Skip

"You're in good hands and Gibbs will call last question."
December 10, 2010 5:04 PM   Subscribe


 
Man Clinton is looking old.
posted by The Whelk at 5:06 PM on December 10, 2010


Man Clinton is looking old.

So is Obama
posted by birdherder at 5:09 PM on December 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Obama's suit is beautifully tailored.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:10 PM on December 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Not really a double, but the Obama/Congress/tax cut stuff is being covered pretty thoroughly in the Bernie Sanders filibuster thread.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:11 PM on December 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


So Obama is so weak that he has to have the last popular Democratic president make the case for him. That's how I read this, anyway.

This tax-cut "compromise" is an outrage. The enormous deficit has been serving as an excuse for Congress and the White House to freeze wages and cut programs-- and now we're ADDING to the deficit? By continuing tax cuts for the rich, which never should have been implemented in the first place? Sad and disgusting.
posted by ms.codex at 5:15 PM on December 10, 2010 [25 favorites]


the Obama/Congress/tax cut stuff is being covered pretty thoroughly

For me, the story is:

1. Obama having to rely on celebrity endorsements to force this sucker deal past publicly rebelling Democratic congresscritters. [Who will of course sell out after receiving a crumb from the master's table.]

2. The Big Dog don't work for free. What will be Obama's payment? Declining to run for a second term to give Hillary a clear shot at Palin?
posted by Joe Beese at 5:17 PM on December 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Ugh someone needs to reverse the polarity on one of those mics.
posted by triceryclops at 5:17 PM on December 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wow, as a fan of both O and C, this is dreadful. O looks pussyful and C looks near dead. This is how you don't boost public confidence.
posted by pallen123 at 5:17 PM on December 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


Best tweet.
posted by longdaysjourney at 5:17 PM on December 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


Our first black president, with our first black president.

That's beautiful, man...
posted by Capt. Renault at 5:21 PM on December 10, 2010 [24 favorites]


This is a massive concession of messaging failure by Obama. I cannot imagine Clinton ever letting Jimmy Carter take the podium in the White House, especially if Jimmy Carter had been popular at that time. Clinton would never have let someone undercut his authority as the figure of leadership, in his very own house no less. You can let someone more popular then you stump for you and rally the troops, but give a press conference in the White House? Unfathomable.
posted by shen1138 at 5:21 PM on December 10, 2010 [21 favorites]


The president must have thought that distancing himself from left and right would make him more attractive to the center. But you get credit for going to the center only if you say the centrist position you’ve just embraced is right. If you suggest, as the president did, that the seemingly moderate plan you agreed to is awful and you’ll try to rescind it in two years, you won’t leave the center thinking, “He’s our guy!” You’ll leave them thinking, “Note to self: Remove Obama in two years.” - Peggy Noonan
posted by Joe Beese at 5:22 PM on December 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


Sounds like they had a bit of a time getting to the press room.

I think they're just winging it at this point.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:28 PM on December 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


It looked like a SNL skit or an infomercial. I don't like seeing the CNC have to use former presidents as stand ins to pitch plans.

Expected Obama to be a hands on leader; up front, total CNC concept. Not a big fan of some of his ideas; but I did want and expect him to be a stronger president than he is being. Stuff like this lessens his status as a leader.
posted by buzzman at 5:31 PM on December 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Next week trot out a Bush!
posted by Burhanistan at 5:33 PM on December 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


@burhanistan or maybe his third grade teacher?
posted by pallen123 at 5:36 PM on December 10, 2010


Next week trot out a Bush!

Bill and Bush Sr. are buds.

Bush Sr. could lend his octagenarian gravitas to explaining how he knows better than anyone how circumstances may force a President to reverse a campaign promise on tax policy.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:38 PM on December 10, 2010 [9 favorites]


"Next up to defend my difficult compromises, my wife Michelle"
posted by pallen123 at 5:41 PM on December 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


I suppose a digital FDR would be pretty damn cool to see also. May as well (heh) roll out some real producers as far as stimulus programs go.
posted by buzzman at 5:44 PM on December 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


A SLYT post of something anyone can see on any news website? This is not a good FPP.
posted by briank at 5:46 PM on December 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


Wow, can't disagree more with the prevailing sentiment. I thought both men looked great, Obama's tone was fine, and Clinton hit just the right notes. This actually increased my respect for both of them - and I've been very, very down on Obama. Between this and the "Abstract Ideal" speech, I'm actually beginning to like him. He's still incredibly wrong on a lot of issues, but I think he's starting to show more character, not less.
posted by facetious at 5:48 PM on December 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


This is not a good FPP.

It's not good for someone.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:48 PM on December 10, 2010 [2 favorites]




Obama's tone was fine, and Clinton hit just the right notes. This actually increased my respect for both of them
posted by facetious at 8:48 PM on December 10 [1 favorite +] [!]


eponysterical!
posted by unSane at 5:57 PM on December 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


I suppose a digital FDR would be pretty damn cool to see also. May as well (heh) roll out some real producers as far as stimulus programs go.

Someone do it, maybe it will gain sentience and teach modern Democrats how to have balls.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:04 PM on December 10, 2010 [5 favorites]


2. The Big Dog don't work for free. What will be Obama's payment? Declining to run for a second term to give Hillary a clear shot at Palin?

This is not even wrong. This is straight-up delusional.
posted by joe lisboa at 6:06 PM on December 10, 2010 [15 favorites]


eponysterical!
posted by unSane


uh ... ditto?
posted by joe lisboa at 6:07 PM on December 10, 2010


He's still incredibly wrong on a lot of issues, but I think he's starting to show more character, not less.

I'd rather have good decisions than a beer with the president.
posted by DU at 6:08 PM on December 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


Is there any doubt Bill Clinton would win if he could run again in 2012?
posted by The Hamms Bear at 6:09 PM on December 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know, this is for the best. I can avoid political thread for the next two years and save myself the trouble and you guys can get your purist circle-jerk on while the people I actually know and care about, oh I dunno, have their unemployment benefits extended.

Do wash your hands when you are done though, and see you after the primaries.

*door hitting ass on the way out*
posted by joe lisboa at 6:10 PM on December 10, 2010 [10 favorites]


This is a massive concession of messaging failure by Obama. I cannot imagine Clinton ever letting Jimmy Carter take the podium in the White House, especially if Jimmy Carter had been popular at that time. Clinton would never have let someone undercut his authority as the figure of leadership, in his very own house no less. You can let someone more popular then you stump for you and rally the troops, but give a press conference in the White House? Unfathomable.

Are you too young to remember the NAFTA debates?
posted by NoMich at 6:10 PM on December 10, 2010


You know, this is for the best. I can avoid political thread for the next two years and save myself the trouble and you guys can get your purist circle-jerk on while the people I actually know and care about, oh I dunno, have their unemployment benefits extended.

I'm sure no one you love and care about will be hurt by the spending cuts that will be neccesary to balance out the loss in revenue from the tax cuts for the rich.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:12 PM on December 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


..you guys can get your purist circle-jerk on while the people I actually know and care about, oh I dunno, have their unemployment benefits extended.

False dichotomies are getting people killed in America.
posted by DU at 6:16 PM on December 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


A digital FDR: Yes maybe he could reprise the speech where he says citizens should feel privileged to be able to pay higher taxes.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 6:19 PM on December 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


There are absolutes and things simply not worth compromising at any cost. Masada. In my opinion, tax cuts for the uber-rich and the punctuation of a regressive tax system is definitely one of these things. The ends don't justify the means.

This shell game of politics is getting old. I thought about it today in the car listening to a political talk show. I can't believe I spend, American's spend, as much time as we do listening to, reading about, debating the unending stream of big and small political issues. I dream of public campaign finance reform, worthy representation, and the fading away of political personalities and 24/7 coverage.
posted by pallen123 at 6:23 PM on December 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


False dichotomies are getting people killed in America.

Your false dichotomy is the rest of our political (legislative-executive) reality. Also, I honestly LOLed (in a genuine and good way, so thank you!). Resume ass-door slamming. (TMI! TMI!). Hugs!
posted by joe lisboa at 6:23 PM on December 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


while the people I actually know and care about, oh I dunno, have their unemployment benefits extended.

As Bernie Sanders pointed out in his filibuster, every time the unemployment rate has gone above 7.2% in the past 40 years, unemployment benefits have been extended, whether under a GOP administration or a Dem administration. It's been a bipartisan principle since Nixon.
posted by scody at 6:31 PM on December 10, 2010 [1 favorite]






scody: "As Bernie Sanders pointed out in his filibuster, every time the unemployment rate has gone above 7.2% in the past 40 years, unemployment benefits have been extended, whether under a GOP administration or a Dem administration. It's been a bipartisan principle since Nixon."

Judicious, principled use of the filibuster has also been a bipartisan tradition for decades.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:55 PM on December 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


You know, this is for the best. I can avoid political thread for the next two years and save myself the trouble and you guys can get your purist circle-jerk on while the people I actually know and care about, oh I dunno, have their unemployment benefits extended.

I'm sure no one you love and care about will be hurt by the spending cuts that will be necessary to balance out the loss in revenue from the tax cuts for the rich.


Right, UI benefits would've been extended anyway, you'd see violent uprisings soon after if it wasn't. The rich got handed a huge tax break for nothing.

And now they won't have to hire anyone to increase their revenues, in fact they might even lay off more people because they're getting that extra income regardless of what happens in the next 2 years.
posted by peppito at 6:56 PM on December 10, 2010 [7 favorites]


Obama couldn't have communicated more clearly that he is going to pursue the Clinton era policy of triangulation. why he's even brought out the man himself. except that Obama seems to have read his cues wrong and is in the middle of having a Sister Souljah moment against his whole party.
posted by ennui.bz at 6:59 PM on December 10, 2010


Is there any doubt Bill Clinton would win if he could run again in 2012?

He win if it weren't for those pesky kids that pesky 22nd Amendment.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:03 PM on December 10, 2010


Hence the "if he could".
posted by The Hamms Bear at 7:33 PM on December 10, 2010


You know, this is for the best. I can avoid political thread for the next two years and save myself the trouble and you guys can get your purist circle-jerk on while the people I actually know and care about, oh I dunno, have their unemployment benefits extended.

I'm sure no one you love and care about will be hurt by the spending cuts that will be necessary to balance out the loss in revenue from the tax cuts for the rich.

Right, UI benefits would've been extended anyway, you'd see violent uprisings soon after if it wasn't. The rich got handed a huge tax break for nothing.


That Obama keeps insisting that extending UI benefits was something he had to TRADE FOR is sickening. He had to trade for it out of his imagination, because it's in that realm that he gave it away. Extending UI benefits should have been treated as a given. But for Obama, it was more like you lending your neighbor a hammer and then, a week later, offer him five bucks to get your goddamn hammer back.

It's nice, though, that the most fired-up Obama gets is when he's lecturing "the left."
posted by Philemon at 8:11 PM on December 10, 2010 [10 favorites]


I've been a pretty staunch Obama supporter... he's gotten a lot of shit done.

But his biggest blind spot has been in refusing to acknowledge the new-school Republican intractability, and how to wage war in the media. Instead he keeps trying to find common ground, not realizing he's being led into a right-wing moral swamp he can't escape from.

We need Alan Grayson. We need Joe Sestak. We let them wither and die in the wilderness in some quixotic striving for reasonableness.

Fuck reasonableness. From this point forward, the only acceptable response to a republican talking point is a flame-thrower to the face. We need to go FDR on their asses.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:28 PM on December 10, 2010 [13 favorites]


This is not a good FPP.

Do you have a better one?
posted by blucevalo at 9:17 PM on December 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Heh, the stories on this are cracking me up.

Mr. Clinton and Mr. Obama turned up suddenly after meeting privately together for almost 90 minutes in the Oval Office. With no warning to Mr. Obama’s aides, the two men wandered through the nearly deserted West Wing — most staff members were at a holiday party — and tried to get into the briefing room but found the door locked. Only after they finally encountered Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, were arrangements made to turn on the lights and microphone and assemble the press corps.

This is exactly the sort of mischief I expect around this time of year. I have no power and use my pre-holiday party working hours goofing around on Facebook. But THESE TWO. They just DECIDE to go talk to reporters, so they go bang on the door until someone notices them (two Presidents! roaming the halls of the White House! how did they even get that far?), and then they're like, hey, we want to talk to people, go get some, and then Gibbs goes to all the reporters and has to keep a straight face and sell this event even though he has no idea what these two are up to and for all he knows Obama's going to quit on the spot and put Clinton in charge.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:18 PM on December 10, 2010 [16 favorites]


Oh, and THEN, THEN! Obama is like, uh, Bill, my wife is going to kill me if I leave her alone at these endless holiday parties, and Clinton's like, heh, whatever, go, and you know as soon as Obama's out of the room, he took everybody off the record for five seconds to do a ::whip crack::.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:20 PM on December 10, 2010 [12 favorites]


Is there any doubt Bill Clinton would win if he could run again in 2012?

Can we start a write in campaign to repeal the 22nd amendment?

I don't know how people could be against the deal after watching Bill Clinton work his shit. He convinced me. He makes it all sound so reasonable. Not only that but he is doing this all extemporaneously without notes or a teleprompter.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 9:20 PM on December 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


That Obama keeps insisting that extending UI benefits was something he had to TRADE FOR is sickening.

I take it you haven't been unemployed, or at all in touch with deep red state talk, and thus more attuned to the GOP and Fox News cries re how lazy unemployed people are, how it keeps them from wanting to work, etc., etc. They equate unemployment benefits with the dreaded "welfare," or the old AFDC program. It's monstrousl and insulting, appalling politics. But this is the way the dudes and dudettes coming into Congress think. If you think otherwise, it's you who are deluded.
posted by raysmj at 9:21 PM on December 10, 2010 [7 favorites]


Mr. Clinton and Mr. Obama turned up suddenly after meeting privately together for almost 90 minutes in the Oval Office. With no warning to Mr. Obama’s aides, the two men wandered through the nearly deserted West Wing — most staff members were at a holiday party — and tried to get into the briefing room but found the door locked. Only after they finally encountered Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, were arrangements made to turn on the lights and microphone and assemble the press corps.

"Hello Cleveland. HELLO CLEVELAND!!!"
posted by Senor Cardgage at 9:22 PM on December 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


As Bernie Sanders pointed out in his filibuster, every time the unemployment rate has gone above 7.2% in the past 40 years, unemployment benefits have been extended, whether under a GOP administration or a Dem administration. It's been a bipartisan principle since Nixon

That's no prediction of what will happen with these idiots. I don't remember anyone trying to use the unemployed as whipping boys when I was growing up. Maybe I just didn't notice when I was living through recessions as a child in the '70s, as a high school student in the early '80s, and a brief period in the early 1990s, but this equating of unemployment benefits with welfare programs is a new thing. What's happened since Nixon is of no predictive value, given the state of partisan politics and the economy right now.
posted by raysmj at 9:26 PM on December 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


So fucking pathetic.
posted by bardic at 9:35 PM on December 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't remember anyone trying to use the unemployed as whipping boys when I was growing up.

I don't know about anywhere else but in the UK they were the top fucking target. The big saving grace was that time-limited unemployment benefits in the UK were paid out of National Insurance rather than general taxation, so cutting them was a tricky political proposition.
posted by unSane at 9:40 PM on December 10, 2010


From the Daily Howler:

How does the politics work: To people like Maddow, opposing those tax cuts for the rich was a giant political winner. But does American politics actually work that way?

In this post, Digby reports a televised statement by Jonathan Alter—and she says it may well be true. Quoting Digby: “Jonathan Alter just said that Russ Feingold went to the White House and begged them not to bring it up before the election because his constituents didn't want tax hikes. I have no idea if it's true. We do know that the Blue Dogs in the House did this, so it's not hard to believe.”

Like Digby, we don’t know if Feingold made that request. (Alter first made this claim in Newsweek last month.) But various scribes have reported that other liberal senators made the same plea, hoping to salvage their re-elections. Why didn’t dumb-ass Obama insist on a vote before the election to end those tax cuts for the rich? Various people have wondered this week. Back in September, reporter Ryan Grim explained at the Huffington Post:

GRIM (9/23/10): The White House has been pushing hard for such a vote, circulating polling showing that a majority of Americans, including wide margins of independents, support extending the middle-class tax cuts. Ultimately, though, Democrats up for election feared an assault from the GOP that the party was raising taxes on "small businesses," even though a vanishingly small portion of those who would face a tax hike are real small businesses. But, in an age of 30-second commercials, it only takes one to stare into the camera and lament the effect of the tax change on hiring.

Two members of Democratic leadership—Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.)—are facing tight races, as are Sens. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).

Grim implied that the vote was avoided, at least in part, because it might have hurt Reid’s chances! In the November 9 New York Times, reporter Jackie Calmes directly reported that Boxer and Murray “implored Mr. Reid” not to force that pre-election vote.
posted by raysmj at 9:53 PM on December 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's been a bipartisan principle since Nixon.

You think the incoming GOP-dominated Congress will give a damn about bipartisan principle? Especially one that dates back to the time of that RINO socialist bastard?
posted by blucevalo at 10:32 PM on December 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's nice, though, that the most fired-up Obama gets is when he's lecturing "the left."

Don't forget his adorable minions.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:47 PM on December 10, 2010


Don't forget his adorable minions.

speaking of which, I see that Orzag just nailed a VP spot at Citigroup. Nice.
posted by Auden at 10:51 PM on December 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Orz

That's Obama on his knees, kow-towing to the republicans. (Orszag's name is actually spelled with an s)
---

Seriously, is it just me or does Obama act like he has more republican economic ideas? His healthcare plan is thoroughly republican: basically Mitt Romney's plan in MA, and Dole's plan in '94. Just subsidies for the insurance companies do nothing but soak up up to 15% of the mandatory payments.

Then there's the obsession with the "Deficit" and the whole deficit commission thing lead by a conservative republican and a rich, conservative democrat and surprise, surprise the result was a conservative plan to screw the poor and middle class.

Now this extension of the bush tax cuts PLUS a huge estate tax cut PLUS a cut to payroll taxes.

And he's acting like a $100/mo tax hike for people in the lowest tax bracket are going to seriously suffer. That's a lot of money when you make $25k, I guess, but it's not really lethal. Those are the people who have jobs.

The extension for unemployment... That doesn't do anything for the people who have been 99 weeks unemployed, many over 50 who will probably never work again. If Obama actually cared about them, he would have included something for them. The only logical conclusion is that they do not.

Anyway, I would love to see this bill fail. All the democrats have to do is run out the clock. Maybe then Obama will realize that you can't negotiate with people who aren't interested in negotiation.
posted by delmoi at 11:19 PM on December 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


The only really important thing Clinton mentioned was that we're not living through a recession, we're living through a fiscal crisis or financial collapse, and it's going to take years to recover.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:22 PM on December 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Orszag's name is actually spelled with an s

yeah, my bad. Vice Chairman of Citigroup's Senior Strategic Advisory Group" Peter R. Or$zag.
posted by Auden at 11:36 PM on December 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Start recalibating your desire for the future, based on an outmoded American Dream. We lived large on excess, now it's time to pay the piper. We got lazy, fat, and too busy to pay attention. The chicken has come home to roost. Frankly, we're in for it over the next decade or so; I've said it before, right here. Obama? Clinton? No one can save us but *ourselves*. I talked to a successful Indian hedge fund manager, today. His father started and built a successful company in India, 60 years ago, from scratch. Prior to coming here to do graduate work, his (not formally educated) mother gave him two pieces of advice: "No matter what, work 8 hours every day, and don't be afraid of the competition". That means work 8 hours a day *no matter what!*. That means don't sit on your ass collecting unemployment until your checks stop coming. That means going out no the street and selling newspapers if you have to. Do *something*, for god's sake. Spend 8 hours looking for work, or starting something up. Get your kids involved; your wife; your girlfriend. Maybe you have to sell your shit. Do it. We lost something over the last 50 years; we lost what made this a great place. Now we're a bunch of whiners. Get over it! The party's over! You are going to have to go home and live with your parents for a while, but don't sit on the couch playing video games or watching MTV. Obama and Clinton and Romney or whomever else gets in there is not going to save you. Only you can save you. Look straight ahead; dream; follow that dream; there are no guarantees. Just do it!
posted by Vibrissae at 11:41 PM on December 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Seriously, is it just me or does Obama act like he has more republican economic ideas?

"Privately, Mr. Obama has described himself, at times, as essentially a Blue Dog Democrat, referring to the shrinking caucus of fiscally conservative members of the party. " [Debt-Busting Issue May Force Obama Off Fence - NyTimes, Nov 30, 2010]
posted by Auden at 11:41 PM on December 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Now we're a bunch of whiners. Get over it! The party's over! You are going to have to go home and live with your parents for a while, but don't sit on the couch playing video games or watching MTV.

YEAH, you hear that Goldman Sachs ($600 billion bail out), Morgan Stanley ($2 trillion bail out) Citigroup ($1.8 trillion bail out), Bear Stearns ($1 trillion) bail out, and Merrill Lynch, General Electric, McDonald's, Caterpillar, Harley Davidson, Toyota and Verizon....

Get... Off... The... COUCH!
posted by peppito at 12:19 AM on December 11, 2010 [8 favorites]


I'm so goddamn sick of hearing Democrats bitch about their party. Instead of seeing a Clinton appearance at this press conference you could be looking at McCain wheeling in Cheney for yuks.

Obama is realist. He's making some deals and getting shit done. I'm him all kinds of slack for the sheer fact that I didn't have to look at Sarah Palin in the White House for four very, very long years.
posted by quadog at 12:35 AM on December 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm him all kinds of slack . . .

Yes, it's true. I am The Obama. Someone has to defend me.
posted by quadog at 12:37 AM on December 11, 2010


Sarah Palin in the White House

*knocks on wood
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 12:43 AM on December 11, 2010


Right wing radio where I live completely misrepresented this by only playing the sound clip where Obama leaves and Clinton is still talking, making it seem very awkward. I'm glad I saw the real clip.
posted by hellslinger at 12:59 AM on December 11, 2010


Well, quadog, as The Obama, while I won't defend you, allow me to agree with your self-assessment: You have been all kinds of slack.
posted by Auden at 1:06 AM on December 11, 2010 [1 favorite]



The only really important thing Clinton mentioned was that we're not living through a recession, we're living through a fiscal crisis or financial collapse, and it's going to take years to recover.


Aside from a recalibration of desire, we are also going to have to start holding the financial assholes and others who cause these problems responsible in a way that makes them even *think* about doing it again. Clinton, Obama, McCain, Boehner, etc. etc are *all* part of the problem!

Along with a recalibration of desire, we have to figure out how to get out of the way that our so-called "leaders" frame reality for us. I don't have the solution to that, but I see nothing done for us by people on the Hill or in the White House.

We need true innovation in politics - not Tea Party innovation, but something, something that is far more pure and transparent than we have now. There will always be right and left, and differences of opinion, but there's no reason to assume that we should continue listening to the script that these power mongers lay down for us. btw, they're just as caught as we are; they are flies in who can't find their way out of the fly bottle, vexed by their inheristed political and social constructs.
posted by Vibrissae at 1:32 AM on December 11, 2010


His father started and built a successful company in India, 60 years ago, from scratch.

Wasn't it during the last robber-baron era that Horatio Alger myths abounded?
posted by telstar at 1:38 AM on December 11, 2010 [8 favorites]


"No matter what, work 8 hours every day, and don't be afraid of the competition". That means work 8 hours a day *no matter what!*. That means don't sit on your ass collecting unemployment until your checks stop coming. That means going out no the street and selling newspapers if you have to. Do *something*, for god's sake.

Getting laid off is not the same as getting fired
posted by Dandeson Coates, Sec'y at 1:38 AM on December 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


Under Clinton the US had surpluses, not deficits. Gasoline cost $0.87 a gallon. Everyone was working. Clinton listened politely, then just as politely he threw the PNAC neocon mass murderers out of his office. It took him a long time to get done what he'd eventually gotten done, he wanted so much more. As he pointed out, when he came into office there was massive deficits also, which he was able to pare down and then run over.

Obama might be able to pull that off, but obviously he doesn't have that charisma Clinton does; I believe Clinton when he says he's gonna do it, and what he's gonna do. Confidence -- damn, that man is confident. Obama is politically situated about where Clinton was half way through his first go at it, but he doesn't get out every day and tell everyone that everything is just great, and isn't it a pretty day; the job is very large, Obama is better at it than W was but not even in the same league as Clinton. Clinton did the job; the job is doing Obama. Maybe that's not exactly written with clarity but I'm betting you know what I mean.

There isn't a politician alive that's not a filthy, slimed-up bag of pus, it's just part of the job. And they will make deals, they will kow-tow to anyone they have to, they will pass legislation that is completely odious. It's vile. No US political party or system is ever going to be anything less than vile. But when democrats are in power, things tend to get better for everyone who's making less than $40 million a year, and many less people tend to get killed. I don't think the democrats even do it on purpose, as they are every bit as self-centered and criminal as the rest, but by mistake it becomes better for the average mope, ie me, probably you.

I welcome any help that Clinton is willing to offer, I welcome Obama seeing that he needs help, and being strong enough to ask for it from maybe the best politician in my lifetime. Though I know he's another con, he does know how to get things done, and the sort of confidence he projects -- and he projects it because he has it, it's not an act -- that confidence is hard to beat. It'd be great to have Tuesdays with Uncle Bill, they could sit in front of a fire or go golfing, maybe a reality show -- "Barack and Billy Save The US" -- where they're followed with cameras as they talk about what needs to happen, and why, and they could show us on TV real-life footage of Uncle Bill showing Barack how to arm-wrestle a waffliing democrat...
posted by dancestoblue at 2:13 AM on December 11, 2010 [7 favorites]


Obama might be able to pull that off, but obviously he doesn't have that charisma Clinton does; I believe Clinton when he says he's gonna do it, and what he's gonna do. Confidence -- damn, that man is confident.

Like most politicians, he could have been a great car salesman.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:36 AM on December 11, 2010


Obama's officially jumped the shark.
posted by zardoz at 4:22 AM on December 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


I love how the Tea Baggers are creaming themselves over this. Their willingness to take things out of context and then work themselves into a tizzy over misinformation is fascinating.
posted by zzazazz at 5:22 AM on December 11, 2010


Sadly, with each passing day, my feeling about Obama is that his administration was an incredible victory for modern marketing.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:28 AM on December 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


Under Clinton the US had surpluses, not deficits. Gasoline cost $0.87 a gallon. Everyone was working. Clinton listened politely, then just as politely he threw the PNAC neocon mass murderers out of his office. It took him a long time to get done what he'd eventually gotten done, he wanted so much more. As he pointed out, when he came into office there was massive deficits also, which he was able to pare down and then run over.

While I agree, there are a couple of things to temper that. One, we were living high on the hog with money borrowed from the future. Now is that future and we have to figure out how to pay it back. Two, Clinton raised taxes. The right had not yet completed its transformation of taxes from a way to pay the bills into what almost everyone seems to think they are now, an economic stimulus tool. The twisting of the Laffer curve is complete.

Gas prices were low because we were at the end of a different oil production cycle- a lot of production that was started during the oil crisis was in full swing, dropping oil prices. Those sources soon dried up (against consumption growth).

Getting laid off is not the same as getting fired

Many companies used the down economy to "lay off" people who they wanted to fire, but just couldn't quite justify it. In other words, economic activity didn't drop a real 8 million jobs- businesses just used it as an opportunity to raise productivity. It was, in macro terms, a reshuffling of talent to other companies and the "chaff" of less productive workers remain unemployed. (NOTE: This isn't to say anything bad about the individuals who are unemployed. Just that from the perspective of productivity, they are less needed in the current economy.)

Why do I think this? GDP didn't drop all that much. The stock market is doing fine, basically back to where it was. But more importantly, the strength of those companies is MUCH higher. Profits are up. Companies have nearly a trillion in cash sitting around. Oil is at $80 something- not too long ago, this was a danger level. It is already there.
posted by gjc at 6:25 AM on December 11, 2010



Obama might be able to pull that off, but obviously he doesn't have that charisma Clinton does; I believe Clinton when he says he's gonna do it, and what he's gonna do. Confidence -- damn, that man is confident.


Obama has more charisma, or at least equal. The difference between them is 10% unemployment. Luckily, more tax breaks for the rich will fix that right up and Obama will coast to a second term.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:39 AM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


IOWAHAWK nailed it Nov. 28, 2008

Obama Names Bill Clinton to Presidential Post
WASHINGTON DC - Ending weeks of speculation and rumors, President-Elect Barack Obama today named Bill Clinton to join his incoming administration as President of the United States, where he will head the federal government's executive branch.

"I am pleased that Bill Clinton has agreed to come out of retirement to head up this crucial post in my administration," said Obama. "He brings a lifetime of previous executive experience as Governor of Arkansas and President of the United States, and has worked closely with most of the members of my Cabinet."
posted by wallstreet1929 at 7:59 AM on December 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


Now, I recognize that many of my friends in my own party are uncomfortable with some of what’s in this agreement, in particular the temporary tax cuts for the wealthy. And I share their concerns.

2008: This offends my conscience.

2010: I share your concern.

2013: You still here?
posted by Joe Beese at 8:33 AM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm just glad I watched this press conference before reading this thread. I think the most salient point made, repeatedly, as that we don't have the luxury of being able to afford a stand-off with the Republicans right now, at least not on the economic recovery. The longer we sit with our arms crossed, not budging, the farther the economy slowly creeps back into where it was right after the crash. As much as it sucks in the face of our ideals, right now it's better for us to make small steps forward than not move at all. This is actually better for us in the long run, for the obvious pragmatic reasons, but also because as the recovery picks up steam, it gives us the leverage to push a little harder, and move the line in the sand further into the other side of the aisle. Or we can stall, not budge at all, let the whole thing tank again, and pray the American voters don't blame the people in charge for that happening, which frankly, doesn't seem likely.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:52 AM on December 11, 2010 [4 favorites]




The longer we sit with our arms crossed, not budging, the farther the economy slowly creeps back into where it was right after the crash.

Sounds good, but here's the crux of the problem: We're borrowing nearly a trillion (from somewhere) to give to rich people who are already sitting on $2T, who are not using it to invest in America. Despite Clinton's analysis, this money will not make its way into the economy. It is a very large welfare handout to ridiculously wealthy people, made only more tragic by calls for unemployed people to just stop being lazy.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:04 AM on December 11, 2010 [13 favorites]


Sadly, with each passing day, my feeling about Obama is that his administration was an incredible victory for modern marketing.

---

Just weeks before he demonstrates whether his campaign's blend of grass-roots appeal and big media-budget know-how has converted the American electorate, Sen. Barack Obama has shown he's already won over the nation's brand builders. He's been named Advertising Age's marketer of the year for 2008.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:21 AM on December 11, 2010


Goddamn, I'm looking forward to the State of the Union.
posted by joedan at 10:17 AM on December 11, 2010


The thing is, Marisa, I'm not convinced that those were the only two options - for example, how 'bout BHO comes out forcefully in favor the earlier tax deal of exrltending cuts up to $250k? I'm all for pragmatism, so long as it comes AFTER a full-throated, highly visible and agressive attempt to get wha he wants. And seeing as the republican position seems to be in favor of tax cuts for the richest few and letting unemployment benefits lapse for the millions of unemployed in the midst of this terrible economy - well, I'd expect a more skillful politician to, you know, LEAD - make this eminently makeable case. THAT is my problem with BHO. He just doesn't appear to be making incredibly obvious and, I would think, popular arguements. He's not using his bully pulpit.

Sorkin: I don't see a shortage of microphones and cameras around here.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 10:40 AM on December 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Don't assume malice where incompetence will do. I find my views lately are summed up by a commenter in this Irish econ blog:

And as for the US, the more I look at Obama, the more I see a neophyte Chicagoan community activist out of his depth. He talks the talk of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt and walks the walk of a selection of the most incompetent presidents.

He just doesn't know what he's doing.
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 10:56 AM on December 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


"Wow, can't disagree more with the prevailing sentiment. I thought both men looked great, Obama's tone was fine, and Clinton hit just the right notes."

Note that these are all surface attributes.
posted by rhizome at 11:02 AM on December 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


Good thing they got Bill "Sax" Clinton out there to tell all you angry children to stop whining and learn how to live with giving away hundreds of billions of dollars to the richest people in the world, cause if one of the most charming men who ever lived isn't able to convince you all of how this "tax deal" is right choice then the wealthy elites might of had a real problem on their hand.

Go home, nothing to see here, business as usual will continue. Remember, Amazon has extended their holiday free shipping so be sure to get in on the deal before it goes away!
posted by Shit Parade at 1:37 PM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think this will be remembered as when he lost 2012.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:46 PM on December 11, 2010


Eh. I think people are vastly overestimating the effect any of this has on a general election. It's actually pretty simple: If the unemployment rate drops at least 2% and is seen to be trending down by a month or two before the election, Obama will win. If the unemployment rate does not drop, Obama will lose. The rest is noise.
posted by Justinian at 2:03 PM on December 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


If the unemployment rate does not drop, Obama will lose. The rest is noise.

As to that...
posted by Joe Beese at 2:11 PM on December 11, 2010


Dean Baker, supported the deal at first now seeing the kind of stuff everyone else saw:

As readers of this blog know, I was originally willing to support the package that President Obama negotiated with the Republicans. While I am not happy about giving tax breaks to rich people, President Obama extracted more concessions from the Republicans than I had expected in the form of extending unemployment insurance benefits, an expanded earned income tax credit, and most importantly a substantial reduction in the payroll tax.

However, after further thought and conversations with people around Washington (first and foremost, Nancy Altman, the co-director of Social Security Works), I have become convinced that this deal would be a disaster. Paul Krugman does a nice job laying out the limited benefits of the stimulus, but my greater concern is what happens to Social Security in this story. Effectively, this deal would give us a permanent two-percentage point reduction in the payroll tax in a Washington climate very hostile to Social Security.


So in addition to conceding on the tax cut issue forever, Obama kicked a leg out from under social security. Two extremely dangerous long term concessions in exchange for...short term stimulus so maybe he can get employment down 2% (still high!) so he can get elected again.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:20 PM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


I can avoid political thread for the next two years and save myself the trouble and you guys can get your purist circle-jerk on...

from what is currently the most heavily "favorited" diary at the Great Orange Satan:

For those who want to blame the base, or the progressives for the failures of this administration and this party, I remind you we are not setting policy.  We are their customers.  The only question now is, "Who do they think their customers are?"  If they don't recognize us as their customers, we don't have a lot to talk about.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:22 PM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


People, people. Put it back in your pants already.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:25 PM on December 11, 2010


Obama took my pants and gave them to a rich guy. :(
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:29 PM on December 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


Yeah, god forbid people criticize Obama's policies on Metafilter. Put it back in your pants, pinkoes.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:30 PM on December 11, 2010


Oh, crap. I forgot to add that one to my killfile on my home computer.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:32 PM on December 11, 2010


Please go away.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:34 PM on December 11, 2010


I think people are vastly overestimating the effect any of this has on a general election

We shall see.
Once he became president, however, Bush raised taxes as a way to reduce the national budget deficit. Bush refused many times but was making no progress with a Senate and House that was controlled by Democrats. Bush eventually agreed to a compromise with Congressional Democrats to raise several taxes as part of a 1990 budget agreement. This reversal caused great controversy, especially in the more conservative wing of the Republican Party. ... In the 1992 presidential election campaign, Pat Buchanan made extensive use of the phrase in his strong challenge to Bush in the Republican primaries. In the election itself, Democratic nominee Bill Clinton, running as a moderate, also pointed to the quotation as evidence of Bush's untrustworthiness, which contributed to Bush's losing his bid for re-election.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:36 PM on December 11, 2010


And he even WON his war.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:50 PM on December 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love how the Tea Baggers are creaming themselves over this. Their willingness to take things out of context and then work themselves into a tizzy over misinformation is fascinating.

So true. I mean, you never see that in politics.
posted by chavenet at 3:47 PM on December 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't understand half you people. It's better to get 50% of what you want than get none of it. To me the chances of severely hurting the economy (in the short and long run) are greater if we raise taxes on everyone than if we keep them lower for everyone.

This is compromise. This is how this country was built. You can't ignore the other side and all the other voices. Obama is being pragmatic and, as usual, he's getting shit done. I respect and like him for that.
posted by Defenestrator at 5:10 PM on December 11, 2010


Obama is being pragmatic and, as usual, he's getting shit done.

If wealthy investors are already sitting on trillions in capital, why would they start spending it, with a renewed tax break? It is difficult to see how the lopsided portion of this welfare program will benefit working Americans when not much is actually different about it. Obama could have fought for (and based on history, likely won) unemployment benefits, anyway.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:19 PM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is compromise. This is how this country was built.

"I will sit down with King George to work out a bipartisan solution."
posted by Joe Beese at 5:35 PM on December 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


I don't understand half you people. It's better to get 50% of what you want than get none of it.

I know. I would have been perfectly happy with giving the rich a tax cut half as large as what they got, it didn't happen though.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:47 PM on December 11, 2010


I don't understand half you people. It's better to get 50% of what you want than get none of it.

Ah, yes, it's a real victory to be kicked in the teeth by the super-wealthy only 50% as hard! It's just as good as not being kicked in the teeth at all! In fact, it's better -- because it's pragmatic.
posted by scody at 5:56 PM on December 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


We shall see.

Here is the average unemployment for '89-'92.
1989 	5.3
1990 	5.6
1991 	6.8
1992 	7.5
Bush lost because unemployment was steadily rising. Obama will win if unemployment begins decreasing far enough before the election that people feel it, even if unemployment is still relatively high.
posted by Justinian at 5:59 PM on December 11, 2010


This is compromise.

Compromise? This is compromise in the same way that instead of putting $50 in the savings account (which I want to do) or going out for $50 worth of Chinese Food (which you want to do), we "compromise" and do both by charging $100 on a credit card at 20% interest. In the long run we end up worse off than if we'd done nothing.

Anybody can "compromise" by cutting taxes and increasing spending. That's bullshit. Compromise would be raising some taxes (but fewer than the Democrats want) while cutting some spending (but less than the Republicans want). Except that would require putting the long term good of the country over short term benefit to the politician or party.
posted by Justinian at 6:09 PM on December 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


This is what pragmatic Democrats compromising looks like:


To support the new Bush-supported FISA law:
GOP - 48-0
Dems - 12-36

To compel redeployment of troops from Iraq:
GOP - 0-49
Dems - 24-21

To confirm Michael Mukasey as Attorney General:
GOP - 46-0
Dems - 7-40

To confirm Leslie Southwick as Circuit Court Judge:
GOP - 49-0
Dems - 8-38

Kyl-Lieberman Resolution on Iran:
GOP - 46-2
Dems - 30-20

To condemn MoveOn.org:
GOP - 49-0
Dems - 23-25

The Protect America Act:
GOP - 44-0
Dems - 20-28

Declaring English to be the Government's official language:
GOP - 48-1
Dems - 16-33

The Military Commissions Act:
GOP - 53-0
Dems - 12-34

To renew the Patriot Act:
GOP - 54-0
Dems - 34-10

Cloture Vote on Sam Alito's confirmation to the Supreme Court:
GOP - 54-0
Dems - 18-25

Authorization to Use Military Force in Iraq:
GOP - 48-1
Dems - 29-22

At what point can I say enough is enough without being a sanctimonious purist?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:14 PM on December 11, 2010 [8 favorites]


The "whole perfect is the enemy of the good" line is bullshit. It's like when my mother kept telling me that things could be a whole lot worse: yeah they can be, they also can be better. You know what else, the bad is the ally of the worst. See what I did there? It is rhetoric, it is bullshit, and all it does is gloss over the fact that Obama refused to stand up and fight for the 98% of Americans that need his support.

Sometimes you don't negotiate and this, for me, was one of those times. "We don't negotiate we terrorists", how many times have you heard that line in movies and tv shows, from politicians and bureaucrats? Sometimes it is counter productive to negotiate, sometimes what you lose in a negotiation is incomparable to what you gain.

The Bush tax cuts were a simple and clear issue that could of been the beginning of a referendum on American politics and American life. Is our government for the people or for the very rich people?

But go on and continue to thank ye master for the scraps he tosses to the floor and forget that dignity means standing on two feet and proclaiming yourself no worse nor no better than your fellow men.
posted by Shit Parade at 6:53 PM on December 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


Poll Suggests Risks for Obama if Liberals Feel Taken for Granted
A new poll from Marist University is suggestive of a potential worst-case scenario for President Obama. As he endures criticism from his left over his handling of the tax policy debate with Republicans, his approval rating has declined among liberals, according to the poll: 69 percent of them now approve of his job performance as compared with 78 percent in November. Likewise, his approval rating has declined among Democrats: to 74 percent from 83 percent. However, there has been no comparable improvement in Mr. Obama’s standing among independents.

These data should be interpreted cautiously. The margin of error among liberal respondents, for instance — a relatively small group of about 165 interviewees — is around 7.5 percentage points, and it is about 5.5 percentage points among Democrats. It is probably worth waiting to see whether a similar trend is manifest in the Gallup tracking poll when Gallup updates its weekly trend data, since Gallup’s sample sizes are about three times larger, making analysis of trends among political subgroups much more reliable.

[...]

It may be that the liberals’ issues are not with the substance of Mr. Obama’s policies — there has been no consensus among the House Democratic caucus or among liberal advocacy groups about what a realistic alternative to his tax compromise might look like, for instance — but rather with his modes of communication, which in recent days have been increasingly critical of liberals.

One theory of mine is that Mr. Obama — if one assumes that he is a liberal himself — sees less need to hedge his words when speaking to other liberals, in the same way that most of us tend to speak more bluntly to friends and family members than to relative strangers. But liberals — just like moderates and conservatives — formulate their impressions of the president based on a combination of intellectual and emotional factors, and their view of politics may not be so emotionally detached as Mr. Obama’s sometimes seems to be.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:34 PM on December 11, 2010


Warning: If the Democratic left does to Obama in 2012 what it did to incumbent President Carter in 1980 via Ted Kennedy's damaging Democratic presidential primary challenge - or what the Republican right did to incumbent President George H.W. Bush in 1992 with Pat Buchanan's entry into the GOP primary - the Democratic party as a whole will find itself paying a steep price for years to come. ...

Sabotage the nation's first black president and the Democratic Party might as well bid farewell to its most loyal base of supporters: African Americans. ...

And make no mistake, those Obama supporters - not those faux Washington friends, but the rank and file around the country - will take note of his treatment by the left. And they will, if necessary, repay.

A promise, not a threat.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:01 PM on December 11, 2010


To me, it comes down to this:

Obama still can't believe he's president and seems unable to use this fact to his advantage.

The Office of the President is the ultimate bully pulpit, and it has plenty of fight left in it. Use the damn thing! Let's get some fire and brimstone going! The people are aching, in troubled times, to be led!
posted by rhombus at 5:40 AM on December 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm so goddamn sick of hearing Democrats bitch about their party.
Well, you're in luck. Pretty soon those people won't be Democrats anymore!
Sadly, with each passing day, my feeling about Obama is that his administration was an incredible victory for modern marketing.
Heh, Here's from one of my first posts on Obama on metafilter, in December of 2006:
All I remembered from that speech [2004 convention speech] was "[something liberal in red states] and we worship and awesome god in the blue states!" I'm watching it again now... and... I really don't see it. Seems like a bunch of political obviousness. "America is great!" His style doesn't strike me as that inspiring at all, just milquetoast rhetoric of "We're all in this together". He didn't even criticize bush.

And where did everyone get those Obama signs? Did they all wave them because they loved him so much and had them on hand? Or were they given them and asked to wave them around? It's just more indicative of the marketing campaign that surrounds this guy. I feel like I'm being sold. And why?
So my cynicism was correct! Um... yay?
The "whole perfect is the enemy of the good" line is bullshit.
Yeah, as I like to say. The perfect is the enemy of the good, and the good are the enemy of the mediocre. And so on. The problem is, you have no way of knowing where on the continuum you lie. The best thing to do is to keep fighting for what you think is right.
Sabotage the nation's first black president and the Democratic Party might as well bid farewell to its most loyal base of supporters: African Americans. ...
That's moronic. Not having Obama on the ticket could depress turnout, for sure. But I don't think black voters are going to jump on the Palin/Gingrich ticket over Maddow/Colbert or whoever hypothetically beats Obama in the primaries.
posted by delmoi at 12:49 AM on December 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Washington Post-ABC News poll finds broad bipartisan support for tax package
About seven in 10 Americans back the tax deal negotiated last week by President Obama and congressional Republicans, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The high bipartisan support for the package masks more tepid public approval for some of the main components of the agreement that comes before a key Senate vote Monday afternoon.

A slender 11 percent of those polled back all four of the deal's primary tax provisions: an across-the-board extension of Bush-era tax cuts, additional jobless benefits, a payroll tax holiday and a $5 million threshold for inheritance taxes. Just 38 percent support even two of the components.

But put all four items together, and 69 percent of all Americans support the package. Large majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents alike favor the agreement, which has drawn stiff opposition from some Democrats in the House. In the poll, 69 percent of liberal Democrats support the agreement, which Obama has called a framework for legislation.

Even when primary objections to the pact are mentioned - that it would add about $900 billion to the federal budget deficit and that it extends tax breaks to the wealthy - 62 percent of all those polled support the package.

posted by Rhaomi at 2:29 PM on December 13, 2010


Broad bipartisan support for stealing money from future taxpayers: Film at 11.
posted by Justinian at 4:23 PM on December 13, 2010


Obama still can't believe he's president and seems unable to use this fact to his advantage.

This sounds unrealistically charitable to me.
posted by rhizome at 4:10 PM on December 14, 2010


« Older Science is hollow, and he's got a pin   |   Not Your Mall Metroplex Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post