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What Massachusetts Got Right

Posted on Jan 20, 2010
Coakley
AP / Steven Senne

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, the Democratic candidate, concedes defeat Tuesday night in the election to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy.

By Robert Scheer

The president got creamed in Massachusetts. No amount of blaming this disastrous outcome on the weaknesses of the local Democratic candidate or her Republican opponent’s strengths can gainsay that fact. Obama’s opportunistic search for win-win solutions to our health care concerns and our larger economic problems is leading to a lose-lose outcome for the president and the country.

The two issues that mattered on Election Day were the economy, which Obama has sold out to Wall Street—as quite a few disgruntled voters pointed out—and his plea to save health care reform, which the voters who had backed him for the presidency with a huge majority now spurned. It is significant that it was the voters of Massachusetts who have now derailed the Democrats’ efforts to revamp the country’s health care system by denying them the necessary 60th vote in the Senate, for these voters know the subject well.

The federal proposal is based on their own state’s model requiring people to obtain health insurance without the state doing anything to effectively control costs through an alternative to the private insurance corporations. Lacking a public option, the cost of health care in Massachusetts, already the highest in the nation at the time of the plan’s implementation, has spiraled upward. Services have been curtailed, and many, particularly younger people, feel they are being forced to sacrifice to pay for a system that doesn’t work.

Instead of blindly following the failed Massachusetts model, Obama should have insisted on an extension of the Medicare program to all who are willing to pay for it. He squandered the opportunity to bring about meaningful health care change that the public would have supported had it been kept simple and just. Instead, Obama gave away the store to medical profiteers. They, in turn, hopelessly muddied the waters with well-funded scare advertising tactics that principled leadership on Obama’s part could have thwarted.

A mere seven months ago, The New York Times/CBS poll found 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.” Even half of those identified as Republican said they would back such a public plan, as would three out of four independents and 90% of Democrats. Instead of heeding that call by endorsing a serious extension of Medicare, along with increased subsidies for those who could not afford it, Obama played to the conservatives in Congress—and they rolled him.

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If he wasn’t prepared to make a breakthrough in health care, and that meant a reform program that would begin sooner rather than later, he should have put it on a back burner. The furor over a very unsatisfactory plan drew attention from the far bigger crisis concerning the meltdown of the nation’s economy. By accepting and indeed expanding the Bush administration’s strategy of throwing money at Wall Street, Obama ceded the populist label to the Tea Party Republicans who now pretend that a banking mess brought about by their radical deregulatory philosophy is not of their making.

It is the economy, stupid, and the sooner Obama grasps that, the better for his and the nation’s prospects. A new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll finds that “Americans ranked job creation and economic growth as their clear top priority for the federal government, well above national security and deficit reduction. Health care, Mr. Obama’s top domestic priority in 2009, now ranks fourth, closely trailing the deficit and government spending.”

Of course, the public is right. In the midst of the worst economic crisis in 70 years, why waste enormous political capital battling to pass a health care plan that is modeled on a proven failure in Massachusetts, as voters there clearly registered? Meanwhile, the president has dropped the ball in the effort to make bankers act responsibly by forcing them to forego outrageous bonuses and help homeowners stay in their homes.

Again quoting the message of that Wall Street Journal/NBC poll: “The president’s focus on health care amid heightened job concerns could be hurting his ratings. At the one-year mark of his presidency, 35% of Americans said they were ‘quite’ or extremely’ confident he had the right priorities to improve the economy, down from 46% at midyear.” The Journal noted that a majority disapproved of the government’s response to the financial crisis, adding, “The related problem for Mr. Obama is the public’s lingering anger about the bailouts of 2008 and 2009, which helped boost bank profits even as unemployment grew—a toxic political problem.”

To salvage his presidency, Obama must reverse course and make solving the “toxic political problem” of Wall Street greed that’s bankrupting the country his highest priority. 


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By firefly, January 24, 2010 at 6:12 pm Link to this comment

The worm,

While I agree with most of what you say, I don’t think putting ALL the blame on Obama is correct. The US political system has branches to prevent one person having all the power.

The problem is the system, which is totally rotten to the core, and so far removed from the founding fathers orginal doctrine, we might as well reinstate a king.

America is no longer a democracy. It is a plutocracy. The president is just a puppet/spokesperson for the now hugely, insanely rich and powerful corporations who now have the power and wealth of former kings, tsars and emperors. In those days in Europe (before the revolution of the proletariat), laws were written to protect the rich not the peasantry, and wars were fought to protect the wealth and land of the rich not the peasantry.

This is where the Republicans are so wrong about ‘government’. Democracy is all about having an ELECTED representative ‘of the people and by the people’.  The current electoral system only enables candidates that support the status quo (i.e. representatives of corporate power), because they have to be bought. Propaganda and misrepresentation about socialism helps keep the capitalism model firmly in control which only benefits the rich, thereby preventing any real change.

I now think that Obama’s intentions for ‘change’ simply meant ‘change from the bitter divisions’, rather than ‘change from Republican ideology’. The Democrats are essentially more ‘for the people’, but not much different from Republicans.

However, in my opinion the Republicans are still the greater evil of the two.

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By the worm, January 24, 2010 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment

Why has the transfer of wealth accelerated under Obama? That is the key
question to ask.

Who are Obama’s ‘constituencies’? Follow the decisions , find Obama’s
constituencies, see where the money has gone and how voters and middle
class were left holding the deficit bag.

1. Decision - Ignore previous Republican crimes, misdemeanors and profligacy
– tax cuts for the wealthy: Constituencies - Republican voters and Republican
Senators and Representatives he hoped would become ‘bi-partisan’.
2. Decision - Support a stingy stimulus that was half of what was needed and
included one-thirds tax breaks, increasing the deficit and further reducing the
stimulus to one-third of what was needed: Constituencies – Wealthy investors,
special interests.
?3. Decision - Kill the only option that would have slowed the cost of health
care & led to universal coverage – $ 753 Billions : Constituencies - Health
insurance and pharmacy industries.
?4. Decision - Accelerate the Bush bailout, $ 4.3 Trillions in bailouts,
guarantees and purchasing assets from the private sector at well above market
value: Constituency - Financial industry and banks.
?5. Decision - Escalate a meaningless and fruitless war, $600 Billions:
Constituencies - military and corporate mercenaries.
?6. Decision - Gut real financial reform and substitute finger wagging and silly
taxes and fees, while banking fees continue up, lending freezes and credit
tightens - $UNK Billions: Constituencies - financial industry and the wealthy.
?7. Decision - Not help people with bankruptcy and mortgages remediation –
accelerating middle class decline: Constituencies - financial industry, banks
and wealthy.
and ?
8. Decision - Fiddle around and not pass a jobs bill – accelerating middle class
decline (Already spent to much money, cut taxes and increased the deficit – so,
sorry, no money for the middle class and American voters): Constituencies:
Wealthy and Republicans.

Obama’s constituencies are the health insurance and pharmacy industry,
military-mercenary complex, the financial industry and banks, and the
wealthy.

Obama’s policies have continued to transfer America’s wealth from middle
class families to corporations and the wealthy.

Why has Obama lost the support of the voters? Based on the decisions Obama
has made, these appear to be the reasons for the lose:

1.  Republicans are better off with real Republicans, hence support Republican
voters is all but gone;
2.  Independents, who wanted change, see the status quo protected and
coddled, hence Independents have retreated from support for Obama and the
Dems;
3.  Democrats see a so-called Democratic White House and so-called
Democratic Congress working to continue and accelerate the transfer of wealth
from the middle class to the wealthy, hence they have no reason to support the
Obama and his allies in Congress. ??

Obama has made decisions that have hurt most Americans, and, he is either:

1. Oblivious to them,
2. Doesn’t care,
3. Surrounded himself with advisors who are up to their eyeballs in the status
quo and persuade him to subsidize it with tax money and deficit spending,
4. Erroneously assumed the military-mercenary, health insurance-
pharmaceutical, financial-banking industries and wealthy constituencies would
remain loyal and rescue him from troubles.

It is not difficult to understand why Obama’s ratings and his ‘agenda’ have been
rejected and Democrats no longer enjoy the support of the majority of voters.

Obama and his Democratic allies have accelerated the transfer of wealth from
the middle class to the wealthy and the corporations.

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By ThomasG, January 24, 2010 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

America Populace/Back Street America:

Leefeller and almost everyone else on this blog and in the greater world did not take notice that President Obama and the New Democrats threw away Gov. Howard Dean, M.D., and Governor Dean’s populous movement that represented the American Populace/Back Street America in support of the Corporate interests of Wall Street and Main Street.

Back Street America, the American Populace, should have known who and what President Obama was, when President Obama did not include Governor Howard Dean in his government at the very highest level, but the American Populace, Back Street America, projected their hopes and dreams onto Obama’s CHANGE that he said “you can believe in” and as a result President Obama and his “New Democrats” dismantled the populous movement of Gov. Howard Dean that was representative of the American Populace/Back Street America.

Gov. Howard Dean represented the American Populace/Back Street America and Barack Obama does not.  President Barack Obama got in front of Gov. Howard Dean’s populous movement that represented the American Populace/Back Street America and, as the leader of the Democratic Party, excluded Gov. Howard Dean and set his administration and the Democratic Party to the task of destroying Gov. Howard Dean’s American Populace Movement utterly and completely.

The American Populace/Back Street America needs Governor Howard Dean, MD back as the leader of the American Populace/Back Street America that will represent the American Populace/Back Street America, otherwise the American Populace/Back Street America will not be represented by President Barack Obama and his Corporate Democrats that exclude the American Populace from a seat at the table of governance of the United States and excludes Governor Howard Dean as the leader of the American Populace, Back Street America.

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By Leefeller, January 24, 2010 at 9:53 am Link to this comment

Obama inherited a pile of crap and behold it still smells like a pile of crap.

If Obama is capable of cleaning up the pile will remains to be seen. Of course everyone loves to blame Obama, it is almost like bought and sold Congress and the Supreme Court do not exist and have had nothing to do with the mess.

Saying Obama is hiding behind his blackness, sort of like saying Bush was hiding behind his whiteness.  Such statements seem a tad racist to me?

Corporate America is not America, for it is the Wold Wide scheme of things the direction has gone. Control of our country is not by the people, special interests have gained much to their interests, the recent Supreme deciders have sold out the people again.

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, January 24, 2010 at 9:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

According to the Huffington Post Obama summoned
Elizabeth Warren to the WH the morning after
Massachusetts.  This is two years old but should be
seen:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akVL7QYOS8A

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By Inherit The Wind, January 24, 2010 at 5:52 am Link to this comment

CS:
I really enjoyed your list of Clinton’s achievements.  It just goes to show he was a better president yet again than most realize.

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By @CT, January 22, 2010 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment

truedigger3 writes:

“Obama is worse than Cheney and W Bush, and he will do more damage. At least with them, we knew what we were getting, but with Obama he is hiding behind his blackness and his so called progressivness, to carry out his agenda.
And that is why, very few of the so called progressives are raising their voice against him.
Obama is a closet neocon through and through and his missionn assigned to him by the powers-that-be is to completely destroy what is left of the New Deal and civil liberties and while at it bail out Wall St. and let it run amock without any regulations and to continue and expand the wars.”

—> Oblabla IS worse than Cheney and Bush: Cheney, one could hate and disparage. Bush, one could laugh at, even with, while deploring his regime. And one could work one’s fingers off to elect the “Democrats”. Hahaha.

truedigger3 writes:
“I don’t see any difference, whatsoever, between Obama and W Bush, both in foreign policies or domestic policies.”

—> Au contraire: Obama somehow did manage, in clear violation of any “equal protection” argument, to extend federal benefits to the UN-married domestic partners of selected federal officials.

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By truedigger3, January 22, 2010 at 3:08 pm Link to this comment

Re:By firefly, January 22 at 7:12 pm #


Obama is rolling on the same tracks W Bush was rolling on, but the train has been repainted differently, and was outfitted with different whistle.
I don’t see any difference, whatsoever, between Obama and W Bush, both in foreign policies or domestic policies. The only difference is in rhetoric and and in fringe inconsequential issues. Obama didn’t change or repeal anything W Bush did.
You are still insisting in seeing what you were hoping for, instead of what is really actually there in front of you.

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By firefly, January 22, 2010 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

Truedigger wrote:

“Obama is worse than Cheney and W Bush, and he will do more damage. At least with them, we knew what we were getting, but with Obama he is hiding behind his blackness and his so called progressiveness, to carry out his agenda.”

What a short memory you have. Bush and Cheney lied constantly and brought havoc to the ENTIRE globe with their trillion dollar spending on endless and unnecessary wars.

Obama has been in power for 1 year. It took 8 years for the Republicans to screw up the world. It will take a damn site longer than 1 year to fix it. I agree that he’s way too bipartisan, and should never have tried to appease the Republican corporate mentality, and maybe, this election is a wake up call, but to equate him with the evils of the Bush administration is ridiculous.

Look what happens when Obama wants to regulate the Banks.  Shares drop all over the world. Scare tactics and blackmail. 

He’ll have the rich and powerful,  banging on his door while at the same time, he’s got ordinary folks angry at him.

He should ignore the Banks and listen to the ordinary folk, but do you, for one second, think that if the Republicans had been in power, they would give a tiny rat’s a*** about the rest of the country? 

No way. They would be far too busy, wielding the powers of the oil corporations and other interest groups and dropping more and more bombs on Iran and Yemen now, at taxpayers expense. Things would be much much worse under the Republicans. Never forget that!

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By truedigger3, January 22, 2010 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

firefly wrote about Obama:
“What we do know, is what he is NOT. He is not a Neocon, he is not George Bush or Dick Cheney, and that is still a relief….”
___________________________________________________

Obama is worse than Cheney and W Bush, and he will do more damage. At least with them, we knew what we were getting, but with Obama he is hiding behind his blackness and his so called progressivness, to carry out his agenda.
And that is why, very few of the so called progressives are raising their voice against him.
Obama is a closet neocon through and through and his missionn assigned to him by the powers-that- be is to completely destroy what is left of the New Deal and civil liberties and while at it bail out Wall St. and let it run amock without any regulations and to continue and expand the wars.
Coming in the very near future from Team Obama is “reforming” Social Security and Medicare!!!.
So forget about the CHANGE unless were are talking about the change in your pocket.

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By NorCalKid, January 22, 2010 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment

I don’t think everybody understood my point. It isn’t the parties that are
innately corrupt, its the system that is corrupt. In other words, this goes
beyond political parties. If you want to win office, or if you want inside access
to the gov’t, then you need money, and lots of it. Its obvious that for much of
congress (people in both parties) that they have to sell their votes, or do favors,
or bring home some serious bacon, in order to get the kind of money they will
need to campaign in the next election cycle. The whole electoral process is
completely out-of-control, bloated beyond imagination, and according to the
Supreme Court ruling there is nothing we can do about it, short of amending
the constitution itself. (How ironic that they use a protection designed for the
little guy and use it to enable this plutocratic form of government!)

In any case, even if Democrats held just about every imaginable seat in
congress, the truth is that you still wouldn’t get a good reform bill. The people
who amended the health and financial reform bills into the awful smelly goo
they both eventually became are Democrats. And not just a few “bad apples”
either. The number who are operating this way are into the hundreds! And they
have no choice.

How can congress “reform” anything when it is so completely compromised?
Obama’s mistake was thinking he could just hand this off to them, and let them
take control of the process. He did that because Clinton didn’t, and was blamed
for this mistake in the 1993-1994 health care debacle.

This whole process should be sounding alarms, folks. This is a real emergency
here, our gov’t is so completely corrupted that it can’t get anything at all
accomplished, at a time when it really needs to be better able to get a lot
accomplished!

Partisan bickering is fun and all, and gives everyone a convenient target and
boogeyman to direct their angst against, but the bigger picture is beyond
parties. And divisive politics is a distraction, and will keep us from
accomplishing reform.

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By firefly, January 22, 2010 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment

Virginia777 writes: “Oh, I see. All of you pessimists are going to let every single Neocon who runs against a Democrat win, because you refuse to form a Base.”

Then, markpkessinger writes: “Perhaps we haven’t formed a base because the President has failed to articulate a clear, identifiable vision around which a base can coalesce.”

We could always make one up like the Republicans do, based on complete nonsense and lies!

No seriously, I think that you have a point. We believed we knew what Obama stood for when he was elected last year. Now he’s left the whole world confused, from the Nobel committee, to Cairo. From the Banks to his community base.

What does he stand for???? Does anyone know? What we do know, is what he is NOT. He is not a Neocon, he is not George Bush or Dick Cheney, and that is still a relief….

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By CLARENCE SWINNEY, January 22, 2010 at 9:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

WALL STREET OF AMERICA
FORMERLY KNOWN AS UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

1980 to 2007

20 YEARS OF 3 CONSERVATIVE PRESIDENTS
18 years Conservative Senate
12 years Conservative House
6 years Total Conservative Control

Redistribution of Wealth to top 20%.

Folk! It is downhill slide for Middle Class.

FACTS—-numbers rounded-

1946—1% owned 30% of Total Wealth

1980—20%—a 33% decline due to Estate Tax and High Top Income Tax Rate.

thence cometh conservatism

1989-36%

80% Increase in 8 years of Reaganism

1993-47%

2007—20% owned 93% of Total non home Financial Wealth

80% owned equity in homes.

Most major corporations are owned by WALL STREET RICH MEN CASINO

In 1945, corporations paid 35.4% of federal revenues and 7.4% in 2003

In 2000, 45% of corporations with revenue over 50 million paid no federal tax

Five Wall Street Banks own 75% of all Bank Deposits in America. 5.

Two own 20%.

Think that is not POWER???

FACT CHECK

In 8 years of Bush with 6 years of Total Control

They (wall street rich) created a Net New Jobs of 31,000 per month.

Why? That is NET. You take the new jobs created and subtract the ones sent to China, etc

31,000! Wow!

Bush took over after Clinton had created 237,000 Net New Jobs per month.

Clinton left Bush a spending of 1830 B Per Year.

Bush doubled it to 3600 B.

Bush inherited a 5700B Debt from Clinton. He took it to 11,500B

20 years of 3 conservative presidents did this horrible thing.

Took the Debt of less than 1000B after 200 years and added on 8000B.

In 2009 they are spinning big time to blame Obama for huge debt.

Conservatives will spend millions to coverup their Big Recession.

Much of that 8000B Debt add-on went to WALL STREET GAMBLERS.

The people do not know what has happened to them.

Forbes list of 400 Richest reveals how many became Billionaires via corporate
takeovers and Hedge Gambling

Right Wingers yell Rich Pay most of taxes.

Income Taxes!Yes! They have most of the money.

Yet! Conservatives transferred much of taxation from Rich to Middle Class. Reagan voiding REVENUE SHARING a disaster for Middle Class where taxes were transferred from Rich Income taxes to Middle Class in State and Local Taxes. Was it by design?

Was it a Designed Act of taxation transfer by Conservatives.

In 2008 the Middle Class paid 30% of nominal Income in Federal-State-Local Taxes.
Top 10% paid 30% also. Progressive tax system?

Social Security Tax Increase in 1983 was it designed to hit the Middle Class and ease on the rich?

Greenspan + Reagan. 6.2% Tax on Middle Class. One earns $50,000 pays 6.2%. Earns $1,000,00 pays 6.4%. Earns $10,000,000 pays 1/10th of 1%. By design to keep rich rich?

Was Destruction of S&Ls; a deliberate act of wealth transfer from 400 local investors to individual Rich on Wall Street?

Key actor Michael Milken became a Multiple Billionaire with income of 550 Million in one year from raiding S&L deposits (plus) for his Rich Corporate Raiders on Wall Street.

Raiders like Perelman and Ichan became multiple Billionaires.
Sweat of Brow? Ho Ho.

Bush I had to borrow 140 Billion on 40 year bonds to pay for the raids on S&L’s by Wall Streeters.
140B creates many Billionaires and Millionaires. Depositors money was used by those Corporate Raiders and bankrupted the S&L then the government pay off to depositors by Federal Deposit Insurance created Debt for Middle Class.

RAPE OF MIDDLE CLASS 1980-2007

Same ideology gave us Great Depression now Great Recession.

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By clarence swinney, January 22, 2010 at 9:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

JOHN CP
LORD WILLIAM OF TERROR FIGHTERS

  ALL AMERICAN TERROR FIGHTER
CLINTON developed the nation’s first anti-terrorism policy, and appointed first national coordinator of anti-terrorist efforts.
Bill Clinton stopped cold the Al Qaeda millennium hijacking and bombing plots.
Bill Clinton stopped cold a planned attack to kill the Pope.
Bill Clinton stopped cold a planned attack to blow up 12 U.S. jetliners simultaneously.
Bill Clinton stopped cold a planned attack to blow up UN Headquarters.
Bill Clinton stopped cold a planned attack to blow up FBI Headquarters.
Bill Clinton stopped cold a planned attack to blow up the Israeli Embassy in Washington.
Bill Clinton stopped cold a planned attack to blow up Boston airport.
Bill Clinton stopped cold a planned attack to blow up Lincoln and Holland Tunnels in NY.
Bill Clinton stopped cold a planned attack to blow up the George Washington Bridge.
Bill Clinton tried to kill Osama bin Laden and disrupt Al Qaeda through preemptive strikes (efforts denounced by the G.O.P.).
Bill Clinton brought perpetrators of first World Trade Center bombing and CIA killings to justice.
Bill Clinton did not blame the Bush I administration for first WTC bombing even though it occurred 38 days after Bush left office. Instead, worked hard, even obsessively - and successfully - to stop future terrorist attacks.
Bill Clinton named the Hart-Rudman commission to report on nature of terrorist threats and major steps to be taken to combat terrorism.
Bill Clinton sent legislation to Congress to tighten airport security. (Remember, this is before 911)——The legislation was DEFEATED by the Republicans because of opposition from the airlines.——
Bill Clinton sent legislation to Congress to allow for better tracking of terrorist funding. It was DEFEATED by Republicans in the Senate because of opposition from banking interests.
Bill Clinton sent legislation to Congress to add tagents to explosives, to allow for better tracking of explosives used by terrorists. It was DEFEATED by the Republicans because of opposition from the NRA.
Bill Clinton increased the military budget by an average of 14 per cent, reversing the trend under Bush I.
Bill Clinton tripled the budget of the FBI for counterterrorism and doubled overall funding for counterterrorism.
Bill Clinton detected and destroyed cells of Al Qaeda in over 20 countries.
Bill Clinton created national stockpile of drugs and vaccines including 40 million doses of smallpox vaccine.
Of Clinton’s efforts says Robert Oakley, Reagan Ambassador for Counterterrorism: “Overall, I give them very high marks” and “The only major criticism I have is the obsession with Osama”.
Paul Bremer, former Civilian Administrator of Iraq disagrees slightly with Robert Oakley as he believed the Bill Clinton Administration had “correctly focused on bin Laden.”
Barton Gellman in the Washington Post put it best, “By any measure available, Bill Clinton left office having given greater priority to terrorism than any president before him” and was the “first administration to undertake a systematic anti-terrorist effort”.

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By clarence swinney, January 22, 2010 at 9:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

JOHN CP
Here is one for our Lord William Of Hope
Mt. Rushmore material

Clintonomics vs Reaganomics
Comparing Democrat’s hero-CLINTON—versus Republican’s hero—REAGAN
1.JOBS—grew by 43% more under Clinton.
2.GDP—-grew by 57% more under Clinton.
3.DOW—grew by 700% more under Clinton..
4.NASDAQ-grew by 18 times as much under Clinton.
5.SPENDING—grew by 28% under Clinton—-80% under Reagan.
6.DEBT—grew by 43% under Clinton—187% under Reagan.
7. DEFICITS—Clinton got a large surplus—grew by 112% under Reagan.
8.NATIONAL INCOME—grew by100% more under Clinton.
9.PERSONAL INCOME—Grew by 110% more under Clinton.
SOURCES—Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.BLS.Gov )—Economic Policy Institute (EPI.org)—Global & World Almanacs from 1980 to 2003 (annual issues)
http://www.the-hamster.com (chart taken from NY Times)
National Archives History on Presidents. http://www.nara.gov
LA Times 10-11-00 on Market—www.Find articles.com
A vote for a Republican is a vote for Less Success.
A vote to reduce the Standard of Living for all Americans.

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By clarence swinney, January 22, 2010 at 9:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

President Obama please stop reading your two teleprompters

Read ONE. Straight ahead As tho you are looking at your audience

Left-read one sentence-right-read one hald a sentence-left

left rigth left right left right

DRIVING ME NUTS

I place a towel over your head and use word captioning to read what you are saying.

Do you not have speech advisers? What gives Sir, this is totally stupid for a speaker.

A great fan and ex public speaker.

clarence swinney

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By clarence swinney, January 22, 2010 at 9:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lord William Of Hope had second best record for getting his legislation passed in first two years.
LBJ had best.
Yet,in those years had low ratings.

Same for Reagan. First two were low.

In third year Clinton had lowest number of bills passed since do nothing GOP Congress of 1933.

CQ said Newt new Congress fighting with Moderate Republicans.

150 floor votes passed 88 bills.

Obama has had a problem facing a KILLER GOP Congress.

He tries to cooperate with them. No way. He should simply go on national TV address and tell then GO TO HELL.

He would win supporters. When one is out to destroy you you kill them.

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By christian96, January 22, 2010 at 5:32 am Link to this comment

NorCalKid——How do you suggest we reform government?
We certainly aren’t going to do it by electing one
lying deceiver after another.  That’s been going on
for years.

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By johncp, January 22, 2010 at 5:14 am Link to this comment

NORCALKID
No Norcalkid, political parties have absolutely nothing to do with the problems we all face in government today.  The concept of political parties is a noble but essentilly neutral one, in the sense that the “people” that occupy the offices in these parties, can be saints or sinners.  It’s absurd to blame parties for the weaknesses of character displyed by the membership of those parties.  A party, as an example, may have, in principle, come to represent the best interests of the poor and disadvantaged in our society, to a much greater extent than the does the other party.  But the mere fact that this exists as a guiding principle certainly doesn’t compel the party membership to fulfill this responsibility.  Nearly every so called member of that party may be a scoundrel.  How can this mean that the “party” itself should be condemned? 

In the case of the democrats, I doubt that there are 20% of the party membership, that actually fight for what are, more or less, party principles.  The rest are simply poseurs, hiding behind the benefit of the presumption given them by a credulous society, that they’re honorable men and women.  All this has nothing whatever to do with the Democratic party.

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By Been Down So Long, January 22, 2010 at 5:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Way to sum it up without writing a book,see:

Comment By KDelphi, January 21 at 4:07 am

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By NorCalKid, January 22, 2010 at 3:03 am Link to this comment

Bob, you make really good points, as usual. (I used to closely follow your
column in the LA Times, before the ship that Otis built was derailed by folks
who didn’t share his courageous values. This is a nice site, keep up the good
work!)

Still, I think it is clear that the Democrat rule of congress is almost as corrupt
as the GOP rule was previously. Obama’s problem wasn’t only his attempted
coziness with the GOP, it was also the coziness with his own party, many of
whom are only interested in saving their seats and sold out to lobbyists and
special interests. Think about it: Democrats control the White House, the
House, and the Senate, and still the process is a complete disaster.

Anyways, to the others posting here and fighting one another, I would just
suggest that many seem to be angry at the same things, but think only the
“other” party is responsible. But this is a diversion. The powers that be are
delighted in this kind of division. In fact, it is both parties that are problematic.
We need real reform of all gov’t, and this cannot be realized through a partisan
lens. Let’s all encourage our congresspersons to adopt real reform voluntarily
for themselves. And if they refuse? Then they shall pay at the polls. And it
doesn’t matter if they are Dems or GOP: until we reform all gov’t, it really
doesn’t matter which party is in charge.

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By bogi666, January 22, 2010 at 2:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I proudly didn’t vote for President O’Bushama. Until he gets rid of Rahn Emmanual and the Clinton hold overs the DLC CORPORATE Democrats, now a branch of the Republican Party,will continue to destroy a once dignifired organization. O’Bushama was all about punditry and platitudes pure fluff. The country not so much voted for him but against McCain a war criminal and traitor who didn’t even know how to turn on a computer or even want to learn how to do so. O’Bushama, disappointing and not surprising.

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By johncp, January 21, 2010 at 8:38 pm Link to this comment

TRUEDIGGER3
Why does it seem to me, that you’re the one with the Clinton fixation.  And, since you brought it up, perhaps you’re the one that needs help.  Did I touch a nerve?  I defend the Clinton’s just to the extent that I see them constantly lambasted by writers like yourself.  After 8 years in office, Clinton is remembered by his enemies, only for those actions that can be interpreted as wrongful, as if Nafta, welfare reform and a few other cases describe his entire tenure.  These few items are repeated and repeated in all these political articles, with stupifying regularity.  There seems never an end to efforts to damage and demean the Clintons.  I try to balance these cowardly and preposterously unbalanced attacks.  It wasn’t until I honored Clarence Swinney for his own efforts to counter the nonsense, that I received this hotheaded and juvenile explosion of anger and frustration from you.  If buffoons like yourself, don’t like my defense of the Clintons, ignore my posts.  And, by the way, please don’t bother to write me again, simpleton, unless, of course, you have a “fixation” on me, in which case, you won’t be able to help yourself, will you?

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By thebeerdoctor, January 21, 2010 at 7:29 pm Link to this comment

Sorry Virginia777, it has been a very long time since I’ve been described as a cynical liberal. If my concern for opposing military intervention and the spending escalation of destructive hardware, makes me one, have at it. I am sometimes cynical Virginia, but I am way too impoverished to be called a liberal, by any standard put forward. I am working class, experiencing the benefits of a jobless recovery. My one great consolation is that am not enslaved with debt.
I know it must be frustrating to read the criticisms of President Obama when you are an ardent supporter. And for the record, I did vote for Barry, and it was for me a racial matter, having witnessed how black voters in the state of Ohio have been disenfranchised time and again, I figured it was time for a little pay back. But you see, I carefully read all of his policy positions, his offering of forelock to AIPAC and that ilk, so I knew, even before I went to vote, that he was not the progressive or liberal or whatever shining star that so many people imagined him to be.
What I was not quite prepared for was the total capitulation to the corporate state his administration has championed. From the crummy reruns of the Clinton years, to the Bush marionettes he kept firmly in place when it came to United States military imperialism.
I am truly sorry that my caustic comments seem to upset, but hey, I have just as much right as anyone… I actually voted for the man.

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By JOHNATON, January 21, 2010 at 6:22 pm Link to this comment

The writer says a LOSE LOSE situation for the president and the country!  But fails to note that if the country loses this time, THE WORLD LOSES, THE PLANET LOSES, THE UNIVERSE AND MAYBE THE GALAXY!
  If a Nation inflicted with Habitual Amnesia, and Handicapped by a right wing press, Truely expects, that something the republicans has been doing to this economy for nearly 40 yrs.
ELIMINATING OUR INDUSTRIAL BASE, AND JOBS, OUTSOURCING, ALL SERVICE JOBS.  Until a person graduating from high school or college might be lucky to get on at Mcdonalds!  While at the same time INCREASIN SPENDING & BORROWING!
Under Reagan and the Bushes the greatest LENDER NATION was overnight turned into THE GREATEST BORROWER NATION!
Anyone that expects this to be always REPAIRABLE, or REPAIRED INSTANTLY is Insane!
A true PRESS would remind the AMNESIACS, That when BILL BLINTON took office, this Nation along with the Soviet Union was on the verge of Total Econoic Collapse.  CLINTON,s policies almost overnite brought the nation back.  And for the first time we had Full Employment & a Balanced Budget!
THEN CAME BUSH JR. Our ECONOMIC SURPLUS dissappeared Almost “Overnite” and again we were IN DEBT!
BORRROWING FROM THE CHINESE, To Buy FOOD & ESSENTIALS
And start wars!  Bush rebirthed that famous Reagan refrain, DEFECITS DOESN’T MATTER!
Not until those who repudiate science, including the first science Arithmetic and still believes the world is flat feels reality in their pocketbooks!
But many say that this group are INSANE!
They bombard us continously with Misinformation.
The right has always taught, when caught telling a Lie, SIMPLY TELL THEM ANOTHER LIE! Now they make ridicoulously Insane statements over and over again and again and again!
Figuring that no matter how DUMB and ERRONEOUS a STATEMENT is, if you say it enough times, it will eventually, began to sound as if you’re making sense!

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By truedigger3, January 21, 2010 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment

Re:By johncp, January 21 at 8:10 pm #,

johncp,

Is something wrong with you, man.??!! For months all you have been talking about is the Clintons, singing their praise and attacking anyone who dares to have a whiff of criticism for your beloved Clintons.
Do you have a Clinton fixation or something??!! I feel sorry for the people close to you.!
You need help and you need it fast, and I am serious.!!

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By johncp, January 21, 2010 at 3:10 pm Link to this comment

SWINNEY:  Thank You
...for having the courage to defend the Clinton name, in the face of the hatred and rebuke he faces on these chat lests, from jealous and vindictive republicans, and a few spineless democrats.

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By Jean Gerard, January 21, 2010 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Somebody down below makes the case for greed:  ie. “greed is good—we need greed—it gave us this and that etc. etc.”

This is the Ayn Rand line, if I’m not mistaken. As in “war is inevitable” and “people are born violent” etc. it is a convenient allegation to justify itself, not a fact based on evidence.  If I say “Peace is inevitable” or “people are born generous” my wishing it were true would not make it true. 

Greed and generosity are choices.  War and peace are choices.  If you want one or the other, you make related choices that help to bring about your first choice. If you want greed, you organize society on the basis that wealth is desirable no matter how it is gained, regardless of damage it does to others. You reward it, bail it out when it is in trouble, advertise it, sell books on how to get it. Make people feel inferior if they don’t have it.

Results?  Greed everywhere, and its inevitable opposite, a few rich people lording it over millions suffering from starvation, homelessness, want, ignorance, diseases, fear and finally, disaster.

Then, just in case you notice them and feel guilty, quick-like, you pull out your “home free” card that says “Blessed are the greedy, for they shall inherit the earth.”  And you smile and turn away, and think how smart, how beautiful, how superior you are.

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By @CT, January 21, 2010 at 1:06 pm Link to this comment

tribalscribal writes:
“What’s not to like?
Ummm….his support of torture maybe?”

It seems kind of doubtful a state senator has been in on much government torture.

That http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/01/05/brown_coakley_clash_over_suspected_terrorists_rights/ link, from the blog linked to this comment, actually says:

“I don’t support torture; the United States does not support torture,’’ Brown, a military lawyer in the Massachusetts National Guard, told reporters.

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By @CT, January 21, 2010 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

purplewolf writes:
“I have a feeling there are many skeletons in his closet.”

Oh: presumably this poster means sexual, rather than corporate and political, skeletons—the kind to which the mass of the people (thanks in large part to media priorities) pays attention. Might be worth a try ...

As for “give time a chance” ... that’s just silly. If Oblabla was ever going to do anything but operate as a closet Republican, he’d have done it by now. Think Gates, Summers, Geithner, et al. ...

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By Leefeller, January 21, 2010 at 11:25 am Link to this comment

Well things are going well, it seems special interests are getting all their ducks in a row.

Today the Supreme Court said their is no reason why corporations should be restricted in the amount of funding they can fork out to their puppet of choice!

Though it seems more like the corporations know what the people want, though, we have been hearing over and over agin the politicians saying they know what the people want!  Now all they need to do is get the people to stand still while asking them to bend over and spread them. One would believe it would have been much harder, asking or telling one to do this when not getting paid. Manipulation and opportunism seems a cake walk now!

Lobbyists may be getting that long hard raise they have been working for all these years.

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By purplewolf, January 21, 2010 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

How can you say what Massachusetts got it right? We have to see this persons performance first after he has been in office for a while and then and only then make a valid decision if they got it right. All to often we hear that this is the right person for the job,the correct choice, a hit and all to often it turns out the opposite. Give time a chance to see if this “pretty boy” is as wholesome as they think. I have a feeling there are many skeletons in his closet.

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By ThomasG, January 21, 2010 at 10:15 am Link to this comment

OPEN LETTER TO U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA:

Why do you,Pres. Barack Obama, try to blame Health Care and other like issues for the Backlash by the American Populace/Back Street America against the Democratic Party?

The Backlash in Massachusetts against the Democratic Party occurred because the Democratic Party represents interests that are of and for corporate interests, rather than the American Populace/Back Street America, and you know it.

When you came into office you did not make Gov. Howard Dean, MD, a representative of the American Populace/Back Street America, a part of your government and you made it clear in all of your speeches from your inauguration forward that you acknowledged only the problems of the American Middle Class Singularity-Main Street, and Wall Street, the American Aristocracy of business, industry and capital; you did not acknowledge the American Populace/Back Street America, the voting strength that elected you, the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION of the United States, as even existing, let alone being a part of your agenda and they are suffering the greatest from the economic collapse brought about by Wall Street and Main Street

You chose to give aid and comfort to Wall Street and Main Street to the exclusion of Back Street, the American Populace, and even now you are trying to define the backlash against your behavior and the corporatist behavior of the Democratic Party by the American Populace/Back Street America out of existence to exclude Back Street America as a 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION of the United States from benefit.

When will you, Pres. Barack Obama, and your Democratic Party learn that the “sleeping giant” of the American Populace/Back Street America is awakening and that the awakening of the American Populace/Back Street America will sweep the Democratic Party into the trash bin of history, if the Democratic Party and the Political System of the United States does not represent the legitimate political interests of the American Populace/Back Street America, apart from Wall Street and Main Street, and make a place at the table for the making and enforcing of legislated law and order that is in the interests of the American Populace/Back Street America that is equivalent to Wall Street and Main Street.

Recognize and deal with the backlash from the American Populace/Back Street America, Pres. Barack Obama, and make a place at the political table of the United States for the interests of the American Populace/Back Street America to be represented before it is too late for your presidency and too late for the Democratic Party; history, that you have been taught, says that we are ignoble——mean, vile, and vulgar——but we are not as bad as you think.  We the American Populace/Back Street America are just as deserving and entitled to political representation in the Government of the United States as Wall Street and Main Street.

Why is it so hard for you, Pres. Barack Obama, and your Democratic Party to acknowledge and support the American Populace/Back Street America, the masses of the U.S. Population that make all of the advantages possible that “you people” of Wall Street and Main Street take for granted? 

As you said, Pres. Barack Obama, it is time for a change;———— it is time to acknowledge and include Back Street America, rather than ignore and exclude Back Street America, the American Populace.

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By clarence swinney, January 21, 2010 at 10:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Place Blame Correctly.Please

1980=600B Spending
1980=1000B of Debt

20 years of 3 so called conservative presidents
18 years of so called Conservative Senate
12 years of so called Conservative House
6 years of so called Conservative Total Control

3600B Spending fron 600
11,500B of Debt from 1000

23 M net new jobs in 20 vs 33M in 12 of Carter-Clinton

What in the devil is wrong with Democrats to allow such dumb attacks as Tax & Spend—Debt Party—Etc.

google clarence swinney + 82 Democrat accomplishments.

Democratic policies built a Great Middle Class
Conservatives are determined to destroy it.

FACTS ARE IRREFUTABLE.

Yet! Blarney Blabbering is allowed to overcome.

Clinton vs Reagan is example

CLINTON PRAISE-WITH PLEASURE
GDP—rose from 6300 to 11,600
NATIONAL INCOME-5,000 to 8,000 Billion—took 20 years to grow 2500B before Clinton
JOBS CREATED—over 22 million—record by far
AVERAGE WEEKLY EARNINGS—$360 to $478
AVERAGE WEEKLY HOURS WORKED—never hit 35.0—hit that  mark 4 times in 80’s
UNEMPLOYMENT—from 7.2% down down down to 3.9%
WELFARE TO WORK—11,533,710 on federal roll in 1996 and 3,880,321 in 2007.
MINIMUM WAGE—$4.25 to $5.15
MINORITIES—did exceedingly well
HOME OWNERSHIP—hit all time high
DEFICIT—290 Billion to whoopee a SURPLUS
DEBT——+28%—-300% increase over prior12 years
FEDERAL SPENDING—+28%—-80% under Reagan- who da true conservative?
DOW JONES AVERAGE—3,500 to 11,800  all it’s history to get to 3500 and Clinton zooms it
NASDAQ—700 to 5,000—-all of it’s history to get to 700 and Clinton zooms it
VALUES INDEXES—almost all bad went down—good went up in zoom zoom zoom
FOREIGN AFFAIRS—Peace on Earth good will toward each other—-Mark of a true Christian—what has Bush done to Peace on Earth?
POPULARITY—-highest poll ratings  in history during peacetime in  AFRICA, ASIA AND EUROPE even 98.5% in Moscow—left office with highest gallup rating since it was started in 1920’s.
STAND UP FOR JUSTICE—evil conservatives spent $110,000,000 on hearings and investigations and caught—- ONE—- very evil man who took a few plane rides to events.
BOW YOUR HEADS—Thank you God for sending us a man of Bill Clinton’s character, intelligence, knowledge of governance, ability to face up to crises without whimpering and a great leader of the world.
THANK YOU GOD FOR THE GOOD TIMES THE CLINTON YEARS.

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By jackwbarnes1, January 21, 2010 at 9:56 am Link to this comment

AFTER READING A FEW OF THE PRIAR COMMENTS ESPECIALLY THE ONES
FROM 777 I WOULD LIKE TO OFFER THE FOLLOWING ADVICE GIVEN TO ME
IN MY 101 FRESHMAN ENGLISH CLASS. “SAY WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY IN
THE FEWEST WORDS POSSIBLE WITH ABSOLUTE CLEARNESS.

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By christian96, January 21, 2010 at 9:43 am Link to this comment

Maaaachusetts was a significant player in the
Revolutionary War of 1775.  Could it be a significant
player in a revolutionary war against another
repressive government?  Time will tell!

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By ThomasG, January 21, 2010 at 9:30 am Link to this comment

jackwbarnes1, January 21 at 11:32 am,

The American Populace/Back Street America voting for their Greater Political Enemy, the Republican Party, will not effect beneficial change from what is being inflicted upon the American Populace/Back Street America by Back Street America’s Lesser Enemy, the Democratic Party.

The problem is that the American Populace/Back Street America is not politically represented in the making and enforcing of legislated law and order in the government of the United States, and the only way to effect beneficial change, change the American Populace/Back Street America can believe in, is for the American Populace/Back Street America to force its own representation in the making and enforcing of legislated law and order in the U.S. Congress, Government, Judicial System, and Law Enforcement.

As far as the great nation that our forefathers had envisioned, that vision was exclusively for the Nobles and the Nearly Nobles, what we call Wall Street and Main Street today, and excluded the American Populace/Back Street America as the mean, vile, and vulgar.

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By ThomasG, January 21, 2010 at 9:26 am Link to this comment

jackwbarnes1, January 21 at 11:32 am,

The American Populace/Back Street America voting for their Greater Political Enemy, the Republican Party, will not effect beneficial change from what is being inflicted upon the American Populace/Back Street America by Back Street America’s Lesser Enemy, the Democratic Party.

The problem is that the American Populace/Back Street America is not politically represented in the making and enforcing of legislated law and order in the government of the United States, and the only way to effect beneficial change, change the American Populace/Back Street America can believe in, is for the American Populace/Back Street America to force its own representation in the making and enforcing of legislated law and order in the U.S. Congress, Government, Judicial System, and Law Enforcement.

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By Bgbrobru, January 21, 2010 at 9:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The bunny in Monty Python was a killer rabbit that attacked and murdered several
kniggets, if you recall.  All’s I’m saying.

BTW you won’t be confused if you remember the golden rule….....


He who has the gold,  rules!!!!

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By Virginia777, January 21, 2010 at 8:31 am Link to this comment

thebeerdoctor: What happened in Massachusetts was not Obama’s “wake up call”

the Neocon exhibitionist gets to sit squarely on the “laps” of cynical liberals like yourself,

who got the “wake up call” they were asking for.

(Yikes!!)

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By Virginia777, January 21, 2010 at 8:29 am Link to this comment

are you friggen’ blind jackwbarnes1??

The people have “come to light”?

so you call electing a Neocon exhibitionist in Massachusetts “coming to light”?

Hardly!! (and you want the rest of the Country to follow this “path”?)

I can that heading into the dark.

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By jackwbarnes1, January 21, 2010 at 6:32 am Link to this comment

FINALLY, THE PEOPLE IN MASS.HAVE COME TO THEIR SENSES AND SEEN
THE LIGHT.NOW IF THE REST OF THE COUNTRY WILL WAKE UP AND
FOLLOW THE SAME PATH, WE MAY BE ABLE TO RESTORE OUR SANITY
AND RETURN TO THE GREAT NATION THAT OUR FOREFATHERS HAD
ENVISIONED FOR US.

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By tribalscribal, January 21, 2010 at 6:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

>>Brown’s no more “phony and unqualified” than Oblabla is, and is much more attractive, has a cute family, hasn’t sold out yet. What’s not to like?<<

Ummm….his support of torture maybe?
http://concertobi.blogspot.com/2010/01/massachusetts-senator-scott-brown.html

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By Alan MacDonald, January 21, 2010 at 6:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

‘Ouroborus’ and ‘thebeerdoctor’, your analysis is correct and your posts are educational.

Best luck in continuing to enlighten others about the R&D charade party.

As your efforts progress, and the class is ready for the next lesson, hopefully you will continue your lecture series and address the Empire puppet-master pulling the interlaced strings of the R&D party.

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine

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By "G"utless "W"itless Hitler, January 21, 2010 at 5:35 am Link to this comment

“I swear to God I received a letter today from the
Democratic National Committee seeking a donation.
Before the election Pres. Obama promised to eliminate
income taxes on Social Security for people making
less than $50,000 a year. Another campaign promise
not kept.  Any suggestions for what I should do with
the letter from the DNC?”—christian96

You should flip that letter over and start a to-do list on the back.  Here, I’ll get you started with a few items I’m sure you should do:

1.  I will stop watching the Price is Right on CBS everyday at 11 am.

2.  I will update my resume.

3.  I will get a job paying more than 50k a year, thereby rendering Obama’s broken campaign promise moot where I am concerned.

4.  I will resolve to no longer be an apologist for the perpetrators of hate crimes.

5.  I will trim my ear hair regularly.

6.  I will come out of the closet to at least one person this year.

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By Ouroborus, January 21, 2010 at 4:04 am Link to this comment

There’s another thing; I read so many articles in the
news about “what the voters want”.
Wouldn’t one need to understand the real situation to
know what one “wants”?
IMO; the voters have no idea what they want.
Everything they express is in the negative; as in
what they don’t want.
I think the majority don’t know nothin; and are just
bouncing off the walls in a reactionary, impotent
way, that will accomplish just what we have…chaos!
So just how the hell do the talking heads know what
anybody “wants”?
They don’t!
They’re just using this to push their own agenda
while the rest are just a bunch of headless chickens
running around trying to scream; but they have no
heads, so all that spews forth is hot, expelled air.

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By Ouroborus, January 21, 2010 at 3:07 am Link to this comment

The republican democratic party is fully in control.
That it isn’t apparent to the majority is a pity. It’s
really causing unnecessary confusion.
The sooner one recognizes how the society is divided up
and acts accordingly the better for everybody.
It’s really simple; there are the rulers/powerful
(read, rich and powerful) and the rest of us.
It’s all so simple.

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By thebeerdoctor, January 21, 2010 at 2:21 am Link to this comment

Professional journalists (or at least the ones still fortunate enough to have paying jobs) will offer up little hopeful cupcakes about how President Obama has to change, and that what happened in Massachusetts was “his wake up call”.
What dream exactly was he a victim of? The presidential candidate who promised to make the U.S. military the most lethal in the world? And what familiar spirit took hold of his sleeping hand and told him that health care reform meant giving away $ billions to the Health Insurance and Pharmaceutical industries? And who exactly instructed him to become Lloyd Blankfein’s obedient bank lobby puppy? Who but Executive Number One decided that Summers would be his chief economic advisor?
You got to laugh when illustrious democratic office holders claim that their goal is to make health care “affordable for all Americans”. I guess they missed that meeting where they could have learned, that for millions in America, their only source of income is their food cards.

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By KDelphi, January 20, 2010 at 11:07 pm Link to this comment

“Obama inherited the WORST economy since the Great Depression. He didn’t cause it. And he had no choice but to bale out the banks and the auto industry. Because Fat Cat CEO’s then took advantage and paid themselves excessive bonuses, is not Obama’s decision.”

So why does he keep doing the Bush fuQ plan? Why doesnt he stop escalating bank bailouts, wars, and corporatization of everything? Because he is corporate. Corporate as hell..

ONe reason, Scheer, that “its the economy , stupid” (ala that reptile Carville) is that the uS has NO social safety net nor guaranteed income as more civlized countrie s have..only here (and, posssibly, the UK) do you lose your job and , literally, lose you life….other countries have weathered this much better thatn the uS..why? They dont have to fight the duopoly on Glass-Stiegal, NAFTA, medical industrial complex, etc.

The “stimulus bill” was a scam and Obama escalated the wars and is occupying Haiti..if he had given more money to the states, instead of listening to Blue Dogs on “tax cuts”, maybe the economy would be doing better..but you have to believe Paul Krugman to believe that one, and I dont anymore..with Summers, Geithner, and the Emanuel brothers, what did you expect…i told you so is so unsatisfactory..

BYW, firely—Obaam didnt ‘inherit” anything..he fricking bought it…

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By johncp, January 20, 2010 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment

Especially if the republicans run Palin in 2012, I’d like to see Obama refuse to seek a 2nd term, and allow Hillary to take a shot at the presidency.  She, after all, was the favorite until the entire republican owned establishment, especially media, turned against her in the last days of the nomination campaign, including republcans voting for Obama, trying to prevent her from winning.  Moreover, though progressives, including myself, would prefer other democrats over Hillary, such as Dean, to run in 2012, Hillary is the only candidate the democrats have, that has what it takes to win the presidency.  All you inveterate Hillary haters can bleat your bullshit, trying to imply that Hillary will have been just as bad as Obama, but it’s all delusion.

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By markpkessinger, January 20, 2010 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment

Virginia777 writes:

“Oh, I see. All of you pessimists are going to let every single Neocon who runs against a Democrat to win, because you refuse to form a Base.”

Perhaps we haven’t formed a base because the President has failed to articulate a clear, identifiable vision around which a base can coalese.

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By thebeerdoctor, January 20, 2010 at 7:25 pm Link to this comment

There seems to be a lot of false assumptions here. One, where does anybody believe that there is any difference between these two controlling parties? (note to the incensed ones: “the left” does not exist accept in your escapist minds, nor does “democratic principles”, that siren song that seems to sway so many… and please take note for heaven’s sake, Barack Obama will only acknowledge his political affiliation when there is fund raising involved, the rest of the time he is Mr. Bipartisan Aloof, who avoids responsibilities for those matters, as he says, that “are above his pay grade”.
Why should you be surprised that President Obama embraces every slimy back stabbing hack on the horizon, from Joe Lieberman to Rick Warren?
People claim that pointing out Obama’s idiocy is wrong headed. Well who else is at the head of a government with the largest military spending bill in the history of the world? Who else pays lip service to “opening dialog with the Muslim world”, while escalating wars against Islamic extremists, as the newspeak calls them, all across the globe? Who else has been quietly supplying most holy Israel with our most advanced weapons, supposedly to promote peace, when in fact it is but a guaranteed assurance of Zionist hegemony.
He, BHO, like those who proceeded him in that wretched office, will never be held accountable for their countless crimes against human civilization. And why in the hell should he? Mr. Pragmatic wants to keep the murderous churning wheels in place, using meaningless, symbolic melodrama to divert his duped supporters to believe that he actually does really care about them.

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By berniem, January 20, 2010 at 7:23 pm Link to this comment

Does this mean we can finally rid ourselves of Lieberman?

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By firefly, January 20, 2010 at 7:21 pm Link to this comment

Obama inherited the WORST economy since the Great Depression. He didn’t cause it. And he had no choice but to bale out the banks and the auto industry. Because Fat Cat CEO’s then took advantage and paid themselves excessive bonuses, is not Obama’s decision.

Obama also inherited two wars that were started by the Republicans, he inherited gross violations of International Law and the Geneva Conventions.

None of this was of his making.

And the only thing he has tried to do, is to give more Americans health coverage. In a country that is totally dominated by extremely powerful and unregulated corporate powers (thanks to the Republicans), he had no choice but to compromise.

The greatest sham, is that Mass has voted in a man who is part of the party that created this stinking mess in the first place. That is what makes me so angry. For God’s sake DON’T inflict the Republicans on the world again. Most of us 6 billion people can’t stand them.

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By idarad, January 20, 2010 at 6:59 pm Link to this comment

fire raul emanuel
hire Howard Dean
question why..
answer 2006 election
Dean has vision
emanuel is a corporatist thug

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By T. A. Madison, January 20, 2010 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

THE ISSUE has never been “who” killed Kennedy.  The issue is who continues to kill him.

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By @CT, January 20, 2010 at 5:15 pm Link to this comment

CNN.com Quickvote poll:

“How do you rate President Obama’s first year in office?

Poor 37% 
Good 36%
Fair 27%

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By lichen, January 20, 2010 at 5:09 pm Link to this comment

“the liberals in Massachusetts (and in the entire country) who are allowing the Right to take over…”

Yes, the “liberals” (i.e. mainstream democrats) have allowed the right to take over.  Obama, Pelosi, Reid and most of the other democrats are right wing; on economic, social, and foreign policy issues.  They have taken over; there is little difference between them and the republicans; regardless of the rhetoric and PR, the policy will be basically the same.

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By Virginia777, January 20, 2010 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment

Oh, I see. All of you pessimists are going to let every single Neocon who runs against a Democrat to win, because you refuse to form a Base.

This allows you also, to continue to give your “well-deserved criticism” (as ardee said) of Obama, as much as you feel like it.

Stupid!! (arrogant and dumb)

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By @CT, January 20, 2010 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment

Virginia777 writes:
“I’ll tell you who is “lose-lose” here, the liberals in Massachusetts (and in the entire country) who are allowing the Right to take over, because they can’t support their Base (as the right has no problem doing).”

It’s the bait-and-switch backroom-dealer Oblabla who abandoned the Democratic base in favor of the corpocracy. Now the base has returned the favor, never to return.

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By BaldwinDad, January 20, 2010 at 4:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By anyfreeman, January 20 at 7:24 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)

Economic fairness begins with universal healthcare. Until we are recognize this fundamental right, we are each only one medical emergency from bankruptcy.

Well since we already have universal healthcare I think were good.  Anyone in this country no matter who they are can have the best healthcare they want.  They just have to pay for it.  Is that too much to ask?

I mean by calling healthcare a right you are insinuating that doctors, nurses, and medical researchers are nothing more then indentured servants who must treat everyone however you deem necessary and for whatever you deem acceptable as a form of payment.

How about I come to your job and tell you what you can earn.

If you want real reform and lower prices try eliminating allot of the regulations we have on the medical industry, medical education and disband groups like the AMA.  All they do is make it harder for competition to truly occur in what is supposed to be a free market, but no you would rather believe the Govt can provide for you when in fact all they do is make sure with every law passed they secure more power and money for themselves.

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By Virginia777, January 20, 2010 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment

The president didn’t creamed in Massachusetts, Robert Scheer, the Left did. We did.

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By Virginia777, January 20, 2010 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

chacaboy (and Robert Scheer): you hit the nail on the head here, putting a Neocon in Ted Kennedy’s seat WAS a protest vote against Obama.

How stupid can you get??

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By Commune115, January 20, 2010 at 4:35 pm Link to this comment

The Democrats would be insane to ram through their corporate healthcare reform bill ahead of the new senator being sworn in. Why? The Tea Party is well-mobilized by now and will no doubt paint any such action as some sort of backdoor coup. And since the reforms won’t kick in for another four years, it’s not like Obama can win through example.

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By Virginia777, January 20, 2010 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment

I’ll tell you who is “lose-lose” here, the liberals in Massachusetts (and in the entire country) who are allowing the Right to take over, because they can’t support their Base (as the right has no problem doing).

Idiotic!!

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By Virginia777, January 20, 2010 at 4:31 pm Link to this comment

yeah, yeah, yeah, keep on at it liberals, keep blaming Obama, keep allowing the Republicans to win key Senate seats, by the sheer inability of the Left to mobilize (because instead of mobilizing, they wallow in bitterness).

Dumb!!

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By lichen, January 20, 2010 at 4:26 pm Link to this comment

As some have said, this now gives the democrats an excuse/fake reason for forcing the house to pass the senate bill without changes, and allows those people to pretend “they had no choice” but to go along with corporatist “health” care.

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By @CT, January 20, 2010 at 4:24 pm Link to this comment

christian96 writes:
“Any suggestions for what I should do with
the letter from the DNC?”

Cross off the appeal side with a Magic Marker. On the reverse, write: “Dump Obama, Draft Dean in 2012”
——-
ocjim writes:
“Many progressives see Brown as phony and unqualified, but how phony are the promises of Democrats from the last election, including those of our president.”

Brown’s no more “phony and unqualified” than Oblabla is, and is much more attractive, has a cute family, hasn’t sold out yet. What’s not to like?

The big difference between Brown and Obama is that Brown’s never lost an election (and mob-friendly Obama’s never won one without being packaged by Axelrod).

If it were Brown v. Obama in 2012, I’d have no trouble voting for Brown, assuming Nader doesn’t run. Obama’s ALREADY demonstrated that the “Democratic” label, in His case, means nothing.

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By samosamo, January 20, 2010 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment

Well, it just can’t be such a big deal, I mean, after all, so what
the dims lost the 60 barrier to end filibusters, they never used it
anyway, and especially like the repubs could and did, and al
franken from what I have read was the only dim to use it to stop
a filibuster, so if you have it and don’t use, why worry with
keeping it and if o is put in the picture, it would be like the way
repubs treated w like a toxic waste dump to keep from being
associated with him when they we trying so hard to keep their
‘permanent’ seats in congress.

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By PatrickHenry, January 20, 2010 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment

This says alot about Ted Kennedy’s constituancy.

We’re still in Guantanamo and haven’t normalized relations with Cuba.

Our defense budget is over 700 bil., hey I thought we were supposed to be going the other way.  This to me demonstrates a piss poor lack of priorities.

Banks get hundreds of billions, some of it to foreign banks when California and other states are getting turned down for less than what AIG can’t pay back.

It’s primarily Obamas fault for not following through on campaign promises, you can’t change what you don’t believe in and alot of Americans don’t believe in the present Health care bill.

The public backlash is just beginning.

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By ocjim, January 20, 2010 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

I agree with Mr. Scheer. My take follows:

A generic demagogue, with a generic name, has won, vaporizing the patchwork veto-proof majority Democrats had in the Senate, a troubling development for even a mediocre health care bill.

Massachusetts voters obviously felt hurt with the flagging economy and unheard in the echo chambers of Congress. Perhaps, with their own better health care system, they could be excused for not seeing the national repercussions of electing the narcissist, Brown.

Brown is handsome and savvy, especially regarding the right things to say in swaying the voters. That of course is the mark of a good politician, whichever party he or she represents. He lauds his independence while his voting record is 97% Republican as a Massachusetts state senator. Voters had a choice of two: Brown promised change, something that the Democrats have not delivered for things that count, especially the economy and Wall Street’s rip-off of the people. The reality of Brown is a negative stand on all legislative endeavors of the Democrats.

This includes the global-warming front. Conservatives are girding their loins to fight against any meaningful global warming legislation, and the energy industry monoliths are hacking at cap-and-trade, the current Obama plan. “Global warming is a hoax,” myopics say.

Never mind that the Arctic is melting or that most mountain-top glaciers are gone – or going, or that average global temperatures are 1 degree C higher. “Look at that huge winter storm,” they say, “that is proof that global warming is a hoax.” Ridicule Al Gore and say he is a hypocrite, but offer no constructive plans.

Wall Street in its power-greed quest almost took down the global economy. There is ample documentation that a few of the most-well-placed executives helped engineer the whole debacle, profiting wildly. But the Obama administration and Congress still genuflect before them. The administration says they’re too big to fail, but we wonder if their power and money make them untouchables.

Scott Brown won in Massachusetts! It must feel like a slap in the face for Democrats, especially considering that it is a seat held by Ted Kennedy who spent a career trying to get health care reform passed. Brown says he will vote against reform.

You can argue that Scott Brown is using the same rhetoric for change that Barack Obama used when he ran for president. It can be argued that Obama did not deliver, for many decisions still seem to put special interests ahead of the people.

Probably the one that chafes the most is Wall Street bailouts have taken precedence over help for the people. After all, the reckless policy of Wall Street bankers left one out of five Americans out of work or underemployed, and help for the unemployed seems minimal in the face of billions to bail out Wall Street and billions in executive bonuses.

The 2.8 million foreclosures last year make suffering Americans feel like chopped liver in the face of the arrogant and clueless bankers who took our money, used it to kill banking reform, and then gave themselves bonuses. In contrast, real wages of average Americans have not increased since the 1970s. Obama still appears weak in dealing with them.

Much of the plutocratic privileges we associated with the Bush days are still there and much of the suffering of the people still seems to be ignored.

This is the message of the Scott Brown election—one which wimpish Democrats should heed. Many progressives see Brown as phony and unqualified, but how phony are the promises of Democrats from the last election, including those of our president.

I don’t think there is any doubt that Scott Brown will join the obstructionism of the Republicans and will be proven another demagogue, but does it help our long-term prospects to say that?

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By christian96, January 20, 2010 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment

I swear to God I received a letter today from the
Democratic National Committee seeking a donation.
Before the election Pres. Obama promised to eliminate
income taxes on Social Security for people making
less than $50,000 a year. Another campaign promise
not kept.  Any suggestions for what I should do with
the letter from the DNC?

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By @CT, January 20, 2010 at 3:08 pm Link to this comment

Eric L. Prentis writes:
“Obusha could earn the title, “the Great Appeaser.”

Oooo!! Then He could bumble off to wherever He hasn’t been yet, to collect the Appease Prize. :^)

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By Virginia777, January 20, 2010 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment

yeah, yeah, keep blaming Obama, keep up the moaning and bitching and pessimism that is keeping the left from mobilizing (and is EXACTLY why Brown won)

stupid!!

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By Alan MacDonald, January 20, 2010 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Scheer merely blathers about shifting “priorities” from one ‘symptom issue’ to another ‘symptom issue’, without ever addressing the single, signal, and seminal cause of all these symptom issues: the hidden cancerous tumor of EMPIRE.

The only real priority is to confront EMPIRE, drive a stake through its heart and get on with the American democratic experiment!

Patrick Martin, the insightful and principled left political analyst writes, “The inevitable political result of the Massachusetts vote will be a further shift to the right by Obama, the Democratic Party and bourgeois politics as a whole. The corporate-controlled media has already drawn the conclusion that the special election proves that Obama has been too left-wing and must “moderate” his supposed big-spending liberalism.”

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/jan2010/mass-j20.shtml

I had broadly posted this warning before the election, “Yes, this is a national political model (much as Brown is a model of a friendly-fascist ‘Ken Doll’)—- but beneath the surface, and beneath the ‘Vichy’ facade of polite ‘center right’ vs. ‘center left’ discussion and ‘fair and balanced’ coverage in the corporatist media—- lies an egregious strategic error by the Democratic Party of where the political center of America really lies, and a gutless misjudgment and appeasement born of that error which could well make Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement and negotiation of a “lesser of two evils” pale in comparison.”

I find myself in full agreement with Martin and most other principled progressives that the actual political ‘center’ of all average American’s political-economic beliefs is far to the left of either wing of this disguised single party corporate R&D ‘Vichy’ facade.  This truth was first recognized by Ralph Nader in 2000 when he correctly said, “the Green Party platform actually reflects the vast majoritarian view of all average Americans” (although Nader was a far better political strategist and ‘democracy advocate’ than a candidate).

This truth of the modern political center is also underscored by the fact that all surviving and sustainable democracies in our post-WWII and post-Empire world (in Europe and Japan) are ‘social (qua socialist) democracies’—- it’s just that the American people had not so directly experienced the visible wrath of Empire in their own country, and thus are a bit slower in comprehending what all other thinking people in developed democracies have long understood as the need to excise Empire.  That will ultimately be the real lesson of this friendly-fascist Brown-shirt vote—- which will hopefully expose the weak half of the Empire’s R&D Party, and facilitate the growth of a real humanist ‘social democratic’ party in America.

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine

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By Eric L. Prentis, January 20, 2010 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

With the loss of the late-Senator Kennedy’s seat in Massachusetts, President “Obusha the Appeaser” (by appointing Gates, Summers, Geithner, Bernanke) is on track to be in office for only one-term. Perhaps Obusha could placate his enemies on the right and on Fox Noise even more if he brought back Michael Brown at FEMA, Karl Rove and Tom DeLay and then proceed to supposedly rehabilitate this dastardly trio with his scintillating BS speeches, that way Obusha could earn the title, “the Great Appeaser.”

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By anyfreeman, January 20, 2010 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Economic fairness begins with universal healthcare. Until we are recognize this fundamental right, we are each only one medical emergency from bankruptcy.


The last time we had a third party we got the National Parks System, reform of the most egregious trusts, and federal food health and safety. If the Republicans are the big business party, and the Democrats are the small business party, seems like it’s time for the party of the people.

Health and Freedom Party?

What is different about this depression from the past ones? Let’s check it out. 12 million undocumented workers, extended unemployment benefits, food stamps, and a much more effective private, public and ecumenical infrastructure to feed and help the needy.
One component - the astounding increase in prisons, jails and security since the previous depression - 10% of the employment in the US is in police or security. When one counts that if we didn’t have 3 million in jail, and 11 million working in the penal system - the numbers would be even more skewed.

Economic fairness begins with universal healthcare. Until we are recognize this fundamental right, we are each only one medical emergency from bankruptcy.

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By @CT, January 20, 2010 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

G.Anderson writes:
“My neighborhood squirrels have more brains than all the current Democratic leadership combined.”

The corporate mobsters at the top of the Dems don’t lack for brains, but for backbone/b___. Besides, their actual agenda—sooo post-partisan!—apparently is to return the White House to the REAL Republicans, while the former Democrats, as the “opposition”, bleat and collude, while simpering about “gay” issues and abortion.

The only hope to reclaim the Democrats, stop the wars, get single payer, etc., is for Dr. Dean to challenge Oblabla in 2012.

Dean was the people’s choice until Kerry—who, with Reid, inflicted the bad joke of Obama—sabbed him. And Dean—brains AND b___, and he knows all the dirt on all the Dems—could beat Brown.

I don’t think Palin’ll be on the Republican ticket w/Brown or whoever.

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By "G"utless "W"itless Hitler, January 20, 2010 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment

“Every day I watch The Price Is Right on CBS at 11 am.”—christian96

That explains a lot!

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By marcus medler, January 20, 2010 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The presidents ratings would soar if he asked a
few of his advisors to resign, Summers et al.

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By G.Anderson, January 20, 2010 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment

at this point there is no if about it…

the democrats will still be blinking like frightened deer into the headlights of Republican SUV’s, when Mr. Brown and Sarah Palin are elected president and vice president in 2012.

They will still be trying to re arrange themselves on the inside, trying to figure out what happened, after 8 more years of Republican rule.

The best they will be able to come up with is, maybe we should act more like Republicans…

My neighborhood squirrels have more brains than all the current Democratic leadership combined.

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By lastdaywatchers, January 20, 2010 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

Just as the May 15th Prophecy said with 100% accuracy
- remember what the prophecy said would happen to
Obama in the post titled God Message To President
Obama & The Answer to Jacob Riddle

http://lastdaywatchers.blogspot.com/2009/01/god-
message-to-president-obama-answer.html

Here is a excerpt

“Then will I; The Lord Of Host; shall cause
shall cause my curse that I did place on the house of
the pawn of Satan; I will cause my curse to be
magnified threefold yea even four”

“And I The Lord Of Host; shall expand my curse with
my hand unto you and your family”

“I will punish you for all of your
iniquities”

The Pawn of Satan being George W Bush and the curse
of unprecedented defeat to his political house see
The Iran Symbol, The Falsifiers and the Republican
Prophecy

http://lastdaywatchers.blogspot.com/2008/03/iran-
symbol-falsifiers-and-republican.html

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By @CT, January 20, 2010 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment

Another excellent piece, by Chris Rowthorn:

Barack Obama: Karl Rove’s Manchurian Candidate
http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/26195

Scheer and Rowthorn (and many others: looks like the dam is bust on Obama-critical prose that’s been on hold) attribute the sacking to the “health care” bill, while all the teevee talking heads claim 80% of Massachusetts voters are okay with THEIR mandated system.

I dunno: the Massachusetts vote PROBABLY means people are just sick to death of Oblabla’s personal preening, mob-worthy secret deals, and bait-and-switch baloney on every subject.

However Massachusetts came about, it was pretty plain back in the primaries that Obama was exactly a Manchurian Candidate—sent to cleanse the political palate from Cheney/Bush, finish killing off the Democratic Party forever more, and set up for a “liberal” Republican—such as Scott Brown—in 2012.

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By wildflower, January 20, 2010 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment

I agree with Ezra Klein on this – it’s just a bunny:

TODAY FROM EZRA: “One of my favorite scenes from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” features King Arthur and his knights creeping up on the cave of a feared beast. Peering over the rocks, they see bones, smoke and the black maw of the creature’s lair. And then out hops a bunny.

That’s pretty much the situation Democrats are in right now. So they lost their 60th seat in the Senate. Bummer. But . . .

Democrats are left with the second-largest Senate majority either party has enjoyed in 30 years. They have a 40-vote margin in the House. The filibuster is a problem, to be sure, but the Senate has already passed the health-care bill and the House could simply ratify that legislation and send it off to the president. . .

Brown is no mythical beast. He’s one senator with one vote representing a constituency that’s far to his left. And he’s up for reelection in 2012. Sometimes, a bunny is just a bunny. For Democrats to sacrifice their most important legislative priority on the altar of Martha Coakley’s underperformance in Massachusetts is so absurd even the Python crew wouldn’t believe it.”

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/?hpid=topnews

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By T.E.Chester, January 20, 2010 at 1:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s the reason the Dems lost.  None of them thought that Ted Kennedy’s seat would ever fall to a Republican.  What they didn’t expect was that his seat would become a huge target for the Republicans.  They sent everything they had at it.
The Dems sat back and just expected to keep it.
Wrong.
And what really should be a wake up call to the Dems is that the winner actually referred to John McCain toward the end of his speech.
Right there is a sore spot with the Republicans.  Johnny McCain the war hero lost.
After 8 years of Mr. Bush and what the country was left with you would think that a Republican had little or no chance of winning that seat.
The Dems got lazy.
Now with the chance of some health care reform to put America on the same footing as the rest of the civilized world is now in question.
We can spend trillions of frivolous wars, pad the pockets of war profiteers, and more then double the national debt as we did under Bush, but we let our people go without.
Shame on the Republicans and Shame on the Dems for letting this happen.
Just take Medicare and let everyone have access to it.

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By johncp, January 20, 2010 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

Absoultely frustrating!  You people have endless patience, or is it simple denial and blind credulity?  The only thing I’ve yet to hear, is that Obama may be an imitation of GWB, but he’s “our” imitation of GWB. Obama has been a disaster from the beginning.  Now, even after the man has essentially gone against everything he promised, his supporters still slavishly support him.  This is the president, not a religious guru.  What angers me the most about this clown, is that giving him more and more slack, and constantly making excuses for the nonsense and turmoil he’s creating, the man can’t even hope to come to his senses, his ever dwindling but still resolute supporters assure it.  You still believe that he “tried” to achieve bipartisanship for honorable reasons.  What crap!  Aided by his apparent lack of convictions, he’s compelled to seek bipartisanship, because he simply lacks the skills, the temperament, the discipline, the intelligence, the experience, the “attitude,” the backbone, not to mention the most important guality of all, vision, to occupy the Oval Office.  If the man has any self-respect, he’ll refuse to run in a second term.  I’m not holding my breath.  Obama’s inexperience and incompetence are embarrassing, his deceit, appalling and unforgivable.

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By Richard Lightner, January 20, 2010 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

I believe that the problem with Obama is Obama. He was never the crusading liberal he conned America into believing he was. His choices for his economic and foreign policy officials demonstrated that in December 2008. People complained but he gave a weasel answer of, who can I get, these are the only people who can do the job. Not true.

But his goal was to be president not to do anything substantial because to do that would not be Obama.

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By carl moore, January 20, 2010 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment

4 October 1995
    Somebody, anyone;
Last week on news television I saw a woman strangling a man as they both lay on
the ground under a tree.  The incident had been videotaped by a passer-by.  The
scene was partially blocked by a young couple who seemed to be doing nothing
more than enjoying the sights of a summer afternoon.  The man’s legs began to
flail about, but soon stiffened and dropped to the ground.  The woman rolled him
to his side and reached in his pants pocket.

She took out a pack of cigarettes.

                                                          20 January 2010

Now two ex-presidents, one who repealed the Glass- Steagall
Act and accelerated
the u.s.a. financial collapse - - the other a war criminal, are heading relief for
Haiti after the devastating Haiti earthquake.  There is little doubt these two
sterling men will be able to help Haitians in much the same way as the women
was able to help her friend to stop smoking.

We’re doing just fine.  That’s the way it’s supposed to be.

Even when you are american president you must still answer to your real masters.
Ask Obama.

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By wildflower, January 20, 2010 at 12:15 pm Link to this comment

Re glider, January 20 at 7:48 am: “The Massachusetts vote is yelling out loud “pass this ‘Health Care’ trash bill and your political future is toast”.

But Massachusetts essentially has this “Health Care Plan” in place already, and there hasn’t been too much “yelling out loud” about it, even the guy they just elected has never really “yelled out loud” or campaigned against it.

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By remoran, January 20, 2010 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment

Obama, at this point in time, is a one termer. He’s a combination of Wilson and
Hoover without passion, courage or commonsense. He had a chance in a lifetime
to make a difference and he blew it. I did not vote for this and now the chickens
are coming home to roost. What a loss.

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, January 20, 2010 at 11:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It was a big mistake for Obama to give up on the public
option in health care reform.  The latest ABC poll
finds that the public still supports it 57% to 40%. 
Also Obama is not doing so poorly according to this
poll.  His approval rating is 57%.  Reagan’s approval
rating at the end of his first year was 48% - and the
country was in the middle of a recession that year
also.

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By King Cheung, January 20, 2010 at 11:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Excellent article. Obama needs to focus more on the economy. But he also needs to take a much stronger stand against the bankers. They are laughing all the way to the bank. Overall, I see that Obama talks a good talk, but is very weak in dealing with everything… health care reform, Iraq, Gitmo, bankers, economy. Obama needs to take a strong stand on the issues… forget the diehards, they will never support him. Rally the progressives, and the middle will come to follow him. Otherwise, he will drag the Democratic Party down the toilet in Nov. 2010,

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By felicity, January 20, 2010 at 11:42 am Link to this comment

It is possible and probably that an over-riding reason for the economic plight of the average American is the exorbitant, and often unaffordable, cost of health care. To ‘correct’ the economic problem and ignore the cost of health care for the average American makes no sense.

I see Obama’s ‘problem’ as an unwarranted belief in the innate ability of the average anybody to think beyond the end of his/her nose.

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By Hulk2008, January 20, 2010 at 11:24 am Link to this comment

I vote for those commenters who said the election was just about Brown V. Coakley and not some bogus referendum on either Obama or healthcare. 
  Coakley may be smart as a whip but these federal campaigns are all about images - smoke and mirrors - looks not brains.  Mr. Brown will be as effective as the name card they put in front of him for the next 6 years - he will voted as he is told by the Republican leaders.  Coakley dropped the ball.  And so did the Massachusetts electorate.
  Mr. Scheer is still correct that progressives really needed to focus on the banking misery and jobs for a while and do healthcare later - even if healthcare reforms would have vastly improved both finance and jobs. 
  If it’s any consolation, look what happened to Burt Reynolds’ career after his Cosmo layout - a long spiral into tanksville.

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By P. T., January 20, 2010 at 11:16 am Link to this comment

Mr. Scheer,

The economy and health care are intertwined.  As time passes, a bigger and bigger percentage of GDP goes to health care.  The health care crisis cannot be ignored.

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By prole, January 20, 2010 at 10:58 am Link to this comment

“Of course, the public is right”…which is exactly the problem. The public is to the political right in Amerika, far more than many would like to believe; and the Bay State is no exception. Blue state/red state is a deliberately misleading dichotomy. It’s especially ironic that ‘red’ should symbolize what are thought to be the ‘conservative’ bailiwicks in Amerikan society, and blue the so-called ‘liberal’ ones. Red, of course, traditionally has been the symbolic color of the Left, indeed Red has historically been an eponym (or epithet) for Leftists. So it’s quite a telling indicator that blue should be assigned to the ‘liberal’ camp since they most decidedly are not Red i.e. Left in any way, shape, or form, in the grand socialist tradition. Certainly, Ted Kennedy could never have been convicted of having any true socialist tendencies, despite many unfounded flattering accusations. And the hapless Ms. Coakley even less so. As for Orwellian Obama, he’s been sprinting straight to the right since he was handed the Democratic nomination, with no end in sight. So it’s no use lamenting what corporate waterboy Obama “should have” done. He was never going to do it from the start, and isn’t about to “reverse course” now. “If he wasn’t prepared to make a breakthrough in health care, and that meant a reform program that would begin sooner rather than later, he should have”…been put on a back burner himself, long ago.
    Neither Coakley or Brown had any answers either, so the Mass. election on that score was just a choice between a bad plan and no plan. “The federal proposal is based on their own state’s model requiring people to obtain health insurance without the state doing anything to effectively control costs through an alternative to the private insurance corporations.” Not surprisingly, since Mass. is the home to many of those giant private insurance corporations who stood to gain no matter which of the two non-entity candidates acceded to the vacant Senate seat. This show ‘election’ between two corporatist clones will only enable corporate Uncle Tom Obama to “squander the opportunity to bring about meaningful health care change”. And finish the project that “gave away the store to medical profiteers” – many of them based in Massachusetts, which is banking on bio-tech to provide its next big economic stimulus. “By accepting and indeed expanding the Bush administration’s strategy of throwing money at Wall Street, Obama” …was simply following the well-rehearsed script and preparing the way for the next Republican turn in managing Amerika’s one-party state. 
  “Meanwhile, the president has dropped the ball in the effort to make bankers act responsibly by forcing them to forego outrageous bonuses and help homeowners stay in their homes”…and meanwhile Obama diehard Scheer goes on looking for escape hatches on a sinking submarine. “The president” has not “dropped the ball” - the president is playing ball with the ‘players’ that move and shake the economy on Wall St. He wouldn’t be where he is today if he didn’t. And when they’re done using him, they’ll discard him and adopt some other fresh face to do their bidding, maybe someone like the frat-boy-type, Scott Brown. The names and faces are interchangeable – it’s the System, stupid!
  This is the baseline “toxic political problem”. If Scheer didn’t get all his ideas from the business press, like The Wall St. Journal maybe he’d finally catch on to this central fact.  “To salvage his presidency, Obama must”...stay on course and make serving “the ‘toxic political problem’ of Wall Street greed that’s bankrupting the country” – and bankrolling his election campaigns – “his highest priority.” And Scott Brown should give him plenty of help in that, as would have the washed-up Coakley. Either way, Amerika is going to get creamed by Wall St.‘s president.

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By wildflower, January 20, 2010 at 10:50 am Link to this comment

Re Scheer: “The president got creamed in Massachusetts. . . Instead of blindly following the failed Massachusetts model, Obama should have insisted on an extension of the Medicare program to all who are willing to pay for it.”

Believe this is wishful thinking on your part. If the Independents and Democrats in Massachusetts were truly dissatisfied with Massachusetts’s current healthcare system and angry at Obama because they wanted something more like “Medicare For All,” why would they go out and elect a guy who will never in a million years support a “Medicare For All” type system?  This just doesn’t make any sense.

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By firefly, January 20, 2010 at 10:46 am Link to this comment

Mcoyote,

You say, “There is one thing I know for sure - people successfully demanding social change is NOT some impossible dream. It has happened throughout history, all over the globe. It is common, it is necessary, and, as far as I am concerned IT IS TIME.”

I say, go for it. I’m right with you.

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By firefly, January 20, 2010 at 10:32 am Link to this comment

Faith,

I agree with you about the great article and much of what you have said.

Along with you, I have become evermore bewildered by many of Obama’s decisions.

It seems that he has taken the decision to ‘unite’ the country so literally, that he will not hold the Republicans accountable for what they did during the last 8 years. Every move (his failure to hold Bush and Cheney accountable for the war in Iraq) and his submission to big business (oil, pharmaceuticals, media, health insurance and above all, Banks) is maddening, to say the least.

But despite all this, it was NOT a disaster of his making. Obama is not the problem. He just isn’t very good at fixing the problem. And now, the American public are punishing him, by electing in a representative of the very party that caused the mess in the first place. Massachusetts has voted in a Republican! So they want to bring back the root cause of this catastrophe.

Now that beggars belief!

Kennedy must be howling in his grave.

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By christian96, January 20, 2010 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

Every day I watch The Price Is Right on CBS at 11 am.
I watch it primarily to observe how average Americans
make irrational decisions.  For example, a product
is exposed to 4 contestants who bid upon that product.  Over and over I watch contestants make
impulsive decisions lacking rationality.  For example, a contestant bids $500 on a product.  The
next contestant then bids $490.  They have left
themself with only a window of $10 to win the product.  Contestant after contestant finds it difficult to make decisions on their own.  They turn
to the audience seeking help for their bid.  These
contestants on The Price Is Right represent average
America.  People don’t know how to rationally make
decisions.  That’s why they are so easily manipulated
by the media.  I am positive that many people in
Mass. made decisions on variables such as appearance.
Senator Brown looked like your typical IBM salesman,
short haircut, dark suit, no facial hair, etc. We
must find someway to educate the average irrational
ignorant American about the specific nature of the
issues at hand.  How that can be done is up for
discussion.

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