The NYT Interview

NYT: Obama Says Income Gap Is Fraying U.S. Social Fabric

In a week when he tried to focus attention on the struggles of the middle class, President Obama said in an interview that he was worried that years of widening income inequality and the lingering effects of the financial crisis had frayed the country’s social fabric and undermined Americans’ belief in opportunity.

“If the economy is growing, everybody feels invested,” President Obama said in an interview last week in Galesburg, Ill. “Everybody feels as if we’re rolling in the same direction.”

Upward mobility, Mr. Obama said in a 40-minute interview with The New York Times, “was part and parcel of who we were as Americans.”

“And that’s what’s been eroding over the last 20, 30 years, well before the financial crisis,” he added.

“If we don’t do anything, then growth will be slower than it should be. Unemployment will not go down as fast as it should. Income inequality will continue to rise,” he said. “That’s not a future that we should accept.”….

More here

111 Responses to “The NYT Interview”

  1. 1 sabreen60
    July 27, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Could I be 1st?

  2. 9 desertflower
    July 27, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Such a wise, wise man. The income gap, I believe, is at the root of the cynicism that the country is experiencing…and has for some time now. Unless people wake up, get honest about the who and why was responsible for this….we are never going to reach our full potential as a country. I firmly believe this.

    • 10 willowood
      July 27, 2013 at 8:29 pm

      The responsibility as President Obama states goes back 20 -30 years…probably more. Each time we give “power” to the right by not showing up, by not shouting out, by accepting that people will SOON “see” the reason we are not prospering, we make a very dangerous mistake. We need a new mindset that perhaps takes us all out to the STREETS to raise our voices in unison with the President much more loudly than we ever have, We must be consistent over the long haul and continue to rise up as fervent supporters of our nation. Jobs, economy, justice for all…every SINGLE time these obstructionists take to the airways with hate we take to social media-each and everyone of use- to repute their lies and hypocrisy. We have to stand together in the flesh not just in like mindedness. We are in a battle to save this country from people who want all or nothing. Let’s give them the NOTHING they deserve.

    • 11 willowood
      July 27, 2013 at 8:30 pm

      BTW, thank you desertflower for hitting at the root of so many of our problems.

      • 12 desertflower
        July 27, 2013 at 9:22 pm

        Bless your sweet heart:) I agree with you…with each passing day, I do think that Americans are seeing more and more of a radical and dangerous RW ideology. I don’t know if we’ll ever take to the streets en masse like you suggest…I would just be happy if people paid attention and voted in EVERY ELECTION!

  3. 13 jacquelineoboomer
    July 27, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    • 14 carolyn
      July 27, 2013 at 7:52 pm

      I don’t know who Steve Rattner is, but he is correct, and this word should be spread everywhere! Detroit’s problems go WAY back…..not the workers, not the unions……..go back to Reagan and his disastrous policies which have been insidiously working.

      Also, I’m so glad the President is talking about the INCOME GAP. The beginnings of that also go back to Reagan and his policies. Many of these policy changes take years to show up in every day life, but eventually they will. California suffered for decades because of him, and the country is also. Fortunately, California is being steered smartly now and is turning around. But, they got rid of the far right faction in their legislature, so they could actually do something!

      • 15 desertflower
        July 27, 2013 at 7:57 pm

        I’m really trying to figure out how I can afford to move back to CA 🙂 So close and yet so far….

        • 16 MightyPamela
          July 27, 2013 at 9:17 pm

          DF, come to Seattle!! Lovely to live here, really it is!

          • 17 desertflower
            July 27, 2013 at 9:24 pm

            I used to live in Belfair on the Hood Canal when hubby was in the Navy….If I could live closer to Seattle, I think I’d come in a second:) Belfair was ok for a beach house summer thing….but not all year round. I’m a city girl.

            • 18 MightyPamela
              July 27, 2013 at 11:18 pm

              I’ve not been to Belfair, DF, but I hear is it lovely. I’m in the NE, UW district, easy peasey access to downtown, tho you have to transfer busses to go anywhere, the light rail is coming in 2016, thanks to President Obama and Governor Gregoire! You would certainly want to live close in.

          • 19 Jeff
            July 27, 2013 at 11:37 pm

            that’s where I live. Great state!

            Trying to go back to college for CNC Machining.

      • 20 taiping1
        July 27, 2013 at 8:48 pm

        Steve Rattner was appointed by the President to oversee the rescue of the auto industry.

      • 21 jacquelineoboomer
        July 27, 2013 at 8:52 pm

        Couple of tidbits, and his full bio:

        Steven Lawrence Rattner (born July 5, 1952) is an American financier who served as the lead auto advisor (informally the “car czar”) in the United States Treasury Department under President Barack Obama …

        Rattner is married to Maureen White, who served for five years as finance chair for the Democratic National Committee and is now the Senior Advisor on Humanitarian Issues to the Special Representative-Afghanistan and Pakistan for the U.S. Department of State. They have four grown children and live in New York.


  4. July 27, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Now that we’ve been able to climb out of the horrific recession left by Bush for the most part, people naturally focus on their long-term viability. PBO is right to be worried by this glaring income disparity.

  5. 24 desertflower
    July 27, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    I came upon this while having a little “argument” with a little RWNJ with selective memory 🙂


    Contrary to popular belief, Republicans don’t hate budget deficits. On the contrary, they love them. When they occur on the Democrats’ watch, they provide Republicans with endless talking points on how they are bankrupting the country and will inevitably lead to high inflation and interest rates. This is good for Republicans, politically, because rich people, the elderly and other core elements of the Republican coalition get scared and give lots of money to Republican candidates.
    In office, of course, Republicans care nothing about the deficit. They cut taxes willy-nilly, sharply raise defense spending and start wars if necessary to justify it, create huge numbers of pork barrel projects, and enact massive new entitlement programs such as Medicare Part D, all while asserting that they are the party of fiscal responsibility.

    Really good piece by Bruce Barlett…

  6. 28 jacquelineoboomer
    July 27, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    What a big baby:

    • 29 Jovie
      July 27, 2013 at 8:05 pm

      Chuck and the Obama diary finally agree on something?

      • 30 carolyn
        July 27, 2013 at 8:13 pm

        Poor Chuckie! Really has thin skin doesn’t he! A pre-emptive strike. LOL

        No other president in my living memory could conduct such an indepth interview, with all the data at his fingertips, without notes. An amazing tour de force. WHEN will certain people realize how smart this man is, and how he is the ONLY one to be president at this time; how broad and long his vision is; how sensible and perceptive his ideas for solutions are. The news people and certain politicians need to catch up with him.

    • 31 desertflower
      July 27, 2013 at 8:15 pm

      What a wuss 🙂 DON’T BLAME ME!!!

    • 34 Nena20409
      July 27, 2013 at 8:52 pm

      They are once again build Hillary Clinton Up and they will take her down in a nanosecond.

      They want to irritate and divide Dems. 2014 elections is 18 months out but 2016 is all the media wants to focus on? Todd is protesting way too much.

    • 36 MightyPamela
      July 27, 2013 at 9:20 pm

      Sez the TOD lurker who thinks no one knows (hint, we know, we just don’t really care).. As in, there are so many better ways to offer our time and talents!

  7. 43 Jovie
    July 27, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Many many many parts to that Ny Times interview that will be talked about for awhile.
    Covered a lot of areas…

  8. July 27, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    • 45 Walking_on_ Sunshine
      July 27, 2013 at 11:17 pm

      Jesus H. Christ. It says he’s a history Professor. What the heck is wrong with these people?

  9. 46 utaustinliberal
    July 27, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Great interview.

  10. 47 Jovie
    July 27, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    Look at Joe?

  11. July 27, 2013 at 8:44 pm


    I am with you and the President 100%.

    My favorite baseball player, whom I worshipped when growing up, is Sandy Koufax.

    Back in the mid-1960s, he and Don Drysdale “held out” for $100,000 per year (didn’t show up for training camp) and were excoriated by the media. Sports players have a short career, and according to http://www.usinflationcalculator.com, $100K in 1964 would equal $753,240 in 2013.

    And what are star pro-athletes making now? Upwards of millions of dollars a year. Koufax and Drysdale were asking for less than $1 million a year, Koufax was THE pitching star for the National League (Dodgers).

    And CEO pay? There’s reams of data on how much MORE, relative to 40-50 years ago, they are making.

    So in that spirit, take a listen to this hysterical audio of JFK scolding a Naval Aide for $5,000 (less than $40K today) worth of furniture for Jackie O (in case of premature baby delivery):

    • 49 Nena20409
      July 27, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      Wow, in those days they Use F-Up? Wow….JFK was really angry.

      • 50 Nena20409
        July 27, 2013 at 8:49 pm

        Used…..sorry. The Guy cared about waste……

      • July 27, 2013 at 9:06 pm

        Just another example how wasted taxpayer dollars used to be measured in the thousands, now it’s measured in the BILLIONS (Afghanistan and Iraq War fraud).

      • July 27, 2013 at 9:09 pm

        Oh, forgot to say that American taxpayers wouldn’t have reacted that negatively (except for the Birchers, of course).

        America loved Jackie, she had a miscarriage before and it ended up that this baby sadly only lived a few days (I think, going off memory here). But regardless, I think taxpayers wouldn’t have minded that they were contributing a dollar or two for the comfort of the First Lady and infant.

  12. July 27, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    And as long as we’re bashing upChuck, he’s the one who is rudely pointing at the President in the photo that Chips posted on today’s Rise and Shine about how little diversity exists in WHPC and print and radio media. Jay looks like he wants to get as far away from upChuck as possible.

    This photo was taken April 30, 2013

  13. 57 jacquelineoboomer
    July 27, 2013 at 9:14 pm

  14. 58 Jovie
    July 27, 2013 at 9:28 pm

  15. 59 vcprezofan2
    July 27, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    G’Night TODobots! First time I’ve used THAT as my arrival greeting, I think. 😀

    For those who have been keeping tabs on me – the family made it through the funeral, a-okay. Thank you all very much for your supportive thoughts, prayers and shoulders ( 😉 Alycee)! It turned out to be a true celebration of a life well-lived. A short life, yes, but a life in which many saw the joie de vivre, the happiness, the fun, and a heart for others. My nephew’s principal who acted in that role ever since his first day of kindergarten, and incidentally just finished serving her last year at his school (they rotate principals and v/p-pals every few years here) did a terrific job capturing his life at school. Young cousins and his siblings shared musical tributes. Really the young people were impressive – a quartet, ages 7-12 sang; a trio played piano, clarinet, drums; one shy 14 yr old read a poem (he had to go on the altar with the trio; another musical selection included the piano player and drummer with a saxophonist (nephew’s only sister); and finally the piano player did a solo, including Bob Marley’s ‘One Love’. Oh, and one of his aunts did the eulogy 😉 sharing memories and incidents from his life at home & in the neighbourhood, There were other pieces to the program though I mostly shared what family members did.

    • 60 desertflower
      July 27, 2013 at 9:54 pm

      Sounds beautiful, vc:) So glad that you shared this and I hope that time will make the hurt go away for you. hugs.

      • 61 vcprezofan2
        July 27, 2013 at 10:02 pm

        It was beautiful…. and lively, Df, capturing his spirit very well; it’s also a relief that part is now behind us.
        I’m doing a very, very brief overview in the village before heading to bed as I am quite sleepy. I’m not even going to pretend that I can catch up, at least not tonight.

    • 62 jacquelineoboomer
      July 27, 2013 at 9:59 pm

      Thanks for checking in, VC, and we’re so glad you got through it – sounds like it was a lovely tribute, including the part you played.

      • 63 vcprezofan2
        July 27, 2013 at 10:09 pm

        It all seemed to go really well, JO’B, though it’s hard to tell when you are involved but people were kind in their comments, even to the “eulogiste”. 😉 😉 Also, lots of cousins came, and even one or two family friends I hadn’t seen since nephew was a baby.

        • 64 jacquelineoboomer
          July 27, 2013 at 10:27 pm

          Luckily, you had each other to help you all through it. You must be exhausted, and I hope you’re able to get some rest later!

    • 66 Alycee (@jazziz2)
      July 27, 2013 at 10:12 pm

      VC, have been thinking of and praying for your family all day. Sounds like a wonderful, joyous celebration of his life. Get some rest; you can catch up tomorrow.

      • 67 vcprezofan2
        July 27, 2013 at 10:18 pm

        I thought (hoped) you were, Alycee, TY. I’m signing off after this ’cause my eyes are tired.

        Rest well, everyone! I’m going to aim for bright and early tomorrow, Maybe even try to rise with the birds.

    • 68 99ts
      July 27, 2013 at 10:22 pm

      Sorry I have missed your earlier comments VC – as much as these events are a celebration of life – the sadness lingers – especially when a life is cut short – it sounds like everyone who knew him brought him to the gathering – for one last time – much to remember and love.

      • 69 vcprezofan2
        July 28, 2013 at 10:33 am

        Hi, 99ts. They did, and it was heart-warming. Mom and dad had a couple of good chuckles at some of the memories.

    • 70 MightyPamela
      July 27, 2013 at 11:21 pm


  16. 73 desertflower
    July 27, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    I’m off to an OFA thingy….see you when I return:)

  17. 74 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    July 27, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    My $0.02:

  18. 75 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    July 27, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    Article was good; interview transcript was GREAT. I prefer the President’s words unfiltered!

    Best quote:

    “And if Congress thinks that what I’ve done is inappropriate or wrong in some fashion, they’re free to make that case. But there’s not an action that I take that you don’t have some folks in Congress who say that I’m usurping my authority. Some of those folks think I usurp my authority by having the gall to win the presidency. And I don’t think that’s a secret. But ultimately, I’m not concerned about their opinions — very few of them, by the way, are lawyers, much less constitutional lawyers. ”


    • 76 nathkatun7
      July 27, 2013 at 11:49 pm

      Thank you so much, Alycee, for sharing with us the transcript of President Obama’s interview with the NYT. I wish Americans listened to, or read, what President Obama says and plans on doing, without having to go through the media filters.

    • 77 LDS
      July 28, 2013 at 12:26 am

      Translation: I am the President of the U.S.2X’s!
      You fucking bastards did not think it was going to happen the first time. You tried everything in the book to prevent this from happening. Now, stand back and watch the power of a loving God make you my foot stools.
      What fools you are to test me with the constitutional laws I taught. I know you and know how you think. 3D chess is the game now.

      Waiting for you dumb asses to catch up while you and your party be exposed for the liars, cheats and hypocrites you are.
      Change was not just a meme, but an opportunity for a transition of your minds. You rejected. You will be ejected in 2014.
      Plot as scheme all you want, the paradigm shift has been set in motion.
      I have ran out of patience. You have ran out of time.
      Yes, we can. Yes, we did. Yes, we will.

    • July 28, 2013 at 9:29 am

      I do believe this is further proof that POTUS is officially OUT OF FUCKS TO GIVE.

  19. 79 Jovie
    July 27, 2013 at 10:36 pm

  20. 80 amk for obama
    July 27, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    A petition calling on Twitter to add a “report abuse” button has received thousands of signatures.

    It follows a deluge of abuse and rape threats received by Caroline Criado-Perez, who successfully campaigned for women to be included on UK banknotes.

    MP Stella Creasy told the BBC she was “furious” Twitter had yet to do anything about Ms Criado-Perez’s abuse.

    Twitter UK’s Tony Wang said the company was “testing ways to simplify” reporting abuse.


    The petition says: “Abuse on Twitter is common; sadly too common. And it frequently goes ignored. We need Twitter to recognise that its current reporting system is below required standards.

    “The report abuse button needs to be accompanied by Twitter reviewing the T&C [terms and conditions] on abusive behaviour to reflect an awareness of the complexity of violence against women, and the multiple oppressions women face. It’s time Twitter started protecting its users.”


    A Twitter spokesperson said: “The ability to report individual tweets for abuse is currently available on Twitter for iPhone and we plan to bring this functionality to other platforms, including Android and the web.

    “We don’t comment on individual accounts. However, we have rules which people agree to abide by when they sign up to Twitter. We will suspend accounts that once reported to us, are found to be in breach of our rules.

    “We encourage users to report an account for violation of the Twitter rules by using one of our report forms.”

  21. 82 MightyPamela
    July 27, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    Night night y’all, and my thanks. God Bless and keep our President and the First Family in His Loving Heart. That includes Bo.

  22. 83 lockewasright
    July 27, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    Today was a good day. I got some quality time with my wife since the kids slept most of the way to San Diego. (Leaving home at 5:20 a.m. does that for you.) We had lunch at Slater’s 50/50 which lived up to all of my expectations all the way down to my favorite band on the house stereo followed a couple of songs later by a song that my children absolutely love. We saw a group of dog lovers doing a friendly canine agility competition and we got to pet a bunch of pooches. (I dearly love dogs. They’re the best people in the world.) I got my feet in the surf in the Pacific. I found some still water trapped in the rocks that contained a lot of life that I could show my children. The only less than optimal things was that the heavy cloud cover made watching he sun set into the ocean impossible. I’ve got 2 more days for that.

    Watching pelicans smack their face into the water is great too. What a silly bird!

    • 84 nathkatun7
      July 27, 2013 at 11:56 pm

      Welcome to beautiful San Diego. These past two days we’ve been having some a-typical “June gloom” weather. Hopefully the clouds will go away in the next two days that you are here.

  23. 85 Jeff
    July 27, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    Okay what is with the big outcry over Larry Summers? I looked him up and yeah he’s a little shady but not as bad as the left is crying about. I’d prefer Janet Yellen for sure but I wouldn’t cry overly over Larry Summers being picked. Either one is better than Bernake.

    • 86 nathkatun7
      July 28, 2013 at 12:04 am

      I’ve never figured out why the emoprogs hate Larry Summers so much. By any objective standards, Larry Summers is a highly regarded economist with practical experience in both the government and academia. Unlike you, I think Bernake has done a superb job.

  24. 89 amk for obama
    July 28, 2013 at 12:19 am

  25. 91 amk for obama
    July 28, 2013 at 12:19 am

    • 92 99ts
      July 28, 2013 at 1:53 am

      Have you read “the verger” by Somerset Maugham amk? That tweet so reminds me of that story.

    • July 28, 2013 at 7:21 am

      I raised my children alone…and it was not easy…

      It is better for children to be raised by two parents…the stress of a one parent household can not be underestimated… ..finances…time available…etc…

      esp in a society in which most of the single parent households are headed by women…women making less than a man for doing the same work takes it toll…

      that is not to say that a single parent cannot raise children who become productive citizens…only that two parents…(gay or str) are better than one parent…IMO

  26. 94 amk for obama
    July 28, 2013 at 12:20 am

  27. 95 amk for obama
    July 28, 2013 at 12:27 am

  28. July 28, 2013 at 12:29 am

    Many officials in the most segregated states feel that the Court’s decision violates states’ rights, and implement only token measures to begin desegregation. Some officials are openly defiant, challenging the decision from different angles in court and passing laws to circumvent it. Integration proceeds very slowly..


    Sounds very familiar…

    • July 28, 2013 at 12:33 am

      Using the notions of State’s Rights….they continue to obstruct…be it health care…guns….abortion rights…workers rights….voting rights….and now Immigration….

  29. July 28, 2013 at 1:01 am

    Meloves PBO’s poke in GOP eye in his NYT interview:

    “If Congress thinks that what I’ve done is inappropriate or wrong in some fashion, they’re free to make that case,” he said. “But there’s not an action that I take that you don’t have some folks in Congress who say that I’m usurping my authority. Some of those folks think I usurp my authority by having the gall to win the presidency.”

    • 99 nathkatun7
      July 28, 2013 at 1:15 am

      Republicans, the media, and the “holier than thou emoprogs” have all been underestimating PBO. They should have listened to VP Joe Biden’s assessment of him.

  30. 100 LDS
    July 28, 2013 at 1:03 am

    Alycee, just finished reading the entire NYT interview. Thank you again.
    What a smart, intelligent President we have. These Repugs in Congress are truly a pathetic bunch. They are cowards, spineless and hypocrites. I know that our President is working hard for all of us while these idiots are in recession. Why do they bother to come back? They do absolutely nothing but collect a check and expect perks. I am so sick of them.

    I commend our President for his hard work, persistence, and determination. I respect this man so much for all he is doing.
    As another birthday draws near, my prayer tonight is that his 1,200 days in office are filled with PEACE.
    As VC says, good night and good morning!

  31. 106 desertflower
    July 28, 2013 at 3:07 am


  32. 107 susanne
    July 28, 2013 at 4:10 am

    aloha chips and tods
    i didn’t get to see our wonderful veep but here’s a photo from local news:


    we’re getting ready for a big blow, with heavy rains. wish us luck!

  33. July 28, 2013 at 7:30 am

    Good Morning everyone….GM Ms Chipssssss

    Another day in TODville…

  34. 109 dotster3
    July 28, 2013 at 7:37 am

    Interesting to me because this is my heritage. Scandanavia really is a kinder, gentler culture—–not so frantic—–and those countries always rank the highest in the world in population happiness and contentment. Maybe there are lessons to be learned…..

  35. July 28, 2013 at 7:42 am

    What’s happening in America is not just some random mish-mash of racial and post-racial attitudes. There are massive historical and structural forces at work. Individual attitudes matter, of course, but they are only one facet of a much more complicated story – a story whose scope and essence is much more readily grasped through the lens of white supremacy, a system of racial group dominance, rather than racism, which most folks conceive of primarily or entirely in terms of conscious individual attitudes.


    Worth reading!

  36. 111 utaustinliberal
    July 28, 2013 at 8:12 am

    New post. Chat away until Rise and Shine!


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