Admiral Mullen:

    “The biggest threat to our national security is our national debt”.


    See what I wrote to the Wall Street Journal after a particular disingenious article about Hillary Clinton’s campaign on the 11th of January 2008:

    “… why is it necessary to fix the US economy (as a means of foreign policy, not just because blue collar workers will benefit from it) ?

    Because the US more and more becomes a debtor of some successful Asian economic wonders.

    It strikes me (and many fellow Europeans) as very dangerous that the sole remaining military superpower is indebted, heavily, to some less than trustworthy economic superpowers.”

  111. Great speech. I still cannot believe we had people who thought he would be calling for an end to the social safety net.

    Sadly, even though he drew a much sought after “line in the sand”, he didn’t use the exact words his critics wanted used in order for them to admit it’s not him they have to worry about.

    Also, as predicted, we have some Obama archcritics who are claiming that he would have proposed drastic cuts if it had not been do their heroic insistence that he do the right thing!

  112. Steve Benen had a great post about the Romney launch this week.


    Indeed, his Republican rivals — likely to gang up on him from the outset — probably look at Romney like a pinata waiting to get hit. We’re talking about a former pro-choice governor who supported gay rights, gun control, and combating climate change, who distanced himself from Reagan, who loved a health care mandate, and who attended Planned Parenthood fundraisers. Perhaps no one in American public life over the last generation has changed his mind about so many issues, so quickly. Mitt Romney, for all intends and purposes, personifies the “flip-flopper.”
    How bad is Romney’s record? During his tenure, Massachusetts ranked 47th out of 50 states in jobs growth. There’s a reason he didn’t seek re-election — Romney was wildly unpopular in his home state after one term.


  113. TomP was a split personality to me. He was very reasoned a lot of the time, but would then fly off the handle and go all in with the outrage of the moment and when he went off the deep end it was very deep and it would take him awhile to surface again.

    I’d like to see his perspective if he could stay away from the nutroots sites for a week. The nutroots is a virus.

  114. Ah, yes, the existential loneliness of the brave blogger trying to move the Overton Window. We should all give them big hugs.

  115. The President said that he was better at counter punching, I think the following video is very fitting:

    “Down goes Frazier, down goes Frazier, down goes Frazier!”

  116. It certainly seems to me that people all over the world are awakening to the power they have in their hands to decide their own fates, without mediation from the elites or the power-brokers. These are indeed heady times.

  117. To me “pundit” is just a fancy name for “critic”, and Teddy Roosevelt said it best regarding critics –

    “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

    Maybe this quotation is why political critics are now called pundits. Roosevelt made being a critic a dirty thing. Imagine what Teddy would think of today’s know-it-alls.

  118. Never have so many spoken so much about so little and made so much money out of it. There should be a pundit tax as a penalty for the damage they do to the political system.

  119. Please !

    Aren’t these the same people who continue to say that the president doesn’t listen to them. So now all of a sudden he listens to them and cares about their opinions when they said he doesn’t.

    They sound just as dumb as the teabaggers.

  120. Good day all around. The President delivered, which is NOT change I can believe in, as it is the same as it ever was since he’s been on the scene, and I saw my first chipmunk of the year, which never fails to make me happy.

  121. You have some but guys like Weiner and Sanders love attacking the president. Instead of focusing all of their energy on their jobs and attacking the republicans.

    Also let’s be real here. Obama is the best politician in the country to give this kind of speech. Maybe former President Clinton because he was a skilled politician or Hillary but one is out of office and the other is sec. of state.
    Not too many could give a speech like this.

  122. Hello Everyone, You are all probably gone now, but anyway, I just wanted to comment as well. Firstly, I enjoyed everyone’s Comments, they were so right on. I really learn a lot just by reading your thoughts and views.

    I thought President Obama’s Speech was one of his BEST. He’s accumalating quite a few BEST Speeches. I tell you, as I was listening, I noticed that I began to sit straight up In my seat, with my Chest poked out, and my smile grew larger, and wider, I was Beaming by the end. It was the BEST 🙂

    As soon as he finished his Speech, I had to E-mail the White House, to Thank Him, for being a Good Man, and a GREAT President. I told him, that he Is the BEST President, that I ever voted for, and that I’ve been voting since 1962. I also told him that he makes us proud, because he’s a Great Leader. Okey dokey, Later ~~~~~~~~

  123. Much respect to Harry Reid, but he’s nowhere near dynamic or charismatic enough to give this speech. No one in the current Dem Caucus is.

  124. Words can’t express how fitting the last picture is. Because he really is an angel. 😉

  125. I try real hard never to discuss political science theory when I’m trying to make a political point.

    I kind of feel sorry for those who see politics as a rational, academic endeavor.

  126. Neither politics nor economics are sciences. People are, at their essential cores, unpredictable. Sure, they might do the same thing 99 times out of 100; but that 1 time is enough to blow everything apart. At least there’s no Nobel for poli sci.

  127. Don’t listen to the PL and their prognostications about what the President is going to say ever. They are ALWAYS wrong. Every single time. In fact, the worse they make it sound the more wrong they will be.

  128. TomP is usually a reasonable person even when I disagree with him but he does from time to time fly off the handle. I think that is because he spends way too much time surrounding himself with the whiners at DK. Their pessimism and doom saying is contagious and it can turn the most reasonable person in the wrong direction when they lie and misrepresent with such assurance. The best thing TomP could do for himself would be to stay away from that site for just a week or two and see what happens to his outlook on everything.

  129. I agree LL. I have faith that this speech is just phase one of the Plouffe/Obama plan of attack on the Ryan budget.

  130. I read that Ryan is very upset. He’s reported as saying that he thought when PBO invited him and the republicans to hear his speech, that the president was going to offer the republicans an olive branch. IMO, this means that Ryan thought PBO was going to capitulate to the republicans’ demands in the budget. Why he thought this, I have no idea, especially after his party hasn’t offered one to the president or the democrats going on 3 years now. What would make him think that he was due special consideration when he has screwed up so badly and has no love for our president? Ryan, McConnell, and the other republicans are pizzed because they were invited to listen to a speech in which they had all of the covers pulled off their plan to plunge the majority of Americans into the depths of economic despair.

    The president has been needing to do this for a long time. I’m sick of them lying to the people about PBO and his policies, and I’m glad that the president said what he had to say to their faces. When they attack him, it’s always on some rw media outlet, but he showed them that a real man confronts one’s opponents face to face. This is why I’ve never bought into the PL claim that PBO is weak. The republicans are weak, and the PL is weak because none of them have the stones to tell the truth about anything and always hide behind a wall of lies meant to discredit everything the president says/does. I’ve been to several web sites since the president made his speech, and the surprising thing is the absence of the usual swarm of rw trolls! There’s a few out, but not as many as there usually are who come to infest left-leaning blogs when the president makes a speech.

  131. People are always so brave when hiding behind some sort of filter. True bravery is to confront your opponents face to face and tell them what you really think and what you will do to defeat their bad ideas. The Village isn’t used to that kind of bravery, and have no idea how to process it. I think Pres. Obama’s speech will concentrate the mind wonderfully.

  132. Congress hasn’t done any of the ideological heavy lifting since President Obama took office. They are scared of the conservatives and scared of the PL. They are too scared to stick up for their own principles and want the president to do it for them. They won’t even write legislation by themselves but instead cry to the media that President isn’t doing it for them. I exclude Nancey Pelosi from this critique. She actually got bills written and passed in the House regularly without needing the President to hold her hand. But the Senate is just a quivering mess who don’t even seem to understand that they are a co-equal branch of the government with their own responsibilities.

  133. Aquagranny, I support 100% everything you said! What I loved about the President’s speech to day is that he treated the people listening to him as adults. He laid out the reality and the genesis of the deficits and challenged all of us to think seriously about the dangers of long term deficits. He also laid out a plan on how to deal with this problem without abandoning our values.

  134. I’m watching a Rep Thaddeus McCotter R Michigan talking on the floor on C-Span against the President’s speech as C-Span said they were rerunning the President’s speech. Maybe not as NM Rep R Steve Pearce has a visual right now he is showing. The speech should have started already. Oh, guess it is after the House rebuttal. Guess I’ll just watch it on here later when I can.

  135. Ctgirl, you are being too rational. Their doubts are not based on any plausible rational analysis of what he has done. I contend that their doubts are based on a false meme they have created about him–a meme that is purely motivated by their hatred of him.

  136. What is Lawrence O Donnell talking about ?

    I haven’t watched him in a while but he is talking about nonsense.

    Yes we all now that Republicans believe in starving the beast but he is somewhat attacking Obama’s speech and saying that the Dems and Obama are falling into the republican trap of spending cuts.

  137. Very astute comment LL! I belong to the 60’s generation, but its folly to think that what worked in the 1930’s and 1960’s-1970’s can be exactly replicated to apply to the second decade of the 21st Century.

  138. He is making sense but he sounds like Obama doesn’t understand what the Republicans having been trying to do since the 80’s.

    The fact is that the Dems have to always deal with reducing the debt because republicans always enlarge the debt in order to destroy programs that work. They have been doing that since the late 80’s and even more so in the 2000’s.

    That’s why like Obama said don’t allow the republicans to gain control.

  139. Well said Ametia! Somehow this term has been hijacked by those who find every excuse to attack this brilliant man.

  140. No, he isn’t making sense. He talking about President Obama in a very condescending manner, and I don’t like it one bit. O’Donnell obviously spent the whole afternoon trying to figure out a way to pan the President’s speech. But I believe that what’s really bugging Lawrence is the notion that someone is FINALLY SERIOUS about taking away his precious Bush tax cuts, despite his pretenses otherwise.

  141. What a magnificent speech. My “review” along with some highlights from the national bloggers’ conference call today with David Plouffe, et. al. is now up:

    President Obama pulls back the curtain on Republican loyalties in today’s budget speech

    Check this out. Only five bloggers got to ask questions (in this order):

    Chris Bowers – Daily Kos
    John Aravosis – AmericaBLOG
    Jed Lewison – Daily Kos
    Sam Stein – Huffington Post
    Chris Savage – Eclectablog

    [Happy Dance!]

  142. Lawrence must have scoured the blogosphere, particularly the PL sites, and noticed that for the most part, they eased up on their criticisms after the President’s speech. Some of the usual suspects even praised the speech. Somehow that didn’t sit well with Lawrence, so he decided to come up with a way to remind the PL that Obama is still a “clueless fuck” excuse my language. That’s what I got out of O’Donnell’s so-called criticism. It was condescending, and dripping with petty juvenile sarcasm. “Oh, Obama even managed to invoke Ronald Reagan!” Whatever Mr. O’Donnell, we know you are mighty pissed that someone might actually succeed in taking your highly prized Bush tax cuts – you remember, the same ones that you were not too long ago praising the President for compromising on…keep on talking Mr. O’Donnell, we are taking notes…

  143. dcsandy, I got exactly the same message as you. I also appreciated the way he treated me as an adult. He explained to me the seriousness of the deficit problem, but he reassured me that it is not an insolvable problem; especially if we institute sensible reforms that requires sacrifices, not only from the poor and Middle class, but also from the rich. He is indeed “awesome!”

  144. I agree. I should have said that some of the things he aid about republicans was correct but what he said about Obama and the Dems was wrong.

  145. Darnell, I just couldn’t stop laughing because your humorous comment really nailed it. I especially thought of the people who might have bought into the meme that the President is weak. People underestimate this president at their own peril! I think today he also had a message to the PL: “Chill the Fuck Out!”


    To the self styled ‘El Rushbo’


    FYI- El Prez-BO just Layed Down the Law.

    FDR is back in town and big mouths not gonna shut it down.

    El Prez-BO iz the Prez Uv Reknown. Dimukrats wil be takin grown…

  147. And let’s be real here, the goal of O’Donnell’s “critique” was not to attack the Republicans. It was to undermine the President’s speech, and make it appear less effective than it was. I have seen Lawrence use that approach in the past, and he thinks he’s so clever with his line by line breakdown of what he thinks Obama said or meant. Yet for all O’Donnell’s twisting and spinning and maneuvering to pan the President’s speech, Obama remains the SMARTEST person and ONLY ADULT in the room. Lawrence O’Donnell cannot accept that basic truth.

  148. Wow, Chris, my most sincere congratulations to you! Fantastic.

    (who is Chris Bowers?)

  149. I agree. LO has been a big disappointment. It seems like he has decided to appeal to the far left. He is now officially part of the PL.

  150. I plan on sending her some money because we cant afford to loose her senate seat to the Republicans. She comes from a Republican leaning state, but on the whole she really has been a strong supporter of the President. We really must avoid the mistakes of the “purity progressives.” Once you understand that Missouri is not like California or New york, then you understand why she may at times take positions that are not purely progressive.

  151. Well, it’s about the time the PL including O’Donnell stop hiding behind so-called “progressive or far-left issues,” and be honest about what their REAL beef with this President is. It’s far from progressive.

  152. I thought by now Rush would be in the ER…I would have sworn I heard a noise from his head exploding this afternoon, even right before the Prez gave his speech, there was a loud banging noise coming through on CNN. They claimed it was some construction going on..I think it was Rush’s head explosion.

  153. Eric Cantor, who does not not know how a bill becomes law, can’t be taken seriously to understand what leadership entails. It is really a sad day in American politics that utterances of this guy are still respected.

  154. I agree. But like SR said, dems could be out in full force more often. Many of them are very good communicators. I saw the press conference of those wonderful women senators. Senators Milkuski, Feinstein, Boxer, Gillibrand for example are excellent spokespersons. And WHERE is Al Franken ? I can’t wait to see him on the forefront. He’s good. Senator Coons looks like your brother-in-law and is plain spoken. And there are others… In the House too.

    The MSM has to be forced into giving more time to democratic officials. Maybe democratic supporters can do something about that, in complaining directly to them and explaining that is a factor in their ratings going down…..

  155. That was really excellent Aquagranny! It really represented me. But I will still go there to reinforce what you said.

  156. The guy is a do nothing pundit. His claim to fame was working on the hill, but he is a know nothing pundit.

  157. Very interesting. PBO usually has a reason for every move, I wonder if the plan is for Ryan and Co to dig in with his budget, so they “personally slighted” him.

    Dems have a winning issue here – Ryan wants to give tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires while forcing retirees to pay $6000 more each AND the showdown will be over the Debt Ceiling that the Business Community doesn’t want played with – so the business community who would usually tell the GOP to fight will tell them to cut a deal.

    Basically I suspect the GOP will ask to punt on the Debt Ceiling, so they can make their big budget showdown on the FY2012 budget where they could shutdown government without risking the American and World Economy. It will be interesting if the Obama Administration will allow them to punt.

  158. O’Donnell is a political strategist. If the left likes the speech too much it will be painted as partisan (which the GOP is trying to do) by the MSM. O’Donnell needs to attack the President in order to make it seem that the President isn’t “pandering to his base” but instead offered up a plan that is moderate and takes ideas from both sides.

    O’Donnell is basically saying “spending cuts is the GOP peace offering”, that this isn’t the progressive ideology address that the GOP is trying to paint it as.

  159. You are truly amazing Bob! I am really thankful for finding BWD and TPV sites because otherwise I would never have been exposed to brilliant people like you. I wish I could share your post, alongside the President’s speech, to clearly demonstrate the importance of thinking clearly about big issues.

  160. This is our magnificent President!!! He RULES!!!

    Thank you President Obama for your brilliance, dignity, leadership, grace, wisdom, decency, compassion even in the face of such hostility, obstruction and adversity!!! Rock on great man, rock on!!!

  161. LOD is one guy I think has positive ulterior motives some of the time. He’s basically trying to frame the Obama Address as moderate. If MSNBC is waxing poetic over it than the other MSM will conclude “The Obama Address was red meat to his progressive base to win them back”. However if LOD criticizes it for “giving up too much” then maybe the MSM sells it as middle of the road that both sides will not like.

  162. For the last week or so, the pundits have been joined at the tonsils with Paul Ryan. They kept proclaiming that he was so courageous for putting out a budget plan. He had figures and everything. This seems odd to me because he is the Chairman of the Budget Committee. It just seems like that is part of his job.

    Anyway, I had to chuckle when President Obama made a point of discussing what being courageous IS NOT. I only wish I could have seen Paul Ryan’s face as he was being filleted by PBO.

    ——–President Obama, 4/13/11———–
    There’s nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. There’s nothing courageous about asking for sacrifice from those who can least afford it and don’t have any clout on Capitol Hill. And this is not a vision of the America I know.”

    Check please.

  163. The PL not liking it means that PBO can say “I’m taking heat from my side, you need to take some heat from yours”.

  164. I hope your take on LO is correct SR. I didn’t really think about it this way.

  165. I really had the same reaction as Kristof and especially about a president “who is smart, who is a grown up, who doesn’t insult our intelligence.”

  166. Ending the Bush Extra Tax Cuts would cost Rush $800K a year. Expect him to be ruthless on any GOP who even thinks about making a deal.

  167. I would enthusiastically support “a pundit tax as a penalty for the damage they do to the political system.” Talk about the lazy leisure class: the current pundits sit at the top of that class

  168. BJW2, Love the video 😉 — “Down Goes Ryan, Down Goes Ryan” 😉

  169. He was just restin’ his eyes, I do that and my kids think I’m asleep I hear everything they say and know ALL that they do.

  170. I don’t recognize his name at all. Maybe he once used a username other than his own.

    On my way to your blog!

  171. Oh dear – his budget was made to look petty, heartless and cruel. While President Obama and the Democrats look like the true patriots. Country over party. What a concept?

    Talk about being thin skinned, I heard the GOP is whining after the “TONE” of the speech. They think it was too partisan. Well, cry me a river. These folks wrote the book on partisan attacks. They have been attacking President Obama relentlessly since he took office. They are against everything he is for. And now that he tells them a bit of truth about their budget plan they get their feelings hurt.

  172. This man is President of the United States.

    All the sounds of political jockying for position, frustration and fury out there are not on his “To Do” list.

    History will regard Obama as one of the best we’ve ever had and in a class of his own on many levels.

    I no longer worry about our president or his ability to get things done, to get re-elected or to bring our nation out of its troubles. I am elevated and my mood will not be brought down by any naysayer, jealous liberal or racist waste of time.

    Fired Up. Ready to Go. Obamanos!!!

  173. He (re?)-joined DK shortly before the midterms, you might have been gone by then. He was behind the email sign-up call for action stuff IIRC. Also had the daily “If the election was today” diary that basically stepped all over the Singiser horserace niche.

  174. Not to get too religious about this lest I be accused of a messiah-complex regarding our president:

    But even Christ had his Judas. Meaning sometimes you can have Perfect before your eyes and still not recognize it, even start to work against it. I pity the liberals who can sit there in a pool of frustration and self-pity while we watch one of the great heroes of liberalism go to work. None are so blind but those who will not see.

    In all future “crisis” manufactured by the President’s detractors my money will always be on Obama and I will love to see him take it the hoop.


  175. They can’t attack on the merits of the speech, to they’re back into the HCR debate days of trying to frame PBO as partisan and hopes the MSM decides that is the case. Remember the MSM talkign heads are all in the top 1% that benefit from the extra tax cut (I believe it’s roughly $40K for every million earned).

    We really got to watch our endzone celebrating here, because if there isn’t scathing attacks from the far left than it could be framed as too progressive.

    We can easily win the argument on the merits, we can’t let the GOP frame it as hyper-partisan politics because they’re basically setting the ground to retreat to their corner and hope the MSM chastises the Obama Admin for not being moderate.

  176. Liberal Librarian, you comment reminds me of a dear and favorite professor of mine who was fond of saying: “Thinking is is like gunpowder, it explodes when confined.”

  177. Wow, that is great that you were there. The only one out of that bunch who is any good besides you is Jed. Glad to see at least 2 decent progressives got to comment.

  178. Very well said! It is time that Congressional Democrats, both Senators and Representatives, to show their support of the President.

  179. The so-called experts who make a living criticizing (I won’t say earn a living, because the term earn would be inappropriate) can pretty much say whatever they want. They don’t have to deal with consequences, they are not making decisions affecting millions of people. And to think a whole bunch of them make several times what the President does every year.

  180. He was one of the front-pagers at the Obamahatefest OpenLeft who left to come back to DK.

  181. Steve Pearce, from personal experience as a New Mexican, is a dingbat. His speeches on the floor of the House are available by prescription to insomnia sufferers.

  182. Just ignore the “Obama archcritics” because they do not know what they say.

  183. SR, I think you are correct. The RW loves to paint Obama as a socliaist, Kenyan, Islamist, communist, fascist. If the left criticizes it, that is harder to do.

  184. This is where taking this to the peole is critical. Not only Obama and Biden, but as many Congressional Dems as possible. Easter break is coming up and they will be heading back to their districts th town halls and such. They have to start the hammering right now.

  185. I worry less about them in the long run. Now is the time for progressives to grab this banner and run against those who would cower and not support this president. But I mean real progressives, people with conviction to back this President and see reality, not these fool faux-gressives and publicity whores.

    We need to find candidates for 2012 House and Senate races who will get with the program and we need to resist those who take the route of Nader worship.


  186. Well, they had to say something. Not surprised it was the same old drivel.

    Tax cuts, Less Filling, Tastes Great!



  188. Seems like we borrowed a lot of such words from Sanskrit or Hindi:

    Guru, Diva, Brahmin,

    Poobah? Maybe we can just call them poobahs in the future.

  189. According to Representative Dennis Kucinich, the President didn’t say much today. Mr. Kucinich is telling good ol’ Ed Schultz that we shouldn’t trust what we heard/read today.

    So even when the President Obama says otherwise, we are supposed to act as if he will be making severe cuts to social programs as well as continuing the Bush tax cuts?

    Kucininch needs to go. He needs to be replaced by a Dem who less attention-seeking and more effective at passing legislation.

  190. Within seconds after he started talking and I heard where he was going, I turned off my TV. I had wanted to see/hear the WI Dems but couldn’t listen to Kucinich.

  191. Thank you Tao Jones, Nathan, Aquagranny, gn, PoliticalJunkessa – yes, I’m blushing 🙂

    Nathan (and anyone else) – please feel free to share with anyone; attribution not required.

    What an amazing moment for all of us to have shared together – that speech today will definitely be remembered for generations.

    Yes.We.Can. … DO.MORE.TOGETHER.

  192. I personally think his heart is in the right place, but he’s just not that smart. Easily manipulated by fauxgressives and thus not worth listening to any longer. And attention-seeking, and pompous. Meh to the whole scene; this space is so much better in almost every conceivable way.

  193. Thanks for sharing LL. My first time to visit this absolutely awesome site!

  194. Excuse me but did you call the President a bastard? Although you may have written this affectionately about him, I did not appreciate it. There are too many other people calling him names without having him being called names on this blog. This President deserves the utmost respect at all times because of the many things that he has accomplished under the most difficult of circumstances. Knowing your love and appreciation for this President, I hope that you not resort to calling him a bastard again.

  195. Yes, but that’s one less mistress he can give hush money to. That’s a BFD for Rush.

  196. Congratulations, Eclectablog!!!! That is way cool. Can’t wait to read the roundup.

  197. I am finally listening to the speech. Reading this wonderful blog has prepared me for this gem of a speech. This is one for the ages.

    We are so blessed to have this man as our President. Thank you all for your great imput! This has been such a special day for me. I will never forget my 65th birthday. The President spoke to me in this speech.

  198. I can’t remember, did the Lame Duck session Bush Tax Cut deal separate the $250,000+ extra tax cuts from the middle class cuts? Meaning can the GOP hold the middle tax cuts hostage in a years time or were they separated and can expire without having the middle class cuts expire?

    If they were separated, then I don’t think there is any way they are extended in a year, as PBO will veto any budget deal with them in it and just let them expire.

    Also if PBO puts the Bush extra tax cuts on the debt ceiling negotiations than the rich with business interests are in a pickle. If they call for no deal, then America defaults and they lose much, much more than the 4% that they’d give up if the Bush extra tax cuts were ended.

  199. Thank God eclectablog was there to offer his thoughts and opinions, because the rest of that list, dfox, “America”blog…err, um, how’s that weather forecast?

  200. Mr President. On a particularly awesome November day in 2008, I gave up smoking. Don’t get me started again.

    Guess the ryan-who’s a$$ is burning now. It’s pathetic the msm even thought his hail-mary plan was even worth a national platform.

  201. Dennis the menace is a fool.

    He said that the president should take medicare, medicaid off the table.

    So we should sit around and not reform the program so that it remains solvent.

    What kind of logic is that ? This guy is the biggest idiot. We can find ways to reform these programs without cutting benefits.

  202. I really do wish the aliens would return and take him back. He might be of use to them; he’s none to us.

  203. Obamanos? si se puede, and Obama is one of the best I wonder if mr trump watched the speech!!he, he.

  204. I know he needs to go by any means necessary. Everyone agreed that the speech was right on the mark from the Democratic side and he is the only one to go against it.

  205. I guess Ryan must have wandered over to the Orange Satan and believed the insane bile about how President Obama was preparing to throw granny under the bus and give even more tax benefits to the wealthiest.

  206. We have poor and ineffective leaders in the Senate on budget matters. Retiring Sen. Kent Conrad (ND) is chair of the Senate Budget Committee and would be Paul Ryan’s counterpart in the Senate. We really don’t want to see his feeble leadership in action (remember how bad he was on health care???)

  207. Eclectablog/Chris — so glad that you made the cut for that bloggers conference — it brings a little balance and sanity to the crowd.

  208. He spoke to you, birthday girl, and all of us! Glad you enjoyed your special day.

  209. Understand, but there was obviously no harm intended. Don’t worry – you’re preaching to the choir here.

  210. If Lawrence O’Donnell chastised the President for invoking Ronald Reagan, it just reminds me that LO was a big fan of Bill Clinton’s. I seem to recall that when candidate Barack Obama mentioned Reagan as a transformative president, or something like that, without saying Bill Clinton was, as well, the Clinton hangers-on had a fit. A lot of this stuff is just a kid’s game of connect the dots to me. They’re stuck in the past, as well as stuck on stupid.

    Actually, I applauded the President for mentioning Ronald Reagan in the stream of past presidents … he was making a great point during the speech. Guess LO didn’t get that.

  211. You said that so much nicer than I did but YES, you are right on!

    We are in deep kaka but there is a way out that will work without hurting those most vulnerable among us.

    The MAN knows what he is doing. He has a plan and he will stand in defense of our most important social programs.

    He’s got my vote, my support and my trust.

  212. I had to lol at your comment. My Sis has a picture of our Prez on her wall with that exact caption.

  213. I initially thought like that. I was convinced that eventually thoughtful and sane people would see through the contradictory image of Obama being constructed by both the left and the right. Surely, no reasonable sane person would buy into the claim that President Obama was a Nazi, communist, socialist, Islamofascist, according to right; and at the same time, according to the “purity” left, a weak, capitulating, corporatist puppet of Wall street bankers and corporations, who was no different from George W. Bush. Sadly, I’ve come to the conclusion that neither side cares about the contradictory image of Obama peddled by the opposing sides. It seems to me that what both the right wing teabaggers and the “purity” left progressives care about is their shared goal of ensuring that President Obama is not re-elected.

  214. Exactly! This is an issue for Dems in my own State as well.

    Sorry, call me a yellow dog but I will vote for any Dem over a Repub in my State. When our Dems in Red and Purple districts and States know that they can count on some real back up then they can be more ‘progressive.’

  215. ….and I read Paul Ryan was sitting in the front row during PBO speech. “In yo face”!

  216. Wow!
    That’s the Obama that I voted for!
    Don’t give in to the oppositionists!
    They are mongrels who do not have America’s good at heart.
    They are paid for by corporate interests and have no conscience.

    I think that most Washington politicians do not have any integrity after being a while in Washington. Every little compromise leads to yet another compromise—until there is no integrity left worth keeping.

  217. Agreed but we need people who actually have a chance of getting elected in their districts, especially those that are red or purple. You won’t get hard left people elected there. You need reasonable centrist people with open minds who can appeal to a variety of the electorate.

  218. Is Kucinich running for President, again? Could he be the hero the purity progressives are looking for to save the party from a corporatist puppet? Did the illustrious journalist, Ed Shultz, ask Rep. Kucinich what he would exactly do to advance the progressive agenda in a divided congress and a deeply divided country?

  219. Truthfully, I haven’t seen President Obama “give in” yet!

    We shouldn’t forget that the President’s knack at compromise usually ends up getting him what he planned on getting in the first place. He’s a master at it.

  220. Beautiful, Saint Roscoe. I remember reading that quote long ago but it is never more appropriately repeated than here, in this time and in this place. Thank you.

  221. Lol, my Dad used to say that and he did hear everything we said.

    The older I get, the more I appreciate “eye restin.”

  222. Agreed. Harry did his part when he stood strong and spoke out against the cuts to PPH and women’s health. I thought that was his finest hour.

    The only person who could give this speech was PBO.

  223. I don’t think the middle class tax cut were de-coupled from the tax cut for the wealthy. I am sure this time around he will insist on separating them. If the Republicans refuse he can legitimately frame the argument that Republicans oppose Middle Class tax cuts and favor tax cuts for the wealthy. Obviously, Republicans will argue that they are for across the board tax cuts. If the economy continues to improve, the President would be a much stronger position to reject continuing Bush tax give- away for the rich.

    While it is always wise to avoid predicting what the future holds, I am absolutely convinced that the business side of the Republican party will not allow the U.S. government to default. They have so much at at stake!

  224. People like you seem to not get it. You never get 100 % of what you want in a Democracy period !

    This president made the tax cut deal in order to get the only stimulus (payroll tax Holiday,100 % depreciation of plant and equipment,etc) he can get before Republicans took over the house and keep the tax cuts on the middle class.

    In the budget deal he got majority of what he wanted and preserved key programs that Democrats want and have fought for.

    Now some of you fools on the far left need to understand history and how government works. This country is not far left or far right it never has been and never will be. This country is center and leans to the left.

  225. Politics is all about compromise and achieving what is possible. Purity in politics is a childish wish. Even Gandhi had to compromise a lot to achieve his goals. The extreme left and right don’t get it and that’s why they are ignore and yet they imagine the crap of pushing the overton’s window and such nonsese.

  226. Here’s a good, solid final critique. One of my many relatives wrote to me:
    “I did something I have never done before and sent an e-mail to the President praising that speech.”

  227. Remember the video from the newspaper interview in Chicago? When he said that he’s a good counterpuncher, and then said he doesn’t like to be taken advantage of, and if anybody tries to do that “I will… crush them” ?

    Best line ever 🙂

  228. Last night even Ed Schultz conceded that it “could be a game changer.” High praise, indeed!

  229. I’m with you. Backbone galore. Clear message of where he stands and what it means to be an American.

    I couldn’t believe the email sent out by MoveOn before the speech and how they were proved wrong. I do wish these groups would wait and get all the info before spreading their fear mail.

  230. Thank you, Liberal Librarian. I am delighted to have intelligent and diligent people whom I trust do the work for me.

  231. To foster the belief that a man with the emotional insights of President Obama does NOT understand the actual make-up of the Republicans of today is sheer stupidity. He knows full well who they are, what they are about, and what he can get from them. He is the President of the United States and it is in his best interests to give them public respect and to appear to be working with them. I believe he genuinely would like to do that, but he certainly is not unaware that it might not be possible. However, the majority of the public wants him to do so, and playing to that desire is strength not weakness.

  232. I have usually been in synch with Kucinich’s values over the years, but I must admit, lately I am beginning to believe he’s been an opportunist all along, beginning with his change from anti-choice to pro-choice. He may lose his seat due to redistricting and lack of interest in his district’s concerns, so I suspect he is attempting to set himself up for a primary or third-party challenge to the President, because this will insure money continues to come in.

  233. Medicare and Medicaid are subject to something Social Security is not: the outrageous costs of medical care in this country today.

  234. If we want a far left politics, we need a far left populace. Achieving that (and I believe it is possible) takes a great deal of work and patience, both of which are in short supply in our instant-gratification for ME culture of today.

  235. Thank you, everyone. Thanks so much. Still can’t believe they called on me, particularly when I heard about all the other heavy-hitter/paid-to-blog folks that were on the call, too. Can’t help but think my connections at the upper ranks of OFA had something to do with me getting chosen to participate and then get called on to ask a question.

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