The Democrats are now officially the party that’s trying to cut Social Security, and the Republicans are now the party that’s trying to protect it. Nice work Mr. President, I didn’t even know it was possible to score an own-goal in eleventy-dimensional chess.
It’s apparently also okay as long as you have a whole bunch of innocent, hardworking hostages employees that would lose their jobs if your company got prosecuted out of existence. Of course, if you sent the individuals responsible to prison, that wouldn’t put everyone else out on the street. I can only assume that Breuer was worried that aggressive prosecution would drive those delicate souls to suicide like it did to Aaron Swartz.
I’d like to think Breuer is out at DOJ because of gross incompetence, but it’s probably more like he’s completed his mission of escorting the fraudsters safely across the statute of limitations threshold and is now ready to collect his reward.
A T-shirt featuring Barack Obama dressed as a witch doctor — complete with a bone through the president’s nose — is proving to be somewhat popular at the South Carolina tea party convention in Myrtle Beach, according to the shirt’s creator.
Bob Cramer, a Myrtle Beach local, told Palmetto Public Record that his homemade airbrushed shirt is meant to be a comment about President Obama’s “takeover of medicine” through the Affordable Care Act. The shirt claims that Obama-the-medicine-man is “your new doctor, coming soon to a clinic near you!”
“Some people tell me it’s racist, but it’s not racist — it’s political,” Cramer said. “Matter of fact, that’s how I got invited here.”
Oh, absolutely. I’m sure that if it were Hillarycare or Bidencare, we’d be seeing pictures of Hill or Joe as a witch doctor. But one of the commenters has the best explanation of all as to why it’s not racist:
How in the world is this racist? If the same image (witch doctor type outfit, pierced nose, etc) were made of say, George Bush—or any white politician—it would be fine, right? To say you can’t depict Obama in a way that would be fine for any other person BECAUSE of his race is sorta’ racist itself, IMO.
So according to this logic, anything that could hypothetically be applied to a white person, no matter how nonsensically, not only can’t be considered racist, but exposes anyone who calls it racist as being the real racist. It’s so stupid it’s brilliant!
Great article by Bruce Bartlett in the American Conservative about how the GOP lost its mind and, consequently, elections. But I think he misses a connection.
At one point, Bartlett says this about Obama (which I agree with 100%):
The final line for me to cross in complete alienation from the right was my recognition that Obama is not a leftist. In fact, he’s barely a liberal—and only because the political spectrum has moved so far to the right that moderate Republicans from the past are now considered hardcore leftists by right-wing standards today. Viewed in historical context, I see Obama as actually being on the center-right.
And then, later on, he also says this:
It is now widely understood that the nation may be center-left after all, not center-right as conservatives thought.
This is probably true too, but the point that I think Bartlett should have made more explicit is that the problem is not that Republicans misjudged where the American people are on the political spectrum, so much as where the political spectrum is in the first place. Even if America is a center-right country as Republicans love to say, the center-right is where Obama and the Democrats are, not where the Republicans are. Even by their own assessment of the electorate, their political positioning is terrible – and it only makes sense if you define “center-right” as somewhere to the right of Dick Cheney.
So the good news is that between the GOP’s extremism and America’s demographic trends (which Bartlett also talks about), the Republicans may be dooming themselves to irrelevance for a long time to come. Of course, the bad news is that most Democrats might as well be Republicans too.
So yeah, the Democrats had a pretty good election on Tuesday: Electoral vote landslide for Obama, wins for progressives like Liz Warren, Tammy Baldwin, Sherrod Brown and Alan Grayson, and losses for misogynistic Tea Party buffoons like Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, Allen West and Joe Walsh. Better yet, as the minority and youth votes grow, it looks like these kinds of results could be the new normal.
Isolated pockets of progressivism notwithstanding, today’s Democrats as a whole are still just as corporate-owned as the Republicans, they’re just subtle enough to frame their sellouts as “pragmatism” and “compromise”. Worse yet, it looks like Obama and the Democrats are poised to Grandly Bargain awaySocial Security and Medicare, the crown jewels of the liberals and progressives who just swept them back into office. So you’ll forgive me if I’m less than excited about Democrats retaining control of the White House and Senate when they’re committed to delivering Republican policy outcomes.
Demographics make the GOP irrelevant, Democrats make it unnecessary.
It’s not enough to vote based on whether Obama has done a crappy job over the last four years (he has). Vote based on who you think will do a better job over the next four years, and on whether you think they’re a lesser enough evil to be worth supporting.
Apparently Paul Ryan’s plan for Social Security is awfully similar to Pinochet’s, which didn’t end up working out so well. That’s why it’s so important to re-elect Obama, because he’ll fight to keep Social Security intact. Or not.
By my count, Mitt Romney, Compassionate Defender Of The Elderly, accused Obama of cutting $716 billion out of Medicare six times in last night’s debate, and Obama never made the slightest effort to rebut it, or even to point out that the Ryan budget plan does the exact same thing. That’s probably going to hurt Obama the most, but overall he didn’t seem to really respond to Romney so much as just recite whatever talking points were in the general vicinity of the question.
Really really terrible, inept performance. Romney’s a liar and he came across as a condescending bully, but at least he showed confidence and conviction in what he was saying, and didn’t let anything go unchallenged.
Of course, Dubya’s first debate performance in 2004 was probably one of the worst of all time, and he still managed to win anyway. And Obama isn’t nearly as terrible or disliked as Bush was, while Mitt is even stiffer and tone-deafer than Kerry was, so ultimately it may not even matter. Unless he fails to show up at any of the debates.
The reason the RNC had to use one of their own staffers to pretend to be a disappointed Obama supporter isn’t that ex-Obama backers are hard to find, it’s that it’s hard to find any that have dumped him for reasons that are favorable to Romney. There are a whole bunch of us out there, but precious few of us have given up on Obama because he spends too much money and hangs out with celebrities. We’ve given up on him because he’s done nothing to roll back Bush’s authoritarian, pro-corporate, pro-wealth policies. If anything, he’s even expanded some of them.
But obviously those reasons wouldn’t really play well in an ad for Mitt Romney. They’d much rather have some phony insisting that they’re mad at Obama because they expected him to have destroyed Social Security and Medicare by now, and to have rolled back all corporate regulations and taxes.
I wonder if this will be the first presidential election where a majority of voters cast their votes against a candidate they hate rather than for a candidate they like. Or maybe all elections are like that, in which case I still think 2012 will mark an all-time high.
I suppose Mitt’s choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate might induce more base Republicans to vote for him, but it’ll also induce almost everyone else to vote against him.
Investigators for an Arizona [Sheriff Joe Arpaio's] volunteer posse have declared that President Barack Obama’s birth certificate is definitely fraudulent.
Mike Zullo, the posse’s chief investigator, said numeric codes on certain parts of the birth certificate indicate that those parts weren’t filled out, yet those sections asking for the race of Obama’s father and his field of work or study were completed.
Zullo said investigators previously didn’t know the meaning of codes but they were explained by a 95-year-old former state worker who signed the president’s birth certificate.
Sooo… Their conclusion that Obama’s birth certificate is fake is based on information from THE GUY WHO SIGNED IT???
Roger Simon compares the Otherness of Barack Obama (Kenyan! Socialist!) to the Otherness of Mitt Romney (Swiss bank accounts! Outsourcing!) and wonders why it is that Mitt is so unlikable.
Personally, I think Mitt is Bizarro Kerry: They’re both stiff, awkward Massachusetts politicians with tons of money and a complete inability to connect with anyone outside their own tax bracket, running doomed campaigns against crappy presidents who would lose to a strong opponent. If they weren’t from different parties and different religions it’d be hard to tell them apart.
David Bromwich offers up a lengthy explanation of how the young Obama’s grappling with racial identity and his self-perception as a transformative “man of genius” have shaped his desire for unity and consensus above all else, and his preference for words over deeds, but it’s the wrong explanation, proceeding from a faulty premise.
Obama doesn’t half-ass progressive policies because he craves bipartisanship or is bad at follow-through, he half-asses them because he doesn’t want them. Obama isn’t some weak or foolish liberal hamstrung by personal drama, he’s a corporate tool who uses the DLC strategy of packaging conservatism as cunning political positioning rather than plain old selling out for money.
Gruber hopes for a not-too-distant future where Medicare and the health reform law enjoy the same status in the public’s mind. “My dream is of a world, 20 years from now, where someone says, ‘Keep the government’s hands off my ACA,’ ” said Gruber, a key architect of both Romneycare and Obamacare.
Well, you know, if you want it to be loved like Medicare, maybe you should have modeled it on Medicare. Just a thought.
Hooray, Obama now says he’s in favor of marriage equality instead of saying he opposes it. But as Gawker points out, it’s not going to translate into any kind of positive action, it’s just meaningless lip service (leaving it up to the states does not equal support in any meaningful way) – Obama has simply calculated that he needs to get the LGBT community and their allies off his back and into his wallet before the election.
But make no mistake: Obama “supports” marriage equality like he “supported” the healthcare public option, EFCA, Dawn Johnsen, and Liz Warren – he’ll make tepidly positive statements and nothing else. What Obama says he supports is meaningless: Always watch what he fights for, and what he doesn’t.
Is Obama deathly afraid of conservative attacks on “job-killing regulations” and “the nanny state”, or does he simply agree with them? Either way, he’s hamstringing his regulators just like his predecessor did. I particularly like this tidbit about the guy Obama put in charge of regulating the regulators:
Cass R. Sunstein, director of the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, advocates what he calls “libertarian paternalism,” a regulatory philosophy that encourages rather than mandates changes that improve or save lives.
One of my biggest disappointments since Obama’s election has been not just Obama’s despicable betrayal of Democratic ideals, but liberals and Democrats’ complete willingness to overlook those ideals simply because he’s nominally a member of the same team. Conservatives did the exact same thing when Bush was president, but I had really hoped progressives were better than that.
When loyalty trumps principles, those principles become meaningless. And right now neither party has any recognizable principles other than supreme executive power and blind loyalty to moneyed interests.
[Maricopa County Sheriff Joe] Arpaio on Thursday unveiled preliminary results of an investigation, conducted by members of his volunteer task force, into the authenticity of President Obama’s birth certificate, a controversy driven by the so-called birther movement that has been widely debunked but which remains alive in the eyes of some conservatives.
At a news conference, Arpaio said the probe revealed that there was probable cause to believe Obama’s long-form birth certificate released by the White House in April is a computer-generated forgery. He also said the selective service card completed by Obama in 1980 in Hawaii also was most likely a forgery.
“I’m not going after Obama,” said Arpaio, who has criticized the president’s administration for cutting off his federal immigration powers and conducting a civil rights investigation of his office. “I’m just doing my job.”
And there you have it. He wouldn’t say it if it weren’t true, right?
A weak labor market, like the one we’ve experienced since the financial crisis in 2008, imposes enormous stress on people. Given the added anxiety created by a weak economy, you might think life expectancy would decline. Oddly, though, during recessions, exactly the opposite tends to happen: Life expectancy rises.
Now we know: Obama’s stimulus was actually a stealth death panel! Why does Obama hate Grandma so?
This little snippet jumped out at me from a story about how Republicans hate Obama’s decision to defer a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline because he hates America:
Jim Oddie, a scuba instructor… ticked off the reasons Obama might have nixed the pipeline. “He doesn’t play for our team,” he said. “He wasn’t raised in the mainland of the United States. He doesn’t think America is exceptional. Come on—he grew up in Hawaii in 1961 when it had been a state for less than two years. Spent time in Indonesia.”
I wonder if this guy came out with this himself, or if these are the new talking points circulating around in right-wing Tea Party-land. They grudgingly admit that yeah, Obama was born in the US, but it doesn’t really count because Hawaii is barely part of America, and he spent time in another country!
Unlike full-on birtherism, this narrative has the virtue of being factually correct, but it still arrives at the same ridiculous place. I’m sure the many middle-aged Hawaiians (and probably Alaskans) will be surprised to hear that they’re not really Americans because they weren’t “raised in the mainland”.
A former top executive at Citigroup who participated in the deregulation of Wall Street during the Clinton administration and recently was tapped by President Barack Obama for a top White House post told a Senate panel last week that deregulation didn’t lead to the recent financial crisis.
Jacob “Jack” Lew, Obama’s nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget, the White House agency entrusted with ensuring that federal regulations reflect the president’s agenda, was asked Thursday during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Budget Committee by Sen. Bernie Sanders whether he believed that the “deregulation of Wall Street, pushed by people like Alan Greenspan [and] Robert Rubin, contributed significantly to the disaster we saw on Wall Street.”
Lew, a former OMB chief for President Bill Clinton, told the panel that “the problems in the financial industry preceded deregulation,” and after discussing those issues, added that he didn’t “personally know the extent to which deregulation drove it, but I don’t believe that deregulation was the proximate cause.“
Well, I guess that explains how the resolutely obstructionist GOP allowed him to be confirmed as the head of OMB…