Now That the Charade is Over

This is the least surprising thing you will ever read:

House Republican leaders say they are rejecting President Barack Obama’s jobs proposals to rebuild schools and blighted neighborhoods, and help keep state and local employees on the job.

In a memo to GOP lawmakers that was also issued publicly and reprinted in The New York Times, House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., and other Republican leaders also objected to the president’s proposal for a temporary reduction in payroll taxes, in order to boost consumer spending and increase demand.

The GOP leaders say such a temporary reduction means taxes will go up later when the reduction expires in 2013.

“While employees would see an additional temporary benefit from this proposal in 2012,” they wrote, “they would experience a larger effective tax increase 12 months later when the payroll tax reverted back to its full level.

“There may be significant unforeseen downsides to large temporary tax cuts immediately followed by large tax increases,” they added.

Boehner and his GOP colleagues also say that Mr. Obama’s move to tax the wealthy claiming itemized deductions will hurt churches and other nonprofits.

The memo says Mr. Obama’s proposal to spend $50 billion to repair and improve infrastructure and to create a $10 billion national infrastructure bank is “adding more money to the same broken system,” and is “more likely to produce waste and inefficiency than meaningful results.”

This is playing out pretty much as I expected. Up next, the manic progressive wing starts screaming about Obama not just making his job plan law by waving a magic wand, the “bully pulpit” chorus begins, all while the media completely ignore Republican intransigence and instead focuses on the “rift” inside the Democratic party while having concerned and excited chats about Obama’s sagging popularity.

No one could have predicted.






92 replies
  1. 1
    Johannes says:

    Isn’t it sad that nihilism has become the best means of predicting political behavior? Also, too.

  2. 2
    You Don't Say says:

    How can any Republican voter with half a brain not be incensed with their party?

  3. 3

    The GOP leaders say such a temporary reduction means taxes will go up later when the reduction expires in 2013.

    Gotta love this wingnut logic. I ventured this morning to watch a little MSNBC, till they announced the coming segment of ‘liberal disappointment’ in president Obama. And the only place they could justify such a headliner is from the blogs and pro left in the MSM. Not from polling that still gives Obama very high support among democrats, and even higher amongst self described liberal dems. Most democrats out there, get the nature of scorched earth right wing politicking. A few don’t and they lend aid and comfort to the enemy in this cold civil war. No other way to describe it imo.

    We have to fight two political parties, it sure does seem like, to keep the WH in dem hands.

  4. 4
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @You Don’t Say:

    Asked and answered.

  5. 5
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    “they would experience a larger effective tax increase 12 months later when the payroll tax reverted back to its full level.
    “There may be significant unforeseen downsides to large temporary tax cuts immediately followed by large tax increases,” they added.

    I… what the… but… oh for fuck’s sake.

    I swear if it weren’t for my elderly parents I’d just up and leave.

  6. 6
    JPL says:

    Although the public overwhelmingly support the President’s plan, the repubs know at the end of the day, the President will be blamed for a down economy.
    America, fu@k yeah.

  7. 7
  8. 8
    fuckwit says:

    There will be more street protests like http://www.occupywallst.org

    They will eventually swell to Tahrir-Square size eventually, but they’ll take place in the actual CAPITOL of the USA– Wall Street– not in DC.

    There will be riot police and “non-lethal” weapons and people WILL NOT CARE and will get killed and arrested in more numbers than the cops can round them up. Do you know why? Because they’ll have nothing else to lose.

    How this will end, I don’t know. But that’s my medium-term prediction.

  9. 9
    dmsilev says:

    I think Obama’s plan is to try to make the GOP’s collective head explode:
    Obama Tax Plan Would Ask More of Millionaires:

    President Obama on Monday will call for a new minimum tax rate for individuals making more than $1 million a year to ensure that they pay at least the same percentage of their earnings as middle-income taxpayers, according to administration officials.

    Now, to normal sane people, this would seem to be the bare absolute minimum of a normal sane tax policy. But, give it fifteen or so minutes, and Rush Limbaugh’s head is going to spinning around like that girl in The Exorcist.

  10. 10

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I think the charade is over, and if you listen to the wingnuts themselves, they are commencing with all out offensive operations on the class war front, and their aim is squarely on the poor and middle class. They don’t even bother to make plausible arguments anymore, if it ain’t all, then it will be nothin’. Or, leave the rich alone, and we will do the same with the poor. Maybe

  11. 11
    demkat620 says:

    @You Don’t Say: They are not incensed. They like it.

  12. 12
    uila says:

    Boehner and his GOP colleagues also say that Mr. Obama’s move to tax the wealthy claiming itemized deductions will hurt churches and other nonprofits.

    That’s a new one to me. Has anyone else heard that line before? “We can’t tax rich folk, because Jesus?”

  13. 13
    handy says:

    @uila:

    He may well be right, but Boehner’s unwittingly revealing an awful lot about the rich Jeebus folks with that statement, ain’t he?

  14. 14
    Donut says:

    Up next, the manic progressive wing starts screaming about Obama not just making his job plan law by waving a magic wand, the “bully pulpit” chorus begins, all while the media completely ignore Republican intransigence and instead focuses on the “rift” inside the Democratic party while having concerned and excited chats about Obama’s sagging popularity.

    Actually, John, I think the president has no choice but to actually start using the bully pulpit. I don’t disagree that a lot of progressives have gone to that trope too often, but now it really counts. It’s election season, full bore, and that means time to differentiate himself strongly from the legislative branch.

    If he doesn’t continue to run against Congress both in general, including the assholes in his own party, and specifically against the Republicans, I think he will lose reelection.

  15. 15
    Tom Levenson says:

    I actually think that we are beginning to turn the corner on this one. The polls suggest that folks are beginning to recognize the difference between the guy trying to do something and teh folks making sure he can’t. At least that’s how I interpret the out-of-the-margin-of-error swing towards the President and away from Gov. Goodhair in the most recent poll.

    If Obama keeps on coming with the stuff he’s been doing for the next week, he gets to pull a Harry Truman, running against the do-nothin congress.

    Or so I devoutly hope.

  16. 16
    JPL says:

    @uila: the repubs only love the baby jesus if they can deduct donations. At least that is the way it seems. Time to call Boehner and ask if he only loves the baby jesus because of a tax deduction.

  17. 17

    @Tom Levenson:

    Well, when it comes to staying on message Obama is sounding more like the wingnut wurlitzer for meme repetition . Maybe the other dems and libs will start doing the same, instead of bellyaching about this or that not being good enough

  18. 18
    MikeJ says:

    @uila:

    That’s a new one to me. Has anyone else heard that line before? “We can’t tax rich folk, because Jesus?”

    There’s a reason they get so het up about having in god we trust on the cash. That Jesus guy was once asked about taxes, and he said, whose pic is on it? That’s the guy it belongs to.

  19. 19
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    The GOP leaders say such a temporary reduction means taxes will go up later when the reduction expires in 2013.

    Hmmm, where was this concern with the Bush Tax Cuts? They were passed and the Republicans have fought tooth and nail to keep them from expiring. Why? Because they disproportionately benefit the wealthy.

    These payroll tax cuts only benefit wage earners, thus they must expire and that would be a tax raise, making the whole deal really bad!

    Maybe Obama should have tossed in a few payoffs for the rich? Like eliminating the “Death Tax”, stop taxing capital gains and some other bribealishoiusly good stuff for the Repugs?

    Ubetcha!

  20. 20
    mcd410x says:

    If the Republicans and Democrats were coaching little league, the Democrats would want every kid to get a chance to play and the Republicans would let half the team sit in order to win.

    I’m a Democrat who wants to win. It gets frustrating.

  21. 21
    Cat Lady says:

    All this sturm und drang and the first gooper primary is still 5 months away. If this self-defeating “ZOMG we’re all gonna die” horse race tone the MSM wants to promote is going to be the daily drumbeat here, then I’m going to pick up the Wrong Way Half Empty John Galt Doom Cole mantra, also too.

    ETA: right on cue I get an email from barackobama.com promoting a Mass. phone bank effort to identify people who are “in”, for the upcoming fight. Seriously people, get a grip.

  22. 22
    kwAwk says:

    Former President Jimmy Carter was on the Rachel Maddow Show this week applauding President Obama for finally learning how to use the Bully Pulpit.

    The term was coined over a century ago by Teddy Roosevelt. It is neither imaginary nor a criticism made up specifically for Obama.

    George W. Bush knew how to use the Bully Pulpit of the Presidency very well. It’s how we got multiple Bush Tax cuts and the Iraq War.

    If Obama can’t translate support for the policies he proposes into public calls for passage of those polices, it’s nobody’s fault but Obama’s.

    Sorry.

  23. 23

    George W. Bush knew how to use the Bully Pulpit of the Presidency very well. It’s how we got multiple Bush Tax cuts and the Iraq War.

    Republicans don’t need a bully pulpit, they are a lockstep party, that can usually snag a few conservative dems to give their cause the veneer of bipartisan.

    And the Bush tax cuts were done with reconciliation bypassing a certain dem filibuster in the senate, and the GOP controlled the House. As for Iraq, it was a year after 9-11 with a still traumatized country, but even then there were more dems in the congress that voted against it, rather than for it.

    Any comparisons of Bush’s first term in the wake of 9-11 is a poor one imo, and near all his second term he was a dead duck that got little of what he bully pulpitted for, such as privatizing SS.

  24. 24
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @uila: I thought they were champions of the free market. After all, if these groups can’t survive without a government subsidy (deductions from people’s taxes), shouldn’t they go broke?

  25. 25
    kay says:

    @dmsilev:

    to ensure that they pay at least the same percentage of their earnings as middle-income taxpayers, according to administration officials.

    Liberals, and Obama, won that argument. They won the “fair share” argument. That’s a big change. I don’t know if we’ll get the policy change yet, or anytime soon, but they have absolutely won the public debate.

    People changed their minds on taxes. It’s no longer a third rail. Politicians can now run on raising taxes, and taxes are now being discussed in the context of what’s “fair”. That’s huge. Every time Grover Norquist hears “fair” and “taxes” in the same sentence he must die just a little.

  26. 26
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @kwAwk:

    George W. Bush knew how to use the Bully Pulpit of the Presidency very well. It’s how we got multiple Bush Tax cuts and the Iraq War.

    Uh, no. 9/11 and “America, FUCK YEAH!” is how we got Iraq, and Senate reconciliation is how we got those tax cuts. Ask our privatized Social Security system about how effective the bully pulpit was for Bush.

  27. 27
    Keith G says:

    @kwAwk: Shusssh. You cannot use history, or the opinions of veterans of the process, to defend a proactive, aggressive, and comprehensive messaging campaign, AKA the Bully Pulpit. Don’t you know, It never works (a hundred years of mass media and presidential marketing be damned).

    Also too, Carter lost.

    Edit: See…#26 with more to follow. Give up lil kwAwk. You will never convince them. They know it all.

  28. 28
    kwAwk says:

    @general stuck (not kay)

    Republicans don’t need a bully pulpit, they are a lockstep party, that can usually snag a few conservative dems to give their cause the veneer of bipartisan.

    Remind me again who was it that invited Joe Lieberman back into the Democratic caucus thus failing to punish him for defeating a Democratic candidate?

    Seriously, who is it that has been calling for all of this bi-partisanship if not Obama? There are only so many times you can extend your hand to the opposition and get spit in your face in return before you learn something. Atleast you would think…

    @Keith G:

    lol When Jimmy Carter is saying Dude? What the fuck? You know you’ve got issues.

  29. 29
    kwAwk says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    Uh, no. 9/11 and “America, FUCK YEAH!” is how we got Iraq, and Senate reconciliation is how we got those tax cuts. Ask our privatized Social Security system about how effective the bully pulpit was for Bush.

    You probably wouldn’t get child rape legalized using the Bully Pulpit either.

    We’re talking about policies that the public SUPPORTS.

  30. 30
    RAM says:

    “Up next, the manic progressive wing starts screaming about Obama not just making his job plan law by waving a magic wand, the “bully pulpit” chorus begins.”

    Pretty simple way to keep the manic progressive wing from screaming: Do something progressive, and then restrain yourself from kicking the DFH’s in the nuts. Seems to me that’s what he’s done.

  31. 31

    @kwAwk:

    The quote is mine, not Kay’s. And when are you folks gonna quit personalizing politics like it is some kind of school yard punk contest.

    Remind me again who was it that invited Joe Lieberman back into the Democratic caucus thus failing to punish him for defeating a Democratic candidate?

    Joe Lieberman, hate him or not, was the 60th vote for HCR, and most other dem votes in the senate he was a yea. Do you think he would have made those votes after banishment from the dem party?

    There are only so many times you can extend your hand to the opposition and get spit in your face in return before you learn something. Atleast you would think…

    So? Obama has given them little of what they want. You might want to ask the wingers how they feel about Obama slipping the Stimulus past them, and HCR they had blocked for decades, or the new Consumer Protection Agency they hate with a passion, Maybe they think he has spit in their faces passing this shit they despise and couldn’t stop him.

    Carter tried the bully pulpit on his dem congress, and they shoved it back down his throat. Dems aren’t republicans for lockstepping much, and don’t care for a dem president trying to punk them like they were wingers. See Clinton’s HCR effort in 93.

  32. 32
    Another Bob says:

    Up next, the manic progressive wing starts screaming about Obama not just making his job plan law by waving a magic wand

    I can see blaming Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats for actively blocking Obama’s job plan, because there are plenty of them, they’re in positions to actually block the plan in Congress, and they can almost be guaranteed to do so. Progressives, on the other hand, would presumably support, not block, such a plan, and I have yet to hear any of them demanding that Obama use “magic” to accomplish that. While I can understand the frustration, the preemptive progressive-bashing is just unfair and petulant.

  33. 33
    NR says:

    Up next, the manic progressive wing starts screaming about Obama not just making his job plan law by waving a magic wand,

    Examples? Or are you trolling your own blog again?

  34. 34
    Corner Stone says:

    @Another Bob:

    While I can understand the frustration, the preemptive progressive-bashing is just unfair and petulant.

    Between these kinds of cynical inoculation screeds and lecturing us all how he was clueless about race up to a few months ago, that’s about 95% of Cole’s bag. Baby.

  35. 35

    LOL, the usual suspects, here they come with the progressive butthurt. I’m going to watch a movie, and make some popcorn

  36. 36
    Davis X. Machina says:

    …and I have yet to hear any of them demanding that Obama use “magic” to accomplish that.

    Let me know when your ISP comes back up.

    Because they do.

  37. 37
    Another Bob says:

    @General Stuck:

    LOL, the usual suspects, here they come with the progressive butthurt. I’m going to watch a movie, and make some popcorn

    Yes, it’s better if you spend your time doing something you’re good at.

  38. 38
    Keith G says:

    @General Stuck:

    how they feel about Obama slipping the Stimulus past them

    You mean the stimulus that was watered down and packed with non-stimulating tax cuts? That stimulus?

    Carter tried the bully pulpit on his dem congress, and they shoved it back down his throat

    Tell ya what, Stuck, use teh Googles and compare how much legislation Carter got passed vs Obama. Your, “shoved it back down his throat” statement does not hold up. Yeah, he went down in flames in 80, but he got some stuff done.

  39. 39
    Another Bob says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    So one anonymous commenter at Democratic Underground constitutes “the progressive wing?” No wonder O-bots tremble with rage at their omnipotence.

  40. 40
    Keith G says:

    @General Stuck: General, you do talk about butthurt quite a bit – one of your favorite terms.

    Is there something you are not telling us?

  41. 41
    Emerald says:

    @Keith G: Yeah, the stimulus that turned an 8.9% downturn into 1.9% growth the very next quarter. That stimulus.

    But what I think Obama’s actually doing with his American Jobs Act (thank God at least one Democrat finally has learned how to title legislation) is to hand the credit for the economy over to the Republicans.

    He grabbed their national security advantage when he put bullets into OBL’s head (not to mention the pirates).

    He grabbed their deficit issue during the debt ceiling crisis, messy as it was.

    Now he’s picking up the impossible-to-improve economy and plopping it down right into the Republican’s lap. They won’t pass his bill? Right, it’s all on you, guys.

  42. 42

    @Keith G:

    You mean the stimulus that was watered down and packed with non-stimulating tax cuts? That stimulus?

    Say what? The payroll tax cuts to the poor and middle class are the most stimulative government stimulus there is. What do you think government action stimulus is? It is simply and only taking money out of the treasury, or printing it, or borrowing it, and spending it into the general economy. And the best, or most effective stimulus is what gets spent the fastest. And there are few means faster than the poor spending the extra cash in their paychecks from a payroll tax cut. That is all stimulus is.

    @Keith G:

    Tell ya what, Stuck, use teh Googles and compare how much legislation Carter got passed vs Obama. Your, “shoved it back down his throat” statement does not hold up. Yeah, he went down in flames in 80, but he got some stuff done.

    I don’t have to use google to know that Carter did not do comprehensive HCR, or pass the largest discretionary spending bill in history full of all kinds of funding for long term liberal initiatives. He didn’t create a national consumer protection agency. And I didn’t say Carter didn’t get “stuff done”, especially on foreign policy where he was terrific,. I am saying the size and scope of domestic leg he got passed doesn’t measure up to Obama’s first term so far.

    And the point I was making was that Carter took a more confrontational tack with his dem congress, and that did not help him get what he wanted. And I don’t blame Carter at all, but the prima donna dems, especially in the Senate. Like Reid not scheduling Obama’s jobs plan right away.

    And I love Jimmy Carter, did then, and now.

  43. 43

    @Keith G:

    General, you do talk about butthurt quite a bit – one of your favorite terms. Is there something you are not telling us?

    Now you are acting like a little baby making cryptic sexuality suggestions out of a common term used to describe whiny brats like yourself. Grow up

  44. 44
    boss bitch says:

    @kwAwk:

    For fucks sake. We want the so-called bully pulpit to lead TO VOTES IN CONGRESS not just higher poll numbers for Obama. Where Are The Votes?

  45. 45
    Ronald Ojeda says:

    GOP getting scared. We are on to them!!

  46. 46
    Keith G says:

    @General Stuck: Sex? You? I was thinking roids.

    I was glad the Stimulus passed and know it did good, but it was not a signature 11th dementional chess win as so much was given up. Of course it passed.

    Obama slipping the Stimulus past them

    Again, for better or worse nothing was slipped by the GOP, he took on some of their ideas and lowered the impact of what was passed in order to get it through. Tho some on the GOP bitched for the cameras, many were happy that it passed.

  47. 47
    Narcissus says:

    Man, that GOP line on taxes is just psychotic. That’s the kind of thing Frank Booth would say.

  48. 48
    Keith G says:

    @boss bitch:

    For fucks sake. We want the so-called bully pulpit to lead TO VOTES IN CONGRESS not just higher poll numbers for Obama. Where Are The Votes?

    Votes in Congress are related to perception of public support of a given issue. Nothing is certain, but working on a proactive, aggressive, and comprehensive messaging campaign is better than not. That is what Cater said.

  49. 49
    LTL-FTC says:

    Could someone please write a different ending for this script, please and thank you.

  50. 50
    tjproudamerican says:

    I was never a Republican, but at 60 I really feel connected to John Cole’s political views. I even lament the entirely unproductive outburst of battered racial feelings over the now infamous Michael Moore remark and tortured apology.

    As someone who does read this blog and its comments, I wonder when we are going to call for a peaceful revolution. It is clear that our voting system and our political structures and our national discourse work exactly as John Cole analyzed here. And meanwhile the rich are getting rich, the poor are getting poorer and more numerous and young people, whom I teach on a college level are more and more distracted, distanced, prematurely cynical, defeatist, and so many other things that are depressing.

    How about it? Two countries? A real revolution, peacefully, to get back to the model of capitalism that prevailed from 1944 to 1972 or some similar period when the middle class was not in retreat or ruin, is necessary. Is it possible, or are we just going to peacefully become Mexico?

  51. 51
    NR says:

    @Another Bob: Davis probably doesn’t even understand that the “example” he just cited actually goes against his argument, because the majority of commenters in the thread he linked to said “No, that’s a stupid idea.” Hilarious.

  52. 52
    Keith G says:

    @General Stuck:

    Now you are acting like a little baby making cryptic sexuality suggestions out of a common term used to describe whiny brats like yourself. Grow up

    If you think I am acting like a whiny brat, I must be since you are never, never wrong.

    What I know I am is just a bit weary of the tactic of using demeaning and sometimes aggressive comments to those with whom one disagrees. Apparently it has impact on you too, as you got even more hostile than usual when I impishly turned it back onto you.

  53. 53
    boss bitch says:

    @Keith G:

    Come back to me when the GOP votes YES on the American Jobs Act. Every word out of the Repubs mouth since the speech has been no, no and NO.

  54. 54
    JPL says:

    @tjproudamerican: Mexico is not exactly peaceful. The wealthy hire their own security guards so find it unnecessary to pay extra taxes for the police. The Koch brothers probably find nothing wrong with it though.

  55. 55
    boss bitch says:

    The ignorance here is fucking astounding. I gotta stop being surprised at this shit.

  56. 56

    @Keith G:

    Bullshit. you simply don’t know what you are talking about and are hoping to get by with it. First, I have to school you in what stimulus is, and second, you still don’t know what was in the Stimulus Bill beyond the progressive payroll rapid stimulus tax cut for the poor.

    It was a landmark bill for it’s long term funding of a host of solid progressive wishes, such as alternative fuels, biotech, and IT research for new markets for new technologies.

    AND THAT is why the wingnuts hate it, because those causes make the plutocrats nervous. How about you reading some other than coughing up nutroot talking points about the Stimulus, and what was in it. That were very little GOP ideas, except using their tax cut meme against them for the payroll tax cut. Stop posting bullshit.

  57. 57

    @Keith G:

    when I impishly turned it back onto you

    But what about that fighting dem spirit you folks keep harping about for Obama to measure up. I mean “impishly” doesn’t quite fit with that, does it?

  58. 58
    Keith G says:

    @tjproudamerican: I understand your notions and I feel agreement.

    I wonder when we are going to call for a peaceful revolution.

    Me too, but I am not hopeful.

    This is because there is a large segment of the left of center population who are progressive and worried about injustice, but are largely comfortable with their lot in life and know that even with the bumpy times we face, they will get to the end of their life more or less okay.

    And Obama is golden for them – push a little, but no huge risks. No revolutions. This is very understandable/realistic and I am not being critical. I just do not see this as being enough to successfully address the things that you brought up. Reelected or not, Obama will go down as a good man of moderate political opinion who did all he reasonably could (considering his moderation) do, but it was not enough.

    I am just recently trying to put these ideas together, so they are nothing more than an outline.

  59. 59
    Another Bob says:

    @boss bitch:

    Come back to me when the GOP votes YES on the American Jobs Act. Every word out of the Repubs mouth since the speech has been no, no and NO.

    Is that supposed to be an argument against presidents campaigning for things they want?

  60. 60
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @boss bitch: Every word out of the Repubs mouth since the speech has been no, no and NO.
    and from more than a few Dems, though I was encouraged to see that Carper objected to being lumped in with the naysayers. I just wonder if he was really misinterpreted, or if BIden called him up and threatened to stick a shiv named Beau into his electoral ribs.

  61. 61
    OzoneR says:

    @Donut:

    I think the president has no choice but to actually start using the bully pulpit.

    this is snark, right?

    How much more bully pulpting can the man do? Jesus Christ on a Ritz Cracker.

  62. 62
    OzoneR says:

    @kwAwk:

    If Obama can’t translate support for the policies he proposes into public calls for passage of those polices, it’s nobody’s fault but Obama’s.

    It’s also his fault Jews in NY-09 think he hates Israel too I guess.

    if only he’d stop racism

  63. 63
    OzoneR says:

    @Keith G:

    You cannot use history, or the opinions of veterans of the process, to defend a proactive, aggressive, and comprehensive messaging campaign, AKA the Bully Pulpit. Don’t you know, It never works

    I can’t believe you believe it this is a joke when it’s true, do any of you pay attention to history. So fucking delusional, it’s scary.

  64. 64
    OzoneR says:

    @Another Bob:

    While I can understand the frustration, the preemptive progressive-bashing is just unfair and petulant.

    they get treated like the children they act like

  65. 65
    Keith G says:

    @General Stuck: If you are correct, there will be few here happier than I.

  66. 66
    Keith G says:

    @OzoneR:

    How much more bully pulpting can the man do? Jesus Christ on a Ritz Cracker.

    He has just begun. We will see how he handles it. Some have noted that persistence of effort (of messaging) has not been this administration’s strength. Since now we are at campaign season, we may see a previously missing persistence.

  67. 67
    mclaren says:

    …The manic progressive wing starts screaming about Obama not just making his job plan law by waving a magic wand…

    Presumably I belong to the “manic progressive wing.” What Obama is supposed to do, I don’t know. Obama and his advisors made the serious mistake of assuming this was normal recession like previous ones, instead of the epochal transformation of the post-WW II economic system that was set up after the Great Depression. A lot of trends over which Obama has absolutely no control drive this transformation: Peak Oil, global warming, resource depletion, global population growth, computers + databases + algorithms + the internet + robots. Obama can’t do anything to deflect or change the trajectory of any of these trends.

    Any president would be equally screwed in Obama’s position. If you ask all the most prestigious and most respected economists what to do, their answers are completely worthless and foolish: retrain laid-off workers, and give the workforce more education. Both those remedies have been tried and both have failed.

    The hard cold fact remains that most of the new jobs projected to open up over the next several decades require no training. They’re low-wage low-skill dead-end jobs: elder care at nursing homes, security guard, janitor, food service, hospitality service (hotel maids and clerks), xerox clerks, Starbucks baristas.

    If you look at the jobs that California’s Employment Development Department thinks will be available over the next decade, the greatest numbers by far are among those that require short-term on-the-job training–retail sales, cashiers, waiters, clerks, home care aides, and laborers–many of which pay less than $10 per hour. All that
    college prep seems pretty useless if it’s not going to pay off in the job market.

    Source: End State: The End of California?

    As for “more education,” the American workforce is already overeducated.

    In two blogs in this space (here and here) that stirred up some interest (80 comments), I presented evidence that a large portion of those receiving bachelor’s degrees at American colleges and universities these days are getting jobs requiring less-than-college-level educational skills. I went on to argue that this is further evidence that the strategy of trying to dramatically increase the number of those with degrees may be counterproductive, and that we in fact in one sense are “overinvested” in higher education—that more people are getting degrees than the number of jobs available that traditionally have gone to college graduates (for a complete study on this topic, click here).

    Source: “Too many PhDs and professionals?” by Richard Vetter, Chronicle of Higher Education, 5 January 2011.

    Moreover, the vast majority of adult college students who try to get a 4-year degree after spending some time in a profession wind up failing dismally. The cold hard truth remains that most adults are just not cut out to get a four-year college degree, let alone a masters or doctoral degree or a professional credential like a law or medical degree.

    Many of my students have returned to college after some manner of life interregnum: a year or two of post-high-school dissolution, or a large swath of simple middle-class existence, 20 years of the demands of home and family. They work during the day and come to class in the evenings. I teach young men who must amass a certain number of credits before they can become police officers or state troopers, lower-echelon health-care workers who need credits to qualify for raises, and municipal employees who require college-level certification to advance at work.

    My students take English 101 and English 102 not because they want to but because they must. Both colleges I teach at require that all students, no matter what their majors or career objectives, pass these two courses. For many of my students, this is difficult. Some of the young guys, the police-officers-to-be, have wonderfully open faces across which play their every passing emotion, and when we start reading `Araby’ or `Barn Burning,’ their boredom quickly becomes apparent. They fidget; they prop their heads on their arms; they yawn and sometimes appear to grimace in pain, as though they had been tasered. Their eyes implore: How could you do this to me? (..)

    The bursting of our collective bubble comes quickly. A few weeks into the semester, the students must start actually writing papers, and I must start grading them. Despite my enthusiasm, despite their thoughtful nods of agreement and what I have interpreted as moments of clarity, it turns out that in many cases it has all come to naught.

    Remarkably few of my students can do well in these classes. Students routinely fail; some fail multiple times, and some will never pass, because they cannot write a coherent sentence.

    I wonder, sometimes, at the conclusion of a course, when I fail nine out of 15 students, whether the college will send me a note either (1) informing me of a serious bottleneck in the march toward commencement and demanding that I pass more students, or (2) commending me on my fiscal ingenuity—my high failure rate forces students to pay for classes two or three times over. (..)

    What actually happens is that nothing happens. I feel no pressure from the colleges in either direction. My department chairpersons, on those rare occasions when I see them, are friendly, even warm. They don’t mention all those students who have failed my courses, and I don’t bring them up. There seems, as is often the case in colleges, to be a huge gulf between academia and reality. No one is thinking about the larger implications, let alone the morality, of admitting so many students to classes they cannot possibly pass. The colleges and the students and I are bobbing up and down in a great wave of societal forces—social optimism on a large scale, the sense of college as both a universal right and a need, financial necessity on the part of the colleges and the students alike, the desire to maintain high academic standards while admitting marginal students—that have coalesced into a mini-tsunami of difficulty. No one has drawn up the flowchart and seen that, although more-widespread college admission is a bonanza for the colleges and nice for the students and makes the entire United States of America feel rather pleased with itself, there is one point of irreconcilable conflict in the system, and that is the moment when the adjunct instructor, who by the nature of his job teaches the worst students, must ink the F on that first writing assignment.

    Source: “The basement of the ivory tower,” The Atlantic Magazine, Professor X, June 2008.

    So what the hell is Obama supposed to do?

    I don’t have a clue. All the traditional remedies have failed. The global economy is undergoing a convulsive transformation, and increasingly, if you can define a job, it can be automated out of existence. What Obama is supposed to do to fix things under those conditions, I can’t even begin to tell you.

  68. 68
    marginalized for stating documented facts says:

    …The manic progressive wing starts screaming about Obama not just making his job plan law by waving a magic wand…

    Presumably I belong to the “manic progressive wing.” What Obama is supposed to do, I don’t know. Obama and his advisors made the serious mistake of assuming this was normal recession like previous ones, instead of the epochal transformation of the post-WW II economic system that was set up after the Great Depression. A lot of trends over which Obama has absolutely no control drive this transformation: Peak Oil, global warming, resource depletion, global population growth, computers + databases + algorithms + the internet + robots. Obama can’t do anything to deflect or change the trajectory of any of these trends.

    Any president would be equally screwed in Obama’s position. If you ask all the most prestigious and most respected economists what to do, their answers are completely worthless and foolish: retrain laid-off workers, and give the workforce more education. Both those remedies have been tried and both have failed.

    The hard cold fact remains that most of the new jobs projected to open up over the next several decades require no training. They’re low-wage low-skill dead-end jobs: elder care at nursing homes, security guard, janitor, food service, hospitality service (hotel maids and clerks), xerox clerks, Starbucks baristas.

    If you look at the jobs that California’s Employment Development Department thinks will be available over the next decade, the greatest numbers by far are among those that require short-term on-the-job training–retail sales, cashiers, waiters, clerks, home care aides, and laborers–many of which pay less than $10 per hour. All that
    college prep seems pretty useless if it’s not going to pay off in the job market.

    Source: End State: The End of California?

    As for “more education,” the American workforce is already overeducated.

    In two blogs in this space (here and here) that stirred up some interest (80 comments), I presented evidence that a large portion of those receiving bachelor’s degrees at American colleges and universities these days are getting jobs requiring less-than-college-level educational skills. I went on to argue that this is further evidence that the strategy of trying to dramatically increase the number of those with degrees may be counterproductive, and that we in fact in one sense are “overinvested” in higher education—that more people are getting degrees than the number of jobs available that traditionally have gone to college graduates (for a complete study on this topic, click here).

    Source: “Too many PhDs and professionals?” by Richard Vetter, Chronicle of Higher Education, 5 January 2011.

    Moreover, the vast majority of adult college students who try to get a 4-year degree after spending some time in a profession wind up failing dismally. The cold hard truth remains that most adults are just not cut out to get a four-year college degree, let alone a masters or doctoral degree or a professional credential like a law or medical degree.

    Many of my students have returned to college after some manner of life interregnum: a year or two of post-high-school dissolution, or a large swath of simple middle-class existence, 20 years of the demands of home and family. They work during the day and come to class in the evenings. I teach young men who must amass a certain number of credits before they can become police officers or state troopers, lower-echelon health-care workers who need credits to qualify for raises, and municipal employees who require college-level certification to advance at work.

    My students take English 101 and English 102 not because they want to but because they must. Both colleges I teach at require that all students, no matter what their majors or career objectives, pass these two courses. For many of my students, this is difficult. Some of the young guys, the police-officers-to-be, have wonderfully open faces across which play their every passing emotion, and when we start reading `Araby’ or `Barn Burning,’ their boredom quickly becomes apparent. They fidget; they prop their heads on their arms; they yawn and sometimes appear to grimace in pain, as though they had been tasered. Their eyes implore: How could you do this to me? (..)

    The bursting of our collective bubble comes quickly. A few weeks into the semester, the students must start actually writing papers, and I must start grading them. Despite my enthusiasm, despite their thoughtful nods of agreement and what I have interpreted as moments of clarity, it turns out that in many cases it has all come to naught.

    Remarkably few of my students can do well in these classes. Students routinely fail; some fail multiple times, and some will never pass, because they cannot write a coherent sentence.

    I wonder, sometimes, at the conclusion of a course, when I fail nine out of 15 students, whether the college will send me a note either (1) informing me of a serious bottleneck in the march toward commencement and demanding that I pass more students, or (2) commending me on my fiscal ingenuity—my high failure rate forces students to pay for classes two or three times over. (..)

    What actually happens is that nothing happens. I feel no pressure from the colleges in either direction. My department chairpersons, on those rare occasions when I see them, are friendly, even warm. They don’t mention all those students who have failed my courses, and I don’t bring them up. There seems, as is often the case in colleges, to be a huge gulf between academia and reality. No one is thinking about the larger implications, let alone the morality, of admitting so many students to classes they cannot possibly pass. The colleges and the students and I are bobbing up and down in a great wave of societal forces—social optimism on a large scale, the sense of college as both a universal right and a need, financial necessity on the part of the colleges and the students alike, the desire to maintain high academic standards while admitting marginal students—that have coalesced into a mini-tsunami of difficulty. No one has drawn up the flowchart and seen that, although more-widespread college admission is a bonanza for the colleges and nice for the students and makes the entire United States of America feel rather pleased with itself, there is one point of irreconcilable conflict in the system, and that is the moment when the adjunct instructor, who by the nature of his job teaches the worst students, must ink the F on that first writing assignment.

    Source: “The basement of the ivory tower,” The Atlantic Magazine, Professor X, June 2008.

    So what the hell is Obama supposed to do?

    I don’t have a clue. All the traditional remedies have failed. The global economy is undergoing a convulsive transformation, and increasingly, if you can define a job, it can be automated out of existence. What Obama is supposed to do to fix things under those conditions, I can’t even begin to tell you.

  69. 69
    Another Bob says:

    @OzoneR:

    they get treated like the children they act like

    Fuck you, bitch.

  70. 70
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @kwAwk: “We’re talking about policies that the public SUPPORTS.”

    The problem with this statement is that it assumes that support is distributed evenly across the country.

    It’s not. Thus the reason shit don’t get done.

    See: The Senate. The bully pulpit doesn’t budge the Senate. Co-equal powers and all, remember? Obama can shout to the high heavens and while it may satisfy you, it won’t get a damned thing done.

  71. 71
    Corner Stone says:

    @Another Bob:

    Fuck you, bitch.

    Oh goodness. I hope for his sake FlipYrNick isn’t here this night.

  72. 72
    Another Bob says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Uh-oh. Does that outburst make me an emo-progger now?

  73. 73
    Corner Stone says:

    @Another Bob: @Another Bob: Totally. And not only an emoprogger but a racist as well.

  74. 74
    Another Bob says:

    @Corner Stone:

    And not only an emoprogger but a racist as well.

    Dammit. Now if Obama’s jobs plan fails for any reason, Cole and the o-bots can personally blame me for it. They laid their trap in extra space-time dimensions that I can’t perceive, and now I’ve totally fallen into it.

  75. 75
    Corner Stone says:

    @Another Bob: You poor sob. You’re done for. Not only are you responsible, but you are RESPONSIBLE.
    Cole has laid out the inoculation, and his simples are baying it loud and proud.

  76. 76
    4jkb4ia says:

    They want to make the payroll tax cut permanent? I missed that.

    Also see the veiled union busting in refusing aid to states for teachers and police officers. When you have 9% unemployment you first do no harm instead of bleating about business uncertainty. There will be business uncertainty for quite a while to come just because of Europe.

  77. 77
    cleek says:

    @Keith G:

    as so much was given up

    that’s how the American government works. always.

  78. 78
    AxelFoley says:

    @kwAwk:

    Former President Jimmy Carter was on the Rachel Maddow Show this week applauding President Obama for finally learning how to use the Bully Pulpit.
    The term was coined over a century ago by Teddy Roosevelt. It is neither imaginary nor a criticism made up specifically for Obama.
    George W. Bush knew how to use the Bully Pulpit of the Presidency very well. It’s how we got multiple Bush Tax cuts and the Iraq War.
    If Obama can’t translate support for the policies he proposes into public calls for passage of those polices, it’s nobody’s fault but Obama’s.
    Sorry.

    I’m sorry you, and quite a few other fools here, don’t pay fuckin’ attention when President Obama uses the bully pulpit. He uses it quite often, only the media, and many dumbasses on the left, seem to ignore it.

    Hell, he bullied the hell out of that pulpit for the 2010 midterms, and well, you see how that went.

  79. 79
    Corner Stone says:

    @AxelFoley:

    I’m sorry you, and quite a few other fools here, don’t pay fuckin’ attention when President Obama uses the bully pulpit

    Oh my. I continue to hope FlipYrNick isn’t alive to see this kind of language from commenters here.

  80. 80
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: I never said anything about language, and you know it. I said that one person, you, tends to pop up at the end of threads to insult people and challenge them to imaginary fights because you think you’re some kind of bad-ass. You’re not. You’re a sad, insignificant piece of ass-hair lint who didn’t get the hint when everyone celebrated when he was gone, and bounced right back to being an aggravating, shit-starting, thoughtless dickface. Happy?

  81. 81
    Another Bob says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    You’re a sad, insignificant piece of ass-hair lint who didn’t get the hint when everyone celebrated when he was gone, and bounced right back to being an aggravating, shit-starting, thoughtless dickface.

    Can hypocrisy be petty and vicious at the same time? Apparently so!

  82. 82
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    You’re a sad, insignificant piece of ass-hair lint who didn’t get the hint when everyone celebrated when he was gone, and bounced right back to being an aggravating, shit-starting, thoughtless dickface. Happy?

    Goodness gracious. I hope the “real” FlipYrNick never sees this viciously personal diatribe.
    It would break his fucking heart.

  83. 83
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Time to stop attacking the left. Time to retire the terms “manic progressive” and “Professional Left”. Those may have had strategic benefit during legislative efforts but they are going to be absolute death for the election season.

    The closest the President is going to get to those terms is to note in the election that he took some stands that were “not popular with some” in his own party.

    If you see someone trying to divide the left, as a media voice, your best bet is to tell another story, one that gets our side riled up generally without discrimination – against the Republicans.

  84. 84
    AA+ Bonds says:

    In other words, people, pull it the fuck together if you want a country left for anyone to rule in 2016

  85. 85
    tam1MI says:

    @AxelFoley:

    If no one is paying any attention, than ipso facto it’s not a Bully Pulpit.

  86. 86
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Yeah, that does sound like you.

  87. 87
    Donut says:

    @OzoneR:

    We are obviously working on a different definition of bully pulpit.

    The major speech a few days ago, and his speeches since, are the first we’ve seen of Obama, since the stimulus bill in 2009, really get in front of something and say, “this is the legislation I want, this is why, and the benefits to the American people are this this this and this.

    He did not do this with health care, he did not do this with Dodd-Frank, he did not do this when the Bush tax cuts were expiring, he did not do this when the GOP was demanding cuts in the spring, and he only did this relatively late in the game when we were on the brink of defaulting.

    If you can point me to multiple instances where he got up and harangued Congress to enact his and only his policy preference on those issues, then I will stand corrected and say I was wrong.

  88. 88
    cleek says:

    @Donut:

    If you can point me to multiple instances where he got up and harangued Congress to enact his and only his policy preference on those issues, then I will stand corrected and say I was wrong.

    well then, you need to read some of his speeches and statements.

    he talks about Congress needing to pass this or that bill all the time.

    obama-speech.org

  89. 89
    Marc says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    The Obama-hating whiners posting on this thread need to be challenged, full-stop. It needs to be made crystal clear that they do not speak for liberals like me.

    Every time they post poorly reasoned and factually incorrect attacks on the president they need to be corrected. If there is something of actual substance, fine. But Obama did a lot of good with the stimulus, for example, and liberals need to be making that case. Instead they join in with reactionaries in attacking it, and get surprised when polls then show large majorities rejecting “stimulus”.

    So-called progressives need to evaluate what they are trying to accomplish with their deeds and words. If you’re spending all of your time attacking Democrats, don’t be surprised when it pisses Democrats off. If you’re investing more energy in attacking Democrats than you are against Republicans, ask yourself whether that’s what you want to achieve.

  90. 90
    Mino says:

    @Marc: If you’re investing more energy in attacking Democrats than you are against Republicans, ask yourself whether that’s what you want to achieve.

    Pot, meet kettle. Or, don’t you include critics in the ranks?

  91. 91
    Another Bob says:

    @Marc:

    The Obama-hating whiners posting on this thread need to be challenged, full-stop. It needs to be made crystal clear that they do not speak for liberals like me.

    The mistake I constantly see people making at this site is weaving any negative comments about Obama into a vast conspiracy of Obama-hating “emo-proggers.” You over-react to any criticism of Obama, exaggerate the harm that it does and question the motives and the good-faith of those making the criticism. So they don’t speak for liberals like you — who says they have to? You’re always free to state your own case or correct the record if you think it needs it. Maybe you could even do so while granting that other people might have their own perfectly legitimate reasons for disagreeing with you. In other words, please spare us the pompous and over-wrought diatribes. Being arrogant and self-righteous doesn’t make you right.

  92. 92
    tkogrumpy says:

    not interested

Comments are closed.