The Age Of Nelson, Collins and Obama: Part 2


Obama endorsed the moderates' effort and brought its leaders -- Sens. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) -- to the White House to discuss their proposed cuts. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel attended the final meetings in Reid's office last night to work out lingering differences. Before Emanuel arrived, Collins said, Democrats were advocating $63 billion in cuts. "Then Rahm got involved, and a much better proposal came forward," she said.

(Emphasis supplied.) F--- me. Obama betrayed Congressional Democrats fighting for the best bill for the economy and the country. Obama fought for spending cuts and GOP tax cuts! Obama the triangulator! It is indeed the era of Nelson, Collins and Obama! The Beltway "Bipartisan" BSers got their man - and his name appears to be Barack Obama.

The Age of Nelson, Collins and Obama! Yes, they did!

Speaking for me only

< A Victory For The Beltway "Bipartisan" BSers; Yes They Did! | Saturday Open Thread >
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  • Yes, we are screwed (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by kmblue on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 09:14:12 AM EST
    Obama still thinks playing nice is the way to go.
    Next to fall--Social Security, Medicare...and those other pesky "entitlements".

    Man, I'm sick.

    Who says he is "playing nice"? (5.00 / 13) (#2)
    by Fabian on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 09:24:38 AM EST
    Is he a Dem or not?

    I know he's no liberal.  I know he's no radical leftist.  

    So what is he?  Is he some New Democrat, that could be mistaken for an old Republican in the wrong light and camera angle?


    Dear Fabian (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by kmblue on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 09:25:54 AM EST
    I think you've got it. :(

    I'm exactly where you are (5.00 / 5) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 09:30:08 AM EST
    I can't make out any of his defining borders.

    That was the concern that was (5.00 / 9) (#11)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 09:37:54 AM EST
    voiced over and over by those who just couldn't understand the following he managed to get. "What does he stand for?" was asked and the answer was to change the subject.

    Millions of Americans, Democrats and Republicans, are seeing what they expected to see.


    He was blurry then (5.00 / 11) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 09:47:37 AM EST
    that was one of the primary reasons I was a Clinton supporter.  I felt like she was better defined and had a much better track record of sticking to her stances.  That and the fact that I'm an evil person and evil hangs with evil :)  This is much different though.  This is like tossing your core party planks in the trash can and starting the blaze yourself.  My son's teacher is such an excellent teacher, we are so fortunate to have her in our lives this year with the added challenge that his foot surgery and healing created.  Last Monday she was very frustrated that it was looking like we were going to have to close schools in Montgomery due to lack of funds.  I was bringing in our family $ donation to the new tech needs that day and she asked me why some people couldn't understand that in crisis we must stick with our priorities.  We must invest in children for their future, that is the last thing we cut.  I agree with her and don't pretend to understand the whys of a loss of priorities like this.  This bill could have propped up the schools in Montgomery but that isn't going to happen now.

    My Democratic eyes weren't blurred (5.00 / 10) (#16)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 09:57:02 AM EST
    on Obama, and the core of my political belief system was torn to shreds with how the party ran the process. I do understand very well how awful you feel today. Same feeling, different phase.

    I hope the people become very active in communicating with their representatives and senators during these recovery years. Obama is very inexperienced and will not stop to learn from the more knowledgeable if we just sigh and complain. My hope is that he grows into his position quickly and is wise enough to keep his finger on the pulse of the people.


    Unfortunately (5.00 / 5) (#106)
    by cal1942 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:20:10 PM EST
    Obama's skill was guaging the pulse of the people and the media from an electoral standpoint.

    On policy I don't think he'll bother to check for a pulse.  

    Once again the Roberts nomination is the Rosetta Stone to understanding Obama.

    Currently 58-41 in the Senate and this team didn't appear to try to squeeze a couple of Republicans, those up for re-election in 2010. For that matter, in concert with Senate Democrats, he could have threatened the nuclear option.

    They caved instead and did so aggressively.

    There are other tests coming. What will happen in conference, who will the Senate Democrats assign to the committee and if the bill is straightened out in conference how will the Senate vote. What will Obama do to influence the conferees and if the bill is straightened out what will he do regarding the Senate vote.

    Obama didn't learn the right lesson from the House vote.  Instead he opted to cave all the more putting bi-partisan nonsense over policy.


    At least he's making republicans happy! (5.00 / 2) (#159)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:53:34 PM EST
    But making me rather ill.  

    I thought Rahm had better sense, and better political skills.


    Well, when you let the media (5.00 / 6) (#108)
    by Cream City on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:29:01 PM EST
    pick the president, there will not be change.

    Is he a stealth candidate? DINO? Bcz it was the (5.00 / 2) (#116)
    by jawbone on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:41:08 PM EST
    only way to get elected in Chicago?

    I really don't know. I watch him in action and wonder....


    Sure, compromise in Chicago (5.00 / 4) (#168)
    by Cream City on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:12:23 PM EST
    politics is just part of the Chicago Way.

    The difference is that, in Chicago, you only compromise with other Democrats.


    Bingo! n/t (5.00 / 1) (#194)
    by jawbone on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 04:00:23 PM EST
    Go yell at somebody else (5.00 / 5) (#202)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 04:29:32 PM EST
    Very, very few of us here supported Obama in the primaries, and many of us were uncertain about voting for him even in the general.

    BTD supported Obama only because he thought he'd have a better chance of winning the general because of the media love affair.  Jeralyn never supported him until after Hillary officially conceded.


    Does it matter if he is a Dem (none / 0) (#91)
    by ruffian on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:38:35 AM EST
    when half of the Dems are unrecognizable as such anyway?

    He wins - throw out all the labels and start over.


    Throw the party out (5.00 / 3) (#122)
    by Fabian on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:45:20 PM EST
    sounds good about now.  

    At least the GOP is still the same old party it ever was.  What is a Democrat now?


    If he won't listen to Krugman (5.00 / 8) (#150)
    by ruffian on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:26:36 PM EST
    he sure is not going to listen to us.

    It's a pretty helples feeling.


    School COnsruction and nutrition (5.00 / 6) (#204)
    by jedimom on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 04:31:15 PM EST
    yes of course they stole from the children the constituency without voices, we need to speak for them, they will leave them with the bill....

    Voinovich led the charge to eliminate school construction and Collins makes me ill she is PROUD of it

    and Rahm!!?? What of all the talk Obama gave about the little schoolhouse that hadnt been renovated since Lincoln or what have you?

    if that all BS? He is always on about schools for the 21st century...

    sickening, just sickening


    I saw a short clip on the news (5.00 / 13) (#5)
    by Anne on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 09:27:31 AM EST
    last night, of Susan Collins grinning from ear to ear and proclaiming that "we cut $100 billion dollars!"

    And this is exactly why allowing the likes of Collins and Nelson to get their hands on this economic stimulus bill is like a destructive virus managing to get into your computer system at the network level; you can't see the total damage it is doing, but make no mistake that damage - serious damage - is being done.

    I am just sick about it, which makes the vision of Susan Collins' moronic grin all that much harder to stomach.

    Only a centrist (read GOP) America (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by Katherine Graham Cracker on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 09:29:26 AM EST
    This is Obama's constitutency

    The campaign was very proud of the Republicans who supported him and now they are coming around to collect.

    US corporate media (5.00 / 3) (#36)
    by pluege on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:25:01 AM EST
    speaks for the plutocracy. That they gave Obama a bye was a clear indication of Obama's true constituency.

    It is an axiomatic that anyone the corporate is easy on has passed the plutocratic sniff test.


    One of these times when "I told you so" (5.00 / 5) (#146)
    by otherlisa on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:23:18 PM EST
    doesn't begin to cut it and doesn't even feel good.

    I knew I didn't like Obama after the New Hampshire debate. I wasn't sure why at the time. The more I found out, the more I became convinced that he was a neo-liberal in Wall Street's pocket.

    No one wanted to hear it, except at places like this.

    Well, here we are now. Entertain us. I don't know what else to look forward to over the next couple of years.

    What a disaster.


    I would say that any candidate (none / 0) (#112)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:36:04 PM EST
    who openly discusses his taste for $100/lb. ham passes that test.

    The actions have been far louder (5.00 / 2) (#130)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:57:26 PM EST
    The Red Carpet ride has been clear evidence of Obama's self-serving attitude.

    A big cocktail party after just the appearance of passage by the House...can't wait to hear what our tax dollars will fund when the final stimulus gets through.

    There has been record spending at every turn from the Obama group since the very beginning of the campaign. He'd run low on money, and people would double their efforts to return his account to tens of millions for the month. The sense of entitlement is growing. How many pair of shoes do you think the WH closets can hold?


    A new way of doing business in DC (5.00 / 10) (#7)
    by nellre on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 09:29:56 AM EST
    A Democratic president throws the dems in congress under the bus.

    Now, now. (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by Fabian on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 09:32:11 AM EST
    The primaries are over.  There's no reason to throw anyone under the bus anymore.



    And the states/cities (5.00 / 6) (#69)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:13:24 AM EST
    along with them

    He only threw some of them under (5.00 / 4) (#79)
    by ruffian on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:21:47 AM EST
    He let about 15 of Dems drive the bus. The Dems are the problem now, not the Republicans.

    I have no words for my disgust. And why supposed old liberal "lions" like Kennedy and Kerry are standing by for this I will never understand. They should be ashamed.


    standing by? (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by dws3665 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:45:35 PM EST
    They are pushing for it, not standing by.

    Dems promoting Senate compromise (5.00 / 3) (#179)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:57:22 PM EST
    on stimulus partly because they fear that if Obama cannot get this important piece of legislation passed this early in his term, the Repugs will continue to walk all over the Admin & Congressional Dem legislative agenda (if there is a clear agenda); in short, it would be a devastating defeat for Obama -- in their eyes.  True, but to those of us looking at the fine print, there is also defeat in caving so much to get the bill approved, especially when it is not so clear that caving in is required.

    but, but, but (none / 0) (#33)
    by pluege on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:20:18 AM EST
    isn't throwing the dems in congress under the bus the old...oh wait...nnnnnoooooooooooo!!!!!!!!

    I too (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by NJDem on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 09:36:12 AM EST
    feel the need to just express my utter disappointment.  "F--- me" speak for me too BTD.  

    I woke up depressed.  Remember how Bush ruined the world's good will toward the U.S. after 911 with Iraq?  It's kinda like the same feeling, of a huge lost opportunity...  (not that I had faith in him, but that was truly a time for 'bipartisanship')


    Low Income Public Housing Programs: dumped (5.00 / 11) (#13)
    by Stellaaa on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 09:43:25 AM EST
    The mean spirited creepizoids as of last night were taking out all the stuff for cities, rehab of Public Housing and any of the money for low income affordable housing.  As of yesterday, it was under the bus.  

    Gee, makes ya wonder.  

    But, but (5.00 / 6) (#18)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 09:58:33 AM EST
    it was community organizing that made up the lion's share of his wealth of experience.

    Nah, some urban funding survived (5.00 / 6) (#23)
    by Cream City on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:02:31 AM EST
    as after all, there's millions and millions still in the bill for community organizing.

    Btw, community organizing = ACORN.


    Money in the bill for ACORN? (none / 0) (#141)
    by Thanin on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:15:56 PM EST
    Wasnt that just propaganda fox tried to push off a few days ago?  Is there solid proof ACORN gets millions of dollars?

    Not yet, but there will be (none / 0) (#151)
    by Cream City on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:28:56 PM EST
    just wait and see, as I saw personally how it worked in my city -- worked against the community, not to mention democracy.

    How do we send a giant (5.00 / 13) (#15)
    by pluege on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 09:51:41 AM EST
    'thanks for nothing' and,

    'I told you so'

    perpetually for the next 4 years over to markos moulitas, josh marshall, keith olberemen, chris bowers, matt stoller, and the rest of the wingnuts of the left who were so forceful in helping to give us more of the same slow motion train wreck "leadership" in Washington.

    I guess.. (5.00 / 5) (#115)
    by daria g on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:38:11 PM EST
    If it wasn't clear before, IMHO they don't have any core beliefs; they've chosen their team captain and will support him 100% no matter what he says or does.  Matched with a strong tendency toward black-and-white thinking so that.. any attempt by real progressives to nudge Obama to the left.. is just met with this stubborn insistence that criticism is illegitimate because Obama is playing some high-level chess game the rest of us don't comprehend.

    Bob Somerby @ Daily Howler has had some interesting things to say in the past few months about our so-called liberal allies & their lazy commentary that is as careless with the facts as the right.


    Lefty bloggers just hate being called for their (none / 0) (#121)
    by jawbone on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:44:03 PM EST
    errors, either of commission or omission.

    It will only get worse (5.00 / 13) (#17)
    by mmc9431 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 09:57:29 AM EST
    Obama's philosophy hasn't changed. More people are just seeing it now. All those comments about the wonders of Reagan  weren't just campaign rhetoric' He truly believes it.

    Reagan had his "Reagan Democrat's" and now Obama is trying to build his "Obama Republican's". The difference he hasn't realized yet is that Reagan didn't sacrifice his party principles in the process.

    surely if they didn't get it (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by pluege on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:00:24 AM EST
    during the primaries with all the many clues, the intervention to save LIEberman should have sealed the deal.

    Now this scares me (5.00 / 18) (#24)
    by Jjc2008 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:02:39 AM EST
    In this day and age how can anyone think Ronald Reagan was anything more than a cold hearted despot who loved the camera and vice versa.   Seriously, Reagan hurt people worldwide; began the destruction of unions, of public education...........and made ripping off the poor noble.

    Please do not tell me Obama or any democrat really believes Reagan was a good guy.  He was not.


    Sorry I burst your bubble! (5.00 / 8) (#82)
    by mmc9431 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:24:14 AM EST
    I almost fell off my chair when I heard him touting the wonders of Reagan. I agree with you. In what universe could anyone consider Reagan great for the country?

    I did fall off mine (none / 0) (#94)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:44:28 AM EST
    and, am glad I did. My pen didn't hit the Obama circle on the ballot.

    We're showing our age (5.00 / 4) (#101)
    by lobary on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:53:12 AM EST
    The sad truth is that the Grover Norquists and Newt Gingrinches have won the battle to deify Ronald Reagan, thereby leaving the overwhelming majority of the under-40 crowd with the false impression that the Reagan presidency was a time of great wealth, prosperity, and national unity. I was in high school during the heart of the Reagan presidency so I remember quite well the divisiveness of those years.

    I remember the night my mother called me from a hospital waiting room to tell me that one of her dear friends (whom she'd lost contact with for a few years) was dying of AIDS. This was probably in 1984 or so, and my immediate response was "You mean that fag disease?" I am ashamed to admit that I responded that way, but I was just a young punk kid who didn't know any better. I learned quickly, though, because my mother lost three more close friends during the Reagan years. And that man couldn't even bring himself to say the word publicly, let alone take any action to combat the spread of the disease. That was a shameful time in our history, and Barack Obama should be roundly criticized for his validation of the myth of St. Reagan.

    And don't get me started on Iran Contra...



    Right, Reagan was much worse (5.00 / 7) (#103)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:59:27 AM EST
    than W., because this country hasn't accepted that Reagan was wrong, wrong wrong.
    That's where  Obama's campaign rhetoric was so damaging: its' not W. the country needs to get beyond---its' Insane Anglo Warlord (my fav. anagram)

    ahhh, don't look now (5.00 / 2) (#132)
    by pluege on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:01:28 PM EST
    but with a crisis unfolding and the same old failed republican/conservative/plutocratic policies win the day again, the country hasn't gotten beyond bush - at least not the part consisting of the plutocrats and their star-struck media groupies - you know, the people that spend all your money on themselves while they ruin your country.  

    I am in the middle (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by kenosharick on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:11:45 PM EST
     (well beginning) of writing my masters thesis and I take on this hagiographical view of Reagan directly. David Brooks' twisting of history is what got me started in this direction. Reagan will not look so good in my paper.

    NPR Thursday (5.00 / 4) (#144)
    by lobary on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:21:03 PM EST
    Will Bunch was interviewed on Fresh Air about his new book about the Reagan myth.

    NPR link


    god help me cuz today I fear you are right (none / 0) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 09:59:32 AM EST
    So the Obama partisanship (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by KeysDan on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:01:41 AM EST
    yielded three Republican senators (and I would never bet the farm on Arlen Specter actually doing what he says he will do) and zero House Republicans. And this after not only starting out by anticipating Republican requirements, but also, with subsequent and dilutive accommodations.  Oh, and his intra-partisanship nabbed Ben Nelson.  This whole notion of "moderate Republicans" is imaginary--those few that might be so considered are really blue dog Democrats lost in a party of yesteryear. Today's Republicans are extremists and radicals, masquerading as a serious political party concerned about the country.  The nasty noises the Republican party makes should be considered as a  death rattle, but the President and some Democrats seem determined to resuscitate the corpse.  

    Yikes, well, I'm glad Hill went to State, and (5.00 / 12) (#26)
    by masslib on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:09:35 AM EST
    it's become abundantly clear why she did.  I'd hate to see her in the Senate passing the Obama/Nelson/Collins bill.

    My thoughts exactly (5.00 / 3) (#49)
    by blogtopus on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:41:50 AM EST
    Now she wont be tainted with any more poo that comes out of any bipartisan nonsense. Let her do some high profile good around the world while Obama spins his kum bay yah wheels at home.

    Of course (5.00 / 7) (#111)
    by cal1942 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:35:59 PM EST
    he may have gotten Hillary out of the Senate to prevent push back against his willingness to compromise.

    The bonus is that he appointed an SOS who is respected around the world.

    I really wonder though how Obama justified (no one called him on it) appointing a person he claimed lacked real foreign policy experience, who, according to Obama, only attended tea parties.


    Sadly.. (5.00 / 5) (#119)
    by daria g on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:43:14 PM EST
    The way the media & our allegedly liberal allies in the blogosphere operate, any pushback in the Senate coming from Hillary would doubtless be attributed to jealousy & ambition & shameless Machiavellian power plays from those horrible Clintons, who are just hung up on the primary fight and don't care about bipartisan compromise for the sake of the country oops I mean, the Broderists.  

    IMHO going to State was definitely the best move she could make.  (And yes, to best serve the country, not to best further her own ambition.)


    A perk of being the boss (none / 0) (#117)
    by Fabian on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:41:50 PM EST
    is that the media conveniently forgets what you said the previous twelve months when you were campaigning for the office you just won.

    OTOH, the media will be happy to remember everything he said and did from the inauguration on out.


    I think the MCM will laud the Center Right BO (5.00 / 4) (#135)
    by jawbone on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:02:43 PM EST
    as long as he plays by their rules and does what they think a good "centrist" ought to do. When he breaks out of that, they will undermine him. They have already been laying the groundwork for any necessary takedowns.

    Now, one night this week, he gave a speech before only Dems which seemed to mean he was seeing that he needed to put the goals of actually stimulating the economy above his desire for "bipartisanship."  Somehow that spirit lasted until he brought the leaders of the Gang of Screw the People to the WH, and then sent Rahmbo to aid them in cutting out monies for actual stimulus programs.

    This IS Obama's bill, clearly and competely. He took ownership in his praise of it and by his actions. If it fails, the country goes over a cliff and he fails. Of more long term consequence, the Dem brand is probably damanged for a long, long, long time. Repubs would probably do sharply better in the next elections. (I'm worried about the NJ gubernatorial race.)

    The Repubs have never been able to completely diminish the actual good and reputation for doing good that FDR's programs cemented. They took much of the sheen off of LBJ's social accomplishments (that other stupid war, Vietnam, helped them a lot -- and LBJ did go out on a limb to ensure civil and voting rights for minorities, which they Repubs also used against him and the Dems), but couldn't kill Medicare and Medicaid. They have successfully fought off Dem attemtps to ensure universal healthcare. As the famous memo noted, if the Dems passed real healthcare legislation, the Dems would stay in power for decades, so it was existentially imperative that Repubs kill healthcare proposals.  Which they have done and continue to do.

    Their goal now is to not only mess over Obama to weaken him, but to bring about conditions to further attack the great social programs of the 20th Century: SocSec (and Obama wants to work with the Blue Dogs and has promised a commission to enable their goals), Federal regulatory agencies (Repubs don't like TR's stuff either), Medicare, and Medicaid. Oh, mess up the environmental stuff while they're at it; raping and pillaging the land is one of their values.

    Good luck, America and Americans. We're gonna need it.


    Cuts to education stimulus (5.00 / 7) (#28)
    by nellre on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:10:37 AM EST
    It'd expect spending on education to increase tax revenues in the long run.
    What do the Republicans have against education?

    If they had their way I bet it'd be all tax cuts to the rich in pursuit of that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow called supply side economics.

    As far as I can tell the GOP is the stupid leading the stupid.

    And, who is leading the Democrats? (5.00 / 9) (#30)
    by masslib on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:11:34 AM EST
    Ben Nelson (5.00 / 5) (#156)
    by KeysDan on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:39:10 PM EST
    is the new Democratic leader, as a pay-back for securing that one electoral college vote from Nebraska last November.

    Sadly it is not just republicans (5.00 / 11) (#42)
    by Jjc2008 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:30:21 AM EST
    so called progressives here and on other "lefty" blogs repeat the same republican talking points about education started by Reagan with "A Nation at Risk", a bs paper put out by right wingers.  It was wrong then, and the newer talking points....
    "Public Education is a monopoly" and competition will make it better.  It is total and utter bullsh*t pushed by the greed mongers who see dollar signs on the heads of poor children.

    And yet it is repeated here. I am sure I will soon see more so called lefties blaming teacher unions for why their child isn't succeeding.  

    Education has been the first thing to cut for years.   Somehow taxpayers resent it when schools that are three decades old need a new roof...how dare those selfish teachers want their buildings not to leak.  I KNOW....I live in a conservative community.  I moved here in 1974........and it took until 1999, before the conservative republican anti union community passed a mill levy increase and a tech bill to get the schools into the 21st century.  One year in a small elementary school in which I worked, we had no less than 10 buckets around the building every time it rained.  Who doesn't get that schools, like homes, need up keep?  One year when we could not get the tax payers to fund new paint on the walls, we, the teachers and our principal spent a couple weeks of our own time, with a few volunteer parents, buying the paint ourselves.......painting the inside walls.  

    And that is not unusual.  
    But all the republicans want to say is the those teacher's unions daring to ask for professional pay, health benefits, are ruining it for our kids.

    Sheesh......so no surprise that one of the first things cut is education.  Majority employed are female; benefits children....two constituencies with the least power.  But even sadder is how many on the left agree.


    Teachers tend Democratic and their unions support (none / 0) (#138)
    by jawbone on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:05:15 PM EST
    Dems. So what's not like about them losing their jobs? If you're a Repub -- or, apparently, a Blue Dog Dem?

    And those educated people might read blogs and not just the MCM controlled media. Might get the wrong ideas.

    Heh, might get ideas. Can't have too little thinking by the little people.


    I'm shocked... (5.00 / 9) (#29)
    by jbindc on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:10:59 AM EST
    ...shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!"

    To anyone who is surprised by this turn of events, shame on you.  You should have known better.  This is just the beginning.

    And (5.00 / 6) (#118)
    by cal1942 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:43:05 PM EST
    obscured by all the talk about the recovery bill is the story out yesterday that Obama is considering changing the Iraq combat troop withdrawal timetable from 16 months to 23 months.

    Samantha Power inadvertently leaked the longer-term Iraq exit story to the Euro press way back in the primary. Then she immediately changed the MSM focus by calling Hillary a "monster", and the Obama camp made a big fuss claiming Power was let go because of that remark. Now, voila, she's been re-enlisted to work rather closely with the SoS.

    Jeralyn recently wrote a post saying she wished Power would stop being remembered for what she said about Hillary. But, that's the whole point: I'm sure Obama et al would rather have her be remembered for insulting Hillary than letting us in on the real Iraq exit strategy. There's no end to the smoke and mirrors.


    Big rock thudding into a puddle but (none / 0) (#154)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:35:50 PM EST
    not much notice taken of that 23 month figure.

    Who elected Nelson and Collins ... (5.00 / 5) (#31)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:18:07 AM EST

    Was there another election I somehow missed?

    Nelson and Collins weren't elected prez (5.00 / 7) (#32)
    by kmblue on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:19:53 AM EST
    but they've been anointed.  By Obama.

    Did they televise ... (5.00 / 6) (#34)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:22:07 AM EST
    the anointing ceremony?



    It was held (5.00 / 10) (#38)
    by andgarden on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:27:16 AM EST
    in one of the schools that will have to close because of their "centrist" cuts.

    Ah ... (5.00 / 5) (#39)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:28:35 AM EST
    no wonder I missed it.

    No, didn't need another election (5.00 / 4) (#37)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:26:38 AM EST
    There was a very obvious reason why so many Republicans willingly supported the Democratic ticket this time.

    Careful -- this blog applauded (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Cream City on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:41:51 AM EST
    the massive Republican crossover in the primary that was the turning point, February 19, 2008.

    Really? All the contributors at that time? (none / 0) (#52)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:43:05 AM EST
    No. There was a clear distinction (none / 0) (#60)
    by Cream City on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:49:11 AM EST
    between this blog and all of its contributors -- all the ones here then.

    This might be appropriate (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by jbindc on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:29:29 AM EST
    The other day, I went with a couple of my co-workers to a store near where I work on D St. in DC that had nothing but Obama inaugural merchandise. The funniest merchandise I saw there were individual condom packages with Obama's face on them and the words "The REAL Economic Stimulus Package".


    So it's up to Pelosi now?! (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:30:16 AM EST

    The House could vote down (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by andgarden on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:37:30 AM EST
    the Senate amendments. Or, if they actually conference, vote down the conference report. But you can bet that this bill will be whipped.

    You mean that it will pass, right? (none / 0) (#47)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:39:12 AM EST
    Well, this isn't over yet (none / 0) (#53)
    by andgarden on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:43:39 AM EST
    The Senate is working on its own bill, and spending bills can't start in the Senate. So, the bills from the two chambers will have to be conferenced, and the House will have to vote on the Senate changes. Likely the conference report will be different from either bill, so the Senate will have to vote again too.

    But I don't see how this gets any better, now that Arlen Specter is dictator.


    Like a knife to my heart (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by ruffian on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:24:24 AM EST
    is your last line.

    I really may have to just crawl into a hole someplace with whatever food i can buy with what remains of my 401k and never come out.


    Shoot, I'm wrong (none / 0) (#67)
    by andgarden on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:04:10 AM EST
    the Senate is actually amending the House bill.



    It still (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by cal1942 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:52:36 PM EST
    has to go to conference.

    We should have an idea of how that will go when we get the names of the Senate Democrats assigned to the committee.


    I hope we have a liberal wing (none / 0) (#128)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:54:48 PM EST
    of the Democratic Party-- not a 'progressive wing'-- that makes SIGNIFICANT changes in conference. Speaker Pelosi, do the right thing!

    Better Specter than Collins (none / 0) (#74)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:16:37 AM EST
    At least he has an IQ over 100.

    Is she actually stupid? (none / 0) (#76)
    by andgarden on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:19:39 AM EST
    I thought her halting speech style was just a kind of Maine accent.

    She (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by cal1942 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:54:04 PM EST
    has a reputation as one of the duller knives in the drawer.

    Well, she is from Maine after all.... (none / 0) (#129)
    by masslib on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:55:48 PM EST
    Oh, come on, I kid Maine.

    Nelson looks less than brilliant (none / 0) (#131)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:58:37 PM EST
    to me, also.

    Well, Ben (5.00 / 3) (#142)
    by KeysDan on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:18:11 PM EST
    is a cornhusker, after all.  And as the old joke goes, the 'N' on the helmet stands for knowledge.

    I thought (none / 0) (#43)
    by kmblue on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:35:04 AM EST
    Rahm threw her under the bus.  

    Well, a bill still has to pass the House. (5.00 / 8) (#46)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:38:34 AM EST
    God, I would love to see Pelosi or someone up there in front of the cameras, grinning from ear, saying "We cut the price tag $300 billion by trimming useless tax cuts. This left room to putt back in vital spending on education, family planning, etc."

    From your fingers to Pelosi's mouth. (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:54:09 AM EST
    Let's see soething LIBERAL, not this pap.

    I'd be in favor of a veto, but I think the president is satisfied.


    He ain't (5.00 / 2) (#123)
    by cal1942 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:49:02 PM EST
    gonna veto it. He sent Rahm to the Senate to make still more cuts.

    yep, but I wish... (none / 0) (#126)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:53:05 PM EST
    Oh, I wish...

    or Pelosi's ears, lol (none / 0) (#62)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:54:52 AM EST
    that looked strange.

    Yep.. I did a doubletake when I (none / 0) (#64)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:56:13 AM EST
    read that.

    Jane Hamsher suggests Rahm is undermining Pelosi, (5.00 / 7) (#140)
    by jawbone on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:13:04 PM EST
    supporting the Blue Dogs.

    Not clear he wants to bring her down, perhaps just hobble her. And other lib Dems.


    Thank You for the link (5.00 / 2) (#155)
    by Amiss on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:37:45 PM EST
    That article says a lot about what I have been feeling as well. I really have never been a fan of Pelosi, but Rahm is in a class all to himself.

    Very, very very minor upside to this: (5.00 / 5) (#51)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:42:13 AM EST
    Squeaky will definitely be eating a LOT of crow today.

    Huh? (none / 0) (#172)
    by squeaky on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:27:43 PM EST
    Why is that? Have I become some self serving fantasy in your own head.

    Of couse I was assuming (5.00 / 2) (#195)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 04:09:06 PM EST
    you'd remember what you wrote yesterday on how Nelson was not representative of Obama's political values, but I overestimated you.
    My bad.

    Yes (none / 0) (#198)
    by squeaky on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 04:17:25 PM EST
    I did, and maintain that Nelson is far to the right of Obama. In fact he if farther right than some GOPers.

    Not sure why that has changed. Unless you are hallucinating.


    crow (none / 0) (#177)
    by DFLer on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:54:28 PM EST
    tastes a lot like chicken...don't worry about it. :}

    Huh? (none / 0) (#180)
    by squeaky on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:57:23 PM EST
    You too. I guess it is a Hiltard/Obot thing. Tapes going on in their heads 24/7.

    Must be entertaining to be so removed from reality.


    I make a joke.... (none / 0) (#203)
    by DFLer on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 04:31:13 PM EST
    better improve my signs
    :]  :}  <:o  %;>

    The Young President Got Schooled... (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by santarita on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:44:05 AM EST
    by the Republicans and the media.  I'm hoping he and his team have learned something from this first foray.  I'm still wondering why Obama didn't have a stimulus package ready to hand to Congress.  Was it because he knew that "his" package would be savaged and this would be a horrible start to his Administration?  Did he allow the House Dems to take the point?  

    I'm less upset about this go-round because it is only the first of many.  The importance is to get something done soon, even if it is not adequate.  I'm hoping that the next rounds are fought more coherently with a theme other than bipartisanship.

    During the primaries, I thought that the only way the bipartisan ploy could work is to give it a go and then when it didn't work (and clearly it couldn't work) was to use the failure to shame the Republicans publicly.  Many Congressional Republicans need to be publicly shamed.  Last night in the wee hours as the Senate session went on and on with amendments, Senator Thune had an amendment that would have had the the entire amount of the stimulus bill sent to individuals as tax rebates.  When thousands are receiving pink slips and the economy is teetering on the edge of depression, that was a constructive idea, wasn't it?  That is the kind of thing that deserves public shaming.

    Um, Obama didn't get schooled (5.00 / 10) (#56)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:45:24 AM EST
    In fact, he is delivering exactly what he promised---the kind of politics BTD thought he was kidding about.

    Perhaps because (5.00 / 4) (#66)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:59:10 AM EST
    I'm still wondering why Obama didn't have a stimulus package ready to hand to Congress.  Was it because he knew that "his" package would be savaged and this would be a horrible start to his Administration?  Did he allow the House Dems to take the point?

    He wanted to squeeze in one more trip to Hawaii just before moving to DC, and he was the most avid supporter of there being "only one President at a time" while he tried to figure out what the h*ll he was going to do now that he won.

    He would have needed a clear message of change a year ago to be able to pull together something comprehensive and logical in the time allowed between election and inauguration. What did he ever say or do in his past that led anyone to believe he had a firm grasp on what was needed to bring a vision of prosperity back to the country? As soon as Hillary was drummed out of the process, he simply adopted her message. That doesn't mean he understood it, or could see what it looked like in fulfillment.


    And after two weeks in office (5.00 / 6) (#71)
    by Cream City on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:15:51 AM EST
    he says he's tired.  This is all the bill will be.

    When did he say that??? (none / 0) (#75)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:17:12 AM EST
    A parody he is.

    Visiting the D.C. grade school (5.00 / 4) (#81)
    by Cream City on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:22:27 AM EST
    a couple of days ago.  And it was something to see the contrast of his mood with that of Michelle Obama, who is even more energized now.

    I also had to wonder, that day, why it wasn't just her at the school, since with the economic crisis, he seemed to be needed in the White House.  Now we can see, though, that he wasn't -- since it was the Republicans putting together the stimulus bill.


    After Nov. 4th, He Was No ... (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by santarita on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:20:24 AM EST
    longer the candidate but was the Pres. - Elect.  His campaign rhetoric and strategy should be laid aside.  I don't care to revisit the primaries.  I want to see leadership going forward.  He can strive for bipartisanship all he wants but that is not the end in itself - it is a means to the end.

    It is the end in itself for Obama, and (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:22:11 AM EST
    the standard by which he judges his success.
    His campaign rhetoric is very relevant now.
    In a way, he's one of the most honest Presidents we've had in a while. If only people had believed what he said in the primaries, everyone would be on cloud 9 now.

    This is actually a very good time to (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:37:29 AM EST
    revisit the primaries, and to lock the events deep into one's memory. Otherwise, the mistakes will be repeated next time. Tingling legs and thumping hearts were lousy guides. We've certainly learned one Democrat is not the same as any other.

    We need to do what we can to help the Democratic party succeed this round or it will be decades before we see anything other than Republican rule after this first term.

    Letters to our democratic congresspeople need to be informative and descriptive of what we are living...bombarding them with threats and demands will do more harm than good, as will sitting back and sighing with dispair over how things are going.


    when an individual (5.00 / 2) (#102)
    by cpinva on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:55:29 AM EST
    This is actually a very good time to
    revisit the primaries, and to lock the events deep into one's memory.

    presents themself as vacuuous, over a long stretch, i don't need to wait and "revisit" anything, i pick up on it as it's happening.

    i sincerely, truly, with whipped cream and a cherry on top, hope i am wrong about pres. obama. i hope he comes out swinging, and stuffs a few notable republicans and democrats in the basket, establishing himself in the paint.

    unfortunately, i fear he'll end up just another really tall guy, looking for work as an insurance salesman.


    He did hand them a package (5.00 / 2) (#84)
    by ruffian on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:27:30 AM EST
    It was the weak-enough package that the House started out with. He was stupid in sending forth a compromise package expecting that Republicans and Blue Dog Dems would extract no more compromises.

    What on earth was the point of (5.00 / 3) (#183)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 03:04:56 PM EST
    tipping his hand in the original bill -- by including things to pacify Republicans -- before the negotiations even started?  THe admin could have ended up where it wanted had they not tried to appease the Republicans before there was ANY commitment on the part of any Republicans in Congress to support the bill.  I think the Obama Admin, with its former campaign advisers now WH advisers, thought Congress would tip its hat to the Admin because the Inauguration went well & poll numbers were high.  

    Speaking of poll numbers, does anyone have a link for most recent polls reportedly showing decline for Admin over the stimulus fiasco?


    I truly believe that this is a (5.00 / 13) (#85)
    by Anne on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:28:44 AM EST
    situation where it may not matter if Obama and his team learned anything from this first foray, because it's hard to lead from a position of strength when the opposition pretty much has its boot on your neck.

    We can all see what he should have done; the question I have is why he, and his super-fantastic-extra-special-blindingly-brilliant-and-hip-to-the-ways-of-DC, didn't.  You cannot tell me that no one in that group thought it would be a good idea to actually have a plan ready to go, have a point-by-point, down-to-the-last-detail, campaign to sell it to the public, and a cooordinated message coming out of the Democrats in Congress.  

    And, if such an idea was put forth, was it rejected because Obama actually believed that he was so golden that he wasn't going to have to work to get the right plan passed?  Well, based on his history, I think the answer to that is, "yes."  This is not a man who actually likes the hard work of leading; he's a sideline guy, a hang-back-and-see-where-it's-headed guy.

    As for this idea that all that matters is to pass a plan, have we not learned anything from the multiple times we were told, "it's okay - we'll just fix it later?"  Anyone who thinks that, having caved in record time and in record proportions, we are going to have any success "fixing" this later is kidding him- or herself.

    I guess Obama thought that winning the election was like winning the game; too bad he didn't realize that all he won was the coin toss and elected to receive.  So far, he's been sacked for loss of yardage and is getting real close to having to punt.  Not all that confident he has what it takes to defend against the other team marching down the field and scoring.


    well anne, simply put, (5.00 / 3) (#99)
    by cpinva on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:49:28 AM EST
    We can all see what he should have done; the question I have is why he, and his super-fantastic-extra-special-blindingly-brilliant-and-hip-to-the-ways-of-DC, didn't.

    it's because they aren't, and never were. they are legumes in their own minds.


    That made me laugh (5.00 / 1) (#193)
    by jar137 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 03:55:23 PM EST

    Really? (5.00 / 6) (#133)
    by cal1942 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:01:35 PM EST
    I'm hoping he and his team have learned something from this first foray.

    Obama sent Rahm to the Senate to make even more cuts and the media I've seen so far is calling it a triumph.  Obama's most important constituency has always been the media.

    The excuse for not having a bill ready was that they were consumed working on the banking problem, although it's difficult to see much real effort there.

    It's really not very reassuring that the most important legislation that he'll likely put out was ignored for so long.  It should have been job one.  He simply may not think it's all that important.  He certainly treated it that way.


    It's strange that he sent tough-guy Rahm to (5.00 / 1) (#187)
    by andrys on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 03:11:55 PM EST
    capitulate instead of 'guide' people toward a vote that would stimulate the economy.

     There's a reality that there are 58 not-quite sure votes (some Dems are hemming and hawing because they're the conservative Dems who've been with us for decades).

      And then we need 60, so we need Republicans also, who need to, for their own constituents, have a reason to vote Yes on what are more Democratic party goals.

      In the old days, JFK (with his 3x5 index cards with congress people's secrets on the back, to be used for changing votes) and LBJ didn't hesitate to twist arms in a not idealistic way but in a way that worked to get the bills you wanted.  Sometimes.  LBJ was more successful with that, from long experience.

      Obama stands back and sends Rahm, of all people, to give in to what they want in return for votes.

      But, coincidentally, right now I am reading George Stephanopoulos' account of WJC's first year and their efforts to get the economic stimulus bill passed.  It was tense (after a hair-raising wait for a 2-vote win in the House), with Bob Kerry the deciding vote on the Senate side, with th ethings Kerry asked for and then he diss'd Pres. Clinton as 'inexperienced' in his vote speech.  

      There are so many parallels with what is going on now, with Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood both having to drop out for attorney general due to nanny probs, with Wood having less of a problem but it was just so in the public's mind at the time, as is the tax business now.  


    Cable media has not been kind (none / 0) (#184)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 03:06:13 PM EST
    to Obama this week over the stimulus.  Meme initially was he lost control of the conversation, there's too much pork, etc.

    More (none / 0) (#57)
    by kmblue on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:46:17 AM EST
    Star Trek chess.

    my response (none / 0) (#59)
    by kmblue on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:47:46 AM EST
    was to santarita.

    Actually (none / 0) (#181)
    by jar137 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:59:13 PM EST
    handing out all of themoney directly to taxpayers is not a bad idea.  It would permit those in trouble to pay off their mortgages, credit card bills, etc., which would shore up the financial industry, and the remainder of the funds could be put to savings or consumer spending.  Sometimes the simple approach works. Granted the downside is that the inflated housing prices/cost of living will continue.  But we could then take the air out of the tires more slowly.

    Maybe the spending will come (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:47:16 AM EST
    through war in Central Asia. Whoopee!

    And you got (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by Spamlet on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:55:28 AM EST
    your "media darling."

    The Beltway "Bipartisan" BSers got their man - and his name appears to be Barack Obama.

    With all respect to BTD: he's your guy. (5.00 / 9) (#65)
    by magnetics on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:57:43 AM EST
    You supported him.  

    I was for Hillary, because I thought this guy stood for nothing except getting himself elected.

    Nonetheless, I did vote for him in the general (I'd planned to sit it out, but got too scared of Palin); and now he's our president.  I wish him the best because there's no choice.  I will call him my president (unlike Dubya the thief), and try to make the best of it.

    As progressives we can try to push him as far as possible in the progressive direction, but we should shed any illusions about his sharing our ideals.

    The main question for me is whether he actually believes any of this gumbayah stuff about bipartisanship, or whether he realizes that the post-Reagan rethuglican party is ruled by thugs, who understand naked power and nothing else.  I think the guy may have enough ego to think he can still work some sort of interpersonal magic of persuasion on these jerks.  If so, it's going to a tough few years, or at any rate tougher than it might otherwise have been.

    He believes in Republican economic (5.00 / 7) (#68)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:05:05 AM EST
    principles, IMO. He has expressed conflicting opinions on the value of regulation; he has definitely spoke in favor of business self-regulation, but I believe he has also noted that recent market failures are due to poor oversight and regulation. He refers to SS as an entitlement.
    IMO he showed a particular lack of mastery on economic issues, while being quite articulate and convincing on foreign policy.
    He was elected primarily on the basis of his promise to create a better foreign policy, but now he needs to attend to the economy, where he is advised by suits from Chicago who don't have Progressive values---who want to eliminate SS in some cases.

    His outrage at billions in bonuses (5.00 / 3) (#185)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 03:08:45 PM EST
    paid by bailed out i-bank was not matched by taking any responsibility for having backed the Bush bailout bill with its lack of any quid pro quos.  And I understand Geithner will deliver another bank bailout bill on Monday -- what will be the protections there?  The return to the tax payers?

    He's the only guy we got now (5.00 / 4) (#72)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:16:13 AM EST
    So he is your guy too.

    I made my choice in the primary.

    I'll take my brickbats for it.


    That's cool (5.00 / 0) (#88)
    by Spamlet on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:35:59 AM EST
    I made my choice in the primary. I'll take my brickbats for it.

    And you're right--he's all we have now. And he's still better than McCain.


    Dems would've fought for the people against McCain (5.00 / 5) (#143)
    by jawbone on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:19:26 PM EST
    Not that I want McCain in the office, but lib Dems are hamstrung against Obama and the Repubs, bcz going after the Repubs is now going after their president.

    I'm still stunned by this, even thoough I feared it would happen.


    Agreed, I said he is my guy now. (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by magnetics on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:24:46 PM EST
    And here's what I will be watching for: i) will we have to fight to save Social Security under a  Democratic president?, and ii) is Obama positioning (as I long ago predicted he might) Cass Sunstein for SCOTUS?

    That said, he has made better than expected noises on foreign policy and the decay of civil liberties; he has issued a mild pimp-slap in the direction of overpaid executives; and as a commenter downthread notes, he is certainly better than McCain.


    Social Security may very well (5.00 / 3) (#186)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 03:10:33 PM EST
    be in danger because it is the only pot of $ left.

    Obama is my president (5.00 / 7) (#152)
    by Cream City on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:31:13 PM EST
    but any guy has to do a lot more to be my guy.

    I supported HEC in the primary, (none / 0) (#95)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:45:25 AM EST
    but Obama in the general. As you said, he's our man now, the Big Kahuna.

    I am worried, so worried...


    I'd be less worried if Obama (5.00 / 9) (#96)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:45:55 AM EST
    looked more worried.

    What does he have to be worried about? (5.00 / 5) (#104)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:03:04 PM EST
    This won't impact his life. He's got his girls in private school, he's got a great house to live in and we're busy paying for a complete redecorating (decorator to the Stars, no less), and he has a pretty good job for the next four years. The direction this package is taking is to polish his political image.

    Well, he does have to do enough to ensure the big (5.00 / 5) (#145)
    by jawbone on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:22:02 PM EST
    speaking fees, board appointments, invitation to the Carlyle Group -- the big money he's sure he will be able to bring in.

    Remember, he does seem to use each job as a stepping stone to the next one. Now, just what is the next one for him?


    Serious disconnect if the Obamas (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:46:36 PM EST
    have commissioned a re-do of the White House.  Shades of Mary Lincoln?

    He did say (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by cal1942 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:55:15 PM EST
    that he admired Lincoln. Too bad he's not taking the real lesson from Lincoln.

    It's The Usual Re-Do (none / 0) (#174)
    by daring grace on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:33:31 PM EST
    of the family quarters that all incoming presidents do and he is getting the requisite $100,000 to do it.

    ""The family's casual style, their interest in bringing 20th century American artists to the forefront and utilizing affordable brands and products will serve as our guiding principles as we make the residence feel like their home," Mr. Smith said in a statement released by the Obama transition office.""


    I really would not mind (5.00 / 2) (#197)
    by KeysDan on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 04:16:13 PM EST
    if President Obama hired David Bromstad or Candace Olsen to redecorate the Oval Office.  Those striped fireplace chairs, the overgrown ferns on the mantelpiece, and, of course, Laura's choice of rug are not only tough to look at, but also, bring back the recurring nightmare of George Bush each time a see a photo-op.  

    He's so worried, and working so hard (5.00 / 7) (#163)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:01:09 PM EST
    That he and the family went to the Kennedy Center last night and today they are off to Camp David, with the extended family, to rest up after his grueling week.  

    Color me unimpressed with all of his "exhausting" work on this bill.  He should STILL be working on it!  


    The President is just mouthing (5.00 / 4) (#170)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:21:41 PM EST
    bi-partisan memes.  Afterall, George W. Bush famously stated being President is "hard work."

    I can't wait to let Collins decide (5.00 / 10) (#70)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:13:27 AM EST
    when and how we withdraw from Iraq---can you?

    Well (none / 0) (#162)
    by cal1942 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:57:22 PM EST
    the combat withdrawal may now be streched from 16 to 23 months.

    How's that?


    Per usuel (5.00 / 1) (#182)
    by jar137 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 03:04:04 PM EST
    the withdrawal has been pushed back to occur after the next congressional election.  I don't know how that will sit with the anti-war populace.  

    Power said in an interview in UK during primaries (none / 0) (#189)
    by andrys on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 03:18:08 PM EST
    that Obama's "promise" to pull out in 16 years, later changed to "by the end of 2009"  was actually a "best-case scenario."

      As I watched him use the word "promise" over and over again, I was not in a mood to believe him on much because his promises were a form of pandering that was emphasized when Power told the truth in an interview and then was let go (supposedly because of what she said about HRC).


    Buckle your seat belts (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by mmc9431 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:16:31 AM EST
    Equally as depressing as this bill has been, is the realization that I don't believe we can push Obama anywhere.

    It takes a certain amount of egomania to run for president in the first place, and Obama has his fair share. Admitting you handled a situation wrong is one thing. Admitting that your concept of governing was wrong is totally different. I don't think he has it within himself to change.

    He told everyone from the get go that he wasn't the progressive they thought he would or could be. Not enough people believed him. And now we have him for at least four years.

    My only hope is that the liberal wing of Congress battles him as much as the moderate wing did Clinton.

    Oh G-d... (5.00 / 6) (#78)
    by NJDem on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:20:25 AM EST
    "...he called three key Republicans to applaud them for their patriotism."

    So I guess that makes us dissenters un-patriotic? WFT!?!  

    He meant that they were going against their (none / 0) (#190)
    by andrys on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 03:22:50 PM EST
    own Republican party in favor of the country.  This is a turnback on how the Repubs handle the same situation with opponents.

    Don't blame Obama (5.00 / 10) (#87)
    by RonK Seattle on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:35:08 AM EST
    He never had the intellectual underpinnings to play the part ... and he did his utmost to tell you so over the past two years. When Obama talked, you refused to listen.

    Politics is about what we get, and what we got is Obama, and now we all have to do our best to have him succeed in spite of himself in a set-up that spells d-i-s-a-s-t-e-r.

    Which failed more comprehensively last fall -- global finance or American democracy? It's a close contest.

    The failure (5.00 / 9) (#147)
    by Spamlet on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:23:27 PM EST
    was not last fall. The failure was last May 31, and it was definitely a failure of democracy.

    Which failed more comprehensively last fall -- global finance or American democracy?

    January, May, August, take your pick (5.00 / 3) (#165)
    by RonK Seattle on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:05:03 PM EST
    Trifecta (5.00 / 5) (#175)
    by Spamlet on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:36:40 PM EST
    As a people (5.00 / 7) (#169)
    by cal1942 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:19:17 PM EST
    we usually get about what we deserve.

    Most people happily allowed the media to pick our candidates and then our nominee. No need to delve that closely, a slogan or two would do. "Change and Unity" could never be submitted to close scrutiny it was after all change and unity, what could be better.

    Many of us, especially the bulk of the people who comment on this site, were alarmed about Obama from the start and delving deeply unearthed much to be alarmed about.  

    Exceedingly naive Obama supporters called us morons and worse because we didn't get that Obama was God's own miracle. Too much for we cretins to absorb.

    Unfortunately we can't gloat, we're stuck and now we have to try to find a way to ameliorate the damage. Any suggestions?


    I had a friend (5.00 / 3) (#171)
    by jbindc on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:22:02 PM EST
    a huge Obama supporter ask me during the primaries, "How do you run against hope?  You don't, which is why it's a great message."

    I was dumbfounded.


    If you run against "hope"... (5.00 / 2) (#178)
    by EL seattle on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:54:52 PM EST
    ... it's really easy to get branded as, um, what's the word.  Oh yeah, "shrill".  No one wants to pay attention to hectoring old fogey wet blankets like that.  You might as well start listening to eggheads and pencil-necked geeks.

    How big is the bill anyway? (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by jbindc on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:38:14 AM EST
    No one really seems to know.  From The Corner

    Sen. Reid: "Keep in mind, it's approaching a trillion dollars."

    NYT: even the senators behind the compromise were uncertain of the number.

    Roll Call: The uncertainty made it difficult to predict whether the final bill would be approximately $780 billion or $826 billion.

    Fox News: about $811 billion in spending and tax cuts

    AP: Democrats put the cost of the measure at $780 billion...Republican critics said that the price tag was actually higher...Official cost figures were not yet available.

    AFP: The bill's supporters noted that its price tag would be far smaller than the 937 billion dollars... Details were elusive... Republicans said their calculations put the new bill at roughly 830 billion dollars

    LAT: a price tag of about $780 billion under the compromise deal, though the final figure was unclear.  

    Bloomberg: Democrats said the Senate plan totaled $780 billion while Republicans said that didn't include the cost of additions made on the Senate floor including tax cuts aimed at helping the housing and auto industries.

    Politico: While details are still incomplete, it appears the package, as initially brought to the Senate floor, will be scaled back...the total bill then would be in the range of $800 billion.

    Reuters: Democratic senators agreed on Friday on a scaled-back $780 billion fiscal stimulus package

    CQ: The deal would reduce the cost of the base bill by about $100 billion, to $780 billion, but this does not include spending and tax provisions added to the bill during Senate debate, according aides and senators. When those amendment are added in, Republican aides argued, the bill's price tag is $827 billion.

    Hill: a $780 billion economic stimulus plan

    and this surprises you because? (5.00 / 9) (#97)
    by cpinva on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:47:00 AM EST
    F--- me. Obama betrayed Congressional Democrats fighting for the best bill for the economy and the country. Obama fought for spending cuts and GOP tax cuts!

    BTD, let me clue you in on a fact of life that, thus far, seems to have escaped you: most people are not good actors, over the long-term. sure, we can put up a front, for brief periods, but eventually our true nature comes shining through. it's what separates the pros from the amateurs.

    so, to summarize young jedi: what you saw of obama, during both the primaries and general, is what you were actually going to get; a person of little substance, but a lot of facade. to quote the late, great, gertrude stein: "there's no there, there."

    again, all this surprises you why?

    The House should start over right now (5.00 / 6) (#105)
    by joanneleon on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:14:16 PM EST
    and take their original bill and break it up into smaller stimulus packages and roll them out as soon as they are ready.  At least one of them could be ready very quickly and through the House and back to the Senate.  Start with the ones that are difficult for the Republicans to nitpick and obstruct.  An infrastructure package, a relief package, a mortgage assistance package, an energy package, an auto rebate package, an education package, etc. etc. AND a tax cut package, isolated, on its own.  Let the Republicans obstruct each one of those on the merits.

    Take this monstrosity of a bill off the floor right now.

    Get out in the media and explain it just the way John Kerry just did on the floor, and as Barbara Boxer is about to do.  Day and night, get real Democrats out into the media and talk sense, tell the truth.

    This bill is a gift to the Republicans.  Shut it down right now.  Pres. Obama needs to get his head on straight right now.  Instead of empowering "moderate" Democratic senators who clearly don't have the best interests of the vast majority of the people in mind, empower the people who are not betraying us.

    Also, as a people, we've got to do something about the Senate.  We have to organize.  Every single day more people lose jobs and lose homes.  Tax cuts don't help those people.  Tax cuts don't put money "back into their pockets".  Both the White House and the Senate need to be pressured.

    If anyone had any doubts as to who (5.00 / 6) (#148)
    by SeeEmDee on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:24:31 PM EST
    Mr. Obama owes his allegiance to, this should help.

    As someone pointed out long ago, the Ruling Class is called the Ruling Class because it rules.

    Any readers of Frank Herbert's venerable Dune would tell you that we've had 'Rabban' for the last eight years to soften us up and make us scream for a 'savior', so now we are going to get 'Feyd'. But the same ol' evil 'Baron' controls both.

    I never liked puppet shows as a child. I really don't like them when they're fronted as serious politics. Yet that's what we have here. Another puppet on the Globalist's stage, dancing and gesturing and posturing and sounding oh-so-smooth and rational after what we've been through, but the same strings are attached and being moved by the same old bunch of very wealthy and dangerous Stupid White Men.

    The Who had it pegged long ago: "Meet the new boss; he's the same as the old boss..."

    I like puppet shows ... (5.00 / 2) (#166)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:07:06 PM EST
    like this one.

    But not the one playing in Washington this year.


    Nancy Pelosi's statement (5.00 / 5) (#160)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:53:44 PM EST
    I count as a ray of hope:

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the proposed reductions "do violence to what we are trying to do for the future," especially on alternative energy and education, two areas Democrats believe were long neglected under President George W. Bush. "The cuts are very damaging," she told reporters at a House Democratic retreat in Williamsburg.

    Pelosi also played down the need for Republican input. "Washington seems consumed by this process argument of bipartisanship," she said. The House's $819 billion stimulus package passed without a single Republican vote for it.

    Query:  is it a given at this point TARP has been effective to date?  Also, re the Big 3 bailout, whaat is the significance of parts suppliers stating they may likely go under now?

    My Montgomery trip has been cancelled (none / 0) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 09:25:45 AM EST
    I'm fairly certain that it is an omen of what my near future is going to be like.  A lot of people would like to do many things but will probably lack the resources needed to do them.  I don't know what to make of this revelation.  I need to digest and read more.  The WAPO story frames it all so positively and I'm not up to speed on the whole of this fight and what could have been gained and what was lost for what looks like nought.

    There's an interesting 3 or 4 hour (none / 0) (#12)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 09:41:11 AM EST
    segment going on at Fox News. Cavuto has a special discussion underway talking about the stimulus package. Sorry, I learned about it at the CBS morning show and don't know any of the panelists other than Ben Stein (and Steve Forbes is going to be brought in). I believe the panel includes Democrats in support of the package.

    Jeez (5.00 / 2) (#173)
    by cal1942 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:30:27 PM EST
    Ben Stein and Steve Forbes.  A person could lose serious IQ points watching those two.

    move along nothing to see here (none / 0) (#22)
    by carvednstonedem on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:01:55 AM EST
    Late in the campaign and thru the election they had started to put my fears to rest that I might be looking at another Carter administration but the lack of both aggressiveness and focus  coupled with the Zinni affair is beginnig to dispel that comfort. Time will tell but can our nation afford it.

    No, we can't afford it (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:03:55 AM EST
    Yeh, no surprise (5.00 / 8) (#27)
    by Cream City on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:09:45 AM EST
    for those of us who are not cool and saw it all coming.  Just great sadness for my children.

    This article (none / 0) (#35)
    by NJDem on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:23:34 AM EST
    kinda makes me feel better in that at least people seem to be putting down the koolaid, so to speak.  If there ever was a time to hold his feet to the fire...

    "Results in on Obama's grassroots appeal: It's a bust"

    Hey, they voted (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by kmblue on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:36:20 AM EST
    and showed up at rallies.  What more do you want? ;)

    That should work (5.00 / 7) (#124)
    by daria g on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:50:48 PM EST
    Let's just get everybody together.  Let's get unified! The sky will open, the light will come down, celestial choirs will be singing, and everybody will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect!

    Well, it does offer a chance (none / 0) (#188)
    by jar137 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 03:13:07 PM EST
    to hold hands or hug.  It worked in the election...

    Here's a question for Oliver Willis (none / 0) (#48)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:40:52 AM EST
    and other Obama supporters. Look at what just happened. Isn't this exactly what President Joe Lieberman would have done?
    Obama's true colors ---milquetoast and ecru---are finally revealed.

    Has Feinstein said (none / 0) (#55)
    by NJDem on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:45:02 AM EST
    anything yet?  Yesterday she said she reserved the right to vote against it if there wasn't more money focused on job growth?  

    It's a difficult call all the way around (none / 0) (#100)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:51:05 AM EST
    On one hand, the need for expediency is real. On the other hand, a good reality hit on the new administration may be the best course of action. So far, things have come way too easy for Obama throughout his political career. This is a good time for him to learn the work is hard and it requires a great deal of concentration.

    And effort. (5.00 / 4) (#114)
    by Fabian on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:37:18 PM EST
    I really wish he hadn't gone to the elementary school.  

    Between Bush and The Pet Goat and Obama and "tired of Washington", visiting an elementary school is going to become shorthand for being a passive executive.


    I also wish Obama had not been so busy (5.00 / 7) (#153)
    by Cream City on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:33:46 PM EST
    this week setting up his Faith-Based Office . . . under the radar of this blog, among others.  

    But heck, that's a promise he did keep -- including the expansion of its charge.  And its budget.  In this week, with this economy.  Hosannah.


    pray for jobs (5.00 / 6) (#158)
    by DFLer on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:50:01 PM EST
    Faith-Based initiatives is a boondoggle. (5.00 / 3) (#164)
    by masslib on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:01:43 PM EST
    I'm also surprised it hasn't been mentioned here.

    "Trademark candor" (none / 0) (#86)
    by NJDem on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:32:15 AM EST

    He was being generous with 30%...

    I'm disturbed by the headline (none / 0) (#113)
    by DFLer on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:36:29 PM EST
    Biden Urges Passage of Stimulus Despite Voter Backlash

    voter backlash?

    (of course the comments are full of WSJ readers' wisdom.)


    Apparently (5.00 / 4) (#120)
    by jbindc on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:43:51 PM EST
    Phone lines into Capitol Hill have been jammed with calls from voters angry about this bill.

    I heard the Repugs were in the majority of callers (none / 0) (#137)
    by DFLer on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:04:25 PM EST
    is that true?

    Don't know (none / 0) (#167)
    by jbindc on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:09:59 PM EST
    But it wouldn't surprise me.  But the article says Jim Webb's office was flooded, and the article says education groups and NEA members were calling too.

    Polls were/are showing that (none / 0) (#191)
    by andrys on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 03:25:27 PM EST
    the public is polling very much against the bill.

    The Repubs tend to know how to define these things better than the Dems bother to.  To only agree that it's a "spending" bill without something just as 'catchy' about what it actually is meant to do means that's all the public "knows."


    Yesterdays Gallup (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by JThomas on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 03:49:19 PM EST
    showed americans still favor the stimulus bill by a 52-37 edge.

    The GOP are coming up with their own private''polls'' to say otherwise...you trust them?

    Limbaugh instructed his ditto-heads to jam the lines to the congress and all those right wingers have plenty of time on their hands as angry retired folks.


    Kucinich or McKinney (none / 0) (#92)
    by Berkmond on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:40:05 AM EST
    wouldnt stand for this.  Should have elected one of them.

    Seriously, shut up. (5.00 / 7) (#93)
    by andgarden on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:41:41 AM EST
    wow - such anger! (none / 0) (#98)
    by blogname on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:47:15 AM EST
    Well, I guess that's some proof of a "center-right" country. A coalition of Obama, a blue state Republican and a red-state Democrat.

    Anyone that thought (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by JThomas on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:03:50 PM EST
    getting us out of the ditch with one fell swoop was unrealistic to begin with. Even at 800billion it is the largest bill of its kind in the nations history. They needed to get this moved along to conference where they will alter it again..sausage making is messy,isn't it. The right is outraged, the left is outraged..so it goes.

    There will be more battles to fight,more stimulus bills to push thru..you do not burn all the bridges two weeks into the new era.

    Bill Clinton had problems with his stimulus bill of 1/10th this size and ya'll thought this would sail thru without a hitch. Hello..smell the coffee.


    Clinton was not working with democratic (5.00 / 7) (#196)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 04:12:55 PM EST
    majorities in both houses.

    OBAMA = FLOP (none / 0) (#199)
    by feet on earth on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 04:17:58 PM EST
    Fist Leader of Puma
    So sorry Big Tend.  It was all so predictable.  

    How he entered politics said it all, to all and in advance (I am talking about the Alice Palmer poisonous kiss of dead she got from Obama)  

    Stimulus, What Stimulus? (none / 0) (#205)
    by wickedlittledoll on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 05:24:18 PM EST
    Well we need someone to trim the pork and fry the bacon, no? Lucky for us, there's Ben Nelson, a true American patriot!  


    Now we know why Clinton is SOS. (none / 0) (#206)
    by Jake Left on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 06:13:50 PM EST
    She can't fight him from the Senate.

    We have liberal lions in name only. Wellstone was our last.

    If only we would've done something sooner (none / 0) (#207)
    by birdsie98 on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 03:04:09 AM EST
    The shock is now hitting me of who we've elected and voted for. I just have a bad feeling in the pit of my stomache. I mean I hope he does well but I'm worried and I always think in the back of my mind what if, just what if Hillary were in there - I think we'd be better off. Obama seems to be getting tired of being President and it's only the first month. We should've done something the end of the primary seasons when everyone was protesting to count the MI & FL votes at that time is when alot of us switched sides including myself I think we'd have a much different situation if we all joined together last year and demanded truth from the DNC. Ahh well, I guess we will have to see how this mess will turn out now... Were stuck for yet another 4 years...