The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Obama to Right Wing

“I agree with you, now make me do it”

(what FDR said to the left, if you aren’t aware.)

See, he is the new FDR!


Lambert and Corrente Need Help


An update on the effect of the price of shipping oil and tax on exports


  1. Notorious P.A.T.

    Yep, that’s about it. Although he can’t just come out and say that, of course, or else two or three of his hard-core supporters would stand up and take notice. A “I admire Reagan” here and a “government can’t create jobs” there works well enough.

  2. grs

    It has to be a pretty good position for Obama to know that even though he’s a conservative (small c) moderate, he’ll get backing in 2012 from liberals simply because they can’t stomach the current uber right wing Conservatives running for president. Unless something comes completely out of left field (no pun intended), voting for a third party will potentially result in a win for the Right.

    So what do you do? That’s not rhetorical. Keep holding your nose because you know it could be exponentially worse? The Green Party doesn’t have a chance in hell of finding a viable candidate. People have foolishly speculated another dem forcing a primary against Obama, but the DNC would never let that happen.

    So I guess brace for four more years (6 years?). At least people who weren’t looking at Obama previous voting record actually understand what the guy is all about now. What’s sad is that Fox and Co. will still try to portray Obama as an ultra liberal. He never has been and never will be. I knew he was pro-business. I just never thought he would be SO pro-business and capitulate so easily to the Right.

  3. alyosha

    I think he says it to whoever’s in power. It just happens to be the right wing at this point. As your earlier perceptive post concluded, the man is not a fighter, and wants to be nice at any cost.

  4. Notorious P.A.T.

    But the Democrats used to be in power. They commanded both houses for a good half year, and what did Obama work for? The Heritage Foundation’s health care reform plan. He told Democratic voters who wanted to push for a better outcome to go to hell.

  5. Here's an idea...

    Cancel the 2012 election!

    Amend the Constitution so that the president, starting with Obama, serves ONE six year term, that’s all. No having to start fund raising and campaigning for a second term on the day you’re sworn in. You can do what your base elected you to do and not have to tack to the center in order to get re-elected. (This could cut both ways, but it’s worth the risk, 2 less years of Bush might have saved the economy.) Now is the perfect time to do this. The GOP has no viable candidate, the left has had it with Obama and would welcome an early “do-over”. Obama seems like he’s about had it with the job and Hillary would be two years younger for another run for the roses. It’s a win, win.

    Besides, think of the cost savings!

  6. beowulf

    “Yes We Can, But”
    (h/t Harry Shearer)

  7. Z

    obama to the right: “I agree with you … I’m one of you, for fuck’s sake! … now come up with some outrageous demands so that I can compromise to what we both want”


  8. Z

    As I wrote in a previous post, I’m still sticking to my prediction that the narcissio-path obama will not run in 2012. While his ego demanded the world’s biggest stage to strut and preen upon, the whole experience has not been emotionally rewarding enough … it has not been as nourishing to his ego as he had expected … for him to want another 4 years of it. He is being questioned with increasing frequency … which he doesn’t like; he finds it offensive … and he’s not going to enjoy trying to defend his horrendous record on the campaign trail in 2012.

    No, rather than risk the embarrassment … the humiliation … of losing, the current head pr man for the establishment will decline to run in 2012 and express his disappointment in us all and the partisanship in our government. Though he was elected on his promises of delivering substantial change and hardly anyone gives a fuck about bi-partisanship, he’ll deceitfully posture that he was elected to end partisanship. But, unfortunately, the rest of the government is not as noble and well-intentioned as he so he wasn’t able to accomplish that and, again, it was we and dc that let this fine man down. He will try to portray himself as a brave man that was willing to risk re-election just so that he could serve us so well by taking care of the deficit.

    So, he is looking for a reason to exit, and probably anxious to cash in on the celebrity-hood of being this country’s first black president. It would be too transparent to serve the plutocrats so loyally for 4 years and then voluntarily leave and cash out, so he’s going to keep selling us out until his support erodes to the point that his candidacy becomes untenable. These sellouts to the republicans that piss off the liberal base not only serve his interests in taking care of the entities that will line his pockets in the future, they also lay the groundwork for him walking away in 2012.


  9. Ed

    The commentator “Here’s an idea” makes an excellent point, and the proposal should be made more often. The opportunity to dump a president after four years really isn’t worth much. A bad president can do alot of damage in just for years (see GW Bush) and apparently can be re-elected as well (see GW Bush). Plus for whatever reason, the voters haven’t been taking the opportunity of getting rid of a president after four years. Since World War II, of the eight presidents originally elected to office, five won re-election and two lost re-election, with JFK being the eighth. Of the three who came into office as vice presidents elevated after vacancies, two then won election in their own right and one lost. I think a two thirds retention rate is simply too high, given the steadily declining quality of who gets into the office.

  10. guest

    Z, how do you explain that he’s already started running for 2012? Didn’t you get the email (you know the one asking for money). Besides, the Village loves his brand of bipartisanship, and that is the only reward he needs.

    I don’t believe this guy is nice, anymore than I feel his empty platitudes are or ever were “soaring” (why do his dupes and former dupes always have to use that godawful word?). He’s a nasty piece of shit, just like his mentor Lieberman.

    I might agree with the 4 year limit. Apparently anymore once you are a sitting President, your party is stuck with you 4 eight years, even if the country can choose the other party. But if we’re going to tinker with the constitution, I think this one is way down the list of badly needed reforms. And it might fix itself if the rest of the constitution weren’t so undemocratic. It’s long past time to get to the root of the problem, and this is probably just symptom of the rot, not the cause.

    He’s the new Hoover, not Roosevelt. But let’s call him Dyson though since Hoover’s suction power was pathetic in comparison. He says I agree with you now make me do it to everyone, but apparently he only means it when he’s pouring a strong DRANK for Boehner

  11. Formerly T-Bear

    When the edifice of power becomes so corrupt it cannot preserve itself, it necessarily becomes the season to withdraw consent. Withdrawing consent can take on many forms and means, but it does NOT mean consenting to the corruption. Unrestricted Power will do as power wills, it is the achilles heel of power, it is the nemesis of power, it is the conundrum of power, it is the bane of power, it is the dilemma and enigma of power. The corruption that cannot preserve itself cannot hold power as well, it slips through the grasp as water and is gone elsewhere; power follows consent as surely as water follows the grade. Once corruption fully permeates the exercise of power, no power can forestall or correct other than the twin powers of fail and collapse that cleanse the necrosis from the body politic. This is the nature and way of politics, the art and skill of exercising power, persuasion or influence over others.

  12. StewartM

    I don’t believe this guy is nice,

    Yep. “Nice” people don’t proffer, solely via their own initiative, cuts to food stamps or heating oil for poor families.

    Oh yeah, I’m sick of “bipartisanship”. Someone like Paul Ryan who is in essence advocating the assisted murder of elderly people or poor children in addition to the 40,000 other Americans he already assists in murdering each and every year, is not any “esteemed colleague” who has “good ideas” on tackling the nation’s budgetary problems. No, he is an ideologue or a sociopath, or both, and you wouldn’t say anything good about him than you would say about a Himmler or a Prince Asaka Yasuhiko or a Saddam Hussein, who were likewise ideologues and sociopaths.



  13. Z


    Like I wrote earlier, he’s not going to want to make it look that transparent that he is going off to cash out on 4 years of selling out the country. He’d much prefer to have an excuse for it: I couldn’t get elected so I stepped aside … that will be his excuse and he’ll keep pissing off the base until this happens. It’s not like this is unprecedented behavior from him imo. He very cynically did damn near everything he could to hurt the democrats mid-term hopes, calling out the base for being ungrateful, calling them retards, expressing his disappointment in them … not to mention selling their asses out blatantly and repeatedly. He wanted a strengthened republican hand in congress and he got it … better to compromise with to get where he wants to: pro-plutocracy legislation. A republican congress made the kabuki less complicated than trying to arrange the pieces on the democratic side, essentially calling in liebermann, nelson, baucus, etc. to give him the resistance he needs to sell out the vast majority of the people in this country’s interest. Now he has the crazy republicans be crazy and can posture as the reasonable and responsible one while very purposely fucking us over. He doesn’t want to be known as the duplicitous bastard that he is.

    He’s also likely sensitive to the fact that he hasn’t stuck at anything for very long: community activist, law school professor, state senator, u.s. senator, and now president; and again would rather have his candidacy become untenable than out and out quitting.

    Why would he want to serve another 4 year term? He has no personal reason to stay … he’s got no magnanimous reason to stay, that’s for sure; he never does. He certainly didn’t take the job to help people out or improve the country … he’s fucked over 99% of the country by hijacking their hope for his own glory and wealth. He certainly realizes that what he is doing is very damaging to hundreds of millions of people, but he doesn’t care at all. Becoz obama is all about himself, he is only serving the plutocracy becoz he feels it is in HIS best interest to: to position himself best for future payouts. But he doesn’t have any allegiance to them beyond that. And I don’t think that he’s inclined to carry their water for 4 more years after this term.

    He wanted the strut and preen on the world’s biggest stage and have us join him in a celebration of himself and he got it. He became president, reached the top. But though the trip was fun, he doesn’t like it once he got there. He’s a lot like palin … and most politicians … in those regards: running is the funnest part of it … basking in the adoration of the crowds, doing speeches … but they’ve got no real ambitions to actually govern. Now it’s time to move on to something else and I think that he’s going to go through the motions of beginning his run for a 2nd term, but purposely piss of his base until it’s obvious that he doesn’t have enough support to win, and then bow out for the better of the party … which would be for the best, not that he really gives a shit … and blame the economic mess that he walked into and partisanship for his loss of support.


  14. beowulf

    “I might agree with the 4 year limit. Apparently anymore once you are a sitting President, your party is stuck with you 4 eight years, even if the country can choose the other party.”

    So what’s the solution, the Mexican (and Confederate) presidential system with a single 6 year term, or keep the 4 year term but move to a quasi-parliamentary system where the House of Representatives elects the President?

  15. Notorious P.A.T.

    I understand the call for a new system of government. But unfortunately, no system is idiot-proof. England has a parliamentary system that I hear a lot of people speaking of enviously, but it hasn’t stopped them from joining much of the same stupidity that America has stumbled into–invading Iraq, fiscal austerity, etc. We need fewer idiots in power, not a different system.

    “Obama very cynically did damn near everything he could to hurt the democrats mid-term hopes”

    I read his actions as campaigning in places that would help him in 2012 instead of help his party in 2010. And I don’t think he knows what he is doing is harmful to our country; I believe his expressions of disbelief and frustration with the lack of appreciation his “wonderful” job as president is getting.

    Most of all, think of what would happen if he decided not to run: that would make it easier for a Feingold or a Weiner to run and undo what he did. That, to me, is the biggest reason he will seek a second term.

    As always, I’d love to be wrong.

  16. guest

    I notice Plouffe said today that both sides will now have to work together on cuts. Funny how “shared sacrifice” turned into both sides working together to sacrifes the losers in this country. And the losers are pretty much anybody reading this blog and anybody they are related to or know.

  17. Dear Mr. President...

    Rather than engaging Repulicans in any discussions about cutting MediCare, the Democrats should be only talking about how much it should be expanded… down to 55 year olds, (F. U. Joe Lieberman) or 45 y.o.s or anyone who wants to PAY INTO IT. Only with expanding the risk pool with healthier, younger contributors and increasing the volume purchasing power, is there any chance in hell of reducing health care costs. Why is this so hard to understand?

  18. Sam Adams

    Do you realize that Obama has the nice presidental library set up without taxpayer funding, fully paid-up by the Banksters? Will that be Meow Mix or Little Wiskers with your Social Security?

  19. Morocco Bama

    Obama to the Plutocrats.

    I want To Be Your Superhero.

  20. beowulf

    “Rather than engaging Republicans in any discussions about cutting MediCare, the Democrats should be only talking about how much it should be expanded…”

    Exactly, the opposite of eliminating Medicare is eliminating Medicare’s age restrictions. In 1991, Florida Congressman Sam Gibbons sponsored a 3 page bill to do just that. It also eliminated monthly premiums and expanded Medicare’s benefit package; that was the first page. The tax code changes to pay for this took up another two pages.

  21. David Kowalski

    Both of the Presidents who failed at re-election since WW II managed to combine a bad economy with pissing off their base. Obama has a far worse economy than either Jimmy Carter (mostly high inflation with mediocre growth and employment due to the rise in oil prices) and Bush I gave the appearance of being out of touch.

    Two other Presidents, Truman and LBJ, inherited the job as VP, won election and then decided not to run because of s combination of lack of support and a war that was dragging on.

    In the short time since, we’ve had Citizens United putting a much higher value on the support of the rich and corporations. That would favor Obama tremendously. If only Nixon could go to China only Obama with his use/abuse of “racism” charges can kill off Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, the EPA, a woman’r right to choose and who knows what else.

    His skills are office politics and speech making. We needed an FDR or a Lincoln and instead we get a creep who seems intent on praising Reagan and cutting FDR, LBJ, Kennedy, Lincoln and any of the others who really helped people down to wrong-headed midgets.

    It’s still 10 months to Iowa. Nobody can challenge this man in Iowa if he runs. Iowa Democrats love bipartisanship although I can’t understand why. The Deep south primaries/caucuses are a sure thing and the Republican states in the farm belt and Rockies will again support him massively. He’s gamed the system.

    Last time I voted green for President and voted a straight Democratic ticket. I’m inclined to follow the same path in 2012. I certainly won’t vote for him as the lesser of two evils as I’m not sold that he is given his demonstrated ability to castrate the politicians of the Democratic party.

  22. Notorious P.A.T.

    “It’s still 10 months to Iowa. Nobody can challenge this man in Iowa if he runs. ”

    There’s only one way to find out for sure. And even an unsuccessful bid can start a movement, like Goldwater in ’64.

  23. tom allen

    Or Reagan in 1976. Further, a challenger to Obama’s left, though he or she would likely not win, would pull the discussion much further to the left than the “oh well, at least he’s not Sarah Palin” strategy liberals are being berated with right now.

  24. dandelion

    I think we might be better off with a Republican in the WH. It seems that there are just too many Dems and “liberals” and “progressives” who will fight tooth and nail against a Republican taking a certain action and yet roll over completely when an ostensible Democrat takes the same action.

    Look at Wisconsin. Obama froze the pay for federal employees and raised their taxes and NO ONE uttered a word.

    Look at the war. Where has all the anti-war protest gone?

    Look at Josh Marshall. He was all over GWB’s attempt to privatize SS from the moment GWB thought the thought. But he has been very late to the party regarding the threat from Obama.

    I think it’s just too too confusing and hard to grasp for too many people: that Obama and the Democrats are the enemy.

  25. Yes indeed, Reelect the unitary executive of the humanitarian bomber party.

    If you so much as vote for a D for dog catcher you are part of the problem.

    Abandon both major monied parties today!

  26. Formerly T-Bear

    @ Eureka Springs

    No vote will be given until Bradley Manning is released and made whole. No vote for Republican, No vote for Democrat, No vote for Obama. By their silence they will be judged wanting in stature to hold public office.

  27. guest

    I might not vote, and I definitely won’t vote for Obama or anyone who supports him. But for what it’s worth, if there is a Dem candidate deserving of a vote, I’m not going to boycott them to protest the MasterCard/Visa election choices. And I will definitely give money to ANYONE who primaries Obama (I should qualify that with “from the left”, but that implies that there might be Dems to the right of Obama, and that thought it just tempting fate… President Staypuft has a certain ring to it, but is that really so different from President Moonpie).

  28. I’m a little surprised at the debate regarding Obama’s seeking a second term, or even that the republican alternative will be worse. It’s very unlikely BHO will have to face a serious opponent, because he is serving his purpose admirably, insofar as he has taught democrats to keep settling for less and to shut up and not complain about it. That makes him a shoo-in to be re-elected, so he can help carve up the New Deal and Great Society entitlements even more in 2012-2016.

    In one of the ‘Star Trek’ movies Mr Spock said that only Nixon could go to China. Well, only Obama can convince democrats to give up on single payer, defund social security, and disassemble Medicare and Medicaid. He’s too valuable to his sponsors, right where he is. He’s not going anywhere.

    (I’m guessing his successor will be tasked with disassembling public education.)

  29. Satan Mayo

    I don’t think there’s ever been a writer who had such a laser-like focus on trying to convince people who agree with him on every issue that they are pathetic morons for not agreeing with him soon enough.

  30. Formerly T-Bear

    On further mature consideration, I would add to my comment just above:

    For every member of Congress (House and Senate) that voted to suppress, negate and bury the Goldstone Report to the UN on the dastardly premeditated military attack by Israel on the unarmed population remorselessly jailed on the Gaza territory, every member of Congress so supporting that position who was not registered as an agent of a foreign interest at the time, every last one of them should be removed and banned from public office for treason against the interests of the nation. No votes for traitors!

  31. Ian Welsh

    Not agreeing soon enough is what matters. Agreeing with me about Obama now is good, but not as good as it would have been in 2006, say. This is not an academic argument, one reason I stopped blogging for pay, and therefore consistently at the a-list level, is because I couldn’t even convince fellow bloggers to do the right thing. Worse, I could not convince them to do the right thing when they agreed with me at the time, but were too timid and too concerned with traffic numbers, money and triangulation to do the right thing.

    And, actually, all my readers don’t agree with me on things. Even all the commenters don’t agree (hello Mandos). And regular commenters forget that they are a tiny fraction of the readership of a blog. I’m not just talking to you, I’m talking to various people I know read, who don’t comment, and no, they don’t all agree with me, especially on strategy. It’s fairly mainstream now to believe that Obama sucks, and we should make sure he’s reelected, for example.

  32. skuppers

    Bonuses anyone?
    I don’t know where else to leave this, so I’ll post it here on an off topic comment. In February, I left a comment on the impact of P of oil on the shipping industry. Here’s an update.

    In February, the Fuel Surcharge (FSC) on shipments was 26%. It is now 31%. It keeps climbing with no end in sight. It’s not always a straight formula though, as I saw an invoice from the steam line the other day, where the customer’s freight rate is $1400, but the added FSC was about $1800. Adding a margin? Lol. But really what I want to add here could be best captured by this title: Cynical, naive, or just dumb?

    In July 2010, the government instituted a tax incentive to businesses to get exports moving. I would guess their motivation was to encourage exports to increase profits to get companies to hire more workers. You know, work on that unemployment thing. So they give a tax break to exporters, and reduce their tax on profits from 35% to 15%.

    My customer in Australia imports a lot of pork. They are owned by a U.S. company that supplies about 60% of their product. They got their product delivered FAS Long Beach, meaning free along side. The supplier paid for all expenses up to the side of the ship; rail to long beach, transloading, and delivery to the ship. My customer paid for everything from that point on – I acted as their agent, and so I was “technically” the exporter. Starting in August, the supplier wanted to sell the product, in order to take advantage of the tax incentive, DES – delivered ex-ship. Meaning they paid for all expenses up to the point that the ship tossed the container overboard at the foreign port. The supplier was now the exporter, in name, where they hadn’t been so before.

    Was there any increase in exports? No; same business being done as before. Did the supplier hire new staff to handle the “new business?” No, in fact they let staff go; I’m still managing the shipments and getting my same ‘cut.’ So on paper, it looks like the supplier increased business by about 700 containers a year, and get a reduction of 20 points in those profits, but they haven’t really increased business, they just get the tax break.

    This is just ONE business in the U.S. How many others are doing the same thing? So is the administration cynical, naive, or just dumb? Didn’t they do their homework on this? It took me about 5 minutes to figure this scheme out. How come the geniuses at Department of Commerce didn’t see this coming? Or did they? Is this just another way to get around the repatriation of foreign earned profits taxes by ‘reimbursing’ them at home (after all, money is fungible isn’t it?)?

  33. Notorious P.A.T.

    “So is the administration cynical, naive, or just dumb?”

    Why just one? Is Charlie Sheen behaving like that just to get attention, or because he’s mentally unstable? Was Michael Jordan successful because of talent, hard work, or competitive drive? False choices.

    Personally, I believe Obama wants to fight unemployment–he can’t get re-elected otherwise–but he doesn’t want to make major changes to the country. Increasing exports is one of the few things that fits that bill. Happy to be wrong, etc.

  34. Worse, I could not convince them to do the right thing when they agreed with me at the time, but were too timid and too concerned with traffic numbers, money and triangulation to do the right thing.

    very sad. blogging, since it’s done by humans, probably has far more in common with the MSM than we, or at least i, wish it did.

  35. Formerly T-Bear

    Obama is a loose cannon on deck. No good will become of the lack of control over his behavior. It would be best for all concerned that he be put overboard before irreparable damage is done. The lies from his lips are beyond counting. His position is a result of fraudulence. He needs to be removed for the safety of the people and the wellbeing of the country. He needs to be restrained far more than Bradley Manning. He has no intention to enforce the constitution, the treaties, or the laws of the country other than the unconstitutional laws that add to his power. His name needs be stricken from all records of honour and join that of General Arnold in infamy. His is a black-dark day in American History.

  36. Z

    obama’s deceitful two-step … this is what I want, this is what I forced to settle for … is all built upon his professed belief that all the members of congress are as well-intentioned as he. HA HA HA. He purportedly can’t FATHOM that any republican would put their re-election chances or personal interests above the country’s interest when HE BLATANTLY HAS DONE SO HIMSELF TIME AFTER TIME AFTER TIME which was never more transparent than with the health care bailout bill debacle where he sold our asses out on negotiated medicare prescription costs, mandates, public option, and imported drugs … ALL BROKEN PROMISES THAT HE MADE DURING THE CAMPAIGN TO ENHANCE HIS APPEAL TO VOTERS.

    He only aggressively entered that debate when it was clear that the bill was going to have to go thru the senate via reconciliation and his precious dirty backroom deals with his corporate pals … almost all that favored corporate interests over those of the vast majority of americans … were being endangered. THEN he wanted to wrap it up before momentum developed for a bill that would better serve this country’s interests as a whole … not just the cocksuckers that had much to do with causing the health care problem in the first place … but would endanger his personal standing with the the scumbag corporate interests that have done so much to damage this country and the people that obama supposedly cares so much about.

    His made-for-the-wanna-believers bullshit serves two purposes:
    1. He gets to portray himself as a well-meaning man that is too good for washington, which maintains his appeal to the public when he leaves office … after selling our asses out behind the scenes.
    2. It carves out a blind spot in him … and excuse for his supporters … as to why this fine man keeps getting taken to the cleaners by those nasty republicans.

    It’s all bullshit … he’s all bullshit … and it’s very frustrating watching this low-life piece of trash mesmerize so many in this country with his empty empathetic words.


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