Category: Obama

You can’t stop President Obama from reaching out to Republicans; it’s what he does. In Thursday night’s speech, he tried two separate maneuvers—reminding them of their support for stimulus measures in the past and accepting the good faith of their opposition. “Now, I realize that some of you have a different theory on how to grow the economy,” he said. “Some of you sincerely believe that the only solution to our economic challenges is to simply cut most government spending and eliminate most government regulations.”


GOP and Obama’s jobs plan: Do Republicans oppose the president’s economic policies for ideological reasons or political ones? – By Jacob Weisberg – Slate Magazine.


Hamsher calls S&P a “kingmaker” and this isn’t an exaggeration given the effect their actions are having. Either way, they will shoot the economy in the head. Either the negotiators come up with package that suits their demands, which will lead to steep enough cuts that the economy will weaken in 2012, making an Obama loss highly probable.


EconoMonitor : EconoMonitor » Has S&P Become Our Rupert Murdoch?.

President Obama: Go ‘big’ on debt deal –

Yes, the rest of the world is watching this embarrassing debt ceiling nonsense, and it is growing dismayed. 

Der Spiegel has a roundup of commentary in German newspapers about the fight, and the universal message is this:

The US is holding the entire world hostage, and it’s the Republicans that are playing with fire.

Read more:



IT’S OFFICIAL: The Whole World Thinks Republicans Are Dangerous Maniacs Threatening Everyone.

The president noted in his address that the Justice Department had formed a task force to look into potential market manipulation or excessive speculation in oil, and he repeated his call for a repeal of the $4 billion a year in tax incentives the oil industry receives.

Obama Shifts to Speed Oil and Gas Drilling in U.S. –

The final argument the “border security first” crowd raises is that President Obama’s Department of Homeland Security demonstrates a lack of commitment to immigration and border enforcement that undermines public confidence in any changes to immigration law. The numbers tell a different story.

The “Border Security First” Argument: A Red Herring Undermining Real Security.

For the first time in recorded history, a sitting president of the United States found it necessary to produce his original birth certificate for public inspection. Not once, in 235 years, have we ever demanded proof that our president was born on American soil.

Why Obama shouldn’t have had to ‘show his papers’.

President Obama’s ‘Long-Form’ Birth Certificate – Document –

In fact, most Americans have no idea that Barack Obama has lowered taxes. According to a 2010 CBS News/New York Times Poll, only 12% of Americans knew that Obama has lowered taxes. 53% thought that he kept taxes the same, and 24% believed that Obama has raised taxes.

Not surprisingly, only 2% of Tea Party supporters knew that Obama had lowered taxes. 44% of them thought that the President has raised their taxes.

The right believes this because they got the idea from Fox News and talk radio. Four days ago, Fox ran a story claiming that Obama is going to raise taxes. The tax increase boogeyman is a favorite of the right, because it is easy to put out there and it motivates their base every time.

Barack Obama Is Now The Biggest Tax Cutter In American History.

Put simply, Republicans are conducting a radical attack on the Democratic Party, aimed at the roots of Democratic power and sustenance. The battle is occurring in Washington and around the country, and even if the right doesn’t succeed completely, the fight will almost certainly leave Democrats weakened and defensive.

Look at the targets conservatives have taken aim at in the last couple of years: access to the ballot box, unions, organizations representing the poor, organizations protecting reproductive rights, and more. The assault is not just on ideas or policies (though there’s plenty of that, too) but on the institutions that undergird the Democratic Party and the progressive movement.

Crushing the Democrats’ Base.

Joe Klein –a way to dramatize the complicated issues at the heart of regulatory reform. The President should appoint Warren. The Senate should be forced to vote on her, so the public will know who really wants to clean up Wall Street and who doesn’t.

Reality Check: Who’s Afraid of Reforming Wall Street? – TIME.

“The president has made it a priority to reform government and make it more effective and efficient for the American people, which is why his budget reflects a commitment to streamlining government and saving taxpayer dollars,” White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage said in response to the report.

Upon taking office, Obama quickly appointed a chief performance officer, a new position meant to tackle government organizational issues.

Federal Eye – Government overlap costs taxpayers billions, GAO reports.

Let’s be clear what is going on. Only three of the top 10 spenders in the most recent elections were unions. Among the others were organizations representing business interests, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and individual corporations themselves. Both corporations and unions were unleashed by the Citizens United decision.

If unions can be broken in the public sector, this will further tilt the political playing field on behalf of corporate interests and their Republican allies. This will also silence one of the few remaining vehicles that advocate on behalf of ordinary people in this country.

No unions: Government by the rich, for the rich –

White House White Board: OMB Director Jack Lew on the President’s Budget | The White House.

Making fake history every day
You can’t expect a culture that conveniently fabricates history to restrict that practice to the distant past. So it’s not surprising to see conservative opinion leaders arguing, contra history, that Nazism is a liberal ideology (Extra!, 3/10) or that government spending made the Great Depression worse.

Nor is it surprising to see such commentators ignoring facts to distort current events. Witness the trend among conservatives who dismiss global warming science, fantasize imaginary “death panels” in healthcare legislation, or declare Barack Obama to be a Kenyan, a Muslim or maybe even the Antichrist (CNN, 8/15/08).

Indeed, the ascendance of a black, Democratic president seems to have sent irrational conservative tendencies into overdrive. Commentators Rush Limbaugh (10/23/09) and Michael Ledeen (Pajamas Media, 10/21/09) heatedly pointed to a socialist thesis they said was written by Barack Obama while a student at Columbia University. Like one of the the fake Lincoln or Jefferson quotes, the thesis was a hoax (St. Petersburg Times, 10/26/09), but it met the contemporary conservative standard: If  it makes your point, run with it.

Putting the Founders to Work
When widely syndicated columnist Cal Thomas posted a commentary on his website (1/15/09) opposing federal bailouts, he cited quotes from Thomas Jefferson to bolster his argument:

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not”; It is incumbent on every generation to pay off its own debts as it goes. A principle, which, if acted on would save us one-half of the wars of the world”; “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them”; and, “My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.

Thomas described these quotes as “ancient wisdom,” which, he said, “is almost always better than what people come up with today. Consider that it became ancient because it was wise.”

But consulting The Works of Thomas Jefferson available in full at the Online Liberty Library, as well as the Library of Congress’ online Jefferson site, Ed Darrel of Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub (2/1/09) could find no evidence authenticating any of the quotes. As Darrel, whose website targets historical falsehood, observed, “Jefferson seem[ed] oddly prescient in these quotes, and, also oddly, rather endorsing the views of the right wing.”

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