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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

WASHINGTON — House Speaker John Boehner has said that President Obama would “poison the well” for legislative action on immigration reform by unilaterally issuing executive orders. But how can you poison a well that has already been filled with partisan cyanide?

Obama’s Republican critics say that his forceful approach on immigration, climate change and net neutrality show he isn’t paying attention to what the voters said in the midterm elections.

In truth, he is paying close attention to the feelings of a very important group of voters — the tens of millions who supported him two years ago but were so dispirited that they stayed away from the polls on Nov. 4. They are hoping Obama will show them that political engagement is worth the effort.

Republicans did a brilliant job in the campaign playing on the idea that Obama is weak, passive and without a game plan. That was the not-so-hidden meaning of all their television ads about the Islamic State, Ebola and immigration. So Obama has made clear that he won’t be weak and passive, and that he has a game plan.

On immigration, Boehner has lost all credibility to claim he wants to act in a bipartisan way. In his heart of hearts, might he like to pass a bill? Sure. But the Speaker’s heart is not what’s at stake here. A willingness to take heat from the right wing of his caucus to pass a bill is what matters. And this is something he has shown, again and again, that he just won’t do.

On June 27, 2013, by a genuinely bipartisan vote of 68-32, the Senate passed comprehensive immigration reform. Boehner kept sending signals that he wanted to act. So Obama waited. And waited. And waited. And nothing happened.

After an election in which so many Republican candidates took a hard line on immigration, can anyone really believe that the House (or, for that matter, the new Republican Senate) will be eager to act? In the meantime, Obama, having promised executive orders to solve at least part of the problem, held back to try to help incumbent Democratic Senate candidates in red states. A lot of good that did.

By taking action now, Obama could even change the Republican calculus. Instead of burying a bill through countless delays, Republicans will have to respond to concrete decisions that could help actual human beings — perhaps as many as 6 million undocumented immigrants — and also a tech industry that wants visas for the highly skilled.

And the notion that Obama is spoiling a moment of exquisitely nonpartisan opportunity in Washington is laughable. Did anyone notice incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s victory speech on election night when he spoke as if the election weren’t over? “What the current crowd in Washington is offering is making us weaker, both at home and abroad,” he said, adding that Obama and the Democrats regularly “blamed somebody else when their policies didn’t work out.”

The ink was barely dry on Obama’s climate change accord with China when McConnell pronounced himself “particularly distressed” by a deal that he said “requires the Chinese to do nothing at all for 16 years,” which rather oversimplifies matters.

McConnell is free to say whatever he wants. But please, let’s not pretend that it is Obama who is poisoning anybody’s well. Ditto for Boehner. He seemed to give comfort to the impeachers he is trying to discourage when he said of executive orders that haven’t even been issued that he was determined to “stop the president from violating his own oath of office and violating the Constitution.”

This, by the way, is the same Boehner who, during the border crisis in July, released a statement with the rest of the House Republican leadership declaring: “There are numerous steps the president can and should be taking right now, without the need for congressional action, to secure our borders …”

The message is that some executive actions are great but others are unconstitutional — and whichever way Obama goes must be wrong.

This year, an estimated 36.3 percent of eligible voters — the lowest turnout since 1942 — gave Republicans their overwhelming victory. Many of the nearly two-thirds of voters who didn’t show up (they happen to be disproportionately young and Latino) had given up on Obama and the Democrats getting anything done.

Yes, Washington may again be engulfed in partisan warfare. But at least this time, it will be over things that are actually happening.

E.J. Dionne’s email address is [email protected] Twitter: @EJDionne.

AFP Photo/Jim Watson

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  • Dominick Vila

    I hope I am wrong, but I would not be surprised if President Obama capitulates on the Keystone XL pipeline issue, the same way we caved in on raising taxes for individuals earning over $250K. closing the Gitmo prison camp, and bringing Gitmo prisoners to the USA for trial and imprisonment at maximum security prisons.
    If he thinks the GOP will honor a quid pro quo involving the Keystone pipeline Vs the ACA, he is in for a big surprise. The only thing his concessions have accomplished in the past was embolden a party that interprets compromise as a sign of weakness…and an opportunity to get more concessions. For the GOP, compromise means unconditional surrender. Period.

    • Eleanore Whitaker

      Perhaps, the President is aware that the GOP has since January 2009, used hot button issues as a bargaining chip to get what they want. Isn’t this what they did in 2009 when they held up unemployment extensions to the 8 million their president unemployed? Isn’t this the same thing they did when the held up FEMA funding unless solar funding was removed from legislation? Keystone is a disaster waiting to happen. A 2500 mile long pipeline from Hardisty Alberta to Galveston through 5 states, taking land by eminent domain and handing it to CanOil to run that pipeline will come back to haunt. Check out the articles in the Calgary Sun (where CanOil is located) and Canada’s National Post articles from 2006 to 2008 for the real details.

    • FT66

      No way Dominick, Pres. Obama won’t capitulate on the Keystone XL. Environment and Climate Change go hand in hand (together). With the recent agreement with China, I don’t think he can turn a blind eye on Environment issues.

      • Dominick Vila

        I hope so.

  • AlfredSonny

    President Obama, on behalf of Americans, I admire your stand against the Koch brothers’ puppets. We trust that you will maximize your Constitutional rights to save and preserve America.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    The overlap of Big Business in Government began decades ago when the free flow of privatized vendors began to bid for government work. Put this tiny little detail under a microscope. Back in the early 1900s, government work was rarely bid out to private corporations. Because, the government provided millions of Americans with jobs on railroads, tunnels, bridges, the USPS and highways. Today, the bid process is so loading with Big Business cronies, the government no longer bothers to do what all businesses do: Review the overall costs of hiring from the private sector.

    The argument against such mass overlap into privatization is why taxes in the US are higher than most other countries. And, why in lean times, there are no jobs and unemployment costs go through the roof.

    But, you have conservatives who believe that the government cannot possibly do the jobs as well as their Big Business cronies. Oh no? Then explain FDR’s massive push to get the US out of a Great Depression with the TVA, CCC, PWA, and WPA in 1935 that provided work for the masses of unemployed. Would many of the US dams have been built? Sure. But, the costs would have been outrageous, left to private corporations.

    The difference between government creating jobs and private industry is one inhibiting factor: Profit. Private industry is totally for profit, anyway they can get it…by hook or by crook…mostly crook.

    You have conservatives insisting that government shouldn’t “promote the general welfare” unless it’s filtered through for profit corporations.

    The longer we avoid the realities that most of the government’s vendors are nothing more than Pay to Play Cronies who suck up to their state politicians to get no bid contracts like KBR, Halliburton and Blackwater have, the more the middle class suffers the consequences of not reining in this misguided conservative idea that government cannot “provide for the common defence,” “insure domestic tranquility” or secure the “Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”

  • EmilyHanley

    @dominickvila:disqus If yo u t h in k Ran dal l`s s t or y i s u nb e li e va b l e,, t w o w e e k s a g o m y f r i en d ‘ s c o us i n b a si ca ll y a ls o b r oug h t h o m e $ 9 6 8 9 w o r k i n g a t hi rt ee n h o u r w e e k f ro m h o m e a n d t he ‘re f ri e nd ‘ s m o m` s n e ig hb ou r d o n e t h i s f o r 6 m o n t h s a nd a ct ua ll y e a r n t m or e t h a n $ 9 6 8 9 i n t he i r s p ar e t i m e f r o m a m a c. a p p l y t h e g ui d e o n t hi s s i t e .,▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇➨➨➨&nbsphttp://Amazingwork/cash/online-trading/go/

    • Eleanore Whitaker

      Emily…stop trolling…Stick to the topic or be reported.

    • sleepvark

      emily, go change your tampon.

  • FireBaron

    Sort of ironic – all the closely watch races where the Democrats ran on their records and touted their support of the President’s programs won. The closely watched races where the Democrats ran away from their records and did not tout their support of the President’s programs lost. Sounds to me like my fellow Democrats need to get their heads on straight. This is the same thing as 2000 – when Al Gore and that self-righteous prig of a VP of his did NOT run on Bill Clinton’s record and ended up conceding rather than throw the country into a Constitutional crisis. 8 years later, the Clintons publicly backed Barak Obama and he won, handily.

    • mike

      So how many of these Democratic Senators did Obama campaign with??? If his policies were so great and their records so good, why not have him at their side? When you really look at the 10 Democrats incumbents you believe were so supportive and touted Obama’s policies you would find they were from blue states in non competitive races with easy victories.

      • JPHALL

        So you proved his point. The Democratic losers chose to be pretend Republicans and lost to the real thing.

        • EriktheRed


        • mike

          He said “all the closely……………….President’ programs won.” Which ones Warner 49%-48% and Shaheen 51%-48%?? Not!!! Both Warner and Shaheen kept Obama at arms length.

          What closely won races?? Schatz got 69%-28%, Durbin,53%-43%, Markey 62%-38%, Peters 54%-41%, Franken 53%-43%. Booker 56%-42%, Udall(NM) 55%-44%, Merkey 56%37%, Reed 71%-29%. These aren’t even close!!! All were noncompetitive races. So his statement is pure rubbish. Having said that, how many of the “closely won races(he claims) who support Obama and his policies did Obama campaign for???? Come on you can do it!!!

          Obama wouldn’t have helped that much, his numbers stink, he has been caught in so many lies and even his base has lost TRUST in him.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    Fire Baron, you are sooo right. However, the reality for the GOP today has more to do with proving themselves. Losers can now give as good as they got from the GOP. The amazing part of the US Constitution is that finely crafted “balance of power.” Minorities still have a voice even when they majority has the votes.

    The GOP cannot afford another disaster like the one their GOP president and VP pulled off. The stakes today are far to high for the GOP to dare and try to return to the bad policies that brought taxpayers deeper and deeper in debt.

  • Pi_Boson

    Dow is up, unemployment is down, debt is decreasing, and jobs are being created. – FACT. The democrats were uninspiring as most ran away from Obama-led successes, so republicans simply showed up at the polls. We got exactly what 60% of the eligible voters didn’t vote for. More of the SOS from Boehner, McConnell, Rove, and Koch.

  • James Bowen

    First of all, the President does not have the Constitutional authority to do this. He may not nullify laws passed by Congress.

    Second, what gains we have made in jobs in the last year or two have been offset by the fact that we have been bringing foreign workers in faster than we have been creating jobs. That obviously doesn’t put unemployed or underemployed Americans back to work. It makes no sense at all then to endorse the presence of people who are here legally on top of that.

    • stcroixcarp

      So Jimmy, where did you get this “fact”? You should be screaming at all those employers, aka “job creators”, to pay living wages to Americans and stop hiring immigrants if you hate them so much. The private sector needs to take responsibility for underemployment, unemployment, and hiring illegals. The privates sure want all the tax breaks they can get.

      • James Bowen

        I actually am doing the things you are suggesting. However, there is little motivation for the private sector to take responsibility if the government is condoning their actions by nullifying its own laws.

    • bobnstuff

      If you read history you will find that every president used executive orders to get what was needed. Two of the most notable are the Emancipation Proclamation and the Louisiana Purchase.

      • James Bowen

        I did not say that executive orders are forbidden. The most certainly are not. What is required of executive orders is that they do not conflict with current law or the Constitution. An executive order that provides legal status to illegal aliens and expands legal immigration directly conflicts with existing law, and is therefore illegal.

        • bobnstuff

          I just read the immigration law and he can do it. All he is doing slowing the system down. The people he is trying to help would be able to get visas if we increased the number. This really doesn’t matter anyway until he actually does it. It is very much like the emancipation proclamation though.

          • James Bowen

            Congress, not the President, sets immigration levels. The President may grant relief to certain individuals, but to do this for 4.5 million or so is clearly beyond the scope. It is a nullification of the laws Congress has passed. He is not allowed to do that.

            By the way, part of the rationale for the Emancipation Proclamation was strategic. Slaves represented an important economic resource and source of manpower for the South, and emancipation denied them that resource. Notice that it did not apply to slave states which had governments that had officially remained in the Union.

          • bobnstuff

            Illegal immigrants are also an important economic resource and source of manpower only this time we want to free it up so it can be used legally.

          • James Bowen

            Americans are unemployed by the tens of millions, and wages are stagnant. The first thing we should do to address this is get rid of all the illegals. That would make labor more scarce, freeing up jobs for unemployed Americans and putting upward pressure on wages.

          • bobnstuff

            2.8 million is not tens of millions. Try hiring people and you will find that good workers are hard to find. Bring back the unions and wages will go up.

          • James Bowen

            There are far, far more than 2.8 million Americans who are unemployed. The U6 unemployment rate (which is a more accurate measure than the U3, but still probably an underestimate) is 11.5%. That translates to a number far, far higher than 2.8 million. Maybe good workers are hard to find, but Americans should be the only ones considered for those jobs. Supply and demand applies to labor too, and the sheer number of laborers has a far greater effect on wages than the condition of the unions. However, more scarce labor would also have the effect of strengthening the unions. Cheap foreign labor is a large part of the reason why unions have declined.

          • bobnstuff

            Even using your bogus numbers there still isn’t 10 million. The people that I know without jobs either don’t want jobs our can’t pass the drug test. Illegals can’t join unions, that’s why they are hired. A job that took 20 days to fill in 2009 now takes 27 days to fill. If the have a legal stadus they can fight for a fair wage and the American worker can compete. It was the unions that raised the workers to middle class.

          • James Bowen

            As of 2013, the U.S. workforce has 155.4 million people ( 11.5% ( of 155.4 million is 17.87 million. And that is a conservative measure of unemployment. If one goes by labor force participation, which at 62.7% is the lowest it has been since 1978 (, there are 57.96 million Americans unemployed. Bottom line, American workers are struggling to find work and with stagnant wages. Illegals are hired not because they can’t join unions, but because they are scabs who will work for peanuts and not complain about poor working conditions. It is big business that is pushing so hard for them to get legalized. The legal status of workers has negligible impact on wages when compared to the supply of labor. In order to tighten the supply and put upward pressure on wages, legal immigration must be reduced and illegal immigration not tolerated.

  • EaglesGlen

    Re “On immigration, Boehner has lost all credibility to claim he wants to act in a bipartisan way. ” is correct and incorrect.
    Democrats broke U.S. Constitution law and IRS tax laws to us use taxpayers funds to deliberately violate the U.S. Constitution to pass the Immigration bill that starts in the senate that the senate passed and then tried to shove through the house. And we suffer all the coercion of the democrat bullies of the senate and Obama as the senate tries to pass the bill. This is bipartisan? BS.
    Trying to pass this fraud is no different than passing Obama’s ObamaCare fraud. And the authors can not find all this misspending of tax funds?

  • EaglesGlen

    Why did you MISS congress breaking the law:
    “On June 27, 2013, by a genuinely bipartisan vote of 68-32, the Senate passed comprehensive immigration reform.”

    I expect the law is no good as law was broken in the process.

  • ExRadioGuy15

    Actually, there was a simple reason for the “bipartisan” immigration bill passing in the Senate last year: the House GOP told the GOP senators that they can vote yes for it because they’d just kill it in the House. And, that’s exactly what the House GOP leadership have done.
    In fact, for the most part, anything that’s passed in the Senate by a “bipartisan” vote these past four years was for the same reason the immigration bill was passed.
    Starting in January, with the GOP in control of both Houses of Congress, the thinking is that the GOP will get bills passed in both Houses and send them on to President Obama, daring him to veto them. Not so fast…
    You see, while the “Suicide Caucus” is making His Orangeness’ (Speaker Boehner’s) life a living hell in the House, there’s now the “Ted Cruz Caucus” that will do the same to Sen. McConnell. We’re about to see two years of GOP dysfunction in Congress.
    This is what you get by staying home or voting for Republicans, GOP Progressives and Moderates…shame on you….ssmdh

  • exdemo55

    Times have changed. A new Gallup poll finds that a large majority of Americans would like the Republican-controlled Congress, rather than President Obama, to set the direction for the country in the coming year, a marked change from 2012, when a slim majority said they preferred for Obama to guide the agenda.

    “Who do you want to have more influence over the direction the nation takes in the next year—Barack Obama or the Republicans in Congress?” Gallup asked 828 U.S. adults.

    Fifty-three percent of those surveyed said they wanted Republicans in Congress to have the greater influence, 36 percent said Obama, and 8 percent, well, didn’t seem to care, answering “same/neither.”

    • ExRadioGuy15

      Meh…most polls are biased toward the GOP, due to the way the polls are conducted.
      The main flaw in these polls is that they use landline telephone calls. Most younger people don’t have landline telephone service and use cell/smart phones instead…
      When telephone service was in its infancy, it was heavily biased toward the GOP because Republicans could afford the service. Now, the reason Republicans use landline telephones is that most of them are technologically averse. I know several dozen older people who think, and I’m not kidding about this, that computers and smart phones will take over the world, in a similar fashion to the HAL 9000, the rogue computer from the 1968 movie, “2001: A Space Odyssey”.

      • exdemo55

        How about that poll on Nov.4th? That sure was biased toward the Republicans

        • EriktheRed

          Let’s see them win an election with more than 38% of the electorate voting.

          • bobnstuff

            !9% of the registered voters voted republican, some mandate.

          • exdemo55

            The ones that didn’t vote on the left were disenchanted with Obama. That’s Your problem.

          • EriktheRed

            Don’t worry, seeing the Grand ol’ Pissants in action the next couple of years will once again remind them why he’s still better. Hell, they’re off to a great start already.

          • exdemo55

            Nope, Obama sucks!

          • EriktheRed

            You guys said that after 2010 midterms, too.

          • exdemo55

            Yeap, and more and more people are finding out that Obama Sucks!

          • EriktheRed

            And like I said before, they’re gonna get reminded how the loyal opposition sucks even more. In fact, it’s already starting and they haven’t even formally took over the Senate yet.

          • exdemo55

            Nobody Sucks more than Obama!

    • howa4x

      I actually sincerely hope that the republicans do what hey promised. You know roll back on reproductive rights, try to stop same sex marriage, gut the EPA and try to roll back clean air regulations, deny climate change, and block any attempts to solve the problem, gut Dodd/Frank legislation that is trying to keep the banking system from making the same mistakes, privatize social security and turn Medicare into a voucher program, and Medicaid into a bloc grant. And of course the big one repeal the ACA throwing 20 million off of coverage to enact a plan more favorable to the insurance industry, and don’t forget boots on the ground in Syria and Iraq. Yes America get ready for Republican rule and we will poll you 2 years from now and you can tell us what it has done for you.

      • exdemo55

        Given us our freedom back

        • bobnstuff

          We lost freedoms? We got a new tax but no new lost freedoms that I can think of.

          • exdemo55

            Think harder!

          • bobnstuff

            Please tell me.

          • exdemo55

            Despite overwhelming opposition from citizens to these atrocious health care reform bills, Congressional Democrats voted to pass them anyway. With gleeful self-congratulations, they advanced legislation to Obama’s desk that not only WON’T reform anything, but which will only make things worse. Typical of Progressive policy! It’s always about them and their pathological need to be historic.

            Thankfully, millions of Americans refuse to accept this criminal action. Court challenges are being filed and groups are banding together to push for the repealing of this nonsense. A number of States have even passed legislation intended to thwart the bill’s mandates requiring individuals to purchase health care insurance.

            Of course, the Internet is being deluged by Obammunist operatives who are attempting to dishearten opponents. But, they are not having an effect, because average, patriotic Americans already know the strategy of the enemy within. Americans are fighting back and saying, “No.” The more names they are called, the more resolute they are about taking back their government from the lying, power-hungry Communists in office.

            Typical posts by Obammunists include, “So, what freedoms have you lost under Obama!?” How sad that they do not instinctively understand. None are so blind as those who think licking Obama’s heels is the height of societal virtue.

            These dim bulbs of progressive enlightenment simply do not grasp what being free really means. Nor do they want anyone else to understand it, either.

            Being free means having the opportunity to work hard in order to earn the money and personal property necessary to reach one’s potential and goals. Additionally, unless one has the power to decide how he can use the fruits of his labors to realize his dreams, one cannot pursue his happiness, and thus, is not free.

            ObamaCare will impose enormous taxation on all working Americans. The confiscation of even more of a person’s net revenue strips away that person’s freedoms. It is as simple as that. When one has less disposable income, one has less choices. When one has less choices, one is less free.

            In the future, should you wish to take time to protest against government tyranny, you will be unable to do so. Why? Because you will not be able to afford to take the time off to do so. You won’t have the money needed to travel, or to buy signage materials, or to pay for lodging. You will be voiceless. The only mechanism you will have left will be reliance upon elected representatives who may or may not choose to represent you. As we see now, our government represents only those in power and their lackeys.

            So, when some upstanding liberal beacon of civil liberty snidely asks you what freedoms you’ve lost under Obama, just look him squarely in the eye and say, “You wouldn’t understand. It’s an American thing.”

          • bobnstuff

            So the ACA which is a tax that most, 84% Americans were already paying has taken your freedom. The law was passed the congress in a totally legal way. It has helped a lot of people. If paying a tax is your idea of a lose of freedom you have a problem.

          • exdemo55

            Americans’ assessments of their personal freedom have significantly declined under President Obama, according to a new study from the Legatum Institute in London, and the United States now ranks below 20 other countries on this measure.
            The research shows that citizens of countries including France, Uruguay, and Costa Rica now feel that they enjoy more personal freedom than Americans.
            As the Washington Examiner reported this morning, representatives of the Legatum Institute are in the U.S. this week to promote the sixth edition of their Prosperity Index. The index aims to measure aspects of prosperity that typical gross domestic product measurements don’t include, such as entrepreneurship and opportunity, education, and social capital.

            The freedom scores are based on polling data from 2013 indicating citizens’ satisfaction with their nation’s handling of civil liberties, freedom of choice, tolerance of ethnic minorities, and tolerance of immigrants. Polling data were provided by Gallup World Poll Service. The index is notable for the way it measures how free people feel, unlike other freedom indices that measure freedom by comparing government policies.

            “This is not a good report for Obama,” Legatum Institute spokeswoman Cristina Odone told the Washington Examiner.

            In the 2010 report (which relied on data gathered in 2009), the U.S. was ranked ninth in personal freedom, but that ranking has since fallen to 21st, with several countries, including France, Germany and the United Kingdom passing the U.S.

            The nation’s overall personal freedom score has declined by 17 percent since 2009, with a 22 percent drop in combined civil liberty and free choice contributing to that decline.

            Of the eight categories in the index, personal freedom was America’s second lowest performance relative to other countries. The U.S. had its lowest ranking when it came to safety and security (a broad measure of how threatened citizens feel in instances such as walking late at night, or expressing their opinions) — ranking 31st out of 142 countries.

            The cross-country comparisons in the index should be taken with a grain of salt. The perception of what freedom means in New Zealand, which has the highest personal freedom ranking, may vary from how Americans measure their own personal freedom. But regardless of how the U.S. compares to other countries, there is no denying that Americans felt less free in 2013 after four more years of Obama’s presidency. And so now he faces the embarrassment of being the president that made Americans feel less free than the French.

          • bobnstuff

            What this proves is that the right wing and the media has done a good job of convincing the people of things even if they are false. From the day Obama took office the right has been telling the people how bad he was. The facts have nothing to do with it.

          • exdemo55

            Economy: The economy racked up another dubious achievement in January, when personal income suffered the biggest drop in 20 years and disposable income suffered its biggest decline in more than 50.

            Is this what “bottom-up” prosperity looks like?
            According to the Commerce Department report issued Friday, personal income fell by $505.5 billion in January – a 3.6% drop – erasing all the income gains made since last September.

            On a real, per-capita basis, it’s even worse, with incomes falling 4.2% in January, leaving income still well below where it stood when President Obama took office four years ago promising “hope and change.”

            The data also point to the futility of Obama’s war on the rich. December incomes shot up, the Commerce data show, because companies paid out dividends early to avoid the tax hikes on investment income they knew were coming. That means taxes paid this year will be significantly smaller than the tax hike advocates expected.

            Even the bright spot in the Commerce report – consumer spending climbed in January – had a dark lining, since it came almost entirely as a result of higher energy prices.

            Other reports issued in the past few days point in the same direction.

            As IBD noted last week, wages still haven’t reached their previous peak before the recession hit five years ago. That’s not just because the losses during the recession were so deep, but because wage growth has been so sluggish during the recovery.

            By comparison, it took just two years for wages to recover their losses from the 2001 recession, and by this point they were 8% above their prior peak.

            Meanwhile, a Sentier Research report released on Thursday finds that real median household incomes have not budged in two years, and are still $2,400 below where they stood in June 2009, when the economic recovery officially started.

            We also now know that good-paying jobs lost during the recession are being replaced by lower-paying jobs. The National Employment Law Project found that 60% of the jobs lost during the recession paid midwages, but just 22% of the jobs created in the recovery did so.

            The pool of unemployed workers, meanwhile, is still fantasticly high, with more long-term jobless today than at the end of the recession.

            Obama might not think much of the idea that a rising tide lifts all boats, but it’s pretty clear that a stagnant economy causes the middle class to sink.

            What all these numbers also show is that Obama’s “grow the middle class,” and “bottom-up prosperity” spending programs just aren’t working.

            Government spending on education, roads, research, transfer payments and everything else are at all-time highs. So are deficits. Yet the economy stubbornly refuses to reach “escape velocity.”

            It’s been almost four years since the recovery officially got under way. Perhaps now would be a good time for lawmakers and the White House to get focused on policies that will actually spur real, prosperity-spreading economic growth.

          • bobnstuff

            We will not have a true rise in income as long as the republicans believe in supply side economics. None of Obama’s programs have past congress in four years.

          • exdemo55

            While the Obama administration has sought to distance itself from MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, has found the professor’s official bio at a university project known to be close to the White House boasts that Gruber helped to craft Obamacare.

            Gruber’s bio at the Hamilton Project, an economic initiative launched by the Brookings Institution in 2006, reads: “During 2009-2010 he served as a technical consultant to the Obama Administration and worked with both the Administration and Congress to help craft the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

            Obama himself spoke at the 2006 launch of the Hamilton Project, where he stated he had stolen ideas “liberally” from Gruber.

            Obama is quite familiar with the Hamilton Project. Not only did he speak at the project’s launch event, some of its experts wound up in his administration.

            Hamilton Project Director Peter Richard Orszag served under Obama as director of the Office of Management and Budget, the largest office within the executive branch.

            Video recently unearthed by the Washington Free Beacon shows Obama speaking at the 2006 Hamilton Project launch event praising Gruber and other liberal economic policy experts as some of the “brightest minds” in academia.

            “Many of them I have stolen ideas from liberally, people ranging from [economist] Robert Gordon to [economist] Austan Goolsbee [to] Jon Gruber,” Obama said.

            Last weekend, however, Obama attempted to distance himself from Gruber.

            “The fact that an adviser who was never on our staff expressed an opinion that I completely disagree with in terms of the voters is not a reflection on the actual process that was run,” Obama replied when asked about Gruber at a news conference in Brisbane, Australia, after the G-20 summit.

            Gruber, an economics professor, has been making headlines for candid statements on Obamacare captured on video.

            He said regarding the passage of Obamacare that “lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.”

            “And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to get anything to pass,” he said.

            Gruber conceded the bill might have lost support if voters had known that healthier individuals would pay more to subsidize the sick.

            In an interview with MSNBC, Gruber apologized for remarks documented in the first of a number of videos that recently surfaced.

            “The comments in the video were made at an academic conference,” Gruber said. “I was speaking off the cuff. I basically spoke inappropriately. I regret having made those comments.”

          • bobnstuff

            The President couldn’t very well say that the guy was full of crap could he.

          • bobnstuff

            Where did you find your report because the one I found was from this years and the numbers say that personal income is up .2% and that disposable income is up .1% in September of this year. That was from I fear your numbers are old and do not represent the present state of the economy.

  • 1standlastword

    It seem more accurate that the GOP has poisoned the well of the majority of Americans as E.J. points out “so dispirited that they didn’t show up” in November midterms.

    It is my dying wish that liberal/progressives were not so mood dependent and voted every time elections are held: Imagine they did and you’ve imagined a world where the GOP is a permanent minority forever!

    • 14hei

      I agree with you wholeheartedly. We must convince the multitude of progressives that they must be an active part of every election. The laws under which you live should be chosen by you and not someone else. Please be an active part of your government!

    • holyreality

      Leadership is the issue.

      What was the overall message voters got from Democratic party leadership in the 2014 election?


      ………dog barks………….

      Democrats need to fire up their constituents, but what has the leadership done in this direction? President Obama is seen as weak and ineffective while Dem leadership agrees with their silence.

      Then the mood dependant voters just lay over and play dead. That is the difference between the right and left. GOPers will fight bitterly for victory while Dems accept victory only on their terms.

  • howa4x

    Well here we go. The fractured caucus of the GOP better known as the clown car is pulling up to the capital. Befuddled by a president who is not bending to their will. What to do? Obama’s Executive orders will make the republicans look inept and weak, and unable to stop him. If Obama acts it will wake up the sleeping giant of the majority that sat this one out. All eyes will be on Boehner, and DR No to live up to the rhetoric they have been babbling and stop Obama in his tracks. Now the real fun begins. They created a weak Obama in their minds and now they are going to meet the real one up close. Hehehe.

    • 1standlastword

      No to Keystone XL and yes to immigration reform! A one two punch….that would demonstrate a real progressive agenda. Obama has nothing to loose as to this date nothing he’s done is right to the Reich so why sell out to them at the 11th hour of his presidency.

      • howa4x

        Agreed lets fight them to 2016

  • Whatmeworry

    Barak and his fellow Dem’s are counting on the 4 million illegals to vote in 2016ike they did in 2008 and 12

  • 1standlastword

    I consider myself bipartisan regarding the places where I get my news and so therefore I came across this gem today on…strap yourselves in…NewsMAX!

    This article pulls the curtain back on the GOP v. Obama drama on Keystone XL. The big Oil moguls have moved on from Key Stone XL as a vital means of transporting Canadian Oil. And worse, while the CEO of Trans Canada still wants Key Stone his corporation plans to continue moving unprocessed oil via rail and ship regardless approval or otherwise. So you would think that if republicans just didn’t want to fight Obama they’d listen to the CEOs of the big oil producers. My conclusion is they know what is really going on but they see this pipeline as another way to give Obama a negative image with American people. It appears by this that they REALLY can’t be trusted as fair partners in the management of our government. And lastly, why wouldn’t Obama use this to down play the need for the pipeline?? He could blow up there arguments…suck the air right out of them without any need to resort to all the histrionics. I fear all of these people are too sophomoric for the important jobs they hold. This is quite disappointing!!!!

  • clcman

    I feel like the President has finally grown tired of the partisan crap he’s had to deal with for the past 4 (really 6) years, and so he’s just decided to hit back, fight fire with fire and show the Republican obstructionists exactly how “weak” he is.