In a different country, kabuki wouldn’t be necessary

President Obama released his 2014 budget today.

For the past few days, we’ve been treated to an explosion on the Left over proposals for savings in Social Security and Medicare. Pres. Obama has been excoriated as a Democrat In Name Only, wanting to put grandma on cat food, and in at least one blog’s comments as a “gelding”.

I’m not going to go into the particulars on the budget. You can do a search on Google and find plenty of ammunition to support whichever side you’re on. (I recommend this blog post for a rather thorough explanation on the budget.)

Pres. Obama’s budget is, in part, a good-faith offer to the GOP. He’s taking John Boehner and Paul Ryan at their words that they don’t want to destroy Social Security and Medicare, but to “reform” them. Obama’s budget does that, while preserving both programs, and even enhancing them by setting a minimum benefit above the poverty line, and upping the benefits for seniors once they reach the age of 85. He achieves savings in Medicare by cutting wasteful payments to providers and drug companies; and, of course, the PPACA has provisions in it which help ensure Medicare’s solvency. If Boehner, Ryan, and Eric Cantor were sincere in their stated purposes to “save” Social Security and Medicare, they would accept Obama’s offer, or at least negotiate based on it.

Of course, they’re not. Boehner dismissed the budget blueprint after it was leaked as too little, too late. Paul Ryan is on record as saying that there is no room for compromise. The GOP leadership and rank and file is united as a bloc against the budget.

And small wonder that it is. Yes, Obama has taken heat from the left for his chained CPI proposal. But the budget is loaded with items which should make people on the left happy, from closing tax loopholes for the rich to universal pre-K education funded by cigarette taxes. That the left has launched a jihad against Obama for his heresy against the dogma that there’s no looming danger to Social Security is part of the problem facing this country.

Pres. Obama had to include social insurance “reform” in his budget. The Serious People ™ would demand nothing less; of course, they, like Boehner, say that Obama still isn’t showing “leadership”.

But this was aimed at neither the GOP caucus or The Serious People ™. All this infuriating kabuki is aimed at voters, at those who answer poll questions and determine the national debate. Because, despite what the DC media thinks, there is a debate going on in the country irrespective of their analysis.

Voters are tired of Washington gridlock. They want the two parties to work together for the good of the country. And they are on the verge of severely punishing the people they see as obstructing governance.

Obama created a firestorm over chained CPI with the megaphone left. But he now has the battle scars to go on the hustings and tell voters: “See, I gave in on something dear to my base. But the GOP against any proposal if it includes extracting extra revenue from their backers.” Obama faced down the leftist lions; Boehner doesn’t have the courage or the power to do likewise with the rightist radicals. The Right demands nothing other than complete surrender on the part of Obama and Democrats. And, despite what the Left has been braying about for days, this budget is far from a surrender. As I said, it’s loaded with proposals which should win praise from the Left. The fact that it isn’t enhances the Kabuki element with the middle-of-the-road voters who will decide the 2014 midterms.

Pres. Obama proposed a budget which he could sign into law. But he also proposed a budget which he knew the GOP would reject. They would reject it because as the price of their “reform”, Obama would extract spending on needed national improvements, as well as closing tax loopholes. But, mostly, they would reject it because it was offered up by Obama.

The GOP has no coherent ideology left, other than irrational Obama hatred. There will be no effective governance of the nation until and unless we can unseat the GOP House in 2014. A ten-year budget blueprint is what is needed for stability in the economy; it’s a blueprint which can only come to fruition with a Democratic majority in both houses.

And so, the Kabuki, to take the voters by the hand and show them step by step the reasonable steps Obama proposes, and the intransigence and wrong-footedness of the GOP opposition.

It shouldn’t be necessary. A free people should be so knowledgeable about politics at both a federal, state, and local level that no politician could get away with blatant demagoguery and outright lies. But that isn’t the country in which we live. People demand everything in easily digested bites; right and wrong, black and white. So Obama puts on the drama, somehow making himself heard over the din of the commentariat, and bit by bit reminds voters that they have responsibilities as well as rights; that, indeed, without fulfilling those responsibilities, the rights will be dead letters.

The country, despite being over 200 years old, is still reeling in its adolescence. Pres. Obama is trying to make sure that it reaches maturity in a fit state. For our sakes, we have to make sure he succeeds.

155 Responses to “In a different country, kabuki wouldn’t be necessary”

  1. 6 57andfemale
    April 10, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    What is the phrase we’re using instead of gun control? I’m blanking on it.

  2. 10 donna dem 4 obama
    April 10, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    I’m bringing this over….

    Now that the President has released his budget I’m going to make a very controversial comment here…

    I do not believe that President Obama would “gamble” with our interest. From everything that I know about this man it’s just not in his DNA. I don’t believe he is naive but I do think that he feels it necessary to compromise for the greater good of the country. IMO he is not bluffing with his chained CPI proposal because somehow he thinks the Repubs won’t bite. I don’t think he operates like that.

    I could be wrong and it may be a mute point because they will probably not accept it but I don’t think he’s playing chess or checkers or whichever game folks think he’s playing to bait the Republicans. He takes his job way too seriously for that.

    Like I said, I could be wrong and it’s just an opinion.

    • 11 donna dem 4 obama
      April 10, 2013 at 4:45 pm

      Ok LL I wrote this before I saw your piece so its not really in response to you just a commentary in general. 😉

      • April 10, 2013 at 5:10 pm

        Oh, as I said in my piece, this is a budget he believes in. He wouldn’t have proposed it otherwise. But he’s also smart enough to know that the GOP will say no to anything he proposes. So he proposes what he thinks is the way forward for the country, gets grief from the Left, gets obstruction from the Right, and can turn to the country and say “See? You need to get involved.”

        • 13 Bill R.
          April 10, 2013 at 5:27 pm

          Good analysis. It’s a serious offer, and if the GOP met his conditions he would give on Soc. Sec. for a greater good. I’m a senior receiving Soc. Sec. i’m okay with the chained CPI.

          • April 10, 2013 at 5:28 pm

            Don’t go to TPM. It makes for depressing reading.

            • 15 Cha
              April 10, 2013 at 6:08 pm

              Or democraticunderground.. I’m sure it’s a cauldron of fire and pitchforks. It has been for the last week.. building up to a crescendo. It’s their chance for every Pres Obama hater to spew vindictives on any subject.. even when he was helping the victims’ loved ones at the Univ of Hartford.

              Thanks for you piece, Liberal Librarian. As far as I can see.. there aren’t too many people giving the President understanding on his Budget. Except you, deaniac, and RMuse at PoliticusUSA.

            • 16 Cha
              April 10, 2013 at 6:29 pm

              P.S. And, Michael Tomasky!

    • 17 Janelle
      April 10, 2013 at 5:05 pm

      I had to delurk to say this…..donna, you are not being controversial. The President is NOT bluffing, IF and only if, the Repubs give in on tax revenue and protect the vulnerable. People can say no to chained CPI or they can deal with it…..people have very strong opinions. But he is not bluffing. The Rethugs will not give in but he would not put this effort on a budget if he wasn’t willing to go there. I did read LL’s excellent commentary and there is some kabuki involved but I agree with Donna, this President takes his job very seriously. The year 2010 should be etched in everyone’s minds for a long time—between the state houses and the Congress….it’s been a heck of a ride and the President is trying to right a ship with a majority of crazies……we need to be mindful of our civic responsibilities with all elections and no matter who the Democrat in the WH will be in the future, you best believe they’re going to have to make compromises as well…..and we just may well have a corporate Dem in there that won’t include other progressive items in the budget as the President has done. Just my 2cents.

      • 18 99ts
        April 10, 2013 at 7:11 pm

        At this point in time I have no idea why he even wants to be President – but I thank him with all my heart. Those who think he “baits” anyone are reflecting their own morals & no nothing about the man of whom they speak.

    • 19 vcprezofan2
      April 10, 2013 at 5:16 pm

      I share your opinion, DD, I go for the greater good theory. I do not see the President as one who would ‘bait’ the Repubs. I see his as a man with an intellect who a) plans ahead, and b) plans with different contingents in mind. After all, what would happen were the Repubs to accept his offer, would he then withdraw it and say ‘I was only bluffing’? Not at all like the President I think I know. Plus PBO has said as far back as 2006 that something can be done to strengthen the programmes. Check this out, in particular 1:08 -3:05min if you can’t watch the whole.

    • 20 57andfemale
      April 10, 2013 at 5:34 pm

      I just posted a reply to this on the last thread.

      • 21 vcprezofan2
        April 10, 2013 at 6:01 pm

        Phew! I went aaalllll the way back to see, 57F. 😀 And yes, I too wish Dems would give the Pres the benefit of the doubt. I don’t get how it doesn’t seem illogical to them that the President would fight for the middle class all the way these past years and then turn around and do something that would irrevocably harm them.

        • 22 57andfemale
          April 10, 2013 at 6:04 pm

          I got distracted! I was going to cut and paste it. And you went to all that trouble. I’m flattered.

          What makes me so sad is that we can’t have honest debates anymore. Everything’s hyperbole, everything’s black and white, all or nothing. I may have issues with chained CPI but that doesn’t mean I don’t love and trust PBO, or that there isn’t a big picture of the common good or that he’s my enemy because I don’t agree with how he’s prioritized one thing. When did the Left stop being able to THINK?

    • 23 isonprize
      April 10, 2013 at 6:59 pm

      Donna, I totally agree with your comment. (also, I’m going to guess that you meant ‘moot’ point as in irrelevant argument, as opposed to ‘mute’ point, which would make the point unable to speak.

    • 24 cookemom
      April 10, 2013 at 7:20 pm

      Not controversial at all. I think folks mistake his always being a few steps ahead of everyone, with being a chess master, ninja, mind bender. He is and always has been a big picture, forward thinker. It just takes time for the rest of us to catch up to him. Rather than admitting he is working long-term solutions, the short-sided people just get all wee wee’d up.

      Of course chained CPI isn’t optimal, but did anybody bother to talk about the headstart/kindergarten provisions. PBO is looking out for the young folk’s future, while compromising a few bucks on those who’ve been there, done that. I don’t know what the impact of changes to chained CPI has on folks who are receiving Soc Sec (me being one of them), but hopefully PBO would not make a person choose between cat or dog food.

      • 25 Roberta in MN
        April 10, 2013 at 8:30 pm

        Cookemon, that is not going to happen. If you get a chance go to TPV Spandan has a great analysis, facts & figures to back it up. You will feel much better.

        • 26 cookemom
          April 11, 2013 at 10:56 am

          Oh I feel fine about it. I am fortunate that I don’t have a problem with the changes PBO proposes to soc sec. I also feel that he won’t cause undo harm to my fellow senior citizens.

    • 27 nathkatun7
      April 10, 2013 at 9:37 pm

      Donna, since you brought that over, I thought I would also bring over my response to your excellent comment….

      Donna, as far as I am concerned, your statement is spot on. As a senior citizen, I trust President Obama and do not think he is not looking out for our interests. At the same time, as he often emphasizes, we all must pitch in for the common good. Already as A senior citizen I am benefiting from the closing of the donut hole with regard to prescription drugs. I am also already benefiting from the ACA with free annual exams. and reduction in premium for my senior supplemental insurance. I am sure I am not the only senior citizen who is seeing real savings from President Obama’s health care policies, the same president who was falsely and maliciously accused of instituting “death panels” for seniors.

      • 28 donna dem 4 obama
        April 10, 2013 at 9:55 pm

        Thanks Nath. I hadn’t thought of the fact that seniors are already seeing those savings you mentioned. This will help to lesson the small adjustments they may see with the chained CPI.

    • 29 cindysweatt
      April 10, 2013 at 10:14 pm

      Donna, I agree. This is part of the leadership qualities that I love in him. He always puts the country before his party. I know how unpopular this is with the dems. It is just the right thing to do. This country has to move forward. I always say when it is my way or your way, it is usually no way. America can’t afford this stalemate.

  3. 30 sherijr
    April 10, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    well done LL… a country in our ‘adolescence’.. ain’t it the truth.

    I listened pretty closely today to the budget explanation put on the whitehouse- point by point. I’ve read Deaniac’s analysis.. and understand enough to get the gist of things, I believe. My 13 yr old son and I live on a very small amount of Social Security and I am just not worried. I trust this President above everyone else when it comes to who’s looking out for me and folks in my situation. However, I also love the cigerette tax, the universal preschool, etc.

    My question is: what happens next? If Boehner has already nixed this budget, what are the procedures going forward?

    • April 10, 2013 at 5:22 pm

      lurch from crisis to crisis and make damned sure that voters in 2014 know that the GOP refused a 10 year blueprint for the economy which would bring stability to markets.

      • 32 sherijr
        April 10, 2013 at 5:25 pm

        well thats not helpful 😉 Most definitely 2014- we have to speak out about all this obstruction, support dems and vote as big as we did in 2012.

  4. 33 Bill
    April 10, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Arthur Newmyer, 61 years of age, is suing Sidwell Friends School for $10 million because his 41 years of age wife was having an affair with the school shrink who was treating their daughter who was five at the time. The local press is playing up the fact the Obama sisters attend the school.

    • 35 Linda
      April 10, 2013 at 5:10 pm

      So do David Gregory’s children….did they also mention that ?

      • 36 Bill
        April 10, 2013 at 5:17 pm

        They mention Al Gore III and Chelsea Clinton having attended.

        • 37 Linda
          April 10, 2013 at 5:22 pm

          The case has even pulled in easily threatened Watergate reporter Bob Woodward, whose daughter also attended Sidwell Friends and was involved in a bullying situation that Huntington intervened in. Woodward and his wife, Elsa Walsh, claimed to the school that Huntington had talked about the bullying with his lover, Newmyer’s wife. As a result, Newmyer is subpoenaing emails from Woodward and his wife.

    • 41 99ts
      April 10, 2013 at 7:16 pm

      The suing mentality is beyond sanity

      • April 10, 2013 at 7:18 pm

        I may be misremembering, but there was some factoid I heard a few years ago that the US is home to 90% of the world’s lawyers.

        • 43 Bill
          April 10, 2013 at 7:22 pm

          Think of all the law schools turning out graduates every year.

          • April 10, 2013 at 7:23 pm

            I once considered going into that trade, mostly to impress my gf of the time. While I think lawyers serve a useful purpose, the litigation-happy nature of the US is not an optimal situation.

        • 45 99ts
          April 10, 2013 at 10:46 pm

          It sounds right LL – In my world I have never heard of an employer being sued because an employee had an association with a married woman – my goodness – every employer in the world would have that experience!

    • 46 cookemom
      April 10, 2013 at 7:24 pm

      What local press? In DC area? I hadn’t heard it. Either way, much ado about nothing. We already know that they will always relate anything remotely involving PBO to whatever is going on. Write, tweet, email, whoever made the comparison and let them know how you feel about the sleezy reporting.

    • 47 cindysweatt
      April 10, 2013 at 10:17 pm

      Next thing you know it will be the Obama’s fault that North Korea has rockets because the Obama’s ate rice one night and so did the North Koreans. Seriously, their logic is scary.

  5. 48 Linda
    April 10, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    SUWANEE, Ga. — Authorities in northwest Georgia say a barricaded man is holding five firefighters hostage.

    Gwinnett County Police Cpl. Edwin Ritter says firefighters on Wednesday responded to a medical call in Suwanee and were taken hostage by a suspect he didn’t identify.

    Ritter says information on a possible motive was not immediately available and a SWAT team is on the scene. He gave no more details. A call to the Gwinnett County Fire Department was not immediately returned.

    Suwanee is about 35 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta.

    Yikes…that is not far from where I live….

  6. 51 Linda
    April 10, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    WASHINGTON — Sri Srinivasan, the principal deputy solicitor general of the United States, received a boost in his nomination to the prestigious U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Wednesday, when Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) indicated that he would vote for him.

    There are currently four vacancies on the 11-member court, which is often considered the second most powerful in the country and a stepping stone to the U.S. Supreme Court. The last time the Senate confirmed someone to the D.C. Circuit was in 2006. On March 22, Obama withdrew the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to serve on the court. Senate Republicans had blocked the former New York solicitor general for more than two years.

    Srinivasan faced the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) pressed Srinivasan on whether he would be able to step away from his current role as an advocate and be impartial as a judge. He repeatedly said he was “impressed” with Srinivasan and, apparently convinced by the nominee’s answers, eventually indicated that he intends to support him.

    “Congratulations for this nomination,” Hatch said at the end of his questioning. “I think you’re going to make a great Circuit Court of Appeals judge, and I intend to support you based upon what we’re talking about here. There are differences between being an advocate and a judge, and I think you understand.”

    Jeffrey Toobin thinks this man will get a Supreme Court nomination…. ( I hope that is not a jinx, Toobin is not good at predictions )

    • 52 theo67
      April 10, 2013 at 5:49 pm

      Anytime right wingers support something, I get suspicious… I guess I have to trust that President Obama wouldn’t have nominated him if he was a bad character.

    • 53 Roberta in MN
      April 10, 2013 at 8:39 pm

      I wouldn’t trust Hatch either. The Repubs will pass him out of committee and then block his vote to actually be a Judge. I also heard Grassley is trying to get some legislation in that would reduce the number of Judges for the Circuit Court of Appeals. That is so POTUS can’t nominate anymore Judges for that particular court until the Repubs take the WH again. He needs to retire.

  7. 54 jacquelineoboomer
    April 10, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Liberal Librarian – My hat (were I wearing one) is (or would be) off to you, with that remarkable, timely post, which so many of the emoprogs in this country need to read, not to mention the far righters and seniors. Thank you. Food for deep thought.

  8. April 10, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    So, completely OT, but I somehow managed to pay my home phone (yes, I still have a home phone) and internet bill twice last month. I was quite perplexed why I had a credit until I saw the statement. Oy.

    • 56 vcprezofan2
      April 10, 2013 at 5:45 pm

      😆 I still have a home phone too. I have had it for so long people I haven’t spoken to in decades, sometimes turn up on the other end, shocked that I still have that number. Also, I can count on one hand the people who have my cell number, as I only turn it on when ***I*** want to make a call, or when Offspring is away from home.

      • April 10, 2013 at 5:47 pm

        Mostly we keep the landline because of our alarm system. Otherwise I’d go full mobile.

        • 58 vcprezofan2
          April 10, 2013 at 5:57 pm

          Me, I’m making no commitment to go full mobile. I’m still missing (expected) calls from Offspring because I didn’t feel mobile vibrate or hear it ring, or remember to check why I hadn’t . Plus I hate to be disturbed when I’m on the road. Then again, I’m also the type who would not buy caller ID because if I didn’t feel like speaking I didn’t see any point in checking who was on the line. 😀

    • April 10, 2013 at 5:50 pm

      Hey LL you had a lot going on last month so don’t get worried about your memory or anything. Just chock it up to too much on your mind.

    • 61 utaustinliberal
      April 10, 2013 at 6:01 pm

      Dude….you have a home phone? My dad’s a little bit older than you I believe, and even he doesn’t have a landline/home phone.

      Not cool dude, not cool. 😆

      • April 10, 2013 at 6:10 pm

        If it were up to me, we would have cut the cord long ago. The missus insists on keeping the landline. Now that she’s not working I might be able to work on her more.

        • 63 carolyn
          April 10, 2013 at 7:39 pm

          We still have out landline too. We’ve had the same number since 1972…..and it is comforting. Neither of my adult children have a landline, but they each have their cell with them at all times. I can’t be bothered with that….and forget I have it about half the time. I don’t like to carry a phone around all the time…..I rarely have pockets in my clothes, and I just plain find them annoying. I keep it in my purse so I have it with me when I’m out. But, sometimes I don’t even hear it when it rings. I just keep it with me for a feeling of security.
          I had a slight car accident last fall, and when I reached for my phone to call my husband, it had no power. I had forgotten, as usual, to charge it. I use it mainly when I travel.

      • 64 nathkatun7
        April 10, 2013 at 9:50 pm

        So having a landline is not too cool any more! Well, I am always losing my cell phone, or forgetting to charge it, so, for me a landline is still a life saver. Of course my daughter and my nieces and nephews all laugh at me for still spending money on a landline.

    • 65 cookemom
      April 10, 2013 at 7:33 pm

      I still have my land line phone as well. I actually prefer it to my cell phone, when I’m at home. I don’t like the cell when I’m out and only use it for kids and relatives call and I’m away from home. I’ve had my home number for at least 45 years.

  9. April 10, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Excellent post LL! I read this article earlier that runs somewhat parallel w/ your summation, as well.

  10. 71 dotster3
    April 10, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    First Lady in Chicago. So agree with her last sentence to the high school students recorded here—-“the best thing you can do in this life is to be serious about education.” Amen. Ticket up and out.


  11. April 10, 2013 at 6:02 pm

  12. April 10, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    This reminds me of the aftermath of Charlie Crist hugging PBO….what cowards.

    • 74 Linda
      April 10, 2013 at 6:18 pm

      I can’t blame them…Shumer thinks he is all ” It “

    • 77 theo67
      April 10, 2013 at 6:32 pm

      It’s the same nonsense with the right wing strategist I saw the other day on TV saying that the President now needs to step back from the gun debate, and allow things to happen. They want to claim victory for anything that happens, and deprive the President of getting any credit. It’s the same crap I saw on Rachel last night, where she said “Hillary proclaimed her support for same-sexd marriage, and then look what happened right after that” – then she showed a timeline with Hillary at the front, and all these Senators and Representatives who declared their support for it, too. It very neatly left out that the fact that the President supported same-sex marriage during his re-election campaign.

      • 78 hopefruit2
        April 10, 2013 at 6:49 pm

        If you recall, it was the same disingenuous Rachel who falsely asserted that PBO was “against” NY state gaining marriage equality.

      • 79 amk for obama
        April 10, 2013 at 7:36 pm

        Of course, they don’t give him any credit, be it dadt, doma, ssm, healthcare, economy, foreign policy, ending iraq war, getting obl & aq terrorists, vet benefits, gun control, green energy, etc. etc. etc.

        I am very unpopular here for stating that america, an idiot & ingrate nation, doesn’t deserve this man and the flotus. I will stand by it regardless. Rest of the world would love to have a leader like him.

        • 80 theo67
          April 10, 2013 at 7:51 pm

          As a Canadian – I can wholeheartedly agree that many Canadians would love to have a leader like him – who’s in it for the right reasons, and really cares. And he’s persistent!

        • 81 anniebella
          April 10, 2013 at 7:52 pm

          amk, there are some who knows how bless we are to have this POTUS and FLOTUS. And I am one of them.

        • 82 nathkatun7
          April 10, 2013 at 10:55 pm

          You know AMK, while I agree with you for the most part with regard to the media treatment of President Obama,I think you fail to give credit to the majority of us in the U.S.A. who elected him twice. Clearly, the majority of us love and respect President Obama and are grateful that he is our president. The problem is that those who dominate the media megaphones continue to project the impression that Americans hate President Obama. Consequently, It’s easy for people abroad to came to same conclusion as you have. I hate to use a similar expression as that used by President Nixon, but I truly believe that our media drowns out us silent Americans who have no access to the amplified megaphones. The fact that John McCain, who lost to the President in a landslide, is given so much media time and platform to bash the President, tells you all you want to know about the media’s false image of how President Obama is viewed by the majority of Americans. Does any one remember Al Gore, who actually won the election in 2000, but was cheated by the right wing Supreme Court, being invited almost every Sunday to trash George W. Bush? As far as I am concerned, I see people on the so called left who are constantly bashing President Obama as part of the media racket! While some are motivated by the desire to fit in, others know that it pays to be anti-Obama. There is of course the other elephant in the equation of the media’s constant bashing of President Obama-Race.

  13. 83 dotster3
    April 10, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Sun Times account of First Lady’s visit to Chicago, more comprehensive than the Trib’s report. I like the public/private partnerships—-need big biz money to help make a diff. I’ve written before about a great program in Indy where my daughter teaches—provided by Eli Lilly and other big biz donations—-an after school program, teachers volunteer for 1 or 2 days a week after school, provide teachers in every subject for help and tutoring, provides music and entertainment, snacks and late buses home for the kids. It’s great for kids who have no one at home after school and gives kids an opportunity to get extra help and provides a fun, healthy atmosphere. Big biz steps up because it pays off for them and the community where they do biz—-win/win for everyone.

  14. April 10, 2013 at 6:17 pm

  15. April 10, 2013 at 6:27 pm

  16. April 10, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    First Lady Michelle Obama’s full speech on gun violence in Chicago today:


    • 88 Bill
      April 10, 2013 at 6:34 pm

      Stay away from HP’s post on her speech. It is the most hate filled comment section I have ever seen on HP. Truly sickening.

      • 89 hopefruit2
        April 10, 2013 at 6:58 pm

        Ah… The NRA-funded, racist Libertarians are unhinged? Actually, good. It means they see the writing on the wall, and it tells them that they are LOSING.

      • 90 anniebella
        April 10, 2013 at 7:56 pm

        Thank you Bill for the warning. Haters at Huff Puff aren’t worth the attention.

  17. April 10, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Hiya everyone, just beginning to catch up with the day, including LL the Very Wonderful’s post. Will post a newsie round-up in a while.

  18. 92 lamh36
    April 10, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Please, please read Booman’s post on the whole Budget/CPI brouhaha. It mirrors LL’s post, but also, IMHO, includes some of the same analysis DonnaDem4obama talked about. I’m not gonna read the comments (even though I usually do, cause I know what the usual suspects will say)

    Booman – So, You Freaked Out

    • 93 Cha
      April 10, 2013 at 8:28 pm

      thanks lamh, the comments aren’t bad because booman debates them thoroughly.

    • 94 nathkatun7
      April 10, 2013 at 11:11 pm

      Thanks, lamh36, for sharing this article. I am glad that rational people are beginning to come out and debunk all this hysteria. There is absolutely no evidence that Obama wants old people like me to resort to eating cat food! I’ve shared, on the previous thread, the savings I have gotten from the ACA . So how can this man who saved me money from prescription drugs, reduced my premium for my senior supplemental Insurance, and allowed free annual check-ups, be against my interests? The attacks on him, accusing him of being anti-seniors, make absolutely no sense to me.

  19. April 10, 2013 at 6:39 pm

  20. 97 lamh36
    April 10, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Um hmm. So many on twitter were using GOP guy saying that Obama was messing with Seniors as a way to say “I told you so” to POTUS. Greg Sargent pointed out that just because GOP said it, doesn’t mean it will work.

    Well looky looky:

    “Club For Growth Questions GOP Rep. For Attacking Obama On Social Security Cuts”

    Ugh, some people on the Left are so ready to piss on POTUS, that they even use GOP attack against POTUS to justify there BS. Club for Growth basically threatening ole dude.

    • 98 lamh36
      April 10, 2013 at 6:46 pm

      …“Greg Walden doesn’t seriously oppose even the most modest of reforms to social security, right?” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola in a statement. “With nearly $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities, the last thing Republicans should attack the Democrats for is for making the most minor reforms to our entitlement programs. If anything, President Obama nibbles around the edges of entitlement reform and doesn’t do anything to put entitlements on a permanently sustainable path.

      “Greg Walden ought to think about clarifying his remarks on chained CPI, and think about clarifying soon. I’m sure his constituents would like to know his opinion,” he added…

  21. 100 hopefruit2
    April 10, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    I asked the simple questions that Knoller is really dying to know 🙂

  22. 101 Vicki
    April 10, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Please, everyone please stay calm. PBO knows what he is doing.
    This is very much like the Obamacare fight. POTUS was right then, although many couldn’t see it. He stuck to his guns and got Affordable health care for more of our citizens than any politician in 100 years had been able to envision, let alone implement. A BFD, as VPOTUS said.

    Now the situation facing PBO is a cruel sequester that is hurting people all aver this country.
    The way to end the sequester is to make a budget deal
    So, that is what the President is trying to do. He is saying to the GOP “take this deal or not. it is my final offer.”

    I do not know what comes next but the despair going on forThe PL seems nut to me.

    • April 10, 2013 at 6:54 pm

      Why the PL doesn’t trust Barack is a WHOLE OTHER essay. And the reasons ain’t pretty.

      • 103 hopefruit2
        April 10, 2013 at 6:56 pm

        Your greatness, could you get working on penning that essay? I will abide with patience and forbearance…. Thanks, LL.

        Love & peace

      • 104 cookemom
        April 10, 2013 at 7:28 pm

        Can you spell ‘entitled’? That is very much the reason, and it sounds better than the descriptions we give the right wingers who say and act the same way.

      • 106 Vicki
        April 10, 2013 at 7:32 pm

        I can’t tell the difference between the PL and the MSM/TP/GOP. Destructive dishonest. Can’t trust any of them, they don’t trust themselves and then, obviously, how could they trust PBO?

        Can you explain what their real problem is? it’s a lot to ask, LL but if anyone can do it it is you.

        • 107 Vicki
          April 10, 2013 at 7:35 pm

          I have been very worried about the sequester, 125,000 housing vouchers withdrawn Unemployment insurance slashed, etc.
          So I was thrilled that POTUS was trying to end it today.

  23. 108 dotster3
    April 10, 2013 at 6:53 pm

  24. April 10, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Sister of #Newtown victim reads the names of all of the deceased from that terrible day.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

  25. 116 dotster3
    April 10, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    This is great!—a honey of a story!

  26. April 10, 2013 at 6:58 pm

  27. April 10, 2013 at 7:08 pm

  28. 119 hopefruit2
    April 10, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    Let’s bet Bernie Sanders is going to show up on Chris Hayes or Rachel Maddow tonight – attacking PBO on SS and CPI.

    • 120 Linda
      April 10, 2013 at 7:22 pm

      Bernie is a one trick pony.

      If he shows up on Hayes show..they may knock each other out with all their hand waving.

    • 124 Bill
      April 10, 2013 at 7:24 pm

      Very good chance.

    • 125 nathkatun7
      April 10, 2013 at 11:45 pm

      Bernie Sanders represents one of the smallest states, with less than 3/4 of a million people. Vermont is probably one of the most homogeneous states. Unfortunately, President Obama does not have that luxury as he has to govern a country with over 300 million people, which is also deeply divided ideologically. I challenge Sen. Bernie Sanders to introduce and get passed through the U.S. Congress bills that fulfill a purity Progressive agenda on all the issues he routinely attacks the President on. I am sure if he did that President Obama would gladly and enthusiastically sign those bills. To this day, I do not know a single purity progressive bill that Senator Sanders has sponsored and passed in Senate. If some knows of one please educate me.

      Today the President proposed a budget aimed at moving the country forward. It’s a budget necessitated by the painful reality that Democrats do not control the Congress. I doubt that President Obama would have proposed a similar budget if Democrats had super majorities in both the House and the Senate. If Democratic members of Congress think they can produce and then get passed a more pure liberal/progressive budget, no one is stopping them. Again, as I said with respect to Sen. Bernie Sanders, the President would be glad to sign a budget bill that raises taxes on the rich, funds jobs programs, and leaves chained SS CPI and Medicare untouched. The last time I read the Constitution, it was the Congress, and not the President, that was responsible for producing and enacting the budget.

  29. 126 Linda
    April 10, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    WASHINGTON — Sally Jewell, CEO of outdoor retailer Recreational Equipment Inc., won easy Senate confirmation Wednesday to be the nation’s next interior secretary.

    The Senate approved her nomination, 87-11, with all the no votes coming from Republicans. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., was among those who opposed Jewell.

  30. 128 donna dem 4 obama
    April 10, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Join Organizing for Action staff, policy experts, and other supporters online at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time this Wednesday for a policy briefing.

    Email questions@barackobama.com with any questions you have during the livestream.


  31. 129 cookemom
    April 10, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    OK, I finally filled out my first draft income taxes. Now all I need to do is print out a form for a credit I get to claim for 2012 (energy stuffs). Much to my surprise, I am better off this year than I was last year. Hmmmm….time for a basement redo consideration.

  32. 130 cookemom
    April 10, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    Raise your hands if you care whether Weiner tries his luck in politics again. Another one of the big ‘so what’ things that gets forced down our throats, like we give two spits.

  33. 134 Jovie
    April 10, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Senate votes 87-11 to confirm Sally Jewell as secretary of the Interior

    Ben Geman and Ramsey Cox – 04/10/13 05:36 PM ET
    Jewell will head an agency at the center of intense political battles over energy throughout President Obama’s tenure.…

  34. 136 Bill
    April 10, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Robert Gibbs is very disappointing on the Kudlow Report. He is much more interested in laughing it up with the right wingers on the panel than he is defending PBO against the mindless barbs they are throwing.

  35. 137 amk for obama
    April 10, 2013 at 7:53 pm

  36. April 10, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Another fine essay, LL!

    Am re-posting these comments from a previous thread …

    “”The President’s budget is ‘balanced’ and it ain’t going anywhere in this Congress. Just focus on how many times both the President and his economic team, as well as, Press Sec Carney linked the CPI to Boehner.

    The strategy has been obvious for months and months – knowing Boehner would never do the right thing for the American people, the President has taken a stand on CPI that, while not nearly as noxious as some on the left try to paint it, is something he knew he’d get a bunch of grief from that same left and plenty of high-profile folk like Sanders, Warren, Krugman, etc.

    If he weren’t getting that ‘heat’ he’d never be able to make a case to the MAJORITY of Americans that Boehner and the Republicans only serve the interest of plutocrats while he, President Obama, was willing to compromise, truly, despite being assailed by members of his own Party.

    That is exactly what he has now done. He is getting the grief he knew he’d get. And, Boehner has no where to hide. He either negotiates in good faith or the type of fierceness you all witnessed this President display in Hartford re: Gun Violence, will get amp’d even higher when the President addresses the Nation about Boehner and the Republicans being a profound source of damage and harm to America and Americans.

    #TrustBarack – He ain’t playing …””

    … and want to amplify three elements:

    1. #TrustBarack – He Ain’t Playing …. i.e., this is no game for him. He’s done his homework and is presenting a budget that he considers balanced and that is totally consistent with everything he’s been saying for a long time about SS, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. He’s a great strategist, but this is not chess of any dimension, it is life and death stuff and I know that that is how he approaches it because he’s proved it for much longer than the time he has been President.

    2. He knows the GOP will not cooperate. He had all kinds of ways to ‘play games’ knowing that fact. He didn’t. He laid on the line a balanced approach to fiscal sanity, sustainable growth, and protection of those most in need.

    3. He knew Sanders, Krugman, firebaggers, et al., would freak out and that that would only help amplify what he will be able to convincingly demonstrate to the American people – he was willing to do what he said he would do; what he considers good for the Country even with strong push back from Democrats (and perpetual whiners).

    The combination of the 3 is what he needs to do on the fiscal issue what he did on the Gun Violence issue in Hartford earlier this week. He was fierce in taking on Congressional Republicans during that speech. The GOP reject serious negotiations over this budget and he will savage them from now until Nov 2014 as he does everything he can to enable major Federal AND State level victories for Dems.

    This is not a game – not for the President; not for any of us; not for our America.

    #FORWARD … Together!

  37. 140 amk for obama
    April 10, 2013 at 7:55 pm

  38. 141 amk for obama
    April 10, 2013 at 7:59 pm

  39. 142 hopefruit2
    April 10, 2013 at 8:02 pm

  40. 144 hopefruit2
    April 10, 2013 at 8:06 pm

  41. 146 amk for obama
    April 10, 2013 at 8:16 pm

  42. 147 amk for obama
    April 10, 2013 at 8:18 pm

  43. 148 amk for obama
    April 10, 2013 at 8:19 pm

  44. 150 amk for obama
    April 10, 2013 at 8:23 pm

  45. 151 prettyfoot58
    April 10, 2013 at 8:29 pm

  46. April 10, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Hi folks,
    I’m still on my high from my boys winning the NCAA championship game Monday night. But I have a few thoughts to piggy back on LL’s brilliant essay. LL here’s a toast to you 😀

    The one thing the Professional Left (PL) and their Emoprog cohort don’t seem to realize about Pres Obama is that unlike them he KNOWS the depth of nihilistic destruction that the GOP and their corporate backers are prepared to unleash on this country. Emos have no clue what the stakes are, being stuck as they are on the eras of FDR & LBJ. The Conservative movement has evolved into a more powerful malignant force since their defeats in the 1930s & 1960s. It is a force that continues to destroy whether their minions hold political power or NOT. Destructive force is easier to deploy than constructive building which liberals-Democrats try to do. Our societal building task is harder, less understood and prone to being demagogued by the conservative retrogressives. The PL is oblivious to the asymmetrical nature of our struggle.

    We don’t have the institutional structures to fight the plutocrats mano-a-mano on their turf. We don’t! We can only fight them using guerrilla strategies & tactics. No amount of Bully pulpiting or screaming “progressive chants”, or “twisting arms a la LBJ” is gonna dent the power of the wingnuts’ backers. Those are the facts. They have the power and money and nihilistic bent to destroy us all without batting an eye.

    The PL-Emos don’t realize that the $32 Trillion that the plutocrats have stashed in tax havens means that THEY DON”T CARE what happens to this country and the people in it. NADA. Unlike the barons of the gilded age who were at least propelled by some sense of nationalism, today’s plutocrats feel no allegiance to this country. It is only a place to exploit for $$$, and feudalize us against our will.

    They can and will SURVIVE our demise. Their red state rubes live vicariously through the ideological fog of their corporate masters and are prepared to do their bidding. Why? they don’t believe they themselves deserve anything or social protection beyond the crumbs that their puppeteers give them, so long as they get the satisfaction of knowing that “those people” (minorities, liberals, gays, immigrants etc…) don’t share the crumbs with them.

    So that is the America we have NOW, and it is the country Pres Obama must captain at this precarious time. How should he do it?

    1. Put points on the board faster than Plutocrats can take them away:
    —– a) He pushed for and got a critical safety net for the poor and the Middle Class in the form of Obamacare bringing our safety nets to 3 (SS, Medicare/Medicaid & Obamacare). The plutocrats’ response came in the form of Paul Ryan’s thrice voted on budget that threatens to privatize SS & Medicare while eliminating Medicaid (“block-grants” are how you kill a program).

    2. Fight wildfire with controlled fire:
    —– a) The Chained CPI is the “controlled fire” to guard against the Ryan budget blitzkrieg if GOP gets the reins of power (not that they won’t keep trying). Deaniac explains the policy implications of the Chained CPI on TPV so I won’t do that here. The PL-Emos never tell us what they would do to “SAVE” SS & Medicare/Medicaid if Ryan’s budget gets signed into law by a GOP president. When the WH aide said “we are not gonna be in the WH forever”, what he is referring to is the need for us NOW to shape the future trajectory of the safety net. Cuz if we don’t, the GOP will. It’s as simple as that!

    —- b) Case in point: Women’s dwindling rights. — The women’s movement rested on its laurels and was slow to shape the narrative and state-by-state policy about women’s reproductive freedom. Result? Roe v. Wade is an empty law on the books, cuz wingnut Taliban have systematically dismantled women’s rights state by state, locality by locality. And look where we are today? Reduced to trashing POTUS for complimenting an Attorney General while state after state (blue & red) passes personhood amendments, banning abortion clinics.

    Women’s organizations did not fight wildfire with controlled fire. POTUS saved critical women’s rights in Obamacare, while ceding the meaningless repetition of Hyde Amendment in the bill to the conservadems. The real policy benefits for women have been left intact

    –This is the exact strategy the president is doing with his budget — head off real disaster by making symbolic concessions.

    Gosh this piece of mine is too long. That’s just my take.

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