Archive for January, 2010

Little-known fact: Obama has CUT taxes

If you’re going to blame the president for your economic misery, then you ought to at least have your facts right. This morning, RealClearPolitics posted a piece from a self-described independent, Jill Dorson, who says she regrets her vote for Barack Obama.

Some of her complaints seem logical. But one of the complaints is factually inaccurate: she says her taxes have gone up. In fact, Obama pushed through a massive tax cut in the stimulus bill.

All that changed when the Obama campaign became the Obama administration. I was a small business owner during 2008 election and my business ultimately failed under the weight of a horrendous economy. I am not ashamed. I worked hard. But I believed that Obama would try to level the playing field between big business and small, between thieves and honest business people, between greed and moderation. Instead, he bailed out the most wicked and left the rest of us fail.

I watched with horror as Obama followed Bush’s lead in bailing out …

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When the wife brings home more bacon. . .

I hope women will join the discussion so we won’t  just hear from men on this one.

The Pew Research Center has released a fascinating new study which reports that  in 20 percent of modern American marriages, the wife earns more than her husband. That’s up from 4 percent in 1970. It was bound to happen as women become better educated and rise to the top of professions, such as medicine and law, that had historically been dominated by men.

Over at Forbes, Michael Noer is arguing that that sort of relationship — with a non-traditional shift in the power balance — leads only to trouble. He claims studies show that to be the case:

Guys: a word of advice. Marry pretty women or ugly ones. Short ones or tall ones. Blondes or brunettes. Just, whatever you do, don’t marry a woman with a career.

Why? Because if many social scientists are to be believed, you run a higher risk of having a rocky marriage. While everyone knows that marriage can be stressful, recent studies have found …

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Don’t fire Bernanke. It would make things worse.

After the Mass loss, Dems have suddenly realized that ordinary Americans are angry with Wall Street, fed up with bankers’ greed and furious that their government bailed out Big Banks while Main Street still struggles with unemployment, foreclosure and debt. So some Democrats and Republicans are expressing reservations about confirming Bernanke to another term as chairman of the Federal Reserve.

In response, the stock market began to crater last week. Investors need stability, and firing Bernanke would send the wrong message. Half of Americans have some form of stock — mostly in retirement plans. The economy is bad enough without giving the stock market another reason to drop.

It’s true that Bernanke has made critical mistakes. He’s done a great job since 2008 managing and responding to the financial crisis. His skillful helmsmanship helped keep the economy from falling into an abyss. His policies are among the reasons we averted a second great depression.

But, as Paul Krugman …

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Democrats need the courage to do the right thing

Perhaps I was dazzled by Frank Capra’s “Mr. Smith” and Aaron Sorkin’s President Bartlet, but I’ve long believed that most citizens seek public office because they want to do the right thing. Many have different views of that right thing than I do. And, as we all know, many of them succumb to temptations that take them far off course, where they indulge greed, selfishness and a hunger for power.

Still, I believe most of them want to serve their constituents and improve their lives. That’s why Democrats need to go ahead and pass a comprehensive health care reform bill, even if they think they’ll face a backlash in November. Comprehensive health care reform is simply the right thing — the moral thing — to do.

Millions of Americans cannot afford to purchase health insurance. Nearly 45,000 people die every year for want of the insurance that would provide medical care. It’s shameful that a country as prosperous as this hasn’t figured out a way to extend health care to all its …

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Obama: Stick to your guns, like Reagan did

That’s the advice offered to President Obama by journalist Lou Cannon, who covered Reagan for decades – from California to the White House — and who has written five books about the former president. In a piece for Politics Daily, Cannon compared Obama’s current problems to those that Reagan faced in 1982. Cannon notes that Reagan didn’t back away from his beliefs.

A year into his presidency, not quite halfway through what would prove a 17-month recession, Reagan was in worse standing with the public than President Barack Obama is today. In the Gallup polling of 1982, his approval rating hovered in the low forties throughout the year, bottoming at the beginning of 1983 at 35 percent. This turned out to be the lowest rating of Reagan’s two-term presidency but at the time many who worked in the White House were privately betting that he wouldn’t even be a candidate in 1984, let alone have a second term in the White House. His aides’ gloominess was reflected in my reporting for …

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Money talks. And buys votes in Congress

Lobbyists and their money have corrupted the American political process, legally buying members of Congress. Your representatives and senators — whether Democrats, Republicans or independents — pay much more attention to the monied interests than they do to you. That’s why Wall Street hasn’t been reined in; it’s why the Pentagon’s budget is still out of control (defense contractors); it’s why big farmers still get agricultural subsidies. I wish more voters were upset about it.

That trend will just grow worse with yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling.
Conservatives cheered the ruling because they have long fought limits on spending to influence elections. (The lawsuit against federal spending laws was brought by a conservative group which had made an anti-Hillary movie.) But Democrats showed in the last election they can raise as much money as Republicans. The losers are the voters.

A few thoughtful politicians and activists decried the ruling. Fred Wertheimer, who heads Democracy …

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The Edwards children have a sister. They should get to know her

Elizabeth Edwards should embrace Rielle Hunter’s daughter, for her children’s sake.   Yes, that’s a huge thing to ask of a woman who has already endured so much. I have a great deal of sympathy for her, even if she is the rhymes-with-witch she’s made out to be in a recent New York magazine profile.

But here’s the reality: Her husband  is a skunk, a weasel, who has had a child with someone else. Still, the child did nothing to deserve being the object of scorn or derision. She deserves to be close to her siblings.

She also deserves to have her father in her life. As Washington Post columnist Colbert King pointed out in a recent column, the pronouncements about responsible fatherhood don’t just apply to teenagers and ghetto dwellers.

In a speech at the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago on Father’s Day in 2008, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama told the congregation: “Of all the rocks upon which we build our lives, we are reminded today that family is the most important. …

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GOP is ’strong and wrong’

“The American people will choose strong and wrong over weak and right.” So said Bill Clinton, one of the best politicians of his generation. He needs to call in some of those Nervous Nellie, quaking-in-their boots, scared-of-their-own shadow Democrats and remind them of that right about now.
They will be worse off if they have to face the voters in November without having passed health care reform.
Obama and many Democrats ran on the promise of health care reform, and they won. If they back away now, they will be perceived as weak, timid and lacking in a coherent governing philosophy.
Republicans have a coherent philosophy, even though it’s often wrong-headed; it relies heavily on cutting taxes and browbeating other nations into following the U.S. agenda. No matter the circumstances, that’s part of their defining philosophy, whether or not it accomplishes anything.

Part of Democrats’ governing philosophy has been support for an activist government that offers support to …

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A Massachusetts Democrat surrenders

Barney Frank isn’t just throwing up the white flag here. This is total capitulation. Obama better move quickly to shore up his left flank if he hopes to salvage health care reform.

From TPM:

I am a resident of Norton MA and Barney Frank is my congressman. I just called his office in DC and expressed my displeasure with his statement released last night especially the line “But our respect for democratic procedures must rule out any effort to pass a health care bill as if the Massachusetts election had not happened.” I told him I didn’t think we lost this election because of it was a Health Care Reform referendum but because we had a very weak Senate candidate. He agreed she did a lousy job campaigning. I told him we should just pass the Senate HCR and be done. He stated that all that would do was rile up the electorate and guarantee our further losses in November. I told him that caving in to Republican foot-dragging would kill the bill and we would not have HCR for another 15 …

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Scott Brown voted for universal health care

Republicans are awfully good at telling a story to voters, even if it has nothing to do with reality. Brown’s campaign against Obama’s planned health care reform plan helped him win a Massachusets Senate seat that had been held by a Democrat for decades.

But a GOP governor, Mitt Romney, pushed through a universal health care bill in Massachusetts, and Brown voted for it. Now, both men are vehemently opposed to the universal health care plan Democrats are trying to pass through Congress, even though the Senate bill is very similar to the Massachusetts plan.

Mr. Brown, as a state senator, voted in favor of the Massachusetts universal health care law in 2006, when the state became the first in the nation to pass a far-reaching overhaul guaranteeing coverage for nearly every state resident and requiring everyone in Massachusetts to obtain insurance.

Mr. Brown, in campaigning against the health care legislation emerging in Washington, has sought to portray it as fundamentally …

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