Obama on 60 Minutes

President Obama is interviewed on 60 minutes tonight about the message of the elections.

I just tuned in. He seems very calm and self-confident.

Steve Croft asked him about the droves of people who voted for him in 2008 that voted for Republicans in 2010. He mentioned the young, the elderly and independents. I wonder if that's even true that droves of those groups who voted for him in 2008 switched. I also don't think you can compare a midterm vote on members of Congress to the vote in a presidential election. The turnout is different.

The interview was conducted negatively, all questions seemed designed to put Obama on the defensive. There was too much emphasis on the Tea Party, as if it will be some major permanent force. Why not give Obama a chance to outline his policies and why they are better? There are still a lot of people, me included, who vastly prefer the Democrats' agenda. And I'll bet they turn out in 2012.

Anyway the interview got pretty boring, it was all tax cuts and economy.

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    Well (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 07:35:36 PM EST
    Obama doesn't have an agenda as far I've seen the past two years beyond his obsession with bipartisanship for the sake of bipartisanship.

    There's that... (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Pacific John on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 07:56:12 PM EST
    ...but as Greenwald says, through the lens of depriving the 2012 GOP of campaign cash, the administration's actions make strategic sense. He's been pretty responsive to banks, even though that didn't necessarily fit the unilateral bipartisanship shtick.

    IIRC in 2010 the Republicans got (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by MO Blue on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 08:04:08 PM EST
    the majority of the corporate cash.

    There IS one item on the agenda (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by sj on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 09:46:32 AM EST
    Don't forget about the catfood commission.

    Interesting (none / 0) (#50)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 12:08:33 PM EST
    how studies to end don't ask don't tell mean nothing but committees which will pass non-binding recommendations suddenly are pieces of an agenda.

    In and of themselves, you are (5.00 / 4) (#63)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 12:40:05 PM EST
    correct that the recommendations are not binding - but they are going to get an up-or-down vote in both houses of Congress, there will be no debate about them, nor will there be any revision or amendments permitted to be offered.

    Will the commission be able to come up with the votes it needs to pass a recommendation?  The usual rumors are that they are packaging them in such a way as to increase the chances of passage - and since they would go to the Congress as a pacakge, and not as individual recommendations, I think people really do have something to worry about.  The deck has been pretty well-stacked, and all we can do, apparently, is depend on Congress to reject the work of the commission - and I don't know anymore how dependable the Democratic caucus is.

    How many countries around the world have openly gay individuals serving in their militaries?  Are these other countries so different, are we so unique that looking at the experiences of other nations cannot be deemed sufficient to conclude that integrating the US military not only can be done, but done without significant negative consequences?

    Obama's been saying and promising for years now that he would end DADT, but every time he has an opportunity to make some decisions that would get us closer to - if not to - that goal, he takes a couple steps back.  

    When he wants to do something, it gets done, which is why his creation of the commission by executive order, after the establishment of a commission by the Congress failed, is - or should be - instructive to anyone who wonders what his agenda is on that front.


    I did not watch (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by lentinel on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 07:52:35 PM EST
    the interview;

    From your summary, I gather that the small matter of the two wars in which we are engaged - and on which we are spending two billion dollars a week - did not arise.

    To me, it is like a kind of post-hypnotic suggestion having been cast upon the American public that renders the largest and most dangerous events before them invisible.

    The economy is boring? (5.00 / 8) (#5)
    by Anne on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 08:16:06 PM EST

    That would be news to the millions who don't have jobs, who have been looking for one for a long, long time, who fear losing their unemployment insurance - again - who are looking at a long, cold winter and wondering how they are going to manage.

    Or for the millions trying to save for retirement, who are now wondering if they will have the benefit of Social Security because a group of people in Washington think "fixing" entitlements can help with a deficit problem that really isn't a problem.

    I didn't watch the interview; I didn't think I could stand to hear Obama once again talk about "working with" the Republicans, or telling us how we have to have everything on the table, including the social safety-net programs that are all that are keeping too many people from falling into the abyss.  Funny how we couldn't have single-payer on the table, but he's willing to put these very important programs up for discussion.

    As far as I'm concerned, Obama should be on the defensive - he should have to be accountable for what he and the Democrats have not done, for what they have given away, for giving in instead of holding firm.

    As for the Democrats' agenda - are you sure you know what it is, or whether it is "Democratic" in the sense we used to expect?  Because I am not at all sure I know what the agenda is - and the more I hear about "working with" the GOP, the less likely I think it is that it will be Democratic enough.

    While it may be somewhat "apples and oranges" to compare a mid-term election to a presidential election, the first mid-term after ushering in a new president is also the first opportunity people have to essentially grade the performance of that president and his party.  So, in that respect, I think there is something to be learned from the 2010 turnout - and I think Democrats ignore those lessons at their peril.

    WTF? (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Scarabus on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 08:41:51 PM EST
    WTF was that interview about!?!

    Croft spent the entire time using the Fox News fake third-person stunt of introducing the reporter's (sic) personal commentary via the "many say," "supporters think," "business feels," ad nauseum. And repeatedly he stated opinion (almost always Republican opinion) as fact.

    Why didn't Obama annihilate the jerk? "Business is worried"? Business is making record profits! "Business is concerned about regulation"? Business has already figured strategies to game the regulations and continue its conscienceless, rapacious ways.

    Taxes? Why didn't Croft acknowledge/why didn't Obama emphasize that Obama reduced taxes on the middle and working classes to less than Reagan or Bush levels? Is Croft unaware that main street small business will not be affected by the $250,000 personal tax (provided the owners haven't chosen to declare business income as personal -- like the owners of that "small business" Bechtel!)? Where was the recognition that the mega-rich are investing money overseas rather than in producing American jobs?

    Why didn't Obama point out that his position favors the "little guys," while the Croft/Republican position favors the "bullies"; that Obama favors "David," while Croft and the Republicans favor "Goliath"? That Obama's plan reduces the deficit significantly, while the Croft/Republican plan increases it significantly?

    Health care? Croft presented the issue as if it were a given that Obama's plan would cost the public more and benefit them less. Was he just ignorant, or was he deliberately misleading the audience?

    Why didn't Obama nail him, pointing out that the plan is already helping the public and that it's greatest benefits won't phase in until after the 2012 election? (Smooth move Republicans, sucker move Democrats.) Why didn't he point out that the plan will save money, both for patients and for taxpayers?

    Nothing in that interview to feel good about. CBS in general and Croft in particular are irredeemably biased and unworthy of respect. Obama is a wuss. I'm looking for a viable third party candidate for 2012.

    The short answer would seem to be (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by caseyOR on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 08:53:40 PM EST
    Obama is no good on his feet. Get away from his telepromptor and prepared text and he is lost.

    I think Obama's policies generally s*ck, and, yet, I could have given a better defense against Croft and his right-wing questioning.

    Maybe Obama doesn't believe in his own policy proposals and actions. His strategy does seem to be always fall back and take the path of least resistance.


    I dislike Steve Kroft. During (none / 0) (#119)
    by hairspray on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 09:56:55 PM EST
    the primaries he kept asking Hillary 15 different ways if she really believed Obama wasn't a Muslim. It was baiting and goading and obvious for all to see.  If I had been Hillary after the third try I would have said "What is it that you really want to know?  I've answered the question."

    Um (4.00 / 2) (#11)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 10:13:54 PM EST
    Health care? Croft presented the issue as if it were a given that Obama's plan would cost the public more and benefit them less. Was he just ignorant, or was he deliberately misleading the audience?

    I guess I need to send you my health insurance bill as well as the comparison page, where Regence (my insurance "provider" tells me what reductions I'm getting to compensate for Obama's "health care reform" changes.  Croft was exactly right about that.

    People who don't understand just how devastating the bill with its total lack of REAL cost controls has been to insurees are obviously NOT on the individual insurance market.  You're sheltered when your employer pays your insurance bill.


    About that claim that the insurance legislation (5.00 / 4) (#30)
    by MO Blue on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 09:27:40 AM EST
    was the most progressive piece of legislation evah.

    Obama said he thought that he would find common ground with Republicans by advancing health care proposals that had been introduced by Republican administrations as well as potential presidential candidate Mitt Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts. link

    By his own words, Obama promoted and signed into law a Republican health insurance plan. Unfortunately, liberals will get the blame for this POS legislation.


    Just because theres a bi-partisan (none / 0) (#51)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 12:13:04 PM EST
    history for an item doesn't mean its Republican- for one thing Health Care in Massachusetts while signed into law by Romney was passed by a hugely Democratic State Legislature, for another such a formulation essentially makes it impossible for any ideas ever to cross the aisle in either direction (understand that by your original formulation DOMA is a Democratic "achievement" as it was signed into law by Clinton-as is DADT while by your latter formulation the Civil Rights Act and anti-lynching legislation are distinctly Republican agenda items).

    nothing irks me more than "Romneycare" (none / 0) (#56)
    by CST on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 12:30:53 PM EST
    fwiw, several important sections of the health care bill that was passed in MA were vetoed by gov. Romney.  Every single one of those vetoes were overridden by the overwhelmingly Dem state legislature.  What we ended up with was not what Romney wanted, it was what the Dem legislature wanted.

    And our state legislature is something like 90% Dems, so anything that was gonna pass, had to go through there first.


    Its only funny for one reason (none / 0) (#78)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 01:04:15 PM EST
    it might sink Romney in the GOP primaries- which would be hilarious as he's the only current GOP frontrunner who would come with 5% of Obama in a national election. If calling it Romneycare means the GOP will nominate Sarah Palin and thus ensure a 1984/1964 like landslide then I'm cool with people being ignorant. (Oh, and its freaking hilarious to watch Romney try and distance himself from it now, when you know that if polls change and if he secures the GOP nomination he's going to be trumpeting it as a example of how he "works across the aisle to craft moderate solutions to complex issues" or some such blather).

    My sentiments exactly, socraticsilence (none / 0) (#104)
    by christinep on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 04:34:20 PM EST
    No, but when a plan is identical ... (none / 0) (#64)
    by Yman on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 12:42:19 PM EST
    ... to the to the 1993 Republican plan, it leads even liberal Obama supporters to conclude the obvious:

    Obama is signing what was, until recently, a moderate Republican health care plan by every substantive comparison or definition.

    Yes (none / 0) (#74)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 01:01:00 PM EST
    and this shows that there was a freaking bipartisan consensus on Health Care Reform prior to the point at which the GOP went full-nutjob.

    How so? (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Yman on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 01:11:26 PM EST
    There was no bi-partisan consensus on the 1993 Republican plan, unless you mean when Obama adopted it this past year.

    It's a Republican plan that was rejected by all the Republicans only after they went "full-nutjob".


    I'm sorry but how exactly (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 01:10:49 PM EST
    did you think this problem was ever going to be solved basically every single possible answer from opening Medicare to all to the Bennett-Wyden approach (the same but giving vouchers instead of directly subsidizing access for Seniors)- had similar drawbacks- Medicare for all would have been a disaster in terms of access, whereas Wyden-Bennet would have crippled medicare in the same way school vouchers would cripple public education.   Simply, put there is no good solution to the American Healthcare dilemma that wouldn't anger someone- it all needs to be reformed from the malpractice laws, to payment system, to structure and cost of medical schools/training, to way insurance is structured. If the healthcare debate taught us nothing else its that Healthcare reform is going to have be a slow incremental process given the passions on both sides of the issue, the money involved and the sheer lack of knowledge by much of the general public.

    What kind of incremental approach (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by observed on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 01:34:53 PM EST
    will solve the problem of health insurance rate increases which are well into the double digits per year?
    Will Obama make sure we are notified prior to any increase of over 30% in rates?

    Well if Obama was going to anger someone (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by MO Blue on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 01:54:33 PM EST
    no matter what he proposed, he should have gone for a plan that provided universal, affordable health care instead of implementing an unsustainable system of subsidizing overpriced insurance and prescription drugs which may not provide health care that people can afford.    

    And that would have been awesome (none / 0) (#87)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 02:10:31 PM EST
    up until the point that it never reached the floor of the Senate, went down in flames and thus rendered Healthcare radioactive for another decade and a half.  Additionally, there is no working solution for the explosion in Healthcare costs- they are rising globally as healthcare itself becomes ever more complex and expensive- could the rate of increase have been slowed- yes, and HCR is a good step in that direction.

    Seriously, I really want someone to point to an approach to HCR that was both politically attainable and would have achieved the gains in coverage this approach did while being better in terms of slowing inflation. The sheer illogic of the second-guessing is astonishing its like somehow despite the fact that Healthcare reform and something approaching Universal coverage were Democratic goals which eluded every single administration since Truman's that HCR was easy to pass and that not only could another President/another proposal have been passed but that it would have been more progressive. The assumptions underlying such a counterfactual are unsupported by almost any evidence but are apparent to a lot of people because of who knows heavy drug use?


    No one has ever suggested it (5.00 / 3) (#93)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 03:12:25 PM EST
    would be easy to reform the system, but what we did know was that the priority and the goal of reform should not have been so much to make sure everyone would have a sparkly insurance policy, but that access to actual care would be expanded, and the cost of that care would be more affordable; I don't know of anyone - outside of those associated with the insurance industry - who thought our efforts and energies should be directed at helping the insurance industry.

    I continually read and hear the same argument you make - that the kind of reform we needed would be DOA in the Congress - but I almost never hear anyone explain why it is that we couldn't even discuss what almost everyone believes to be the best solution: a single-payer system.  I'm not saying that if it had been allowed to be discussed, it would have been easier to accomplish, but I am saying that when it came off the table, the process lost much of its honesty and credibility; the backroom meetings and deals with industry CEOs didn't help on the honesty front, either.

    For whatever minimal help the legislation provides now, it is full of loopholes and escape clauses, there are no guarantees it will even still exist when much of it is scheduled to be implemented, and everyone who is receiving a premium notice these days is not seeing the benefits that have been touted - we're paying more and we're getting less, and that would not seem to be in line with what most people consider "reform."

    And while you claim that a failure to pass reform would have made the whole thing radioactive and untouchable for the foreseeable future, I think that the reality of the legislation will render Democrats unable to ever be trusted to get within 100 miles of health system reform - and millions of people will still not have what they need: affordable access to care.


    Seems to me that this POS legislation (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by MO Blue on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 03:53:08 PM EST
    is, by Obama's own admission, currently  radioactive, may cause people in some states to lose coverage now, may never be implemented and has IMO put back the possibility that the U.S. will implement a real health care  system in the next decade.

    While health care costs are rising globally, the U.S. will continue to pay 2 - 3 times more for health care services and 35 - 50% more for prescription drugs than other countries.

    There is absolutely no proof that this legislation has done anything to slow the costs of health care. In fact, the insurance companies are taking full advantage of the defects in this legislation to substantially raise premiums and lower coverage using the excuse that provisions in the legislation makes their double digit increases necessary.  


    Thank you. Well said, socraticsilence. (none / 0) (#105)
    by christinep on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 04:37:24 PM EST
    would you be willing to excerpt those (none / 0) (#17)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 07:42:18 AM EST
    items for us? I don't know what elements of the new Health Insurance Reform Bill are in effect already, and what we get to wait until the insurance industry has had 3 years to manipulate. If Regence gave you that information, and it isn't personal information, would you share the details?

    If you are a small business, (I work in a company with 3 total people) you can dramatically cut your rates going to a number of different associations or private HR firms to join group plans. That's what we do. Rates, though, went up another 20% this year and my boss is making us pick up that portion. Since he can't pass on the ridiculously high business taxes to us, he's having to essentially cut our pay on the health insurance part.


    just watching here in CA (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by Pacific John on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 09:25:23 PM EST
    JM's impression of tone is a little off. This is the same tone the press has had with every Dem I can remember except, until now, Obama. It's dissonant because Croft didn't offer the President a pillow.

    It also exposes that Obama isn't as deft at policy as previous D presidents and nominees. Gore the Bore would have easily outmaneuvered Croft and gone over his head to the public.

    This is exactly why embracing favorable media bias in the nomination process was not in anyone's best interest; we don't have a leader who has proven he can handle adversity.

    I do have to admit I was wrong about this. I predicted this would happen in '08, so I was off by about 26 months.

    When Obama gets this kind of (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by Anne on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 09:36:08 PM EST
    push from the conservative side, he tends to work harder to "explain" in ways designed to get approval, rather than counter in ways that show the emptiness of the conservative argument.

    He's gotten by for some time without having to show a real depth of knowledge and grasp of the details, which makes it harder to successfully pivot from the argument the interviewer wants to have to the argument he needs to be making to the viewers.

    The other essential problem is, of course, that I don't think he believes in the argument he's supposed to be making.


    It all seems like an academic exercise (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Pacific John on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 09:55:58 PM EST
    Back in the infamous Reno paper interview, he was clearly using the one the one hand, on the other hand technique. It's a mechanical process of advocacy that he's very good at. At the end of the interview, he talked about people hurting, but he wasn't any more fired up about it than he was talking about the size of the deficit.

    Like he said in one of his books, people view him as a blank screen onto which they can project whatever they want.

    But like Bush, he doesn't seem passionate about anything except threats to his ego.


    You would have made a great (none / 0) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 08:29:42 AM EST
    debate team coach Anne!

    As much as I like President Obama, (none / 0) (#109)
    by Kitt on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 04:57:29 PM EST
    this really says it well:

    "push from the conservative side, he tends to work harder to "explain" in ways designed to get approval, rather than counter in ways that show the emptiness of the conservative argument."

    I'm not particularly partial to the following two small paragraphs; however the above is what I 'heard' while listening and watching him.


    The Democratic establishment confuses (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by esmense on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 11:21:32 AM EST
    pleasing the beltway media establishment with communicating with the American people. They have been doing this since Reagan (it is not a mistake Republicans make). The more shabbily they are treated, the more they grovel. They supported Obama's challenge to Clinton because it would please the press, and, once again, they tricked themselves into thinking that basing decisions on what the media establishment would approve of would provide protection from their disdain and dishonesty in the future (it always does just the opposite -- the press just figures that what they helped create in theirs to destroy).

    One of the most disappointing (because he's a man I want to respect), but not at all surprising things I've read recently -- just a throwaway line in a political book about something else entirely -- was that Al Gore actually consulted with several media pundits on his VP choice. Their choice was the disasterous Lieberman. (Gained him a lot of media goodwill, didn't it?)

    Whatever other complaints you may have against them, the Clintons are the only modern Democrats who have understood the folly of this.  


    Deficit Commission and "entitlements" (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by MO Blue on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 11:22:05 PM EST
    And so, the test is gonna be what happens over the next several years, when it's not just an abstraction, but we have to start making serious choices. I've got a deficit commission that I've put forward that is gonna be releasing recommendations for how we can start reducing the deficit. And I don't know yet what they're gonna say, but I do know what the federal budget looks like. And if you eliminate all the earmarks. If you eliminate all the foreign aid. If you eliminate all the waste and abuse that people, you know, talk about eliminating -- you're still confronted with a fact that the vast majority of the federal budget are things that people really think are important. Like Social Security and Medicare and defense.

    And so, you then have to start making some tough decisions about how do we pay for those things that we think are important? And you know, we're not gonna be able to balance the budget just by slashing the National Parks budget, even if you didn't think that was a proper function of government. We're not gonna be able to balance the budget by, you know, eliminating the National Weather Service.

    I mean, we're gonna have to, you know, tackle some big issues like entitlements that, you know, when you listen to the Tea Party or you listen to Republican candidates they promise we're not gonna touch. link

    Defense is important, offense much less so (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by BobTinKY on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 08:39:16 AM EST
    and the overwhelming majority of the DOD and National Security budgets go to projecting strength the world over, maintaining empire, and generally using force (killing people) to get others to do as we instruct.

    I'd be surprised if that portion of our military/security budgest truly necessary to protect our borders and Consitutional republic amounts to 20% of what we currently spend.

    But never mind, "defense" costs are sacrosanct so we must instead cut "entitlements."  

    How nervy of people to think they are "entitled" to benefits from programs into which they have been paying all their working lives.  Who do they think they are?  


    ummm . . . . (none / 0) (#14)
    by nycstray on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 01:50:42 AM EST
    I mean, we're gonna have to, you know, tackle some big issues like entitlements that, you know, when you listen to the Tea Party or you listen to Republican candidates they promise we're not gonna touch.

    is he saying the TP and Repubs  don't want to touch those?


    That is what he said (none / 0) (#15)
    by MO Blue on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 07:24:51 AM EST
    Of course, you can play worm and come up with "what Obama really meant" or you can believe that it is an intricate chess move that is so far above us mere mortals that we couldn't possibly understand the brilliance of his strategy.

    Of course, if he winds up cutting entitlements (gawd how I hate that word), it sounds like he (and by inference the Dems) are on record as accomplishing this against the wishes of Tea Party or Republican candidates.


    I think the most straightforward reading (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by observed on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 07:35:48 AM EST
    is that he is going to prove those TP'ers wrong about "us" (the Dems) by cutting entitlements.
    You GO, Obama!

    Agree with your analysis (none / 0) (#24)
    by BobTinKY on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 08:40:49 AM EST
    I have thought the same for over a year now.  

    This is why I expect a leftward challenge to Obama in 2012.


    Obama campaigned on putting SS (none / 0) (#26)
    by MO Blue on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 08:53:30 AM EST
    on the table during the primary. So it is no surprise that he is going after the "entitlement programs." Funny how the campaign promises he keeps helps Wall Street at the expense of Main Street.

    I would be very surprised if any Dem runs a primary challenge against him in 2012. Would be less surprised to see a third party candidate run. Regardless of the outcome, IMO D.C. will continue to support Wall St. Durbin once said the the banks own the joint. Surprising honest statement by a politician. Both parties have been bought and paid for and don't see that changing any time soon as long as corporations maintain their "personhood" and are able to control the elections with an ever increasing flow of cash.


    leftward challenge (none / 0) (#107)
    by huzzlewhat on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 04:41:39 PM EST
    I'm not in favor of a primary challenger to Obama. Except if he goes after Social Security. Then I think it's necessary for the left to challenge him if they want to preserve any kind of voice at all in public debate. Whether they win or lose -- or whether Obama then wins or loses -- the left can't afford to be seen as having a leader who advocates dismantling the New Deal as their public spokesperson.

    He's still going after "entitlements" (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 07:55:40 AM EST
    You just can't help this man, I give up.  I don't care how he goes down anymore.  He is stubborn as hell, not that bright, and has a very poorly functioning social moral compass.  

    I'm thinking of combining the (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by observed on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 07:57:36 AM EST
    old Carly Simon hit "you're so vain" with "The best and the brightest" to catch just the right flavor.

    How about (none / 0) (#20)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 08:09:10 AM EST
    You can't hide your lyin' eyes,
    And your smile's a thin disguise.
    Thought by now, you'd realize
    There ain't no way to hide your lyin' eyes.


    Unbelievable (none / 0) (#22)
    by BobTinKY on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 08:33:35 AM EST
    if he goes after SS he should know that that will be all for the Dmeocratic PArty.

    What would be the Party's reaosn for existence at that point?

    And for those younger voters who gave Obama the mandate he squandered & whose failure to show up last Tuesday handed the House over to the GOP?  SS cuts will "only" affect "those under age 55."


    What does that matter to him? (none / 0) (#32)
    by sj on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 09:46:35 AM EST
    if he goes after SS he should know that that will be all for the Dmeocratic PArty.

    He doesn't need it anymore.  It's done all it can for him.


    Well in fairness (none / 0) (#38)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 10:38:39 AM EST
    the last Democratic President made his mark by slashing entitlements- maybe Obama wrongly wants to emulate Clinton.

    The last Democratic President (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 10:51:06 AM EST
    did this during the worst economic downturn in history since the Great Depression and the worst economic inequality in my parents lifetimes?  The last Democratic President created his own commission to do this as well during such a crisis?  There is nothing fair about false equivalencies.

    No actually at a time when (none / 0) (#52)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 12:17:02 PM EST
    were basking in good economic growth the President decided to balance the budget on the backs of the one section of the populace least able to bear it. Look Obama cutting entitlements isn't a great idea but to pretend it would be unprecedented is odd given such an approach was lauded as "brilliant political gamesmanship" and "taking the GOPs best issues away from them" in the 1990s.  

    Why (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 12:26:12 PM EST
    do you have such sympathy for welfare recipients and not the elderly?

    The difference is that Welfare was immensely unpopular and Social Security is immensely popular. So Obama going after a politically popular program is smart how?


    hmm.. are you complaining that (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by observed on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 01:01:21 PM EST
    Obama balanced the budget by soaking the rich?
    Many of us dont' mind that Clinton righted the economy on the backs of the rich.

    False dichotomy (none / 0) (#61)
    by Rojas on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 12:38:38 PM EST
    The trail to economic inequality is here.
    How long did you people think it would take?

    There will always be economic (none / 0) (#84)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 01:41:34 PM EST
    inequality in a capitalistic system, that is one of its driving forces.  When we create moral hazard though we disturb all the driving forces, and then when we create more moral hazard to cover for the past moral hazard we created we start destroying all the driving forces.

    But, but, but .... (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Yman on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 11:03:19 AM EST
    ... Clinton!!!



    If Obama wants to emulate Clinton, (none / 0) (#41)
    by MO Blue on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 11:08:36 AM EST
    can he please duplicate the same economy. I was definitely much better off during the Clinton years and so was all of my family.

    duplicate the economy.. (none / 0) (#46)
    by jondee on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 11:31:25 AM EST
    maybe what Obama should do is put Alan Greenspan and Bob Rubin back to work, so that they and Summers and Geithner can continue their work refining the high art of financial deregulation..

    What this situation obviously calls for is men of vision..  


    Looking back (none / 0) (#58)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 12:33:17 PM EST
    does anyone remember the "Greenspan is a genius" movement, or how Clinton and Gramm wisely worked to together to "free the true engine of economic growth" god that stuff is funny.

    That's impossible (none / 0) (#55)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 12:27:43 PM EST
    beyond the obvious structural boost (Clinton reaped the benefit of a unique confluence of circumstances- the end of the cold war which allowed him to cut defense spending with a muted backlash and the Tech boom which is almost impossible to replicate and which was at least in part a case of market speculation)-- in terms of actual economic policies Obama would be insane to mimic the deregulatory mania that Clinton fostered- his Admin was good for the economy in the short run but its hard to argue that the policy prescriptions did much to foster longterm growth if anything liberalizing the federal oversight on the finanacial sector contributed to the current problems we face (and one could argue- though some would disagree-- that NAFTA, Clinton's signature first term foreign policy achievement was one of the single most detrimental government actions in terms of lower middle class; read union and blue collar; jobs in the last half century).    

    Look, I get it that after getting annihilated in his first mid-terms (losing both the House and the Senate) Clinton made a comeback politically, but if you actually look at his administration in terms of policy achievements or replicable economic actions- its really, really hard to point to what Obama or any other future Democratic President should do-- deregulation, free trade, slashing entitlements, incremental progress on Gay rights- huh sounds at best like a worse version of Obama. I mean we don't credit Reagan with the economic growth in the 80s why should we give Clinton credit for the 90s?


    Obama stood on the brink (5.00 / 2) (#85)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 01:43:16 PM EST
    of utterly amazing political capital and situation and utterly squandered all of it because he wasn't a Democrat.

    "One could argue" ... (none / 0) (#69)
    by Yman on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 12:50:46 PM EST
    one could argue- though some would disagree-- that NAFTA, Clinton's signature first term foreign policy achievement was one of the single most detrimental government actions in terms of lower middle class; read union and blue collar; jobs in the last half century

    ... that dinosaurs roamed the earth with early man and evolution is a myth, but that would be no more true than the NAFTA fairy tale.


    The last (none / 0) (#42)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 11:09:26 AM EST
    Democratic President cut welfare nothing else unless you consider cutting military spending slashing entitlements. Clinton wanted to take the entire surplus and put it into Social Security. Let me know when Bill Clinton appointed a cat food commission.

    Apparently "welfare" is the only entitlement that you think is worthwhile.


    I didn't say that (none / 0) (#57)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 12:31:47 PM EST
    and frankly as Obama hasn't actually cut anything as of yet I have a hard time hitting him for the "cat food commission" especially given how many commissions are formed, release findings and achieve nothing. Frankly, its hard to take anything away from your apologia for Welfare reform other than that poor people matter less than old people in your estimation-- I mean its hard to see how a minor reform to Social Security such as raising the contribution ceiling is in anyway worse than slashing welfare.   A major change would be worse but minor reforms honestly seem like a wash.

    Raising the ceiling on weges (5.00 / 5) (#67)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 12:45:55 PM EST
    subject to SS tax is the ONLY change that needs to be made to keep it perking along; raising the retirement age, indexing benefits, means-testing - these are all cuts to benefits.

    Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit, something that seems to have escaped the notice of an awful lot of people who really should know better.

    Given that, one has to wonder who really benefits from the kinds of fixes to SS that have been floated - because it certainly won't be the people who actually need it to keep afloat.


    Do you (none / 0) (#66)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 12:44:10 PM EST
    not think that there are "poor people" who are dependent on Social Security or are you convinced like Obama that it is welfare for wealthy individuals?

    Obama is not going to raise contribution ceiling. What he is going to do is cut benefits. I don't know why you don't think that Obama is going to cave to whatever the commission "recommends" since he caves on everything else.

    My problem with "welfare" so to speak is that there are people who abuse it and it seems to me that welfare reform pretty much got rid of a lot of the abuses. I had an ex-sister in law who was on it because she left my sorry a** brother in law but she used it temporarily to help her get her life back together. That's how it should be used IMO not the way you want it to be and that is where you and I part ways. You didn't think the system needed to be reformed and I do. There's no apologia for it. It was reformed and everyone has moved forward but you for some reason. I don't understand if welfare reform is such a big issue for you why you don't get on Obama's case for not undoing it then? The truth is it's not that important to you because you just want something to whine about.

    Do you see me criticizing Obama for not undoing welfare reform? No, you don't.


    I watched it (none / 0) (#13)
    by shoephone on Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 11:28:31 PM EST
    and, yes, it was a total bore, but not because it was mostly about tax cuts and the economy. Obama seemed as distant and disengaged as ever. He did not beat back one Republican talking point. His new theme--that presidents get all of the blame for bad economies and little of the credit for good ones--came off as a sad reminder that campaign-type slogans are of little value to millions of unemployed folks, many of whom may also be worried about losing their homes.

    Steve Croft almost always plays the provocateur during his interviews, so one has to wonder if  Obama and his advisors were simply too exhausted and depressed after last Tuesday's results to prepare for tonight. This interview won't do the Dems any favors.

    And I disagree, once again, that comparisons between 2008 and 2010 turnouts are irrelevant. It's all about the GOTV effort and the extent to which voters are feeling either hopeful or turned off! Here in Washington, we had an all-time record turnout for an off-year election (over 60%). Compare that to our all-time record turnout in 2010 (84.61%) and it looks somewhat weak. However, a closer look at this year's totals for each of the 40 counties shows that nearly a third--14 of the counties--voted at more than 70%, and one voted over 80%. Maybe we Washingtonians thought more was at stake than other states' voters. Still, I know that a lot of young voters at UW and the other colleges were apathetic this year.

    The Dems need to seriously study what happened in each state's turnouts. Does anyone think the Republicans dismissed the 2006 results as simply off-year election results? No way. They pored over those results and started planning for this year's election four years ago. I hope the Dems get a clue after Tuesday's rout and start strategizing like demons, not only for 2012 but for 2014 as well. Because if the economy isn't bouncing back in the next two years, Dems are gonna need a lot more than naive hopes that the GOP puts up a clunker of a presidential candidate.  

    I do think theres a difference however (none / 0) (#59)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 12:35:28 PM EST
    with the exception of 2006- every single off-year election for the past two decades has been better for the GOP than the Presidential election which preceded it- its not a matter of interpetetation its a sociological fact.

    yep (none / 0) (#25)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 08:46:06 AM EST
    its pretty clear the honeymoon is over and its open season for the media on mr Obama.

    I hope he takes the republicans totally by surprise and gets partisan hat out of the closet.

    I think he already has the (5.00 / 5) (#35)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 09:51:40 AM EST
    partisan hat out of the closet - and it's not a Democratic one, sadly; I am having a hard time understanding why people keep thinking he's eventually going to start advocating a real Democratic agenda, when there is too much out there that says he's really not comfortable there.

    Or maybe, to be fair, he's just not capable of choosing sides, not exactly a better option; he creates his own gridlock in some ways.  And why would that be?  I think only years of therapy would reveal the answer to that question, and we not only don't have the time that would require, but I think the chances are that he would realize that his comfort level is with Republicans, not Democrats.

    I think this is the one of the negatives associated with anointing someone for the most important job in the land without having an extensive history and track record by which to understand who they really are from an ideological standpoint; that being said, there was enough of a track record for many people to have been able to see this debacle coming.

    And that's why so many of us keep urging people to consider that Obama is not hiding his Democratic preference in the closet, but revealing more and more over time that he's been hiding a preference for the GOP under a thin veneer of Democratic talking points that he can't seem to help contradicting on a regular basis.

    I think the Democratic Party needs- more than ever - a strong voice articulating truly progressive positions on the issues that matter to us, and if we don't find one soon, we are going to be very, very sorry.  And no, for the usual suspects, I am not suggesting that person be Hillary, only that this is not the time to cede leadership of Democrats to someone who isn't one.

    For a Democrat to be talking about Social Security as if it were a budget issue without some serious pushback from real Democrats is just unacceptable - on both counts - and we delude ourselves by continuing to say, "oh, Democrats would never vote to do X or Y."


    oh well (none / 0) (#36)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 10:28:14 AM EST
    I believed in santa claus until I was 18

    What Atrios wrote about Helicopter Ben (none / 0) (#27)
    by Harry Saxon on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 08:56:36 AM EST
    could apply to Obama as well:

    And, you know, he's failing. He is not doing the job he is supposed to do. People are suffering. Unemployment is at 9.6%.

    its odd (none / 0) (#28)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 09:01:29 AM EST
    I saw some of this talk to the Indian congress this morning.  he sounded more focused and "on" than he had sounded in a while to me.

    maybe it takes being out of the country or something.


    Nope, just a teleprompter. (none / 0) (#29)
    by BTAL on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 09:17:54 AM EST

    what ever it was (none / 0) (#33)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 09:48:44 AM EST
    he should keep doing it

    Interesting Pres. announced in this (none / 0) (#37)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 10:34:04 AM EST
    venue his admins. now supports India's quest for perm. seat on U.N. Security Council.  I recently read India, in a non-permanent position, voted against U.S. 90% of the time in the past.

    Thats pandering (none / 0) (#62)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 12:39:43 PM EST
    its a big issue for India and at the location in question its the position to take (besides which theres a good case to be made that India's record as a permanent member would be much, much different based on basic IR theory for two reasons- one, as a permanent member India would be best suited to counter China their regional rival, two as a rising power India's voting considerations are much different than they were as a third world- in both the common and technical meaning of the term- nation).

    IMO, a lot of India is still third-world. (none / 0) (#65)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 12:42:27 PM EST
    And all of India is a big consumer of Chinese exports.  Although, yes, there is a waryness politically but not nearly as much as re Pakistan.

    Oh I totally agree (none / 0) (#81)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 01:13:23 PM EST
    but I think Pakistan while a far larger issue in terms of Military policy is going to fade in general importance in the coming years because frankly Pakistan is poor and has no real movement towards modernization- its like how North Korea is the single biggest issue for the ROK but China and Japan have far more relevance to them in terms of economic growth.

    lot of India is still third-world (none / 0) (#99)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 03:50:12 PM EST
    And all of India is a big consumer of Chinese exports

    we really do have a lot in common.


    Trying to remember where I heard/read it (none / 0) (#102)
    by sj on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 04:10:11 PM EST
    But I heard recently that India is outsourcing tech jobs to China.  I hadn't googled it until just now but apparently it is happening.  So soon we'll have even more in common.  We'll both be left behind in the race to the bottom.

    you missed the memo (none / 0) (#103)
    by jondee on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 04:26:43 PM EST
    The Golden Straitjacket of unrestricted Free Trade benefits us all (and not just those of us who command 100k a night speaker fees.)

    Maybe I need to eat something (none / 0) (#106)
    by sj on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 04:37:58 PM EST
    Because I have no idea what any of your comments are trying to say, today.

    Naw (none / 0) (#108)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 04:47:20 PM EST
    just typical Jondee. It's hard to understand intellectual dishonesty.

    Its the foriegn policy aspects (none / 0) (#60)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 12:36:47 PM EST
    he always sounds much better on those, and on the more complex domestic issues than he does on the base economic issues.

    Surprise, surprise (none / 0) (#34)
    by MO Blue on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 09:50:27 AM EST
    The drive in Congress to repeal the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy appears all but lost for the foreseeable future, with action unlikely this year and even less likely once Republicans take charge of the House in January.

    Sens. Carl Levin of Michigan and John McCain of Arizona, the top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, are in talks on stripping the proposed repeal and other controversial provisions from a broader defense bill, leaving the repeal with no legislative vehicle to carry it. With a repeal attached, and amid Republican complaints over the terms of the debate, the defense bill had failed to win the 60 votes needed to overcome a procedural hurdle in the Senate in September.

    he Obama administration isn't raising expectations that the issue will be considered this year. "I would like to see the repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell,' but I'm not sure what the prospects for that are," Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters traveling with him in Australia over the weekend.

    Asked what the White House priorities are for the coming congressional session, press secretary Robert Gibbs named four issues--tax cuts, a nuclear-arms treaty with Russia, a child nutrition bill and confirmation of Jack Lew as White House budget director. Asked why he wouldn't put gays in the military on the list, Mr. Gibbs said it looked like Republicans would block action. link

    The GOP is also (none / 0) (#68)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 12:47:51 PM EST
    going to vote down the SALT reworking-- both out of spite (don't want Obama to be able to trumpet a FP triumph) and out of paranoia- (there's a handful of GOP Senators who regard Reagan and Nixon as sellouts over this and treaties have an obscenely high bar for passage- which is why the US is party to less international treaties than any other major power despite being a benerally responsible actor on the world stage- absent the 8 year period from 2001-2009-).

    It'll be the single stupidest thing that happens, the GOP will actively oppose the world becoming significantly safer because there either to petty or too crazy to vote to reduce the number of Nukes in both the US and Russia and to help control the only real threat of Nuclear Weapons being used against the US currently in existence (loose nukes or accidental launch from a dilapidated Russian Nuclear Infrastructure).

    I'll admit this is a bit wonkish, but it just pisses me off like basically nothing else the US is currently doing- the treaty thing contributes more to actual suffering than almost any other action/inaction we can take and frankly the GOP is only going to get more extreme with recent rumors about primarying Richard Lugar (one of the few really, really good Republicans in the Senate- he should be kept for his foriegn policy expertise alone).


    Rope - a - dope???? (none / 0) (#43)
    by MO Blue on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 11:19:30 AM EST
    Now that the mid term election is over are we beginning to get the real scoop on things. Obama no longer a "fierce advocate"(:-() for eliminating DADT? Trial balloon on new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau head???

    MELISSA BEAN FLOATED AS CFPB HEAD - Buzz on Friday had Rep. Melissa Bean (D-Ill.) possibly getting tapped as the first Consumer Financial Protection Bureau head depending on the outcome of her too-close-to-call reelection race, in which Republican Joe Walsh maintained a slight lead as of Sunday afternoon. But a possible Bean nomination is not sitting well with reformers on the left who say the moderate Illinois congresswoman is far too close to the banking industry. Said one administration official: "It's not clear she would be acceptable to the reformers." link

    from your link . . . . (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by nycstray on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 11:24:17 AM EST

    "What is a danger is that we stay stuck in a new normal where unemployment rates stay high. People who have jobs see their incomes go up. Businesses make big profits. But they've learned to do more with less. And so they don't hire. And as a consequence, we keep on seeing growth that is just too slow to bring back the 8 million jobs that were lost." Transcript part 1: http://bit.ly/cJ7tz4; Transcript part 2: http://bit.ly/bpVGK3  

    dude needs to get a job in the real world . . .


    Hey look its the same line of thought (none / 0) (#70)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 12:52:35 PM EST
    that said unlimited free trade would be a boon for America*

    *And it is in terms of Wallstreet and areas with little to no manufacturing infrastructure, i.e. where the profits of Multinational Corps or the increase in purchasing power outweigh the fact that the largest local employer just shutdown because a maquiladora was cheaper (though the grimly hilarious story is that said maquiladora will probably shutdown in a few years when free trade makes manufacturing even cheaper in another economically impoverished area likely one with even fewer worker and/or environmental protections).


    More like... (5.00 / 3) (#47)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 11:39:03 AM EST
    The Audacity of Rope-a-Dope.

    Oh, how he and his staff must chuckle at how gullible the people are, how easily and how often he can fool them, and how loyal they are in their fealty even as he betrays them over and over and over again.

    People are now just wallowing in denial and marinating in the lie that he gives a rat's a$$ about anyone but himself and the savvy businessmen he so admires.

    Two more years of this is more that I can stand to think about; the possibility of six more years makes me want to vomit.


    I have (5.00 / 3) (#48)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 11:46:13 AM EST
    never seen a bunch of people who get kicked in the teeth and come back for more than the Obamaphiles.

    Theres a lot of philia (none / 0) (#49)
    by jondee on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 12:00:08 PM EST
    floating around this place: as in, people getting more defensive than one of Sinatra's attack dogs if anyone attempts to draw historical parallels between the current administration and the previous Democratic one.

    Nope (none / 0) (#53)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 12:23:39 PM EST
    because the people trying to make the comparisons are using it as excuses for the current one. Tell me when Clinton did that "cat food commission" Okay?

    Its not a hard comparison to make (none / 0) (#71)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 12:56:16 PM EST
    though thankfully Obama has been better in most areas- I mean good god in retrospect could the massive deregualtion of the financial industry have been more short-sighted?  Seriously look at the actions of the Clinton admin on the Financial front- from the SEC to the rest of Treasury to the Fed and try to distinguish them from the actions of the GOP leadership which both preceded and followed them.

    Are you (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 12:59:46 PM EST
    kidding? Obama has done nothing to re-regulate the financial industry unless you consider giving them money hand over fist counts. At least Clinton didn't reward their bad behavior like Obama and Bush have.

    I mean all those people who had mortgages Obama said they didn't deserve them? I mean how much condescending can you get about people's circumstances?


    if all that deregulation (none / 0) (#91)
    by jondee on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 02:56:16 PM EST
    and knuckling under to the superior wisdom of Greenspan and his minions wasn't rewarding bad behavior, what was it?
    Complex financial instruments, credit default swaps, derivatives and all the other versions of financial three card monte weren't just invented in 2008.

    how condescending? (none / 0) (#92)
    by jondee on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 03:07:51 PM EST
    how about median worker's adjusted-for-inflation wages being lower in 1998 than they were 1989?

    courtesy of another "the buck stops here", people's President.


    Then (none / 0) (#94)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 03:29:34 PM EST
    what do you say about Obama? You're now saying that Bush Sr. was a great President. Okay. Whatever. Now people's wages are even LOWER under Obama and what do you have to say to that? It's somehow Bill Clinton's fault too because Obama is inept?

    Now Obama so far with his Republican policy has produced lower wages and high unemployment. How's that working for you?


    Don't know about median worker (none / 0) (#97)
    by sj on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 03:33:34 PM EST
    And I'm not entirely sure to what end you are making this point.

    But just for the record, I can say that my actual wages -- without adjusting for inflation -- are about equal to what they were in 1998.  They are lower now than they were 1 1/2 years ago, and that was less than they were were 6 years before that.

    And this is in the high tech industry as a consultant.  Add in inflation and the giant increases in my insurance premiums and the situation is more than a little frightening.

    At least, so far, I am still able to work in my field.


    I had a discussion with a Japanese supplier (none / 0) (#121)
    by Rojas on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 03:47:48 AM EST
    About ten years ago. They had come to announce the start of a new plant in China. They were seeking our approval of the new manufacturing location. I had visited the line in Japan where the product had been made. The line was fully automatic, high tech, it took about six production employees to support the line. A finished part come off the end of the line about every 6 seconds.

    They were moving the line to reduce cost. I quizzed him about this decision.  The labor cost was a very small portion. Replacing the production workers with Chinese labor would provide minimal savings. It didn't make sense. Finally he turned to me and said "It's the guys like you and me who will provide the cost savings. That's where the money is at."

    Design engineering, manufacturing engineers, quality engineers, purchasing, payroll, accounting and logistics, that's the end game, where the real money is at.


    Not really (none / 0) (#98)
    by Yman on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 03:44:30 PM EST
    In reality, real median income grew an average of 2.05% under Clinton, higher than any other administration (except JFK/LBJ) in the last 60+ years.

    But keep trying ...


    (I Like that.. (none / 0) (#101)
    by jondee on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 03:54:26 PM EST
    (except for JFK/LBJ) :) You've could've achieved almost the same effect if you had capitalized THE LAST SIXTY YEARS and maybe added an exclamation point or two..

    Yeah really: according to my sources, median wages didn't increase AT ALL until Clinton's last couple years in office; which was, I suppose, some minor recompense for his welfare-for-the-investor-class program..  


    Would you feel better if I said ... (none / 0) (#110)
    by Yman on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 05:11:59 PM EST
    ... second highest real wage growth in the last 60 years?  Guess the truth hurts, huh?

    Yeah really: according to my sources, median wages didn't increase AT ALL until Clinton's last couple years in office

    In reality, real median income started increasing in 1993 ... and kept rising.  Not sure what your "sources" are, but this chart is based on BLS data, so you may want to check your sources (maybe even post them!) for comparison.

    OTOH - if you did that, you couldn't get "creative" with it.  Ya know, ...

    ... like omitting the last couple of years of Clinton's administration.


    Do I really need to list the achievements of the (none / 0) (#72)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 12:59:25 PM EST
    Obama administration once again, or is this just more pointless griping because despite being better than Clinton (or aguably Carter), Barack Obama isn't FDR (though FDR wasn't the FDR we remember- after all FDRs civil liberties abuses, expansion of executive power, and incremental approach to many reforms, as well as his admins absolutely deplorable record of racial issues are all minimized if not outright ignored by many).

    The (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 01:01:14 PM EST
    thing is he's NOT better than Clinton. He's to the right of Clinton. People just don't respect wimps who don't keep their word is really the bottom line of it.

    Yes, please (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Yman on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 01:16:19 PM EST
    List the "accomplishments" of the Obama administration.  I'll do a list of his campaign promises and we'll compare.

    Should be fun.


    Now now (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by DancingOpossum on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 02:40:08 PM EST
    Why do you need a list of Obama's accomplishments?
    Did you not visit his website??

    Yeah, really. This should be a hoot and a holler. Meanwhile, when I'm through laughing at Obama's many great accomplishments (which should only take a few seconds), can I please have my Clinton economy back?


    Here You Go (none / 0) (#111)
    by daring grace on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 05:44:28 PM EST
    A list of promises kept, broken and stalled.

    Thanks, but Politifact's list ... (none / 0) (#116)
    by Yman on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 07:45:50 PM EST
    ... is far too kind to Obama.

    Yep, I Should Have Known n/t (none / 0) (#122)
    by daring grace on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 07:03:18 AM EST
    Only if you enjoy the sound of (5.00 / 3) (#88)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 02:38:39 PM EST
    uncontrollable laughter...do you do stand-up?

    In all seriousness, I am not one of those people who worship at the altar of Bill Clinton, but there is no denying a few of things:

    (1) the man knew - and still knows - policy inside-out and backwards, and can discuss and explain it no matter where the discussion starts and no matter what curves you throw at him - he understood the issues he was faced with - they were not just abstract talking points.

    (2)  he made populist, dinner-table issues a priority, connecting with those working hard and playing by the rules; the tax increase he was able to get through the Congress was a big part of that.

    (3)   I don't recall anyone ever worrying that Clinton was a Republican in disguise, I don't recall him whining about being accountable, and I don't recall him distancing himself from his base.

    "But want about Clinton?" is not relevant to where we are now, and what needs to be done; I don't really care how their respective poll numbers compare as much as I care about whether, in 9 years when I'm 66, I can retire with full benefits, or if Medicare will still exist, or if my health insurance premiums will continue to climb as my benefits decrease.  I care about how much more women's rights will be eroded, how much more civil and privacy rights will be sacrificed to "national security."  I care whether all Americans, regardless of their age, their gender, their race or sexual orientation will be afforded the same rights.

    He's not living up to the expectations he set for himself, and not even living up to the expectations I thought we might reasonably expect from a Democratic president.

    That's not pointless griping, that's reality; I understand why some people are choosing to close their eyes to it while they recite the Obama-approved list of historic achievements, but I'm not closing my eyes just because you don't like what I'm telling you I see.


    This is all true (none / 0) (#90)
    by DancingOpossum on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 02:46:46 PM EST
    The only area where you could reasonably argue that Clinton=Obama would be in foreign policy, but really there's no difference in foreign policy between any administration, Repub or Dem, as the whole exercise has largely been an ongoing bipartisan horror show for at least 50 years.

    So if the only differences are in domestic policy, well yeah--Clinton beats Obama by a country mile, and then some. It's not even worth discussing, not if you're a person with even a fading grasp on reality. I think many of these Obamaphiles are probably too young to have lived through the Clinton years, so what they know about it is a vague cocktail of half-truths, leftover primary-induced CDS, and inadvertently-imbibed RW mythology.

    There was a certain core segment of the population (about 20 percent of GOP voters IIRC) that continued to support Dubya, no matter what, and would have continued to do so if Dubya were caught on tape snacking on their own children and feeding the entrails to Dick Cheney. I think the same is true of any candidate, and we'll always have that twenty-percent set of the Obama fanbase with us. Heck, the Flat Earth Society has members, too.


    long on hyperbolic characterization (none / 0) (#96)
    by jondee on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 03:32:47 PM EST
    and woefully short on facts..

    I suggest you do a review of (none / 0) (#95)
    by jondee on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 03:30:55 PM EST
    the Nader-Alexander Cochburn-Naomi Klein-William Greider (for starters) critique of the Clinton era, if you think no one at the time was sniffing out striking points of agreement between Clinton's policies and the conservative Republican agenda.

    Would that it weren't so, but I'm still reminded every day of why Vidal coined the expression "The United States of Amnesia".  


    Seriously (none / 0) (#113)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 05:57:19 PM EST
    Apparently slashing welfare, expanding the Death Penalty, deregulating the financial industry, Banning Gay Marriage, DADT, Unregulated Free Trade, and making the penalty for drug crimes more severe are all Progressive positions now- who knew?

    Obviously (none / 0) (#115)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 07:11:34 PM EST
    "banning gay marriage" wasn't too effective was it?

    What is your love of welfare? Why don't you try to run on that with 90% of Americans disapproving of it. Besides Clinton ran on reforming welfare and he kept that campaign promise. He was always for the death penalty. that was nothing new.

    Nader is a joke because he's not criticizing Obama for being to the right of Clinton is he?

    Remember Obama said Reagan was a "transformational" president. Reagan is Obama's hero. You need to get with the program.


    Is anyone making that argument? (none / 0) (#117)
    by Yman on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 07:48:31 PM EST
    Besides you?

    I understand how following through on campaign promises would be a little unsettling for an Obama fan, though.


    Number 3 (none / 0) (#112)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 05:54:50 PM EST
    is quite patently false though- tons of people thought Clinton went way, way right- I mean for godsakes he founded the DLC, trademarked triangulation and is the impetus behind the term "Sista Souljah moment" it was Clinton's Dem-lite philosophy that opened the door to Nader in 2000, to pretend that Clinton was some sort of progressive rather than a more right-wing version of Obama is just a freaking joke.

    I still don't understand why we have (5.00 / 3) (#114)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 06:29:33 PM EST
    to make this argument about Clinton - he hasn't been the president for an entire decade - and as much as it might make you feel better to keep comparing these two presidents, what, really, is the point?

    "But Clinton did X," or "Clinton didn't do Y" means absolutely nothing to what Obama is doing - or not doing NOW.

    Clinton has become the bright, shiny object to distract people from Obama's performance - and, really, it's starting to remind me of how the Republicans have to talk about him all the time, too.


    I once was blind but now I see (none / 0) (#120)
    by Rojas on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 03:16:05 AM EST
    1) They don't call him Slick for nothing. If you really think Clinton furthered the the issue of civil and privacy rights as opposed to the national security state you are a bit delusional. I suspect you were seduced.

    2)That point is just outright silly. Clinton drove a stake into the heart of 60yrs of anti-trust legislation. Teddy Roosevelt he was not. I don't know what you talk about around the dinner table but the plans for looting and pillaging American corporations to get at the pension funds became the rules of the game for those he empowered.


    MR. RUSSERT: Let me pick up on some interviews that you've given this week as you've been touring, talking about your book, "The Age of Turbulence." You said this: "I think Bill Clinton was the best Republican president we've had in a while." Republican?

    MR. GREENSPAN: I'm sure he doesn't like that joke, but if you look at his record compared to what I think appropriate policy ought to be, he's for free trade, he's for globalization, he was for welfare reform, fiscal restraint and--true enough, he's not a Republican. I'm sorry, President Clinton, I didn't mean to say that. But I must say, I had to follow an awful lot of your particular guidelines and found them very compatible with my own.

    Clinton is relevant. It's how we got here. This is his economy. It stands on the foundation he built. It was a house of cards.


    I used the phrase "I don't recall" (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by Anne on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 08:32:36 AM EST
    for a reason; I wasn't trying to be cute about it.  In 1992, my kids were 6 and 9, and between kids, work, husband, etc., I didn't have the time to be as devoted to political issues as I am now.

    But, I wasn't "seduced," for heaven's sake.

    I know that we enjoyed the economy - however false and bubbly it was - health care and insurance costs had not started heading for the stratosphere, the coverage was excellent, and "dinner table" conversations did not involve issues like high unemployment, the lack of jobs, if we were going to be able to save for and eventually afford retirement, if Social Security and Medicare were going to still be around when we needed them, and so on.

    I'm objective enough to understand that Clinton wasn't perfect, and that all policy decisions have consequences and lay the groundwork for what is to follow.  And if truth be told, his "good Democratic soldier" act is wearing thin for me, since I know he understands the issues, and can't possibly believe Obama and the Democratic caucus are managing them the way they should; I mean, wouldn't you love to be a fly on the wall when he and Hillary discuss everything from the economy to health care to know what they really think?  

    That where we are is a product of where we've been is not the issue; the issue is, what is this president doing now to forge a path not just to better days in the short term, but with an eye toward the long term?  Is his vision one we can support, that supports us?  Does he even have a vision?  Is there anything he won't compromise on, are there any positions he feels are worth holding firm on and leading others to see are the better way to go, or is he so conflict-averse that he will always give in?


    I suppose perception is reality (none / 0) (#124)
    by Rojas on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 07:39:54 AM EST
    But at some point we have to look at the world outside our selves.
    Perhaps it didn't occur to you in 1992 that that excellent health care you had was built on an employer based model from WWII that most Americans contributed to.

    What happens when you break that model? When you tell the corporations go forth to the third world and multiply. Free yourselves of OSHA, the EPA and the burden of the American heath care system. I'll tell you what happens. The manufacturing cost of an IPOD goes down by about six bucks and the burden of maintaining the first world infrastructure gets shifted to those left standing.

    And you may say those aren't Democratic principles, but by god they are. These Main Street vs Wall Street questions have already been decided. The problem is not that BO is not enough like Clinton. The problem is that he is exactly like Clinton, the same failed policies and the same FU economic team.


    You must have me confused with someone (none / 0) (#125)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 09:49:11 AM EST
    who has been obsessed with the Obama/Clinton comparisons and has been spending a lot of time in "if only" Land - "if only Obama could be more like Bill," or "But What About" Land - "But what about what Clinton did?"

    The more time that is spent talking about Bill Clinton, or why Obama is better or worse, is time that is not focused on the issues that need to be addressed, and strategizing  a plan to address them to get the best result possible - and I don't mean results that engender the "quit-whining - it was the best we could do!" response when it is clear to anyone with eyes and ears open that the best ideas and solutions were taken off the table from the outset.

    There are some things it is absolutely worth looking back at - the actions of the Bush/Cheney cabal on a long list of issues cry out for going back to investigate, and yes, there are lesson to be learned from Clinton's presidency, but those lessons should be about what Obama can do to improve on policy, to change bad policy and set a better course for the present and the future.

    When Obama took single-payer off the table - even though he admitted that it was probably the best solution - and declared that because our American tradition was for an employer-based model, I asked why he would want to get behind a model that is no longer working - when more and more people have lost their jobs, when more and more employers are dropping or reducing coverage, why do we want to stick with the failed model when there are other options.

    It was such an obvious question - and yet almost no one asked it, as if it wasn't even an important question to ask.


    Obama is most comparable to (none / 0) (#77)
    by observed on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 01:02:57 PM EST
    Carter, but not in a favorable way, yet.

    And also to Hoover. (none / 0) (#118)
    by jawbone on Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 08:03:39 PM EST