The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


The Rundown

On Obama's Big Day, Advice Abounds

By Ben Pershing
Is the 233rd day of Barack Obama's presidency the most important one yet?

Given that he is less than a quarter of the way through his first term, Obama has had quite a few big moments already -- the economic stimulus bill, foreign speeches and summits, the auto bailout and more. But tonight's address to Congress represents the most crucial hour yet in Obama's fight for his signature legislative initiative. The Los Angeles Times dubs this "a crucial moment" that could allow Obama "to reassert his grip on a political apparatus that soon will determine whether his agenda succeeds or fails." The Boston Globe says tonight's speech is one "the president and his advisers see as crucial to regaining influence over a debate that in recent weeks has been defined largely by the president's critics." And Politico writes that "one of the main pillars of Obama's reputation -- that his gift for healing words would combine with the power of his biography to transcend the rancor of modern politics -- has never looked more wobbly."

Most analyses agree that there are two paramount questions about tonight's speech: What will Obama say about the public option? And what tone will he strike toward Republicans -- conciliatory or defiant? Maureen Dowd calls on Obama to adopt a feistier tone: "He can live long and prosper by being less Spocky and more Rocky." Steven Pearlstein offers advice not echoed by many others, that Obama can succeed tonight "not only by laying down the moral and economic imperative of health-care reform but by coming clean on some of the tradeoffs that will be necessary in achieving it." Is now the time to call for real sacrifice? Roll Call notes how much has changed since Obama addressed Congress Feb. 24, when the new president, "his popularity high and his followers feverishly enthusiastic -- was free to offer soaring rhetoric and lay out general goals and expectations for the coming year."

Continue reading at Political Browser »

Posted at 8:20 AM ET on Sep 9, 2009  | Category:  The Rundown
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As an outside (Canadian) observer and friend, I feel sadly dissillusioned. With so many challenges on the plate, a huge amount of energy has been wasted on trash debate over contrived issues. Birhers , deathers, the notion that your president would attempt mind control over your children in public, on and many ways can a nation figure out for self destruction? This is collective suicide. Your enemies don't need guns and bombs any more. They are sitting back and watching the senseless gyrations and saving energy while the USA demonstrates many of their claims. I'm even skeptical that you can pull out of the nosedive when the minority is pushing the "stick" forward ever day with another round of nonsense.

Posted by: hercster44 | September 9, 2009 12:08 PM

Is Obama's speech to the joint session of Congress a 'game changer'?


Posted by: usadblake | September 9, 2009 11:14 AM


Access to health care doesn't help untold thousands of unjustly targeted Americans recover from the devastating physiological effects of being silently irradiated by microwave and laser radiation "directed energy weapons"...

...the weaponization of the electromagnetic spectrum, a silent "final solution" that may have the nation's political leadership in its ideological cross-hairs.

This technology is capable of altering moods, emotions, inducing fatigue, weakness, exhaustion, confusion, life-altering injury, disease and a slow-kill death.

And key elements of the Obama administration -- chief among them the defense/security/intel establishment -- are proliferating these technologies by various modalities -- from hand-held weaponry to satellite and terrestrial cell tower based delivery systems.

American citizens and families targeted by this covert torture matrix also are subject to financial sabotage that decimates their livelihoods and financial resources...

...and relentless "community stalking" -- harassment, surreptitious home entries and vandalism by government-enabled vigilantes affiliated with federally-funded community policing and anti-terrorism organizations.

Warrantless, covert placement of GPS tracking devices and misuse of cell phone technology to hunt down the unjustly targeted enables this grassroots terrorism.

But the Obama administration continues to allow these warrantless intrusions into the lives of unjustly targeted American families.

By its naivete -- its unquestioning rubber-stamp approval of the deployment of these destructive technologies and programs -- the Obama administration is presiding over the destruction of democracy, the rule of law, and personal liberty.

The bureaucratic saboteurs and Dr. Strangeloves behind these multi-agency crimes against humanity and the Constitution must be removed from power, immediately, before this silent genocide claims more victims -- endangering the Obama presidency while making a mockery of the rule of law.

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled): RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | September 9, 2009 9:41 AM

Obama may be talking directly to Congress, but he must be careful to include the specifics and message that the public wants - and needs - to hear regarding reform.

Posted by: parkerfl1 | September 9, 2009 9:19 AM

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