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Groovanauts.com > Everything Else > Politics / Economics > Barry being Barry
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translucent
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Lord of Laziness

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Originally posted by domjuan
Dow Plunges 318 Points, Worst Drop Since June

AP | Posted: 01/24/2014 4:15 pm EST | Updated: 01/24/2014 4:59 pm EST


NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. stock market is swooning as investors fear slower global economic growth.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 318 points, nearly 2 percent, to close at 15,879 Friday, its worst drop since last June.

The Dow is down almost 500 points over the past two days as investors pull out of stocks and emerging markets and stash money in safer assets like bonds.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 38 points, or 2.1 percent, to 1,790. The Nasdaq composite fell 90 points, or 2.2 percent, to 4,128.

Small-company stocks fell even more than the rest of the market as investors shunned risk. The Russell 2000 plunged 28 points, or 2.4 percent, to 1,144.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.73 percent.

The Dow:



That's cause of the weak economic data in China and the rest of the developing nations. Ultimately, it will get more people to invest in the US, since we've proven to be a much safer investment after the crash.



"Tresor never sleeps"

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domjuan
“Yes, we can!” has devolved into “Hey, we might.”

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Not getting any better today, barrys only accomplishment is crumbling like the rest of his failed presidency.



Money Driven, Anal Lover, Yankee Fan, Cowboy up & I Ride w/ the Heat!! I'm a relentless & persistent animal my desire is to be the worlds greatest. - me

“Liberalism is a mental disorder" ~MIKE SAVAGE

“I'd like to thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee.”
Joe DiMaggio

Them that governs least, governs best- Thomas Jefferson

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”
- Thomas Jefferson

Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way. - General George Patton Jr

I love my wife & my life.

"I am an Animal Rescuer. My work is never done, my home is never quiet, my wallet is always empty...but my heart is always full." Annette King-Tucker

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But the U.S. ARMED FORCES don't have that problem."

Vic's daily to do list:

1- Hug a tree
2- 550 useless posts
3- Check in with Domjuan's secretary to see what hes up to for the day.
4- Tweet Obama 150 times
5- Master-bate to pics of Cindy Sheehan
6 - Spread innovative thinking that failed 25 years ago in Europe.
7- Burn an American flag
8- Spew out racist remarks to anybody that isn't a tree-huger like himself.

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Old Post 01-27-2014 12:26 PMdomjuan is offline
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domjuan
“Yes, we can!” has devolved into “Hey, we might.”

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Obama's Decision On The Keystone XL Pipeline Will Shape His Legacy
Reuters
Jeff Mason, Reuters
Jan. 27, 2014, 6:04 AM 4,689 21



AP

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will lay out an agenda on jobs, the economy and the environment during his State of the Union speech on Tuesday.

But he is unlikely to mention the Keystone XL oil pipeline, a politically charged project that could shape his legacy in each area.

Some five years after Keystone XL was proposed, Canadian officials, Republicans and some Democrats in conservative U.S. states are expressing frustration over the lack of a decision by the White House on the initiative.

The TransCanada Corp project involves construction of a 1,179-mile (1,900-km) pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to Steele City, Nebraska, where it would connect with a previously approved line. That would create a system that could move more than 800,000 barrels of crude from Alberta's oil sands to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast each day.

Supporters say Keystone XL would create thousands of jobs and cut U.S. fuel costs by reducing the nation's reliance on oil imports from nations that are less friendly than Canada. They also point to U.S. government reports about the dangers of moving crude oil by rail as an alternative to the pipeline.

Critics of the pipeline plan say it would harm the environment and hasten climate change by promoting oil-harvesting methods in Alberta that produce high levels of carbon dioxide emissions.

The project is in limbo while the U.S. State Department finalizes an environmental review, a long-delayed process that has irked allies in Ottawa and advocates on both sides of the issue in the United States.

Behind the scenes, a complex political calculus is at play on everything from the timing of the decision to the outcome.

Screen Shot 2014 01 27 at 5.57.55 AM

REUTERS

For Obama, a decision in favor of the pipeline could undermine the Democratic president's environmental credentials and anger activists who have supported him just as his administration is writing new rules to reduce heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

A decision against the pipeline could undercut Obama's pledge to boost employment and U.S. energy security while alienating an important international ally and oil supplier.

No matter what Obama decides, an announcement before the midterm congressional elections in November - which many observers expect - could make Keystone a big issue in the races that will determine control of the U.S. Congress.

The Keystone project is a particularly sensitive subject for several Democratic senators from politically divided states who support the pipeline, are under pressure from Republican critics who back the project, and are frustrated with what they see as the administration's reluctance to decide the matter.

Democratic Senators Mark Begich of Alaska, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Kay Hagan of North Carolina are prominent Keystone backers and have supported past Republican-led efforts to circumvent Obama on the decision.
A 'PROGRESSIVE' LEGACY?

For Obama, the political calculus on Keystone extends well beyond the issue of the pipeline itself.

As he enters his sixth year in office, Obama has become increasingly focused on building his legacy as a "progressive" president.

The cornerstone of that legacy is Obama's health care overhaul, which continues to face attacks from Republicans. But Obama also wants to have an enduring impact on the nation's efforts to counter climate change.

"The president doesn't have to run for election ever again, increasingly he's going to be thinking about his legacy," said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, an environmental group.

"It's clear that one of the most important ways that he will be judged is what actions has he taken on climate change."

Environmentalists and young people - key segments of the Democratic Party's political base - have worked for years to block the Keystone pipeline plan because of what they see as the project's potential to increase climate-warming emissions.

Obama needs support from that base for other second-term initiatives such as immigration reform, and a potential Democratic successor such as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would need it to gain traction in the 2016 election.

"The president wants to make sure his legacy on climate is solid," a former administration official told Reuters.

"The degree to which this decision impacts the way he's viewed by the progressive community, that's certainly something they need to weigh."
DECISION COMING 'SOON'

So when will Obama make the call?

"You have to make a basic decision to answer that question, and that is: How political will the timeline be?" said Jason Grumet, a former energy adviser to Obama's 2008 campaign and now president of the Bipartisan Policy Center.

A decision by summer would give the issue legs in the 2014 congressional campaigns. A decision after the November midterms would thrust it into the beginning of the primary season for the 2016 presidential race.

Administration officials say the timeline is being determined by the State Department, which has a say in the matter because the proposed pipeline would cross the U.S.-Canada border. On January 17, Secretary of State John Kerry said he hoped an analysis of the thousands of public comments on the project's environmental impact would be done "soon."

The American Petroleum Institute, the oil industry's top lobbying group and a big Keystone backer, said it expects the State Department's report to come out as early as Thursday.

"It's our expectation it will be released next week," the group's chief executive, Jack Gerard, said last week during an interview, citing sources within the administration.

"We're expecting to hear the same conclusion that we've heard four times before: no significant impact on the environment," Gerard said.

The report will be critical in determining how the Keystone process plays out this year.

"If the analysis suggests that there are not substantial increases in carbon emissions, then it's not a tough call. If the analysis suggests that there are significant increases, it tilts the other way," Grumet said.

Sources inside and outside the administration said they did not expect Obama to discuss the project in his Tuesday speech.

"We have no expectation he'll find the courage to address it on Tuesday. That doesn't mean we won't keep talking about it," said Brendan Buck, spokesman for John Boehner, the Republican speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

All 45 Republican U.S. senators urged Obama on Friday to end the delays and noted in a letter that he had told them in March that a decision would be made before the end of 2013.

"We are well into 2014 and you still have not made a decision," they said.

A senior administration official said the president viewed the issue as one that had become disproportionately symbolic and super-charged for both sides. He does not believe it is the job creator that its backers suggest or the environmental nemesis that its objectors fear, the official said.

In June, while announcing a plan to cut U.S. carbon emissions, Obama brought up the pipeline unexpectedly and used words that both sides claimed backed up their arguments.

"Our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution," he said then. "The net effects of the pipeline's impact on our climate will be absolutely critical to determining whether this project is allowed to go forward."

When Obama makes a decision on Keystone XL, Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and Kerry are likely to be his top confidants. John Podesta, a former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and a Keystone critic who recently returned to the White House as a counselor to Obama, has recused himself from the process.

(Editing by David Lindsey and Marguerita Choy)

This post originally appeared at Reuters. Copyright 2014. Follow Reuters on Twitter

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/obamas-decision-on-the-keystone-pipeline-2014-1#ixzz2rcktC2Vl



Money Driven, Anal Lover, Yankee Fan, Cowboy up & I Ride w/ the Heat!! I'm a relentless & persistent animal my desire is to be the worlds greatest. - me

“Liberalism is a mental disorder" ~MIKE SAVAGE

“I'd like to thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee.”
Joe DiMaggio

Them that governs least, governs best- Thomas Jefferson

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”
- Thomas Jefferson

Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way. - General George Patton Jr

I love my wife & my life.

"I am an Animal Rescuer. My work is never done, my home is never quiet, my wallet is always empty...but my heart is always full." Annette King-Tucker

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But the U.S. ARMED FORCES don't have that problem."

Vic's daily to do list:

1- Hug a tree
2- 550 useless posts
3- Check in with Domjuan's secretary to see what hes up to for the day.
4- Tweet Obama 150 times
5- Master-bate to pics of Cindy Sheehan
6 - Spread innovative thinking that failed 25 years ago in Europe.
7- Burn an American flag
8- Spew out racist remarks to anybody that isn't a tree-huger like himself.

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Old Post 01-27-2014 01:18 PMdomjuan is offline
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domjuan
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Here's a black female journalist's opinion of the Barry’s. These are her words not mine. Even if you love Obama you might take a few minutes to read this because it is unvarnished in its implications for them and our country. This journalist is not afraid like so many are to be branded a racist simply because she is black. How beautiful and liberating the truth can be when our minds are opened for all who care to see and be free.

"In the beginning of a change, the PATRIOT is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it cost nothing to be a PATRIOT."
--Mark Twain 1904

The below summary of Barack and Michelle Obama’s 5 year reign in the White House is by far the best I've ever read as it squarely hits the nail on the head. And it took a black reporter writing it to make it as effective as it is. A white man’s account would be instantly criticized by the liberal media as pure racism. But, how can anyone scream Racist when an exacting description of the Obama’s is penned by a well known journalist of color?

BEST SUMMATION OF BARACK AND MICHELLE OBAMA EVER!
(Mychal Massie is a respected writer and talk show host in Los Angeles.)

The other evening on my twitter, a person asked me why I didn't like the Obama's. Specifically I was asked: "I have to ask, why do you hate the Obama's? It seems personal, not policy related. You even dissed (disrespect) their Christmas family picture."

The truth is I do not like the Obama’s, what they represent, their ideology, and I certainly do not like his policies and legislation. I've made no secret of my contempt for the Obama’s. As I responded to the person who asked me the aforementioned question, I don't like them because they are committed to the fundamental change of my/our country into what can only be regarded as a Communist state.

I don't hate them per definition, but I condemn them because they are the worst kind of racialists, they are elitist Leninists with contempt for traditional America. They display disrespect for the sanctity of the office he holds, and for those who are willing to admit same, Michelle Obama's raw contempt for white America is transpicuous.

I don't like them because they comport themselves as emperor and empress.

I expect, no I demand respect, for the Office of President, and a love of our country and her citizens, from the leader entrusted with the governance of same. President and Mrs. Reagan displayed an unparalleled love for the country and her people. The Reagan's made Americans feel good about themselves and about what we could accomplish.

His arrogance by appointing 32 leftist czars and constantly bypassing congress is impeachable. Eric Holder is probably the MOST incompetent and arrogant DOJ head to ever hold the job. Could you envision President Reagan instructing his Justice Department to act like jack-booted thugs?

Presidents are politicians and all politicians are known and pretty much expected to manipulate the truth, if not outright lie, but even using that low standard, the Obama's have taken lies, dishonesty, deceit, mendacity, subterfuge and obfuscation to new depths. They are verbally abusive to the citizenry, and they display an animus for civility.

I do not like them, because they both display bigotry overtly, as in the case of Harvard Professor Louis Gates, when he accused the Cambridge Police of acting stupidly, and her code speak pursuant to now being able to be proud of America. I view that statement and that Mindset as an insult to those who died to provide a country where a Kenyan, his illegal alien relatives, and his alleged progeny, could come and not only live freely, but rise to the highest, most powerful, position in the world. Michelle Obama is free to hate and disparage whites because Americans of every description paid with their blood to ensure her right to do that.

I have a saying, that "the only reason a person hides things, is because they have something to hide." No president in history has spent over a million dollars to keep his records and his past sealed.

And what the two of them have shared has been proven to be lies. He lied about when and how they met, he lied about his mother's death and problems with insurance, Michelle lied to a crowd pursuant to nearly $500,000 bank stocks they inherited from his family. He has lied about his father's military service, about the civil rights movement, ad nausea. He lied to the world about the Supreme Court in a State of the Union address.

He berated and publicly insulted a sitting Congressman. He has surrounded himself with the most rabidly, radical, socialist academicians today. He opposed rulings that protected women and children that even Planned Parenthood did not seek to support. He is openly hostile to business and aggressively hostile to Israel.

His wife treats being the First Lady as her personal American Express Black Card (arguably the most prestigious credit card in the world). I condemn them because, as people are suffering, losing their homes, their jobs, their retirements, he and his family are arrogantly showing off their life of entitlement - as he goes about creating and fomenting class warfare.

I don't like them, and I neither apologize nor retreat from my public condemnation of them and of his policies. We should condemn them for the disrespect they show our people, for his willful and unconstitutional actions pursuant to obeying the Constitutional parameters he is bound by, and his willful disregard for Congressional authority.

Dislike for them has nothing to do with the color of their skin; it has everything to do with their behavior, attitudes, and policies. And I have open scorn for their constantly playing the race card.

I could go on, but let me conclude with this. I condemn in the strongest possible terms the media for refusing to investigate them, as they did President Bush and President Clinton, and for refusing to label them for what they truly are. There is no scenario known to man, whereby a white president and his wife could ignore laws, flaunt their position, and lord over the people, as these two are permitted out of fear for their color.

As I wrote in a syndicated column titled, "Nero In The White House" - "Never in my life, inside or outside of politics, have I witnessed such dishonesty in a political leader.

He is the most mendacious political figure I have ever witnessed. Even by the low standards of his presidential predecessors, his narcissistic, contumacious arrogance is unequaled. Using Obama as the bar, Nero would have to be elevated to sainthood.

Many in America wanted to be proud when the first person of color was elected president, but instead, they have been witness to a congenital liar, a woman who has been ashamed of America her entire life, failed policies, intimidation, and a commonality hitherto not witnessed in political leaders. He and his wife view their life at our expense as an entitlement - while America's people go homeless, hungry and unemployed.



Money Driven, Anal Lover, Yankee Fan, Cowboy up & I Ride w/ the Heat!! I'm a relentless & persistent animal my desire is to be the worlds greatest. - me

“Liberalism is a mental disorder" ~MIKE SAVAGE

“I'd like to thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee.”
Joe DiMaggio

Them that governs least, governs best- Thomas Jefferson

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”
- Thomas Jefferson

Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way. - General George Patton Jr

I love my wife & my life.

"I am an Animal Rescuer. My work is never done, my home is never quiet, my wallet is always empty...but my heart is always full." Annette King-Tucker

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But the U.S. ARMED FORCES don't have that problem."

Vic's daily to do list:

1- Hug a tree
2- 550 useless posts
3- Check in with Domjuan's secretary to see what hes up to for the day.
4- Tweet Obama 150 times
5- Master-bate to pics of Cindy Sheehan
6 - Spread innovative thinking that failed 25 years ago in Europe.
7- Burn an American flag
8- Spew out racist remarks to anybody that isn't a tree-huger like himself.

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Old Post 01-27-2014 01:26 PMdomjuan is offline
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translucent
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Lord of Laziness

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I stopped reading at "elitist Leninists with contempt for traditional America." That's utter nonsense. Leninism refers to the antithesis of capitalism, achieved through violent means by revolution. Last I checked, Che Obama wasn't walking around in a beret. If "traditional America" means that ignorant part of the country that doesn't believe in evolution and is trying to drag the rest of us backwards, then I have just as much contempt for them as the Obamas. That contempt is well deserved.



"Tresor never sleeps"

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domjuan
“Yes, we can!” has devolved into “Hey, we might.”

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Devastating: WaPo-ABC Poll Shows Obama Not Trusted to Make Right Decisions by Over 6 Out of 10



On January 27, 2014

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that 63% of Americans have either little or no confidence that Barack Obama will make the right decisions for the country. And half of them find him untrustworthy.

Moreover, 52% of respondents said Obama does not understand the problems of people like them – while 51% also believe he is not a strong leader in general.

This is one of the most devastating polls of his presidency, because it shows that most Americans doubt Obama’s personal integrity.

A recent messaging tactic from the president gave the game away: Obama complained that Fox News and Rush Limbaugh were making a “caricature” of him. He wasn’t complaining about policy differences, he was worried about the public perception of him.

Now Obama’s personal popularity is apparently taking a hit as well: Slightly more people have an unfavorable than favorable impression of the president.

What makes the left get away with what they do in politics – no one ever doubts Democrats’ intentions. Democrats can fail repeatedly, and get away with scapegoating Republicans and the left’s base doesn’t care. Only when people figure out they’re being lied to – that’s when they start exacting retribution on those who promise the world and deliver nothing but excuses.

This is one of the most devastating polls of Obama's presidency...



Money Driven, Anal Lover, Yankee Fan, Cowboy up & I Ride w/ the Heat!! I'm a relentless & persistent animal my desire is to be the worlds greatest. - me

“Liberalism is a mental disorder" ~MIKE SAVAGE

“I'd like to thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee.”
Joe DiMaggio

Them that governs least, governs best- Thomas Jefferson

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”
- Thomas Jefferson

Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way. - General George Patton Jr

I love my wife & my life.

"I am an Animal Rescuer. My work is never done, my home is never quiet, my wallet is always empty...but my heart is always full." Annette King-Tucker

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But the U.S. ARMED FORCES don't have that problem."

Vic's daily to do list:

1- Hug a tree
2- 550 useless posts
3- Check in with Domjuan's secretary to see what hes up to for the day.
4- Tweet Obama 150 times
5- Master-bate to pics of Cindy Sheehan
6 - Spread innovative thinking that failed 25 years ago in Europe.
7- Burn an American flag
8- Spew out racist remarks to anybody that isn't a tree-huger like himself.

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Old Post 01-28-2014 01:03 PMdomjuan is offline
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translucent
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Lord of Laziness

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Location: Over there
Posts: 36634

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Like I keep saying, Dems are finally catching on that they elected a Moderate Republican to the White House.



"Tresor never sleeps"

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domjuan
“Yes, we can!” has devolved into “Hey, we might.”

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It was never this cold for so long when Bush was President. Thanks Barry



Money Driven, Anal Lover, Yankee Fan, Cowboy up & I Ride w/ the Heat!! I'm a relentless & persistent animal my desire is to be the worlds greatest. - me

“Liberalism is a mental disorder" ~MIKE SAVAGE

“I'd like to thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee.”
Joe DiMaggio

Them that governs least, governs best- Thomas Jefferson

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”
- Thomas Jefferson

Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way. - General George Patton Jr

I love my wife & my life.

"I am an Animal Rescuer. My work is never done, my home is never quiet, my wallet is always empty...but my heart is always full." Annette King-Tucker

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But the U.S. ARMED FORCES don't have that problem."

Vic's daily to do list:

1- Hug a tree
2- 550 useless posts
3- Check in with Domjuan's secretary to see what hes up to for the day.
4- Tweet Obama 150 times
5- Master-bate to pics of Cindy Sheehan
6 - Spread innovative thinking that failed 25 years ago in Europe.
7- Burn an American flag
8- Spew out racist remarks to anybody that isn't a tree-huger like himself.

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Old Post 01-31-2014 02:46 PMdomjuan is offline
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domjuan
“Yes, we can!” has devolved into “Hey, we might.”

Registered: Jun 2006
Age: 44
Location: Gotham
Posts: 12126

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Market continues to take it in the pooper . #doom



Money Driven, Anal Lover, Yankee Fan, Cowboy up & I Ride w/ the Heat!! I'm a relentless & persistent animal my desire is to be the worlds greatest. - me

“Liberalism is a mental disorder" ~MIKE SAVAGE

“I'd like to thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee.”
Joe DiMaggio

Them that governs least, governs best- Thomas Jefferson

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”
- Thomas Jefferson

Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way. - General George Patton Jr

I love my wife & my life.

"I am an Animal Rescuer. My work is never done, my home is never quiet, my wallet is always empty...but my heart is always full." Annette King-Tucker

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But the U.S. ARMED FORCES don't have that problem."

Vic's daily to do list:

1- Hug a tree
2- 550 useless posts
3- Check in with Domjuan's secretary to see what hes up to for the day.
4- Tweet Obama 150 times
5- Master-bate to pics of Cindy Sheehan
6 - Spread innovative thinking that failed 25 years ago in Europe.
7- Burn an American flag
8- Spew out racist remarks to anybody that isn't a tree-huger like himself.

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Old Post 01-31-2014 04:03 PMdomjuan is offline
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domjuan
“Yes, we can!” has devolved into “Hey, we might.”

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Obama: My Poll Numbers Are Down Because I’m Black
By Robert Gehl on January 19, 2014


Barack Obama’s poll numbers are in the toilet not because he’s a bad president. No. It’s because he’s black, don’t you know.

That’s right. In an interview with New Yorker, America’s “post-racial” president said racial tensions are responsible for his lagging popularity.

“There’s no doubt that there’s some folks who just really dislike me because they don’t like the idea of a black president,” Obama said in the article by David Remnick, appearing in the magazine’s Jan. 27 edition. “Now, the flip side of it is there are some black folks and maybe some white folks who really like me and give me the benefit of the doubt precisely because I’m a black president.”

Obama’s current approval rating hovers around 40 percent and in the 2012 election, President Obama won 39 percent of the white vote. In 2008, he won 43 percent of the white vote.

The failure of Obamacare, Benghazi, NSA wiretapping and a host of other scandals have marred the president in 2013, but the single reason the president is unpopular is because of the color of his skin.

Republican National Committee Spokesman Sean Spicer markedly disagreed with Obama’s assessment of his popularity.

“Poll after poll makes it very clear that Obamacare and other job-killing policies are the reason” for the president’s decline in popularity,” he said.

But pulling the “race card” isn’t above anybody nowadays, is it, Mr. President?

Downtrend.com author Robert Ellsworth also chimed in on this story with his thoughts.

wow....Gotta love reverse racism by the most powerful man in the world after Putin.



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Where exactly in that article did Barry say that his approval rating dropped because of his race? All he said was that some people don't like him because he's black. It's not like these people used to like him, but now don't; they never liked him.



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Originally posted by translucent
Where exactly in that article did Barry say that his approval rating dropped because of his race? All he said was that some people don't like him because he's black. It's not like these people used to like him, but now don't; they never liked him.

I thought Obamas response was to remnicks questoning his approval rating and loss of votes amongst whites last time around

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Originally posted by bxbomb
I thought Obamas response was to remnicks questoning his approval rating and loss of votes amongst whites last time around


I didn't read Remnick's article. I was referring to the article that Dom posted, which while quoting an excerpt from the original article, claimed Barry said that his numbers dipped because he's black.



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Annals of the Presidency
Going the Distance
On and off the road with Barack Obama.
by David Remnick January 27, 2014



Obama’s Presidency is on the clock. Hard as it has been to pass legislation, the coming year is a marker, the final interval before the fight for succession becomes politically all-consuming.



On the Sunday afternoon before Thanksgiving, Barack Obama sat in the office cabin of Air Force One wearing a look of heavy-lidded annoyance. The Affordable Care Act, his signature domestic achievement and, for all its limitations, the most ambitious social legislation since the Great Society, half a century ago, was in jeopardy. His approval rating was down to forty per cent—lower than George W. Bush’s in December of 2005, when Bush admitted that the decision to invade Iraq had been based on intelligence that “turned out to be wrong.” Also, Obama said thickly, “I’ve got a fat lip.”

That morning, while playing basketball at F.B.I. headquarters, Obama went up for a rebound and came down empty-handed; he got, instead, the sort of humbling reserved for middle-aged men who stubbornly refuse the transition to the elliptical machine and Gentle Healing Yoga. This had happened before. In 2010, after taking a self-described “shellacking” in the midterm elections, Obama caught an elbow in the mouth while playing ball at Fort McNair. He wound up with a dozen stitches. The culprit then was one Reynaldo Decerega, a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. Decerega wasn’t invited to play again, though Obama sent him a photograph inscribed “For Rey, the only guy that ever hit the President and didn’t get arrested. Barack.”

This time, the injury was slighter and no assailant was named—“I think it was the ball,” Obama said—but the President needed little assistance in divining the metaphor in this latest insult to his person. The pundits were declaring 2013 the worst year of his Presidency. The Republicans had been sniping at Obamacare since its passage, nearly four years earlier, and HealthCare.gov, a Web site that was undertested and overmatched, was a gift to them. There were other beribboned boxes under the tree: Edward Snowden’s revelations about the National Security Agency; the failure to get anything passed on gun control or immigration reform; the unseemly waffling over whether the Egyptian coup was a coup; the solidifying wisdom in Washington that the President was “disengaged,” allergic to the forensic and seductive arts of political persuasion. The congressional Republicans quashed nearly all legislation as a matter of principle and shut down the government for sixteen days, before relenting out of sheer tactical confusion and embarrassment—and yet it was the President’s miseries that dominated the year-end summations.

Obama worried his lip with his tongue and the tip of his index finger. He sighed, slumping in his chair. The night before, Iran had agreed to freeze its nuclear program for six months. A final pact, if one could be arrived at, would end the prospect of a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities and the hell that could follow: terror attacks, proxy battles, regional war—take your pick. An agreement could even help normalize relations between the United States and Iran for the first time since the Islamic Revolution, in 1979. Obama put the odds of a final accord at less than even, but, still, how was this not good news?


The answer had arrived with breakfast. The Saudis, the Israelis, and the Republican leadership made their opposition known on the Sunday-morning shows and through diplomatic channels. Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, called the agreement a “historic mistake.” Even a putative ally like New York Senator Chuck Schumer could go on “Meet the Press” and, fearing no retribution from the White House, hint that he might help bollix up the deal. Obama hadn’t tuned in. “I don’t watch Sunday-morning shows,” he said. “That’s been a well-established rule.” Instead, he went out to play ball.

Usually, Obama spends Sundays with his family. Now he was headed for a three-day fund-raising trip to Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, rattling the cup in one preposterous mansion after another. The prospect was dispiriting. Obama had already run his last race, and the chances that the Democratic Party will win back the House of Representatives in the 2014 midterm elections are slight. The Democrats could, in fact, lose the Senate.

For an important trip abroad, Air Force One is crowded with advisers, military aides, Secret Service people, support staff, the press pool. This trip was smaller, and I was along for the ride, sitting in a guest cabin with a couple of aides and a staffer who was tasked with keeping watch over a dark suit bag with a tag reading “The President.”

Obama spent his flight time in the private quarters in the nose of the plane, in his office compartment, or in a conference room. At one point on the trip from Andrews Air Force Base to Seattle, I was invited up front for a conversation. Obama was sitting at his desk watching the Miami Dolphins–Carolina Panthers game. Slender as a switch, he wore a white shirt and dark slacks; a flight jacket was slung over his high-backed leather chair. As we talked, mainly about the Middle East, his eyes wandered to the game. Reports of multiple concussions and retired players with early-onset dementia had been in the news all year, and so, before I left, I asked if he didn’t feel at all ambivalent about following the sport. He didn’t.

“I would not let my son play pro football,” he conceded. “But, I mean, you wrote a lot about boxing, right? We’re sort of in the same realm.”

The Miami defense was taking on a Keystone Kops quality, and Obama, who had lost hope on a Bears contest, was starting to lose interest in the Dolphins. “At this point, there’s a little bit of caveat emptor,” he went on. “These guys, they know what they’re doing. They know what they’re buying into. It is no longer a secret. It’s sort of the feeling I have about smokers, you know?”

Obama chewed furtively on a piece of Nicorette. His carriage and the cadence of his conversation are usually so measured that I was thrown by the lingering habit, the trace of indiscipline. “I’m not a purist,” he said.



I—ON THE CLOCK

When Obama leaves the White House, on January 20, 2017, he will write a memoir. “Now, that’s a slam dunk,” the former Obama adviser David Axelrod told me. Andrew Wylie, a leading literary agent, said he thought that publishers would pay between seventeen and twenty million dollars for the book—the most ever for a work of nonfiction—and around twelve million for Michelle Obama’s memoirs. (The First Lady has already started work on hers.) Obama’s best friend, Marty Nesbitt, a Chicago businessman, told me that, important as the memoir might be to Obama’s legacy and to his finances, “I don’t see him locked up in a room writing all the time. His capacity to crank stuff out is amazing. When he was writing his second book, he would say, ‘I’m gonna get up at seven and write this chapter—and at nine we’ll play golf.’ I would think no, it’s going to be a lot later, but he would knock on my door at nine and say, ‘Let’s go.’ ” Nesbitt thinks that Obama will work on issues such as human rights, education, and “health and wellness.” “He was a local community organizer when he was young,” he said. “At the back end of his career, I see him as an international and national community organizer.”

Yet no post-Presidential project—even one as worthy as Ulysses S. Grant’s memoirs or Jimmy Carter’s efforts to eradicate the Guinea worm in Africa—can overshadow what can be accomplished in the White House with the stroke of a pen or a phone call. And, after a miserable year, Obama’s Presidency is on the clock. Hard as it has been to pass legislation since the Republicans took the House, in 2010, the coming year is a marker, the final interval before the fight for succession becomes politically all-consuming.

“The conventional wisdom is that a President’s second term is a matter of minimizing the damage and playing defense rather than playing offense,” Obama said in one of our conversations on the trip and at the White House. “But, as I’ve reminded my team, the day after I was inaugurated for a second term, we’re in charge of the largest organization on earth, and our capacity to do some good, both domestically and around the world, is unsurpassed, even if nobody is paying attention.”

In 2007, at the start of Obama’s Presidential campaign, the historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and her husband, Richard Goodwin, who worked in the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations, visited him in his Senate office. “I have no desire to be one of those Presidents who are just on the list—you see their pictures lined up on the wall,” Obama told them. “I really want to be a President who makes a difference.” As she put it to me then, “There was the sense that he wanted to be big. He didn’t want to be Millard Fillmore or Franklin Pierce.”

The question is whether Obama will satisfy the standard he set for himself. His biggest early disappointment as President was being forced to recognize that his romantic vision of a post-partisan era, in which there are no red states or blue states, only the United States, was, in practical terms, a fantasy. It was a difficult fantasy to relinquish. The spirit of national conciliation was more than the rhetorical pixie dust of Obama’s 2004 speech to the Democratic National Convention, in Boston, which had brought him to delirious national attention. It was also an elemental component of his self-conception, his sense that he was uniquely suited to transcend ideology and the grubby battles of the day. Obama is defensive about this now. “My speech in Boston was an aspirational speech,” he said. “It was not a description of our politics. It was a description of what I saw in the American people.”

The structures of American division came into high relief once he was in office. The debate over the proper scale and scope of the federal government dates to the Founders, but it has intensified since the Reagan revolution. Both Bill Clinton and Obama have spent as much time defending progressive advances—from Social Security and Medicare to voting rights and abortion rights—as they have trying to extend them. The Republican Party is living through the late-mannerist phase of that revolution, fuelled less by ideas than by resentments. The moderate Republican tradition is all but gone, and the reactionaries who claim Reagan’s banner display none of his ideological finesse. Rejection is all. Obama can never be opposed vehemently enough.

The dream of bipartisan coöperation glimmered again after Obama won reëlection against Mitt Romney with fifty-one per cent of the popular vote. The President talked of the election breaking the “fever” in Washington. “We didn’t expect the floodgates would open and Boehner would be Tip O’Neill to our Reagan,” Dan Pfeiffer, a senior adviser to the President, said. But reëlection, he thought, had “liberated” Obama. The second Inaugural Address was the most liberal since the nineteen-sixties. Obama pledged to take ambitious action on climate change, immigration, gun control, voting rights, infrastructure, tax reform. He warned of a nation at “perpetual war.” He celebrated the Seneca Falls Convention, the Selma-to-Montgomery marches, and the Stonewall riots as events in a narrative of righteous struggle. He pledged “collective action” on economic fairness, and declared that the legacy of Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid does “not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.” Pfeiffer said, “His point was that Congress won’t set the limits of what I will do. I won’t trim my vision. And, even if I can’t get it done, I will set the stage so it does get done” in the years ahead. Then came 2013, annus horribilis.

Obama’s election was one of the great markers in the black freedom struggle. In the electoral realm, ironically, the country may be more racially divided than it has been in a generation. Obama lost among white voters in 2012 by a margin greater than any victor in American history. The popular opposition to the Administration comes largely from older whites who feel threatened, underemployed, overlooked, and disdained in a globalized economy and in an increasingly diverse country. Obama’s drop in the polls in 2013 was especially grave among white voters. “There’s no doubt that there’s some folks who just really dislike me because they don’t like the idea of a black President,” Obama said. “Now, the flip side of it is there are some black folks and maybe some white folks who really like me and give me the benefit of the doubt precisely because I’m a black President.” The latter group has been less in evidence of late.

“There is a historic connection between some of the arguments that we have politically and the history of race in our country, and sometimes it’s hard to disentangle those issues,” he went on. “You can be somebody who, for very legitimate reasons, worries about the power of the federal government—that it’s distant, that it’s bureaucratic, that it’s not accountable—and as a consequence you think that more power should reside in the hands of state governments. But what’s also true, obviously, is that philosophy is wrapped up in the history of states’ rights in the context of the civil-rights movement and the Civil War and Calhoun. There’s a pretty long history there. And so I think it’s important for progressives not to dismiss out of hand arguments against my Presidency or the Democratic Party or Bill Clinton or anybody just because there’s some overlap between those criticisms and the criticisms that traditionally were directed against those who were trying to bring about greater equality for African-Americans. The flip side is I think it’s important for conservatives to recognize and answer some of the problems that are posed by that history, so that they understand if I am concerned about leaving it up to states to expand Medicaid that it may not simply be because I am this power-hungry guy in Washington who wants to crush states’ rights but, rather, because we are one country and I think it is going to be important for the entire country to make sure that poor folks in Mississippi and not just Massachusetts are healthy.”

Obama’s advisers are convinced that if the Republicans don’t find a way to attract non-white voters, particularly Hispanics and Asians, they may lose the White House for two or three more election cycles. And yet Obama still makes every effort to maintain his careful, balancing tone, as if the unifying moment were still out there somewhere in the middle distance. “There were times in our history where Democrats didn’t seem to be paying enough attention to the concerns of middle-class folks or working-class folks, black or white,” he said. “And this was one of the great gifts of Bill Clinton to the Party—to say, you know what, it’s entirely legitimate for folks to be concerned about getting mugged, and you can’t just talk about police abuse. How about folks not feeling safe outside their homes? It’s all fine and good for you to want to do something about poverty, but if the only mechanism you have is raising taxes on folks who are already feeling strapped, then maybe you need to widen your lens a little bit. And I think that the Democratic Party is better for it. But that was a process. And I am confident that the Republicans will go through that same process.”

For the moment, though, the opposition party is content to define itself, precisely, by its opposition. As Obama, a fan of the “Godfather” movies, has put it, “It turns out Marlon Brando had it easy, because, when it comes to Congress, there is no such thing as an offer they can’t refuse.”



II—THE LONG VIEW

At dusk, Air Force One touched down at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Obama and his adviser Valerie Jarrett stood for a moment on the tarmac gazing at Mt. Rainier, the snow a candied pink. Then Obama nodded. Moment over. They got in the car and headed for town. Obama’s limousine, a Cadillac said to weigh as much as fifteen thousand pounds, is known as the Beast. It is armored with ceramic, titanium, aluminum, and steel to withstand bomb blasts, and it is sealed in case of biochemical attack. The doors are as heavy as those on a Boeing 757. The tires are gigantic “run-flats,” reinforced with Kevlar. A supply of blood matching the President’s type is kept in the trunk.

The Beast ascended the driveway of Jon Shirley, in the Seattle suburb of Medina, on Lake Washington. (Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates live in town, too.) Shirley earned his pile during the early days of high tech, first at Tandy and then, in the eighties, at Microsoft, where he served as president. Shirley’s lawn is littered with gargantuan modern sculptures. A Claes Oldenburg safety pin loomed in the dark. The Beast pulled up to Shirley’s front door.

One of the enduring mysteries of the Obama years is that so many members of the hyper-deluxe economy—corporate C.E.O.s and Wall Street bankers—have abandoned him. The Dow is more than twice what it was when Obama took office, in 2009; corporate profits are higher than they have been since the end of the Second World War; the financial crisis of 2008-09 vaporized more than nine trillion dollars in real-estate value, and no major purveyor of bogus mortgages or dodgy derivatives went to jail. Obama bruised some feelings once or twice with remarks about “fat-cat bankers” and “reckless behavior and unchecked excess,” but, in general, he dares not offend. In 2011, at an annual dinner he holds at the White House with American historians, he asked the group to help him find a language in which he could address the problem of growing inequality without being accused of class warfare.

Inside Shirley’s house, blue-chip works of modern art—paintings, sculpture, installations—were on every wall, in every corner: Katz, Kline, Klein, Pollock, Zhang Huan, Richter, Arp, Rothko, Close, Calder. The house measures more than twenty-seven thousand square feet. There are only two bedrooms. In the library, the President went through a familiar fund-raiser routine: a pre-event private “clutch,” where he shakes hands, makes small talk, and poses for pictures with an inner group—the host, the governor, the chosen.

Down the hall, in a room scaled like an airplane hangar, about seventy guests, having paid sixteen thousand dollars each to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee kitty, ate dinner and waited. Near some very artistic furniture, I stood with Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s most intimate consigliere. To admirers, Jarrett is known as “the third Obama”; to wary aides, who envy her long history with the Obamas and her easy access to the living quarters of the White House, she is the Night Stalker. Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod, Robert Gibbs, David Plouffe, and many others in the Administration have clashed with her. They are gone. She remains—a constant presence, at meetings, at meals, in the Beast. While we were waiting for Obama to speak to the group, I asked Jarrett whether the health-care rollout had been the worst political fiasco Obama had confronted so far.

“I really don’t think so,” she said. Like all Obama advisers, she was convinced that the problems would get “fixed”—just as Social Security was fixed after a balky start, in 1937—and the memory of the botched rollout would recede. That was the hope and that was the spin. And then she said something that I’ve come to think of as the Administration’s mantra: “The President always takes the long view.”

That appeal to patience and historical reckoning, an appeal that risks a maddening high-mindedness, is something that everyone around Obama trots out to combat the hysterias of any given moment. “He has learned through those vicissitudes that every day is Election Day in Washington and everyone is writing history in ten-minute intervals,” Axelrod told me. “But the truth is that history is written over a long period of time—and he will be judged in the long term.”

Obama stepped up to a platform and went to work. First ingratiation, then gratitude, then answers. He expressed awe at the sight of Mt. Rainier. Being in Seattle, he said, made him “feel the spirit of my mom,” the late Ann Dunham, who went to high school nearby, on Mercer Island. He praised his host’s hospitality. (“The only problem when I come to Jon’s house is I want to just kind of roam around and check stuff out, and instead I’ve got to talk.”) Then came a version of the long-game riff: “One thing that I always try to emphasize is that, if you look at American history, there have been frequent occasions in which it looked like we had insoluble problems—either economic, political, security—and, as long as there were those who stayed steady and clear-eyed and persistent, eventually we came up with an answer.”

As Obama ticked off a list of first-term achievements—the economic rescue, the forty-four straight months of job growth, a reduction in carbon emissions, a spike in clean-energy technology—he seemed efficient but contained, running at three-quarters speed, like an athlete playing a midseason road game of modest consequence; he was performing just hard enough to leave a decent impression, get paid, and avoid injury. Even in front of West Coast liberals, he is always careful to disavow liberalism—the word, anyway. “I’m not a particularly ideological person,” Obama told Jon Shirley and his guests. “There’s things, some values I feel passionately about.” He said that these included making sure that everybody is “being treated with dignity or respect regardless of what they look like or what their last name is or who they love,” providing a strong defense, and “leaving a planet that is as spectacular as the one we inherited from our parents and our grandparents.” He continued, “So there are values I’m passionate about, but I’m pretty pragmatic when it comes to how we get there.”

Obama said he’d take some questions—in “boy, girl, boy, girl” order. He tried to rally the Democrats and expressed dismay with the opposition. (“There are reasonable conservatives and there are those who just want to burn down the house.”) He played both sides of the environment issues, rehearsing the arguments for and against the Keystone pipeline and sympathizing with the desire of China and India to lift millions out of poverty—but if they consume energy the way the United States has “we’ll be four feet under water.” This is the archetypal Obama habit of mind and politics, the calm, professorial immersion in complexity played out in front of ardent supporters who crave a rallying cry. It’s what compelled him to declare himself a non-pacifist as he was accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, in Oslo, and praise Ronald Reagan in a Democratic primary debate.

And that was the end of the performance. A few minutes later, the motorcade was snaking through the streets of suburban Seattle—kids in pajamas holding signs and sparklers, the occasional protester, Obama secured in the back seat of the Beast. He could hear nothing. The windows of his car are five inches thick.



III—PRESIDENTIAL M&M’S

The next morning, a Monday, I woke early and turned on CNN. Senator Lindsey Graham, who is facing a primary challenge from four Tea Party candidates in South Carolina, was saying with utter confidence that Iran had hoodwinked the Administration in Geneva. Next came a poll showing that the majority of the country now believed that the President was neither truthful nor honest. The announcer added with a smile that GQ had put Obama at No. 17 on its “least influential” list—right up there with Pope Benedict XVI in his retirement, the cicadas that never showed up last summer, and Manti Te’o’s fake dead girlfriend.

In the hotel lobby, I met Jeff Tiller, who works for the White House press operation. In college, he became interested in politics and later joined Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign. From there, he volunteered at the White House, which led to a string of staff jobs, and eventually he was doing advance work all over the world for the White House. The aides on the plane were like Tiller—committed members of a cheerful, overworked microculture who could barely conceal their pleasure in Presidential propinquity. I’m twenty-seven and this is my thirty-second time on Air Force One. “I pinch myself sometimes,” Tiller said. Dan Pfeiffer, who has been with Obama since 2007, was so overworked last year that he suffered a series of mini-strokes. “But no worries,” he told me. “I’m good!”

We arrived in San Francisco, and the motorcade raced along, free of traffic and red lights, from the airport to a community center in Chinatown named after Betty Ong, a flight attendant who perished when American Airlines Flight 11 was hijacked and crashed into the World Trade Center. Obama was to give a speech on immigration. Out the window, you could see people waving, people hoisting their babies as if to witness history, people holding signs protesting one issue or another—the Keystone pipeline, especially—and, everywhere, the iPhone clickers, the Samsung snappers.

The Beast pulled under a makeshift security tent. Obama gets to events like these through underground hallways, industrial kitchens, holding rooms—all of which have been checked for bombs. At the Ong Center, he met with his hosts and their children. (“I think I have some Presidential M&M’s for you!”) People get goggle-eyed when it’s their turn for a picture. Obama tries to put them at ease: “C’mon in here! Let’s do this!” Sometimes there is teasing of the mildest sort: “Chuck Taylor All-Stars! Old style, baby!” A woman told the President that she was six months pregnant. She didn’t look it. “Whoa! Don’t tell that to Michelle. She’ll be all . . .” The woman said she was having a girl. Obama was delighted: “Daughters! You can’t beat ’em!” He pulled her in for the photo. From long experience, Obama has learned what works for him in pictures: a broad, toothy smile. A millisecond after the flash, the sash releases, the smile drops, a curtain falling.

A little later, Betty Ong’s mother and siblings arrived. Obama drew them into a huddle. I heard him saying that Betty was a hero, though “obviously, the heartache never goes away.” Obama really is skilled at this kind of thing, the kibbitzing and the expressions of sympathy, the hugging and the eulogizing and the celebrating, the sheer animal activity of human politics—but he suffers an anxiety of comparison. Bill Clinton was, and is, the master, a hyper-extrovert whose freakish memory for names and faces, and whose indomitable will to enfold and charm everyone in his path, remains unmatched. Obama can be a dynamic speaker before large audiences and charming in very small groups, but, like a normal human being and unlike the near-pathological personalities who have so often held the office, he is depleted by the act of schmoozing a group of a hundred as if it were an intimate gathering. At fund-raisers, he would rather eat privately with a couple of aides before going out to perform. According to the Wall Street Journal, when Jeffrey Katzenberg threw a multi-million-dollar fund-raiser in Los Angeles two years ago, he told the President’s staff that he expected Obama to stop at each of the fourteen tables and talk for a while. No one would have had to ask Clinton. Obama’s staffers were alarmed. When you talk about this with people in Obamaland, they let on that Clinton borders on the obsessive—as if the appetite for connection were related to what got him in such deep trouble.

“Obama is a genuinely respectful person, but he doesn’t try to seduce everyone,” Axelrod said. “It’s never going to be who he’ll be.” Obama doesn’t love fund-raising, he went on, “and, if you don’t love it in the first place, you’re not likely to grow fonder of it over time.”

Obama has other talents that serve him well in public. Like a seasoned standup comedian, he has learned that a well-timed heckler can be his ally. It allows him to dramatize his open-mindedness, even his own philosophical ambivalences about a particularly difficult political or moral question. Last May, at the National Defense University, where he was giving a speech on counter-terrorism, a woman named Medea Benjamin, the co-founder of the group Code Pink, interrupted him, loudly and at length, to talk about drone strikes and about closing the American prison at Guantánamo Bay. While some in the audience tried to drown her out with applause, and security people proceeded to drag her away, Obama asserted Benjamin’s right to “free speech,” and declared, “The voice of that woman is worth paying attention to.”

At the Ong Center, an undocumented immigrant from South Korea named Ju Hong was in the crowd lined up behind the President. Toward the end of Obama’s speech, Ju Hong, a Berkeley graduate, broke in, demanding that the President use his executive powers to stop deportations.

Obama wheeled around. “If, in fact, I could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress, then I would do so, but we’re also a nation of laws,” he said, making his case to a wash of applause.

At the next event, a fund-raiser for the Democratic National Committee at a music venue, the SFJAZZ Center, Obama met the host’s family (“Hold on, we got some White House M&M’s”) and then made his way to the backstage holding area. You could hear the murmur of security communications: “Renegade with greeters”—Renegade being Obama’s Secret Service handle.

Obama worked with more enthusiasm than at the midday event. He did the polite handshake; the full pull-in; the hug and double backslap; the slap-shake; the solicitous arm-around-the-older woman. (“And you stand here. . . . Perfect!”)

The clutch over, the crowd cleared away, Obama turned to his aides and said, “How many we got out there?”

“Five hundred. Five-fifty.”

“Five-fifty?” Obama said, walking toward the wings of the stage. “What are we talking about? Politics? Can’t we talk about something else? Sports?”

The aides were, as ever, staring down at their iPhones, scrolling, tapping, mentally occupying a psychic space somewhere between where they were and the unspooling news cycle back in Washington.

“We’re off the cuff,” Pfeiffer said. No prepared speech.

“Off the cuff? Sounds good. Let’s go do it.”

Obama walked toward the stage and, as he was announced, he mouthed the words: “Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States.”

Then it happened again: another heckler broke into Obama’s speech. A man in the balcony repeatedly shouted out, “Executive order!,” demanding that the President bypass Congress with more unilateral actions. Obama listened with odd indulgence. Finally, he said, “I’m going to actually pause on this issue, because a lot of people have been saying this lately on every problem, which is just, ‘Sign an executive order and we can pretty much do anything and basically nullify Congress.’ ”

Many in the crowd applauded their approval. Yes! Nullify it! Although Obama has infuriated the right with relatively modest executive orders on gun control and some stronger ones on climate change, he has issued the fewest of any modern President, except George H. W. Bush.

“Wait, wait, wait,” Obama said. “Before everybody starts clapping, that’s not how it works. We’ve got this Constitution, we’ve got this whole thing about separation of powers. So there is no shortcut to politics, and there’s no shortcut to democracy.” The applause was hardly ecstatic. Everyone knew what he meant. The promises in the second inaugural could be a long time coming.



IV—THE WELCOME TABLE

For every flight aboard Air Force One, there is a new name card at each seat; a catalogue of the Presidential Entertainment Library, with its hiply curated choices of movies and music; baskets of fruit and candy; a menu. Obama is generally a spare eater; the Air Force One menu seems designed for William Howard Taft. Breakfast one morning was “pumpkin spiced French toast drizzled with caramel syrup and a dollop of fresh whipped cream. Served with scrambled eggs and maple sausage links.” Plus juice, coffee, and, on the side, a “creamy vanilla yogurt layered with blackberries and cinnamon graham crackers.”

The most curious character on the plane was Marvin Nicholson, a tall, rangy man in his early forties who works as the President’s trip director and ubiquitous factotum. He is six feet eight. Nicholson is the guy who is always around, who carries the bag and the jacket, who squeezes Purell onto the Presidential palms after a rope line or a clutch; he is the one who has the pens, the briefing books, the Nicorette, the Sharpies, the Advil, the throat lozenges, the iPad, the iPod, the protein bars, the bottle of Black Forest Berry Honest Tea. He and the President toss a football around, they shoot baskets, they shoot the shit. In his twenties, Nicholson was living in Boston and working as a bartender and as a clerk in a windsurfing-equipment shop, where he met John Kerry. He moved to Nantucket and worked as a caddie. He carried the Senator’s clubs and Kerry invited him to come to D.C. Since taking the job with Obama, in 2009, Nicholson has played golf with the President well over a hundred times. The Speaker of the House has played with him once.

A fact like this can seem to chime with the sort of complaints you hear all the time about Obama, particularly along the Acela Corridor. He is said to be a reluctant politician: aloof, insular, diffident, arrogant, inert, unwilling to jolly his allies along the fairway and take a 9-iron to his enemies. He doesn’t know anyone in Congress. No one in the House or in the Senate, no one in foreign capitals fears him. He gives a great speech, but he doesn’t understand power. He is a poor executive. Doesn’t it seem as if he hates the job? And so on. This is the knowing talk on Wall Street, on K Street, on Capitol Hill, in green rooms—the “Morning Joe” consensus.

There are other ways to assess the political skills of a President who won two terms, as only seventeen of forty-four Presidents have, and did so as a black man, with an African father and a peculiar name, one consonant away from that of the world’s most notorious terrorist. From the start, however, the political operatives who opposed him did what they are paid to do—they drew a cartoon of him. “Even if you never met him, you know this guy,” Karl Rove said, in 2008. “He’s the guy at the country club with the beautiful date, holding a Martini and a cigarette, that stands against the wall and makes snide comments about everyone who passes by.” The less malign version is of a President who is bafflingly serene, as committed to his duties as a husband and father—six-thirty family dinner upstairs in the private residence is considered “sacrosanct,” aides say—as he is to his duties as Cajoler-in-Chief.

Still, Obama’s reluctance to break bread on a regular basis with his congressional allies is real, and a source of tribal mystification in Washington. “Politics was a strange career choice for Obama,” David Frum, a conservative columnist, told me. “Most politicians are not the kind of people you would choose to have as friends. Or they are the kind who, like John Edwards, seem to be one thing but then turn out to have a monster in the attic; the friendship is contingent on something you can’t see. Obama is exactly like all my friends. He would rather read a book than spend time with people he doesn’t know or like.” Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia who was elected to the Senate three years ago, said recently that Obama’s distance from members of Congress has hurt his ability to pass legislation. “When you don’t build those personal relationships,” Manchin told CNN, “it’s pretty easy for a person to say, ‘Well, let me think about it.’ ”

Harry Truman once called the White House “the great white jail,” but few Presidents seem to have felt as oppressed by Washington as Obama does. At one stop on the West Coast trip, Marta Kauffman, a Democratic bundler who was one of the creators of “Friends,” said that she asked him what had surprised him most when he first became President. “The bubble,” Obama said. He said he hoped that one day he might be able to take a walk in the park, drop by a bookstore, chat with people in a coffee shop. “After all this is done,” he said, “how can I find that again?”

“Have you considered a wig?” she asked.

“Maybe fake dreads,” her son added.

The President smiled. “I never thought of that,” he said.

Obama’s circle of intimates is limited; it has been since his days at Columbia and Harvard Law. In 2008, Obama called on John Podesta, who had worked extensively for Bill Clinton, to run his transition process. When Clinton took office, there was a huge list of people who needed to be taken care of with jobs; the “friends of Bill” is a wide network. After Podesta talked to Obama and realized how few favors had to be distributed, he told a colleague, “He travels light.”

Obama’s favorite company is a small ensemble of Chicago friends—Valerie Jarrett, Marty Nesbitt and his wife, Anita Blanchard, an obstetrician, and Eric and Cheryl Whitaker, prominent doctors on the South Side. During the first Presidential campaign, the Obamas took a vow of “no new friends.”

“There have been times where I’ve been constrained by the fact that I had two young daughters who I wanted to spend time with—and that I wasn’t in a position to work the social scene in Washington,” Obama told me. But, as Malia and Sasha have grown older, the Obamas have taken to hosting occasional off-the-record dinners in the residence upstairs at the White House. The guests ordinarily include a friendly political figure, a business leader, a journalist. Obama drinks a Martini or two (Rove was right about that), and he and the First Lady are welcoming, funny, and warm. The dinners start at six. At around ten-thirty at one dinner last spring, the guests assumed the evening was winding down. But when Obama was asked whether they should leave, he laughed and said, “Hey, don’t go! I’m a night owl! Have another drink.” The party went on past 1 A.M.

At the dinners with historians, Obama sometimes asks his guests to talk about their latest work. On one occasion, Doris Kearns Goodwin talked about what became “The Bully Pulpit,” which is a study, in part, of the way that Theodore Roosevelt deployed his relentlessly gregarious personality and his close relations with crusading journalists to political advantage. The portrait of T.R. muscling obstreperous foes on the issue of inequality—particularly the laissez-faire dinosaurs in his own party, the G.O.P.—couldn’t fail to summon a contrasting portrait.

The biographer Robert Caro has also been a guest. Caro’s ongoing volumes about Lyndon Johnson portray a President who used everything from the promise of appointment to bald-faced political threats to win passage of the legislative agenda that had languished under John Kennedy, including Medicare, a tax cut, and a civil-rights bill. Publicly, Johnson said of Kennedy, “I had to take the dead man’s program and turn it into a martyr’s cause.” Privately, he disdained Kennedy’s inability to get his program through Congress, cracking, according to Caro, that Kennedy’s men knew less about politics on the Hill “than an old maid does about fucking.” Senator Richard Russell, Jr., of Georgia, admitted that he and his Dixiecrat colleagues in the Senate could resist Kennedy “but not Lyndon”: “That man will twist your arm off at the shoulder and beat your head in with it.”

Obama delivers no such beatings. Last April, when, in the wake of the mass shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, eighty-three per cent of Americans declared themselves in favor of background checks for gun purchases, the Times ran a prominent article making the case that the Senate failed to follow the President’s lead at least partly because of his passivity as a tactical politician. It described how Mark Begich, a Democratic senator from Alaska, had asked for, and received, a crucial favor from the White House, but then, four weeks later, when Begich voted against the bill on background checks, he paid no price. No one shut down any highway lanes in Anchorage; no Presidential fury was felt in Juneau or the Brooks Range. The historian Robert Dallek, another guest at the President’s table, told the Times that Obama was “inclined to believe that sweet reason is what you need to use with people in high office.”

Yet Obama and his aides regard all such talk of breaking bread and breaking legs as wishful fantasy. They maintain that they could invite every Republican in Congress to play golf until the end of time, could deliver punishments with ruthless regularity—and never cut the Gordian knot of contemporary Washington. They have a point. An Alaska Democrat like Begich would never last in office had he voted with Obama. L.B.J., elected in a landslide victory in 1964, drew on whopping majorities in both houses of Congress. He could exploit ideological diversity within the parties and the lax regulations on earmarks and pork-barrel spending. “When he lost that historic majority, and the glow of that landslide victory faded, he had the same problems with Congress that most Presidents at one point or another have,” Obama told me. “I say that not to suggest that I’m a master wheeler-dealer but, rather, to suggest that there are some structural institutional realities to our political system that don’t have much to do with schmoozing.”

Dallek said, “Johnson could sit with Everett Dirksen, the Republican leader, kneecap to kneecap, drinking bourbon and branch water, and Dirksen would mention that there was a fine young man in his state who would be a fine judge, and the deal would be cut. Nowadays, the media would know in an instant and rightly yell ‘Corruption!’ ”

Caro finds the L.B.J.-B.H.O. comparison ludicrous. “Johnson was unique,” he said. “We have never had anyone like him, as a legislative genius. I’m working on his Presidency now. Wait till you see what he does to get Medicare, the Civil Rights Act, and the Voting Rights Act through. But is Obama a poor practitioner of power? I have a different opinion. No matter what the problems with the rollout of Obamacare, it’s a major advance in the history of social justice to provide access to health care for thirty-one million people.”

At the most recent dinner he attended at the White House, Caro had the distinct impression that Obama was cool to him, annoyed, perhaps, at the notion appearing in the press that his latest Johnson volume was an implicit rebuke to him. “As we were leaving, I said to Obama, ‘You know, my book wasn’t an unspoken attack on you, it’s a book about Lyndon Johnson,’ ” Caro recalled. L.B.J. was, after all, also the President who made the catastrophic decision to deepen America’s involvement in the quagmire of Vietnam. “Obama seems interested in winding down our foreign wars,” Caro said approvingly.

When Obama does ask Republicans to a social occasion, he is sometimes rebuffed. In the fall of 2012, he organized a screening at the White House of Steven Spielberg’s film “Lincoln.” Spielberg, the cast, and the Democratic leadership found the time to come. Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, and three other Republicans declined their invitations, pleading the press of congressional business. In the current climate, a Republican, especially one facing challenges at home from the right, risks more than he gains by socializing or doing business with Obama. Boehner may be prepared to compromise on certain issues, but it looks better for him if he is seen to be making a deal with Harry Reid, in the Senate, than with Barack Obama. Obama’s people say that the President’s attitude is, Fine, so long as we get there. Help me to help you.

When I asked Obama if he had read or seen anything that fully captured the experience of being in his office, he laughed, as if to say, You just have no idea. “The truth is, in popular culture the President is usually a side character and a lot of times is pretty dull,” he said. “If it’s a paranoid conspiracy-theory movie, then there’s an evil aide who is carrying something out. If it’s a good President, then he is all-wise and all-knowing”—like the characters played by Martin Sheen in “The West Wing,” and Michael Douglas in “The American President.” Obama says that he is neither. “I’ll tell you that watching ‘Lincoln’ was interesting, in part because you watched what obviously was a fictionalized account of the President I most admire, and there was such a gap between him and me that it made you want to be better.” He spoke about envying Lincoln’s “capacity to speak to and move the country without simplifying, and at the most fundamental of levels.” But what struck him most, he said, was precisely what his critics think he most avoids—“the messiness of getting something done.”

He went on, “The real politics resonated with me, because I have yet to see something that we’ve done, or any President has done, that was really important and good, that did not involve some mess and some strong-arming and some shading of how it was initially talked about to a particular member of the legislature who you needed a vote from. Because, if you’re doing big, hard things, then there is going to be some hair on it—there’s going to be some aspects of it that aren’t clean and neat and immediately elicit applause from everybody. And so the nature of not only politics but, I think, social change of any sort is that it doesn’t move in a straight line, and that those who are most successful typically are tacking like a sailor toward a particular direction but have to take into account winds and currents and occasionally the lack of any wind, so that you’re just sitting there for a while, and sometimes you’re being blown all over the place.”

The politician sensitive to winds and currents was visible in Obama’s coy talk of his “evolving” position on gay marriage. Obama conceded in one of our later conversations only that it’s “fair to say that I may have come to that realization slightly before I actually made the announcement” favoring gay marriage, in May of 2012. “But this was not a situation where I kind of did a wink and a nod and a hundred-and-eighty-degree turn.” The turn may not have been a sudden one-eighty; to say that your views are “evolving,” though, is to say there is a position that you consider to be more advanced than the one you officially hold. And he held the “evolved” position in 1996, when, as a candidate for the Illinois state senate, he filled out a questionnaire from Outlines, a local gay and lesbian newspaper, saying, “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages.”

When I asked Obama about another area of shifting public opinion—the legalization of marijuana—he seemed even less eager to evolve with any dispatch and get in front of the issue. “As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.”

Is it less dangerous? I asked.

Obama leaned back and let a moment go by. That’s one of his moves. When he is interviewed, particularly for print, he has the habit of slowing himself down, and the result is a spool of cautious lucidity. He speaks in paragraphs and with moments of revision. Sometimes he will stop in the middle of a sentence and say, “Scratch that,” or, “I think the grammar was all screwed up in that sentence, so let me start again.”

Less dangerous, he said, “in terms of its impact on the individual consumer. It’s not something I encourage, and I’ve told my daughters I think it’s a bad idea, a waste of time, not very healthy.” What clearly does trouble him is the radically disproportionate arrests and incarcerations for marijuana among minorities. “Middle-class kids don’t get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do,” he said. “And African-American kids and Latino kids are more likely to be poor and less likely to have the resources and the support to avoid unduly harsh penalties.” But, he said, “we should not be locking up kids or individual users for long stretches of jail time when some of the folks who are writing those laws have probably done the same thing.” Accordingly, he said of the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington that “it’s important for it to go forward because it’s important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished.”

As is his habit, he nimbly argued the other side. “Having said all that, those who argue that legalizing marijuana is a panacea and it solves all these social problems I think are probably overstating the case. There is a lot of hair on that policy. And the experiment that’s going to be taking place in Colorado and Washington is going to be, I think, a challenge.” He noted the slippery-slope arguments that might arise. “I also think that, when it comes to harder drugs, the harm done to the user is profound and the social costs are profound. And you do start getting into some difficult line-drawing issues. If marijuana is fully legalized and at some point folks say, Well, we can come up with a negotiated dose of cocaine that we can show is not any more harmful than vodka, are we open to that? If somebody says, We’ve got a finely calibrated dose of meth, it isn’t going to kill you or rot your teeth, are we O.K. with that?”



V—MAGIC KINGDOMS

By Monday night, Obama was in Los Angeles, headed for Beverly Park, a gated community of private-equity barons, Saudi princes, and movie people. It was a night of fund-raisers—the first hosted by Magic Johnson, who led the Lakers to five N.B.A. championships, in the eighties. In the Beast, on the way to Johnson’s house, Obama told me, “Magic has become a good friend. I always tease him—I think he supported Hillary the first time around, in ’08.”

“He campaigned for her in Iowa!” Josh Earnest, a press spokesman, said, still sounding chagrined.

“Yeah, but we have developed a great relationship,” Obama said. “I wasn’t a Lakers fan. I was a Philadelphia 76ers fan, because I loved Doctor J.”—Julius Erving—“and then became a Jordan fan, because I moved to Chicago. But, in my mind, at least, what has made Magic heroic was not simply the joy of his playing.” Obama said that the way Johnson handled his H.I.V. diagnosis changed “how the culture thought about that—which, actually, I think, ultimately had an impact about how the culture thought about the gay community.” He also talked about Johnson’s business success as something that was “deeply admired” among African-Americans—“the notion that here’s somebody who would leverage fame and fortune in sports into a pretty remarkable business career.”

“Do you not see that often enough, by your lights?” I asked.

“I don’t,” Obama said.

The Obamas are able to speak to people of color in a way that none of their predecessors could. And the President is quick to bring into the public realm the fact that, for all his personal cool, he is a foursquare family man. He has plenty of hip-hop on his iPod, but he also worries about the moments of misogyny. Once, I mentioned to him that I knew that while Malia Obama, an aspiring filmmaker, was a fan of “Girls,” he and Michelle Obama were, at first, wary of the show.

“I’m at the very young end of the Baby Boom generation, which meant that I did not come of age in the sixties—took for granted certain freedoms, certain attitudes about gender, sexuality, equality for women, but didn’t feel as if I was having to rebel against something,” Obama said. “Precisely because I didn’t have a father in the home and moved around a lot as a kid and had a wonderfully loving mom and grandparents, but not a lot of structure growing up, I emerged on the other side of that with an appreciation for family and marriage and structure for the kids. I’m sure that’s part of why Michelle and her family held such appeal to me in the first place, because she did grow up with that kind of structure. And now, as parents, I don’t think we’re being particularly conservative—we’re actually not prudes. . . . But, as parents, what we have seen, both in our own family and among our friends, is that kids with structure have an easier time of it.”

He talked about a visit that he made last year to Hyde Park Academy, a public high school on Chicago’s South Side, where he met with a group of about twenty boys in a program called Becoming a Man. “They’re in this program because they’re fundamentally good kids who could tip in the wrong direction if they didn’t get some guidance and some structure,” Obama recalled. “We went around the room and started telling each other stories. And one of the young men asked me about me growing up, and I explained, You know what? I’m just like you guys. I didn’t have a dad. There were times where I was angry and wasn’t sure why I was angry. I engaged in a bunch of anti-social behavior. I did drugs. I got drunk. Didn’t take school seriously. The only difference between me and you is that I was in a more forgiving environment, and if I made a mistake I wasn’t going to get shot. And, even if I didn’t apply myself in school, I was at a good enough school that just through osmosis I’d have the opportunity to go to college.

“And, as I’m speaking, the kid next to me looks over and he says, ‘Are you talking about you?’ And there was a benefit for them hearing that, because when I then said, You guys have to take yourselves more seriously, or you need to have a backup plan in case you don’t end up being LeBron or Jay Z . . . they might listen. Now, that’s not a liberal or a conservative thing. There have been times where some thoughtful and sometimes not so thoughtful African-American commentators have gotten on both Michelle and me, suggesting that we are not addressing enough sort of institutional barriers and racism, and we’re engaging in sort of up-by-the-bootstraps, Booker T. Washington messages that let the larger society off the hook.” Obama thought that this reaction was sometimes knee-jerk. “I always tell people to go read some of Dr. King’s writings about the African-American community. For that matter, read Malcolm X. . . . There’s no contradiction to say that there are issues of personal responsibility that have to be addressed, while still acknowledging that some of the specific pathologies in the African-American community are a direct result of our history.”

The higher we went up into Beverly Hills, the grander the houses were. This was where the big donors lived. But Obama’s thoughts have been down in the city. The drama of racial inequality, in his mind, has come to presage a larger, transracial form of economic disparity, a deepening of the class divide. Indeed, if there is a theme for the remaining days of his term, it is inequality. In 2011, he went to Osawatomie, Kansas, the site of Theodore Roosevelt’s 1910 New Nationalism speech—a signal moment in the history of Progressivism—and declared inequality the “defining issue of our time.” He repeated the message at length, late last year, in Anacostia, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Washington, D.C., this time noting that the gap between the rich and the poor in America now resembled that in Argentina and Jamaica, rather than that in France, Germany, or Canada. American C.E.O.s once made, on average, thirty times as much as workers; now they make about two hundred and seventy times as much. The wealthy hire lobbyists; they try to secure their interests with campaign donations. Even as Obama travels for campaign alms and is as entangled in the funding system at least as much as any other politician, he insists that his commitment is to the middle class and the disadvantaged. Last summer, he received a letter from a single mother struggling to support herself and her daughter on a minimal income. She was drowning: “I need help. I can’t imagine being out in the streets with my daughter and if I don’t get some type of relief soon, I’m afraid that’s what may happen.” “Copy to Senior Advisers,” Obama wrote at the bottom of the letter. “This is the person we are working for.”

In one of our conversations, I asked him what he felt he must get done before leaving office. He was silent for a while and then broke into a pained grin. “You mean, now that the Web site is working?” Yes, after that. “It’s hard to anticipate events over the next three years,” he said. “If you had asked F.D.R. what he had to accomplish in 1937, he would have told you, ‘I’ve got to stabilize the economy and reduce the deficit.’ Turned out there were a few more things on his plate.” He went on, “I think we are fortunate at the moment that we do not face a crisis of the scale and scope that Lincoln or F.D.R. faced. So I think it’s unrealistic to suggest that I can narrow my focus the way those two Presidents did. But I can tell you that I will measure myself at the end of my Presidency in large part by whether I began the process of rebuilding the middle class and the ladders into the middle class, and reversing the trend toward economic bifurcation in this society.”

Obama met last summer with Robert Putnam, a Harvard political scientist who became famous for a book he wrote on social atomization, “Bowling Alone.” For the past several years, Putnam and some colleagues have been working on a book about the growing opportunity gap between rich and poor kids. Putnam, who led a Kennedy School seminar on civic engagement that Obama was in, sent the President a memo about his findings. More and more, Putnam found, the crucial issue is class, and he believes that a black President might have an easier time explaining this trend to the American people and setting an agenda to combat it. Other prominent politicians—including Hillary Clinton, Paul Ryan, and Jeb Bush—have also consulted Putnam. Putnam told me that, even if legislation combatting the widening class divide eludes Obama, “I am hoping he can be John the Baptist on this.” And Obama, for his part, seems eager to take on that evangelizing role.

“You have an economy,” Obama told me, “that is ruthlessly squeezing workers and imposing efficiencies that make our flat-screen TVs really cheap but also puts enormous downward pressure on wages and salaries. That’s making it more and more difficult not only for African-Americans or Latinos to get a foothold into the middle class but for everybody—large majorities of people—to get a foothold in the middle class or to feel secure there. You’ve got folks like Bob Putnam, who’s doing some really interesting studies indicating the degree to which some of those ‘pathologies’ that used to be attributed to the African-American community in particular—single-parent households, and drug abuse, and men dropping out of the labor force, and an underground economy—you’re now starting to see in larger numbers in white working-class communities as well, which would tend to vindicate what I think a lot of us always felt.”



VI—A NEW EQUILIBRIUM

After the event at Magic Johnson’s place—the highlight was a tour of an immense basement trophy room, where Johnson had installed a gleaming hardwood basketball floor and piped in the sound of crowds cheering and announcers declaring the glories of the Lakers—the Beast made its way to the compound that the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers built. Haim Saban, who made his billions as a self-described “cartoon schlepper,” was born in Egypt, came of age in Israel, and started his show-business career as the bass player in the Lions of Judah. His politics are not ambiguous. “I am a one-issue guy,” he once said, “and my issue is Israel.” His closest political relationship is with Bill and Hillary Clinton, and he was crushed when she lost to Obama, in 2008. Saban publicly expressed doubts about whether Obama was sufficiently ardent about Israel, but he has come around.

The main house on Saban’s property is less of an art museum than Jon Shirley’s, though it features a Warhol diptych of Golda Meir and Albert Einstein over the fireplace. The fund-raiser was held in back of the main house, under a tent. Addressing a hundred and twenty guests, and being peppered with questions about the Middle East, Obama trotted around all the usual bases—the hope for peace, the still strong alliance with Israel, the danger of “lone wolf” terror threats. But, while a man who funds the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution may have warmed to Obama, there is no question that, in certain professional foreign-policy circles, Obama is often regarded with mistrust. His Syria policy—with its dubious “red line” and threats to get rid of Bashar al-Assad; with John Kerry’s improvised press-conference gambit on chemical weapons—has inspired little confidence. Neither did the decision to accelerate troop levels in Afghanistan and, at the same time, schedule a withdrawal.

Obama came to power without foreign-policy experience; but he won the election, in part, by advocating a foreign-policy sensibility that was wary of American overreach. If George W. Bush’s foreign policy was largely a reaction to 9/11, Obama’s has been a reaction to the reaction. He withdrew American forces from Iraq. He went to Cairo in 2009, in an attempt to forge “a new beginning” between the United States and the Muslim world. American troops will come home from Afghanistan this year. As he promised in his first Presidential campaign—to the outraged protests of Hillary Clinton and John McCain alike—he has extended a hand to traditional enemies, from Iran to Cuba. And he has not hesitated in his public rhetoric to acknowledge, however subtly, the abuses, as well as the triumphs, of American power. He remembers going with his mother to live in Indonesia, in 1967—shortly after a military coup, engineered with American help, led to the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people. This event, and the fact that so few Americans know much about it, made a lasting impression on Obama. He is convinced that an essential component of diplomacy is the public recognition of historical facts—not only the taking of American hostages in Iran, in 1979, but also the American role in the overthrow of Mohammad Mossadegh, the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran, in 1953.

The right’s response has been to accuse Obama of conducting a foreign policy of apology. Last year, Republican senators on the Foreign Affairs Committee, including Marco Rubio, of Florida, demanded to know if Samantha Power, Obama’s nominee for U.N. Ambassador and the author of “A Problem from Hell,” a historical indictment of American passivity in the face of various genocides around the world, would ever “apologize” for the United States. (In a depressing Kabuki drama, Power seemed forced to prove her patriotic bona fides by insisting repeatedly that the U.S. was “the greatest country on earth” and that, no, she would “never apologize” for it.) Obama’s conservative critics, both at home and abroad, paint him as a Presid



Money Driven, Anal Lover, Yankee Fan, Cowboy up & I Ride w/ the Heat!! I'm a relentless & persistent animal my desire is to be the worlds greatest. - me

“Liberalism is a mental disorder" ~MIKE SAVAGE

“I'd like to thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee.”
Joe DiMaggio

Them that governs least, governs best- Thomas Jefferson

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”
- Thomas Jefferson

Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way. - General George Patton Jr

I love my wife & my life.

"I am an Animal Rescuer. My work is never done, my home is never quiet, my wallet is always empty...but my heart is always full." Annette King-Tucker

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But the U.S. ARMED FORCES don't have that problem."

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4- Tweet Obama 150 times
5- Master-bate to pics of Cindy Sheehan
6 - Spread innovative thinking that failed 25 years ago in Europe.
7- Burn an American flag
8- Spew out racist remarks to anybody that isn't a tree-huger like himself.

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and yet another bad jobs report with now upgrading/revisions for December ...ouch


WASHINGTON (AP) — Hiring was surprisingly weak in January for the second straight month, likely renewing concern that the U.S. economy might be slowing after a strong finish last year.

The Labor Department says employers added 113,000 jobs, less than the average monthly gain of 194,000 in 2013. This follows December's tepid increase of just 75,000. Job gains have averaged only 154,000 the past three months, down from 201,000 in the preceding three months.

Still, more people began looking for work in January, a sign that they were optimistic about finding work. Some of these people found jobs, thereby reducing the unemployment rate to 6.6 percent. That's the lowest rate since October 2008.

Cold weather likely held back hiring in December, economists said, but the impact faded in January. Construction firms, which sometimes stop work in bad weather, added 48,000 jobs last month.

The figures follow recent signs of economic weakness in the United States and overseas that have sent stock prices sinking. Upheaval in developing countries has further spooked investors. All the turmoil has renewed doubts about the Federal Reserve's next steps.


The anxiety marks a reversal from a few weeks ago, when most analysts were increasingly hopeful about the global economy. U.S. growth came in at a sturdy 3.7 percent annual pace in the second half of last year. The Dow Jones industrial average finished 2013 at a record high. Europe's economy was slowly emerging from a long recession. Japan was finally perking up after two decades of stagnation.

But then came December's weak jobs total. And on Monday, an industry survey found that manufacturing grew much more slowly in January than in December. A measure of new orders in the report sank to the lowest level in a year. That report contributed to a dizzying 326-point plunge in the Dow Jones industrial average.

Also this week, automakers said sales slipped 3 percent in January. And last week, a measure of signed contracts to buy homes fell sharply, according to the National Association of Realtors.

On a more hopeful note, a survey of service sector companies, including retailers, banks and restaurants, found that they grew faster in January than in December.

Friday's report showed that some higher-paying industries added jobs in January. Factories created 21,000 new positions. Professional and technical services, which includes architects and engineers, added 20,000.

But health care employment was mostly unchanged for a second straight month, after adding 17,000 jobs a month last year. And retailers cut 12,900 jobs, the most in 18 months.

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Black unemployment up to 12% but blacks still love Barry.



Money Driven, Anal Lover, Yankee Fan, Cowboy up & I Ride w/ the Heat!! I'm a relentless & persistent animal my desire is to be the worlds greatest. - me

“Liberalism is a mental disorder" ~MIKE SAVAGE

“I'd like to thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee.”
Joe DiMaggio

Them that governs least, governs best- Thomas Jefferson

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”
- Thomas Jefferson

Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way. - General George Patton Jr

I love my wife & my life.

"I am an Animal Rescuer. My work is never done, my home is never quiet, my wallet is always empty...but my heart is always full." Annette King-Tucker

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But the U.S. ARMED FORCES don't have that problem."

Vic's daily to do list:

1- Hug a tree
2- 550 useless posts
3- Check in with Domjuan's secretary to see what hes up to for the day.
4- Tweet Obama 150 times
5- Master-bate to pics of Cindy Sheehan
6 - Spread innovative thinking that failed 25 years ago in Europe.
7- Burn an American flag
8- Spew out racist remarks to anybody that isn't a tree-huger like himself.

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Originally posted by translucent
I didn't read Remnick's article. I was referring to the article that Dom posted, which while quoting an excerpt from the original article, claimed Barry said that his numbers dipped because he's black.

If you read the article its kinda hard to not agree that Barry appears to allude to the fact that the negative polls and lack of votes is because certian people dont like the fact that he is black

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About that jobs report:

Wall Street dismisses weak jobs data, edges higher
BY RODRIGO CAMPOS
NEW YORK Fri Feb 7, 2014 10:51am EST

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged up on Friday as a weak reading on the labor market was partly blamed on the weather and initial disappointment was replaced with expectations of further economic strength.


Nonfarm payrolls rose 113,000 in January on an expectation of a 185,000 gain. December payrolls were raised only 1,000 to 75,000. The unemployment rate hit a new five-year low of 6.6 percent.

Strong job gains in construction hint that cold weather was probably not a major factor in January job creation, but traders appeared to expect an upward revision. The data also showed job gains in key sectors including manufacturing.

"Investors are giving the report the benefit of the doubt because of the weather situation," said Donald Selkin, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York, which has about $3 billion in assets under management.

"What's interesting is that stocks (futures) initially got killed after the report came out, but now we're pretty sharply higher. That's a strong sign that we've bottomed out."

Concern about recent soft U.S. data added to worries about growth in China and a selloff in emerging market currencies and equities to take stocks lower worldwide in the past weeks.

Near-term concerns have subsided, however, and the spot price for protection against drops in the S&P 500 is again below front-month contracts, following a brief inversion of that curve. The CBOE volatility index .VIX fell 6.4 percent to 16.13 after trading above 21 earlier this week. Three-month VIX futures ticked lower to 16.67.

As investors await a batch of fresh data in the coming month, previous expectations for sustained U.S. economic growth are still supporting stock prices.

"There's a favorable backdrop for further economic growth," said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.

"Near-term direction is likely to be set by technicals rather than fundamentals," he said, adding the S&P could test its 200-day moving average, nearly 4 percent below current prices. "But there's more upside than downside at these levels," he said.

The benchmark index hit a session high right at its 14-day moving average. It hasn't traded above it since January 23.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI fell 2.38 points or 0.02 percent, to 15,626.15, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 3.85 points or 0.22 percent, to 1,777.28 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 12.85 points or 0.32 percent, to 4,069.971.

The S&P 500 fell this week as much as 6 percent from a record high hit last month and was facing its fourth weekly decline in a row, a streak not seen since July-August 2011.

The tech sector got a boost from Apple (AAPL.O) after the iPhone maker said it bought $12 billion worth of shares via an accelerated share repurchase program and $2 billion more from the open market in the two weeks since it reported earnings. Apple shares were up 1.6 percent at $520.81.

Shares of online travel agency Expedia (EXPE.O) jumped 13.9 percent to $74.17 a day after it posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit. Rival Priceline.com (PCLN.O) added 2.2 percent to $1,163.48.

According to Thomson Reuters data, of the 343 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings through Friday morning, 67.9 percent have topped Wall Street expectations, slightly above the 67 percent beat rate for the past four quarters and ahead of the 63 percent rate since 1994.

LinkedIn (LNKD.N) shares fell 8.7 percent to $204 after the online network for professionals gave revenue forecasts that were below those of analysts.

Shares of Fairway Group Holdings (FWM.O) tumbled 27.4 percent to $8.30 a day after it posted quarterly results and announced changes in management.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos, additional reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/07/us-markets-stocks-idUSBREA080LL20140207



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Originally posted by translucent
About that jobs report:

Wall Street dismisses weak jobs data, edges higher
BY RODRIGO CAMPOS
NEW YORK Fri Feb 7, 2014 10:51am EST

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged up on Friday as a weak reading on the labor market was partly blamed on the weather and initial disappointment was replaced with expectations of further economic strength.


Nonfarm payrolls rose 113,000 in January on an expectation of a 185,000 gain. December payrolls were raised only 1,000 to 75,000. The unemployment rate hit a new five-year low of 6.6 percent.

Strong job gains in construction hint that cold weather was probably not a major factor in January job creation, but traders appeared to expect an upward revision. The data also showed job gains in key sectors including manufacturing.

"Investors are giving the report the benefit of the doubt because of the weather situation," said Donald Selkin, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York, which has about $3 billion in assets under management.

"What's interesting is that stocks (futures) initially got killed after the report came out, but now we're pretty sharply higher. That's a strong sign that we've bottomed out."

Concern about recent soft U.S. data added to worries about growth in China and a selloff in emerging market currencies and equities to take stocks lower worldwide in the past weeks.

Near-term concerns have subsided, however, and the spot price for protection against drops in the S&P 500 is again below front-month contracts, following a brief inversion of that curve. The CBOE volatility index .VIX fell 6.4 percent to 16.13 after trading above 21 earlier this week. Three-month VIX futures ticked lower to 16.67.

As investors await a batch of fresh data in the coming month, previous expectations for sustained U.S. economic growth are still supporting stock prices.

"There's a favorable backdrop for further economic growth," said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.

"Near-term direction is likely to be set by technicals rather than fundamentals," he said, adding the S&P could test its 200-day moving average, nearly 4 percent below current prices. "But there's more upside than downside at these levels," he said.

The benchmark index hit a session high right at its 14-day moving average. It hasn't traded above it since January 23.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI fell 2.38 points or 0.02 percent, to 15,626.15, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 3.85 points or 0.22 percent, to 1,777.28 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 12.85 points or 0.32 percent, to 4,069.971.

The S&P 500 fell this week as much as 6 percent from a record high hit last month and was facing its fourth weekly decline in a row, a streak not seen since July-August 2011.

The tech sector got a boost from Apple (AAPL.O) after the iPhone maker said it bought $12 billion worth of shares via an accelerated share repurchase program and $2 billion more from the open market in the two weeks since it reported earnings. Apple shares were up 1.6 percent at $520.81.

Shares of online travel agency Expedia (EXPE.O) jumped 13.9 percent to $74.17 a day after it posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit. Rival Priceline.com (PCLN.O) added 2.2 percent to $1,163.48.

According to Thomson Reuters data, of the 343 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings through Friday morning, 67.9 percent have topped Wall Street expectations, slightly above the 67 percent beat rate for the past four quarters and ahead of the 63 percent rate since 1994.

LinkedIn (LNKD.N) shares fell 8.7 percent to $204 after the online network for professionals gave revenue forecasts that were below those of analysts.

Shares of Fairway Group Holdings (FWM.O) tumbled 27.4 percent to $8.30 a day after it posted quarterly results and announced changes in management.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos, additional reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/07/us-markets-stocks-idUSBREA080LL20140207


Global warming still hurting the dems. So will Feb;s bad weather be the excuse in march or will GW reappear? Mother nature doesnt take anytime months off.



Money Driven, Anal Lover, Yankee Fan, Cowboy up & I Ride w/ the Heat!! I'm a relentless & persistent animal my desire is to be the worlds greatest. - me

“Liberalism is a mental disorder" ~MIKE SAVAGE

“I'd like to thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee.”
Joe DiMaggio

Them that governs least, governs best- Thomas Jefferson

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”
- Thomas Jefferson

Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way. - General George Patton Jr

I love my wife & my life.

"I am an Animal Rescuer. My work is never done, my home is never quiet, my wallet is always empty...but my heart is always full." Annette King-Tucker

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But the U.S. ARMED FORCES don't have that problem."

Vic's daily to do list:

1- Hug a tree
2- 550 useless posts
3- Check in with Domjuan's secretary to see what hes up to for the day.
4- Tweet Obama 150 times
5- Master-bate to pics of Cindy Sheehan
6 - Spread innovative thinking that failed 25 years ago in Europe.
7- Burn an American flag
8- Spew out racist remarks to anybody that isn't a tree-huger like himself.

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so i guess will blame the snow on this as well....or are these the people just anticipating the day they wont have to work anymore so they can pursue their lifelong dream of being a driftwood artist or poet thanks to barry and his handouts

Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) -- More Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, underscoring the uneven progress in the labor market.

Jobless claims increased by 8,000 to 339,000 in the week ended Feb. 8 from 331,000 in the prior period, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 52 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a decrease to 330,000.

Fewer dismissals are needed before hiring can accelerate and provide a bigger boost for consumer spending in the world’s largest economy. Recovery in the labor market is “far from complete,” Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said this week, adding that the central bank would maintain policies that ensure a return to full employment and stable prices.

“The job market isn’t going anywhere quickly,” said Ryan Sweet, senior economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. and the best forecaster of jobless claims during the past two years, according to Bloomberg data. Looking past the weekly swings in claims data, clearer fiscal policy and improving business confidence means “we’ll start to see hiring accelerate in the spring and summer,” he said.

Economists’ estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from 320,000 to 342,000. The prior week’s claims were unrevised.



Retail Sales



A separate report from the Commerce Department today showed retail sales in the U.S. declined in January by the most in 10 months as inclement weather kept some consumers away from auto showrooms and stores. The 0.4 percent decrease followed a revised 0.1 percent drop in December that was previously reported as an increase, Commerce’s figures showed.

Stock-index futures extended losses after the figures. The contract on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring in March decreased 0.7 percent to 1,805.10 at 9:14 a.m. in New York.

The Labor Department’s report showed the four-week average of claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, increased to 336,750 from 333,250 the week before.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits decreased by 18,000 to 2.95 million in the week ended Feb. 1.

The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 2.3 percent in the week ended Feb. 1, today’s report showed.

Initial jobless claims reflect weekly firings and typically wane before job growth can accelerate. Barnes & Noble Inc. is among those paring staff as revenue at its Nook tablet unit continues to shrink.



Job Cuts



“As we’ve aligned Nook’s cost structure with business realities, staffing levels in certain areas of our organization have changed, leading to some job eliminations,” Mary Ellen Keating, a spokeswoman for the New York-based retailer, said in an e-mail. She declined to say how many jobs were cut and from what areas of the company.

Fed officials are monitoring progress in the labor market as they pursue plans to gradually scale back their bond-buying program, known as quantitative easing.

Yellen, 67, delivered her first public remarks as head of the Fed to the House Financial Services Committee on Feb. 11, days after a Labor Department report showed the jobless rate unexpectedly declined to 6.6 percent, while payrolls growth was weaker than forecast.

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Despite all of Fox's claims to to the contrary, the economy improved drastically under Obama after the crash and is still improving. The whole narrative that he's making the economy worse isn't based on any evidence.



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Originally posted by translucent
Despite all of Fox's claims to to the contrary, the economy improved drastically under Obama after the crash and is still improving. The whole narrative that he's making the economy worse isn't based on any evidence.

wow
i cant believe you believe the economy has improved DRASTICALLY
throw out anything FOX has broadcasted over the past 5 years and other media outlets will still report the facts

Absoultely the WORST recovery post recession ever
USA down graded
dollar worth shit
growth non existent
92 million people out of work force
only jobs created are partime
food stamp recipients doubled


Economically, Could Obama Be America's Worst President?
The recession ended four years ago, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. So Obamanomics has had plenty of time to produce a solid recovery. In fact, since the American historical record is the worse the recession, the stronger the recovery, Obama should have had an easy time producing a booming recovery by now.

Obama likes to tout that we are doing better now than at the worst of the recession. But every recovery is better than the recession, by definition. So that doesn’t mean much.

The right measure and comparison for Obama’s record is not to compare the recovery to the recession, but to compare Obama’s recovery with other recoveries from other recessions since the Great Depression. By that measure, what is clear is that Obamanomics has produced the worst recovery from a recession since the Great Depression, worse than what every other President who has faced a recession has achieved since the Great Depression.

In the 10 previous recessions since the Great Depression, prior to this last recession, the economy recovered all jobs lost during the recession after an average of 25 months after the prior jobs peak (when the recession began), according to the records kept by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. So the job effects of prior post Depression recessions have lasted an average of about 2 years. But under President Obama, by April, 2013, 64 months after the prior jobs peak, almost 5½ years, we still have not recovered all of the recession’s job losses. In April, 2013, there were an estimated 135.474 million American workers employed, still down about 2.6 million jobs from the prior peak of 138.056 million in January, 2008.

Ronald Reagan suffered a severe recession starting in 1981, which resulted from the monetary policy that broke the back of the roaring 1970s inflation. But all the job losses of that recession were recovered after 28 months, with the recovery fueled by traditional pro-growth policies. By this point in the Reagan recovery, 64 months after the recession started, jobs had grown 9.5% higher than where they were when the recession started, representing an increase of about 10 million more jobs. By contrast, in April, 2013, jobs in the Obama recovery were still about 2% below where they were when the recession started, about 2 ½ million less, or a shortfall of about 10 million jobs if you count population growth since the recession started, as discussed below.

Obama’s so-called recovery included the longest period since the Great Depression with unemployment above 8%, 43 months, from February, 2009, when Obama’s so-called stimulus costing nearly $1 trillion was passed, until August, 2012. It also included the longest period since the Great Depression with unemployment at 9.0% or above, 30 months, from April, 2009, until September, 2011. In fact, during the entire 65 years from January, 1948 to January, 2013, there were no months with unemployment over 8%, except for 26 months during the bitter 1981 – 1982 recession, which slayed the historic inflation of the 1970s. That is how inconsistent with the prior history of the American economy President Obama’s extended unemployment has been. That is some fundamental transformation of America.

Moreover, that U3 unemployment rate does not count the millions who have dropped out of the labor force during the recession and President Obama’s worst recovery since the Great Depression, who are not counted as unemployed because they are not considered in the work force. Even though the employment age population has increased by 12 million since the recession began, only 1 million more Americans are counted as in the labor force. With normal labor force participation rates, that implies another 7.3 million missing U.S. jobs, on top of the 2 ½ million missing jobs we are still short from when the recession began, for a total of about 10 million missing jobs.

If America enjoyed the same labor force participation rate as in 2008, the unemployment rate in December, 2012 would have been about 11%, compared to the monthly low of 4.4% in December, 2007, under President George Bush and his “failed” economic policies of the past. We will not see 4.4% unemployment again, without another fundamental transformation of America’s economic policies.

The number of unemployed in January, 2013, at the end of President Obama’s first term, was 7.7 million. Another 7.9 million were “employed part time for economic reasons.” The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports, “These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.”

Another 2.3 million were “marginally attached to the work force.” The BLS reports, “These individuals…wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. [But] [t]hey were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.”

That puts the total army of the unemployed or underemployed at nearly 18 million Americans in January, 2013. They are all counted in the BLS calculation of the U6 unemployment rate, which still totaled 13.9% that month.

But the Shadow Government Statistics website also includes in its “SGS Alternative Unemployment Rate” long term discouraged workers, those who wanted and were available for work for more than a year, and had looked for a job, but not in the prior 4 weeks. That is how the BLS U6 unemployment rate was calculated prior to the changes made in the early 1990s under the Clinton Administration. Including these workers as well raises the SGS unemployment rate for April, 2013 to 23%. That seems more consistent with how the economy still feels for the majority of Americans, despite Democrat Party controlled media cheerleading.

This utterly failed jobs record of Obamanomics reflects the more basic reality that the economy has not been growing under President Obama. In the 10 post depression recessions before President Obama, the economy recovered the lost GDP during the recession within an average of 4.5 quarters after the recession started. But it took Obama’s recovery 16 quarters, or 4 years, to reach that point. Today, 21 quarters, or 5 plus years, after the recession started, the economy (real GDP) has grown just 3.2% above where it was when the recession started. By sharp contrast, at this point in the Reagan recovery, the economy had boomed by 18.6%, almost one fifth.

Obama’s economic performance has even been much worse than Bush’s. Jeffrey H. Anderson, a senior fellow at the Pacific Research Institute, writes in Investors Business Daily on January 13, “Prior to Obama, the second term of President Bush featured the weakest gains in the gross domestic product in some time, with average annual (inflation-adjusted) GDP growth of just 1.9%, [according to the official stats at the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)]” But average annual real GDP growth during Obama’s entire first term was less than half as much at a pitiful 0.8%, according to the same official source.

Even Jimmy Carter produced 4 times as much economic growth during his one term as Obama did during his entire first term. In fact, as Anderson notes, real GDP growth under Obama has been the worst of any President in the last 60 years!

But it’s even worse than that. Obama’s real GDP growth has actually been less than half as much as the worst of any President in the last 60 years. In other words, even if you doubled actual GDP growth under President Obama, it would still be the worst record of any President in the last 60 years!

Anderson adds, “In fact, the real GDP in 2009 was lower than it had been three years earlier (in 2006).” That has happened only twice before in the last 100 years at least, maybe in American history. One was in 1933 and 1934, at the height of the Great Depression. The other was in 1946 – 1948, when the World War II economy was powering down.

And what happened in the years after those two experiences? From 1935 – 1937, real GDP growth reached a peak of 13.1% in one year (1936). From 1949 – 1951, real GDP growth reached a peak of 8.7% (in 1950). That reflects once again the basic principle for the American economy that the worse the recession, the stronger the recovery. That is what Obama should have produced for America. But under Obama, real GDP growth in the following years, 2010 – 2012, peaked at only 2.4% (in 2010). “[A]nd never again hit even that meager mark in the two years following ObamaCare’s passage,” Anderson adds. Yes, Obama and his sycophants really are transforming America, into a banana republic.

Even if the economy finally breaks out into some real growth during this year, that is only because of the long overdue real recovery that is still straining to break out inside this economy, as indicated by the data above for 1936, in the depths of the depression, and the postwar boom that started in 1950. That and the startling Reagan recovery from the 1970s are the standard for Obamanomics. Don’t be fooled by some way overdue short term growth spurt this year that just reflects the basic cycles of the economy. Unless the fundamentals of Obamanomics are changed, the result will be long term stagnation compared to the historic, world leading, booming economic growth of the American Dream.

In his 2013 State of the Union Address, President Obama said, “A growing economy that creates good, middle class jobs, that must be the North Star that guides our efforts.” But the slow growth, and negligible job creation under Obama, in turn have caused steeply declining middle class incomes. The latest numbers compiled from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey show that real median household income declined by more than $4,500 during Obama’s first term, about 8%, meaning effectively that the middle class has lost annually the equivalent of one month’s pay under Obama. Even President Bush again did better during his disastrous second term, when real median household income at least rose by 1.7%, not enough, but still positive rather than negative.

Even if you start from when the recession ended in June, 2009, the decline in median real household income since then has been greater than it was during the recession. Four years into the supposed Obama recovery, real median household income has declined nearly 6% as compared to June, 2009. That is more than twice the decline of 2.6% that occurred during the recession from December, 2007 until June, 2009. As the Wall Street Journal summarized in its August 25-26, 2012 weekend edition, “For household income, in other words, the Obama recovery has been worse than the Bush recession.”

Despite his rhetoric, Obama has failed to deliver for the poor as well. But we know Obama loves the poor, because he has created so many of them. Indeed, the only thing booming under Obamanomics has been poverty. Poverty has soared under Obama, with the number of Americans in poverty increasing to the highest level in the more than 50 years that the Census Bureau has been tracking poverty. Over the last 5 years, the number in poverty has increased by nearly 31%, to 49.7 million, with the poverty rate climbing by over 30% to 16.1%. This is another natural result of negligible economic growth, paltry job creation, declining real wages, and the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression.

These dismal results of Obamanomics have been produced because all of Obama’s economic policies are thoroughly anti-growth, indeed, the opposite of what is needed for long term booming growth. Instead of cutting tax rates, which provides incentives for increased production, Obama has been focused on raising rates. Instead of deregulation, which increases the cost of doing business, and results in barriers to productive activity (see, e.g., Keystone Pipeline), Obama has been all about increasing regulation. Instead of cutting spending, Obama entered office exploding spending during his first two years, and was only restrained when the people elected Republicans to control the House.

And instead of adopting monetary policies that would produce a stable dollar, Obama’s monetary polices have mimicked the devaluationist ones previously embraced by George W. Bush on the way to sagging investment, and with the latter, slow growth. President Obama derided Mitt Romney during the 2012 campaign as proposing to bring back the same economic policies that led to the financial crisis in the first place. But it is Obama who is bringing back precisely those policies, overregulating banks to make loans on the basis of supposed fairness. Moreover, Obama’s Fed has thrown oil on the bonfire with its zero interest rate, and runaway quantitative easing policies. With those policies having been in place for years now, they are the foundation of the current economy, which is just another bubble that will pop when the Fed tries to implement any exit strategy.

Next week I will discuss why and how these misguided, Keynesian monetary policies will only lead to another, even worse financial crisis, probably during Obama’s second term, and why only fundamental monetary reform can restore America to its traditional booming, economic growth.

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Let's not forget, during Obama's recovery, there was unprecedented obstructionism from the other side. Barry had a great jobs bill that would've put a shitload of Americans to work on our crumbling infrastructure. Remember what happened to that? That's right, the GOP blocked it cause any improvement in unemployment numbers is bad for them. Aside from that, the rest of your article is moot, since one can't compare this recovery to any other than after 1929's crash in terms of magnitude. Even that crash was easier to recover from because we didn't have globalization working against us. Furthermore, the post-1929 recovery had the advantage of a new industrialization and technology that resulted in a whole bunch of manufacturing and low-skilled labor jobs, which fit rather nicely with the qualifications of the average American back then. While our standard of education had dropped precipitously to Third World levels by now, a much larger percentage of jobs in today's economy are for high-skilled and high-trained labor. In fact, our current educational system is so piss poor that a bunch of high-skilled manufacturing jobs are sitting unfilled and we have to import tech workers from abroad.



"Tresor never sleeps"

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Originally posted by translucent
Let's not forget, during Obama's recovery, there was unprecedented obstructionism from the other side. Barry had a great jobs bill that would've put a shitload of Americans to work on our crumbling infrastructure. Remember what happened to that? That's right, the GOP blocked it cause any improvement in unemployment numbers is bad for them. Aside from that, the rest of your article is moot, since one can't compare this recovery to any other than after 1929's crash in terms of magnitude. Even that crash was easier to recover from because we didn't have globalization working against us. Furthermore, the post-1929 recovery had the advantage of a new industrialization and technology that resulted in a whole bunch of manufacturing and low-skilled labor jobs, which fit rather nicely with the qualifications of the average American back then. While our standard of education had dropped precipitously to Third World levels by now, a much larger percentage of jobs in today's economy are for high-skilled and high-trained labor. In fact, our current educational system is so piss poor that a bunch of high-skilled manufacturing jobs are sitting unfilled and we have to import tech workers from abroad.

b u l l s h i t
he had no such plan/bill that half assed bill did nothing for the infrastructure (and that was something I was all for a massive TVA type bill to put people back to blue collar jobs and strengthening the countrys crumbling raods bridges etc) Remember his line that he even actaully laughed at after delivering "Shovel ready was not as shovel ready as we expected"

and yes you can compare... history and facts show the worse the recession the greater the recovery

Stim act per the white House predicted that in 2012 the economy would grow by 4.6 percent, unemployment would drop to 6 percent, and the budget deficit would shrink to a mere 3.5 percent of GDP.

the result :
Real economic growth has stagnated at 2 percent, while official unemployment hovers near 8 percent and actual unemployment remains in the double-digits.
the only growth the stimulus spending has actually produced is a ballooning of the deficit to 8.5 percent of GDP.

Make all the excuses you want.It is fact this is the worst recovery following a recession ...

amazing how only 5 years goes by and libs/dems are alrady trying to perserve this guys legacy as a success

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The Worst Economic Recovery Since The Great DepressionMove up Move down You Can Get Richer Pinching Pennies Like Warren Buffett Deborah L. Jacobs Forbes Staff

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The record of President Obama’s first three years in office is in, and nothing that happens now can go back and change that. What that record shows is that President Obama, with his throwback, old-fashioned, 1970s Keynesian economics, has put America through the worst recovery from a recession since the Great Depression.

The recession started in December, 2007. Go to the website of the National Bureau of Economic Research (www.nber.org) to see the complete history of America’s recessions. What that history reveals is that before this last recession, since the Great Depression recessions in America have lasted an average of 10 months, with the longest previously lasting 16 months.

When President Obama entered office in January, 2009, the recession was already in its 13th month. His responsibility was to manage a timely, robust recovery to get America back on track again. Based on the historical record, that recovery was imminent, within a couple of months or so. Despite widespread fear, nothing fundamental had changed to deprive America of the long term, world-leading prosperity it had enjoyed going back 300 years.

Supposedly a forward looking progressive, Obama proved to be America’s first backward looking regressive. His first act was to increase federal borrowing, the national debt and the deficit by nearly a trillion dollars to finance a supposed “stimulus” package, based on the discredited Keynesian theory left for dead 30 years ago holding that increased government spending, deficits and debt are what promote economic growth and recovery. That theory arose in the 1930s as the answer to the Great Depression, which, of course, never worked.


That was the beginning of President Obama’s Rip Van Winkle act, pretending not to know anything that happened over the previous 30 years proving the dramatic, historic success of the new, more modern, supply side economics, which holds that incentives for increased production are what promote economic growth and recovery. Indeed, that Rip Van Winklism pretended not to remember the 1970s either, when double digit inflation and double digit unemployment proved Keynesian economics grievously wrong.

As should have been long expected, Obama’s trillion dollar Keynesian stimulus did nothing to promote recovery and growth, and almost surely delayed it. That is because borrowing a trillion dollars out of the economy to spend a trillion back into it does nothing to promote the economy on net. Indeed, it is probably a net drag on the economy, because the private sector spends the money more productively and efficiently than the public sector.

The National Bureau of Economic Research scored the recession as ending in June, 2009. Yet, today, in the 49th month since the recession started, there has still been no real recovery, like recoveries from previous recessions in America.

Unemployment actually rose after June, 2009, and did not fall back down below that level until 18 months later in December, 2010. Instead of a recovery, America has suffered the longest period of unemployment near 9% or above since the Great Depression, under President Obama’s public policy malpractice. Even today, 49 months after the recession started, the U6 unemployment rate counting the unemployed, underemployed and discouraged workers is still 15.2%. And that doesn’t include all the workers who have fled the workforce under Obama’s economic oppression. The unemployment rate with the full measure of discouraged workers is reported at www.shadowstats.com as about 23%, which is depression level unemployment.

Today, over 4 years since the recession started, there are still almost 25 million Americans unemployed or underemployed. That includes 5.6 million who are long-term unemployed for 27 weeks, or more than 6 months. Under President Obama, America has suffered the longest period with so many in such long-term unemployment since the Great Depression.

Notably, blacks have been suffering another depression under Obama, with unemployment today, 49 months after the recession started, still at 15.8%. Black unemployment has been over 15% for 2 ½ years under Obama. Black teenage unemployment today is over 40%, where it has persisted for over 2 years as well.

Hispanics have also been suffering a depression under Obama, with unemployment today still in double digits at 11%. Hispanic unemployment has been in double digits for three years under President Obama. Over one fourth of Hispanic youths remain unemployed today, which also has persisted for years.

The Census Bureau reported in September that more Americans are in poverty today than at any time in the entire history of Census tracking poverty. Americans dependent on food stamps are at an all time high as well.

Real wages and incomes have been falling so steadily under Obama and his confused, throwback, Keynesian/neo-Marxist Obamanomics, that the Census Bureau also reported that real median family income in America has fallen all the way back to 1996 levels.

Obama apologists cannot argue that this is because the recession was so bad, because the historical record in America is the worse the recession the stronger the recovery. Based on historical precedent, we should at worst be finishing the second year of a booming recovery by now.

Compare Obama’s lack of a recovery 2 ½ years after the recession ended with the first 2 ½ years of the Reagan recovery. In those years under Reagan, the American economy created 8 million new jobs, the unemployment rate fell by 3.6 percentage points, real wages and incomes were jumping, and poverty had reversed an upsurge started under Carter, beginning a long term decline.

While Obama crows about 200,000 jobs created last month, the most for a month during his entire Administration, in September, 1983 the Reagan recovery less than a year after it began created 1.1 million jobs in that one month alone. Under Obama, we are still almost 6 million jobs below the peak before the recession started over 4 years ago! In the second year of the Reagan recovery, real economic growth boomed by 6.8%, the highest in 50 years.

The chief excuse of the Obama apologists is that what we have suffered was not just a recession, but a financial crisis, and, they argue, recovery from a financial crisis takes a lot longer than recovery from a recession. But that is not the experience of the American, free market, capitalist economy.

The experience of the American economy is reported in full at the National Bureau of Economic Research, as cited above – recessions since the Great Depression previously have lasted an average of 10 months, with the longest previously 16 months, and the deeper the recession the stronger the recovery. That is the standard by which the performance of Obamanomics is to be judged. Which of those American recessions was a “financial crisis” that breaks the pattern?

The apologists cite in their support the book, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff. That book “covers sixty-six countries over nearly eight centuries.” It “goes back as far as twelfth century China and medieval Europe.” The data “come from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America, and Oceania.” The experience from 12th century China, medieval Europe, spendthrift demagogues and socialist economies from Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia, do not set the standard of expectations for post depression, free market, capitalist America over the last 70 years, the most powerful economic engine in the history of the world.

The data in the book is marshaled to explain why, in fact, “this time is different” is actually always wrong. Seizing upon the data in the book to try to give some sort of pass to Obamanomics for failing the economic performance standards of American history is just political propaganda.

Indeed, exactly none of President Obama’s policies have been well designed to restore economic recovery and traditional American prosperity. They have consistently been the opposite of everything that Reagan did to end the American decline of the 1970s, and restore booming growth for 25 years. That is why Rush Limbaugh is saying Obama deliberately wants to trash the economy, thinking the resulting dependency will lead a majority to continue to vote for the liberal political machine. President Obama certainly thinks that traditional American, world leading prosperity is morally embarrassing because of the global inequality it represents.

The American economy will likely show continued, long overdue, signs of life in 2012, which will amount to way too little, way too late, based on historical standards. But even worse than his first term is what Obama is brewing up for 2013 on his current course.

Most people do not know that already enacted in current law for 2013 are increases in the top tax rates of virtually every major federal tax. That is because the tax increases of Obamacare become effective that year, and the Bush tax cuts expire, which Obama has refused to renew for singles reporting income over $200,000 per year, or couples reporting over $250,000 per year (in other words, the nation’s small businesses, job creators and investors, in plain English).

As a result, if the Bush tax cuts just expire for these upper income taxpayers, along with the Obamacare taxes, in 2013 the top two income tax rates will jump nearly 20%, the capital gains tax rate will soar by nearly 60%, the tax on corporate dividends will nearly triple, and the Medicare payroll tax will leap by 62% for those disfavored taxpayers.

This is on top of the U.S. corporate income tax rate, which is virtually the highest in the industrialized world. The federal rate is 35%, with state corporate rates taking it close to 40% on average. But even Communist China has a 25% rate. The average rate in the social welfare states of the European Union is less than that. Formerly socialist Canada has a 16.5% rate going down to 15% next year.

These U.S. corporate tax rates leave American companies uncompetitive in the global economy. Yet under President Obama there is no relief in sight. Instead, he has spent the past year barnstorming the country calling for still further tax increases on American business, large and small, investors, and job creators.

Higher tax rates mean producers can only keep a smaller percentage of what they produce. So tax rate increases reduce the incentive for productive activities, such as saving, investment, starting businesses, expanding businesses, job creation, entrepreneurship and work, resulting in less of each. And that is what the tax tsunami of 2013 would do, which would once again swamp the weak economy.

Most small business profits are reported from households earning more than $200,000/$250,000 per year, and those small businesses produce more than half the new jobs. So the 2013 tax tsunami effectively targets small business, and the nation’s job creators. That will hurt working people the most, because they will lose the jobs and the wage income they need to maintain their basic standard of living.

In addition, the Obama administration is in the process of imposing a blizzard of new regulatory costs and barriers that will be building to a crescendo by 2013 as well. Academic studies estimate the total costs of regulation in the economy to be rapidly rising towards $2 trillion per year, or $8,000 per employee. That is close to 10 times the corporate income tax burden, and double the individual income tax. When the resulting effects on the economy are considered, the total losses due to regulatory burdens may total $3 trillion, or one fifth of our entire economy.

But by 2013 these regulatory costs will have exploded in unprecedented fashion. That reflects the Obama Administration’s global warming crusade, assault on private energy production, the still oncoming Dodd-Frank regulatory burdens on the financial community, Obamacare regulations, particularly the job killing employer mandate, and many others.

By 2013, the Fed may be in contractionary mode as well. If history is any guide, the Fed might decide that right after the election would be the perfect time to cut back on its historically loose monetary policy with record low interest rates that have persisted for years. Adding rising interest rates to the above brew of soaring marginal tax rates across the board and exploding regulatory costs would accumulate to a powerful contractionary force.

Art Laffer predicted the Coming Crash of 2011 on the basis of the expiration of the Bush tax cuts on the upper income earners alone. Those tax rate increases were extended to 2013 in December, 2010 out of fear that prediction was right. But now in 2013 in addition to those tax rate increases we have all of the tax increases of Obamacare, the further exploding costs of Obama’s building regulatory blizzard, and the possible contractionary effect of the Fed’s monetary policies, all at the same time. Unless we reverse course, the result may well be one big, bad crash in 2013.

Adding that on top of Obama’s first term, the entire period will look like an historical reenactment of the 1930s. Unless the American people choose to change leadership this year, we will have achieved that result the old fashioned way – we will have earned it.


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