On Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” last night, onetime Bill Clinton ally (now foe) Dick Morris suggested the former president secretly wants Barack Obama to lose the election but won’t say so publicly because the Obama administration is holding Hillary Clinton hostage and it will kill her if he loses.
The look on Bill O’Reilly’s face and the tone of his voice during the interview demonstrates that even he thought Morris’ suggestion was ludicrous, though it is rather appalling that the two men appeared to laugh at the supposed “joke.”
A congregation of assholes, no?
- ICE chief of staff resigns after allegations of lewd conduct | Fox News (genomega1.wordpress.com)
- Dick Morris Repeats His Outlandish Claim That Bill Clinton Doesn’t Want Obama Re-Elected (newshounds.us)
- Is Dick Morris the world’s worst political pundit? | Harry J Enten (guardian.co.uk)
“If you want a winner-take-all, you-are-on-your-own society, you should support the Republican ticket. If you want a country of shared opportunities and shared responsibility, a we-are-all-in-this-together society, you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.”
Some of you may have missed Clinton’s speech due to football or the lateness of it’s presentation (if you are an early sleeper like me), so here it is in it’s entirety:
- Quote of the Day (jasontromm.wordpress.com)
- Democratic National Convention 2012: Loyalists fret over unvetted Clinton speech (thestar.com)
- Five things to watch at the DNC this week – CNN (edition.cnn.com)
… according to Economist Robert Reich:
If you don’t think we should increase taxes on the top 1%, watch this video first.
- Robert Reich: The Truth About Obama’s Tax Proposal (guernicamag.com)
- Robert Reich: Mitt Romney and the New Gilded Age (guernicamag.com)
- Robert Reich: Why We Have to Raise Taxes on the Rich and End the Bush Tax Cuts for the Wealthy (and Bill Clinton Agrees) (huffingtonpost.com)
- Robert Reich: True Patriotism (guernicamag.com)
Reich outlines what is really being fought for in 2012 and beyond.
- Robert Reich: The Real Battle in 2012 and Beyond (Video) (huffingtonpost.com)
- Robert Reich: The Truth About Obama’s Tax Proposal (and the Lies the Regressives Are Telling About It) (huffingtonpost.com)
- Robert Reich: The Truth About Obama’s Tax Proposal (guernicamag.com)
George Bush Is the Least Popular Living President
According to Time.com:
Since leaving office, George W. Bush has stayed largely out of the spotlight and away from the daily grind of politicking, declining to take public swipes at Barack Obama so as not to “undermine” the sitting president. The ex-decider, however, hasn’t been rewarded for riding off into the Texas sunset.According to a new CNN/ORC International poll, Bush has the lowest favorable rating of any living president. Only 43 percent of respondents said they had a favorable opinion of the 43rd president, lower than Jimmy Carter (54 percent), George H.W. Bush (59 percent) or Bill Clinton (66 percent). Dubya also had the highest unfavorable rating, 54 percent, of those presidents.
Are you surprised?
- George W. Bush The Most Unpopular Living Ex-President (alan.com)
- George W. Bush The Most Unpopular Living President (inquisitr.com)
- George W. Bush Most Unpopular Living President, Poll Shows (mediaite.com)
- CNN Poll: George W. Bush only living ex-president under 50% (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- George W. Bush Least Popular Living Ex-President (outsidethebeltway.com)
Yeah, that George W. Bush.
As the Economic Policy Institute put it best of all:
So, unless Bush calls his book “What I Did Wrong” I’m not sure anyone will take it with any seriousness.
Thanks to All Hat, No Cattle.
“If you go back 500 years, whenever a country’s financial system collapses, it takes between five and 10 years to get back to full employment. If you go back for the last 200 years, when buildings had been widely owned by individuals and companies, if there’s a mortgage collapse, it almost always takes 10 years.
“He’s beating the clock, not behind it. Don’t listen to those Republicans. We are beating the clock.”
– Bill Clinton
… and what are Republicans beating? (and if you say “off” I’ll laugh.)
Thanks to Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire:
“You heard it here first: Mitt Romney is going to select Rob Portman, the junior senator from Ohio, to be his running mate. I have no insight into how Romney will make this decision. But I had a front-row seat at what I believe was the best veep choice of my lifetime...
…I’m betting that Romney’s choice will reflect who he is: a bloodless technocrat who wants to double down on trickle down.”
Interesting. Anyone giving odds? Not a woman, not a Hispanic.
In his “best veep choice of a lifetime” statement, Begala was, of course, referring to Al Gore. I wonder if, looking back at it, I agree with him…but he has a point.
President Barack Obama will deliver his State of the Union speech tonight at 9 p.m. EST. It is expected to last at least an hour, after which Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana will deliver the Republican response (there will be a Tea Party response from Herman Cain… don’t miss it. All speeches like this should end with humor.)
Obama is expected to use the State of the Union to pitch new initiatives on jobs, taxes and housing, in what will be billed as his opening salvo in a long 2012 election race. He will probably push tax breaks for bringing manufacturing jobs home from overseas, give ideas to help the troubled home-mortgage market and create incentives for alternative energy development. Expect him to call again for higher taxes on the wealthy – despite consistent Republican opposition – and to speak of further pressure on China over currency and trade practices.
There are a number of ways you can watch and follow the speech online. The official White House website, which will not only be streaming the speech live, but will be accompany it with charts, stats, and data that reinforce the address. On television, ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC will all air the speech live. The Huffington Post will also run liveblog coverage of the event, accompanied by an embedded live video feed.
Some items based on recent Obama remarks leading up to the address:
“Before we take money away from our schools or scholarships away from our students, we should ask millionaires to give up their tax break.”
The President has promised to let the Bush tax cuts for millionaires expire at the end of 2012.
“[The Affordable Care Act] is making prescription drugs cheaper for seniors and giving uninsured students a chance to stay on their parents’ coverage.”
At least 2.5 million young Americans now have health insurance through their parents’ health care plans until 26 years of age. As of November, more than 2.2 million people with Medicare had saved more than $1.2 billion on prescriptions (I’m one of them. I support this whole heartedly. – Bill)
Expect the Republicans to make it clear that they will continue to oppose Obama’s positions… but also expect Obama to say that he will be seeking bi-partisan progress even though it is an election year.
It should be noted, however, that State of the Union messages have historically not effected increases in a President’s poll ratings (an exception being Bill Clinton’s 2nd address which increased his numbers by 3%.)
- Obama to Hold Google+ ‘Hangout’ After State of the Union Address (techland.time.com)
- President Obama’s State of the Union Address Webcast (diaryofafemaleveteran.wordpress.com)
- State of the Union: President Obama’s big campaign speech (tarpon.wordpress.com)
- Obama to Answer Your Questions on State of the Union Interview on Google+ (socialtimes.com)
- Obama to shift strategy on healthcare in 2012 – The Hill’s Healthwatch (policyabcs.wordpress.com)
I was surprised this morning to hear Ben Stein on CBS Sunday Morning, who I know is a conservative and who has talked about the need for budget cuts before, speak this morning on the ratio of the Deficit to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Surprised because:
- he had good things to say about Bill Clinton and his Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin who left office giving us a surplus… and
- he stated that the Republicans would have to agree to raising taxes…especially on the Rich Americans who, he said, there are plenty of and they CAN afford it.
I’m even more surprised because, just before the 2010 elections, he did a Sunday Morning piece complaining that, as a rich guy, he was paying too much in taxes and didn’t want taxes on the rich raised. Something has changed his mind… which means other conservatives can change their minds as well. Whether this applies to Tea Party types is your guess.
Now, he did also say that the Democrats were going to have to agree to budget cuts, but they should be able to look at the military and some of the other areas we are not looking at now (I assume he was talking about oil subsidies and their related entities.)
You know, I felt pretty good about Ben Stein this morning… I usually haven’t felt good about him since he stopped doing a comedy quiz show with Jimmy Kimmel. But this morning I’ll give him the benefit of my appreciation for his ilttle editorial… and I hope some of these politicians heard it.
- NCRP Video: Ben Stein on Retirement Planning Part 3 – Variable Annuity (theinsurancebarn.wordpress.com)
- Echoes Of 1995 In Rhetoric On Debt Ceiling (npr.org)
- Robbing the Poor …to Give to the Rich Who Made Them Poor (worldtruthtoday.com)
- Bill Clinton: Pharma Got a “Good Deal” in Health Reform (invivoblog.blogspot.com)
- Deficit reduction: Is Obama’s $4 trillion goal big enough? – Christian Science Monitor (news.google.com)
Warren Christopher, who spent 45 years serving Democratic Administrations (including Secretary of State for Bill Clinton), died yesterday of complications from bladder and kidney cancer at his home in California.
Hillary Clinton commenting on Christopher said:
“Warren was a diplomat’s diplomat — talented, dedicated and exceptionally wise. As well as anyone in his generation, he understood the subtle interplay of national interests, fundamental values and personal dynamics that drive diplomacy.”
His achievements were notable. With Richard Holbrooke, Christopher brokered the 1995 Dayton agreement ending the war in Bosnia. He restored diplomatic relations with Vietnam and pushed for the expansion of NATO to include countries of central and Eastern Europe. Christopher oversaw the signing of the Oslo accords between Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat in Washington.
This was a great man who served by “talking” as opposed to armed battles. His comment says it all:
“Most talking is not glamorous. Often it is tedious. It can be excruciating and exhausting. But talking can also tame conflict, lift the human condition, and move us close to the ideal of peace.”
- You: Former US secretary of state Warren Christopher dies: media (france24.com)
- Warren Christopher Dead at 85 (blippitt.com)
- Warren Christopher, 1925 2011 – Clinton notes predecessor’s passing (politico.com)
- Warren Christopher, US secretary of state under Bill Clinton, dies aged 85 (guardian.co.uk)
- Former Secretary of State Warren Christopher dies (cnn.com)
- You: Former U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher dies (nation.com.pk)
Bill Clinton seems the perfect validator for Barack Obama — which is why the president is utilizing the former president for selling his tax deal. After all, the economy boomed when Clinton was president and 22 million net new jobs were created. From a more narrow political perspective — and this is important to Democrats in Washington — Bill Clinton was reelected, even though he lost both houses of Congress in the 1994 midterms.
But the analogy falls apart as soon as you realize Clinton’s economy was vastly different from Obama’s. The recession Clinton inherited was relatively small, and caused by the Fed raising interest rates too high to ward off inflation. So it could be reversed by the Fed lowering interest rates — as the Fed did in 1994. By 1995, the so-called “jobless recovery” had morphed into a full-blown jobs recovery. By 1996, at pollster Dick Morris’s urging, Clinton could proclaim to the American people “you’ve never had it so good, and you ain’t seen nothing yet.”
The Great Recession has been far larger, caused not by the Fed raising interest rates but by the bursting of a giant housing bubble. In 2008, the biggest asset of most middle-class people, upon which they borrowed and that they assumed would be their nest eggs for retirement, collapsed. Housing prices continue to fall in most parts of the country. The Fed has lowered interest rates all it can, and unemployment remains sky high.
Bill Clinton presided over an economic boom engineered by Fed chair Alan Greenspan, who felt confident he could drop interest rates far lower than anyone expected without risking inflation. The result was 4 percent unemployment in many parts of America, as well as the best jobs recovery in history.
The price Greenspan exacted from Clinton — and a resurgent Republican congress demanded — was a balanced budget. As a result, Clinton had to give up much of his “investment agenda” in education, infrastructure, and other long-neglected means of building the productivity of average working Americans. The economy enjoyed a huge cyclical recovery.
But the economy’s underlying structure remained as it had been before, including stagnant wages for most Americans. Within a few years the middle and working class was treating their homes as ATMs, borrowing trillions of dollars in order to maintain their standard of living, and at the same time demand enough goods and services to keep almost everyone in jobs.
Those days are over. The Democratic Party can no longer ignore critical investments in the productivity of average workers. Nor can it ignore the increasing concentration of income and wealth at the very top, and the inability of America’s middle and working class to get the economy moving again.
The GOP hasn’t changed their story or their strategy since the 1990s. It’s the fault of big government. That was false then, and it’s false now. The structural problems are now much worse, and the cyclical recovery from the Great Recession pathetically anemic.
If the Democratic Party has stood for anything over the years it is to maintain and restore upward mobility for the majority of working Americans, ensure that the playing field isn’t tilted in the direction of the privileged, and limit the power of the richest among us to entrench themselves and their heirs into a semi-permanent plutocracy.
Continuing the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, including a sharp cut in the estate tax, violates these core principles. Doing so in the midst of an economic emergency that demands bold measures to rescue America’s vast middle and working class adds further insult. For President Obama and former President Clinton to tell America there’s “no other choice” or that “this is the best we can do” — when Democrats remain putatively in control of the House, Senate, and the presidency — is misleading.
I admire Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. I advised the former and worked for the latter. They are good men. But they have either been outwitted by the privileged and powerful of America, or seduced by those on Wall Street and the executive suites of America into believing that the Republican nostrums are necessary, or succumbed Democratic advisors who think in terms of small-bore tactics rather than large and principled strategies.
I urge congressional Democrats to remember the larger principles — not in order to be purist or make the perfect the enemy of the better, but to move toward an economy and a society that we believe in, that reflects the needs of the vast majority of Americans at this difficult time.
- Bill Clinton Asks Democrats To Back President Obama Tax Deal [Video] (realestateradiousa.com)
- Bill Clinton To The Rescue? (lezgetreal.com)
- Support from 42 – Bill Clinton backs Obama’s tax deal (politico.com)
“November 2nd was a very bad day for Democrats — indeed, the worst since November 8, 1994 when Democrats lost their four-decade hold on the House of Representatives, control of the US Senate and 472 state legislative seats across the country. Newt Gingrich and his new majorities were triumphant. I was polling then for President Bill Clinton and the poll findings today in this joint poll with Resurgent Republic look eerily similar. On election night, an identical two-thirds said the country is seriously off on the wrong track; an identical 45 percent said Clinton and Obama were moving the country in the right direction; and Clinton and Obama had almost identical favorability ratings – split evenly between favorable and unfavorable responses.”
-Pollster Stan Greenberg
- “Mitch McConnell: The Hell With The Economy” and related posts (capitalgainsandgames.com)
- Clinton Pollster: Obama Better Off Now Than Clinton In ’94 (huffingtonpost.com)
- Clinton Pollster: Obama Better Off Now Than Clinton In ’94 (capitolhillblue.com)
- GOP pollster shows how the wave will break (hotair.com)
I just read this article and here’s one more major move forward that Obama has not been generally credited with. I hope this all changes soon.
There’s more in this article over at news.yahoo.com:
“It’s both significant and rather ordinary,” said Michael Cole, a spokesman for the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign. “It’s a simple affirmation of the American ideal that what matters is how you do your job and not who you are.”
- Obama Breaks Bill Clinton’s Record For Number Of Openly Gay Appointees (joemygod.blogspot.com)
- Obama appoints record number of gay officials (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
Here’s the first couple of paragraphs:
History Never Repeats Itself
by Doctor Cleveland
Election day is next Tuesday. Papers like the New York Times and Washington Post began publishing their post-mortem analyses of the election results last week. What should Obama do now that next Tuesday’s results are in? Highly paid opinion writers have opinions.
The current conventional wisdom has two basic pillars:
1) It is currently 1994.
2) Since it’s 1994, Bill Clinton should be President.
I’m going to leave the actual electoral predictions to my colleague Articleman and to folks like Nate Silver. But even if Tuesday night were to turn into an exact replay of 1994, district by district, the political situation on Wednesday morning would still be something completely new. History echoes itself, but it never repeats exactly. If this really were 1994, of course, being more like Bill Clinton would be a stupid idea, like telling someone fighting Muhammad Ali to be more like Sonny Liston. As Ezra Klein and Josh Marshall both remind us, the Big Dog was soundly beaten in 1994. And his post-1994 playbook, no matter how successful it was fifteen years ago, is just not going to work in 2011. Things have changed.
Now go to DAGBLOG to read the rest.
- Don’t count the Democrats out yet, Bill Clinton says (globalnation.inquirer.net)
- The Big Dog on the road (washingtonmonthly.com)
- Bill Clinton Plays to 1/3-Full Gym: Bubba’s Crowds Stayed Home in Blue Michigan (maggiesnotebook.blogspot.com)
- The return of Bill Clinton, cont’d (powerlineblog.com)
It is titled “Student Lones”:
- Clinton Lauds Student Loan Reform In West Virginia (huffingtonpost.com)
- The Big Dog on the road (washingtonmonthly.com)
- Clinton to young voters: Don’t sit out midterms (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
ANOTHER UPDATE (Friday AM):
Bill is back home in Chappaquiddick this morning. That’s a very good sign. Bet he’ll be back on the phone this afternoon.