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Obama's Next Impossible Speech

by Howard Kurtz Info

Howard Kurtz
 

Fresh off a memorial speech praised by right and left alike, Obama pivots to the State of the Union and a return to partisan politics. Will the raves help him on Capitol Hill?

Amid the glowing reviews for Barack Obama’s memorial speech in Tucson—with even conservatives dishing out praise—some prognosticators see a political resurrection for the embattled president.

That’s not how the White House views it.

Article - Kurtz White House Jewel Samad / Getty Images

By delivering a moving address that was mainly about the victims of last weekend’s shooting, Obama was not looking to drive an agenda. Longtime aides are well aware that other major speeches by the president haven’t moved the polls in any significant way. In this view, a majority of Americans already views Obama as someone who is adept at bringing people together; that trait is priced into the stock, so to speak.

In the sharp-edged world of Beltway scorekeeping, the Obama oration probably won’t lead to legislative progress, or even a better working relationship with Republicans trying to repeal his health-care law. But if the speech reminded people of what they liked about the one-time hopemonger in the first place, it certainly can’t hurt.

“It was his most important speech so far, one that history is going to reflect on,” says historian and author Douglas Brinkley. “There was a bit of Dr. King to him. That’s simply been missing in his presidency so far. I was sitting there and I realized, ‘This guy might be a great man.’ I had forgotten about that.”

A president plays two roles in our democracy, partisan leader and head of state, and Obama’s mission Wednesday night was all—well, almost all, since politics can never be entirely separated from presidential performance—about the latter.

“At times of tragedy,” says Tony Fratto, a Bush White House spokesman, a president has to “put it in context, help people understand it better, find some deeper meaning to it. The president has a role to play that is above the political process.”

But the political process remains, which is why Obama plans to return to the theme two weeks from now in the State of the Union. While that speech is still a work in progress, the president will again address the broader question of civility, which Obama rhetorically tied to the victims of the Arizona rampage in challenging a polarized country to do better.

Spokesman Robert Gibbs said his boss will emphasize “the tone and the approach on both sides—and this isn’t just a one-way street, it’s for us, too—to ensure that we’re doing this in a way, as I think the president so eloquently said last night, is befitting the memory of those in Tucson.”

“There was a bit of Dr. King to him,” says presidential historian Douglas Brinkley. “That’s simply been missing in his presidency so far.”

Obama’s Arizona Speech: Video and Text

Reactions to Obama’s Speech
Reporters repeatedly tried to get Gibbs to comment on Sarah Palin’s video address, whose tone was far more combative than the president’s, but the press secretary deflected every question. Whatever he said would have generated Obama-vs.-Palin headlines at precisely the time the White House wants to keep the focus on the president’s healing moment. And aides declined to discuss the political implications on the record to avoid even the appearance of gaming the situation.

Chief speechwriter Jon Favreau oversaw the first draft, which Obama began laboring over by hand after getting it in the Oval Office on Tuesday. On the Air Force One flight to Arizona, the president—the author of two memoirs—continued to work on a yellow legal pad, keeping in mind, aides say, his perspective as a father.

When Obama was en route to the memorial service, after having visited Gabrielle Giffords in the hospital, he got word that the congresswoman had opened one eye (the other was bandaged). He called her husband, got permission to disclose the information and added it to his speech, ad libbing for emphasis as the crowd roared.

January 13, 2011 | 10:39pm
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Comments ()

liberatorquest

Obama may yet turn out to be a good president after all, I hope for all of us he will!! Four more years anyone? I can hear the conservatives now, hehe.

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2:57 am, Jan 14, 2011

tomcat2010

He can be a good president if, like his mentor Bill Clinton, he veers right, and starts embracing common-sense, mainstream, bi-partisan initiatives rather than telling the Republicans "I won" or "get to the back of the bus", and ignoring the American people on HCR and jobs. Look, besides his political base, Obama was elected by independents and cross-over Republicans. A majority of the country doesn't want to see him fail. But the American people DO NOT approve of the self-serving partisan bullshit that Obama has pushed through Congress in the past 2 years, and therein lies the roadmap to reelection for Obama. The choice really is his to make. If he pretends (like most Progressives) that the past election was merely about jobs, then he's screwed. He might as well pack his bags for Chicago.

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3:53 am, Jan 14, 2011

FauxHunter

@Tom

If You Ever actually looked at this Pres's record yourself And learned about what the policies He has actually Put in place as Pres -minus Fox distortion- you would see a centrist...

which FYI was What Bill Clinton WAS
AND
that is when this politics of Hate, ignited by the Right started
constant bashing of Clinton

wasting our money on countless law suits Where no one was ever found guilty

oh Clinton did Lie about an affair...but Gingrich, Sanford, Vitter and Ensign Did as well and All used their public power and/or Money to hide/finance their escapades...what did the "moral" right do about that???

not One resignation And No criminal charges...some "morality"...

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6:30 am, Jan 14, 2011

sangha774

Tomcat:

I know that you are not aware that the appeal your'e making to Obama is that he remains a Democrat whilst pursuing Republican ideology. I realize that this can slip by the mind without it coming to the forefront. Happens easily.

Obama is an excellent President. There is no such thing as a perfect President. Realism is more substantial than idealism.

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8:57 am, Jan 14, 2011

pennsykid2000

I just love the sudden admiration for Bill Clinton among right-wingers, the very same people who couldn't wait to see him impeached, despite inheriting record deficits and turning them into record surpluses and passing centrist legislation. So, were you wrong then, or are you wrong now? It has to be one or the other. My guess is you were blinded by right-wing propaganda then and saw him ridiculously more left-wing and venal than he was. The same thing is going on right now with right-wing demonizing of Obama, for the same reasons, and you can't even see how you are being manipulated.

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11:29 am, Jan 14, 2011

neversaynever

WOW Faux I thought you were going to say something important and tell us about all those earth shattering policies and then got side tracked on the Hate word,
You left out Rush and Palin's name how come ???

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1:14 pm, Jan 14, 2011

lumnights

You're obviously biased in thinking that it's democrats who don't compromise. Democrats compromising is exactly why healthcare reform is so weak, and why big business is still allowed to drive the American economy into the ground. I hope that you realize this, before it's too late, for you and for America.

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1:53 pm, Jan 14, 2011

zapzinger

Oh, please...more mush from the wuss...maybe he can get Morgan Freeman for the voice-over..

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5:48 am, Jan 14, 2011

DoctorPV

www.whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com

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9:11 am, Jan 14, 2011

Desertpenguin

"particularly one long viewed as aloof"

I never viewed the President as aloof, Howard.

And I see you're still angry that Obama is emotionally mature.

I know it doesn't make for good copy, but that's your problem, not his.

He's not the Chief Entertainer, and he owes you nothing.

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6:13 am, Jan 14, 2011

sangha774

Desertpenguin:

So right. This President is not "aloof" he is, as you excellently described him, "emotionally mature". His calm and measured approach is something new to many Americans who misinterpret it as weakness.

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9:37 am, Jan 14, 2011

YearsLaterXXI

liber, yes He might just turn out to be the man we voted for. He is back in charge,not NP and HR and evryone else.He is a kind and gentle charismatic man.With great strengths. Now he needs to lead.Conservatives and Democrats behind his back were already writing him off. """"May he be, a succesfull,president, for The USA,needs healing and sucess and to move foward."""There are many wounded,economically,spiritually and emotionally, in this country."""" There are many new politicians that should get the old timers out of the way, who corrupted and got lazy and ruined the system. Many of them on both sides who were there to long got, all for free and forgot the people of the country.It became about them the power, the socializing,the party,not service to anyone but themselves. The country has been extremely wounded by incompetents,on both sides. We need new,and ethical and caring,politicans, like GG,and the new politicians on both sides willing to reach out to each other and"" Lead."""Neither party has anyone that can Replace the president at this time.Now let us all pray.!!!!!For sucess.,and healing ,from all the horrible suffering we hae seen,and some form of comradership,even if each party disagrees.They can work together, and with,civility,with humility,they can all unite us going foward The pres has his mojo back, and no one for now can stand in his way.He is the Pres of us all.

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10:59 am, Jan 14, 2011

wareagle82

you are right in this much - he needs to lead. Unfortunately, he has no experience in doing that, just in agitating and in being a partisan. This is the same man judged as the most liberal senator of them all; it is no wonder his speeches make reference to enemies, compare political opponents with terrorists, etc. It's not what he says that matters, it is what he does and what he has done is engineer a major govt power grab. You are again right that he is the president of all of us; it would be nice if he started acting like it.

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11:33 pm, Jan 14, 2011

neversaynever

You got to be kidding me, "the President has to put it into context and help people understand it better......






Duhhhh !! Liberals I sure, the Government has to tell them what to eat and think, but I'm pretty sure I understand what happened on that dreadful day with out President Obama telling me...


As a Hispanic/Latino this article is demeaning to the Liberals (thats why I switched parties decades ago) as far as Im concerned, just another way they are told what to think and how to act.. so be it..

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1:11 pm, Jan 14, 2011

Master of Muppets

Atleast he'll feel better about putting the Obama "0" logo on the t-shirts and propaganda left on the chairs for this speech..... Never waste a crisis Barry.

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1:11 pm, Jan 14, 2011

irondoor827

LET'S ADD 'EM UP...
It appears the list of people Republicans hate includes but is not limited to: Mexican Americans - 48 Million
Muslim Americans - 6 Million , AND Gay Americans - 6 to 9 Million
Black Americans - 40 Million, AND Jewish Americans - 7 Million
Poor Americans - 43 Million, AND Liberals
Moderates, AND Democrats
Union Members, AND The Unemployed
Bill Maher Fans, AND Lady Ga Ga Fans
Jon Stewart Fans, AND Stephen Colbert Fans
Saturday Night Live Fans, AND Anyone who watches MSNBC
Veterans who selfishly use the VA, AND Children with pre-existing conditions
9/11 Responders with health conditions, AND Anyone drawing Social Security or Medicare, AND
The President and First Lady of the United States
If you are a member of any of the above groups... DON'T TAKE MY WORD FOR IT... just carefully read the hateful posts on any site about politics or any foxx talk show, and share them with your friends and family... then, In 2012, Vote.
REPUBLICANS.... keep posting exactly what's on your mind... it helps
And I know that some of you teatea baggers are going to post that this post is hate well "DUA" "NO" it is "NOT" .!!! READ it for yourself if you can I am only repeating what some of you have posted, here and in other places on the Internet. Go on go back and look for yourself.
And NOW WE SEE WHERE THE REAL HATE IS...!!!
And if you like you may repost this "EVERYWHERE" a "MILLION TIMES".!!! BUT remember in 2010 !!! Again
THANK YOU teatea baggers, for waking us up to what you really are.

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3:08 pm, Jan 14, 2011

Master of Muppets

stop hitting your head with iron door... you won't be so stupid.

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3:43 pm, Jan 14, 2011

tomcat2010

"... a return to partisan politics..."

Buh-what about the "civility"? It lasted a day.

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3:17 am, Jan 14, 2011

RobbyS

If I weren't cynical about Obama, I would be after reading the following:

ttp://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/32138

Didn't you wonder why a "unity" T-shirt was blue and white and not read white and blue?

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10:43 am, Jan 14, 2011

Lilli917

Obama had nothing to do with those shirts! Those came from the UofA .
His role was that of a "guest speaker" and the rest of the program was arranged by the University.

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2:56 pm, Jan 14, 2011

Jim McDermott

State of what Union?

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4:44 am, Jan 14, 2011

FauxHunter

well you see in the 1860s the South tried to break up the union so some wealthy folks could keep other human beings as property...

the North beat them. probably because there Is a God..

and now ...

we have the "South" (southwest too, other repub strongholds) threatening all kinds of violence and "second amendment remedies" because they want Big Corporations - that's wealthy people - to own us all

that's the state of the union...
hopefully there is still a God...

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6:36 am, Jan 14, 2011

Dalek-k

No, not even close.

First off my African friend and I researched it and about 4.8% of the whites in the south had one or more slaves, just some information for you there...

But onto the real heart of this...

A few facts for you

-Lincoln wasn't on the southern ballots yet became their leader
-Lincoln didn't want to get rid of slavery and his Emancipation Proclamation didn't didn't free slaves, the amendment to the constitution did (18th? my memory is a bit fuzzy on that one).
-The north was harassing the south with tariffs and other laws that the south couldn't stop by law. Taxation without representation?
-The north used propaganda so that they would look like the "good guys" in the war by fighting about slavery, even up till I was in High School the government likes to push off onto kids that everyone had a slave down there pre-civil war ... However only 4.8% owned one or more slaves... Why would the rest of the population fight for slavery if they didn't have any slaves?
-Africans/America-Africans were treated worse as free men/women in the north than as slaves in the south. Also for every slave that came north through methods such as the underground railroad... The northerners sent 3 back (some which were legally free!)

So don't go spewing non-sense about why the civil war was fought and about how God had any part of it do you remember that book called the bible? Slaves were A-OK in there.

Oh I'm not a crazy atheist, just one of the few followers of God that uses common sense.

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11:51 am, Jan 14, 2011

lreed580

Some of the most cynical people I know with re: politics have pledged to step back and do some serious reflection with re: to the words they use and their impact.

On yesterday's Washington Journal, the first 45 minutes was devoted to callers sharing their reaction to the president's speech. In the years I've been watching, I've never heard such consensus.......Republicans, Independents and Democrats alike praising his speech and his call for civility.

What I find so discouraging is the media seems the most resistant/cynical with re: to more civil discourse. Hopefully those who want to hear less vitriol in our discourse, will call the media out.

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6:38 am, Jan 14, 2011

ImpureScience

Critical thinking and reflection don't drive sales or web traffic nearly as effectively as do political/cultural button-pushing and calls for violent action.

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8:40 am, Jan 14, 2011

AlanD2

I agree with ImpureScience, lreed580.

Conflict and vitriol sell.

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10:53 am, Jan 14, 2011

Ozone69

Obama spent 20 years listening to inflmmatory rhetoric from Jeremiah Wright, his former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel sent a dead fish to an opponent and cursed like a long shoreman while conducting business. Obama himself said at a fundraiser "If they bring a knife to a fight, you bring a GUN!" He also said "I want to know who's ass to kick, we have to punish our enemies (political opponents and those who vote for them), etc.

But WE have to have a more civil discourse? What exactly does this have to do with a psychopathic monster killing 6 people because he has been obsessed with a conservative Democratic congresswoman since 2007 (before the Tea Party existed and Sarah Palin was a household name)?

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7:10 am, Jan 14, 2011

zapzinger

Latte-sipping limpo lamestream loony liberals set the narrative in this brainwashed nation. When brave patriots such as Sarah Palin & Michele Bachmann resist the lefty agenda, they are vilified in the poodle press.

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7:58 am, Jan 14, 2011

Jim McDermott

zap, you wouldn't be the reincarnation of Thomas Jefferson, would you? It's just that your soaring rhetoric and deeply intelligent, humane perspective moves me so much that I feel we're in the presence of greatness.

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8:44 am, Jan 14, 2011

desertcynic

Hey, Zap! Time to adjust those pesky ol' meds again....

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9:23 am, Jan 14, 2011

sangha774

zap:

Pity you understand so little except bigotry, hate and aggression. I genuinely feel sorry for you.

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9:48 am, Jan 14, 2011

sangha774

Ozone:

Quite a lot of convenient distortions. Hard to tell whether it was deliberate or innocent ignorance.

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9:51 am, Jan 14, 2011

AlanD2

Ozone's a dedicated Fox News follower, Sangha.

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10:54 am, Jan 14, 2011

Ozone69

Everything I posted is a fact. Please state exactly what is distorted. I eagerly await your response.

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11:36 pm, Jan 15, 2011

Lilli917

Ozone, You need to rest now. Have a nice nap!

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2:58 pm, Jan 14, 2011

dalelama

Once the easily duped again realize Obama's economic policies are a disaster the left will again begin to attack anyone who points this out as racists, stupid, and crazy. Of course when those belittled respond, like the school room snitch, they will hysterically scream "You are being uncivil."

Unless Obama begins to answer with sound policies (which the House will probably have to propose) he will be toast.
Here are a few of the questions he will have to answer:

1) Where are the jobs?
2) How are we going to pay the debt back without raising taxes?
3) Why are you asking citizens to bail out states which have bribed public sector unions into becoming a wing of the Democrat Party with extravagant pay and posh benefits and are now for all purposes bankrupt?
4) Why are American citizens bailing out the EU?
5) Why did you implement policies that have helped drive the cost of a gallon of gas to $5.
6) After wasting $3T on "stimulus" efforts over the last two years why is the unemployment rate still at 10%?
7) Despite your claims to the contrary, why are my health care premium costs skyrocketing?
8) Why despite all the federal intervention, regulation, and financial bailouts have foreclosures hit an all time high?
9) Why after having three years in office and complete control of Congress for two of those are you still blaming Bush for your failed economic initiatives that have lead to this disaster?
10) Why despite your pleadings during the AZ pep rally are you being so uncivil?

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9:04 am, Jan 14, 2011

desertcynic

1) The jobs are in Wall Street vaults and will stay there until they can be used to finish the wealth transfer that W aided.
2) We aren't. We're either going to have to raise taxes or disavow the debt.
3) What evidence do you have of any of this?
4) Because Goldman Sachs, et. al. the Republicon power structure, put a lot of money there and don't want to take the haircut.
5a) When did you pay $5/gal for gas?
5b) So you're opposed to 'a Free Market Economy?'
6) Because the people the money want to are not the least bit interested in the country.
7) Your health care premiums are going up because the Dems failed to subject them to competition. If they'd done so your premiums would be at about Switzerland-level. I.e., half what you're paying now.
8) Because none of the Federal or State actions had any teeth. The banks could safely ignore them, and did.
9) It was a DEEP hole. And we're nowhere near out of it yet. Just wait until the MERS system collapses.
10) I guess 'civil' means 'what I like.'

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9:38 am, Jan 14, 2011

jerichothedrifter

10) I guess 'civil' means 'what I like.'

so right

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10:39 am, Jan 14, 2011

RobbyS

Get real. Wall Street is a Democratic strong-hold. Obama and Wall Street are allies. He gets power and they get rich while Americans suffer.

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10:46 am, Jan 14, 2011

bevcat5


Right on, desertcynic! ! !

It seems to me that a lot of people want to believe those who talk the loudest and with the most seeming "power", i.e., the Lindbaughs and Palins, etc., etc. However, those who have the loudest, most smart-assed rhetoric are usually not the deep thinkers and the ones who can actually SEE what is going on underneath the surface.
How the heck do we get through to these people???

It's easy to believe the rantings of these right-winger 'conservatives' - my, they have such a good rap, don't they? Nevertheless, it's all surface talk. I'd like to see Palin actually do some deep thinking!

I can be a smart-ass to top them all - and that is not "civil" or "discourse" or even "conversation". It is mere entertainment - yet so many take it seriously and do not investigate or think for themselves.

Meanwhile, we are all becoming slaves to the Big Corporations. Look at the disappearance of the middle class in this country. Look at the number of people who need food banks to get through the month. Look at the foreclosures. Look at the high medical & insurance costs. Do people know that the only ones who sailed right through the Big Depression were the Insurance companies??? People need to dig a little into history - the FACTS are out there - and do some thinking.
too many in this country are allowing themselves to be led, like lemmings, to the edge of the cliff - by these clever-sounding right-wingers who are really good at criticizing and throwing the blame around. And where are there good ideas, anyway? Do you see Palin showing up with a logical plan to fix anything? Rush L. have one good idea for saving the middle class?

Obama's speech was inspired and healing - and I'm so glad that he could offer hope, healing and even some guidance to the families and community of this dreadful event. Obama's spirit I believe is in the right place. May he live long & prosper!

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3:11 pm, Jan 14, 2011

nkwecho82

To your last question
We'll be civil when you heed the Presidents call and become civil.

There are a couple of flat out lies in that list of yours, please revise.
Thx!

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10:00 am, Jan 14, 2011

dalelama

@nkwecho82 and desertcynic, Most post was very civil and these are questions Obama will have to answer sometime this year. How much more evidence do you need that Obama is the Wall St. bag man? He was Goldman #1 donation recipient and just made Daley his chief of staff. Every nickel Bush lent Wall St. has been paid back with interest. Obama's reckless freezing of offshore drilling without using thought to close only risky efforts is driving the price of oil up with $5/gallon prices before the end of the year. As usual you respond to legitimate questions with leftist gibberish.

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10:53 am, Jan 14, 2011

AlanD2

dalelama's statements are all true in his/her/its alternate reality, nkwecho82.

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10:56 am, Jan 14, 2011

sangha774

dalelama:

Probably borrowed loaded questions. We know your limitations.

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11:18 am, Jan 14, 2011

periscope

Obama's SOTU speech should include pointing out how the richest, greediest minority amongst us continue to put all our financial futures at risk. I'm talking about how Wall St. continues to sell "derivatives," which are still uncontrolled, and how banks still have access to taxpayer money with which they can gamble and the taxpayer becomes the losers, not the banks.
He should also talk about the NRA and how it dictates gun laws that actually allow automatic weapons to be sold. How many massacres will it take with these kinds of weapons, before the public and the congress finally find the balls to tell the NRA off?
And he should talk sensibly about America's financial quandry and how the Republicans created nearly $14 trillion of debt with their mindless tax cuts for the rich (that does nothing for our economy), their insane Iraq War based on deceit, and their endless DOD expenditures that has the U.S.A. outspending all other nations in the world on "Defense."
Somebody has to tell the American electorate how they are being swindled and jeopardized by the Republican Party and the Special Interests.

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9:29 am, Jan 14, 2011

HankWil

peri you need a new playbook......too much conspiratorial blather & I'd rather look forward.

I'm not going to waste time saying DC isn't spending WAY too much, are you? To blame it on only the Rs shows only political bias based on your faith in one party. I'm going to stay out of those weeds & focus on economics which is what this is all about.

The fundamental difference in your argument between you & I (who IS educated in economics and successfully operates a business) is that you somehow think in terms incompatible with our free market capitalist economy. Let's look at it this way: people make decisions all day everyday by buying where they get the best deal - you don't pay the highest price for that new flat screen, you pay the lowest......and you'll buy sooner or more when the price is best, ie, lower price induces more sales. In other words, your behavior is driven by cos/value for the $, right? People & businesses make the same decisions when they look at long term tax policy/rates. Take the huge growth in tax revenues the gov realized from the major reduction in capital gain rates of Reagan (best example because you can get the numbers from the gov). This amounted, together with an overall reduction in rates fueled an economic boom for a couple decades, and with a reduction is spending levels almost a balanced budget. It's NOT a zero sum game. Dynamics..........that's what a capitalist economy has over a central gov controlled economy (which has been tried over & over in history without long term success).

So I am not so quick to make it a political calculation, this isn't a sports contest so why treat it as one. Yes we need to change the culture & MANY of the people in DC, not to mention reduce the size about 50%, but until we start focusing on real economic freedom and facilitating it we are doomed to the huge ever-growing inefficiencies of more centralized govermental control and the resulting loss of individual freedom & choice as they crowd out the private sector. The answer is: Elect people who have the right fundamental economic understanding of our economy.

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10:40 am, Jan 14, 2011

dalelama

As Obama is surrounded by Wall St. gangsters who funded his election and were rewarded with his Financial "Reform" Bill, has increased the debt by $4T in two short years, supports the 2nd amendment, followed Bush's plan to successfully withdraw from Iraq, doubled down on Bush's effort in Afghanistan while making the situation worse, and doubled the annual deficit I don't think he will be able to sell your deluded fantasies.
Of course as with most liberals you want Obama to avoid proposing any workable solutions to the economic mess part of which he inherited but which he has made much worse with policies that have failed whenever tried before.
What happened to the "laser" like focus on jobs?

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10:41 am, Jan 14, 2011

AlanD2

Good points, periscope.

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10:56 am, Jan 14, 2011

tromiti

Hey periscope - you must be one-eyes for sure. BO had a SUPER majority for the first two years. Why couldn't he have fixed Wall Street then? Because Wall Street helped get him elected. Just ask Geithner.

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11:17 am, Jan 14, 2011

GVidal

A brilliant man talking to a group of losers....tough job.

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9:44 am, Jan 14, 2011

beastyjay

Do you think Obama will continue to dislay his contempt for the American people and their representatives?

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10:06 am, Jan 14, 2011

AlanD2

Contempt is all the GOP deserves, Beasty.

Just look at House Speaker John Boehner, who couldn't be bothered to go to Tucson because he was bush trolling for money.

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10:59 am, Jan 14, 2011

dalelama

@AlanD2, Actually Boehner stayed behind for three reasons; to represent the federal government at another memorial service that day in D.C., to graciously allow Obama the full stage as to not upstage him at his own pep rally, and to meet prior commitments which I know to a liberal is hard to understand but the rest of us just consider good manners.

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1:26 pm, Jan 14, 2011

dalelama

@GVidal, I know it is tough but I slog through knowing that many who hold left wing political positions eventually see the light when they mature, obtain jobs, have families, and actually begin to pay taxes rather than sponge of the sweat of others. It is why I constantly refute the deceptions of the unrepentant leftists who just never move from being a parasite to a functional, contributing member of our American experience.

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1:22 pm, Jan 14, 2011

HankWil

Howard, to answer your question.........

It's gotta be hard to make your living in the gutter and yet rise above it all.

Real leadership, which is what you are suggesting, would be to have come out on Sun, or Mon at the latest, and ask the crazies on his own side to tone it down....they are the ones insisting on a "blame game". He has done nothing to slap that down.

Instead, he blames both sides and attempts to portray himself as "above it all". It isn't going to work because he is trying to thread that needle and those who are watching (a much larger audience nowadays) won't buy him changing spots, instead seeing that is disingenuous.

The REAL question is: Can Obama support a culture of inclusiveness rather than opposition & divisiveness? I have strong doubts due to his "organizing" past.....it appears to me that is still what he is doing is rabble-rousing

I don't see he has done much to change the tone because his pals are still throwing bombs as if newly encouraged. The problem with civility in this country isn't the tea party or talk radio from the right.

With all due respect I don't think this is about Obama......if it is then a bare analysis would be: well-delivered, yet hollow speech in a wholly inappropriate atmosphere that gave respects but totally failed to show leadership or the "bones" for the mantle he clearly was attempting to don.

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10:05 am, Jan 14, 2011

beastyjay

Can I get a "Cha Ching" from Obama's new Chief of Staff?

J.P. Morgan Profit Jumps 47%

(Remove spaces from the link if you want to see what a few well placed donations to the POTUS from Wall Street will buy you in Washington):

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405274870395910457608139084071225 6.html?mod=WSJ_hp_MIDDLETopStories

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10:08 am, Jan 14, 2011

HankWil

bj.........good obversation & call!

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10:42 am, Jan 14, 2011

dander

someone noted the next 'act' and i couldn't agree more. the man is drunk for power. the ultimate aphrodisiac. he's a charlatan always planning his next move .... er... speech, to be elected. all is talk until we give. and, of course, fly around the world to get others to say he's wonderful. he loves the attention. he loves the mirror. a community organizer telling the dumb masses what they want to hear. and as for election, with the minorities and every other group who considers themselves vulnerable and treated unfairly, he has 50% going in. add the psuedo intellectuals and the gabfester in chief will continue to preen for another 4 years. he's a chameleon. will say and do whatever it takes to keep the ultimate power position. if only he had a clue what he was doiing or a sincere bone in his body. he's an asshole.

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10:16 am, Jan 14, 2011

AlanD2

And you're a troll, dander.

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11:00 am, Jan 14, 2011

steelers01

LOL...to you liberal fools anybody that doesn't worship the o-spew is a troll. That's rich.

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11:43 am, Jan 14, 2011

dalelama

@dander, Don't give up the actual percentage of the parasite class has only reached 47%. There is still hope as Obama's blown smoke will be dissipated when the next unemployment report comes out.

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2:52 pm, Jan 14, 2011

Dontmakemelaugh

I predict Obama's state of the union speech will feature a frank discussion of the federal budget. His proposals will be specific, in stark contrast to the GOP Pledge to America--exposing that document for the sham it is. Only question is: will they be enough?

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10:31 am, Jan 14, 2011

HankWil

Using your name as the heading on your post I agree.................

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10:46 am, Jan 14, 2011

beastyjay

I welcome Obama's idea and leadership on reducing spending.

The only spending cut Democrats in the Senate and House (and Illinois) can think of is raising taxes! Maybe Obama and the new GOP-run House can work out some real reform to turn the exploding debt around.

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10:53 am, Jan 14, 2011

David Walker

That's a pretty safe prediction. I'd put it in the certainty class. It's been the model for some time: The President proposes, Congress disposes.

He will propose defense cuts; a must. He will nibble at the notion of means testing for Social Security and Medicare; a must. The rest is pretty much small potatoes, not that I think BILLIONS are small potatoes, but in this context they are.

Taxes are going to have to be raised and he will use this opportunity to make it clear this is going to be a battle before the next election. This will be the measure of Obama's courage.

You are so correct about the GOP pledge. It said absolutely nothing and of course, means as much, and is worth as much - nothing. Boehner himself has fought like hell to keep useless and wasteful defense spending in his district in place. However, in spite of his ill-advised decision to remain in D.C. rather than attend the memorial as the most powerful representative of the G.O.P., I think he would like to be seen as a leader. Unfortunately, he has this ignorant, self-centered, and exceedingly vocal reactionary wing with which he must deal. I think they will keep him from being successful.

How I wish the true Republicans would take back their party.

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11:12 am, Jan 14, 2011

dalelama

Only a liberal would consider confiscating other's property a courageous act.

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1:41 pm, Jan 14, 2011

Dontmakemelaugh

Would you be talking about government confiscating your property to pay for things your government is spending on or confiscating your children's property (plus interest) on the things your government is spending on? You tell us which is worse.

Repeat after me: tax cuts are not a basic conservative principle; the basic principle is fiscal responsibility, tax cuts are the fruit of fiscal responsibility.

BTW Dalelame did you add up the specific spending cuts in the GOP Pledge? Be a good little ewe and tell us what they totaled. Despite this reality, the fact that you make excuses and rationalize the GOP exposes you as just another fake conservative who bashes Obama because conservative principle means less that partisan identity.

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8:05 pm, Jan 14, 2011

dalelama

Hard workers Americans grab your ankles and hold onto your wallets a Democrat is going to present more tax increase ideas. Here is one you will never hear, "How about the 47% who get most of the benefits of the Federal government and yet pay not one penny in federal income tax start helping the other 53% who pay every penny?" See I am following Barry Soetoro's call for unity but you can bet he won't.

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1:39 pm, Jan 14, 2011

rdcroog

Forget all the narcissistic posturing on both sides (read Brooks today in NYT), let's get down to taxes. Without tax reform, the country is on a one-way street to failure and banana-republic status---maybe not next week or next year, but way before the polar ice melts another 10%. If the President and Congress don't address this, neither will deserve the support of voters. And those of you on this blog who believe you can earn a decent living without the assistance of government at many different levels, you've probably crossed species and are living in a cave somewhere with a real mama grizzly. (Sorry we had to close the town dump, but you can try the local stream for salmon---you don't mind a little mercury instead of tartar sauce, do you?). Watch those love-bites and have a nice life in the state of nature--the rest of us have some stuff to work on.

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10:38 am, Jan 14, 2011

beastyjay

Again, the only spending cuts Democrats can envision is raising taxes!

Look at Illinois - they dramatically raise taxes and the only concession is that the state if Illinois would only spend 2% more. What a job-killing joke foisted on the middle-class. Spend, baby, spend. Tax, baby, tax.

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10:55 am, Jan 14, 2011

rdcroog

Sorry, that wasn't meant as a complete solution to anything. Just a reminder that the IRC hasn't had an overhaul since before Al invented the internet (just kidding), but I guess you're one of those "Not one penny more to the bloodsucking gov't" guys. OK--then are you willing to put down the mouse, pick up your M-16 and head off to Waziristan to kill Osama for us?

As to cuts, I have a few to suggest (after we cut the military budget some): kill Medicare for starters--- no need for health care subsidies for anyone except those at or near poverty (I know, you probably think they're all cheats leaching off the rest of us, but I know some who are genuinely disabled and needy through no fault of their own. Some just have shitty luck.). Then raise SS to age 70 or 72---but also raise the income cap so it's properly funded. Of course, we'll have to find some baby-sitting work for the poor kids just getting out of school now--- because we old-timers are going to hang on to our jobs till we croak. And at the current rates (up to $15/hr in big cities), babysitting turns out to be a pretty lucrative job. And the smell of poop really ain't so bad!

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11:56 am, Jan 14, 2011

beastyjay

I don't agree with "not one penny more to the bloodsucking gov't". I'd say "a few less pennies to the gov't who continues to bloat and spend".

Step one - reduce regulations. Note that this is not "eliminate regulations", but reduce the over-bearing regulations and fiat that Obama is foisting on our weakened economy. Google "cost of regulation" for sources of this ~$1.7 trillion dollar black hole.

Have you seen the rising food and energy prices lately? They are "necessarily skyrocketing" as Obama promised. It is one thing to have to bear higher tax burdens, but even worse to have to pay more for basic needs. Same for businesses - energy for a strong America.

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1:11 pm, Jan 14, 2011

homesalesguy

Please! This guy has never been a centrist. His views were out there, in writing, for anyone to see. Maybe he will learn that you can't govern a center right country from the left, and maybe he won't. Force feeding healthcare to the populace, when 67% of the country didn't want it, put him in a deep hole. He needs to start undoing the damage if he wants to regain the independents, and that starts with a repeal of this unconstitutional bill. Then we can have a discussion about what really needs to happen, with regards to healthcare reform.

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10:59 am, Jan 14, 2011

Desertpenguin

Right after the worst posters get bounced from TDB, new trolls like homesalesguy, steelers01, dander, and tromiti, immediately show up.

I view that as a compliment to TDB's positive influence.

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2:19 pm, Jan 14, 2011

dalelama

The truth cannot be suppressed whether it be Obama, Mao, or Stalin.

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2:46 pm, Jan 14, 2011

Dontmakemelaugh

What truth? That McCain's health care proposal cost nearly 50% more or that Romney's was no different.

Face it the GOP is pulling your chain, they are only going through the motions on repealing Obamacare. After all Obamacare is a huge windfall for the insurance companies and big pharama. This is why the GOP loves big government, and at best will deliver a only minor changes to Obamacare on things like vendor 1099 reporting.

If you were not so busy rationalizing all things GOP and bashing Obama you would have to face the truth that you love an identity cult of fake conservatives more than you actually believe in conservative principles.

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10:51 pm, Jan 14, 2011

Limey Rick

This homesalesguy told us authoritatively yesterday that Giffords was shot with a .22-calibre bullet and that's why she's alive and recovering.
Yep, this troll sure know what he's talking about.

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7:06 pm, Jan 14, 2011

sangha774

homesalesguy:

Oh, so now it's 67%. A previous contributor on the blog today said it was 80%. You folks need to get together.

Now, it's insufficient to say the healthcare bill is "unconstitutional". You need to back it up or your accusation collapses.

Why are we, the most powerful country in the world, rank only 37th best in healthcare according to the World Health Organization?

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11:25 am, Jan 14, 2011

Bottle

The speech was good, and despite what snarky people say (wouldn't it be beautiful though unlikely if Sarah Palin would go away now?), President Obama's achievement in passing a health care bill reflects some advancement for the United States. Anyone who now wants to undo that actual progress is hopeless, and that's a fact.

But back to the speech. Good as it was, some people are making too much of it.
Presidential popularity always goes up and down, but we as Americans will be
making a terrible mistake if we now cave to this man. Not until he comes into line with the 63 per cent of us Americans who say, "Enough. The Afghan war is counter-productive. The reasoning that underlies it is specious. End it right now."

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12:03 pm, Jan 14, 2011

dalelama

Why should we follow the majority opinion on Afghanistan but not Health Care Deform? You reasoning is self contradictory or biased as in if the majority want to implement a liberal idea it is ok but if the want a conservative idea it isn't. As usual the liberal way to unity and civility is only do what we want.

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2:42 pm, Jan 14, 2011

David Walker

Sangha:

It's even worse than that. It's job-killing. I know. Frank Luntz said so. Health Care Reform is opposed by 114% of the American public. It's the death panels you know.

True red-blooded Americans, like Mike Huckabee - God lover and former fat person - want to reserve the right to watch their neighbors die.

Those who oppose medical care also know that mental health is not an issue - I heard that from some guy named Loughner.

Also, health care is opposed by 242% of Americans.

Come on Sangha. Go Republican. Come on over to the dark side.

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2:13 pm, Jan 14, 2011

sangha774

David:

Funny!.

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8:18 pm, Jan 14, 2011

dalelama

Why has Gabrielle Gifford done so well after the shooting? Two reasons, we have the best health care system in the world and she is a member of the ruling class. After Obama Scare only the ruling class will benefit from what was once the finest health care in the world while the rest of us will have to wait in line.

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2:30 pm, Jan 14, 2011

This user is no longer registered.

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4:40 pm, Jan 14, 2011

Dontmakemelaugh

You want less wealth redistribution in health care then you should insist on a health care system like Canada or Britain where, yes, you must wait in line. Those systems are far less expensive consuming 9-10% GDP instead of the nearly 18% in this country. Considering that the bottom 80% in this country account for only 20% of health care you can see that most Americans would not have health care without a massive redistribution of wealth.

Ironic that government run (socialist) health care systems result in far less wealth redistribution (another measure of socialism).

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11:19 pm, Jan 14, 2011

Dontmakemelaugh

Corrrection: Considering that the bottom 80% in this country account for only 20% of GDP you can see that most Americans would not have health care without a massive redistribution of wealth.

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12:38 am, Jan 15, 2011
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