It's Official: Obama is an idiot

by: Paul Rosenberg

Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 22:30


As noted in quick hits by BDB and rayj, [UPDATE] and by David in a diary that just caused me to push back this diary's publication time, Obama has now gone off the deep end.  After passing a stimulus that most economists (not just liberal ones) said was too small, and that was made even more inadequate by being heavily tilted toward poor-performing tax-cuts, Obama is now intentionally recreating FDR's mistake of 1937, when he prematurely cut back spending to try to balance the budget, and sent the country into a new recession.

Let me repeat that, in larger type:

Obama is now intentionally recreating FDR's mistake of 1937, when he prematurely cut back spending to try to balance the budget, and sent the country into a new recession.

Specifically: He's going to announce a spending freeze on domestic programs (but not, of course, on the military) that is "projected to save $250 billion."  The rationale is that he wants to appease folks worried about runaway deficits.  Which is just what FDR was worried about in 1937.

This is Bush-style idiocy.  There is no other word for it.

Adding insult to injury, at the same time, he's also proposing more Ronald Reagan/GW Bush tax cuts... which will, of course, increase the runaway deficits.

And he's also talking about privatizing NASA.  Because privatizing the Pentagon turned out so great!

It's time to seriously start talking about primarying Obama in 2012.  He's now officially the most conservative Democratic President since Grover Cleveland.  And the dumbest one since James Buchanan.

Here, to remind you, is the chart I put together during the stimulus debate, showing, among other things, the relative ineffectiveness of tax cuts vs. spending in generating jobs, which is the key to getting the nation out of this recession--the only way that we can rationally hope to start bringing down the deficits:

While some tax cuts are much better than the real stinkers, it's virtually a given that once Obama starts talking about tax cuts, the GOP is going to start demanding that Bush's tax cuts be made permanent.  Not only--as you can see from the chart--are these about the least helpful tax cuts of all, they are also heavily skewed toward helping the rich and the super-rich.

Sheer Idiocy!

Paul Rosenberg :: It's Official: Obama is an idiot
Rachel Maddow gets it.  Jared Bernstein does not.

Bernstein ought to be resigning in protest.

Instead, he's just soiled himself in public.  Decades of building a reputation, just a few minutes to destroy it.


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do you know (0.00 / 0)
any specific discretionary spending that Obama is planning on cutting?

I Don't Think Anyone Does At This Point (4.00 / 1)
Bernstein was just saying it would be "waste, fraud and abuse."

Sounded just like Ronnie.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3


[ Parent ]
I agree that Bernstein should resign (4.00 / 1)
But don't believe he supports this.  His attempt at defending this was pathetic and he's too sharp not to know it.  

Obama's BS also sounds like Jimmy Carter.  My question is who will be our Ted Kennedy in 2012?  Unlike 1980, public support for central state based, demand-sided solutions is rising.  A Democratic challenger from the left wouldn't be waging a rearguard battle to preserve a rapidly dissolving New Deal consensus, s/he'd be embracing ideas whose time has clearly come.  


[ Parent ]
I Don't Know Who'd Be Willing (4.00 / 2)
Elizabeth Warren is certainly worth a look.

And there's always Wesley Clark.  

Or Howard Dean.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3


[ Parent ]
All three are stellar (0.00 / 0)
Pick out of a hat and you have a winner. I think he needs to be primaried also.

[ Parent ]
The More I Think About It (4.00 / 3)
The more I think that a Clark/Warren ticket would be pretty awesome.  He's a general who's a New Deal liberal, and she's a non-politician who's got economics down cold.  After Obama's bomb, it would be a bit hard to put her--a complete political novice in the top slot, but having her at #2 would be a big plus, then give her 8 years as VP...

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Warren is great (0.00 / 0)
Clark is an albatross.  Just on the level of selling a politician he is awful.  I never sensed any more charisma on his part than Kerry had, and Kerry actually knew the issues backwards and forwards.  Then there are the deeper worries concerning Clark's behavior in the Balkans, specifically his near run ins with the Russians.
http://www.thenation.com/blogs...

But from what I have seen and heard from Warren she is someone I would vote for.


[ Parent ]
I suggested Dean in a very brief diary (4.00 / 1)
that I wrote a few months ago.

He is absolutely not beholden to neoliberal cabal that runs the DLC, and by extension, shapes the agenda for the party as a whole.  Indeed, given his treatment after the election, he has every incentive to reassert his priorities.  


[ Parent ]
Dean (0.00 / 0)
is fully behind the Afghanistan escalation.

Nuff said.  


[ Parent ]
True (4.00 / 3)
but he has a fundamentally different approach to party-building, argued for real health care reform, and has evolved considerably in terms of economic policy.

I'm not dismissing your concerns, but, given what I mention above, all other things being equal, Dean's thinking represents change I can tolerate. Given what we've seen from the Democrats over the past 30 years, that's not insignificant.    


[ Parent ]
Clark was close to Clinton (4.00 / 1)
I don't trust him!

My blog  

[ Parent ]
Vote Republican (4.00 / 1)
like I said before.

It worked so well in MA.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3


[ Parent ]
what did that have to do with a post on not trusting (4.00 / 1)
clark?

My blog  

[ Parent ]
I disagree with both of you here (4.00 / 1)
Neither primarying Obama (which will lead to another '68, obviously), nor supporting a 3rd party candidate (which will lead to another '00, obviously), nor voting Repub (which will lead to another Brown '10, obviously) is the way to go here.

Forget Obama. He's the only non-Repub who can win in '12, and we don't want a Repub president so soon (and no 3rd party candidate can win, obviously). What we DO want, and still have a chance in '10 & '12, is a more progressive Dem majority (even if it means a smaller overall Dem majority), which would force Obama to the left.

He listens to the most powerful and threatening people in the room. Let's become that.

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton


[ Parent ]
Obama is essentially a Republican (4.00 / 3)
only when he does their failed policy it gets credited to liberals.

At least when Bush failed it was seen as conservatism failing.  


[ Parent ]
$25B/year is not = to "balancing the budget" (0.00 / 0)
Especially not after another $150B jobs bill this year that's coming up.

But hey, don't let me stop you from frothing at the mouth.


Of Course It's Not! (4.00 / 1)
But it's still stupid, and it sends 100% the wrong message.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
but he's been sending that message (0.00 / 0)
since Iowa. he's promised to "cut wasteful spending" far more times than I care to remember. It was part of his post-partisan sheen. From some of his remarks later last year, I expected a move like this THIS year. Not now, maybe in late spring. But he was definitely going to move toward "deficit reduction" before the midterms. Pelosi apparently just this month put him on notice that, until the senate moves on the backlog of house bills passed, the only measures she would take up are jobs jobs jobs and deficit control.

this is the 2010 budget:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wi...

of course I want the defense budget to shrink by 20% or more. but I can't imagine any president doing that in the middle of two wars that aren't going well.

everything else through Veterans Affairs is off the table. including, according to Bernstein, Education, HHS, and Transportation ($50 billion in infrastructure).

Also not being frozen: Homeland Security, and Energy, given Bernstein's reminder of Obama's great confidence in our coming investment in the new driver and savior of our economy, green energy.

As for the stimulus, it's baked into 2010, and will be spent by the end of the year.

so that leaves these departments as possibly open to being frozen for 3 years at their as yet unannounced 2011 levels:

State (? really?)
HUD
Agriculture
Justice
NASA (outsourcing?)
Commerce
Labor
Treasury
Interior
EPA
SSA (? probably not)
NSF
USACE
National Infrastructure Bank
Corporation for National and Community Service
SBA
GSA
Other Agencies
Off-budget spending ?

Is this terrible? I don't know the answer. But my initial instinct tells me, No.


[ Parent ]
But There's VERY Little Wasteful Spending. (4.00 / 4)
It's one thing to say it in a general way.  That bugged me enormously and was one reason I could never support him.

But NOW it's gone way beyond that.  Now it's validating Herbert Hooverism.  

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3


[ Parent ]
I agree that there's very (0.00 / 0)
little in the discretionary budget. but he promised to do it over and over again. and I think he believes in it. so we shouldn't be surprised that he's proposing it. politically, since it seems (to me at least) that it was a given, there's no point in waiting till after the midterms. lots of good house dems won't like it--and maybe won't abide it--but it could give lots of other moderate and conservadems cover. I don't like that, but maybe it will get them to stick with him on energy, education, etc. maybe even health care.

[ Parent ]
It Won't Give ANYONE Cover (4.00 / 11)
That's stupid Versailles Dem consultant talk.

What it does is amplify the GOP's message 100-fold and cut the legs out of down-ticket Dems that want to run as populist progressives based on good old-fashioned Democratic values.

It's literally killing the Democratic Party.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3


[ Parent ]
The thing about consultant class thinking (4.00 / 3)
is it tricks people into thinking they can be the guy giving the advice and, therefore, are just as good as the people who themselves actually have power.  

It's kind of similar to why some (and a highly exaggerated number at that) working class people vote Republican.  But very much unlike the wishful thinking that motivates so-called "Reagan Democrats," it's actually a fact that a majority of people who can speak in complete sentences would make perfectly capable professional political consultants.

What's so false and insidious about it is it deceives people into believing that what builds broad based political coalitions that win elections over the long term is the right consultant who can come up with a "magic bullet" in the form of a brilliant technocratic strategy driven by the "right message."    


[ Parent ]
Yep. (4.00 / 3)
When you think about it, it's actually a form of pornography.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
I'm not suprised anymore (4.00 / 2)
when progressive promises get ignored and conservative promises are kept.

But I still don't like it.

Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.


[ Parent ]
Your instinct is wrong (4.00 / 3)
It is terrible. US is already hurting in terms of science funding - freeze science funding for three years and see howany scientists still choose to live in this country.

It's not terrible if you accept the ideology that government is wasteful. But if you accept that ideology, then you're a conservative.  


[ Parent ]
if he wants to end wasteful spending (4.00 / 1)
there are two wars i can think of off the top of my head.  assuming no new ones have started since i started writing this comment.

[ Parent ]
Three - the Drug War (4.00 / 1)
However brutal the Drug War is in the US, it's a metaphorical war. Not so in Mexico, Columbia and the rest. In Latin America, our drug war is a real war.

Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

[ Parent ]
It's Not Metaphorical In Third World America (0.00 / 0)
Black and brown neighborhoods here have been decimated, too.

Not as bad as Mexico, Columbia, etc., true.  But hardly metaphorical.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3


[ Parent ]
The violence and devastation is certainly real (0.00 / 0)
not metaphorical. I was thinking that it's more individualized violence here at home. Similarly, the War on Terror is largely a metaphorical war - in the sense that there are not two clear sides squaring off, but that doesn't mean it's impact it any less....  

Nevermind. I reject this distinction that I was making as meaningless.  Any distinction that distracts from the violence and devastation of the Drug War or the WOT is not useful.

Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.


[ Parent ]
"to try to balance the budget" (4.00 / 2)
"to try to balance the budget"

"to try to balance the budget"

"to try to balance the budget"

Reading comprehension is an important skill!


[ Parent ]
Primary (4.00 / 7)
I hope to God he has a primary challenger. If so, I will volunteer in that person's organization. Enough is enough.

President Bayh is worse (4.00 / 5)
than President Snowe was.

It would be nice to see Democrats is Congress attack this the way its (rightly) getting attacked here. (Of course, it would also be nice to get ponies.)

Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.


What part of Keynes does (4.00 / 8)
Jared Bernstein and President Obama, for that matter, not understand? (Everything, I'd say.)
"If the Treasury were to fill old bottles with banknotes, bury them at suitable depths in disused coalmines which are then filled up to the surface with town rubbish, and leave it to private enterprise on well-tried principles of laissez-faire to dig the notes up again (the right to do so being obtained, of course, by tendering for leases of the note-bearing territory), there need be no more unemployment and, with the help of the repercussions, the real income of the community, and its capital wealth also, would probably become a good deal greater than it actually is. It would, indeed, be more sensible to build houses and the like; but if there are political and practical difficulties in the way of this, the above would be better than nothing."
-John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money


Obama doesn't believe in Keynes (4.00 / 1)
he's a neoliberal, market guy.  That's been obvious since at least the primaries (although I'd argue before then given that he chose Joe Lieberman as his mentor).  That some folks chose to ignore it, doesn't change the fact.  This IS who Obama is and it's what he believes.  

[ Parent ]
Yes, But (4.00 / 2)
even the market types among real economists understand that Keynes was right in the face of massive market failure.  They understand 1937.  They understand Japan's "lost decade."  That's why you had a consensus of economists saying we needed a big stimulus a year ago.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
True (4.00 / 1)
that's what the good economists were saying.

There's just no evidence that Obama ever listened to them.  It's always been quite clear, and I don't think just to me, that Obama believes the mainstream media narrative about the last 30 years of economic and political history, which means he has little understanding of good economics (or our real political history, for that matter).  It's like he learned everything he knows from Meet the Press - Reagan transformational, tax cuts good, entitlements bad, need to reach across the aisle, etc.  He's the ultimate VIllager, which is why the media loved him so much in 2008.  He repeated and reflected their very skewed view of the world (which is why I think everyone should refuse to vote for whatever candidate Chris Matthews likes because that's the big tell that the person is no threat whatsoever to the Village).


[ Parent ]
i don't care what he believes (4.00 / 1)
what he does makes no sense in connection to what he says his intersts are and what his positiion as president of the u.s. would dictate.  Keynes was a market guy.  Paul Krugman is a market guy.  I don't like their policies in this context because they're ways of restoring American imperialism/dominance and I think replacing one orthodoxy wtih another is stupid, but if that's what you want to do, then that's the way to go.  

You can't have consumer capitalism without consumers!  It's such an obvious point!  so go find them somewhere, Obama.  I think they've reached the limit of how much debt American consumers can take on, they won't raise their wages and haven't for decades, and I don't think consumers in other parts of the world can take up the slack yet.

in the meantime, we have to put up with shit centre-right governments all over the world because the American elite can't get its act together and understand that public investment is SOMETIMES USEFUL.


[ Parent ]
Jared was on Rachel last night and she took him apart (4.00 / 2)
He just prevaricated instead of answering her question Econ 101 question about the folly of tightening during recession. He evaded her by talking around it instead of answering it.

I used to think that Jared was a progressive. He should either speak the truth or resign.


[ Parent ]
Yup, it was painfully embarrassing. (0.00 / 0)
Maddow correctly point out that virtually all serious economists see this as a big mistake in the current situation. And all Bernstein had to offer as defense was a long list of pograms where the administration wants to INCREASE spending. Not a single detail about where they want to cut something! Bernstein really came through as shockingly insane.  

[ Parent ]
Two Things (0.00 / 0)
(1) You say this like the video clip wasn't in the body of the diary.

(2) On further reflection, I'm now thinking that this was part of a deliberate strategy, and I'm working on a diary for weekend, "Why say 'freeze' when you mean 'cap'?"

Jared's not the primary target here, but it does make him out to be more a wanker than a fool.

Rachel, OTOH, was really earning her paycheck last night.


"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3


[ Parent ]
The dlc are all idiots and those who stay (0.00 / 0)
with the dems at this point enable the dlc!

My blog  

Vote Republican (0.00 / 0)
like I said before.

It worked so well in MA.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3


[ Parent ]
you are a broken record (0.00 / 0)
voting for dems doesn't seem to work out either.  I am voting green!

My blog  

[ Parent ]
No, YOU Are A Broken Record (4.00 / 1)
I've just finally had enough of you, is all.

We've had a very extensive discussion of the realistic options about what's worked in the past, and what has a reasonable chance of working in addition to that, thanks to people like John Emerson, educationaction and others.  And you've completely ignored all of it, preferring to just keep on doing your whiny broken record routine.

What's most disgusting is that if everyone who was as disgusted as you are was just half as smart and dedicated as they are disgusted, we could take over the party in about 2 years.

But then you'd have to give up whining.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3


[ Parent ]
You are the whiner (4.00 / 1)
you call the President an idiot then demand that I vote for him!

My blog  

[ Parent ]
Fine. You're An Idiot,Too! (0.00 / 0)
You didn't see where I wrote about primarying him?


"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Alright do it (0.00 / 0)
i AM WAITIN!

My blog  

[ Parent ]
I have attended caucuses and primaries since I was 18 (0.00 / 0)
.  I am 42.  It hasn't worked.  I am not a professional bloggers. I have a life.    Emmerson said himself the progressives have never been able to control the democratic party, and the leaders would rather lose than let us in, so I don't see what he has to do with anything!  

My blog  

[ Parent ]
Sigh (4.00 / 4)
Have you learned nothing from conservative's rise from the ashes 50 years ago? Instead of leaving the GOP after losing the nomination to Nixon in '60, they took it over. Are you saying that we can't do that, but we can form a viable 3rd party? Please!

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton

[ Parent ]
Actually, we can't (4.00 / 1)
The nominating process for President in 1964 had a small number of primaries.  State parties chose most of the delegates and conservatives took over the local and state parties.  Hubert Humphrey was nominated rather easily at the 1968 Democratic convention despite not participating in primaries (he did get some Johnson delegates).

The path that Goldwater took in 1964 would not work in 2012.

The nomination would also probably be easier for a Republican movement to control as a number of big Republican primaries are still winner take all.

Identity politics played no factor in the Goldwater movement.  It is a substantial barrier to anyone challenging Obama as a Democrat in 2012.


[ Parent ]
I'm not just talking about '64 and Goldwater (4.00 / 6)
but about the entire arc of conservative ascendance through 2004, that culminated with Nixon, Reagan, Gingrich and Bush II. This was accomplished through exceptional movement building, both within and outside the GOP, which was eventually taken over by them.

Why can't we do that? If the NRA, anti-abortion groups, anti-gay groups, and white racist nativists can, why can't we? Yes we can! ;-)

And identity politics had everything to do with the Goldwater movement. It was all about suburban white Protestant nativists fearing the loss of their America to everyone else, a reaction to Brown v. Board (blacks!), JFK (Catholics!), Sputnik (Ruskies!), etc.

Why can't we react to THEM at last?

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton


[ Parent ]
Bingo! (0.00 / 0)
This is precisely what I would love Open Left to debate: how do progressives take back the Democratic party from the DLC and moderate Republicans who currently run the party? I would love for Paul Rosenberg, David Kowalski, and anyone else to thoroughly debate an actual program based on historical experience.

Progressive policies used to define Democrats prior to Clinton, through a focus on issues important to working people, the 90-99% of Americans who are not wealthy and never will be wealthy.


[ Parent ]
Or... (4.00 / 2)
What Digby (sort of) said:

For all its apparent freshness, however, the Tea Party movement is neither new nor novel, historians and political scientists say.

It is firmly rooted, in its ideology, rhetoric and - there's no polite word for it - its paranoia, in the post-World War II American right.

Every few years, usually though not always during a Democratic administration, the movement reappears, with a similar set of grievances: The expansion of government is moving us toward socialism; there's been a dangerous weakening of the national security apparatus but also, paradoxically, the threat of police state provisions at home; an alien subversive of nefarious intentions, composed of cosmopolitan elites and corrupt "one worlders" has infected the government.

In the 1950s, conservatives were angered when their champion, Ohio Sen. Robert Taft, was shoved aside by Republican elites in favor of the moderate Dwight Eisenhower.

Kathy Olmsted, a University of California, Davis historian of the period, notes that they accused the one-time Supreme Allied Commander of being a communist agent, an allegation made repeatedly by candy tycoon Robert Welch.

Consider the far-right rallying cry during the presidency of Bill Clinton: Jackbooted government thugs were on the loose; American soldiers were fighting under the U.N. flag; the 1993 tax increase - and yet another failed attempt at health care reform - the marks of a closet socialist.

The most fitting parallel, however, may be the early 1960s, when right-wing activists believed the civil rights movement was the work of the Soviets and, as Ronald Reagan alleged, Medicare a push for socialized medicine.

"The tropes, the rhetoric, the cultural profile - there are profound similarities," says Rick Perlstein, who has completed two books of a trilogy on the history of the conservative movement and is widely viewed by conservatives and liberals alike as its key chronicler.

Plus ca kook...

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton


[ Parent ]
Actually It's Much Older Than That (4.00 / 1)
Post WWI is more like it, with the the 1919 Red Scare.  Except that was a bipartisan affair, with Democratic Attorney General Palmer getting into it with gleeful abandon, thinking he could get elected President as a result.

But Republican business elites were the driving force, just as they are now with Fox and Freedomworks.

Go back much further than that, and the parties get reversed, and it was the Southern conservatives who committed fucking treason when Lincoln was elected.

Yeah, they were committing treason in the name of fighting big government.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3


[ Parent ]
the most interesting things about the red scare (4.00 / 1)
1. it targeted on the basis of ideology as well as identity (immigrant, southern and eastern european, jewish, etc.)
2. immigration was in the DoL then, not the treasury or the DoJ or the new DHS.
3. the Secretary of Labour individually reviewed the deportaitons and overturned countless of them (compare to Ashcroft and Special Registration in 2003 and 2004)
4. set precedents
5. followed precedents
6. contributed to the rise of jay edgar hoover
7. i'm not sure about this last one, but i think a mitchell palmer was a quaker :)

[ Parent ]
Yup. There's a reason why "it can't happen here" was written in the 30s. (4.00 / 1)
Sinclair Lewis wasn't only transporting the rise of the Nazi movement into the US, he could dig into more than sufficient evidence of similar populist extremism in the US in the past years. And he obviously used this for his book. That's what actually makes his story so believable.

[ Parent ]
And meanwhile China will surpass the US in scientific research (4.00 / 7)

by 2020, according to this Financial Times piece [emphasis added, link in original]:

According to James Wilsdon, science policy director at the Royal Society in London, three main factors are driving Chinese research. First is the government's enormous investment, with funding increases far above the rate of inflation, at all levels of the system from schools to postgraduate research.

Second is the organised flow of knowledge from basic science to commercial applications. Third is the efficient and flexible way in which China is tapping the expertise of its extensive scientific diaspora in north America and Europe, tempting back mid-career scientists with deals that allow them to spend part of the year working in the west and part in China.

h/t to Ian Welsh

It's not even disappointing anymore, it's pathetic.



And Obama Actually Sold Himself (4.00 / 5)
as just the sort of whip-smart politician that could get on top of all the wonky problems like this, when the reality is he can't keep his lunch money from the smallest bully in the schoolyard.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
but we are all obligated to vote him! (0.00 / 0)
n/t

My blog  

[ Parent ]
Bully? (0.00 / 0)
He couldn't stand up to the Olson Twins.

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton

[ Parent ]
Liberals (4.00 / 3)
Obama repeatedly bullied liberals in both the House and Senate.  It is the conservadems and Republicans he can't stand up to.  For my politics, Obama is a very major bully.

[ Parent ]
True (0.00 / 0)
Bullies are known to bully the weak and only stand up to the strong. But IF the Olson Twins were to threaten him, you can be sure that he'd stand down faster than you can say Billy Tauzin.

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton

[ Parent ]
Paul, I know you are better than this ... (0.00 / 0)
... particularly:

the reality is he can't keep his lunch money from the smallest bully in the schoolyard.

As you correctly pointed out during the campaign, Obama was never a progressive.  Thus now, he's not being bullied, he's being who he is.  He was elected with massive Wall Street contributions and that's who he's been working for since day 1.

The problem with getting into the bully thing is it plays into the macho rhetoric that the right feeds on.  A few days back, around healthcare, a frenzied Yglesias was calling for Rep. Grijalva to punch a senator in the face, on Kos, there are ravings about going to war.  And on the healthcare front post-Massachusetts, ramming the Senate bill through the House has been characterized as a stiffening of spine, showing courage, guts, other body parts.  It's been nauseating.  As though there weren't policy issues that people disagreed with.

So please, lay off this stuff.

Full Court Press!  http://www.openleft.com/showDi...


[ Parent ]
Not So (0.00 / 0)
As you correctly pointed out during the campaign, Obama was never a progressive.  Thus now, he's not being bullied, he's being who he is.  He was elected with massive Wall Street contributions and that's who he's been working for since day 1.

The problem with getting into the bully thing is it plays into the macho rhetoric that the right feeds on.

(1) This isn't just anti-progressive.  It's anti-reality.  And it's political poison.  There's nothing particularly pro-Wall Street about it, either.  You're just tossing random odds & ends together.

(2) The bully thing is real.  Citing the fact that others may say or do stupid things under the influence of related counter-rhetoric is really stretching it in your search for something to criticize me for.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3


[ Parent ]
I wasn't searching for something to criticize you for (0.00 / 0)
It's strange that you would have that reaction.

I liked your post.  But I really think getting into the schoolyard stuff gets into a sexist macho way of talking that feeds into the right.  You know I can be harsh at times, but I really try to avoid stuff that reeks of manliness.  Calling Obama an idiot, anti-reality, poison, etc., is accurate.

If it was Bowers or Lux getting into that kind of talk, I wouldn't bother.  But you I respect.  I make this point out of respect.

Full Court Press!  http://www.openleft.com/showDi...


[ Parent ]
You Probably Didn't Have To Deal With Bullies As A Kid (0.00 / 0)
I did.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
I'm big, but yes I did (0.00 / 0)
Being big, I had to be extra careful, didn't want to be an aggressor.  Then I stuffed Jim Mercuro into his gym locker and popped Frank Bumbico's ear in the middle of an assembly, and things got better.

Full Court Press!  http://www.openleft.com/showDi...

[ Parent ]
My Final Solution (4.00 / 2)
was making friends with the two biggest guys in school.  No one else was even close.  It wasn't calculated, really.  But it sure was convenient.

I re-connected with one of them four or five years later, in the high school hootenanny circuit.  He went by "Tank" then, a solo guitarist who vaguely reminded me of a whiteboy Big Bill Broonzy, and I was in a proto-punk jug band called "My Mother Loved Me But She Died."

Point being: the number one way to deal with bullies is perception management.  Stop acting weak, stop seeming weak, and they stop bothering you.  Bullies are all cowards at heart.  They only picked on me when it looked cost-free to do so.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3


[ Parent ]
If I see anything close to a spending freeze for NIH/NSF (4.00 / 3)
... I rather think I will volunteer for whoever primaries him.  Until now, science had been the one area where Obama was unquestionably doing the right thing: Steven Chu/John Holdren/Eric Lander were all excellent picks, and we've seen good investments in all the right areas.  If that lone bright spot goes away, there's certainly no "hope" left for me.  

[ Parent ]
Public services should not be privatized, (4.00 / 5)
as it inevitably leads to waste and fraud.  One example, reported today, is the billion dollars that DynCorp has swindled in Iraq through the State department.

Hope! -- Rest In Peace, January 25, 2010 (4.00 / 4)
Three years. He's consigning himself to doing nothing for the remainder of his term. This is comprehensive, unilateral surrender...

Self-refuting Christine O'Donnell is proof monkeys are still evolving into humans

But Wait! (4.00 / 3)
He's going to take all the money that isn't cut, and put it into a public-private partnership...

to buy ponies!

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3


[ Parent ]
You're such a "hater", Paul (0.00 / 0)
Count me in!

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton

[ Parent ]
"doing nothing for the remainder of his term" No. That would be good news. (4.00 / 1)
It's even worse: He's playing McCain now, and in some issues even outflanking the crooked "straight talker" on the right side! If Obama would simply stop doing anything, that would be great. But fact is, he's ACTIVELY psuhing his own party to the right side. His tance is not even centrist anymore, that's rightwing shit. Face it, the guy is a traitor. And in a parliamentary democracy, he would be kicked out of office now!

[ Parent ]
Of course, in a parliamentary democracy... (0.00 / 0)
...we'd be more reliant on our legislative brain trust. Given their track record of idiocy I can't say that gives me much comfort either.

...Adding, the Senate blowhards with even more power. Just what we need... (yes, I know you're not advocating it. I'm just sayin'.)

Self-refuting Christine O'Donnell is proof monkeys are still evolving into humans


[ Parent ]
Well, sure, the systems are totally different. (0.00 / 0)
The parties (as organisations) are much stronger too, with more discipline, so you can't really compare that. In a parliamentary system, numerous of the Dem troublemakers wouldn't have a seat anymore. The party base would have kicked them out.

[ Parent ]
Paul (4.00 / 3)
This diary would get you autobanned on Daily Kos. Teh Kool Kidz are pulling out all the stops to defend this latest insult. Give the guy more time! We don't know the details! It's yet another superduper jui-jitsu maneuver to outplay the Repubs! He ares a geeneeyus!

Of course, most of them are plants, and fools easily conned by plants. Still, sad.

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton


I very rarely look at Kos (0.00 / 0)
as much for the poor format as the DLC apologists.

But when I have of late, I've noticed far more vigorous criticism of the administration than at the beginning of the term.  

And there is a front page diary entitled "Unimaginable stupidity," so maybe even the kool aid types are beginning to wake up a bit.  


[ Parent ]
Well (4.00 / 4)
There's this, this and this, so don't hold your breath.

Then again, there's also this and this, so who knows?

I'm not saying that there aren't honest, reality-based real progressives posting good stuff there. But the S/N ratio has been steadily declining since Obama won the primaries.

I just want them to leave. They've had their say, they're embarrassing themselves and the party, and they have no place in serious progressive discussions. When you place more importance on a person than a movement, you turn yourself into a joke.

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton


[ Parent ]
Thx for reading that DKos crap, so I don't have to, Kovie! (4.00 / 2)
Wow. You really must have a strong stomach. I couldn't do that, all that idiocy would make me puke.

[ Parent ]
It's some sort of weird cycle (0.00 / 0)
one day the front page will criticize Obama strongly, then the next day they will hunt down, flame, and ban anyone who expresses the same view independently.  Then they will smear the person after they have banned them.  

My blog  

[ Parent ]
This, and the idiocy of bringing back Plouffe. (4.00 / 1)
Obama keeps saying we're going in the wrong direction, but rather than changing course, he's changing the helmsman and shouting, "full steam ahead!"

You know what?  That's not stupidity.  That's insanity!

Health insurance is not health care.
If you don't fight, you can't win.
Never give up. Never Surrender.
Watch out for flying kabuki.


Yes, it may be that Plouffe is behind this terrible idiocy! (4.00 / 1)
Look at this: "Plouffe is considered an expert in identifying trends"
http://www.usnews.com/articles...

Now this makes sense, right? Yes, there is a trend towards (stupidly) reducing the debt and (phony) "fiscal responsiblity" in the population. But it's a trend among the right wing voters, and some dumb independents! And, of course, following that tend would be sheer idiocy, both for the economy, and for the party. But if you only care about trends, and making the president look more popular, this makes some insane sense. So, yes,this may really be a sign of Plouffe at work.

And prolly Volcker, too, who has been called a "hard money guy" by Krugman recently. Those idiots are pushing the Dem party, and the nation, into the abyss!


[ Parent ]
More bullshit. (4.00 / 2)
The problem is that his solution is stupid and business as usual.   Except for his pet wars, homeland security boondoggles, continuing tax cuts for the rich, and Bernanke and Geithner continuing to bailout the banks, spending is frozen.  What bull shit is this?  The same old bull shit.  These beltway elitist always have money for what they want, and when its time to tighten the budget, they tell us to pay up.  Yes, people want the deficit spending to stop; but they want fairness first.   If Obama or Plouffe think Americans are going to buy this as controlling spending, they really deserve to be mowing lawns instead of running the country.  

Obama is no more turned a new page than I won the lottery last night.   He comes out of the Senate.  He doesn't have a clue what reality is.  More campaign rhetoric, smoke and mirrors, and bull shit from the ruling class.


aren't we all idiots? (4.00 / 1)
that's the takeaway lesson for me, and the one i see as more broadly useful - arrogance and technocracy are the problem - the idea that any individual or small group of individuals should be wielding this much power with a complete lack of accountability.  

if we returned to a simple life of actually acknowledging the worth of democracy - and then fighting for it where it wasn't present - we would all be better off, even if it might reduce profits slightly.  we might, for example, invest in levees or bridge maintenance or schools, because we felt it was warranted.  group decisions and whatnot.  


D'accord (0.00 / 0)
What creates unemployment? When nominal aggregate demand is insufficient to purchase all the goods and services that would be offered with the economy operating at full capacity an output gap results and unemployment rises as businesses lay off workers as they contract production to reduce supply to adjust the lower level of demand.

The purpose of government spending is twofold. First, the government must either spend or reduce taxes when demand for goods and services falls short of what the economy is capable of producing or an output gap and unemployment will result. In a perfectly flexible economy, the elasticity of supply and demand would reset prices and wages automatically, but this is just on the case with a modern economy where prices and wages are "sticky."

Secondly, according to the preamble of the Constitution, one of the purposes of the government it constitutes is to "promote the general Welfare." This has been interpreted to mean that the government shall undertake to provide what promotes the general welfare, i.e., advance public purpose, in specific areas, when the private sector is either incapable or uninterested in doing so, and also assisting the private sector as needed. There is never a reason to just spend in order to spend. Of course, spending should be worthwhile and it is a just a conservative presumption that spending is not worthwhile and wasteful. However, the same result can be accomplished by reducing taxes, so the government can always increase NFA that way, as Warren Mosler suggests here, where he recommends a payroll tax holiday along with a $500 per capital block grant to all 50 states, most of whom are tanking due to falling revenue.


[ Parent ]
Ummm.Wait A Sec (4.00 / 1)
The purpose of government spending is twofold. First, the government must either spend or reduce taxes when demand for goods and services falls short of what the economy is capable of producing or an output gap and unemployment will result.

Secondly, according to the preamble of the Constitution, one of the purposes of the government it constitutes is to "promote the general Welfare." .... There is never a reason to just spend in order to spend.

Except, of course, for the first purpose.

As Keyens once said, paying people to dig holes & then fill them up again would do for ending the Depression.  Not the best way.  But it would do.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3


[ Parent ]
better than the military keynesianism we currently use (0.00 / 0)


[ Parent ]
Actually, It's The SAME As The Military Keyensianism We Us (0.00 / 0)
We just "dig" the holes with bombs, and fill them up with bodies.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
yeah the bodies part is what makes it worse ;) (0.00 / 0)


[ Parent ]
Morally, Yes (0.00 / 0)
Economically... details, details.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Another Way to Underconsumption (4.00 / 2)
I read recently that massive concentration of wealth in few hands in a society also causes underconsumption. The idea being that 1,000 people spending $100 million would have greater economic impact than 1 person owning that $100 million. I'd never thought of it that way. But it also ties into a post Paul Rosenberg (I believe) did awhile back about the relationship between progressive taxation and economic bubbles. Taxing wealth aggressively is healthy for society, if not the egos of the lucky few who figure out how to hoard that kind of wealth, short of being born into it or marrying it.

[ Parent ]
I Believe tjfxh Mentioned This Somewhere (4.00 / 2)
I don't think anyone doubts the capacity of taxation to alter spending & consumption patterns.  Which is why some folks want to make sure that no one thinks very clearly about the subject.

I remember raising the issue with an economist back in the 70s that it was intuitively obvious that $1 meant a lot less to a millionaire than it did to someone working for poverty wages, and thus it clearly increased net human welfare to redistribute wealth.  He objected that we had no empirical evidence for it.  I pointed out that millionaires gain and lose thousands of dollars, if not more, in the stock market every day without even noticing--something no one working for minimum wage could ignore, and that sure looked like empirical evidence to me.

Nearly 40 years later, I'm still waiting for a come-back reply.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3


[ Parent ]
Excellent (0.00 / 0)
I'll have to remember your argument. It's brilliant and obvious.

[ Parent ]
i can come up with some arguments against it (0.00 / 0)
they're generally stupid in a wealthy economy imo, but some run as follows:

taxation on the wealthy reduces savings = reduces investment
excessive consumption --> inflation in wage goods --> cycle of increasing wages, progressive taxation, and inflation
etc etc etc
taxation on wealth --> disincentive to grow wealthy --> reduced overall risktaking / entrepreneurship / investment --> lower aggregate production

in a nonwealthy economy (i.e. where scarcity of capital is a more serious issue) you have similar arguments but the stakes are upped.  not clear whether or not they're any less stupid but you do have an additional dimension to contend with (societies attached to nonwealthy economies tend to get dominated in global capitalism)

anyway, all of these arguments depend on looking at the actual social context and defining policy accordingly (and in accord with your own beliefs about what makes the most sense - there are certain presumptions that go into all of these things about how people behave and what kinds of social organisation work).  for example, if you have a fairly equal society and demand as a whole is outstripping supply and you're interested in pursuing capitalist growth (this is one of thsoe presumptions) then it would make sense for you to policywise divert some money towards accumulation (whether through the state or the private sector or individuals).

but that is not the situation we're in - we have demand that is too low, excessive inequality (economically - not just politically), failing infrastructure, relative (if slight for now) decline globally, etc - which is why all the policies pursued by the u.s. elite today are so incredibly moronic when taken as a whole if they are interested in the welfare of the united states.  

of course, i come to that conclusion partly because i can't bring myself to believe that they in some sense the financial class is seceding and is just waiting for another market to plow their money into and don't give a f"£k about anyone else.  even though they keep saying that's what they're doing.

and of course, no one seems to notice that their 'choice' leads to public spending in the only area that's politically palatable besides benefits for old people- what's euphemistically called 'defense' - in order to keep society going...and hence we get wars.  because what point are toys, armies, and miliatary bases and entire communities built around them if they're not going to be used?  they have to justify themselves somehow.


[ Parent ]
First Off, Those Aren't Counter-Arguments (0.00 / 0)
Those are entirely different arguments about the macroeconomic performance of economies with different sorts of tax structures.  They are related arguments in terms of a range of potential policy implications, but they don't address the same fundamental issue that I brought up, which is a foundational challenge to the assumption that the value of a dollar in the economy is the same, no matter who has that dollar.

In fact, none of the arguments you present would restore that presumption, they would only, at best, show some sort of countervailing effect--although that is highly doubtful in light of a 2005 study by the Center for Economic Policy Research that I plan to blog about this weekend, which shows that the neoliberal era (1981-onward) has produced lower growth rates in developing nations than the previous quarter century, when more egalitarian policies dominated.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3


[ Parent ]
oh don't get me wrong (0.00 / 0)
i agreed totally with your basic point - the idea that a dollar has equal value to someone who makes $5.80 an hour as someone who makes $580 an hour is idiotic.  i don't actually see how anyone could disagree with that.

neoliberalism is a complicated thing - i don't think you can understand it in a developing country context without combining it with something like world systems theory or dependency theory.  also, the specifics are very different from the media-related stories in some cases (e.g. the level of state involvement in india's 'post-liberalisation' economy would make most american policymakers scared).


[ Parent ]
India and China Both (4.00 / 1)
are HUGE economies, and are clear exceptions to how the neoliberal development order has played out.

And I wasn't getting you wrong.  I just wanted to make sure that others didn't lose the distinction that I know you understand.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3


[ Parent ]
Beyond idiocy (4.00 / 1)
If this plan saves 250 billion over ten years, that's only 25 billion a year.  How much difference would that really make to the overall economy?

Having read many books about FDR, I'm shocked that this administration doesn't know the lessons of 1937.

44 states report crushing budget gaps.  Help the states, cut the defense budget and support jobs and shovel-ready projects in the states.  Invest in public transportation.  Do something practical!


Warren Mosler's 11 Steps to Fixing the Economy (0.00 / 0)
[ Parent ]
People on this site were soooo upset when I called Obama an ass-clown last week... (4.00 / 1)
but that comment is sure looking prescient now! The man is politically clueless, and so are the crapheads he has surrounded himself with.

no one cares about insulting Obama (4.00 / 3)
But "ass clown" is offensive in any context.  Besides, you wrote a quick hit that did not link to anything.  Quick hits are not just another form of comments.

[ Parent ]
"people" (4.00 / 1)
Was me, and I posted a QH explaining why.  Fuck, can nothing ever be for the reasons stated or does every god damn thing have to be a fucking conspiracy to silence some viewpoint?

[ Parent ]
I want a progressive party (4.00 / 1)
We may not win many elections, we may not raise a ton of cash, but at least we could know what the party stands for and control the party mission/message.  Working within the Democratic party is damn nigh impossible.  We should separate ourselves now while it can still make some sort of difference.

I can't vote R, I can't vote D much more, give me someone to vote for.  Please.


I agree (4.00 / 1)
American govt becomes more fucked everyday.

Extraordinary progressive star in the making

[ Parent ]
We Have a Progressive Party... (4.00 / 1)
...it's called the Democratic party. It's been hijacked, IMHO, by the DLC types and people who pre-1992 and Clinton would be called pro-corporate moderate Republicans. I say we take our party back.

[ Parent ]
Movement Conservatives Sure Didn't Give Up on The GOP (4.00 / 1)
In the early 60s, the GOP had just had a moderate conservative 2-term president--Eisenhower--who actually governed pretty much like a true Burkean, unwilling to roll back the New Deal, because it had become part of the fabric of society.  They considered him a "Communist dupe."

They'd just barely lost electing his successor, who was rabidly anti-Communist, but didn't really froth the way they liked it, and had seemed far too content to support the "Communist dupe."

Prior to that, the GOP had run two moderate liberals for the previous three elections.

At no time during this period from 1940 to 1960 did the movement conservatives give up on re-taking the GOP, even though they were far outside even the GOP mainstream.  They really just didn't have a choice.

Despite everything John Emerson has written--quite accurately--about the Democratic Party and its long anti-populist history, in the US system today, progressives have no more choice than conservatives did over that 20-year span.  The odds are more against us, of course, because elite support for us will never be anything like what it's been for movement conservatives.   But the structural realities are what they are.  And some portion of the elite can clearly see that the right is running us off a cliff, and knows that they have more to lose than any of the rest of us.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3


[ Parent ]
What about state party takeovers? (4.00 / 1)
This is the reason I'd love to have a formal front page debate about how to "take back" (quotes are for those who believe progressives never owned the party) the Democratic party. Yes, we are out of power. Yes, we are shat upon by Democratic leaders. But it seems that a 10 or 20 year effort, starting with take over of state Democratic parties, running local and state progressive candidates who use progressive messages, then expanding to all 50 states, it seems that would be an obvious place to start to build the politicians, get voters accustomed to progressive messages, and make DLC Democrats turn Republican. It's also possible this approach might yield results in 1-3 years, by replacing key Blue Dog Democrats, for example, or making progressive ideas mainstream.

But I don't know everything. 8-) That's what would make such a debate at Open Left so interesting: there are a lot of people like yourself who know the history, who have political experience, who could contribute to an exhaustive debate that might actually lead to action. Let's be constructive.

Thanks also Paul for calling to primary Obama. Let's go!


[ Parent ]
State Parties Are Definitely On The Pathway (0.00 / 0)
I agree it's worth doing something in the way of a grand debate.  But I just work here.  If Chris agrees, then we could really be in business.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Maybe Progressives should infiltrate and take over the REPUBLICAN party. (0.00 / 0)
In a flanking move, run and vote for liberals en masse in local/state primary races.

Leave the Dem party to the Blue Dogs/DLC. Let the Tea Party take it over.



[ Parent ]
join a union and vote in your union elections (0.00 / 0)
it'll do more good than the general elections for now.

[ Parent ]
Keep it simple - jobs, investment in USA (4.00 / 1)
Obama has an 88% favorability rating among Democrtas. So who's going to defect, and why?

The only chance of getting independents and disaffected Democrats is to keep the agenda simple, understandable, debatable by ordin ary citizens (not just wonks and Beltway technocrats):

A clear jobs creation program. First and foremost. Including lower taxes on mutual funds/investment funds that invest funds exclusively in the USA. Guarantee for these funds of a certain minimum level of returns, decade by decade, say 7%.

Health care reform one step/one bill at a time. Then spell out 5-6 bills.

Eliminating bailouts, and access to FDIC and Fed cheap money, for banks that profit from trading. Or educating on/proposing the Swedish model for bank bailouts and regulations. This is a true capitalistic. free markets plan. No free bailouts, no bank subsidies. Let the market work.


Carpe diem (0.00 / 0)
People compare President Obama to President Clinton. There's considerable justice in the comparison, but I'd put it another way. On a good day, President Obama is Gorbachev; on a bad day, he's Brezhnev.

Today is a bad day.


Good day, bad day? Didn't you get this a bit wrong? (0.00 / 0)
How about:
'President Obama talks like Gorbachev, but acts like Brezhnev.'
Hmm?

[ Parent ]
And the difference to Bush (0.00 / 0)
'President Bush talked like Yeltsin, but acted like Chrustchev.'  

[ Parent ]
Excuse me, (4.00 / 2)
but I think Yeltsin spoke better English.

Health insurance is not health care.
If you don't fight, you can't win.
Never give up. Never Surrender.
Watch out for flying kabuki.


[ Parent ]
"Jimmy" Obama or "Herbert" Obama? You pick. (4.00 / 1)
Bill Mitchell on the economic reasons.

A one-term presidency is in order .


Barack Hoover Obama! (0.00 / 0)
Of course.

[ Parent ]
I'm running out of excuses (4.00 / 5)


I Hate To Say "I Told You So" (0.00 / 0)
Ordinarily, of course, I'd love it.  But the amount of human suffering involved in being right....

No way.

I said repeatedly that I hoped you were right, and I meant it.

But you were always honest in making your arguments, which was quite uncommon.  You have no reason to feel ashamed.  

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3


[ Parent ]
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