Blame Obama for the Economy.
Blame Obama for Gas Price.
Blame Obama for the Deficit.
Blame Obama for the Oil Spill and securing $20,000,000,000 from BP.
Blame Obama for the Recovery.
Blame Obama for creating 2 million plus private sectors jobs.
Blame Obama for saving the Auto Industry and making them profitable.
Blame Obama for waiting too long to repeal DADT.
Blame Obama for extending Unemployment Insurance.
Blame Obama for the genocide in Libya.
Blame Obama for the Financial Melt Down.
Blame Obama for Bush's recession.
Blame Obama for Health Care Reform.
Blame Obama for doubling the new gas mileage standards but short of 100 MPH.
Lot's been happening this past week. And the pragprog blogosphere has been an excellent source for great information and discussion, as usual. So here's this weekend's link-list:
- BPI Campus covers the famine crisis in East Africa, its brutal human toll, and what you can do to help.
- Smartypants at Smartypants writes about pure, unadulterated, open racist trash caricature of President Obama posted on Daily Kos' front page. And speaking of which, she has another great piece on the romance between Rush Limbaugh and the nutroots on the Left.
- EclecticBrotha at W.E.E. See You brings you the story of one Teabagging Congressman willing to bring down the US government, who practices what he preaches - i.e. not paying for bills and obligations he has already racked up.
- ABL at Angry Black Lady Chronicles takes on racist conservatives trotting out their token black folk to tell Americans how slavery was so much better for the black family than ... uhh... gay marriage... or something.
- Ametia over at 3ChicsPolitico has an eye-opening story on economic disparity in America along ethnic lines, but also on how the middle class has lost ground as a whole, thanks to wingnut economics from the Right. We are indeed all in the same boat - at least if you have to work for a living.
- BWD at The Only Adult in the Room has the best campaign ad ever.
The most hardened critics of health reform on the Left - the "public option or bust" people - decried it for, of all things, not controlling costs enough. Never mind that the same people also had a total cow in one of the most obvious attempts to control costs in the new law, which is a limiting the value of employer sponsored plans that could be tax-exempt at a fairly high level. But I digress. That was of course not the only measure to reduce costs in the health reform law. There were plenty of others. But the question is, is any of it working? It turns out, yes.
For the first time in memory, according to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Studies, the growth in national health expenditure (NHE) last year roughly equaled the rate of growth of the economy. GDP grew at 3.8%, and NHE at 3.9%. Now, it can certainly be argued that the slow growth of health spending is attributable to the lackluster economy, and in fact, the CMS report makes that case as well. Which is why it's important to note the balancing of the rate of growth of the economy with that of the rate of growth of the NHE.
This morning we heard that Congressman John Conyers - whom I have a lot of respect for and who has done wonderful things on behalf of the American people - let loose on President Obama at an event held by the House Out of Poverty Caucus. He is calling for White House protests because he claims that the President put Social Security "cuts" on the table in the debt limit talks, not the Republicans. In fact, Conyers went on to pretty much absolve the Republicans of their responsibilities. He has had it with the President. Well, Congressman, some of us out here have had it with you and your pals talking out of whack.
First of all, let's be clear what we are talking about. It is a dastardly lie that "Social Security cuts" were proposed or even accepted by President Obama. I have covered the issue of the Social Security reform and the COLA calculation adjustment before, and suffice it to say that there are no cuts to the basic social security benefit being proposed by President Obama or anyone else. None. That is a fact.
The antics of Congressman Conyers trying to "educate" this President at an Out of Poverty Caucus event
is as rich as it is shameful. Before trying to school President Obama on poverty and jobs, maybe Congressman Conyers needs to be reminded of some things:
Last year, President Obama finalized a new fuel economy standards that will require Automakers to meet a fleet-wide average of New Gas Mileage Standards at 35.5 MPH by 2016.
Today, with all the debt ceiling drama going on, President Obama, yet again, has come through to add another major accomplishment to his list of achievement pushing progressive measures to ensure that our environment is protected, consumers save money on gas and reduce the United States' dependence on oil, with his Administrations' latest agreement with the auto industry leaders, including the heads of General Motors, Chrysler, Toyota's U.S. arm and the United Auto Workers union, by announcing new round of fuel economy standards for cars and trucks sold in the United States that would almost double the average mileage by 2025. Yes, the figure is 54.5 mpg in 2025.
Yes, the figure is 54.5 mpg in 2025.
This morning, President Obama once again took his case to the American people. He reminded us that John Boehner's continue-the-crisis plan holds the economy hostage to another Congressional crazy theater. And he reignited the fire he lit on Monday night:
...To all the American people, keep it up. If you want to see a bipartisan compromise, a bill that can pass both houses of Congress and that I can sign, let your member of Congress know. Make a phone call, send an email, tweet. Keep the pressure on Washington, and we can get past this.
So let's do it again. House.gov. Congressional switchboard: (202)224-3121. Speaker Boehner's office: (202) 225-0600, @SpeakerBoehner.
Update on Votes @ 7:40 PT: There will be no vote tonight in the House on Speaker Boehner's bizarro-world plan to bludgeon the poor and continue the debt limit crisis. Floor Debate is ongoing. Senate Democrats have pledged to kill Boehner's sham. Call your House member - House.gov. Congressional Switchboard: Congressional Switchboard at (202)224-3121. Get their offices on the phone and tell them to vote NO on Boehner's sham.
Yesterday, the poll-guru Nate Silver waded into the area of political tea-leaf reading, and summarized that in the Congressional dueling plans on the debt ceiling, it's all over but the face-saving. Nate points out that in the structure of how much spending it reduces now, the Reid and Boehner bills are quite similar. Wrote Nate Silver:
Most of the difference in their price tags, however, has to do with the fact that Mr. Reid’s bill would count $1 trillion from the winding down of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as deficit savings, while Mr. Boehner’s would not — a matter of accounting rather than a substantive difference.If you look at the CBO analyses of the Reid's and Boehner's plans, Nate is correct that in the immediate cuts included (all discretionary) in the two plans are pretty similar. However, Boehner's plan requires another $1.8 trillion in cuts before it's all said and done with no revenue increases - and for now, it only raises the debt limit enough to ruin everyone's Christmas with the recurrence with this same drama that is playing out right now.
The only real difference, instead, is that Mr. Boehner’s bill would require Congress to approve another increase in the debt limit early next year if it fails to approve the fiscal commission’s recommendations, while Mr. Reid’s would extend the deadline beyond the end of President Obama’s first term in one fell swoop. The bills differ, in other words, in whether there will be another vote on the debt ceiling before next year’s elections.
I support President Obama because he is the most trust worthy politician I have come to see in my life time in national politics. He is a man of integrity and his condor makes politicians wish they can be born again to mimic who he is. He is indeed gifted, smart, intelligent and most of all he is honest. Moreover, President Obama is one of the most well informed, deliberative, methodical and measured person who listens to not only those he agrees with him but also those who disagrees with him. He definitely is not "I am going with my gut" kind of President like Bush but he thinks with his head. He is well informed and makes his decisions based on information and not emotions. The last two and half years had been a bitter sweet time for me. To see an African American man become the most powerful man in the world is not something I would have imagined in my life time. I had worked hard to elect President Obama like many of you because I believed in him then and I still believe in him today. Most of all, considering what the President has promised he would do during the campaign, he has delivered many of his promises against all odds we see everyday in our politics. This time much more harsher.
I have said this before and I will repeat it again. The Republican party does not want to increase the debt ceiling without some spending cut. Spending cut that goes against Democratic principles. Spending cut that will hurt the American People. They want to gut out Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. They want to undo the HCR bill piece by piece. They want to shut down community health care services. They want to take away college grant funding from kids who are attending college. They want to shut down Government facilities so that basic public services are discontinued. They want to take away from the poor. All done in the name of fiscal responsibly but in the great scheme of things, it is political and it is to make Barack Obama a one-term President while aiding the economy to tank. ...and progressives call the effort by President Obama to negotiate with a Republican majority in a "balanced approach" which includes spending cuts and new tax revenues to reduce our nations debt a Robbery. I disagree!
Despite our strong belief that the government does not and should not operate like a business, many on the so-called "Left" seem to be suffering from the delusion that the President is a unitary executive, and can do whatever he pleases. If he really wants to do something, he can do it, the argument goes, thereby attributing anything that does not get done to the President's unwillingness to do it, rather than legislative reality or any other extraneous factor. It allows people to flat out ignore the fact that the President is but the head of one branch of government, restrained by the other branches, as well as the Constitutional limits on his power. But the same people are also always the first to scream that any use of legitimate executive power is itself abusive!
You have heard it all before. A, B, C didn't get done because President Obama didn't really want to do it. Or he didn't fight for it. He didn't pound podium enough. He didn't twist enough arms. He didn't do this. He didn't do that. If only he had gone to Maine and verbally beat the Maine Republican senators over the head, we would have the public option in health reform. If only he had issued an executive order rather than go through the legislative process, DADT would be history on Day 2 of his presidency. And I suppose he was supposed to bullypulpit and podium-pound into submission all 90 senators and the overwhelming majority of the House who voted to block the closure of Guantanamo.
The CEO delusion is as grand on the Right as it is on the purity Left. They believe that despite the complex and democratic system of government, we essentially vote to elect a dictator in the President of the United States. That the President is just like a CEO. The right wing sold it, and a whole lot of the left wing fell for it hook, line and sinker.
Boehner Commands Own Caucus to Get in Line so They Can "Hurt Some People," Americans Turn Decidedly Against GOP
John Boehner is obviously not up to a mano-a-mano with the President of the United States, or the American people. But apparently, he's even losing the mano-a-mano with his own caucus. After his budget plan went down in flames in the face of conservative thumping and the CBO's report that Boehner's bludgeon-the-poor proposal actually produces only $850 billion in deficit reductions (all entirely on the backs of the poor), and only $1 billion in 2012. That sent the Speaker's staff frantically back to work to come up with more ways to bludgeon the poor.
But even so, the Teahadists were not getting in line. So the Speaker and the House Republican leadership came up with an innovative approach: Y'all bet get your ass in line so that we can hurt some people. You think I'm making it up? Oh, no no no. That's how they are trying to whip the votes in the House:
According to the Washington Post, the House GOP leadership played a short clip from the Ben Affleck movie “The Town” to rally their caucus around Boehner’s debt plan:
Ben Affleck: I need your help. I can’t tell you what it is. You can never ask me about it later. And we’re going to hurt some people.
Jeremy Renner: Whose car are we going to take?
Congressman Dennis Kucinich put up a scathing attack on the President on Daily Kos. His beef? That the President said in his speech last night that should Congressional irresponsibility lead to the first ever default by the United States government, lots of government payments, including perhaps social security checks may not be able to go out - at least not on time. That made Kucinich livid. Wrote the boy mayor of Cleveland who bankrupted his own city:
Social Security is 100% wholly funded up to the year 2036 without any changes whatsoever. It has no place in the debt ceiling debate at all. Furthermore, it is not the government’s money but the money of the workers who have paid into the program their entire lives.This is an idiotic couple of paragraphs. First of all, it is a blatant lie that President Obama wants to "cut" Social Security. There are no cuts in the calculation of one's basic benefits; none. Kucninich's rhetoric, then, leads you to one of three conclusions: (1) Dennis Kucinich is wholly ignorant of how the social security trust fund works, or even what it actually is, (2) Dennis Kucinich is concealing his knowledge and playing dumb for the sake of ginning up outrage, or (3) Dennis Kucinich does not really believe that a default is a big deal, or that it is even going to happen, signing right up with the Teabaggers.
Threatening the withholding of Social Security checks to advance an agenda that includes cutting Social Security benefits is not befitting of the Democratic Party, it is not fair to the American people, and it represents a sellout of the interests of seniors.
If you have not already called your member of Congress and your Senators, please go and do it now. House.gov. Senate.gov. Switchboard:(202) 224-3121. Call their local offices if DC line is busy or mailbox full.
House Speaker John Boehner’s new budget proposal would require deep cuts in the years immediately ahead in Social Security and Medicare benefits for current retirees, the repeal of health reform’s coverage expansions, or wholesale evisceration of basic assistance programs for vulnerable Americans.
The plan is, thus, tantamount to a form of “class warfare.” If enacted, it could well produce the greatest increase in poverty and hardship produced by any law in modern U.S. history.
Same Old $hit From the Same Old Crowd. The Scolding Of The President As Usual And Aiding Republicans.
These are the facts...
* Since 1917, the debt ceiling has been raised 102 times.The Republicans are again at work trying to obstruct and shut down the Government by refusing to extend debt ceiling without entitlement cuts to appear fiscally responsible.
* Since 1962, the debt ceiling has been raised 74 times.
* During the Reagan era, it was raised 18 times.
* Under George W. Bush, it was raised 7 times.
...but I will get to that a little later.
However, the same old shit is being said in different form from one diary to another scolding this President repeatedly multiple times over the head again and again and again with so much insult and poutrage. That is what electing more and better Democrats mean at Dailykos lately.
I don't know. Some seem to think the phrase "make me do it" is a license to verbally put the President on life support because I swear the condescending shit that is being said about the President in the comments of some of these diaries are horrific, irresponsible and completely juvenile.
Here is the latest on the recommended list, a diary at Dailykos, It’s not like you weren’t warned, another bullshit diary if I may add, sourcing a diary written by someone in December 2010, who a couple of days ago uprated one of the most vile insulting comments on the President - a comment by an idiot who said, "Obama can blow me. The same uprater who also wanted to "Kill The Bill", a health care bill that provides subsidized insurance to 31 million Americans.
There will be a lot analysis and editorializing of the President's address (partial snippets here) tonight. But here is the part that stood out to me the most: the President directly called on Americans to start calling Congress. House Republicans have been ducking their responsibility for long enough, and despite the lying words that came out of John Boehner's mouth today, it is they who have been making a deal impossible.
And it is time. Whatever part of the country you are in, you need to call/email/fax/all 3 your member of Congress and tell them that the debt ceiling needs to be raised, that it needs to be raised through the end of 2012 so we do not face this kabuki theater again in a few months, and that a balanced approach is the only possible way to reduce our deficit and make a dent in the debt. And as long as you are calling, burn up Boehner's phone/fax/email inbox lines too!
Pick up the phone and call now. Go to House.gov, find your member and call, email, and fax. Go to Senate.gov, and burn up their phone lines, too. Or call the Congressional Switchboard at (202)224-3121 and ask for your representative and senators. President Obama has tried and tried and tried to reason with these knuckleheads in Congress. Now it's our time to give them some hell. After you have done that, come back and watch the President's speech below.
The "lefty" blogosphere and TV media is abuzz. Can you believe this? Barack Obama, a Democratic President, is talking about cutting (!) Social Security! Oh. My. Goodness. He endorsed the Gang of Six plan and the Fiscal Commission (oh, sorry, the catfood cumishun!!) as good bases in his press conferences. And those. Cut. Social. Security. Nooooo! We told you Obama suckzzzzz!!!
Actually, like most every panic-mongering story floating around the ether and on the national "media," there is more (or less, depending on your point of view) here than meets the eye. First of all, let's get something clear. There are no cuts being proposed to social security's basic benefits. Social Security benefits are currently calculated using a formula that takes into account your income and replaces a certain percentage of it. Here is exactly how that's done: by determining one's average monthly income - wage-inflation adjusted - in the 35 best earning years of one's life, and then applying a "bend point" formula to determine your base benefit (fashionably known as PIA or the "primary insurance amount"). If you retire in 2011 at your normal retirement age, for example, your basic benefit is determined using the following formula:
(a) 90 percent of the first $749 of his/her average indexed monthly earnings, plus
(b) 32 percent of his/her average indexed monthly earnings over $749 and through $4,517, plus
(c) 15 percent of his/her average indexed monthly earnings over $4,517.
Dmitcha's excellent DailyKos diary on race and the racial anxieties of some Obama critics sparked a number of responses that were aimed at the supposed "neoliberal" policies of the Obama administration. Some of these were illuminating and thought provoking, and some were, um, less impressive. But they were all wrong. Part of the problem is that "neoliberalism" is not a useful or even well defined term. It was originally coined by Latin American economists trying to describe the (terrible) effects of IMF and World Bank policies on their countries, then the same term was adopted by people like Gary Hart as a response to "neoconservatism" without any reference to the previous usage, and there is a European version as well - and in Europe "liberal" means something like what "libertarian" means in the US. If you are curious, there is an endless discussion on line. I think "neoliberal" is too often used to mean "conservative". And, sadly, "neoliberal" is often used as a kind of credentials jargon: in an effort to claim that the person employing it is an expert who has intellectual authority due to his or her use of obscure specialist vocabulary. Nonetheless, it's worth it to look at some definitions and see whether the Obama administration fits them or not.
In the DailyKos discussion, commentator Nbbooks tells us that "neoliberalism" is the " economic thinking of a Reagan or Thatcher political conservative" and then cites the Wikipedia definition:
Neoliberalism is a label for the market-driven approach to economic and social policy based on neoclassical theories of economics that stresses the efficiency of private enterprise, liberalized trade and relatively open markets, and therefore seeks to maximize the role of the private sector in determining the political and economic priorities of the state. The term is almost always used by opponents of the policy
Senator Durbin was on Face the Nation this morning. It was pretty interesting:
Sorry I didn't have time to do this yesterday, but here it goes:
- FleetAdmiralJ at Blue Wave News has a great rundown and point-by-point details of the Republicans' whacked out "Cut, Cap and Balance" plan.
- Winning Progressive has a telling article about the GOP's real agenda: destroying government.
- This is more than a week old, but still worth every second you spend reading it. The Reid Report cracks a whip on the myth of progressive "majorities" in the first two years of his administration.
- Smartypants has the anatomy of a poutrage.
- ABL over at Angry Black Lady nails Adam Green of the PCCC for ripping off Stephen Colbert's PAC.
- Sepia at W.E.E. See You matches up the ratings numbers on Sharpton vs. Cenk Uygur (who?) and puts to rest the rumor of Cenk's martyrdom forever.
Labels: pragprog links
With Mitch McConnell's declaration earlier this year that his main political goal is ensuring that Barack Obama is a one-term president, everything else that has happened since makes sense. But there's something that happened in the negotiations between the White House, Congressional Democrats and Congressional Republicans that tells you, beyond a doubt and without any room for argument, that the GOP "leaders" were never serious about reaching a compromise package on raising the debt ceiling and comprehensive deficit reduction.
From Talking Points Memo:
But talks broke down along three major differences: the two sides were $400 billion apart on taxes, Obama rejected a last minute demand from the GOP that the deal include a repeal of the individual mandate in healthcare reform, and the two sides were still haggling over a difference of $40 billion in cuts to Medicaid, according to the White House.Two of the three sticking points were differences in dollar amounts. That's normal in these types of negotiations and entirely surmountable if both parties are sincere in wanting to find a final solution. But the third piece, the introduction of the individual mandate, is an entirely different matter.
Chanting...OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA,OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA (Plus Photos!)
I remember them days during the 2008 campaign attending campaign rallies after days of knocking at doors in Northern Virgina, Maryland, Delaware, South Carolina and North Carolina, and remember that feeling where everyone attending the rallies were screaming their heads off saying - OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA - as if it was just yesterday. It was such an awesome feeling to say the least.
I have to tell you there were so many time where I have screamed "what the fuck", why doesn't the campaign do XYZ when the Obama campaign was in so many predicaments but at every turn they did something that proved my strategy wrong. I had wanted the Obama campaign to aggressively attack and attack when Hillary was screaming her lungs out "shame on you Barack Obama" among many campaign drama the media was just eating up. Emotions were high but at every stage of the campaign there was only on person who was ALWAYS calm and collected. It was Barack Obama. I learned after many second guessing of the then Senator Obama's strategies (which by the way were on point at very corner), to calm the fuck down and be patient and stop pretending I know more than a collective of many experienced intelligent minds who were are around this man shape his campaign message.
On Thursday night, lots of people were running around screaming, "The sky is falling, the sky is falling" over rumor-mill reports that President Obama was willing to give Republicans as much as $3 trillion in spending cuts, devastating our social safety net, without securing any guaranteed tax revenue increase. Well, whaddya know, despite tons of hair catching on fire, the rumor mills were lying to you. Shocked, I'm shocked I tell you that there's rumors flying around in our national media!
But it turns out that the President held his ground as strongly as ever that significant revenue increases would be required to get any meaningful deal done on deficit reduction. So John Boehner turned tail and ran. He called the President and walked away from the negotiations. The President took no prisoners in his press conference and laid bare the real Republican agenda to the American people in his press conference: protect the tax code welfare to the ultra wealthy rather than solve the nation's huge debt problem.
This is big news, but it's the second big news President Obama has made this week on the LGBT equality front. First, he announced support for the Respect for Marriage Act, repealing DOMA, and now in the last major step in implementing the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell today the President (as well as Defense Secretary Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mullen) certified the repeal. Their certification sets the clock ticking until September 20 (60 days from today), when DADT will be finally retired into the dustbin of history.
Mr. Obama hailed the "final major step toward ending the discriminatory" policy in a statement, saying "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" effectively "undermines our military readiness and violates American principles of fairness and equality."He told us he would.
And ladies and gentlemen, he did it.
I realize it's been way too long since I have posted. As those of you who visit Eclectablog know, most of my work lately has focused almost exclusively on Michigan and I didn't feel this was the right place for those things. That said, I have promised Deaniac that I would step it up here more so here ya go!
~ Love, Eclectablog
At some point yesterday afternoon, a legislative aide leaked that the White House was caving -- CAVING I tellzya! -- and was going to give up everything to the Republicans on raising of the debt ceiling. According to this very serious source, the deal between House Speaker Boehner and President Obama was all but a done deal.
A Congressional aide briefed on ongoing negotiations between House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama says the two principals may be nearing a "grand bargain" to raise the debt limit which would contain large, set-in-stone spending cuts but only the possibility of future revenue increases.The Netroots interblogonettispheric websites lit up. "Caver-in-Chief!" "I'm through with NObama!" "Oh noessssss!!!11!1!"
"All cuts," the aide said. "Maybe revenues some time in the future."
Somebody probably should have told the White House and Speaker Boehner, though.
First thing is first.
All I have to say is Bullshit to the diary, "To the Caver-in-Chief: Cave on the big 3, then expect many to CAVE ON YOU", as if we don't know you have already caved-in on the President.
I don't take the Professional Left very seriously. I am talking about people who foam at the mouth with such a condescending disrespectful tone saying things like To the Caver-in-Chief: Cave on the big 3, then expect many to CAVE ON YOU, as if they have not caved in on the President long fucking time ago when he got inaugurated. You know who I am talking about. I am talking about not all but those who are still bitter and clinging to their disappointment that a freshman Senator beat the crap out of their candidates. Yes, many are still clinging to that bitterness as they have started showing their true colors.
Just think about this --
"To the Caver-in-Chief: Cave on the big 3, then expect many to CAVE ON YOU"How condescending can one get? Well, some are much worse.
Is the plan after the caving-in on the President to voting for Palin/Trump ticket? I get it but I already know these people have abandoned the President long before the President's "balanced" approach to the debt ceiling or deficit agreement and are using like any other issues the current debt ceiling/deficit reduction issue to scream down at the President from the mountaintops. Their framing is immature, empty, gossip driven, manufactured and irresponsible that creates an outrage feeding into a cesspool of hateful comments from duped Professional Left. You want proof, I will give you some:
Obama is a multi-millionaire, the Commander-in-Chief of one of the most vicious regimes in world history, the U.S. imperialist regime
Obama is in short, objectively, an enemy of all oppressed people of the world.
Obama is a mass murderer and an oppressor of millions here and abroad.
Challenge the motherf*cker or the party dies anyway and deserves to die.These are just mild but fits right with the founding parents of the Obama-hating Hamsher-Norquist team' ideology. Sometimes I wonder if some of these Professional Leftists' intentions are as good as the intentions of Republicans who want to make Obama a one term Black President.
...and mind you all these foaming at the mouth we see is all based on an unsubstantiated rumors/leaks from the House, the Senate and the White House about the negotiations that are taking place on the debt ceiling agreements where some drama seeking small minded folks pretend as if a FINAL debt ceiling agreement has been reached feeding into the hate frenzy.
Forty years after the Powell memo outlined a plan for right wing power in America, the permanent Republican majority is in sight. The packed Supreme Court seems ready to invalidate the voting rights act to protect successful gerrymandering that has boosted the GOP to control of the House of Representatives. Reagan and the two Bushes loaded the public with debt and damaged the functioning of government, perhaps permanently. The press is on board and works overtime to sell right wing ideology to a public that has seen its access to education systematically devastated. The reverses that saw first Nancy Pelosi take over the House of Representatives and then Barack Obama win an unlikely campaign for President are being addressed via Citizens united, voter suppression, and an intensified PR campaign. Fortunately for the side of justice and truth, the American Left is ready to ride into battle and - complain about the wording in President Obama's speeches.
Like vigilant middle managers with not much to do or academics who find their pupils don't really deserve them, left pundits eagerly turn on "track comments" and set to work on the poor effort submitted by the confused black guy, hired via affirmative action no doubt.
The panic-mongering, as usual, has no basis in reality. We should at the outset remember some things President Obama has already done as part of health reform to increase benefits for those on Medicare:
- Collapsed, eventually completely closing the Part D prescription drug donut hole.
- While the donut hole is being shrunk over time, seniors in that gap get a 50% discount.
- Medicare (Part B) recipients now have free preventive care, eliminating copays for them under the old system.
I must admit, my tolerance level for watching Cenk Uygur's show on MSNBC is not more than 10 minutes and that is being generous because Cenk is simply a sensationalizing drama queen journalist. I guess his drama and phony acts has caught up with him and have tuned off many viewers where even MSNBC management thinks it is time for Cenk to go from the 6pm time slot. But, here is the icing on the cake. Cenk feels that the White House is behind the coup detat of his reign as a decorated talk show host but of course he can't produce any evidence of such accusations except manufacture it as usual..
New York Times: Al Sharpton Appears to Win Anchor Spot on MSNBC now After giving a nearly six-month tryout for the Internet talk show host Cenk Uygur, the cable news channel MSNBC is preparing to instead hand its 6 p.m. time slot to the Rev. Al Sharpton. There had been uncertainty about the 6 p.m. slot ever since the channel’s marquee anchor, Keith Olbermann, departed in January, prompting Ed Schultz to be moved to 10 p.m. from 6. Suddenly Mr. Uygur, who had been made a paid contributor to MSNBC months earlier, was handed 6 p.m., a big coup given that he had earlier campaigned to have his progressive Web show “The Young Turks” picked up by MSNBC. He earned solid but not stand-out ratings; in late June the channel’s president, Phil Griffin, decided to try out Mr. Sharpton, and offered Mr. Uygur a new contract that included a weekend show, but not a higher-profile weekday show. Mr. Uygur, who by most accounts was well liked within MSNBC, said in an interview that he turned down the new contract because he felt Mr. Griffin had been the recipient of political pressure. In April, he said, Mr. Griffin “called me into his office and said that he’d been talking to people in Washington, and that they did not like my tone.” He said he guessed Mr. Griffin was referring to White House officials, though he had no evidence for the assertion. He also said that Mr. Griffin said the channel was part of the “establishment,” and “that you need to act like it.”I don't know folks but by now I bet Hamsher would be crying reverse racism that a less qualified black man was given an opportunity out of affirmative action since of course she thinks we the 81% of Democrats are "dumbest motherfuckers".
So there was Jane Hamsher's absolute and complete meltdown. And there was Adam Green's absolutely laughable claim that the President's huge campaign haul didn't matter while being exposed for a ridiculous, dumb lie. Now, the pretend Left's Glenn Beck wannabe and a deity of hair-on-fire brand of journalism, Cenk Uygur, is finally getting the boot from his MSNBC show. The MSNBC 6 o'clock hour will most likely be filled by Rev. Al Sharpton. Apparently, Cenk will have "more to say" about this tomorrow. Yeah, we will be waiting with baited breath, I'm sure.
About time, MSNBC. Maybe they are finally getting around to figuring out that having their news hours filled with Fox-pitch pretend (but ultimately anti-) progressive screaming and ranting doesn't count very well as news or analysis. So today, in honor of a good riddance, we present to you a sampling of TPV's documentation of Uygur's dumb-bites:
- Who can forget the days of a media blowhard and a temporary TV host talking down to and trying to teach lessons in politics to the first black President of the United States?
- Indeed, the condescension and lack of respect was so galling, Cenk went around calling President Obama "stupid."
- Apparently, Uygur (along with his Nutroots buddies) thinks that the best way for Democrats to win elections is to piss on the most progressive President in recent memory, and saving the lives of poor women counts as capitulation.
According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, Democrats are sought out to look much more stronger than Republicans and personally Democrats got to thank the gifts that keeps on poring -- the Ryan plan and the debt ceiling -- that the Democrats are brilliantly using to their advantage. A poll conducted via a telephone between July 14-17, 2011, among a random national sample of 1,001 adults has this summary on the Numbers. While the number of people approving/disapproving the way President Barack Obama is handling his job as president is at a 47/48 split according to the poll, there are a number of things that shows the President is seen as "protecting the economic interests of the middle class" and as having "a decisive advantage over congressional Republicans". Add to that that the President is also considered to be "caring more about people’s own family financial interests" and has an advantage on the GOP on helping small businesses. ...and mind you, this is all despite President Obama's overall approval rating 47 percent which is near the lowest of his presidency. The lowest being on September 2010 at 46 percent. When asked about the economy, considering the obstructionism of the Republican Party from moving the peoples' agenda to creating more jobs and stimulating the economy, the House has hijacked any chance of moving the economy in the right direction, and the poll is showing the effect as the President's handling of the economy at a 39 to 57 percent disadvantage. But, wait until you see what the Republican Congress is perceived by the American People when asked the same question. When asked about who can handle the economy over the the Republicans in Congress, President Obama over Republicans and has a clear advantage with their dismal 28% to 67% disapproval.
Respect for Marriage Act Gets Presidential Endorsement on Eve of Historic Senate Hearing (John Lewis to Testify!)
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney announced today that the President is supporting the Respect for Marriage Act - a bill introduced by Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) that will both repeal DOMA and treat all couples married in any state equally under federal law.
In the way of just what the Respect for Marriage Act does above and beyond repealing DOMA, Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont - the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee which will host a historic hearing on the bill tomorrow, had this to say in an email to supporters:
The Obama Administration has played a huge role in the effort to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), refusing to defend this discriminatory law in federal court earlier this year.
But moments ago, the President went a step further by endorsing the Respect for Marriage Act I've put forth to repeal DOMA and restore the rights of all lawfully married couples to receive the full benefits of marriage under federal law.
So much has been said about President Obama's handling of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau where many immature progressives had been saying all sort of things like how President Obama has raised the white flag for wall street, how wall street owns him, how he folded like a cheap suit, how he is the only sane Republican running in 2012, how this President is useless calling him a Folder-In-Chief, how he is a sellout to banks, how he has plotted a scam with Geithner to silence Warren, etc., all because Obama came to a decision to nominated someone other than Elizabeth Warren.
The queen of hysteria even said this a few days ago (sorry, not going to link to FDL):
Everybody knew the Republicans wouldn’t vote for Warren from the outset. Obama could have appointed her as the director when the agency was created, so the “60 vote” excuse was a charade. Remember the reasons given by the White House at the time to explain why he didn’t?
The concern stressed by officials in the White House is that Warren would not be allowed to be the public face of the agency or to testify before Congress if under the virtual cone of silence of a Presidential nominee. This allows the agency to begin without delay. But down the road, she could still serve in the interim capacity while nominated for the position, and that’s frankly where this can go. [quote from another FDL diary]Of course the only thing “down the road” was the can that the President likes to kick in his favorite metaphor. It allowed him to give her the boot when things had cooled down a bit, and the issue was out of the headlines. From a political perspective, now is a smart time to do it, because the debt ceiling battle will consume everything in its wake.
[Bold emphases mine... How fucking cynical can one get?]
For all the whining on the Naderite Left about how the non-appointment of Elizabeth Warren to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau represents Yet Another CopoutTM by President Obama (never mind that the actual nominee, Richard Cordray was hand-picked by Warren herself and scares the banks as much as she does), Professor Warren herself has put a cork in that notion. Appearing on The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC last night, she delivered an impassioned defense of the President and of the agency.
Here is Warren's clear answer to those accusing the President of backing away from a fight because of Wall Street pressure.
Professor Warren: I really think we all have to remember this: We would not have a consumer agency if not for President Obama. Two years ago, right about now, he looked out, and he said, "The consumer agency, that's what I want to put in financial regulatory reform." Over the next year while everybody fought back and forth over the regulatory reform bill, there were a lot of offers on the table to get something else if you kill the consumer agency, or if you'd weaken it. He consistently said no. And a year ago right now, this week, he signed into law a bill that made this consumer agency exist and as strong and independent way.
Writes Deepak Chopra:
One of the virtues of being on the liberal side of politics is that total obedience isn't required. There are no hidden agendas. Ideology doesn't lead to unreason. In a political climate where it feels as if the inmates are running the asylum -- as in the current Republican threat to default on America's debt -- the prevailing sanity of President Obama is something that others and I have taken for granted.
We cannot afford that luxury any more, I'm afraid.
For many reasons, this is the moment when loyalty is going to count the most. That's a hard sentence to write. Liberal politics is based on a non-regimented, all-inclusive approach to democracy. Freedom of thought is paramount. But certain harsh realities must be faced. For thirty years and more, the progressive tradition has been severely undermined, dating back to Nixon's "Southern strategy" (coddle the racists) and Ronald Reagan's smiling reactionary agenda (AIDS victims deserve what they get), through the first President Bush's Willie Horton strategy (another boost for racism) and the second President Bush's deceptive "compassionate conservatism."
Missing From the "OMG It's Not Elizabeth Warren!" Freak-Out: Cordray A Superb Nominee for Consumer Protection Bureau
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was her brainchild, but Elizabeth Warren will not be heading it. Instead, her top deputy and current head of enforcement at the agency, former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray will be the nominee. But never mind who it will be. Who it won't be set the whiny "Left" blogsphere on panic (btw, the picture on the right was stolen from Eclectablog :-) ).
Common Dreams displayed in large letters the headline "Obama Snubs Elizabeth Warren." After Jane Hamsher's gratuitous swipe at the President for being a sellout to banks for this decision, her Firedoglake blog featured a recommended diary with the title "The Beheading of Elizabeth Warren." And a front pager on "America Blog" declared Obama not worthy of our votes in 2012 based on this decision. The coordinator for the Facebook page of the Sacramento chapter of the "Progressive Alliance" complained that President Obama "wimped out," and when I challenged him to actually quit calling the President names and tell us what was wrong with the new nominee with respect to the operation of the CFPB and its success as the implementation of this brilliant progressive idea birthed by Warren herself, his response boiled down to this:
The importance of this decision goes far beyond the personal attributes of either Warren or Cordray. Rather, it's about the relative strength of progressives at the grassroots level. Unless Warren asked not to be appointed, then this represents an important loss for progressives regardless of how Cordray performs.
There has been something of a tectonic shift in attitude in the last couple weeks. I recently noticed that people aren’t writing about withholding donations from the DNC and DSCC in blog comments lately. The refrain for the first six months of the year has been that people refuse to donate until the DNC begins holding Democrats accountable for speaking out against the President in the Media. Ever since the disappointing 2010 election, Democrats have been complaining openly to the White House and the DNC and OFA that our messaging has been anemic at best, even downright counter-productive to our cause.
The President heard that outcry and agreed to do something about it. I believe that now we are finally beginning to reap the rewards of that agreement. Given a combination of events, personnel changes and brilliant maneuvering by the President I now believe we have a sea change in Democratic Messaging.
Behind The Scenes
The Professional Left is engaged in a campaign of lies, deceit and misinformation to try to take down President Obama, just as much as, if not more so than, are the Right wing in this country. "Progressive Change Campaign Committee" founder Adam Green (also the creator of at least one racist ad against President Obama), delivering petitions to issue threats to the President over any form of entitlement reform, had this to say on Friday, Jake Tapper reports:
“Today for the first time, President Obama made clear that he’s considering benefit cuts -- even for Americans that currently depend on Medicaid and Medicare. Even Paul Ryan didn’t say that much publicly,”First of all, frankly, if Adam Green prefers Paul Ryan's position on Medicare (to end it) to the President's, then frankly, as far as us liberals and progressives are concerned, he knows where the door is. Secondly, this is a bold-faced lie. Not mis-speaking, not exaggeration, an out-and-out lie. Adam Green would like you not to have seen the President's press conference, of course, and just take his word for it. But luckily, we have both the video and a transcript available. But before I quote from it, let me say a word about this small contingent of followers that Green took to the Obama HQ in Chicago who he claims "volunteered and donated to Obama 2008"... dear Jake Tapper, I wouldn't print it without seeing donation receipts for every last one of them.
Here goes the linky goodness:
- Zander over at Angry Black Lady Chronicles has a stunning piece on what the Financial crisis did to the Black middle class: wiped it out.
- Winning Progressive says, since the GOP is not interested in governing, voters should relieve them of that burden in 2012.
- In honor of Jackass Jane's full-on meltdown the other day, I have to share with you this amazing piece Chipsticks wrote over at The Obama Diary documenting the fraud that is Jane Hamsher, the Professional Left's heroine.
- And Chipsticks at The Obama Diary does it again, exposing both Hamsher's PAC and Professional Left hack Adam Green's organization's spending pattern, both of which spend little to nothing on actual elections.
- Going to The Only Adult in the Room with blackwaterdog, this photo-diary of US Army Sgt. First Class Leroy Arthur Petry being honored with the Medal of Honor will make you speechless.
- Sepia at W.E.E. See You has a great write-up on the President's Strong Cities, Strong Communities initiative.
- Lastly, a hearty congratulations to 3ChicsPolitico for being a finalist in the Black Weblog Awards in the category of best political or news blog. Ametia covers it over there.
Kudos to blackwaterdog's blog (the only adult in the room) for bringing this video to my attention.
The President is indeed fascinating and a three minutes video sometimes is good enough to understand how the man thinks. Here is a civic lesson for all:
Transcribed by me:
...the President speaking:
If you are only talking to people who you agree with then politics is going to always going to disappoint you...Politics is going to disappoint you. You think about some of the issues we have worked on over the last couple of years, I think the college Republicans here would say that I was pretty liberal President. Right?...but if you read the HuffingtonPost (laughter from the students), you would think that I was some Right Wing tool of Wall Street...right?...Hummm, both things can't be true but I think that what it has to do is, this sense of we have a position and we can't compromise on it.
You know, if you care about making investments in our kids and making investments in our infrastructure and making investments in basic research then you should want our fiscal house in order so that every time we propose a new initiative, somebody doesn't just throw up their hands and say more big spending, more government. You know, it would be very helpful for us to be able to say to the American people, our fiscal house is in order.That's the President - supposedly talking to "progressives" in a press conference. The "senior policy editor" at DailyKos, Joan McCarter responded with a "front page" story.
Obama seems to believe, and seems to be backed up by his advisers in the White House, that by dealing with the deficit now, by dealing with cuts to Social Security and Medicare now, he'll be neutralizing them as issues. Republicans will never give up these issues.[...] the next time Obama wants to try spending, to try to do something to create jobs, they'll cry "tax and spend liberal."Ms. Carter quoted David Dayan, who is the main politics writer at FireDogLake blog to support her.
As for the idea that you can get the deficit “off the table,” I think the word naive actually fits best here. [...] Republicans are never going to stop shrieking about stopping the spendingSo Ms. McCarter and Mr. Dayen tell us that the President believes that addressing the deficit will cause the Republicans to "give up" on the issue of deficits and will take the deficit "off the table". That is, they characterize his argument essentially as "if we give in to the Republicans on this, they will let us go on to more important topics." If the President really believed such a story, he would be remarkably naive - so naive that one might be puzzled how he ever got to be a state legislator let alone President. But if you do not start with the assumption that the President is a kumbaya singing buffoon, you might read his statement to mean that getting the budget under control will assist Democrats in making their case to the public - against the expected Republican attacks. Doesn't that seem more probable? It is characteristic of the progressive left that it has, I'm sure, never occurred to Ms. McCarter or Mr. Dayan that it is unlikely that the President is such a fool and that it is offensive and probably racist to casually imply that he is.
Moody's is threatening to downgrade America's credit rating. Even John Boehner agrees that the Treasury will not have enough money to pay the bills, including social security checks, if the debt limit is not raised. Emerging from that dim background, the President's press conference this morning was another work of art. He challenged Congress once again to go big or go home, as he warned that we are running out of time. Here is the full video:
From the press conference, it was clear that the President understands three things: first, he is serious about tackling the debt problem. He does not want to kick the can down the road, and he is challenging Republicans to join him. Perhaps that will result in some angering of the ideologically strident on both sides, but it's time to rise above politics. Second, he understands that in that assessment, the American people stand with him. Third, in negotiations, he has the upper hand - hell, he has the GOP's number. That's why the President was so calm, cool, collected - none of which prevented him from conveying the urgency of the situation to the American people.
The My Fellow American project is a film project to counter the Islamophobia that flows through so much of American society today. We have Republican candidates for president boasting about their anti-Muslim bigotry, and we have right wing politicians riling up their base with Mosque protests. Elizabeth Potter of the Unity Production Foundation and the My Fellow American project reached out to me and asked me to share this video:
Jane Hamsher has lost it. Actually, my guess is that she never had it to begin with, but she has now gone and finally signed up, openly, with the uber-crazies, right along with Joe "You-lie" Wilson, display-Obama-as-a-witch-doctor Teabaggers, and of course, her own openly racist "blackface" self. Not only does she think that Mitch McConnell is a genius (!) for surrendering to President Obama because you know, that way the President would have to take responsibility for the debt limit going up, she thinks that the McConnell offer is President Obama's "political grave." And of course, those of you who support the President?
You gotta feel sorry for the guy. His most ardent supporters are the dumbest motherfuckers in the world, and they don’t realize he thinks they are digging his political grave.Oooh. Yes, we are a bunch of dumb motherfuckers. This dumb mofo, yours truly, thinks it reasonable to assume that people who gave money a year and half ahead of the election to a campaign are "ardent supporters." Too bad for Jane, she has to deal with 552,462 of us dumbest motherfuckers. Of these, 260,000 are brand new dumbest motherfuckers, aka first time donors to President Obama. And then there's the dumb motherfuckers who gave countless hours to hold 31,000 face-to-face conversations for the campaign, and nearly 300,000 total conversations. That's a whole lotta us dumbest motherfuckers talking to a whole lotta our fellow Americans.
Now that the Republicans have sounded retreat, maybe it's time for the Professional Left to take a lesson. As the President said in his press conference Monday, "Nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to." But I think Lawrence O'Donnell is a much better and more entertaining teacher on this than myself. So here are the first assignments for our Night School for the Professional Left: watch these segments from The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell.
From Monday - Obama makes Boehner cry and retreat. The most masterful rope-a-dope ever:
Additional reading on The People's View: Debt Limit Truth or Dare: Why Obama is Turning Up the Heat on Boehner.
The campaign fundraising reports are due on Friday, and the President's campaign - our campaign - gave us a little glimpse of what we are looking at. The Los Angeles Times reports:
President Obama's vast campaign operation raked in $86 million for his reelection and for the Democratic Party during the last three months, breaking previous records with a total far greater than those posted by his potential Republican opponents in the 2012 election.Of the $86 million, more than $47 million was raised for the Obama campaign, and $38 million for the Obama Victory Fund, a joint venture between the campaign and the DNC dedicated to re-electing the President. But here are the numbers that are really impressive:
Initially, the Obama campaign had set a goal of raising $60 million. Republican candidates combined are expected to raise less than $35 million this quarter.
How about this for messaging and I think Think Progress nailed it on the money:
At the beginning of the Bush presidency, the United States debt limit was $5.95 trillion. Despite promises that he would pay off the debt in 10 years, Bush increased the debt to $9.815 trillion by the end of his term, with plenty of help from the four Republicans currently holding Congressional leadership positions: Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl. ThinkProgress compiled a breakdown of the five debt limit increases that took place during the Bush presidency and how the four Republican leaders voted:Oh wait a minute, let's hear what the feckless House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Monday,
June 2002: Congress approves a $450 billion increase, raising the debt limit to $6.4 trillion. McConnell, Boehner, and Cantor vote “yea”, Kyl votes “nay.”
May 2003: Congress approves a $900 billion increase, raising the debt limit to $7.384 trillion. All four approve.
November 2004: Congress approves an $800 billion increase, raising the debt limit to $8.1 trillion. All four approve.
March 2006: Congress approves a $781 billion increase, raising the debt limit to $8.965 trillion. All four approve.
September 2007: Congress approves an $850 billion increase, raising the debt limit to $9.815 trillion. All four approve.
"A vote to increase the debt limit in this country is an existential question for a fiscal conservative," and "These votes aren't easy. ...What I don't think that the White House understands is how difficult it is for fiscal conservatives to say they're going to vote for a debt ceiling increase."
If you watched The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell last night, you saw President Obama's masterful political genius in the debt ceiling negotiations. The President has rope-a-doped the Republicans in a position that it's Speaker Boehner who's had to admit that not raising the debt ceiling is not an option. By insisting on a $4 trillion debt reduction package with about $1 trillion in revenue increases (by, say, eliminating corporate jet tax breaks and making the wealthy pay a fair share after 2013), the President exposed that the GOP is not serious about deficit reduction.
As the President continued to tighten that rope, Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell became today's white-flag-waver in chief. He proposed giving the President the power to raise the debt ceiling, without needing Congressional approval, if he accompanies the requests to raise the debt limit with equivalent spending reductions. And, he is expiring that authority at the end of President Obama's first term.
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., offered a new plan to allow the president to demand up to $2.4 trillion in new borrowing authority by the summer of next year in three separate submissions.
Those increases in the so-called debt limit would automatically take effect unless both the Republican-controlled House and the Democratic Senate enact legislation specifically disapproving it.
Obama would be able to veto such legislation. [...]
The Republican plan would require that Obama submit spending cuts along with his borrowing requests. But unlike the increase in the debt limit, they wouldn't automatically take effect.
While the Capitol is abuzz on debt limit talks, the important work of implementing far reaching reforms enacted under President Obama continues. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, announced new draft rules for insurance companies to participate in the new health insurance exchanges to open in 2014. In her announcement message, Sebelius laid out the need for regulating insurance companies so that they compete on the basis of price and quality, rather than screwing small businesses and individuals.
The HHS released proposed rules yesterday on standards for the establishment of the insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. While the rules provide flexibility to states to set up and operate exchanges that will not only enroll people in private insurance plans but provide information and enrollment for Medicaid, SCHIP and other public programs as well, (and make clear that if a state should refuse to do so, the federal government can and will operate that state's exchange), the two big components of the rules regulating the insurance exchanges were: giving small businesses an even playing field when it comes to attracting talent and offering health insurance, and giving people in the individual market the tools to compare and choose plans that are right for them.
What did President Obama mean when he said this?
THE PRESIDENT: I have spoken extensively to business leaders. And I’ll be honest with you. I think that business leaders in the abstract want to see a resolution to this problem. What I’ve found is that they are somewhat hesitant to weigh in on some of these issues even if they’re willing to say something privately to me, partly because they’ve got a whole bunch of business pending before Congress and they don’t want to make anybody mad.This:
Republicans have a message for the businesses that worked closely with the Obama administration over the past two years on key controversial issues: We won't forget. [...] [Walmart's support of Health Care reform] caught the eye of Republican Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan. During a phone call with company lobbyists last year during the fight over the health-care bill, Camp bluntly reminded Wal-Mart of its unpalatable position on the issue, according to sources familiar with the conversation.How do you like that small government? Retribution for any business that falls out of line is just part of doing business for our Republican hypocrites.
Now, Wal-Mart's political team finds itself in an awkward position. Camp is poised to become the next chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.Companies that worked with the Democrats over the past two years would face a far less sympathetic audience from Republicans, who are expected to make significant gains in the midterm elections.
I don't know what else to call him. What else would you call a man who has survived an existential question six times in less than 10 years? Why, yes, Eric Cantor did that. You see, this existential question is raising the debt limit.
Amid ongoing negotiations with President Obama over raising the debt ceiling, House Republican leaders responded to Obama's call Monday for compromise by saying that their openness to raising the debt ceiling at all is sacrifice enough.Yes, indeed. A vote to increase the debt ceiling is an existential question for a fiscal conservative like Mr. Cantor. You vote for a debt limit increase and your very existence as a fiscal conservative is threatened. And Superman Cantor has faced that threat six times in less than 10 years and survived!
"A vote to increase the debt limit in this country is an existential question for a fiscal conservative," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Monday. "These votes aren't easy. ...What I don't think that the White House understands is how difficult it is for fiscal conservatives to say they're going to vote for a debt ceiling increase."
If we read what has been said about our President and this Administration lately, it seems like the obituaries for the Obama presidency is already written. WRONG!
It also seems like the Obama Administration does not have friends in the MSM as the President is always second guessed, attacked, belittled and shredded into pieces in a 24x7 news cycle with many misguided analysis. I am not about to even talk about some of these people who nonetheless have it for him regardless of what he does.
However, it is easy to despair and feel sorry for ourselves because of the negativity we see and all around us. So, the only remedy is to double up by with our ACTIONS. Indeed, action speaks louder than words.
I have created The "Yes We Can" Pragmatists Fundraising Page using the OFA tool to raise $10,000 towards the Obama/Biden 2012 re-election. I hope those of us who are capable to give can chip-in what we can to meet this fundraising goal. Let us rally the troops and show the strength of our solidarity by contributing what we can afford. Spread the word to all of our progressive brothers and sisters in other online community to have them participate and organize with us in this fundraising effort.
Conventional wisdom is wrong, again: It's President Obama and the Democrats turning up the heat to reduce the federal deficit by $4 Trillion over the next 10 years, while the Republicans are turning tail as Speaker Boehner is telling people a $2 to $2.4 trillion deal is "more realistic." But President Obama and his team are not ready to let go just yet. Secretary Geithner went on Meet the Press yesterday and basically called the orange man a cut-and-runner (transcript):
And, and, you know, just one thing to Republicans, we know this is very hard to do, but they should not walk away now from trying to do something good for the country. This is very important for the country now. For the economy to be growing long-term, restore confidence that Washington can actually do things and solve some problems, you need both sides to come together now.
Indicators: But the question must also be asked whether the anemic numbers are the lagging indicator, as jobs often are. Lagging indicator, that is, in this case, of the path the recovery is taking. There was never any questions that the path to recovery will be pretty tough and bumpy. So if we take the long view, and assume jobs to be the lagging indicator, how does it stack up with other indicators?
Politicians: The next question is about politicians. What are they doing? What can they do? What can the President do? What can Congress do?
I am going to do a bit of an exploration and analyses of each of these questions. I will try not to make them mind-numbingly boring, but you will have to bear with me and get through the piece. (Warning, wonkish post ahead!)
Here we go, the first edition of the Pragmatic Progressive linky goodness on TPV.
- Chipsticks at The Obama Diary is wondering what's up with all these Professional Left detractors of President Obama being former (?) Republicans.
- Dennis G. over at Balloon Juice explains how the grifters are working to spread lies about President Obama and entitlement benefits in order to cash in.
- Blackwaterdog at her blog The Only Adult in the Room has the President's statement on the US recognition of the world's newest independent country, South Sudan, complete with pictures that show the hope in the birth of a nation.
- Zander at the Angry Black Lady Chronicles has a piece on how it's Speaker Boehner that is caving and changing his tune on the debt ceiling. Hmm, I thought it was President Obama that was caving in? That's what the Professional Left keeps telling me!
- Smartypants at Smartypants (newest addition our blogroll!) covers Nate Silver's analysis on ideological alignments of the political parties.
- Miranda at W.E.E. See You has the video of Rev. Sharpton discussing Republican disenfranchisement of minority voters on MSNBC.
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