Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Fireside chat for September 25, 2010 (VIDEO)

The President lays out the choice between his plan to keep our economy moving forward, and the agenda put out by Republicans in Congress taking us backward to the special interest economy that created this mess.

From Steven Benen:

As the midterm elections draw closer, note the sharper tone of President Obama's weekly address. This morning's edition echoed the kind of rhetoric we've been hearing more of on the stump, and added a few timely new points we haven't heard from the White House before.

The president began by noting the "official" end of the recession, adding that the announcement is pretty meaningless for those who've been struggling. Obama added that he's pushing a variety of measures intended to "keep pushing to promote growth that will generate the jobs we need."

But the president then turned his attention to one of the key political stories of the week: the introduction of the Republicans' policy agenda, which features "the very same policies that led to the economic crisis in the first place, which isn't surprising, since many of their leaders were among the architects of that failed policy.

"It is grounded in same worn out philosophy: cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires; cut the rules for Wall Street and the special interests; and cut the middle class loose to fend for itself. That's not a prescription for a better future. It's an echo of a disastrous decade we can't afford to relive."

Of particular interest, Obama mocked one of the central GOP gimmicks: "The Republicans in Washington claimed to draw their ideas from a website called 'America Speaking Out.' It turns out that one of the ideas that's drawn the most interest on their website is ending tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.

"Funny thing is, when we recently closed one of the most egregious loopholes for companies creating jobs overseas, Republicans in Congress were almost unanimously opposed. The Republican leader John Boehner attacked us for it, and stood up for outsourcing, instead of American workers.

"So, America may be speaking out, but Republicans in Congress sure aren't listening. They want to put special interests back in the driver's seat in Washington. They want to roll back the law that will finally stop health insurance companies from denying you coverage on the basis of a preexisting condition. They want to repeal reforms that will finally protect hardworking families from hidden rates and penalties every time they use a credit card, make a mortgage payment, or take out a student loan.

"And for all their talk about reining in spending and getting our deficits under control, they want to borrow another $700 billion, and use it to give tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires. On average, that's a tax cut of about $100,000 for millionaires."

The president is hitting the road for a series of rallies this week, starting with events at the University of Wisconsin and in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Tuesday, followed by an event in Iowa on Wednesday. With the weekly address in mind, it's safe to assume Obama will remain on the offensive over the last five weeks before the midterms.

Friday, September 24, 2010

More good news for the Democrats (in a season of slim pickins) from Nevada

By the way, I find it ironic that I ripped people for not voting Democratic after saying I could care less if a Democrat was re-elected.  Wow.  How very hypocritical of me.

While I am disappointed in myselves, I would go with this morning's admonition as opposed to my late Landrieu bashing.  Even that corporate Oil

Anyway, we got a little more sunshine coming out of the desert as a GOP backed firm shows Harry Reid beating Sharron "Austism doesn't exist" Angle by 5 points, 45-40.

This is who you might be handing control of the House to...

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) was so happy someone announced support of the GOP’s “Pledge” that he promoted Colbert’s (fake) endorsement on twitter:


Either Republicans still don’t know that Colbert’s “I love the GOP” shtick is all an act or perhaps they don’t care as long as someone of any stature offers support for their “Pledge” scheme.

Colbert Question Time, because you sorta asked for it! (VIDEO)

I got an email a little while ago from frequent reader...let's see, I didn't catch his name is...oh yes, Dad, who writes in regard to Stephen Colbert:

I watched it and he pulled off the trick of being funny, and serious about the issue under consideration. I hate to think what question time was like.

Well, "Dad" (if that is your real name)...because you--...sorta kinda...asked for it, I have found the video of all two hours and ten minutes of the House Hearing. Enjoy!

Are we within striking distance in Kentucky? Are we past it??

Maybe just a little bit more than striking distance??

From TPM:

According to a new poll of the Kentucky Senate race commissioned by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Democratic nominee Jack Conway is nipping at the heels of Republican nominee Rand Paul, down only 45%-42%.

The latest survey, conducted by Democratic-pollster Benenson Strategy Group, finds the race's point-spread within the poll's ±3.7% margin of error. In an early-September Conway internal poll, the firm found the Democrat behind two, 47%-45%. Recent polls have not been as friendly to Conway as these internals -- a September 12 PPP poll saw Paul on top 49%-42% and a Rasmussen poll earlier this month produced a 15-point advantage for the Republican.

David Kurtz to TPM Community: "Some of y'all need to get over yourselves."

I'll say it because David is too polite to. Some of y'all need to get over yourselves.

You know what's worse than watching House and Senate Democrats botch the tax cut vote? All the emails from folks throwing their hands up in the air and heading for the exits, swearing off voting Democratic or ever again donating money.

I know it's cathartic to howl at the moon, and in most cases it's just a heat of the moment reaction. But the "take my marbles and go home" crowd has always struck me as peculiarly both overinvested and underinvested in politics: overinvested in the way a rabid sports fan's mood rises and falls with the fate of the hometown team; underinvested in that they go from supposedly caring so much it makes their hearts ache to washing their hands of politics entirely.

What I think it speaks to is a lack of control. A helpless feeling washes over people who care passionately about the issues that confront the country but who, because of the demands of work and family, are limited in how involved they can be politically. They have their vote and in some cases they have some disposable income to give to campaigns. But they don't have much of a voice, certainly not a loud or influential voice. In casting about for some way to exert more control, a take it or leave it mentality starts to seem like a viable option.

I don't have any silver bullet to offer. Politics is a long hard slog, with frequent reversals. It's about making the best decision from among the available choices. Often the available choices, as they say in political science circles, suck. The fact that political successes are so rare and fleeting is what makes them so glorious. But you have to gut it out through the lean times. No guts, no glory.

David was good enough to lend some air to the dissenters, but reading them over, maybe he shouldn't have.

This is why as a Liberal, I tend to loathe a lot of Liberals. This is why we lose (or get our asses kicked). There's no sense of the long game. There's no sense of "what's next". There's no perspective. You want what you want right now, and damn all the rest.

Well F you too.

I'm sorry, this is getting sickening. I'm not quite getting the math here. You say you want better (read: more Liberal) governance, and your reaction is to make it harder for there to be better-slash-more Liberal governance.

Again, voting in Congressional Democrats, as lame as they are, are not Barack Obama's reward for doing a good job. They are not points accumulating in some political video game you're playing in your head. You are not, as you deluded jack-offs seem to think, sending any kind of a message this way. Either you want a Liberal or Progressive Agenda to succeed or you don't. If you do, you first vote for the best candidate in the primaries. You can fall in love all you want during the primaries. You can vote for the most progressive, green, uber-Liberal man or woman you want.

But when the General Election happens, you fall in @#$%ing line.

Hopefully, your dream Candidate has made it to the General Election as the Democratic Nominee, but if he or she hasn't, then guess what?: the people have spoken however lame that may be. And you better get on board, because you the opposition is never going to give your ideas the time of day. Better a Blanche Lincoln, as worthless a Senate Candidate as she may be than whatever neo-Teabagger wingnut that's running against her.

But Liberals never figure that out until its waaaay too late.

So are you jackoffs really telling me that even if a majority of citizens don't want to go the way you're going, you're going to spoil the party by going home and turning your back. How does that, in any way, resemble Democracy?

That is the attitude of a worthless, good for nothing citizen, and frankly, the Liberal/Progressive movement is better off without you.

There's the door. Don't let it hit you on the way out. I don't want your fat-ass damaging my door.

UPDATE 11:34am, Pacific: Gulp. Dad was right. David Kurtz wrote this, not Josh.

Colbert: "I yield the balance of my time. USA, number one." (VIDEO)

"This is America. I don't want a tomato picked by a Mexican. I want it picked by an American. Then sliced by a Guatemalan, and served by a Venezuelan in a spa where a Chilean gives me a Brazilian."

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Another reason I could care less about Senate Democrats, Part 938

I'm starting to hope Mary Landrieu gets shellacked when she runs for re-election.

David Axelrod is going home...

The Washington Post speculated about this earlier today, but the (brrrr) Huffington Post has it officialAxe is heading back to Chicago in work on the President's re-election.

Fine with me.  He gets to go home, and the right guy is back helping on re-elect.

At least we're not bringing in a Dick Morris to do this.

The President's speech before the United Nations (VIDEO)

I'm already surprised some freak on the right didn't wig out over the President's pronunciation of "Jakarta".

The first half of the speech is okay, mezzo-mezzo. It was the second half, where the poetry was, that picked up some steam. He tried to lay out of a vision of what will happen in the days to come should we choose peace over conflict.

Now, can you imagine Sarah Racist Palin in front of that podium?

Yeah, neither can I.

Sarah Racist Palin.

She can call this what she wants (and I can care less about her pathetic justifications).  All she's trying to do is gin up racial hatred for the President.  Thus, she's a racist.  Period.  End of discussion.

Wow. The Liberal Blogosphere is almost as pissed with Congressional Democrats as I am.

"Democrats Decide On Political Suicide" by Jonathan Chait:

So it looks like the Democrats are going with the Curl Up In A Fetal Position Plan on taxes, apparently deciding not to hold any vote at all. Greg Sargent thinks the party lacks balls, and draws a comparison to the health care debate. But it's not a god comparison. Health care reform was upside-down in the polls last March. Passing it took "balls" to the extent that democrats had to realize that the damage of not acting, at such an advanced point in the process, outweighed the damage of acting.

On taxes, the Democrats' current position is the sellout. Their position is to pass a major tax cut on all income under $250,000 -- a totally unaffordable policy. Having balls would mean letting all the tax cuts expire after promising to extend them for the middle class.

"Commence Self-Destruct Sequence..." by Jonathan Cohn:

Via TPM Media, it sounds like Senate Democrats have decided to adjourn without taking a vote on extension of the Bush tax cuts, in part or in whole. A TPM reader counts the ways this will play badly:

Obviously, they'll have handed the Republicans a gift for the fall elections -- a message that "Democrats failed to do anything to prevent the coming tax increases, but we will!" ... But it gets worse than that, because without ending on the tax cut vote, which win or lose is an electoral winner for Democrats, the final note of this Congress is going to be the failure to pass the defense authorization with DADT repeal and the DREAM Act attached. And that cuts both ways. ... the LGBT community is left mad and dispirited. But more important for the midterms, independents are now left with an image (fostered by the media) that the Democrats imperiled funding our troops because they kowtowed to "special interests" (gays, immigrants) with these amendments.

Yup, sounds about right to me.

"Dear Dems: Grow a pair (part 973)" by Greg Sargent

With all signs pointing to an epic cave by Dems on whether to hold a vote to extend the middle class tax cuts, it's worth resposting this video message to Democrats that went viral when Dems were debating whether to take the plunge and pass health reform via reconciliation:

"They Don't Want To Hold the Damn Votes..." by Steve Benen:

As legislative strategies go, this one seemed pretty easy. President Obama's tax policy -- the one he ran on in 2008; the one polls find to be popular -- wants to give a tax break to the middle class, while letting top rates for the wealthy return to their Clinton-era levels. Republicans have threatened to hold that proposal hostage unless Dems agree to extend tax breaks to millionaires.

The smart move for Democrats, it seems, would be to hold a vote on Obama's proposed middle-class tax breaks -- before, you know, the election -- and dare Republicans to reject it.

But Senate Dems apparently don't want to do the smart thing...

"What are they smoking?" by David Kurtz:

Among the many wrong-headed reasons for not voting on middle class tax cuts before the election, this one is the one that puts me over the edge: After getting shellacked at the polls in the midterms, Democrats can come back in a lame-duck session and pass the tax cuts then.


"Eh, Just Wrap It Up, I Guess" by Josh Marshall:

A senior Senate Democratic aide tells us a vote on tax cuts pretty clearly ain't gonna happen before the election. "Absent a stunning turn of events, we're not going to do tax cuts before the election," the aide just told our Brian Beutler.

And the House meanwhile seems still to be in the mode of 'We won't do it unless the Senate goes first', though we still await that meeting early this afternoon at which they seem likely to make a final decision. But if they are in wait for the Senate mode, that would suggest the Dems, collectively, are putting the kibosh on the whole idea.

That would suggest that they're going to go with the 'If we don't do what the Republicans are saying we shouldn't do, maybe they'll cut us some slack' theory.

Keith Olbermann is a Small Business?!? President Obama is a Small Business?!? THE LAKERS ARE A SMALL BUSINESS?? (VIDEO)

Yeah, sure I ripped on Keith a couple of days ago. But hey, if he goes out and does stellar reporting the next night, that's a good thing. And last nights report on Small Businesses was a very good thing.

It boils down to this, the Republican definition of "Small Business" have nothing to do with how small a business is, it's all about how small the numbers of owners are.

Thus, some of the largest corporations in the world, because they have a small number of owners, who file their profits on their individual tax returns, count as small businesses.

Remember that, the next time any Republican talks about "small business".

Of course, knowing that the partial owner of the Staples Center, Kings and Lakers gives heavily to Republican coffers makes me hate those teams all the more.

And finally, an interview with Chris Hayes, making sure to list all the "small businesses" (GOP definition) that are helping Karl Rove's PAC.

Steven Benen justifiably rips Andrew Sullivan.

From a piece called Punishing Allies, Rewarding Foes (if that doesn't encapsulate the Senate Democrats I don't know what does), but really focuses on Andrew Sullivan's sudden spark of idiocy.

Senate Democrats successfully added a measure to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" to this year's defense authorization bill, leading to a Republican filibuster that Dems couldn't overcome. Frustrated by the outcome, Andrew Sullivan is blaming ... those who agree with him.

Jason Mazzone made the case that the Senate GOP was prepared to kill the defense bill over the DADT measure, and there wasn't much Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) could do about it.

Without elaborating, Sullivan replied:

If I lived in Arizona Nevada and had the vote, even though Sharron Angle is beyond nuts, I'd vote for her. Better nuts than this disgusting, cynical, partisan Washington kabuki dance, when people's lives and dignity are at stake.

I've read this several times, trying to wrap my head around it. I'm afraid I'm still at a loss.

Reid successfully pushed for the repeal provision to be included in the bill and supports ending the dangerous, discriminatory status quo. Sullivan agrees with him.

Angle is a crazy person who hates gays, and if elected, would fight to, among other things, keep DADT in place. Sullivan disagrees with her.

But if given a choice, Sullivan would choose to vote for the borderline-insane candidate he disagrees with, because of the procedural strategy on legislative amendments Reid utilized? It's better to defeat a senator who you agree with and elect a senator who'll work against you?

DADT should be repealed. Republicans, for now, have ignored decency, popular will, and the judgment of the president, the Defense secretary, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and unanimously rejected the repeal effort. Logically, then, those who support repeal should ... reward Republicans?

I just don't see how this makes sense.

Well said, Mr. Benen.

Senate Democrats shelve any Tax Cut votes till after the Midterms.

Is it just me, or do Congressional Democrats seem hell bent on keeping their base at home for the Midterms?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The smallest Presidential Town Hall...ever? (VIDEO)

Yeah, maybe calling it a Town Hall isn't right on my part, even though the principle works. It's in someone's backyard in Falls Church, Virginia.

"The poster child for why this is necessary..." (VIDEO)

President Obama makes a surprise call to Gail O’Brien, a woman in Keene, NH that is benefiting from the Affordable Care Act. Gail was previously uninsured and diagnosed with high grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Thanks to the new law, Gail now has insurance through the new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan that will pay for her treatments, and she is responding very well.

Even Jon Stewart can blow it on occasion (VIDEO)

Okay, Jon Stewart had a bit on last night's show about Velma Hart, the woman who I described as the CFO for a Veteran's Organization (Fort McHenry's reporting prowess is amazing, isn't it? It only took two days to get her name right).

Jon kinda lit into the President, at the 4:10 mark, joking how Obama was going to "desperately fish about for something he could claim he helped her with."

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Uhh, Jon?

You do know that Velma Hart...asked the President for just such a list, right?

Yeah, go back to the Town Hall Video and watch it yourself. You can see it yourself.

Now, I love ya, Jon. And I will remain a faithful watcher, and a supporter of the Rally to Restore Sanity...but you did just pull a Fox News there.

Selective editing to make a point, instead of telling what happened, remains a disease in all of our media.

Gay Folks, I hope you realize what happened, and who really stabbed you in the back today (VIDEO)

In case you can't tell, I'm a bit miffed at the Gay Community today. Part of it extends from my memories of the Prop. 8 fiasco, where initially the Gay Community blamed blacks (turns out without justification) for it being passed.

Now, it seems the Gay Community is turning its wrath (yeah, I'm talkin' about you Andrew Sullivan, though he did at least publish some dissents to his caterwauling) on the Obama Administration instead of where it should belong, with Senate Republicans, namely John McCain, Olympia Snowe, and Susan Collins. Champeen liars all.

So it is with a measure of sadness that I report that I turn to my ideological colleague, but media nemesis (Yeah, like she even knows who I am, but I still think she panics way too easily) Rachel Maddow for some (and I can't believe I'm saying this) balance and sanity.

Take it away, Rachel.

I thought it was highly important that she highlighted her own interview with the Vice President, where he talked about a "deal" to keep the prosecutions going in order to get the votes.

Now, it looks like someone stabbed the Administration in the back.

That's who the Gay Community should be pissed at today.

And yeah, Rachel is right. I think the Obama Administration should go back on its word now, and end the prosecutions by Executive Order.

Next, Rachel talks to Lawrence O'Donnell about the weaponization of the Cloture Vote.  (And Lawrence really nails the Maine Senators hard with his ahem...Last Word.)

And then she talked to Nathaniel Frank, underlining that the White House does have options:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Larry Summers: Professional Lightning Rod

From Ezra:

It's official. Larry Summers, the director of the National Economic Council, is leaving the White House. He'll be returning to Harvard before the end of the year.

Summers's announcement comes on the heels of Peter Orszag's and Christina Romer's departures, but it's unquestionably the biggest of the three. As head of the NEC, Summers ran the White House's economic-policy process. He was also, by most accounts, Obama's lead economic adviser. His West Wing office put him physically closer to the president than any other member of the team. His long experience in government -- including a stint as Treasury secretary during the Clinton administration -- gave him a level of political seasoning that the other council members didn't have, and that Obama relied on heavily at the outset of his presidency. His reputation for brilliance gave him an edge in an administration that prizes academic accomplishment.

But Summers was also the most controversial member of the team. He'd worked part time for a hedge fund before joining the Obama administration. His tenure at Harvard was marred by an unfortunate comment about whether women were less likely to excel at math and science than men. He participated in the deregulation of the financial sector under Bill Clinton. And Summers's strong personality made him a lightning-rod for criticism and dissatisfaction within the White House: Many felt that his role as economic adviser to the president had overwhelmed his role as manager of the president's economic process.

Summers wasn't much liked by liberals. Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, said his departure is "a big victory for anyone who voted for change in 2008 only to see Summers work from the inside to water down Wall Street reform, block President Obama's promise to protect Net Neutrality, and urge other pro-corporate positions." But his role in internal debates was often unpredictable: Summers was one of the administration's strongest advocates for rescuing Chrysler. On the other hand, he was also fingered for vetoing Christina Romer's argument for a $1.2 trillion stimulus before it even got to the president's desk.

His departure leaves a tremendous power vacuum in the Obama administration's economic policy team -- and at the exact moment that the recovery seems to be slowing. With Orszag, Summers and Romer gone, the administration is without three of its strongest voices. That makes the choice on NEC director -- the person who will have to build and manage the economic policy process as the new team gets its footing -- a lot more important. With Summers, the administration got a very strong economic adviser, but not someone known for his managerial talents. Now, as a host of less senior voices vie for influence, the administration might approach the choice of his replacement differently.

The early reports are that the White House wants to replace Summers with a female CEO, if possible. One candidate might be Ann Fudge, the former CEO of Young and Rubicam Brands, and current director for GE, Unilever and Novartis. In February, the White House named Fudge as one of two CEOs serving on the president's bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, so she's certainly on their radar.

Two other obvious choices would be Summers's deputies: Jason Furman and Diana Farrell. Farell wasn't a CEO, but she did come straight from the decidedly private-sector McKinsey Global Institute, where she served as director. Previously to that, she worked at Goldman Sachs, which may not be a plus in this particular political moment.

DADT Repeal shot down. The reaction had better not be, "It's Obama's fault."

I really want to know what Gay Americans are going to say about this (early results are not promising). We put DADT repeal in what's supposed to be the most unassailable piece of Legislation you can get (the Defense Authorization Bill) and the GOP assailed it anyway. The reaction had better not be, "It's Obama's fault."

I also want to know if they'll try again with the DREAM Act.

UPDATE: 5:57pm Pacific: Well, that took two seconds.

Confirmed: Lawrence Summers is outta there!

Never mind. No more speculation. He's goin' back to Harvard.

Hey, Elizabeth Warren leaves Harvard. Larry Summers goes back. Good trade.

Bill Clinton: "Disgruntled Obama supporters planning to sit out the midterms are making “a horrible mistake,”

Disgruntled Obama supporters planning to sit out the midterms are making “a horrible mistake,” [Clinton] said. “Like everything else you do when you’re mad, there’s an 80 percent change you’re making a mistake. You’ll get the exact result you don’t want.”

Clinton accused the media of not fact-checking the anti-government health-care and economic policies of the Republican Party and its Tea Party supporters, and painted a bleak picture of what life in Washington would look like under a GOP Congress. “There will be two years of unrelenting investigation of the White House, the staff, the Cabinet,” he warned. “It’ll be Newt Gingrich all over again. If only the American people knew this -- not from me -- but from disinterested parties.”

Don't say we didn't warn you.

All but confirmed: Lawrence Summers is outta there!

I'm actually happy about this. Not so much the Huffington Post position that Larry Summers supposedly re-ruined the economy (he didn't, but I'm not sure how much he helped either)

At the end of the day, he was such an impediment to getting stuff done (too much of political knife fighter or drama creator in an anti-drama White House) that it was time for him to go.

Ezra Klein: The New Kaiser Foundation Health Reform Website and Video

Courtesy Erza, the new Kaiser Foundation Health Reform site. It's pretty good from the looks of it.

From Ezra:

Earlier today, when I touted the Kaiser Family Foundation's expansive health-reform portal, I ignored the video they were touting because, well, I didn't want to watch an animated video about the new law. But Kate Pickert says it's "most everything you need to know about health reform in 9 minutes." And she's right: It's pretty good. And contrary to what the cartoons might suggest, it's not a dumbed-down explanation of the law. It's actually surprisingly comprehensive.

Selective editing and news-slanting doesn't just happen on Fox News. MSNBC does it too.

There's something about watching a news event live, as its happening, for yourself; and then watching the coverage of that event, where your impressions of the event and the Anchors do not match.

I watched the President's CNBC Town Hall (I should have, after all I posted it on this site). I was actually pretty impressed. The President engaged with some angry voters, told them what was going on, what was happening and abou the choices they have to make in November.

But that's not what I saw on Keith, and that actually wound up pissing me off.

The story (or rather the headlines) on Countdown, in the New York Times, and of course, the Huffington Post (even though they were initially impressed), was about the angry Left confronting Obama over not having done enough.

Well, not exactly.

(First, the Huffington Post story reads as Obama: Reforms, Economy Are 'Moving In The Right Direction' but as always, the Headline on the front page, you know the thing that makes you click read as: Middle-Class American To Obama: 'I'm Exhausted Of Defending You'.  Sam Stein wrote the first story that was impressed with the Town Hall.  Two other guys wrote the later one.)

There were three questions along this vein: one from a CFO of a Veterans Organization, one from a Law School Student, and one from a Small Business Owner in Pennslyvania. Two of the questions were first and foremost about the economy.

The way I heard it, the CFO was basically saying: I'm not feeling the recovery, tired of trying to explain things, what have you done and why haven't you done more.

The Law Student was basically saying: I went to Law School for a better life. I'm not feeling the recovery, losing faith in change, and I'm not sure the American Dream is going to be there for me if I do find a job.

The Small Business Owner flat out asked why wasn't the President's Economic message getting out. You're losing the sound bite war, I recall him saying.

In every case, as he always does, the President calmly answered their questions. He listed out Programs and Legislation the Administration have done that could help the CFO and her family in the future. He tried to assure the Law Student that they were tackling the long term issues that are going to make a difference in his future.

Among all that, the President talked taxes, and ripped on a Hedge Fund Manager, all good stuff...

...but it didn't make Keith.

Instead we had a story about the President's disconnect with his Liberal base, which I'm sure gave Keith all kinds of jollies.

So do me a favor. Go and watch the hour long CNBC Town Hall for yourself, and then watch this segment from Countdown, and see if you don't feel the disconnect yourself.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Monday, September 20, 2010

Expect this clip of Obama smacking down a Hedge Fund Manager to get a lot of play

...and rightly so. To top it all off, the smackee went to Law School with the President.

President Obama" I can't give tax cuts to the top two percent and lower the deficit at the same time. I don't have the math." (VIDEO)

No one does.

Via TPM: If you think we can cut taxes for the rich, then you can't add.

"I would love to do [cut taxes], anybody in elected office would love nothing more than to give everybody tax cuts ... not cut services, make sure that I'm providing help to student loans, make sure that we're keeping our roads safe and our bridges safe, make sure that we're paying for our veterans coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan," Obama said. "At some point the numbers just don't work, so what I've said is very simple. Let's go ahead and move forward on what we agree to ... everybody would get tax relief, just up to $250,000 a year or more, and let's get the economy moving faster."

The President's speech at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Phoenix Awards Dinner (VIDEO)

"Specifically, What Would You Do?"

Interesting get from Sam Stein over at Huffington Post:

In a town hall meeting broadcast live by CNBC on Monday, however, President Obama seemed to be reading off the initial script. Pressed by an audience member to weigh in on what exactly drives the Tea Party, Obama, in no uncertain terms, accused the movement's members of refusing to talk in specifics.

If there is anger over the economic or political landscape, he added, it is being misdirected in his direction.

"The problem that I've seen in the debate that's been taking place and in some of these Tea Party events is, I think they're misidentifying sort of who the culprits are here," said Obama. "As I said before, we had to take some emergency steps last year. But the majority of economists will tell you that the emergency steps we take are not the problem long-term. The problems long-term are the problems that I talked about earlier. We had two tax cuts that weren't paid for, two wars that weren't paid for. We've got a population that's getting older. We're all demanding services, but our taxes have actually substantially gone down."

"So the challenge, I think, for the Tea Party movement is to identify, specifically, what would you do?" he added. "It's not enough just to say get control of spending. I think it's important for you to say, I'm willing to cut veterans' benefits or I'm willing to cut Medicare or Social Security benefits or I'm willing to see these taxes go up. What you can't do, which is what I've been hearing a lot from the other side, is we're going to control government spending, we're going to propose $4 trillion of additional tax cuts, and that magically somehow things are going to work. Now, some of these are very difficult choices."

Obama does seem to operate at his best when facing inherently adversarial questions (recall the positive coverage he received for going to a Republican conference in Baltimore during the height of the health care debate). And while several questioners at the CNBC event were sympathetic to the president, the answers that seemed to resonate best came when the pro-business or anti-government questioners were pressing him.

As soon as this video is available, I'm putting it up.

Rachel Maddow's interview with Elizabeth Warren (VIDEO)