Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Washington Post: Mr Samuelson - Did You Tell This To Eugine Robinson?

Robert Samuelson: The Obama Infatuation

By Robert J. Samuelson
Monday, June 1, 2009

The Obama infatuation is a great unreported story of our time. Has any recent president basked in so much favorable media coverage? Well, maybe John Kennedy for a moment, but no president since. On the whole, this is not healthy for America.

Our political system works best when a president faces checks on his power. But the main checks on Obama are modest. They come from congressional Democrats, who largely share his goals if not always his means. The leaderless and confused Republicans don't provide effective opposition. And the press -- on domestic, if not foreign, policy -- has so far largely abdicated its role as skeptical observer.

Obama has inspired a collective fawning. What started in the campaign (the chief victim was Hillary Clinton, not John McCain) has continued, as a study by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism shows. It concludes: "President Barack Obama has enjoyed substantially more positive media coverage than either Bill Clinton or George W. Bush during their first months in the White House."

The study examined 1,261 stories by The Post, the New York Times, ABC, CBS and NBC, Newsweek magazine and the "NewsHour" on PBS. Favorable articles (42 percent) were double the unfavorable (20 percent), while the rest were "neutral" or "mixed." Obama's treatment contrasts sharply with coverage in the first two months of the Bush (22 percent of stories favorable) and Clinton (27 percent) presidencies.

Unlike George Bush and Bill Clinton, Obama received favorable coverage in both news columns and opinion pages. The nature of stories also changed. "Roughly twice as much of the coverage of Obama (44 percent) has concerned his personal and leadership qualities than was the case for Bush (22 percent) or Clinton (26 percent)," the report said. "Less of the coverage, meanwhile, has focused on his policy agenda."

When Pew broadened the analysis to 49 outlets -- cable channels, news Web sites, morning news shows, more newspapers and National Public Radio -- the results were similar, despite some outliers. No surprise: MSNBC was favorable, Fox was not. Another study, released by the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University, reached parallel conclusions.

The infatuation matters because Obama's ambitions are so grand. He wants to expand health-care subsidies, tightly control energy use and overhaul immigration. He envisions the greatest growth of government since Lyndon Johnson. The Congressional Budget Office estimates federal spending in 2019 at nearly 25 percent of the economy (gross domestic product). That's well up from the 21 percent in 2008, and far above the post-World War II average; it would also occur before many baby boomers retire.

Are his proposals practical, even if desirable? Maybe they're neither? What might be the unintended consequences? All "reforms" do not succeed; some cause more problems than they solve. Johnson's economic policies, inherited from Kennedy, proved disastrous; they led to the 1970s' "stagflation." The "war on poverty" failed. The press should not be hostile, but it ought to be skeptical.

Mostly, it isn't. The idea of a "critical" Obama story is one about a tactical conflict with congressional Democrats or criticism from an important constituency. Larger issues are minimized, despite ample grounds for skepticism.

Obama's rhetoric brims with inconsistencies. In the campaign, he claimed he would de-emphasize partisanship -- and also enact a highly partisan agenda; both couldn't be true. He got a pass. Now, he claims he will control health-care spending even though he proposes more government spending. He promotes "fiscal responsibility" when projections show huge and continuous budget deficits. Journalists seem to take his pronouncements at face value even when many are two-faced.

The cause of this acquiescence isn't clear. The press sometimes follows opinion polls; popular presidents get good coverage, and Obama is enormously popular. By Pew, his job approval rating is 63 percent. But because favorable coverage began in the campaign, this explanation is at best partial.

Perhaps the preoccupation with the present economic crisis has diverted attention from the long-term implications of other policies. But the deeper explanation may be as straightforward as this: Most journalists like Obama; they admire his command of language; he's a relief after Bush; they agree with his agenda (so it never occurs to them to question basic premises); and they don't want to see the first African American president fail.

Whatever, a great edifice of government may arise on the narrow foundation of Obama's personal popularity. Another Pew survey shows that since the election the numbers of both self-identified Republicans and Democrats have declined. "Independents" have increased, and "there has been no consistent movement away from conservatism, nor a shift toward liberalism."

The press has become Obama's silent ally and seems in a state of denial. But the story goes untold: Unsurprisingly, the study of all the favorable coverage received little coverage.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Remember Those Obama Budget Cuts? The Federal Democrats Are Ignoring Them

When will "President Of The Union" Barack Obama tell his friends WHAT THEY NEED TO HEAR?

Congress largely ignoring Obama budget cuts

Please notice that this AIN'T from FOX NEWS. It is from MSNBC - Obama's network.

WASHINGTON - Democrats in Congress crafting spending bills are largely rejecting the roster of program eliminations and budget cuts wanted by President Barack Obama.

Obama proposed the cuts last month after what he promised would be a line-by-line scrub of the federal budget to counter Republican charges that he's spending the country into too much debt.

The House already has rejected his effort to kill a $400 million program that helps states with the cost of incarcerating criminal illegal immigrants. And a homeland security spending bill up for a House vote this week keeps in place the World War II-era LORAN-C maritime navigation system that Obama wanted to ax, even though it's been rendered obsolete by the modern global positioning system. The homeland security measure also preserves $12 million in security grants for bus systems and $40 million in grants to local governments for emergency operations centers — both programs that Obama had proposed killing.

Monday, June 22, 2009

According To The NY Times and My Friend TVD - "How Cares About The $1.6 Trillion Cost Americans WANT Government Health Care!!!"

Fox News: Graham: Cost Estimates a 'Death Blow' to Calls for Public Health Care Plan

Again - The United Auto Workers were once pleased over the promises made about their pension and benefits. Did any of this prove viable despite getting a signature on the paperwork?

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday that the latest cost estimates for Democrats' health care overhaul amount to a "death blow" to calls for a government-run plan.

The influential South Carolina Republican was responding to estimates this past week from the Congressional Budget Office, which tagged one plan at $1.5 trillion over 10 years and another at $1 trillion over 10 years. Though many experts anticipated a comprehensive health care overhaul would cost about $1 trillion, the CBO predicted that the latter plan would only cover 16 million uninsured -- or about one-third of those who currently lack coverage.

Graham said the estimates mean that a government-run plan, which many Democrats view as critical to health care reform, cannot be part of negotiations.

"The CBO estimates were a death blow to a government-run health care plan," Graham said, adding that there's been a "bipartisan rejection" of such an idea.

"This idea's unnerving to the members of the Senate," he said on ABC's "This Week." "I think this idea needs to go away."

Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., who is trying to shepherd through one of the health care reform bills, said a public plan is the only way to bring down skyrocketing costs in the long run. He insisted, as President Obama often does, that the public plan would stand as just one option among many for the public -- anyone who wants to keep their private plan would be able to under the proposal. Dodd objected to the way the public plan was being described by critics.

"I don't think you can bring down costs without it," Dodd said. "We use a lot of these buzzwords. No one I know is for socialized medicine. We're going to develop a U.S. plan, not a Canadian or U.K. plan -- one that meets our needs and our country, that's designed for America by Americans. It isn't socialized medicine, but you've got to drive down these costs."

Dodd said senators will work to bring down the cost of a health care reform program and ensure that it covers more people, and said lawmakers are only at the beginning of negotiations.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Arrested While Being An Obama Campaign Poster

Arrested While Being An Obama Campaign Poster

This picture is funny but it still doesn't top the people who were arrested for assaulting Black people as they wore those little leather "Africa" charms that were popular about 20 years ago.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

"President Of The Union Barack Obama" OR "Union President Barack Obama"?

"President Of The Union Barack Obama" OR "Union President Barack Obama"?

As I thought about the situation this nation is in presently yesterday I could not help but to see the parallel between the policies that have been popularly supported by those who follow Barack Obama and the ones driven by various union rank and file members over the past few decades.

Just imagine the president of the UAW lets say 30 years ago. The union was strong and held the Big 3 Auto Makers over the barrel. They threatened to shut down production if the companies did not give them the compensation, benefits and retirement programs that they demanded at the time.

When the companies caved and agreed to pay the unionized workers off as represent by the union president THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNION WAS SEEN AS "THE MAN". I am sure that he was at the height of popularity with these members who finally got what they had longed for.

Anyone reading my other blogs would know that I have made the distinction between successfully receiving some favorable policies via the legislative process or a favorable contract at a given interval in time - all to your liking VERSUS having these elements of compensation prove to be ENDURING and SUSTAINABLE over time.

The state of California as well as General Motors and Chrysler shows clearly that what might be favorable to the collective interest in the short run may not be sustainable over time.

In fact the very "rate of compensation" that the masses demanded on the incline of the growth and power of their union as they fought the entity that they perceived was "screwing them" and that which they REFUSED TO GIVE UP once the source of their resources while still in a sound state but in need of a bit of relief via the concessions asked of the union IS what ultimately THEY LOST once the source of their resources COLLAPSED!!!

In summary - the UNION of the rank and file had an opportunity to MODERATE their stance during the last interval. Instead they REFUSED. They kept driving for MORE. They cheered as their union leadership was able to score contract victories. In California and other places the array of PROGRESSIVE legislators were said to be in tune with the "needs of the people", fighting against selfish conservatives who sought to continue the misaligned distribution of wealth and resources.

TODAY they have LOST ALL THAT THEY HAVE BUILT UP!! Many are jobless. The health care benefits that were associated with the job have been lost. The pension fund? With the company's bankruptcy - this is in doubt. The federal government will likely have to take the fund over. (Factual insert - with GM - a few years ago they sold at least a portion of their pension obligations to the union itself)


So much of what President Barack Obama is doing closely parallels the "success" of these union presidents that I have referred to.

At a time when any economist worth his degree will indicate that America's present debt burden is unsustainable - Obama and the Federal Democrats are piling more debt obligations upon the central government. The first thing out of the mouths of the Obama Defenders/ Bush haters is "Where were YOU when Bush was spending". This is easily taken apart. The Iraq War is a 10 year $1,000 billion expense. The "Tax Cuts for the Rich" - If we assume that tax cuts ONLY are represented as "revenue losses" then this was a $1,600 trillion revenue loss over 10 years. We are now up to $2.6 trillion of the $5 trillion "Bush Deficit". The bulk of the remaining deficit was from SOCIAL SECURITY and MEDICARE!!! These are the spending items that you favor.

The key difference however, is that the Iraq War and the Tax Cuts are TEMPORARY SPENDING. Barack Obama's health care spending, SCHIP spending and other entitlement spending items while scheduled in the same 10 year increments are in effect PERMANENT SPENDING. Whereas Iraq War spending (which the Democratic controlled congress not only recently PASSED the initial $85 billion grew to $92 billion and now stands at $105 [IIRC]) will stop once the troops pull out...........the social entitlement spending will be renewed in perpetuity.

Renewed - that is - UNTIL THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM proves to be unsustainable.

We already know that:
  • Social Security will be out of its positive balance in 2035 (I predict that this will drop to 2027 as the economic anchor that we have drags along)
  • Medicare will be insolvent somewhere around 2020
  • We already have a national debt that is around $11,000 billion
I personally don't believe that people understand what the news about Social Security means. Once we hit that point - the store of money for social security will be exhausted. (Note - it is ALREADY exhausted as the government took the money that you sent in from your paychecks, put an IOU into a filing cabinet and then SPENT IT ALREADY. ) Once 2035 hits the payouts on Social Security will exceed the fund's reserves. Thus the federal government will be forced to use MORE "current accounts" - money from the active budget", to cover Social Security benefits for those who have earned their benefits.

So sit back and think for a second. We are loading up the central government with a record number of budget liabilities. Now we are being told that the PROMISES that we have made via Social Security and Medicare will also come due (We set up a "Christmas Club" account, took money out and now "Christmas" is coming and we need to come up with the money that we took out of the tin can).

Does this sound like a financial scenario that you would base your health and well being upon?

Barack Obama, like the Union President's before is seemingly bent on "sticking it to 'em". In his desire to work for the PEOPLE he is actually working against the long term interests of these same people. Just as the UAW president of about 30 years ago is long gone off of the stage, so too will Barack Obama once the bewitching hour comes.

Indeed Obama might have his face carved into Mt Rushmore by that time as the adoring fans of his enact the new WPA arts program of his into action. Over the long term, however, I think people will "blame" Obama about as much as they "blame" FDR once we learned the news that the Ponzi scheme will come to a painful crash in 2035. This means that THEY WON'T BLAME EITHER OF THEM.

Over time Social Security and Medicare have been molested by various politicians. They saw a pot of money in Washington DC stashed away for future use and they saw PRESENT problems that needed to be fixed. Not surprising - they raided the account.

At a time that we need MODERATION - certain operatives are using Obama as their vehicle to accomplish what they had their minds set upon for decades. Just like the Detroit or Cleveland based union - they are unable to see that what brought them cheers at the contract signing is likely going to bring them heartache years later once it becomes clear that their usurpation of resources from the water source is the main cause of the drought conditions.

Obama is not the one who will finally have to TELL THE PEOPLE THE HARSH NEWS THAT THEY NEED TO HEAR. There will be some future president/ Union leader down the line who will have to break the news to the rank and file.

If we know full well about the GREED of the corporate capitalist that has brought the system down - what of the same sentiments among the rank and file that has the same effecte?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Obama: Health Care Reform Will Be DEFICIT NEUTRAL

I am not mad at the man.

He is able to stand on a podium and tell a room full of doctors that his health care reform plan WON'T INCREASE THE DEFICIT.

His plan is to ask for HARD MONEY inputs on the front end and then promises of COST SAVINGS via reform on the BACK END.

We all know that Progressives love 'GOOD INTENTIONS' more than they do 'EFFECTIVE RESULTS'. Thus I surmise that Obama's words will be convincing enough for them DESPITE what the new congressional numbers are saying.

Obama Says:
Obama: Healthcare reform deficit neutral

But The Congressional Negotiators Say:
Senate health overhaul cost put at $1.6 trillion

But hey - what is a $600 billion gap among friends?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Rev Wright: Those Damned Jews

Rev. Wright Tries to Explain Away Remarks

The analysis of this latest round of foolishness from Rev Wright is important.

On the one had BECAUSE the normal attack merchants in the news media have no interest in linking their guy Barack Obama to his pastor of 20 years - this story is not going anywhere. You had better believe that if there was a "Crazy Uncle" who formed the views of a popular conservative that the NY Times and MSNBC would be pumping this story.

Secondly Wright with his clarification is back within mainstream leftist rhetoric. Bashing the "Zionists" is a common rant on the left.

BUT WAIT A MINUTE. He said "Those Jews aren't going to let him access Obama". Exactly what "Zionists" have access to Obama's appointment calendar? So even the repositioning does not hold water.

It is ONLY the non-interest in this story by the mainstream media that will allow this inconsistency to go unnoticed.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bronstein: Love or lust, Obama and the fawning press need to get a room

Love or lust, Obama and the fawning press need to get a room

When Barack Obama decided that questions from the German press about his trip agenda in that country were too pesky, he told the reporters, "So, stop it all of you!" He just wanted them to ask things he wanted to talk about. Well, what politico wouldn't want that?

OK, dad. We'll behave.

And according to a new Pew Research Center poll, we are behaving...like fans. On domestic press, it showed that "President Barack Obama has enjoyed substantially more positive media coverage than either Bill Clinton or George W. Bush during their first months in the White House" with "roughly twice as much" Obama coverage about his "personal or leadership qualities" than was the case for either previous president.

Back in the US, NBC's Brian Williams' two-part "Living Large With the Top Dog" feature on Mr. Obama's life included a plug for Conan O'Brien's new show and mention of cable talkies where Mr. Obama only cited MSNBC personalities. Accident? I don't think so. There were a few probing moments in there, but they were overshadowed by the flash of hanging out in the back of the Auto One limo and having burgers. A little navel-gazing among journalism standards hall monitors about whether the thing had been too soft came and went.

The Cost Of The Prison Industrial Complex: Obama Pays $11.7 Million Per Detainee To Palau

Pacific island set to accept Gitmo’s Chinese Muslims

The tiny Pacific island nation of Palau has agreed to accept 17 Chinese Muslims, members of an ethnic group known as Uighurs, who are being held at Guantanamo Bay.
If sent back to China, it is feared the detainees would be executed. Palau retains diplomatic relations with Taiwan, and the U.S. may reportedly give the island nation up to $200 million dollars in exchange for accepting the detainees.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Obama Justice Department Chooses Politics Over Sound Voting Process Administration

In the mind of the progressive - REMOVING barriers from the individual outweighs the insertion of errors into the system.

Judge Sotomayor

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Pew Research - Media Driving The Obama Love Fest

More Positive Coverage than Clinton or Bush

I was thinking the other day - "I have not seen any reports indicating ' X number of US troops have died in Iraq or Afghanistan since Obama has become the Commander In Chief' ".

I also noticed that despite the fact that the two wars are still going on.....we have not been bombarded with news about the carnage as we had been treated to just a short time ago.

Where as Jenean Garofalo suggested that the lack of spending protests against George W Bush was proof of the RACIST intent of the Tea Party people......few people have expressed "Intellectual Curiosity" regarding the sudden reduction in ANTI-WAR PROTESTS......despite the ongoing wars and the resulting deaths.

It comes as no surprise that the Pew Research organization has come up with the findings that it has.

I have been saying for a long while - There are many facts that are laying on the ground, waiting for attention. The job of the operative is to pick up the facts that allow them to substantiate their narrative. All the while there lies other facts upon the ground, waiting for publication.

Clearly the mainstream media of today has chosen to sculpt the news.

As wacky as the guy is I have to give credit to Ted Rall. He is the one of the few leftists that has noticed that THERE IS STILL A WAR GOING ON - just like Bush - and thus he has not stopped ranting. His other lefty buddies have "their president" in office. They stopped because they don't want to damage the guy they voted for.

Obama Campaign Workers Still HOPING For Employment

The Obama Orphans: Lost in Transition

When President Obama took over the White House, thousands of campaign workers—who had abandoned the stability of education, careers, and even marriage to work for him—found themselves jobless. We spoke with a few of them.

Politically, the timing of the economic crash was perfect. For the campaign staff, it couldn’t have been worse. Wandering a desolate economic landscape, many moved in with parents for the first time in a decade. A few were appointed to positions in the administration. Some got jobs in the White House. The others shared breakfast cereal with mom and dad and wondered if uncertainty elsewhere was better than the stale safety of home.

They had quit jobs, left colleges and grad schools, and ended relationships for something larger than themselves. At its peak, the campaign employed roughly 6,000 full-time workers. It seduced them with its patriotic promise, and the innocent were drawn out of the usual apathy and into what seemed an absolute purpose. With the movement now behind them, with sleeping bags and laptops and a decent shirt and pair of shoes, they drove to Washington, D.C., hopeful that Barack Obama might again give them something to do

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Excuse Me Mr Obama. Do You Remember Those Police Recruits In Columbus Who's JOBS You Saved?........

Columbus Dispatch: Police Chief Warns Of Deep Cuts: If voters turn down the income-tax increase in August, Distelzweig says he would be forced to cut 75 detectives, shut down motorcycle and freeway units and pull police from 17 Columbus high schools

Well it appears that not only this new class of cadets have their jobs at risk......the city may need to snatch away cadets from classes several years earlier.

Think about it all, President Obama.

IF Columbus OH and other places are having to RAISE taxes now in order to retain their present standard.....what do you figure will be the NATIONAL TAX situation at the FEDERAL level a few years from now as the economy seeks to digest all of your SPENDING?

The funds that were to fund your "Middle Class Tax Cuts" are likely to be stripped out by Congress making it further unlikely that you'll be able to follow through on your campaign promise for such cuts.

The revenues collected from cigarettes to pay for your expanded SCHIP program are down both because of the economy and the heightened taxes have motivated people to stop smoking.


Mr. and Mrs John Q Public - Does it all add up to you? Or are you still "enchanted" by HOPE and CHANGE?