Posts Tagged ‘second


‘why republicans are suddenly afraid of obama’

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a Republican member of the Cabinet, feigns being a blocking back for President Barack Obama as he arrives backstage to meet with GOP House leaders Jan. 29, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Steve Kornacki (Salon): At Politico on Monday, Jonathan Martin does a nice job explaining the “reality check” that Republicans are now waking up to: Barack Obama seems to be in decent political shape as the 2012 cycle begins, while “breezy predictions of Obama turning out to be the next Jimmy Carter were premature.”

That it’s come to this shouldn’t be that surprising. As we noted over and over last year as Obama and his fellow Democrats braced for a midterm drubbing, the two-year verdict on a presidency is often extremely misleading – as the examples of Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton both attest. With his party running Washington and with the economy reeling, it was pretty much inevitable that the first half of Obama’s first term would play out the way it did.

What is surprising, though, is how quickly it’s come to this…..barely a month after the midterms, prominent conservatives were already admitting that he was looking good to win a second term … lately, Mike Huckabee — who might be the front-runner for the GOP nomination, if only he’d get in the race — has been making headlines by talking up Obama’s strength, as he did to Politico:

“The people that are sitting around saying, ‘He’s definitely going to be a one-term president. It’s going to be easy to take him out,’ they’re obviously political illiterates — political idiots, let me be blunt.”

…for now, the consensus of the political class seems to be that Obama will be reelected in 2012 – and Republicans seem to be buying into it …. Unlike the Democrats of early 2003, who saw a chance to become the next Bill Clinton, the Republicans of early 2011 seem to fear the prospect of becoming the next Bob Dole.

Read the full article here


“gibbs, what have you done with your hair?’

President Barack Obama talks with Press Secretary Jay Carney in the Oval Office, Feb. 17, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


child’s play

After reading “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” President Barack Obama greets second grade students at Long Branch Elementary School in Arlington, Va., Dec. 17, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Lots of new official White House photos released today – see them here


(whisper it: the senate just passed the second stimulus package)

NYT: The Senate on Wednesday approved the $858 billion tax plan negotiated by the White House and Republican leaders — the first concrete product of a new era of divided government and acid compromise.

The vote was 81 to 19, as Democrats yielded in their long push to end the Bush-era lowered tax rates for high-income taxpayers, and Republicans agreed to back a huge economic stimulus package, including an extension of jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed and a one-year payroll-tax cut for most workers, with the entire cost added to the federal deficit….

….“A tremendous accomplishment,” the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, declared shortly before the vote on Wednesday. “Whether you agree with all the contents of the bill or not, everyone should understand this is one of the major accomplishments of any Congress where two parties, ideologically divided, have agreed on a major issue for the American people.”

…The bill would also keep jobless aid flowing to the long-term unemployed for an additional 13 months, maintaining extended limits, which now range from 60 weeks in states with less than 6 percent joblessness to 99 weeks in states where the unemployment rate is more than 8.5 percent. Benefits normally last for just 26 weeks.

…..The bill also contains an array of other tax breaks for individuals and businesses, aimed at pumping up the economy. It continues a college tuition credit for some families, an expanded child tax credit and the earned income tax credit. It also includes a two-year adjustment to the Alternative Minimum Tax to prevent as many as 21 million more households from being hit by it, and it contains a provision allowing businesses to write off some kinds of expenses more quickly.

President Obama:

“Today, the Senate passed with strong bipartisan support a bill that’s a win for American families, American businesses, and our economic recovery. This vote brings us one step closer to ensuring that middle class families across the country won’t have to worry about a massive tax hike at the end of the year. It would offer hope to millions of Americans who are out of work that they won’t suddenly find themselves without the unemployment insurance they need to make ends meet as they fight to find a job. And it would offer additional tax relief to families across the country and encourage businesses to grow and hire.


“I know that not every Member of Congress likes every piece of this bill, and it includes some provisions that I oppose. But as a whole, this package will grow our economy, create jobs, and help middle class families across the country. As this bill moves to the House of Representatives, I hope that members from both parties can come together in a spirit of common purpose to protect American families and our economy as a whole by passing this essential economic package.”


‘a second stimulus’

NYT: The apparent deal over the Bush tax cuts highlights why the Democrats probably had to accept the extension of all the Bush tax cuts. No politician is likely to use this word — at least no Democratic politician — but the deal amounts to a second stimulus bill.

…. Democrats and Republicans agree to extend all the tax cuts and also agree to an extension of unemployment benefits, a cut in the payroll tax and, according to my colleagues, “continuation of a college-tuition tax credit for some families, an expansion of the earned income tax credit and a provision to allow businesses to write off the cost of certain equipment purchases.” The amount of money pumped into the ailing economy: about $900 billion.

Subtract the $400 billion cost of the Bush tax cuts. Subtract another $140 billion or so, which is the cost of extending the Alternative Minimum Tax patch …. you’re then left with more than $300 billion in net stimulus over two years. And while that sum will not be enough to fix the economy all by itself, it is serious money…

…. none of this is meant to wave away the failure by Mr. Obama and other Democratic leaders to take action on the Bush tax cuts earlier. The Democrats did not need to be in this position. But the outcome is not all bad, especially for the short-term sake of the economy.

Full article here


michelle? ❤ ya

(Thank you Donna)


‘yes, he still can’

Why Barack Obama is looking good for a second term in 2012

by Andrew Rawnsley, The Observer (UK)


The midterm drubbing for the Democrats masks the many encouraging auguries for the president…

….Republicans, intoxicated by their victories, are making a major mistake. That is to confuse a protest vote against the Democrats with enthusiasm for Republicans. Some of their most prominent figures are vaingloriously bragging about heading to Washington to “take our government back” and undo everything Obama has enacted since he arrived in the Oval Office. That is a misinterpretation of the mood. In polls, 48% of voters agreed with the Republicans that Obama’s healthcare reforms should be repealed. But 47% said they wanted to retain or expand those reforms. Cutting the deficit should be the priority of Congress, according to 39%; spending money to stimulate the economy is preferred by an almost equal 37%.

….This election did not represent a ringing endorsement of the Republican platform. It could never be that when there wasn’t anything that you could dignify with the name of programme.

….By capturing the House of Representatives, the Republicans have acquired a slice of the power and a share of the responsibility for government. Responsibility is going to expose postures that are riddled with contradictions. They want a smaller government and a reduced deficit except in those many areas where they demand bigger government and more spending.

They are also riven with factionalism …. Despite the rebuffing of the Tea Party in some seats, the Republicans will continue to be dragged to the right by Sarah Palin and her fellow travellers. The threat of the self-styled Mama Grizzly running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 terrifies the party’s establishment as much as the prospect delights Democrat strategists.

Palin is an intensely polarising figure and a narcissist in love with her own shtick. Having had two years to raise her game, she continues to demonstrate an alarming lack of grip or coherence on policy…. Two out of three American voters believe Palin is not qualified to be president. The very things about her and the tea baggers which excite right-wing voters are those which repel the more moderate ones.

Moods ebb and flow in big waves. Success goes to the sort of politician who is skilled at surfing the swells of public opinion, one who can ride the crest and also keep his balance when it breaks. Barack Obama is that sort of politician.

In the wake of the midterms, he has voiced a willingness to work with the Republicans in Congress. He will prosper by being seen as the one who attempted to compromise only to be rebuffed by a Republican party sucked into confrontationalism by its overconfident right. His original appeal was as a healing politician who could lift America above ugly partisanship. The extremism of Tea Partyism will help him to be that attractive, unifying centrist again. My money is on Barack Obama securing a second term in 2012 and quite possibly winning big. Yes, he still can.

Full article


handled with care

May 19, 2010 — A second grader at New Hampshire Elementary School in Silver Spring, Maryland asks first lady Michelle Obama about her mom being taken away because she “doesn’t have papers.”







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