10,000 Protestors At The Capital In Michigan!

Here in Michigan, we have been fighting a battle with our wingnut Governor Rick Snyder and the Republican state legislature as he sticks it to the poor, seniors, children, women…you know, all the people Republicans hate so much. That is a lot of voters that were thrown under the bus and I firmly believe that Michigan will swing back to the Democratic Party in the next election cycle. As we all know, there are consequences for your actions. I’ve never seen people so fired up in my state, it is very much like Wisconsin, which gets most of the attention. Check out this post from PoliticusUSA about the protests in Michigan yesterday, they have some great photos and video, here is a snippet from the story…

In the largest protest yet against Gov. Rick Snyder’s war on the American dream, 10,000 patriots have gathered in Lansing, Michigan so that their collective cries for freedom can’t be ignored.

Teamsters Nation reports, “This is what solidarity looks like: a huge crowd of 10,000 people, including Teamsters, teachers and construction workers, on the Statehouse lawn right now in Lansing.”

According to Al Young of Teamsters Joint Council 43 organizer, “It’s a nice sunny day for a rally. We had an opening prayer and we’ll hear from 10 speakers or more. We’re going to have a break this afternoon so people can visit their legislators. We’ve got Teamsters, teachers, building trades workers and people not affiliated with unions here to show their support. There are about 60-65 buses that brought everyone in. Everyone here is united!”

The protesters are speaking out against Gov. Rick Snyder’s imposition of financial martial law in the state through a budget bill gives businesses a $1.7 billion tax cut while slashing $900 million from education, taxes pensions. Snyder intends to raise taxes on and cut vital services for the poor and middle class. Snyder implemented the first phase of his agenda last month by cutting unemployment benefits from 26 to 20 weeks.

The backlash of the Tea Party on Republicans hasn’t really been felt yet. As everyone knows, the midterm elections bring out the hard core of both parties. With the Tea Party in the mix in 2010 and with the effort by the “Benedict Arnolds” on the left to get people to sit out the election, we ended up with a whole bunch of crazies elected to office and they are coming out of the woodwork. Shit, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) alone was a huge gift from the soundbite gods.

I’m confident that Democrats will win big in 2012. There is going to be a lot of ups and downs alone the way, but I’ve never felt better about a coming election than 2012.

Republicans React To Speech By Telling Their Mommies “He Was Mean To Me!”

I wonder if the Republicans actually think that complaining about the President being mean and saying things they don’t like, makes them look tough? It may be the new “Blubbering Boehner” strategy, cry like a freakin baby and hope that people feel sympathy for you and give you a pity vote. When the tweets started flying yesterday about the reaction to the speech from Paul Ryan and others, my smile just kept getting bigger and bigger. I was smiling for a lot of reasons yesterday while the Republicans were running to their mommies.

I was smiling because I knew that the President was going to knock the shit out of Paul Ryan’s plan. In the days leading up to the speech, many in the Professional Left were making up all sorts of shit based on their insecurities and lack of maturity. They always underestimate the President in his progressiveness and ability to deliver a message. And then when he rises to the occasion and gives a major speech, many of them fall all over themselves like Rachel Maddow last night. She’s done it on several occasions using words like, “where has he been?” and other silly things like that. He’s been just a little bit busy in his day job. The unrealistic expectations people have projected onto this president have gone beyond ridiculous, they want him to be “Hand-holder-in-chief”, “Explainer-in-chief” and “Do-my-job-in-chief”…for all the people who expect him to sell everything himself, with no help from progressive pundits, politicians or bloggers. I loved it when Al Sharpton called out the whiners at the Black Agenda forum and basically said, get off your asses and do something. President Obama shouldn’t be expected to do your job for you, too.

I was also smiling because almost immediately, the reaction from the Republicans was juvenile. Now, just because Paul Ryan looks like Eddie Munster, doesn’t mean he should act like him. (I couldn’t resist the Eddie Munster reference, sorry) But this isn’t the first time that the Republicans who sure can dish out the nastiness, pettiness, birtherism bullshit, socialist crap….but when the President shares his vision for American, they take great offense to it. Mark Halperin and Joe Scarborough (yes, I watched his stupid ass) were all sorts of upset that, in the words of Rick Klein at The Note tweeted “President Obama took Paul Ryan’s plan off the table and then stomped on it for a while.“…after inviting him to sit in the front row for the speech. I guess it would have been better if Paul Ryan were holding his mommie’s hand in her living room, or something. If that is how they are going to react for the next year and a half of the election, man, they better just get some counseling. I know there are going to be some more asswhoopin’s coming down the road. I’ll say it again, don’t underestimate this President.

Steve Benen, the best blogger there is, of course nails this juvenile response to the wall with big huge nails…

But those expectations notwithstanding, I’d hoped the House majority party would come up with a response slightly less ridiculous than this.

[House Republicans’] responses thus edged beyond substance into the realm of personal grievance. Indeed, they implied that the speech may have poisoned the well so much that working together where common ground exists might now be impossible. […]

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) attacked the partisan bent of the speech, then characterized it as “a political broadside from our campaigner in chief.” […]

After the press conference he suggested Social Security might not be doable anymore. “I was hoping Social Security and some budget controls, and I didn’t even hear that,” he said. “I was naively optimistic that the President was going to give us a sincere olive branch.”

Ah yes, the anticipated “olive branch.” This from the right-wing lawmaker who drew up a budget plan that “deliberately constructed to be as offensive to Democrats as it’s possible to be,” and didn’t even bother with insincere “nods in the direction of bipartisanship.”

The president presented a proposal that was entirely mainstream, and would have been considered palatable to the Republican Party before it descended deep into the fever swamp. Yesterday, however, this debt-reduction plan apparently hurt the GOP’s feelings.

I have to say that the Republicans are ruining the tough-guy image that there messaging people have spent decades building. Democrats were painted as the wimps who couldn’t take a punch and quivered when confronted. The “Blubbering Boehner” strategy is an interesting approach to politics, I have to say. But out in the middle of the country, I’m not so sure it is going to play very well. But please, don’t tell the Republicans.

President Obama, The “James Brown” of Presidents!

James Brown was considered the “Hardest working man in show business”…well, President Obama is certainly the hardest working president in my lifetime…all 48 years of it.

This is a post from a while back that I dusted off…it obviously doesn’t have the most recent accomplishments in it, but it certainly puts the lie to the crazy idea that President Obama hasn’t done anything.

Even if you don’t agree with everything he has done, no one can say he hasn’t done a lot. Read some of it below and follow some of the sources, it is astounding how much real change he has made. But first, let’s watch a clip from Rachel Maddow’s show where she lists some of President Obama’s accomplishments. I have more below, there is a lot of overlap with Rachel…

When you really look at what the Obama administration has done….and not what the media has decided to report….but what they have actually done, it is really pretty amazing. I did a post many months ago about his accomplishments to date and he has kept right on rolling, change happens even when there is no one to hear it. I found several sources for my post, the first is from Media Matters…

Passing stimulus, generating jobs. On February 17, 2009, Obama signed the $787 billion stimulus bill into law. In December 2009, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office issued a report estimating that “in the third quarter of calendar year 2009, an additional 600,000 to 1.6 million people were employed in the United States” due to that legislation. According to the White House Council of Economic Advisers, CBO has increased its estimate to 800,000 to 2.4 million additional employed through the fourth quarter of that year. Moreover, a November 20, 2009, New York Times article reported that the “consensus” among “dispassionate analysts” is that “the stimulus package, messy as it is, is working,” citing nonpartisan analyses of gross domestic product and total employment figures by several companies specializing in economic forecasting. Further, a January 25 USA Today article stated that, according to its “quarterly survey of 50 economists,” “[u]nemployment would have hit 10.8% — higher than December’s 10% rate — without Obama’s $787 billion stimulus program,” adding, “The difference would translate into another 1.2 million lost jobs.”

Sotomayor nomination. On May 26, 2009, Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court to replace the retiring Justice David Souter. She was confirmed by the Senate on August 6, 2009, and sworn in August 8, making her the first Hispanic justice, and only the third woman, on the court.

Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The first bill President Obama signed into law, on January 29, 2009, was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which expands the rights of workers to sue employers over wage discrimination claims.

SCHIP expansion. On February 5, 2009, Obama signed a bill expanding the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to cover 4 million more lower-income children.

Public lands bill. On March 30, Obama signed an omnibus public lands bill, which The New York Times reported “allows for 2 million more acres to be declared wilderness… [with] more than 1,000 miles designated as scenic rivers, and adds land for national trails.”

Credit card reform. On May 21, 2009, Obama signed into law a bill providing what USA Today called the “most sweeping changes to the credit card industry in 40 years,” adding restrictions on interest rate increases and fees and restricting the marketing of credit cards to college students.

Transparency. The Washington Post reported that moves by the Obama administration to improve government transparency “included a ban on lobbyist gifts; restrictions on the hiring of lobbyists; publication of White House visitor logs and other records; and a move to bar lobbyists from serving on advisory boards.” A report by Common Cause, Democracy 21, the League of Women Voters, and U.S. PIRG stated that: “The cumulative effect of the Administration’s actions has been to adopt the strongest and most comprehensive lobbying, ethics and transparency rules and policies ever established by an Administration to govern its own activities.”

Tobacco regulation. On June 22, 2009, Obama signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which, for the first time, gave the U.S. Food & Drug Administration the authority to regulate the manufacturing, marketing, and sale of tobacco.

National service. On April 21, 2009, Obama signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which expands the scope of AmeriCorps and provides opportunities for young people and senior citizens to join in service programs.

Stem cell research. On May 9, 2009, Obama signed an executive order easing restrictions on the use of federal money for embryonic stem cell research.

There is a TON more after the jump, click on the blue Read More…

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Negotiating Within Reality, Instead Of Fantasyland

I just read a most excellent post over at Booman Tribune, which is one of the links on my toolbar…he is consistently sane, which is a good thing in the blogotubes. In this post, Booman speaks to the subject of many on the left who never seem to take any larger context into consideration when starting their “whine-fest”. I hate to always go back to the health care debate, but it is perfect to illustrate the immaturity of some lefty bloggers. Single payer hasn’t been talked about by any serious politician since the Clinton’s tried to pass health care. That process basically killed the idea, you have to give the GOP credit for their messaging on that one. They put a stake in single payer as far as public opinion goes a long time ago. Then why would some on the left use that as a starting point, a starting point that isn’t even on the fucking map…it’s like off screen completely. And to criticize the President for not starting there as a negotiator is pretty stupid, considering it has never been a part of any serious politicians plan. Booman does an excellent job at getting to the heart of the matter…(emphasis mine)(sorry Booman, I’m pasting the whole thing because it’s so freakin good)

There is logic in advocating for policies that don’t have any realistic chance of being enacted in the short-term. It’s never wrong to ask politicians to the do the right thing, whether it is to free the slaves, give women the vote, end the war in Vietnam, or to close the prison in Guantanamo. On the other hand, there is something wrong with criticizing a politician for failing to do something he or she simply couldn’t do. Which brings me to Matt Yglesias’s dubious argument that not only can the deficit be safely ignored, and that we can use presently low interest rates as a predictor of future interest rates (how’d that work out in Greece or Ireland?), but that the president would find more stimulus spending to be “very much an option for the United States of America. It’s a good option, an appealing option, an option that will increase our wealth over the long term.”But Yglesias is totally, ridiculously wrong about this. I don’t know how he can sit there in Washington DC watching the House Republicans spew their nonsense and think there is any chance in hell that the president can get appropriations to borrow money “to put people to work on useful infrastructure projects.”

Now, the president could make an argument for why borrowing money while its still cheap is a good way to invest for the future and lower unemployment. But he can’t actually get the money out of Congress. This is the kind of cold reality that Glenn Greenwald so easily dismisses with his theories that constrained politicians are always happily constrained.

The president isn’t powerless, and he can use his bully pulpit to shift public opinion over time. But there is no talking to Boehner’s House when it comes to Keynesian economic theory. So, if more stimulus spending on infrastructure can’t happen, it obviously isn’t an option, good or bad.

And that’s where the disconnect happens. The president isn’t running a seminar. When he builds a decision tree, it’s filled with dead ends. A lot of liberal commentators want the president to take the time to explain to the public why all his decisions are sub-optimal. No thought is put into what happens when the president never takes ownership of his decisions, never sells his own decisions as sound, and always appears to be complaining about his impotency.

We’re not getting another stimulus bill out of this Congress. So, go ahead and keep beating the drum for a Keynesian solution to the unemployment rate if you think it will convince somebody, but it won’t convince John Boehner or Mitch McConnell, and so it isn’t going to happen.

That the president isn’t beating a dead horse is actually something that should comfort rather than concern you.

If Only The Left Had Just Waited For The Damn Speech!

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How many freakin times are people going to underestimate President Obama and assign motives and ideas to him that aren’t even close to what he thinks? I know some of them are motivated by other agendas, but many are just politically immature and have some wild expectations of what he should be doing, like holding their hands through every twist and turn, wiping the tears from their widdle eyes and being completely transparent on everything…which also means tipping your hand to the Republicans. But of course the whiners can’t think things through and really don’t take any larger context into consideration like the fact that Republicans control the House and write the bills. Unfortunately, he has to deal with them. But you sure can’t tell that to some of the haters on the left.