Tag Archives: obstructionism

Speaker Boehner Demands President Help Pass Phantom Job Bills Stuck In Senate

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image of  Speaker Boehner cryingOn Thursday US House Speaker John Boehner stood before reporters and, in an attempt to deflect growing pressure on his party’s obstruction of President Obama’s jobs plan, demanded the President help pass 15 so-called Jobs bills passed in the House and stuck in the Senate. The bills that Boehner defines as “job bills” have nothing to do with actual jobs. The bills only help the 1% by gutting EPA rules and allowing more environmentally suspect oil drilling.
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Early thoughts on 2010 Election results

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The 2010 election is not official but it looks like a bad night for Democrats both nationally and here in Ohio. The economy was part of the reason – people out of work – blame the party in power. I have some other thoughts on it.

It looks like the GOP will be sweeping all the offices in Ohio but at this hour Governor is still too close to call.

MSNBC had some exit poll info that showed the main reason for turning out the Democrats was JOBS JOBS JOBS. Anger at the government (the Tea party argument) was only 24%.

Genius Chris Matthews asks maybe if the Democrats had forced the GOP to fight for their ideas instead of letting them obstruct real economy recovery solutions and financial reform the results might have been different.

You think Chris??? Duh! Where have been for two years?

Lawrence O’Donnell was upset that the dirty hippies hurt Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas in the end.

No Larry, Blanche hurt herself being a blue dog Democrat and throwing labor under the bus.

The only good thing is now the GOP has their chance to try to govern. Good luck to them and may heaven help us all. They have been saying “No!” for so long they don’t have any real idea what they will do to “give us jobs”.

A good spin I would put on it is like a close football game. It is 21 to 20 with 3 minutes left in the game.

Your team is behind and is driving down the field. You end up scoring a field goal to move ahead 23-21 but there is 2 minutes left in the game.

Commentators usually ask “Did you score too soon?”

What then sometimes happens is the other team drives down close enough to kick a field goal and ends up winning 24-23.

In my world the GOP is the team that scored too soon since the 2012 election counts more than 2010.

We will see.

One note is that the GOP is not winning as many seats as they did in 1994 when the economy was not as bad as now.

My problem with President Obama

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At the end of July, I wrote a post about President Obama’s video address to Netroots Nation – a group of liberal bloggers and Internet users. I complained that Obama and the Democratic leadership in Congress were not using their Congressional majority to pass laws that would actually help regular Americans. They had compromised too much with the GOP. It seems more people in the Netroots are coming around to my feelings.

I wrote:

The pundits have been complaining the President hasn’t been out banging the pots and pans about his agenda being passed and I think I know why. I think they know the bills – like Health Care reform (HCR) and financial reform – don’t mean anything to regular people outside of DC. HCR won’t really take effect until 2013 (one of the compromises that watered the bill down) and the financial reform didn’t punish the bankers that screwed our economy. You would think that any “victory” would have a ticker tape parade with a band and party favors but nope.

It’s as if the administration wasn’t surprised at getting limpy bills passed.

That’s what’s so sad. The Democrats pissed away their power these past two years. They had such great potential.

I am also mad because I have no alternative. I will have to hold my nose and keep these losers in office because the alternative – the GOP – is much worse. And the White House knows it.

Netroots, President Obama, and the Democrats – a sad rocky relationship

Ian Welsh, on Crooks and Liars, wrote an excellent essay that describes my problem with the President better than I did in my July post:

If Obama had wanted a $1.2 trillion stimulus, say, he should have asked for a $1.6 trillion stimulus. Then “moderate” Republicans and Dems could have negotiated him down $400K. This is basic negotiation, which anyone who has ever negotiated in a third world bazaar knows—you start off with an offer far higher (or lower) than what you’re willing to accept, and leave room for the inevitable haggling.

The same is true of health care reform. If you’re negotiating for a public option—if you actually want one, then you don’t throw single payer advocates out. You act as if that’s something you’re seriously considering, you talk about polls showing it has majority support, and you then “compromise” to a public option.

This sort of self-defeating, pre-negotation concession has been a repeated pattern for the Obama administration (assuming that Obama does seek Liberal ends).

Obama has a huge slush fund with hundreds of billions of dollars and all the executive authority he needs to turn things around.

If Obama is not using that money and authority, the bottom line is it’s because he doesn’t want to.

Putting aside the question of what Obama could have accomplished already, if he wants to help everyday Americans, turn around Democratic approval ratings in time for the midterm elections, and leave behind him a legacy of achievement, he can still do it. If he wants to.

What Can Obama Really Do?

It also seems Markos Moulitsas, founder of Daily Kos and one of the founders of the Netroots agrees:

This goes beyond “doing something”, and into the realm of actually doing something to excite the base. The administration has done virtually nothing designed to reward its partisans. Half measures and compromises with Republicans who voted against final legislation certainly doesn’t count. Failing to follow through on promises on everything from comprehensive immigration reform to DADT doesn’t help. Fighting to open up more shoreline to drilling doesn’t help. Lilly Ledbetter was a step forward, then the Stupak Amendment was two steps back.

In fact, from the beginning, this administration and Democratic congress seemed more concerned with “bipartisanship” for the sake of bipartisanship, than they were in passing the best possible legislation possible. Harry Reid came off the gate in 2008 by immediately whining about “60 votes” — something I don’t recall ever hearing from Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. The Obama Administration indulged Max Baucus’ “negotiations” with Republicans Mike Enzi and company, even as those Republicans publicly bragged that their entire strategy was to delay and obstruct.

People may whine about cable hosts and bloggers who point out these failings, and try to shoot the messenger. But we don’t have a noise machine like Fox’s. Rush Limbaugh reaches a third of the conservative base on a weekly base. There is nothing even remotely close to that on the Left. Limbaugh’s weekly audience is 20 million. Keith Olbermann’s is maybe a tenth of that.

No, this mess is the administration’s making, with a healthy assist from Harry Reid’s Senate. The shame is that Nancy Pelosi’s House, which did its job, will bear the brunt of the voter backlash. But the White House won’t be spared.

The impending November of Doom

I admit I live in a sort of bubble since I read and participate in the Netroots. Someone who isn’t as super-informed like me might have a different view but my fear is since the mainstream media has failed in their job to report the facts, then it might be very bad for the Democrats in November.

I really don’t see a wave of incumbents being thrown out. In fact most of the incumbents who have lost lately were Republicans who didn’t fall into the Tea Party line.

I hope I am wrong and while there are some losses, the Democrats can try to pass their agenda but this time without sniffing the ass of the Republicans. The Democrats pissed away their opportunity to reform all the shit we put up with under President Bush.

The President knows what the issues are, as he said during his speech announcing the end of combat in Iraq:

Throughout our history, America has been willing to bear the burden of promoting liberty and human dignity overseas, understanding its link to our own liberty and security. But we have also understood that our nation’s strength and influence abroad must be firmly anchored in our prosperity at home. And the bedrock of that prosperity must be a growing middle class.

Unfortunately, over the last decade, we have not done what is necessary to shore up the foundation of our own prosperity. We have spent over a trillion dollars at war, often financed by borrowing from overseas. This, in turn, has short-changed investments in our own people, and contributed to record deficits. For too long, we have put off tough decisions on everything from our manufacturing base to our energy policy to education reform. As a result, too many middle class families find themselves working harder for less, while our nation’s long-term competitiveness is put at risk.

And so at this moment, as we wind down the war in Iraq, we must tackle those challenges at home with as much energy, and grit, and sense of common purpose as our men and women in uniform who have served abroad. They have met every test that they faced. Now, it is our turn. Now, it is our responsibility to honor them by coming together, all of us, and working to secure the dream that so many generations have fought for –the dream that a better life awaits anyone who is willing to work for it and reach for it.

Our most urgent task is to restore our economy, and put the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs back to work. To strengthen our middle class, we must give all our children the education they deserve, and all our workers the skills that they need to compete in a global economy. We must jumpstart industries that create jobs, and end our dependence on foreign oil. We must unleash the innovation that allows new products to roll off our assembly lines, and nurture the ideas that spring from our entrepreneurs. This will be difficult. But in the days to come, it must be our central mission as a people, and my central responsibility as President.

President Obama address to the nation 8/31/2010

Speeches are nice but people want to see results – real results. They need jobs, they want the people who screwed the economy to go to jail, they want at least a public option in health care, and they want help to keep their homes.

If the Democrats don’t deliver then they better be ready for if not giving up Congress more obstruction from the GOP and that might hurt them going into the 2012 Presidential elections.

I wonder if the administration is even listening to what is happening outside of DC.

Real people screwed over by GOP obstructionism

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Dear GOP, Just to let you know that real people are being hurt because you hate the unemployed. In this video from my local television station showed that 7500 people in my county will lose their benefits and not all of them are “just lazy”.

Real people screwed over by GOP obstructionism

On this holiday weekend, please GOP stop hating America.

*Update*

Here is more proof that the GOP talking point about “the lazy unemployed” is full of crap. Jason Linkins at Huffington Post wrote:

But Linder’s example happens to be an exception. The basic reality for America’s job seekers is that currently there are five people looking for work for every job opening. The average unemployment benefit is a scant $290 per week. And, as Arthur Delaney reported on these pages in early June, there are other difficult-to-ignore facts that harpoon the notion that the unemployed are content to live off benefits:

Larry Mishel of the Economic Policy Institute pointed out that only 67 percent of the 15 million unemployed receive benefits. Even if all those people are enjoying the dole, shouldn’t businesses still be able to hire some of the other five million receiving no benefits at all?

Exactly. If unemployment benefits truly tamp down the motivation of job seekers, there would still be about five million people going after the jobs that Sharron Angle believes exist with a rabid intensity.

Unemployed Working Hard To Find Jobs, Despite Depiction As Spoiled Brats