Paul Waldman gives voice to my own dismay at the silly “Republicans now need to ‘show they can govern,’ because everyone wants to ‘get things done’” line …
… here. It’s nonsense. Obvious, absolute nonsense. Why are so many pundits buying into this line? Maybe because they’ve heard it over and over and over, from other pundits?
Sorta like other things they’ve heard over and over and over, that maybe they should stop buying? Yeah, probably.
I’m sorry to be so negative, BUT the last thing I want is for D’s and R’s to agree to “get something, anything done.” Ya know, what exactly would they be planning to do? Cut SS benefits because it’s the bipartisan thing to do? Cutting benefits is the goal of the billionaires and their Wall Street minions. It’s not what “everybody” wants Congress to do. It’s the LAST thing ordinary people want Congress to do. But, hey, you get to go to the Koch annual get-togethers in neat places if you do what the billionaires want! We can all agree on that, right? /snark/ NancyO
Yeah, exactly, Nancy. My big fear is that Obama will agree to get done some of the things the Koch proxies want done.
Supposedly, his legacy depends on his getting more legislation enacted; that’s what I read somewhere today.
Great. I just love the pundits’ focus on generics, tallies, and the like. Actual specifics–as in, what the legislation ENTAILS–is beside the point.
I think Obama should veto every single bill that comes to him that does not conform to his agenda and policy goals. Play hardball for the next two years. In fact, I would like to see him focus on foriegn policy and then have his staff start writing legislation ALEC style. Just start putting sample bills out there for the Dems to propose and have each and every one of them ignored by the majority. For instance:
1. Bill proposing free four years of college in exchange for 3 years service to America in the Peace Corps, Americorp or something else.
2. Bill proposing that all outstanding student loans be refinanced at the prime rate.
3. Bill proposing a 10 year investment in transportation, infrastructure, power grid, broadband and so on. 100 billion a year for 10 years.
4. Bill opening up Cuba immediately.
5. Bill mandating 10.10 minimum wage.
Just put it to them with a leftist agenda that gets people energized to vote because the vast majority don’t care and see politics as a game of inches. Make this a game for big stakes.
I’m curious to ask, why would you think that Obama would want to do any of the things which you propose? I’m not saying that your proposals are unworthy. I’m simply pointing out that Obama has been the President for six years now and has yet to demonstrate that he even knows what the term “hard ball” means in the context of governing. Possibly you’re thinking that LBJ is still the President.
” Possibly you’re thinking that LBJ is still the President.”
Jack, I don’t know if he would do these things or not. My heart wants to believe that he is much more progressive innately than he acts but he is really dominated by his personality rather than his ideology. Obama has core principles which he defends and he has defended them time and again. His disgust for the the GOP may finally have tipped him to a point where he just thinks that he has nothing to lose and everything to gain by forcing the issues down the throat of Congress and Hillary so that the next term does not stop the progress he has made so far on so many issues. I want to believe this and my guess is that the majority of the non-voters desperately want to believe this too. His next two years must be about setting the agenda for the 2016 election. Hillary is not a change agent, she is a power broker. I have yet to hear her utter anything substantive on real issues. I have another suggestion for him; write a proposed amendment to the constitution guaranteeing the right to vote for every citizen in every national election based upon age, citizenship and whether or not they have committed treason, murder or rape. Those three crimes should be the only crimes that take away your right to vote nationally. Do another one proposing either proportional distribution of Congressional seats or algorithm based districting. Push the envelope, establish a real agenda of the left. Hell, just do what Bernie Sanders wants to do, get behind his ideas.
I agree. I personally fear that a Rep Congress will find the President to be more accommodating than one would assume. He probably won’t let his more important legacy items be destroyed but he seems open to show he can “work across the aisle”. Game’s on and I think the American people stand to lose more than in an all Rep government where accountability would be easier to assign.
The President isn’t an effective administrator precisely because he doesn’t like to get in there and write law/policy. He doesn’t know the value of being the bad guy. He doesn’t like getting down to it and actually duking it out with adversaries.
Adversaries are not necessarily enemies especially if they know you fight fair. But, the President doesn’t fight at all. And he doesn’t play rich white guy games. Congresscritters love white guy games, and are rich or want to be, and like hanging at the Country Club. If Obama owned a yacht he’d be the most popular guy in the Village.
Worst of all, he doesn’t give a hoot for Social Security. Not even a teeny weeny hoot from a very small owl. I am not optimistic about the next two years. Dammit. NancyO
It seems that the Supreme Court isn’t content to wait and see if the President and the Congress can make nice and have decided to try to scuttle Obama’s healthcare legacy ASAP. That, if it occurs, in my opinion will be the legacy of Bill Clinton’s inability to keep his pants zipped and tell the truth when caught that started the snowball that is Bush v. Gore rolling down the hill and gaining speed as it picked up Roberts and Alito and created our present political court. Just one of the more sordid failures of the Clinton administration. I marvel that many look back on it with nostalgia.
“……but he seems open to show he can “work across the aisle”.” Anna Lee
And that is probably Obama’s most significant weakness, that he can’t recognize that the other side of the aisle has been reaching across with only a clenched fist with a raised middle finger. How many times did Mitch McConnell have to say that he was intent on destroying the Obama presidency before he was taken at his word? How many times did John Boehner have to lie through his tanned smile before he was called out for the deceitful confabulator that he had been? I don’t know how to explain Obama’s behavior in light of the apparent disdain shown him at nearly every turn by the Republican members of the Congress. Pundits keep insisting that race was not the issue. That is inexplicable.
Folks, you really, REALLY should read this article just published on Politico: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/11/fire-valerie-jarrett-112659_full.html#.VF409lXF_hA.
I just included comments about it in a response to Maggie Maher in the Comments thread to this post of mine: http://angrybearblog.strategydemo.com/2014/11/wow-out-of-the-mouths-of-babes-er-the-examiner.html#more-28389.
Good grace. President Jarrett. God grace.
JackD, you’re so right about the fallout from the Monica Lewinsky mess. That–THAT–was what, stupidly, caused Gore to choose Joe Lieberman, of all imbeciles, as his running mate. Morality, you know. Had Gore chosen runner-up Fla Senator Bob Graham, no one know today who the hell John Roberts and Samuel Alito ARE.
But at this point, I actually hope the Supreme Court crashes the ACA, via Halig. My reasons are exactly the reasons why it won’t: The public would finally learn what the ACA actually IS and DOES, and the implosion of the U.S. healthcare insurance system would bring an end to current Republican Party success, nationally and statewide.
I actually hope that Obama cuts the processs short by publicly inviting McConnell and Boehner to pass legislation killing Obamacare, root and branch. He should say he sign the bill. Seriously.
Bev, I really think most of the criticism of Valerie Jarrett (and by extension Michelle Obama) is really largely catty stuff. If it’s a fact that Barack is more influenced by her and Michelle than others then that’s really on Barack if her advice is bad isn’t it? She was, prior to her work with Obama a serious player in Harold Washington’s and Rich Daley’s administrations in Chicago and in fact hired Michelle Obama away from her law firm to work for the city back in the day. So, it’s not like she was and is a political amateur. Regardless, Obama is the president and policy problems are on him not on Valerie Jarrett.
If the Supreme Court scuttles the Affordable Care Act, I am very doubtful that the populace will rise up in revolt. I think it more likely that the populace will simply continue to suffer particularly if the Democrats won’t rally behind the party’s successes as Krugman did with his defense of Obama. As Leonard Pitts said in a recent column, the Democratic candidates this time around were cowards. I don’t know if a proactive campaign would have won but it certainly couldn’t have lost any more convincingly.
Ewww, Jack, I have to disagree with you pretty strongly on the Jarrett matter. When I read the title and first couple of lines of the Felsenthal article (Felsenthal is a Chicago journalist, apparently, btw), I sort of rolled my eyes, thinking, “C’mon, what difference does it make that Obama has this longtime friend hanging around the WH?” Then I read further—and learned the answer to that: A stunningly, and really inappropriately, big difference.
This woman is effectively deciding key appointments; keeping people in important policy positions in the WH from having direct contact with Obama, and badmouthing them; SITTING IN AT BILATERAL MEETINGS WITH HEADS OF STATE; SERVING AS GO-BETWEEN AND FILTER BETWEEN ECONOMISTS AND OBAMA; etc.
She has no foreign policy experience and no background in economics. WHAT IS SHE DOING BEING SO INTRICATELY INVOLVED IN THIS STUFF?
The article says:
“[E]conomists who talk to her about policy are sometimes astonished at the things that come out of her mouth, reflecting very little understanding of economic solutions. Although she has no experience in foreign policy either, she regularly travels abroad with the president. ‘She would frequently take one of the half-dozen seats alongside the president in bilateral meetings,’ [journalist Jonathan] Alter wrote, ‘which meant one less seat for a policy expert.’”
This strikes me as NUTTY.
The article does say this:
“CEO of the Habitat Company, chairman of the board of the Chicago Stock Exchange, director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. But Chicago business people who knew Jarrett have told me over the years that she was not respected for her business skills.”
My reaction to that? WTF??? Why was this person appointed chairman of the board of the Chicago Stock Exchange and director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago? Seriously, what were her credentials for these positions? What are her credentials for speaking with economists who instead should be speaking directly with Obama? I mean, geez?
The president’s wife wants her best friend in these positions, and gets her way, because … because … WHY??
As I indicated, if Obama relies on Valerie Jarrett and Michelle to the exclusion of others, it seems to me that that’s on Obama.
I’d suggest that both Beverly and JackD are correct. That assumes that the details as laid out in Felsenthal’s article are accurate. They”re both correct because as JackD says, “….if Obama relies on Valerie Jarrett and Michelle to the exclusion of others, it seems to me that that’s on Obama.”
On the other hand as Beverly suggests, though doesn’t explicitly state, Jarrett holds a high position and has previously held highly placed executive positions. How does she not recognize that she has become an impediment to Obama’s presidency? There is a degree of mystery to the Jarrett story spelled out in the section cited by Beverly noting that Jarrett was CEO of Habitat Company, Chair of the Chicago Exchange and a Chicago Fed director. She obviously came on board with significant clout outside of her relationship to the Obama’s. Apparently that clout precedes Jarrett’s relationship with the Obamas and goes directly back to Richard Daley, former Mayor of Chicago and her significant positions with Habitat, a well placed property developer and management company. Here is an enlightening report from 2008 that appeared in the Boston Globe; http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/06/27/grim_proving_ground_for_obamas_housing_policy/?page=1. Had I read that piece when it was first written I’d not likely have voted for Obama. The tide waters at the confluence of politics and RE development are a cesspool.
Jack, a couple of points in response to your post and the article you cite.
Most modern presidents,and probably not so modern ones as well, have had non cabinet level advisors with whom they deliberated policy issues. Roosevelt had his famous kitchen cabinet for example. I do not know whether the claims of the Felsenthal article in Politico are correct and, as I suggested to Beverly, the tone was that of insiders jealous of another’s influence but, regardless of the accuracy or non accuracy of the claims, the responsibility for the Obama administration’s actions and policies has to reside with the President and whatever Department heads signed off on those actions and policies. In the case of Emmanuel and Bill Daley as Chiefs of Staff, both were opposed to Obama’s pursuit of health care reform. Are we to believe that their advice was rejected because of Valerie Jarrett and if so, so what? It was still Obama’s decision. Depending on what the Supreme Court does with this latest case, it may go down as his singular accomplishment at a level similar to social security and medicare. Should we call it Jarrettcare?
As to the real estate issue, one really needs to have been aware of the utter disaster that was public housing under the first mayor Daley. That the efforts to come up with a satisfactory alternative were unavailing doesn’t mean that the efforts didn’t have to be made. Chicago has been under a federal court order to come up with reasonable affordable and public housing since the early 60’s authored by Judge Richard Austin. Compliance has proved impossible due to the power of the city’s middle and upper classes to dominate desirable real estate locations. As Martin Luther King observed back in the day,Chicago was (and is) the most segregated city in the country. That may not be strictly true but it’s close.
Had you decided to reject Obama because of his involvement in the private development efforts and some of the people, like Rezko, who were also involved, your alternative was John (bomb, bomb, Iran) McCain, and Sarah (moose skinner) Palin. Just sayin’.
Both Jacks, you’re right. Obama’s relationship with his wife sounds sort of similar to Bob McDonnell’s relationship with HIS wife. Michelle Obama, unlike Maureen McDonnell, of course, isn’t mentally ill and isn’t stupid. But she sounds like an extreme control freak who has her husband constantly cowed. And it sounds like, like Maureen McDonnell, she confuses the personal with governing; Valerie Jarrett is hardly someone who should be playing a role of that sort in the White House.
Jarrett’s a political hack.
I’m not familiar with the specifics of the regional Federal Reserve Banks’ structure, and I was curious about how on earth someone like that became director of one of the regional Fed banks, so I checked out on Wikipedia the regional Fed Banks’ structure. There are nine directors at a time, not just one director, and three of them are supposed to represent “the community”—in other words, they’re local celebrities. They apparently are appointed through clout, nothing else.
Yeah, Jack, this woman had clout before Obama was “anyone.”
This sort of reminds me of Nancy Reagan’s tarot reader (or whatever she was), who died recently. But Jarrett has real, major policy and personnel-choice clout, which Nancy Reagan’s guru did not have. It sounds to me like Jarrett is playing a role sort of like Woodrow Wilson’s wife played after Wilson’s stroke. Jarrett’s, I guess, Michelle’s proxy. This seems really creepy, to me.
And, yes, Jack, the Habitat Company is very, very, very intricately intertwined Chicago’s politicians, and has loads of city and county contracts. The Wikipedia page for that company is … not pretty.
JackD, yeah, evvvverything you say about Chicawguh (which ain’t ready for reform; see, Paddy Bauler) is truuuuue. Disgusting. But true.
And both Emanuel and Brother Billy make me gag. Always did. Always will.
As for Obama’s decision to pursue healthcare coverage reform, I sort of thought at the time that that was at Michelle’s urging. I still think so, and if I’m right, then good for her!
So, maybe Jarrett has sort of hypnotized this couple, for her own benefit? She sure as hell doesn’t sound smart. And as Felsenthal implies, it doesn’t sound like she really has their interests at heart, just her own.
Paddy “Chicawguh ain’t ready for reform” Bauler: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1988-09-11/features/8801290822_1_precinct-captains-paddy-bauler-aldermen
“The public would finally learn what the ACA actually IS and DOES, and the implosion of the U.S. healthcare insurance system would bring an end to current Republican Party success, nationally and statewide.”
I know at least 50% of the population will believe that the implosion of the US healthcare system was because of Obamacare, not because of the killing of Obamacare.
You know what, EMichael? I’m sure that that’s what Roberts, Kennedy, et al, will count on. But here’s the thing: By the time the opinion in that case is issued, we will have at least one or–as I dearly hope–two declared Dem presidential candidates. Hillary Clinton might, by then, have figured out how to discuss specifics, and no longer be limiting her speeches to cliches and lines borrowed from others, that she screws up in the delivery. (See: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-will-rethinking-hillary-clinton-2016/2014/11/07/026ac1c8-65f9-11e4-bb14-4cfea1e742d5_story.html.)
In other words, we might have at least one Dem presidential candidate who will explain the situation, and who will garner enough media attention in explaining it, that by Nov. 2016 there may be only about 25% of the public who doesn’t understand it.
Obama, of course, won’t deign to explain it, or if he does, it will be only once, in a few words at a morning press conference, or at an appearance at some manufacturing plant in Upper Wherever.
But anyone who thinks that Bill Clinton is the only Democrat who can explain clearly and eloquently and in ordinary conversational language–Hillary Clinton always sounds in her speeches like she thinks she’s at a Vietnam War era protest rally, and in inerviews like she she’s memorized sentences from a corporate-executve seminar manual–should read Elizabeth Warren’s op-ed in today’s Washington Post. It’s at http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/elizabeth-warren-its-time-to-work-on-americas-agenda/2014/11/07/984da7b6-669c-11e4-9fdc-d43b053ecb4d_story.htm.
The wingers on the Court shouldn’t presume that the public will remain clueless that it was the Court, inconcert with winger activist lawyers–and not the ACA itself–that collapsed a large part of the healthcare insurance system. Elizabeth Warren can, and will, explain it, very publicly. So, I’m pretty sure, could Sherrod Brown and Jeff Merkley.
And maybe–just maybe–one of those three will be our 20016 nominee.
PS to the two Jacks: “Had you decided to reject Obama because of his involvement in the private development efforts and some of the people, like Rezko, who were also involved, your alternative was John (bomb, bomb, Iran) McCain, and Sarah (moose skinner) Palin. Just sayin’.
Uh, ya. Vote for Ralph Nader!
‘Course, if i remember right, Jack (not JackD), you live in Texas–Austin–and you DID vote for Nader, but only because you had the luxury of a harmless protest vote because, well, you live in Texas.
50% of the population will not ever hear Warren, Clinton, Brown or Markley ever speak. And I actually think the number who blame Obamacare will be higher.
I could actually write the head line for the column right now that will appear on Naked Capitalism if the ACA is killed.
” ACA Killed. US Healthcare System Collapses Because Obama Did Not Even Try For A Public Option.”
Explain what you mean by Public Option.
Wil that Naked Capitalism article interview Joe Lieberman about the likelihood of the public option’s success? I didn’t think so.
In the world of Naked Capitalism, Joe Lieberman never existed.
I’d kill to live in that world, Jack. Joe Lieberman never existed, and the Dem ticket of Gore/Graham won the 2000 election.
Sure he did. Joseph Lieberman (D Insurance).
Yup. Joe Lieberman (D Insurance). I meant to address my last comment to EMichael, not you, Jack. But my sentiment is the same. A world in which Joe Lieberman never existed would be a better world. Maybe even one with a public option.
Explain what you mean by “Public Option.” This is a word like Single Payer” which gets bantied around quite a bit.
Bill, Bill, Bill. What EMichael and JackD and I are talking about is the public option contained in the House bill back in 2009/early-2010. What it amounted to, if I recall correctly, was essentially a direct insurance policy that would be offered by the federal government on the state exchanges. I don’t remember whether it would have been a single option or instead, say, three options—platinum, gold and silver, like private options on the state exchanges; I think it was just one option, but I’m not sure. It would have been available only to direct-pay individuals and families, which I believe is the case now for access to the private-insurance options on the Exchanges. Because they would have competed directly with Lieberman’s patrons, the insurance companies, it was a no-go for him.
Man, alive. You are CRABBY these days! Go pet T.—although, the mood you’re in, he might bite you!
What Bev said.
Though in the world of NC, the public option would also have resulted in no uninsured; actual health care instead of health insurance(whatever the fuck that supposed to mean); declining healthcare costs; free drugs for everyone; medical providers made eligible for EITC; and a chicken in every pot.