Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Monday, September 26, 2016

WASHINGTON — President Obama got roughed up by the pundit class last week. The question is what lessons he draws from the going-over. Here’s one he should take: The nation’s political conversation has grown stale and many Americans have lost the sense of what he is doing to improve their lives.

You can argue that this perception isn’t fair. The Affordable Care Act, if it’s implemented well, will improve a lot of lives. The economy is adding jobs, not shedding them. The deficit is coming down. Two front-burner initiatives, immigration reform and broader background checks — yes, they’ll be voted on again — really do matter.

But the fact is that the talk in Washington has been dominated by the same stuff we obsessed over in 2010, 2011 and 2012: a monotonous, uninspiring, insider clash over budgets. Even in that context, we barely discuss what government can do that would be helpful (except to air travelers).

Obama’s defenders say that D.C. dysfunction should be laid at the feet of Republicans in Congress who are so invested in his failure that they even vote against things they are for. That’s what Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) says happened on background checks.

Rather than criticize the president, says former chief White House speechwriter Jon Favreau, those who want him to succeed need to hold Republicans in the House and Senate accountable. The president can’t do it by himself, Favreau said in The Daily Beast. He needs help from his supporters.

Well, sure. To pretend that the president can magically get an increasingly right-wing Republican House and Senate contingent to do his bidding is either naive or willfully misleading. The GOP really does hope that blocking whatever Obama wants will steadily weaken him.

But the president also needs to ask himself why even his supporters are growing impatient. His whole budget strategy, after all, is directed almost entirely toward gently coaxing Republicans his way, without any concern as to whether what he is doing is demobilizing the very people he needs on his side now.

  • One of the results of constant attempt to find a way to compromise with Republicans to move the country forward is that the Obama administration has, deliberately, neglected to highlight how its policies helped turn the economy around, how it helped reduce violence and freedom and champion democracy worldwide, and its attempt to improve our standard of living and reduce violence at home. Instead of explaining how programs like Obamacare, gay marriage, gender equality, and initiatives such as the expansion of background check help us as a society and as a country, they continue to hope for greater cooperation from a party whose goals have been, and remain, the advancement of poliies that help the wealthy at the expense of the middle class, the privatization of social programs, the destruction of organized labor, and projecting an illusion of socio-economic chaos to advance their goals. The GOP, under pressure from the Tea Party, will continue to reject every political initiative proposed by Barack Obama, even if it happens to be one of their policies, to ensure his place in history is destroyed.
    The only thing the GOP respects is ruthlessness as vicious as theirs. We should oblige.

    • sigrid28

      Yet how does the president CONVEY a ruthlessness as vicious as that of Republicans in Congress? Is it what he says about them? Talk as they do about him, and he helps causes he supports in a more substantive way than he does now? Now I get to boast a little bit: When my son was four he could read in both French and English, but preschool teachers in France wanted him to fit in with children his own age who could not yet read. The president cannot retard himself enough to sound Republican and gain the respect of members of that party. Last night, however, the cast of “Saturday Night Live” parodied the antics of Fox News to a tee, as in Tea Party.

      Is it how well he dramatizes the havoc Republicans have willingly set loose on families because of the Sequester–or because of the failure to pass legislation to curtail gun violence? E. J. Dionne, himself an eloquent apologist for the president, refers to Jon Favreau, who wrote terrific speeches for President Obama, who delivered these speeches flawlessly. The president gives speeches in settings that illustrate what he is saying to drive home the point, standing before Newtown parents, when he commented on the failure of the Mancin-Toomey bill in the Senate, for example. And he gives other speeches before enormous crowds of supporters who interrupt them up with cheers and applause. I cannot see flaws in his messaging that would be corrected by a more bellicose tone. Yet Piers Morgan, to CNN’s credit, has done more than many other journalists to challenge NRA spokespersons in tough verbal debate, something the office of the presidency will not allow Barack Obama himself to do.

      So my conclusion is this. The president needs more tough, competent surrogates and fewer journalistic advisers if he is to carry the day. Journalists have to be more like Piers Morgan in countenancing debate, and David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs have to be allowed by journalistic hosts to take off the gloves in ways the president himself cannot, asserting the rightness of the president’s agenda by fulling expressing ideas–not just tucking in sound bites at the appropriate time between commercial breaks. They might have to be more pushy, interrupt a bit more, and show how they feel about something outrageous coming out of the mouth of another guest at the round table. As I suppose we humble posters on the Nationa Memo comment threads ought to do here, keeping up a drum beat daily. The president needs less of Pete Rose and his gentile round table, and more of King Arthur’s.

      • FredAppell

        I’m anxious to see what the right wing will say about this article. Their always complaining about how they’re being vilified but this article seemed to let them off the hook this time. Obama’s a smart guy and I would like to think that he is setting up the Republicans for a fall. He did a masterful job of it in the second debate against Romney. Maybe his strategy is to let them exhaust themselves on the lies they spread. We have already witnessed how they conduct themselves when they feel emboldened, they tend to say some really obscured things when they think they have Obama on the ropes. Right now Obama’s biggest challenge is keeping his base in the loop and assuring everyone that none of us are being abandoned. Obama’s walking a thin line and i don’t know if most of us could ever deal with 1/3 of what he has to deal with. I think he needs to convey his message better possibly without pointing fingers at the opposition, like you said, get better surrogates and let them be his attack dogs. Hell, I’ll take the for free, I have no problem being an asshole.

        • cats33

          I think your leader and friends are in some deep dodo. Like the sounds of Watergate? : )

          • FredAppell

            I think your mistaking the voices in your head for the will of the people. But you can go on fantasizing, I hope it gives you some comfort.

          • My point exactly..Making stuff up

        • Inthenameofliberty

          Hello.

          This is a departure from what I remember you writing in the past. You wrote “Hell, I’ll take the for free, I have no problem being an asshole.”

          I don’t remember you being an asshole.

          When did you start to hate Republicans? O perhaps I am misinterpreting your comments?

          I remain wary of both parties because they both lie and manipulate the truth to suit their needs. And unashamedly so.

          But, I hope you have been well. I think you have a good soul.

          • FredAppell

            Because I have tremendous respect for you I’ll try to explain why I posted that. The last sentence of my paragraph was a typo. I meant to say “Hell, i’ll do it for free, I don’t mind being an asshole”. I was extremely frustrated at the time but I also thought you knew that I leaned way to the left. I don’t lie and I always say what I believe weather I am right or wrong. When i’m proven wrong or after careful consideration I will always apologize. I would rather be wrong and be sorry than to be a fool. I walked away from the memo for a short while to get my head unscrambled and do some serious soul searching. I revisited some of my past comments and came to the conclusion that many of them were just incoherent rants. During that same time I also noticed that the attacks on Obama were reaching a whole new level. I visited conservative sights where some people were calling for a revolution, others were calling for Obama’s head, almost every night I go to any given web sight and there is a pole on whether he should be impeached. The conspiracies are at such a fevered pitch that the more there are , the less I believe in them. At first I was developing a neutral opinion of Obama but as the attacks got worse I decided that I would up my support for him. That doesn’t mean that I will look the other way at his transgressions, there are things that he has done and also failed to do that I am not pleased with but I won’t abandon him either, not yet, hopefully I won’t have to.

            Please don’t think that I hate Republicans, i’m just really disappointed with them right now. After all, I have some friends that vote Republican and they know full well what i’m all about and we focus on the non political things that we share. I hope you know that what you think of me matters to me. I am well and I hope you and yours is as well. I wish the best for you and thank you for one of the kindest words anybody has ever said to me. Remember, we are all a work in progress.

          • Inthenameofliberty

            Howdy! See – you could never be an asshole. Me, yes – you, no.

            A friend recently said some neat things to me. I will try to paraphrase…… Sometimes we all have to hit rock bottom, that way the only way left to go is up……periods of great chaos are followed by periods of great and wonderous change.
            I don’t think Obama is to blame for all the USA’s’ ills.
            But I want to know what he found out behind those White House doors that made him abandon many of the things (in him) that I found to be noble.
            They all do it. I am just extremely dissappointed that he did not live up to my (and what he said were to be his) expectations.
            And I do not feel that all of his problems have been GOP obstructionism,
            However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

            And with God’s Grace, and a little help from each other, it won’t be an oncoming train.

            I can certainly understand your frustration with the GOP. You know I am not fond of the two top political parties in our coutry. Problem is, there does not seem to be room for a third because the first two are too corrupt to permit it.

            Or, since I AM a conspiracy theorist, the people in the shadows and behind the curtains (that are really pulling the strings of our government) will not allow it. We do not have free elections. Not really. Not when you research it. We just think we do.

            On a personal note, more sick kids and sleepless nights. Hopefully, this too shall pass.

            BE WELL.

          • FredAppell

            I love that you mentioned that about Obama, I have always wondered the same thing. When I decided to watch his first
            inaugural address, the very first thing I noticed was that he had

            that “oh sh*t” look on his face. Remember, he was briefed before he made his speech as is customary. One can only imagine what

            he was told in that meeting. All I know for sure is that his swagger was gone from that moment on.

            Do you understand why I made an earlier comment to you about

            conspiracy theories? Look, I get it, I’ve been there. I also understand that there is a certain intrigue and excitement to them. Some are very real and we should always maintain a healthy vigilance against them but some are nothing more than

            delusions cooked up by some very paranoid people or perhaps dangerous people with an agenda. I almost lost myself in that world about 7-8 years ago. I went to some very dark places in my mind. There was a group that was trying to recruit me because they saw how impressionable I was. It’s

            amazing what we are willing to listen to and believe in when our lives are unfulfilled or unhappy. I started to become suspicious of just about everything, I used joke that I could find a conspiracy in a jar of mayonnaise, the truth was, I meant it. I don’t have all the right answers, but you know you can talk to me anytime you want. I can provide you with different perspectives, nothing more but sometimes it ‘s

            enough. By the way, I’m happy to see that there is some positiveness in your comment. I won’t blow sunshine up your arse but I believe things will turn around. Keep in mind, the world is a different place than it was when we were kids so we may in fact have to adjust to a new normal, just not this normal. Before I go I want to address the last paragraph you wrote, that is one of the conspiracies that I believe strongly. We’re all at each others throats, while whoever these people
            are, create two sets of rules. Sorry my paragraphs are such a
            mess. Something has been wrong with my laptop for a few months now. I don’t want to invest in fixing it because I am fed up with it.

            We’ll talk soon. Get Well.

      • President Obama does not have to imitate the childish, and often offensive, rhetoric that seems to be a requirement to become a Tea Party supporter, but he can set them up the way they do and he can advance policies that undermine their goals the way they do to him. The centerpiece of the Tea Party agenda, eloquently confirmed by Mitch McConnell, was to make Barack Obama a one term president. Now that they failed in that regard, their tactics have shifted to the perennial obstructionism to ensure he cannot govern and to demonization of this record. Rest assured, if Obama’s presidential library includes a photo of the raid that killed OBL, the Republicans will attacked him as savagely as they do now for denying the Navy Seals the credit they deserve. To them, Barack Obama represents everything they hate, from his rights as a human being, to Affirmative Action, and for the audacity of occupying an Office that until January 2009 had been the exclusive realm of the privileged.

        • sigrid28

          Let’s get past complaining about rudeness and outlandish policies by Republicans as well as their insistence that Obama fail. How is he to “set them up they way they do” him? How is he to “advance policies that undermine their goals the way they do to him”?

          • Rudeness, hyperbole, and outright lies are an integral part of politics, and both parties have done it to a greater or lesser extend at one time or another. President Obama cannot convince Republicans, specially Tea Party supporters, to embrace his policies – even when he is willing to compromise – because the catalyst for their obstructionism is none other than Barack Obama. Obamacare was modeled after Romney’s healthcare program in Massachussetts and some of its tenets were proposed by none other than The Heritage foundation. The recent proposal to expand the scope of background checks is not a new law, it is an expansion of a law championed by none other than Ronald Reagan. Equal pay for women is, I believe, something that most Americans support. The Veterans Jobs Act is something that, as far as I know, is supported by ALL Americans, and the list goes on. So, why did they GOP reject, ignore or filibustered those proposals? Because they were proposed by Barack Obama. Had a Republican President proposed those policies he/she would have been hailed as a statesman with unprecedented attributes and vision.
            How can President Obama derail the GOP agenda? Perhaps he should borrow a page from Mr. Cantor and call his proposals The Starving Americans Jobs Act, Dying Americans Healthcare Plan, The American Apocalypse Economic Recovery Plan, etc etc 🙂

      • cats33

        I think your leader and his gang are in some deep dodo. Watergate sound familiar??

        • Does the Iran/Contra Affair…the WMD let’s get Sadam debacle and ignoring all the intelligence prior to 9/11/2001 sound familiar? Know what the 9/11 Commission’s final analysis was..”That Clinton and Bush had not been served well by the CIA/FBI”

      • This is so important. I couldn’t agree more. The President has always been viewed as an upstart and uppity by the Republican Party. Patting himself on the back doesn’t go over well. We who support him should defend his actions..and promote his accomplishments. Forget acknowledging his faults. The Republicans have that down to a science and will make quite a few up along the way.

    • charleo1

      I like that expression. “The illusion of socio-economic chaos.”
      The whole comment, really. But, it’s the illusion, the Right doggedly
      hangs onto. It’s remarkable, the Right’s aversion to what should be
      welcome news. Say, for example, the unemployment number went
      down another half point, to 7.5%. With the economy adding, a better
      than expected 168,000 jobs. They’ll say, well sure the unemployment
      number is down, because people just gave up, and stopped looking.
      Or, 168,000 jobs were added last month. Sure, they say. Low wage,
      Obama jobs! The Illusion, of socio-economic chaos. Exactly.

      • mike

        Economic Policy Institute: “In good times, this(April #’s) would be fine, but a time like this, it represents an ongoing disaster”.

        “They’ll say” because it is the truth, report counts those that tried to find work in the past 4 weeks-U3. Why would BLS have a U6 category of those giving up on looking if it wasn’t part of the whole picture. 63.3% of civilian population(over 16) is working or looking for a job-lowest since 1979. Manufacturing hiring halted in April nationwide.

        Face it, 8.6 million jobs missing from the economy. At current pace it will take 5 years to get pre-recession jobs number. Not good.

        But your great leader just wants to ignore the rapid expansion of regulations costing additional Billions and wants to tax business more, destroy cheap energy, transform healthcare into a total Cluster F_ _ k, everything he said about Obamacare is proving to be false, etc..

        • charleo1

          It wouldn’t take near 5 years. In fact, the economy
          would be well on it’s way to normalcy, if the Country
          could figure some way to pry the fat asses in Congress
          out of the middle of the road. If the f*cking T-Baggers
          had any shame. Which they don’t. That the Country’s
          economy had to recover in spite of them. They should
          resign. And, f*uck your, “Great Leader,” sarcasm.

          • mike

            I just used the liberal “Economic Policy Institute” economist Heidi Shierholz numbers.
            Show me where I was wrong on the “great leader” comment. Have regulations increased the costs under Obama? The cost of regulatory rules in 2012 under Obama exceeded the combined first terms of Clinton and Bush.-GW University, Regulatory Studies Center.
            “And , f*uck your” comment shows you know I am right. Truth hurts, doesn’t it.
            It sure puts you your T-Baggers comment to rest.

          • charleo1

            Did the Heidi Shierholtz numbers tell you where
            the economy would be if not for the f*cking T-Baggers?
            The answer is, no they didn’t. So, now you can go
            f*ck yourself.

          • mike

            Thank you for your wonderful thoughts, and I wish you the same.:)

          • Sand_Cat

            You’re liken the anchor on the ship complaining about the slow progress, except an anchor is not so obnoxious.

          • mike

            You must be referring to Senator Baucus, he is one complaining and showing concern for the lack of progress. Not me!!!

        • My youngest son works for a small manufacturing company in Pennsylvania. He works in outside sales, and the sales volume is so high that the owner of the company had to buy new equipment and has been trying to hire new technicians to keep up with demand. Some of the folks that he interviewed and offered a job never showed up, those that accepted his offers quit within a couple of weeks. The excuses they give range from too long a commute, to not liking to work with chemicals. BTW, the company pays substantially more than minimum wage.
          I think it is also important to note that thousands of foreigners are entering the USA every month with H1b visas and are filling some of the best vacancies our economy has to offer.
          Our problem is not that there are not good jobs, but the fact that many Americans are unwilling to go to work, some are not qualified for the vacancies that do exist, and some are not offered jobs because they are over qualified and may quit shortly after they are trained.

          • mike

            I am happy for your son. I hope he does well and has a good and productive life. And you have many grand kids. 🙂

            As to these visas, from what I understand of the requirements they must have a degree(bachelor) or equivalent. So at least they are much better educated that what is coming in illegally. My wife is a math teacher and over the last few years 12 and 13 year olds that have never been to school, can’t speak English, in gangs, are put in her middle school classes.

            So what is the answer to the jobs problem? I could go through all the political crap about welfare state but this not the time.

            What really bothers me is this changing of our society morally, ethically, etc.. I don’t see a positive outcome at this time.

          • Sand_Cat

            Speak to your friends, to whom no lie is too base, no prejudice too disgusting, no hypocrisy too great, if you don’t like the moral tone. Could it be that the last twenty years or so of yammering that no one has any obligation to support the common good, that any tax is too much, in fact it’s “theft,” that not only do many people have no compassion whatsoever toward the less fortunate, they also flock to listen to “entertainers” and “comedians” like Rush Limbaugh who make fun of those who do care and clearly relish the suffering of the downtrodden.

          • cats33

            I think your “Knight” is in deep dodo with Benghazi. Watergate anyone?

          • mike

            “Speak to your friend” sure does fit those who post on NM.
            Just prove all that I have said is wrong. Just that simple, you can do, or can you???

          • sigrid28

            Dominick, let’s look at what “over qualified” really means. In our neck of the woods, it can mean too well qualified to justify part-time work with low pay, no benefits, and no assurance of continuation. Companies use this idea of “college-educated applicants as over-qualified” to seek out workers who can be let go and replaced at the will of management. They may say an over-qualified applicant will quit after training when what they really WANT are workers they can fire after training if it suits them. Merit and quality of work are no longer factors in many kinds of employment.

            About getting to work. Long distance commutes are only manageable for those with decent public transportation or a car that can handle the commute. If a long distance commute does not come along with assurance of a full-time job supporting buying a used car to get there, how can an employee without a good car take the job? Many employers these days will not give any job assurance until three months of “probation,” so they are self-selecting workers who live nearby or who already have a good car. Once again, merit and quality of work make no difference in this work climate.

        • Inthenameofliberty

          No one wants to put out the real unemployment numbers. Because they are horrific. I do not understand why people who want to work but can’t find work [so they temporarily stop looking] are not included in the statistics. Just to make the current leadership look better is not a good reason.

      • cats33

        Your leader is in deep dodo : )

    • [email protected]

      Obama will have another bad week to with all of his Benghazi lies finally being exposed–Obama and Hilary are murderers!!!

    • cats33

      I think the whole Administration is in some deep dodo. FINALLY : )) Watergate anyone? Only no one was murdered in Watergate

  • itsfun

    Obama has problems that are not going to go away. Fast and Furious is one. You can’t supply guns to drug gangs, then go to Mexico and complain about gun control laws.

    The murder of our Ambassador and other Americans is not going away. Witnesses that were there are now coming forward with damaging information.

    Obama care may help many people, but it also may hurt many more people. It already has caused the government to refuse to insure some with per-existing conditions because of the cost. As the cost of medical care keeps going up and up more questions will be asked. The way it was passed with bribes will not go away. Don’t ask me to be on a jury of a bribery trial, I feel the government made bribery legal with the way Obama care was passed.

    These things are not going away!

    • Eleanore Whitaker

      The only people healthcare reform will hurt are those who refuse to pay for their own. Sorry…I’m fed up paying for my healthcare insurance and half of the south and midwest’s indigent too. That should come first from their state taxes. The cost of medical care can’t go any higher without appearing to be outright extortion. As for Fast and Furious and Benghazi…where were the questions regarding Iraq, secret prisons and Gitmo torture?

      • Inthenameofliberty

        A lot of us were sleeping then. I was too busy working, raising children, and keeping up with everyday life.
        Obama woke me up. Because I believed in what he said.
        But now, I have to agree that the higher you put someone on a pedestal, the harder they fall.

        He lied to me. {GMO labeling, transparency, now new taxes for the middle class…yes, yes, all presidential candidates say that but I believed in him…..and I’ll just stop there}.

        I’m not sleeping anymore.

    • charleo1

      Do you know who is still beating the drum on the old as the hills,
      fast, and furious? The hard core Right. It’s been investigated.
      Those investigations were turned over to Congress. The approiate
      people have testified before a Republican led, Congressional
      oversight committee. Who after keeping it in the press as long as
      possible, quietly put it to bed. Because they found it was, just what
      it looked like it was, the whole time. A bungled surveillance operation,
      that had it’s beginnings during the Bush Administration. So, no body,
      but perhaps the lying, NRA, ever accused anyone of intentionally
      supplying weapons to the Mexican drug cartels. The irony is, requiring
      background checks for all gun purchases, would have directly impacted
      the straw purchases of weapons, bought here, and smuggled into
      Mexico. In fact, it would, no doubt have hurt the gun manufactures
      multi million dollar per year business supplying the drug cartels.
      And, as far as the government refusing to insure some individuals.
      The government doesn’t insure anyone. It buys the plans that cover
      Federal employees, including Congress. No restrictions. The government
      provides Medicaid, for the poor. No restrictions. And Medicare, to
      those 65, and above. No restrictions. In 2014 insurers will not be able
      to refuse coverage for pre-existing conditions. That will help some
      129 million Americans under 50, that now have a pre-existing illness.
      And, the 85% of Americans between the ages of 55-64, who will
      develop a condition, that would preclude them from coverage,
      Without ACA.

      • itsfun

        The problems are not going to go away, It doesn’t matter who is beating drums or anything else. Benghazi is going to cause many many problems for Obama, Hillary, and others. This could end up being a major scandal.

        • Sand_Cat

          And “it’s fun,” right?

          Doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, scum like you will keep on shouting it forever.

          • itsfun

            now now remember tolerance for the opinions of others. I simply pointed out what problems Obama may have. Calling people names won’t make problems go away. When your only reply is calling someone names, you are just showing your class.

          • Inthenameofliberty

            Well said.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    The biggest mistake this president made? Believing the GOP is actually EVER going to compromise with a Democrat. Remember what George W. Bush publicly stated in his first term? “MY way or the highway.” This is the wall of obstruction the GOP today is perpetuating to advantage.

    When you are faced with a brick wall, the only option is to body slam through it or try to climb over it. Mitch McConnell stated exactly what the GOP intended for this president, “WE” will get rid of Obama.” The GOP took a hit to the gut in 2012 when this president was re-elected. They were so certain to have another GOP puppet in the White House. Did that make them stand down? You bet not. It made them more militant than ever.

    Now? The GOP knows it has gained exactly what it has always wanted…total control of the government and all they had to do was remain resolute to their obstructive agenda. There are NEVER and I do mean NEVER going to give this president a single second of compromise. This is GOP control at its very worst.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    All anyone has to do to see the militancy of the right and 1% is to read the NY Post editorials. These people are seething that Americans are refusing to fall for any more of the mass Madoffing by “conservatives” out to scrounge up every dime they can get from taxpayers. The mantra for Middle Class Americans must now be, “We will NOT pay more.” This is how you show conservatives that our tax revenues are not limitless sources of their wealth. Cut off the tax subsidies the Too Big To Fail and Too Rich To Change crony capitalists are helping themselves to. Force them to tap into those profits for their business needs and not our tax revenues before they beg taxpayer assistance. Our government has become a cesspool of assistance to Big Business first and the people paying those tax dollars last.

    • sigrid28

      Exactly. If the American Jobs Act alone could pass, many would not need assistance at all–certainly not Big Business, that would benefit, and certainly not workers making a living wage and paying taxes rather than needing unemployment compensation, housing assistance, and food stamps.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    This president came into office acutely aware that he couldn’t appear to be a dictator without playing right into the GOP bigots hands. On the other side of that coin was a GOP all too ready and willing to make a bi-racial president appear the failure at every possible opportunity. President Obama’s first term was totaled by the GOP who refused to cooperate. How do Americans make any progress when billionaires are in total control of the government and GOP politician refuse to budge an inch?

    The sad reality is that the rich have grown all too used to their wealth and assumed we would all just work to keep them that way. The GOP is ALL about keeping wealth in the hands of the 1% minority and austerity lobbed on the 99% majority. It’s time for Americans to ask a very serious question…”Are the trillions in tax subsidies paid to corporate welfare recipients in any way reciprocal?” The answer is “NO!” Growing wealth at the top hasn’t created more jobs for all the tax dollars these corporations now rely on to pay their bills. All while they refuse to tap into their profits to pay their bills. It’s pretty damn easy to take billions in and call it “profit,” before payroll or business debts are paid and then…go running to taxpayers to reduce business taxes, regulations, compliance and use tax subsidies to pay these debts. Is this what we want for our kids’ futures? Work to grow wealth of the 1% and Corporate Socialists?

  • You have to wonder if the obstructionism of Republicunts/neo-Confederate Tea Bags and the constant whining and complaining from their trolls and zombies is wearing on President Obama. The shape we’re in doesn’t have to be this way if Congress would stop working against their President in order to make him (thus America) fail. You have to admit that trying to work with a bunch of scummy, treasonous, home grown domestic terrorists is like trying to nail Jello to a wall! Five years of that will wear down Superman! But, I’m hopeful that President Obama stays strong and hold on to his sanity for America and for Americans who support him.

    • sigrid28

      This post may not remove completely your concern for the president’s well-being, but I hope it helps. What I’m going to say probably applies to most presidents, not just President Obama. Presidents may appear isolated, photographed sitting alone in the Oval Office, but they–and their families–are, in fact, surrounded by experts of every imaginable kind, including health professionals, as well as a sophisticated system of security, such as the mail facility that recently caught a letter laced with ricin sent to the president. Furthermore, there is built in redundancy in this protection. One staffer takes a vacation, another is there to step in. Every move is, at the same time, choreographed. The full press to inform the public about the ins-and-outs of the Affordable Care Act will take place this summer, just before the insurance exchanges go into effect in October. Finally, the president’s agenda is packed, but most pieces can be moved about at a moment’s notice, to keep him safe and to allow for down time if he suddenly needs it–or wants it. I don’t know how else he could keep up the schedule that he carries out day after day. As for the Republicans obstructing progress in Congress, they just returned from another weeklong vacation.

    • charleo1

      Great comment. We should have seen it coming. When the economy
      was in danger of literally collapsing from collateralized debt. Banks
      falling like so many dominoes, There was Limbaugh, at the ’09
      C-Pac convention, saying to thunderous applause, “I hope he fails.”
      Some Patriots. I’ll bet Bin Laden was clapping his hands in approval.

  • iDonald

    The idea that Mr. Obama is offering cuts to S.S. to get an agreement is wrong. He wants those cuts for his Third Way backers. He is doing what his top financial backers want at all times. While he seems ineffective, it is because not many agree with their agenda so his “leadership” itself is limp, not virile. Duplicity only begets opacity. Sad.

    • charleo1

      (President) Obama, (a pet peeve of mine,) He is the President, and
      should be referred to as President, when the subject being discussed,
      pertains to the act, or action taken by the office he now holds. Mr. Obama dotes on his children. While President Obama, placed a cut to Social Security, on the table, as part of a larger overhaul of the tax code. However, your assumption he put Social Security on the table to get an agreement with the radical extremist, serving in Congress, is wrong. As he knew full well
      Republicans would reject the offer. As he also insisted on additional
      revenue. By closing loopholes, and raising rates for top incomes.
      As they have proven, these very expensive cuts, neither encouraged investment, or acted as a stimulus to the overall economy. As the record
      clearly shows, this no longer qualifies as an honest debate. After 10 years,
      the historically regressive, Bush Tax Cuts, skewed heavily toward the
      wealthy, and corporations, have not worked. Indeed, they themselves,
      have been aggregate contributors to the national debt. So, if President
      Obama knew beforehand his offer would be rejected, why did he offer it?
      If we discard the birthers, and the charges of Socialism, hurled at
      this President. The most consistent charge from the Right Wing is, he
      refuses to work with them. And they clearly want entitlements cut.
      By how much, and which ones, they refuse to say. So, has the public
      learned anything? If they are paying attention they did. Namely, the
      Republican Party wants to cut much deeper into the social safety net,
      than they are willing to admit. While protecting special interests, and
      deep pockets at all costs. It’s called balancing the budget on the backs
      of those least able to bear the burden. And, there will be no deal, until
      and, unless, the Right Wing, and especially the T-Party Right, divest
      themselves from their wrongheaded, and frankly harmful, agendas.

      • iDonald

        I get that you disagree with me even though I have trouble following your reasoning.
        But that’s O.K..
        I base my understanding on the difference between what he has said while running for the nomination and in office, with his actions while in office along with his jettisoning those who helped him get elected and hiring those from the Clinton New Democrat/Third Way folks.
        You may not care if he didn’t want to look back, but I do, especially when he claims no laws were broken in the previous 8 years, and then proceeds to build on them, losing the House in 2010, painting himself into a corner, helpless & floundering: the failure that Republicans planned for him. It was dumb and I am disappointed but not surprised. He had it within him to do better but chose his money men over his constituents.

        • charleo1

          My reasoning is very straight forward. He didn’t
          offer to cut SS, because he was trying to get an
          agreement. He made the offer to demonstrate the
          intractability of the opposition. And, I have never
          heard Obama say no laws were broken. What he
          did say, was he would rather look forward, and
          not back. He said it during the campaign of ’08.
          And he built what on the broken laws? Are you
          talking about financial laws? The Patriot Act?
          I have no idea. But, I want you to put yourself in
          his position in Jan ’09. When he looked out at the
          Country, what did he see? The first thing he seen,
          was an economy in terrible shape. Both here, an
          abroad. 800,000 were being laid off their jobs each
          month. We were involved in two wars. Half way around
          the world, 125,000 troops, and 300,000 civilian contractors
          were burning thru 50 million dollars a day. And two
          auto companies, and 3 million more jobs, were on the
          brink of bankruptcy. And State coffers were in no better
          shape. With money running out to keep their Gov’ts
          functioning. And of course, this would have been the
          perfect time to start criminal proceedings aganist the
          previous administration, and tie up Congress for the
          next two years? Litigating everything from how the
          intelligence information was, or was not, cherry picked.
          The issues of torture. Did we? If so, who was going to
          be held responsible? The CIA, Dick Cheney? Or the lawyers
          who gave their opinions? To the malpractice of the financial industry. So, I think to say, well he was just protecting his
          financial benefactors, is excuse me, but an extremely
          superficial, and cynical conclusion. Especially since 90%
          of his donations were $100 dollars, or less. And came
          from a broad base, numbering in the millions. And far
          from painting himself in a corner, his legislative record rivals
          that of any of his predecessors. And, as to the 2010, loss
          of the House. Those Democrats demonstrated great
          political courage, by not taking the safe route. Where the
          big issues, like healthcare, or financial reform are pawned
          off on the next Congress. Because the current one usually
          don’t have the guts to tackle it. It’s the nature of politics.
          We the People are angry because politicians don’t address
          their concerns. Then, when some do, they get hammered.
          It was particularly unfair, in my opinion. Because it is
          well known, if you want to make enemies in politics. Try
          to change things. Yes, even when they need to be changed.

  • exdemo55

    Like Cokey Roberts said, “He’s already a lame duck.”

  • Sand_Cat

    The past article’s title indicated he’s negotiating with himself. I said the American people lose, but he apparently does, too. Not that the “pundit class” is worth an ounce of excrement.