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Old 12-07-2010, 08:34 AM   #421
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in american politics it's best to have each party share in the power structure........that way neither one can screw things up at an accelerated rate.......mcuh as they all do anyways
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Old 12-07-2010, 09:13 AM   #422
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So, Obama probably won't get credit for tax cuts for ALL Americans (just like he didn't get credit for the tax cuts he gave Americans earlier in his term), but he certainly will get blamed for worsening the future Social Security solvency issue with the FICA cut compromise.



Hire a fucking PR firm already! Get the goddamn message out!

Ugh...it's tiring to care.
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Old 12-07-2010, 09:21 AM   #423
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Yeah, I don't get it... For someone who was suppose to be all about image he doesn't seem to care much for when the image isn't being managed.
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Old 12-07-2010, 12:00 PM   #424
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Huffington Post


WASHINGTON -- Obama's decision to craft a deal with Republicans on the Bush tax cuts may have been, as administration officials insist, the product of economic and political necessities. But it has created deep reservoirs of distrust with the president's ability to handle high-stakes negotiations and has compelled even former staffers to level blunt criticisms about the White House's politics.

"I think the president made a huge mistake in supporting any extension of tax cuts," said Steve Hildebrand, the deputy national director of Obama's presidential campaign and a strategist who has long grown sour on Washington. "We can't afford it as a country, and we should recognize that. We need his leadership and bipartisan congressional leadership on it. And the whole idea of negotiating with Republicans who won't negotiate in good faith, it is not the direction the president should be taking."

Hildebrand -- while hesitant to discuss politics over policy -- was reacting to the deal reached Monday evening that would extend the Bush tax rates for two more years in exchange for a 13-month extension of unemployment benefits and other tax cuts provisions the president has long favored. He wasn't the only former Obama hand to speak critically about such an exchange, but the first since the administration announced the deal.

That none of the measures would be paid for was a major problem, Hildebrand and other Democrats stressed. Writing hundreds of billions in tax cuts was simply incompatible with supporting long-standing safety net programs, let alone protecting the country's long-term fiscal security.

"We clearly have to deal with the deficit; it is probably the biggest problem facing the country," said former DNC header Howard Dean. "But you can't deal with the deficit from a political point of view if you say to Democrats, we are going to cut Social Security and Medicare and, by the way, give tax cuts to those who make a million dollars a year."

Antipathy, however, was saved as much for the process of securing the final tax cut package as for the substance of the package itself. Suggesting that the deal could die in the House, Dean echoed a question other Democrats offered in the hours after Obama's announcement: Was enough secured in return?

"I'm not so sure you can get the House to agree to this in conference committee," he said. "And what about the president's other priorities: Don't Ask Don't Tell, START, DREAM Act? I mean, do we not get anything for the $700 billion?"


Certainly, Democrats got something, perhaps even more than expected. Discussing the arrangement with the Huffington Post, senior administration officials stressed that even the labor federation "AFL-CIO did not think...we could keep" the 13 months of unemployment insurance. The actual cost of the provisions that the White House secured, meanwhile, was pricier than the cost of extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich -- $215 billion (including UI) versus $95 billion, all over two years.

And so it wasn't entirely surprising that some more progressive-minded columnists and economists opined favorably (albeit with caveats) about the final package.

As Ezra Klein noted, "the end result is between $200 and $300 billion more in tax breaks, tax credits and unemployment insurance" that is, effectively, a stimulus.

And yet, for skeptical lawmakers, it was hard to ignore how bungled the entire process seemed to be. What could the president have gotten had he stood a bit firmer in negotiations?

"I don't like this at all," Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said. "The president has not put up much of a fight."

Moreover, why should the caucus trust the White House to re-litigate this same battle when the tax rates expire two years from now?

"My view is that if you've got a problem, deal with it now and you don't kick it down the road for later," Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), who is whipping members to oppose the deal, told the Huffington Post. "Two years from now, we are going to have the reality of a Republican majority in the House, and we know their point of view on this. They will be for more tax cuts and higher deficit...this was our best chance."
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Old 12-07-2010, 02:58 PM   #425
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12/7 Press Conference:

Someone in the Press Corpse asks the reasonable question: you said you made a deal because Republicans were holding the middle class hostage; given that, why won't they angle for the exact same situation in 2012?

Well, we'll have two years to discuss the budget.

Yeah, and we already spent 10 years trying to avoid this. 2 more years will fix it!

Turns out the one thing that gets a rise out of Obama is talking about lefties who were annoyed they didn't get the public option.

update: holy crap he's really pissed at liberal Democrats.
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Old 12-07-2010, 03:55 PM   #426
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Originally Posted by mobvok View Post
update: holy crap he's really pissed at liberal Democrats.


while i certainly consider myself a progressive who happens to be forced to vote democratic, i kind of understand Obama's anger with the left. while he absolutely let all of us project our Earth Born Black Messiah Intellectual Antidote To The Bush Era, he never, ever made promises about making America into a liberal paradise. in fact, his inaugural address -- which i attended -- was quite downbeat, quite sober, and quite aware of the enormous problems the country is facing.

i remember feeling some disappointment at the various Clinton-era sellouts -- the abandonment of health care, DADT, DOMA, welfare "reform" -- and now, who wouldn't trade anything to go back to the 1990s?

one of the problems with the Left, and i consider myself guilty in this, was very well articulated in an interview i read last month with Tony Kushner:

Quote:
“Mark and I just had a discussion about it; we don’t see eye to eye”—Kushner married Mark Harris, a journalist who sometimes writes for New York, before a rabbi in Manhattan in 2003 and then legally in Massachusetts before a “lady motorcycle cop,” in 2008. “But I feel that after Obama’s inauguration the left immediately settled into our very familiar role of being the backseat drivers or principled opposition, and have expressed volubly every disappointment. Not even after the inauguration. The minute they heard that Rick Warren was speaking at the inauguration, LGBT people were saying, ‘It’s over, he’s just like all the others.’ Let alone those who say there’s no difference between Republicans and Democrats, which I think is glib and profoundly dangerous. What frightens me is that I feel that we’re in the process of dismantling the coalition of constituencies that brought Obama to the White House.

My feeling is that there are too many of us on the left who believe that politics is an expression of personal purity. Because of our divorcement from electoral politics and abandonment of a belief in the possibility of radical change through participatory democracy, we have become profoundly uncomfortable with, and ignorant of, the complexities and discomfort of making change in a democracy. I’m guilty of this in some of the earlier things I wrote, too. I have no illusion of being able to change Rush Limbaugh’s mind, or of being able to make John Boehner anything other than a profoundly indecent person, but what makes something happen in an electoral democracy is compromise, negotiation, and strategizing, and to a certain extent even what in the Clinton era became fashionable to call lying. There are lies, and those should not be tolerated. But there is a degree of rhetorical finesse that’s required to maneuver through very treacherous waters. I’m willing to believe that this man who got himself elected president is actually a very skilled politician and is negotiating imponderably difficult conditions.”

[...]

"And the LGBT community, what are they, we, looking for?” Kushner continues. “Yes, we’ve been asked to wait a very long time, asked to eat oceans of shit by the Democratic Party; we’ve been 75 percent loyal for decades without a wobble and without a whole lot of help from these people. And it’s important that somebody keeps screaming; the trick is how do you scream, and who do you scream to? If we’re dissatisfied with these Democrats, let’s get better ones instead of fantasies about mass uprisings that are going to resemble the October Revolution. Yes, it might sometimes feel good to throw the newspaper across the room. There’s much criticism of Obama that’s legitimate. He backs down on things, he waffles, like on the mosque, and you wince. And I consider his decision to appeal the Federal court ruling abolishing DADT to be unethical, tremendously destructive, and potentially politically catastrophic. But is Obama really supposed to say, as the first African-American president, that same-sex marriage is his first priority? Clearly he believes in it; he’s a constitutional scholar. It’s not conceivable to me that he believes that state-sponsored marriage should be unavailable to same-sex couples, even if he has religious scruples. But do I think he should have lost the election for the chance to say he supported same-sex marriage? No. Given that we would have had John McCain and Sarah Palin, I would have said, ‘Say anything you need to.’ So if he’s moving very cautiously, with two wars he’s inherited and a collapsing global economy and the planet coming unglued—Okay!”

Why Tony Kushner Is One of the Last Intellectuals Left Standing in Theater -- New York Magazine
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Old 12-07-2010, 05:04 PM   #427
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Listening to Obama's press conference today, I've been thinking more and more about his Presidency from an overall viewpoint.

Isn't it interesting that the left saw him as being able to bring sweeping, transformative politics to Washington, and the right saw him (or has publicly tarred him) as a crazy socialist.

Both were wrong.

At the end of the day it seems as if Obama is riding the pragmatism train into the ground, for better or for worse. He likened extending the tax cuts for all to get the employment benefits extended as a hostage situation.
Quote:
“I think it’s tempting not to negotiate with hostage takers, unless the hostage gets harmed, then people will question the wisdom of that strategy,” Obama said.“In this case the hostage was the American people and I was not willing to see them get harmed.”
The guy really just wants to legislate, and slowly roll the massive stone forward even if it's an inch or two. The times when his advisors have had him lash out at the GOP he has just looked bitter and silly. He's just about legislating as much as he can from the center, even to the extent that the Democrats see him as not capable of leading well enough, and the Republicans will block any and all attempts to do anything useful.

Is he an Independent president that just happens to have a (D) next to his name?
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:00 PM   #428
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I've always seen Obama as a pragmatic idealist (or is that an idealistic pragmatist?). With each passing day there seems to unfortunately be less and less room for pragmatism in American politics. Especially with one party who is becoming more and more thuggish with each passing day.
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Old 12-07-2010, 08:05 PM   #429
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Especially with one party who is becoming more and more thuggish with each passing day.
I've just watched Ed Schultz, Chris Matthews (Hardball) and now Countdown with Keith O., who have all called the right "hostage takers" - now they seem to be making fun of Obama for saying the very thing they wanted him to call the right out on, all along.
He can't fucking win.
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Old 12-08-2010, 04:04 AM   #430
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Originally Posted by Irvine511 View Post
while i certainly consider myself a progressive who happens to be forced to vote democratic, i kind of understand Obama's anger with the left. while he absolutely let all of us project our Earth Born Black Messiah Intellectual Antidote To The Bush Era, he never, ever made promises about making America into a liberal paradise. in fact, his inaugural address -- which i attended -- was quite downbeat, quite sober, and quite aware of the enormous problems the country is facing.
Exactly. Part of the problem lies squarely on the Obama supporters' shoulders. I'm more pissed off at and irritated with them some days than I am at Obama and the Democrats.

Thanks for sharing the interview with Tony Kushner, that pretty much says it all . He's absolutely right, especially in the first part you quoted there. For God's sake, in the '50s and '60s, when people felt the change towards civil rights wasn't moving quickly enough, what did they do? Did they sit at home and bellyache? No. They got in the streets and marched and held rallies and boycotts and made noise. AND many of them managed to do it peacefully, too, even when they were being violently attacked and threatened by those who wanted to thwart their progress. When exactly did we decide to stop doing that? Why are we leaving it to the right to do the get-togethers to get what they want?

Angela
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Old 12-08-2010, 04:22 AM   #431
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I wish it could be like the 50s or 60s, but my generation couldn't give a shit about the common good, we have high self-esteem and need to keep working two or three jobs to make sure there is a flatscreen in every home and an iPod in every jeans pocket.

I wish there weren't even a bit of truth to that, but there is.
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Old 12-08-2010, 09:45 AM   #432
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I wish it could be like the 50s or 60s, but my generation couldn't give a shit about the common good, we have high self-esteem and need to keep working two or three jobs to make sure there is a flatscreen in every home and an iPod in every jeans pocket.

I wish there weren't even a bit of truth to that, but there is.


if you care about the common good, post this as your Facebook status.
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:53 AM   #433
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Quote:
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if you care about the common good, post this as your Facebook status.
UGH. that and all the invites to causes are why I don't spend much time of facebook.
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Old 12-08-2010, 03:46 PM   #434
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It's been awhile since I've been here, but I really wanted to weigh in on this. It's good to see everyone again!

I definitely understand the anger of my fellow Obama supporters, Democrats, and progressives about this decision. I'm very disappointed that it had to come to this. But I feel that to turn on President Obama and accuse of him of selling out is a big mistake. I have to ask of people that are doing that: Did they even watch the press conference yesterday? Clearly, this was the last thing Obama wanted to do. This was not a decision he made because he felt it was the right move policy-wise. Once again, he demonstrated his true character and his commitment, not only to his party, but to the American public. Yes, the extension of the Bush tax cuts in and of itself is disappointing. But when his opponents in the GOP are behaving like a group of whiny, petulant 10 year old bullies (aka, being a Republican), any hope of a mature, two-sided compromise flies out the window. I sometimes wish, along with many, that Obama would give the Republicans exactly what he's getting and treat them with the same lack of respect and dignity they treat him with. However, he didn't become president by sinking to the level of human trash and utter lack of class that characterizes nearly every Republican in government. He has always played above the fray even when it looked like it would cost him. As he said yesterday, he doesn't look only to what will benefit the country in the short-term or him politically. When he makes what is viewed as a "compromise", he's looking to the possibility and opportunity it may afford him and supporters of said causes in the future because of the sacrifices he's making now. And that is what Republicans, and seemingly even, some Democrats will never understand. Winning every little battle and getting exactly what you want may seem the ideal way to accomplish your ultimate goals. However, as we saw in the last administration, and in the first 8 years of the decade, what seems like a victory for your side at the time, ends up having disastrous consequences for the greater good in the end. It's a lesson that both sides seem to have trouble comprehending, and I'm just glad that we have a grown-up for a President who actually does understand that and governs accordingly.
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Old 12-08-2010, 03:58 PM   #435
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I just think Washington is a highly dysfunctional broken place. It all just really ticks me off. I'm not joining the Tea Party or anything like that but it just seems utterly hopeless.

Nice to see you here again U2isthebest
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