Posts Tagged ‘grunwald

30
Nov
12

This and That

A red ribbon is hung from the North Portico of the White House, Nov. 30, to mark World AIDS Day on Dec. 1. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

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Michael Grunwald (Time): It’s really amazing to see political reporters dutifully passing along Republican complaints that President Obama’s opening offer in the fiscal cliff talks is just a recycled version of his old plan, when those same reporters spent the last year dutifully passing along Republican complaints that Obama had no plan….

This isn’t just cognitive dissonance. It’s irresponsible reporting. Mainstream media outlets don’t want to look partisan, so they ignore the BS hidden in plain sight, the hypocrisy and dishonesty that defines the modern Republican Party…..

…. we’re not supposed to be stenographers. As long as the media let an entire political party invent a new reality every day, it will keep on doing it. Every day.

Full post here

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David Firestone (NYT): Republicans reportedly laughed when they saw the Obama administration’s initial offer in the fiscal negotiations yesterday. The idea that President Obama might actually want to enact his campaign promises – tax hikes on the rich, modest Medicare cuts, investments in infrastructure – is apparently considered a joke to the party that has shown virtually no flexibility in the last four years.

But some of that laughter may contain nervousness, because there is more going on here than just a pathway to splitting the difference. The White House made clear yesterday that it is approaching these talks from a position of responsibility, and that it actually takes seriously the notion of old-fashioned bargaining. That’s something Republicans have refused to do — and now they realize they’ve been called out.

Full post here

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TPM – more at Salon and The Atlantic

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Deaniac (The People’s View): The president is in a fighting mood. Starting today, he’s barnstorming the country, getting the American people to pressure Congress to extend the middle class tax breaks, and to do so now. Yesterday, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner presented the leaders of Congress with the Administration’s opening offer. That offer is heavy on revenue, tax fairness, and Medicare savings without affecting benefits. Here’s a short summary of what the president has proposed, from leaked details.

Full post here

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Liberal Librarian (The People’s View): Yesterday’s vote in the UN on Palestine has stirred a lot of emotions on the left; I’ve taken the time to read the responses across a few blogs this morning, and for the most part they’ve been considered and judicious. So here are my two pfennigs.

When the world’s three most powerful faiths declare a piece of real estate “holy”, that causes problems of a sort not found anywhere else. To the Jews, it is the “Promised Land”, vouchsafed to them by God unto the last generation. To Muslims, it’s holy because God walked in it with the Hebrew patriarchs, whom they consider earlier prophets; and, of course, they believe Muhammad made his Night Journey to heaven from the Temple Mount. To Christians, obviously, it was the land where Jesus lived, preached, and died. The deep emotional and religious attachments are not to be disregarded.

Full post here

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Kevin Drum (Mother Jones): There’s one particular strain of Republican reaction to their election loss that’s always given me the biggest chuckle, and today Paul Waldman highlights it: the absurd proposition that Mitt Romney never forthrightly defended conservative principles….

…. For months, conservatives yelled from the rooftops about how 2012 presented the sharpest choice ever in governing philosophies …. [they] claimed that this one was truly an ideological turning point, America’s last chance to choose what kind of country we should be. But literally within hours of defeat, they turned on a dime and insisted that the American people weren’t given a real chance to decide between two competing visions. And they’ve maintained this claim despite losing the popular vote in the House, the Senate, and the presidency, and despite the fact that demographic trends very clearly spell even further trouble in the future for their hardnosed brand of social intolerance and slavish dedication to the interests of the rich.

Full post here

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Two completely random pics:

12
Aug
11

‘stop whining about what obama hasn’t said. look at what he’s actually done’

President Obama tours Johnson Controls Inc. in Holland, Mich., Aug. 11

Michael Grunwald (Time): I know President Obama is supposed to be an awful disappointment to environmentalists because he doesn’t talk enough about climate change, just like he’s an awful disappointment to progressives because he doesn’t say enough nasty things about bankers. But people who actually care about what Presidents do, as opposed to how they talk, might be interested in Obama’s trip to Michigan on Thursday. He’s visiting a factory that builds batteries for electric vehicles, a factory that exists for three reasons:

1. Because Obama saved the U.S. auto industry.

2. Because Obama has ratcheted up fuel-efficiency standards, boosting demand for green vehicles.

3. Because Obama created a U.S. advanced battery industry from scratch.

…. the Johnson Controls lithium-ion battery factory that Obama is visiting was financed by his 2009 stimulus bill …. that included an unprecedented $90 billion for clean-energy investments …. The most radical investment was probably a $2.4 billion grant program that helped finance 30 factories building advanced batteries and components, including $300 million for Johnson Controls, which had to match the government dollars with private dollars.

Before 2009, the U.S. was supplying less than 2% of a tiny global market in advanced batteries. When the stimulus-funded factories are all complete, they’ll have the capacity to supply 40% of a rapidly growing global market, about 500,000 batteries a year.

The stimulus will also boost our supply of electric-vehicle charging stations by more than 3,000%. And the Obama administration has provided loans to help Tesla, Fisker and Nissan build electric-car factories in the U.S., all part of Obama’s pledge to put 1 million plug-ins on the road by 2015.

That is what change looks like, even if the President doesn’t beat his chest and call for mass beheadings on Wall Street while it happens.

… the liberals who keep whining that Obama isn’t telling them what they want to hear ought to open their eyes and look at what he’s trying to do. Whining enviros should be especially grateful to Obama …. those standards represent the biggest step the country has ever taken to reduce our dependence on foreign oil … the biggest step the country has ever taken to reduce our carbon emissions.

…..  would you rather have a President who talks about climate change, or a President who does something about it?

Full article here

21
Jun
11

‘the disillusionment addicts of the left’

Michael Grunwald (Time): There was a telling confrontation at last week’s Netroots Nation gathering …. a bisexual volunteer for President Obama reelection campaign approached the stage to hand a flyer to Dan Choi ….. Choi dramatically ripped up the flyer and declared that he wouldn’t support Obama.

And why should he? What has Obama ever done to help gays serve openly in the military? Other than repeal don’t-ask-don’t-tell, so that gays can serve openly in the military? Ah, “the professional left,” never happy unless it’s unhappy…..

With friends like these, who needs Republicans?….

…..the disillusionment addicts of the left have concocted a narrative of Obama-as-sellout that bears little resemblance to his actual presidency…

….It was a similar story in the epic fight over health care reform. Obama finally achieved the eternal progressive dream of universal coverage, overruling aides who wanted to settle for incremental improvements. But the left was mad because his plan didn’t include a “public option,” a brand-new progressive dream. Earth to the left: He didn’t have the votes for a public option. There was nothing he could have said or done to get the votes for a public option. He’s a politician, not a magician.

…But when you’re convinced the president just isn’t that into you, the facts are irrelevant…..

It’s easy for activists to complain about imperfect achievements like the stimulus or Obamacare, especially when they’re not among the 3 million Americans who would’ve been unemployed without the stimulus or the 50 million Americans who would’ve been uninsured without Obamacare. Complaining is what activists do….

……Presidents are supposed to make progress, whether progressives like it or not.

Full article here

Thank you Rita, brilliant article ;-)

04
Apr
11

‘obama averted disasters, but getting credit is the hard part’

Michael Grunwald (Time): The New Republic recently asked an intriguing question about the U.S. intervention in Libya: Why isn’t Obama getting credit for preventing an atrocity? The answer is obvious when you think about it: because he prevented the atrocity. It’s hard to get credit for avoiding a disaster when it’s impossible to prove the disaster would have happened without you. Social scientists call this the counterfactual problem….

This is a problem for public policy because preventing disasters is infinitely preferable to stopping them in progress. And it’s a political problem for Obama … He is the counterfactual President, not just on his Libya policy, but on almost all his policies. And as his aides often complain, “I prevented a disaster” is a lousy political slogan….

The most extreme example, of course, was the $787 billion stimulus package that Obama signed during his first month in office, when the economy was shedding 700,000 jobs a month. The immediate goal was to avoid a depression, and in that sense it was a tremendous success, stopping the hemorrhaging and stabilizing the scariest economic situation since the Great Depression…..

… His financial reforms should reduce the chances of another Wall Street meltdown, but it’s classic disaster prevention: if they fail, it’s a scandal, and if they work, we won’t notice…

Most of Obama’s counterfactual problems can be traced to what his former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel calls the “gift bag” that President Bush left for him. The gift bag included the worst economy in 80 years, a nightmare on Wall Street, a deficit spiraling out of control, one unnecessary war in Iraq and one intractable war in Afghanistan, a dysfunctional health care system, and an energy policy that was broiling the planet and exposing consumers to violent swings in gas prices….

Full article here




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