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Mr. Freeze

vastleft's picture
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Just a quick round-up of response to Obama's apparent plan to completely deep-freeze and deep-six the economy:

Ian Welsh: "Ok, I keep underestimating Obama’s [stupidity]"

Paul Rosenberg: "Obama is an Idiot"

Chris Bowers: "It is unlikely that spending will actually be frozen or cut"

Owen Paine: "Another one bites the dust..."

Any others, y'all?

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Submitted by libbyliberal on

Blistering commentary from David Michael Green on Obama and Dems:

How to squander the presidency in one year!

There's only one political party in the entire world that is so inept, cowardly and bungling that it could manage to simultaneously lick the boots of Wall Street bankers and then get blamed by the voters for being flaming revolutionary socialists.

[snip]

Barack Obama has now, in just a year's time, become the single most inept president perhaps in all of American history, and certainly in my lifetime. Never has so much political advantage been pissed away so rapidly, and what's more in the context of so much national urgency and crisis. It's astonishing, really, to contemplate how much has been lost in a single year.

[snip]

All of this represents the best prescription I can imagine for wrecking a presidency, and Obama has followed it with exacting precision. Indeed, doing so would appear to be his only real passion. It's almost as if he were a Republican sleeper politician in some party politics version of the Manchurian Candidate, planted to arise on cue and destroy the Democratic Party from within.

[snip]

Of course, I don't give a shit about Barack Obama anymore, other than my desire that really ugly things happen to him as payment in kind for the grandest act of betrayal we've seen since Benedict Arnold did his thing. But what about the country?

Submitted by libbyliberal on

Thanks, vast. I must do more corrente reading. I am missing things and you guys stay on top of it all.

Yes, ouch was right. But I wanted to include what lambert quoted at some point.. the real change we wanted to believe in. well, it is worth repeating at some point.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

What is it going to take for people to realize all the bad shit Obama is doing is a *feature* not a bug. We have to stop taking seriously anyone who utters Obama and incompetence. The banksters got theirs and continue to rake in big bucks. Thousands of unneeded camapign and political operatives (including think tankers) still have jobs and make good money. Obama will never feel financial hurt, in fact he will probably live rather well off after his presidency.

Nope, the haves are getting more and the have littles are getting less. That's the plan and Obama is doing a masterful job making it happen. It takes conviction and determination to do what Obama is doing. Its just the wrong thing.

Dan the Man's picture
Submitted by Dan the Man on

Krugman:

"Andrew Leonard asks when I’m going to “blow my top” over Obama’s statement that now is the time to “get serious” about reducing debt. Um, never?"
"Look, it has been obvious since the primary, if you were paying attention, that Obama — who has many excellent qualities — has an unfortunate tendency to echo “centrist” conventional wisdom, even when that CW is demonstrably wrong."
"And right now, deficit-phobia has quickly congealed into the latest CW."
"And Obama, being who he is, apparently feels compelled to give at least rhetorical obeisance to the CW. We can only hope that his economists, who know better, can convince him not to act on it."

Oh, wait... Wrong date.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

I don't see an election theif caring about the welfare of the people. Bush didn't. Obama doesn't seem to either. I learned from Bush, never underestimate the depths to which an election thief will sink.

Submitted by lambert on

Obama's Dems are just throwing more people under the bus.

That said, I like the Economist's (!!) at Brad DeLong:

If it weren't enough that the proposal treats voters as children and a serious problem as a political football to be kicked around, the president's plan also appears to endanger an economy that hasn't meaningfully raised employment in over a decade and it solidifies defence spending as the untouchable budget category, when in fact it should be anything but. ...

Through bad times and good times for the president, there was one word I never associated with him and his approach to the challenges facing the country: gimmick. But this is a bright shining gimmick that advertises a lack of seriousness to both near-term economic weakness and long-run budget problems. This is decidedly not what is needed right now. If this is the best the president can do, Democrats, and the country, are in for a very long few years.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... otherwise smart people have refused to believe about Obama, despite either a lack of support or obvious facts to the contrary.

The thought that "gimmick" couldn't be applied to Obama or his policies is pretty funny. OTOH, his consistently flatlined response isn't really all that glittery, I'll admit.

letsgetitdone's picture
Submitted by letsgetitdone on

There's some chance that Biden would be better from our point of view, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Submitted by lambert on

Let's not forget BooMan!

The best I can say for this bit of triangulation is that it polls well and it doesn't mean anything. The fiscal problems in Washington are endemic and unsolvable in our present system, and pretending the amount of money we're talking about here is even a drop in the bucket is just silly.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

a growing meme is that there are two choices:

1. Accept everything the Dems are doing (allowable protests include the occasional sigh or strongly worded telegram and the occasional hyped-up, probably failed Congressional primary challenge -- with money funneled through top bloggers, natch)
2. Armed insurrection

The citing of the latter is supposed to quell any real action -- even the simple act of withholding your vote from the Dems or criticizing the Creative Class-ocracy that put this neo-con in office and "Public Option" in our heads, in what should have been a major change year/term.

john.halle's picture
Submitted by john.halle on

Most interesting of these was the link to Yglesias who suggests that the news was deliberately linked to goad "progressives", humiliating them by demonstrating that they have absolutely no influence on an administration that they put into office. In other words, progressives "must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people."

The latter quotation, incidentally, comes from former Israeli Chief of Staff Moshe Yallon and applied to the Palestinians. It probably doesn't come as a surprise that the main administration figure stomping his foot on the face of the progressives is Rahm Emmanuel, who was enlisted in the Israeli Army at the exact time that Yallon made this statement.

Once a likudnik, always a likudnik.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

and I also found it to be a very credible theory. Obama is attempting to save himself politically by, once again, kicking his ever-shrinking base. Somehow, I doubt that works out in an electoral sense (although it might work in furthering his neoliberal policies).

letsgetitdone's picture
Submitted by letsgetitdone on

National Unity. It sounds great. But it really means the Dems become the Whig Party, and it opens things up on the Left for a third party, which can grab hold of value economics and run with it, while attacking the Democrats as the real Party of Hoover.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

because the leaders of the progressives (Jane Hamsher? Kos?) are sending suicide bombers and bombs into Washington every single day! That's why they must be defeated!

What a pathetic analogy.

If this type of mentality is considered "progressive" on Israel, I'm sure glad I'm a liberal.

Submitted by lambert on

Takes Booman's line, bien sur: It's only $25 billion a year, and you think there's no waste there? This, however, is the important part:

You wonder why we always seem to lose the media game- go look in the fucking mirror.

In 2008, we helped to elect a President because we stuck together and stuck by the message of the campaign. That message has not changed. We have. We've become like a twitching finger on a hair trigger. We don't get everything we want, we're ready to toss every Democrat over the side, impeach the President, and other stupidity.

Heaven forbid we wait 48 hours to hear what the President actually wants to do. No, can't do that. We have to go off half-cocked, based on tweets and other rumor, and decide that the President has switched parties, found his inner Cheney and plans on invading 27 more countries by tomorrow all while cutting taxes on millionaires.

Enough of the insanity.

I first posted here almost two years ago. DKos has become one of my major sources of news. The links to sites I'd never see are incredible. Some of the writers here are just great. Yet, when there is a disagreement. When someone isn't far enough to the left for some people, all hell breaks loose. Several of those people had the will power to pen their GBCW diary and leave.

This site is seen by at least several hundred thousand people a day, logging in a few times a day. It is often quoted by other news sites. Yet it has turned into a laughing stock the last few weeks, made worse by the results in Massachusetts.

Take a lesson from the Republicans. Never air the dirty laundry in public. You don't like the President's idea on a spending freeze, fine. Give a well written criticism, not name calling..."He's Bush, He's Hoover."

You sound like spoiled three year olds.

Now grow the fuck up and grow a pair.

It's all there, isn't it?

So, why isn't The Obama 527 Formerly Known as Daily Kos treated, legally and for tax purposes, like the Democratic Party organ that it is?

UPDATE Old friend Jed Lewison gets beat up in comments and issues a partial retraction.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

is officially a "cognitive infiltrator", but a lot more clueful than Ellie Light.

invisible's picture
Submitted by invisible on

Every time I'm tricked into going there, I get PISSED and shun the blog that took me there---with no WARNING.

I divorced their asses years ago with a GBCW, so I do appreciate a warning. "THE GREAT ORANGE SATAN" is good.

Thanks for warnings because I will not go there of my own volition.

By the way, I guess you guys already know this but Think Progress is one of the "cognitive infiltrators".

That's a huge "No shit", isn't it?

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

nt

Submitted by lambert on

In essence, Obama's punishing a ward that might go out of line by cutting back on their garbage collection. Nice idea over at The Confluence.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

new labor more like

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

Buh-bye New Deal Democrats, hello Raw Deal Democrats.

I remember Ken Mehlman back around 2005, during the SS privatization attempts, talking about picking off the young people. Funny how a large part of Obama's campaign was generational warfare and how, now that Obama has the blind support* of the younger generation, that "entitlement reform" ends up on the table. Coincidence?

* I should point out that I don't want to make this a blanket statement. I see a lot of people who chose careers away from politics who are becoming disillusioned. Those who stay in the political class are repeating talking points, even going as far as calling Obama's Afghan policy "the far left" and saying they won't vote for progressive Dems if they don't vote for some-bill-any-bill. But since those that chose the political class lifestyle are most likely going to end up the next disaster leaders, its important to see what they are doing.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

Really, there is nothing about precinct organizing and campaigning that deserves the huge amounts of money that goes into it. (I'd say the same about consulting in general, but that's another story.) I say this as someone who, before the 2008 election was close to joining said political class. When Dems became tyrants, I no longer saw the benefits of the political class as worth the time, money and effort. Also, there was that one blogger complaining about having to live on 75k a year, not to mention the pundits and "journalists" who get a lot of perks.

Ya know, it can be enticing to go to fancy fundraisers at the homes of millionaires/billionaires. I've been to some fancy shindigs in the past and they are great if you like to get dolled up, drink fancy wine, hobnob with "important" people, and such. Plus, not only do you kiss ass, but others kiss yours as well. It can be a process that perverts good people, and often does.

jumpjet's picture
Submitted by jumpjet on

If Obama wants to cut off what's essentially extended constituent services, what reason does any Democrat in the House or the Senate have to abide by him? They'd be committing political malpractice.

At this point any Democrat who wants to save their skin and look good ought to oppose Obama on this.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

If they go along with it, it might help them in the very short-term with swing voters, but the lousy policy means a lousy economy and a depressed based (including unions) and that probably dooms a lot of them in November.

If they refuse to go along, Obama has said he'll veto their spending bills. An action that would be the equivalent of calling the Congress out for his own political gain. And in a year when he's not up for election, but they are. Nice.

It seems pretty clear that they haven't thought this through beyond the next polling cycle. Campaign mode, baby. Useless, IMO, in governing.

Part of me wonders if the problems this causes the House isn't retribution for the Progressive Caucus' refusal to just pass the Senate healthcare bill. Probably not, but it's telling that it's not an implausible theory.

Although given the support Obama got behind the scenes from Reid and Pelosi to win the nomination, there is more than a little justice to him putting their majorities at risk, although it's a shame that folks like Barbara Boxer might have to pay the price (not that I particularly care anymore about any Democrat's electoral chances). And to think, they didn't want Clinton because she was too polarizing.

jumpjet's picture
Submitted by jumpjet on

Why not force the issue and let the government shut down? It would be the reverse of Gingrich's shutdown in 1995, where the blame would fall on the President instead of Congress because the President is more clearly the instigator.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Totally splits and demoralizes your base. The reason it worked in 1995 was that it was a showdown between the two parties.

In any event. neither Congress nor Obama has the stomach for any kind of fight, much less that one. Congress wouldn't even take on Bush, for gawd's sake.

Nope, they're just screwed. They'll muddle through somehow, but there's no way this works out as a win for the Ds. And, frankly, it couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch. They've been pissing on their base since at least 2006 (more like 1976), convinced it was good politics. Well, it is good politics for the Republicans. Ask Scott Brown. Not that I think the Democrats particularly care about losing to the Scott Browns of the world. They'll just win next time as the people want "change" and throw him out. Then the whole cycle begins again. See this very excellent piece by Chris Floyd.

Davidson's picture
Submitted by Davidson on

Damn.

I, too, don't believe for a second that Obama doesn't know exactly what he's doing. The best I can possibly say about him is that he likely doesn't quite understand how much he'll be held in contempt by the public and historians alike. The only way I ever saw Obama doing anything sensible was appealing to his grandiose sense of self, his image and legacy. But even there, he's blind to the reality of how he'll be remembered: a disastrous joke.

GQM is right: Obama should be fundamentally seen as the Bushian vote (and nomination) thief he is.* Only one kind of a person does that: a tyrant. They generally don't give a fuck about human suffering.

*Let's not forget the incredible role the Democratic "leadership" played in rigging the nomination! Thanks for the fuckery!

john.halle's picture
Submitted by john.halle on

CA could impose a state wealth tax on all those having accumulated intangible assets above, say, $30 million. There are still plenty of Silicon Valley, Hollywood and Santa Barbara billionaires around.

Put it at 25% per year and you'd clear up the budget short fall real fast-and have lots left over besides for all sorts of great stuff-e.g. developing a renewable energy state economy.

Since this would hit some of Obama's pals and biggest contributors I'll bet it would get his attention. And it is perfectly legal-which I'd bet printing money is not-though it would certainly be interesting if it were.

john.halle's picture
Submitted by john.halle on

Governors of California and the legislature tend not to be very sympathetic to anarchism-at least in my experience. They are "law makers" after all.

So if we're trying to work with them maybe it would be preferable to give them an option that's within the law.

But if everyone else wants to start printing their own money, that's a different story.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

I remember the whole Schwarzenegger battles in '03-'05. If I had a computer at home, I could spend some time digging up some of my blog posts about how dangerous Schwarzenegger's policies were going to be for CA. It should be noted that these policies were given approval by CA Democrats because they didn't want to "challenge" Schwarzengger. I know this for a fact because I talked to more than one state legislator and some of the higher ups in the state party at the time. These days, I'm not sure if they were just scared, or were willing enablers. Two years ago I would have said cowards, but not so quickly would I say that these days...

mass's picture
Submitted by mass on

Bwahahaha! Far enough left... Obama is so far away from the left he actually makes Bill Clinton look like a hippy. Not to mention, Obama is painfully inept as President, and seems to have no real drive or goals other than his clearly single minded focus to somehow, someday get wingers to like him, to really like him, without shedding the Party label he needed to become President. It couldn't be more clear how futile all those primary arguments based on actual positions, policies and experience were. These are Obama's own 30 percenters. They will go down with this ship. They will never surrender. He's their guy and they are sticking with him.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

I can't be the only one who thought of this song when I read VL's title (and isn't miser appropriate here).

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Via Sean Paul Kelly:

The Senate has rejected a plan backed by President Barack Obama to create a bipartisan task force to tackle the deficit this year.

The special deficit panel would have attempted to produce a plan combining tax cuts and spending curbs that would have been voted on after the midterm elections. But the plan garnered just 53 votes in the 100-member Senate, not enough because 60 votes were required. Anti-tax Republicans joined with Democrats wary of being railroaded into cutting Social Security and Medicare to reject the idea.

It only garnered "53" votes. Not that I'm complaining about the outcome.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

of course. The more I see of these guys, the less pressure I feel to show up on their behalf when they're up for re-election.

john.halle's picture
Submitted by john.halle on

SS is the "third rail" of American politics: seriously undermining it is the one thing he could do which might actually get everyone on Wall Street with bricks-or something equivalent.

I'll give the guy one thing: he's got lot of courage. He is resolutely and passionately committed to afflicting the afflicted and comforting the comfortable.

Submitted by Anne on

in an executive order, at least per David Dayen at the FDL News Desk:

One assumes that the next step is a commission enacted through executive order, but that would not have the fast-track ability to force the recommendations onto Congress without amendments and with an up or down vote.

While I am glad to see the Senate reject the commission, I think this is far from over - the deficit hawks, who never want to touch military/defense, think they have an ally in Obama, and I'm sure there's some fresh hell that awaits us.

Submitted by Anne on

interesting that it got votes from both parties, but for different reasons; as long as it's dead, that's all that matters.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

they come back as executive orders. See lambert's post above.

Submitted by Anne on

saw the little bit d-day said about it over at FDL.

I think we have no reason to relax, or trust, that this is anywhere near over.

As fed up as I am with the Democratic Party, what does worry me is that big GOP gains in November will give Obama the Republican Congress he needs to pick more meat off our meager bones.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

merely in remission

Submitted by cg.eye on

from The Economist:

The Conservatives, who have always fancied themselves as the party of national defence, are split on the issue. Some are angry that David Cameron—their leader and, the polls say, the likely next prime minister—has pledged to spare the National Health Service and foreign aid from the budgetary axe but not the armed services. The party’s recent green paper on national security lists population growth and climate change as threats before it gets round to mentioning conflict and terrorism.

All this makes sense as part of ongoing efforts to soften the Tory brand. But popular anguish at the losses in Afghanistan may mean that voters are keener on defence (and cooler towards aid) than Mr Cameron imagines. In any case, many think he will funnel funds from the foreign-aid budget into development projects associated with British military activities. The government already does a bit of this.

Labour, for its part, has historically been unusual among Europe’s centre-left parties in having a strong defence tradition of its own. (Geoff Hoon, the former defence secretary who hinted this week in his testimony to the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war that Britain’s participation had been underfunded, speaks for it.) That tradition is weaker now—though many manufacturing jobs, especially shipbuilding ones in Scotland, are bound up with the carrier project.

Neither party seriously contemplates abandoning Britain’s nuclear deterrent, though they may scale it down. Indeed, far from being a dividing line between the two big parties, defence increasingly seems a conspiracy of silence uniting them. Both know that cost savings are inevitable, but both are reluctant to be specific until they conduct a strategic defence review, conveniently scheduled for after the general election this spring

.

Note how although the UK has lived with terrorist incidents, they don't respond by giving the military carte-blanche -- most likely because we're the ones writing the checks for the world arms race?

Monkeyfister's picture
Submitted by Monkeyfister on

Atrios:
"I am celebrating the spending freeze by declaring that liquor rations are up."

http://www.eschatonblog.com/2010/01/afte...

--------
Indeed. Rations have nearly tripled over the past few weeks here, in my house. My liver has been threatening divorce since last Tuesday.

Our Government, as it currently stands, boils down to one question:

"How do you like your crotch kicked?"

Options:
1. You can have your crotch kicked 24/7 by the snarling, rabid, pro-Corporate GOP, with their steel-toed "roach killer"- tipped cowboy boots.

or
2. You can have your crotch kicked 24/7 by the feckless, soft-spoken, pro-Corporate Democrats, with their padded loafers.

No option 3, but if you choose option 2, you get option 1 automatically, as a value-added bonus.

Choose wisely every election year!

My faith that the Dems were telling the truth for the past eight years, that they were just "keeping the powder dry for their big chance" gave out back in July.

Now, I am just sad realizing just how on our own we, down here, really are.

--mf

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

In a post titled, Third Term of George Bush is Going Splendidly.

Some choice quotes:

"He is obliterating liberalism. This is unforgivable."

snip

"You know, it's almost like progressives should have had a serious conversation about what kind of president Obama would really make, how he would really govern, when he kept telling us over and over and over that he wasn't a progressive.

But getting shouted at that I was a stupid, racist, man-hating traitor was fun, too."