Obama’s Governing Problem

FT.com / Comment / Analysis – America: A fearsome foursome

Just over a year into his tenure, America’s 44th president governs a bitterly divided nation, a world increasingly hard to manage and an America that seems more disillusioned than ever with Washington’s ways. What went wrong?

Pundits, Democratic lawmakers and opinion pollsters offer a smorgasbord of reasons – from Mr Obama’s decision to devote his first year in office to healthcare reform, to the president’s inability to convince voters he can “feel their [economic] pain”, to the apparent ungovernability of today’s Washington. All may indeed have contributed to the quandary in which Mr Obama finds himself. But those around him have a more specific diagnosis – and one that is striking in its uniformity. The Obama White House is geared for campaigning rather than governing, they say.

In dozens of interviews with his closest allies and friends in Washington – most of them given unattributably in order to protect their access to the Oval Office – each observes that the president draws on the advice of a very tight circle. The inner core consists of just four people – Rahm Emanuel, the pugnacious chief of staff; David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett, his senior advisers; and Robert Gibbs, his communications chief.

Can you imagine what the headlines would be in the New York Times and Washington Post if President Bush had cut himself off from all but a handful of advisers?

But the problem with Obama’s White House is that his inner core are all accomplished politicians, they know how to have meetings and score points. But they have no idea and have no experience with actually governing. They went into the White House with the belief that Obama had been elected King instead of President. They thought that they could accomplish things simply by ordering them to be so.

Obama himself has had only one political race where he had a credible opponent, and he lost. His other races, for the State and U.S. Senate were won by behind the scenes maneuvering to eliminate the opposition. His Senate career was unremarkable. He has never had to persuade, cajole and compromise. He doesn’t know how, and that’s what you do in Washington DC.

He’s in a box. He can’t get anywhere if he doesn’t get some new advisers, and he is not going to get anywhere if he gets rid of them. I think that he has goals, but he doesn’t really have any idea of how to achieve them.

The American Ideal Is Dead! The Looting Commences

Soak the rich, legislative tax panel hears – Oregonlive.com

SALEM — ‘Tax the wealthy’ was the rallying cry as state legislators took up the contentious task of raising personal income taxes to shore up government services.The House Revenue Committee opened hearings Friday on four proposals that would create a new 10 percent tax bracket for higher earners, create a new alternative minimum tax, and reduce the amount all individuals could deduct in federal income taxes from their state tax returns.

Obviously the thing to do is to position yourself in a way to avoid being punished for earning more that the average.

That means forget about investing. Pull your money out of the market as soon as you can and convert it to something tangible and portable that the government can’t easily find.

If you’re in business shut down. If you don’t want to shut down, cut back to the bare minimum. Try to use only family members if possible. If not, keep only your best, most reliable employees. Keep the earnings below the cutoff for “rich”. Remember, they’re not looking to tax “wealth” they’re wanting to tax income. Which is not the same thing.

If you’re in government, try to get a position in one of the essential services. Police, Fire, Ambulance, Jail or ODOT. Those are going to continue no matter what. If you have no useful skills try to get in the Social Services. Those are going to continue. But there will probably be cuts. Suck up the right person and you might miss the cut.

From all indications the American experiment in self governance is over.

The Epic Poetry Of Hawk of Iowa.

The Idiossey

Now behold him, brave Obamacles,
Who strides triumphant down Pennsylvania Avenue,
With Victimia at his side in a gown of golden brocade,
Hewn from the finest hotel draperies.
Behold his ascent to the marble dais to swear his oath,
Which Justice Roberts flubs; so dazzled is he
by our hero’s pure magnificence.

And behold the crowd whose number has grown to a million,
Mocking limping Chimpos as he flees to Brazos exile,
Tossing their sandals at his edifice, only to stop to hail the conquering hero.

“All hail Obamacles!” they cry, “Master of Bullshit,
Vicelord of the Chicagomon, Slayer of Hildusa,
Vanquisher of Palina. You are our new and shiny hope,
a true god amongst mortals.”

Earth To Obamatons; He Was Elected President, Not King.

As challenges mount, ardor for Obama cools abroad

That’s the problem, said Reginald Dale, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington: People everywhere simply expect too much, practically ensuring Obama will disappoint.

“The United States can’t solve all the world’s problems,” he said in an interview. “It doesn’t have enough money or military power. And the president is constrained by Congress and the constitution. The founding fathers wanted to stop someone from being like a monarch.”

It’s easy to promise the moon, delivering it is another thing.

Now that Obama’s actually the President he is going to have to disappoint some people. It is inevitable.

Things Are Different Now

It wasn’t all that long ago that the news media was lecturing President Bush on expecting support for his policies from the various agencies. They were telling him that he should tolerate dissent and not expect everyone to be supportive.

Obama Transition Teams Scrutinizing Federal Agencies

Wearing yellow badges and traveling in groups of 10 or more, agency review teams for President-elect Barack Obama have swarmed into dozens of government offices, from the Pentagon to the National Council on Disability.With pointed questions and clear ground rules, they are dissecting agency initiatives, poring over budgets and unearthing documents that may prove crucial as a new Democratic president assumes control. Their job is to minimize the natural tension between incoming and outgoing administrations, but their work also is creating anxiety among some Bush administration officials as the teams rigorously examine programs and policies

It appears that there is a different standard now.

Everybody is now expected to be supportive of the new President’s policies and dissenters can expect to be shown the door.

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Commenters

On the KGW Channel 8 in Portland’s website there is a comment who recently started showing up in the comments section to various news stories. He is very good.

He writes in the style of the extreme left commenter but if you read his comments closely they resemble Frank J’s “In My World” series which is one of the great satirical series of the Internet.

For example, here is the comment he left on a story regarding the protests againsst Prop 8 in Portland.

Once again this site is overloaded with the Reich-Wing hate from the Judaic/Christian playbook sponsored by the RepubliKKKan monsters who were thankfully cashiered by the enlightened electorate on November 4th.

But then the joyous celebration stopped.

With the exception of Massachusetts and Connecticut, the rest of the country continues to elect the right people, but then does a 180 degree turn and rolls back the clock to the dark days of Jim Crow, Poll taxes, separate toilets and water fountains, and jingoistic patriotic Irving Berlin songs.

What will it take for these homophobic parasites to realize that marriage, as well as morality, is an individual choice fully recognized in our once beloved Constitution?

Only when we can stand proudly before the bar of United Nations approval,and realize that the institution of marriage,like every other racist and deluded idea held so highly by the Neo-Cons who regulate Christianity,is meant to be defined and shared among any person or group that wishes to partake,

If a transgendered person wants to marry him/herself- then who are these brutal Bush/Reagan plutocrats who dare attempt to force their bestial pious will on such a lovely person?

If three, four or eleven people regardless of sexual orientation, want to collectively marry each other, then the Newt Gingrich/Sean Hannity warped view of monogamy must stand aside and make room for the peaceful and beautiful future designed to be shared under the large and colorful rainbow tent of tolerance and diversity.

As I previously stated in other similar posts on this subject, the Courts of California once addressed this travesty by invalidating the RepubliKKKan forced ballot of 2000 where these myopic, merciless and bigoted citizens shamelessly voted 3-1 to cruelly define marriage as between one man and one woman.

I personally would think that such archaic and totalitarian ideas would have disappeared from our culture at the same time that JFK freed the slaves.

Now, covering itself again with disgrace, California, like their progressive brothers and sisters in Florida, pulled the lever once again to ban gay marriage and totally overturn what the Courts had once deemed unconstitutional.

Are we somehow to think that because the majority of voters choose something as immoral as banning gay marriage,that our courts are now rendered prostate and impotent?

It is the duty of the courts to legislate from the bench when the majority has clearly taken a pigheaded path that the members of the minority community don’t agree.

I can only continue to offer my daily chants to His Holiness the Dalai Lama in his retreat in far away Dharamsala, that he will provide the wisdom to President Obama to issue an Executive Order on January 20, 2009 which immediately terminates these notorious and discriminatory ballot measure such as we saw with California’s Measure 8.

What is really hilarious is how many other commenters take him at face value. It’s hard to satirze a bunch of nuts.

Here’s a link to his comments. I think Frank J ought to get him to write a column.

Tolerance and Diversity

Tolerance fails T-shirt test

Only a few times did anyone say anything remotely positive about her McCain shirt. One girl pulled her aside in a corner, out of earshot of other students, and whispered, “I really like your shirt.”

That’s when you know America is truly supportive of diversity of opinion, when children must whisper for fear of being ostracized, heckled and crucifixed.

The next day, in part 2 of The Brave Catherine Vogt Experiment, she wore another T-shirt, this one with “Obama Girl” written in blue. And an amazing thing happened.

Catherine wasn’t very stupid anymore. She grew brains.

“People liked my shirt. They said things like my brain had come back, and I had put the right shirt on today,” Catherine said.

Same old “tolerance” and respect for ‘diversity.’

Tolerance only for diverse opinions that are the same as your own.