Obama's Constrained Bully Pulpit

It is not surprising that the Obama Administration shares the view often espoused by Village Dems and bloggers of a Presidency with little persuasive power:

White House advisers say Democrats need to understand that Obama is not all-powerful. "There is this sense on Capitol Hill that somehow the president can go out and make a speech and everything just magically becomes better," said a senior White House adviser who requested anonymity in order to speak frankly. "If there is a lesson out of the Massachusetts race, it is the people on Capitol Hill have to realize nobody can go win this for you. If you're going to cast the vote, then you have to be prepared to argue why it was the best vote."

(Emphasis supplied.) Given this view, the simple response from Congresspersons is to insist on THEIR version of legislation and to leave Obama to his devices. Many Village bloggers believe that passage of the Senate health bill is a no brainer politically. Obviously, that is not the view from the House (and one wonders if that is the view from the Senate, given their reluctance to agree to a fix via reconciliation.) When even the White House is not arguing for passage of the Senate health bill, where is the political constituency for it? It does not exist. Given that, it is not surprising that Speaker Pelosi takes the view that it is up to the White House and the Senate to step up:

Late last year, Pelosi informed Obama that the 2010 House agenda would consist of job creation and deficit reduction. Her Democrats would take no more politically risky votes, she told him, until the Senate had cleared its backlog. And that includes the health-care bill, Pelosi decided last week. As Brown delivered his victory speech in Boston on Tuesday, the speaker began canvassing House Democrats about prospects for approving the Senate version of the bill -- a vote that would send the legislation immediately to Obama. On Thursday morning, she announced she didn't have the votes.

I doubt this decision was taken lightly. But political reality is political reality. And with a White House and a Senate unwilling to lift a finger, it is a reality unlikely to change.

For a year, Village bloggers have written countless posts "explaining" the impotence of the Obama White House and the constraint of the 60th Senate vote. Perhaps they will now understand the constraint of the 218th vote in the House.

Speaking for me only

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    The quote from the anonymous senior (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 02:06:08 PM EST
    White House advisor is quite interesting.  If the President did more than give a speech-- if, for example, he clearly stated what he wanted health care reform to contain and/or not contain, and if he instructed his political operatives, such as Plouffe, to threaten members of Congress with no campaign contributions via Democratic party coffers if said member did not work for such legislation---wouldn't the President have a better chance of getting the outcome he wants and providing support (both financial and moral) to members of Congress who help him achieve this outcome?

    I am really late to this thread, (5.00 / 2) (#126)
    by Anne on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 08:45:20 AM EST
    and haven't read all the comments - but if this is any indication of where Obama intends to go with messaging, I think he's in more trouble than he realizes.

    It was Obama who, with the assistance of the media, took the mystique or the transformational speech to a new level; he got people to believe that he knew what the problems were, that he knew how to fix them better than anyone else, and once elected, would set about to do just that.  

    News flash: all politicians seeking votes are trying to convince people that they - and only they - hold the key to solving the problems; Obama's method had a more cult-like feel to it, but essentially, he was doing what they all do.

    So, Obama's problem is not that people think great speech = problem solved, but that people now expect him to deliver on the promise inherent in those pretty speeches.  If his message now is, "hey, it's not my fault that you thought I was all that and a bag of chips.  I'm just the blank-slate guy - if you want to solve problems, you need to make it happen - I'm kinda just here to organize everyone around common goals and values," I think he's getting really bad advice.

    Heck, as strategies go, I think it's pretty ham-handed to send all the spokespeople out to the Sunday shows to announce to the world that Obama's bringing in all the old campaign message people; to me it says that he's missing the love and needs an ego boost, and puts more stock in optics and empty promises than in actual roll-up-one's-sleeves, get-down-into-the-details, and get things done.

    I just wish I didn't have that "gee, governatin' is such hard work, could I just go give a bunch of speeches for a while?" feeling about this next phase of the Obama presidency...


    Obama may get his wish (none / 0) (#127)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 08:55:54 AM EST
    If Capitol Hill is to blame for wanting to hear more of his lofty speeches, then he may get some reprieve as more Republicans (who decidely do not want to hear more of his lofty speeches) may join the ranks next year.

    The NYT is reporting that the number of seats up for grab in the fall is increasing. And at least one pollster sees it this way:

    Stuart Rothenberg, a political analyst who follows Congressional races, said a report he will release Monday will count 58 Democratic House seats in play, up from 47 in December. The number of Republican seats in play has held at 14 in that period, he said. And Democrats expect more of their incumbents to retire, which could put additional seats at risk.

    Democratic officials said Sunday night that Representative Marion Berry of Arkansas was expected to announce plans to retire Monday, making him the first to quit since the Massachusetts election and opening up another competitive race.

    Republicans need a net gain of 40 seats to regain control of the House. That still seems unlikely, though hardly impossible.

    Mr. Rothenberg lists seven Democratic Senate seats and four Republican seats in play; that number will not change on Monday, though Mr. Rothenberg recently rated Republicans as likely to take over Mrs. Lincoln's seat in Arkansas.

    "The Republicans are expanding the playing field, no doubt about that," Mr. Rothenberg said, describing it as a continuing Democratic deterioration that began late last summer.

    So if Obama wants to whine that the Dems don't understand how hard it is, I'm sure the Republicans will be even less understanding.  

    Hold your horses - it's going to be a bumpy ride.


    Of course, you have delineated (none / 0) (#137)
    by Cream City on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 09:52:47 AM EST
    the difference between a president and a community organizer.  After all, he did not say "I am the one you have been waiting for," did he?

    So this White House is literally (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 02:09:43 PM EST
    determined to be Carter II?  Pretty insane, and if true....I think I can legit say that Clinton would have been a much better President!

    But how do you know? (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 02:51:22 PM EST
    gee (5.00 / 4) (#10)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 02:56:44 PM EST
    common sense, things she said, her record, her obvious ability to speak with out Totus, he knowledge of policy, her habit of telling you what she thinks for real whether you like it or not... the fact that she has always been more liberal and more populist than Obama....

    My comment was rhetorical (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:06:27 PM EST
    and snark.

    Even if one agrees (none / 0) (#14)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:06:34 PM EST
    with what you wrote completely (which I do not), the same qualities (liberal and populist and telling you like it is whether you like it or not) you admire, helps in making enemies. If she went about it the way you would have liked, my feeling is that the idiot box would be full of pundits titillating about Hillary-Nancy wars. Bloggers, of course, would be writing and evaluating theses on sexism. HCR would of course take a back seat. But again, I may be wrong.....

    Well I suspect (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by addy on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:20:07 PM EST
    there wouldn't be a "dime's worth of difference" between what you worry would be happening to Clinton and what is actually happening to Obama right now. Paralysis.
    Although I think Clinton would muscle her way out of it. YMMV.

    You are wrong (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by cal1942 on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:20:48 PM EST
    Just for starters Hillary said she wouldn't approach HCR until late in her first term or in the 2nd term.

    That was a much, much wiser course for what should now be obvious reasons.

    But if you miss tne obvious I'll explain.  

    Clinton understood the biggest problem; unemployment.

    Show real progress reducing unemployment and tough reforms become easier.  

    People are in a much more accomodating mood when they are employed and the opposition in your own party isn't as fiesty when confronted with constituents who are happy with policy that's yielded results.


    If HRC could not deliver on her Senate campaign (none / 0) (#39)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:40:35 PM EST
    promise to bring jobs to upstate New York (blue state with a Democratic Governor), the chances that she would have been able to bring jobs to the whole country are pretty minimal. You may believe it out of loyalty, it does not convince me. When confronted about her broken promise, she blamed GWB, but that does not cut it for me.

    That's ridiculous (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by cal1942 on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 06:00:35 PM EST
    and you should know that. Or, you have no clue about how jobs/economy work.

    My take is that you are an Obama apologist or propagandist or something.


    How do you propose Pres. Obama (none / 0) (#42)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:44:36 PM EST
    create jobs?

    Funding national infrastructure projects (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 04:23:13 PM EST
    I read that the President will be discussing the "New Foundation" economy soon. However, the effort should be a public-private partnership. The government cannot do it alone.

    an idea that by the way Clinton embraced early on (none / 0) (#107)
    by cawaltz on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 09:16:50 PM EST
    back when Obama and the rest were ridiculing her for wanting to include money for programs like Oil for Seniors and infrastructure projects.

    By helping small businesses? (none / 0) (#116)
    by BrassTacks on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 11:30:23 PM EST
    Cut taxes?  That seemed to work for JFK and Reagan.  Plus, people LOVE tax cuts, even if they are temporary.  It might get some businesses to expand and hire more people.  

    Revealing (5.00 / 6) (#35)
    by cal1942 on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:33:16 PM EST
    the same qualities ... you admire helps in making enemies

    Obama's apparent need to avoid making enemies is part of why he's a failure.

    Exhibit A:

    Roosevelt, Franklin D.

    You cannot begin to imagine how many enemies FDR made.

    He even managed to make enemies not yet born.

    Post mortem they're still trying to distort history and destroy his legacy.


    FDR comparisons (none / 0) (#87)
    by Coral on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 04:52:44 PM EST
    Although I have used them myself, FDR comparisons don't quite ring true for me. FDR came from the highly privileged class and, in some ways, I think it was easier for him to fight them.

    Secondly, the times were clearly dire. There were none of the safety net protections like unemployment insurance, FDIC, food stamps and social security then. Unemployment meant total destitution and it hit a huge proportion of the country. Bank runs meant savings completely vanished. We are experiencing hard times, but many have a certain amount of cushion.

    And the left was highly active, out in the streets, militant, and sometimes violent. And the Russian Revolution was recent history, whereas now communism and to a certain extent many forms of socialism have failed.

    FDR was a great president. Indeed, Hoover's failure in the face of the same conditions demonstrates somewhat the extent of that greatness.

    But I don't think Obama has the background (in fact he's repeatedly attacked as an illegitimate president by the birthers and the racists on his background), the confidence, or the conditions to rise to the level of an FDR.

    Even JFK, who didn't really accomplish much, but set a forward tone that LBJ would capitalize on to pass landmark civil rights and social legislation, had more advantages both in background and in an active left.

    So, even though I'm sorely disappointed in Obama and I think he could be doing a lot better, I can't fault him for not measuring up to either FDR or JFK.

    A better comparison, perhaps, is Bill Clinton. On that front, so far, he seems to be standing up fairly well. They both are too eager to please the Village and too susceptible to the neoliberal economic perspective.


    I don't (none / 0) (#97)
    by cal1942 on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 05:55:07 PM EST
    expect him to measure up to FDR.

    But that's not the point I was making.


    Myths (none / 0) (#114)
    by Upstart Crow on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 10:45:01 PM EST
    Where do you get the idea that BHO didn't come from a privileged class? His mother was a bank director, he went to private schools and eventually Harvard.

    No, that was his grandmother (none / 0) (#120)
    by Cream City on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 11:53:33 PM EST
    who was a bank director.  But he is the son of two Ph.D.'s, did go to private schools all his life, etc.  So yes, all the markers of the elite class.

    Sorry (none / 0) (#121)
    by Upstart Crow on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 12:33:04 AM EST
    You're right, of course. The grandmother who paid for his education.

    Why didn't his mother raise him? (none / 0) (#122)
    by BrassTacks on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 01:29:04 AM EST
    Why did he have to live with his grandparents?  Why did his grandparents have to pay for his private school?  Where was his mother and why wasn't he with her?  

    You also apparently missed (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by jbindc on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:47:03 PM EST
    The fact that she was able to charm her most fiercest opponents when she was in the Senate, because they realized how smart she was, how hard she worked, and that she really wasn't the Wicked Witch of the West.  Heck, John McCain is on video talking about what a great president she would make - before she started running.

    And maybe there would have been talk about the Hillary - Nancy wars, but IMO, Pelosi, like many Dems blinded by slogans and greek temple columns, thought they could push Obama around.  Turns out they can't, but it's not because he stands for positions opposite theirs - it's only because he's more concerned the Republicans don't get their feelings hurt.

    It's an academic exercise to figure out how HRC would have been as president, but she knew how to get the job done and knew how to win over her critics (except those affected with CDS).  For example, my co-worker, a conservative Republican who is actively working in Virginia to try and attract more women into the Republican Party and specifically, to run as Republican candidates, has told me on several occasions that she hated Hillary 10 years ago, but now she, and many of the people she meets at Republican functions, think that Hillary was by far the best choice of all the candidates last year and would have done a much better job so far.


    THe problem when speaking (none / 0) (#79)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 04:29:12 PM EST
    about what Hilary would have done as president is revealed in your comment -- had she been elected in 2008, we would have had the press and all of her opponents, Dem as well as Repub, chattering incessantly, with the aid of the MSM, with CDS. Now that her public image has been changed because Obama, in appointing her SoS, sent out a message that the MSM should no longer feel free to denigrate her with abandon; she has also done her typical hard-working best to show that she is competent, effective and most knowledgeable. With the CDS at bay among the MSM, her true smart, competent self was able to come through during her first appearance before Congress.  In addition, the Repubs are happy to criticize Obama by comparing him to aspects of Hilary they claim they would have preferred.
    What I am saying is that had Hilary become President, it's not clear that she would not have had to spend much of her time dealing with all the CDS, and that House & Senate members, wouldn't have regaled in scoring brownie points by dissing her.  
    That said, based on her record on the campaign trail and in response to news of the banking crisis in the Fall of 2008, her economic policies would have called for relief to mortgage holders and, I believe, required some quid pro quo from in relation to any bank bailout.  That said, query whether she could have gotten her policies through once elected.  

    John McCain (none / 0) (#89)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 04:59:51 PM EST
    really wanted to face HRC in the GE, even before the primaries started. He had already prepared his Vietnam era ads (remember the ad showing him returning from a Vietnamese prison in a stretcher while the Democrats were doing their "pharmaceutical events"). In the late stage of the primaries, he was  praising HRC only to prolong the Democratic nomination process and get Obama as damaged as possible. You would be naive to imagine that if HRC won the nomination, the knives from the McCain campaign for HRC would not be coming out.
    Everyone has their anecdotes. My extremely conservative Republican colleague (he grew up in Colorado, has always voted Republican, once or twice for local libertarian candidates) told me the other day that he would vote for Obama in 2012. He was laughing at the election results from Massachussetts, he cheerily blamed it on the "short attention span of people in our country"
    I think this whole exercise about how HRC would have done is an exercise in futility. Can we please shelve it?

    I agree. Stop talking about Hillary--- (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by observed on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 05:11:03 PM EST
    and that includes you, buddy.
    Your myth about her GE weakness is just as worthless as talk about how she would have done as President (which I agree is wasted words).
    So Republicans support Obama: what's new?
    It's the Democrats who are leaving him.

    I was not talking about HRC's GE weakness (none / 0) (#94)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 05:34:50 PM EST
    I was just saying that one should take Republican praise of her with a grain of salt (she definitely deserves praise now as well as before; a lot of Republican praise and criticism of her as well as Obama is based on politics of the moment, so let us not fall for it).
    And I do believe that she would have won against McCain....
    Obama definitely has to fix a lot of problems he has with a section of the Democratic base, let us all work constructively to fix it. Tearing him apart will not solve our problems.

    Heh (5.00 / 2) (#102)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 06:47:39 PM EST
    False. The GOP was so glad we didnt nominate Hillary they were doing cartwheels. The exit polls showed her doing way better than Obama did in the general had she been the nominee. The GOP is having a hey day with Obama. Everytime they call him a name he runs to the corner and cowers and gives them what they want and begs them to please not taut him anymore. Conservatism was on it's last ropes and Obama keeps giving it CPR.

    The GOP (none / 0) (#103)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 07:12:56 PM EST
    as well as you, had a "hey day with Obama" after the Sarah Palin convention speech and then the debates came up followed by the GE. We know the results (which I had already predicted). Enjoy your "the sky is falling" moment while it lasts. I am quite happy with the President (he has been great on all the issues I care about). I have a good feeling about 2012 (I always retain the long term view, it has stood me more or less well in life).

    LOL (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 07:55:01 PM EST
    Well his brand has imploded and he's become vaporware so even if he's saying he agrees with you on the issues it's pretty worthless in the end because he simply is too weak to deliver.

    Revising history (none / 0) (#125)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 07:24:19 AM EST
    McCain was leading by 4 or 5 after both conventions and was gaining steam.  The only thing that let Obama sprint to the finish was the implosion of the McCain campaign after Lehman Brothers failed and McCain made the comment about the fundamentals of the economy were strong and other comments that showed he had no clue.

    Of course, now we see that Obama really didn't have a clue either.


    She's a "B" and a "C" (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:28:33 PM EST
    don't you know? She would never just lay down and let the rightwing put a big shoe print in the middle of her face if she is a big ole "C" and an evil "B", her goals are much more sinister....she only wants to see those who disagree with her suffer :)  She's already a more efffective president for left goals at this point right there :)

    I do think she woudl have cut off Cheney, (5.00 / 3) (#36)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:34:29 PM EST
    Gingrich, McConnell et al., off at the knees long before this.

    Certainly she would have (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:42:24 PM EST
    If they had pulled any of this stuff during her menopausal period, she would have eviscerated them :)  At this point they'd be roadkill or begging for mercy.  Seriously though, don't guys get a testosterone spike like twice a year.  Did Obama use the whole thing announcing the Afghanistan escalation?  There's nothing extra left over he could spare?

    Just remember: recent research (none / 0) (#43)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:45:53 PM EST
    indicates the Y chromosone is evolving much, much faster than our poor little Xs.

    It's because (4.00 / 3) (#49)
    by jbindc on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:47:52 PM EST
    The Y is so far behind already?

    I have proof :) (none / 0) (#62)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:56:14 PM EST
    science junkie (none / 0) (#58)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:54:57 PM EST
    I did not know this.  Now I must go read about it.  Seriously though, since we don't need anyone to hit us over the head and drag us back to the cave...don't you think this is a forced evolution and is only about playing catch up :)  They really need to catch up because gathering in the current Y chromosome is mostly a sort of OCD hoarding.  He deploys, I disperse his "treasure".  If he doesn't go to war, there is no way to control the hoarding at this point :)

    Does he read TL? (none / 0) (#67)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:59:51 PM EST
    He does sometimes (none / 0) (#72)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 04:06:31 PM EST
    I don't think he can where he is though.  He has internet access, and its sort of funny because he can probably look up my blood type or something but he can't watch youtube and he probably can't read TL.  He likes Armando though.  I think he reads Armando when he is stateside and at work and has time.  He hates Booman for more reasons both personal and professional than I have fingers to count on though.  He doesn't understand Digby, he doesn't have the evolution yet.  His hoarding though is something we argue about often, and then when he deploys he instructs me to clean everything up because his memory cannot hold all that he hoards and get this.....it causes him anxiety to have too much stuff or to get rid of his stuff.

    One of my offspring favors (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 04:11:46 PM EST
    keeping everything she has ever acquired.  My mission is similar to yours, as it is my garage.

    And there is a plus to (none / 0) (#77)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 04:16:03 PM EST
    hoarding when it comes to national security issues.  He tries to "keep" everything pertaining to his job.  People can get easily sidetracked by the "latest" trend but he retains everything outside of a current trend.  If you take this aspect of him and combine that with his big mouth, he is pretty effective and even efficient in his current job.  He was originally slotted for military intelligence because of his ASVAB.  He has an I.Q over 140 and when he was a kid he just let them put him where they wanted him.  He always wanted to fly helicopters though and a few years into it all he turned in his packet to fly and was accepted.  Now it seems he is going to return to his original MOS area.  He started teaching the pilot instruction portion of military intelligence here at Fort Rucker too about a year ago when they were minus a military intelligence officer.  They do have one now, and they made them office mates, and my spouse teaches the class when that officer needs time off and my spouse is here.

    LOL! (none / 0) (#93)
    by Radiowalla on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 05:21:12 PM EST
    "He doesn't understand Digby, he doesn't have the evolution yet. "

    Great comment!  


    Y chromosone evolution article: (none / 0) (#69)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 04:02:07 PM EST
    I have to do my hair for Skype tonight :) (5.00 / 2) (#84)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 04:39:09 PM EST
    Also from Science Daily (none / 0) (#141)
    by DFLer on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 12:09:28 PM EST

    Same story topic, different text


    "The region of the Y that is evolving the fastest is the part that plays a role in sperm production," say Jennifer Hughes, first author on the Nature  paper and a postdoctoral researcher in Whitehead Institute Director David Page's lab. "The rest of the Y is evolving more like the rest of the genome, only a little bit faster."

    is interesting.

    So it's a survival tactic...not necessarily a more "evolved human"


    She'd have aimed higher, and done it too! n/t (none / 0) (#118)
    by Ellie on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 11:37:22 PM EST
    I've read a bunch of comments, (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by observed on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 02:18:13 PM EST
    and written a couple of my own, on the topic of Obama's speeches and their self-imposed limits.
    Obama gives speeches to make people love him, when he should be inspiring people to action, and convincing the public to believe in a specific set of goals.
    The only explanation I have is that Obama doesn't want ANYTHING to stick him.
    He wouldn't campaign for the public option or the excise tax---not firmly---because that's too much of a commitment for him.

    Obama doesn't want ANYTHING to stick him (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Erehwon on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 02:23:20 PM EST
    Well said. And that's exactly what seems to be sticking to him!

    it is like when your kids were growing up (5.00 / 7) (#12)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:00:09 PM EST
    and we all thought that telling a kid he was wonderful was enough to give him/her good self esteem.  When really is is accomplishing something that gives you self esteem.  
    Obama is confused about the difference between action and talking about action.  People told him he just needed to be born to be wonderful.

    Why wouldn't he think he just has to BE? (5.00 / 4) (#19)
    by BrassTacks on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:20:13 PM EST
    It's been his experience his whole life.  He got into Columbia without great grades.  He made Harvard review without sterling grades.  He got elected to the Senate rather easily, and a couple of years later got elected President, despite being young and having no leadership experience.  Why wouldn't he believe that he just has to BE, and deliver some good speeches?  

    Where do you get information (none / 0) (#83)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 04:36:12 PM EST
    on Obama's Harvard law grades and basis of his selection for law review?  

    He was selected, not based on his grades (none / 0) (#108)
    by BrassTacks on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 09:20:32 PM EST
    He was selected for law review with the second round, the round one not based on grades, but on a writing sample.  He was elected to be President of the law review, rather than the usual way it's done, the person with the highest grades is the President.  They were very proud to have the first Black Law Review President, even if it was achieved in a less than conventional way.  

    I'll look for the link for you but I know it's true since one of my good friends was also on Harvard law review at the time.  I was also told that he published nothing while he was a law review editor, but perhaps that was an exaggeration.  All editors write and are published, so he must have too.  Right?  


    I think he wrote a couple of (none / 0) (#110)
    by observed on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 09:35:09 PM EST
    articles, but not under his own name (not so unusual for an editor, right?).
    Less than the usual holder of that position though.

    Yes, one unsigned brief article (5.00 / 0) (#112)
    by Cream City on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 10:33:57 PM EST
    a six-page case study.

    Very unusual to have no article by a Harvard Law Review editor -- but as noted above, the last of those was the year before.  Then it was changed to president so as to be based on other measures, not grades, and Obama got the (more political and management-oriented, less academic) post.

    Btw, if the law review still had an editor in his year, and if Obama had gotten that, he would not have been the first African American editor of Harvard Law Review -- that was in the 1920s.  

    The misreporting of Obama as first AA editor is a new classic in copyeditors' lists of errors.  It was misreported at the time -- and not corrected by Obama or Harvard or others then -- and again and again since then, including in the campaign.  Afterward, some media such as the NYT and WaPo at some point posted corrections. . . .

    But because the title was changed for his year, he does get to say that he was the first African American president or, as headlines had it, "head" of Harvard Law Review.


    Why unsigned? (none / 0) (#119)
    by BrassTacks on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 11:37:52 PM EST
    Seems strange to me.

    Thanks for the clarification on the rest of it.  Silly me, I believed the media.  I need to stop making that mistake!


    Do you know anything about (none / 0) (#124)
    by observed on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 06:25:25 AM EST
    the "professor/senior lecturer" question?
    I know that outside of law, it would be preposterous to call a lecturer of any sort a professor. At UChi law school, did he really hold a rank equivalent to Professor?

    Yes, I do. (none / 0) (#138)
    by Cream City on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 11:16:52 AM EST
    But I'm not going to get into it in detail here again, because it's just not worth it to invite the debate again.

    Basically, the U of Chicago Law School listed Obama as a senior lecturer -- the title for a parttimer (lecturer) after a period of time (senior) -- until the question came up.  Then the U of C Law School said Obama had faculty status as a professor (the four faculty ranks are instructor for those still finishing Ph.D.'s, then assistant professor for those still working toward tenure, then associate professor and full professor for tenured faculty).  These are almost always for fulltime faculty, making a commitment to academe as a career, not as a sideline -- valuable to professional schools are the parttime lecturers from the fields.

    So it's highly unusual, shall we say, for a parttimer to hold faculty status with the title of (whichever rank of) professor -- and for such a fast promotion, as promotions are the work of faculty committees, then to deans, then to provosts, then to presidents or chancellors, then to boards of trustees or regents, and that all takes at least a year.

    However, of course, students tend to call every teacher "professor" -- at least, students with some manners, compared to those who use "hey you."  And anti-intellectuals dominate media, and media despise titles, and media loved Obama, and lots of other Americans also are so suspicious of academe that they refused to respect or even try to understand faculty ranks and titles.  (Imagine if we started using the title of, say, paramedics for physicians -- or paralegals for all lawyers.)

    Also, law schools (and medical schools), with all their massive endowments, are well known to be allowed to be laws unto themselves in academe.  And the U of Chicago is that in other ways.  So . . . bottom line is that once the U of Chicago stepped in to say, in very odd working, that it considered Obama to be the equivalent of a professor, that quashed the question of fraudulent credentials.  

    Allow me to note, though, that it would have been problematic if it was on a c.v. of someone less well known seeking to get a job in academe.  Fortunately, he opted for a different field again.


    p.s. (none / 0) (#139)
    by Cream City on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 11:21:14 AM EST
    I'm not even getting into the "adjunct professor" out for all this -- that is a way to address what to do with titles for more notable parttimers, and it would be more likely to be what other campuses would have done . . . although that also is not the same as professor, for fulltimers, and it usually would be adjunct assistant professor to denote lack of tenure.  But again, the U of Chicago gets to say what it wants.  And then we get to think what we want to think about it and the U of Chicago. . . .

    I think the last two sentences (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by observed on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 12:05:02 PM EST
    encapsulate it. No outsider can say that UC law school was definitely wrong.
    I'm in academia, so I was bothered by the position inflation.

    It is VERY unusual (none / 0) (#117)
    by BrassTacks on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 11:35:45 PM EST
    For the President of a Harvard Law review to not publish.  It's unheard of.  It's one of the reasons why people want to be on Law Review, they get their stuff published.  

    Unusual indeed (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by Upstart Crow on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 01:40:57 PM EST
    I heard that they passed a rule after he left that the subsequent Harvard Law Review presidents would have to publish, so this wouldn't happen again.

    My understanding (none / 0) (#144)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 07:53:00 PM EST
    most law schools admit to law review the top x% of a class, and then allow another group to enter a "writing competition" for the remaining slots.  So Obama's selection for law review is no out of the ordinary, especially in light of his gift for writing.   So we still don't know what his grades were.  Some schools automatically admit to law review the top 10% of first year class.  Who is to say that Obama wasn't in the top 11%?  Or that his overall grades for all years of law school, were not impressive.  I rue the lack of specific information about him, but think we should be careful about jumping to conclusions -- negative or positive.

    He did campaign for the public (none / 0) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:30:55 PM EST
    option though.  What is firmly?  He spoke out against the excise tax vigorously.

    Please explain when and where (none / 0) (#37)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:35:38 PM EST
    Pres. Obama, post inauguration, did either of these things.  

    Hey man (none / 0) (#44)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:45:53 PM EST
    I thought we were talking campaign.  In my experience we are supposed to end the  campaigning in order to have enough energy to inaugurate.  Then the person preforms the campaign promises.

    No sirree. We are talking (none / 0) (#50)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:48:26 PM EST
    first 100 days of first term.

    GIVE HIM TIME (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by jbindc on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:52:53 PM EST
    Geez - It's only been a year (well, longer, since Bush really abdicated responsibility after election day).  Don't worry - he'll get it fixed by election day in 2012...

    That's the deadline :) (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 04:30:59 PM EST
    I can't change my vote (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:58:37 PM EST
    in the first 100 days someone's in office.  This is starting to sound like a monarchy.

    Just to make you feel better-- (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 04:03:53 PM EST
    Don't forget about Roe v. Wade.

    You mean (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by jbindc on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 04:06:12 PM EST
    The two different ways to get across a river?

    Heh, or ha, or meh, or whatever. (none / 0) (#74)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 04:12:41 PM EST
    Fareed Zakaria (none / 0) (#145)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 08:53:53 PM EST
    has article at Newsweek available online subtitled "It's time for the president to stop legislating and start leading."
    Title:  "Change We Can Believe In"

    dated 1/22/10

    Pretty well done....


    So "Leave Obama aloooone" (5.00 / 5) (#11)
    by Cream City on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 02:57:51 PM EST
    is the slogan now?


    Incredible: (5.00 / 6) (#17)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:15:12 PM EST
    "It's just an ugly process," he [President Obama]told an audience at an Ohio community college. "You're running headlong into special interests, and armies of lobbyists, and partisan politics that's aimed at exploiting fears instead of getting things done. And the longer it takes, the uglier it looks. ... I can promise you there will be more fights ahead."

    How does this statement square with the reality big Pharm and insurance industry met secretly at WH beofre HCR legislatrion drafting even got started?

    OMG, he's still operating on the assumption (5.00 / 8) (#27)
    by BrassTacks on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:27:22 PM EST
    that voters are dumb as rocks and have no idea that he's in bed with all those lobbyists and special interests!  So are the democrats on the Hill.  That was one of the reasons that Brown won.  Coakley had a big fundraiser in downtown Washington, days before the election, filled with big pharma and other health care lobbyists!  Does Obama not read the papers, or does he think the voters don't read them?  

    He read wayyyyyy to many (5.00 / 5) (#47)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:46:56 PM EST
    books about the Reagan presidency!  Wayyyyy to many!

    Yeah (5.00 / 5) (#59)
    by cal1942 on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:55:11 PM EST
    And everyone was forewarned.

    Remember the cozy fundraiser in San Francisco; his reason for losing Pennsylvania in spite of outspending Hillary 4 to 1?

    Guns and God.

    I wonder if thinks ordinary folk are out in the woods shooting their guns instead of reading the papers.


    The Pres. can safely assume (none / 0) (#63)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:57:39 PM EST
    nobody is reading the papers.

    From The Department Of ... (5.00 / 5) (#51)
    by lambert on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:48:55 PM EST
    ... How Stupid Do They Think We Are?

    Somehow, I don't think the unemployed (5.00 / 6) (#60)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:55:21 PM EST
    steelworkers in Ohio are fooled by this gibberish.

    Armies of lobbyists (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 04:35:32 PM EST
    Then fire back fool.  You could even launch an attack.  Did Obama learn that history lesson about how we make war in politics so we can all stay off the real battlefield as much as possible or was he absent that day? I thought he was usualy "present".

    I think he may have read and believed this: (none / 0) (#85)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 04:45:07 PM EST
    Ministry of Peace (Newspeak: Minipax)
    Minipax reports Oceania's perpetual war.

    The primary aim of modern warfare (in accordance with the principles of doublethink, this aim is simultaneously recognized and not recognized by the directing brains of the Inner Party) is to use up the products of the machine without raising the general standard of living. Ever since the end of the nineteenth century, the problem of what to do with the surplus of consumption goods has been latent in industrial society. At present, when few human beings even have enough to eat, this problem is obviously not urgent, and it might not have become so, even if no artificial processes of destruction had been at work.


    That's starting to sound very (none / 0) (#86)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 04:50:07 PM EST
    Hamilton Project.

    easy (none / 0) (#22)
    by Left of the Left on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:22:14 PM EST
    He didnt say whose side he was on.

    But that is a promise, at least (none / 0) (#24)
    by Cream City on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:23:56 PM EST
    that will be kept:  There will be more fights ahead.

    Now, is he prepared to win them, not just use them when he loses them?


    The reaction of health care stocks (none / 0) (#29)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:28:20 PM EST
    to a Scott Brown win does not really square with the meme that the health care bill was a big corporate give away. Link

    Meme my foot (5.00 / 5) (#41)
    by cal1942 on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:42:28 PM EST
    what part of - mandate to buy insurance from private companies - don't you understand.

    To most people (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 04:02:07 PM EST
    the differences about a "mandate to buy insurance from private companies" and a "mandate to buy insurance from the Government" are lost. Just as people people hate their hard earned dollars funding the lifestyle of health care executives, people are also disgusted about their money lining the pockets of corrupt government bureaucrats.
    Everything depends on how a private corporation or government agency is run. People like you believe   "Govenment good, Private companies bad", some other people believe "Private companies good, government bad". I believe that either government or private companies can be good or bad, it all depends on how each organization is run.

    So (5.00 / 2) (#95)
    by cal1942 on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 05:52:07 PM EST
    you really do believe people are that stupid.

    No mystery (none / 0) (#88)
    by lentinel on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 04:55:22 PM EST
    We know how for-profit health insurance companies run their businesses. They are cruel. They are inept. They are bad. They run them with an eye to profit for their shareholders and for their CEOs.

    A not-for-profit system - modeled on successful examples (France, for instance), is certainly worth a try.


    actually (none / 0) (#54)
    by Left of the Left on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:51:57 PM EST
    it just means the status quo is even better for them.

    Besides, the stock prices the past few months squares with that meme perfectly.


    Back in my (5.00 / 10) (#34)
    by NYShooter on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:32:08 PM EST
    corporate management days, when I was struggling with some intractable problem, I would go into one of the warehouses to walk around and clear my head. On one such day an older, long time forklift operator from down South, saw me and asked what was troubling me. After sharing my problem with him, he thought for a minute, then said, in his great Louisiana drawl, "boss, sometimes it jus beeze dat way." Great answer.

    With Obama, we see what we've got; a totally unprepared, inexperienced, and unsuited person for this job. Nothing can change that. Imagine being in a jetliner when the cockpit crew somehow becomes unable to fly (dead, passed out, whatever.) No amount of effort, change in strategy, or re-focused thinking will give any of the passengers the ability to fly the plain.

    We talk about the country's problems and daydream that if Obama just did this, or that, he could turn things around. Well, he cannot. If, at this stage of the game, he hasn't figured out what's wrong, it's because his goals were never the same as ours. He had delusional ideas of what our country is, what our problems are, and how to lead us to a better tomorrow. We dreamed with him, hoped with him, and gambled on him.....and we lost. Now that he's lost the most important quality any President needs, confidence in his grasp of our problems, and a heartfelt drive to solve them, he's finished.

    What you see is what we've got, and we'll just have to suck it up and live with it for three more years. My warehouse guy, Tommie, had it right, "It jus beeze dat way."  

    Sobering. (none / 0) (#46)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:46:52 PM EST
    Sobering and depressing, (none / 0) (#109)
    by BrassTacks on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 09:32:05 PM EST
    We've elected someone who has no clue how to fly the plane.  

    Right, Congress should just (none / 0) (#81)
    by observed on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 04:35:22 PM EST
    strongarm him.

    Shorter Obama: (5.00 / 4) (#52)
    by shoephone on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:49:10 PM EST
    "I haven't a clue what this job is all about -- so screw anybody who tries to make me act like a leader!"

    The Obama presidency is over. OVER.

    And I'm sick to death of the "anonymous" White House advisors. No one in the news media should be covering for these people anymore.

    This (5.00 / 6) (#53)
    by jbindc on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:51:26 PM EST
    White House advisers say Democrats need to understand that Obama is not all-powerful. "There is this sense on Capitol Hill that somehow the president can go out and make a speech and everything just magically becomes better," said a senior White House adviser who requested anonymity in order to speak frankly

    Is the funniest quote I've read in a while.  Capitol Hill thinks all Obama has to do is go out and make a pretty speech and it will be better???  Um, excuse me....hasn't that been SOP for the Obama campaign and now the Obama administration from day one????

    It's an unintended admission (5.00 / 5) (#55)
    by shoephone on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:52:43 PM EST
    that speechmaking is about all he knows how to do.

    Again, Obama is not weak (5.00 / 8) (#57)
    by lambert on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:54:38 PM EST
    1. For the banksters: $22 trillion

    2. For the banksters: No reform at all, big banks bigger

    3. For health insurance companies: Failure to buy junk insurance becomes a federal crime

    4. For the military industrial complex: A whole new war

    5. For Versailles: Consolidating Bush's authoritarian gains in torture, state secrets, warrantless surveillance, etc.

    Obama has been doing quite well with his agenda. We really do need to surrender the idea that the legacy parties are responsive to the electorate in any way.

    Re #3: isn't the penalty (none / 0) (#75)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 04:14:18 PM EST
    a tax?  

    It is (none / 0) (#129)
    by lambert on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 09:02:53 AM EST

    Wonder if Obama (5.00 / 5) (#61)
    by robotalk on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:55:28 PM EST
    would have run the nomination/election if he'd run on "the president can only do so much" slogan he seems to be drifting on right now.

    Presidenting (5.00 / 8) (#64)
    by jbindc on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:58:27 PM EST
    is hard work!

    Maybe he needs to go clear some brush or something...


    Reverend Obama takes the pulpit: (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by lentinel on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 05:00:13 PM EST
    "[A]ny plan I sign must include an insurance exchange: a one-stop shopping marketplace where you can compare the benefits, cost and track records of a variety of plans - including a public option to increase competition and keep insurance companies honest - and choose what's best for your family."

    Obama - radio address, July 2009.

    I find (5.00 / 5) (#106)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 07:56:55 PM EST
    this section highly ironic?

    "There is this sense on Capitol Hill that somehow the president can go out and make a speech and everything just magically becomes better," said a senior White House adviser who requested anonymity in order to speak frankly.

    It is Obama and his admnistration that has continually put out the idea that a speech will solve all his problems. That's been his MO goign back to even the primaries. Now, at this late date they realize that prancing around and making speeches just isn't going to cut it?

    But that's exactly what he's doing! (none / 0) (#111)
    by BrassTacks on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 09:35:53 PM EST
    He's going to give more speeches!  That's the WH current plan, while they are saying that giving speeches is not effective!  So which is it?  Why is going around the country giving speeches if they aren't effective?  What's the point?  

    Ponies are magic LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (none / 0) (#130)
    by lambert on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 09:04:59 AM EST
    And that's what we were continuously told during the primary that Obama was.

    Although the word used wasn't "magic" -- it was "transformational." And a whole lot of other cr*p like that.

    And now the very same people who marketed that brand want to change it, because "sales" are down.

    How'd New Coke work out, then?


    He doesn't want to be GHW Bush (none / 0) (#5)
    by observed on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 02:23:23 PM EST
    So Obama's mantra is "Please don't read my lips!!"

    I hope this is just spin-- (none / 0) (#6)
    by KeysDan on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 02:35:10 PM EST
    sort of don't blame Obama, the fault lies elsewhere.  After all, he tried really, really hard to work with those Republicans and their good ideas, but to no avail.  And for the the Democrats, well, that is Pelosi's and Reid's bailwick, to manage those extremist views and assure that the "sensible center" of Lieberman, B. Nelson, et al. prevails.   However, if they do, in fact, believe their own words, it will be a sorry state of governance for the next three years, all during a time of wars and severe recession.

    Too bad he didn't try really, really, (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by BrassTacks on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:22:06 PM EST
    hard to work with, and support, democrats.  He made a few noises about republicans, had one or two to the White House, and that was it.  He left the HCR bills to the Senate and House to work out.

    It may be spin, KeysDan (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Zorba on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:27:25 PM EST
    But I really have come to believe that Obama may actually believe this.  Either that, or he has another agenda in his 11th-dimensional chess plan that I simply cannot understand.  Or that he really doesn't want any of his so-called promised agenda to occur because he has been bought by corporations.  Chose one- none of it's pretty.

    He needs to take Rex Ryan lessons (none / 0) (#7)
    by Dadler on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 02:46:46 PM EST

    That loser? Oh, he's winning. (none / 0) (#38)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:36:15 PM EST
    Yeah, that's what he needs to do: (none / 0) (#128)
    by Anne on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 09:01:30 AM EST
    run his mouth and fail to deliver...oh, wait...

    Would like to read first page of linked (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 02:48:29 PM EST
    Washington Post article.  So far, no can do unless registered.

    Another Option, depending on the site (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Left of the Left on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:14:15 PM EST
    Select print and it loads everything on one page.

    I normally try www.bugmenot.com but those get removed all the time.


    Yup (none / 0) (#45)
    by cal1942 on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:46:37 PM EST
    this old system software guy agrees 100%.

    Agreed, DA's method has worked (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by Cream City on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 04:15:05 PM EST
    for me many a time with media requiring registration -- I don't like to add cookies.  Btw, good ol' google  also remains the fastest way to find plagiarism of online sources in a student term paper -- still faster and easier than most of the special search engines developed for the sorry task.

    For example, it took no more than 20 seconds to find plagiarism in one case last semester, so I told students so to warn others not to try it.  Some were stunned to find that old people aka teachers know how to google.  Which generation do think invented it -- and, of course, the internets en toto?  


    So register, with any name and email (none / 0) (#23)
    by BrassTacks on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:23:03 PM EST
    That you choose.  It's easy, and free.  

    True, (none / 0) (#31)
    by BrassTacks on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:28:40 PM EST
    But once you register at the Post the sign in is fairly automatic, just one click.  

    Oh, puhleaze. I hold my blog posters (none / 0) (#33)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 03:31:26 PM EST
    to a much, much higher standard!

    Revenge is a dish best served Code (none / 0) (#115)
    by Ellie on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 11:27:57 PM EST
    I keep a short list of e/voice/snail-spammers to use for reg purposes when the Google approach doesn't work, and to keep the fundies* at bay.

    I dunno, something about spammers swarming each other just makes me happy.

    (Fundies= movement conservatives and/or relentless Dem fundraisers.)


    Yo O - WaPo registration is free, isn't it? (none / 0) (#142)
    by DFLer on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 12:15:47 PM EST
    Per Drudge, w/o citation, Pres. endorses (none / 0) (#91)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 05:07:24 PM EST
    deficit reduction commission.  Will he tout this in State of the Union speech?  

    It's also in the NYT (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by jes on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 05:52:08 PM EST

    I'm starting to just give up on this President. He's clueless. Digby says

    It goes without saying that actually delivering anything of value to the country is now off the table but I'm sure that between a fierce concentration on budget balancing and sounding really annoyed at bankers, the voters will be perfectly satisfied, so that's good.

    This truly would win over Republican (5.00 / 2) (#99)
    by observed on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 06:01:13 PM EST
    voters. If he does something to cut SS, he won't need Democrats in 2012.

    If SS and Medicare take hits, (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 06:19:11 PM EST
    I will start paying closer attention to how to possibly make $$ on football bets.

    I already have signed up (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by Cream City on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 10:41:53 PM EST
    for extra summer work, while I can get it.  That may help make up for the pay cut -- "furlough" -- this year and next year and who knows how long ahead, all cutting into how my pension will be calculated.  My retirement savings already took a huge hit, and I fully expect cuts in SS just when I get to that age, too.

    We also just had a car die, so I am going to do without, and we will make do with one; I walk most of the time and will just take the bus other times.  And when the housing market comes back, I am going to be watching very closely again to see when to sell and downsize.  Elderly neighbors waited too long and have been stuck for two years now.

    I've also reserved some books at the library to start studying up on anything else we can do with our big investments to not let them become big albatrosses and more big losses.

    Seriously, I think that Obama's signals for some time now mean it's time for survival tactics for seniors -- just as soon as I became one.  Why?  Because those of us turning 60 this year were born in the peak year of the baby boom.  So this has been coming for some time, as we know, and the planners needed a candidate who would attack SS.  They won.  We lose.  But we can try to cut our losses.


    If BTD is as good as he says, then (none / 0) (#101)
    by observed on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 06:20:24 PM EST
    TL'ers should invest some retirement money with him for bets.

    Medicare already taking hits (none / 0) (#146)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 09:02:00 PM EST
    I am told by friends who say coverage is shrinking and costs climbing....

    Republicans (none / 0) (#104)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 07:16:55 PM EST
    vote for Republicans, not for "Republican-lite".  Mr. Obama will have no standing with Republicans.  They are busy branding everything he does as "socialism".

    saw something remarkable (none / 0) (#131)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 09:10:53 AM EST
    this morning on MSNBC.  Meacham explaining that what Obama REALLY needs to do is start talking in soundbites.  cause, you know, we the ignorant public cant digest anything else.

    seriously.  you have to watch it to believe it.

    It would fit (none / 0) (#132)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 09:16:29 AM EST
    Obama and the Dems really do think we are stupid, so why not?  Maybe if he talks more slowly too.  And don't use such big words as "transfomational".

    I believe his point (none / 0) (#133)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 09:19:19 AM EST
    is that they do NOT think we are stupid.
    he needs to convince them that we are more stupid.

    You're right (none / 0) (#136)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 09:35:47 AM EST
    That was his point.

    But I still maintain that the Dems think we're stupid too.


    sorry (none / 0) (#134)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 09:20:31 AM EST
    a smart republican (none / 0) (#135)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 09:29:47 AM EST
    explains what Mecham REALLY meant:

    Bringing Back David Plouffe Will Totally Work

    its him and the media that like soundbites.