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Will Sweat

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Re: Obama: The most polarizing moderate ever
« Reply #180 on: March 03, 2013, 04:21:14 PM »

Interesting article from Washington Post:

Obama, fresh off his November reelection, began almost at once executing plans to win back the House in 2014, which he and his advisers believe will be crucial to the outcome of his second term and to his legacy as president. He is doing so by trying to articulate for the American electorate his own feelings — an exasperation with an opposition party that blocks even the most politically popular elements of his agenda.

Obama has committed to raising money for fellow Democrats, agreed to help recruit viable candidates, and launched a political nonprofit group dedicated to furthering his agenda and that of his congressional allies. The goal is to flip the Republican-held House back to Democratic control, allowing Obama to push forward with a progressive agenda on gun control, immigration, climate change and the economy during his final two years in office, according to congressional Democrats, strategists and others familiar with Obama’s thinking.


So, would it be fair to say that Pres. Obama has pulled a "Bohner"?  The Speaker of the house was roundly (and correctly) criticized for making a statement along the lines that his job was not to help Pres. Obama's agenda succeed and to try and keep him from being reelected.  As the the President has set out do do the same thing (even going so far as to convert his campain to a nonprofit) and has stated he will help candidates raise money and to help recruit candidates - isn't the the same thing? 

“The president understands that to get anything done, he needs a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives,” said Rep. Steve Israel (N.Y.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “To have a legacy in 2016, he will need a House majority in 2014, and that work has to start now.”

Is this about the "country" or is this about Pres. Obama's legacy.  Understand, I'm sure that all politicians feel and act this way it is just troubling to me that this is being communicated in such an open manner. 

The specific steps Obama is taking to win back the House for his party mark an evolution for a president long consumed by the independence of his political brand.

Obama has committed to eight fundraisers for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee this year, compared with just two events in 2009. The Democrats lost the House the following year, and Obama’s legislative agenda has largely stalled since then.


Is it not fair to ask if the President has the time for eight fundraisers between now and next years midterm elections while still getting all of his responsibilities complete?  I guess it would not bother me if his administration has been able to submit budgets on time (which they have not) and if (as he seems to want to be the defacto-leader of his party) the Senate had actually passed a budget in any of the last four years - which they have not. 


After delivering his election victory speech in November, Obama walked off the Chicago stage and made two phone calls related to his political plans — one to Israel and one to Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), the last Democratic House speaker.

Israel said Obama told him “how focused he would be on winning a House majority for the Democrats,” many of whom complained that the president did not do enough during his first term to help members on the Hill.


It is sad to me that this agenda seemed to be such a high priority when unemployment was above 7.8% at the time and we had a looming "fiscal cliff". 

Two former Obama White House officials used the same word — “hubris” — to describe what they viewed as the administration’s highly public and sometimes misleading turn against congressional Republicans in the days heading into the sequester.

Washington Post:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/stymied-by-a-gop-house-obama-looks-ahead-to-2014-to-cement-his-legacy/2013/03/02/5f6f8b94-827d-11e2-a350-49866afab584_story_2.html
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Monroe Native

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Re: Obama: The most polarizing moderate ever
« Reply #181 on: March 03, 2013, 04:28:12 PM »

Does anyone remember the last two years?

Remember how the Republicans were accused of talking down the economy and actually sabotaging it so they could have a shot at winning the White House?

Doesn't it seem like Obama is doing the same thing to win the House back?
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Lyndon B. Johnson

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Will Sweat

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Re: Obama: The most polarizing moderate ever
« Reply #182 on: March 05, 2013, 11:53:26 AM »

From Al-Ahram Weekly (Cairo): 

Bahieddin Hassan director of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies wrote an open letter to Pres. Obama regarding American support of the Muslim Brotherhood and Egyptian Regime.  Part of the letter is below:

To President Barack Obama:
 
Three years ago, I had the honour of meeting you in the White House as part of a delegation of some 50 human rights defenders from around the world. I was one of three rights defenders who were asked to speak during the 40 minutes out of the 90-minute meeting during which you and your advisors were present.
 
When it was my turn to address those gathered, I urged you to consider the gulf between the content of your speech to the Arab and Islamic worlds in Cairo in June 2009 and the reality of American policy in February 2010, noting that they seemed separated by much more than simply a few months. In Cairo, you promised to stand by peoples of the region and engage with them, but eight months later your administration’s policy was to turn its back on the people and work instead with local regimes. I discussed three examples of this: Palestine, Yemen and Egypt.

Jokingly, you noted that despite being a guest in the White House, I was audacious enough to criticise the president in his presence. I responded that the act required no courage at all in light of what happens when we try to criticise Arab presidents back home, at which the hall erupted in laughter.
 
After the Egyptian revolution, I met your commendable human rights advisor Samantha Power and told her it was time for a second Cairo speech. At the time, hopes were high that Egyptians would now be able to work to dramatically improve the human rights situation in the country, and that US policy would support Egyptians in achieving these aspirations.
 
Now, two years later, neither changes to the human rights situation nor to US policy have fulfilled our hopes.

Rape, which is recognised internationally as a weapon of war, is now used in Egypt as a political weapon to deter opponents from gathering in Tahrir Square. According to multiple testimonies in recent weeks, the assaults differ radically from the forms of sexual harassment prevalent in Egypt in previous years. According to victims and video footage, female protesters are separated from the demonstrations, taken to other locations, and raped, in what appear to be organised, previously planned attacks. The faces of the assailants show no signs of emotion or sexual excitement. The objective appears to be to break the political will of the victims through profound degradation, whether they are raped, sexually mauled, or stripped entirely of their clothes — if they manage to escape the mob. In more than one case, a knife was used to penetrate the victims’ vaginas, and multiple women underwent hysterectomies after being assaulted. In this context, we can understand the attempted rape of a 70-year-old woman known for her political affiliation as well as the sexual assault of a number of men.

Mr President, when I spoke with you in 2010, I asked why the US administration condemns repressive practices in Iran while remaining silent when Arab regimes engage in the same violations. Over recent months, statements by your administration have similarly failed to address violations and have even blamed protesters and victims for violence committed in the context of demonstrations. Indeed, the stances of your administration have given political cover to the current authoritarian regime in Egypt and allowed it to fearlessly implement undemocratic policies and commit numerous acts of repression.
 
Is it a coincidence that the statements issued by your administration reflect the same political rhetoric used by the new authoritarian regime in Egypt? But when these statements come from the world’s superpower — the one most able to have a positive or negative impact on policies in Egypt and the region, not to mention the biggest donor and material supporter of the Egyptian regime for the past 35 years — they become lethal ammunition, offering political protection to perpetrators of murder, torture, brutality and rape.
 
When in December I met Michael Posner, assistant secretary of state for human rights and that rare person in your administration who is motivated by human rights concerns, I asked that he pass on this modest request to administration spokespeople: that as long as they cannot speak the truth about what is happening in Egypt, they keep silent.

Mr President, I fear that the gulf I spoke to you about three years ago is fast filling up with blood. In this context, further American statements supporting the current Egyptian regime will only lead to more Egyptians being beaten, raped, tortured, and killed.


The entire letter can be found here:

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/News/1328/21/Open-letter-to-President-Obama.aspx
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Will Sweat

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Re: Obama: The most polarizing moderate ever
« Reply #183 on: March 05, 2013, 12:25:36 PM »

From the Telegrah:

The insider-account of the damaging divisions between the White House and the State Department comes as diplomats around the world wait to see if John Kerry, the new US secretary of state, can persuade Mr Obama to greater engagement on Syria, Egypt and the wider Middle East.

Vali Nasr, a university professor who was seconded in 2009 to work with Richard Holbrooke, Mr Obama's special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, records his profound disillusion at how a "Berlin Wall" of domestic-focused advisers was erected to protect Mr Obama.

"The president had a truly disturbing habit of funnelling major foreign policy decisions through a small cabal of relatively inexperienced White House advisers whose turf was strictly politics," Mr Nasr writes in The Dispensable Nation: America Foreign policy in Retreat.

The book sets out in detail how Mr Holbrooke, appointed with great fanfare in 2009, was systematically cut out of decision making as both he and Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state, tried to argue the merits of engaging with the Taliban and the dangers caused by the overuse of drones.


"The White House seemed to see an actual benefit in not doing too much," Prof Nasr writes, "The goal was to spare the president the risks that necessarily come with playing the leadership role that America claims to play in this region."

Admiral Mike Mullen, who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff until September 2011, is quoted lamenting how little support Mrs Clinton received from the White House, even though she remained on good personal terms with Mr Obama.

"They want to control everything," Admiral Mullen is quoted as saying of a White House that Prof Nasr says was "ravenous" in its desire to manage foreign policy, even by the to-be-expected standards of turf wars between diplomatic and national security teams.


"American foreign policy has been on a four-year autopilot, which I argue has been excessively risk averse and domestically focused. I don't see any clear decision yet to change that," said Mr Nasr in an interview with The Daily Telegraph.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/9908260/Barack-Obama-a-dithering-controlling-risk-averse-US-president.html
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blue2

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Re: Obama: The most polarizing moderate ever
« Reply #184 on: March 05, 2013, 12:30:55 PM »

Obama was in over his head from day 1 and continues to be.  He is nothing but a day to day community organizer for the south side of chicago.  That's all he understands.
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Will Sweat

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Re: Obama: The most polarizing moderate ever
« Reply #185 on: March 06, 2013, 08:12:20 AM »

And . . . NOW . . . John Cusack is pissed . . . :-/ . . from Truth-Out.org:

"Mr. Obama, the Christian president with the Muslim-sounding name, would heed the admonitions of neither religion's prophets about making war and do what no empire or leader, including Alexander the Great, could do: he would, he assured us "get the job done in Afghanistan." And so we have our democratic president receiving the Nobel Peace Prize as he sends 30,000 more troops to a ten-year-old conflict in a country that's been war-torn for 5,000 years.

Under Obama do we continue to call the thousands of mercenaries in Afghanistan "general contractors" now that Bush is gone? No, we don't talk about them... not a story anymore.
 
Do we prosecute felonies like torture or spying on Americans? No, time to "move on"...
 
Now chaos is the norm and though the chaos is complicated, the answer is still simple. We can't afford this morally, financially, or physically. Or in a language the financial community can digest: the wars are ideologically and spiritually bankrupt. No need to get a score from the CBO.
 
Drones bomb Pakistani villages across the border at an unprecedented rate. Is it legal? Does anyone care? "It begs the question," as Daniel Berrigan asks us, "is this one a "good war" or a "dumb war"? But the question betrays the bias: it is all the same. It's all madness."
 
One is forced to asked the question: Is the President just another Ivy League ******* shredding civil liberties and due process and sending people to die in some sh**hole for purely political reasons?
 
There will be a historical record. "Change we can believe in" is not using the other guys' mob to clean up your own tracks while continuing to feed at the trough. Human nature is human nature, and when people find out they're being hustled, they will seek revenge, sooner or later, and it will be ugly and savage.
 
In a country with desperation growing everywhere, everyday — despite the "Oh, things are getting better" press releases — how could one think otherwise?
 
Just think about the economic crisis we are in as a country. It could never happen, they said. The American middle class was rock solid. The American dream, home ownership, education, the opportunity to get a good job if you applied yourself... and on and on. Yeah, what happened to that? It's gone.
 
The next question must be: "What happened to our civil liberties, to our due process, which are the foundation of any notion of real democracy?" The chickens haven't come home to roost for the majority but the foundation has been set and the Constitution gutted".


http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/11264-john-cusack-and-jonathan-turley-on-obamas-constitution
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Monique

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Re: Obama: The most polarizing moderate ever
« Reply #186 on: March 06, 2013, 08:46:47 AM »

Reading italics hurts my eyes. Everyone understands it's a quote and not your own writing. Please use the regular font. Thanks.
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Will Sweat

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Re: Obama: The most polarizing moderate ever
« Reply #187 on: March 06, 2013, 08:57:32 AM »

Reading italics hurts my eyes. Everyone understands it's a quote and not your own writing. Please use the regular font. Thanks.

Sorry . . . just trying to not confuse anyone.  I'll do that. 
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Frenchfry

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Re: Obama: The most polarizing moderate ever
« Reply #188 on: April 15, 2013, 02:32:45 AM »

Obama Slashes Social Security - GOP Approved?

"Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) made it clear Wednesday in an email to supporters that not only would she oppose President Barack Obama's plan to cut Social Security benefits through a cost-of-living adjustment known as chained CPI, but that she was "shocked to hear" it was included in the White House's budget proposal at all."*

John Boehner seems pleased with President Obama's budget proposal, complete with enormous cuts to social security. Is it any surprise? Is Obama the worst negotiator ever, or did he want Social Security- which is critical to middle-class families, the elderly, the disabled, and orphans- gone?

Obama Slashes Social Security - GOP Approved?


====================================

Cuss warning:

Cengo Unchained Goes Off on Obama

Don't drink the Obama Koolaid. That's what Cenk Uygur wants to remind you. Last year, Cenk was railed on by democrats for saying that Obama couldn't wait to cut Social Security and entitlements. Now...Obama's doing just that. He offered it up to the Republicans. Obama is not a progressive president; he does nearly everything to thwart progressive policy and deliver for conservatives. There isn't a great strategic reason why he should do this. So why does he continue pushing conservative interests with nothing in return?

Cengo Unchained Goes Off on Obama


===============================================

Cuss warning:

Obama Hands Over Social Security Without a Fight

"This is a bit of an obvious point, but I want to make it anyway: pretty much every liberal, even those who generally support the idea of adopting chained CPI as a more accurate measure of inflation, should be opposed to President Obama's proposal to adopt chained CPI."*

Obama has offered huge cuts to Social Security via chained CPI. Social Security does not contribute to the deficit, so why does Obama keep offering it up? And what do Republicans have to say after getting what they wanted without havign to give anything in return? Cenk Uygur breaks it down.

Obama Hands Over Social Security Without a Fight


==================================

Cutting Social Security: does Obama have a grand Democratic plan in mind or is he caving...

Cutting Social Security: does Obama have a grand Democratic plan in mind or is he caving to...


=================================

"We're Talking About Major MAJOR Cuts To Benefits For Disabled Veterans!" Bernie Sanders

"We're Talking About Major MAJOR Cuts To Benefits For Disabled Veterans!" Bernie Sanders
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Frenchfry

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Obama Budget: Now, Hypocrite GOP Running Away From Social Security Cuts!
« Reply #189 on: April 15, 2013, 02:41:28 AM »

Obama Budget: Now, Hypocrite GOP Running Away From Social Security Cuts!

Obama Budget: Now, Hypocrite GOP Running Away From Social Security Cuts!
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Will Sweat

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Re: Obama: The most polarizing moderate ever
« Reply #190 on: April 15, 2013, 08:25:26 AM »

I imagine that in someway the President should be applauded for taking a step to use Chained CPI in addressing SSI benefits as a sign of fiscal responsibility during a time when we have record budget deficits.  So, kudos to him, I guess. 

What I don't understand is why this is being "played" as only impacting SSI.  The truth is that if Chained CPI becomes the standard according to Bloomberg; Switching to chained CPI would subject more income to taxation and increase benefits slower than under current formulas. The change would cut $216 billion in spending and raise $124 billion in revenue over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Obama’s proposed change would affect dozens of provisions in the tax code, such as the tax brackets, the standard deduction and the personal exemption, which are adjusted automatically each year. It also would mean slower benefit growth in Social Security and food stamps.

IOW, more tax revenue and less for those receiving SSI and SNAP. 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-10/chained-cpi-in-obama-s-budget-obscures-eroding-tax-breaks.html

http://americablog.com/2013/04/nine-chained-cpi-facts-they-dont-want-you-to-know.html
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Re: Obama: The most polarizing moderate ever
« Reply #191 on: April 15, 2013, 11:00:35 AM »

Will,

They have been doing it for years.

The rate they are increasing what income is taxable to Social Security is going up far faster than the raises they are giving the recipients.  Nothing new.  Nothing Obama started.
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I have learned that only two things are necessary to keep one's wife happy. First, let her think she's having her own way. And second, let her have it.
Lyndon B. Johnson

You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered.
Lyndon B. Johnson

Frenchfry

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Re: Obama: The most polarizing moderate ever
« Reply #192 on: May 02, 2013, 02:27:38 AM »

What's The Point of the Democratic Party?

"Former Vermont Governor, presidential candidate, and head of the Democratic National Committee, Howard Dean, threatened on Monday to abandon the party which he helped build in reaction to a story that suggested President Barack Obama's White House may be trying to shield the Pentagon from devastating budget cuts."*

What's the point of being a Democrat if the party isn't really liberal? If it isn't progressive? President Obama is doing very little to cut defense spending and social security is in danger. So, Howard Dean is threatening to leave the party and become an independent. Cenk Uygur explains why that makes a lot of sense.

What's The Point of the Democratic Party?
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Monroe Native

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Re: Obama: The most polarizing moderate ever
« Reply #193 on: May 05, 2013, 09:23:00 PM »

Obama's speech to the Ohio State grads....

Quote
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Unfortunately, you've grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that's at the root of all our problems. Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works. They'll warn that tyranny always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave, and creative, and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can't be trusted.

We have never been a people who place all our faith in government to solve our problems. We shouldn't want to. But we don't think the government is the source of all our problems, either. Because we understand that this democracy is ours. And as citizens, we understand that it's not about what America can do for us, it's about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but absolutely necessary work of self-government. And class of 2013, you have to be involved in that process.


http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/05/05/obama_to_ohio_state_grads_reject_voices_that_warn_about_government_tyranny.html

Yes Comrade.  What can we do together?

Obama is a LONG ways away from being JFK.
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I have learned that only two things are necessary to keep one's wife happy. First, let her think she's having her own way. And second, let her have it.
Lyndon B. Johnson

You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered.
Lyndon B. Johnson

Frenchfry

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Re: Obama: The most polarizing moderate ever
« Reply #194 on: May 07, 2013, 06:51:00 PM »

Obama's speech to the Ohio State grads....


Yes Comrade.  What can we do together?

Obama is a LONG ways away from being JFK.

It's sad to see your interpretation...but not unexpected...so here's the entire clip for anyone interested

"Enjoy It While You Can" President Obama's Advice To The Class Of 2013
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