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AdLib On January - 19 - 2010

It was one year ago Barack Obama was inaugurated as President of the United States…or wasn’t according to teabaggers who protested the mucking up of the oath by Roberts. Remember? The de-legitimizing of Obama’s presidency literally began on the day he became president.

What also ended that day was the era of bipartisanship, which  is clearly over for at least a generation, possibly forever.

The end of bipartisanship was observed by the GOP at the beginning of the year during the Stimulus conferences, discussions and votes.

Unfortunately, President Obama, with the best of intentions, mistook the end of bipartisanship for an initial setback. He deserves to take the heat for this mistake in perception, this misplaced optimistic altruism.

But forgiveness should not come with much resistance, Presidents have been guilty of far worse deeds far more frequently in recent history.

Wrapping up the finger pointing, Rahm Emmanuel’s political malpractice, his total failure to guide Obama and his agenda successfully and intact through Congress should not be permitted to be swept under the rug. He should resign or be fired, he and his pro-corporate DLC ways have undermined and sabotaged this president.

One more note about this bipartisanship thing. As brilliant as Pres. Obama unquestionably is, the dynamics of productive bipartisanship is far different than de facto bipartisanship and it is the latter which he pursued.

Negotiating away things that would greatly benefit Americans just to coax one or more Republicans to sign on may technically be bipartisanship but goes against serving the American people. It is not what the American people meant by bipartisanship, what they wanted was for both parties to come together and work together to do what’s best for them.

Once the GOP made clear that they did not want what’s best for The People but for Obama (and the country) to fail, Obama’s continuing a pursuit of a technical bipartisanship was neither supported by the American people nor to their benefit to support. And that has been a huge factor for the political blowback from HCR, the economy (because of the compromises on the Stimulus), the MA election and Obama’s approval ratings at record lows.

We can’t and shouldn’t dwell on what can’t be changed. We have 3 more years in this term to change this nation for the better and regain positive momentum for Progressive issues. And those so-called Progressives who want only to condemn Obama can kiss Rush Limbaugh’s ass.

I think Pres. Obama has to turn his back on the 2009 Obama and truly “start” his presidency in 2010 as he should have in 2009. Fighting for the people, not accepting the concessions to corporate interests, not readily negotiating away valuable benefits for Americans to pursue  some disconnected concept of technical “bipartisanship”.

It is this kind of bold leadership that he represented he would bring to the country and which was expected. It is this kind of bold leadership he must embark on now as he begins again.

I suggest that Pres. Obama meet with Harry Reid and splash a bucket of reality in his face (though a real bucket of water would please me too). “Face facts, you’re going to lose your seat in the Senate, the Dems look incapable of leading and accomplishing things in Congress and will lose control. The only hope any of us have to turn this around is to get rid of that damn filibuster. If what gets accomplished after that doesn’t get you reelected, you can at least leave the Senate proudly as  having helped make the most fundamental and meaningful changes to this nation since FDR instead of as the ineffective leader that doomed Democratic control of Congress and the Obama Presidency.”

Short of nuking the filibuster, the Dems in the Senate need to use all the levers that Repubs used when they had 51 votes under Bush to get huge changes through. And yes, despite all the whining, that means using Reconciliation.

In either one of these scenarios, only 50 senators plus the VP are needed to pass legislation and no compromises with Blue Dogs or Repubs need to be made.

This is it for the Dems and the Progressive agenda. With the huge majorities they still have and a brilliant, fair minded president, if there is a possibility of the Democratic Party delivering for the American People in a big and sustained way, it will begin now. If not, the Dems will lose the enthusiasm and faith of their members for a long time to come. It will be hard to believe again in change being possible with the Dems if they can’t manage it now.

Word is that Obama’s SOTU Address will reflect more of a pivot towards being a bold leader. I’m pleased to hear that.

Hope and Change 2010. Be it and be it strongly, Mr. President and hold The Senate’s feet to the fire, I think the tables will quickly turn if you do.

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

231 Responses so far.

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  1. nellie says:

    From Cher — moved up so we can discuss this great comment.

    Nellie- I am sorry, but this is why the Dems are failing. This is why many on the Left are angry

    • nellie says:

      Honestly, I don’t know how he can tell the senate to proceed without Brown. The GOP could get away w it because the media is on their side. I don’t see how Dems could pull it off without a major backlash.

      You know that I admire this president, but I concede one of the mistakes he has made is trying so hard to get legislation passed that he has abandoned his campaign persona. He’s buried under the amount of work to be done, and he’s letting himself lose his connection with the public. I think he has been “reporting” to us, but not connecting the way he did as a candidate. And he needs to be more honest and direct about these bills.

      It may be wishful thinking, but I would be very surprised if health care is not passed before the elections. I don’t hear anyone in the House or the Senate saying health care is over. I don’t hear the president saying it. And with this upset, I’m expecting things to change in congress, too. If they don’t, the dems are going to lose again in November. And I think they know that.

      • KevenSeven says:

        Personally, I don’t see how they can, constitutionally, not wait for Brown.

        The current senator was appointed to replace Kennedy. If it was a matter of a lame duck who had been elected and lost reelection, that would be different. But this is an elected senator (gag) replacing a seat warmer.

        I think it would be an insult to all the ignorant fuckwits in Mass who voted for Brown to rush legislation thru. And I know the Rethugs would ram it right up our asses.

        No. The only solution is to take our medicine and abolish the filibuster.

        • kesmarn says:

          I think Barney Frank said pretty much the same thing. As much as it hurts, we have to play by the rules. Even though “they” don’t. If both sides resort to the law of the jungle, we end up with anarchy.

          The infuriating thing is that the Repubs know this full well and leverage it to their advantage over and over. When you can batter people with the weapon of their own decency, you’ve sunk to a very low place indeed. But they are there.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      I don’t mind, Nellie dear. But now that you’ve done that, I have to leave for a while! Not because if the discussion, but because of an appointment. 🙁

  2. KQuark says:

    Cher this may make you feel better about what is going on in the white house.

    In the end, the White House does seem likely to incorporate some of these suggestions into its approach going forward. There could well be some strategic changes — more arm-twisting on the Hill, higher-profile speeches and public events, threats to recalcitrant Democrats and obstructing Republicans — but some changes could come at the policy level, for instance by taking a tougher line against Wall Street. The results will be clear by, at the latest, Obama’s upcoming State of the Union address a week from today.

  3. Chernynkaya says:

    I am fighting every impulse I have to get back in bed, pull up the covers and never pay any attention to politics AT ALL.

    I am disgusted by Americans and disgusted by the Democrats, who are blowing it big time. And it wouldn’t be so bad if they were blowing it against a plausible Party. But to blow it when the alternative is the Reptilian party, is pretty effing close to unforgivable.

    • PatsyT says:

      I have been feeling the same way Cher, I am going back to baking.
      But that would let them win and make my family fat.
      So I will give it a little breather and be back.
      We have to give ourselves a bit of time to adjust
      Thankfully, I have a little trip coming up to keep me busy.
      Hope you can find a little distraction to refresh yourself.
      You have worked very hard on all of this.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        Yes, Patsy, time for a time out. I am working on an article that has nothing to do with any of this, and I’ll put on blinders and keep my head down for a few days. Very wise advice!

    • KQuark says:

      Cher I would love to be able to say something to make you feel better.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        Thanks KQ.I really appreciate that. But the only person who can make me feel better is the President. He can say something that makes me feel he gets it. I want him to say that this is his wake up call and that from now on, it’s no more Mr. Nice Guy-- from now on he will not listen to those who claim he must be bipartisan. Now it is time to show some fight. I agree with you that he is a long-term strategic thinker, but elections are not won in the long term. Politics sometimes matters more than policy, and by that I mean that you and I can bemoan the whiners and the unrealistic, but that’s politics and Obama better play to the one that brung him. He’s played to the Indies and the Right and it ain’t working in the world of voters.

        • choicelady says:

          I think bipartisanship has to be over. And the DINOs have to back off because the loss of support for health care was swift and immediate when the public option was LEFT OUT, not when it was in.

          There are strategies that might work that I’ve mentioned below -- pass the Senate bill and work out the budget issues including the public option as a cost saver, the reduction in the tax on Cadillac plans (who gets those -- not labor!) and pegging even private payments to income percentages, not the market so that we can see the budget costs. All that can be done via reconcilliation.

          We have to have real leadership from both the Congress and WH. Pandering to the center right is absurd -- that is NOT where the loss is coming from.

          Obama has done amazing things cited here -- but he has not taken credit for them. They have passed unnoticed in the MSM and now even on the liberal side.

          His political capital is high -- 90% like him as a person. That is amazing. So he has room to BE Obama, not capitulate. When he has done that, he has lost support.

          Molly Ivins -- wish she were here -- always said, “Dance with the ones that brung you.” He has to support his base -- the people -- not the naysayers and skeptics. And he cannot be too modest!

        • KQuark says:

          I’m sure he gets it but all he is getting is bad. He has a base that left him, a disgruntle country, obstructionists Republicans and Democrats that will not follow his agenda.

          He said in another quote that he realizes that he’s been focusing too much on policy and needs to get back in more touch with the people.

          If you want him to be angry and divisive like the anti-Bush he was never that man. Right now I’m glad he’s focusing on populist politics which will be the path to a major comeback.

          • Chernynkaya says:

            I don’t want him to be angry-- I want him to fight. They are not the same. He can fight with populism --that’s one thing I want him to do. It’s a sad, bizarre world when Reps can claim the populist mantle!

            • nellie says:

              I think he is going to fight, Cher. I think this election may put the fight back into his style. Less wonk, more inspiration.

            • Kalima says:

              I believe he will come out fighting too nellie. He stretched out his hand to the other side, they didn’t have the decency to even consider shaking it, instead they spit on it and in some cases even tried to cut it off.

              Enough is now really enough!!

            • Chernynkaya says:

              Nellie-- I literally pray you are right.

    • Tiger99 says:

      “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.” -- Groucho Marx 😎

  4. nellie says:

    Barack Obama:

    “The same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office.”


    • Gretel1or2 says:

      I think Obama meant that people’s reported perceptions of the government were similar (whether true or not). I don’t think Obama truly believes that he is the same as Bush.

      It’s possible that Obama is courting Scott Brown to set him up for the health care vote. This will force Brown to show exactly where he stands on health care reform -- it’s one thing to say you’ll do this or that, but when people see how you vote, that will make them see the consequences of their actions.

      • nellie says:

        I think it’s a very brave statement. The president is talking about discontent — not comparing himself to Bush. Discontent and the desire for change is what got him elected, and what got Brown elected.

        He’s taking the lesson of this election to heart.

        • KQuark says:

          Yeah I don’t see it at all like he’s comparing himself to Bush either. He’s relaying two truths that he recognizes the political environment and Brown ran a great campaign.

          The fact is if he was like Bush he would have been delusional and said this means nothing.

          • nellie says:

            Yep. Agreed.

            I’m glad to hear him say this. It means he realizes that things have to change. That the public wants to see real progress.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        Hi Gretel. (First, if i sound angry, please know it’s not at you!)

        If what you say is true--Obama courting Scott Brown-- than I have had it with him. STILL COURTING REPUBLICANS!? Way to lose, O. and Brown has already signaled that he will filibuster any health bill. I certainly hope that’s not what he meant.

        • Gretel1or2 says:

          I hear you Cher. I am just as pissed off at Obama to to hear him say that he will wait until Brown get’s seated. This is nonsense in my opinion. What can you possibly gain by waiting for someone who ran for senate just to upset your agenda???? Obama is nutz if he really believes he’s going to get something. In my wishful thinking, he’s doing this to set a trap for Brown. But we’ll see….it aint over ’til it’s over.

          • nellie says:

            He has to wait — because otherwise he’s just ignoring the people’s voices.

            The problem with this election is not so much what’s happening now, but what happened before the vote. Where was the DNC — why didn’t they do a better job of selecting candidates and crafting a message. Not to mention keeping their candidate from taking a vacation during such a pivotal election.

            • Chernynkaya says:

              How about the people’s voices in the other 49 states who want health care reform? Why is it about what Republican voters want?

            • nellie says:

              Cher, I hope you don’t mind, I’m going to quote your comment and move it up — it’s a great point to discuss.

            • Chernynkaya says:

              Nellie- I am sorry, but this is why the Dems are failing. This is why many on the Left are angry-- including me.

              There were other options discussed for the bill to move forward before Brown is seated. Whether they were feasible or not, the message O sent (that he would wait for Brown) is exactly the wrong one.

              Health care is THE most important piece of legislation of his agenda. He seems not to be fighting to pass it. One of the criticisms I feel is valid is that Bush passed legislation with 51 votes, and we can’t with more than that.

            • nellie says:

              The senate has to take all states into account. And MA has said this is the person they want. The same would have happened if Coakley had won.

              I don’t think health care is over.

          • KQuark says:

            The Senate has nothing to vote on anyway. It’s up to the House if they want to ram through healthcare because any major piece of legislation the Senate passes now needs 60. I’m mad at all the Dems for not getting the bill done by now.

            • Chernynkaya says:

              KQ, regardless of the facts about the senate, do you see how that statement by Obama (about waiting to seat Brown) is tone deaf? Or easily misinterpreted?

    • Chernynkaya says:

      I just don’t understand. And Robert Gibb just said that Obama agrees with Reid that health care should be postponed until Brown is sworn in. I am just shaking my head in wonder.

      • KQuark says:

        That does not preclude the House from acting. This could be a ploy to push the House to pass the Senate bill. There is nothing to vote on in the Senate right now anyway because the bills have not been reconciled.

        They already have a paired down bill in the works for the Senate that should be an even more bitter pill for the House to swallow.

        Three choices now.

        The House passes the Senate version.

        The Senate and House vote on a pared down new bill.

        Healthcare reform dies.

        The last one seems to be more and more likely. Isn’t the last one what Dean, Hamster and Huffy wanted anyway.

    • KQuark says:

      Anti-incumbency vibe, a bad opponent and a great campaign. It’s actually true to a large extent. I was thinking about that last night.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        So Obama thinks that the people of MA think he is as bad as Bush? That the Dems are worse than Reps? That’s anti-incumbancy, right? Yeah, Coakley was bad, but so was Brown. he didn’t run a great campaign either. So I still don’t get Obama’s comment.

        • nellie says:

          He’s responding to the fact that the MA vote is a protest vote. It’s a vote against the focus on wall street without a corresponding focus on jobs.

          I really believe this is about jobs more than health care. I think November is going to be about jobs, too.

        • KQuark says:

          It’s anti-incumbency and has nothing to do with Bush because he’s not in office. Bush never had the expectations people, especially progressives had for Obama’s presidency. You said so yourself. What he’s saying is MA voters don’t think he’s done enough compared to expectations. I hear that all over the place from Dems.

          I beg to differ about Brown’s campaign he worked real hard and Coakly did not until it was too late. Brown even adopted Obama’s net roots tactics.

          • Chernynkaya says:

            What I meant Q is that Obama made that comparison by referencing HIS campaign after Bush. He is saying that voters are as unhappy with him as they were with Bush. And if what you said above is true, then he should feel pretty terrible.

            • KQuark says:

              I’m sure he does feel more terrible than all of us about this. I’m sure he feels totally repudiated but Cher come on that’s all progressives have been doing is attacking him, not to mention the Repubs and even the middle. I wish I had a nickle for every progressive that says Obama is just like Bush.

  5. choicelady says:

    My morning call with a Senate health staff person raised three possibilities. Yes -- pass the Senate version, warts and all, in the House then send the financial pieces such as the tax on health benefits (“Cadillac” plans) and other finance issues through reconcilliation. In the meantime, rid the Senate of the 60-vote rule and restore democracy.

    CA knows full well the tyranny of the weak that comes from supermajorities. We have them for passing both budget AND tax increases (not cuts, mind you -- only the ability to rescind those cuts.) Federalist Paper No.58 and others warned about this, and we’ve seen that it gives the unimaginative total control to block the creative. The minority trumps the majority. So enough.

    We need to find ways to do this, and the progressive forces must not block the framework. I’m heartened by the fact that the Senate as well as the House bill links what one pays to a percentage of income rather than -- as the MA plan and proposed CA plan did -- forcing people to pay market rates. YES -- government would subsidize the purchaser thereby handing the insurance corporation the full rate, but preserving the national oversight to make insurance companies justify rate hikes is a start. And that is how Switzerland and Germany began, too.

    We fool ourselves if we think at any point in US history we’ve made sweeping changes. We never have and likely never will. Even in the Great Depression, FDR did what he did fairly carefully, especially after the NRA was declared unconstitutional. (“Gone away, is the Blue Bird, here to stay, is the new bird”…)

    I do want to see him ramp this up. I also understand why he insists that nothing gets rammed through before Brown is seated, but there are end runs that MUST be done to get a decent bill that will immediately cover the 18 million waiting, hoping, praying, and dying that it passes. They are not negligable.

    So the evidence that 43% stayed home and did not vote because they wanted the House bill -- which they would have likely gotten had they not slit their own throats and ours -- is another piece of information about how arrogant our own side has become. They HAVE health care -- and I bet none is in the Mass Connector program -- so what’s it to them? Bet I have relatives who sat it out.


  6. nellie says:

    Research 2000 Poll Results, January 19, 2010

    There’s a real populist anger out there. Voters worry that Democrats in power have not done enough to combat the policies of the Bush era. Both sets of voters wanted stronger, more progressive action on health care reform, as well. In summary, the poll shows that the party who fights corporate interests

    • Tiger99 says:

      Nellie remember what I mentioned yesterday about what people visualize?
      You just can’t be seen sipping champagne in a Tux on Wall Street asking them to “play nice” and then insist on taxing Health Care benefits and expect the average working/middle class person to think you give a damn about them…

      I am noticing that President Obama does seem to be becoming more public about defending the people against the “Big Bankers” and “Big Corps” on Wall Street instead of all the closed door type negotiations… Perhaps if this trend continues people will understand he is fighting for them…

      • nellie says:

        I think I’m changing my mind a little bit about the president’s governing style and thinking more like you on this. He has been very diligent and deliberate, but he needs to be more inspirational. That’s who the country elected. And he can’t wonk out on everyone and expect them to understand what he’s doing.

        I think he might get the message, now. Or… let’s write him a letter and let him know!

        • Chernynkaya says:

          Nellie, apparantly he does not understand, if he can make a statement like he did about Brown-- the one you cited. Or if he can agree with Reid to table health care until Brown is sworn in.

    • KQuark says:

      I don’t want to bash Research 2000 but they are a de facto partisan poll.

      I think the president is already moving towards populist things like taxing bailouts. But with healthcare reform it’s easy to read it many ways.

      I hope the scaled back idea scares the hell out of House Dems enough to vote on the Senate bill but I doubt it will happen. The reason is when things like this happens everyone rationalizes and that’s when people are most unreasonable.

      • nellie says:

        I agree with them. MA residents have health care. That wasn’t the issue for them. Jobs was the issue for them. Main street vs wall street.

        This administration has got to do something about the job picture, or we’ll see more of this in November — as illogical as that would be.

    • Gretel1or2 says:

      I’m still at a loss as to why they voted for Brown -- he is certainly not a progressive candidate? What made them think that he would help to create a more progressive health care reform?

      • nellie says:

        He was a state senator, so he had name recognition. He’s attractive, he’s friendly. In our society, those two things count for a lot. And he called the open senate seat “the people’s seat” rather than “Kennedy’s” seat. I think that won him some points.

      • KQuark says:

        Or populist for that matter. He already said he would vote no to tax Wall Street bailouts, vote no on new regulations and received most of his big cash from Wall Street. I will always believe “populist Republican” is an oxymoron.

    • SanityNow says:

      hope Rahm read this…

  7. KQuark says:

    The scale back is in full swing.

    A simpler, less ambitious bill emerged as an alternative only hours after the loss of the party’s crucial 60th Senate seat forced the Democrats to slow their all-out drive to pass Obama’s signature legislation and reconsider all options.

    No decisions have been made, lawmakers said, but they laid out a new approach that could still include these provisions: limiting the ability of insurance companies to deny coverage to people with medical problems, allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ policies, helping small businesses and low-income people pay premiums and changing Medicare to encourage payment for quality care instead of sheer volume of services.


  8. AdLib says:

    Uh oh! This just in on the AP (in our news widget):

    Obama urges Dems not to ‘jam’ health care past GOP

    By ERICA WERNER, Associated Press Writer Erica Werner, Associated Press Writer

    • SueInCa says:

      WTF? This bipartisan shit has gotten too ridiculous for me. Does he think for one minute the repugs are going to pay it forward to him? He must have lost his mind………….Okay, now for some serious comment.

      What the hell is he thinking? Is he giving them the go ahead to do something against his wishes? I sure hope so.

    • KQuark says:

      The Democrats biggest failure is always their biggest failure. Failure to fall in line when the leadership tells you it’s for your own good. The only thing Bush really accomplished was incredibly unRepublican, Medicare Part B. Sure it was a benefit for big business but at the expense of adding to the deficit for what Repubs saw as a social program. The Repubs fell in line and passed it anyway. The only difference is with Dems is healthcare had ZERO margin for error so Dems had to fall in line to get the initial bills passed but it took them too long. I guarantee had healthcare actually passed before the end of the year the election result would be quite different. People with their short attention spans really only care about legislation before it’s enacted afterwords it’s a notch on the belt of the party that passes it.

    • KQuark says:

      This is why I said nothing good would come of Brown winning. Dems are running for the centrist hills and this is their cover. They are reading this as a referendum to scale back healthcare reform and using the term healthcare insurance reform is the biggest giveaway. So much for HCR is right.

      Why Dems think enabling a GOP teabagger getting elected to move the country further left is beyond me.

      • SanityNow says:

        Those so-called Dems are not, as you know, true Democrats. They are going whichever the way the wind is blowing and following there anger. Plus Scott Brown is SOOO much better looking than Martha. Those “Dems” are deep.

    • SanityNow says:

      you think maybe he is taking SueInCa’s advice below? Part of me hopes so.

      Another part thinks that the current state of the HCR, given that it is nearly 100% compromised from the ideal, should be tabled and the process started over using reconciliation. We’ll see but I think you are right Ad. It is dead in its current form.

      I do think that Obama has the balls to continue the fight for this through different means. Bolder, less compromising. The current HCR was crippled by the unified, malicious opposition of the Republicans and so-called blue dogs. It never had a chance. At least now, the complete myth of the 60 vote majority is dead. It will be clear, if it isn’t already, who is obstructing our business.

      Time to drop the Senatorial Nuke and restore majority rules to our democracy?

    • nellie says:

      I’m not surprised. He’s a man of principle. That kind of person can be utterly exasperating.

      But I don’t think for a moment he’s going to let his centerpiece legislation go down in flames. We just have to wait to see what he does.

      • KQuark says:

        nellie I think Dems told him these bills are going down. They will never address healthcare reform this year from scratch. Dems read the exactly the way I thought they would based on passed history. It will simply be another maintenance presidency from now on.

  9. nellie says:

    Randi Rhodes has your back this afternoon, AdLib.

    She reports that 43% of registered Dems stayed home in MA.

    Of those who voted, 53% said they don’t like the Senate health care bill, they like the house bill, the policy isn’t liberal enough.

    Thought you’d like to know.

    • Tiger99 says:

      Howard Dean is on MSNBC saying that 80% of the Dems who stayed home did so because there was no public option… One-Third of the people who voted for Obama and then voted for Brown did so because there is no public option…

      • nellie says:

        This is definitely shaping up as a protest vote — a shot across the Obama Administration’s bow.

        If they’re smart (big IF there), the dems in congress will get a clue that their own elections could go topsy turvy, just like Coakley’s did. And they’ll start making some bold changes. And they’ll find a way to get the legislation passed.

        • javaz says:

          From reading some of the comments on the site below, some people are saying they voted for Brown because he ran as an Independent Republican.
          People are already saying that if he votes along party lines, something he promised not to do, that they’ll vote him out next time.

          People are angry and the anger, frustration and fear crosses party lines.
          People don’t like seeing people losing their homes, while the bankers get bailed out and then turn around and handout huge bonuses.

          Higher taxes in states, including higher taxes at local levels, property taxes, and then the health care bill, which would have brought even higher taxes without regulations in price controls, and people are already paying for skyrocketing insurance with no end in site.

          Sicking the IRS on people for mandated insurance didn’t sit too well with the general public.

          Plus, with states raising taxes at nearly every level, and cutting services -- cutting funds for education, closing state parks, closing rest areas, eliminating funding to help poor families with health care, and the rising prices for food and utilities isn’t helping people struggling to make ends meet.

          And then there’s the jobs, and the broken promise of going after corporations that outsource.

          People aren’t stupid and they see the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer and the middle class getting screwed, while those responsible go free and are making profits hand over fist from our tax dollars bailing them out.


          • nellie says:

            Well said, javaz.

          • KQuark says:

            We pay some of the lowest taxes in the industrialized world now including local taxes. If taxes are always the issue Dems always lose because you can’t do more without increasing taxes on someone.

          • Tiger99 says:

            javaz I watched in disbelief today as SEIU President Andy Stern defended his behind the scenes deal with President Obama on Taxing Health Care Benefits… He said that they would be phased in based on “Race” and “Gender”, let alone the fact the President supports Taxing my better halfs benefits at about 40% rate while taking steps to see that his benefits remain untaxed…
            You wanna see anger let them pass the Bill that Taxes the working/middle class white guy while others with same excact benefits enjoy their’s Tax Free…

            • javaz says:

              I wouldn’t mind paying more in taxes so that every American can be insured, but when there are no controls on the cost of what we are already paying for our health insurance, and then to tax us at higher rates turned me off the HCR bills.
              And personally, I really despised giving even more power to the IRS in going after people who did not purchase insurance.
              The IRS already abuses their power and this would have been a nightmare for so many people.

            • Tiger99 says:

              The issue for me isn’t paying Taxes to help others it is the 40% rate and that it doesn’t seem to be a universal “Fair Tax” on all…

            • KQuark says:

              That’s not quite the final deal struck from what I understand it collective bargaining agreements would be exempt.

    • AdLib says:

      Thanks for the update…it is discouraging but instructive.

      The path of incrementalism and compromise on core issues is a path to failure because it dampens voter enthusiasm for his base, Democratic voters.

      Everything else aside, no matter how good a case can be made intellectually for the HCR bill, if the net result is to discourage Dems from voting, it will ultimately be disastrous.

      The path for Obama seems clearer, to be bold and inspirational, in word and deed. He has plenty of time and opportunity to turn things around.

      • KQuark says:

        The biggest thing the Dems got wrong was not having the HCR bill done by now. It does not matter how bold he is at this point. He’s going to spend the rest of this year on immediate problems for our fast food nation because he’s lost that with the people. Any long term strategy is dead right now.

        • SanityNow says:

          K, how exactly were the Dems supposed to push HCR through with only 57 firm votes under current senate rules? Baucus, Lieberman, Nelson, Snowe, etc.: too many compromises and nothing was going to get out of the senate without too many compromises.

          I like cynicism too but reality is that the Dems were prevented from carrying out the will of the majority by the Republicans. You are probably right and certainly have history on your side, HCR may be dead for at least a generation, but I have to have faith that over the course of the next 3 years that O will stick to this business and resist the temptation to maintain status quo. He’ll never get a second term if he is not bold and audaciously risky in his pursuit of true reform.

          • KQuark says:

            Had they not hemmed and hawed of the PO that would never pass in the Senate the bill could have been done faster.

            I guess being uninsured and have a chronic serious disease I’m speaking for my self because without healthcare coverage anything else is the status quo for my daily life. I simply can’t wait a generation but it looks like I will probably have to I guess.

            • SanityNow says:

              clearly, tactical mistakes were made. Obama has a steep learning curve to overcome and an historical amount of problems to extricate us from. However, I think that with an historical majority (still) in the Senate, a safe majority in the House, and still a very popular and bright President, Democrats have time to wrest control of our country away from the obstructionist party.

              I myself am chronically uninsured, and unemployed for over a year after my consultancy collapsed along with the collapse of commercial building and trying to support a family of four and hold on to our house. Not fun or very satisfying but it is what it is and I still have hope. I certainly can’t afford to be cynical for more than ten minutes at a time.

              Here is wishing that you can find a way to stay hopeful.


      • nellie says:

        She’s also got my back.

        Jobs jobs jobs. More stimulus, more construction, more manufacturing.

        • KQuark says:

          Government can only do so much. Conservatives in business will not start hiring again until their own is back in power. I hate to be Kasandra but they death of HCR will lead to everything it did in 1994. The day progressives came out with their “kill the bill” mantra was the day it died.

    • KQuark says:

      Therein lies the logical disconnect amongst liberals.

      I would like to hear their logic on how enabling a teabagger make the bill more liberal?

      It was a spite vote and spite never leads to anything good.

  10. SueInCa says:

    Ok, I am going to admit it, I am in a bad mood today. But if I were president right now and I had an upcoming State of the Nation speech, here is what I would do:

    I would explain very calmly that “I understand the majority of Americans do not want government run healthcare and for that reason we are discontinuing the bill, BUT, since the majority do not want gov run healthcare we are also going to now discontinue Medicare, Medicaid and any payments to hospitals for non paid emergency care. The people want to save money and get government out of their lives, so this is the best way to do just that. Oh and good luck in dealing with the insurance companies on your own. And now I will take any questions people might have………………..”

    Talk about a “shock doctrine”. But then I am not president and probably for good reason.

    • nellie says:

      I think the Dems made a huge mistake at the outset.

      They should have presented Health Care Reform as Medicare for All. It would have been very difficult for any opposition to shoot down that idea. They just didn’t have the courage to do it.

      • SueInCa says:

        The only one not to compromise in this whole mess is Nancy Pelosi. I am not real fond of her, but I used to really really dislike her. I have some respect for the woman now.

    • SanityNow says:

      I think it is a great idea and would satisfy my current acerbity and desire to see the fauxgressives and baggers howl.

      • SueInCa says:

        can you see the phone banks lighting up, the servers at the WH and Congress would go down for sure. they thought the attention with the TARP was bad, this would probably take down their data center LOL.

    • SueInCa says:

      That was supposed to be State of the Union speech

    • LABC63 says:

      LOL!! Well, since the american people have spoken (according to every media source on the planet) and do not want this, that sounds like a plan to me -- I can do the “I got mine, fuck the rest of you” attitude just as well…

      I am in foul mood too, btw….:{

      • SueInCa says:

        LOL, but someone just needs to say it to the nation, in a nicer way than I just did.

        BTW I would add that seniors will get a final statement to show that for the most part, they received more care than they paid for and in the event they did not, a refund check would be included, closing their account.

        • BigDogMom says:

          Sue, I think you’ve hit on something here…no ticky no shirty, oh well, next person in line….

          It might be high time that someone reminds these dimwits what the government does do for them…

    • AdLib says:

      I’m pissed off too and I know where you’re coming from.

      I know you’re joking but I think your point is important for him to express. He needs to connect the dots for those who have been brainwashed by the Repubs and MSM.

      Corporate Death Panels and Corporate Debt Panels is what you have today and will have tomorrow if you want government to stay out of the way of corporations.

      Impress on people all the good that government does and why, historically, it is only government that protects people, not corporations.

      Remind people that it was corporations that destroyed the economy and took away their jobs, foreclosed on their homes and raised their credit card rates.

      Remember $5/gallon gas? Lead paint in your children’s toys? Pollution that’s destroying the planet you live on?

      The thin red line is our government, that’s what needs to be both communicated and proven through action.

      • SueInCa says:

        Here here Adlib. I knew someone would express it in more gentle terms than I did. But I would love to make that announcement and watch the phones light up. I think we need to have national referrendums similar to the states on these types of bills. They affect us, why not let the American people decide?

    • BigDogMom says:

      Sue, I am hoping your being sarcastic, LOL, 🙂 !

      Saying something like that would surely snap everyone to attention and back to reality!

      • SueInCa says:

        In a way, I am, but in another way I am not. I guess I would love to see the storm after such an announcement, clarifying they are all hypocrits and think only of themselves.

        • BigDogMom says:

          Actually I agree with you and I have tried to no avail posting something like this over at other sites…

          Some seem to willfully forget what and how much our government does for us, and how little, percentage wise, we pay in taxes compared to other countries.

          Would love for Obama to say “Fuck you everyone, I’m cutting you all off to save money and cut the deficit…”

  11. Questinia says:

    Isn’t “collusion” another, albeit very cynical, possible operant of “bipartisanhip”?

    Done cloakatively, of course. Yay! I used that word! Or should I say “Coakleyatively”

    • AdLib says:

      I think people just didn’t like the taste of the New Coakley.

      They wanted Kennedy Classic.

      • SueInCa says:

        So they voted in a teabagger LOL. Seriously though, she did run a terrible campaign. Where was Tim Kaine?

        • AdLib says:

          She really was the worst Dem candidate I’ve seen for a while.

          I mean, Brown didn’t just win, she lost voters left and right.

          A typical Dem machine candidate with no reason to be elected, none whatsoever.

          • SanityNow says:

            it may have been just me, but Coakley sure looked and sounded releived to have lost. A main reason for her terrible campaign might be simply that she didn’t want the job. She certainly showed no flair for professional politicking.

          • BigDogMom says:

            Should’ve stood out in the cold in front of Fanway Park and shook hands with the Sox’s fans….

            • AdLib says:

              I heard she did wearing a NY Yankees hat.

            • Khirad says:

              More like heresy than high treason.

            • BigDogMom says:

              Sounds like it, if you read the comments made on the Boston Globe’s site, she just about committed high treason by not acknowledging the Sox’s fans according to those posts.

  12. Questinia says:

    I’m sometimes left, especially after yesterday’s “upset” in Massachusetts, with the feeling that “fighting for the people” is not wholeheartedly embraced by this administration.

    Isn’t anyone struck by the dissonance between Obama’s ability to perform so seamlessly during the election (in order to attain power) but has little influence on what happens in Massachusetts? You’d think this would be anticipated. Really anticipated. Perhaps it could not be, but that would be kind of odd.

    Has Obama become too centralized and lost the “feelers” of the periphery? The periphery become increasingly important as the complexity of the system increases. Or does his election approach have no practical merit when applied at the top. Where is that bottom-up mantra now? He certainly needed bottom-up to attain power. He doesn’t need it now to maintain the status quo, whether inadvertently or not.

    Or, I wonder if the Massachusetts election was partially “thrown” so as to continue the status quo in the main spheres of the financial and healthcare sectors (both highly corporate connected) while actual items of change were made in areas of less consequence to the well-being of the people. Areas of change not felt by the people.

    I will continue to support our President. But is he naive or shrewd?

    • KQuark says:

      Obama thinks in strategic terms, years down the road. This center right nation is filled with short thinking reactionaries. The new breed of progressives are just as reactionary. So call it what you want he’s not thinking on the same level as most people.

      The fact is our system of government does not work with this level of hyperpartisanship. That’s exactly why since LBJ, JFK and FDR we have done nothing major for domestic policy in this country.

      • Questinia says:

        But how many years down the road? Isn’t there a shelf life for some of the things he would like to institute, as in, how much time a President actually has to be effective?

        I do believe Obama is a leader, that is clear. The role of a leader is to see farther down the road and inspire the people to follow. But there are some people who don’t want to follow because they are just not ready. Contrary to bipartisanship, they should be left at the old campsite until they’ve had enough time to process there is more water and softer moss at the new one.

        Don’t ask me why I chose softer moss. But I do think soft moss is important.

        • KQuark says:

          It sounds to me like what Obama needs to do is more portfolio management like we did in R&D. You start out with an empty pipeline. You have short, medium and long term goals you start stuffing down that tube obviously the short term objectives come out first fill up the now part of the tub and the medium and long term projects fill up the back of the tube and come out later. The point is to always have flow in the tube by working on a proper ratio of each type of project. It’s late and I took my meds so I probably could say it better but that the idea.

          For the last few months Obama has been working longer term project too much with Afghanistan and healthcare policy while people want to “see” results with the economy.

    • AdLib says:

      I think what happened in MA was a Perfect Storm.

      1. Outrage over ineffective government.
      2. (Related to that) A seemingly endless recession and joblessness.
      3. A very poor candidate.
      4. A surprisingly popular extremist in MA.
      5. An overconfident and under-informed (on polls) DNC and WH.
      6. MA already has universal health care
      7. Ted Kennedy died and no other Kennedy ran.

      Add all those together and I find it hard to lay this all at Obama’s feet.

      As I’ve said, I think his aspirations for a better way of governing combined with the DLC influence of Rahm and others with a stake in not shaking up the status quo too much contributed to setting the scene.

      The DNC bears a lot of blame and Coakley herself and her campaign bears the most. She stopped campaigning in the middle of a campaign! She said one thing after another that upset voters! She was the main reason she lost.

      • Questinia says:

        But this is precisely the data the administration had to deal with. They must have been knowable to some extent. A perfect storm at some point appears more and more perfect. They should have seen her as a weak candidate.

        After all Teddy Kennedy didn’t just drop dead out of the blue.

        I say caveat superior. If this were a medical procedure, it wouldn’t fly, you will lose the patient. Perhaps the complexity of the country has outgrown the notion of a “President”. Maybe a “President” should be seen as a go-between as opposed to the generator pf policy change.

        I totally agree with you on the sequence of Medicare expansion first then the public option. Obama has no cred yet.

        Like it or not, Obama IS the symbol of the policies. He is already so scapegoated, it is truly tragic that he does anything that perpetuates that. He is in a no-win situation in many respects.

        • AdLib says:

          The thing is, it is the DNC that is primary in all the support and oversight of races. The White House is very limited by what it can do.

          I’ll turn it around to ask, what is it that The Obama Admin could have done that it didn’t…and wouldn’t have been a breech of protocol or Constitutionality?

          • Questinia says:

            Perhaps you are right in this. But then this is a dysfunction of the DNC’s relationship with their ultimate symbol, Obama, their brand, so to speak.

            If that is the case. Their marketing strategies suck. They need to take more business courses and learn how to sell widgets like the Republicans.

            • AdLib says:

              IMO, the DNC only evolved from an incestuous and ignorant entity to a sharp one when Howard Dean took over.

              Rahm stole all the credit for Dean’s wins for Dems in 2006 and 2008 then made sure Dean was cast off disrespectfully.

              Without Dean at the helm, we have our first big election and the DNC participates in one of the biggest upsets ever for Dems.

              They have devolved back into ignorance, if you ask me.

  13. SueInCa says:

    This president is doing as well as could be expected with the hand he was dealt. IMHO the TeaBaggers just proved they have no agenda other than to vote republican. They can talk all day long about third party candidates but until they put their vote where their mouth is, they will remain an unbelievable fringe organization. They were put together to hurt Obama and quite frankly, most dems are letting them get away with it. There was no big showing of Indies or Dems in the healthcare debate. If there was, the media, including MSNBC, totally ignored it. Until Dems start making noise, we will continue to be ignored. Indies will not be ignored because they have the power to move elections from one side to the other, teabaggers are known for their ignorance and they provide comic relief, Dems are known for their willingness to just sit back and let it happen.

    • AdLib says:

      Hey Sue!

      My point is that we have to be able to admit when Obama messes up so we’re credible when we campaign for what he’s right about.

      It seems very clear to me, even your valid point about Dems and Indies not stepping up underlines it, by taking a hands-off approach on the HCR bill, Obama made a big mistake.

      His involvement and passion would have energized Dems and Indies to step up. He basically admitted this mistake after seeing how it led to Repubs and Teabaggers energizing their mobs by being vocal and turning the town halls and HC debates into travesties.

      I think it’s very important to acknowledge mistakes so they’re not repeated.

      I want Obama to come out in 2010 fighting hard for his/our agenda and never sitting back on any issue that’s important again, no matter how strategic it may seem at the moment.

  14. FrankenPC says:

    I agree with 99% of this post. I think it’s dead on.

    I disagree with: “And those so-called Progressives who want only to condemn Obama can kiss Rush Limbaugh

    • SueInCa says:

      You are right there. I see it the same way that you do. One thing though, President Obama needs to get tough. He needs to stand up and be counted and get rid of Geitner(LOL) I can live with Rahm, but not Geitner. It is a little known fact that Geitner’s father and Obama’s mother worked together in the macro economics field for countries like Indonesia at the Ford Foundation………………..that makes me nervous.

      “While at the Ford Foundation, Dunham worked with Peter Geithner, father of Tim Geithner (who later became United States Secretary of the Treasury in her son’s administration), to develop the Foundation’s microfinance programs in Indonesia”

    • AdLib says:

      FrankenPC, yes, you’re right on the money on who I was referring to. The Ariannas and Hamshers and on and on, all the talking heads boasting of being Progressive but de facto trying to undermine the only Progressive agenda we’ve had or will have a chance to achieve in a very long time.

      They are media whores who are addicted to seeing their faces and hearing their voices everywhere, to feeling that they are smarter than everyone else and have the power to damage a president.

      They are small minded, egocentric people who should be exposed for who they really are and what they are really doing.

      I will always criticize President Obama, constructively, when I feel he is doing or has done the wrong thing but I would never encourage attacking the one man who can offer the most promise in fixing so much of what’s wrong in this nation.

  15. kesmarn says:

    There’s certainly no doubt that this President has had an uphill battle from day one.

    Forgive me for posting a fairly long quotation from E.J. Dionne’s column of 01/19/10:

    “WASHINGTON--In June,2008, before the financial implosions that would come a few months later, I asked two smart financiers who happened to be Republicans about the future of the seemingly shaky American economy.

    “Defying the moment’s conventional predictions that we would somehow muddle through, one of them offered a dire and uncannily accurate forecast. He explained why banks would blow up, investments would crash, and the federal government would have to spend “at least $300 billion” to bail out financial institutions.

    “The other financial expert listened, took a sip from his drink, and smiled. ‘This,’ he said, ‘would seem like an excellent time for the Democrats to take power.'”

    • Questinia says:

      This was precisely what Naomi Klein described as part two of the “Shock”.

      • kesmarn says:

        Q, could you elaborate a bit on Klein’s idea? I haven’t read much on this. Thanks much.

        • Questinia says:

          I heard her say in an interview that was all planned by the Republicans and the financial sector. That they would drive the system into the ground, hand the mess over to the Democrats, allow discontent too foment, then by appearing favorable to the electorate again, continue their mo.

          This was, in other words, Part II of “Disaster capitalism”, Part II of “the shock”.

          Naomi Klein was predicting this, I believe, even before Obama was elected.

          • nellie says:

            Isn’t it interesting, though, how much Obama bashing Klein has been doing, considering the theory she presented in her book.

            Her hands are not clean in this, either.

            • SueInCa says:

              I am surprised at her as well. I watched a talk she gave at the UCC in Florida and based on what she said there, I was shocked to here her badmouthing Obama like she is now doing. I just do not get it………..

          • kesmarn says:

            Sounds like it could end up being the classic pyrrhic victory.

            Thanks for the clarification, Q.

          • KQuark says:

            Don’t forget two other strategies. Repubs are always bad at running government which fits their self fulfilling prophecies. The twist we now see is big business coconspiring with the GOP to create unsustainable recoveries for them and hinder recoveries for Dems.

    • nellie says:

      Spot on, kesmarn.

      We are being played by experts.

      • kesmarn says:

        Thanks, nellie.

        Obama’s doing an admirable job of trying to play in a seriously rigged game. And, unfortunately, he’s also had a bit of lousy luck thrown in, too.

  16. Chernynkaya says:

    HELL YES, Adlib!!!

    These are exactly my thoughts! We spoke briefly about this during Vox Pop, but I believe that of the several issues Progressives have with Obama, the single most important is bipartisanship. Of course, it is not a policy issue, and if you polled voters hardly anyone would respond that bipartisanship is something that they want changed. But from it stems many of the problems with all the legislation.

    To my mind, bipartisanship is what really galled many progs, Dems and independents who expected change. Again, it’s even more about mood than substance. It made Obama appear weak or even worse, as if he had any points of agreement with he Reptilians-- as if their ideas had merit. And as if their motives were “country first.” We watched that spectacle and wanted to scream at him.

    I am sure all the pundits will be saying that the American people WANT bipartisanship. Well, maybe in the abstract. But not with these Reptilians! This is not the time for truth and reconciliation, especially not without the truth part. People see that the Reptilians are obstructionist and have concluded (unfairly, IMO) that Obama must not really want progress if he puts bipartisanship before policy. How many comments have we read that Obama is the new boss, same as the old boss? He most definitely is not, but by kissing their asses-- and needlessly-- he has contributed to that meme.

    And Harry Reid. Harry needs extreme guidance from the President, and he didn’t get it. Left to his own inclinations, he will always capitulate. He needs to be told what to do.

    • AdLib says:

      Yep, Cher!

      Unplug the bipartisanship efforts from HCR and I think at the very least, the bill would have been completed sooner and the Brown election would have been moot when it came to HCR.

      That’s what I think some are missing, if not for that mistaken approach, even if the same bill was the end result (which may not have been the case), it would’ve been done months earlier and signed by Xmas.

    • jan4insight says:

      Last night I actually a quote from a Mass voter, a Dem even, who said they voted for Brown because they wanted more bipartisanship.

      WTF? Have gone completely mad?

      Btw, I gotta get ready for work folks. Back later. Keep the faith!

  17. AdLib says:

    An FYI on how easy it is to exercise the Nuclear Option to get rid of the filibuster in The Senate:

    The “nuclear option” is an attempt by a majority of the United States Senate to end a filibuster by invoking a point of order to essentially declare the filibuster unconstitutional which can be decided by a simple majority, rather than seeking formal cloture with a supermajority of 60 senators. Although it is not provided for in the formal rules of the Senate, the procedure is the subject of a 1957 parliamentary opinion and has been used on several occasions since.


    • SanityNow says:

      I don’t think the Senate will push that big red button. The filibuster, while certainly prone to abuse and itself the question of constitutionality at times, will still be needed in the future for the protection of the minority from the majority. We don’t want to create unintended and intractable consequences for future generations. Not to mention that the Senate will be loathe to relinquish a power that they now possess just as the current President has so far shown that he will not concede powers taken by the previous President either by direct congressional consent or silent consent of the same body.

      Reconciliation, while laborious, is the perfect solution to the opposite intention of the filibuster, protecting the majority from the minority versus protecting the minority from the majority. Under current Senate rules, a unified minority of 40 senators can thwart the will of the majority, which is exactly what we have now. Reconciliation requires no bi-partisanship and since none exists, this will not be an impediment.

      The Constitution only requires the Senate to achieve a super majority when confirming treaties, expelling members, or amending the Constitution. The Senate can makes its own rules for anything else. Let our 59 Senators use cloture and reconciliation and keep the filibuster rules for later generations. Simply because the malicious minority of today is abusing it at the detriment of the entire country and our lawfully elected President does not mean we need to throw out what could be the only protection a peaceful minority has against a malicious majority. And I think I agree with KQuark in that the Nuclear Option, as far as I can see, has no documented precedent while reconciliation has been used successfully on anything pertaining to budget matters since 1974. Lawyers love precedent. But I would also doubt that the Republicans would bring the issue of constitutionality of the NO since the very same argument could be made about the filibuster. Neither the Nuclear Option or the Filibuster rules are constitutionally iron clad in my opinion.

      Time to get tough with the malicious minority for the good of the majority and get some democracy back in democracy.

      • AdLib says:

        Hey Sanity! Nice to see ya!

        The problem with retaining the filibuster is that it does protect the minority from the majority and it protects the Senate from Democracy and the public from progress.

        Here’s my proposition. In light of the GOP using the filibuster on every bill, when a Repub is back in the WH, the Dems will do the same.

        The Senate has been petrifying as the one house of Congress where nothing good can get done.

        We are at a moment in history where we desperately need a lot done or our nation could be forever handicapped from fully recovering.

        A deadlocked Senate is a threat to our nation.

        And from the flip side, even if the Repubs have the majority in the Senate after a filibuster is nuked, why shouldn’t democracy rule? If the Repubs go nuts, more reason to vote them out…and more power for Dems to reverse bad Repub laws.

        In the end though, I think you are probably right. The Senate probably won’t have the balls to do what needs to be done and get rid of the filibuster.

        If not, the decline of our government into impotency (except when corporations exercise their will) will be accelerated.

        Disagree with you and KQ about the legal aspects of the NO. The rules of the Senate are up to them, not the courts. There is nothing in The Constitution allowing a filibuster and the SCOTUS has no constitutional right to interfere and instruct The Senate on what rules it should follow.

        • SanityNow says:

          I couldn’t agree more. Personally, I think the filibuster has outlived any use it may have had since its inception in 1837. We now have 308 million people in this country and our business is more dire with every passing year. Delaying business may have had less impact when our population was only 17 million back then but now it is simply dangerous to use this tactic especially when the clear majority are being denied the administrative philosophy of government they want by an overtly hostile minority.

          One or two more Supreme Court appointees and I say prove that filibusters are unconstitutional and damage our country’s well being. In fact, it is seditious.

    • KQuark says:

      Thanks for the link.

      I have serious doubts that this procedure could be used for such large pieces of legislation like healthcare reform. There is no precedent from what I can see. More importantly Dems never would use it for healthcare reform for good reasons like Republicans would probably take it to court to determine the constitutionality of the motion on something as big as healthcare. People are tentative about healthcare reform now and this would make it a radioactive issue.

      • SueInCa says:

        I saw on either CNN or MSNBC where the dems put a line in the budget regarding healthcare that would make the measure eligible for a reconcilliation vote. I cannot remember exactly what the line item was, but supposedly it is in there.

      • AdLib says:

        KQ, the thing about the Nuke Option is that it is a process that throws out the use of the filibuster in the Senate forever.

        That’s why it’s called the Nuclear Option, once dropped, the filibuster is history in The Senate from that day forward.

          • AdLib says:

            Yes, fear of being in the minority again and fear of breaking precedent. The Senate makes a big deal about respecting historic practices so it would be a huge breech in decorum to do something like this.

            IMO, it needs to be done out of respect for democracy.

            As I mentioned in my article, this year has “nuked” the possibility of either side being willing to be bipartisan probably for at least a generation.

            That means NOTHING will get done in Congress without 60 votes from now on and we can’t afford that if we want our nation to come back.

            • KQuark says:

              I also think it would absolutely kill the legitimacy of healthcare reform if it’s done this way even people who support it would question the means.

              Maybe just maybe Dems could use it on an appointment but still people would know why they are using it just like as Dems would know why DeLay used it if he actually went that far. Unfortunately looking back we should have let him use it.

            • Kalima says:

              If you want progress, you have to be prepared to take risks. It’s about time that the Dems stood up for what is the right thing for the people and the right thing for the country, can’t go hiding behind skirts for as long as they have the power to help President Obama achieve his campaign promises, his promise of change. Wtf happened to “Yes we can?”

        • KQuark says:

          Yes and that means it would be challenged in the courts. That’s why people never actually use it but threaten it. The main point is it’s beyond a political mess because it creates a constitutional crisis.

          Dems have never said they would use the true nuclear option. I’m guilty of calling budget reconciliation the nuclear option myself sometimes.

          This is a good article about how the right is trying to conflate the two.


          • AdLib says:

            Yes, I saw Fox News has been behind propaganda, trying to brand Reconciliation the Nuclear Option.

            What assholes!

            It would likely be taken to court but historically, the courts don’t usually interfere with issues affecting the conduct of the legislative bodies.

            Ultimately, I would think the courts would turn down the case since the Senate is Constitutionally entitled to decide its own rules.

            • KQuark says:

              Maybe not but if the political will is not there to pass what they want through budget reconciliation it’s definitely not there to change a long standing rule.

              This would be a perfect debate topic. I would even take the con even though I would support a Constitutional Option which is a much more appropriate name.

  18. escribacat says:

    Kalima — Obama’s list of accomplishments, courtesy of HumeSkeptic:
    Stem cell order reversed.
    SCHIP passed and signed into law
    Ledbetter bill passed and signed into law.
    Major Green energy initiatives started.
    EPA rules revised to address Climate Change.
    Executive order signed to protect large areas from drilling.
    Car emission standards revised.
    National Science Foundation funding boosted.
    Stimulus bill passed, and already helping revive the economy.
    Gitmo closing ordered.
    Most CIA secret prisons closed.
    T0rture banned.
    Iraq troop withdrawal ordered.
    Afghanistan approach revised.
    Direct negotiations with Iran on the way.
    Negotiations with Syria in progress.
    Disarmament talks with Russia re-started.
    Travel restrictions lifted and normalization of relations with Cuba on the table.
    Energy/Climate Change legislation passed the House, soon to be passed by Senate.
    Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

    • AdLib says:

      What would be great is to compare this list with Bush’s list.

      We do have to keep in mind though that the problem today needs to be solved with what Obama WILL do in the next three years.

      His SOTU Address could and should be the springboard to launch a renewed activism. I’m looking forward to it.

      • SueInCa says:

        Here are some of the more costly accomplishments for the Shrub
        1) Not preventing 9/11
        2) Going to war with Iraq on trumped up charges of WMD.
        3) Violating the basic rights of Americans
        4) Torturing foreign women and children in his war of terror
        5) Turning the 800 billon dollar surplus budget into a 1.2 trillion dollar budget deficit
        6) Running up the National Debt 89%
        7) Doing nothing about the price of fuel and wall street corruption leading to the economic depression we are now facing.
        8) Cutting the taxes on himself and his rich friends
        9) Breaking the law by giving no-bid contracts to Halliburton to build nonusable buildings in Iraq.
        10) Took 977 vacation days while POTUS.
        11) Allowing CIA doctors to experiment on prisoners
        12) KATRINA

        National Debt increase by president in constant dollars.
        Under Carter: 42%
        Under Reagan: 189%
        Bush Act 1: 55.6%
        Clinton: 36%
        Bush Act 2: 89%

        • SanityNow says:

          lets also not forget that Boosh accomplished his list in two full terms while President Obama accomplished the list above in only 12 months…just sayin’

        • AdLib says:

          Great! I think a side-by-side comparison between Bush and Obama would be very effective.

          We should include this in our ProjectPOV.

          • SueInCa says:

            I have another that is more the official list, he got alot done but it was all against EPA, protections for citizens and our environment, education, and huge deficits

      • Kalima says:

        I’ve posted one below.

    • Kalima says:

      Great escribacat, just what the doctor ordered, thanks a bunch.

    • nellie says:

      Thanks, e’cat. I’d like to copy this for ProjectPOV.

  19. escribacat says:

    As far as I’ve been able to determine, the problems of 2009 mostly emanated from the Senate, not from the White House. I hear a lot of progressives saying that Obama needs to be more like Bush in getting what he wants — but Bush had a blank check after 9-11. Before that, he was a do-nothing, place-holder president. 9-11 gave him a “mandate” that Obama never had. He didn’t get the dems to vote for the Iraq invasion because he’s such a brilliant “persuader.”

    Obama is trying to make massive changes and the expectations have been astronomical — if only because Oprah dubbed him “The One.” She did him no favor when she said that. I don’t see how Obama changing his tactics could change the nature of Baucus, Conrad, Lincoln, and the rest of the conservative senators. They are who they are — unless they’re bought off, apparently, like Nelson. Maybe I’m wrong about that. Maybe senators are blank slates and others can sway them to vote yes instead of no, even though they’ve always voted no. Maybe.

    One of the things I admire most about Obama is that he’s a “gentleman president” instead of a bully. I don’t like bullies and I always cringed whenever I saw Bush doing it — especially overseas. I admired it when he was generous with that asshole, Grassley — even though I would not have been. It impresses me when someone has that capability.

    Having said all that, I’m sure I’ll be clapping the loudest if Obama starts shaking the dust off the cage in the coming months.

    • AdLib says:

      True, The President has no Constitutional control over Congress but they do de facto.

      Presidents are the leaders of their parties and have a lot of levers to pull with Dems in Congress, especially when they are popular.

      We were told that having Rahm as COS would help Obama get his agenda through Congress. Rahm screwed him and all of us. They proceeded with a hands-off approach to HCR. Instead of presenting his plan for health care to Congress, he sat back so his name wouldn’t be on it and hoping it would help him avoid the HillaryCare fate.

      And yet, I heard scores of Senators and Reps along the way calling out for Obama to step in and give direction, focus and momentum to the legislation.

      Obama (and especially Rahm) made a huge mistake with HCR. He concluded that the mistake Hillary made was having ANY involvement in getting HCR passed so he went to great lengths to stay removed from it.

      Let’s not forget how Single Payer was rejected at the outset by Obama and how Rahm and others in the Admin made very clear early on they were willing to toss the Public Option overboard.

      This was a surprisingly poor approach to negotiating. Imagine if you went to a car dealership and started your negotiations by saying that you wouldn’t be expecting much for your trade in and you’d be willing to pay close to sticker price?

      IMO, Obama should have started from a position of Medicare for all/Single Payer and if necessary, negotiate down (via Congress) to Public Option for all.

      I am an Obama supporter but I think to change course from the undesirable place we are now, where need to know which roads not to go down again.

      • LABC63 says:

        I agree with you up to a point. But I do not buy the progressive meme of making Rahm Emmanuel the center of evil. I see this viewpoint being pushed because some progressives are mad because Emmanuel found their sometimes politically tone deaf internet bleatings tiresome. Unfortunately, as HuffPost amply shows daily, his opinion is not without merit. That said, there have been some miscalculations made that need to be revisited and revised by this administration. I look forward to the road ahead.

        Now are you saying that the message from the Mass mess that a single payer or public option should have been the way to go initially? I agree with KQuark that a health plan was as hard as hell to pass. Outside of the progressive sites, I have never really seen the sort of strong resolute public support for a Single Payer or the public option that would make it move forward. You need to negotiate from a position of strength, and maybe the calculations of the White House were, unfortunately, correct. Maybe given a fickle, woefully misinformed public, a feckless legislature, and the self-righteous intrangience of some in the progressive movement, the reality of a single payer system or a public option was never in the cards.

        • AdLib says:

          LABC63, here are just a few of the items that have led me to place a lot of responsibility at Rahm’s feet:

          Announcement of Rahm as COS by Obama:

          I am pleased to announce that my good friend, Congressman Rahm Emanuel, has agreed to serve as my White House chief of staff. I announce this appointment first because the Chief of Staff is central to the ability of a President and Administration to accomplish an agenda. And no one I know is better at getting things done than Rahm Emanuel.

          Emanuel: Obama ‘Open To Alternatives’ To Public Option
          By Brian Beutler -- June 24, 2009, 9:16AM

          Well, some key senators are saying that Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has already reached out to them--and not to express a “strong opinion” about the public option.

          White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel met last night at the U.S. Capitol with Senate Democrats and told them Obama is “open to alternatives” to a new government insurance program in order to get legislation overhauling the health-care system to his desk, said Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota.

          “His message was, it’s critical that you do this,” Conrad said.

          Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus of Montana said Emanuel urged the senators to seek Republican support and didn’t discourage them from pursuing the use of non-profit cooperatives, an idea Conrad has proposed.


          JULY 7, 2009
          White House Open to Deal on Public Health Plan


          WASHINGTON — It is more important that health-care legislation inject stiff competition among insurance plans than it is for Congress to create a pure government-run option, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said.

          “The goal is to have a means and a mechanism to keep the private insurers honest,” he said in an interview. “The goal is non-negotiable; the path is” negotiable.


          White House aides reaffirm public option is not mandatory

          By Ceci Connolly
          Monday, October 19, 2009
          White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, in two television appearances, noted that the public option could provide much-needed competition, but that “it’s not the defining piece of health care.”


          Emanuel Tests Limits of His Persuasion in Health-Care Overhaul

          By Mike Dorning
          Dec. 17 (Bloomberg)

          While President Barack Obama has kept his distance from the legislative maneuvering over health care, his chief of staff has been nudging the process at critical points, corralling powerful interests and coaxing members of Congress, said lobbyists, labor leaders, lawmakers and congressional staff. Kindler and Emanuel declined to comment.

          • LABC63 says:

            I appreciate you taking the time to point this out. Hopefully, this sad event will be a turning point and maybe even Emmanuel can learn something.

            Your reasoned support of Obama is why I showed up here. Thank you for a great article.

        • nellie says:

          I agree w you, LABC. This election was the fault of the DNC. They should have looked at the lineup of primary candidates and made a judgment about their candidates. When Coakley won, they should have been ready to support her candidacy with some babysitting Because she obviously needed it.

          I don’t know that this is a referendum on anything but Coakley’s foot-in-mouth campaigning. But that problem goes directly to the DNC. They should have made her record clear, made Brown’s record clear, gotten out the vote, and held on to that foot of Coakley’s every time it headed toward her head.

          • LABC63 says:

            You said it!! The DNC is not saddled with a buffoon like Steele -- where were they?

            Last night, after it was clear that it was a loss, I had some bourbon, and then played on the Wii. I was so mad that I was hitting virtual balls out of the park and improved my bowling score. It beat watching Chris Matthews blab at bar like he is Johnny Regular…

            • escribacat says:

              LABC, you are a hoot! 😆

            • nellie says:

              At least something good came out of the results! 😆

              I don’t know where the DNC was on this. Sitting back congratulating themselves on destroying the GOP, I bet.

    • KQuark says:

      Bush also did not accomplish anything difficult to pass. Actually Medicare Part B was probably the hardest.

      No child left behind with out funding it, simple.

      Tax cuts in this country, c’mon that always easy to pass.

      Passing a war resolution after 911 was simple now ending wars that’s a tough one.

      Just like passing the Patriot Act when everyone was scared to death.

      When he still had a Republican Congress and tried to pass difficult legislation like privatizing SS and passing immigration reform he failed.

      Passing healthcare reform now that’s hard as hell and the same with, passing regulations and having a serious energy policy enacted. Bush did nothing difficult in eight years and that’s why every problem spilled over for Obama.

  20. nellie says:

    I hope the Senate does get rid of the filibuster. That is probably the one thing most responsible for Brown’s win in MA. Ironically, MA voters just made the problem worse.

    But I have to say, I have never felt so betrayed by the country — the hyper-critical media, the progressive anger, the republican nihilism. I voted for this president hoping that working people would finally get a break with a pro middle class agenda. But these forces have done everything they can to see that agenda go down. I am not happy with my fellow Americans right now.

  21. Kalima says:

    Truthful post AdLib and thank God for the common sense. It might be a good idea to start teaching it in schools. Left to their own devices, common sense just flies over heads and straight into our atmosphere, never to be found again.

  22. nellie says:

    When I look at the record of accomplishments of this president in his first year — a record that is unprecedented — I have a hard time seeing this anniversary as the mark of failure.

    • AdLib says:

      There are many substantial accomplishments by Obama in his first year but most were in his first 6 months. He put much on hold while trying to pass HCR and I think this is proving now to have been a mistake.

      Also, we need to look at where this year has led him to. Record low in approval ratings, a Repub elected in MA taking away the 60 vote filibuster-buster in The Senate, huge compromises on HCR and a base that is in conflict with itself.

      This is not where any of us would have hoped he or we would be so I can’t call that a success, despite all his achievements.

      In order to change course, one must concede that the path taken in 2009 was not the ideal path. Doing so doesn’t diss him for his accomplishments, it just hopefully tries to pave the way for much more of them going forward.

      • KQuark says:

        Umm… Congress with him got healthcare passed through two chambers of Congress and even though you don’t like it he changed the mission in Afghanistan.

        Therein lies the problem you don’t accept what he accomplished because you don’t agree with it.

        He is going to have to make adjustments especially now but the adjustment you elude to began a while back. The biggest thing he needs to do is keep on going with his populist efforts like taxing bailouts and passing healthcare some way.

        Again he’s compromising with his own party, not Republicans which is far different. The nuclear option does not fit major policy changes. It just does not. Bush got his most substantial legislation with 60 votes, education, Medicare Part B, Iraq War. Taxes cuts are budgetary in nature and they are up this year which only shows you how limited budget reconciliation is.

        • AdLib says:

          My POV is that MA wouldn’t have elected a Teabagger Repub in Ted Kennedy’s seat if the majority out there is seeing Obama the way you describe.

          That doesn’t mean they are right, it just means that’s their perception.

          And that’s the issue here, we can agree about Obama’s accomplishments but if many voters “feel” that Obama and government isn’t working for them successfully, that’s their reality.

          That’s why my focus is in moving forward with a new and bold agenda instead of listing previous accomplishments to people whose minds are unlikely to be changed by that.

          • nellie says:

            The point of listing past accomplishments is not to change minds. It’s to show how this administration’s achievements have been ignored.

            And they will CONTINUE to be ignored.

            That is the point of the list.

          • choicelady says:

            I am not sure at all that this MA election was about Obama since last night on MSNBC one analyst said that 51 percent of those who’d supported Obama would do so again but many were voting for Brown against Coakley. Coakley is the issue in MA, not Obama. I was horrified to learn she’d taken a 3-week vacation with no campaigning when she had a 20-point lead and said she saw no reason at any point in the campaign to “shake hands outside Fenway in the cold.” That is sheer arrogance and a contempt for voters that -- were stakes not so high -- probably means she deserved to lose. I put this on her, on people’s accurate perceptions of her disintrest in them, and of a serious demand by voters that they be valued.

            • nellie says:

              The only thing I would take issue w/ CL, is the idea that Coakley is disinterested in the welfare of the citizens. I listened yesterday to a recounting of her record, and it’s nothing short of spectacular. She did so much good for the people of MA as AG. But as a candidate, she was terrible. She practically threw the race to Brown.

              It’s hard to understand.

              I’ve been wondering if she might have been drafted to run when she really didn’t want the job. Perhaps she didn’t even want to win the primary.

            • kesmarn says:

              c’lady, I had the same impression. As I posted last night, it seems Coakley is no politician, however bright she may be. I watched her concession speech (the first time I had actually seen her speak…my fault for not having been paying closer attention) and it was utterly baffling. She seemed completely disconnected. Referred to her campaign workers as her “dysfunctional family,” then instructed them to “give themselves a big hand” in her best third grade teacher-voice. She said that her dogs were glad she lost because now she could spend more time with them. Said: “Arriving at a destination is less important than travelling happily” or something of the like. WTF? We need someone who wants to arrive at the destination! Destination Healthcare. Destination Jobs. She almost managed to convey a whew-thank-heavens-that-untidy-business-is-over-with-and-I-can-get-back-to-my-Martha-Stewart-life impression.

              Don’t get me wrong. If I lived in MA, I would have held my nose and voted for her for the greater good. But winsome she ain’t.

            • nellie says:

              I think the MA election was about Coakley’s dumb campaign blunders and the DNC’s inability to rein in a bumbling candidate — whose gaffes far exceeded anything Joe Biden could have ever said.

              At her first gaffe, the DNC should have stepped in and given Coakley the Sarah Palin treatment. She obviously needed it.

          • KQuark says:

            We agree on the path forward.

            Most indications Brown won because he ran a great campaign, Coakley ran a worse campaign than Hillary and the country is generally unhappy with all government. Their unhappiness with State government plays into this as well.

            I don’t buy the it’s only a referendum on Obama stuff because if the Dems had a good candidate that would not have mattered much. I more fall into the Nate Silver thinking that it’s multiple factors even synergistic factors that cause a defeat this big.

            Per usual Nate Silver has a sober assessment of the situation.


      • nellie says:

        After a year of constant attack from all sides, and no reporting at all on the positive things this administration has accomplished and how those changes affected real people — I’m not surprised we are where we are.

        I feel completely betrayed. This president hasn’t been given any kind of chance at all. Or any recognition for what he has done.

        • Marion says:

          This is why I’m totally giving up. Seriously. Besides having been told by at least 3 other people elsewhere that I don’t know what I’m talking about and can’t possibly know because I don’t live in the country (never mind, I still have a passport, vote, pay taxes and have land in the US), that I have no right to talk about things going on in my own country and should be grateful I live in the UK. Like I’m a second-class citizen now. Three separate occasions, people have told me that.

          I really felt a connection again with the US, even though I’m back there each year, when Obama won. Now, it’s like I’m being excluded by people in my own party. After more than 20 years living in the UK with my British husband, I’m seriously thinking about becoming British. I’m entitled to dual citizenship, but I’ll send my US passport back with explicit instructions to shove it up their collective asses. The media, the Progressives et al have just ruined this for me.

          At least, being British, I can assume their standard attitude of ‘I’m all right, Jack; fuck you.’

    • KQuark says:

      Yes when following your biggest campaign promise is the biggest mistake it’s hard to see his first year as a failure. I guess Obama just thought the voters were more truthful about what they wanted. I’ve seen Obama’s presidency as going down a checklist in order of priorities. First reach across the aisle in a sincere way. Check. Second fix the financial sector and get the economy going. Check Third pass the legislation Dems had started that Bush vetoed. Check. Fourth restore rule of law and definitely end the war in Iraq. Check Fifth set the new mission in Afghanistan. Check Sixth get healthcare passed. In the works. Well you get my point.

      It’s like the voters especially progressive and moderate voters expected that he would not prioritize what he said he was going to prioritize. Like I said before the only true disappointment I have with Obama is progress towards ending DADT and DOMA. Besides that he has gone down each campaign promise one by one.

      I look at this like going into the second half like the way Obama reset healthcare after the August recess. There are many adjustments that he will have to make but his overall agenda has not changed and should not change.

    • Kalima says:

      I really couldn’t agree more nellie. Saying out loud that he has done nothing is either insanity or an outright bloody lie. Not finding a list on Google yesterday, is just disgusting and I used your article from September the 6th to show that they are off their rockers on this. The list must be so much longer by now.

  23. KQuark says:

    Overall a very good analysis the only problem I have with it is that after teabagging August President Obama did give up bipartisanship. The problems since then have all been with the conservatives in the Democratic caucus.

    The fact is if the Senate did not pass a healthcare bill with the 60 votes they once had they would be in a much worse position now. Now at least they can pass the body of healthcare reform and pass smaller bills through budget reconciliation. There never was a way for the Dems to pass most legislation through budget reconciliation. Three of the biggest House contentions the Cadillac healthcare tax, some Medicare fixes and the limited subsidies can be handled most easily through budget reconciliation. Things that require legislation like reviving the public option are almost impossible. But again it depends what the Congress has the stomach for because they are the ones going out on the proverbial limb and how much each chamber trust each other.

    I can easily see most congressional Democrats rationalizing this defeat as a mandate against big changes and they will scurry toward the middle like they did in 1994.

    It still amazes me through all this how people over emphasize the power the president has over Congress. Huffy has already started it’s all Obama’s fault meme after the Mass. defeat. If the president had power over congress Harry S. Truman, Nixon or Clinton would have passed healthcare reform. Bush would have passed immigration reform and privatized Social Security when the Republicans controlled congress.

    I think the presidential restart has already begun with his more populist focus of late and like you said all presidents make mistakes, usually worse their first year and the point is learning from them.

    • AdLib says:

      Though Pres. Obama did declare he would move forward with or without the Repubs, as you say, he and the Senate were still accommodating Lieberman and Nelson who are virtual Republicans anyway.

      As you say, according to The Constitution, The President does not control Congress…but the Bush Presidency did anyway.

      Congress can be dominated by a strong presidency, recent history proves this (Reagan and Bush dominated Congress and got nearly everything they wanted).

      I don’t know that it will work but the case can be made to the Dems in the House that as incumbents and the anger there is out there towards incumbents, just sitting on their hands is no recipe for getting re-elected. The dynamics need to change, people need to feel the government is working for them.

      Obama has the power to rally that kind of enthusiasm, I think it is possible to make the case that activism is the only way out of this mess.

      And as for HuffPoop, what else did we expect? Their goals have nothing to do with Obama succeeding as president and Americans being helped.

      They are due a huge comeuppance.

      • KQuark says:

        Adlib you are making my point the are in the Dem caucus. They NEEDED 60 votes to pass healthcare reform. You cannot pass major legislation through budget reconciliation.

        What major legislation did Bush pass that was not easy to pass?

        What did Reagan pass major besides military budget and tax bills?

        Disassembling government is easy because you just can defund it.

        We have not seen anyone pass big legislation since LBJ.

        The political world is quite different from the days of LBJ.

        I agree people need to see government working for them, unless it’s a Repub president of course, and that’s why healthcare reform must be passed.

        • AdLib says:

          Passing the new Bankruptcy laws was huge and continuing No Child even once it was known to harm schools by not being funded was big.

          And voting to invade Iraq wasn’t too small. Dems were opposed to that until Bush put on the dog and pony show and flooded the airwaves with propoganda.

          The Dems conceded because the vote was scheduled just before the election and their flawed thinking was, vote for it and take away voting “no” as a campaign issue they could be slammed with.

          Much as I hate to say it, that was effective strategy, something that has been missing big time from the HCR process.

          • KQuark says:

            Both Dems and Repubs were behind education reform when they don’t really have to pay for it. That is one of the pieces of legislation that Bush passed where I support most of what it was trying to do. They mostly never funded it properly.

            Biden was a co-sponsor of bankruptcy law and it still was not a huge bill.

            Nothing comes close to a law affecting 1/6th of the economy.

            Granted Medicare Part B was big but again that had big support from Dems again for some good reasons.

            Iraq was not a heavy lift at all with a scared nation you just throw up some alerts and mention mushroom clouds and scare them more.

            • AdLib says:

              No Child has severely damaged school systems and drained irreplaceable money from them. Passing tests was focused on at the expense of kids being given a full and rounded education.

              Ask folks today how huge the Bankruptcy bill was, it was indeed huge and the impact has been massive. And Biden co-sponsored it because he’s from DE where many banks are based.

              While you’re correct about 1/6 of the economy in play, that is irrelevant to most people’s concerns or interest in it. This issue is as important to many as the Medicare B and Iraq War bills.

              And as for the Iraq War bill, the fear you refer too was trumped up by Bush as President. At the same time, there were massive protests against the bill, more than I’ve seen for or against HCR, though the MSM wouldn’t cover the protests.

            • KQuark says:

              I think standardized testing by itself was not the total answer and underfunding it was a huge mistake. Most of the best educational systems around the world use all kinds of standardized tests. But they use it mainly for placing students. The real problem is the narrow curriculum required for standardized tests so what happened was they just focused on math and reading when most main subjects should have standards as well.

              Also the way the tests results penalized schools was ridiculous. I’ve seen the horrible practice of decertifing schools in my area and it’s the opposite of what they should do.

              Looking at SAT scores you can say it helped maths scores but verbal and reading scores have not budged.

  24. moongal6 says:

    Adlib, I Thank you with all my respect for this most perfect post. You said everything I was ranting on about tonight, and you said it succinctly. I can only hope that all this comes to pass. The expression, “bully pulpit” comes to mind. I am so tired of President Obama reaching out to the R’s and the Blue dogs, only to be turned away. It is discouraging at best. Your post has inspired me tonight, and I again am feeling hopeful and looking forward to the SOTU address.

    • AdLib says:

      Cheers Moongal!

      The bully pulpit is now required, indeed. I can understand Obama having a concern when he first became president that being too “radical” would panic some people (extremists). As we saw, they screamed that the end of the world was coming when he was moderate so there is nothing to lose now.

      I’m so pleased that you’re feeling hopeful. This is just one year, three more are coming and so much can be accomplished. That’s why we can be our own best allies or our own worst enemies depending on whether we focus on accomplishing what this nation needs or attacking the one President that could make much of it happen.

      Get in the game or bathe in blame, those are the choices I see.

      • moongal6 says:

        I have not, nor will I ever give up on President Obama. I worked too hard at my Democratic HQ, to help get him where he is supposed to be. I still believe him to be the most brilliant of strategists. I had lost hope lately,(the Republicans can be so oppressive), and your post revived my spirit. I agree, that many things have been accomplished, in spite of the opposition, and I know that many great things are in store for America.

  25. whatsthatsound says:

    Wonderful post, Adlib! I’m your dittohead!

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