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Obama’s New Square Deal

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Posted on Dec 7, 2011
White House / Pete Souza

President Obama speaks in Osawatomie, Kan.

By E.J. Dionne, Jr.

President Obama has decided that he is more likely to win if the election is about big things rather than small ones. He hopes to turn the 2012 campaign from a plebiscite about the current state of the economy into a referendum about the broader progressive tradition that made us a middle-class nation. For the second time, he intends to stake his fate on a battle for the future.

This choice has obvious political benefits to an incumbent presiding over a still-ailing economy, and it confirms Obama’s shift from a defensive approach earlier this year to an aggressive philosophical attack on a Republican Party that has veered sharply rightward. It’s also the boldest move the president has made since he decided to go all-out for health insurance reform even after the Democrats lost their 60-vote majority in the Senate in early 2010.

The president’s speech on Tuesday in Osawatomie, Kan., the site of Theodore Roosevelt’s legendary “New Nationalism” speech 101 years ago, was the inaugural address Obama never gave. It was, at once, a clear philosophical rationale for his presidency, a straightforward narrative explaining the causes of the nation’s travails, and a coherent plan of battle against a radicalized conservatism that now defines the Republican Party and has set the tone for its presidential nominating contest.

In drawing upon TR, Obama tied himself unapologetically to a defense of America’s long progressive and liberal tradition. The Republican Roosevelt, after all, drew his inspiration from the writer Herbert Croly, whose book “The Promise of American Life” can fairly be seen as the original manifesto for modern liberalism. Thus has the tea party’s radicalism encouraged a very shrewd politician to take on a task that Democrats have been reluctant to engage since Ronald Reagan’s ascendancy.

Obama was remarkably direct in declaring that the core ideas of the progressivism advanced by Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt were right, and that the commitments of Reagan era supply-side economics are flatly wrong. He praised TR for knowing “that the free market has never been a free license to take whatever you can from whomever you can” and for understanding that “the free market only works when there are rules of the road that ensure competition is fair and open and honest.”

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He also eviscerated supply-side economics, a theory promising that “if we just cut more regulations and cut more taxes—especially for the wealthy—our economy will grow stronger.”

“But here’s the problem,” Obama declared. “It doesn’t work. It has never worked. It didn’t work when it was tried in the decade before the Great Depression. It’s not what led to the incredible postwar booms of the ‘50s and ‘60s. And it didn’t work when we tried it during the last decade.”

A White House that just a few months ago was obsessed with the political center is now not at all wary, as a senior adviser put it, of extolling “a vision that has worked for this country.” But this adviser also noted that Obama implicitly contrasted the flexibility of the Rooseveltian progressivism with the rigidity of the current brand of conservatism. The official pointed to Obama’s strong commitment to education reform, including his critique in Osawatomie of “just throwing money at education.”

“You can embrace it (the progressive tradition) if you can make the point that philosophies and political theories can evolve as facts on the ground change,” the adviser said. The liberalism Obama advocated thus contains a core of moderation that the ideology of the tea party does not. Finally, Obama has realized that the path to the doors of moderate voters passes through a wholesale critique of the immoderation of the right.

For months, progressives have asked why Obama wasn’t invoking the populist language of Franklin D. Roosevelt and his attacks on “economic royalists” and “the privileged princes” of “new economic dynasties.” What progressives often forget is that FDR offered these words only when his first term was almost over, in his acceptance speech at the 1936 Democratic National Convention. Roosevelt did not become a full-throated economic populist until the election was upon him—and only after he was pressed by a left and a labor movement that demanded more of him.

Facing his own re-election and pushed by an Occupy Wall Street movement that has made economic inequality a driving issue in our politics, Barack Obama discovered both of his inner Roosevelts.


E.J. Dionne’s e-mail address is ejdionne(at)washpost.com.
   
© 2011, Washington Post Writers Group


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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, December 12, 2011 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment

QUOTE, of an anonymous outrageous Obama apologist:

“The difference of course is that WE HAVE the facts regarding climate change”
_________________

Yes, and Democrats acknowledge the reality of those facts, and they understand that their not timely responding to mitigate climate change as much as possible ASAP will have catastrophic consequences for our children and future generations… but Democrats don’t do the good they could when they can.

Obama — still supported by his maniacs — just delayed until 2020 doing anything helpful about climate change, other than providing an environment in which banksters will profit from bundling pollution swap default credits, while the glaciers all disappear, and the methane rapidly rising up from the defrosting permafrost results in acceleration of species extermination.

Jill Stein for President:

http://www.jillstein.org

Voter Consent Wastes Dissent:

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=498&Itemid=1

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, December 11, 2011 at 10:41 pm Link to this comment

Re: worm

I’m not sure where you’re going with your reference
to the scene in Suskind’s book. Since that would have
been in reference to TARP monies not the trillions
given to the banks in secret (which was before the
TARP millions!). And yeah, I remember the “it’s in
the best interests of the country” comments.

That last issue is certainly debatable, AND HAS BEEN
DEBATED! lol

But realistically, the whole affair should be
investigated….. the people have a right to know.

Just for clarity regarding those secret trillions, I
received this newsletter from Rep. Alan Grayson:

“Dear xxxxx,

You saw that title, “A $200K Mortgage for $2 a
Month,” and maybe you thought, “that looks like
spam.”

No. It’s real.

And then maybe you thought, “a $200,000 mortgage? For
only $2 each month? That sounds impossible.”

Well, it is possible. It’s just not possible for you.

For Bank of America, yes. For Citigroup, yes. For
Wells Fargo, yes.

For you, no.

The GAO’s main report on its audit of the Federal
Reserve exposed who received the trillions and
trillions of dollars in Fed bailouts. But the GAO
report wasn’t very specific about the terms of those
bailouts. For that, we have the Freedom of
Information Act records obtained by Bloomberg News,
which Bloomberg wrote about last week. Among other
things, Bloomberg reported that the Fed lent out this
cash to Wall Street at rates “as low as 0.01
percent.”

To such worthy recipients as Bear Stearns, AIG, the
Royal Bank of Scotland, etc., etc.

Well, it could have been worse. The Fed could have
just dumped the money into a wood chipper.

If you do that math, you’ll see that when the Fed
gave Citigroup the money for a $200,000 mortgage, at
0.01 percent, Citigroup had to pay less than $2 each
month for that money. Citigroup then lent that money
to you – if it deigned to lend you anything – for
maybe $1,000 a month, maybe more.

And that $40,000 credit card balance? Citigroup paid
the Fed less than a dollar a month for that money.
And you paid $1,000.

Citigroup pays $1. You pay $1,000. You see how that
works?

Citigroup fell into such a deep hole that it had to
borrow a “term-adjusted” $58,000,000,000 from the
Fed, according to Page 132 of the GAO’s audit report.

And what would you get from the Fed, if you fell into
a deep hole? Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zip. Diddly-squat.
Zero.

You wouldn’t get jack.

If you lose your home, you can sleep in your car. If
you lose your car, you can sleep under a bridge.
Unless, of course, you’re a Wall Street banker.

Two hundred and thirteen years ago, there was a
Member of Congress who said: “Millions for defense,
but not one penny for tribute.” Now we have a
government that says: “Trillions for Wall Street, but
not one penny for you.”

That’s our government. Unless we change it.

Courage,

Alan Grayson

“Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That’s how it goes. Everybody knows.”

- Leonard Cohen, “Everybody Knows”

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By the worm, December 11, 2011 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment

“The amount of money the central bank parceled out was surprising even to Gary
H. Stern, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis from 1985 to
2009, who says he “wasn’t aware of the magnitude.”

For some, Mr Stern’s statement that he ‘wasn’t aware of the magnitude’ raises
more questions, questions about whether any one could have known:

“So…. what does this mean?  Apparently, this branch of the Fed wasn’t aware of
what the central bank did. Or was he…... he actually says that he wasn’t “aware of
the magnitude”, does that mean he knew but not how much? What does that
mean, exactly?”

Some have concluded:

“Who knew. We don’t know.”

Ron Suskind includes this scene in his book, Confidence Men:

After Paulson declares “This is the right thing to do for the country,” Suskind
continues:

“Geithner then rattled off the amount each bank would be given. Bank of America:
$ $25 billion; Citigroup: $25 billion; Goldman Sachs: $10 billion; JPMorgan: $25
billion; Morgan Stanley: $10 billion; State Street: $10 billion; Wells Fargo: 25
billion.”

Suskind continues:

“..initial receptiveness dissolved when John Thain mentioned ... the third rail…

“What kind of protections can you give us on changes in compensation policy?

“The Treasury”, Suskind clarifies, “was giving the banks cheap capital, in the midst
of a crisis, and Thain was asking if their bonuses would be safe.”

Suskind concludes:

“Paulson’s assurance that the U.S. government would not intrude on the
sovereignty of the banks receiving taxpayers’ money would make the issue of what
to do with the money a matter ultimately of CEO discretion.”

Suskind does not say that Geithner was in the room at the time and within hearing
distance and listening; so, as the saying goes “we don’t have all the facts”.

Now, these events were during the final months of the Bush administration. “The
Change You Can Believe In” was not begin until a new President with new advisors
and new policies was elected and inaugurated.

But somethings, never change(d).

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, December 11, 2011 at 8:46 pm Link to this comment

Re: worm

Your comment:
“I think I heard Jim Inhofe say something like
that about climate change.”

The difference of course is that WE HAVE the facts
regarding climate change but none regarding this hand
out from the Fed. Depicting the two as one and the
same is bogus. One being an outright LIE and the
other as truly having only a portion of the facts.

Obviously, someone knew…. aside from the banks
themselves of course.

Maybe our grandchildren will get the answers.

Report this

By the worm, December 11, 2011 at 8:31 pm Link to this comment

“And the fact is, we don’t have all the facts. So we shouldn’t jump the gun.”

I think I heard Jim Inhofe say something like that about climate change.


Cant trust anything these days.

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, December 11, 2011 at 7:34 pm Link to this comment

Re: worm

Well, it certainly isn’t hard to say that we don’t
have trust in ANYTHING Wall Street. But we only know
half the story, in fact, from my POV, we only know
trillions that went out to the banks and it came
from the Fed.

That’s it. We don’t know who was really involved, not
yet…. How long will that take, and some will lie,
that’s a given. Again, these giveaways happened in
Dec 2008 and even before that. We don’t know, who
knew what and what was involved.

From Bloomberg’s article:

“The amount of money the central bank parceled out
was surprising even to Gary H. Stern, president of
the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis from 1985 to
2009, who says he “wasn’t aware of the
magnitude.”

//www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-28/secret-fed-loans-undisclosed-to-congress-gave-banks-13-billion-in-income.html

So…. what does this mean?  Apparently, this branch
of the Fed wasn’t aware of what the central bank did.
Or was he…... he actually says that he wasn’t
“aware of the magnitude”, does that mean he knew but
not how much? What does that mean, exactly?  Who
knew. We don’t know.

Additionally, this happened before Obama was
President, so how did that affect the situation. Was
he made aware…... if so, when…..etc.

As for ol’ Timmy, I don’t trust him period. He’s a
Summers protege and Summers is a Rubin protege, don’t trust Paulsen, don’t trust Gramm, don’t
trust any of them. I would certainly love to know who
knew what and when. But we don’t. Personally, I’m not
a fan of Bernanke either but let’s use the FACTS.

And the fact is, we don’t have all the facts. So we shouldn’t jump the gun. Lets use the facts and not hyperbole to solve the situation.

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By Steve E, December 11, 2011 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment

I feel the season of the apologist is now beginning to bloom with that much used
phrase ” we have no other choice ” spreading throughout the land. Hail to the
apologists for staying true to the messiah and showing us the path to ” Hope and
Change II “, the sequel.

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By the worm, December 11, 2011 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment

Obama notes an obvious fact, then hopes none of us who may ‘confused’ will ask
any questions.

The President’s Obvious Fact Noted:

“The fact is, this crisis has left a deficit of trust between Main Street and Wall
Street,” President Obama in Kansas.

An Observer’s Few Simple Questions:

Mr President, certainly, we all agree that trust was lost during the Bush
administration, and we all looked forward to “Change You Can Believe In” restoring
that trust.

And about that restoration of trust, did you know, Mr President, that Tim Geithner
was the head of the New York Fed during the darkest days of the ‘financial crisis’
and stayed up late on many of those dark nights shoveling money to failed
financial institutions.

I ask, because, only recently, after records were demanded through the Freedom
of Information Act, were details made known to the public.

Bloomberg is where I saw it. Here’s what Bloomberg found: 

“The Fed didn’t tell anyone which banks were in trouble so deep they required a
combined $1.2 trillion on Dec. 5, 2008, their single neediest day. Bankers didn’t
mention that they took tens of billions of dollars in emergency loans at the same
time they were assuring investors their firms were healthy. And no one calculated
until now that banks reaped an estimated $13 billion of income by taking
advantage of the Fed’s below-market rates, …”

Byron L. Dorgan, a former Democratic senator who retired in January said, “Had
people known about the hundreds of billions in loans to the biggest financial
institutions, they would have demanded Congress take much more courageous
actions to stop the practices that caused this near financial collapse.”

But, Mr President, that’s what begins to raise questions.

Someone did know. The Senator didn’t know, but, it seems pretty likely Tim
Geithner knew, because Mr Geithner was directly involved in it.

So, my simple question is this (I guess it’s more than one simple question):

Did Mr Geithner not trust you with the truth, Mr President?

Did you not share the truth with the legislators, Mr President?
Did you decide to just take a pass on the whole issue, basically absenting yourself
from the fight?

OR

Did you agree the ‘too big to fails’ were fine and that keeping depositors’ money
from the banks money was just too ‘restrictive’ and would hurt the ability of the
‘too bigs’ to ‘make big bets’, speculate and ‘win big’?

I bet you’d go along way to restore ‘the deficit of trust’, if you could clear this up.

When people get closer to the situation, things really start to smell bad:

That people have to await responses to Freedom Information Requests in order to
find out what went on with their money,

That legislators are kept from having the facts when they need those facts to make
informed decisions and fashion relevant legislation,

That one of the prime movers was your close advisor and yet the ‘reforms’ you
signed failed miserably to deal with the real issues.

That that same prime mover is now your Secretary of the Treasury.

Those things all really contribute to - what do you call it—“a trust deficit”.

It raises some “serious questions”, for sure.

How are we to trust our own Secretary of the Treasury, Mr Geithner ?

Our own President ?

Well, it was a really good speech you made in Kansas.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, December 11, 2011 at 5:38 pm Link to this comment

I wonder if when GW Bush was president their may have been a few worms and cryers out there? Some one must not have liked what he was doing?
Obama has not been perfect, he has done a few things I like and some I do not, but in life you always don’t get what you want,(I sure as hell don’t)  unless you are the 1 percent, born with a silver spoon up your ass and spoiled.

Not it would be nice to have a perfect president, but one can only fantasize so much!

Sure the Democrats have not been perfect either and what does that mean, it means people need to get their heads out of their asses and keep on top of the ass holes who go into office, I mean a real close eye.

A good start would be to get the money out! Insider trading is another. 

Vote for Joe the Plumber if you want someone who is not the 1 percent right now, and a guy who does not seem to represent my views, so what is the difference?

This whining is so frisking normal, I don’t give a damn if Ralph Nader had become president, he would have been fighting every inch of the way and the same people whining right now would be whining still blaming everything on Nader instead of Congress!

Vote for one of those morons on the Republican Ticket,  if they win, then you will see some real change!

Making shit up isn’t going to make anything right!

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, December 11, 2011 at 5:28 pm Link to this comment

Grossly expanding the credit available to the rich at sub-inflation interest rates, in effect printing money, was hardly Randian.  This policy was begun by Reagan’s time, and has been carried on ever since.  It is still the policy.  Rand may have been dumb, but she didn’t advocate kleptocracy and chicanery as our present and recent Great Leaders have.

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, December 11, 2011 at 5:05 pm Link to this comment

The WORST “days of the crisis” were in fact the YEARS
leading up to the crisis. The years you completely
ignore. This crisis was BECAUSE of economic
philosophy, and while there are many to blame
ESPECIALLY ON THE RING WING SIDE, the fact is you
completely ignore Greenspan and the stupid Ayn Rand,
laissez-faire economic policy.

Greenspan and his philosophy:

“Greenspan came to the Federal Reserve Board from
a successful consulting career, holding laissez-faire
economic views influenced by Ayn Rand. Although he
was subdued in his public appearances, favorable
media coverage raised his profile to a point that
several observers likened him to a “rock star”.
The subprime mortgage crisis occurred within
months of his departure from the board,
and
inquiries into the possible role of his policies in
the crisis have tarnished his image.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Greenspan

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By the worm, December 11, 2011 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment

“I re-nominated Bernanke to be the Fed Chair. And even though Tim Geithner was
the head of the New York Fed during the most secretive and darkest days of the
bailout and even though Tim Geithner advised against ‘punishing’ the CEOs for
driving their institutions into failure and requiring billions of tax payer money to
bail them out, I chose to listen to his advice and made him my Secretary of the
Treasury.”

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, December 11, 2011 at 4:49 pm Link to this comment

Re: worm

Your comment: ”“Though I campaigned on Change You
Can Believe In, I chose to keep George
Bush’s economic and military advisors.”

Again worm, you are confused. Do you really believe
this? Obama didn’t use Bush’s economic advisors, like
Gramm and Paulsen for example, he used Clinton’s. And
I, and many like me, were upset over this but just
the same you have it wrong. If you like to understand
what happened as far as the economy melting down,
Ezra Klein of WaPo has a good article:

“There is no doubt that the post-crisis trajectory
looks more like the slog Reinhart and Rogoff
described than the relatively rapid rebound predicted
by the administration and many forecasters. Yet even
among economists who admire Reinhart and Rogoff’s
work, there is skepticism.

One source comes in how Reinhart and Rogoff find the
economic phenomena they’re trying to study. “There’s
an identification problem,” Stiglitz says. “When you
have underlying problems that are deep, they will
cause a financial crisis, and the crisis itself is a
symptom of underlying problems.”

Another is in their fatalism. “I don’t buy their
critique in the sense that this was an
inevitability,” says Dean Baker, director of the
Center for Economic and Policy Research and one of
the economists who spotted the housing crisis early.

The Obama administration didn’t buy the idea of
inevitability, either. The team crafted a multi-
pronged approach of stimulus spending, programs to
address the housing market, and policy coordinated
with an activist Federal Reserve. It firmly believed
that it was better to do too much than too little.
Its credo was well expressed by Romer at that
December meeting, when she told the president, “We
have to hit this with everything we’ve got.” But in
reality, the administration could only hit it with
everything it could persuade Congress to give. And
that wasn’t enough.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/could-this-time-have-been-different/2011/08/25/gIQAiJo0VL_blog.html

To make the claims you’ve made are simply nonsensical and inaccurate. As Klein’s article clearly demonstrates.

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By the worm, December 11, 2011 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

What Obama could have said in all honesty in Kansas is:

“Though I campaigned on Change You Can Believe In, I chose to keep George
Bush’s economic and military advisors.

“None of George Bush’s and my economists believed the recession would continue
and would be so severe.

“Other economists were available to advise me. Other economists were vocal and
had strong arguments to make and a persuasive set of facts, but I did not listen to
them. I chose to listen to the same people who George Bush listened to.

“I re-nominated Bernanke to be the Fed Chair. And even though Tim Geithner was
the head of the New York Fed during the most secretive and darkest days of the
bailout and even though Tim Geithner advised against ‘punishing’ the CEOs for
driving their institutions into failure and requiring billions of tax payer money to
bail them out, I chose to listen to his advice and made him my Secretary of the
Treasury.

Only after all the decisions were made, did I have a little media event with other
economists, just sort of to make a show of pretending to listen.

There. It’s out there. And I feel better.

I’ll try not to send my spokesman out to lie again no ‘respectable economists’ ,
about not having any choice and about ‘the Republicans making me’.

Good night and may God Bless America.”

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, December 10, 2011 at 6:49 pm Link to this comment

Devious Democrats

Devious Democrats are all and one, for the simple mind is simply spun!

A little poem for the simple gnome
Yes it is said, the Democrats are the problem we are lead

If I had my druthers, I would make those progressives
go home and leave the scene, with those devious Democrats.

For the simple minded we have a vote
That is why my avatar used to be a goat!

Are you for real you silly fellow,
me thinks it is just a proclivity to belch and bellow

Votethe Greens for her name is Jill
(he?) we know where Jack is, such a spill

Looming over us like hubris excluded
Something so well planned and deluded

Repulcians calling shots and have been obstructing with their ever simple knots but…..tis to say

Devious Democrats are all and one, for the simple mind is simply spun!

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, December 10, 2011 at 6:10 pm Link to this comment

Whenever the devious Democrats succeed in getting more evil done than Republicans could, they claim the Republicans made them do it.

Jill Stein for President:

http://www.jillstein.org

The “Principles” of Liberal Voters:

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=491&Itemid=1

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, December 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment

Where you get the idea that I’m “apologizing” is
beyond me. Although curiously enough you say you’d
want some type of apology from Obama. Let’s leave all
those lame apologies to the Republicans, they seem to
be big believers in them.

I think Obama is fine, can’t say I think the same for
you. You claim “He needs a positive message that
acknowledges reality and paints a vivid picture
of the future he sees ahead.”

Typical rightie demand… “give me a positive message
with a vivid picture”. Obama gives a pointed speech
and paints a vivid picture…that’s not good enough.
Obviously NOTHING would or could satisfy you.

Yes it is your opinion. I disagree with you
completely. Just for the record, independents will
most likely vote for Obama, if the Grinch gets the
nomination, Republicans will also, and Obama’s people
will show up at the polls, that’s my opinion.

Again…..in the very same comment, no less, say: “needs to
precede any more Obama
‘Kansas speeches’, any more spokesmen attempting to
re-fashion history and any
more apologists with their ‘he’s doing the best he
can’ or ‘those nasty Republicans’
or ‘he’s been blocked by XYZ’.”

To hear you tell it, there’s been no obstructionism in Congress…...are you serious, lame attempt.

From what I understand you don’t think Republicans are nasty…...maybe they just don’t bother you.

God forbid someone say that Obama has worked hard, nah…... he’s just eating bon-bons and chuckin’ brewskies.

Clearly, one would not want to be a part of your world, damned if you do and damned if you don’t!

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, December 10, 2011 at 5:27 pm Link to this comment

the worm, December 10 at 2:59 pm:

‘...  He needs a positive message that acknowledges reality and paints a vivid picture of the future he sees ahead. ...’


Given that he’s in office, he would actually have to do things—besides emit nice sounds.  There have been several occasions now on which Mr. O emitted leftish rhetoric and proggies dutifully swooned, but then nothing happened.  The relationship between Mr. O and the proggies reminds me a lot of those marriages wherein the husband regularly cheats, boozes, gambles away the rent, and stays out all night, then comes home to a perturbed wife, yet sets all to rights in an hour or two by promising to do better.  The wife’s behavior is called ‘enabling’.  In this case, the proggies enable a further drift to the Right, since they won’t ‘draw a line in the sand.’  Since the proggies have a ring in their nose, here is no reason for Mr. O or the Democratic Party establishment to take them seriously.

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oddsox's avatar

By oddsox, December 10, 2011 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

@Anarcissie re: Proyect

T.Roosevelt would have broken up the big banks and insurance companies we see today.

Still an option for us.

http://open.salon.com/blog/oddsox/2011/10/10/too_big_to_fail_too_big_to_begin_with

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By the worm, December 10, 2011 at 4:11 pm Link to this comment

Dear Outraged,

Make that palpable !

Sorry.

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By the worm, December 10, 2011 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment

Dear Outraged,

I do not ‘wish for’ a Republican.

I do ‘wish for’ an actual Democrat.

My fear is that Im going to have to leave the Democratic Party to find one.

Apologies for the behavior of this Administration are going to become very very
tiresome by November 2012.

Before sending out his minions to attempt to explain away his policy and
legislative failures (like he did this week with a spokesman declaring ‘no reputable
economists foresaw the depths of the recessions’), I would suggest that Obama,
first, acknowledge and apologize, then state clearly what he intends to do in the
future, drawing a sharp contrast between himself and the Republicans. If he’s
unable to do this, the few ‘personal favorables’ he has will diminish and further
reduce his chances for a second term. 

Some sort of honest appraisal of his failure to represent Democratic Party
principles and the people who elected him needs to precede any more Obama
‘Kansas speeches’, any more spokesmen attempting to re-fashion history and any
more apologists with their ‘he’s doing the best he can’ or ‘those nasty Republicans’
or ‘he’s been blocked by XYZ’. 

That’s admittedly my personal opinion, but I think it’s shared by many - not just
on ‘the left’, but also in ‘the middle’, many of those who voted for him in 2008.
The disappointment is palatable and the cause is real.

While undoubtedly true and a seemingly popular strategy used often here by
bloggers on Truthdig, scaring people by saying ‘Oh, the Republicans would be
worse’ is about the weakest claim to legitimacy I can imagine. If that’s all Obama
can claim in the months ahead, again, he will have further reduced his chances for
a second term.

He needs a positive message that acknowledges reality and paints a vivid picture
of the future he sees ahead.

To be credible, Obama will have to acknowledge the areas in which he’s failed, and
he will have to admit his early personnel choices were mistaken (e.g. Gates,
Geithner, re-apppointing Bernanke).

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By Outraged, December 10, 2011 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment

Re: worm

First of all it is not a Heritage Foundation plan.
Secondly, yes…. there was big money funding these
protesters, even when the attendees didn’t
acknowledge that. I don’t know where they thought all
that “stuff” came from, but the tea party “obamacare”
people were real.

It’s a good law, but it can be improved. I personally
don’t like the insurance companies hands in the pot.
On the other hand, I’m only one person, others don’t
feel that way. The bill basically does give you the
public option:
Low income persons and families above the Medicaid
level and up to 400% of the federal poverty level
will receive federal subsidies on a sliding scale if
they choose to purchase insurance via an exchange
(persons at 150% of the poverty level would be
subsidized such that their premium cost would be of
2% of income or $50 a month for a family of 4).”

Would single payer be more cost effective…. I think
so, and we can still work toward that. In the
meantime, there is coverage for a lot of people who
didn’t have it before. (Additionally, there wasn’t
ever 72% support for single payer, you’re
embellishing)

You are not a victim. My state uses this type of
system for Medicaid, it works fairly well because
if/when the insurance company tries to screw you, you
can call the state. And then that nonsense stops like
yesterday, the state has a lot of power to take them
out of the pool if they mess around with
administering benefits.

My state is currently attempting to trash medicaid
standards because again, the NASTY Republicans have
their hand on the steering wheel. They’re trying to
throw more and more people off the rolls and raise
eligibility standards so that the people who need it
most can’t get it. (assholes) Since some of the funds
for medicaid come from the Feds they’ll need a waiver
to be able to do this. I hope Sebelius gives them a
resounding NO.

I’ve written her several times and signed a couple of
petitions regarding the matter. The Repugs are a
MENACE, be careful what you wish for.

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By the worm, December 10, 2011 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment

Dear “Outraged”,

There were ‘protests’ - manufactured and staged with money from Forbes, Armey,
etc. all through the summer of 2009.

Prior to the summer, in June of that year, the CBS/New York Times poll showed
that 72% of Americans supported “a government administer­ed insurance plan -
something like Medicare for those under 65—that would compete for customers
with private insurers”.

This was before the ‘protests’.

During the astroturf wars, Obama and his staff sat on their hands and did nothing.

During the hearings, Obama’s Senator Baucus blocked single payers from even
speaking in front of his committee.

So, Yes, I ” can you not remember how this really happened”.

Neither of these facts - Obama’s refusal to speak out for what the majority of
Americans wanted and Baucus’ refusal to let anyone speak for the majority of
Americans - are in dispute.

The “protest after protest and [sic] townhall after townhall” were not responded to
by the administration (i.e. Obama).

What 72% of the nation had said they wanted was completely and thoroughly
ignored by the Obama administration.

You say “[t]he right wing had these people convinced it was not in their interests”.

While the ‘right wing’ was ‘convincing’ folks, the President of the United States and
his bully pulpit were taking a pass.

As a result with majorities in both houses of Congress and a (at least, nonimally)
Democratic President, sixty years (actually 60+ years) of Democratic domestic
policy was flushed down the toilet. and instead a Heritage Foundation proposal
became law.

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By Outraged, December 10, 2011 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment

Re: worm

This is why there’s no public option, there was
protest after protest and townhall after townhall.
The right wing had these people convinced it was not
in their interests. How can you not remember how this
really happened.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=DPfHOacDhGE

Worse is worse, yes it is. My state just created a
new mining law. In it, not only does it okay mining
no one wants, it also states that no citizen can sue
the mining companies for any thing, AT ALL. It also completely
obliterates the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water
Act. Let see….. will our Republican Assembly, our
Republican State Senate and our Republican Govenor
pass this thing? You betcha.

If you care about ANYTHING, make damn sure
Republicans don’t get control, ever! Obama is NOTHING
like a Republican.

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By Leefeller, December 10, 2011 at 11:48 am Link to this comment

Okay a tip for the Jill Stein supporters, maybe yous can do something with her(his?) name and connect it with ‘Einstein’ or ‘Intestine’ this could provide and fill needed notoriety, at the same time connect the relative dots to the colon!

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By YoungGringos, December 10, 2011 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

Ardee,

I was being sarcastic.

Doesn’t read very well in print, I know. 
A sarc tag woulda helped, but I was lazy.

But it’s literally what many apologists are saying.

Honestly, I try not to think about it too much.  That’s not where I want the bulk of my energy to go because it’s futile, depressing and leads to apathy.

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By the worm, December 10, 2011 at 11:15 am Link to this comment

It’s discouraging to find people of apparently good will and good intensions still
apologizing for Obama, Max Baucus and the nominal Democrats’ ‘insurance
subsidy program’, aka ‘health care reform’.

The ‘reform’:

1 - guaranteed oodles of money ($trillions$) to the private, for-profit insurance
companies - as soon as the ‘reform’ passed, all there stock went up),

2 - guaranteed public money to the private, for-profits in the form of ‘subsidies’
for those who could not afford the private, for-profit ‘premiums’,

3 - guaranteed hundreds of thousands of new ‘mandated customers’ (the phrases
seems like an oxymoron, because it is) and

4 - guaranteed the private, for-profits a 20% ‘overhead rate’ with which they could
spend on advertising, sales, marketing, on CEO ‘bonuses’, on denying coverage,
for on sitting on Boards to determine future premiums (i.e. rates we have to pay);
and, of course, contributing to ‘friendly’ politicians.

This is by no means a step forward, but an enormous step back ward which,
ironically neither the Democrats nor the Republicans can ‘fix’ - the former for fear
of admitting they wasted a year and birthed an ugly baby, the later because they
haven’t figured out how to replace the largess with a new and equally lucrative
‘guarantee’ to the insurance industry).

By the way, all of the alleged ‘benefits’ could be obtained with less cost by a public
option. Of course, since the additional dollars go to private, for-profit firms, the
commenter may not be interested in ‘less cost’.

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By Leefeller, December 10, 2011 at 10:50 am Link to this comment

Jill Stein for President? Who the hell is Jill Stein?
Alfred E Newman I know, Jill Stein I never heard of far as I can tell they both have the same platform?

Pull a name out of your ass and vote for it!

All youse liberals have the same principals,.... but, but .... I did not attend the same school as all you liberals?

OM is not even here and I still get to hear the never ending all inclusive, absolutist same instigating almost… Newt like…. all you liberals (without the pinko commie socialist part) makes me want to cry in me tequila and throw me bowling ball down the stairs, after I paint someones face on it!

There is a book out there you probably should read, Titled; “How To Win Friends and Confluence People” It was written by Newt or Cain, two other names I try very hard not to remember!

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By Anarcissie, December 10, 2011 at 10:37 am Link to this comment

Leefeller, December 10 at 8:13 am:

An admitted Murderer is a tad reading into, making the lines, I was referring to Obama saying Pakistan was the problem not Afghanistan when he rain last time. ...

Starting and waging wars of aggression, such as the American interventions in the Middle East, necessarily includes the murder, maiming, terrorization and impoverishment of innocent persons, including small children.  The only possible excuse for starting and carrying on a war is being under direct, material military attack or the immediate threat of such an attack by a state—in other words, already being involuntarily at war.  Every other form of war is murder.  Killing people on behalf of American ‘interests’ is murder.

I was well aware of Obama’s proposal to kill people in Pakistan.  Four years ago that was merely a bit of electioneering, a bit of thuggy tough-guy swagger to get votes.  Now it’s real.  You want to sign on to it?

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By David J. Cyr, December 10, 2011 at 9:50 am Link to this comment

After their votes allowed Democrats to wage more wars “better” and have torture done more discretely, the liberals’ outrage over war and torture has disappeared.

Jill Stein for President:

http://www.jillstein.org

The “Principles” of Liberal Voters:

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=491&Itemid=1

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By ardee, December 10, 2011 at 9:34 am Link to this comment

So, then, YG, how do we square these seemingly contrasting statements?

YoungGringos, December 8 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment

Obama 2012: It could be worse. Really.

What a campaign slogan for his run for re-election!

..and then this:

YoungGringos, December 10 at 12:19 am Link to this comment

Ardee,

I don’t see any difference between Obama and Bush on many issues-  the most important being climate change.
That’s the one our great grandchildren will be cursing us for.
I can understand Cons not caring, but Obama?
I’m absolutely disgusted.

I keep telling myself, “It could be worse, it could be worse.”
But it couldn’t.

As one poster here whose opinions I read and respect, among a cacophony of noise makers, propagandists and liars (Rico/Imax fits nicely into all those categories actually), I would ask you why you advocate voting for the current corporatist in the White House?

Do you feel comfortable, as apparently does Leefeller sad to note, in voting for a mass murderer and a tool of Goldman Sachs? I wonder how you view your vote? What weight do you give to the casting thereof? Is it better to vote for a liar, a thief and a torturer because he can actually win?

How does such action make any dent in our descent into fascism? What can we accomplish in continuing to elect those who feel no responsibility to we the people? It has been amply proven, I believe, that the Democratic Party is unresponsive to those it once embraced under its “big tent”, and has, in fact, folded that tent in favor of embracing all those nice fat campaign checks from the 1%.

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By Leefeller, December 10, 2011 at 9:13 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie,

An admitted Murderer is a tad reading into, making the lines, I was referring to Obama saying Pakistan was the problem not Afghanistan when he rain last time. By the way if Obama ever admits to being an admitted murderer, please make sure I do not miss the announcement!

Come on Ron Paul is anti war, but I cannot vote for him for the same reason, I may vote for Obama….. You can pick your nose and scratch your ass, but you can only vote for politicians who pick their nose and scratch the ass of anyone who happens to have some leverage and power and for most Repulcians someone who has lots of money!

Not quite best testymoneyal, but about all I have until retribution or the rising of the seas or until my allegory for hell freezes over! 

I suspect Occupy is the best game in town right now, politicians are like the pope, their job is to make sure truth is not an option, so I vote for the closest thing to what is available as I see it, which is not the best option!

SPREAD ANARCHY!....  HEY! DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO!

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By Anarcissie, December 10, 2011 at 8:03 am Link to this comment

<blockquote>
Leefeller, December 9 at 8:09 pm:

‘... I knew Obama was a war hawk when I voted for him, but that was not why I voted for him. ...’

So he’s an admitted mass murderer and you’re going to vote for him?

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By YoungGringos, December 10, 2011 at 1:19 am Link to this comment

Ardee,

I don’t see any difference between Obama and Bush on many issues-  the most important being climate change.
That’s the one our great grandchildren will be cursing us for. 
I can understand Cons not caring, but Obama? 
I’m absolutely disgusted.

I keep telling myself, “It could be worse, it could be worse.” 
But it couldn’t.
Just drop the pretense and appoint Jim Inhofe our rep the to IPCC.

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By Outraged, December 10, 2011 at 12:10 am Link to this comment

This one’s for all the “nay-sayers”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcJPX3LE63A

Thanks Dad for yelling at the TV. My “indoctrination” to politics.

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By Outraged, December 9, 2011 at 10:38 pm Link to this comment

No problem, Lefeller. The healthcare law may not have been perfect, but it’s a good law. While the individual mandate is what scares many (much of the time because of the right wingers). Even here there were measures instituted to curtail the expense to families. From Wiki:

“Low income persons and families above the Medicaid level and up to 400% of the federal poverty level will receive federal subsidies[21] on a sliding scale if they choose to purchase insurance via an exchange (persons at 150% of the poverty level would be subsidized such that their premium cost would be of 2% of income or $50 a month for a family of 4).”

This would help hundreds of thousands that don’t have insurance now. Additionally there were other measures put into place to protect consumers:

“Insurance companies are required to spend a certain percent of premium dollars on medical care improvement; if an insurer fails to meet this requirement, a rebate must be issued to the policy holder.”

What the right wingers don’t like and what they’re hollering about are these provisions of the bill:

“Major sources of new revenue include a much-broadened Medicare tax on incomes over $200,000 and $250,000, for individual and joint filers respectively, an annual fee on insurance providers, and a 40% tax on “Cadillac” insurance policies. There are also taxes on pharmaceuticals, high-cost diagnostic equipment, and a 10% federal sales tax on indoor tanning services.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patient_Protection_and_Affordable_Care_Act

It’s the same ol’ same ol’ as far as the wingers go…. scream like a banshee, and destroy, destroy, destroy.

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By Leefeller, December 9, 2011 at 9:09 pm Link to this comment

Outrageous, thanks for the clarification and bringing to light the well hidden facts.  I heard a comprehensive outline on the Medical Care plan and you have refreshed me memory.  It is a plan, and is better than no plan at all. The fact the Repulcians fought hard against it before it passed and are now fighting hard now should be a wake up call?

I knew Obama was a war hawk when I voted for him, but that was not why I voted for him.

Obama has been fighting the Republicans tooth and nail since they have made a vendetta that Obama will not win reelection in 2012, well I hope the Repulcians get their fat bought and sold asses kicked!

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By Outraged, December 9, 2011 at 7:49 pm Link to this comment

Re: worm

You seem confused regarding some of Obama’s legislation, if you believe this is Republican you need to go to Michigan, Ohio or Wisconsin to experience the destruction left in the wake of a Republican.

Some of Obama’s Legislation

Healthcare:
Cutting prescription drug costs for Medicare recipients by 50% and began eliminating the plan’s gap (“donut hole”) in coverage.

Passing as part of H.R.3962 (Preservation of Access to Care for Medicare Beneficiaries and Pension Relief Act of 2010) a $6.4 billion measure reversing a 21 percent cut in physician payments that would have started a flood of rejections by some doctors of seniors covered by Medicare.

Expanded eligibility for Medicaid to all individuals under age 65 with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level ($14,400 per year for an individual).

Coverage can’t be denied to children with pre-existing conditions.

Adults up to age 26 can stay on their parents’ health plans.

Free preventive care.

Rescinding coverage is now illegal.

Eliminating lifetime limits on insurance coverage.

Restricting annual limits on insurance coverage.

Executive Pay:
These five companies are the only ones remaining under compensation restrictions supervised by Kenneth Feinberg, the Obama administration’s pay czar.

On Friday, Treasury released Feinberg’s rulings for 2010 covering officials at the five companies below the top 25 executives at each firm. Those officials received their compensation rulings from Feinberg last month.

Friday’s rulings cover executives from 26 to 100 at each of the companies.

Treasury officials said that in this group, Treasury had gottTen requests to award cash salaries above $500,000 for only five executives, down from requests received from 65 executives in this group last year.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/16/pay-czar-cuts-salaries-fo_n_540849.html

Taxes:
President Obama’s tax cuts are much more targeted at the middle class. The Bush tax cuts were heavily skewed toward the wealthy with more than half of the entire benefit going only to the richest 20 percent. President Obama’s tax cuts, on the other hand, are distributed more evenly. Eighty-five percent of the benefits of the Making Work Pay tax credit, for example, went to the bottom 80 percent of households, and because the very wealthy don’t pay payroll taxes on all of their income, the payroll tax cut, too, benefits the middle class much more than the Bush tax cuts did….

....These two differences reflect the important fact that the philosophy behind the cuts differs dramatically even though both presidents signed big tax cuts into law. While President Bush’s tax cuts primarily benefited the wealthy, President Obama’s tax cuts focus on the middle class. While President Bush believed tax cuts were the cure-all elixir for whatever ailed the economy—a belief that was far-fetched even at the time—President Obama uses targeted breaks to businesses and consumers in a time of profound economic weakness designed to spark job creation. And while President Bush was entirely unconcerned about the long-term costs of tax cuts and the resulting debt pile-up, President Obama has consistently made the case for more revenue, especially from those who can most afford it, to help close the budget gap.
http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/09/obama_bush_taxes.html

Of course, now because of Republican obstructionism because REPUBLICANS want GIVEAWAYS TO THE RICH, they do nothing for anyone else, period.

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By the worm, December 9, 2011 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment

President Obama had his say today in Kansas and a fine say it was.

MR PRESIDENT, I agree we have all these ‘challenges, we need a ‘fair shot, fair play
and fair share’ – all are necessary prerequisite for a middle class resurgence,
‘we’re greater together than we are on our own’, and, I agree, it’s a ‘make or break
moment’.

I agree with all that you said, Mr President, but it raises a lot of questions about
what you’ve done.

Here are some that seem particularly troubling.

Mr President, YOU SAY 1: “Huge bets – and huge bonuses – made with other
people’s money on the line.”
Mr President, YOU DO 1: Mr President, you decry these, but when bonuses were
paid to CEO’s of companies bailed out with tax payer money, you established a
‘hands-off’ policy and your administration spoke forcefully about not ‘punishing’
bankers. So, bankers made money by putting other people’s money at risk and
then got bailed out with other peoples’ money and you and your administration
not only looked the other way, but told the American people it was fine. Now, you
talk different. Did you learn something; if so, say so. Because otherwise, you
sound like your trying to have it both ways. Or talking out of both sides of your
mouth. Or just a hypocrite. Or maybe it was because you chose to listen to bad
advice from Tim Geithner, who was heavily involved in the bailout of these
‘institutions’. It turned out, to hear you say it, that that was wrong, but you
appointed Mr Geithner to be your Secretary of the Treasury; he continues to this
day, even as you speak.

YOU SAY 2: “[P]olicies … have stacked the deck against middle-class Americans
for too many years.”
YOU DO 2: Mr President you three times extended the Bush tax cuts for the
wealthy (twice you did this with nominally Democratic majorities in both houses of
Congress). And there are five quick ways to begin ‘unstacking the deck’ and
balancing the budget: Make the published corporate tax rate the actual rate, tax
hedge fund gains as ordinary income, tax financial transactions, close corporate
tax loop holes, and tax capital gains at the same rate as ordinary income (or
higher). Ive didn’t hear you speak about any of these.

YOU SAY 3: “[Teddy Roosevelt] busted up monopolies, forcing those companies to
compete for customers….”
YOU DO 3:  Mr. President your ‘health care reform’ mandates citizens to pay
companies in the private for-profit sector premiums – premiums that have been
going up and up and up. Under your legislation, companies don’t have to
‘compete for customers’; your legislation mandates that people buy from these
companies. I seems like how forcing companies to compete is a laudable reform,
but forcing customers to buy something from a company is going backwards, not
forwards.

YOU SAY 4: “Factories where people thought they would retire suddenly picked up
and went … where the workers were cheaper.
YOU DO 4:  Mr President, didn’t you appoint as head of your ‘Jobs Council’ the
CEO of a company with 63% of its workforce overseas. (That company also paid no
federal tax last year and that company received millions in federal bailout money. )

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By the worm, December 9, 2011 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment

YOU SAY 5: “The fact is, this crisis has left a deficit of trust between Main Street
and Wall Street.”
YOU DO 5: Mr President, certainly, we all agree. Tim Geithner was the head of the
New York Fed during the ‘crisis’ and stayed up late nights shoveling money to
failed financial institutions.

Only recently, after records were demanded through the Freedom of Information
Act were details known to the public. Bloomberg is where I saw it. Here’s what
Bloomberg found:  “The Fed didn’t tell anyone which banks were in trouble so
deep they required a combined $1.2 trillion on Dec. 5, 2008, their single neediest
day. Bankers didn’t mention that they took tens of billions of dollars in emergency
loans at the same time they were assuring investors their firms were healthy. And
no one calculated until now that banks reaped an estimated $13 billion of income
by taking advantage of the Fed’s below-market rates, …”

Byron L. Dorgan, a former Democratic senator who retired in January said, “Had
people known about the hundreds of billions in loans to the biggest financial
institutions, they would have demanded Congress take much more courageous
actions to stop the practices that caused this near financial collapse.”

But, Mr President, someone did know. Tim Geithner knew, because Mr Geithner
was directly involved in it? Did Mr Geithner not trust you, Mr President, with the
truth? Did you, Mr President, not share the truth with the legislators?

How are we to trust our own Secretary of the Treasury, Mr Geithner ? Our own
President ? When these things can only be learned by filing requests for
information under the Freedom of Information Act?

YOU SAY 6: “I believe that this country succeeds … everyone plays by the same
rules.”
YOU DO 6: Mr President, Im willing to grant the same rules will apply to everyone.
But to say that is to miss the point, Mr President. If the ‘rule’ is you have to have
made a contribution of $10,000 to get an audience with an elected official, that
‘rule’ applies to everyone. Right? So, because it applies to everyone, it’s fair and
the ‘country succeeds’? Right? No.

Mr President, it’s not ‘playing by the rules’ or ‘applying the rules’, sir; that’s not
what’s broken.

What’s broken is the rule making body, Mr President. The ‘rules’ that are passed
are not fair. The rules that are passed favor the wealthy, the corporations, the very
very rich. The rules, sir, are what needs fixing, not the application of the rules.

Hey, everyone with carried interest pays no taxes; the rule applies equally to all of
the hedge fund managers. You see, isn’t the application of the rules, Mr President;
it’s that the rules are rigged. A smart man like you should understand the
distinction and not obscure the issue.

We hoped the rules that were passed would be more fair. That’s what we ‘hoped’
you were going to do something about. That was ‘The Change We Believed In’.

So, Mr President, I agree, it’s a ‘make or break moment’. I just have my doubts
that someone who is so anxious to ‘compromise’, someone with a track record
like the one above, someone who apparently either does not acknowledge he did
those things or someone who knows but is to fearful to admit they made
mistakes, someone who says good words but compromises the soul and principle
away …  I’m just not sure that someone like that can lead at this ‘make or break
moment’.  Seems like that person is more comfortable just talking and
‘compromising’ and, then, signing Republican legislation.

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By Anarcissie, December 9, 2011 at 9:17 am Link to this comment

As far as I can tell, T.R. was far too egotistical to be anybody’s flack.  If I were taking some shots at him it would be on other grounds—and I believe that territory has already been worked over pretty well by now.  But if you’re hungry for that sort of thing, check out Louis Proyects’s article aptly cited earlier in this discussion by Mr. Proyect himself.

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By oddsox, December 9, 2011 at 9:02 am Link to this comment

very relieved, Anarcissie, my bad.

I misunderstood to whom the flackage applied.

You meant Dionne’s column, not TR’s New Nationalism speech.

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By ardee, December 9, 2011 at 4:02 am Link to this comment

YoungGringos, December 8 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment

Obama 2012: It could be worse. Really.

Actually ,yes it could be worse, and might very well become worse if we the people do not stand up and make the changes necessary to oust the corporate stooges who run this nation.

Do you actually see a difference from the Bush
years in the Obama years? I doubt that you do. The rhetoric may be a bit different but the course is exactly the same.

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By Outraged, December 9, 2011 at 1:02 am Link to this comment

Kind of ridiculous to make the claim on the one hand
that your vote doesn’t matter and then to turn around
and encourage people to vote a certain way.

And again, the anti-Get Out The Vote nonsense. And
not voting helps who…. yep. the repugs. You betcha.
There ISN’T another party that GOTV hurts. Vote green
my ass.

Apparently there’s the “not Romney” folks and the
“not sane” folks, and it wouldn’t be surprising to
find out they are one and the same…...!

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By EmileZ, December 8, 2011 at 11:42 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Dionne, please, please, please…

PRETTY PLEASE!!!

Stop commenting on the empty rhetoric and scrutinize the substance. To do this, you may not even have to to abandon your desperate pursuit of the relative righteousness of corporate Democrats to their republican co-conspirators (perhaps I used a loaded word there, but oh well). However, if you follow my sagacious advice for long enough, you may choose to abandon such a technique altogether anyhow in favor of a more intellectually honest, clean-living, spiritually satisfying, re-invigorating etc. approach.

No time like the present to try new things. Open new horizons, go forth and discover heretofore unimagined vistas, explore your potential to advocate for, and inspire others to advocate for real positive change.

Hold an organic banana to your heart.

Oh, nevermind.

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By Anarcissie, December 8, 2011 at 9:33 pm Link to this comment

Your vote is not going to decide the election.  So you might as well vote for someone or something you value and believe in, if you’re going to vote at all.

The vote that is ‘wasted’ is the vote that is based, in spite of one’s repugnance, on some silly calculus that has no connection with the reality of the situation.

oddsox—I thought the article as a whole was flackage.  Especially the last line.  Flacks may quote T.R. and A.L., but it can’t be helped.

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By David J. Cyr, December 8, 2011 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment

What to expect from the corporate party Democrat Obama’s “square” deal?

One more angle added to Clinton’s triangulation, so that all the angles in “progressive” policy are RIGHT angles.

The corporate party has Republicans to GOTV for the corporate party’s Democrats… so that every evil can be well done.

Democrats advertise hope, but they deliver despair.

Jill Stein for President:

http://www.jillstein.org

Voter Consent Wastes Dissent:

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=498&Itemid=1

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By mo, December 8, 2011 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Dionne,  Shame on you.

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By YoungGringos, December 8, 2011 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment

Obama 2012: It could be worse. Really.

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By Leefeller, December 8, 2011 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment

I am into the Infamous quote mode now;....What you know and what you think you know, may be little different than what you believe and there may be a chance you are wrong on both counts!

I. Seymour Butts

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By Outraged, December 8, 2011 at 5:24 pm Link to this comment

Supposedly there’s someone else to vote for who
stands a chance of winning. I’m voting for Obama
because it’s the sane thing to do. There are no other
candidates that have a chance of winning, AT ALL….
not even Paul, and he seems to have the most support
outside of the top two.

We need to continue to fight, just the same.
One of the most important issues is to get an
amendment passed that ends corporate personhood. Then campaign financing laws
and some laws curtailing “free speech” for
corporations. These are the most pressing issues.

Regardless of what you would like, a third party
candidate doesn’t stand a chance. You can vote that
way, no one’s going to stop you but they don’t stand
a chance of winning at least at the presidential
level. (if you’re going to tell me that’s because I’m
the problem, save it… that’s just reality)

Worse is worse, and the repugs are MUCH
worse. Additionally, people discount the fact that the right wing is fighting tooth and nail to oust Obama. If Obama was REALLY on their side, and if REALLY it didn’t make any difference who was in the White House, why would they waste their time and money. IT MATTERS and the right wing understands this very clearly.

You’d be a fool to not see this. Worse is worse, no matter how you slice it. Either way, we’ll need to keep fighting.

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By adc14, December 8, 2011 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment

Dionne,
I suggest you brush up on FDR.

April 7, 1932
“These unhappy times call for the building of plans that rest upon the forgotten, the unorganized but the indispensable units of economic power, for plans like those of 1917 that build from the bottom up and not from the top down, that put their faith once more in the forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid.”


Obama gives another great speech. So, what? Is that all it takes to get your vote this time around?

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By oddsox, December 8, 2011 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment

Theodore Roosevelt quoting Abraham Lincoln is “flackage?”
Is that your meaning?

Say it ain’t so, Anarcissie!

(cuz if it is, you’re lost and cannot be found…)

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By dr wu, December 8, 2011 at 4:10 pm Link to this comment

He’s horrible but, so far, better than the competition. Me? I would pluck a random tent occupier from the Occupy movement and make that person president

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By Samson, December 8, 2011 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment

Obama was a massive liar in 2008.  We can all see
that now.  He’s got a track record of four years of
turning the economy over to Wall $treet, of giving us
Ronald Reagan’s economic policy of trickle down
economics, and of giving us Dubya’s foreign policy of
unending Terror Wars.

Why on earth would anyone believe any of this from
Obama?  He lied in 2008.  He’s lying when he says
this.  If you vote for Obama, you’ll get four more
years of Reaganomics, and four more years of Terror
Wars.  And if you think anything’s changed, look at
the Wall $treet dollars in his campaign accounts,
just like it was there in 2008.  You don’t really
think that Wall $treet is giving Obama millions in
order for the rest of us to get a new deal, do ya? 
If so, I’ve got this wonderful bridge I’d like to
talk to you about.

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By Textynn, December 8, 2011 at 3:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Obama has decided that he is more likely to win if the election is about big things rather than small ones. “

You mean big lies instead of small ones.  It worked beautifully the first time.  Go ahead vote for the right wing tool people.  Prove that some people are fooled ALL THE TIME.

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By Leefeller, December 8, 2011 at 3:38 pm Link to this comment

Misinforming infamous quotes now are we?  “As I ran through the girls locker room the last thing I heard was a lot of yelling of….. ‘head him off at the pants’.”

Jim Shorts

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By Anarcissie, December 8, 2011 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment

And there the proggies go….

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By entropy2, December 8, 2011 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

Far as I can tell Obama is the only game in town

Reminds me of another quote.

The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.

Steve Biko

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By Leefeller, December 8, 2011 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment

“How does this progressive rhetoric square with appointing Summers and Geithner and delivering a gold-plated bailout to the Wall Street plutocrats?”

It dosn’t, nor do I feel Obama is perfect. Sometimes people do not always get everything they want in this life, at least that is how I see it, but I am not of the 1 percent.  Far as I can tell Obama is the only game in town, he has done some positive things and some things I find not so positive.

Maybe I am just one of those people who find the tequila is half full optometrists!

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By lasmog, December 8, 2011 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

How does this progressive rhetoric square with appointing Summers and Geithner and delivering a gold-plated bailout to the Wall Street plutocrats? I wonder if candidate Obama has ever met president Obama?

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By Leefeller, December 8, 2011 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment

Well, after reading all these enlightening whining negative posts, I can safely say whining is something I can depend on to fill inbetween the Republican Debates!

Obama is a socialist, he is a communist, he is a corporate hack, he is a fascist, he is anything you do not like, just don’t call me late for Tequila!

Recently Donald Trump was crying on TV that Obama hasn’t ever called him up for advice? Maybe we should acquire some diapers or Koch Brothers Pampers for Donald and his Truth Dig supporters!

Yous clowns all make me miss GWBush!

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By SoTexGuy, December 8, 2011 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment

Talk, talk, talk.. and many will fall for it.. or use it to excuse their voting again for Obama or most any of the Democrooks.. He and the other changeling Hillary are pulling out the stops already, 11 months before it starts.. They’ve just now played the Gay/Lesbian/Homosexual right/protections card! .. What else do they have? Hopey-Changey!

But hey! I’m not an Obama hater and I’m perfectly happy to have him AND a Democrat majority in Congress after next November.. all they need to do is come through on something important, morally important and important to our foreign
and domestic policy.. LIKE THE ONGOING CIA BLACK SITE TORTURE SCANDAL.

Isn’t that all over and done with? No mam! It’s simmering all over the world.. except on our evening news. Here’s a great current story..

http://harpers.org/archive/2011/12/hbc-90008343

Adios!

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By Anarcissie, December 8, 2011 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

I don’t see the point of republishing flackage of this sort.

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oddsox's avatar

By oddsox, December 8, 2011 at 11:11 am Link to this comment

Theodore Roosevelt’s unedited 1910 New Nationalism Speech.

http://www.presidentialrhetoric.com/historicspeeches/roosevelt_theodore/newnationalism.html

A worthy read, as it reaches out to us today on topics of Labor, Capital, Class Envy, Corporate influence in Politics, Equal Opportunity, Entitlements and much more.

Especially like when TR quotes Abe Lincoln’s 1861 address to Congress.


““Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”

If that remark was original with me (TR speaking now), I should be even more strongly denounced as a Communist agitator than I shall be anyhow. It is Lincoln’s. I am only quoting it; and that is one side; that is the side the capitalist should hear. Now, let the working man hear his side.

“Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights…. Nor should this lead to a war upon the owners of property. Property is the fruit of labor; . . . property is desirable; is a positive good in the world.”

And then comes a thoroughly Lincolnlike sentence:

“Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him work diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.”

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By chinny, December 8, 2011 at 10:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama’s newest lies…

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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, December 8, 2011 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

O-blah-ma rises with rhetoric - yawn…

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By morongobill, December 8, 2011 at 10:23 am Link to this comment

This clown in office couldn’t carry either Roosevelt’s chamber pots.

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By elidar, December 8, 2011 at 10:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How convenient when it does not matter anymore for Obama and his handlers to come up with more of his phony progressive blather—he has forfeited our trust and only now as a political strategy does he trot out whatever they think works in empty slogans and promises to desperate people.  He does not deserve to be linked to FDR or TR he has not earned it.

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JohnMcD's avatar

By JohnMcD, December 8, 2011 at 10:04 am Link to this comment

Obama has been giving great speeches since day one, but
where is the policy to back it up?  He should be
twisting arms in Congress and publicly shaming those
who put special interests above our common interests!

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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, December 8, 2011 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.
(Bush could never get that right)

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By djnoll, December 8, 2011 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

Well, bully for President Obama!  He found his inner Roosevelts!?!  Why do I have such a problem believing that?  I supported Obama in 2008.  I stood up for him during the health care debates and when he reneged on his other campaign promises of 2008, making excuses for his problems being with Congress.  But the fact is that his problems were not just with Congress, but with his own party and with his agreements with the Clintons to get himself elected.  Mr. President, when you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas, and you have shown that you prefer lying with the dogs of the Clinton administration rather than with the people of this nation.  Your words now are like sounding gongs with little to make them believable.  Until you fire Timothy Geithner, Hillary Clinton, and tell Bill Clinton to stuff it publicly - you are still just their puppet.

We no longer need career politicians running our nation, we need Main Street citizens who will not sell out their constituents for lucrative jobs in the private sector when they leave office or their ideals for the backing of corrupt political operatives or corporations.  We need people who are truly from outside the Beltway and who have a clear understanding of the problems facing this nation and how to fix those problems.  President Obama has had three years to propose plans that would actually help this nation - but he has taken the jobs program off the table, the Medicare-for-all or single payer option off the table, the closing of Gitmo off the table, the bringing our troops home off the table, heavy regulation of the banks and holding them accountable off the table, etc. etc…..  It is getting awfully crowded under the table, while the wealthy benefactors of the Clintons and their cabinet and Congressional supporters have gotten wealthier by the day.  President Obama is right - we do need to change how we do things, but he is clearly not the one to do so, anymore than his GOP counterparts.

http://www.weeeevoteamerica2012.org
http://www.devonnollforpresident2012.org
Watch my videos on YouTube under “Devon Noll” if you want to hear my comments on such things as jobs and other issues over the next 8 months, before I take my campaign on the road.  You can also follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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By Rigor, December 8, 2011 at 9:03 am Link to this comment

Big things?
Like the tons of money squandered to his banker
buddies and foreign enemies who use our cash to kill
our troops?
How about the biggest crime of the decade? The one
NOBODY wants to talk about - using the cash giveaways
to buy guns to give to foreign criminals that
murdered Agent Brian Terry? How about that one Barry
!!!!! You, Mr. President, are responsible for his,
and countless hundreds of Mexican citizens murdered
in that country, all so you could attack The
Constitution some more.
Your problem isn’t the lame ass repubs, it’s the
MILLIONS of free thinking citizens that aren’t buying
into yours OR theirs lying ass bullshit anymore. Nov.
2012 is going to be a real eye opener for everybody
in D.C.

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prisnersdilema's avatar

By prisnersdilema, December 8, 2011 at 8:55 am Link to this comment

No matter what he says, his continued presidency can only be about being the lesser of
two evils….The Republicans will use the same rationale for who ever they pick…The
race will be an ugly competition for less than mediocracy….in the end the plutocracy will
still rule us, and keep on directing us down the drain, while they continue murdering half
the world to steal what they can for themselves…abandon all hope ye who enter here.

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By sofianitz, December 8, 2011 at 8:44 am Link to this comment

As William Pfaff has said,
“Trust is not today in oversupply. The United States has largely ceased to be a democratic republic (which is to say a republic whose officers are validly elected by the demos, or commonality, of the community), but has become a plutocracy dominated by moneyed interests.”
And, as Woody Allen has said,
“Since I gave up hope, I feel better.”

There is no hope to be obtained by supporting the Democratic or Republican parties.  Absolutely no hope.

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By surfnow, December 8, 2011 at 8:31 am Link to this comment

One More Thing, Entropy:
TR , Taft and all the Progressives hated regressive taxes like the tariff and understood the most important of all lessons- that an income tax is truly the most important of all progressive reforms. When income is taxed progressively-that is to say fairly- it is the foundation of any great democracy.

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By surfnow, December 8, 2011 at 8:25 am Link to this comment

Entropy:
If it weren’t for TR, the entire west- including the now National parks- would have long ago been cemented over, drilled or mined- his attitude about the environment was light years ahead of oil company flunkies like Obama. He was a staunch advocate of equality for women and of rights for workers and unions. He, and other Progressives of the time created a federal government that up to that point was basically impotent,powerless and non-existent- creating agencies like the FDA and USDA and many other consumer-rights agencies. The two “reforms” -one questionable, and one disastrous-  Prohibition and the Federal Reserve System came years later under Wilson. You and Kolko are the ones who need to learn some good old-fashioned public school education.

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By dander, December 8, 2011 at 8:14 am Link to this comment

Sounds like an interesting book and I will look for
it. Kolko was always a challenging but thoughtful
thinker.

One thing I have to check about, though, is that the
coda to the title of the book states 1900-1916 for
the critical era. Is the link to Roosevelt New Deal
an extension in there somewhere?

Or is the book mainly a critique of the so-called
“progressive era”. In that case it will certainly be
challenging. I have always reserved praise for FDR
based on my own understanding of his role in bringing
the US into WWII and his seeming anti-democratic
ideas about government. But the progressives ?
LaFollette ? That will be interesting to read. Just
placed a copy on hold at my library.

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thecrow's avatar

By thecrow, December 8, 2011 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

E.J. forgot to mention Obama’s inner Brzezinski.

http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2008/10/30/the-ones-who-attacked-us/

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By Louis Proyect, December 8, 2011 at 7:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2011/12/07/bull-moose-and-bullshit/

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Tesla's avatar

By Tesla, December 8, 2011 at 7:25 am Link to this comment

Yawn, another piece of worthless self-serving rhetoric from thean that has
expanded the security state to Nazi Germany levels.

Progressives can go perform unnatural sex acts by themselves. Cause if you
have not become a socialist, communist, or anarchist by now, there is no
hope for our future.

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By adeba, December 8, 2011 at 7:00 am Link to this comment

Obama may be staking his speeches on a progressive vision, but he has
never in his life been a progressive, ever, and his actions say his campaign
is already showing marks of more craven attempts to appease the right.

He and his surgeon general decided that girls under the age of 17 can’t
follow the directions for the morning-after pill, which was about to go OTC. 
So now girls who have been raped-by, say, their dad, uncle or mom’s
boyfriend, will still have to ask for their parent’s cooperation. Obama is not
just inexperienced, inept, and listening to the wrong people- he is a
coward.

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By bluevistas, December 8, 2011 at 6:57 am Link to this comment

“Barack Obama discovered both of his inner Roosevelts.”

Only for the length of the campaign, then it will disappear
again.  He has described himself as a “New Democrat” which
is not Rooseveltian. 

I will vote Green, as I am not going to get snookered by
Obama again.

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By larrypsy, December 8, 2011 at 6:51 am Link to this comment

Let’s heat and swallow some Tea while reading this great aticle.

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entropy2's avatar

By entropy2, December 8, 2011 at 6:47 am Link to this comment

@surfnow - Kolko’s book is comprehensive and fully cited. Maybe you should read it before you regurgitate the pablum fed you in state schools as “fact.”

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By surfnow, December 8, 2011 at 6:36 am Link to this comment

Entropy:
I don’t know who Gabriel Kolko is, but neither he nor you apparently know much about the Progressive Period. TR was one of our greastest presidents, and that period, by no means perfect, was still remarkable in its progressive rfeorms and accomplishments- aaccomplishments which today’s neoliberals are intent on undoing.

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By entropy2, December 8, 2011 at 6:01 am Link to this comment

If BHO wants to channel Teddy Roosevelt, all the less reason to vote for him.

The “Progressive” era was the biggest sellout of the working class in the history of our country. Under the guise of protecting the unwashed, the plutocratic, technocratic and bureaucratic elite (the 1%) teamed up to manage our lives for their profit and power. (Read “The Triumph of Conservatism” by Gabriel Kolko for an eye-opener.) All the “reform” from that era forward had the effect of cartelizing the economy in the hands of the connected few, indoctrinating the population from birth to be good worker drones and complacent, compliant citizens and, generally, fostering an environment of dependence on the corporate-state.

The fight isn’t between left and right, but between big and small, between centralized and distributed power, between dependence on amoral, self-serving, irresponsible hierarchies and voluntary interdependence among responsible equals.

We have the tools, the skills and the choice to walk away from the 1%...anytime we want to. Do we have the guts?

Don’t fight the power, just make it irrelevant!

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By surfnow, December 8, 2011 at 5:35 am Link to this comment

To paraphrase Sinclair Lewis, Obama:  “...was born to be president, he never says anything important, but he always says it so well.”

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By do over, December 8, 2011 at 4:38 am Link to this comment

Obama is about the “Big Lie”.  His lie’s grow in grandeur with each passing issue.  Just ask yourself this, are you better off now than you were when Obama was elected?  Then why do you keep believing his lies.

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By scorch, December 8, 2011 at 3:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me!

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By ardee, December 8, 2011 at 3:44 am Link to this comment

President Obama has decided that he is more likely to win if the election is about big things rather than small ones.

President Obama has decided that he is more likely to win if he can deflect the attention of the public from his do-nothing Presidency and his cannot-do-anything Party with some more of his patented pretty speeches.

The only thing Democrats have going for them is the increasing radicalism of the GOP. But I would offer that, despite the increasing attempts by partisan democrats here to paint a portrait of disaster if the GOP wins the White House, having a democratic majority in the legislature and a so-called democrat in the White House has been a disaster for progressive ideas and ideals. This nation survived Bush/Cheney and will survive whichever party scoops up the power in the coming election.

I believe that , regardless of which duopoly party controls our government, there is an increasing window for the continued growth of third party politics. If progressives and moderates alike are serious about pushing for a progressive agenda and a new direction for this nation, both domestic and foreign, they will see that it can only be accomplished by adding a third party, one dedicated to avoiding the trap of big money that has destroyed the Democrats and altered the GOP irretrievably,  to the legislative mix.

I believe that the Green Party is that hope.

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By Outraged, December 8, 2011 at 1:52 am Link to this comment

Sorry folks, I forgot the link. oops (holy shit I’m getting like Perry, that’s scary)

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/12/07/parody-video-youre-a-mean-one-newt-gingrich/

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By Outraged, December 8, 2011 at 1:48 am Link to this comment

You gotta see these Christmas Gingrich videos.
hilarious.

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By Dr Bones, December 8, 2011 at 1:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Fool me once, shame on you!

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