barack obama

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gemli is a trusted commenter Boston

For all the talk of moral journeys and bending arcs, for all the work it took to bring this country to a point where race and gender don’t matter, we’ve got Donald Trump nipping at Hillary’s heels and making a mockery of everything this country stands for.

The poise and intelligence of Barack Obama count for nothing with Republicans, who have demonized and insulted him from the day he was elected. His endorsement of Hillary Clinton means nothing to them. Even a Republican like Paul Ryan who can’t stomach Donald Trump has joined the chorus of Republicans who are demonizing Clinton.

Hillary’s foolish use of a private email server pales in comparison to Trump’s sleazy deceit, profound ignorance, vulgar tone and narcissistic self-aggrandizement. Yet Republicans are suddenly outraged by the fact that Hillary committed no crime. The system is rigged, shouts Trump.

In a way, Trump is right. That anyone with his utter lack of presidential qualities could be so close to achieving the presidency means that something is seriously wrong, either with the rules, the swarming media coverage or the people who think he’s a good idea. Clearly qualifications don’t matter.

The security of our country and our standing in the world are at stake. But even as we speak, the man who would be the first Emperor of America is being fitted for invisible clothes.

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I came across this astute comment this morning after reading Paul Krugman’s Op-Ed, Health Care Reform Lives!

“Reality Based” from Flyover Country

America had a sixty vote Democratic Senate majority for only about sixty days early in the Obama administration. It was never veto-proof because one of them was one Joseph Lieberman, who opposed any universal system, as did every Republican.

It is the height of foolishness that many “progressives” are still blaming Obama for the lack of a universal system. And electing Bernie Sanders without a Democratic, veto-proof Congress will accomplish exactly nothing. A Democratic congress is virtually impossible due to the Republican gerrymandered congressional districts. They have replaced the power of the ballot with the power of money. Thank you, Republican Supreme Court.

Thank you “Reality Based” from “Flyover Country”.

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gemli is a trusted commenter, Boston

It was worth the wait. Obama has rendered the years of Republican obstructionism moot. Their clever ploys of the faux filibuster and the bellicose bullying and the Bibi embarrassments have fallen flat, and while Republicans were patting themselves on the back for their midterm “sweep” of Congress, Obama was planting the seeds for a bumper crop of reforms. Now, in the months preceding the presidential primaries, Obama is reminding people what Democrats stand for.

Republicans, on the other hand, are reaping what they sowed, which is precisely nothing. They’ve doubled-down on the sneering hate-speech and the empty rhetoric that appeals to the slack-jawed, resulting in a three-ring-circus of Republican anti-candidates who must run on negative accomplishments. It’s all about what they closed down, eliminated, blocked, cancelled and squashed. The only thing they built up is the bank accounts of their like-minded multi-millionaire brethren. When Donald Trump is getting buzz, you know the hive is diseased.

Obama has paved the way for a Democratic victory. Nothing is guaranteed, but even a somewhat compromised Hillary Clinton, energized by a we’re-mad-as-hell-and-we’re-not-going-to-take-it-any-more message from Bernie Sanders, gives me reason to hope for change. Come to think of it, that’s what Obama promised all along. He just didn’t say when it would happen. Maybe it’s now.

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Here’s a comment predicting the political future given the Republicans’ take over of both branches of congress:

Mary Ann & Ken Bergman Ashland, OR 3 hours ago
Now that Republicans fully control both houses of Congress, the chances increase that they’ll overreach in their zealous fervor to do everything they can to make President Obama a failure. There will be bills passed that they know the President will veto. There will be further blockage of his executive and judiciary appointments. And there will be a raft of Congressional hearings on the “scandals,” real or imagined, of the Obama administration. They may play their game of bluff over the federal budget, even though they’ll likely get the blame if the government is shut down. If certain Republicans have their way, there will be impeachment proceedings, even though Republicans don’t have the necessary two-thirds of the Senate in their pocket. It’s going to be a time of high theater, although little if any legislation is likely to be enacted.

So the President is wise to act, to the extent that he can, to carry out needed actions by executive orders. Unfortunately, they’re likely to be challenged in the courts, effectively tying them up for months or years in the legal process. The Republicans will use every means at their disposal to prevent the Obama administration from moving forward on important issues.

The level of mean-spiritedness of today’s Republicans is likely to become even more apparent to the public and turn them off. But Democrats are not faultless; they need to push progressive programs that help all of us, and stop being “Republican-Lite.”

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It will be interesting to look at this a year from now and see how things turned out.

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It’s probably true, as Minds Erased says, that the Nobel Peace prize is really like a Grammy Award, not based on merit, just a popularity contest, and only meant as a form of encouragement. Hendrick Hertzberg in the latest New Yorker (Oct. 19) pretty much agrees with this view. But that old foreign policy guru, Zbigniew Brzezinski, while admitting that Obama needs to earn the prize, deserves it nevertheless. Why? Here’s what he says:

He deserves it because, in the course of less than a year, he really has refined America’s relationship with the world. He has grandly improved America’s image in the world. He has committed America to a series of policies designed to resolve conflicts and to deal in a non-unilateral fashion with key issues. And he has committed America to grand goals in the area of nuclear weaponry, global problems and so forth.

What do I think?

Well, I think Iran is really not a threat and that if Obama can’t figure out how to talk to them, he’s not earned much, and he really should get out of Afghanistan. At least it appears now that he may drop the idea of routing out the Tailban. That’s a step forward.

But what do I think about Obama getting the prize?

Well, I don’t think he should have rejected it, but I’m sure it’ll be an additional burden for him to carry. It’s good that he at least is donating the proceeds to charity.

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Most popular comment on Paul Krugman’s Op-Ed this morning:

I’m beginning to believe that George W Bush was the president the American people deserved. I can’t believe the take away from President Obama’s press conference was his comment about the idiocy in Cambridge. The American people’s brains have been turned to mush. Too much Fox News, American Idol, etc…has rendered people into easily duped dolts. We now have a chance to take a positive step towards fixing our Health Care embarrassment, and the debate is off the charts ridiculous. In a simple nutshell: do you want to keep being screwed by the Corporate Health Insurance Companies, or do you want to move towards fair, moral, universally accessible Health Care. It’s that simple.

Thank you Mark C. from San Francisco.

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I’ve been getting pissed at what’s going on. Here we have Obama trying to make nice with the Republicans, and you know? They could care less*. Some of them are masters at speaking out of both sides of their mouths simultaneously, while others don’t even bother to hide their sanctimonious nastiness. Mitch McConnell would be in the former camp, John Boehner in the latter.

Oh, but Obama’s just as bad as the rest of them! Look at all these tax swindlers he’s appointed to high office. Sure, squeaky clean you’ve got to be to get into high office these days, especially if you’re a Democrat. Tom Daschle’s tax problems seem large to the “ordinary person”, and they are. However, he is not a crook! He would have been the best choice to beat back the Republican machine which will pull out all the stops, along with the insurance industry, to beat back any attempts to establish what they’ll call “socialized medicine”.

The best guy for Daschle’s job would be Arnold S. Relman, M.D., but nobody’s ever heard of him and he’d have zero political clout amongst the hyenas. That’s why we needed Tom Daschle, tax warts and all.

I’m so sick of the news media, especially the sanctimonious news anchors, you know, Katie, Brian, Chris and Charlie, not to mention that slime journalist Maureen Dowd of the NYT. Oh, I’m pissed alright!

I try to read people who really know what the hell’s going on like Paul Krugman and Robert Reich, plus a lot of financial blogs all over the place. Hey, Robert Reich’s latest blog entries are really great!

Many economists feel the stimulus plan isn’t large enough! Even the conservative well-known economist, Martin Feldstein, Ronald Reagan’s chief economist, told Congress that the stimulus should be $800 billion.

I could rattle on but why don’t you just read Barney Frank’s latest comment? Frank to bankers: People hate you! OK, I’ll stop now!

* Well, according to this article he is making some progress.

UPDATE:
Here’s Josh Marshall on Denial As Political Strategy:

Behind all the back and forth over the Stimulus Bill is a simple fact: the debate in Washington is rapidly moving away from any recognition that the US economy — and the global economy, for that matter — is in free-fall. The range of outcomes stretches from severe recession to something closer to a replay of the Great Depression, though that label is perhaps better seen as a placeholder for ‘catastrophic economic collapse’ since the underlying place of the US economy in the world economy is very different from what it was in 1929. This reality was palpable in the political debate until as recently as a few weeks ago. But Republicans are using a strategy of conscious denial to push it off the stage.

Take stock of the last few weeks and you can almost visualize the two conversations — path toward economic calamity and debate over Stimulus Bill — diverging.

The other key into the current debate is that the Republican position is ominously similar to their position on global warming or, for that matter, evolution. The discussion of what to do on the Democratic side tracks more or less with textbook macroeconomics, while Republican argument track either with tax cut monomania or rhetorical claptrap intended to confuse. It’s true that macro-economics doesn’t make controlled experiments possible. And economists can’t speak to these issues with certainty. But in most areas of our lives, when faced with dire potential consequences, we put our stock with scientific or professional consensus where it exists, as it does here. Only in cases where it goes against Republican political interests or economic interests of money-backers do we prefer the schemes of yahoos and cranks to people who study the stuff for a living.

Of course, at some level, why would Republicans be trying to drive the country off a cliff? Well, not pretty to say, but they see it in their political interests. Yes, the DeMints and Coburns just don’t believe in government at all or have genuinely held if crankish economic views. But a successful Stimulus Bill would be devastating politically for the Republican party. And they know it. If the GOP successfully bottles this up or kills it with a death of a thousand cuts, Democrats will have a good argument amongst themselves that Republicans were responsible for creating the carnage that followed. But the satisfaction will have to be amongst themselves since as a political matter it will be irrelevant. The public will be entirely within its rights to blame Democrats for any failure of government action that happened while Democrats held the White House and sizable majorities in both houses of Congress.

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WSJ Down the Drain

Eric Alterman points out that Rupert Murdoch (see Fox News) has now gotten hold of the news pages of the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). He already had the editorial pages of the great old paper under his wing. Now he’s appointed a “right-wing curmudgeon” by the name of Gerald Baker in charge of the paper’s news pages. Baker thinks Obama is a “dangerous left winger” as he explains here. Here’s a sample:

There is a caste of left-wing Americans who wish essentially and in all honesty that their country was much more like France. They wish it had much higher levels of taxation and government intervention, that it had much higher levels of welfare, that it did not have such a “militaristic” approach to foreign policy. Above all, that its national goals were dictated, not by the dreadful halfwits who inhabit godforsaken places like Kansas and Mississippi, but by the counsels of the United Nations.

Though Mr Obama has done a good job, as all recent serious Democrats have done, of emphasising his belief in American virtues, his record and his programme suggest he is firmly in line with this wing of his party.

HEY! See my previous post! ha ha

Well, seriously, I’d say that that wing of the party is a pretty good wing! It’s just what we need to bring the USofA screaming into the 21rst century and get our economy moving again, and morality brought back into the world! GO BARACK GO!

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Hey! Barack! Thanks for bringing the rest of your family!!
Now we’re gonna see some changes down in DC! Way to go!

A friend of mine of Middle East extraction sent me this photo. Good, huh?
:mrgreen: 😈 😯 😛 😛 😛

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Here it all is, that great night of November 4, 2008, Barack Obama Elected 44th US President, a Daily Kos video by Jed Lewison:

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