The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


The Rundown

Is America 'in a funk'?

By Ben Pershing
The unemployment rate remains over 10 percent, the way forward in Afghanistan is uncertain and the attack at Fort Hood last week provided a fresh reminder of both the toll of war and the potential threat of homegrown extremism. In that gloomy context, it's worth asking: Is the U.S. depressed?

"The euphoria of 2008 is over: America is in a funk," the Associated Press writes as the lede to its story on the latest AP-GfK poll, which found: "People were more pessimistic about the direction of the country than in October. They disapproved of Obama's handling of the economy a bit more than before. And, perhaps most striking for this novice commander in chief, more people have lost confidence in Obama on Iraq and Afghanistan over the last month. Overall, there's a malaise about the state of the nation." AP's results track those of other surveys. On the overall direction of the country, has the average "wrong track" response ticking up to 55 percent in recent weeks, while Obama's average job approval has gradually slid down to the 50 percent mark.

If at least some of that decline is driven by Afghanistan, can Obama halt the slide by making -- and selling -- a firm decision on the way forward in that war? Obama meets Wednesday with his top advisers to hone in on a decision, and the Wall Street Journal writes he "will consider a new compromise plan for adding troops to Afghanistan that would deploy 30,000 to 35,000 new forces, including as many as 10,000 military trainers, over the next year or more. ... A senior military official said this hybrid option is now drawing the most attention at the Pentagon." But the New York Times reports that while Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates and Mike Mullen "are coalescing around a proposal to send 30,000 or more additional American troops to Afghanistan ... Obama remains unsatisfied with answers he has gotten about how vigorously the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan would help execute a new strategy." The Hill writes, "Republican Senate leaders blasted reports ... that Obama is leaning toward recommending slightly fewer than the 40,000 troops said to be requested by Gen. Stanley McChrystal," while "Democrats pointed to Obama's careful deliberation, saying they sense the decision is well-researched."

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Posted at 8:28 AM ET on Nov 11, 2009  | Category:  The Rundown
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This is a war.
The enemy's rules are to die or win.
From Washington, 'we want to become friends', while the behavior is relocated here.
The country is beginning to see Washington as the enemy.

Posted by: RayOne | November 11, 2009 4:22 PM

Yes, Americans are disheartened, despondent, and disappointed. We have had bills shoved hurriedly shoved under the table without being read under the premise, "hurry, hurry, the sky is falling, the sky is falling". We have seen the costs vs. effect and the taxpayer is not happy. Unemployment was not aided, but graft and corruption benefitted enormously.

We witnessed our very health care future almost shoved through the very same way,(Chicken Little), as the bailouts and stimulus pkg.; however, the usually silent John/Jane Q. stood up and vehmently voiced an opinion. For this we witnessed main street americans being labeled, treated with scorn by elected leaders- "public servants". Then our fellow americans took this as an example and the name calling and division escalated.

People petitioned, called, e-mailed, and marched on the capitol. They do not feel their opinion matters.No, we are not happy. But Americans are not quitters, label us whatever you will, we will not be silenced, we will not stay down "in our place".

Posted by: inmanorj | November 11, 2009 3:41 PM

Enlightened military of the second world war with the imperial air force of Japan, were the Kamikaze pilots.
Congress should look at itself, we are looking now.

Posted by: RayOne | November 11, 2009 1:42 PM

He is a 'believer', he may be pure of heart. Those around him are rouges, liars, and thieves. All of his life he has been 'played' by players. He wants his friends to 'game' the system, and then go home happy. Like the doctor will recover and learn. A person cannot heal someone that loves being sick.
If the prisoners in New York State are released to work for non-profit organizations are not problem enough. Someone now in power said that the internal military should be as well armed those who face enemies abroad. And, will they report to Czars or who.
NY23 was the shot across the bow of big Washington planning.

Posted by: RayOne | November 11, 2009 12:47 PM

Talk about unrealistic expectations! Yes the country possibly is in a funk.. but it certaintly did not begin January 20, 2009.
After any real illness medicine must be applied... and that medicine takes time to work.
Collectively we are all suffering. But where is the idealism of Americans? I pray and trust for a new day, at this juncture we have a chance for that. Nine months into the game with all he inherited, the president remains the light in the tunnel.

Posted by: Victoria5 | November 11, 2009 12:27 PM

After eight years of extreme and reckless binging, the hang over is bound to be hell.

What's pathetic is watching the groaning, bleary-eyed drunkards yelling at the one sober guy cleaning up the mess they left because he's making too much noise.

Posted by: nodebris | November 11, 2009 10:30 AM

Yes, America is still in a funk from eight years of George Bush and GOP rule in Washington...

Posted by: parkerfl1 | November 11, 2009 9:36 AM

With three of the worst politicians in the history of the country running things, Obama, Pelosi, and Reid, it is no wonder that the country is in a funk. The majority of the working citizens in this nation are now beginning to see the real Obama and they do not like what they see and hear. Pelosi and Reid will be gone after November 2010.

Posted by: walterndebby | November 11, 2009 9:28 AM

I am awaiting the word from President Obama and the Democrats in-charge of the House and Senate on how they intend to address the deficit and the sky-rocketing national debt.

Their stimulas bill, which was going to keep unemployment under 8% with shovel ready jobs is a failure!

I am fearful that they will fail again when they try to address the deficit.

It appears that only know how to spend money but have not a clue on how to reduce the deficit.

Posted by: mwhoke | November 11, 2009 9:07 AM

ATTN. SENATOR LIEBERMAN (Staff, please forward):
Was the Fort Hood Shooter a Target of THIS -- And Did It Lead Him to Violence?


* Thousands of Americans, deemed to be "dissidents" or undesirables, targeted by Bush legacy program for debilitating microwave/laser assault, held hostage in their own homes to fed-supported vigilante "community policing" stalking units, equipped with warrantless GPS devices, who vandalize and terrorize as local police look the other way.

* "Directed energy weapons," portable units and a nationwide installation employing cell towers and satellites, induce weakness, exhaustion, head and body aches, physical and neurological impairment, strokes, aneurysms, cancer -- and many victims do not realize what is making them sick.

* Regional Homeland Security- administered "fusion centers" reportedly serve as command centers for covert electromagnetic radiation attacks, pervasive surveillance, financial sabotage of those identified as "dissidents," "trouble-makers" or slandered as threats to society.

* Use of microwave weaponry to torture and impair political opponents recently confirmed by deposed Honduras President Manuel Zelaya.

* Pleas for justice, to local police and FBI, go unanswered -- as do demands for a Department of Justice Civil Rights Division investigation and congressional hearings.

"These are crimes against humanity and the Constitution, being perpetrated under the cover of national security and 'safe streets' by multiple federal and local agencies and commands -- an American genocide hiding in plain sight, enabled by the naivete of those who think 'it can't happen here.'" -- Victor Livingston, former reporter for WTXF-TV Philadelphia, Phila. Bulletin, N.Y. Daily News, St. Petersburg Times; producer/host, MSG Network Sports Business Report; columnist,


Posted by: scrivener50 | November 11, 2009 8:49 AM

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