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Posted at 8:54 AM ET, 01/26/2011

Obama seized control of debate over government

By Greg Sargent

That, I think, is the primary takeaway from Obama's State of the Union speech: After an electoral loss that Republicans are casting as a mandate to severely downsize government, Obama's number one goal was to seize control of the debate over government's proper role and recast it on his own terms, in advance of the big policy fights that will animate that debate for the next two years.

The budget freeze proposal, while potentially problematic in policy terms, seemed primarily designed to carve out the rhetorical breathing room he needed to accomplish the speech's larger goal. With this nod towards fiscal discipline, Obama endeavored to undermine the GOP's chosen frame by moving beyond the argument over "big" versus "small" government, as E.J. Dionne puts it. He replaced that with his own preferred framing, making an unabashed case for smart government "investment" in our future as an agent for national progress and pride.

Critically, with the nation in the grip of anxiety about the economy and America's future, Obama seized the mantle of optimism and even that of American exceptionalism. He attached both to his argument in favor of government's robust role in moving the economy forward and helping chart our future. This implicitly cast foes of this vision in the role of pessimists about what we can accomplish with collective action -- as a nation. Obama tried to recast the sensible center as a place where a renewed focus on fiscal discipline can comfortably coexist with government's safety-net role as a defender of the American people -- he strongly defended the health law in these terms -- and with an abiding faith in government's legitimate role in helping guide the nation forward.

Of course, there's still that niggling problem of unemployment, which will outlast the glow of Obama's speech. And he was vague on some of the hot button issues, such as Social Security, where this argument will play out. We don't know how he intends to resolve the contradiction between a budget freeze and more promised spending. So while he may have accomplished his short term political goal -- building on the bipartisan lame-duck successes and Tuscon speech in order to retake control of the post-election debate -- the real hard work is yet to come.

**************************************************************

The Morning Plum:

* Yes, Obama redefined the center: A CNN snap poll last night found that 71 percent of watchers said his speech was "about right," with only 23 percent saying it was "too liberal," and 61 percent say he'll increase cooperation between the parties, though in fairness the audience did tilt Dem.

* Obama's optimism reassured swing voters: A Democracy Corps focus group finds that Obama's economic vision inspired confidence in just the type of voter he needs to win back.

* Obama and our "Sputnik moment": Relatedly, Fred Kaplan digs into the history and explains that Obama's reference was all about legitimizing government spending in a nationalist context.

* Smoking out the GOP? Mike Allen talks to White House advisers and learns that one of the speech's key goals was to throw specific policy goals on the table -- such as overhauling the corporate tax code -- in order to force Republicans to reveal what they can support.

* Obama on offense? Dan Balz on how Obama's speech was anything but defensive about his vision.

* CNN revels in Bachmann-alia: CNN political director Sam Feist digs in and defends CNN's news judgment, telling Keach Hagey he just doesn't understand why any of the other networks didn't carry her speech.

* Dems revel in Bachmann-alia: The DNC agrees with CNN! In its press releases last night, Dems gleefully described her speech as the "2nd official Republican response to the President's State of the Union."

* Fact-checkers revel in Bachmann-alia: Perhaps the only noteworthy thing about her response was that she again gave voice to that ridiculous falsehood about "Obamacare" (a word she used and Paul Ryan didn't) leading to 16,500 new IRS "agents."

* Tweet of the day: From GOP Rep. Paul Broun:

"Mr. President, you don't believe in the Constitution. You believe in socialism."

* And scaled-down filibuster reform package inches forward: As noted here yesterday, Dem and GOP leaders have agreed to scuttle the "Constitutional option," and now it appears that the more modest group of reforms will have the support of the left and may well become law.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | January 26, 2011; 8:54 AM ET
Categories:  Health reform, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Tea Party, deficit, economy  
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Next: GOPers softening tone in wake of SOTU?

Comments

[Obama "strongly defended the health law"]

Meanwhile, in the real world...
http://chicagobreakingbusiness.com/2011/01/abbott-4q-profit-dips-on-restructuring-acquisitions.html

BOSTON: Abbott Laboratories said early Wednesday that it plans to eliminate 1,900 jobs, or about 2% of its workforce. The company employs around 90,000 worldwide... Abbott attributed the restructuring to "changes in the healthcare industry, including healthcare reform and the challenging regulatory environment."

*jobs*jobs*jobs*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 26, 2011 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Sorry for a repost of this...but if the R's are going to keep pounding home that we're on the Eve of Destruction (sorry Barry McGuire) re the deficit.

The position held my virtually all respected economists is that the deficit is a problem, as the President said, but it's not unmanageable and it's not a CRISIS.

No the sky is not falling!

http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/columns/keep-large-debt-numbers-in-context/1146801

The debt of the United States is currently $14 trillion and is rising fast. Congressional Budget Office projections show it climbing to roughly $70 trillion in the next 75 years. • Numbers this large tend to boggle the mind. Such numbers lower our nation's sense of financial security, increase anxiety and, especially for future taxpayers, foster insecurity. • At a time when the United States is borrowing ever more money to repair our nation's infrastructure, buy oil, improve math and science education, and fight joblessness, should anxiety over America's debt prevent us from additional borrowing to modernize the country? Before answering that question, it is important to realize that such numbers — while accurate — are only part of the story. Such numbers play well in a sound bite, but the sound bite is missing some critically important contextual information.

The debt capacity of a government, just as for a corporation or an individual, requires reference to the earning power from which that debt will be repaid.

The projected $70 trillion debt referenced above is accumulated over the next 75 years.

But how does it compare to the nation's ability to pay? That is, what proportion is $70 trillion to the 75-year national income?

At a "pessimistic" economic growth rate of zero percent, the gross domestic product will total $1.05 quadrillion over the next 75 years; at an "average" 2 percent rate, the GDP will total $2.46 quadrillion; and, at an "optimistic" 3 percent rate, the GDP will total $3.95 quadrillion.

Comparing $70 trillion to these three numbers, we see that debt as a percent of the GDP varies from 7 percent at zero economic growth to 2.84 percent at 2 percent growth and to slightly more than 1.77 percent at 3 percent growth. Such computation demonstrates that while the projected $70 trillion debt figure represents an important problem, it is also a problem that is quite manageable. Sure, let's get better control over the national budget, but there is no need to panic or take sudden actions with Social Security, or continue the neglect of our roads and rail networks.

Omitting information is misleading"

Oh no..say it ain't so...the R's..party of Gov't takeover...death panels..killing granny..job killing...are misleading. Ole Blue Eyes Chicken Little Ryan was only telling part of the story in a deliberate attempt to frighten and mislead the American Public...not the R's..when have they ever done that..it's so unlike them.
LMAO.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 26, 2011 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Another notable Bachmann lie: the chart which she claimed showed the deficit going off the rails as soon as Obama took office had the year 2009 colored in as if it was Obama's budget. It wasn't. 2009 was Bush's last budget.

Also, what was up with her never once looking at the camera? For folks who do so much whining about teleprompters, what an embarrassing performance. Perhaps the director told her that looking off to the side helped to hide the crazy in her eyes.

Posted by: JennOfArk | January 26, 2011 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Obama is a shameless master of deceit...

[Greg smirked: "Fact-checkers revel"]

FACT CHECK: Obama and his imbalanced ledger
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_STATE_OF_UNION_FACT_CHECK?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-01-25-21-56-10

OBAMA: "I'm willing to look at other ideas to bring down costs, including one that Republicans suggested last year: medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits."

THE FACTS: Republicans may be forgiven if this offer makes them feel like Charlie Brown running up to kick the football, only to have it pulled away, again.

Obama has expressed openness before to this prominent Republican proposal, but it has not come to much. It was one of several GOP ideas that were dropped or diminished in the health care law after Obama endorsed them in a televised bipartisan meeting at the height of the debate.

Republicans want federal action to limit jury awards in medical malpractice cases; what Obama appears to be offering, by supporting state efforts, falls short of that. The president has said he agrees that fear of being sued leads to unnecessary tests and procedures that drive up health care costs. So far the administration has provided grants to test ideas aimed at reducing medical mistakes and resolving malpractice cases by negotiation, but has recommended no change in federal law.

Trial lawyers, major political donors to Democratic candidates, are strongly opposed to caps on jury awards. But the administration has been reluctant to support other approaches, such as the creation of specialized courts where expert judges, not juries, would decide malpractice cases. In October 2009 the Congressional Budget Office estimated that government health care programs could save $41 billion over 10 years if nationwide limits on jury awards for pain and suffering and other similar curbs were enacted.

*paging John Edwards*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 26, 2011 9:12 AM | Report abuse

The debate over the government was SETTLED LAST NOVEMBER


WHO would have thought that only 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Russia would be dealing with run-away Capitalists and the United States would be STRUGGLING TO REMOVE SOCIALISTS FROM OUR GOVERNMENT


However that is the case.


PATRIOTS DEFEND AMERICA -


forget these silly discussions


ACT NOW TO DEFEND AMERICA FROM SOCIALISTS


AMERICANS ACT NOW

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 26, 2011 9:12 AM | Report abuse

@Greg - paragraph one above is very bright. I hadn't framed it that way in my thinking but I should have. Thank you.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 26, 2011 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Simply must paste in this first graph from Yglesias at 10:20 last night...

"As I understand it, gay soldiers will win the future by riding high speed trains to salmon farms."

Posted by: bernielatham | January 26, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

[JennOfArk LIED: "2009 was Bush's last budget."]

WRONG. The 2007-2010 Porkulous bills were all Pelosi-Obama-Reid (POR) Congress monstrosities.

Own it, progressives.

*purse power*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 26, 2011 9:25 AM | Report abuse

The democrats are at such a disadvantage here.

The way this whole thing has developed has really hurt Obama.

With Clinton, he was able to get out of the health care debate and move on. In this situation, the nation has a sense of UNFINISHED BUSINESS, which is sure to hurt Obama.


The cycles of the Senate are sure to at least to appear to give the democrats widespread losses in 2012.


Obama is going to lose. This is all whining that the nation has REJECTED liberalism. Well, in 2008 the nation NEVER supported liberalism, or Obama's bait-and-switch socialism.


Note to Rep Cohn that is the proper historical story - the way Hiter seized power and consolidated his power was bait-and-switch.

The country has REJECTED liberalism and socialism. Time to go Obama - no more of this garbage.

On top of this, Obama STILL can not be trusted. Give him a few votes, he will run around wild claiming a victory and try to push through the closest thing to communism he can.

Seriously folks, this dude has to go.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 26, 2011 9:28 AM | Report abuse

[bernielatham: "As I understand it, gay soldiers will win the future by riding high speed trains to salmon farms."]

Weren't they also promised free rides on the handlebars of Barry's bike to Whole Foods?

*Barack Obama Is Your New Bicycle: 366 Ways He Really Cares*
http://www.amazon.com/Barack-Obama-Your-New-Bicycle/dp/1592404162

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 26, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

If you attend to Tomasky's blog at The Guardian this morning, you'll see this interesting typo/slip/snark...

"On the absence of gun talk: Christ Matthews said before the speech..."

Posted by: bernielatham | January 26, 2011 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I really think the contrast last night was more enlightening than we have seen in awhile. Two visions of America and pretty clear ways differentiating the path to realize each vision. I though Jeffrey Feldman summed it up pretty well. While there were lots of issues and debates left unclear, I was happy to see the President's vision still matches mine for the most part.

""For President Obama, a future brought on by investments education, innovation and infrastructure, would be faster, smarter, and more convenient. We would go to work on high speed rail, our children would be the best at science and math, and America would be the leader in the key industries driving the world economy: new energy and high tech. Ambitions are high, wealth has been restored.

For Congressman Ryan, a future brought on by defunding most of the Federal government would be simpler, more family oriented, and more in line with nineteenth-century ideals. It is a vision of small towns filled with white picket fences, where children are happy at home and able to enjoy the simple goodness of a life unfettered by inter-generational compacts. Taxes are low, horizons are near.

If Americans can cut through all the false claims about the Constitution and distractions about inter-party civility brought on by the last year of politics, last night presented one of the clearest contrasts not so much between the parties, but between attitudes towards the future -- the strongest contrast we have seen in decades.

Are we a nation that fears or embraces the future? Do we see ourselves in 50 years through the lens of a Norman Rockwell painting or a James Cameron film? Do we embrace or run from the future?

Hard to imagine a more useful contrast or a more productive evening of political theater.""

Posted by: lmsinca | January 26, 2011 9:31 AM | Report abuse

"Also, what was up with her never once looking at the camera?"

Again as a veteran of broadcasting let me help with the "why" Michie looked off camera.

It's rather like an actor violating the Proscenium Arch. It's bad form for an actor to look out at the audience while delivering lines unless it is for specific theatrical effect.

When we interviewed folks we NEVER wanted them looking directly into the camera. The audience was supposed to be voyeurs, like the audience in a theatre, watching our interview subject. Occasionally an interviewee would look directly into the camera breaking that voyeurism and in effect bypassing the interviewer.

Having said that it's still hard to believe Bachmann's handlers screwed the pooch so badly. She was not being interviewed on 60 minutes...she WAS in theory speaking directly to the American People...she should have broken that Proscenium arch and looked right at the camera.

If she had an audience like Bob McDonnell last year it would have made more sense...then she would have been perceived as addressing the audience with us once again in the voyeuristic position of being simply onlookers.

Not really an answer Jenn...just some thoughts on the subject. I think we can all agree however...whatever the thinking behind having Michie look off camera...it was a complete failure. Even the righties were put off by it and I've seen nobody defend it...other than me trying to perhaps provide a rationale for their poor decision.

For all the $$$$$ they are able to raise it makes one wonder how both Palin and Bachmann keep getting such awful advice. It's like they're a bunch of amateurs. And indeed perhaps the party pros like Mark Mackinnon and others avoid these two like the plague, condemning them to bad advisors...don't know...just speculating.
While Ryan's message was content free...it was easily the very best on camera performance by an R in quite awhile. But that's damning Ryan with faint praise...he's no Reagan or Obama or perhaps more importantly...he's still not the oratorical equivalent of Mike Huckabee.
All those sermons Sunday after Sunday have helped Huck refine his delivery...Huck is a charmer...Ryan has great potential..but he's not there yet.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 26, 2011 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Breaking: "Obama Regime will to track ALL your web surfing"
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/posttech/2011/01/the_circuit_egypt_and_twitter.html

"This proposal echoes the sentiments of the Bush administration..."

*echoes*echoes*echoes*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 26, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Kaddafi - Heal thyself, liar. She presented it as OBAMA'S BUDGET. It wasn't, you tool. She didn't show 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 colored in and call it "THE DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS BUDGET", she showed everything up to 2008 colored in as a BUSH BUDGET, and the two years after colored in as OBAMA's BUDGET. BUSH is the one who signed off on the 2009 budget. Lie about it all you like but it won't change that FACT. Frickin' LIAR.

Posted by: JennOfArk | January 26, 2011 9:35 AM | Report abuse

FUNDAMENTAL DISCONNECT

Obama is still running wild, pretending that there was no election in November.

This respresented a FUNDAMENTAL DISRESPECT TOWARD THE AMERICAN PEOPLE which Obama showed throughout the speech last night.


The government EXISTS to express the will of the American People. No other reason. The liberal agenda has been rejected. Obama and the democrats LOST the election - act like the American People want something different.


THAT is exactly the point - Obama is pretending there was no election.


This is fundamentally DISRESPECTFUL to the American People. These people are sent to Washington to represent the PEOPLE, not the liberal agenda. There is a fundamental disconnect here. Obama is confused, Obama thinks he is working for an agenda, NOT FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 26, 2011 9:35 AM | Report abuse

After an electoral loss that Republicans are casting as a mandate to severely downsize government, Obama's number one goal was to seize control of the debate over government's proper role and recast it on his own terms,
____________________

Is Obama REPRESENTING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE OR NOT?


This is ridiculous.

The American People have spoken. They have given the US government their orders. At this point, Obama is RESISTING the people who he is SUPPOSED to be working for.


Greg - you hit it precisely - Obama is AGAINST THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.


There is no other way to describe it. This theme has been in other Obama speeches before Congress - when Obama has insisted on IGNORING THE ECONOMIC CRISIS, and instead stated he cared more about his liberal agenda items.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 26, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

[JennOfArk LIED: "2009 was Bush's last budget."]

Screech all you want, harpy. You're still WRONG. The 2007-2010 Porkulous bills were all Pelosi-Obama-Reid (POR) Congress monstrosities.

Own it, progressives.

*purse power*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 26, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse

@lmsinca

Glad to have you back. Hopefully this means your sister is doing better.

12Bar has done an admirable job of holding down the fort. She has provided your style of measured thoughtful posting without bombast, hyperbole, or mean spiritedness.

Still it's great to have your back.

I enjoyed your post because that's exactly what hit me as well.

D's- Obama- Deficit is a challenge..we're up to it...here are some ideas I have for it...we're going to move forward into the new global economy with all the confidence and optimism we tackled space under JFK's leadership.

R's Ryan...The sky is falling the sky is falling...actually in content Ryan reminded me of that old commercial...the R's view our nation as Mrs. Fletcher..
"I've fallen and I can't get up".

R/TP - Michie...What can one say about a wack job that hasn't already been said?

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 26, 2011 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Even an army of so called "reporters" reporting positivly on the SOTU address cannot change one simple fact.

President Obama is a good speechmaker!

All fluff and no stuff.

Posted by: JBfromFL | January 26, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Sargent writes
"there's still that niggling problem of unemployment, which will outlast the glow of Obama's speech."

Problem being, of course, the gov't doesn't have any control over the short term unemplyment rate, particularly in the absence of a stimulus package, which is a non-starter with this Congress.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 26, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

"Sieze" and "retake control", as well as "policy fights" and "carve out" seem like violent metaphors to me. Especially with that touching photograph of Gifford's husband holding her(?) hand.

As for Bachmann, she WAS looking into the web cam. It is certainly not her fault that CNN set up their camera to the side.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 26, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Thanks ruk

I'm in CA but playing catch up now with work, investing in our own future, new and improved website and business model. I should be able to get her back to her house sometime next week. I don't have much time to post right now but I've been following a few of the threads.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 26, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

"seized control of the debate"


Obama WORKS FOR the American People.

We had the "debate" - its called an ELECTION.


The liberals are completely out of their minds.


Obama deserves what every employee gets when they don't do what they were hired to do: OBAMA DESERVES TO BE FIRED, ALONG WITH ALL THESE OTHER LIBERALS.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 26, 2011 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Obama's Best Line

“Some folks want wind and solar. Others want nuclear, clean coal, and natural gas,” Obama said. “To meet this goal, we will need them all – and I urge Democrats and Republicans to work together to make it happen.”

*Drill*Baby*Drill*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 26, 2011 10:02 AM | Report abuse

"In 2008, the History News Network conducted an unscientific poll among 109 professional historians. That poll found that, among those professional historians, 98% believe that the George W. Bush presidency is a failure, and that 61% believe it to be the worst in history.[125] Another poll done in 2009 by C-SPAN among 65 professional historians ranks Bush 36 of 42 former presidents.[126]

A 2010 Siena College poll of 238 Presidential scholars found that Bush was ranked 39th out of 43, with poor ratings in handling of the economy, communication, ability to compromise, foreign policy accomplishments and intelligence.[127]"


Poor President Obama. He must have felt some real pressure trying to live up to his predecessor...one of the all time WORST Presidents this nation has ever had according to the historians who make their living judging Presidential performance.

Bernie made a statement the other day that really rings true to me....people get upset when reality doesn't fit their narrative or their conclusions. For the righties it's been a long struggle recently to try and protect absurd fantasies while being slapped in the face with reality. We have two masterdebaters from the right on this blog who are erudite and well read and yet wallow in cognitive dissonance.

The R's simply do not do reality or nuance very well...maybe that's why the majority of their talking points are literally lies as judged by non partisan groups like Politifact and Americans who have an open mind.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 26, 2011 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Ims quoting Jeffrey Feldman: "For Congressman Ryan, a future brought on by defunding most of the Federal government would be simpler, more family oriented, and more in line with nineteenth-century ideals. It is a vision of small towns filled with white picket fences, where children are happy at home and able to enjoy the simple goodness of a life unfettered by inter-generational compacts. Taxes are low, horizons are near."

Yes, 19th century, no doubt. And absent any realization that the rest of the world is moving on. Globalization is a fact. We can either pretend it doesn't exist, like Ryan, or go a different direction....like forward.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | January 26, 2011 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Did you notice?


After Obama said he wanted to win the future -


Obama got into a Delorean and completely disappeared.....

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 26, 2011 10:05 AM | Report abuse

JennOfArk, someone else already addressed your first "point" (Obama was also a Senator for the first stimulus package). Here is the camera that Bachmann was looking into:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v%3D1fRxO_Yx99I

You are 0 for 2 this morning. One more strike, and you're out.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 26, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

"As for Bachmann, she WAS looking into the web cam. It is certainly not her fault that CNN set up their camera to the side."

Well that at least is a very plausible excuse. But it doesn't erase a horrible error by Michie's staff. CNN was obviously desperate to get some ratings and quite frankly I have NO problem with that...it's their real reason for existence..point being they would have worked with Michie's people. Bachmann's folks could have controlled that feed either by providing it for CNN or simply taking the CNN feed and putting it on the Web.

No matter how you slice it or dice it...Bachmann's advisors are no better than Palin's...it's like these people came from some American Idol contest for political consultants...they're all amateurish....

Now Ryan...that's a different story...rail at his lack of content...his complete distortion of our current debt situation..but he did it all very professionally.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 26, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

He's probably not far enough to the right for a lot of his party, but IMO all those years in the pulpit give Huck a big leg up on the rest of the pack when it comes to presenting his case on his feet w/o benefit of teleprompters.

Posted by: actuator | January 26, 2011 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Here's an excerpt from Joan Walsh this morning as well. Reading it reminded me of a couple of thoughts I had last night during the SOTU. While I appreciate the positive tone and commitment to many of the same investments I believe in, I thought the President was a little disconnected from the suffering unemployment and the housing collapse has created for so many of our citizens. When he talked about Wall Street roaring back to life, I though "so what". And I'm not sure how all this "free" trade policy is going to work, we seem to get the short end of the stick on most of these deals. We're working on an export deal right now and it seems like the shipping companies reap most of the rewards. :)

""The president was lucky to have not one but two GOP rebuttals, and they were equally strange and dishonest. Rep. Paul Ryan railed against the deficit without proposing even one specific cut. He didn't talk about his own infamous "Roadmap," maybe because most analysts have called it a budget buster, even though it essentially replaces Social Security and Medicare with vouchers. The Congressional Budget Office estimates Ryan's plan wouldn't balance the budget until 2063, and would add $62 trillion to the debt by then. Citizens for Tax Justice said Ryan's Roadmap raises taxes on 9 out of 10 taxpayers and while slashing them for the wealthiest.

Wisely, Ryan talked about none of that. He promised to repeal "Obamacare" and replace it with "fiscally responsible patient-centered reform," but didn't say word one about what it would entail. Most dishonestly, Ryan said Democrats had overspent "to the point where the president is now urging Congress to increase the debt limit," ignoring the fact that Congress raised it seven times under President Bush. That's your new chair of the House Budget Committee. (Update: Somehow I missed the best line in Ryan's rebuttal, in which he worries we're headed toward "a future in which we will transform our social safety net into a hammock, which lulls able-bodied people into lives of complacency and dependency." I want to ask the 14.5 million unemployed Americans, and the millions more who are underemployed, how they're enjoying their hammocks. Leave it to a Republican to come up with such vivid metaphors of leisure to talk about suffering. It's the only way they can relate.)""

Posted by: lmsinca | January 26, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

bsimon says

Sargent writes
"there's still that niggling problem of unemployment, which will outlast the glow of Obama's speech."

Problem being, of course, the gov't doesn't have any control over the short term unemplyment rate, particularly in the absence of a stimulus package, which is a non-starter with this Congress.
_________________________

True, but the elephant in the room is the double dip in the housing market; the F&F toxic asset overhang dwarfs the TARP bailout liability and it is growing. Foreclosures are increasing at a pace that can only accelerate if housing prices do not stabilize.

No one wants to touch this issue because it is a powder keg, Dealing with the reality will undercut "confidence" and it is confidence upon which the recovery depends. Medical cost increases, the deficit, inflation, even the structural aspects of unemployment (education, "free" trade, etc.) are medium to long term problems. A real estate double dip is something we face over the next few months. Right now 5m American homeowners are behind in two or more months payments. As always, the only people marked for the one two punch of moral hazard and the coming austerity measures are retail borrowers and those with fixed incomes.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 26, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

actuator, Huckabee gave a speech at my son's college on Friday, but I doubt that he is running again.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 26, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Kaddfi - No, I'm not WRONG, you lying SOS.

2009 was NOT an Obama budget. It was Bush's last budget year.

This is why no one can have a constructive discussion with you a**hats. It's because you sit there and argue until you're blue in the fact that the sky is red, when anyone with eyes can see it's blue.

Lying jerk.

Posted by: JennOfArk | January 26, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse

"I want to ask the 14.5 million unemployed Americans, and the millions more who are underemployed, how they're enjoying their hammocks."

I don't think he said they currently are enjoying hammocks. He's concerned that the structure will be changed in that direction.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | January 26, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

@actuator

"He's probably not far enough to the right for a lot of his party, but IMO all those years in the pulpit give Huck a big leg up on the rest of the pack when it comes to presenting his case on his feet w/o benefit of teleprompters."

Agreed 100% In fact, although I am an Obama supporter, I believe Huckabee to be an oratorical match for B.O. IMHO the ONLY R on the scene right now capable of claiming that distinction, and for the reason you elucidated actuator.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 26, 2011 10:33 AM | Report abuse

"Leave it to a Republican to come up with such vivid metaphors of leisure to talk about suffering. It's the only way they can relate.)""

Great catch lmsinca. And to add to actuator's point about Huckabee perhaps not being far enough to the right...he also has another major problem...he has a heart!!!!

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 26, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

clawrence - great work, reminding us that you're still a charter member of the lying SOS brigade.

Lying jerk.

Posted by: JennOfArk | January 26, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Jenn, do yourself a favor and put Kaddafi in the troll hunter. No one else reads that dreck, why would you?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | January 26, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

"lying SOS"? Is that a combo of SOB and POS?

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 26, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

[JennOfArk LIED: "2009 was Bush's last budget."]

Here we learn again that Jenn is Constitutionally illiterate. Allow me to educate you.

If anything, Michelle Bachmann underestimated the damage done by the Pelosi-Obama-Reid (POR) Congressional budgeteers.

Presidents submit budget "priorities" to Congress-- but only Congress has the "power of the purse." And under the Constitution, it is Congress' job to actually write and pass the budget.

Thus, you are WRONG, Jenn. The 2007-2010 Porkulous bills were all written and passed by the Pelosi-Obama-Reid (POR) Congress.

Own it, progressives.

*purse power*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 26, 2011 10:41 AM | Report abuse

AP — Buyers purchased the fewest number of new homes last year on records going back 47 years.

Sales for all of 2010 totaled 321,000, a drop of 14.4 percent from the 375,000 homes sold in 2009, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. It was the fifth consecutive year that sales have declined...

Posted by: shrink2 | January 26, 2011 10:41 AM | Report abuse

suekzoo1 - get this: lying SOS claw wants to claim that because Obama was a Senator when the last Bush budget was passed, it's HIS budget. Those other 534 members of Congress and Bush himself - why, they had NOTHING at all to do with it!

Jesus, it's like trying to teach a classroom of exceptionally slow toddlers. Except the toddlers can learn.

Posted by: JennOfArk | January 26, 2011 10:43 AM | Report abuse

"'I don't think he said they currently are enjoying hammocks. He's concerned that the structure will be changed in that direction.""

NoVA

Considering the depth of this recession I think most liberals are just advocating protecting the safety net we have. I haven't seen a single serious effort to address the 99ers or the foreclosure crisis at the legislative level and most of these people are more likely to be sleeping on a bed of nails than a hammock. It sounded like the typical caricature of liberal philosophy to me.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 26, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Conversely, Jenn should stop *sob*-ing over the FACT that the Gingrich-Lott Congressional budget bills gave America both budget balance and economic prosperity-- in spite of Bubbah's "Midnight Basketball" largess.

*sob*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 26, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

@Jenn

"Jenn, do yourself a favor and put Kaddafi in the troll hunter. No one else reads that dreck, why would you?"

I'm with Sue on this one. :-) I once tried to have an honest, intellectual discussion with RFR..have tried a couple of times with Clawrence....but if you think about it..having a discussion with irrational people is really pretty useless.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 26, 2011 10:48 AM | Report abuse

"AP — New budget estimates released Wednesday predict the government's deficit will hit almost $1.5 trillion this year, a new record...The CBO analysis predicts the economy will grow by 3.1 percent this year, but that joblessness will remain above 9 percent this year."

More jobless recovery projections. Hope nobody in Washington makes any promises they can't keep *laughing* but seriously, any expectation that staying on the current course is going to solve any problem, let alone cause a (sputnik) momentum shift is goofy. So like everyone else who can't abide rhetorical flourishes, who lives in the world of details, I wonder what the plan is? It looks to me like another year of QE and "free" trade deals.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 26, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

JennOfArk, three strikes you're OUT!

At least you will now have plenty of time to watch the camera angle that Bachmann was looking into:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v%3D1fRxO_Yx99I

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 26, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Jenn,

I hear ya!

BUT

There's no point in trying to discuss anything with people who would go to such lengths to lay blame on one person only for the mess we find ourselves in. It was years in the making, and required a lot of participation from both sides. We can sit here and argue those details (which will give no satisfaction), or we can concentrate our efforts into moving forward and working at educating those people who are open to advancing the country. I choose the later. It's a better use of my time.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | January 26, 2011 10:52 AM | Report abuse

The only real takeaway from Obama's SOTU speech is this:

"I know my first two years were a disaster and I have a lot of makin' up to do so please forget how bad I've been and just have faith that I can do better".

The real Obama is gone and the triangulating Obama has taken over.

My take on it was:

Trust the leftist, Obama regime once, shame on you!

Trust the leftist, Obama regime twice, more shame on you!

YOU are easily fooled.

Posted by: battleground51 | January 26, 2011 10:58 AM | Report abuse

@ruk -- good morning. I think you've really hit at the crux of the divide here.

"Huckabee perhaps not being far enough to the right...he also has another major problem...he has a heart!!!!"

I would say that it does not make one compassionate to use the threat of force to make others give to those you think are more deserving and/or in need. There's more compassion in a small donation from a poor man to someone even worse off than a room full politicians who pat themselves on the back for showing how much they care.

re: the 99ers or the foreclosure crisis. I won't comment on the unemployment benefit b/c I'm not all that familiar with it. But the correct action on the housing crisis is to do nothing. Stop propping up the market with tax benefits/credits and mortgage interest deductions. Let banks either work with home owners or be left with surplus a that they'll have to sell at steep discount. They're not working with people because they know the gov will step in before they eat the loses. Example -- BOA should have crashed and burned. it's notes would have been sold and renegotiated.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | January 26, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

The Obamateur managed to talk about the economy less this year than last year, even after losing midterm elections for ignoring the economy and joblessness for most of his first (only?) term.

The Obamateur spent most (52 sentences or 13.3%) of his speech discussing education. That marks a more than threefold increase from SOTU 2010 when he talked about education for just 4.2 percent of his speech.

Although unemployment is down just 0.3% from his speech a year ago (from 9.7 to 9.4%), the Obamateur dropped from 17.2% to 11.0% on jobs.

*jobs*jobs*jobs*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 26, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse

(Obama was also a Senator for the first stimulus package).
--------------------------------------
But her chart clearly focused on who was President not which party controlled Congress or when Obama was Senator. If that was her criteria, the chart would have attributed 2008 to Obama, too. Afterall, he approved the budget then, too.
--------------------------------------

I don't think he said they currently are enjoying hammocks. He's concerned that the structure will be changed in that direction.

Posted by: NoVAHockey
--------------------------------------

It's still insulting to the many Americans who would love to have a job right now. We hear incently about how Americans pride themselves on hard work, innovation, integrity, all of which is true. But often Conservatives seem to be saying many, if not most, people are just a government check away from giving up their job and living off of unemployment checks, welfare and food stamps. Which is it?

Posted by: ashotinthedark | January 26, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Obama has not "seize[d] control of the debate over government's proper role."

He has reiterated, prettily as always but without substance as always, what he has been stumpin' since he ran for
Senate.

The American people get the urgency and unsustainability of the debt, and are personally feeling the jobs, jobs, jobs laser-like failure of the admin.. Mr. Obama's core constituencies don't.

Posted by: tao9 | January 26, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

[suekzoo1 "There's no point in trying to discuss anything with people who... lay blame on one person only for the mess we find ourselves in."]

lmao! This from the blame-Bush chorus who can no longer hide the Pelosi-Obama-Reid record of Porkulous budgets.

Own it, progressives.

"Ye blind guides, that strain out the gnat, and swallow the camel!"
[Matthew 23:24]

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 26, 2011 11:11 AM | Report abuse

There's no more doubt about the fact that the Obama administration is the worst bungle-up since Jimmy Carter. Obama is a complete phoney rivaling even his mentor, Bill Clinton.

Disaster after disaster must be explained away and the Democrat media is now relying on the stupidity of a large chunk of the population to propagandize Obama into a second term.

The tele-prompter induced flim-flammery that was the SOTU speech is pure, Clinton redux. The parallels are dejavu all over again.

Is this the pattern all Democrat liberals are going to follow, in the future??

Two years of leftist disaster followed by two years of deceit chasing a second term?

It's so monumentally dishonest that the people who enable it must me monumentally, mentally disturbed.

Or just mentally retarded.

Take your pick.

Posted by: battleground51 | January 26, 2011 11:11 AM | Report abuse

shrink writes
"expectation that staying on the current course is going to solve any problem, let alone cause a (sputnik) momentum shift is goofy."

its hard to call for a reaction like we had to sputnik, without an actual sputnik. When is China's moon shot? Would that be enough to jolt us out of complacency?

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 26, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Ahh yes....tort reform. Republicans, the champions of state rights, want the federal government to dictate to states how they address tort reform.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | January 26, 2011 11:25 AM | Report abuse

"seized control of the debate"


Obama WORKS FOR the American People.

We had the "debate" - its called an ELECTION.


The liberals are completely out of their minds.


Obama deserves what every employee gets when they don't do what they were hired to do: OBAMA DESERVES TO BE FIRED, ALONG WITH ALL THESE OTHER LIBERALS.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 26, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

All, looks like Republicans are already softening their tone in response to Obama's SOTU:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/01/gopers_softening_tone_in_wake.html

Posted by: sargegreg | January 26, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

NoVaHockey (and a h/t to AShotintheDark): At least you have the guts to speak to your innocence @ unemployment, especially 99ers. As GS wrote, we are a "niggling" problem. I didn't know that. We've been called every other thing so we can add that we're "niggles," I guess. How supportive. To his oh-my-bad add-on that we do cast a glow...we've been going down in flames for over a year now, maybe we're smoldering and can be seen in the distance at night. Similarly, the only ones interested in us are astronomers and you know how often they get paid attention to.
Despite today's "news" that 99ers are "only" 1.4M Americans without ANY assistance from UI, the number is much higher than reported and always is. There are sites that advocate for 99ers (all unemployed) but very few can ripple the surface of even the smallest pond. To support us would embarrass Dems and Reps count us as losers, thieves, drug addicts, and, now, nigglers. FDR's legacy to the unemployed in America is that as long as one Repub is alive, no unemployed person gets a red cent. Ever.
Now this 13-month "extension" that came with the Great December Fire Sale Compromise to the GOP, it is only a WINDOW to the UI morass, it is NOT benefits. It means solely that if you are collecting now, your benefits will continue until 99 weeks is reached, even if it takes 13 months to do. If you become unemployed NOW, you have 13 months to apply and (maybe) receive benefits to which you are entitled. It is NOT automatic. The MILLIONS of Americans known as 99ers (benefits exhaustees, the first victims of the Great Recession, 2007) did not get included in the December capitulation. Some concession, eh? Boy, someone got taken to the cleaners, wouldn't you think? But, as we (99ers) have come to know too well, POTUS does not know about us, cannot mention us, nor will he FIGHT for us. It's just too hard in that stupid Congress place where all those mean people are.
If you have more questions, I'd love to be able to help. All advertisement about "nigglers" and how we niggle is just an answer away.
Anyway, thank you Greg for at least keyboarding a reference to us and inferring that there's a certain "glow" to us. Many, most of us will never find employment again that will even remotely come close to the careers we had or a whiff of the quality of life we spent most of a lifetime achieving.

Posted by: kickoradell | January 26, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

kickoradell

Thanks for posting again and reminding all of us fortunate enough to have an income of the plight of millions of our friends and neighbors. Most of us employed and unemployed will never recapture what we've lost. Keep the faith if you can.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 26, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse

@NoVa

"There's more compassion in a small donation from a poor man to someone even worse off than a room full politicians who pat themselves on the back for showing how much they care."

I'd certainly not argue with your definition of relativity when it comes to compassion, I don't really give a squat which politician claims what credit...I'm like the guy in Jerry McGuire..."Show me the money" I'm interested in reality and not libertarian theory. It's not really that hard to imagine what life in a truly libertarian "paradise" might look like...we can go back...fires that wipe out 9-10 year old child laborers...filthy water, polluted land, 25% U.E., people gathered in Hoovervilles. We have one lib on here who chides me for suggesting life was far more brutish before the "New Deal" as if it wasn't. As a writer my all time favorite writer is Steinbeck. Read Grapes of Wrath...Of Mice and Men..any number of his short stories and see if you think life was brutish.

And with all due respect NoVA you've used some really trite catch phrases "use the threat of force to make others give to those you think are more deserving and/or in need." Oooh there's that boogeyman again...taxes..they're confiscating all our money and by FORCE!

That's not really germane to the discussion IMHO. We have a social covenant, we've agreed to pay taxes to support our country, we're really simply talking about who pays how much, and how we spend it. Trust me..while the average libertarian is worried that somebody is taking advantage of him and lying around in hammocks...I'm hacked that the Gov't is using my tax dollars to MURDER innocent civilians (along with some deserving bad guys) in two stupid wars that do not make us one iota safer. In fact one could present very cogent arguments about how these wars have weakened us dramatically.

We all have our opinions. I think a society that gives us Rick Scott has some truly obscene elements of greed, avarice, cheating, and a complete lack of any generally recognized virtue such as faith, hope, CHARITY.

If I am threatened by the use of force and have my $$$ "confiscated" to pay for two ego trip wars of the neocons...Tricky Ricky Scott can pay more than 15% of his 10 million annual income each of the past three years. Do we think he could survive on less than 24 million $$$ over the past three years?

Now before you jump off on the deep on with me...I am not a socialist...I am not a capitalist...I support a hybrid with the balance point set so that we can grow the middle class as we did from WWII to Ronald Reagan before we REDISTRIBUTED the wealth to the already wealthy!

I don't really care for libertarian theory..it sounds great on paper..no so much in reality...in reality I'm tired of paying a higher % of my income that a fraud who earns ten million a year.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 26, 2011 12:10 PM | Report abuse

@NoVa

One last thought. Compassion is enough of a motivation for me to desire a more egalitarian society but there is a second compelling reason.

http://www.multinationalmonitor.org/mm2003/03may/may03interviewswolff.html

"Wolff: I think there are two rationales. The first is basically a moral or ethical position. A lot of people think it is morally bad for there to be wide gaps, wide disparities in well being in a society.

If that is not convincing to a person, the second reason is that inequality is actually harmful to the well-being of a society. There is now a lot of evidence, based on cross-national comparisons of inequality and economic growth, that more unequal societies actually have lower rates of economic growth. The divisiveness that comes out of large disparities in income and wealth, is actually reflected in poorer economic performance of a country.

Typically when countries are more equal, educational achievement and benefits are more equally distributed in the country. In a country like the United States, there are still huge disparities in resources going to education, so quality of schooling and schooling performance are unequal. If you have a society with large concentrations of poor families, average school achievement is usually a lot lower than where you have a much more homogenous middle class population, as you find in most Western European countries. So schooling suffers in this country, and, as a result, you get a labor force that is less well educated on average than in a country like the Netherlands, Germany or even France. So the high level of inequality results in less human capital being developed in this country, which ultimately affects economic performance."

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 26, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

"Obama seized control of debate over government"

Interesting take. Based on the rhetoric last night the debate over the size of government now consists of the space between freezing it at it's current size or reducing it back to 2006/2008 levels. Any talk of a "second stimulus" based on more government spending to reduce unemployment is pretty much off the table. This seems to be a pretty big concession to the Republican narrative and a repudiation of the previous Keynesian approach from 2009 to use increased government spending as a means to simulate the economy.

Ultimately, the State of the Union is just talk. The real item of significance will be Obama's next budget that he submits to Congress.

Posted by: jnc4p | January 26, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Representative Broun's comment betrays the fact that so called strict constitutionalists don't revere the Constitution as written, but, rather, they revere their ideal of how it should have been written or interpreted. Nothing in the document supports the notion that endorsing socialism is tantamount to not supporting or defending the constitution. One may look long and hard at the document, but will not find in it an endorsement of a particular economic ideology, neither socialism nor free market capitalism. In this regard, the only mention of property, the sine qua non of capitalism, is in the 5th Amendment, which prohibits taking property without due process of law (something that, in the case of suspected drug dealers, for example, has become a common occurrence). A logical interpretation of this clause is that property can be taken if due process is observed, i.e., the passing of a law to seize property is not precluded. In fact, under eminent domain, the government has the inherent right to seize property for the public good. This is the crux of the matter: the Constitution provides for the mechanics of government, i.e., basic structure, duties of its branches, due process, protection of civil liberties from arbitrary action, etc., not ideologies. The constitution does not specify, nor does it establish detailed economic policy, i.e., it is silent on such controversies as supply side vs. demand side economics. It may be an inconvenient truth for the representative, but reducing taxes to allow more cash to flow to the private sector is no more “constitutional” than government spending on public works. The case law of the courts is that a political or economic dogma only becomes “unconstitutional” when it encourages its adherents to violently overthrow the government; to be a socialist or to express socialist ideas, while possibly neither efficacious nor good policy, is neither illegal nor unconstitutional. It is a fact that the Constitution does not preclude establishment of socialism, only that this can only done through the legal legislative process; the Constitution deals with the means to effect legislation, not its content, other than the protection of individual liberty (viewing corporations as individuals in order to entail these protections to them is a fiction that is subject to reinterpretation), adhering to due process, etc. Not supporting free market capitalism is not an act of treason.

Posted by: csintala79 | January 26, 2011 12:26 PM | Report abuse

NoVA:

""I would say that it does not make one compassionate to use the threat of force to make others give to those you think are more deserving and/or in need.""

I have made this very point to ruk many times for over a year, to no effect whatsoever. Unfortunately ruk, like many others here, seems to believe quite the opposite...that not only is a desire to give away other people's money a reasonable measure of compassion/generosity, it is the best measure.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 26, 2011 12:26 PM | Report abuse

@kickoradell


Thanks so much for bringing some "reality" to our "theoretical" discussions.

To steal that famous line from a former Pres...I feel your pain. In my late 40's my TV station laid off dozens of employees during the first Bush recession. Since I was making a very generous salary I was an easy target. Approaching 50, out of work, in a society and particularly in an industry that praises youth not maturity was a gut wrenching experience. I ended up driving a semi for three years before getting my head back together. Ironically I didn't even have the money to afford the Truck Driving school. Fortunately Bill Clinton had created a program for retraining of displaced workers like myself. For the first time in my life (other than the GI Bill for college which I felt I had earned after Vietnam) I took a government "handout" Yep...some poor rich schmoe got his money confiscated and $2,000 went to a truck driving school. Because of the years of soaking up this libertarian BS I felt incredibly guilty...taking money from the Gov't...was I a loser? Forget the fact the instead of me remaining unemployed that $2,000 generated plenty of tax income from me over the next few years...I haven't calculated the Gov't's Internal Rate of Return...I haven't looked at the time value of money in the deal to make sure Scott and our derivative traders weren't getting scr&wed in the deal...I just felt guilty. I was freaking stupid.

kickoradell I hope you stick around and post some more. We can use "reality" checks around here...

And kickoradell hold your head up high as a proud American. I not only feel your pain having been there myself, I support you and wish you all the best!

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 26, 2011 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Scott....

Just an impression you leave in your posts...nothing definitive..nothing more than one opinion...

You really come across as that guy first described by Coach Barry Switzer...

You were born on third base and think you've hit a triple.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 26, 2011 12:33 PM | Report abuse

@Scott

A non snarky question. Virtually all of the discussions I've engaged you, or others for that matter have revolved around domestic policy, taxes, regs etc.

Perhaps I missed an earlier post over the past year...but I'm genuinely curious about our positions on the Iraq War and Afghanistan?

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 26, 2011 12:36 PM | Report abuse

rainforestrising wrote:
"The government EXISTS to express the will of the American People. No other reason. The liberal agenda has been rejected."

So because a bunch of wingnuts got elected by ignoramuses like you, mostly in low-population, low-education, tax-sucking states, the other representatives don't count? You need to go back and read a civics book or two. Your assertions here are bizarre--for example you refer to Obama as a "communist," which suggests you know no history and certainly no social theory. What you are doing is the blogging equivalent of throwing a tantrum, throwing around a bunch of false assertions as if they were factual, thereby degrading the entire discussion.

Posted by: scientist1 | January 26, 2011 12:38 PM | Report abuse

@csintala79

Excellent Constitutional smackdown of the Tea Party Morons!

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 26, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse

The Pelosi-Obama-Reid (POR) economy kicked in during the latter part of June 2007, when its Congressional architects — Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, and Harry Reid — decided that starving the economy of energy by refusing to allow more offshore drilling in the face of $4 gas prices was a winning political position. Pelosi claimed that because we couldn’t totally “drill our way out of this,” we shouldn’t increase drilling at all. Reid put an exclamation point on Pelosi’s stubbornness by insisting that fossil fuels are “making us sick.” Well, the only thing sickened by their policies was the US Economy.

FDR tried massive public works programs during the Depression. All he did is prolong it for seven years. Japan tried government stimulus for 10 years running in the 1990s. It only resulted in “the lost decade.”

What Barry and Harry should support is expanding the tax cut element of the stimulus plan to include ALL incomes, ditching almost all of the (alleged) “green investments,” openning up oil and gas exploration, and (eventually) watching the royalty money pour in.

That's why Obama's Best Line was;

“Some folks want wind and solar. Others want nuclear, clean coal, and natural gas,” Obama said. “To meet this goal, we will need them all – and I urge Democrats and Republicans to work together to make it happen.”

*Drill*Baby*Drill*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 26, 2011 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Except that "smart" isn't measurable, while bigger or smaller is measurable.

Except the only thing exceptional about America is how much we owe on debts that should never have been made in the first place. (Blame that on the GOP, not the Dems.)

Except that Social Security should have always stood by itself, in which case it would be fully solvent. Blame that on whomever moved it to the general fund, and decided to fund medicare from the same pile.

Posted by: mhoust | January 26, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

A noteworthy point. The Tucson shooter researched political assassins. Not saying that rhetoric drove him there, but that was clearly a political act.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 26, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

""You were born on third base and think you've hit a triple."

Wrong, and stupidly presumptuous to think you might have the slightest idea based on my political opinions. But not surprising. You seem to have bizarre need to put people into neat little pre-conceived boxes, attributing motives and circumstances to those who disagree with you politically on no basis other than their politics. Perhaps someday you will discover that political affiliation is no indication of either family history or current circumstance. One can hope you will, anyway.

""I'm genuinely curious about our positions on the Iraq War and Afghanistan?""

Prior to the Iraq war I argued that, if the intelligence regarding WMD was correct, it was the right thing to do, but that if the intelligence turned out to be wrong, it would have been a horrible waste of blood and treasure. So, I think it was a horrible waste of blood and treasure.

Afghanistan was, I think, necessary following 9/11.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 26, 2011 1:36 PM | Report abuse

To Imsinca and Ruk: Thank you for acknowledging my existence, and I mean that. The past year has held so much silence and so little substance. What are the loves of my life remain inviolate and my first priority each day, no matter the predictability or sameness. The remainder of each day has been a frantic search for word of relief. In order to try and find one honest, perservering, and undaunted advocate for 99ers (and all unemployed) in Washington, each haystack has to be rummaged through and there's been no needles. Just insults and dismissive, hurtful GOP/Teahadist posturing. It gets very tiring reading about "yourself" and being expected to feel guilty or accused of guilt by association. According to warm, happy Repubs there are two things a 99er can do at any time, any place and solve the economic woes of a nation: flip hamburgers and greet people at Walmart. All 99ers are Democrats, no Teahadists are unemployed. Therefore, 99ers are irrelevant.

And what makes that even more hurtful is that so many of us worked 30-40+ YEARS at careers. We're not twenty-somethings who got bounced from the lumber yard or a thirty-something who worked for three years at Prudential Insurance now clamoring for "free" money. The idea that anyone (really) could live high on the hog and eschew all offers of employment because there is (the max, nat'l avg) $303/wk. just sitting there with their name on it. That was just grocery money and gas money in my old home. For a week.

Another piece of steaming hot redundancy from the GOP compost heap is that every one of them personally "KNOWS" somebody that is getting over the system, flawed as it may be. How many tales have been told by these idiots that their neighbor does this and their cousin's bff does that while collecting UI....r-i-g-h-t. If it is the truth, then these folks are crooks, also. They're accessories to theft of the Federal Government. If they KNOW a scammer and don't turn them (or info) in to the DOL, they're just as guilty. And what's ironic for these greedy Scrooges of the GOP who blame the true unemployed as scammers and cheats, the DOL pays a reward - and not an insignificant one - to people who come forward with valid info on a cheater of the UI system. If their info pans out, BINGO. Can you imagine a teahadist NOT wanting more money for themselves? And let's also be honest that there are upper middle class thieves as well who have tainted the picture. Someone gets canned ay $60-70K/yr. is going to get the max allowed by state and federal laws under the program. Sooooo, what's to prevent white collar folks from collecting "chump change" every two weeks and "consulting" or "advising" off the books?? Manipulation is not inherent only to us lower middle class, soon to be totally indigent former middle class Americans.

Posted by: kickoradell | January 26, 2011 2:24 PM | Report abuse

@kickeradell

Again thanks for your very personal view of how it "actually" is out there on the streets. And thanks for the education and excellent points about DOL rewards for those who turn in cheaters.

Because of my own personal depression during those days of turmoil for me...I wish I could offer more than words.

I can tell you I vote for people I hope will keep you in mind...obviously that's not somebody remotely connected with the heartless GOP.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 26, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"Mr. President, you don't believe in the Constitution. You believe in socialism."

I suggest tht Mr. Broun go to the session and see the President and get a reality shot to save his mind. Otherwise he is totally wrong.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | January 26, 2011 3:33 PM | Report abuse

"@csintala79

Excellent Constitutional smackdown of the Tea Party Morons!

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 26, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse "

I left a more detailed refutation of csintala79 a few threads above. All that's really required, however, are these words: "nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation."

csintala79 apparently has never actually read the 5th Amendment, let alone "case law" about it, and obviously knows little to nothing about law or the Constitution.

But s/he took ruk right in, because s/he was saying Liberal Things.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 26, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

UPDATE: Holy Moley! MSNBC ‘s Morning Joe reaction to the SOTU speech: “flat”.
When you hear them talk “substance” vs the “optics” on MSNBC that tells you that this is an epic fail.

Andrea Mitchell: ” He didn’t mention gun control”, Dean answers: “He didn’t mention Abortion either”

REWRITE!

Update 2 Even worse they showed a clip of Bachmann’s speech and not a single word of snark from the panel. If they can’t snark Bachmann on MSNBC this is panic time for Democrats.

Update 3: They complement the GOP’s Paul Ryan, the White House is calling COMCAST to ask them to get Olbermann back on the air.. STAT!

Update 4: Not a another word about Bachmann’s response. I suspect they will continue to avoid it, after reading her speech I see why. If her delivery was as good as the speech then they HAVE to keep it off the air. When you spend months trying to spin her as some kind of violent nut you don’t dare show video that proves you wrong.

Update 5: Now they are talking Bachmann and their big critique is the tea party feed…

If this is the best MSNBC can do for the White House then they are in real trouble.

Posted by: pvilso24 | January 26, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse

The GOP is spot on. Obama's offer to freeze spending at current levels is like a child who killed both his parents throwing himself on the mercy of the court because he has been orphaned. Obama raised spending to unsustainable levels and wants to freeze those levels in place without meaningful reductions for five years. Then he has the chutzpah to ask for more spending, err investment, in green technologies that displace more jobs than they create. This is vintage, pie in the sky, windmill chasing Obama. The sputnik moment was an incredible disconnect. JFK exhorted us to invest in space technologies because Russia launched the first space satellite. Obama just deep sixed man space exploration yet chooses to use the totally backward sputnik reference.

Posted by: jkk1943 | January 26, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

UPDATE: Holy Moley! MSNBC ‘s Morning Joe reaction to the SOTU speech: “flat”.
When you hear them talk “substance” vs the “optics” on MSNBC that tells you that this is an epic fail.

Andrea Mitchell: ” He didn’t mention gun control”, Dean answers: “He didn’t mention Abortion either”

REWRITE!

Update 2 Even worse they showed a clip of Bachmann’s speech and not a single word of snark from the panel. If they can’t snark Bachmann on MSNBC this is panic time for Democrats.

Update 3: They complement the GOP’s Paul Ryan, the White House is calling COMCAST to ask them to get Olbermann back on the air.. STAT!

Update 4: Not a another word about Bachmann’s response. I suspect they will continue to avoid it, after reading her speech I see why. If her delivery was as good as the speech then they HAVE to keep it off the air. When you spend months trying to spin her as some kind of violent nut you don’t dare show video that proves you wrong.

Update 5: Now they are talking Bachmann and their big critique is the tea party feed…

If this is the best MSNBC can do for the White House then they are in real trouble.

Posted by: pvilso24 | January 26, 2011 5:24 PM | Report abuse

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