As the first Hanukkah candle is lit, we are reminded that our task is not only to secure the blessing of freedom, but to make the most of that blessing once it is secure. …From my family to yours, Chag Sameach.
Robert Reich: The True Test of American Resolve: Not Attacking Syria but Living Up to Our Ideals at Home
Perhaps this comes across as a little isolationist, but I generally agree. It’s good to be concerned with credibility, but which course will build it and which will shatter it?
We are on the brink of a tragic decision to strike Syria, because, in the dubious logic of the President, “a lot of people think something should be done,” and American “credibility” is at stake. He and his secretary of state assure us that the strike will be “limited” and “surgical.”
When Obama first appointed his economic team, he did not appoint “a team of rivals” but a “team of Rubins,” drawing all of his principal economic advisors from Wall Street’s allies like Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, Peter Orzag and Rahm Emanuel, rather than including some advisors with progressive views similar to those of Joe Stiglitz, Paul Krugman, Robert Reich, or James Galbraith.
That was fast. Yesterday we suggested that the chained-CPI cut in President Obama’s budget, which was presented as a gesture to Republicans, might instead be used to rebrand Democrats as “the anti-Social Security party.”
It took them fifteen minutes. A GOP official quickly called the chained CPI a “shocking betrayal of seniors.” That’s a replay of the Republicans’ 2010 campaign, which used a “Seniors’ Bill of Rights” to paint Democrats as the anti-Medicare party. That strategy helped them retake the House, and could be at least as effective in 2014.
This not-so-shocking “shocking” comment is further proof that it’s political suicide for Democrats to support the chained CPI, a combined tax hike and Social Security cut in Obama’s new budget.
It’s too bad more Democratic commentators aren’t fighting the good fight on this one. Even when they voice their opposition, as Rachel Maddow did last night, they seem to get the politics wrong.
I suppose that’s how conservatives prefer it. They don’t want commentators to think twice when partisans assign almost murderous motivations to Obama’s action, the way conservatives have with done Benghazi. They don’t want people to think it’s unusual to heckle the president, to try to shout him down and humiliate him in public. They want that to be okay, to seem normal, to treat the President of the United States, and the office of the presidency, without an ounce of respect.
WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Responding to reports that President Obama is considering signing as many as nineteen executive orders on gun control, Republicans in Congress unleashed a blistering attack on him today, accusing Mr. Obama of “cynically and systematically using his position as President to lead the country.” (via Republicans Accuse Obama of Using Position as President to Lead Country : The New Yorker)
I think it was not too extreme for me to say a few weeks ago that the President’s Newtown speech was his Gettysburg Address.
As expected, the two key recommendations on gun violence announced by President Obama today—in a feisty appearance in which he called out opponents to sensible reform—were universal background checks on anybody buying a gun from any source and a renewed ban on semi-automatic assault weapons together with a maximum limit of 10 rounds in the capacity of magazines for semi-automatic firearms, rifles, pistols and shotguns.
But those require legislative action, which, the president acknowledged, will be no easy matter to accomplish. He therefore called on Americans across the country, especially in districts where gun rights advocates are strong, to ask their representatives if they support new gun restrictions, and if not, why not. This call to action, combined with the use of the “bully pulpit” that the president is obviously preparing for in this certain-to-be-ferocious battle, marks an important change, a kind of merger between campaigning Obama and governing Obama. Huzzah to that.
But the president isn’t waiting for Congress. He also took immediate action on a list of 23 items, executive orders and other matters under his purview, before he left the South Court Auditorium where the anti-gun violence measures were announced. Unlike what extremists have been saying, none of these have anything to do with the right-wing claim of “gun-grabbing.” Indeed, they are extremely modest. (via Daily Kos: President signs executive orders and calls for Americans to press their reps on gun violence)
Why is the President back to making premature and unnecessary concessions to Republicans?
Two central issues in the 2012 presidential election were whether the Bush tax cuts should be ended for people earning over $250,000, and whether Social Security and Medicare should be protected from…
Who won the election, again?