Obama

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Bruce Rozenblit is a trusted commenter Kansas City, MO

All correct and absolutely none of these remedies will be implemented until the Democratic party controls both houses of Congress and the White House. In fact just today, Norman Orntsein of the American Enterprise Institute had an editorial published in the Washington Post prescribing these same remedies and chastising the Republicans for their ongoing obstructionism. He wants the Republicans to come around and do their jobs and move the nation forward. He gets it. They don’t.

Ornstien wants the federal government to spend money on many of the things that President Obama wants to do to stimulate the economy which is precisely why the GOP led Congress wont. They wont do anything that Obama wants. Ornstein cites their intentional and orchestrated obstruction as the motivation.

So there you have it from one of their own. Unfortunately, now that he has made his proclamation of common sense that embraces reality, he will be rejected as a traitor. That’s why nothing will get better until the Congress turns blue. You ever read the paper Paul Ryan? Put your Ayn Rand books down for a minute and join us. There is a world out here you might want to discover.

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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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Racism won. Obstructionism won. But we’ll see how they do now! Watch for the backlash, GOP! Here’s a good comment by Brian of NYC in the NYT:

“This is the absolute best thing that could have happened. This is the end of the GOP as we know it.

The next two years will see Repubs having to do what they are institutionally against: making government work. Watch. The dog has been chasing the car for so long it no longer has any idea what to do besides bark. This places Democrats in perfect position for 2016. The next two years will be a circus as the extremist GOP agenda will be forced into broad daylight for all to see. Obama’s power of veto will ensure that their social and economic goals won’t take us back to the middle ages, so I’m not worried about them doing any lasting damage.

This isn’t a win for them. This is a short term set-back against progress that will arouse the disgust of the American public. In the meantime, it will be good fun watching them try to throw a ball they’ve spent the past four years trying to deflate.”

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Next Tuesday is election day and we will see whether witches, demons, and ghosts arise from the land in a Romney victory, or whether there is still enough sense left in the country to keep Obama in office. Polls and pundits seem to say it’s a dead heat. Well, who knows? But the witches, demons, and ghosts are itching to rise up and are licking their chops in anticipation. Will the country stamp them down?

I’ve not been helping. I’ve ignored Cathy Newell’s requests to make calls for the Oxford County Democrats. I did put up a few Lee Goldsberry signs (six actually) mainly along East Main street. But I’ve made no calls for him either.

Why is my heart not in it this time? Not sure of the exact reasons but perhaps my personal needs are overriding. Four years ago Cynthia was still here and I did make calls at the time and was gung-ho for Obama. This time, while realizing Obama has many flaws, Romney and the right wing GOP scare me immensely and I dread the fact they may win. Still, I just can’t rise to the occasion.

I’m enjoying my new friendship with Phyllis, my explorations of many and varied philosophical issues, my watching of the great old movies of Bergman and others, my singing and involvement at the Norway UU church, my hobby of improving and maintaining the Norway UU church website I created, my friendships with Richard and Tony, my good fortune of having Kate next door,…… Have I left out anything? Probably, but I can’t think what at the moment.

Oh, I’ve been recycling Sara Teasdale’s little poem, “Let It Be Forgotten”, over and over in my mind. John Kelly sent it to me. It’s in memory of Cynthia. She would have liked the poem, maybe she did.

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I watched it last night and was impressed with his strong delivery and the high resonant pitch of his voice. Quite an oration. He seemed to be saying something too, not enough to fill the economic hole we’re in, but sufficient to create 1.9 million jobs according to Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. His hair might not be on fire, but it’s definitely smoking according to Paul Krugman. Oh I know, he’s done a lot of bad things like not closing Gitmo, not approving the new EPA standards, and many more: see Drew Westen’s NYT article What Happened to Obama?. Of course the Republicans won’t pass his Jobs bill, but at least he seems to be going down fighting. Let’s be optimistic and hope that his efforts might at least keep the senate from going Republican in 2012. Fat chance?

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The NYT this morning has a scathing editorial on the pettiness of John Boehner’s refusal to allow Obama to make his jobs speech on Wednesday, Sept. 7, and they accuse Obama of caving once again by agreeing to give his speech on the following day. I think I agree that Obama caved yet again, but then I find the following reader’s comment:

Really? This delay, even seen as a concession to a request, however churlish, from another elected representative of considerable stature (i.e., the Speaker of the House) is seen as “caving” or some sort of sign of weakness? Was Lincoln’s willingness to wait patiently to meet with General George B. McClellan, the general-in-chief of the Union Army at the early stages of the Civil War (and, later, his Democratic rival for re-election as President) also “caving” or weakness?

What has happened to the notion that it is the stronger, more mature, and more self-possessed individual and leader who can overlook – much less ignore – such pettiness and posturing, keeping his (or her) eye on the more important issues and goals of good governance and the communication of one’s vision and plans for the same?

Or are virtues such as patience, restraint, and forbearance (yes, even towards the small, the petty, and, dare I say it, “those who hate you”) of no value and are no longer desired in our leaders, much less our President and Commander-in-Chief?

OK, this is all well and good. Clearly, Lincoln showed forbearance and maturity and became one of our very greatest presidents. But look what Obama is up against:

I don’t know how true this is, but on The Ed Show (granted hardly an unbiased source) it was said that the Obama people sent the request early in the morning, and that Boehner hesitated in replying to the President, until after Rush Limbaugh went on the air and on the warpath and publicly berated Boehner for not turning down the President’s request immediately. It seems the Republicans in office are so beholden (again, if this is true) to such non-elected personalities as Limbaugh, Beck and Grover Norquist that they cannot act independently on their own. In fact, if you include the astroturf groups such as The Club for Growth and Freedomworks, it seems elected Republicans are no better than lemmings marching to the drumbeat of corporate-funded advocacy groups and media individuals.Not to let Obama off the hook, because he backed down again, but the Republican have no intention of showing respect for the office of the President as long as their leadership-in-fact is a bunch of astroturf groups and rich individuals, especially Rush Limbaugh. I can’t believe so many poor and middle-class individuals are taken in by a rich man who flaunts a golden microphone, and how many politicians, including the one who is second in the line to the presidency, are beholden to him.

Is this equivalent to what Lincoln was up against? It may have been worse in Lincoln’s time but at least then there was no instant media to excite the masses.

The first quote was by William Gabriel of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the second was by r5169 of Midwestern U.S.A.

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and no time to say it. I’m off at 8:45am to the Eyecare Medical Group in Portland for my left cataract removal. I sit here with no breakfast rather grumpily. And I read about Obama’s three year freeze in discretionary spending (I guess John McCain agrees — how nice) and note his lack of leadership on health care. I’ve about given up on Obama. His plans for solving the job problems in America are piddling, in addition to the budget freeze not helping jobs at all. The Republicans will take over. But I’m looking forward to getting this cataract removed and doing without glasses, although they say I’ll need them for reading. OK, now I gotta go and start taking eye drops. Kate will be over soon and the three of us, Kate, me, Cynthia will head out for Portland at 8:45am.

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More Juan Cole stuff this morning. He’s making a good argument that these new Obama administration airline passenger screening measures are casting too wide a net and will end up alienating people. Also, they tell al-Qaida which countries not to send bombers from. For example, Indonesia and India aren’t on the list. And why is Cuba on the list?

It’s hard to find a discussion of these issues on the American media which is so scared it might be called ‘liberal’ that it constantly bends over backwards to appease the republicans, who are mostly right wing now, with vanishing numbers of ‘moderates’. So, it was refreshing to hear, thanks to Juan Cole, a different analysis of these new screening measures brought to us by, yes, you guessed it, AlJazeeraEnglish.

Here’s a 24 minute video from AlJazeeraEnglish with the title, “Inside Story – New airline security measures: Safe or discriminatory? – 5 Jan 2009”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIRp4qKp138[/youtube]

So, if Obama’s rhetoric is high minded and progressive, are his actions more like a continuation of George W. Bush’s policies? In other words, is Obama becoming W-ized?

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Juan Cole has a nice piece on the contrast between the two Joe Wilson’s, one called Bush a liar for stating Iraq bought yellowcake uranium from Niger, and the other called Obama a liar for stating that the health reform would not cover illegal immigrants. Well, the first Joe Wilson was right: Bush lied when he said Iraq bought yellowcake uranium, and for pointing out that lie Joe Wilson was vilified by his government. The second Joe Wilson was wrong: Obama told the truth when he said illegal immigrants will not be covered. (In fact, the illegal immigrants will pay but will receive no benefits, just as happens when they must pay into social security.) Obama accepted the second Joe Wilson’s apology. Bush, especially Cheney, never accepted the truth and tried to destroy the first Joe Wilson’s reputation. Read Juan Cole’s excellent analysis of this, and see the funky graphics by Befunky.com.

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Gail Collins in her Op-Ed today goes after the middlemen who are ripping off the students and making it practically impossible for young people to get a higher education today unless they are already Super Rich.

Here’s a couple of comments on her Op-Ed that I agree with:

The mess that is our student loan program is yet another legacy of the “Government is not the solution, Government is the problem” mantra bequeathed to us by generations of Republican (and all but Republican Democrats) “free market” fanatics: The same folks who brought the private health insurance catastrophe that has made our health care system the most expensive and least effective in the world. It’s time we cut that particularly hoary old Gordian knot and started to rely upon efficient and much less expensive government programs instead of the inefficient and horrendously expensive mess that “private enterprise” has handed us.

— calyban, fairfax, california

Well said, calyban!

Hello out there. White working-class ethnic here–from family with no interest in education, and no money to provide one to any of their five children (no birth control means lots of kids and no money for most people, FYI)-but I got a college education, thanks to scholarships, my own never-ending hard work, and low-interest loans, and graduated from college in 1981.

Anyone notice that this country is destroying its future, and any idea of reasoned discourse, in the name of fundamentalist capitalism, which is no less zealous and insane than jihad and Islamofascism that the phoney “All-Americans” claim to deride?

What would be All-American: to stop subsidizing the rich by taxing the poor. Education for all. A strong base for our future.

Stop the insanity of fundamentalist capitalism now. The right wing calls Obama “socialist”? What they mean is, they are afraid that the “socialism” that benefits them–that’s called insane capitalism, folks–has been revealed for what it is. A tax on our future, socialized risk, privatized gain.

America–let’s wake up together.

— Mother, Brooklyn

Right on, Mother! Down with socialized risk and privatized gain! TAX THE RICH!

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