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Yo, The Stimulus Worked – Thank You President Obama!

Common refrains from people who say it didn’t work:

  • But Obama promised that unemployment would be less than 8%. Horseshit on a stick. First, he didn’t “promise” a damn thing, if everything an incoming president says is turned into a “promise”, well then there has been a whole lot of promise breaking going on in our history. Second, the cautious prediction made during the transition was based on the numbers that the outgoing Bush administration was feeding the Obama team. They were flat out wrong and completely underestimated what was going on in our economy. Hey media, that’s called context. Buy some at the local C-store.
  • But soooo many people are still out of work. Yes, and that totally sucks. But that does not mean that the over 3 million people who did get jobs are insignificant or don’t matter. They do. If the measure for whether the stimulus worked is full employment, then those people will be waiting till the end of time — we’ve never had anything close to full employment. And you can damn well bet that those people still looking for work are encouraged by the fact that others are starting to find jobs, which of course increases the number of people looking and drives up the unemployment rate.
  • But Fox News says we are still in a recession, the numbers are being cooked. The only thing cooking at Fox New is the meth that the anchors must be smoking during commercial breaks.
  • But, but, but….let’s just all say it together, the stimulus worked. And yes, we have more to do, but don’t let the Republicans and the compliant media make you think that cutting taxes for the rich would have been much better, that is a big part of what got us into this freakin mess.

February 21, 2012 Posted by | Accomplishments, Economy, Politics, President Barack Obama | | 6 Comments

Political Mythbusters – Volume 1, The Stimulus!

THE STIMULUS WORKED!

I am so sick of people lying about the effects of the stimulus plan, which by the way was a deal that was put together by most of the greatest minds in the country to prevent a depression. Republican politicians tried to have it both ways — talking out of both sides of their mouths. They went from rousing speeches about how President Obama is a socialist, to giant check presentation ceremonies in their districts — taking credit for putting all those teachers back to work and fixing that bridge or overpass in their town.

The common argument to bolster the myth is the very parochial one of saying, the unemployment rate is still high or there are still a lot of people out of work. No shit, but what would that unemployment rate have been without it? According to several measures, millions more would be without jobs. It worked for those people. It worked for all the people I saw working along the roads for the last two summers. It worked for all those teachers who didn’t have to apply at McDonalds for a drive-thru position. It worked for me when my taxes were lowered considerably and I was able to pay a few bills.

The Stimulus worked very well and arguing that it should have been bigger ignores the reality that Republicans are also in our government. We all wished it had been all stimulus and less tax cuts, but in order to pass a bill in our selfish country, that’s the way it works. It also ignores what we’ve learned recently, that we were in much worse shape than what the Bush administration told the new President on their way out. There seems to be a lot of ignoring going on in order for people to justify their need to perpetuate this myth. Omissions are lies, in my mind. When people conveniently ignore massive variables in an equation, like millions of jobs saved and the fact that there was NO DEPRESSION, they are just plain lying.

THE STIMULUS WORKED!

Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles

September 10, 2011 Posted by | Economy, Political Mythbusters, Politics, President Barack Obama | | 5 Comments

Limbaugh Craziness, THE STIMULUS WORKED WELL and Tom Delay Goes Down (so to speak)!

Sorry for the gaps in posting lately, I’m going to have to do less commenting and more pointing to other bloggers who don’t have two full-time jobs. I’m hoping to have some leisure time over the holidays where I can do more of it.

Rush Limbaugh’s latest craziness and history re-write was covered pretty good by Neiwert at Crooks and Liars and Bob Cesca.

Steve Benen at Washington Monthly has several excellent posts up, if you don’t have him bookmarked, you’re crazy. Here Steve talks about the purification of the Republican Party that has been underway and continues as we head toward 2012. Steve also posts about how stubborn those pesky facts are. THE STIMULUS WORKED VERY WELL AMERICA.

And how about this for irony, Tom Delay was taken down by district attorney who just happens to be a lesbian.

November 28, 2010 Posted by | Economy, Politics | Leave a comment

And I Repeat, The Stimulus Worked Very Well – But We Need More NOW!

Wow, I just came across some really cool tools at ProPublica.org. Here is one and here is another, go check them out. The chart is interactive, simply drag your mouse over a line on the chart and it pops up information about that program. Where have they been all my life. For example, I just found out that my county in Michigan has received $88,359,838 of stimulus money. I commute about 35 miles one way to my day job and in that trek I see countless men and women working at repairing roads, overpasses and bridges. There are streets in my town that haven’t seen fresh pavement in over 20 years. That stimulus money is helping my community in a lot of ways. Prior to the stimulus, it was estimated that the unemployment rate in my town was 38%. I know that those stimulus dollars are helping to keep our community together and viable. I see it everyday, you can’t spin or poo poo that away, it’s real. And yes, for those on the left who scream that it should have been bigger, I agree completely. But simply saying the phrase “should have” doesn’t diminish the effects of what is happening. And saying “should have” is pretty fucking easy for all the arm-chair quarterbacks on the left but actually making it happen is a bit harder with “conservadems” acting like Republicans. WE NEED MORE and we need everyone who claims to be liberal or progressive to help us get it done. That might mean putting aside petty arguments with the administration and actually helping the people of America. There are signs that the Obama administration is working on more stimulus. Here is a piece from a Wall Street Journal article…

The Obama administration is considering a range of new measures to boost economic growth, including tax cuts and a new nationwide infrastructure program, according to people familiar with the discussions.

The president’s economic team has met frequently in recent days to list ways to bolster the struggling recovery, according to government officials.

Of course, with November looming on the horizon, the prospects of getting something done are pretty slim. But of course no one ever thought we would pass Health Care Reform and POW, we did it, bitches. It is really sad that in America, politics are more important than people’s lives, jobs and homes. The asshats in the Senate and the House are more concerned about getting re-elected than the long term stability of our country or the people who are losing their homes. I miss the days when at least some of the politicians in Washington stood up for principles and did what was right for the country instead of their own selfish, short term interests. I guess in the poll-driven media culture we find ourselves in, we are pretty much fucked. That is why I like President Obama so much, he isn’t afraid to take on big issues even when some in his own party turn on him because of it. And it doesn’t help that the blogosphere is loaded with so many politically immature blowhards who really don’t have a clue how Washington works and think a president can just make people do things. And when you try to clue them in, they simply cover their ears and go nah, nah, nah, nah like a bunch of junior high school kids. Pathetic.

We all have to do our part to help push for more stimulus, for the long term health of our country. Write your congresspeople, comment on blogs….we need your help.

September 1, 2010 Posted by | Politics | | 10 Comments

The Stimulus Stopped The Recession – We NEED MORE STIMULUS!

The issue of whether the stimulus package worked or not is really not up for debate or to be decided by a poll of Americans. It clearly worked at stopping the recession and limiting the damage that was about to happen to our economy. I know people on the right, mostly, but some haters on the left too, will try to confuse the issue with how many jobs were created. NOT ENOUGH for sure, but according to Mark Zandi, Moody’s chief economist and former adviser to John McCain, it clearly had a huge impact and he had this to say in response to Boehner “The Orange”…

Joining the backlash against House Minority leader John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) economic speech yesterday, Mark Zandi, Moody’s chief economist, said Boehner was “just wrong” to call the $787 billion stimulus spending “a failure.”

If there was no stimulus at all, Zandi said, unemployment would be at around 11.5% rather than 9.5%.

“I think if we had not had the stimulus, estimates put forward by the Congressional Budget Office are absolutely right: we’d have 2.5-3 million fewer jobs than we’d have today,” he said at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast briefing this morning.

What needs to change are people’s expectations, he said. “The stimulus did exactly what it was intended to do. It was intended to end the recession, jump-start the economy, and it did that,” said Zandi, who has advised both Obama and John McCain in the past.

Here is a link to a story on what I call the Fuckington Post, Hat Tip to Staci, where they show you projects that were funded by the stimulus and asks the question below in bold…

On Tuesday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that the act added from 1.4 million to 3.3 million jobs during the second quarter of 2010.

In addition to $288 billion in tax cuts, the Recovery Act funded all sorts of worthy projects that created jobs, backstopped a number of safety-net programs, and made huge investments in infrastructure, energy independence, mass transit and other public goods.

Here are 11 projects that got stimulus money. Do you think they deserved your tax money?

With the economy apparently slowing down because of the winding down of the stimulus, we democrats have to join together and start helping the President create a ground swell for more stimulus. We can’t just sit back and expect him to do it without our help, we have to be vocal about it. We have to push hard and I would also add that as long as the “professional left” keeps up their doom and gloom blogging and chipping away at Obama’s popularity, they are helping the Republicans stop any more stimulus.

I would also add that if the corporate Republicans would get up off some of those record profits and invest in American jobs like the patriots they claim to be, we might not need the government to come to the rescue again. But since the Republicans have made a conscious effort to stop ANYTHING President Obama does for their own political gain, we don’t have many choices.

WPA 2010 – Saving American Jobs

Go read this piece by Steve Benen, he sums it all up better than anyone, as usual. Here is just a snippet…

And finally, by way of a reminder as to how truly nonsensical our politics can be, also note that the economy could use another boost to prevent it from slipping even further backwards. The CBO makes abundantly clear that the stimulus worked in generating growth and creating jobs. So, does that mean we’ll get another stimulus to generate more growth and create more jobs? Of course not — Republicans choose not to believe the data, want less of what worked, and won’t allow a vote on the most effective elements of the policy. Voters say they want less spending — even though more spending would improve the economy — and congressional Democrats are unlikely to even try to push for more recovery efforts, fearing a public backlash against sound policies that work.

The stimulus worked, and we need more. The country is convinced it failed, and demands less.

August 27, 2010 Posted by | Economy, Politics, President Barack Obama | 9 Comments

Don’t Believe The Compulsive Liars – The Stimulus Worked And Continues To Work

Reality, what a concept! Republicans and their complicit media have succeeded in creating an alternate reality that isn’t based on facts, but well tooled opinions that get repeated over and over and over again on right wing radio, right wing television (you know who you are), cable news networks all trying to be as shallow as the ratings leader of cable news and since everyone is doing it, even the broadcast networks. As this alternate reality has been taking form over the last year, I continued to see analysis by countless economists without political agendas and yes, even conservative economists, that say the stimulus has been wildly successful at preventing more job losses and in recent months, increases in jobs. Here is one story from February…

Just look at the outside evaluations of the stimulus. Perhaps the best-known economic research firms are IHS Global Insight, Macroeconomic Advisers and Moody’s Economy.com. They all estimate that the bill has added 1.6 million to 1.8 million jobs so far and that its ultimate impact will be roughly 2.5 million jobs. The Congressional Budget Office, an independent agency, considers these estimates to be conservative.

[...]

For that, the stimulus package, flaws and all, deserves a big heaping of credit. “It prevented things from getting much worse than they otherwise would have been,” Nariman Behravesh, Global Insight’s chief economist, says. “I think everyone would have to acknowledge that’s a good thing.”

Something I’ve heard recently that proves the idiocy of Republicans and the media is the idea that because President Obama “promised” an unemployment rate of 8% and we haven’t reached it yet, that proves that the stimulus didn’t work. Let’s break that down. First, the 8% forecast was made early on in the administration before the dust had settled on the economic meltdown. A reminder for some folks that President Obama was inaugurated on January 20, 2009, please store that in your brains for a minute. Everything that happened prior to that date, was done by the Bush administration. Everything leading up to that day in regards to the economy, happened under Bush. I’m sure the pea brains on the right will jump to the “stop blaming Bush” line that they trot out whenever anyone tries to give perspective to how we got where we are. How can they put everything at the foot of Obama after just 18 months, but can’t wrap their heads around the fact that being president for 8 years kind of lays some of the responsibility for the state of the economy at your feet. It is surreal that the media can now discard 8 years of gutting our economy and because Obama has been president for 18 months now, it’s ALL his fault. “Can’t blame Bush anymore, it’s Obama’s now” has become the new media line.

I just heard David Gregory, who seems to have an agenda when it comes to the Obama administration, present the stimulus as if its sole purpose was to keep unemployment at 8%, nothing else, that was the only reason and measure. The Republicans have succeeded in brainwashing the media and therefore the public of this meme. I live in Michigan where every day I see the stimulus dollars at work and I’ve said it before, those people working on the roads and bridges are collecting checks, paying their bills, paying their taxes, buying stuff that helps business stay afloat…..how can the right wing dismiss these people as non existent. All those teachers, police and firefighters that have kept their jobs because of the stimulus…I hear the right wing refer to them as government jobs as if they are robots, not people. Since when did a teacher, a cop and a firefighter become government workers?

I’m going to continue to push back against the perpetual lies of the Republicans, although it’s hard to keep track of all the lies that spew out of the right of this country. For a party that claims to be rooted in Christianity, there sure is a lot of sinning going on. I guess hypocrisy doesn’t just show up in their politics but in their very being.

July 16, 2010 Posted by | Economy, Politics, President Barack Obama | | 5 Comments

Bill Gates Says The Stimulus Worked

Check out this clip of Bill Gates on This Week, at about 6:35 he talks about how the stimulus prevented a collapse of our economy. A little later he says a second stimulus that is targeted would be a good thing.

Bill Gates is very measured in what he says, not a political guy at all and very practical. I never liked the way Microsoft did business while he was running the company, but the man himself is pretty amazing. His philanthropy is changing the world. Kudos to Bill Gates…..I never thought I’d say that 10 years ago.

June 18, 2010 Posted by | Politics | | Leave a comment

The Stimulus Worked Very Well!

Even though the right wing has had some success at sticking to message and brainwashing the “American People” and the media, the so called “Stimulus Bill” or the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has been extremely successful. From an article in the New York Times

Just look at the outside evaluations of the stimulus. Perhaps the best-known economic research firms are IHS Global Insight, Macroeconomic Advisers and Moody’s Economy.com. They all estimate that the bill has added 1.6 million to 1.8 million jobs so far and that its ultimate impact will be roughly 2.5 million jobs. The Congressional Budget Office, an independent agency, considers these estimates to be conservative.

I think it is proof that government can spur growth (5.7% in the last quarter), can you imagine how much more there could have been if the bill didn’t have so many tax cuts to placate the Republicans who didn’t freakin vote for it. The stimulus worked in a lot of ways…

In the early months of last year, spending by state and local governments was falling rapidly, as was tax revenue. In the spring, tax revenue continued to drop, yet spending jumped — during the very time when state and local officials were finding out roughly how much stimulus money they would be receiving. This is the money that has kept teachers, police officers, health care workers and firefighters employed.

Then there is corporate spending. It surged in the final months of last year. Mark Zandi of Economy.com (who has advised the McCain campaign and Congressional Democrats) says that the Dec. 31 expiration of a tax credit for corporate investment, which was part of the stimulus, is a big reason…

…For that, the stimulus package, flaws and all, deserves a big heaping of credit. “It prevented things from getting much worse than they otherwise would have been,” Nariman Behravesh, Global Insight’s chief economist, says. “I think everyone would have to acknowledge that’s a good thing.”

I guess in this “what have you done for me lately” country that we live in, memories are short, patience is short and the spin-meisters rule the world. Democrats tend to be more honorable people and won’t use the nasty tactics that the Republicans use. Blatant lying, manufactured stories, up is down, down is up and of course they have a syndicate of media to get their messages out, which the MSM then just repeats without correcting lies, errors or misleading interpretations. What the hell good is the MSM anyway?

March 1, 2010 Posted by | Economy, Jobs, Media, MSM, Politics | | 3 Comments

5.7% Growth In 4th Quarter, The Stimulus Worked!

I’m sure all the haters will have reasons why this isn’t real, or wasn’t because of the stimulus, or was because of some other reason…..BITE ME!

Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property
located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009,
(that is, from the third quarter to the fourth quarter), according to the "advance" estimate released by the
Bureau of Economic Analysis.

I’ve been watching the signs of the recovery for the last 6 months, lots of good or “not so bad” news has been coming for a while, but it has basically been ignored by the media because it doesn’t fit into their current narrative, that President Obama’s presidency has been a failure. Chew on this, bitches.  When I see the slanted journalism that paints this picture of failure, I find comfort in the fact that reality will catch up with them and make them look like fools. You can only hide the truth for so long, eventually it finds its way into the public consciousness. President Obama’s speech the other night was one of the first steps in showing the reality of the last year, not what the right wing, Jane Hamsher, Arianna Huffington and Cenk Uygur have been trying to paint. I wonder how they are reacting to this?

January 29, 2010 Posted by | Media, MSM, Politics | , , , | 6 Comments

Is Candy Crowley Getting Paid For The Work She’s Doing For Romney?

Steve Benen put up a post the other day about an exchange between Candy Crowley and David Axelrod that is a perfect illustration of how the media has morphed into stenographers for politicians, mostly Republicans. Many in the media have abandoned critical thinking and analysis in lieu of the easy routes – polls, talking points and false equivalency nonsense.

Here is the exchange that has Candy Crowley doing the heavy lifting for the Romney campaign.

CROWLEY: But couldn’t that huge gap, which is a pretty big gap between those who think you could handle the economy as opposed to Mitt Romney — couldn’t it also be that, from the day — from the month the president took office, we still have 1.7 million fewer jobs in the marketplace?

AXLEROD: Candy, let’s have — you know what, I’m happy to have that discussion. Do you know that, when he was campaigning for president in 2007 and 2008, Governor Romney had nothing but praise for the economic policies that were in place at that time, as America was sliding into the worst recession since the Great Depression, after eight years in which we…

CROWLEY: But this isn’t Romney. This is a fact.

Steve Benen goes on to point out that in the first 6 months of the Obama presidency, the country lost 3.89 million jobs. And yes, President Obama was president at the time of those job losses, but if anyone thinks that a single thing that President Obama did in that first 6 months had ANYTHING to do with the job losses, they are seriously deluded.

Here is a chart that shows the number of job losses/gains over the last 10 years or so.

Courtesy of Steve Benen at The Washington Monthly

Continue reading

January 19, 2012 Posted by | Economy, Media, MSM | 7 Comments

A Summary Of Mitt Romney’s Credentials And History Of Flip Flopping!

I’ve been listening to Steve Benen and Bill Simmon’s podcast at polyscifiradio.com and Steve had an excellent description of Mitt Romney in a nutshell. It’s one of those “file away in the vault” summations that might come in handy if Romney becomes the nominee. This part of his rant is the flip side of how Mitt is the presumptive nominee, but it reveals how difficult it is going to be for Mitt to rally the GOP. It’s going to be fun running against Mitt if he is the last man standing in the GOP primary.

Mitt Romney is a French speaking Mormon, vulture capitalist and his real names is Willard. There’s no way in the world that the Republican party is going to nominate a French speaking Mormon, vulture capitalist named Willard for the presidency.

The party’s voters don’t like him as evidenced by these polls that show he can’t quite break the ceiling. They don’t like him, they don’t trust him because he’s flip flopped on more issues than any politician I can ever think of.

And you look at those issues that he flip flopped on – he was pro-choice, pro gay rights, pro gun-control, pro “amnesty” for undocumented immigrants.

Ah, moderate on all these issues. He believes that climate change is real and should be dealt with, which Republicans consider to be ridiculous. He distanced himself from Reagan – as a candidate.

He attended Planned Parenthood fundraisers as a candidate – for governor and he helped create the blueprint for the Affordable Care Act, which Republican voters hate with the heat of a thousand suns.

He was for the bank bailout before he was against it. He was for the stimulus before he was against it. He was against the auto industry rescue before he took credit for it.

You combine those factors and I would argue that he’s about as appealing to Republican voters as I am.

I assume you are all readers of The Washington Monthly where Steve Benen resides. If not, you are missing out on some of the best writing and political analysis on the internet.

Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles

October 21, 2011 Posted by | 2012 Election, Republican Party, Tea Party | , , | 2 Comments

Despite All the Hype, Obama Continues to Lead

(Note from Extreme Liberal: As regular readers know, I think horse race polls this far out from an election are silly. But having said that, sometimes you just have to play along with the rest of the media who live by them.)

Guest Blogger: Mike Sax

As much as the boobirds take any temporary drop in Obama’s numbers as proof he is in deep trouble, he continues to lead all GOP challengers. He leads Romney 46-43 percent among likely voters. He leads Perry 50-38 and the currently surging Herman Cain 49-37.

He also is doing very well with women with a 49-41 lead with women against Romney, 53-36 against Perry and 53-32 against Cain.

While the naysayers belabor his 44 percent approval rating, the large majorities that are concerned about the direction the country is going in and the economy, what they always ignore is Obama is personally liked by the public. I’ve pointed this out to FDLers who scoffed that this could be relevant, but what they fail to consider is how close likability is to trust or at least think of it this way: if you like someone you probably have a decent level of trust for him or at least think his heart is in the right place.

The numbers clearly show why the Republican party establishment quite desperately prefers Romney, he is clearly the only one who has a prayer of winning. Yet he still hasn’t put the primary race away. This is the latest the GOP has been open since Wendell Willkie. Normally the party would know who its candidate is by now. Yet the establishment is struggling. Cain is currently leading the field yet he trails Obama by the most. Rush Limbaugh attacked Romney this week as not a conservative-about as damning as it gets- pointing out that 70 percent of the GOP field is not interested in Romney.

Continue reading

October 15, 2011 Posted by | 2012 Election, Politics, President Barack Obama | | 4 Comments

On October 15th in Washington DC, The People are Rising Up And Marching for Jobs and Justice!

Guest Blogger:  Joan Ruaiz

On the day of the historic unveiling of the Martin Luther King National Memorial on the Mall next Saturday, October 15, there will also be a march on Washington beforehand to reiterate some of the ideals supported by the Occupy Wall Street movement currently sweeping the country– the ideal that Congress needs to start doing its  damn job of putting Americans back to work.

With unemployment hovering at 9.1%, Americans continue to suffer at the hand of an economy weakened by the Great Financial Meltdown of 2008, largely caused by the deregulation of financial markets.  To add insult to injury, the prior administration giving massive tax cuts to the wealthy while plunging our nation into two unpaid wars has almost bankrupted the county. The Great Recession was nearly staved off via President Obama’s 2009 stimulus, until relentless Republicans and corporate obstruction, supported by media propaganda, brought economic growth to a screeching halt after the Republicans took back the House in January of 2011.

Although GOP candidates of the 2010 election ran on the platform of “jobs, jobs, jobs,” the only action on jobs that we have witnessed the Republican winners of that election act upon thus far is the cutting of over 500,000 public jobs, while engaging in a continuous national campaign of maintaining those massive tax cuts for corporations and the rich.

Continue reading

October 10, 2011 Posted by | Economy, Jobs, Politics | 12 Comments

What The Professional Left Wants You To Forget!

What bothers me the most about many of the President’s critics on the left is their complete lack of context and history.

When I read something from one of the usual suspects that makes no acknowledgment of either the Republicans lockstep opposition or the accomplishments of President Obama considering that opposition, I know that they have other motivations.

When I hear Michael Moore on damn near any show he can get on, say that President Obama hasn’t done anything, I have to wonder if it’s because he is just ignorant and hasn’t paid attention for the last 2 & 3/4 years or if he is just blatantly lying for his own gain. There has to be a reason why he wants to push false memes and help Republicans get back in control of the White House.

Emilia has an excellent post about what a dumbass Bill Maher is and she goes on to remind us of what many in the Professional Left don’t want you to remember. It’s called reality.

What’s most annoying and indicative of his lack of perspective and basic common sense, is the same old same old arguments and talking points and the inevitable comparison with FDR.

Obama could have done this. Obama could have done that. He’s caved on everything financial. He gives in to the Republicans. In the words of another well-known liberal scribe, !Yada yada yada yada.”

I want to SCREAM.

Let’s address FDR and the fabled Hundred Days. FDR was working in a time when the Republican party consisted of most of your scions of financial and industrial behemoths in the US. Really, Roosevelt should have been part of that set-up, but he was the exception to the rule. Apart from those guys dotted about the place, the rest of the country was B-L-U-E.

In the Senate alone, which then had 96 members, the Democrats had a majority of 71. And it’s true what Gov Granholme kept shouting. From the very beginning, the President simply didn’t have the votes. In fact, there was only a period of about four months – from the time Al Franken was belatedly sworn in as Senator until Ted Kennedy’s death in August 2009 – that the Democrats had the fabled 60-vote majority, and two of those votes were Independents who caucused with the Democrats, and one of those Democrats was Joe Lieberman.

Do you understand that? Does Bill?

In the beginning, with the stimulus, there were 57 Democrats (Franken awaiting confirmation) and two Independents, lacking one vote from the magic sixty. But both Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd were ill. That made 55 Democrats and 2 Independents. To pass the stimulus, 3 Republican votes were needed, which was why the stimulus amount was reduced – in order to entice Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe and Arlen Specter to cross the aisle.

Even afterward, with all the healthcare debate, as well as the Republicans, the President was fighting the Blue Dog likes of Evan Bayh, Ben Nelson, Kent Conrad, Mary Landrieu and Blanche Lincoln.

Do you understand that? Does Bill?

As for the fact that the President “caved” on extending the Bush tax cuts, Bill needs to cop this truth: At the end of July 2010, before the August recess, the President summoned Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to the White House to tell them he wanted Congress to vote on repealing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy in September before Congress adjourned for the Midterm hustings. He felt that this would be a good campaign point. Reid and Pelosi refused.

That’s right. They refused. Reid was in a tight race, you recall, with Sharron Angle, and didn’t want to anger wealthy fence-sitters in Nevada. If that weren’t enough, Reid enlisted Russ Feingold – yes, Heavenly Father Progressively Pure Saint Russ Feingold – to plead his case. Feingold, reportedly, lobbied the President to leave off voting on the repeal of the tax cuts until after the Midterms, during the Lame Duck session.

That worked so well, didn’t it? If you recall, the Republicans, high on scoring a major victory in the House and reducing their minority in the Senate, wrote a letter telling the President that they would refuse to consider any legislation during Lame Duck until the tax cuts were done and dusted – meaning extended.

The ensuing negotiations, with the Republicans simply refusing to budge, were anything but a cave on the President’s part. Even ueber Rightwing sage and intellectual, Charles Krauthammer, despairingly admitted that. In fact, he called Obama’s “caving”, the Swindle of the Year, and berated the Republican party for allowing it.

I give credit to few Republicans, but Krauthammer’s a real intellectual, and he’s certainly smarter than Bill Maher for recognising that.

Not to mention a slew of legislation in that compromise, which helped the poor, about whom Bill Maher says he cares so much, Congress also managed to repeal DADT and pass the First Responders Health bill and the START treaty. Besides, the tax cuts were only extended for two years – until 2012 – making them fodder for the campaign cannon next year, if not sooner.

As far as the debt ceiling crisis is concerned, maybe Bill should realise that voting on raising the debt ceiling was part of the Lame Duck proposals too – getting that out of the way in the last days of a Democratic Congress – but Harry Reid pooh-pooed that idea, wanting to bring the vote to a head when it was due to be heard, originally in March 2011. That way, he reckoned, the Republican House could own part of the responsibility.

And how well did that work out?

I remember all of that, but isn’t it amazing how many have forgotten?

October 3, 2011 Posted by | 2012 Election, Accomplishments, Democratic Party, Politics, President Barack Obama, Professional Left, The Truth | 5 Comments

Republican Stupidity – More Please!

Republicans are in a world of hurt going into the 2012 election. You don’t hear much about it in the media, they devote the bulk of their time to pushing the Republican Party’s talking points and bringing on faux Democrats who seem to spend most of their time bashing President Obama and avoiding giving him credit for anything. What amazes me is that with 2 and 1/2 years of pounding on the President, he is sitting better than any incumbent president in my memory.

I don’t put much stock in horse-race polls this far out from an election, but non horse-race questions — when the sample is large enough — can be useful in analyzing trends. These results from an NBC/WSJ combined poll show some shocking numbers that make me know that the Republicans boneheaded move of hitching their wagons to Paul Ryan is already having an effect. From First Read…

In our combined NBC/WSJ polls for the first half of this year (so 4,800 total interviews, including 711 seniors), 44% of seniors identify themselves as Democrats, versus 35% who identify themselves as Republicans. So a nine-point spread. But in our merged NBC/WSJ polls from 2010 (12,502 interviews, including 1,931 seniors), Democrats held just a two-point edge among seniors, 42%-40%.

What is astounding to me is that in the 2010 midterms, the GOP won the senior vote by 20 percentage points. Clearly there is buyers remorse happening in the elderly voting population. I know when I first heard that the Republicans were getting behind the Ryan plan, I sat up in bed and actually said to the television, “you’re kidding?” I couldn’t believe it. In all my years obsessing over politics, that was by far, the dumbest idea I’d ever seen a political party embrace. Seniors show up to the polls and vote in their self interests. Like Richard Pryor said, “you don’t get to be old, being no fool.”

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July 13, 2011 Posted by | 2012 Election, Democratic Party, Economy, Politics, President Barack Obama | 6 Comments

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