Hi everyone, I know I said ‘see you tomorrow’ in the last post, and here I am. :???:
But before I have to run again ….
… more thanks for all the replies earlier (I haven’t had a chance to read each one yet, but I will), BWD’s post at TOAITR, and my own for-what-it’s-worth comments on that post, were always going to result in a fairly heated discussion, but I really appreciate the vast majority of you who didn’t resort to insults and just made your arguments.
To those who opted for insults ….. a big fat sigh. Really woeful stuff. Comparing what you read here today – a frustrated plea for the campaign to better promote PBO’s extraordinary achievements – with Hamsher, Uygur, Greenwald and Co’s Koch-fuelled efforts to encourage their sheeple to ensure his defeat? Seriously, you see no difference?
And to the 13 ‘I’m a lurker, I’ve never commented here before, but….’ folk stuck in pending when I got back to the blog tonight …. why is it you people only ever try to emerge from lurkdom when you sense division here?? Why don’t you ever appear to offer encouragement and support in difficult times? Please, f**k right off, to FirebaggerLake, or whatever sewer you crawled out of.
As I said before, there is no end to my respect for David Axelrod and David Plouffe, and I still trust that they will get it right this year and ensure the campaign is successful.
But, yeah, and I know most of you disagree: I think they could be doing a whole lot better now, before the MSM/Romney narrative is set in stone. That’s what this frustration is all about, at the end of a completely shitty week. PBO should be 20 pts clear of that contemptible, vacuous, amoral, worthless shitbag, but thanks to the MSM – and, in my humble opinion, the feeble efforts of the campaign – it’s still too close to call. That’s just mindblowing to me.
So, no, I never ever claimed PBO isn’t doing enough, as one of you said I did. He’s done 100 times more than enough to be re-elected, comfortably. I have no words for how much I love, respect and admire him – as I keep saying, I feel blessed to be alive in his time. But I just think his campaign advocates have to be a little more fierce in their attempts to spread the story of his achievements.
We’ll agree to differ, though, we’ve had our say.
The eternally lovely HZ has just started her own fundraiser for Obama/Biden 2012 – this is the link.
If you can, please contribute to this utterly inspirational woman’s fundraiser.
HZ emailed me a while ago, I just have no words for how gorgeous a human being she is.
President Obama departs the White House for Fort Belvoir, Virginia for a round of golf, June 9
Thanks for all the comments on the last post, I’m working today so won’t have a chance to reply, but will catch up asap. Special thanks to those who argued it out, even when they disagreed; to those who read my own comments as a suggestion that PBO isn’t doing enough ….. oh boy. I think he’s done more than enough, that’s the point.
Hi everyone, we might end up throwing punches at each other over this, but please read BWD’s post.
Some of you might not like it, but think about what it’s saying: this President has achieved extraordinary things, in the face of vicious, relentless opposition – but is his campaign, so far, really doing him and those achievements justice?
Michael Tomasky: ….. the campaign isn’t telling a story. And there is a story to tell, even about the private sector. It’s a slightly more complicated story than the one Mitt Romney is telling, and more complicated means harder, but it doesn’t mean impossible. The story, in a nutshell, is this: we inherited a total disaster, things are getting better, and Romney will bring us back to disaster. The last part is the most important: putting the emphasis back on the challenger.
I’m not sure, to be honest, if Tomasky or BWD acknowledge enough just how hard it is for the campaign to set the narrative or tell that story when the MSM is in the bag for Romney, Politico in particular – which seems to have the most amazing influence on the rest of the media when it comes to creating a narrative – has been utterly poisonous of late, the dishonesty of its ‘reporting’ simply breathtaking. (I could give a few examples from yesterday, but I’ll spare you).
Also, ‘progressive’ media frauds like Cenk Uygur and that Greenwald piece of shit, from his balcony in Rio (part-funded by Koch/CATO), have upped their anti-PBO venom to vitriolic, hysterical levels of late, in their attempts to persuade their brain-dead cheerleaders to work towards his defeat.
But, despite all that, the campaign can, surely, still do a whole lot better – specifically by making more use of its single greatest weapon: President Barack Obama. As BWD said, “when the President goes all in – like he did with marriage equality – he always wins”.
So why not forget about daft ideas like Friday’s press conference, when whatever PBO said was always going to be twisted by the media f**kwits, the same people who spent most of the week chuckling about blowjobs.
Why not bypass these fools and have, for example, PBO address the nation directly from the Oval office, and call out the opposition for what it is: economy-sabotaging traitors.
And why, as BWD said, has his stump speech hardly changed over the last few months? He’s busy running the country, what are his speech writers doing?? To me, he seems bored and uninspired delivering that speech, it’s largely, inexplicably, defensive, when it should be singing from the rooftops about his spectacular achievements. And why aren’t the endless, wonderful benefits of the Affordable Health Care for America Act being promoted in those speeches? They’re hardly mentioned. This is insane.
I know, I know, who the f**k is anyone to question the campaign’s strategy? Well, I am someone who believes PBO to be the greatest and most inspirational world leader of my lifetime, and I’m utterly petrified that he will be beaten in November by execrable right-wing forces, and their allies on the fake ‘progressive’ left, that will reverse every single one of his achievements. And I just believe that his people aren’t doing enough, so far, to positively and aggressively promote those achievements.
I don’t, for a single minute, underestimate how hard it is to get that message out, and I have endless respect for Axelrod and Plouffe, master strategists responsible for an astounding campaign last time. I’ll trust – pray – that they’ll get it right this time too. But don’t they need to get their act together, very soon?
First I want to thank BWD for her amazing, heartfelt piece on Marriage Equality. Everyone should have that experience, and feel that way. I really feel if more people cared about the happiness and well being of others, this would be a much better world. Perhaps that is all it will take – personal experience.
Alas, we are not there today. In fact I feel that if we’re not careful, and don’t recognize RightWing PropagandaBait when it’s thrown at us (thanks to our GOPWHOREMEDIA™®), we’re going to give this election to the crazies.
I am just about at the end of my rope regarding the shortsightedness of the Left.
I am straight. I never woke up and made a decision that I was going to like men. I just do. It was never a choice.
I was born and raised in Southern California. I grew up in Theatre, and in the Entertainment Industry. It’s hard to avoid if you live here. I have countless friends who are gay. Most of them are in more stable, long-term relationships than my straight friends. Many of them married during the brief window of legality, only to have forces of hate from across the country send in millions of dollars – including donations from Mitt Romney – to fund taking away the rights of other humans they disagree with.
Yes. Marriage (and complete) Equality should be a no-brainer. No one’s marriage has any affect whatsoever on another’s. But what we’ve witnessed during the Prop 8 fight here in California has shown that there are not only a majority on the Right who disagree vehemently with this, and feel the government should be given jurisdiction over who can love and marry whom, there are many on the Left, that for whatever reason, religious or otherwise, also (unfortunately still) feel the same.
Yet today, there is a new groundswell for President Obama to come out before the biggest, most important, and what maybe the most contentious election in my lifetime, in support for repealing DOMA. Of course many Liberal Bloggers who didn’t get their Progressive Pony due to all the GOP and BlueDog obstruction are once again putting their PL EmoProg hats on and whining about every problem President Obama didn’t instantly fix with his Magic Harry Potter Wand™, and have jumped on the End DOMA Yesterday bandwagon, because life wouldn’t be complete without something to complain about.
Take The Nation’s Richard Kim who whines that President Obama has “evolved rightward” on his position on Marriage Equality (subscribe for free for access).
Seriously? This is your line in the sand for the most Progressive President in the last 50 years who has done more for LGBT rights than any other President? You want to force him to say more than he already has, and mock him for his stance on it?
Why, exactly? What do you hope you’ll gain? That he’ll come out and say YES, I’m all for getting rid of DOMA before the election? Because……. you think that the LGBT people who will vote for him outnumber the crazies on the Right, and the religious on the Left who disagree? Really? You really think that President Obama will win in a landslide if he does that?
If you honestly believe that, you’re dreaming. If it didn’t work in California for Prop H8te, then it’s not going to work on a National level, and we’ll end up with President Romney who will repeal every single supportive law for LGBT people including DADT, AND then some!
What’s even worse, he will appoint at least THREE SCOTUS judges, who will be überCorporate, überConservative, and überReligious. How is THAT going to help the LGBT community, when in their hearts they want to make it illegal to be gay?
President Obama stated that he is all for “Civil Unions” that afford ALL the rights of straight married couples. Let me share a simple factoid with you: That is EXACTLY what marriage is in the USA – A CIVIL UNION. You can get married all you want in any church, but until you complete a Marriage License and have it signed by someone who is LEGALLY appointed BY THE STATE to marry you, then FILE IT with your STATE CAPITAL, you ARE NOT LEGALLY MARRIED. PERIOD.
Religion has ZERO BEARING on the LEGALITY of MARRIAGE IN THE US.
That makes MARRIAGE = CIVIL UNION.
However, if we push this right now, and President Obama doesn’t get a second term, then Romney will amend the US Constitution and no one alive today will ever see equal rights for the LGBT community.
Let’s get President Obama re-elected, and send him a LIBERAL ARMY that will work WITH HIM, and you will see equal rights and Marriage Equality for everyone during his second term – AND at least THREE LIBERAL SCOTUS JUSTICES.
I have two great friends who are gays. They’ve been together for 10 years. Four years ago they adopted a 10 months old baby. The only reason they got him was due to his severe illness. He didn’t have much more time to live and no one else wanted him. For more than two years I’ve seen them being the best parents any kid could hope for. They gave this baby their full, unconditional love, knowing that their time together would be very limited. Tommy died last year. All who knew him are still in deep grief. And these two guys, two of the best parents I’ve ever seen, one of the most in-love couples I’ve ever seen – they can’t get married. This is wrong on every level, on every level.
Mr. President, I understand your struggle. It’s a journey many people had to go through – myself included – and nothing can change the fact that no president comes even close to what you’ve done for gay rights in America and in the world. But, this is the final step and it’s time to take it.
I honestly don’t believe that at this point you’re still against gay marriage. Everything I know about you points to the other direction. And if the calculation is political, that’s not a good one either. Most of the country is already on the right side of this issue and the people who may not vote for you because of this, were not going to vote for you anyway.
Dear Sir, you are the greatest man I’ve seen in my life time. I’m grateful to be able to witness this greatness with my own eyes. But now you’re about to become probably the last Democrat president/presidential candidate to not run on fully supporting gay marriage. No matter how much good you did for gays, you’ll be remembered as being on the wrong side of the last big civil rights issue. Even behind the much older Joe Biden. This can’t happen to you. You are Barack Obama.
I will continue to back you no matter what: I’ll work my heart out to make sure that you’ll stay in the White House – because you are a great president and you’re our only hope against a very dangerous and scary force. But please don’t miss this opportunity to bend that arc of moral universe just a bit more towards justice.
You are the face of hope, change and equality for an entire world.
In case you missed BWD’s comment last night, she was involved in a car crash a few days ago – it was a horrible experience that has left her badly shaken. I know BWD loves this video, so this is for her – look after yourself, get strong soon friend.
Love, too, to QuietObserver whose Dad is battling ill-health, as are Fred and HZ. And Sam UK, this is a tough time for you too, we’re thinking of you.
President Barack Obama walks with Col. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost, commander of the 89th Airlift Wing, before boarding Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. The president is scheduled to deliver remarks on the economy at Shaker Heights High School in Shaker Heights, Ohio.
11:35: PBO arrives in Cleveland, Ohio.
12:05: PBO participates in a discussion with a family at a private residence.
Andrew Sullivan: The one thing I noticed in my continental run-around this past week is just how mad liberals are at Obama. I remain as baffled by this anger as I am by Republican contempt for the guy. New York magazine has two superb essays that sum up my own feelings on both sides pretty perfectly – by Jon Chait and David Frum. Chait notes how systemic and eternal liberal disenchantment is, and how congenitally useless Democrats are in rallying round a leader, even one who has achieved so much in such a short time.
Many Dems even now think Clinton was more successful in fighting the GOP in his first term than Obama has been. (Memo to the left: universal healthcare was achieved under Obama). But much of this is the usual Democratic limpness and whininess. If George Bush had taken out Osama bin Laden, wiped out al Qaeda’s leadership and gathered a treasure trove of real intelligence by a daring raid, he’d be on Mount Rushmore by now. If he’d done the equivalent on the right of universal healthcare, he’d be the second coming of Reagan. But Obama and liberals? If I hear one more gripe about single payer from someone in their fifties with a ponytail, I’ll scream.
… I remain unrepentant in my support for this president, a man who has accomplished more in the face of a more hostile environment in his first three years than any president since Johnson. I wish more reasonable Dems and a few moderate Republicans will soon have the courage to say so.
Robert Shrum: …. In a New York Times blog post titled “Decision 2013,” Emory University psychology professor Drew Westen offers strong opinions about the shortcomings of a president “tied up in knots of indecision” ….
…. It is a scathing indictment from someone who plainly feels his counsel and wisdom have been scorned. It is also a stunning repudiation of Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s insistence that people are entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.
…. Westen launches an overall indictment of the president’s character – Obama is a president frozen in the ice of his own intellect, too logical, too rational, too disconnected from emotions …. the portrayal here of Obama is far removed from reality.
Ask Osama bin Laden if the president is indecisive. As for delay, health care reform was delayed for a century – and Obama passed it. The economy continues to be troubled, but Obama saved it from disaster … Financial reform, student loan reform, credit card reform, the greatest infrastructure investment in a generation – the list goes on. These are not the markers of indecision and delay. Nor is something else progressive critics thought Obama could never achieve. It was Bill Clinton, who famously felt our pain, who inflicted plenty of it by signing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” into law. It was Obama who repealed it with a masterful sense of timing and a cool and rational approach to the Pentagon.
That is a hallmark of his presidency. An effective president can’t be just a partisan, appealing solely to the base. But Obama has delivered more progressive change than anyone at anytime since the 1960s. He hasn’t, as Westen writes, “just run out the clock.” He’s moved history ahead….
President Barack Obama signs legislation that will provide tax credits to help put veterans back to work during a ceremony at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. From left are, Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., Sen. Patty Murray. D-Wash., first lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden, Veterans Affairs Secretary Erik Shinseki and Vice President Joe Biden
Jason Hansman (WH): Today is a historic day for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. When President Obama signs the VOW to Hire Heroes Act into law, an entire generation of new vets will be provided much-needed practical support to transition from combat to careers. As an Iraq vet I am privileged to lead the membership team at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the country’s first and largest nonpartisan organization committed to our newest veterans. And I speak for all of us when I thank the lawmakers who worked so hard together, putting aside party, to get this bill passed. We also thank the President for his leadership on the issue – for acting so quickly on this legislation and for bringing national attention to the veterans’ unemployment crisis.
Michael Walsh (National Review): ….. the WaPo’s Chris Cillizza makes the same point I made …. You may think Obama is eminently beatable, but unlike Mitt Romney, he has a solid base that is a dead-certain lock to be there for him next year ….
…. Meanwhile, “electable” Romney stays moored at around a quarter of the GOP primary electorate, and as a “frontrunner” has been happily chucked overboard for every not-Romney flavor of the month, including Bachmann, Perry, Cain, and now Mr. Newt. Head-to-head with Romney next year, Obama will sink him handily.
….. Say-Anything Mitt has no home port and is unlikely to find one beyond the generic anti-Obama vote. Which, alas, will not be big enough or motivated enough to evict Cap’n Barry from the White House bridge …. Indeed, the campaign will begin and end with this photograph:
Sorry, but that’s the truth. Say what you will about Sarah Palin, but she would have brought a super-energized base of productive taxpaying citizens with her that might have competed favorably with the Obamabots. But she broke their hearts – and damaged herself – by teasing and then not running, leaving the GOP bereft of a candidate who could match BHO II’s charisma.
What can be done at this late date, I have no idea. And neither do the Republicans.
Jonathan Chait (NY Mag): …. Here is my explanation: Liberals are dissatisfied with Obama because liberals, on the whole, are incapable of feeling satisfied with a Democratic president …. they compare Obama with an imaginary president – either an imaginary Obama or a fantasy version of a past president.
…. His single largest policy accomplishment, the Affordable Care Act, combines two sweeping goals that Democrats have tried and failed to achieve for decades. Likewise, the Recovery Act contained both short-term stimulative measures and increased public investment in infrastructure, green energy, and the like. The Dodd-Frank financial reform, while failing to end the financial industry as we know it, is certainly far from toothless, as measured by the almost fanatical determination of Wall Street and Republicans in Congress to roll it back.
Beneath these headline measures is a second tier of accomplishments carrying considerable historic weight (see article for list)
…. Of the postwar presidents, only Johnson exceeds Obama’s domestic record, and Johnson’s successes must be measured against a crushing defeat in Vietnam. Obama, by contrast, has enjoyed a string of foreign-policy successes ….
So, if Obama is the most successful liberal president since Roosevelt, that would make him a pretty great president, right?
Chris Cillizza (Washington Post): Everyone knows that President Obama has a problem with his political base heading into 2012. Except that he doesn’t.
One of the most persistent story lines for the president has been that the liberal left has grown increasingly dissatisfied with his actions (or inaction) on some of its priorities …. but an examination of the polling data among key subgroups that constitute Obama’s base makes clear that he has as much support from them as any modern president seeking a second term.
…. “Is the president’s base upset? You bet, but they aren’t upset at Obama,” said Cornell Belcher, who conducts polling for the Democratic National Committee. “They are in fact sympathetic to what Obama is trying to do and what he is going through.”
And Hart wrote in his year-out memo: “His base will be invaluable, and this has been underestimated. It should not be.”
Sensible people ignore the polls, after all the only one that matters is in 12 months’ time. But for the obsessive poll-watchers among us (err, me!) ….. the President has had a +9 point swing with Gallup this week (+14 in a month) – his approval is up 5 to 45 and his disapproval is down 4.
President Obama has dinner with campaign donors and winners of the “Dinner with Barack” contest at The Liberty Tavern in the Clarendon neighborhood of Arlington, Va.
MSNBC: Medicare’s basic monthly premium will rise significantly less than expected next year, the government announced Thursday. That could pay political dividends for President Barack Obama and for Democrats struggling to win over seniors in a close election.
…. In a statement accompanying release of the Medicare premiums, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asserted that seniors have nothing to fear from the new health care law.
“The Affordable Care Act is helping to keep Medicare strong and affordable,” she said. “People with Medicare are seeing higher quality benefits, better health care choices and lower costs.”
ThinkProgress: Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry released a tax plan this week that he and many media reports called a “20 percent flat tax.” But Perry’s new alternative tax scheme is hardly “flat”.
Leaving aside the fact that it is layered on top of the existing tax code, it establishes not one but two different tax rates: 20 percent for wages, and zero percent for investment income. Because capital gains and dividends would be sheltered from taxes under Perry’s plan, some of the wealthiest Americans would wind up paying nowhere near 20 percent overall.
In fact, billionaire Warren Buffett, who has lamented the fact that he currently pays only 11 percent of his adjusted gross income in federal income taxes, would pay as little as 0.2 percent under Perry’s plan.
ABC: Today’s New York Times story … includes an intriguing reference to a staff memo directing those traveling in a car with Mr. Cain, “Do not speak to him unless you are spoken to.”
Could the affable Mr. Cain really have a “don’t-talk-to-me-unless-I-talk-to-you” policy?
Yes. He does. Really.
A top aide to Mr. Cain explains to me why.
“It’s the same policy for any Secretary of Defense or four-star general,” a senior Cain staffer explained to ABC News. “You don’t talk to them unless they talk to you, generally. Sometimes you get guests in the car and they want to talk and talk and talk, and then Mr. Cain wants to prepare for the next interview or the next speech and he’s very engaging, so it can be a distraction. After a while, he gets to the point where he doesn’t want to talk, but wants to prepare for what he’s doing next.”
More excellent comedy from Dick Halperin today in Time. He magnificently ignored all the polls that show President Obama leading RomPerryCain in swing states, and concluded that if the election was held today he’d lose.
It’d be nice, though, if Halperin had an original thought:
Mark Halperin (today): Is President Obama on the ropes? …. The coalition that helped elect the President …. has been disbanded.
Mark Halperin (December 2010): The coalition that got Barack Obama elected President just two years ago has been shattered ….
Last year, Alex Pareene of Salon (which I seriously hate linking because it’s become Firebagger Central) did a series on “the worst columnists and cable news commentators America has to offer …. the most predictable, dishonest and just plain stupid pundits in the media.” Halperin had to settle for the runners-up prize, behind Richard Cohen. It’s worth a read again:
Alex Pareene (2010): Mark Halperin – The Drudge-loving political analyst who gets everything wrong …. his belief in the unerring political instincts of Karl Rove and the godlike omniscience of Matt Drudge ….
…. Halperin’s worst quality is actually that he is constantly wrong. He is a professional political analyst, yet he often seems to be completely, 100 percent wrong about even the horse-race aspects of politics that he specializes in. He kept promising, in 2006, that Bush’s approval ratings would once again surge past 50 percent. Remember when John McCain “suspended his campaign” to fix the economy? Mark Halperin said McCain won the week.
The book Halperin wrote …. “The Way to Win,” his preview of “the way to win” the presidential election in 2008. His advice was to emulate Karl Rove and worship Matt Drudge – the key to victory seemed to involve a lot of Matt Drudge – and the 2008 election as it actually happened made the whole book (which he co-wrote with Politico co-founder John Harris!) look utterly ridiculous.
… All we ask for is a little accountability. At the very least, Halperin’s TV chyron should read, “ALWAYS WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING.”
Marketwatch: With a little more than two trading days left in the month, it is shaping up to be the best October ever for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. And that is saying something, since the Dow has existed since 1896, 115 years ago.
As of mid-day trading on Thursday, the Dow INDU is ahead more than 11% for the month. The previous record for the month of October was held by 1982, when the Dow turned in a 10.7% return. That’s an auspicious historical precedent, since that month came very early in that decade’s spectacular bull market which, arguably, didn’t end until nearly 20 years later.