Woodstock Nation: Barack Obama’s Situation Comedy, Part IV

Forty years ago today, Woodstock Nation headed home after three days of fun and music at Max Yasgur’s dairy farm. Today the Nutroots Nation are home after three days wacko communing on the funny farm.

Where are the citizens of Woodstock Nation today? Many are protesting against Obama and his wacko Nutroots at town hall meetings alongside the Bobby Soxers of earlier years.

The Nutroots Nation B.O.T.s have sold their souls to their Mess-iah, the sleezy Chicago politician who betrays them and pimp-slaps them at every turn.

But the list of Obama betrayals and scams is not what we want to discuss now. We’re tempted to discuss, but we won’t, Peggy Noonan finally waking up to the importance of something other than celebrity and the fact that Obama does not “have game”.

The president seemed like a man long celebrated as being very good at politics—the swift rise, the astute reading of a varied electorate—who is finding out day by day that he isn’t actually all that good at it. In this sense he does seem reminiscent of Jimmy Carter, who was brilliant at becoming president but not being president. [snip]

Also, something odd. When Mr. Obama stays above the fray, above the nitty-gritty of specifics, when he confines his comments on health care to broad terms, he more and more seems . . . pretty slippery. In the town hall he seemed aware of this, and he tried to be very specific about the need for this aspect of a plan, and the history behind that proposal. And yet he seemed even more slippery. When he took refuge in the small pieces of his argument, he lost the major threads; when he addressed the major threads, he seemed almost to be conceding that the specifics don’t hold.

When you seem slippery both in the abstract and the particular, you are in trouble.

Maybe now Peggy will apologize to the wonderful Big Pink and start admitting that we have been right all along – Obama lacks the basic experience and qualifications to be a receptionist at a beauty parlor, let alone president.

We won’t discuss the latest Obama betrayals or scams, nor Obama’s inexperience which stinks through every day, no – we want to discuss Barack Obama’s Situation Comedy demographics for the new coalition which now forms the Obama Dimocratic Party.

Recall, Part I of Barack Obama’s Situation Comedy:

Paid Obama shill David Axelrod and unpaid Obama shill Donna Brazile have a vision of the Democratic Party.

The Obama/Axelrod/Brazile vision for the Democratic Party mimics the desired demographics for a television sitcom.

As the long suffering Donna declared A new Democratic coalition is younger. It is more urban, as well as suburban, and we don’t have to just rely on white blue-collar voters and Hispanics.

Axelrod has declared The white working class has gone to the Republican nominee for many elections, going back even to the Clinton years. This is not new that Democratic candidates don’t rely solely on those votes.

In Part I we quoted Brazile/Axelrod on the components of the new Obama Dimocratic Party coalition. In
Barack Obama’s Situation Comedy, Part II we discussed why Democrats (with the exception of Southern nominees) have had such a difficult time attracting white working class votes. We also noted that:

All the Democratic Party talk about inclusion and respect for the rights of women crumbled when the prospect of a woman in charge became a possibility.

All the Democratic Party talk about a “big tent” stops when the targets of inclusion are white working class voters.

In Part III, we pointed out what happened to the idealistic generation born as post-war birth spurt “boomers”, later reborn post-Bethel, as the “Woodstock Nation”. In Part III we came to the not remarkable conclusion that the young people of Woodstock Nation aged – they got older.

What does that dull, pedestrian conclusion inform us and why is that simple, logical, unremarkable fact have to do with the current political situation? Why is the fact that the young grow old such a remarkable fact to the B.O.T.s?

Simply put, the trade off of the white working class which was a bulwark for successful Democrats was traded by Obama and his Dimocrats for the evanescent youth voter. That is no way to grow a political party. That is no way to run a political party.

The crop of 2008 young are now a year older and supposedly a year wiser (though it’s tough to teach a B.O.T. new tricks). When a young, unemployed B.O.T. discovers the world of taxes and health insurance, and property responsibilities and taxes and family, they lose that new B.O.T. glow.

As the 2008 crop of young grow into middle age many will begin to identify not with the latest fad or rave – whether hoola-hoops, or mp3s, but rather with aging parents and the infirmities of age.

These simple facts of life are why Woodstock Nation rebels are aligned with Bobby Soxers in opposition to Barack Obama and the Dimocrats. As a target demographic the youth voter is a once in a lifetime thing. An 18 year old voting in her first presidential election is not the same person at age 22, nor at age 26, nor at age 30. These facts cannot be denied. Only the Nutroots refuse to recognize the significance.

Woodstock Nation and the Bobby Soxers, once the vanguard of all that is fab in their respective times are now united. In trading the white working class for the wisp of smoke called the “youth” vote Dimocrats signed their ticket to oblivion.

Democrats need to get rid of the Dimocrats and the Nutroots and return to the FDR coalition. It’s the way to win and the way to move forward. Dimocrats, Nutroots, and B.O.T.s will learn that lesson or curl up into a big ball and die.


82 thoughts on “Woodstock Nation: Barack Obama’s Situation Comedy, Part IV

  1. Not only the FDR coalition, but the FDR principles. I really feel this current crop doesn’t have the principles I grew up thinking all Democrats have. Any chance Obama will tire of the job and decide to go out early, leave them wanting more?

  2. Obama needs to be separated from the Black America he claims as his own. He’s NOT one of them. He never was… Obama was raised in a privileged environment.

    His grandmother provided the best education money could buy for her grandson.
    How many AAs indigenous to our country can claim they identify with Obama because Oprah said: He is “the one”. Take away the skin color and they got nutthin’!

    Yet he continues to insult their intelligence with the down home slang built into his perennial theater schtick everytime he’s in front of the cameras. The Rev Manning videos around the web state unequivocally, Obama is not a black man.
    He’s right, he’s NOT.-

    Obama doesn’t deal with the impoverished families living in the ghetto. Neither does MO. The only AAs that qualify for the Obama Wed Night Club are the Superstars that worked hard excelling at their particular brand, talent and achievement.

  3. He is s nothing but a race baiting, Chicago politician, provided an education (along with his whitey hating wife) that most could only dream of. He is everything the Clintons are not, primarily, an incompetent , arrogant , uncaring , self -serving pimp, who won an election because of collective white guilt and black racism against Hillary.

  4. Love all the Woodstock analogies, Admin. As the saying goes – been there, done that. We’re not called “old hippies” for nothing. Key word isn’t hippies – it’s OLD. Given enough time, even older idealists wake up to the harsh reality of LIFE and recognize reckless abandon. The “wannabes” – younger than Baby Boomers who just think they “discovered” rebellion, are spoiled brats. They know so little about history, they make the fifty-somethings and sixty-somethings appear to be scholars. Outside of a Howard Dean (wannabe) here and there, most fascists are products of the Chicago radical-Mob mentality. TRUE flower children of the sixties realize the “love and freedom”” they espoused is not the same as the “hope and change” their kids and grandkids have been swept up into. So “the Boss” Springstein may need to write a new stanza to Born in the USA – to remember back in the deep recesses of his mind – what he really believes. It isn’t in BHO. We all know and have known that. We got to Woodstock a lot faster than them this time. We HRC supporters have known all along the answer “is blowin’ in the wind”.


  5. Brilliant once again, Admin.

    “When a young, unemployed B.O.T. discovers the world of taxes and health insurance, and property responsibilities and taxes and family, they lose that new B.O.T. glow.”

    I well remember the year I finally realized that while I’d had what others would consider considerable success in music performance it didn’t seem possible to ever make enough of a living to do much more than pay the rent in Alphabet City much less afford health insurance, a car, maybe a little cottage somewhere.

    That’s when I made the decision to finish a couple of degrees (on my dime – working full-time all the while) for the chance of a slightly better life economically sometime in the distant future.

    While I’d always been an Indy (though I’d voted Dim) I had never been a BOT so I guess my transition wasn’t as jarring as what’s awaiting the truly pathetic brain-washed idiots coming to their sense now.

    And you are so right that once I did finish an MA and got a real job and bought my first house in a state far far away coz I couldn’t come close to affording anything in the NY-tri-state area, and became aware of property taxes and insurance and home ownership nightmares and transportation problems and all the other money stuff that there are no provisions for outside of a major city, my thinking changed.

    Never enough to turn me repub, but enough to make me appreciate many of their conservative principals and realize how judgmental I’d been previously.

    It’s something that’s reinforced now that I live in a beautiful rural mostly repub area in NYS. Again, I don’t agree with everything on the repub agenda but I do have a heck of a lot more respect for the people, far more than for the clueless bots.

    In fact, given a choice between the bots and the repubs only, I would go for the repubs as I did in 2008.

  6. As concerns “youth” voters getting older, I guess I am a case in point. My first vote in 1968 was for the loser Humphrey, on the basis of his civil rights record and what I thought would be an undying loyalty to the post-Kennedy Democratic Party. But by 1972, after working with Shirley Chisolm to win the NJ primary, I broke with the Dems and their silly McGovern to vote for Nixon, who I thought was a pretty good Pres.

    In 1980, I again broke with the Dems, who should have convinced Carter not to run again. Carter was, in my opinion at the time, the worst president we had ever had. I ended up voting Reagan. I don’t know if I would have voted Kennedy. Never respected the man very much.

    2008 was my third break with the Dems, decided on May 31st with the RBC decision to give HRC’s votes to bho.

    However, with this spotty history of loyalty to the Dem Party, there is something in me that has remained the same. When I saw HRC in action throughout 2007 and especially in the spring of 2008, I was constantly reminded of the RFK candidacy. I kept telling people: “She’s the first presidential candidate I can believe in like I did RFK.” There is substance in everything she says, you can feel she means it.

    RFK was like that, except he was less of a politician – in fact, the ultimate anti-politician. I remember one TV sequence where he was asked a question and Bobby just sat there looking distracted, with his hand to his chin. After a few seconds, the interviewer said something like, “Senator, I asked you a question…,” and Kennedy replied “… I’m thinking… I…, I’m thinking…” and consumed about ten seconds of prime TV time in silence. I can’t for the life of me remember what the question was, nor what answer he eventually came up with.

  7. Thanks Basil9 and CuriosityHasMe.

    We do not mean to degrade or in any way deplore the energies and vigor and enthusiasm and intelligence of youth. Our point is that as a key coalition partner of choice for Dimocrats the “youth” vote exists only once. The young are replaced by the younger every election and the formerly young are 4 years older and changed.

    Already we see 2008 B.O.T.s getting discouraged because the “iah” syllables are no longer visable in their Mess-iah. This will have a big impact in the 2010 elections and we somehow doubt that the 2008 B.O.T.s will be as arrogant and in love in 2012 as they were in 2008.

    The no longer chronologically young also learn. Hillary supporters of all ages are still horrified to realize that allies and other Democrats can be so ugly and perverse. The sexism and misogyny (and “racist!”) we all witnessed in 2008 changed most of us and we now see the lies and deceptions of what we now term Dimocrats. This realization has caused many to see issues in a much more nuanced way and to appreciate the other sides viewpoint. This disappointment in our former allies, now Dimocrats, is an unwanted gift. This is wisdom gained through experience.

    As long as we stay in the fight the wisdom gained through experience is a gift.

  8. “This realization has caused many to see issues in a much more nuanced way and to appreciate the other sides viewpoint. ”

    Wow, well, not for me. I think that this is just like any other economic collapse. People are rightly pissed off and have no where to channel their anger, so many find comfort in the anti-government crowd. Some are sticking with the Messiah will fix it crowd. But I imagine many are like me. I pretty much down the line absolutely hate republican policies, and this is just made it all the more apparent that winning, and keeping wall street CEO’s happy, is more important than anything else to them. For Democrats, apparently winning isn’t as important as making Wall Street CEO’s happy. So, I see two Parties staring in the face of economic collapse and trying to appease those who brung us here.

    I disagree with the assessment that people are seeing these “nuanced” viewpoints. I’m pretty certain people are feeling the same populist anger that brought both FDR and Hitler(two polar opposites) to power. It’s not about “nuance”. If you haven’t figured out by now both Parties are trying to do the least for you as possible under the phony mantel of populism then don’t blame me when the nuanced Republicans turn out to be just as hapless as they were under GWB.

  9. Bob Herbert AND Eugene Robinson both in the early stages of Hopium Detox as evidenced by their op-eds today. If he can’t hold Herbert and Robinson the whole house of cards is going to collapse before the leaves turn to gold…:)

    “And then there are the drug companies. A couple of months ago the Obama administration made a secret and extremely troubling deal with the drug industry’s lobbying arm, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. The lobby agreed to contribute $80 billion in savings over 10 years and to sponsor a multimillion-dollar ad campaign in support of health care reform.”

    Robinson is almost PLEADING for BO to man up, but he no longer seems to believe he will…

    “If so, that would not only be wrong but also — even at this point — unnecessary, or at least premature. What the president hasn’t done is the obvious: Tell Congress and the American public, clearly and forcefully, what has to be done and why. Take control of the debate. Consult less and insist more. Remind the Blue Dogs who’s president and who’s not.

    Giving up on the public option might be expedient. But we didn’t elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one.”


    Many in the comments section for both articles cite their belief that our Hillary would have been able to get this done…

  10. “Our point is that as a key coalition partner of choice for Dimocrats the “youth” vote exists only once.”

    You are so insighful, admin.

    And I think that the next wave of first-time voters may be so busy trying to forge their own identities that they may well shy away from association with BO if only as a kneejerk-rebellion against the status quo.
    From what I’ve read, BO is no longer considered cool among the under 18 set.

  11. E Tu’ Roger Simon?

    Does Obama have the guts?
    By: Roger Simon
    August 18, 2009 04:42 AM EST

    Could Hillary Clinton have been right about Barack Obama?

    Could she have been right when she said that he was the candidate of lofty promises —“the skies will open, the light will come down, celestial choirs will be singing and everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect” — and not the candidate of real leadership?

    In her former life as a presidential candidate, Clinton warned voters that Obama would let them down. She warned them that when the going got tough, he would fold up.

    She said it was not just a matter of Obama lacking experience — that was the least of it — but that he lacked the strength, the toughness, the will to get the job done.

    In January 2008, at Nashua High School North just before the New Hampshire primary, Clinton said of Obama: “I applaud his incredible ability to make a speech that really leaves people inspired. My point is that when the cameras disappear and you’re there in the Oval Office having to make tough decisions, I believe I am better prepared and ready to lead our country.”

    still, though the die has already been cast, even though BO has already caved on the public option..simon has a couple of badly cut “bumps” of hopium left to cloud his mind…

    “We don’t know for sure that Obama is about to give up on the public option. I think, in the end, he will not. I think he may be tougher than some think and stronger than the polls show. But I admit there are troubling signs.” lol

    But even Hopium-sucking, Hillary Hating simple Simon sees the handwriting on the wall…

    “…how Obama acts right now on health care reform could tell us how he will act for the rest of his presidency.

    Sometimes it is not enough to have just your heart and your head in the right place. You have to have your guts there, too.”


    Hillary has the guts. We needed her so much…


    Sorry, Bob, but we’re just going to have to enjoy watching twist in the wind for another three and a half years.

    TheRealist earlier pointed to Herbert’s column today, and cited one paragraph. Here are two more money quotes, followed by the whole piece.

    “Insurance companies are delighted with the way “reform” is unfolding. Think of it: The government is planning to require most uninsured Americans to buy health coverage. Millions of young and healthy individuals will be herded into the industry’s welcoming arms. This is the population the insurers drool over.”

    “If the oldest and sickest are on Medicare, and the poorest are on Medicaid, and the young and the healthy are required to purchase private insurance without the option of a competing government-run plan — well, that’s reform the insurance companies can believe in.”

    “The White House, for its part, agreed not to seek additional savings from the drug companies over those 10 years. This resulted in big grins and high fives at the drug lobby. The White House was rolled. The deal meant that the government’s ability to use its enormous purchasing power to negotiate lower drug prices was off the table.”

    This Is Reform?

    It’s never a contest when the interests of big business are pitted against the public interest. So if we manage to get health care “reform” this time around it will be the kind of reform that benefits the very people who have given us a failed system, and thus made reform so necessary.

    Forget about a crackdown on price-gouging drug companies and predatory insurance firms. That’s not happening. With the public pretty well confused about what is going on, we’re headed — at best — toward changes that will result in a lot more people getting covered, but that will not control exploding health care costs and will leave industry leaders feeling like they’ve hit the jackpot.

    The hope of a government-run insurance option is all but gone. So there will be no effective alternative for consumers in the market for health coverage, which means no competitive pressure for private insurers to rein in premiums and other charges. (Forget about the nonprofit cooperatives. That’s like sending peewee footballers up against the Super Bowl champs.)

    Insurance companies are delighted with the way “reform” is unfolding. Think of it: The government is planning to require most uninsured Americans to buy health coverage. Millions of young and healthy individuals will be herded into the industry’s welcoming arms. This is the population the insurers drool over.

    This additional business — a gold mine — will more than offset the cost of important new regulations that, among other things, will prevent insurers from denying coverage to applicants with pre-existing conditions or imposing lifetime limits on benefits. Poor people will either be funneled into Medicaid, which will have its eligibility ceiling raised, or will receive a government subsidy to help with the purchase of private insurance.

    If the oldest and sickest are on Medicare, and the poorest are on Medicaid, and the young and the healthy are required to purchase private insurance without the option of a competing government-run plan — well, that’s reform the insurance companies can believe in.

    And then there are the drug companies. A couple of months ago the Obama administration made a secret and extremely troubling deal with the drug industry’s lobbying arm, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. The lobby agreed to contribute $80 billion in savings over 10 years and to sponsor a multimillion-dollar ad campaign in support of health care reform.

    The White House, for its part, agreed not to seek additional savings from the drug companies over those 10 years. This resulted in big grins and high fives at the drug lobby. The White House was rolled. The deal meant that the government’s ability to use its enormous purchasing power to negotiate lower drug prices was off the table.

    The $80 billion in savings (in the form of discounts) would apply only to a certain category of Medicare recipients — those who fall into a gap in their drug coverage known as the doughnut hole — and only to brand-name drugs. (Drug industry lobbyists probably chuckled, knowing that some patients would switch from generic drugs to the more expensive brand names in order to get the industry-sponsored discounts.)

    To get a sense of how sweet a deal this is for the drug industry, compare its offer of $8 billion in savings a year over 10 years with its annual profits of $300 billion a year. Robert Reich, who served as labor secretary in the Clinton administration, wrote that the deal struck by the Obama White House was very similar to the “deal George W. Bush struck in getting the Medicare drug benefit, and it’s proven a bonanza for the drug industry.”

    The bonanza to come would be even larger, he said, “given all the Boomers who will be enrolling in Medicare over the next decade.”

    While it is undoubtedly important to bring as many people as possible under the umbrella of health coverage, the way it is being done now does not address what President Obama and so many other advocates have said is a crucial component of reform — bringing the ever-spiraling costs of health care under control. Those costs, we’re told, are hamstringing the U.S. economy, making us less competitive globally and driving up the budget deficit.

    Giving consumers the choice of an efficient, nonprofit, government-run insurance plan would have moved us toward real cost control, but that option has gone a-glimmering. The public deserves better. The drug companies, the insurance industry and the rest of the corporate high-rollers have their tentacles all over this so-called reform effort, squeezing it for all it’s worth.

    Meanwhile, the public — struggling with the worst economic downturn since the 1930s — is looking on with great anxiety and confusion. If the drug companies and the insurance industry are smiling, it can only mean that the public interest is being left behind.

  13. Admin> the dims are in a double bind. First, they have built a coalition based on youth and youth as you say is an unreliable partner because it is based on idealism turns into a bad hang-over when it collides with reality. The youth of 2008 will be the unemployed, overtaxed and disillusioned youth of 2012 which means they will not vote. But they will communicate their sense of disillusionment to others and to their juniors. Second, the dims have built their coalition on one man. In risk management terms this is what you call a catastrophic risk, and while you may self insure many risks of the business, this is one you must insure through through an insurance company, because if the key man expires so does the business. Since there is no insurance company who will accept their risk, their only alternative is shock doctrine which creates or worsens an existing crisis and then institutes welfare state policies to deal with it. They make the people dependent on the government dole and give them bread and circuses. That is where this thing is headed I am afraid.

  14. Mj, we suggest you open yourself up to nuance. A political party that lies and distorts and demeans and devalues and destroys one of their own cannot be trusted. The policy aims have to be questioned too. If the Democrats were able to do what they did to Hillary it is time to question what else they are lying about. We knew a long time ago that the Republicans were not to be trusted.

    While we know the Republican Party cannot be trusted we certainly appreciate their attacks on Obama because many of the attacks are right on target (the Republicans are finally catching up to what we wrote years ago). That Republicans could possibly be right is something we could not have admitted to ourselves prior to 2008 when we witnessed what Democrats can sink to.

    We certainly do have a new found appreciation for the “nuance” of “anti-government” groups now because we certainly do not want corrupt Dimocrats or a creature like Obama to have any more power over our lives or more control over the levers of American power. That “nuance” is not pleasant but lessons learned the hard way rarely are. We consider that “nuance” which comes from experience “wisdom”.

    Experience when embraced does sometimes lead to wisdom. For instance, we have always been very strong gun control advocates. That was true until a visit/meeting with friends/allies in a vastly remote region. We recognized then that the guns we hated and argued so intelligently against (“phony security”, “dangerous” “hand guns absolutely unneeded and different from shotguns”, etc.) had a useful function in areas where law enforcement authorities were far away and the nights long and dark and wonderful but able to abruptly turn dangerous.

    We suspect that gun absolutists, if they considered how close to each other city dwellers are, or if they saw a bullet pierce an apartment wall and kill, would also see the issue in a more nuanced way. Seeing an issue from both sides, with trust and understanding, is the way to solutions. We are still wary and not entirely comfortable with Second Amendment absolutist activists but we can now have a much more intelligent, understanding, conversation with them because experience has led to a more nuanced view of the gun issue. This is not a weakness for our position it is a strength.

    As to the current health care debate: If Hillary was proposing massive government interventions into the economy, as she has in the past, we would be willing to listen and even applaud. But the applause and listening would only come about because Hillary has a huge trust account in our bank. Obama and his Dimocrats we do not trust. We certainly would be against any bill that would allow Obama appointees to run the IMAC board which would run the health care economy. If those were Hillary appointees we would not be as questioning of motives and appointments and we would mostly focus on a discussion of the policy.

    As to whether or not we are seeing the public react in a nuanced way to the health care debate, we certainly think so. For instance, when the town hall situation begain there was much gleeful speculation from the Dimocratic Left and Big Media that the “mobs” would hurt Republicans. We disagreed immediately. We saw that when Americans watching on TV saw the yelling they would see those yelling as proxies for them. That did not mean that the viewers on TV agreed with the inchoate anger expressed in the town halls. It meant that the viewers inwardly were saying to the protestors “you go girl”. Americans watching on TV, in a very nuanced way, were saying “keep asking questions, I have doubts too”.

    The Dimocrats and Obama did not see the nuanced convergence of those protesting with those watching on TV – questioning and anxious that the rush-rush on health care was something they were not entirely comfortable with and wanted slowed down. As the protests developed those watching on TV began to see that Obama and the Dimocrats were trying to pull a scam – which is were we are now.

    As to “anger”, that has been in short supply (outside of town halls) and only coming from some quarters. What there has been thus far for most Americans is mostly anxiety.

    The “anger” is yet to come. The “anger” will truly arrive when unemployment hits 10% and when unemployment benefits begin to expire en masse for the long term unemployed (this September). As things get worse, Dimocrats will learn what anger looks like and begin to appreciate nuance.

  15. Admin, two wrongs don’t make a right. Both Parties are wrong. And, let’s draw a line between voters and politicians. The politicians in both parties are both utterly devoid of any principles at this point.

    I guess I was never gun control one way or the other. I’ve never focused on issues that are hot button but for which there are few if any legislative solutions. My focus is on the wealth gap, for which both Parties are a part of sustaining, and for which neither is offering nuanced solutions to. But politics is economics and the rest is just noise.

  16. Mj, we do agree that economics is a big part of politics.

    We understand that a budget says more about a politician than all the words uttered by that politician. We know that in America “jobs” is always the number one priority and issue. We deplore the “wealth gap” as encouraged by government policiy. But we don’t dismiss the non-economic rest as “noise”. What you dismiss as “noise” also has a nuanced, if not primary, economic effect. Perhaps you know how to separate them, we don’t.

    Ralph Nader dismissed gay rights and women’s rights as “gonadal politics” with contempt. We loathed him for that comment. We also thought it was extremely stupid. Gay rights and women’s rights as well as the civil rights battles of the 1960s (we’ll thrown in disabled rights too) were in one sense about dignty and “rights” but they were also about the right to participate fully in the economic life of the nation.

    All the great words by the founding fathers and mothers concerning “liberty” and other such “noise” were demands for economic rights.

    We’ve always seen Obama as on the side of the powerful and wealthy while exploiting the “hopes” of the poor and the powerless. Perhaps this is the place Democrats and Dimocrats will one day converge – when Dimocrats realize we Democrats have been right and that Mess-iah is on the other side as us with regards to economic justice.

    We’ve had good discussions with Second Amendment advocates who view guns as the ultimate economic issue. They view guns as a way to protect property. They also consider guns their property with economic value. Those that have gun related businesses also see guns as necessary to their economic well being. Some liberals who advocate gun trade-in programs also see guns and their control as economic in nature.

    Politics can be considered economics but economics is a rather expansive notion. The intellectual rational for liberals on many, if not most, issues (including civil rights) is the Commerce Clause in the Constitution. The Rhenquist Court sought to roll back the role of the Commerce Clause in rationales for government intervention in recognition of the expanded power liberals invested in that clause.

    You might be right that “politics is economics” but economics is all that “noise”.

  17. Admin,

    Stellar article once more. Neither party has much to commend itself for but at the moment the dims are creating more damage than I ever thought possible.

  18. TheRealist Says:

    August 18th, 2009 at 9:30 am


    Excellent article. Thanks for posting.

  19. I found it very telling yesterday that Lou Dobbs was totally frustrated with the idea that Rahm Emanual was actually leading the government and making all the major decisions. He asked his political cohorts what they thought and why it seemed as if he was front and center so much.

  20. Obama talks to Bill Clinton about NKorean mission
    (AP) – 34 minutes ago

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama plans to spend an hour with former President Bill Clinton in a debriefing session about Clinton’s mission to North Korea that won the freedom of two imprisoned American journalists.

    White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says the session will be the second conversation between the two men, although Tuesday’s meeting in the West Wing situation room will be the first in-person and in-depth debriefing. Clinton won the release of the journalists, women working for former Vice President Al Gore’s Current-TV, on Aug. 4. The former president also met and had dinner with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Il.

    U.S. officials are eager to learn about Kim’s health. He is believed to have had a stroke and is suffering from chronic health problems.


  21. Yes, but, even civil rights can be boiled down to economics, because if you are waiting for a particular Party or particular politicians to step up and speak for those rights, as we saw in the primary, you are waiting on a pipe dream. Rather, the politicians will exploit various positions to build loose coalitions so that they can enforce their economic policies. If we want civil rights, we argue for them outside of the political spectrum until there is a tipping point for which a politician or a particular party steps up and legislatively supports those rights. But when we allow political parties to divide us on hot button issues, particularly those in which there is little in the way of a legislative fix, then they will exploit that divide for economic purposes.

  22. At the center of the anger over the health care debate is the feeling prevalent among seniors that mr obama intends to disenfranchise them politically, economically and medically. I could make a compelling case to that effect and so could you.

  23. admin Says:
    August 18th, 2009 at 10:00 am

    As to the current health care debate: If Hillary was proposing massive government interventions into the economy, as she has in the past, we would be willing to listen and even applaud. But the applause and listening would only come about because Hillary has a huge trust account in our bank. Obama and his Dimocrats we do not trust. We certainly would be against any bill that would allow Obama appointees to run the IMAC board which would run the health care economy. If those were Hillary appointees we would not be as questioning of motives and appointments and we would mostly focus on a discussion of the policy.

    Completely true. That’s what that “wise crone” Peggy Noonan wrote in her piece (alluded to at the top); that Obama blown enough credibility on earlier projects that he is not trusted with yet another. Big government with lots of control is one thing, but add to it incompetency and corruption, the project fails.

    Witness the stimulus.
    Witness the bankruptcy/rescues of Chrysler and GM.
    Can’t even do cash-for-clunkers right?

    Now, Mr. Obama, you want to overhaul health care?

    And yet, we’re not even sure what is in this overhaul?

    And your own “team” is not even sure who the coach is betting for on a side bet?

  24. AP has worldwide operations and a long history. But at this point it is not reductio ad absurdum to say they are nothing more than the mouthpiece of this corrupt administration.

  25. Completely true. That’s what that “wise crone” Peggy Noonan wrote in her piece (alluded to at the top); that Obama blown enough credibility on earlier projects that he is not trusted with yet another. Big government with lots of control is one thing, but add to it incompetency and corruption, the project fails.
    Trust is a one way street in this sense. You can begin the game without it and build it over the course of time. But is you are granted it in the beginning based on a political event, and then you squander it over time, by breaking your promises and taking affirmative actions which violate the customs and usages of the game, well guess what. Not only do you lose trust, your breach of trust becomes a scarlet letter. That is where Bambi is at now with many people. In a gravity free environment he could buy them off, but there is resistance now, and thanks to his earlier excesses the cupboard is bare. Print more money, thats fine bambi, but what do you tell China.

  26. As to the current health care debate: If Hillary was proposing massive government interventions into the economy, as she has in the past, we would be willing to listen and even applaud. But the applause and listening would only come about because Hillary has a huge trust account in our bank. Obama and his Dimocrats we do not trust. We certainly would be against any bill that would allow Obama appointees to run the IMAC board which would run the health care economy. If those were Hillary appointees we would not be as questioning of motives and appointments and we would mostly focus on a discussion of the policy.
    Yes. But I am reasonably sure she would have done it in stages, not all at once. And I think she was astute enough to not put the pedal to the metal when the economy is this fragile. In the conversation I had with the senior Republican now businessman he said the administration was right to try to force as much of their agenda through as they can in the beginning as he did during the first Reagan term. The logic is that political capital erodes over time, and the momentum of a successful election is key. However, as I reflect on that comment, I think he was wrong in this instance. If what you are pushing (that is a term of art) is massive spending on controversial programs at a time in the teeth of the worst recession since ’29, that may not be the right thing to do, because the momentum you encounter may be a little like paddling your surf board straight into a big wave on the north side of Oahu.

  27. Obama Shuts Email Tip List

    AUGUST 18, 2009

    WASHINGTON — The White House on Monday shut down an email account set up to collect tips from Americans on “fishy” claims about President Barack Obama’s health-care plan, as congressional Republicans raised new concerns about why some Americans received an unsolicited email from the White House last week.

    The White House shut down an email account “flag(at)whitehouse.gov” as congressional Republicans and bloggers continued to raise questions about why Obama officials were collecting negative statements made by ordinary Americans about the president’s health care plan and what the administration was planning to do with the information it gathered.

    On Monday, California Rep. Darrell Issa, the top Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, asked the White House to clarify what it plans to do with the “fishy” information collected, raising concerns about “the potentially chilling effect the White House’s request…may have on Free Speech rights.”

    A White House spokesman didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment about Mr. Issa’s letter.

    The White House’s decision to pull the plug on its email tip list came as officials there also announced changes to its email policy designed to prevent advocacy groups from signing people up for White House emails without explicit permission.

    Last week, the White House sent out a mass email from senior presidential adviser David Axelrod that sought to address concerns raised about the proposed health insurance overhaul plan. Mr. Axelrod urged recipients to forward the message to friends and family to combat similar emails sent by opponents of the health care plan. Some recipients of the emails complained about getting spammed by the White House email since they had not signed up to receive messages.

    Mr. Issa also asked the White House to provide information by Aug. 31 about how it compiled the list used to send out the mass email.


  28. wbboei Says:

    August 18th, 2009 at 11:41 am


    Do you think if obama had tried to take his time with all these changes, stimulus, bank bailouts, deficit exploding, Afghanistan, health care, etc… that they would have been more palatable to the public? Is it a case of too much too soon?

  29. Third, we must warn seniors that Obama will try to disenfranchise them politically, economically and medically. Why? Because the government is bankrupt and seniors hold most of the government IOUs. Donna Brazille channeled him when she told us the New Democratic Party is “younger, more urban, diverse and educated”. Translation: seniors and blue collar need not apply.

  30. speaking of BOTS waking up…ready for a good laugh: guess where this is coming from?

    Progressives are mad as hell about Obama’s shrug off of the public option, and some have no intention of taking it.

    Barack Obama has ignored and now insulted his progressive base for the last time, that is if he wants to continue to have any support from the activist wing of the party going forward. His domestic agenda depends on these people.

    Meanwhile, Obama is likely spinning from the mutiny, though he’s earned it. Never has a party leader gone back on so many promises also thinking that the people who brought him to the White House would just shut up and take it.


    Obama has shown more passion for Republicans and bipartisanship than he has his own Democratic caucus and activist base. The disrespect dripped from Sebelius’s mouth over the weekend, backed up by her boss, with the counter strike swift decisive.

    highlighted comments from the post where his diehard supporters gather:

    17 August 2009 at 6:11 pm
    It will not happen djjl. The spineless, pathectic excuse for a President is willing to compromise everything away. We shouldn’t be surprised. He’s done it on other issues. I find this Presidency disgusting. Anyone notice that pharmacutical stocks went up today? Hmmmmm…wonder why.

    17 August 2009 at 6:19 pm
    He promised us hope and change. Of course I always said if I wanted hope I’d go to church and I wondered what he was going to change, maybe diapers, because his message was lofty but not substantive. Now with a spineless Congress our hope and change President is proving he’s equally spineless, doesn’t know how to fight for what he believes in, if anything. If there’s no public option, if this bill comes out a hodgepodge of crap, if he screws over the American people, I’m done with him.

    Are you hearing us now, Mr. President?


    that’s right, hillfriends…all the above came from a by-chance, quick glance at TM


    also courtesy of Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy over at NQ:

    she says: “did want to touch on the Economy and what has been going on of late. As you may have heard, we have been adding $200 BILLION a MONTH to the Deficit. We are currently bumping up against the $12.1 TRILLION Debt Ceiling as established by Congress, and may do that as early as October. Needless to say, Timmy Geithner is scrambling to get that raised so we don’t default on our loans. Once again, we are raking up $200 BILLION in debt a MONTH. ”


    think about that, Hillfriends…with no job creation and continued job loses every month…and the possibility of the commercial real estate market collapsing on the horizon…oh, and the banks still facing toxic threats…

    $200 BILLION A MONTH IN DEBT to the deficit…

    ….how’s that for reality?

    …I still contend…it is all about jobs…job creation…and this admin totally ignores the biggest elephant in the room…no jobs means more foreclosures, more business closings, more real estate problems, etc, etc, etc…

    bottom line…the O admin and dims are completely tone deaf and out of touch with the struggling mainstreet…

  31. JanH Says:

    August 18th, 2009 at 11:45 am
    wbboei Says:

    August 18th, 2009 at 11:41 am


    Do you think if obama had tried to take his time with all these changes, stimulus, bank bailouts, deficit exploding, Afghanistan, health care, etc… that they would have been more palatable to the public? Is it a case of too much too soon?

    I don’t think it is a case of “too much too soon”, but more “too much badly implemented programs too soon”. If the first programs went off well, they could sell further reforms. People would be clammoring, “More good government now”.

    If Chef Hubert Keller whips up five stunningly tasty appetizers, we’ll ask for more.

    If sous chef Obama wanders in the kitchen, aimlessly, turns out food that not only is unhealthy, but tastes bad, who is going to want to try the next dish coming out of Obama’s Greasy Spoon.

    Chef Hillary is waiting to please your palate, America. Five stars!!!

  32. Jan: on health care–yes, I think incrementalism would have been the way to go. On bank bailouts, I favored an orderly liquidation approach, like the RTC. If after reviewing the evidence I concluded that some banks would need to be bailed out pro bono publico, then I would have mandated as a condition precedent that they make loans to qualified borrowers rather than hording the money and that it not be used for frivolous travel and entertainment activities which undermine public trust. On Afganistan it is another example of the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the failure to learn from history. Senior military officials no longer in uniform will tell you the same thing. Obama is wedded to the military industrial complex now, and they will determing the course of this thing. It will hit hard I am afraid.

  33. wbboei;

    Alternate translation;

    The younger urban and more diverse are entitled to everything everyone else has worked for, scrimped for, slaved for and sweat for by dint of their supposedly superior diversity. BS.

    Over my dead body. And, yes, after the last (s)election, as you know, Basil Bought a gun. D@mned if I would walk away from or surrender the little I have.

  34. S Says:

    August 18th, 2009 at 12:12 pm
    speaking of BOTS waking up…ready for a good laugh: guess where this is coming from?

    Taylor Marsh, et tu??? Didn’t these namby-pamby-ers say that Obama would be just as good as Hillary on the “issues”, but that he’d be more effective because he was post-partisan and didn’t have “all that baggage”??

    Yeah, I thought so.

    Taylor, go stand in the corner with Bob (Herbert) and Eugen (Robinson). You’ve been a very bad girl.

  35. FYI: I went to No Quarter last night through my web browser and got a Malware warning saying that there was a virus attached to something called feedzilla. I did not download, closed out the site and ran a malware scan (note: that is the optimal program–the one that found and removed 10 viruses on my computer that Norton did not even detect). My computer is clean, so it may be nothing more than a pop-up, But you may want to be aware of this, and make provision.

  36. Thanks wbboei and rgb44hrc…great analysis

    I found this as well…

    August 17, 2009

    Did Obama Try Too Much, Too Soon? Well, Duh

    Jay Cost at RealClearPolitics nailed it this morning with a compelling post making the argument that President Obama misread his political mandate and overreached with his proposed public option for health care reform. “So far, the White House has not exhibited a good understanding of exactly what is possible in this political climate. It has been acting as though the President’s election was a major change in the ideological orientation of the country,” he wrote.

    What about all the talk about the second coming of FDR? Exactly. It was just talk, according to Cost. “All the strained comparisons of Obama to Franklin Roosevelt were a tipoff that many were talking themselves into the idea that the 2008 election created an opportunity for a substantial, leftward shift in policy. Yet the election of 2008 was not like the 1932 contest. It wasn’t like 1952, 1956, 1964, 1972, 1980, 1984, or even 1988, either. Obama’s election was narrower than all of these. FDR won 42 of 48 states. Eisenhower won 39, then 41. Johnson won 44 of 50. Nixon won 49. Reagan won 44, then 49. George H.W. Bush won 40. Obama won 28, three fewer than George W. Bush in his narrow 2004 reelection.”

    You can’t argue with the numbers. And whether you accept the premise that the opposition to health care reform is a genuine grass roots movement or a ginned-up gimmick by a right-wing conspiracy no longer matters, this much now is clear: What with the administration’s Health and Human Services Secretary acknowledging that a government run health insurance option “is not an essential part” of reform -an unidentified administration official now tells Marc Ambinder that Kathleen Sebelius simply “misspoke” during a Sunday CNN interview – the door is open to that dirtiest of words for the true believers: compromise. What with Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs, Dick Durbin, Bill Clinton – and even the President himself – dropping clear hints that they were open to a deal, the get ready for the spinmeistering to go into hyperdrive.

    Of course, the President may still try and drive though a health care reform bill on his terms. Good luck with that. Nate Silver did the math and the public option is looking increasingly iffy. Might the President have had an easier time of it had he not inherited a faltering economy and a couple of wars upon taking office in mid-January? You bet.

    The bailouts and the deficit also played a part in souring the public on the need for big legislative changes. With all these different crises competing for the administration’s attention simultaneously, President Obama only recently began hitting the stump with an effective sales pitch. No such lack of concentration hampered the insurance companies, which opposed the public option with everything in their arsenal. This was Enemy No. 1 and it appears they’ve played the winning hand. (Things may still change but that’s how it looks for now.)

    One big difference between FDR’s era and the present is that – at least in the beginning – Roosevelt worked with a Congress “infused with a remarkable spirit of bipartisanship,” notes Boston College history professor, Patrick Maney, who authored The Roosevelt Presence: The Life and Legacy of FDR. Obama only wishes he had that kind of supprt from Congressional Republicans.

    Rahm Emanuel’s now-famous declaration never to let a serious crisis to go to waste, notwithstanding, President Obama may have to settle for half a loaf this time around.


  37. You know what is going on here dont you. Sure as god made little green apples bambi had a deal with the health insurance companies. Now it is coming unravelled. He needs to be seen as fighting for the public option to keep progressives in line, but that plays right into the hands of the republicans and middle america. If he drops the public option, hes screwed with the left. If he achieves it, he is screwed with the center.

    Counsel: Mr. Choate: if the market turned against you who did you intend to cheat. Your wife or your broker?

    What will you do with a drunken sailor
    Er lie in the morning

  38. Poor pooch is gonna need a puppy therapist.
    And a proctolgist.

  39. Over my dead body. And, yes, after the last (s)election, as you know, Basil Bought a gun. D@mned if I would walk away from or surrender the little I have.
    Better theirs than yours Basil. I am pleased as punch (there’s a Hubert Humphreyism for you, jeswezey) that you have made provision for what must be considered a highly uncertain future.

  40. Hillary has the guts. We needed her so much…
    Amen brother.

    For of all sad words of tongue and pen
    The saddest are these: it might have been

  41. :oops;

    Apologies, MJ. I read wbboei’ post as yours and thought you were busting my chops again.


    Wbboei – knew you’d come up with an apt alternative.

  42. wbboei Says:

    August 18th, 2009 at 12:33 pm
    You know what is going on here dont you. Sure as god made little green apples bambi had a deal with the health insurance companies. Now it is coming unravelled

    wbb…I think everyone is beginning to wake up that O is what we might call “a fair weather friend’ of ‘someone who shifts with the wind’…

    all sides begin to get the picture…that this man is loyal and truthful to no one…he has no core…no core principles…really just a ruthless dealmaker…and one whose ‘charm’ is beginning to wane and go stale…

  43. Whatever happened to that dog?

    The Kennedy gifted Obama dog was supposed to be for the girls but we never see the dog with the girls. Every one of the few times we’ve seen the dog, Michelle is attached to the other end of the leash (no jokes please). It took months to pick a dog, until Kennedy made the decision for B.O., and a few days to dump the dog.

    Is the dog on this endless vacation with them or is the dog back in D.C. with staffers who also do the gardening when the cameras are away?

    Has the dog made a break for freedom?

  44. A little long but interesting…


    Why Hillary Clinton deserves more respect

    Aug 17, 2009 by Luiza Ch. Savage

    In some ways, Hillary Rodham Clinton hasn’t changed. When the U.S. secretary of state gears up for her major diplomatic forays, she does it the same way she prepared to run for the Senate seat from New York, and for her presidential bid: with a listening tour. The former senator who used to nod earnestly and have her aides take copious notes at county fairs as farmers in upstate New York waxed on about the complexities of the local apple trade, prefaced her 11-day trip across Africa this month with a similar bout of listening. Shortly before leaving, she brought together some 15 Africa specialists from in and out of Washington to a ceremonial room on the eighth floor of the State Department headquarters. “It was extremely well organized, a very pleasant dinner in which she did most of the listening and had a number of questions,” recalled attendee Princeton Lyman, a former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria and South Africa under presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. Lyman said he was surprised by how little Clinton interrupted. “She did not moderate the meeting and that allowed her to be a real listener. She seemed to want to hear what people thought,” he told Maclean’s. “Interestingly, she is not flashy. She is very organized and substantive.”

    But that lack of flash has been a big change for a woman who only recently stood on the brink of a historic presidential nomination, and whose every move made news. The focused, nose-to-the-grindstone approach she has brought to the job after the centre-stage political rivalry with Barack Obama caught many observers off guard. Those looking for good political theatre were almost disappointed by the absence of a clash-of-titans power struggle, complete with gender politics, psychodrama and embittered aides leaking stories of backstabbing-on-high. To some, it could only mean one thing: Clinton had been muzzled. No less a student of power and celebrity than former New Yorker editor Tina Brown kicked off rounds of chatter in July, when Clinton was absent from Obama’s meetings at the Kremlin (she cancelled several trips due to a broken elbow) and seemed to be sidelined by a clutch of special presidential envoys assigned to top hot-spots like South Asia and the Middle East. “It’s time for Barack Obama to let Hillary Clinton take off her burka,” wrote Brown, in a critique that apparently got under Clinton’s skin. “I broke my elbow, not my larynx,” was Clinton’s tart retort to reporters who asked whether she was lacking a voice in the administration’s foreign policy. “I have been deeply involved in the shaping and implementation of our foreign policy,” she said, defensively. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs dismissed the discussion as “silly Washington games.”

    The same criticism of keeping a “low profile” has also been levelled at National Security Advisor Jim Jones, suggesting either that the circum-planetary star power of the President himself makes it hard for any individual underling to shine, or they are all simply too busy doing their jobs to preen.

    But complicating Clinton’s situation, of course, is her husband, the charismatic former president, who recently made headlines of his own by bringing home two American journalists imprisoned in North Korea, after a three-hour sit-down with Kim Jong Il in what was billed as a “private humanitarian mission,” on planes provided by Dow Chemical and Hollywood producer Stephen Bing, two major donors to Bill Clinton’s non-profit foundation. Hillary Clinton had encouraged her husband to take the trip after the journalists’ families let it be known that Pyongyang had said it was a condition of their release. While her State Department had laid the groundwork, the rescue was greeted as his victory. More speculation about her feeling sidelined emerged when in a question-and-answer session with university students in the Democratic Republic of Congo, she was asked what her husband thought about a trade deal with China. It later turned out the translator erred—the student was asking about President Obama’s views—but not before Clinton could snap defensively, “Wait, you want me to tell you what my husband thinks? My husband is not the secretary of state. I am. So, you ask my opinion, I will tell you my opinion. I’m not going to be channeling my husband.” The comment, and the opportunity for cable TV psychoanalysis it offered up, competed for worldwide press attention with Clinton’s efforts to highlight the atrocity of mass rapes of women and children in eastern Congo. (She visited the dangerous city of Goma, which required hitching a ride from the UN, because there was no infrastructure big enough to allow her official plane to land).

    One source of the fretting was the carving up of her portfolio into files for heavy-hitting envoys that report not to Clinton, but directly to Obama. Richard Holbrooke took on the merged file of Afghanistan-Pakistan, perceived in Washington as the single biggest threat to American national security. George Mitchell got the Middle East, another mainstay of U.S. policy. Dennis Ross, Clinton’s advisor on Iran and the Persian Gulf, was moved to the White House as a special assistant to the President. While the perception was that the secretary was sidelined from the sexiest parts of her portfolio, the truth was less stark. “If you look at who they are, they all have close ties to Hillary Clinton,” notes Hamilton. Holbrooke, for example, was the top foreign policy adviser in her campaign. Managing several envoys is a real challenge, but so far it appears to be working well. “I have seen friction in previous administrations, but I have not picked that up so far. So there seems to be a good working relationship and good communications,” said Lyman, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, who also served as assistant secretary of state for international organization affairs.

    In fact, foreign policy analysts don’t buy the assumption that something is wrong. “Is she being overshadowed? I would say she’s just being a team player. She has surprised a lot of people with her ability to be a team player and I don’t think you see any daylight between her position and that of the President,” said Daniel Hamilton, director of the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington.

    There is no question that Obama has laid out the direction and the tone on foreign policy. But it’s an approach Clinton largely shares. “If I had to put a label on the approach, it’s very pragmatic. It has not been captured by the left wing of the Democratic Party or tinged by ideological flavours. I think they’ve been looking at things pretty coolly,” said Hamilton.

    Clinton has emphasized three “D’s” in her foreign policy: defence, diplomacy and development. A key focus has been to elevate the status of development to an enhanced, if not equal level. For much of the Bush era, the Pentagon, not the State Department, had the lead role on reconstruction in Iraq, something the Obama administration believes is better left to civilians. As a former senator, Clinton could help work Congress to achieve a permanent change in the funding of reconstruction. It helps that the defense secretary, Robert Gates, is also in favour of the move.

    “Perhaps her greatest contribution potentially is to restructure the foreign affairs and defence budget allocations so that the State Department could take the lead in many of the issues associated with reconstruction and stabilization,” says Hamilton, not just in Iraq or Afghanistan, but “in all the unorthodox conflicts we have around the world.” Certainly that would provide a boost to departmental morale that had plummeted during the Bush years—a time when many posts went unfilled, diplomacy was underemphasized, and the focus was overwhelmingly on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Clinton has already endeared herself to the diplomats by splitting the job of deputy secretary in two—putting one of them in charge of management issues inside the bureaucracy that tend to get ignored when the top leadership focuses mainly on policy. “It was something that was badly needed. It has increased morale,” said Lyman.

    She has also broadened the State Department’s role to issues beyond terrorism. She inserted her department into a dialogue with China that had until recently been run by the Treasury department, in an effort to recognize the broad range of issues that now concern the two countries—from climate change policy to China’s investments in Africa and Latin America. She took the pragmatic if controversial position that lecturing the Chinese on human rights was not having the desired effect, and that broad-based engagement was the preferred course. “Successive administrations and Chinese governments have been poised back and forth on these issues, and we have to continue to press them. But our pressing on those issues can’t interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis, and the security crisis,” she told reporters in Seoul in February during her first overseas trip as secretary.

    In her travels, she has continued the “listening tours” and town hall meetings that are in part her personal style, and in part a calculated move to send the message that the unilateral days of the Bush administration are over, and America wants to engage on a host of issues of importance to the world. She auditioned her approach on that first trip in February. “My trip here today is to hear your views, because I believe strongly that we learn from listening to one another,” Clinton told students at Tokyo University in February. “And that is, for me, part of what this first trip of mine as secretary of state is about.”

    On a visit to Asia, she attended regional meetings that included the Burmese foreign minister, sending the signal that she is willing to talk to regimes with which the U.S. disagrees. Occasionally, her diplomacy with those regimes has devolved into name calling. After she compared the North Korean regime to unruly teenagers demanding attention, Kim Jong Il said of her, “Sometimes she looks like a primary schoolgirl and sometimes a pensioner going shopping.”

    Her recent trip to Africa has been one of her most ambitious efforts. It allowed her to pursue longstanding personal interests, such as development, maternal and infant health, and violence against women, as well as Obama’s broader goal of lifting Africa to the centre of U.S. foreign policy. In a way the trip was a case study in Clinton-Obama teamwork—a combination of his celebrity power and her grit. Obama himself arrived for a brief visit with his family in July, gave a sweeping speech and visited a slave outpost. He chose his destination, Ghana, carefully, to highlight the west African country as a model of democracy on the continent. He notably avoided his father’s ancestral land of Kenya, which is beset by corruption. This month, Clinton followed up with a wide-ranging trip to build alliances with important countries such as South Africa, Angola, and Nigeria, and to press for change in the most troubled spots, from eastern Congo to Kenya. “Obama’s trip was a very short one and set as a first pillar of the new administration’s policy of the issue of governance and responsible leadership,” said Jennifer Cooke, director of the Africa program at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, a think tank in Washington. “Hers is a much more arduous trip. It’s not an easy, good-news trip. She’s going to the big, tough problematic places, all of which are extremely complicated and require sustained diplomatic attention.” “I think it went quite well,” Cooke added, in an interview from Kenya. “The headline on the day of her visit was ‘Prime Minister Odinga says don’t lecture us about politics.’ But many people realize that the Kenyan leadership does need to be cajoled and lectured to in ways. On a popular level people were excited to have her here,” she said.

    Of course, on the big foreign policy questions facing this administration, it is still too early to judge. Will North Korea extend its nuclear reach to the U.S.? Will Iran make progress toward acquiring a nuclear weapon? Will there be progress or regression in Middle East or in Afghanistan? There are many obstacles to overcome both internationally and domestically. Clinton has expressed frustration, for example, that there is still no confirmed appointee to lead USAID, the main development agency. There is also a longstanding effort to move it from within State to a separate agency.

    But so far there is no question that Clinton has made her peace with her new role and with the results of the hard-fought election. At the same session in Congo where the husband question touched a nerve, she showed she can answer tough questions with diplomacy—and gave perhaps a little insight into her thinking. A young man cheekily asked Clinton if he, a Congolese student, would be assassinated if he became president of Congo and followed a course independent of the West. He was referring to the CIA’s role in the 1961 assassination of Patrice Lumumba, Congo’s first democratically elected prime minister. “I can’t excuse this past and I won’t try,” said Clinton, who acknowledged Congo’s “history of colonialism and abuse.” Then she posed a question to the student that may apply equally to Congo and to herself: “Will I be dragged down by the past, or will I decide to do something to have a better future?”


  45. I think the dog tied his belongings to a stick and set off to join the circus/run away from his idiot owners.

  46. Apropos of Herbert, Rich, and that laughing hyena Robinson
    Second, we must focus on the Rezko-type deals he made during the course of his career which were by definition detrimental to his constituents. His sell-out to the drug companies is par for the course. For progressives this is a nightmare in red. When they backed Obama over Hillary they believed he was one of them. They now know that isn’t true. The smart ones are looking for an honorable way out. The dumb ones are struggling to believe him rather than their lying eyes.

  47. The Kennedy gifted Obama dog was supposed to be for the girls but we never see the dog with the girls. Every one of the few times we’ve seen the dog, Michelle is attached to the other end of the leash (no jokes please). It took months to pick a dog, until Kennedy made the decision for B.O., and a few days to dump the dog.
    Oh please, just one. Its like the old 1950’s joke about the man who goes into a bar with a parrot on his shoulder. The bartender asks him what can I do for you? The parrot replies you can get this idiot off my feet.

  48. admin Says:

    August 18th, 2009 at 1:15 pm
    Whatever happened to that dog?

    Or did the dog leave them?

    Smart doggie.

  49. macleans.ca/2009/08/17/why-hillary-clinton-deserves-more-respect/
    Jan–I am highly suspicious of this writer. savage. she is an obamaite.

  50. The title alone conveys a sense of bambi in charge and damning hillary with faint praise. It isnt a question of deserving more respect. The problem is clinton derangement syndrome prevalent in big media. Not Recognzing her world class leadership is the issue.

  51. This is why industry associations should not be located in Washington. They tell themselves it is the right thing to do because it will give them greater access to congress and the white house. But eventually, they become fixtures in the Washington establishment, more interested in cultivating power than pursuing principle. NOW and NARL are two cases in point. It is why the New York chapter of NOW is excellent and the national organization only cares about beating republicans. They lose site of their members.

    AARP, Losing Members Over Health Care, Faces Challenge From Grassroots Senior Advocacy Group
    The Atlanta-based American Seniors Association (ASA), which is opposed to President Obama’s health care plan, is trying to capitalize on growing public dissatisfaction with the AARP.


    Tuesday, August 18, 2009

    The Atlanta-based American Seniors Association (ASA), which is opposed to President Obama’s health care plan, is trying to capitalize on growing public dissatisfaction with the AARP.

    About 60,000 seniors have quit AARP since July 1 due to the group’s support for health care reform, a spokesman for the organization said this week.

    AARP is running ads to support a health care overhaul and hosted Obama at an online forum recently to promote his agenda to AARP members. But the group has not endorsed a specific bill and says it won’t support a plan that reduces Medicare benefits.

    Spokesman Drew Nannis told The Associated Press it wasn’t unusual for the powerful, 40 million-strong senior citizens’ lobby to shed members in droves when advocating for a controversial issue.

    Nannis said the group loses some 300,000 members a month but he couldn’t say how many more members had quit for other reasons in that time period. He said AARP gained some 400,000 new members during the same period and that 1.5 million members renewed their membership.

    But ASA is swooping in to pick up the disaffected seniors.

    The group is offering any senior that sends in a torn AARP card a special deal that provides them with a two-year membership for the price of one year.

    Founded in 2005 as the National Association of Senior Concerns by retired business executive Jerry Barton, a longtime supporter of conservative values and causes, the group later changed its name to the American Seniors Association.

    ASA advocates reform of Medicare, Social Security and the tax code. The group also goes outside of traditional issues that affect seniors by opposing illegal immigration.

    Among the variety of services the group offers are prescription discounts, mortgage loans, travel agency and insurance products through a partnership with Liberty Mutual.

    Actor Peter Marshall, former host of Hollywood Squares, is the group’s honorary chairman.

    ASA did not immediately respond to an e-mail request by FOXNews.com for comment. The group said in a voice mail message and on its Web site that due to recent media coverage its phones lines are full and it is experiencing a high volume of e-mail.

    On its Web site, the group blasts Obama’s health care plan.

    “President Obama must think the American people are idiots if he thinks the health care rationing, restrictions and regulations being debated in Congress will save money and result in better preventative medicine,” Stuart Barton, president of the organization, said in a statement.

    “The president told the AARP meeting that opponents are ‘making people scared.’ Well, they ought to be scared at current proposals,” he said, citing congressional analysts’ estimates that the plan will cost up to $1.8 trillion over 10 years. “That’s absurd in a recession, let alone good times.”

    In an opinion article published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Monday, Barton wrote that his group opposes the plan because “a government-run plan would limit patient-doctor choice,” “an employer mandate would kill jobs and lower wages,” and paying for the cost with new taxes and Medicare cuts “attacks baby boomers and seniors.”

    Many seniors are concerned or fearful that Obama’s plan to cut $313 billion dollars to Medicare over 10 years to pay for reform will adversely affect them. But Obama says he wants to eliminate the waste and inefficiencies from the system.

    Recent polling by FOX News shows seniors, many of whom are on Medicare, don’t want a major overhaul — 93 percent rate their current coverage as good or excellent, and 56 percent say they oppose the creation of a government-run option for all Americans.

    As the health care debate intensifies, some seniors have started protesting AARP. At a forum in Dallas earlier this month, AARP officials walked out after several seniors interrupted the meeting with critical questions and comments.

    The AARP has tried to distance itself from Obama after the president declared at town hall in Portsmouth, N.H., that the group is supporting his plan “because they know this is a good deal for our seniors.”

    The AARP said Obama’s statements were “inaccurate,” explaining that it hasn’t endorsed any plan or bill. The group admits, however, that it supports some provisions in the legislation.

    Barton said in Monday’s opinion article that he’s not surprised that a number of seniors are growing disgusted with AARP.

    “They see that the AARP has betrayed its membership in order to support ‘reform’ for White House ‘favors’ in return,” he wrote.

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  52. wbboei,

    I recognize that some of the statements in the article were patronizing, but I thought over all it had some interesting points.

  53. Speaking of dogs, did you see our classy first lady getting off the helicopter looking like a street vagrant….without makeup and wigs, she is about as ugly as Oprah.

  54. Whose medical decisions?

    Thomas Sowell – Syndicated Columnist – 8/18/2009

    The serious, and sometimes chilling, provisions of the medical care legislation that President Obama has been trying to rush through Congress are important enough for all of us to stop and think, even though his political strategy from the outset has been to prevent us from having time to stop and think about it.

    What we also should stop to think about is the mindset behind this legislation, which is very consistent with the mindset behind other policies of this administration, whether the particular issue is bailing out General Motors, telling banks who to lend to, or appointing “czars” to tell all sorts of people in many walks of life what they can and cannot do.

    The idea that government officials can play God from Washington is not a new idea, but it is an idea that is being pushed with new audacity.

    What they are trying to do is to create an America very unlike the America that has existed for centuries — the America that people have been attracted to by the millions from every part of the world, the America that many generations of Americans have fought and died for.

    This is the America for which Michelle Obama expressed her resentment before it became politically expedient to keep quiet.

    It is the America that Reverend Jeremiah Wright denounced in his sermons during the 20 years when Barack Obama was a parishioner, before political expediency required Obama to withdraw and distance himself.

    The thing most associated with America — freedom — is precisely what must be destroyed if this is to be turned into a fundamentally different country to suit Obama’s vision of the country and of himself. But do not expect a savvy politician like Barack Obama to express what he is doing in terms of limiting our freedom. He may not even think of it in those terms. He may think of it in terms of promoting “social justice” or making better decisions than ordinary people are capable of making for themselves, whether about medical care or housing or many other things. Throughout history, egalitarians have been among the most arrogant people.

    Obama has surrounded himself with people who also think it is their job to make other people’s decisions for them. Not just Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, his healthcare advisor who complains of Americans’ “over-utilization” of medical care, but also Professor Cass Sunstein, who has written a whole book on how third parties should use government power to “nudge” people into making better decisions in general.

    Then there is a whole array of Obama administration officials who take it as their job to pick winners and losers in the economy and tell companies how much they can and cannot pay their executives. Just as magicians know that the secret of some of their tricks is to distract the audience, so politicians know that the secret of many political tricks is to distract the public with scapegoats.

    No one is more of a political magician than Barack Obama. At the beginning of 2008, no one expected a shrewd and experienced politician like Hillary Clinton to be beaten for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States by someone completely new to the national political scene. But Obama worked his political magic, with the help of the media, which he still has.

    Barack Obama’s escapes from his own past words, deeds, and associations have been escapes worthy of Houdini. Like other magicians, Obama has chosen his distractions well. The insurance industry is currently his favorite distraction as scapegoats, after he has tried to demonize doctors without much success.

    Saints are no more common in the insurance industry than in politics or even among paragons of virtue like economists. So there will always be horror stories, even if these are less numerous or less horrible than what is likely to happen if Obamacare gets passed into law. Obama even gets away with saying things like having a system to “keep insurance companies honest” — and many people may not see the painful irony in politicians trying to keep other people honest. Certainly most of the media are unlikely to point out this irony.


  55. Dear Reader

    Have you ever wondered what happened to our country? First the Bush Debacle. Then the economy. Now The Joker. And again the economy?

    I have spent the past two years on the campaign trail and the internet trying to come up with a satisfactory explanation for all this and connect the dots.

    The questions that interest me are the ones that our benighted pundit class never bothers to ask:

    1. Who Is The Man Behind The Mask?

    2. What Is The Chicago Machine?

    3. Who Is Pulling His Strings?

    4. Why Is Big Media His Lap Dog?

    5. Why Do They Destroy His Opponents?

    6. How Does He Play The Race Card?

    7. What Is The Real Game Here?

    I am an independent voter. I hold both political parties in contempt. This allows me to approach the subject matter with a certain degree of detachment.

    I have written a paper entitled “Deconstructing Obama” (attached). It provides a perspective on “The Great Obama” which you will find nowhere else.

    I will prove to you that Mr. Obama is not at all the reform minded leader he pretends to be but a big business shill controlled by predatory capitalists.

    I will show you how many people were seduced into believing he is something he is not and were led like lambs to the slaughter. Too soon old. Too late smart.

    I will tell you why Big Media portrays a man who is a gaff prone, glad handling politico as a cool, detached and Zen-like deity, and savages his opponents.

    I will explain what I think is going on with this Administration based on hard evidence, political insight and the law of probability. It is worse than Bush III.

    If you read this paper then you can decide for yourself whether my conclusions are valid. And if perchance you have questions of your own about this next addition to Mount Rushmore, then this may help answer them.



  56. “3. Who Is Pulling His Strings? ”



    what I would give to know that answer especially.

  57. Today is a watershed for the BO hopium addicts.

    Phantom of the Health Care Soap Opera
    By Marie Cocco

    an excerpt;

    “Thus far, the Obama White House has stood firmest behind its own agreements — reached in secret, without public hearings or congressional input — with lobbyists for the drug industry and hospital groups who have promised to deliver cost-savings at some unspecified time in the future. It even has backed the drug industry’s insistence that Democrats be prevented from writing legislation that would allow the government to negotiate discount prices, a congressional goal since the Medicare prescription drug benefit program emerged from Capitol Hill as a slush fund for industry profits.

    The phantom Obama health care plan eventually will take form, no doubt with a lofty title and some gesture to the ailing Sen. Ted Kennedy. Those who have hoped for more substance than sentiment are likely to be disappointed.”


    By Labor Day, even huffinpuff will begin to turn…

    What will all of the smug talking heads who smirked every time they mouthed the words “Hillary-care” say when this “reform” goes down in flames the way Bush’s “Social Security reform” in 2005 did?


    Last year, members of NOW and NARAL quit to protest those organizations servitude in supporting Obama. Many of these people were key, involved, long-term supporters.

    Last year, the Democratic Party leadership also thumbed their noses at the “old”, the “bitter”, the “rural”, successfully driving them away from under the tent. Hmmmm, I wonder what web site might embody THOSE INDIVIDUALS??

    And now angry old people are tearing up their AARP cards to protest yet another organization subjugating itself to the Obama power circle.

    Lesson? You better negotiate a really sweet deal with Obama and his handlers, to make up for all that you’ll lose when your membership revolts.

  59. Dean does it again.

    He says Repubs want to kill POTUS.
    ‘HOWARD DEAN: At the end of the day, I think we will (have a public option0. First of all, the president is a very smart guy and he knows very well this can’t work without a public option. Secondly, you know he’s run into a rough patch in the Senate, mostly because of Democrats, honestly.

    The Republicans, they have no interest in this Bill. They’re using the 1994 playbook. Let’s kill the bill and kill the president…… or, kill the president’s term. Although there are sort of angry people out there I get very nervous about this stuff. I don’t like it at all.

  60. rgb44hrc,

    And now AARP is backtracking big time and saying they didn’t make a deal with bambi to support him. How the mighty have fallen.


    Two roads diverged into a political debate
    And sorry I could not please both sides
    And be true to myself, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it looked like a lot of grief and pain;

    Then took the other, seemingly a lot easier,
    And having perhaps the better claim,
    Because it looked like I could get away with not taking a stand;
    Though as for that the passing there,
    I should have known that this too would be highly unpleasant.

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
    I doubted if I should ever come back.

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    when I find out my head won’t be up on Mt. Rushmore:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and
    I took the path of seeminly less resistance,
    And I could have made a difference !

  62. JanH Says:

    August 18th, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    And now AARP is backtracking big time and saying they didn’t make a deal with bambi to support him. How the mighty have fallen.

    They are weasling, just like Obama. They weasle together.

  63. They didn’t. They allowed him to present his plan to an audience of their members, which they do all the time, without endorsing. Then he went around saying they supported his plan. They told the press, no we don’t. But by that point, Obama had been to several town halls saying they did.

  64. I met Thomas Sowell at a Hillsdale College event years ago. I had read a number of his books–Knowledge and Decisions, The Vision of the Annointed, etc. It was like Keat’s Poem On First Looking into Chapmans Homer, and I told him so. I was pretty drunk at the time, but as I dimly recall he got a big kick out of it. So here goes:

    Much have I travelled in the realms of gold,
    And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
    Round many western islands have I been
    Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
    Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
    That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne:
    Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
    Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
    Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
    When a new planet swims into his ken;
    Or like stout Cortez, when with eagle eyes
    He stared at the Pacific – and all his men
    Looked at each other with a wild surmise –
    Silent, upon a peak in Darien.


    Obama’s analogy should have been intended to let voters know that government-run agencies can do things capably.

    But he Freudian slipped this, and instead, let us know that for him, it is more important to assuage the feelings of medical and pharmaceutical and health insurance industries.


    Obama Goes Postal, Lands in Dead-Letter Office

    by Caroline Baum

    Aug. 18 (Bloomberg) — “UPS and FedEx are doing just fine. It’s the Post Office that’s always having problems.” — Barack Obama, Aug. 11, 2009

    No institution has been the butt of more government- inefficiency jokes than the U.S. Postal Service. Maybe the Department of Motor Vehicles.

    The only way the post office can stay in business is its government subsidy. The USPS lost $2.4 billion in the quarter ended in June and projects a net loss of $7 billion in fiscal 2009, outstanding debt of more than $10 billion and a cash shortfall of $1 billion. It was moved to intensive care — the Government Accountability Office’s list of “high risk” cases – – last month and told to shape up. (It must be the only entity that hasn’t cashed in on TARP!)

    That didn’t stop President Barack Obama from holding up the post office as an example at a town hall meeting in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, last week.

    When Obama compared the post office to UPS and FedEx, he was clearly hoping to assuage voter concerns about a public health-care option undercutting and eliminating private insurance.

    What he did instead was conjure up visions of long lines and interminable waits. Why do we need or want a health-care system that works like the post office?

    What’s more, if the USPS is struggling to compete with private companies, as Obama implied, why introduce a government health-care option that would operate at the same disadvantage?

    Obama Unscripted

    These are just two of the questions someone listening to the president’s health-insurance reform roadshow might want to ask.

    Impromptu Obamanomics is getting scarier by the day. For all the president’s touted intelligence, his un-teleprompted comments reveal a basic misunderstanding of capitalist principles.

    For example, asked at the Portsmouth town hall how private insurance companies can compete with the government, the president said the following:

    “If the private insurance companies are providing a good bargain, and if the public option has to be self-sustaining — meaning taxpayers aren’t subsidizing it, but it has to run on charging premiums and providing good services and a good network of doctors, just like any other private insurer would do — then I think private insurers should be able to compete.”

    Self-sustaining? The public option? What has Obama been doing during those daily 40-minute economic briefings coordinated by uber-economic-adviser, Larry Summers?

    Capitalism Explained

    Government programs aren’t self-sustaining by definition. They’re subsidized by the taxpayer. If they were self-financed, we’d be off the hook.

    Llewellyn Rockwell Jr., chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, and editor of LewRockwell.com, put it this way in an Aug. 13 commentary on Mises.org:

    “The only reason for a government service is precisely to provide financial support for an operation that is otherwise unsustainable, or else there would be no point in the government’s involvement at all.”

    Rockwell sees no “economic reason for a government postal system” and would abolish it.

    Of course, there’s the small matter of the U.S. Constitution. Article 1, Section 8, grants Congress the power “to establish Post Offices and Post Roads.” A series of subsequent statutes gave the USPS a monopoly in the delivery of first-class mail. Congress thought that without such protection, private carriers would cherry-pick the high-profit routes and leave money-losing deliveries in remote areas to the post office. (In those days, the USPS covered most of its expenses with revenue.)

    Less Bad Option

    It was only through exemptions in the law that private carriers, such as UPS and FedEx, were allowed to compete in the delivery of overnight mail.

    Short of a constitutional amendment or a waiver from Congress, we are stuck with the USPS.

    But back to our storyline. Everyone makes a mistake or flubs a line when asked questions on the spot, including the president of the United States. We can overlook run-on sentences, subject and verb tense disagreement, even a memory lapse when it comes to facts and figures.

    The proliferation of Obama’s gaffes and non sequiturs on health care has exceeded the allowable limit. He has failed repeatedly to explain how the government will provide more (health care) for less (money). He has failed to explain why increased demand for medical services without a concomitant increase in supply won’t lead to rationing by government bureaucrats as opposed to the market. And he has failed to explain why a Medicare-like model is desirable when Medicare itself is going broke.

    The public is left with one of two unsettling conclusions: Either the president doesn’t understand the health-insurance reform plans working their way through Congress, or he understands both the plans and the implications and is being untruthful about the impact.

    Neither option is good; ignorance is clearly preferable to the alternative.

  66. 1. Headline: HillaryDrinking the Kool-Aid: Failing to lead, Hillary follows the President in placating the world
    Sunday, August 16th 2009, 4:00 AM

    2. The Proof: she was asked about the 2007 Nigerian elections which were fraudulent. To which she said this: “In 2000, our presidential election came down to one state where the brother of the man running for President was the governor of the state. So we have problems.”

    3. Conclusion: this is not drawing a false dangerous moral equivalency or dissing the United States. It is merely stating a fact. The better remedy would have been a revote.

    4. Motive: the author is Michael Goodwin. He hates Hillary and so does his boss Zuckerman. They twist the facts to make her look bad. Why those two hate her I cannot say.


    if hillary can call the 2000 election a big problem, she had better start SINGING about the 2008 fraudulant democratic primaries!!!!!!!

    Sorry Hillary ….you cannot have it both ways……!!!!!!

  68. re.clintonfoundation.org/SSLPage.aspx?pid=3712

    (put in w’s) you can send President Bill Clinton a personalized birthday card at his foundation…tomorrow is his birthday…

  69. From the silly grasping at straws huffinpuff
    Obama Reaches Out To Supporters With “Live Strategy Meeting”

    here’s the email to his obamanation

    President Obama is holding a live strategy meeting on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time for all Organizing for America supporters. I hope you can join us, online or by phone.

    The President will update us on the fight to pass real health insurance reform — what’s happening in D.C. and what’s happening around the country. He’ll lay out our strategy and message going forward and answer questions from supporters like you. And we’ll unveil the next actions we’ll organize together.

    This is a critical time in this President’s administration, and in the history of our country. I hope you can join us.

    Here are the details:

    What: Organizing for America National Health Care Forum

    When: Thursday, August 20th, 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time

    RSVP and submit a question for the President.

    The President wrote to us a few weeks ago to ask us to go the extra mile this month in the fight for health insurance reform. And so far, you’ve stepped up in a big way: Last week, an astounding 60,000 Organizing for America volunteers stopped by representatives’ and senators’ local offices. You told your health care stories to staffers and members of Congress — of losing insurance after getting laid off, of being denied coverage upon finding out about a serious illness. And you thanked those supporting real health insurance reform for all the work they’ve done so far.

    But these local office visits were only part of the story. The D.C. media has been trumpeting coverage of town halls disrupted by angry opposition to reform. But the reality on the ground is very different. Organizing for America supporters are showing up in huge numbers at these meetings all across the country — outnumbering opponents of reform, often by overwhelming margins.

    You’ve organized 11,906 local events in all 50 states — from press conferences to community discussions — since we launched our big campaign for reform in June. And you’ve made hundreds of thousands of calls to Congress.

    Your work so far has been incredible. But the special interests and partisan attack groups who oppose reform will not let up, and they will tell whatever lies they can to spread fear. There’s a lot more work for all of us to do. This Thursday’s meeting is our chance to huddle as a team, get the latest information and talk about how we’re going to achieve this victory. You don’t want to miss it.

    Click here to RSVP and submit a question for President Obama:


    Hope you can make it,

    David Plouffe

    Even more hysterical…

    “Reform Supporters Outnumber Critics At Town Halls”…based on…

    “In Phoenix, Arizona, “Pro-Obama demonstrators APPEARED to outnumber the anti-Obama ones” that might be grasping at “straw”

    They are about to be betrayed and when they realize what has happened the scales will fall from their eyes and they will wail to the heavens…

  70. another full throated Obot bites the dust…crash reality landing (disregard his comment re: Bill, Oped ed news are Clinton haters and Obama diehards)


    Clinton, by posing as a progressive, confused and undermined, and ultimately betrayed the liberal/progressive wing of the party, shattering what was left of the New Deal coalition and leaving the American left adrift and riven by the conflict between those who thought the Democratic Party was the only viable vehicle for progressive reform and those who thought it was hopelessly in the grip of corporate interests. (yeah, right, you misquided fool – S insert, ok read on…)

    Barack Obama offers the hope of bringing that era of debilitating confusion to an end.

    Not because he is the Great Black Hope of progressives, but because he has taken the concept of selling out to corporate interests and compromising with Republicans to such remarkable heights that progressives hopefully can no longer be confused about the irretrievably corrupted nature of the Democratic Party.

    On virtually every issue of importance, President Obama has sided with corporate interests and the wealthy.

    On the issue of war and peace, he has sided with the military-industrial complex, with a policy of permanent occupation of Iraq and endless war in Afghanistan, as well as continued funding of the country’s colossal armory of death, from strategic missiles and submarines to aircraft-carrier-group armadas to high-tech fighter squadrons and space weaponry.

    On civil liberties, he has sided with the police state, supporting continuation of the Bush/Cheney administration’s insidious National Security Agency spying program, defended military spying within the US, and refused to prosecute obvious abuses by the prior administration.

    On torture, the Obama administration is continuing the imprisonment and torture of captives in Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world at Bagram Air Base and, probably, at other secret sites, and instead of closing Guantanamo as promised, is looking into transferring that hellhole of torture and abuse to one or several sites in the mainland US.

    Health care reform has become a sad joke, with the emerging “reform” bill looking for all the world like the Rube Goldberg creation of the Clinton era that properly went down in flames. Instead of taking on the insurance industry, the hospital companies and the pharmaceutical industry and other parts of the profit-making medical-industrial complex, Obama cut deals with all of them behind closed doors, assuring that their profits would be left untouched, and that they could essentially write their own “reform” bill through the offices of bought-and-paid members of Congress like Senator Max Baucus. Obama and his congressional allies carefully kept any discussion of the single-payer idea””essentially Medicare for all, and the approach that even Obama himself admits would be cheaper and more universal””out of sight and off the table.

    Climate change action, too, has been sold out, with Obama adopting the approach favored by the energy industry”””cap and trade.” That concept is a gold mine for Wall Street trading firms, which will be doing trades next in pollution credits instead of subprime mortgages, and for energy companies which will get free credits to sell, courtesy of the taxpayer. And because it’s a system so easy to game, it will do nothing or next to nothing to reduce greenhouse gases.

    Finally, there’s economy and banking reform. Here Obama didn’t even make a pretense of taking a progressive approach. There is a stimulus program, but half of it was in the form of tax cuts””token for the poor and middle class and significant for the rich and for businesses, and half in the form of federal grants, often for unneeded projects like roads and road repair which go to some of the higher paid members of the working class, leaving the poor and the ununionized with no job help. Meanwhile, bankers were the recipients of trillions of dollars in bailout assistance, while nothing was done to break up the huge mega-bank holding companies that brought on the financial and economic crisis in the first place. Instead of picking economic advisers and bank regulators from the many talented system critics like Nobelists Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman, Obama picked veterans of the Bush/Cheney administration, and Wall Street shills like Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner.

    Last fall, I and many progressives urged voters to elect Obama, not because we thought he was a progressive, but because we hoped that his background””community organizer, raised by a single mother, experience living in a third world country (Indonesia), multi-racial””would lead him to make at least some right decisions. We, or certainly I, hoped too that the energized young and working class electorate that came out for him in the fall would continue to press him aggressively to do the right thing on war, environment, civil liberties and the economy.

    I was wrong on the first count: Obama has been a corporatist through and through on all the major issues that matter. And I was wrong on the second. Most of the left in the US, from the labor movement to the environmentalist movement to the anti-war movement, has to date remained glumly quiescent as Obama has sold them out on each of their key issues.

    But here is the silver lining: The sell-out this time is so much more blatant, and so much more serious, than it was with Clinton, and for all the talk about Obama’s ability to string words together, he is so much less of a charismatic figure than the gregarious Bill Clinton, that he is unlikely to hang on to the ardent support that propelled him to his victory last November. The disappointment and sense of betrayal among progressives this time is palpable, especially because, while Clinton, by 1994, had the excuse that he was working with a Republican, or partially Republican Congress, Obama has solid control of both houses, but refuses to use it. If, as I expect, the recession continues to deepen, with more and more people losing jobs and homes, if, as I predict, health care continues to be unaffordable and inaccessible, if, as I know will happen, evidence of deadly climate change continues to pile up, and if, as I am equally certain, Iraq explodes and the war in Afghanistan continue to worsen, the left is going to see Obama and the Democrats in Congress as the failures and corrupt frauds they are, and will abandon them.

    That leaves the question of what to do, and where those frustrated progressives will turn.

    I don’t claim to have the answer to that. Clearly the labor movement needs to recognize that hitching its fortunes to the Democratic Party has been and will continue to be a dismal failure. It needs to pull all its political money back and only support those who are 100% allies in the struggle for the rights of workers. No money for the party as a whole. It should also go back to the pioneering work of people like the late Tony Mazzocchi of the Oil and Chemical and Atomic Workers Union, who before his death was tirelessly working to establish an American labor party.

    read the rest for yourself on opednews
    Lindorff gets one thing right about Bill Clinton…

    and for all the talk about Obama’s ability to string words together, he is so much less of a charismatic figure than the gregarious Bill Clinton, that he is unlikely to hang on to the ardent support that propelled him to his victory last November. The disappointment and sense of betrayal among progressives this time is palpable, especially because, while Clinton, by 1994, had the excuse that he was working with a Republican, or partially Republican Congress, Obama has solid control of both houses, but refuses to use it.

    (not to mention the change of the times and the tone from the early 90’s to the 21st century)

    finally…We know President Bill Clinton, Obama is no Bill Clinton…no matter how he hard he tries to duplicate his presidency by using his staff and stealing his best riffs…

  71. Reducing the opposition to “…the special interests and partisan attack groups who oppose reform will not let up, and they will tell whatever lies they can to spread fear.”

    is exactly the recipe for division and disaster one would now expect from the incredible shrinking president, as he shrinks his base of support to the remaining core of hopium addled true believers who will be the last to be thrown under the bus…and will be the angriest in 2012…

  72. Mrs. Smith Says:
    August 19th, 2009 at 12:36 am

    rgb44hrc Says:
    August 18th, 2009 at 9:46 am


    Thank you for posting an insightful commentary on Obama’s actions regarding his back door deal with the drug companies.

    When the man himself doesn’ have the guts to stand up to his handlers and become the president he thinks he is… is a sad epitaph for America and sadder still for the people who voted for him thinking they were voting for something unique, a man with a vision having the intestinal fortitude to make it reality.

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