If you have "no place to go," come here!

He'll have to read us, first!

P.O.S. Politico:

Obama himself plans to meet soon with liberal bloggers, according to an administration official.

Nothing in 2009, nothing in 2008.... Obama's going to have to catch up on his reading!

One question though:

Would Obama read any blogs that say Fuck?

Oh, and one more: Was all this really settled in the 8:45 AM call?

And a third: I think I can spot the Axelrod talking points pretty easily already, from experience in the primaries, but are the knobs on that shit going to go up to 11 again? And are whole swathes of the blogosphere going to come back for more on the Obamagasms?

No votes yet


basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

I haven't seen any particular indication that he reads much of anything. To my sense, he doesn't write like someone who reads dense material either. What you read, informs how you write. And his writing is insubstantive and sentimental. A guy who reads dense, wonky works just doesn't write like that. Look at that tome Bill Clinton turned out. That kind of detail is much more in keeping with with the kind writing produced by someone who is reading worthwhile, substantial works of all kinds whether it is Dostoyevsky or Ivo Daalder.

I just don't think the guy reads. You never saw it in the debates. He never burst into wonkiness in front of us. When he didn't have his policy worked out, he usually didn't have thoughts on the subject either - such as his first appearance at that health care forum where he crashed and burned so badly.

He also doesn't present options. Hillary can give you fifteen ways to solve any problem though she'll have her favorite. There is a three dimensional aspect always on display in her thinking that comes from being well-read on a subject. Obama's presentations lack dimension. There are no intellectual tangents ever.

Anyway, I don't think he reads blogs, or anything else for that fact. I'll be interested to see if he ever gets hit with the kind of questions about his reading habits that Palin got hit with.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Corrente was pretty solidly supportive of Hillary in the primary, and IIRC when you were on that blogger conference call with her it ended before you got an answer to your question - so HRC owes you one.

Maybe she can use her pull to get you included in that "liberal blogger" roundtable, eh? Worth an ask.

Rally 'round, Correntians! Flood HRC's in-box with demands requests to include Lambert Strether and for hell's sakes to send one of those mega-million dollar presidential helicopters to pick him up so he doesn't have to ride the Chinese bus.

chezmadame's picture
Submitted by chezmadame on

They're the ones floating the idea.
Ask them if the list includes Krugman.

And I really don't understand the Hillary reference. She's not the president. It's Obama who's flailing. Flood his inbox. Make him accountable for the hope he sowed and the promises he made.

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

And I really don't understand the Hillary reference.

being his old, crotchety, sweet self.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Maybe you'd like to take a minute and think it through before letting your knees start jerking.

For starters you could read it literally, as it was intended:

1) Corrente was good to Hillary

2) Lambert was on a conference call with Hillary that was ended for scheduling reasons before he got his question answered.

3) Hillary owes (this is Politics 101, pay attention) Corrente and Lambert for their unwavering support.

4) Having an actual liberal blogger at this thing would be a plus for, among others, actual liberals.

5) Umpteen people here so despise Obama that I thought it would offend if I asked them to contact his office - so I didn't.

6) Instead I asked people to contact Hillary on Lambert's behalf and ask her to use her influence to get him a seat at the table, as a reward for his unswerving political support.

Simple. Straightforward. No snark. Just the facts.

Apparently the trigger words overwhelmed any ability to process simple concepts.

Wow. Just wow.

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

3) Hillary owes (this is Politics 101, pay attention) Corrente and Lambert for their unwavering support.

I won't speak for lambert, but I supported Hillary, and she doesn't owe me anything.

She's now the Secretary of State. I don't want her getting involved in this pathetic attempt at appeasement.

So far, he's demonstrated that he doesn't give a rat's ass about pesky liberals. They don't contribute enough to his coffers. I guess.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Too late for clean hands with Hillary.

As for your magnanimous approach to politics, may I say how very noble of you not to expect anything in return for your support. I hope you won't be too shocked when I say that Hillary herself would be bewildered as to why that would be so, as would any successful pol. One hand washes the other is the concept, and it will not end - ever. Others, many with less noble aims than yours, will demand quid pro quo so in my view it is better to make the best possible use of it rather than let the opportunity go to waste or worse.

Oh and; So far, he's demonstrated that he doesn't give a rat's ass about pesky liberals.

Not his job. It is our job to find a way to make/persuade/coerce him and the Congress into caring. Getting a real liberal involved in this meeting seemed to me like an opportunity to do just that, but I can see now that I was wrong. Much more effective to stand off at a distance and sniff with superiority. By all means, do carry on.

Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

As teh kidz say, "Word." There are some people around here who have difficulty bridging the gap to power. Difficulty exhibiting a willingness to leverage political influence.

They become a completely inverted version of some of the Kos Kidz.

Submitted by hipparchia on

of course it's his job to care about pesky liberals, and to open his mind and actually listen to them and their radical ideas.

all my experience with the ofb obama for america/organizing for america machine convinces me that it's strictly for top-down messaging, and that any food chain that has david axelrove near the top of it is going to stay that way, including this faux outreach to liberal bloggers.

agree with you that we absolutely must seize every opportunity to inject real liberals into their very illiberal organization, including this one.

disagree with you on the utility of having people who will stand off at a distance and sniff with superiority, though.

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

ADVOCATE for the progressive, the liberal, the compassionate, the genuinely "common good" policy and actions we support, we want to see, we need.

Bring back Habeas Corpus.

Close Gitmo. Tear down Abu Ghraib -- and prosecute the entire chain of command that created and operated those two hellholes, from PVT. England up to "Decider" Bush. Soon would be good.

Regulation of the financial whatzis -- Wall Street is a giant con game, a gambler's paradise dressed in three-piece suits and Gucci briefcases, made legitimate because ... we're all suckers. Call it what it is: a confidence game, a numbers racket.



Put teeth in the EPA and OSHA regs; fund them, staff them, and by all the gods, carry out the prosecutions that arise from the investigations that ought to arise from proper operation of the EPA, the OSHA, the USDA and the FDA.

Be as zealous about food safety and workers' health, consumer protections and civil rights, as the freaking GOP is about immigration and union-busting. Make this be the America I grew up in again.

I'll go on howling into the darkness, whether my ideas fall on deaf ears or not.
Won't you join me?

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

And I don't know about you but I could give a rat's ass about the Hillary trolling. Obama is president now. He needs to listen to the voters of America and earn our vote and support for the next time.

Submitted by hipparchia on

sure, i'll join ya!

  1. prediction: this conference call to liberal bloggers is entirely fake outreach and is an attempt to co-opt them to spread the illiberal obama message into liberal circles. having people standing off to the side sniffing in superiority is akin to having the little kid yell out that the emperor's buck nekkid. doesn't mean we shouldn't take it further than that, i heartily approve of crashing the gates too.
  2. hell yes it's obama's job to care about liberals. people voted for him in droves because conservative 'ideas' don't work and conservatives wrecked country. the unity we want, the bi-/post-partisanship we want, the end to the partisan bickering we want, is for the conservatives to stfu and do things our way now.

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

for which she was chosen and represent the interests of the United States to the best of her ability. I expect nothing more and nothing less. Playing this little political game that Obama's playing is not part of her duties. That's part of his job to get reelected in 2012.

The others of which you speak can do what they want.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

5) Umpteen people here so despise Obama that I thought it would offend if I asked them to contact his office - so I didn't.

During the primaries, I conducted direct outreach to the Obama camp on two fronts. That they were completely disingenuous about supposedly listening to the concerns of Hillary supporters / Obama skeptics reflects badly on them, not on me.

I also banged the drum for single-payer advocates to attend Daschle's bag-job meetings, and IIRC some did.

But please continue to paint us as h8rs. It's so easy, and apparently so satisfying.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

so please don't claim that it does. You do know, don't you, that if I mean "all" I will say "all"? Do I really appear so illiterate to you that I don't know the meaning of simple words?

I'd have written "some" but that's a bad word here, as is "many" or "lots" or any other generalization encompassing "many but less than all" for reasons I cannot fathom. Thought I'd give "umpteen" a whirl but I see that it too can be quickly misconstrued and condemned unjustly.

If you'd like to argue that there is a complete absence of irrational Obama hate here, please re-read chezmadam's comment - you must have missed something.

And thanks too, VL, for the focus on my main thrust; so helpful in moving the conversation forward.

Submitted by lambert on

With the some, conveniently, never named. An old favorite rhetorical tactic of Bush's; I avoid posts that, and comments, that use it.

UPDATE Just lost a long comment, sigh, on rhetorical tactics. Bringiton's idea that it's keywords, instead of rhetorical tactics, that are critiqued ("'some' is a bad word," instead of "'some say'" is a bad rhetorical device") is, if possible, even more insulting than the idea that Corrente is filled with umpteen haters -- as exemplfied by a cherrypicked post -- that politeness forbids naming. What a steaming crock.

Submitted by lambert on

Since nobody's claiming a "complete absence" of "irrational" (as opposed to rational?) "Obama hate," let me address the single -- of "umpteen" -- example that Bringiton instances. ChezMadame's comment:

1. Why not ask Obama's handlers to define "liberal blogger"?

Where's the hate? Obama has handlers, like any politician. And seeing where on the spectrum "liberal" might fall in practice seems rational to me.

2. They're the ones floating the idea.

Where's the hate? That's what Obama's handlers are doing, right? Assuming the idea is talking to liberal writers.

3. Ask them if the list includes Krugman.

A very good question! Where's the hate?

4. And I really don't understand the Hillary reference.

Neither did I. (Maybe because I supported Hillary because I thought it was the right thing to do. A quid pro quo wasn't, and isn't, on my radar screen at all.) Where's the hate?

5. She's not the president.

No, she's not. Where's the hate?

6. It's Obama who's flailing.

A matter of judgment, and an open question whether it's him, his administration, or just perception (by me, for example), but where's the hate?

7. Flood his inbox.

Where's the hate? Pressure works!

8. Make him accountable for the hope he sowed and the promises he made.

Where's the hate? Surely we should do that with any politician?

So far as I can tell, CM took the comment literally (as intended) and did a takedown. Where's the hate? Since I've been and am hated -- online, by several OFN -- I think have some minimal (meant literally) experience of being the target of hate, and I'm not seeing that here.

* * *

More time wasted -- that being the "main thrust," no doubt. I'm with pie.

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

But many people at Corrente, regular posters and commenters both, do in fact despise Barack Obama -- if not everything connected with the Democratic Party as well as the Obama administration -- possibly excepting the new garden on the South Lawn, and the First Daughters, who appear to me to be not merely very cute but both well-behaved and smart (but I thought that about Chelsea, and Amy before her, so ...).

I see a lot of good things happening. Small good things, maybe, but considering where we've been in the last 8 years and since I am a Democrat, I'll take my wins where I find them.

Listening to President Obama tonight what I'm hearing is common sense in many ways; acknowledge the true cost of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as part of the budget, for one thing. Listening to this speech, sigh, I'm reminded exactly how stupid our national mainstream media can be.

Submitted by lambert on


Political leaders deserve support only to the extent that their actions, on a case-by-case basis, merit that support

If that be hate, I plead guilty.

I look at the net. To me, trillions to the financial system with no transparency and no accountabililty -- the largest transfer of wealth in American history -- simply outweighs the many smaller things on the positive side of the ledger, most of which I have posted on, including the White House garden, which I think is very important.

As for charges of "hate" in general -- I'm impervious. The OFB called me a hater during the primaries so many times that I don't bother with it any more (though I do tend to write off the people who take it seriously as an argument). I still get some of it over at Eschaton -- but it's so obviously projection that it's pitiful, in its way.

Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

I have no particular love or hate for Obama or Hillary, minus the dislike I reserve for prominent American politicians who are generally by definition war criminals, Obama included.

What causes me a certain amount of bemusement, though, are at least two things:

1. The Eternal Correntean Groundhog Day - wherein all of Obama's failings as a politician are traced to some component of the primaries and all his supporters disappointments are anticipated with glee.

and related

2. The disingenuous scandalized virginity - wherein people react with surprise and contempt when some shenanigan or another is pulled off, as though these aren't an essential part of procedural representative politics.

Naturally, these things are themselves traceable back to the primaries wherein Obama supporters indeed had their many faults and groupthink attributes, but HRC supporters had...what? Well, neither the perception nor the ability to influence her to make some small few decisions she could have made to push herself over the top.

Policy is frequently discussed on this blog, and well it should. It's not clear to me that political discussion is served, though, by an occasional inability to separate the content of political acts from their intent.

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

and I make allowances for the man's failings as a human being -- I think the issue has become not merely the economy but the failure of the Bush administration and the Gingrich/ Gramm Congressional assault on the New Deal regulations, which turned banks and insurers and holding companies into separate entities the neoliberal anti-regulators wanted to recombine for further shell-gaming.

Here are my links on which I base my disdain for Gramm. Gingrich? No, I just loathe him; he's a Tom DeLay-class cockroach, and if the obvious nature of that truth requires linkage after Gingrich's public career and infamous personal misbehavior, well, then, you need a link to prove the sky is a darker blue at night than in the day.

Years before Phil Gramm was a McCain campaign adviser and a lobbyist for a Swiss bank at the center of the housing credit crisis, he pulled a sly maneuver in the Senate that helped create today's subprime meltdown.
—By David Corn

Corn continues: Now a well-paid executive at a Swiss bank, Gramm cochairs Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign and advises the Republican candidate on economic matters. He's been mentioned as a possible Treasury secretary should McCain win. That's right: A guy who helped screw up the global financial system could end up in charge of US economic policy. Talk about a market failure.

Geithner can't be worse than Gramm, can he?

The general co-chairman of John McCain’s presidential campaign, former Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas), led the charge in 1999 to repeal a Depression-era banking regulation law that Democrat Barack Obama claimed on Thursday contributed significantly to today’s economic turmoil.

“A regulatory structure set up for banks in the 1930s needed to change because the nature of business had changed,” the Illinois senator running for president said in a New York economic speech. “But by the time [it] was repealed in 1999, the $300 million lobbying effort that drove deregulation was more about facilitating mergers than creating an efficient regulatory framework.”

Gramm’s role in the swift and dramatic recent restructuring of the nation’s investment houses and practices didn’t stop there.

A year after the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act repealed the old regulations, Swiss Bank UBS gobbled up brokerage house Paine Weber. Two years later, Gramm settled in as a vice chairman of UBS’s new investment banking arm.

Later, he became a major player in its government affairs operation. According to federal lobbying disclosure records, Gramm lobbied Congress, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department about banking and mortgage issues in 2005 and 2006.

During those years, the mortgage industry pressed Congress to roll back strong state rules that sought to stem the rise of predatory tactics used by lenders and brokers to place homeowners in high-cost mortgages.

For his work, Gramm and two other lobbyists collected $750,000 in fees from UBS’s American subsidiary. In the past year, UBS has written down more than $18 billion in exposure to subprime loans and other risky securities and is considering cutting as many as 8,000 jobs.

Multiple Gramm transgressions here:

Time called him one of the top 25 people to blame for the meltdown here:

He played a leading role in writing and pushing through Congress the 1999 repeal of the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act, which separated commercial banks from Wall Street. He also inserted a key provision into the 2000 Commodity Futures Modernization Act that exempted over-the-counter derivatives like credit-default swaps from regulation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Credit-default swaps took down AIG, which has cost the U.S. $150 billion thus far.

Gramm, who doubtless doesn't read blogs -- he's got people to do that for him so he can file defamation suits -- doesn't regret his role in opening the subprime gates.

“Some people look at subprime lending and see evil. I look at subprime lending and I see the American dream in action,” he said. “My mother lived it as a result of a finance company making a mortgage loan that a bank would not make.”

On Capitol Hill, Mr. Gramm became the most effective proponent of deregulation in a generation, by dint of his expertise (a Ph.D in economics), free-market ideology, perch on the Senate banking committee and force of personality (a writer in Texas once called him “a snapping turtle”). And in one remarkable stretch from 1999 to 2001, he pushed laws and promoted policies that he says unshackled businesses from needless restraints but his critics charge significantly contributed to the financial crisis that has rattled the nation.

He led the effort to block measures curtailing deceptive or predatory lending, which was just beginning to result in a jump in home foreclosures that would undermine the financial markets. He advanced legislation that fractured oversight of Wall Street while knocking down Depression-era barriers that restricted the rise and reach of financial conglomerates.

And he pushed through a provision that ensured virtually no regulation of the complex financial instruments known as derivatives, including credit swaps, contracts that would encourage risky investment practices at Wall Street’s most venerable institutions and spread the risks, like a virus, around the world.

That last article notes he had the backing of the Clinton administration for at least a portion of his deregulatory efforts.

Looks to me like there's plenty of blame to go around.
So, who's going to put a shoulder to the wheel and fix this mess?

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

since keeping a log of Obama-haters seems to be required now. Maybe I can get a category for Obamahate under Flag As Offensive and we can keep a running tally.

At one point during the primary the majority of those commenting - not, mind you, any of the Fellows - were clearly hateful towards Obama. (If hate is too strong a word for you, be advised that I use it in the same spirit that is employed in Hillary hate and so well within the bounds of this blog's definition of the term.) Thankfully the worst of them were banned and many others have wandered off, back to wherever being hateful is more comfortable.

Still there are a number remaining and no, I won't venture a guess but it is more than a few (umpteen seems about right) and the hatred flowing from them is both undiminished and unsubstantiated.

Consider basement angel above, who alleges that Obama isn't a reader in spite of his obviously being well-read and is also a writer of a best-selling book. What patent nonsense, a spewing of hatred and untruth, with of course a defense of the truly abominable Sarah Palin tossed in at the end as a cherry on top of the hate pyramid.

As to chezmadam, you are certainly welcome to your interpretation - as I am to mine. The crack about "Make him accountable for the hope he sowed and the promises he made is IMHO both tired and offensive. What seems to be ticking off both Left and Right is precisely that Obama is keeping his promises, if not in every detail then far more so in substance than any other politician in recent memory. As for the hopes of others, those are hardly his responsibility to fulfill and since they are largely conflicting it would be impossible for him to do so regardless. People are responsible for their own hopes, not the hopes pinned on them by others.

Finally, as to the main thrust of my initial comment, it was simply to enlist help for promoting you as a deserving "liberal blogger" at the big sit-down. Somehow in all the need to bash Obama, to defend Hillary from phantom attacks, to accuse me of saying things I never said and having nefarious intentions I never dreamt of, to dissect each word I wrote for hidden meaning and make massive expenditures of time steaming off into a segue lecture on the mothodological aspects of rhetoric and debate, that simple main thrust seems to have become obscured.

I wonder why.

No taste for the main chance, lambert? No desire to go toe-to-toe with the big guy? No desire to directly ask the questions you ask here, to make the assertions you pursue so tenaciously, to be actually, literally, heard not just by Obama but the whole world? How very odd.

Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

...they mask it under the laudable premise of holding the big guy to account. It's all very convenient an alibi.

Submitted by lambert on

You're falling below your usual standards; the distortions are becoming just a little too crude. And you're too smart, and too good a writer, not to know it, so I can't imagine what you're thinking.

Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

Consider basement angel above, who alleges that Obama isn't a reader in spite of his obviously being well-read and is also a writer of a best-selling book. What patent nonsense, a spewing of hatred and untruth, with of course a defense of the truly abominable Sarah Palin tossed in at the end as a cherry on top of the hate pyramid.

...a distortion? I mean, the "Obama is not a reader" meme descends from the "Bush is not a reader meme", and the obvious underlying intent is to suggest an Obama=Bush comparison with a little soupçon of "But I wanted Hillary..."

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

didn't want to have an adversarial relationship, and weren't setting up an accusatory incident.

Here's a comment I would agree is so perfect an imitation of the Beltway Media (Katie Couric's correspondent tonight reiterated the GOP complaint that Obama has been in front of the public too much by saying he's "diluting the brand". Gak!) as to almost come off a CNN script:

So, Obama doesn't read blogs.
By basement angel on Tue, 03/24/2009 - 4:24pm

I haven't seen any particular indication that he reads much of anything. To my sense, he doesn't write like someone who reads dense material either. What you read, informs how you write. And his writing is insubstantive and sentimental. A guy who reads dense, wonky works just doesn't write like that. Look at that tome Bill Clinton turned out. That kind of detail is much more in keeping with with the kind writing produced by someone who is reading worthwhile, substantial works of all kinds whether it is Dostoyevsky or Ivo Daalder.

Pretentious and elitist, that claim that you have to read Fyodor Dostoyevski or Ivo Dadder to be reading "worthwhile, substantial works", say I.

So I'll ask the commenter to justify the need to read these works -- or, more cogently, to justify the need to write in either the vein or the genre held out as exemplarynt.

I'm profoundly thankful that President Obama doesn't write impenetrable tomes.

Meanwhile, why does Bringiton need an alibi?

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

apparently so does everybody on this thread.

(I mean, if you read it from beginning to end like I did, you might agree).