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President Obama’s Inaugural Address And His Second Term

We’ll look at President Obama’s inaugural address and the second term ahead.

President Barack Obama speaks at his ceremonial swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. (AP)

President Barack Obama speaks at his ceremonial swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. (AP)

And there he was again.  Barack Obama, President Obama, on the high steps of the Capitol.  Hand on Bible.  Two Bibles this time:  Abe Lincoln’s, Martin Luther King’s.  Taking the oath.

And turning to that always-moving sea of Inauguration Day witnesses – citizens and more – on the National Mall.

The Inaugural Address is a moment for philosophy and, sometimes, plans.  President Obama’s second inaugural sounded like both.  Progressive.  Lots of talk about the common good.  And lots of pointers forward.

This hour, On Point:  the second Obama inaugural, and the way ahead.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

David Gergen, senior political analyst for CNN. Director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard’s Kennedy School. He has served as an advisor to Presidents Reagan, Nixon, Ford, and Clinton. (@david_gergen)

Edna Greene Medford, professor of history at Howard University.

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

CNN “On the eve of his second inaugural, President Obama appears smarter, tougher and bolder than ever before. But whether he is also wiser remains a key question for his new term. It is clear that he is consciously changing his leadership style heading into the next four years. Weeks before the November elections, his top advisers were signaling that he intended to be a different kind of president in his second term.”

The Washington Post “The crowds were bustling, but nowhere near as massive as they were four years ago when President Obama was first sworn in. Four Metro station parking lots — East Falls Church, Fort Totten, Rhode Island Avenue and Van Dorn — were at capacity by 9 a.m. Others were filling fast, even though federal workers and many others had the day off for the federal Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.”

 

 

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  • Mike_Card

    I heard a guy who really wants to do a good job for America.  At every word, I heard a stark contrast against W’s chest-thumping, with nothing to back it up.

    • Gregg Smith

      Wow, that’s incredible but more power to ya’,

      • 1Brett1

        It’s not about Mike. :-)

        • Gregg Smith

          I know that, he knows that, I still like him.

          • 1Brett1

            My point being that you gave Mike the ole’ “alrighty then.”

    • pete18

       That’s the problem with the big O’s supporters, it doesn’t matter what he actually does, it only matters that they think he has good (liberal) intentions.

      • Denis

        You seem to forget that most of what the public wants done requires a congress that wants to move forward–well we all know how that goes.

        • pete18

           Yes, and Obama had a Congress and a Senate during his first two years. He got everything he wanted during that time. The results…disaster on every front.

          He’s hardly the first president to lose control of one of the houses during the midterm election. The reason he lost it is because the voters were unhappy with what he had done. That’s how democracy works. So why is it his supporters still don’t find the buck stopping at his desk and continue to find their only claim for success in empty feel-good rhetoric?

          • sickofthechit

             He tried to put forth biparitsan proposals, but was burned by the Repubs over and over.  He lost the mid-terms because repugnicans (republicans in name only) with the help of the wealthy Koch Brothers ginned up an uninformed base which resulted in the tea party fervor that thought screaming and yelling was a substitute for reasoned debate. If not for the severely gerry-mandered districts repubs would no longer control the house. They lost seats in both houses and the presidency.

          • Denis

            Oh how nice it must be to be able to write your history any way you want it to be… The President did not get “everything” he wanted in the first two years and the Senate’s inability to get beyond the filibuster certainly hindered efforts to resolve many problems. In addition, one year of obstructionism is enough to cause problems with our economy [such as the debt ceiling fight]. Finally, most economists agree that the actions that were taken prevented an even greater disaster.

          • pete18

             Tell me something he didn’t get, or some proposal he had to put on the table and was blocked by Republicans that would have made on iota of difference in the economy.

          • Don_B1

            1) The additional stimulus needed to put those wanting jobs to work to ensure a strong economic recovery.

            2) More support for making the banks stop the illegal foreclosures that took homes away from people who deserved to keep them.

            3) A strong encompassing immigration reform bill that would allow undocumented workers to earn a path to citizenship.

            Some of these issues were opposed by “Blue Dog” Democrats but the big opposition was the use of the filibuster procedures to delay and otherwise gum up the works in the Senate, through Senator Mitch McConnell’s “No to everything” policy.

            ——-

            Are you so ignorant of the reality in the Senate that you don’t know that the Democrats did not have 60 votes (necessary to win a filibuster cloture vote) until Senator Al Franken was sworn in on 7 July 2009 after a vote-count delaying effort by the defeated Senator Norm Coleman. And then they no longer had 60 votes after the special election of Scott Brown who was sworn into office on 4 February 2010.

            That works out to just under 7 months, a far cry from 2 years. And the Republican delaying tactics made it difficult to accomplish health care reform, not to mention the other necessary legislation in that period.

          • Gregg Smith

            Wascally Wepublicans!

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Not “first two years”. Ask LoserNormColeman and stop trying to rewrite history.

    • anamaria23

      Yes, I believe he does.  The vision he spoke does not seem to me  a “liberal agenda”, but the directions we must go if we are to survive as a nation and a planet.  He did not invent the immense crises we face.

      Most are
       issues that have been neglected for generations-environment, failing education, failing health care system,
      corrupt financial sector, shameful gun violence, gay rights,
      shrinking middle class, pockets of crushing poverty. The  Repubs would,once again, sweep these under the rug, decrease taxes on the rich and just fix the deficit leaving them for another generation.

      Kentucky has had ongoing crushing poverty for generations, yet McConnell, their 20 year Senator’s FIRST priority was to make Obama a one term President.
       
      Yet some  of us are dismayed  that Obama has not fixed it all in a mere one term or do not like the fixes.  Where were we the past twenty years?
       And with a  do nothing Congress who, it is revealed, in the House, do about 12 hours of actual work a week in DC.
      A President needs a working Congress ready to solve real problems, not just trying to bring him down and block rightful Presidential appoint ments and then mock his initiatives.
        Bachman’s sole reason for being is to repeal Obamacare for which she gets paid a hefty salary and benefits for life.  33 initiatives with not a single co-sponser.  That is the caliber of Rep we have elected.  Rubio went on national TV and called the POTUS “gutless” and a coward for responding to the demands of a large segment of the people.   

      How can a country work if half the citizens see the President as  as illigitimate and out to get them urged on by   fear ridden  conspiracy theorists cowering with their guns.
       
      Governing in a democracy is not a one man job, yet liberals and Republicans spout their vitriol at the President  never acknowledging the decades of neglect that allowed the present crises to manifest as urgent.
       
       
       
       

      • pete18

         And I’m sure you were saying all that during Bush’s 1st term too.

        • anamaria23

          Actually, some of it I was, guns, environment, health care.  Bush’s years were were consumed by the wars.  The issues Obama is grappling with did not even come up.   

      • Human898

        I agree anamaria23…..I don’t see what Mr. Obama laid out as a “liberal agenda”…..I see it as a practical list of things that need to be done to get this nation back on the track it was founded under. I think the constant labeling of things, especially with what have become partisan labels ( in some cases becoming totally detached from the non-political definitions of the words). If someone wants to suggest a “liberal agenda” is an American agenda, relative to the word liberty or in the pursuit of (balancing all people’s idea of what is “liberty” to them, not just pushing some at the expense of others).

      • Prairie_W

         Beautifully said.

  • Bruce_L_Parker

    Mr Obama is a visionary who wants to take America out of the 1950s and into the 21st Century; critics, stand back and let
    the man do his job, he’s more than capable.

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      I like President Obama, I voted for him. I saw him as the better candidate, however, I must quibble with you. I don’t see him taking “us” into the 21 century. Where is the organized attempt to propel technology forward and put that technology into the hands of the “everyman” ? Don’t misunderstand, the other side(s) lacks vision also.  I am still waiting.

    • Gregg Smith

      He wants us to hang our clothes on a line and ride bicycles to work in the rain. That’s not progress.

    • pete18

      It’s funny how often Obama supporters use that vapid line
      about the 50s when describing Romney and the Republicans.  Yet, all we’ve been hearing for the last few months from the left was how the 50s was the economic golden age for all Americans and that’s why we should support Obama’s push for higher tax rates on the rich.

      Outside of Romney’s haircut, wholesome looking family
      and gosh-golly phrasing, I can’t think of anything he proposed that was more concretely retro 1950s than that.

    • Wahoo_wa

      I think Obama, like all too many politicians, is far from visionary.  He swims with the current when it suits him the best even when he, himself does not espouse the values he preaches.

    • anamaria23

      How refreshing to hear from one who appears to respect and appreciated the POTUS amid the angst of the most on this now  right wing site who  see him as a threat to the the past  in which they live.

  • Duras

    Can Obama bring liberalism back to life?  Hopefully, he will not be Clintonsonian.  And the speech yesterday suggest he will not be.  I like Obama because of his less-than positive critique of Bill Clinton’s presidency.  But taking an idea borne out of the Heritage Institute, used by Mitt Romney, and implementing that universal health care policy is hardly “liberal.”  I’m not saying that the Affordable Care Act will not bring down health care costs and give 40 million people the ability to see a doctor–that is certainly a big deal and a step in the right direction.  So, thus far, he has been a pragmatic-progressive.

    But can we get back to an America were banks aren’t too big to fail and above the law, where every American has equal amount of voice instead of voice for the highest bidder, where we have a public education that is graded on getting students into good and affordable universities, where we strengthen unions, nullify free-trade agreements with countries that exploit their labor and tie CEO and executive pay to long term success of a company in America, and where we drop Reagan’s war on drugs which failed and pick up again Johnson’s war on poverty which was working. 

    • Gregg Smith

      I think boiling Obamacare down to the mandate and trying to compare it to the very different one proposed by AIE which never saw the light of day is silly. The idea that Obamacare was a Republican idea is insane. If anything, why not credit Hillary? Obama ripped her apart for having a mandate in her plan. Health care cost have risen and ill continue to rise as quality of care plummets. Obamacare is a disaster.

      But you are correct, Obama is a transitional figure. He has fundamentally transformed America, it’s sad.

      • jefe68

        The mandate is directly from the GOP health care reform that was developed by none other than the Heritage Foundation. The architecture of the Affordable Care Act is based on conservative, not liberal, ideas about individual responsibility and the power of market forces.

        People of your ilk don’t care about facts. Here you are, the right wing zealot who posts a constant stream of mindless diatribes day after day.

        • Gregg Smith

          I understand it’s easy to spout what you have been fed but have you actually studied the mandate?

          http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/story/2012-02-03/health-individual-mandate-reform-heritage/52951140/1

          • Duras
          • Gregg Smith

            Seriously Duras, you’re a smart person why are you clinging to this notion? I gave you the author of the Heritage mandate breaking down the differences. And you switch and come at me with Newt? What did Newt win? When he was in power what mandate did he propose? I am aware of his history and heard him explain it but to say that because he supported a mandate means he supports Obamacare is silly… and irrelevant. And then Politifact! They gave the lie of the year to Romney who told the truth about Jeep.  It’s crazy. Obamacare is Obama’s disaster.

          • Duras

            The article affirms what Romney said about it coming from the Heritage Foundation.  It is certainly more credible than you op-ed written by an ideologue from the Heritage Foundation.

          • Gregg Smith

            It was the source of the mandate. The horse’s mouth. What’s more credible than that? What did he get wrong?

          • Duras

            A partisan republican, or an empirical journalist…I wonder.

          • Gregg Smith

            The author of the mandate  in question.

          • 1Brett1

            He’s prefacing his statements now by “employing” your intelligence… disagree with him in the logical way you do a few more times and see what he says to you.

          • Gregg Smith

            He is disagreeing with the author he is championing. 

          • jefe68

            The idea of the mandate, which is what Massachusetts has, was developed by the Heritage Foundation. That you cannot parse this idea is not surprising as it flies in the face of your right wing mindset.

          • Gregg Smith

            What about the differences escapes you? But let’s say Dick Cheney authored Obamacare, so what? What’s your point?

  • Ed75

    It was appropriate that President Obama’s inauguration took place the day before January 22nd, the 40th anniversary of Roe. President Obama campaigned on protecting abortion and contraception. And that’s where he gets a lot of his funding.

  • LinRP

    “For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent
    in poverty, and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to
    turn.  We do not believe that in this country freedom is reserved for
    the lucky, or happiness for the few.” 

    I thought Obama lifted rhetoric out of the realm of platitude. He vaulted the true values of this country to their rightful place as lodestars pointing our direction to the future with peace and measure of comfort and security for all of us.

    • http://profiles.google.com/uradragon Dean Libey

      What incredible bs Obama spouted. Due process is a basic right but it is fast fading. No where will you find a right more basic right than habeas corpus. This has been suspended here in America Our president moves and speaks as his funding directs. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/gary.kay.7777 Gary Kay

    Not to worry. The American Aristocracy still rules. They will continue to control the money, which they use to control the nation and the people. 

  • Gregg Smith

    The speech was shameless and chock full of straw men. It should end any notion that he is a centrist.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Any time a Democrat becomes enough of a “centrist” for the likes of you, I’ve got a dollar that says “That Dem is doing it wrong.”

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joan-Marie-Davidson/1031260734 Joan Marie Davidson

      Hey Gregg,
      Give it a rest!  I’ve been following your petty rants here today, a day of happiness for me, and find that you
      have no new insights, no “facts” not even “factoids” to contribute, to maintain a discussion. You simply love to
      continue with your petty  right-wing FUXNEWS Style blather. Try going out into the real world (when weather warms up)
      Me? I have to go out and shovel some snow
      Dr. J

      • Gregg Smith

        I’ve been shoveling poop all morning in the weather. I love it. My rant’s raise points that go unanswered. All I get it hate. Join the club.

        • Mike_Card

          I sometimes help my daughter muck out stalls at the barn where she works; there’s more horseshit here than there.

  • Gregg Smith

    President Obama said his priorities are, equal pay, gay marriage, voting protections, immigration reform, gun control.  Really? Does he think we’re stupid? He convinced people “Lilly Ledbetter” was about equal pay between men and women. That’s a lie.

    • jefe68

      And you act like a fool. A kings jester no doubt.

      • Gregg Smith

        I stipulate that I not only act like a fool but that I am one. 

        What did I get wrong? Why is a $16+T debt not important enough for a mention?

        • anamaria23

          I thought that is what is addressed in the State of the Union, still to come.

      • Gregg Smith

        Your comment keeps growing but still says nothing. It’s not about me.

        • jefe68

          You’re right, it’s not about you because you’re not capable of making a comment that is not steeped in the right wing rhetoric from other media sources be it Rush Limbaugh or Fox.

          • Gregg Smith

            Do you mean, “regurgitating without rebuttal”?

          • jefe68

            You post a lot of right wing rhetoric. Do you understand the meaning of rhetoric? 

          • Gregg Smith

            You have failed to make a single point other than I’m hideous which I freely admit.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Yep. Something about Gregg’s being so close to Bullshit Mountain that he doesn’t smell the landslide on him anymore.

          • Gregg Smith

            It’s horses$hit and it smells fine.

    • 1Brett1

      ” He says requiring ID is racist! How racist must you be to assume blacks are all felons or otherwise incapable of obtaining an ID?”

      Oh yeah, you’re not a racist!

      King Obama…deliberately trying to systematically dismantle and destroy America and eradicate everything the country is about…we get it, we get it…

      • Gregg Smith

        How racist must you be to assume blacks are all felons or otherwise incapable of obtaining an ID?”

        • 1Brett1

          Obama assumes “all blacks are felons or otherwise incapable of obtaining an ID?” 

          Reading minds are you? Verify that Obama has said what you are claiming.

      • Duras

        If I were you I would stop listening to what republicans say liberals say and take in what an actual liberal says first.

        First, IDs aren’t free which constitutes a poll tax and is un-Constitutional.  I let my ID expire recently and I couldn’t find two other forms of ID to renew it.  I had to pay $60 for an out-of-state birth certificate and another $60 for the actual ID.  That’s $120 just to vote in the state of Florida. 

        Now, if IDs were free and accessible in every town in America, I don’t think you would find a fruitful argument against IDs.  But as it stands, it is clearly a method of supressing the vote, and you know it. 

        • Gregg Smith

          But what makes it racist? That is the claim by actual Democrats. Is there something about being black that makes you poor? Where is the connection? Where? 

          • Duras

            I grew up in Jacksonville, Florida in a rich republican community around people who got their angry because Jesse Jackson came to town to bus the North side to the polls.  

            To put it briefly, the Southern conservative has a long history of trying to suppress the black vote and this latest effort was just an obfuscated version of that tradition.  I know you deny racism unless it is overly explicit but republicans were told that these anti-democratic voter suppression techniques would impact black communities and college students the most but that was exactly whom they were trying to suppress. 

          • Ray in VT

             http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/early-voting-curbs-called-power-play/nTFDy/

            The first paragraph of the story:

            A new Florida law that contributed to long voter lines and caused some
            to abandon voting altogether was intentionally designed by Florida GOP
            staff and consultants to inhibit Democratic voters, former GOP officials
            and current GOP consultants have told The Palm Beach Post.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Certain voters just need to “want it more”. Is it anyone’s fault that these voters are basically all in heavily black (and therefore Dem-leaning) districts?

          • Ray in VT

            I’m sure that that is just an unintentional and unfortunate coincidence.

          • anamaria23

            By design.

          • Gregg Smith

            Black Democrats?

          • Gregg Smith

            Sorry, I’m not going to debate the existence of racism. I know it exist. I am asking why requiring ID is racist. I am tacitly accusing Obama of listing priorities that are straw men to paint his opposition as racist, sexist or uncaring. That’s the way he rolls. Maybe it’s me, but that’s my point from the start of this thread.

            BTW, I went to high school in Keystone Heights, FL just South of Jacksonville.

        • 1Brett1

          I agree wholeheartedly! 

          I was replying to Smith and his typical absurdity by using a little sarcasm and by stating his already expressed feeling about President Obama.

          • Duras

            Sorry, I actually thought I was writing to Gregg, the comment you were also replying to.

          • 1Brett1

            That’s cool; his comments are  so replete on this forum, it’s difficult to keep their position straight! 

            I’ve been enjoying your comments and your presence on this forum!

        • William

           The cost of an ID is price to pay for living in a civilized society. Just like paying taxes is part of supporting a civilized society.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            …said the white suburbanite who doesn’t have any great-grandparents telling him Poll Tax stories.

            Keeping black voters from exercising their right is a feature of these laws, not a bug.

          • William

             Like Obama said yesterday, times have changed we have to change with the times.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Okay, dumbass: Did your great grandparents ever have to pay a poll tax?

            I’m very white suburbanite northeaster. You really are outdoing yourself, embarrassing white Americans everywhere with your pronouncements on the history of suppressing black voting in this country.

          • William

             There you go again…really..get some anger management help…

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            I’m laughin g at you, dumbass. If you have to project on me, that’s your problem.

            As far as language: Some Texan on this site called me a c**kb***r and there was no moderation.

            STFU about me.

            Keep telling everyone here what you know about the history of suppressing black Americans’ voting rights.

    • Gregg Smith

      I would love a reply on the issues but they are not forthcoming. I am a racist, bigot, homophobe, neutered court jester who hates clean air and kittens. The attacks are not only redundant they are pointless and do not refute what I wrote.

      • sickofthechit

         Your second sentence “I am a racist, bigot, homophobe, neutered court jester who hates clean air and kittens.” is seemingly spot on.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          But he isn’t. That’s the fun part. Every non-racist, “pro choice”, non-homophobe rightwinger in the world seems to be here.

          They imagine they’re all there making the GOP (or the Teabaggers) powerful in their pure non-racist purity, that they exist in numbers to do so. Quite a fantasy.

          None of them, after laying down with dogs, notice the fleas they have. They’re not any of these things, so they believe, therefore, none of these things exist as the base of the right. It’s hilarious.

      • Mike_Card

        No, don’t go with that Todd Stames Faux Noise, King crap.  That’s beneath you.

        I just don’t have the enthusiasm for it today; we’ll have many more chances, once we get into another target-rich environment of actual legislation.

        I don’t know if that was REALLY Karen Tumulty, but I’ll stick with characterizing you as an honest broker–until something persuades me to the contrary.  ;-)

        You might be all those on your laundry list (but I doubt you actually qualify for any more than, say, 2 or 3).  Just for the good of the order, I’m not a fan of felines, either.

        • Gregg Smith

          Man, I wish I got the Todd Stames Faux news King crap reference and I really wish I got the Karen Tumilty thing. But no. I think I saw her commenting her one day that she was on the show. I think she’s alright. 

          But I agree about saving it for the when the rubber hits the road. BTW, don’t think much is beneath me. I’m just trying to get answers. And I’ve actually got a cat in my lap as we speak but don’t tell anyone.

          • Mike_Card

            Todd Stames quote is searchable.  Am working from memory about the ktumulty entries several weeks ago after a Friday roundup here.  And, I think she does a fair, good job, too.

            We can get along, but no snakes and no cats!

  • peterlake

    King = I have a dream.
    Obama = I have a drone.

    I thought he was going to close Gitmo, reform immigration, bring down the debt, reduce umemployment to 6%, as he said four years ago.
    How’d that all turn out? 

    I was listening for him to mention something about that pesky $16 trillion dollar coin-debt thingie, but I guess gay marriage is more important.

    • sickofthechit

       Don’t you remember all the screaming of the Repubs when he proposed trying the Gitmo detainees in our courts, on our soil?  He proposed the dream act, and he had no cooperation on his economic stimulus which instead of all of it being actual stimulus, 1/3 went to continuing tax cuts, 1/3 to the states whose budgets were imploding, and 1/3 to actual stimulus spending. Get the facts first, instead of sopping everything Faux says.

      • peterlake

        I am soooooo sorry for blaming Oblamer for not living up to his promises.

        I forgot it was the fault of the Republicans that he’s an ineffective president.
        That damn Bush — his culpability endures forever.
         

  • Duras

    All the republicans crying about bipartisanship or lack thereof can kiss liberal butt.  Republicans were the ones that waged a war on a healthcare bill that came from the Heritage Foundation and was the counter-policy to Hillarycare–republicans were the ones who stayed silent about the debt and deficits while Bush gave tax breaks to the rich and waged two wars yet when Obama took over they screamed about the debt and deficits even though they were dogmatically against raising taxes on the rich a petty 4%.

    In keeping with the American metaphor: it is time to have a war of ideas.  Obama did exactly what he should have done.

  • donniethebrasco

    Obama might raise the tax RATE on the rich, but he will collect less MONEY in taxes.

    The deficit will continue to go up.

    The debate to keep your ear open for is corporate taxes going down for “repatriation” of corporate earnings.  There is between 1-2 Trillion of corporate $$ abroad waiting for the compromise to reduce corporate tax rates on this money.

  • donniethebrasco

    It is a huge mistake to call Keynesian policy “economics.”

    It is waste to dig holes only to fill them back in.  Because China does this, doesn’t mean we should too.

    China and abusive poor people are red herrings.  Our real economic challenge (as is Japan’s) is unaffordable Medicare and Social Security programs caused by increased longevity.  The only solutions are reduced expenses for these pension programs.

    The options are:

     1. Needs testing
     2. Lower Cost of Living Adjustments
     3. Increasing age to start benefits
     4. Lower benefits
     5. Increase tax rates
     6. Increase phase outs (right now it is capped at $115K or so)
     7. Rationing of medical care
     8. Reduce payments to medical care workers
     9. Increase supply of medical care workers through more training.
     10. Or as the Aleuts do, put old people on ice floes.

    Or, like our government continues to do, kick the can down the road.

    • Duras

      It is indeed Japan’s problem, but they know of a solution that doesn’t sit well with the right wing nationalists: bring young immigrants into the country to get enough tax payers to pay for the older generation.  But the country loses its Japaneseness. 

      Our problems also include inefficiencies in healthcare, which Obamacare addresses.  But America, likewise, must grant citizenship to every college graduate (statistically college graduates make enough to pay taxes).  That discussion is seriously lacking in American discourse.  

      • anamaria23

        Interesting that the Repubs anguish about the cost of Medicare, yet failed to approve the nomination of Dr, Donald Berwick, the person most eminently qualified to deal with Medicare waste and fraud, the focus of much of his life’s  work.   They became hysterical  after learning  he mentioned in passing the British health care syetem some 20 years ago.
        So, there you go.

        • Duras

          Yeah.  It’s obvious to me that the Mitt Romney / Paul Ryan / George Bush type of republicans don’t actually want medicare and social security to be around.  They rather force people to put their entire retirement in 401k so the republican macro-economic elite can play with more of our money than than take a greater risk with their own.

          John McCain and a few others, I would say, believes in medicare and social security.

          In my opinion, we have to fight tooth and nail against anything Paul Ryan writes. 

      • William

         Why reward people that break the immigration laws? Which laws do we enforce and which laws do we ignore?

        • Duras

          Why don’t you get over your ideological notion of law and fairness and do the techniqually correct thing to do?

          Moreover, I’m talking about people who come to this country on student visas.  But as for the people whom you jumped to (for god knows what reason) should we let our crops go bad?  I thought republicans were all about providing labor intensive, low paying jobs and here’s a people who will work them.

          • William

             So, the idea of enforcing laws is “ideological” and breaking the law is “technically correct?
             Just pick and choose which laws you want to obey and that will build a better “collective?”

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Oooh, William said “collective”!

            Snap!

          • 1Brett1

            But, in sarcastic quotation marks, though!

          • sickofthechit

             Don’t let the crops go bad. How about paying a living wage to our own workers?  Or are we unwilling to actually pay the true cost of our food?

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Why reward people who break the laws?

          Because those people’s corporate business models are built on the cheap, disposable labor that immigrants provide, and the downward pressure on wages.

          What do you want to do about it?

          • William

             Exactly. So why more of the same? You reward bad behavior you get more of the same.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Stop JAQing off, William. Own your crap. You bitch and moan about immigrants, first and foremost.

          • William

             You really have a foul mouth. Why not clean it up a bit. You are making a fool of yourself.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            You repeatedly practice JAQing. Look it up sometimes.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            …said the man who apparently hasn’t been to a single right-wing comment forum anywhere.
            Seriously, if this gives you pause, right-wings cesspits will make you soil yourself.

            “Foul mouth” is in the eye of the moderator here.

          • hennorama

            TF – FTBOMH, 10Q – U MML.  MTFBWY.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      “Needs testing to Social Security” is just another way to start destroying Social Security.

      Increasing age for Medicare sucks. It takes, basically, healthy and younger people out of the pool, making those left more expensive to cover and treat.

  • Wahoo_wa

    I have heard some comment that Obama’s speech was “new and refreshing.”  It sounded very canned and filled with cliches to me – as many of Obama’s speeches have been.  As a gay man I was a bit put off by Obama’s reference to Stonewall considering his record on gay rights.  I think he only reached out to gays and lesbians late in his first term when he needed the votes to get re-elected…much like he did with the immigrant community.  Perhaps I’m too idealistic (that Mr. Smith Goes to Washington spirit in me I guess) but I want a leader with a consistent message and personal integrity.  Obama is not that type of leader.  All-in-all I don’t think either major party put up the candidate America deserves.

    • Wahoo_wa

      Maybe he was referring to Stonewall Kitchen and all the yummy things they make.

    • anamaria23

      The only President who has actually taken a firm grasp of the gay rights issue in decades and you are suspicious of his “integrity”.    Glass always half full for you?  Sad.

      • Wahoo_wa

        I am suspicious of his integrity because of his record.  I am suspicious of his integrity because token gestures and empty words do not build a better world.

    • 1Brett1

      It could be much worse…you could be commenting this morning a day after a Romney inauguration!

      • Wahoo_wa

        I agree…Obama and Romney are made for each other.  They both have the same level of integrity (or lack thereof)!  Needless-to-say I did not vote for either candidate.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

    Obama has been such a disappointment.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Yep, we need a new FDR, we get a conservadem in bed with the corporations and wall st who talks the liberal talk but walks the Rockefeller Republican walk. Well, he still has time…

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Good speech, a non-controversial defense of what we’ve built up since 1929 and the things that make America great. FDR attacked the “money changers” and I would have loved to hear some of that, but what can you expect from a Rockefeller Republican?

  • 1Brett1

    …and people say this forum is just a bunch of obsequious liberals!

  • Potter

    Would Obama try to do anything bold (which would be needed) towards moving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict towards a peaceful end? If an even more right-wing government in Israel is installed would he risk, be bold? Does he believe ( as many do) that this conflict is key to our relations with the Arab world?

  • John_in_Amherst

    Judging by some of the comments and commentary from the GOP base and pundits, it is easy to dismay. 
    The
    GOP is further to the right in socioeconomic terms than it has been
    since the Gilded Age. It is simply deranged in its willful disregard
    for science on the issue of climate change. The party relies on the
    24/7 propaganda of FOX, headed by a former GOP operative, and right
    wing talk radio, dominated by vitriolic lunatics like Rush to further
    dumb down their base and whip them into a frenzied lockstep opposition.
     
    So, when the President endorses revamping the military-industrial
    complex and maintaining the highway system (envisioned by Eisenhower),
    the work of the EPA (created by Nixon), equal rights for all (from
    Lincoln), the GOP faithful conclude he is on a Liberal tear? The GOP is
    so far out of balance, talking sense has them frothing at the mouth.
    Obama tried to reconcile differences and reach compromises with
    Republicans for 4 years while trying simultaneously to fix the economy
    the GOP policies had very nearly brought to total collapse and what he
    got was obstruction and endless betrayals.
    Politics is supposed to be
    the art of compromise. Moving to the middle may look left wing to many
    in the GOP, but it seems essential and moderate to many not steeped in
    the current GOP dogma.

    • William

      Does this “new tone” mean Obama will stop calling anyone that disagrees with him a “hostage taker” or just more of the same?

      • sickofthechit

         Depends if they are taking the economy or the country hostage I believe.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          How partisan, calling extremists who threaten to shut down gvt and get our debt downgraded if they don’t get what they want “hostage takers”, LOL.

          • William

             So a President that refuses to get a budget passed should be called the ‘King of the Hostage Takers”.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            If you don’t understand analogies, that might make sense to you.

    • Ellen Dibble

      I think the GOP is beginning to represent a kind of corruption, both ideological and fiscal.  The Republican mantra is to complain about dipping into the national treasury, yet the design of the lobbyists and gerrymanderers on the Right seems to be one of promising whatever sells to the voters (find out divisive single issue voters, and herd them into districts that can be bought), and then to assure prosperity for those who created the design:  defense contracts and tax breaks.  It views the nation’s strength and governance as a tool for favoring the takers at the top.
           This is too bad, because the GOP needs to be able to be a force for a viable alternative.

    • peterlake

      Obama failed to bring up our most serious and pressing problem — that 40 cents of every government dollar goes to debt payments.

      Gay marriage rights are only now in his agenda and he’s powerless to directly affect them, yet they take up more time than the recession.

      Where are his priorities? (Answer: pandering to his base.)

      Can someone tell him he”s been re-elected and can stop trying to kiss asses and should get on with proper management of the economy?

      • TomK_in_Boston

        Oh please, another debt chicken little who probably didn’t make a peep during the W administration. The primary significance of the debt is as a class warfare scare tactic.

        • peterlake

          Nice bigoted argument you make — accusing me of something when you know nothing about me or my politics.

          Like others who complain about Obama, I guess in your book I’m also a bitter, gun-owning, homophobe racist.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Don’t worry, Peter. In my book you’re just the pure rightie who can’t see the bitter racists who your side needs to have any political power.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            I complain about Obama all the time, and I don’t consider myself to be a bitter, gun-owning, homophobe racist.  I was hoping for a liberal and I got a Rockefeller republican who talks a little liberal talk. 

            No, I don’t have your resume. I’m guessing on the politics of a member of the big bad debt echo chamber. It’s usually accurate.  If you went crazy when W cut taxes while starting 2 wars and telling the medicare actuary to lie about the cost of Part D, then I’m wrong.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            But you’re not wrong, even if Peterlake did go crazy about Shrub’s stuff.

            It’s not your fault or mine or real journalists’ or the electorate at large to blame for the following: The big pretend around the Beltway now is that Bush II wasn’t a TruePrincipledConservative. That enables a very small subset to think that conservatism wasn’t actually tried then, and Bush II wasn’t right-wing enough. Therefore, goes the thought, that next time they’ll get a real Conservative who’ll do it proper.

            All those GodStormers whipping up votes for Bush II? All those standing ovations at CPAC? All those hack appointments to the judiciary? All that crap in the Patriot Act which I got called a traitor for saying “Waitaminit” about?

            Now it’s all ret-conned into nothing a TPC would do. Conservatism never fails; it is only failed.

            And the Peterlakes of the political world don’t statistically exist. An incredible needle-threading is required for them to claim what they do, even in what turns out to be their hundreds.

          • peterlake

            Of course you’re wrong.
            I opposed the war in Iraq and Republican spending because Rove (?) saying “the debt doesn’t count” was nuts.
            But it’s not Part D that’s going to cost us zillions — it’s Obamacare.

      • Mike_Card

        Managed economies?  Sound the alert–we’ve cornered a socialist over here.

        • peterlake

          We have a different view of management.

          By “managing” I meant stop giving money to his crony contributors and pinkie-ring union bosses, stop trying to destroy our energy companies, stop trying to put his fingers in private enterprise, stop trying to raise taxes on job-builders.

          I want him to manage his collectivist impulses, which is like wishing I’d win the lottery — the odds are too huge to even imagine it will happen.

          • Mike_Card

            And economy, too.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    I just tuned in. Has David Gergen done anything stupidly “centrist” yet?

  • peterlake

    Nice selection of guests, Tom.
    Sure to get an objective appraisal of the speech from them.

  • rich4321

    I wish people would stop using the phrase ” the man of color” or ” Black President” to address President Obama.
    These phrases are so last century and in themselves have a redial connotation.
    Why can’t they just use President Obama? Does it matter if he’s Green, red or white. He is our president.
     

    • Wahoo_wa

      They also erroneously suggest that if one does not support Obama he is a racist.

      • rich4321

        I totally agree. 
        The beauty of our nation, we don’t have to agree on every single President Obama’s agenda, but what does it have to do with race? It’s about making America a better nation for all of us. In the end we all benefit from it no matter who we are. Leave race out of the it.

    • Wahoo_wa

      I’ve always loved this:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2d2SzRZvsQ

  • Ellen Dibble

    “Don’t leave it to the bloggers and lobbyists.  Let your voice be heard.”  Obama ended up with that, more or less, telling us we can shape the discussion, steer the course of the unfolding of things.
         Really?  Maybe he’s saying if we do NOT take that responsibility, which he was saying is not that different from his:  The pledge of allegiance is not that different from the oath of office, or the promise of those in the military.  “These self-evident rights are not self-executing.”
        It was a call to action.  More or less, he was saying government may not be working well, and the president can’t be effective with a populace that sits back and complains.

    • anamaria23

      Very sell said.

  • William

    Tom, Why not bring on some Conservatives once in a while to discuss Obama? Victor Davis Hanson or Dr. Thomas Sowell would be a nice change. After all, diversity of political thought is important is it not? 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Hey, you’ve got David Gergen moving the goalposts here.

  • onpoint080

    I don’t think there is a contradiction between “we, the people” and “rugged individualism.”  We, the people give power to each individual to assert his/her rights and  responsibilities.  Have you ever heard “we, the people” espoused in a dictator’s speech?

  • MassMike25

    Obama is trying to move the political center to actually reflect American society. Republicans are using gerrymandering House districts, the filibuster and a phony call for bipartisanship to prevent our evolution as a society, and a more fully fledged democracy. 

  • MurielV

    I thought it was a great speech and Obama finally delivered the vision that he promised 4 years ago.

    To answer the prior caller, this country was built on both hard work AND social policy (land grant colleges,subsidies to railroads, oil industry, corn industry, banks, and social security, etc)

    To those who think we can just abandon people on Social security and medicare by cutting benefits, think again, one day that will be your parents, yourself, your brothers and sisters in need of them.  It is fine to talk about cuts as long as you do not need the benefits but when you do it is a different story.  Not providing for your people is not a sign of strength but a sign of weakness, not a sign of greatness but a sign of failed civilization.

  • sickofthechit

    My favorite part of the day, the most poignant moment for me was
    when the President paused in exiting at the top of the steps and
    looked out at the amassed crowd for the last time as a president. I
    longed for him to step back down and wave to the crowd one last time.
    I am still not sure what was in his heart at that moment. I don’t
    think it was regret he showed as much as the stark realization that
    his next four years would be filled with countless “lasts”. The
    last visit to Camp David, the last weekly address, the last campaign,
    the last cabinet meeting……

    Charles A. Bowsher
     

    • Mike_Card

      That is an excellent observation.  Much of the commentary on this thread today sounds to me like it belongs at a nominating convention, e.g.:  “He didn’t do this” or “He said he’d do that” or “He promised.”

      Of COURSE he made a rally speech!  That’s what politicians DO, for heaven’s sake!

      The comments from the right today still sound like they don’t realize they didn’t win the election.  Why they expect bipartisanship when they refuse to participate is beyond puzzling.

      Of all the players, Obama is free of the need to campaign for office again.  Why would he reach out to those who’ve treated him so badly when he tried?

      • 1Brett1

        I was going to make a similar comment…there is no need; you’ve said it better than I could have.

    • anamaria23

      Yes.  So touching, so much said without need of words. 

  • Denis

    Tom,  Can you at least comment that the Repulican majority in the house is by a large portion of gerrymandering and tricks like yesterday’s “dirty Trick” in Virginia? 

    • TomK_in_Boston

      The Dems got a majority of the popular vote for the house.

  • Human898

    What I don’t understand is the difficulty so many people seem to have with dual roles, from being individuals to being part of a family, on an immediate level, on a community level, on a state level, on a regional level, on a national level and a human level.   The “Pledge of Allegiance” says “liberty and justice for all”.   It does not say liberty and justice for the wealthy only, the poor only, the Democrats, the Conservatives, the Liberals, the Republicans, the Catholics, the Protestants, the Whites, the Blacks, the…..the….the…., it says for ALL. We didn’t become a nation because of a bunch of people pulled themselves up by the bootstraps, we were able to become a nation because people united on issues for a common cause, from fighting a revolutionary war, to the ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America. “United” is a word some seem to dislike, even hate.

    Imagine if the founders of this nation failed to put aside their personal and special interest group interests to PROGRESS with a PROGRESSIVE nation and government?   

    I was once a Republican, I left the party when it began to transform into its current shape with its current attitudes.

    • sickofthechit

       I like your emphasis on the “General Welfare Clause”.  That is where I think Universal Wellness Care has a chance. Charles A. Bowsher

    • hennorama

      Human898 – TY for your thoughtful post.  Be prepared for criticism from some who will read the words “community” and “common” and jump to “Communism.”

      As a former Republican, you’re in good company.  Perhaps our most Progressive President, Theodore Roosevelt, was a former Republican. Ironically, he became VP because business interests wanted him out of New York politics.  They thought he would be irrelevant as VP, and never expected him to become President.  That all changed when Pres. McKinley was assassinated.

      Here’s part of TR’s bio from The Heritage Foundation’s website:

      “As President, he pushed executive powers to new limits, arguing that the rise of industrial capitalism had rendered limited government obsolete.

      ■ He took on the captains of industry and argued for greater government control over the economy, pursuing a two-pronged strategy of antitrust prosecutions and regulatory control.

      ■ He pushed through legislation that gave the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) new powers to set railroad rates, laying the foundation for the modern administrative state.

      ■ Casting himself as steward of the nation’s natural resources, he presided over the birth of the conservation movement.

      ■ Convinced that a strong defense was the best guarantee of peace, he built up the Navy and sent it around the world.”

      No wonder Borglum carved his image on a mountain.

      http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/09/theodore-roosevelt-progressive-crusader

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        I was taught in HS that one of McKinley’s “bosses” (maybe Mark Hanna) was aghast that “That man will be one heartbeat away from becoming President!”

        And it came to pass. Be careful who you “boot upstairs” to the vice presidency, eh?

        • hennorama

          TF – indeed. Or at least have full-time official protection for the President so the VP is less likely to assume the Presidency. Full-time protection of the President by the Secret Service only happened as a result of McKinley’s assassination, at the request of Congress.

          http://www.secretservice.gov/history.shtml

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            I don’t remember where McKinley was hit, but, Oh, yes: I wish all our Presidents were carrying lengthy speeches in their suit pockets when fired upon, as was TR. Didn’t that save him?

            The idea of two Presidents in a row being assassinated is something I don’t even want to think about, even in “before my grandparents were born” history.

          • 1Brett1

            Yep, Teddy’s propensity for keeping his long speeches in his breast pocket saved his life that day (that and his eyeglass case). He even went on to give his speech before going to a doctor to check out his wounds!!

          • hennorama

            TF – Pres. McKinley was shot twice in the abdomen with a .32 revolver, at point-blank range. One bullet was deflected by a button and only grazed him, but the other gravely wounded him. According to the autopsy, it passed through his stomach and colon, hit a corner of the left kidney, and damaged his adrenal glands and pancreas. Doctors were unable to find and remove the bullet, and Pres. McKinley died of gangrene 8 days later.

            During the 1912 election campaign, Theodore Roosevelt’s metal eyeglasses case and the folded-over 50 page speech absorbed most of the energy from a would-be assassin’s bullet. The bullet lodged in Roosevelt’s chest but wasn’t life-threatening, so Roosevelt went on to deliver that 50 page speech. He carried the bullet in his chest for the rest of his life. He was one tough SOB, despite sickly and asthmatic as a child.

          • 1Brett1

            Thank you to hennorama and TF for the thread on TR; he was a larger than life man who did a lot for America, and whose ideas were progressive, many if which came to fruition in the subsequent century.

          • hennorama

            1Brett1 – YW anytime. TR truly was “monumental” and his legacy is truly impressive. I’m grateful for his career each time I visit a National Park or National Monument.

            It’s both hard to imagine what America would be like had he not been such a bold leader, and intriguing to imagine how different America would be today had he been elected again in 1912.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            So Taft was President when that happened, not TR. And a metal eyeglasses case and a thick speech saved him.

            Thanx for correcting that.

          • hennorama

            TF – yep. Teddy Roosevelt’s life and political career were significantly impacted by firearms violence (even excluding all of his military and hunting exploits) not once, but TWICE.

            He first became President (the youngest ever at age 42) when Pres. McKinley was shot and assassinated in Sept. 1901. In 1904, Roosevelt was easily elected. Then he promised to never again run for President. He couldn’t keep that promise, which led to him nearly losing his life.

            TR had had a significant change of heart toward Progressivism late in his Presidential term (1907 to 1908), but declined to run again in 1908. However, he couldn’t stand that Taft was effectively dismantling many of his policies. At the time, there were no official restrictions prohibiting another Presidential run, so Roosevelt came back into Presidential politics in 1912 as a third party candidate, as I said earlier. Again, firearms violence greatly impacted his political career when he was shot during this campaign.

            see:http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/general-article/tr-politics/.

      • 1Brett1

        I’d say that is a fair assessment of how TR came into presidential power; it also seems (my own assessment) that TR fractured the Republican Party a bit when he went after the robber barons of industry, angering the business faction of the Party. As we all know, TR left the Party. 

        Later, in the late 1950s and early 60s, the Dixiecrats left the Democratic Party and hitched their wagon to Republicans (over, among other reasons, the most important reason: civil rights legislation). These two events, I believe, have shaped the modern Republican Party we all know and love (“love” being used sarcastically).  

        • hennorama

          1Brett1 – TR definitely fractured the Republican Party, especially after he saw that Pres. Taft, his hand-picked successor, wasn’t carrying on TR’s policies. TR opposed Taft for the Republican nomination in 1912, but Taft controlled the Republican Party organization, and was nominated for re-election despite TR’s better showing in the primaries.

          TR then formed the Progressive Party, ironically with the financial backing of some who headed business trusts that TR had vigorously attacked. He did well enough in the 1912 election (27% of the vote) to beat the Republican Taft (23%). However, due to this split, Democrat Woodrow Wilson won, with 42% of the popular vote, but a landslide of 82% in the Electoral College.

          The Progressive Party’s platform was pretty amazing. It called for National Health Service, Social insurance for the elderly, the unemployed, and the disabled, a minimum wage law for women, 8 hour workday, Federal securities regulations, workers’ compensation, inheritance tax, a Constitutional amendment to allow a Federal income tax, women’s suffrage, urged states to adopt measures for “direct democracy,”
          limits and disclosure requirements on political campaign contributions, registration of lobbyists, and recording and publication of Congressional committee proceedings.

          Pretty much all of that came to pass, eventually. All of it from a century ago.

          TR was an astonishing individual who worked for the benefit of all.

          Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_Party_(United_States,_1912)

      • Human898

        Thank you hennorama for your thoughtful postings as well.  I have no doubts there are some who will twist, spin and curve things to their own senses.   We may be going the same, but at least there appears to be a difference between articulation and history of what is behind one’s positions and merely constant repeat of memes.   

        This nation required unity and common interests, common good and common defense to come into existence.   It was not “conservative” ideals that formulated this nation, but radical and progressive ones and if “we the people” is not a phrase that describes community, what does.    

        While Roosevelt did incredible things and epitomizes an interest in the whole more than some previous presidents and his example is closest to us, he was also not infallible.    I think the most important thing we can all think about with the founding of this nation is checks and balances and a virtuous society.   

        You may be familiar with Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu.  He was very influential to the founders of this nation in his philosophy.   He felt that without a generally virtuous society, no government could work, especially a representative one.   If we look at what appear to have become the highest values in this nation as submitted by some, they do not look to represent what have commonly and widely been known as human virtures, but in many cases the opposite.  

        True to the beliefs of some, we are experiencing the problems of adopting such attitudes and values (or lack thereof) and what centuries of sages from all manner of cultures and backgrounds have cautioned against.    The Great Depression should have taught us something, not in the efforts to relieve it afterwards, but the causes of it and just as parents teach their children how to better survive by not repeating their mistakes.   Yet, here we have been.

        TR was less a party person than an intelligent, thoughtful human being, same with Lincoln and Eisenhower. Each with their own failings, but all with a wider view.

        • hennorama

          Human898 – TY again for your thoughtful post.

          Indeed, TR was not infallible, as you said. But his independence from Republican party policies of that era, combined with his bold idealism and expansive thoughfulness, served our nation well.

          I would summarize the rest of your post as pointing out the current clash between the 2 Golden Rules:

          1. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you (the ethic of reciprocity)

          2. He who has all the gold makes all the rules

          This may be a distillation of our current political circumstances, but that’s for others to judge.

  • Ellen Dibble

    He didn’t talk about jobs.  If people live longer and therefore drive the nation over the fiscal brink, you’d think that jobs for senior citizens would be right up there, both for Republicans and for Democrats.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=42303148 Aida G. Neary

    I think the president laid out an agenda for ALL future presidents.  Can a president from now on not mention gay rights, equality for women, immigration  climate change?  I don’t think so and that’s the genius of the speech.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Please, less savvy talk about how lefties and Dems felt Obama’s bipartisanship efforts worked. It’s not about partisans feeling that the GOP blocked things at every turn.

    The evidence about the filibusters and anonymous holds and little shit-fits is everywhere to see, David Gergen.

    If this represents what the buzz of the Beltway press is, hoo boy!

    • Ellen Dibble

      Sunday Bill Moyers’ Journal broadcast an intriguing hour with Larry Cohen talking about Wednesday — tomorrow — a bill being presented in the Senate that would make their procedures such that bills and nominations can actually reach the floor, without anonymous blockers, and there could be actual debate where we hear the positions of our elected representatives.  He was saying there are four or five senior DEMOCRATIC senators who are more in the pocket of corporate interests than their constituents understand, who have JUST enough votes to keep the Senate in this kind of freeze-out.  

  • MassMike25

    Obama is trying to move the political center to reflect America. Republicans are using voter exclusion laws, gerrymandered House districts, the Senate filibuster, and an empty call for bipartisanship to obstruct a truly inclusive democracy and prevent the evolution of American society. 

    • Wahoo_wa

      How do you explain the party make-up of Congress?  I think Congress reflects the population in a much greater way than the Executive office.

  • http://www.facebook.com/linda.metzke Linda Kuzan Metzke

    Doesn’t Obama mean that it is collective action that will allow everyone to pursue success through individual action?  I don’t see the tension between the two. 

  • J_Aplin

    The image that the GOP has (deliberately?) earned in the last four years is one that is anti-science, anti-intellectual, anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-women, anti-social security, anti-medicare, anti-health care, accusing most of Americans of being “takers” , trying to make it tougher for minorities to vote, worshiping their real god Grover, … while claiming to be a party of “Christian” family values. 
     
    Do they deserve any respect?

    • Wahoo_wa

      I agree!  I wish the third party candidates were stronger.  The major parties have really delivered some terrible candidates.

      • Ellen Dibble

        Let the Republican machine get behind the Green Party.  Then we’d have a path to the future — an alternative one.

        • sickofthechit

           To the GOP any green party or initiative is the enemy.

        • Human898

          There already are lots of Republicans behind environmental conservation and a sustainable humanity.   

          While perhaps not all some would like to see, it is not only evidence that some have usurped the philosophies of what has been the current Republican Party and their vocal stance on the environment that has drowned out more traditional (conservation minded – Conservative in a truer sense) GOPer’s who had a great voice in TR as just a part of the effort to think about our use of natural resources and a need to conserve.

          http://conservamerica.org/

        • Gregg Smith

          Have you heard of the “crunchycons”?

    • Human898

      There certainly does seem something incongruous about carrying a weapon entitled “assault weapon” in one hand and books of the Bible in another, especially books that contain (or maybe they don’t for some people) the book of Matthew, Chapters 5 and 6.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Obama sure dropped the phrase “the privileged few,” and it seems to me he didn’t know the extent of their influence at the upper levels of government until he occupied the White House.  The history of the concept of privilege interests me.  The networks were broadcasting bands in Revolutionary uniforms playing “Yankee Doodle,” with equality embedded in that song.  But back in Boston, people were buying teapots and doing what they could to emulate the British gentry.  The idea was to create our own aristocracy.  I’d like to know more about that.  The American concept of the underdog and the upstart versus the idea of the gated and exceptional privileged few.

    • rich4321

      Sadly, the reality is only the privileged few can afford to run for political posts, so much for democracy.

      • Ellen Dibble

        Or have the disposable time to do so.  But there is more than political office that runs the government.  There are lobbyists, for instance, but there too, it takes experience and education to do that effectively. I’ve noticed, however, that sometimes the people with the most influence have the most blindered view, and you wonder where they learned their A, B, C’s.  It’s no excuse to say I can’t afford to run; therefore I give up.

      • PithHelmut

        Limits of two-terms max is a simple antidote to that. Everyone should have the opportunity to run for office. Personally I don’t understand why we still need politicians at all. We have the internet and we can vote on issues directly, cut out the middleman. 

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          We’re not throwing out the PACs and lobbyists, though.

          We have new congresscritters who have to ask corporate lawyers where such-and-such office is in the Capitol. That can’t be good.

        • sickofthechit

           Don’t forget publicly financed campaigns.  Citizens United has got to be gutted totally.

          I can’t agree with on line voting because how easy would it be for a few well paid or motivated hackers to subvert the process?

          I say spending needs to be split three ways.  1/3 is up to the president, 1/3 up to congress, and 1/3 up to the people. Let congress go first, us second and the president last.  Might be interesting to see who has what priorities.

        • peterlake

           Term limits have proven a dismal failure. Most politicians facing a limit just find another political job to jump to.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1285797317 Michael Gillespie

    Devid Gergen’s repeating the shopworn talking point about Republicans’ emphasis on individualism is worse than stale – it’s disingenuous.  Republicans very much believe in and fight for collective action, the collective being the big corporations that contribute so generously to their campaigns. As a party, Republicans long ago turned their backs individualism and individual rights, except as those rights are the rights of corporations, the rights of individuals usurped.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Absolutely, and don’t forget the rights of the entitled children of the entitled parents to go to the best schools and step right into great jobs, like W and Lord R.

  • Ellen Dibble

    “Engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear,” as OnPoint just played an excerpt.  Is this a new approach to the kind of sanctions that make interactions difficult?  Is this a shift from Clinton to Kerry as Secretary of State?  I’m wondering if NATO and the United Nations also are shifting from exclusion to engagement when it comes to conflicts.

  • http://twitter.com/en_b ian berry

    Im a huge Obama supporter but that “preachy” tone he gives his voice during speeches like this kills me. 
    He should just use his “normal” voice.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Notice that Obama doesn’t usually put himself out there if it’s just going to stir up opposition.  With regard to climate and gay rights, those positions were very slow to surface.  Now, specifics on the budget were absent.  But if people wanted a blanket statement from him that is NOT campaign fodder, that is not a State of the Union, we now have it.  I was thrilled that he put the climate out there as an important challenge, either a huge cost to the planet, or a key economic advantage if we play it right.  A few months ago he was saying the American people weren’t “ready” to address that.  So he thinks we’ve moved?  You can imagine oil executives squirming.  I spoke to a young person yesterday who said she just thinks what has to change is the “way we live,” and she wanted some guidance on that.  So.

    • Human898

      From Katrina to Sandy, tornadoes and other events, one would believe there is some evidence of the billions of dollars climate change is already costing versus the cost of efforts to curb any anthropogenic contribution to what occurs naturally.  

      Somehow to some, efforts to curb the anthropogenic contributions to climate change will ruin the world economy (perhaps only their personal profits), yet the costs the world economies have already incurred as a result of climate change appear to be off the table.   Penny wise, pound foolish or just interested in personal or industry profits in trade for the greater cost of human suffering and loss of property?

  • PithHelmut

    Conservatives are weird. Something wrong with their brain wiring. Imagine if their house were on fire they would be scrambling for their checkbook and leave the kids to fry. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Jack Beatty: “Republicans are going to say this country owes posterity a clean balance sheet” during Obama’s second term.

    Yeah, well when it comes to the GOP, those who are incapable of owning their sacred platform planks find it pretty damned easy to bitch about it when they’re not in power.

    Once again, the out-of-power GOP play the drunk who, temporarily on the wagon, insists everybody else stop drinking for 10 miles around. We know what happens when these sorts want a drink: All bets are off.

    • Human898

      Exactly!   The strange thing to me and others like me is that it is not obvious or apparent how much money is spent on war and why wise people do not become involved in them lightly.   Americans might be interested in their own history when it came to the costs of the very war that freed them from a monarchy and allowed them to form a republic (non-hereditary representative government) with democratic mechanics.

      There are many contradictions in the current philosophies of the Republican Party.    How does one spur on an economy that depends on growth in spending while at the same time promoting austerity and cutting, not just some workers as expenses (apparently those that make hundreds of thousands or more dollars a year are not as expendable), but not realizing “employees” are also consumers.   Cut off their jobs and you cut off their means of spending, that causes an economy to shrink, not grow and leads to more lay-offs, fewer taxpayers and less tax revenue and more looking to those who are collecting all the “savings” to support all the “life” they claim is so important in the womb, yet expendable when actually born and needing support because of being laid-off or fired to “save” money. 

  • hennorama

    Those who do not support President Obama and his policies seem to have four choices.  They can decide to actively work against Pres. Obama’s policies, work for alternative policies, work together for compromise, or to do nothing. 

    The plan of active obstruction and opposition, of “Just say NO!” hasn’t worked very well, and their alternative ideas generally haven’t gotten majority support from the public.  Choosing these paths going forward will likely make these next four year feel very long, for everyone.  Recent election results, polling data, and demographic changes make these paths fraught with danger for their long-term political future.

    This seems to leave working together for compromise, or doing nothing.

    Of course, they also have the freedom to “self-deport.” 

    • Human898

      One of the biggest stumbling blocks to getting help to overcome substance abuse problems is denial and delusion.  Often, in order to keep justifying use of such substances, (many times because of fear of reality and a means to escape it), substance abusers will suggest it is not they that have a problem, but all those around them, mentioning their substance abuse problems that have a or they problems.   The Republican Party in recent decades, most especially in the last decade, has acted as if in denial of their problems, problems that an increasing number of their own have pointed out.   Instead of introspection, self-searching and a search for reality, there has been this sense of denial that they are contributing to their own problems. 

      An “ethic of reciprocity” has been spoken of in many different cultures, many different religions and other philosophies as a means test to our own actions.    If we don’t want others to kick us,  how is it we justify kicking them?    If we think in a multi-directional manner, rather than in selfish, self-centered, greedy, egocentric, narcissistic and myopic ways, we realize they others are much like us, they don’t like being offended or harmed any more than we do and we learn to try to make ourselves aware that those we deal with, might just as easily be us and that “ethic of reciprocity” presents us with conscious thought about what we are doing or plan to do to others and the idea that if we wouldn’t like what we are doing or about to do to someone else, it is highly likely they would not like it either.

  • William

    Obama took any reforms of entitlement programs off the table yesterday.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Good. Fix the economy now. Tweak the long-term issues with those later. And don’t forget the business cycle.

      • William

        The economy was not mentioned and after 3 years of no budget I don’t see it getting much attention. Too bad. It is like watching the Captain of the Titanic hit the iceberg, back up, and keep hitting it until the ship sinks.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          My mistake: I guess “Can someone introduce William to business cycle?” has to come before I remind the likes of you “don’t forget the business cycle”.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            That’s asking a lot. The part about how debt/GDP increases in a recession, increases a lot in a “systemic banking crisis” brought about by ideological deregulation of wall st, and decreases automatically as the economy recovers will be very hard for him.

          • William

            That is a good first start to admit government screwed up the housing and banking sectors.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            The goal of the modern conservative comes shining thru: Turn the government to shit, then blame the idea of governance.

          • William

             Blame Clinton.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Yep, I admit that far righties like Gramm and Greenspan and conservadem Clinton screwed up by dismantling essential gvt regulation of the financial sector, allowing the banksters to screw us as they always do if we let them.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Thank God. It’s class warfare to use debt scare tactics to attack the retirement programs. Try to use honest English instead of righty newspeak, if you can.  “reform of entitlements” means CUTTING SS and medicare. FYI, even GoP voters don’t want that. And, re another talking point, cutting benefits for our children is not “saving” the programs.

      • William

         I don’t think the age requirements should be raised for SS/Medicare, but I do think the payroll tax limit should be removed. Also, higher co-pays for those that can afford it. Even Obama said 4 years ago reforms were needed so it is time to get serious.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          Amazing, I agree. “reforms” to medicare and medicaid that are not newspeak for cuts and cost-shifts onto our children are needed, and the ACA tries to make a start….but those “reforms” are demonized by the right. SS is very sound but the cap should be raised, which would fix it forever.

          • William

             Even with the caps raised, the money is not set aside for SS so it won’t solve the long term problem, but will give Congress more money to spend.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Huh? Is this the idiotic talking point about how SS should put the $ under the mattress instead of investing them in the safest investment on the planet, US Treasury Bonds? Are you going to repeat the talking point that “the trust fund is full of IOUs”, as if you don’t know that a bond IS an IOU?

          • William

             The current child like approach to making SS/Medicare solvent will catch up to us.

          • 1Brett1

            They also, in their quickness to raise the meme of “rationing,” seem to refuse an acknowledgment that private insurers and the private end of the healthcare industry engage far more in “rationing” than any ACA intent or implementation could ever do. 

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Exactly. The strictest rationing is being unable to pay, and the ryan groupon plan simply shifts costs onto seniors – some will end up “rationed”.

            No, they are not interested in improving the programs. They aim to destroy them and send as much $ as they can to the private corporations that own them, using debt and deficit as a scare tactic.

            The expense of medicare is simply the cost of the world’s only health care system run by private corporations. The way to fix medicare is to fix the whole system. 

          • 1Brett1

            I’m disappointed that single payer wasn’t put on the table first…at the least, this  could have been used as a bargaining chip (down to a public option).

          • 1Brett1

            Medicaid and Medicare do cost us a trillion dollars a year. Aside from the fact that those on the Right wish to lump SS in with Medicaid and Medicare, they also refuse to acknowledge that the cost of Medicaid and Medicare can be reduced considerably if we can get healthcare costs themselves down. We could save a lot of money, for example, by making electronic record keeping uniform and universal…About all I hear, though, is some undefined meme about cutting benefits, etc. It begs the question: are they seriously trying to help in the overhaul of healthcare, or is this just more of some attempt to get regulation and oversight and better business practices out of government’s hands and into the private sector? 

    • hennorama

      William, can you explain how you came to the conclusion “Obama took any reforms of entitlement programs off the table yesterday?”

      I ask because of these words from Pres. Obama’s 2nd Inaugural address (edited for brevity):

      “We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit. But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future.”

      Nowhere do I see anthing that says “any reforms of entitlement programs [are] off the table.”  Instead, the President said we have to “make the hard choices,” but he “reject[s] the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future.”  In other words, we can both care for an older generation AND invest in a younger generation so it can build our future.

      Source:http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/01/21/obama-inaugural-address/1851731/

      • William

         Detroit Free Press article ”
        “Barack Obama vows to defend social programs in 2nd term”

         He missed a great chance to ask Americans to have some shared sacrifice and give up a bit…

         The only reform ideas were from Rep. Paul Ryan and he got savaged for it.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          As well Ryan should have. His ideas are crap. And there’s many a slip between your quote “vow to defend social programs” (if it’s accurate) and what you’re saying that means. You’re an unreliable narrator.

          Moreover, there’s just something weird about how someone ordinary American like you has bought into the whole Pain Caucus Happy Meal: What the poor and middle class need at this point is all stick and what the rich need at this point is all carrot.

          I hope you’ve got the money to live up to your beliefs. Otherwise you’re just being played like a sucker.

          • William

             But at least Ryan put something on paper and raised the issue. That is far more than anyone else has done.

            Be honest and admit after 50, yes 50, years of Great Society programs, trillions of dollars, and still, we have to do more for the poor? At what point do we declare victory and try something new?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Ryan’s “numbers” were junk. They didn’t even pretend to add up.

            Honest? You first. Please talk to us more about the Voting Rights Act and how black people didn’t need to have those protections.

          • William

            And Obama-care numbers were “accurate?”. Come on…Ryan at least put something on the table for discussion….

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            You keep spewing that, parrot.

        • hennorama

          William – TY for your response. I respect your views.

          However, how does a headline “Obama vows to defend social programs” equate with your view “Obama took any reforms of entitlement programs off the table yesterday?”

          Does “defend” mean “not reform” to you? This is from m-w.com:

          “Definition of DEFEND transitive verb

          1a : to drive danger or attack away from

          b (1) : to maintain or support in the face of argument or hostile criticism ”

          In this context, 1b (1) seems to apply – to maintain or support in the face of argument. Nowhere does this exclude “reform,” although I suppose one could conclude that “to maintain” could be construed as “to not change (or reform) in any way” were one to be so inclined.

          http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/defend

          • William

             He won’t touch the entitlement programs. He saw how Ryan got nailed. Too bad.

          • hennorama

            William – TY for your opinion. You may be right, but the President did not ruled that out in his Inaugural Address. In fact, one could imagine so-called “entitlement reform” being a priority for Pres. Obama, as it might greatly enhance his legacy. I observe no evidence that he has ruled it out. If you have any such evidence, I invite you to please present it.

          • 1Brett1

            That’s a good point about Obama (or any second-term president, for that matter) thinking about his legacy…The question remains: of the so-called “solutions/honest debate about the problems” supposedly coming from Republican leadership, which would ensure strength and sure up entitlement programs such as Medicaid and Medicare without essentially dismantling them and turning them over to privatization? 

            I haven’t heard any coming from Republican leadership (vouchers, private healthcare accounts, etc., seem more ideas that would do away with those programs). 

            But, hey…

          • hennorama

            1Brett1 – TY for your response and your kind words.

            NO ONE wants to be known as “the one who wrecked Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid” so this always devolves into a game of chicken. (Well … maybe some TEA Party fundamentalists wouldn’t mind, but I digress…) The ridiculous posturing and “negotiations” over the recent fiscal conundrum really amounted to “No, you go first, I insist.” whenever it came to actually doing anything to adjust the future funding and outlays of these programs.

            Social Security is sound already and could become even more sound with minor changes, such as phasing out the earnings tax limit, and annual means-testing for beneficiaries. Medicare is only about 60% self-funding, but some small changes here could also help significantly. There’s partial means-testing already, with higher premiums for those with higher incomes. Additional funding is also coming on line right now as the ACA taxes and income tax deduction changes are implemented.

            Obamacare will have other effects, and we’ll see how it all shakes out. But these are not immediate crises. The sky is not falling. We would be far better served if the entire federal government focused on 3 things – jobs, jobs, and jobs.

          • William

             Four years and nothing..zip, not even up for discussion…

          • Gregg Smith

             He talked the talk in 2008: 
            “We’re going to have a lot of work to do, so I can’t guarantee that we’re going to do it in the next two years, but I’d like to do it in my first term as president.”

            And in Jan.2009:

            “Real problem with our long-term deficit actually has to do with our entitlement obligations and the fact that, historically, if our revenues ranged from between 18 and 20 percent of GDP, they’re now at 16, it’s just not sustainable. So, we’re going to have to craft a—what George Stephanopolous called a “grand bargain,” and I try not to use the word grand in anything that I say, but we’re going to have to shape a bargain. This, by the way, is where there are going to be some very difficult choices and issues of sacrifice and responsibility and duty are going to come in, because what we have done is kick this can down the road. We’re now at the end of the road, and we’re not in a position to kick it any further.”

          • hennorama

            William – again, maybe this is a matter of terminology, depending on what you mean by “not even up for discussion…”

            Although it’s not always clear what’s happening behind the scenes, there were multiple media reports of Pres. Obama agreeing to significant changes to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid during the debt ceiling negotiations in 2011 and even during the recent debt conundrum talks.

            Perhaps you somehow missed all that, or you have a different concept of the meaning of “not even up for discussion…”

          • Gregg Smith

            I for one appreciate the dictionary lesson. Lord knows we are slows. 

            However, you are not using the right dictionary. The Obama Dictionary of Innuendo is the proper reference guide here. I was actually trying to make this point earlier regarding President Obama’s stated priorities. I think he has framed the debate into the idea Republicans want to take away your health care, clean air, retirement, food stamps, welfare, contraception and on and on. And BTW, he implies, they might be racist. They certainly are anti-women and want in your bedroom. That’s the way religious zealots are. They probably have a gun fetish too. 

            He is the savior who will keep the nut cases at bay and stop them from ruining your life.

            “Defending” social programs (leaving aside the ambiguity of the phrase) means keeping Republicans from addressing them. It means keeping Republicans from throwing Grandma over a cliff. It means doing nothing which means a slow predictable and catastrophic train wreck.

            This is where folks like me (I can’t speak for William) are coming from.  We see efforts at real solutions, or even attempts at honest debate about the problems, being reduced to the most inane absurd accusations of racism and cruelness. And it’s bought… as the problems fester and the populace slowly transforms to complacency.  

          • 1Brett1

            “We [people like Gregg] see efforts at real solutions, or even attempts at honest debate about the problems…” 

            To which solutions and attempts at honest debate about the problems with Medicare and Medicaid do you refer?

          • Gregg Smith

            Starting with Newt’s attempts in the nineties, to GWB and Social Security, up to  Paul Ryan. I understand the manufactured code words like. “Privatization”, “Vouchers” or “Grandma” but there a was never an honest debate. There was only demonization in lieu of an alternative proposal.  

  • Potter

    To the worried woman caller and to David Gergen on the debt and deficit

    Yes, maybe Obama is reading Krugman, thankfully:
    It’s true that right now we have a large federal budget deficit. But that deficit is mainly the result of a depressed economy — and you’re actually supposed to run deficits in a depressed economy to help support overall demand. The deficit will come down as the economy recovers: Revenue will rise while some categories of spending, such as unemployment benefits, will fall. Indeed, that’s already happening..

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Absolutely. Krugman has been right and the righty austerity economists have been predicting inflation and high interest rates due to gvt spending for years now. He has been right about europe as a “laboratory” where we can actually see the results of austerity….the right won’t look. And he has continually pointed out that the world’s biggest economy with control of the world’s reserve currency can never “be like greece”.

      Let’s face it. Righty econ is nothing but a fig leaf on class warfare.

      The WW2 debt was lost in time, like tears in the rain, in the booming (high tax and regulation) economy of the 50s and 60s. If the current TeaOP had been in power then they would have been saying “We can’t have a GI bill – the big bad debt will get us!” “We can’t build the interstates – we’re broke!”

    • hennorama

      Potter – Apologies in advance for this attempt at comic relief.
      You typed “Krugman has been a wolf howling in the wilderness ….”  My brain read this snippet and for some reason thought “This is a pitch for a movie.”

      Of course, it would be a werewolf flick.  The only question is, who would play Krugman?  Would it be Taylor Lautner of Twilight fame, Jack Nicholson from his role in Wolf, or perhaps even David Naughton from American Werewold In London.
      http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_O6xLvXpZlOU/Sw_dmh5pulI/AAAAAAAACdU/ezULVpl2bPQ/s1600/jacobwolf.jpg
      http://www.andyerupts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/werewolf-wolf.jpg
      http://www.andyerupts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/an-american-werewolf-in-london.jpg

  • http://twitter.com/buhdadad Steve Roller

    I “HOPE” he is able to unravel the military-industrial-congressional complex without unnerving the economy.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Yeah. Military spending stimulates the economy, even though all other gvt spending jsut runs up the big bad debt. Building tanks is good, building high speed rail is “another solyndra”. Krugman has named this “Defense Keynesian” economics. It’s amazing the mental contortions you need to be a righty.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Not to mention the multiplier effect of spending on the military is about as little as one can get for govt disbursement.

        No wonder some of us lefties have been advocating for a “helicopter drop”.

    • hennorama

      Steve Roller – that won’t be easy, for a variety of reasons.  One is that even the GAO can’t figure out where all the DOD money is being spent.

      ” About 34 percent of the federal government’s reported total assets as of September 30, 2012, and approximately 21 percent of the federal government’s reported net cost for fiscal year 2012 relate to the Department of Defense (DOD), which received a disclaimer of opinion on its consolidated financial statements.”  and

      “…serious financial management problems at DOD that have prevented its financial statements from being auditable…”  and

      “DOD and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have consistently been unable to receive … audit opinions. Efforts are under way at both entities to address this situation. At DOD, following years of unsuccessful financial improvement efforts, the DOD Comptroller established the Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness (FIAR) Directorate to develop, manage, and implement a strategic approach for addressing internal control weaknesses and for achieving auditability, and to integrate those efforts with other improvement activities, such as the department’s business systems modernization efforts. DOD’s current FIAR strategy and methodology focus on two priorities—budgetary information and asset accountability—with an overall goal of preparing auditable departmentwide financial statements by September 30, 2017.”

      Yep, that’s right, the goal is to figure it all out, by September 30, 2017.

      The GAO report is here:http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/651357.pdf

  • Bruce94

    Thanks On Point for bringing two informed perspectives on Obama’s speech, which I found very inspirational and meaningful to those of us hoping for a progressive vision to be delivered yesterday. 

    During parts of the speech, I found myself thinking “what if” Romney had prevailed and the perversely partisan obstructionist agenda pursued by the GOP for the last four years, had been rewarded. 

    I also imagined in a broader, more historical sense, “what if” the anti-government, states’ rights, laissez-faire ideolgues on the Far Right had won the day in earlier times.  We might now be enjoying life in a society where “limited government” conservatism had prevented collective efforts to provide for the following:  an end to Jim Crow; women’s suffrage & reproductive rights; prohibition of child labor; minimum wage laws; coordinated national programs protecting water, air, food & medicine; rural electrification; health insurance for the elderly, infirm & poor; basic income guarantee for retirees; collective bargaining rights for unions and the expansion of the middle-class & individual rights that unions enabled;the transformation of the Great Plains into an agricultural powerhouse by the Homestead Act; the remarkable economic growth of the 20th century facilitated by a system of land grant colleges & research universities; a thriving commercial aviation industry enabled by a national air transportation system; national parks, reserves & dams that serve as a model for sustainable resource use & biodiversity preservation; an interstate highway system & thriving auto industry it supports; the vast array of spin-off technologies & materials created by space exploration; the increased opportunity & social mobility made possible by free public education and the GI Bill; breakthroughs in medicine, agriculture, engineering & information technology enabled by basic research conducted at world-class universities; rural broadband access; high-speed rail; limits on the abuses of monopoly power and the political power of plutocrats (still a work in progress).

    While Obama’s vision as articulated yesterday IMO is on the right side of history, it remains to be seen whether or how it will be implemented given the Reactionary forces arrayed against it. 

     

    • 228929292AABBB

      Yes, indeed, what if a Republican had been elected in 2008?  He might have continued the Bush administration’s policies on Guantanamo, prisoner extradition, drone attacks and secret prisoner abuse.  He might have signed bills authorizing lifetime imprisonment without trial.  He might have continued the Bush adminstration’s wild deficit growth, or failed to act on gun control in four years.  All those things would have been terrible thank goodness we avoided that fate!  I agree that President Obama is very moving when he speaks.  I was very moved and hopeful in 2008.  If he hadn’t been the President for the last four years I would feel the same way about his speech I did at the first inauguration – but he has.

      • Bruce94

        “What if a Republican had been elected in 2008?”

        Well, let’s see.  One of the Keating Five would have been elected President & a Village Idiot would be serving as Vice-President — a prescription following the worst economic collapse in most of our lifetimes that only a sick doctor would have ordered. 

        I agree that Bush/Cheney did more to threaten habeas corpus, government transparency & separation of powers than any other administration in recent memory.  I share your frustration that Obama was unable to close Guantanamo & attend to some of the other items you cite, and will defer to you & other obvious experts on asymmetrical warfare, counterterrorism, and our Constitution, as to the efficacy & wisdom of the policies continued under Obama. I also feel constrained by the lack of information (e.g. classified docs.) that would have a bearing on an intelligent discussion of some of the practices you cite. 

        However, as far as the deficit is concerned, it is simply not true that the deficit trajectory has remained the same under Obama.  The latest info. from the U.S. Treasury indicates that the deficit has decreased in absolute and relative terms (i.e. as a percent of GDP) dropping from $1.3T in 2010 to $1.0T in 2012 and projected to be $900B in 2013. 

        Moreover, the deficit could have been reduced further except for GOP intransigence.  If you want examples of “weak” leadership or “buckling” under pressure, recall it was John Boehner who caved to the Tea Party extremists and reneged on the “Grand Bargain” before the last debt-ceiling debacle.  

         

        • hennorama

          Bruce94 – I too had been imagining an alternative scenario, had Sen. John (“the fundamentals of our economy are strong”) McCain been elected in 2008.  In addition to what you’ve noted:
          American auto industry – down in flames
          War in Iraq – still ongoing
          War in Afghanistan – even larger US involvement
          Don’t Ask Don’t Tell – still the rule
          Supreme Court – probably wouldn’t have two new women as Justices, including the first Latina
          Economy - FAR different. McCain’s stimulus ideas were limited to cutting the corporate tax rate, allowing 100% expensing of business purchases of equipment and technology, and adding a tax credit of 10% of R&D wages.
          That was it.  Seriously.
          He had also proposed buying up bad mortgages and other loans to sell at a profit “when the market improves”  Pretty sure we’d still be waiting for that.
          McCain had also proposed:

          -Partial privatization of Social Security and Medicare

          -Eliminating “earmarks, waste and fraud” from the budget in order to pay for his tax cuts, using a line item veto (I believe the phrase “when pigs fly” is operable here).

          -More nuclear power

          -More free trade agreements
          Oh, and if Romney had won the Rep. nomination in 2008, this was his stimulus proposal:
          -Reduce the lowest income tax bracket to 7.5%-Eliminate payroll taxes on workers age 65 and older-Eliminate savings, capital gains and dividend taxes for those earnining less that $200,000-Reduce the corporate tax rate to 20%-Allow 100% expensing of equipment for two years-Expand FHA loan limits to allow larger loans to homeowners
          In other words – tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts and bigger mortgages.
          Because that had worked so well under Bush II, right?”

          I could go on, but time and space are limited.

          • 228929292AABBB

            ‘It would have been worse the other way’ is the standard response of supporters who wish they could say ‘it turned out well’

          • hennorama

            228929292AABBB – your point might be valid had I typed anything like ‘It would have been worse the other way.’ That is your conclusion, not what I typed. Certainly things would have been different, which IS what I typed.

          • Bruce94

            Thanks for the recap.  I had forgotten some of the positions McCain had taken.  I do recall being really disappointed in his V-P selection, which elevated to the national stage a political voice that was clearly not ready for prime time and would later combine with other sinister voices to poison the national debate and add to an atmosphere of hysteria over healthcare reform. 

          • hennorama

            Bruce94 – Sen. McCain seemed out of his depth throughout the campaign, and his selection of Sarah Palin was a desperate move by a candidate who was behind in the polls. It was as if he said “Oh, what the hell, let’s go ahead and pick her. I mean, how bad could she be? Besides, I’m already getting my ass kicked here, you know?”

            Sen. McCain lost the 2008 race on on Sept, 15, 2008 when he said “the fundamentals of our economy are strong” the very same day Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. A week later he even announced that he was suspending his campaign (!!!???) for a week to go back to DC to work on the bailout package.

            Sarah Palin was merely a footnote to McCain’s 2008 campaign by then and she was no doubt already working on her exit strategy.

          • Gregg Smith

            Sarah Palin is awesome and the only thing that gave the squishy campaign a chance. Moderates like McCain and Romney lose. Conservatives like GWB and Reagan win.

          • Mike_Card

            Gregg, Gregg, Gregg.  What am I going to do with you?

            Even tho McCain is/was a loose cannon, hot-dogging jet jockey, he still had a chance until he picked Lindsay Lohan to be 2nd in line after he went down with his MI.  (No, he didn’t–but he would have.)

            Neither Reagan nor W is/was a conservative.  Both are opportunists–and you know that you know that!

          • Fredlinskip

            Awesome in a cartoonish sorta way.

        • 228929292AABBB

          Unable to?  It would have been nice if he had even tried, instead of leaving it at the same signing statements he derided Bush for as a Senator. 

        • 228929292AABBB

          I agree that it is simply not true that the deficit trajectory has remained the same.  Go to the New York Times site and type in ‘the dangerous notion that debt doesn’t matter’ and look at the graph showing the debt vs. average household income and look at what the lines are doing since the president took office.  Make no mistake- I blame that on George Bush.  But the truth is no evaluation of this President’s stimulus or economic policy is valid without considering the extreme poverty he has consigned this nation to.  Go ahead, look at the graph, I dare you.  And listen to President Obama’s 2008 words about what he will do about the debt and compare them.

          • Bruce94

            Thanks for the replies…my comment referenced the trending of the deficit, not the national debt (but I’ll try to look up the article when I have the chance).  To suggest that the President or his policies alone have consigned the nation to poverty is IMO misguided at best, disingenuous at worst when you consider practically every credible, independent economist agrees that Obama’s stimulus prevented another Great Depression and proposals like the American Jobs Act would have greatly reduced unemployment and poverty had not GOP obstructionists succeeded in stonewalling and ultimately killing the legislation. 

    • Human898

      Well said Bruce, but I believe the past 2 elections have offered some evidence of reality versus hype.   There is a lot of voiced opposition, but it didn’t appear to pan out to majority support in the last 2 presidential elections and there were lost seats.    I think people like to see checks and balances in their communities, but in their government as well, but reasonable, well thought out anc considered checks and balances.   Reactionary, unreasonable and obstructionism has failed to get the vote of confidence in the majority.    

      Mr. Obama will not get a third term, thus he is in some ways free to push a little harder and at the same time, as he has more recently, point to the hand he has extended in his first term, how it was slapped down and the results of that and let “the people” as they already have, continue to decide who’s trying to move the nation forward inclusive of all people and who has in many ways tried to block that effort for the purpose of special interests and exclusivity. 

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Amen! As I said below, if the deficit chicken littles had been in charge after WW2, with debt/GDP at the all time high, they would have opposed the GI Bill and building the interstates. But hey, all the good stuff is at risk in the class war. They have already made great progress in busting unions and public higher education. By cutting state funding to state unis they have driven up tuition across the board and brought on the plague of student loan debt.

    • anamaria23

      Great and thoughtful post.   I do not see the President’s vision as a “liberal agenda”, but what  is needed for our survival as a country and a planet going into the 21st century.    As you say, we cannot be disappointed if he cannot deliver all that we, or even he, would like.  He has a touch slog ahead and he needs our support.

    • Fredlinskip

      Yes, but besides those issues (and a lot more), far right ideology probably would have worked well.

  • 228929292AABBB

    The inauguration is a farce for two reasons – first the President swore to God on a bible last time to preserve uphold and defend the constitution yet continues to imprison and kill without due process, the principal issue of the constitution.  So we know the words mean nothing to him.  Second, because it literally is not the inauguration, the President did that the day before.  Why that doesn’t bother anyone I don’t know, but the ceremony was literally a fake imitation, which is a relevant issue with a President who speaks movingly for ceremony but doesn’t act accordingly.

    • Human898

      Who has been top advocates and promotors of the philosophies you mention?   Since elected presidents are not dictators, doing what one accomplishes is not as simple as merely being elected.    Remove the obstructions to what Mr. Obama would like to do and you may see differences between your contentions and reality.

      I don’t see Mr. Obama as a perfect human being, I don’t see any human beings as being perfect, but I do see Mr. Obama commit and take action toward the efforts he has mentioned and I see those who appear to believe it is their job to do nothing more than simply opposed anything and everything Mr. Obama proposes.   

      I have problems with the use of drones to conduct U.S. business from any angle.   Yes, drones may “save lives”, both in those they “protect” from offensive action and by way of safety to those operating them, but they are no more perfect in ensuring all parties harmed by them are truly guilty of something than other types of weapons.  

      In addition, I have always thought that we need to think through the development of any weaponry with the idea that at some point, any advantage we might enjoy by use of such weapons becomes diminished as others begin to develop and use similar type weapons.   How soon before the drones of people who are not using them in the interest of Americans are flying over the U.S.?   How soon before the skies become aerial drone battles with all the weaponry debris (some of it still armed and dangerous) falling to earth?  Technology is wonderful, but as with some many things, we need to think about all the potential uses of that technology before jumping into use of it.    By now, one would believe we have learned some lessons from how some discoveries, especially in weaponry, can come back and not just haunt us, but harm us.

      • 228929292AABBB

        Of course you’re right – President Obama has had opposition and that opposition has often represented what is wrong.  It isn’t the President’s job to just do everything he believes in, he hasn’t that power, for good reason.  But one of the key reasons the opposition – which has usually been in the minority – has its way with him is they know he will buckle without a wimper every time.  Could he have stopped the defense authorization bill institutionalizing lifetime imprisonment without trial?  Maybe not, but why shouldn’t it pass over his veto if it has to pass?  After all, he promised the veto.  But he just signed it on a holiday hoping no one would notice.  He’s weak.  These are essential questions and he was elected because the country supports his positions, but when it comes time to take even a symbolic stand he always fails.  These are ‘if this isn’t wrong you tell me what is wrong’ moments but instead of Abraham Lincoln we have the invisible man in office.  He looks good talking about Sandy Hook, but if he had governed as he campaigned instead of actively suppressing gun control for four years those children might be alive.  What do we have instead?  More moving speeches.  He could be toastmaster’s champion, but that’s not the job.

        • jimino

          You do realize Abraham Lincoln suspended the right of habeas corpus, called up, armed and deployed the military, instituted a blockade, and claimed to be authorized as President to do so without Congressional approval, don’t you?

          • 228929292AABBB

            I do.  President Lincoln was not only willing to do wrong in pursuit of a higher cause, he was frankly a screw-up in several important ways and a lot of people died as a result.  I’m not trying to Saint him.  But he was, in the end, both wise and bold in the fight against crimes toward humanity.  President Bush was bold, President Obama is wise, and neither one without the other is very good. As a comparison, at least President Obama is just failing to make things better, instead of actively making them worse like his predecessor.  If you’re a democrat and can convince yourself that’s a form of success, I guess this is a great day.  But it’s a mild form that’s for sure.   You can look at AOL today for a slide show of 7 or 8 quotes – promises President Obama made at the first inauguration, all broken.

        • 1Brett1

          I hear your frustration. Another person may find some other issue to be forsaken or abandoned by the president, and another might find still another issue of utmost importance to have been given less than optimal (or even any) consideration, and so on…There truly is only so much political capital to go around (and it gets spent very quickly on any issue). 

          I am interested in what President Obama will do now that he has become more educated about this “post-partisan era” and doesn’t have to worry about the kinds of politics that keep a person “weakened” by a tacit threat of not getting re-elected. I hope he will be bolder on many issues than he was last term (but he has moved the goal post a bit on a lot of issues), and I hope he proves to be more of a fighter in the face of opposition. 

    • hennorama

      Public Inauguration ceremonies on a Sunday are impractical, due to both traditional religious observances, and the quasi-religious observances of the NFL playoffs.

    • brettearle

      Do we want to hold Obama up to a higher standard–or do we want to hold Obama up to a higher standard, relative to other Presidents?

      Would there be any President who wouldn’t act in the country’s own self-interest and do it in such a way that it wouldn’t, at times, violate International Law?

      I think not.

      • anamaria23

        I, too, am deeply troubled by the use of drones. Then, I ask how do we deal with the real threat of, say, Pakistan and a nuclear weapon in the hands of terrorists.   My limited knowlege or warfare cannot help me.
        As the leader of the  nation which the President must  protect first and always, I wonder  what I, a near pacifist, would do in his place.  Obama was once asked what keeps him up at night and he replied “Pakistan” 
        Perhaps others with greater understanding  can help inform us of what alternatives there might be that we could stop this questionable practice.
        Thanks.
        .

        • Gregg Smith

          That was beautiful. There are ideologues that howled over enhanced interrogation and don’t bat an eye to targeted assassination. There are others who gripe about drones because it’s a way to criticize Obama. You have the right approach, it’s tough to be President. That’s why I put moral integrity ahead of experience as a criteria for my President. 

          Now, don’t think I am not tempted to spoil this moment by going off on my opinion of Obama’s motives and methods as juxtaposed with his stated positions, and how that all relates to what he knew he couldn’t do when he said he would (closing Gitmo, ending military tribunals, indefinite detention, etc.). Tempted yes, but still you deserve credit, not that I am qualified to bestow it. Bottom line: It’s a dangerous, complicated and evolving world.

          So, all I humbly ask is that you be very careful with the word “merciless”. Sometimes it’s possible for pacifism to be the most merciless option.  

          • anamaria23

            It is complicated, but thanks.

        • hennorama

          anamaria23 – as with virtually any new weapon or military tactic, there are pros and cons to be considered regarding its use.  It is indeed a difficult matter to find alternatives to the use of armed UAVs when it comes to trying to remove one individual from the face of the Earth.  Short of getting someone “up close and personal,” there are few options that don’t resort in massive casualties on either or both sides.

          This is similar to the way that some argued against the use of atomic weapons against Japan, and against fire-bombing German cities during WWII.  It becomes a judgment of the lesser of two evils, which is rarely easy or clearcut.

          The world had changed a great deal, but these dilemmas have not.  That’s what gives Presidents prematurely grey hair and sleepless nights.

          • anamaria23

            Thanks. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/gary.farrow.94 Gary Farrow

      “…the constitution yet continues to imprison and kill without due process.” What?

      • hennorama

        Gary – insert [he] between “yet” and “continues” then re-read.  Like this:

        “… first the President swore to God on a bible last time to preserve uphold and defend the constitution yet [he] continues to imprison and kill without due process …”

    • Mike_Card

      A pox on fake imitations!  A country as big as ours must shoulder the wheel in favor of true imitations!  Or, at the very least, fake originals–like on the Supreme Court.

      • Gregg Smith

        That was deep.

  • 2Gary2

    a good speech means nothing if not followed up by action 

  • Gregg Smith

    In 2008 candidate Obama said: ““I will sign a universal health care bill into law by the end of my first term as president that will cover every American and cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by up to $2,500 a year.”

    Yesterday President Obama said: “We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit. But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future.”

    There you have it, Obama just admitted Obamacare did not lower health care cost.

    • Mike_Card

      That $2500 reduction has really become a meme, hasn’t it?

      What a coincidence that all the anti-Obamacare wingnuts rail about how their premiums for 2013 have increased by $2500!

      Also a coincidence, I guess, is that my own health care insurance premiums have declined by $2500.  Must be the special insurance companies’ Obamacare whiner rider; I’m luckily on the benefits side.

    • brettearle

      The CBO projected cost benefits to ObamaCare that would begin to kick in after, I believe, 2016.

    • jefe68

      You really do not have a clue.
      The cost of health care is going up due to our market based fee for service system. The ACA, which I don’t like, will lower costs somewhat. But the cost will go up despite the new law due to premiums and fees as well as drug cost. Which this nation is awful at controlling.

      • 1Brett1

        Excellent point…the drug costs were one item I was disappointed in as far as not being negotiated effectively during the “debate” before the bill was passed.

      • pete18

         If that is so, then you’re admitting that Obama care was sold on a false promise.

  • 1Brett1

    In looking back at, say, Lincoln’s legacy, we can see just how many problems resulted after the Civil War, in the last half of the 19th Century, during the Reconstruction Era and beyond, problems that weren’t completely addressed and ameliorated until one hundred years later. And, arguably, some might point to some lingering problems from that era that still exist today. 

    Of course, we can also look back at Lincoln’s detractors, from his own time, who felt he had taken the wrong path and moved the country in the wrong direction. 

    There aren’t any magic bullets, and huge changes in the way our country conducts itself take a long time. Rarely, if ever, can we cite, in our history, changes that are swift, absolutely good without any unintended consequences, and don’t need tweaking over time. I see our healthcare legislation as being such an example.

  • 1Brett1

    I have to hand it to the musicians who performed at the Inaugural yesterday…between wood, acoustic instruments being very finicky in cold temps. to voices (and lungs) seizing up while singing in typical Washington January weather, the prospects are daunting (even with a little lip-syncing/pre-recording to help the process along). 

    • Gregg Smith

      I agree.

      • 1Brett1

        The Marine Corps Band was top notch. I’ve known a few of those guys: A-list players whose skills as musicians are always highly disciplined and above reproach. 

  • Mike_Card

    You’ll make the equable distribution?  Whoever called you a taker, and not a maker, is full of crap!  ;-)
     

    • TomK_in_Boston

      When I think of “takers” I think of romney types, who “take” whatever they can via financial con games and never “make” a product.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Comment on the speech by Mitch “the agenda is to make Obama a 1-term president” McConnell:

    “One thing is clear from the president’s speech: The era of liberalism is back. His unabashedly far-left-of-center inaugural speech certainly brings back memories of the Democratic Party in ages past,” he said. “If the president pursued that kind of agenda, obviously it’s not designed to bring us together, and certainly not designed to deal with the transcendent issue of our era, which is deficits and debt.”

    Wow! He thinks that supporting SS and medicare is “far left of center”. There aren’t many better indictors of the how far the current GoP is out of touch with American values, and McC is not even one of the more nutty Republicans. Truly a party that deserves a rapid trip to the trash can of history.

    • Mike_Card

      100% agreement.  McConnell is a disgrace, but continues to further denigrate his office.

      Between him and the nutjob Rand Paul, it is hard to understand why the remainder of the Union continues to recognize Kentucky as a legitimate member.

  • 1Brett1

    This is off topic, I know, but it’s late in the evening and hopefully won’t interfere with the ongoing conversations about the Inaugural.

    Today is the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. My hope is that abortion stays legal, safe and accessible to all women who choose to consider that as an option. 

    In my native state of Virginia there are a number of restrictive rules for women seeking an abortion. Two that are potentially troublesome: 1) A woman must receive state-directed counseling that includes information designed to discourage her from having an abortion and then wait 24 hours before the procedure is provided. and 2) A woman must undergo an ultrasound before obtaining an abortion; the provider must offer her the option to view the image. If the woman lives within 100 miles of the abortion provider she must obtain the ultrasound at least 24 hours before the abortion.

    Also troubling: the Va. Board of Health passed abortion clinic regulations in September. Regs. that do not apply to any other medical clinics; ridiculous regs. like what size windows and doors should be, how many stalls are in bathrooms, etc., effectively shutting down many clinics and limiting access.

    There have also been moves to legislate forced vaginal probes.  

    There are a number of states (Texas is one that comes to mind) that have also attempted to chip away at reproductive rights issues in an effort to undermine Roe v. Wade. This must stop.

    • Ray in VT

      There was a story on the BBC this morning about restrictions in Mississippi that could compel the one provider there to close.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-21150116

      Opponents of abortion rights have changed tactics over the past few years it seems.  The likelihood of overturning Roe v. Wade isn’t great, with 63% of people recently surveyed by Pew saying that the decision should stand and not great prospects via the courts:

      http://www.pewforum.org/Abortion/roe-v-wade-at-40.aspx

      According to the poll, only among white evangelicals is there a majority opinion to overturn Roe, so they’re just trying to regulate it out of existence:

      http://www.policymic.com/articles/22172/43-abortion-restrictions-were-passed-in-2012-second-most-of-all-time

      Interesting enough, though, take a look at Gallup’s numbers:

      http://www.gallup.com/poll/154838/Pro-Choice-Americans-Record-Low.aspx

      I wish that they had further questions, such as if one identifies as pro-life, then does one want abortion to be illegal or legal, and then there’s the issue of when and under what circumstances.  For instance, the Pew poll found that “only 9 percent think it should be illegal with no exceptions.”

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/01/22/poll-on-roe-v-wade-anniversary-most-want-decision-to-stay/

      • 1Brett1

        Yes, and by “undermine” I meant exactly that the current tactic– instead of working to overturn the law directly–is to render it completely ineffective by so restricting access to legal abortion the option would not be a viable choice. 

        The Gallup Poll numbers are interesting; like you, ostensibly, I think the numbers resulted from how the questions were asked (or were not asked). 

        • Ray in VT

          Word choice in polling and surveys can have a very great impact upon the person being surveyed.  Good polls should be very carefully worded if one wants to produce and unbiased result.  Of course sometimes the person or group taking the poll has a position and they try to use question language to lead the people being polled.  We covered those issues a great deal in my graduate research methods class.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          I’m with you: Before anyone looks at Gallup’s numbers, we have to examine Gallup’s wording. They have a track record on this.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    If I had somehow missed the entire toxic DC discussion and someone told me “we need to reform medicare” I would say Yes! For starters, let’s have medicare negotiate drug costs, evaluate procedures and drugs to find the most effective, make sure the private corporations aren’t overpaid, and make sure procedures are done for medical need and not because they are profitable.

    Funny thing, those 4 possibilities are demonized or ignored by those demanding “reform”. Reform, as meant by the English language, would be good. Reform, as meant by righty newspeak,  really means “cut” and is class warfare. 

  • bikeamericagirl

    I voted for President Obama and for the most part
    support his agenda. However, I flinched several times during his speech feeling
    that he was jabbing at the Republicans and knowing that they would react
    negatively; which they did. I was hoping he would say more to help heal the current
    extreme partisanism of the country.

    • Tyranipocrit

       and what cower before loud mouth corporate aristocracy, racists, and ignorance?  you want a weak president? you want a man who

    • hennorama

      bikeamericagirl – that was part my reaction, too.  One could easily interpret segments of this Inaugural Address as a large raised middle finger toward Republicans, if one were so inclined.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000159913337 Vivian Brill

    I thought the inclusion of the gay community was a well-timed reference, with that group being increasingly targeted in Russia at the moment (any public displays of affection would be “homosexual propaganda”). I also find the Republican reaction absurd- how is “we have to do this together in spite of our disagreements” the same as “my way or the highway”-???

  • Tyranipocrit

    how can somebody  call a person’s vote a fluke? That would mean a person has no self-determination, that the vote was not an act of choice, not a decision, not a self-willed act.  i suggests the president ther is no meaning or reason for anything–that things just happened, materislized intothin air, that it was all chance.  as if sombody threw the dice and rolled 7 or snake eyes.  People vote.  for wrong or right reasons–usually wrong and stupid and uneducated manipulated and conditioned –but peopl evote and make choices.  it cant be a fluke.  thats just dumb.  he was chosen byt he people.  Even if the people were denied other choices–they chose obama and hope (false hope or not) over hate, and racism, and ignorance, and the extremeist cult of the 1%, the cult of the aristocracy. They voted for the hope that obam mght help american innstitutions rather than aristocratic corporations, that he might fight for human right, earth rights, green technology, and social values–NOt greed and bloodust and guns of the conservative republican tea bag dopes.  Our purpose is to climb out of the polluted mud–not mire in it.

    • Tyranipocrit

      it proves that people are mostly good by nature and want social human rights for all, that they reject greed of capitlaism and crave progressive empathetic values–not war and guns and money money money.  peaople are basically good.  but we are held hostage by the 1% who are basically axe murderers manufacturing wars and consent–wolves among sheep.  Obama’s popular vote proves that we are essentially manipulated into false choices, war, torture, and the darkest angels of our heart–a corporate capitliast paradigm, war mongers, cheny, bush, romeny, mcain koch brothers, fox news, and all those people –and because we think obam will offer somethig different.  people couldnt accept the socwl and curled lip of cheney–they couldnt accept the cruelty of the bush and cheny and republica nature–so the corp-aristocracy needed a face and a man that could move progressives and hopeful good people to make bad choices and accept austerity, accept murder in the middle east, accept a capitsilist, extremeist, terrorist society of the 1% lording over you and your resources and earth–the status qou.  obama is the perfect weapon–he maintains the status qou and we think he wants to change it.  There are alternatives–but the powers that be, the media persecute third-parties and lock them in the dark closet so you know nothing about them, or the worng things–there is no serious debate over third party values, no journalism, no fiar and balanced elections, no justice–third parties are physically banned from the public eye–in fact green party presidential candidates are repeatledy arrested and jailed for trying to debate  in the elctions–so why are they denying you that right to hear that message?  why?

  • Tyranipocrit

    idealisticaly–”we are the gov”  but truthfully we are lorded over by a conglomeration of corporate interests, corporate-aristocracy, ignorance of the voters, apathy of the population, very very very very very wealthy people with enormous power.  Ther ekind of capitalism is cruel.  it has no empathy–it cant–profit is the bottom line.  Prifit before humanity, before earth, before self–before you and yours.  it is the system.  it si the manufactured conversation and manufactured message.  We are like pavlov’s dogs.  These people hate democracy and so control the media–th emessage–in order to manufacture consent, but we are not actually in a society of the people for the people.  taht is a myth–a good one.  One that needs to be made true and protected.

  • Duras

    I’m a believer that the entrepreneurial spirit needs to change in a way that would reduce the wage gap.  But that kind of stuff is up to the labor movement.  Agriculture would be a tricky industry to have a strong labor movement.  Government already subsidizes farmers, if we paid the people who pick the food more, we may have to have government farms.

  • Duras

    Oh my mistake.  I never knew that there is no such thing as bad laws.  I never knew that we are not suppose to question the validity of laws.  My mistake.  I guess it was my liberal instinct that keeps me questioning and not being a slave to various legal systems. 

  • Duras

    Oh, my mistake.  I guess it was my tragic liberal instinct to question the validity of laws so I don’t become a slave to the bad ones.  I once thought that there is a difference between laws and criminality, but I guess the law is the law.  Let legal positivism rule the day. 

  • Duras

    It should not cost a single penny to vote.  America is a free democracy.

ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 29, 2014
The U.S. Senate is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. (AP)

The “Do-Nothing” Congress just days before August recess. We’ll look at the causes and costs to the country of D.C. paralysis.

Jul 29, 2014
This April 28, 2010 file photo, shows the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal-fired power plant in Colstrip, Mont. Colstrip figures to be a target in recently released draft rules from the Environmental Protection Agency that call for reducing Montana emissions 21 percent from recent levels by 2030. (AP)

A new sci-fi history looks back on climate change from the year 2393.

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Jul 28, 2014
U.S. Secretary of War Newton D. Baker watches as wounded American soldiers arrive at an American hospital near the front during World War I. (AP Photo)

Marking the one hundredth anniversary of the start of World War One. We’ll look at lessons learned and our uneasy peace right now.

 
Jul 28, 2014
This June 4, 2014 photo shows a Walgreens retail store in Boston. Walgreen Co. _ which bills itself as “America’s premier pharmacy” _ is among many companies considering combining operations with foreign businesses to trim their tax bills. (AP)

American companies bailing out on America. They call it inversion. Is it desertion?

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: July 25, 2014
Friday, Jul 25, 2014

Why the key to web victory is often taking a break and looking around, and more pie for your viewing (not eating) pleasure.

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The Art Of The American Pie: Recipes
Friday, Jul 25, 2014

In the odd chance that our pie hour this week made you hungry — how could it not, right? — we asked our piemaking guests for some of their favorite pie recipes. Enjoy!

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Hillary Clinton: ‘The [Russian] Reset Worked’
Thursday, Jul 24, 2014

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton took time out of her global book tour to talk to us about Russia, the press and the global crises shaking the administration she left two years ago.

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