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Thoughtful critique of Obama administration
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5581

PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:10 pm    Post subject: Thoughtful critique of Obama administration Reply with quote

I know that some of you don't have access to the New Yorker on-line, and I found this article to be compelling. I don't have much patience for the left's fascination with returning to the Glass-Steagall era; it isn't he 1930's. But I think that the Obama administration has been too timid in looking forward on the fiscal issues. Here's what John Cassidy has to say:

Quote:
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As he faced an ailing economy, what could Obama have done differently?

by John Cassidy March 26, 2012 .

Presidential reputations often turn on economic factors beyond anyone’s control. In Presidential politics, timing is everything. If the 1992 election had been held six months later, when an economic recovery that was already under way had become unmissable, George H. W. Bush might well have won a second term, and the technology-driven “Clinton boom” of the nineties might have become known as the “Bush-Dole boom.” If the 1984 election had been held a year earlier, when the unemployment rate was above nine per cent, Ronald Reagan might well have been a one-term President, and a Mondale Institute, in Minneapolis-St. Paul, might have become a regular stop for ambitious young Democrats seeking high office. If the Great Crash of 1929 had occurred eighteen months earlier, on Calvin Coolidge’s watch, the Democrats might have won the 1928 election and lost, as the economy worsened, in 1932—in which case F.D.R.’s New Deal might have been Hoover’s New Deal.

That may be pushing it. But the point remains: the reputations of our Presidents often turn on economic factors beyond their control. The Great Depression was a global event. The contractions in the early nineteen-eighties and in the early nineteen-nineties were driven by the Federal Reserve, as Paul Volcker sought to bring down inflation and Alan Greenspan sought to head it off before it got established. Sometimes changes in the financial markets—changes that aren’t under anybody’s direction—can prove decisive.

President Obama (in contrast to the Presidential candidate Obama) was a victim of unfortunate timing. When he entered the White House, in January, 2009, the gross domestic product and employment were both declining alarmingly, and his term in office has been largely defined by efforts to right the economy. In a diligently reported and informative new book, “The Escape Artists: How Obama’s Team Fumbled the Recovery” (Simon & Schuster), Noam Scheiber, a writer at The New Republic, quotes a conversation, during the transition, between Obama and Timothy Geithner, his choice as Treasury Secretary. “Your signature accomplishment is going to be preventing a Great Depression,” Geithner said. Obama shot back, “That’s not enough for me.” Geithner persisted, saying, “If you don’t do that, nothing else is possible.” To which Obama replied, “Yeah, but that’s not enough.”

Until now, most accounts of this Presidency have been written in a context of halting growth, stubbornly high unemployment, and disaffection on the part of many of Obama’s early supporters. That was true of Jonathan Alter’s “The Promise: President Obama, Year One,” which came out in the spring of 2010, and of Ron Suskind’s “Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President,” which came out last fall. In an epilogue that appears to date from late last year, Scheiber writes, “That Team Obama helped avert catastrophe is indeed beyond question.” But, he goes on, “the Obamans nonetheless failed at the task they set themselves—of restoring the economy to something resembling its precrisis vitality. . . . Almost three years after Obama took office, unemployment hovered around 9 per cent.”

Actually, the unemployment rate now stands at 8.3 per cent, and many other financial indicators—G.D.P. growth, retail sales, consumer confidence—suggest that the economy is gaining strength. The stock market, reflecting this perception, has jumped about twenty per cent since October. Until last week, the President’s approval ratings were rising, and in the betting parlors he was a strong favorite to win the election. Of course, Obama’s supporters will argue that it was his policies that generated the upturn. At the end of 2010, without much fanfare, the Administration introduced a second, smaller stimulus. The White House agreed to extend the expiring Bush tax cuts and, in return, the House Republicans agreed to another package of tax cuts and spending increases that amounted to more than two hundred billion dollars. Maybe these measures did the trick; maybe they didn’t. The truth is we don’t know why hiring and spending perked up late last year. White House economists certainly didn’t see those things coming. In November, the Office of Management and Budget was predicting that, at the end of 2012, unemployment would still be running at close to nine per cent. At the moment, though, the victim of unfortunate timing seems to be Scheiber, rather than Obama.

Maybe the President was due a lucky break. Setting aside a collapse in spending and an alarming rise in unemployment, the country faced at least five major economic problems when he took over: a bombed-out real-estate market; an oversized, risk-riddled financial sector; a voracious demand for fossil fuels that had to be met by imports; stagnant wages and rising inequality; and a looming entitlements crisis that threatened to swallow the budget and bankrupt the country. All these problems had been long in the making, and none of them offered up ready solutions.

As a Presidential candidate, though, Obama was not averse to raising great expectations. Talking to the Times in the summer of 2008, he noted that Ronald Reagan “ushered in an era that reasserted the marketplace and freedom.” The next President would need to bring about a similar shift, Obama said, one that reasserted the role of an activist government, “laying the groundwork, the framework, the foundation for the market to operate effectively.”

Inevitably, many progressives—including such critics as Robert Kuttner and Joseph Stiglitz—were bitterly disappointed when Obama, in his first two years in office, backed away from positions they favored in health care, financial regulation, climate change, energy policy, and taxation. But they missed the fact that Obama was never really one of them to begin with. Despite his references to establishing a new paradigm, he wasn’t intent on facing down the malefactors of wealth, creating a Canadian-style welfare state, or forging a German-style social compact between labor and capital. In truth, Obama was a moderate young technocrat, whose first instinct was to seek the middle ground. The moment power beckoned, he tilted instinctively toward the establishment, and, in the Democratic Party that Obama had grown up in, the establishment was pro-Wall Street.

Scheiber recounts how, a couple of days after Lehman Brothers collapsed, Austan Goolsbee, an economist at the University of Chicago who had been advising Obama during the campaign, travelled overnight from Montana to Miami on three different flights for an emergency meeting with the candidate. When he got there, he found Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers, the twin titans of Clintonian neoliberalism, who had jetted in on a private plane. Together with Obama and several others, they discussed which parts of the financial system would need help from the government to survive, and which could be left to their own devices. “It was here that the candidate struck Rubin and Summers as impressively fluent,” Scheiber writes. “After the meeting ended, they mused about how they would grade his financial know-how, and both were pleasantly surprised to find themselves in agreement: A or A-plus. Obama had won over the establishment.” Or possibly vice versa.

After the election, Rubinites like Geithner, Summers, and Peter Orszag were ushered into the inner circle. Geithner, who had advised the Bush Administration on its bailout of A.I.G. and other big financial institutions, warned Obama, “You will be tying yourself to a strategy I was intimately involved in. . . .You need to understand the cost you take in doing that.’’ One consequence was a raft of books and articles accusing Obama of abandoning progressive principles or being duped by the Rubinites. Yet the sellout narrative has obscured an equally important and less explored question: Could Obama have been a more effective technocrat? Given the political and financial constraints he was facing, were better policy options available than the ones he adopted?

Take the stimulus debate. Together with the Bush Administration’s seven-hundred-billion-dollar bailout of the banking system and large-scale emergency lending by the Fed, the stimulus helped prevent a downward spiral of layoffs, bankruptcies, and foreclosures of the sort that ravaged the country during the early nineteen-thirties. That’s the good news. Clearly, though, the government-induced boost to spending wasn’t big enough to prevent unemployment rising to ten per cent by October, 2009, or to bring it back down much over the ensuing two years. What’s more, the White House knew it wouldn’t be. Summers, fearful of the reaction in the markets and on Capitol Hill, declined to entertain larger proposals (such as the $1.2 trillion favored by Christina Romer, the chair of the Council of Economic Advisers), and he stacked the terms of the internal debate from the beginning. In a December 15, 2008, memo to the President that my colleague Ryan Lizza unearthed, Summers initially presented two stimulus packages—one totalling six hundred and sixty-five billion dollars and the other eight hundred and eighty billion dollars. “Notice that neither of these packages returns the unemployment rate to its normal pre-recession level,” the memo said. “To accomplish a more significant reduction in the output gap would require stimulus of well over $1 trillion based on purely mechanical assumptions—which would likely not accomplish the goal because of the impact it would have on the markets.”

In size, the Obama stimulus, which was budgeted at seven hundred and eighty-seven billion dollars over two years, probably wasn’t very different from what a McCain Administration would have introduced. In October, 2008, Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com, who was advising McCain, told the Times, “Nothing is off the table. That includes all the various stimulus tools that might be used, given the severity of the crisis.” Before sending the President his memo on the stimulus, Summers canvassed the opinions of other economists, Zandi included. Zandi advocated a stimulus of at least six hundred billion dollars in the first year, which is much bigger than what the White House proposed, and other Republican economists proposed similar figures. Larry Lindsey, who served in both Bush Administrations, estimated that eight hundred billion to a trillion would be desirable.

But to focus solely on the size of the stimulus is a mistake. It wasn’t merely too small: it was lacking in innovative features. Split about equally among infrastructure spending, tax cuts, and aid to cash-strapped states, it didn’t do anything directly to dissuade firms from laying off workers. Even if it had been scaled up to $1.2 trillion, it probably wouldn’t have prevented the enormous job shedding that took place in 2009. To offset a crunch of this scale—more than four million jobs eliminated by the end of the year—would have required a different type of stimulus, not merely a bigger one.

In Germany, the government uses wage subsidies to encourage firms to hoard workers during recessions rather than shedding them. When Siemens, for example, faces a thirty-per-cent drop in demand for its products, it is just as tempted as an American firm would be to lay off thirty per cent of its workers. In Germany, however, the customary practice is to retain employees while reducing their hours and their wages—a system known as Kurzarbeit. To make this job-sharing system work and help out the affected employees, the government pays them about sixty per cent of their lost salary. Despite a global recession and a European debt crisis, the German unemployment rate is lower now than it was in January, 2009.

Germany’s labor-market institutions are a product of the country’s history; introducing them wholesale to the United States wouldn’t be easy. But until recently the Obama Administration barely moved in this direction. It was left to Senator Jack Reed, of Rhode Island, to champion a federal job-sharing scheme, which was based on financing local initiatives, such as one in his home state. The White House finally adopted the idea in its 2012 budget, and Congress, in a recent agreement to extend payroll-tax cuts and unemployment insurance, agreed to fund a version of it. If the scheme is still in effect when the next recession begins, perhaps it will make the situation less severe.

Nor was the Administration terribly imaginative when it came to the housing crisis, which lay at the root of the economy’s halting recovery. Given the popular fury about the Wall Street bailout, Administration officials knew that they couldn’t be seen to be doing nothing for struggling homeowners. But they viewed the putative cost of a full-scale housing bailout—as much as a trillion dollars—as prohibitive, and they believed that Congress would never finance such as measure. A token effort to tackle the problem came in the form of a Treasury Department program to help households at risk of default to refinance their loans: the Home Affordable Modification Program. In its first year, it led to just two hundred thousand loan modifications, out of some three or four million candidates. “The truth was that the administration never intended for HAMP to solve the housing problem,” Scheiber writes. “Many in the administration, especially in Larry Summers’s orbit, viewed it as a simple play for time.”

Early on, Summers and others were hopeful that, with a rebound in the economy, the housing market would recover of its own accord. But, with perhaps one in ten American homeowners saddled with mortgages that were bigger than the value of their property, it soon became clear that housing was the main thing holding back the economy. Still, the Administration shied away from more radical measures. Summers scoured the newspapers for new ideas, Scheiber writes. “But anytime such a plan came up, the defects became so glaring he quickly thought better of it.” In ruling out a housing bailout, the Administration placed itself at the mercy of the real-estate market, which, after picking up in late 2009 and early 2010, went into another downward lurch.

As Scheiber notes, there were options available, most of which would have involved the federal government’s forcing banks to write down part of the troubled loans and having the taxpayer bear at least some of the cost. With the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac formally under government control since September, 2008, the Administration could, in principle, have used them to finance a bailout without going through Congress. (Under the aegis of the newly formed Home Owners’ Loan Corporation, that is broadly what the Roosevelt Administration did during the Great Depression.) Another possibility, which Dean Baker, of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, championed, would have been to allow homeowners at risk of foreclosure to stay in their home as renters, at least for a few years.

And was Congress such a lost cause? When the Bush Administration wanted to bail out Wall Street, it sent up to Capitol Hill a three-page letter saying it needed seven hundred billion dollars and would figure out the details later. By the summer of 2009, some of this money was being paid back. Surely the Administration could have argued for using some of it to fix the housing market. Cleverly structured, a rescue would have been at least partly self-financing. For example, the government, as a condition of bearing part or all of the cost of reducing the principal on a given loan, might have insisted on receiving some share of the future appreciation in the value of the property in question, perhaps by issuing a second mortgage that had to be paid off upon a sale. Under a scheme of this sort, which some housing experts proposed in 2009, the long-term cost of a housing bailout would have been substantially smaller than its sticker price.

What about the Administration’s record on financial reform? On the plus side, the Treasury Department’s policy of encouraging troubled banks, such as Citibank and Bank of America, to raise capital themselves, rather than seizing control of them and reorganizing them under temporary public ownership, was more successful than many economists expected—Summers among them. At a meeting in the Roosevelt Room on March 15, 2009, Summers queried Geithner’s plan but held back from explicitly advocating nationalization. “There’s no doubt that Larry . . . wanted to be associated with doing something that was more transformative and cleansing and big,” recalled one participant quoted by Scheiber. “But he had no options he was prepared to advance in support of that objective.” Stiglitz and others have argued that a policy of temporary nationalization would have given the Administration the opportunity to force the banks to lend more money and give the economy a boost. These critics assumed that the main thing holding back lending and investment was caution on the part of the banks. In fact, there was little demand for credit. Many big companies had enough cash to finance themselves; many midsize and small businesses were too frightened to invest.

A more telling criticism is that the Administration gave up the opportunity to split up the megabanks, such as Citibank and Bank of America. Since they’re widely seen as too big to fail, they have an incentive to take huge risks: if things go wrong, they can pass some of the cost on to the taxpayers. An obvious solution was to make the banks smaller, so that they could be allowed to go bankrupt without imperilling the rest of the system. Even Alan Greenspan acknowledged the logic of this argument. Geithner, however, had little time for it. In a world where countries like China and India would increasingly demand sophisticated financial products, such as mortgage securities and derivatives, he viewed the big banks as invaluable national assets. Banks like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase are world leaders in financial innovation, and Geithner didn’t believe in fooling around with what he viewed as an enduring source of U.S. competitive advantage.

So it’s not surprising that the Administration’s efforts to rein in Wall Street proved halfhearted. And it was only through the intervention of outsiders like Volcker and Elizabeth Warren that the Administration was persuaded to put some teeth into the Dodd-Frank legislation, which Obama signed in July, 2010. Even if the Treasury Department didn’t want to break up the megabanks for mercantile reasons, it could have done a better job of keeping them in shackles, by, for example, imposing explicit borrowing caps on their investment-banking subsidiaries. Since nearly all the SIFIs—ahem, Systematically Important Financial Institutions—now hold commercial-banking licenses, they have to limit their leverage and maintain adequate capital reserves. But the American government, unlike its British counterpart, didn’t require the megabanks to ring-fence their investment-banking arms so that they can’t bring harm to the deposit holders and the taxpayers. Moreover, even today it is far from clear how the Dodd-Frank bill will work in practice. As with health-care reform, at least a few more years will have to pass before any definitive judgment can be reached on its effectiveness.

That, of course, is the problem with instant histories: an absence of historical perspective. If the recent economic uptick is sustained, the unemployment rate keeps falling, and Obama wins a second term in November, the vicissitudes of his first term may eventually appear in a more flattering light. In early 1984, Reagan was widely viewed as a divisive and controversial figure. Twelve years later, so was Bill Clinton. It is amazing what a prosperous second term can do for a President’s reputation.

Given the recent drop in unemployment, Obama’s luck seems to have turned. But will it hold? With oil at a hundred and twenty-five dollars a barrel and likely going higher as the sanctions on Iran take hold and the Israelis keep up their bellicose rhetoric, the U.S. economy is effectively facing an election-year tax hike. (The effects of a rise in gas prices and a tax increase are virtually identical.) Although this shock probably won’t be enough to bring about a recession, it could well knock a point or two off G.D.P. growth and cause the unemployment rate to stall above eight per cent, which would give Mitt Romney an opening. (According to some polls, Obama’s approval ratings have already fallen.) But one can’t say for sure. It’s all in the timing. ♦

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2012/03/26/120326crbo_books_cassidy#ixzz1qcXxZfmg
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swchandler



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're right mac, the New Yorker article is very thoughtful, and as I view it, quite fair overall. As things ramp up to the November election, the state of the economy is going to be a huge factor that will unquestionably influence the outcome.
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mat-ty



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Second opinion

Something's happening to President Obama's relationship with those who are inclined not to like his policies. They are now inclined not to like him. His supporters would say, "Nothing new there," but actually I think there is. I'm referring to the broad, stable, nonradical, non-birther right. Among them the level of dislike for the president has ratcheted up sharply the past few months.

It's not due to the election, and it's not because the Republican candidates are so compelling and making such brilliant cases against him. That, actually, isn't happening.

What is happening is that the president is coming across more and more as a trimmer, as an operator who's not operating in good faith. This is hardening positions and leading to increased political bitterness. And it's his fault, too. As an increase in polarization is a bad thing, it's a big fault.

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The shift started on Jan. 20, with the mandate that agencies of the Catholic Church would have to provide birth-control services the church finds morally repugnant. The public reaction? "You're kidding me. That's not just bad judgment and a lack of civic tact, it's not even constitutional!" Faced with the blowback, the president offered a so-called accommodation that even its supporters recognized as devious. Not ill-advised, devious. Then his operatives flooded the airwaves with dishonest—not wrongheaded, dishonest—charges that those who defend the church's religious liberties are trying to take away your contraceptives.

What a sour taste this all left. How shocking it was, including for those in the church who'd been in touch with the administration and were murmuring about having been misled.

Events of just the past 10 days have contributed to the shift. There was the open-mic conversation with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in which Mr. Obama pleaded for "space" and said he will have "more flexibility" in his negotiations once the election is over and those pesky voters have done their thing. On tape it looked so bush-league, so faux-sophisticated. When he knew he'd been caught, the president tried to laugh it off by comically covering a mic in a following meeting. It was all so . . . creepy.

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Best of the Web columnist James Taranto on whether voters who favored Obama in 2008 think the President is naïve.

Next, a boy of 17 is shot and killed under disputed and unclear circumstances. The whole issue is racially charged, emotions are high, and the only memorable words from the president's response were, "If I had a son he'd look like Trayvon." At first it seemed OK—not great, but all right—but as the story continued and suddenly there were death threats and tweeted addresses and congressmen in hoodies, it seemed insufficient to the moment. At the end of the day, the public reaction seemed to be: "Hey buddy, we don't need you to personalize what is already too dramatic, it's not about you."

Now this week the Supreme Court arguments on ObamaCare, which have made that law look so hollow, so careless, that it amounts to a characterological indictment of the administration. The constitutional law professor from the University of Chicago didn't notice the centerpiece of his agenda was not constitutional? How did that happen?

Maybe a stinging decision is coming, maybe not, but in a purely political sense this is how it looks: We were in crisis in 2009—we still are—and instead of doing something strong and pertinent about our economic woes, the president wasted history's time. He wasted time that was precious—the debt clock is still ticking!—by following an imaginary bunny that disappeared down a rabbit hole.

The high court's hearings gave off an overall air not of political misfeasance but malfeasance.

All these things have hardened lines of opposition, and left opponents with an aversion that will not go away.

I am not saying that the president has a terrible relationship with the American people. I'm only saying he's made his relationship with those who oppose him worse.

In terms of the broad electorate, I'm not sure he really has a relationship. A president only gets a year or two to forge real bonds with the American people. In that time a crucial thing he must establish is that what is on his mind is what is on their mind. This is especially true during a crisis.

From the day Mr. Obama was sworn in, what was on the mind of the American people was financial calamity—unemployment, declining home values, foreclosures. These issues came within a context of some overarching questions: Can America survive its spending, its taxing, its regulating, is America over, can we turn it around?

That's what the American people were thinking about.

But the new president wasn't thinking about that. All the books written about the creation of economic policy within his administration make clear the president and his aides didn't know it was so bad, didn't understand the depth of the crisis, didn't have a sense of how long it would last. They didn't have their mind on what the American people had their mind on.

The president had his mind on health care. And, to be fair-minded, health care was part of the economic story. But only a part! And not the most urgent part. Not the most frightening, distressing, immediate part. Not the "Is America over?" part.

And so the relationship the president wanted never really knitted together. Health care was like the birth-control mandate: It came from his hermetically sealed inner circle, which operates with what seems an almost entirely abstract sense of America. They know Chicago, the machine, the ethnic realities. They know Democratic Party politics. They know the books they've read, largely written by people like them—bright, credentialed, intellectually cloistered. But there always seems a lack of lived experience among them, which is why they were so surprised by the town hall uprisings of August 2009 and the 2010 midterm elections.

More Peggy Noonan

Read Peggy Noonan's previous columns

click here to order her book, Patriotic Grace

If you jumped into a time machine to the day after the election, in November, 2012, and saw a headline saying "Obama Loses," do you imagine that would be followed by widespread sadness, pain and a rending of garments? You do not. Even his own supporters will not be that sad. It's hard to imagine people running around in 2014 saying, "If only Obama were president!" Including Mr. Obama, who is said by all who know him to be deeply competitive, but who doesn't seem to like his job that much. As a former president he'd be quiet, detached, aloof. He'd make speeches and write a memoir laced with a certain high-toned bitterness. It was the Republicans' fault. They didn't want to work with him.

He will likely not see even then that an American president has to make the other side work with him. You think Tip O'Neill liked Ronald Reagan? You think he wanted to give him the gift of compromise? He was a mean, tough partisan who went to work every day to defeat Ronald Reagan. But forced by facts and numbers to deal, he dealt. So did Reagan.

An American president has to make cooperation happen.

But we've strayed from the point. Mr. Obama has a largely nonexistent relationship with many, and a worsening relationship with some.

Really, he cannot win the coming election. But the Republicans, still, can lose it. At this point in the column we usually sigh.
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pueno



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mat-ty wrote:
Second opinion

Blah...
Blah...
Blah...


Matty, when you copy and paste an article, do yourself a favor by doing at least two important things.

First, remove the unnecessary text that's not part of the story. Leaving that stuff in makes your pilferage look hasty, careless, and sloppy.

Second, cite your source. This apparently originated at The Patriot Post and been copied by several gazillion bonehead bloggers. (You'll notice that Mac included a link to the New Yorker source for his post.)

In your defense....... most everybody here will quickly recognize that you didn't write -- and couldn't have written -- this piece, so everyone knows you must have lifted it from somewhere.
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mat-ty



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No shit Sherlock! Here's a clue ,about halfway down it mentions The author Peggy Noonan. Seeing how you did not address the content , can I assume you know she is right?
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mac



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The topic here is thoughtful, mattyFick.
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pueno



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mat-ty wrote:
No shit Sherlock! Here's a clue ,about halfway down it mentions The author Peggy Noonan. Seeing how you did not address the content , can I assume you know she is right?

When you copy 'n paste something without citing, without proper editing, and without thoughtful commentary, then I'm not inclined to read it for content, because I know it came from someone who might have artfully edited the content to alter the meaning. For example, Iso does that.

It took me a half-second to realize that you would not have (could not have) artfully edited. The whole thing was there -- even the text behind the images and other related hyperlinks, which did not copy over.

But, yes, I did read it on the WSJ site.

I recognize it as a well-written OPINION piece with an ideological, biased undercurrent, written to look like news.

It's not news. It's her imagination.

Noonan was one of Reagan's speechwriters and is now a columnist for the WSJ (owned by dear ol' Rupert Murdoch). Not neutral or unbiased. She's just a right wingnut spouting an imaginative opinion, which has been propagated by another rabid right wingnut.
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mac



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Matty and Peggy Noonan both miss the point. While many are disappointed with Obama, both because of his less than passionate governing style and because of unrealistic expectations, the viewpoint changes dramatically when we think about what the GOP has to offer. The (at one time) most thoughtful and experienced candidate, Romney, has sacrificed his integrity and honesty to ambition. If he thinks he can erase those images on his Etch a Sketch, he is forgetting about endless YouTube moments that will remind all Democrats and Independents about how he pandered to the wing nuts. Even the hyper partisan Obama hater mrgybe admits that the slate of Re-Thugs is deeply flawed.

The second problem the GOP has is the same one that the Democrats had when they ran Kerry against Bush. Romney just isn't very likeable, and his comments about his wealth reinforce the idea that he is just out of touch. In contrast, even those who are disappointed with Obama like and respect him; his wife is an asset, not a Barbie Doll. But most fundamentally, the right has said so many hateful and dishonest things about the Obamas--to appeal to the bigots and haters--that it has left much of the rest of the country with a deep sympathy for how unfairly he has been treated. I think this, the unlikeability of Romney, and turnout will be the key to the election.
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pueno



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mac wrote:
Matty and Peggy Noonan both miss the point.

Yes -- I was having more fun with Matty because he slapped up something that he thoughtlessly ripped from somebody without even cursory clean-up of the text.
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isobars



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, Mr. Obama may have saved us from himself, himself. If ANY Supreme Court Justice was sitting near the fence on O'Care's legitimacy, Obama's unlimited arrogance might have sealed O'Care's -- and thus O's -- fate. Not satisfied with lying about AND wrongfully condemning the Court at the State of the Union speech, now Obama not only denigrates them again yesterday but WARNS them not to reject his law. As a Constitutional law specialist, he HAS to understand that our checks and balances system includes the Court, yet now he -- the King of Unelected Czars With Almost Unlimited Power -- emphasizes his absolute arrogance by effectively rejecting the "unelected" Judicial Branch of the Federal Government.

And NBC, Obama's most blatant media propaganda source, is investigating its own Today Show after it was caught doctoring the 911 call on the Trayvon Martin case to make Zimmerman look racist. What should we expect from a network that hires Al Sharpton?

Your guy's falling apart.
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