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Friday Talking Points [128] -- Merry Bartonmas!

[ Posted Friday, June 18th, 2010 – 17:27 PDT ]

Christmas has come in June for the Democratic Party. Republican Joe Barton just delivered a huge, nicely wrapped present to Democrats. The only question is whether they'll open it and make use of it, or halfheartedly play with it once and then throw it in a corner (since the Democratic Party is kind of fickle about using such free gifts from Republicans, for no explicable reason whatsoever). But more on the flailing Joe Barton in a bit.

First, I have to say something. Earlier this week, President Obama united the nation. Just not how he wanted to, that's all. Obama gave his first primetime Oval Office speech Tuesday, and pretty much everybody agreed that they hated his speech. The Left hated it, the Right hated it, the media hated it (albeit all for different reasons). So here we are, not a "red" America or a "blue" America, but a United States of America, panning the president's speech.

Perhaps due to my contrarian nature, I actually liked the speech. This puts me in a group with Al Gore, and... um... not too many others. But I did find one write-up, from the "Media Notes" column written by Howard Kurtz over at the Washington Post, which kind of sums up my astonishment at the reactions to Obama's speech:

As someone who thought the speech wasn't all that bad, I ask this question: What was Obama supposed to do?

If he had been less upbeat about the future, he would have been criticized for being too pessimistic and dragging everyone down.

If he had attacked BP more vigorously, he would have drawn flak for being anti-business.

If he had raised his voice and banged the desk, he would have been called too angry.

If he had failed to talk about an energy plan for the future, he would have been chided for having no vision.

If he had laid out what he wants in an environmental bill, he would have been faulted for boring the country with legislative details.

And maybe that was the problem. With the spillcam showing oil still pouring into the Gulf, nothing Obama said could be truly reassuring.

Sigh. Well, since I already wrote my immediate reactions to Obama's speech in detail this week, and since nobody seems to agree with my take on it, we'll just move right along here instead.

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

Or maybe we won't! To be even further contrarian, this week we are awarding the coveted Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award to President Barack Obama.

[Your humble moderator ducks, as rotten fruit is thrown from left, center, and right...]

OK, well, we don't expect a whole lot of agreement for this position, but at least allow us to attempt to explain.

Barack Obama got in front of "oil week" this week. First, he leaked (last weekend) the major ideas he would cover in his speech. Then he gave the speech. The next day, BP met with him at the White House, and announced they were voluntarily putting up twenty billion dollars into an escrow fund to pay victims of their disaster. Throughout the week, oil executives have been testifying on Capitol Hill. The oil catastrophe has been front and center, all week long.

But while everyone's getting in a tizzy over what Obama said, what Obama didn't say, how Obama sounded, and all the rest of the breathless post-speech "analysis," two things happened. The first was the escrow fund. And the second was the meltdown of the Republican Party over the issue. We'll get to the Republicans in a bit.

But here's the impressive thing that nobody seems to have noticed: BP did not have to agree to the escrow fund. They had no legal reason compelling them to do so. Their damages (other than direct damages) have been capped at the pathetically-low amount of $75 million, by Congress. That is all they'd have to legally pay out, if they chose to fight every claim in court.

Which they could have done. This is a crucial thing, which not many people have commented upon.

Now, you can argue that BP knew that if they didn't go along with the fund idea, they would have paid a horrendous price in public relations. You can also argue that the White House and BP had essentially agreed to the fund last weekend, and Obama's speech and the meeting with the BP executives was nothing more than a previously-scripted dog-and-pony show. But that's the game of politics. And, rolling the news of the fund out the way the White House did, it showed that they were demanding a fund -- with absolutely zero legal position to back them up -- from BP, and that BP was knuckling under to the strong leadership of Barack Obama.

Anyone who scoffs that BP would never go the route of fighting everything in court should remember Exxon, and what happened after the Valdez spill. This is the usual route for gigantic corporations to take. After all, they've got lots of expensive lawyers on the payroll to do precisely that.

Now, no one can know at this point how the whole escrow fund thing is going to work out. It may work wonders, and put a smile on everyone's face from the Florida Keys to Texas. It may have problems, and cause frustration. It may ultimately be seen as a failure, and it may also ultimately be seen as a rousing success -- or, most likely, something between those two.

But the fact remains that BP did not have to do this and that they did so because Barack Obama demanded it, with nothing to back him up but the weight of public opinion. In other words, getting BP to agree to pay over a full year's worth of their profits into this fund showed real leadership.

And not just real leadership, but downright impressive leadership. Which is why, this week (knowing not a lot of folks are going to agree), Barack Obama wins the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award.

[Congratulate President Barack Obama on the official White House contact page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

Two Democrats really stood out this week in the disappointing category.

Jerry Brown, Democratic candidate for governor in California, was quoted by a reporter comparing his Republican rival Meg Whitman's advertising to the Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.

There's really nothing more that needs be said about that, other than to make the obligatory reference to Godwin's Law. Politicians, in this day and age, should know to never, ever make reference to Nazis -- once again: never, ever -- unless you are literally talking about Germany during World War II. Brown is not some new-guy-on-the-political-scene, he's lived politics his entire life (his father was governor before him). So there's really no excuse possible.

Our second Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award winner is Representative Bob Etheridge, Democrat from North Carolina. Etheridge, in his own display of idiocy with someone who identified himself as a student doing a journalism project, decided that the proper thing to do (with camera running) was to assault the guy. Etheridge clamps a vise grip on the kid's arm, and refuses to let him go, while demanding to know who the kid is. At one point, he grabs the kid's neck.

Now, I don't really care if it's a right-winger trying to set you up or whether it's a lefty doing the guerrilla journalism ambush interview -- either way, there are several legitimate and acceptable responses an elected official can make to this sort of thing. Grabbing the guy and refusing to let go is simply not one of them. As a matter of fact, it's illegal to do this to someone on a public sidewalk.

So, for boneheaded moves with members of the press (even loosely defined), and especially (in the case of Etheridge) while the camera was rolling, we award both Jerry Brown and Bob Etheridge Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week awards. For shame, guys, for shame.

[Contact Representative Bob Etheridge on his House contact page, to let him know what you think of his actions. We do not post candidate sites here as a rule, so you'll have to Google Jerry Brown's name to find a contact site for him, sorry.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 128 (6/18/10)

Ho ho ho! Merry Bartonmas!

Heh. Couldn't resist.

Representative Joe Barton, oil industry shill extraordinaire, is the ranking Republican on the House committee that deals with oil drilling. Just think about that for a moment -- Barton would be the chairman of this committee if the Democrats lose control of the House.

As the ranking minority member of the committee, which was grilling the chief of BP, Barton got to speak first for the Republicans. He opened his mouth wide, and inserted his foot, up to about the ankle. As everyone has doubtlessly already heard, Barton actually apologized to BP for the "shakedown" that they had been forced into earlier at the White House.

This was no fringe opinion, either. The Republicans had sent around an official talking points list for Republicans to attempt not to look like the boot-licking toadies to the oil industry which they really are. One of these talking points was designed to get public opinion heavily against the escrow fund Obama got from BP. It told Republicans to say that it was nothing more than a "Chicago-style shakedown."

Now, the concept that forcing a corporation to pay for the damages they do is akin to getting shaken down by a thug is downright laughable, I'll admit. But Republicans have sold sillier nonsense than this to the American public and gotten away with it before, so you never know.

This time, though, it has spectacularly backfired on the Republicans. In their blind hatred of all things Obama, they have not realized that the escrow fund sounds like a pretty darn good idea to just about everyone with more than two brain cells to rub together. And attacking the idea sounds pretty stupid to most folks, too.

Joe Barton has provided a golden opportunity for Democrats to come out swinging on the issue. The Republicans have chosen to side with BP, and it is becoming more and more obvious to everyone. By doing so (and especially Barton's apology), they have left themselves wide open to political attack from Democrats. If they have the spine for it (always an open question).

Here are just some things Democrats can say in the upcoming week. Really, with Barton's comments, these things just about write themselves, so feel free to make up your own as well.

 

1
   Rape of the Gulf

This first one has been in the background for awhile now. People have been objecting to the term "oil spill" because it just doesn't encompass the magnitude of the disaster. So I've been hunting around for a better way to describe it, and I found it in a Huffington Post column by Robert Scheer this week -- the word "rape."

"You know, calling this disaster an oil spill, I think, doesn't go far enough to describe this tragedy. This was nothing short of the rape of the Gulf of Mexico by BP. It was a man-made disaster that is going to have long-term consequences we can barely even imagine right now. Joe Barton, this week, called President Obama forcing BP to create a compensation fund a 'tragedy' -- he actually said: 'I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown.' Well you know what, Representative Barton? I call what is happening right now in the Gulf of Mexico a tragedy. I call the impact on Gulf Coast residents a tragedy. In fact, let's call it what it really is -- the rape of the Gulf."

 

2
   Sometimes government is the answer

One major difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans aren't shy about explaining their views on government -- their core, bedrock ideas of what government should and should not be about. Democrats never seem able to make their own case on this front. But now is precisely the time to do so.

"As far as Republicans are concerned, all government is bad all of the time, and all corporations are good all of the time. BP has ripped the lid off of this knee-jerk view of what government is supposed to be about -- as evidenced by Republicans complaining about the escrow fund President Obama forced BP to set up, and Joe Barton actually apologizing to BP for government forcing them to pay the costs of their disaster. Well, you know what? Sometimes it takes leadership from the government to rein in the worst impulses of businesses. Sometimes the free market isn't able to get things done in a timely manner. In times like these, Republicans are quick to cry for governmental help, without realizing the incredible irony of their doing so. Also in times like these, Republicans are awfully silent about the relative intelligence of deregulation. Sometimes government is the answer, and big business is the problem -- and Republicans really should admit this basic fact."

 

3
   Whatever happened to responsibility and accountability?

When you've grabbed an axe and started chopping away at the roots of your opponent, keep at it until the tree falls over.

"You know, watching the Republican reactions towards BP is a little astonishing for those of us who can remember when the Republican Party was supposed to be about concepts like 'accountability' and 'responsibility.' Republicans made a lot of political hay over how they supposedly championed these values. Well, what I'd like to hear from Republicans today, in reference to BP, whatever happened to the idea of holding people accountable, and demanding responsibility? Because it seems now that Republicans are against these basic concepts. Now, apparently, Republicans fall on their knees apologizing to corporations, because those nasty Democrats have forced the company to be responsible and accountable for their actions. Now, Republicans consider a Democratic president holding a company responsible as a 'Chicago-style shakedown.' How times change, eh?"

 

4
   Obama showed leadership

Don't know how many Democrats will take me up on this one, but I have to try to defend Obama against his critics this week.

"I've heard some folks complain that Obama's speech on Tuesday didn't have any details in it. Well, the next day, Obama filled in a big detail -- a twenty billion dollar detail. This time last week, the idea of creating an escrow fund to be administered by a third-party to pay off people in the Gulf whose lives would otherwise be ruined wasn't even being talked about -- not by Congress, not by the media, and certainly not by BP. One week later, Obama got BP to agree to voluntarily put up the twenty billion for this fund. This is $19,925,000,000 more than they would have otherwise had to pay. When it soon gets up and running, it will get this money to the people who desperately need it right now to survive. Personally, I'd call that a pretty big detail -- one we weren't even discussing a week ago."

 

5
   Ask an Alaskan fisherman

The alternative to the escrow fund needs to be discussed as well, especially to anyone criticizing its creation.

"So, if you don't like the idea of the escrow fund Obama just set up, then let's take a look at what would happen if it weren't there. Let's consider the alternative, in other words. Without a third party overseeing the money, it would be totally up to BP to decide whether your damage claim was justified or not. Since they've got a vested interest, a lot of people would be frustrated. If BP turned down their claim, they'd have to sue BP to get the money. Lawsuits take years to be resolved. If you own a restaurant on the Gulf and you had to take this route, your business would be closed down long before you'd ever see a dime of restitution. Your livelihood would be destroyed, waiting for the process to work. I invite anyone who thinks this is the best way to handle the situation to ask a few Alaskan fishermen how that worked out with Exxon."

 

6
   Then ask someone in the Gulf

This is really the second part to the above.

"And you know, in a few weeks when the escrow fund starts issuing checks to people, I think you really need to go down and ask a few folks who have just gotten their first -- first, not "only" -- check in repayment for the damages BP did to their lives how they feel about the escrow fund. Because I don't think a single one of them is going to say that they'd rather wait five or ten years to see some money from BP. I strongly doubt a single one of them would speak out against the escrow fund Barack Obama just created. People are going to be paid much faster than any legal process would normally allow. This is going to make a huge difference in people's lives who have been affected by BP. Obama showed real leadership in creating this fund, and it will avoid the endless legal delays which normally take place after such a disaster."

 

7
   "You Should Totally Apologize to BP"

OK, this one's just for fun.

"You know, I heard Republican Joe Barton in the House committee meeting with the top executive at BP -- I heard how Barton actually apologized to BP. It should come as no surprise, since Republicans have been oil industry apologists for quite a while now. But Barton's apology was such an odious slap in the face to thousands upon thousands of Gulf Coast residents, that I think he should be more concerned with apologizing to the American citizens affected by BP than with apologizing to BP for having to pay to clean up their mess. I think most Americans agree that BP should pay to clean up their mess, and should pay people restitution for their man-made rape of the Gulf. Of course, if you disagree, I see that someone has set up a website where you can offer your own apologies to BP. Of course, the website -- titled 'You Should Totally Apologize to BP' -- is a joke. But then, so is Joe Barton."

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

-- Chris Weigant

 

38 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [128] -- Merry Bartonmas!”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris, you have silenced the Obama critics amongst your HP readers with the flair and panache that are a consistent trademark of your columns ... I could almost feel them all squirming about and at a loss as to how to reply without it sounding completely nonsensical. Not one vow from any of them to never vote for him again and other such nonsense.

    You’re beautiful.

  2. [2] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Liz -

    I'm actually astonished that I haven't gotten much backlash for this week's MIDOTW yet. I was really expecting some blowback. Then again, we haven't heard from Michale yet (heh).

    Maybe more people than I thought actually liked Obama's speech, who knows?

    -CW

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    Then again, we haven't heard from Michale yet (heh).

    Well, how can I not, now?? :D heheheheehehehe

    I really want to go in depth on this and I will, but just not now.. Weekends are bad for me.

    But I WILL say one thing and it's food for thought..

    Obama's response to the oil spill emergency can be summed up in one word.

    UNDERESTIMATE

    He has underestimated everything about this spill from day one.

    Everything he has done has been "catch up". Catching up to the emergency, catching up to the media reports..

    Catch up.. Reactive. Never PRO-active, always reactive.

    I will go into it a lot more in depth when I get time. If you want a preview, you can read my posts over at Bob Cesca's. Warning, they are not for the faint of heart..

    I will say that I am right about my opinions regarding Obama's performance..

    Do you know how I know I am right??

    Because, if it had been a Republican President and said Republican President had done all of the EXACT same things as Obama has done, ya'all would be saying EXACTLY the same things I am saying now...

    The only difference is that we would all be in agreement... :D

    Toodles for now...

    Michale....

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    If you want my take on Obama, you can read this..

    http://www.usnews.com/articles/opinion/2010/06/18/mort-zuckerman-world-sees-obama-as-incompetent-and-amateur.html?PageNr=1

    Pretty much says it all...

    Michale......

  5. [5] 
    akadjian wrote:

    A toast to you, Chris!

    If there were a huge reason for ripping Obama, I could see it. But instead it looks more like the media trying to stir up controversy. If it bleeds, it leads.
    I really thought Obama's actions this week were pretty admirable.

    Think what would have happened if the GOP were in charge. The government would be picking up the majority of the tab.

    I will say that I am right about my opinions regarding Obama's performance.

    And modest too!

    Michale, we already know you don't respect Obama. And are willing to say anything to try to make people think the same.

    If Obama had been more pro-active, you'd find something else bad to say about him.

    If he had nationalized BP, you'd be screaming that he was socialist. (I really think it's funny, though, Michale, that you're picking this critique up from the left in an effort to find whatever criticism will stick.)

    Most of Obama's critics are the same way.

    This is why Obama shouldn't spend too much time listening. They are going to be criticizing him no matter what he does.

    The way Obama should go about responding is something like the following: "This is about doing what's right for those who were wronged. I'm not doing this for my popularity. And we're not going to back down on BP because of corporate lobbying or pressure from the media. I'm going to do what's right."

    Do what's right and let the idgits say what they may.

    Catch up.. Reactive. Never PRO-active, always reactive.

    We've all been urging Obama to be more pro-active.

    The difference is, you want to see him impeached or beheaded, and we support him but would like to see him work towards a more progressive agenda.

    The other difference is that you want to bloody him up so that a fine upstanding Tea Party candidate or someone else (I'm really not sure who since you really don't talk much about who you support) can be elected.

    We get that you don't like Obama. I think it was the 24x7 anti-Obama comments that clued me in ;).

    But not liking him is one thing. Him doing something right with BP is another.

    Cheers
    David

  6. [6] 
    Kevin wrote:

    Elizabeth,

    I don't know if you've seen this, but your heartthrob is in good form...
    http://www.bobcesca.com/blog-archives/2010/06/what_the_vice_p.html#comments

    Enjoy.

    Kevin.

  7. [7] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    That was vintage Biden, as they say.

    Thanks, Kevin!

  8. [8] 
    akadjian wrote:

    "It's insisting on responsible conduct and a responsible response to something they caused." - Joe Biden

    Well said, Joe! Thanks for posting, Kevin!

  9. [9] 
    Kevin wrote:

    David,

    Glad you liked it too. Maybe I'm dense and everyone else on this site has known this for some time, but is akadjian a play on words and you're "a Cajun"? Just curious.

    Kevin
    P.S.- Really liked your comment [5]!!!

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    OK, let's get started here.... I see I have a long list of points to address.. :D

    First off, the real story behind Obama's alleged "victory" is that BP told Obama to frack off on some key points.

    BP was successful in arguing that it shouldn’t be liable for any economic fallout from President Barack Obama’s decision to call a six-month moratorium on deep-sea drilling, and also rejected a request to pay for anything other than a restoration of the region’s coastline to conditions existing before the April 20 accident, the newspaper said.

    Funny how no one has heard THAT story, eh?

    And let's face it.. The Gulf Coast citizens are only getting $5 Billion.. Almost half has already been spent as of last week..

    Cheer Obama all you want.. But the "victory" is very hollow.. It's much like the "victory" of CrapCare.. It's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, but that is all...

    David,

    And modest too!

    One of my finer qualities.. :D


    Michale, we already know you don't respect Obama. And are willing to say anything to try to make people think the same.

    Only if it's factual or if it's an opinion supported by facts...

    And I am constrained to point out that I am not the only one. How many of Obama's die hard worshipers are saying to themselves today, "well gee whiz.. Maybe executive experience IS important."

    Obama's poll numbers are in free fall. Europe, which worshiped the ground that Obama walked on, are slamming him daily.. Have you READ some of the news out of Europe??

    I shouldn't have to convince anyone of anything. The facts clearly speak for themselves.. At least, to those who actually CARE about the facts, over hero-worship...

    If Obama had been more pro-active, you'd find something else bad to say about him.

    If he had nationalized BP, you'd be screaming that he was socialist. (I really think it's funny, though, Michale, that you're picking this critique up from the left in an effort to find whatever criticism will stick.)

    Such an accusation is not only completely unfair, it's totally untrue..

    Unlike most everyone in here, *I* don't base my opinions or "facts" on political partys.

    And you KNOW it..

    I never change my position based on political considerations. I have said from the start that BP is a foreign corporation and will not have the same concern for doing the right thing by Americans that an American company would...

    Frankly, I am offended that you would hurl out such a completely unfounded accusation. That's really not like you.

    Truth be told, I have only read one other person who has advocated nationalization.

    My opinions are mine and mine alone and I will thank you for not implying otherwise...

    This is why Obama shouldn't spend too much time listening. They are going to be criticizing him no matter what he does.

    And yet, listening to the media is exactly what Obama does..

    It's become quite easy to predict Obama's moves a week ahead. All one has to do is read what the media is saying he should do. If there is a general consensus amongst the media that Obama should do A, then sure enough.. A week later Obama is doing A... If there is a general consensus that Obama should say B, then a week later, Obama is crowing B..

    It's happen far too often to be a mere coincidence...

    The difference is, you want to see him impeached or beheaded, and we support him but would like to see him work towards a more progressive agenda.

    I don't recall ever pushing impeachment for Obama.. But plenty have... FROM THE LEFT....

    We get that you don't like Obama. I think it was the 24x7 anti-Obama comments that clued me in ;).

    It's not a question of not liking him. He fooled me and that carries with it a certain amount of hostility, to be sure.

    You were correct before when you said that I don't respect him. I don't. There is nothing really to respect about the man...

    But not liking him is one thing. Him doing something right with BP is another.

    It's only doing "right" with BP if BP actually fulfills it's pledges.. When BP bails on the coast and hides behind legal protections, then Obama will have failed and failed miserably..

    Of course, not in your eyes. It will be all BP's fault for not following thru and Obama will be blameless.

    That will be the spin out of the White House and you'll buy it, hook line and sinker...

    Because, by and large, ya'all really don't care about facts.. Anything that tarnishes the golden boy is nothing but hysterical political machinations and is simply not true...

    Regardless of the actual facts of the issue...

    Kevin,

    P.S.- Really liked your comment [5]!!!

    Nice dig.... :^/

    Michale......

  11. [11] 
    akadjian wrote:

    It's only doing "right" with BP if BP actually fulfills it's pledges.

    Of course. This goes w/o saying.

    He fooled me and that carries with it a certain amount of hostility, to be sure.

    How?

    I hate to say it. And I may be wrong. But it does look like you're angry with him and just trying to take him down at every opportunity.

    With Bush, I'd try to separate the act from the man. Because while it's true I didn't like him because I completed disagreed with his philosophy of government occasionally he would do things I would agree with.

    Anything that tarnishes the golden boy is nothing but hysterical political machinations and is simply not true.

    This isn't the case w/ anyone I know. Most folks I know tend to think that there has been a large shift to the right in our country over the past 40 years. And we believe this shift is responsible for certain things like our financial crisis.

    Most folks I know are looking for a better way. So we feel responsible to help. Does this mean we agree w/ Obama all the time? Of course not.

    But we should also give credit where credit is due. And I thought he did a good thing w/ BP.

    Cheers
    David

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    But don't take my word for it, David..

    Hear it from a progressive, like yourself.

    http://www.opednews.com/articles/1/Now-I-m-Really-Getting-Pis-by-David-Michael-Gree-091219-496.html

    Michale.....

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya know what is fascinating about that Op Ed piece above??

    It was written in 2009...

    BEFORE CrapCare passed....

    One has to wonder Green's opinions today, with all the other bonehead mistakes that have been made since then....

    He makes some real good points in this OpEd piece. Of course, the points will be missed by those who are still gulping the Obama Koolaid by the gallon...

    Michale.....

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    I guess one DOESN'T have to wonder about Green's opinions today. :D

    http://www.smirkingchimp.com/author/david_michael_green

    Michale.....

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/Obama_s-thuggery-is-useless-in-fighting-spill-96684389.html

    Many good points in this commentary as well..

    Oh David,

    I wanted to follow up on something, since you apparently missed it before.

    If it had been a Republican President in office at the time of the oil spill and this Republican President did and did not do exactly the same things as President has done and not done, I would still be castigating that Republican President in the exact same manner as I am President Obama.

    The question is, would be be SUPPORTING that Republican President in the same manner you are supporting President Obama now?

    Michale.....

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    How?

    He led me to believe that he was something he wasn't. He led me to believe that he was a man that could be a great leader for ALL Americans...

    I don't like being fooled..

    I guess I am more angry at myself... But what kind of nutcase would I be if I took it out on myself? :D

    If you will pardon the obvious flaws in the comparison, think of it as a woman who marries a guy that promised her the world, promised her trips to Pandora and Eden and Utopia. Once she marries the bum, she finds out he's a garbage collector that makes $25K a year and lives with his mother..

    She would be a tad pissed at the guy, no??

    Now, I am SURE ya'all can have fun with THAT, eh?? :D Have a ball...

    I hate to say it. And I may be wrong. But it does look like you're angry with him and just trying to take him down at every opportunity.

    I am very angry with him. And I will point out every reason available to justify my anger at him...

    But there are two things I won't do.

    1. Make shit up

    and

    B. Overlook any good he has done.

    I'll give credit where credit is due.. Grudgingly, to be sure, but I will do it..

    For example. It's great that Obama got 5 Billion for the Gulf Coast citizens. He should have gotten a LOT more (nationalize the fuckers!!) but at least he got the 5 Billion..

    Howz that?? :D

    With Bush, I'd try to separate the act from the man. Because while it's true I didn't like him because I completed disagreed with his philosophy of government occasionally he would do things I would agree with.

    If true, you were probably the ONLY one from the Left that did... :D Well, you and CW... :D

    But we should also give credit where credit is due. And I thought he did a good thing w/ BP.

    Only if it succeeds.. I know you said it goes without saying, but it DOES need to be said...

    It's like saying that the Eagles did a good thing with Michael Vick..

    It's only a good thing if Vick does good with the Eagles...

    Forget the harshness of my previous posts... I was in a pissy mood this morning...

    "Don't drive angry.. DON'T drive angry.."
    -Bill Murray, GROUNDHOG DAY

    Michale......

  17. [17] 
    akadjian wrote:

    He led me to believe that he was something he wasn't. He led me to believe that he was a man that could be a great leader for ALL Americans.

    Well, he has very much lead from the center. He's certainly not a progressive.

    So I'm not sure what you're referring to. He's even continued most of the Bush/Cheney war policies.

    Now I certainly don't agree with his centrist strategy. But the criticism that he's somehow a leftist/socialist who is not governing from the center is ridiculous.

    In fact, he does very little for his progressive base. This is my issue w/ Obama. It's Green's issue as well.

    What would you have Obama do differently, Michale, to be a "great leader for ALL Americans"?

    Cheers
    David

    p.s. Citing first Green, then Barone, in the Examiner confuses me. Why are you citing both of these articles? Which do you agree with?

    It can't be both since Barone would accuse Green of "thuggery" for trying to nationalize BP.

    To a casual observer, it looks like you're just trying to list people from both sides who disagree with Obama.

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    Let me put it this way...

    Two people...

    From opposite ends of the spectrum...

    Using different sources, different methods, but coming to the same conclusion..

    What are the odds that the conclusion could possibly be wrong?

    Michale.....

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sorry David,

    I just focused on the PS part of your last post and missed this question:

    "What would you have Obama do differently, Michale, to be a "great leader for ALL Americans""

    I'll post the same thing here that I posted elsewhere...

    I would have Obama say, "FRAK YOU" to the Democratic Party, say "FRAK YOU" to the Republican Party and do what is right for Me... And YOU.... And CW.... And Liz.... And Kevin... And even Matt... And all the rest of us...

    THAT is what I would have Obama do to be a great leader for ALL Americans, and ALL of the world's citizens...

    Michale.....

  20. [20] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Two people... From opposite ends of the spectrum...
    Using different sources, different methods, but coming to the same conclusion..

    But haven't these 2 people come to two completely different conclusions? Both cannot possibly be right since they contradict each other.

    Here's the core of the 2 arguments:
    1) Green wants Obama to be more progressive and nationalize BP
    2) Barone wants Obama to lay off of big business. Barone would never be for nationalizing BP.

    The only thing both of these have in common is that they want Obama to do something differently.

    One is saying that Obama should be further right. The other, further left.

    They can't both be right. So I'm not sure what you're trying to prove.

    That's why I wanted to know what you thought he should do differently. And you said, nationalize BP. So you would disagree with Barone who wants to go easier on BP.

    Fair enough. So why cite Barone?

    THAT is what I would have Obama do to be a great leader for ALL Americans, and ALL of the world's citizens.

    I thought you wanted him to be his own man and not try to please all of the people all of the time :)

    Kidding, kidding. But do you really believe he could please everyone?

    If you do, then I think you're the one who wants him to be a messiah. And I'm not even sure a messiah could please everyone.

    Let's look at this a different way. You seem to respect Bush. And he certainly didn't try to please everyone.

    So let me ask the question a different way. What did Bush do differently than Obama that you respect?

    Cheers
    David

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    But haven't these 2 people come to two completely different conclusions? Both cannot possibly be right since they contradict each other.

    You are looking at the conclusional methodology, not the conclusion itself...

    If you'll forgive the Godwin, I'll give you an example..

    I put forth the conclusion that Hitler was an evil psychotic scumbag.

    My conclusional methodology is to outline the attacks and warfare that Hitler perpetrated on neighboring countries...

    You put forth the conclusion that Hitler was an evil psychotic scumbag.

    Your conclusional methodology is to outline the brutal murders of 6 million Jews.

    We both have different methodology, but our conclusion is the same...

    I know, that's not the best of examples...

    Now, let's look at the Obama conclusion.

    Both people come to the same conclusion, but for different reasons..

    It seems to me that if two people can take a completely different circuitous route but yet come to the same conclusion, well that would say a lot for the validity of the conclusion..

    Fair enough. So why cite Barone?

    Why would I cite Green?? He is as opposite from me on issues of CounterTerrorism and National Security as is possible to be and be on the same planet..

    I don't with his reasons, but I agree with his conclusion. Obama is incompetent...

    Just as, in my example, we would agree that Hitler is a scumbag but for different reasons...

    Kidding, kidding. But do you really believe he could please everyone?

    No, I believe he should do the right thing by ALL Americans.. Even if it pleases NO ONE... :D Bet THAT puts yer logic circuits into melt-down, eh? :D

    But it seems that the only people Obama wants to please are the Democrat politicians who strive to maintain the status quo.. No better example of this than CrapCare..

    NO BODY wanted CrapCare.. Not the Left, not the Right (albeit for different reasons) and not the American people, certainly. The only people who wanted CrapCare was Obama and a handful of powerful Dems, who desperately DESPERATELY needed ANYTHING even remotely similiar to a win. And their got their Pyrrhic victory, be it by hook or by crook.

    So let me ask the question a different way. What did Bush do differently than Obama that you respect?

    Bush's leadership ability shone in the aftermath of 9/11..

    This pretty much sums it up...

    http://sjfm.us/temp/ATT00099.jpg

    Bush made some extremely unpopular decisions for the good of the country.. Yea, I know, I know.. Iraq was NOT one of those.. :)

    Now, I do have to give Obama some credit. I applaud that he has continued many of Bush's necessary policies. He DOES deserve credit for that, I'll grant that..

    And who knows... When we get another 9/11 style attack on US proper, perhaps Obama will outshine Bush in the leadership department.

    I honestly doubt it, but we're probably going to find out real soon. All the clues are out there..

    Michale.....

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya know, it doesn't happen too often for Democrats but Obama finds himself in a perfect WIN-WIN situation.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/22/AR2010062200813_pf.html

    Michale.....

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let me get my prediction on the record before anything comes down..

    If this was the Obama that I voted for, he would put the needs of the military and the country ahead of his own petty desires. He would give McChrystal a good dressing down and then tell him to get his ass back to work.

    But I have a feeling that the Obama we have now is going to fall back to pure pettiness and vindictiveness and fire McChrystal, the military and the country be damned..

    Don't get me wrong. There are good and rational for both decisions. That's why I said it was a WIN WIN for Obama.

    Michale.....

  24. [24] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I don't with his reasons, but I agree with his conclusion. Obama is incompetent.

    In terms of conclusions, neither is arguing that Obama is incompetent. That seems to be your argument.

    And your proof seems to be, the right disagrees with him and the left disagrees with him so therefore he's incompetent.

    I see it more as the right wants him to move further right. And the left wants him to be more progressive. I see him trying to pursue a centrist path. But I don't see a conclusion that he's incompetent from this.

    I see him trying to chart a middle ground. Pretty much what he ran on. (For the record, I don't agree w/ this centrist path, but I don't think he's incompetent.)

    No, I believe he should do the right thing by ALL Americans.. Even if it pleases NO ONE... :D Bet THAT puts yer logic circuits into melt-down, eh? :D

    Obama seems to have gotten the pleasing no one part down anyways ... :) At least when it comes to pundits. Time will tell w/ the people.

    And honestly, I'm with you here. Though we'd probably differ on what the right thing would be.

    Cheers
    David

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    And honestly, I'm with you here. Though we'd probably differ on what the right thing would be.

    Exactly...

    We agree that Obama should be a better president.

    How we come to that conclusion is by totally different paths..

    But, my point is.. If two people take diametrically opposing paths, yet reach the same conclusion.....

    How likely that the conclusion is wrong??

    Michale.....

  26. [26] 
    akadjian wrote:

    We agree that Obama should be a better president.

    I think this could be said about any President using your argument. The left wants more left. The right wants more right. Or someone else wants something different.

    I guess I just don't find it interesting to just say "he could be better". I'm more interested in the how. And I think it's another leap entirely to say he's incompetent.

    But, my point is.. If two people take diametrically opposing paths, yet reach the same conclusion.

    This is not necessarily the case. My favorite example is the Elvis album: "50 million Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong". All I will say is, yes they can :)

    Cheers
    -David

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let me try a different tack to explain what I am trying to say...

    Two mortal enemies.. They hate each other, can't stand each other.. They would as soon commit hari-kari would a dull rusty spoon rather than agree on ANYTHING.

    These two mortal enemies agree that President Obama is incompetent..

    It's rather ironic in a way.. President Obama has actually succeeded in bringing Right and Left together to agree on something.

    Unfortunately, for President Obama, the one thing he got them to agree on is his own lack of competence...

    On another note, whatcha think of the McChrystal issue? :D

    Michale.....

  28. [28] 
    akadjian wrote:

    It's not that I don't understand what you're trying to say, Michale. It's just that there's a serious flaw to your logic.

    Using your logic, all you have to do to prove someone is incompetent is to find 2 people (one from the right and one from the left) who disagree with a 3rd. Hmm. I think I could find another person from right ... (stop it, akadjian!)

    Let me show you how easy this is using Michale logic:
    1. Ron Paul disagreed w/ President Bush's decision to go to war with Iraq
    2. Arianna Huffington also disagreed.
    3. One is a liberal, one a conservative
    4. Conclusion: George W. Bush is incompetent

    We'll definitely have to chip in to get you that "Jump to Conclusions" mat though.

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/125/331634958_387617c29f.jpg

    On another note, whatcha think of the McChrystal issue? :D

    Not a very smooth move but it doesn't interest me all that much.

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    Multiply your "1 person" by millions..

    Now your 50 Million Elvis fans comparison is amusing and all.. But we're not talking personal preferences or opinions.

    We are talking tangible and factual actions taken and not taken by Obama that show his lack of competence..

    If you want to try and compare it to Dubya, if you have the Hysterical Right saying the same thing as the Hysterical Left about Bush, then I would say you have a valid point.

    But you don't, so you don't..

    Not a very smooth move but it doesn't interest me all that much.

    The interesting part will be what Obama does about it..

    I suppose we can also talk about illegal immigration and why the federal government is aligning with a foreign power to legally attack a sovereign state of the United States...

    :D

    Michale.....

  30. [30] 
    akadjian wrote:

    But we're not talking personal preferences or opinions.

    We are talking tangible and factual actions taken and not taken by Obama that show his lack of competence.

    I thought we were talking politics. So I thought we were talking about a series of assertions based on premises and a reasoning mechanism for moving from premise to conclusion. Now these assertions can be based on various models (economic, political, etc.) and supported by evidence or historical data, but at their heart remain assertions. Please do not confuse assertions with facts. That would not be logical :).

    Cheers
    David

    p.s. How can an action not taken be tangible?

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    p.s. How can an action not taken be tangible?

    Inaction can be as tangible as action.

    Or, as the esteemed Captain Kirk said...

    "Failure to make a decision is a decision in itself. And it is usually the wrong decision to make."

    An example of Obama's tangible INACTIONS are simply too numerous to list..

    His slow and lazy response to the oil spill is simply one of the latest manifestations of tangible inaction.

    Michale.......

  32. [32] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Guess we're back to your favorite game of O-blamo.

    ...
    ...
    ...

    I'm bored.

    But I will give you credit for "tangible inaction," Michale. I'd really like to use that somewhere. I'm just not sure where.

    'Night
    David

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    But I will give you credit for "tangible inaction," Michale. I'd really like to use that somewhere. I'm just not sure where.

    It does have a certain poetry to it, doesn't it? :D

    Hay, I'm a poet and I don't know it.
    But my feet show it because they're LongFellows.. :D

    Feel free to use it at your leisure. :D

    Michale.....

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bush's alleged slow response to Katrina would be another case of "tangible inaction"...

    At least the Left would think so.. :D

    Michale.....

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, I was right again...

    Obama fired McChrystal...

    Nothing like changing a commander in the middle of a vital offensive.

    Why ANYONE thinks Obama is capable of being CnC is beyond me..

    Michale.....

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    Anyone who thinks that this wasn't a cold and devastatingly successful plan by General McChrystal is simply A) deluding themselves or B) devastatingly ignorant of military matters in general or the Afghan campaign in particular.

    You can bet that McChrystal is set to retire from the military and then hold press conference after press conference after press conference.

    I relish the next couple months prior to the mid-terms to see the administration's total and complete incompetence laid bare.

    Michale.....

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    Getting back to the oil spill...

    It seems a Federal Judge agrees that the Obama Administration way over-reacted in the 6 month moratorium on all deep sea drilling.

    Michale.....

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    Anyone wanna tell me again that the Obama Administration doesn't share the blame in the Gulf oil spill??

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703900004575325131111637728.html?mod=WSJ_WSJ_US_News_5

    Michale.....

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