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Lines in the Sand

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Posted on Apr 14, 2011

By Eugene Robinson

It was refreshing to hear all those unambiguous declarations from President Obama on Wednesday. “I will not” let Medicare become a voucher program or deprive families with disabled children of needed benefits. “We will” reform government health care programs without disavowing the social compact. “I refuse” to sign another renewal of the Bush tax cuts for millionaires. Republicans “want to give people like me a $200,000 tax cut that’s paid for by asking 33 seniors each to pay $6,000 more in health costs. ... And it’s not going to happen as long as I’m president.”

OK, there weren’t any lines with the simple heat of “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” or the terse power of “Make my day.” But Obama’s budget manifesto represented a significant warming of his usually cool rhetoric. He said he wanted to find common ground but instead devoted much of the speech to drawing lines in the sand.

And thank goodness. If ever there were a time when lines desperately needed to be drawn, it’s now.

Before we get carried away with praise, let’s remember that even as he gets in touch with his Old Testament side, Obama is playing defense. Republicans have already forced him to accept budget cuts that he abhors, and it’s a given that more slashing and burning will follow. Obama noted the questionability of choking off government spending at a time when the economy is struggling for altitude. Yet he proposes doing just that—which means his GOP opponents are setting the agenda.

Let’s also remember that those tax cuts for the rich were as unjust, outrageous and totally unacceptable last fall as they are today. Which many commentators noted (ahem). Before someone caved to Republican demands and signed legislation extending the millionaires’ tax break for two more years. That someone being Obama. 

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The president glossed over this inconvenient history. What he managed to do admirably, however, was distinguish between his vision of America and the one sketched by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., on behalf of House Republicans. It was, as Obama’s critics charge, a political speech—and rightly so. The questions at the heart of the battle over spending and entitlements are, after all, fundamentally political.

It’s not just a matter of drawing a graph in which the line called “expenditures” meets the line called “revenues.” The question is how this intersection is made to occur. Ryan’s plan and Obama’s plan both reduce the deficit by about $4 trillion over the next decade, but they do so in starkly different ways.

Perhaps the clearest example of the difference is how the two plans would handle Medicare and Medicaid, the chief drivers of the deficit. Obama wants to maintain both programs as entitlements. He believes, as I do, that we have a collective interest in ensuring that the elderly and the poor receive the health care they need and deserve. He sees this as a matter not just of compassion but of common sense: We’ve already fallen behind other industrialized democracies in major health indicators, including life expectancy, and we certainly won’t “win the future” by becoming an unhealthier nation.

Republicans apparently believe it’s enough to ensure that state-of-the-art medical care is available to those who can afford to pay for it. Under Ryan’s plan, Medicare and Medicaid could no longer be described as true federal entitlements. This is no exaggeration, because under neither program would adequate health care be guaranteed. Seniors and the poor would, increasingly, have to fend for themselves.

The Republican plan would turn Medicare into a voucher program that subsidizes the purchase of private health insurance. So what if an individual’s insurance premiums were not covered by the voucher? So what if health costs, and premiums, continued to skyrocket? The free market will surely take care of all that, somehow or other.

On Medicaid, Republicans want to shift the burden to the states, giving them block grants and essentially telling them to take care of the indigent however they choose. Some states would be diligent in providing adequate medical care. Some would not.

Is this the kind of America we want? How selfish are we, really? How selfless? To what extent does this churchgoing nation take the biblical instruction to “love thy neighbor” seriously?

These are the kinds of basic choices we face. There are two plans on the table now. Only one of them—Obama’s—appeals to the better angels of our nature.

Eugene Robinson’s e-mail address is eugenerobinson(at)washpost.com.
   
© 2011, Washington Post Writers Group


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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, April 20, 2011 at 12:37 am Link to this comment

In 2012, if there is no one to vote for other than Obama or a
Republican, then I will vote “No Confidence” even if I have to write it
in, because Obama has done nothing to benefit the majority
population.

I’m still waiting to hear from Comrade Phi about even one
time when Obama engaged discussion with the public and Congress
in the best interest of the majority population.

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By samosamo, April 19, 2011 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment

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


I feel that if someone had the balls and was in a public
gathering discussing situations in this country and the world
with o around and at some point an agreement about the
situations was bantered about and o said ‘I give you my word’
then that person of ‘balls’ would turn around and look o in the
face and tell him ‘from what you campaigned in 2008 on, your
actions prove that I cannot take your word’.

Of course that person would most likely suffer retribution
from the vengeful o for ostensibly sullying o on actual events.

Report this

By ardee, April 19, 2011 at 5:58 am Link to this comment

Lafayette, April 19 at 6:16 am

    Alan: Obama has never missed a chance to sell people down the river

Substantiate this blather.  Betcha you can’t.

Here I thought shenonymous to be the biggest Democratic loyalist on this forum. At least she couches her loyalty in more believable prose. If you, as you state, cannot come up with a list of Obama’s deplorable and corporatist decisions and directions then you are unworthy of posting in a political forum.

Here, allow me to start you out:

Guantanemo remains open
torture continues
an administration filled with CEO’s who work for the strengthening of control over our govt by and for corporations.
Bombing Libya
Continuing to murder folks indiscriminately in order to boost the MIC’s bottom line


Feel free to add more as there are scads of examples.

What you propose is invective and makes for an excellent Replicant Electoral Game Plan to undermine the Dems. (Just who’s side are you on?  One might wonder ...)

This is such a juvenile statement as to almost make me gap jawed and mute. If you don’t vote Democrat then you are a bad person and Im taking my ball and going home ( if only).

    Well progressives, are we going to have a true progressive Democrat to challenge O. in the primaries?

Obama is the man, yet again, and like it or not.

No we wont and yes he is. The Democrats, I might remind you as you seem to have forgotten ( err not really) that the Dems had 59 votes in the Senate and couldn’t or wouldn’t pass decent legislation then.

Amidst a steady barrage of bullshite from Republicans, Democrats remained almost completely silent and their only responses were to cave in. What you insist upon is voting Republican-lite frankly, and the record of the last three years proves that point rather well.

If this post of yours is a typical democratic response then I see why silence might be preferable. How silly a defense you posit. Perhaps others might continue to shred your “reasoning” I simply haven’t the stomach for any more such at the moment.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, April 19, 2011 at 2:16 am Link to this comment

DREAM TEAM

Alan: Obama has never missed a chance to sell people down the river

Substantiate this blather.  Betcha you can’t.

What you propose is invective and makes for an excellent Replicant Electoral Game Plan to undermine the Dems. (Just who’s side are you on?  One might wonder ...)

  Well progressives, are we going to have a true progressive Democrat to challenge O. in the primaries?

Obama is the man, yet again, and like it or not.

Understand that any PotUS, under the present system of governance, governs with the Advice and Consent of Congress.

Having been whammied by the electorate in the mid-terms - because he had shown he could not walk on water (and pull the economy out of the worst economic mess in 80 years), the Executive Branch is in a tussle with the Legislative Branch - aka Gridlock in LaLaLand on the Potomac.

A Progressive Agenda is indeed needed for America, but it must start not at the top but at the bottom - at the grass-roots level. If that ever happens, it will move like wildfire across a nation sick and tired of Income Unfairness and Plutocrat Privileges.

For a Progressive Agenda to be advanced in this nation it requires a PotUS who also sweeps-up both Houses of Congress. To do that, you need much more than just a Progressive President.

We, the sheeple, must provide the impetus to elect the Dream Team comprised of both the Executive and Legislative Branches of government. And frankly, I don’t see that happening any time soon. There is not yet enough hurt out there in the American public to pull it off.

The present Ayn-Randian Replicant Idiocy has still a way to go before it crashes in flames. Some people never learn and remain obstinate in their dogma.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, April 19, 2011 at 12:20 am Link to this comment

Comrade Phi, April 19 at 2:47 am,

“He can engage in rhetoric and polemics to engage the discussion
in the House and Senate.  He can engage his bully pulpit to arouse
the American people to make demands of their elected reps to
craft legislation in accord with their desires.” —Comrade Phi,
April 19 at 2:47 am


Obama doesn’t engage the discussion in the best interest of the
Left’s majority population, as a leader from the Left should.  Obama engages
the dialectic or the Right to represent the Left, which is ludicrous. 

The Right’s Mega Corporations and the Elite will never represent
the majority population.  Obama took the public option for health
care off the table, himself; in fact I can’t think of one time when he
engaged the discussion in the best interest of the majority
population.

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By Comrade Phi, April 18, 2011 at 10:47 pm Link to this comment

Do any of you realize just how limited the powers of the US President are? Obama cannot govern by edict, he cannot create legislation, he cannot levy taxes, he can’t even cast one vote in the House or Senate.  He has the responsibility to sign legislature into statue and also the ability to veto bills that he feels are too extreme or inept.  And other than the Executive Pardon of the convicted, plus a few other ancillary powers, he is for all intents and purposes a FIGUREHEAD!  Every President is the same.  He can engage in rhetoric and polemics to engage the discussion in the House and Senate.  He can engage his bully pulpit to arouse the American people to make demands of their elected reps to craft legislation in accord with their desires.  And that is it.

If we don’t feel that he has accomplished enough, we have the ability to either reject him in 2012 or, in the interim, force our representatives and senators to enact policies that are our desires for governance. We are the ultimate power in this system.  Yet we mostly whine and bitch about conditions and don’t come forward and inconvenience ourselves to force a change. If everyone of us making comments here are registered to vote and take advantage of that franchise, I will be shocked to find out.  If even one in fifteen of us contributed time and resources to the governing process outside of the activities occurring during the Presidential election year, I will be flabbergasted! 

Stop complaining and do something.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, April 18, 2011 at 10:33 pm Link to this comment

It looks like there may be a possibility Governor
Howard Dean may be running for president in 2012;
Governor Dean is a Democrat that I would
vote for.  Here is an article from The Daily Beast,
“Howard Dean to Obama, Get out of
Afghanistan”
http://readersupportednews.org/off-site-news-section/69-69
/5660-howard-dean-to-obama-get-out-of-afghanistan

Governor Dean is not a DLC New Democrat and
would be able to win for the political Left strictly
because he will represent the political Left,
because when representatives or candidates of
the political Left argue dialectical frames of the
political Left with the political Right, instead of
arguing within the political Right’s dialectical
frames, the Left will win.  Governor Dean will not
argue the Right’s frame to represent the Left, as
has been happening since the time of Nixon.

The media and conservative DLC New
“Republican Lite” Democrats argue for the
political Left within the conservative safety of the
political Right’s dialectical frames; it isn’t logical
for the political Left to argue political benefit and
best interest of the political Left using the frame
of the political dialectic of the political Right,
because dialectic is a logical LOOP that is causal
in nature and arguing a causal LOOP that does
not support the thesis of your argument is not
beneficial to the best interest and outcome of
your argument, therefore the DLC New
Democrats always help the Republicans with only
the appearance of representing the political Left.

Obama is a DLC New Democrat that argues within the political
Right’s frame, whereas Governor Dean will argue with the political
Right for the political Left within a political Left frame and ignore
the political Right’s frame that is not in the political Left’s best
interest because Governor Dean will represent the political Left
that has not been represented since the 1970’s
when corporations began their takeover.

“Most people don’t realize that prior to the 1970’s, there were no
corporate lobbyists on K Street. But since that time, they have
built an unprecedented web of power. And you can’t appease
people who are trying to keep you disconnected and in the dark.
It’s time to actively challenge the corporate influence in
Washington and build a movement that insists on real dialogue
and debate. And that depends on independent and inclusive
journalism. ”—Free Press Media Reform http://freepress.net

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By aacme88, April 18, 2011 at 9:02 pm Link to this comment

Lines in the sand are Obama’s stock in trade, only to be blown away by the first ill wind.

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By Byard Pidgeon, April 18, 2011 at 7:45 pm Link to this comment

I’ll believe in the inviolability of Obama’s lines in the sand on the day he
manages to find those “comfortable shoes” he was going to be wearing as
he walked the lines with labor.

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By Aarky, April 18, 2011 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

10acyankee- you said it the best and the quickest. Lots of other posters have excellent comments.

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By Litl Bludot, April 17, 2011 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller,

I agree that it is difficult to tell who’s telling truth.  I would suggest (although I
know that you know this because of the excellent link you posted regarding the
14 criteria for fascism) to gage truth from fiction by looking at history and facts. 
Admittedly it’s hard to find facts on the MSM, which includes PBS and NPR now.

But if I am against Obama it doesn’t mean I am for the Republicans.  They were
horrible, fascist creeps even when there were some so-called moderates among
them, fifty years ago.  They and the corporations have ruined my life and my
country.  But you must admit, now, that the Democrats are no better.  In fact, I
submit to you, as Hedges has pointed out (who I know you read) we have been
left defenseless by the coopting of the Democratic party by the corporations,
exemplified by Clinton and now Obama.

I agree with Madisoloation that ways to show Obama’s complicity in the
ongoing corporate fascist takeover of the US would be worth an effort, and the
list of his actions to that end be publicized, somehow. 

Perhaps all it takes is that clear message that he has been lying all this time,
and has done the exact opposite of what he promised.  That he is a war criminal
too and deserves to be impeached is also something we should demand. 
Likewise, Bush, Cheney, and crew should be tried for their many crimes. The
fraudsters and banksters should be put in jail. 

The government should be purged of corporate cronies in any positions, all
branches of government.. Publicly financed elections have to be mandatory. 
Election reform instituted, all machines made subject to public scrutiny (no
proprietary secrets).  All laws, regulations, must be subject to a review in which
it is determined that there will be no harmful environment effects, no toxic
production, no biological threat in any way from their implementation.  This
includes the production of more carbon dioxide, nuclear waste, etc.

If not Nader, than Feingold and Sanders seem to be options as candidates for
president.  .

I am posting the fascist criteris by Britt that you referenced.  Thanks
http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/britt_23_2.htm

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, April 17, 2011 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment

Who needs real Republicans when Obama seems his own worst enemy and alienates his own side? My disappointment is when the Democrats were in power they sat on their hands and now with the Replicates in power, the Dems sit on their hands.

I do not know how many, if any posters here are Republican shrills but it really does not seem to matter any more.

The differences between Tea Bags, Republicans and Democratics, only appears to be in the bigotedness of it.

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By Litl Bludot, April 17, 2011 at 10:35 am Link to this comment

madisloation, your suggestions:

“I think large protests of Obama at his campaign rallies would draw the kind of
attention that will help to erase the media propaganda that’s already beginning
“,,,
“All it would take is the will to attend and a homemade sign. But the think of
the difference it could make.”

I agree and think it would work, ,,,,,IF you could get that close to his rallies, but
I do not think it will be allowed.  You would be corralled and arrested.  I think
we would be arrested or isolated far off from his rally, and you would not be
covered by the media.  Anything that would be effective would be met with
authoritarian force and then hidden from the public. 

But it would be worth a try.

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By madisolation, April 17, 2011 at 7:39 am Link to this comment

Litl Bludot:

I think large protests of Obama at his campaign rallies would draw the kind of attention that will help to erase the media propaganda that’s already beginning (like Eugene Robinson’s fawning piece here). Think of the signs about everything from war to civil liberties, BP to tax breaks for the rich, the floats of Obama kissing a CEO’s rear end, and the chants the people could employ. Outside crowds could drown out his outdoor speeches, and protests could reduce the number of people who would attend until he ends up speaking to very small crowds…
All it would take is the will to attend and a homemade sign. But the think of the difference it could make.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, April 17, 2011 at 7:18 am Link to this comment

BEATING A DEAD HORSE

ER: Obama wants to maintain both (HC) programs as entitlements. He believes, as I do, that we have a collective interest in ensuring that the elderly and the poor receive the health care they need and deserve. He sees this as a matter not just of compassion but of common sense.

How much longer must we beat this Dead Horse?

Yes, Health Care is considered a Basic Right in most countries, which is why it is also considered a Key Public Service. Like, you know, policing and firemen, etc., etc.

Then why is it that Americans assume its like any market, say, like selling iPads – all that one need do is look for the cheapest price for a given service? Because that is not the case.

You can’t “shop around” for Heath Care insurance, since (for the most part) this private insurance market is locked-up. See what I mean in this self-explanatory graphic here.

Private insurance has gamed the “market” and controls it. It is what economists call an oligopoly, that is, too many customers (patients) chasing too few suppliers (HC practitioners). In such markets, the latter set the prices - and the insurance companies skim a percentage off the top.

The market is extremely lucrative. See this Vanity Fair article here.

MY POINT

Health Care is expensive in all countries in which it is done well. Even if the best HC in the world comes from Europe, with its systems of National Heath Care, it is noT inexpensive.

Doctors in France, for instance, earn about two-thirds of their counterparts in the US – as an example. (And it is similar across the panoply of HC-professions.) But France delivers state-of-the-art HC-services to the French public at one-half the total cost per person of the US. One HAS to ask the question, Why?

Because it is not only a single payer National Health System, but because it mandates the prices that can be asked – whether of a service (GP, analyses, surgery, retraining, etc.) or a medication. (Pharmaceuticals go to the US to recuperate their development costs quickly, because they cannot depend upon the margins the get in Europe to do so.)

From the basic array of HC-services to the private insurance providers, the American system is one of the worst conceivable of any developed country on earth. And all this for the sake of what? Free enterprise?

Gimme a break ...

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By Alan, April 17, 2011 at 3:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama has never missed a chance to
sell people down the river.
He is a corporatist with a faint and fading conscience.
Well progressives, are we going to
have a true progressive Democrat to challenge
O. in the primaries?

Report this
Virginia777's avatar

By Virginia777, April 17, 2011 at 2:30 am Link to this comment

*steps back, draws a line in the sand with her toe*

Lay off Obama, Eugene Robinson.

Your pettiness her might be a release of steam, but it is destructive to the Left, which is already under siege.

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By Litl Bludot, April 17, 2011 at 12:21 am Link to this comment

azythos

“It’s not as if the country were out of job opportunities for sycophantic
propagandists of war (Obama), crimes against humanity (Obama), war crimes
(Obama), subversion of the Constitution (Obama), theft and embezzlement of
millions of people in plain sight (Obama). “

It needs to be said over and over. 

Nader called for his impeachment on DN, but not a word from any MSM outlet,
nor, from Truthdig, as far as I can tell.  Your words need to be said over and
over.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/18/daniel_ellsberg_joins_peace_activis
ts_risking

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, April 16, 2011 at 10:56 pm Link to this comment

It is no secret.  Obama told us what we wanted to hear and got
elected.  2012 is time for re-election—it is time for the people to
hear what they want to hear, but what Obama does not do at all is
what he says he will do, as he has ignored the greater majority of
the population ever since he arrived at the White House, and now it
is time for the greater majority of the populace to ignore him.  Not
that we want to elect a Republican, we want to elect anyone besides
Obama and a Republican, which has proven to be one and the same.
We definitely do not need 4 more years of Obama.

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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, April 16, 2011 at 9:59 pm Link to this comment

I’ve heard all before - during the last campaign when he made promises that made so many people vote for him and which he broke so many times with impunity.
Fool me once shame on you - fool me twice shame on me.
So this campaign has the advantage of 100% hindsight.

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By 10acyankee, April 16, 2011 at 7:49 pm Link to this comment

First off ,let me say ,I am not an Obama hater.
  BUT!!
 
I find it interesting that Obama finally seems to grow a pair after 3 years of hanging with corporate douschebags, and sitting on the sidelines with little to say.
  Oh thats right , he is now running a re-election campaign. Time for the those very special speeches that promise everything and then deliver squat.
  President Obama, you had your chance, but you blew it BIG TIME.
  Now its just to little to late.

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By azythos, April 16, 2011 at 7:28 pm Link to this comment

Oh, yeah! So the Obama talked tough, eh? He promised things, do you hear?

Enough is enough is enough, Robinson!

In fact, the readers have already given every sign of having had it not only with Obama but also with his shameless propaganda poodle, Robinson.

It’s not as if the country were out of job opportunities for sycophantic propagandists of war (Obama), crimes against humanity (Obama), war crimes (Obama), subversion of the Constitution (Obama), theft and embezzlement of millions of people in plain sight (Obama). Why doesn’t Robinson get the hell out of this halfway decent web site and go earn his asslicking money writing for the White House or some other “liberal” toilet paper? Keep Robinson comfortably retired…

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By samosamo, April 16, 2011 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment

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


And if o does anything it will be to steadily and frequently keep
drawing that line over and over again further and further back to
allow the corporate bribed congress to further the corporate
agenda. Those are actions, real and for some part verifiable as
time shows.

That is his bi-polar head fake when he says just the opposite of
what he does and vice versa; what he does is dependent on his
bi-polar head fake of ostensible rhetoric.

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By glider, April 16, 2011 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment

Obama is a massive hypocrite and I am generally one of the first to say ignore what he says and look only at what he does.  That said, given that he is going into election mode he may be more useful this time round.  After all his term has already reaped great rewards for his corporate sponsors.  He has bailed out and enriched financial corporations, he has gifted the insurance and pharmaceutical companies with his “health care” plan, and he has enriched the MIC by expanding our wars.  So Obama has largely done the job he was installed to perform.  Perhaps fighting for Medicare and Social Security is the perfect wedge issue for Obama to stand firm upon for the purpose of getting elected to a 2nd term?  It is particularly attractive because I do not think it would really upset any of his key corporate sponsors.  Just stating what I see as a reasonable possibility.

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By TDoff, April 16, 2011 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment

Unfortunately, when our president drew his lines in the sand, he didn’t notice that the tide was out. So the lines are very close to the surf. And the first big wave that comes in, which is already building to a crest, made up of the frenzied, irrational, PAC-money-hungry GOPers and TP’ers, is going to wipe out most of the lines. The 2nd wave, stuffed with the limitless greenbacks of the MIC and other US corporations and their equally amoral minion-lobbyists, should erase most remnants of the lines. Then the tsunami of stupidity, ignorance, and apathy of the US citizenry will arrive, and not only destroy any last vestiges of the lines, but eliminate the entire beach, so the lines may never be drawn again.
At least that’s the hope/plan of the current US powers-that-be.

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prisnersdilema's avatar

By prisnersdilema, April 16, 2011 at 11:27 am Link to this comment

Talk is cheap….that makes this president cheaper than cheap….

Then there’s action talks and bullshit walks…

I won’t be impressed, until the 82nd Airborne, surrounds Goldman Sachs, and cuts the power to the buildng so they can’t start shredding, then arrests everyone en mass under military law for sedition, racketering, and then confiscates every asset under federal Narcotics laws..

Then they can be interrogated under military jurisdiction to find out which politicians are bribed and owned by Sovereign Wealth Funds..

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By Awi, April 16, 2011 at 12:23 am Link to this comment

Robinson, given two years of evidence, I consider your support of Obama to be bald racism.

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By Litl Bludot, April 15, 2011 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment

Debt to poster Leefeller for below link by an academic who has looked at history
and seen the exact same criteria for what is happening now and what has
happened in the past, i.e. countries that become fascist. 

There is no difference in the mode of operation, just in the method between Bush
and Obama.  The latter being more charming, deceptive, and, of course, a
Democrat, a frenemy, who can, seemingly, make a speech that negates all of his
wars in the world and on the middle class and poor on behalf of the rich and
powerful.
http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/britt_23_2.htm

Read it and then think about what this country really has become.

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By Litl Bludot, April 15, 2011 at 5:08 pm Link to this comment

Madisolation

“As far as I’m concerned, we should impeach him, primary him, turn our backs on
him, or protest whenever and wherever he pokes his campaigning nose out of his
wealthy Washington bubble in the months to come. Whatever. Just get rid of him
and his lying “promises.”

Yes, this is the only direction!!!  Thanks.

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ohiolibgal's avatar

By ohiolibgal, April 15, 2011 at 4:41 pm Link to this comment

Love most of what he said - but it was quite similar to things he was saying while running for the job.

Of course we know that once he got in he goes right to the Goldman Sachs in and out alumni for his money people - people who played a big part and/or got rich causing the Wall Street meltdown.

Plus he just signed a budget sticking it to the needy, to environemtal regulating, etc.

I want to see him back up his talk for once.

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By expat, April 15, 2011 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Anyone still residing in these united states ought to have their head examined.

Travel a little bit, and you will quickly realize what a fourth world, unfree, mean spirited and filled with bigots nation the uSSa has become.

So go ahead, let the morons remain in their soon to be concentration camp (already partial), if you have half a brain, leave.

It’s not as hard as you think and actually it can be an incredible rebirth.  Money the problem?  What, you think you’re gonna repay your credit in US once having found a good life overseas?  You’ll be but a spec in a defaulting nation.  Isn’t it your turn to screw the banksters?  Let me tell you, it’s orgasmic!

I am faithful to the ideals of the Constitution, but it’s ameriKa which abandoned these ideals, I left with my family in 03 and never regretted it.  Great, almost free health care, almost free world class university for the kids, business opportunities aplenty, etc, etc…

Imagine you live in Germany in 1933 knowing all you know…  would you stay?  Explain to me how this is different.

On top of it, now that Japan is nuking the US back
(with GE “we bring good things to life technology” !)
to the point that everyone in US will have some kind
of cancer within 3 years and will die off within 5 to 10, you’d really be an idiot to stay.

You still there?

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By Downing, April 15, 2011 at 2:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Some aren’t listening at all, or not absorbing. Litlbludot seems to be describing the opposition. Granted, the debate is forced right of center doing to the right’s extremism. I see a clear demarcation of ideology. What kind of people are we? Is it every man for himself, or was Cain the first ‘conservative’. Obama is again showing the idealism he expressed in his campaign. We need more of this.

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By lmurphymon2, April 15, 2011 at 10:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m sorry. That’s so funny.

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By Jeffrey C. Goldfarb, April 15, 2011 at 8:32 am Link to this comment

People who criticize this speech for its insufficient commitment to progressive principles, don’t understand the difference between getting things done, and dreaming of a beautiful future. Consider seriously what has to be done, and then appreciate Obama’s last speech, as Krugman did. The speech is not right of center, it is centrist defending the progressive project, http://www.deliberatelyconsidered.com/2011/04/president-obama-on-taxing-and-spending-and-the-american-center/

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By madisolation, April 15, 2011 at 8:22 am Link to this comment

Glenn Greenwald:
Krugman himself added that “it’s a center-right plan already; if it’s the starting point for negotiations that move the solution toward lower taxes for the rich and even harsher cuts for the poor, just say no.”

“That highlights two key points.  One is that the expectation level of liberals is now so low that they cheer for a pretty speech that introduces a “rather conservative, center-right plan”—one that is almost certainly the mere starting point that will lead to a still more rightward economic policy.  And the second is that Obama always has been able to deliver nice speeches, especially ones that trigger the desired response among progressives; the test for Obama is what he does, not what he says in a single speech.”
http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/

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By madisolation, April 15, 2011 at 8:04 am Link to this comment

“Only one of them—Obama’s—appeals to the better angels of our nature.”
Oh, please. Obama’s plans never appeal to the better angels of our nature, not when he’s using our tax money to murder innocents all over the world:
“And if you’re a U.S. taxpayer, forget welfare programs: bombing and occupying countries that pose no credible threat to America—Obama has so far authorized attacks in at least six countries since taking office, including Yemen, Somalia and the latest and greatest $8.3- million-a-day war for peace, Libya—is your single greatest expense as a citizen.”
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/04/14-2
Libya, alone, is costing us $8.3 million a day with no end in sight! My better angels do not find that at all appealing.
Lawmakers all have military contractors in their districts, and Obama is wallowing in military campaign contributions. They will take food out of our mouths and let us die rather than end the wars. Obama and these warmongering politician are oh-so-bipartisany when it comes to killing.
Do not talk of Obama in terms of better angels. Obama wants nothing to do with angels when the sins of evil, murder, and torture are so much more lucrative.
Our taxes should first, before anything else, go to programs that provide for the general welfare. Obama has no interest in the general welfare of the citizens of the United States.
As far as I’m concerned, we should impeach him, primary him, turn our backs on him, or protest whenever and wherever he pokes his campaigning nose out of his wealthy Washington bubble in the months to come. Whatever. Just get rid of him and his lying “promises.”

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By ardee, April 15, 2011 at 5:53 am Link to this comment

A typical Obama effort, short on specifics but flowery and certainly nothing one might express such exuberance over. This author seems simply desperate for something, anything to hang his unwavering support for this Bush-lite President upon.

Obama has made too many such speeches and acted in opposition to them too many times for me to care what the hell he says.

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By Litl Bludot, April 15, 2011 at 4:30 am Link to this comment

Yeh, right.  Robinson and Dionne, corporate hacks posing as
progressive journalists.

Obama has always done what he wants to do i.e. pimping us out to
the corporate fascists.  The wacko Republicans just make him look
good doing it.

This allows the intellectual frauds like Robinson to pose Obama as
something other than a dispicable, amoral, con man who has
facilitated the power of the corporations to control the economy,
our social fabric, our military, government domestic spying, war,
torture, and the impending environmental apocolypse from any
number of ongoing ecocidal human activities.

We are at a point of no return. Yet, a dolt like Robinson can get
paid for writing propaganda for a disgusting hypocrite and still go
out in polite society.

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joentokyo's avatar

By joentokyo, April 14, 2011 at 10:18 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Robinson, please mail me a case of whatever you drink or smoke that makes you believe anything the president says is right or true. I will gladly pay the going rate and for shipping. I would love to believe his words, but the president has disappointed me too many times for me to believe in him or his word.

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By American Democrat, April 14, 2011 at 8:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s see if we can do a little prognosticating after Wednesday’s speech, when President Obama came forward with a proposal for ‘budget balancing’.

To help us with our fortune telling, let’s look back at Obama’s track record with
respect to honoring the public’s wishes, i.e. the desires of those who voted for
him.

How Obama has responded to the voters who elected him:

Health Care: 72% of Americans supported “a government-administered
insurance plan—something like Medicare for those under 65—that would
compete for customers with private insurers.” Obama-led ‘non-reform’ gives
private insurers a 20% overhead for all government-mandated - i.e. ALL -
customers.

TARP & Financial Bailout: Over 70% of the American people opposed the bailout.
Three years later, un- and under-employment exceed 18%; record profits for
financial institutions.

Afghanistan: 64% of the American people opposed expanding the war in
Afghanistan and wanted to disentangle from Bush-era ‘War on Terror’ and
‘preventive war’ policies. Today, over 60% of Americans oppose the war. The
war continues.

How Obama has done ‘negotiating’ for the middle class:

Let’s take a look at Obama’s track record with respect to “debates” with
Republicans on “significant issues”:

Obama/McConnell compromise on taxes (end of 2010) - $10,000 for every
millionaire; $1 for each working family (and unemployment)
and
Obama/Boehner ‘historic deal’ to avert a manufactured threat of government
‘shut down’ - Loss of $40,000,000,000 in government services.

Are you ready to predict the future? Before you do, take review the ‘health care
debate’; it’s the model for what’s happening now.

Here’s how Obama handled the ‘health care debate’. Obama wanted to avoid
single payer and favored the Bob Dole/Mitt Romney (Republican) approach - i.e.
giving tax payer dollars to private insurers at an overhead rate of 20% and
mandating people to buy or be fined. To make sure that’s what happened,
Obama simply took the original people’s mandate and the Democrats’ 60-year
policy goal - i.e. single payer - and let it become the victim of gun-toting Town
Halls and Tea Party mau-mauing. These activities were allowed to move
forward without rebuttal by the White House during the summer prior to
Congressional debates.

Those activities effectively set-up the Max Baucus silent ‘hearings’ in which no
single payer advocates could be heard.

Toward the culmination of the process, Obama made some lame remark (“I dont
know what’s wrong with looking at a single payer”), attempting to show
‘support’, but knowingly and effectively putting a final spike in the heart of
sixty years of Democratic policy. A deal had been made in secret, the secret
passed.

Today’s budget ‘debates’ are a re-play of the health care scenario:

Obama remains silent, allowing the Republicans to frame the debate; then
Obama folds his hands and asks everyone to act like grown-ups; then Obama
makes some lame remark to ‘appease the liberal base’. Meanwhile Obama has
negotiated a deal in secret with the Republicans, Obama folds and supports the
Republican position.

Pity the American people for whom there are no advocates in DC.

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