• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on They just really hate Dem…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on They just really hate Dem…
    riverdaughter on They just really hate Dem…
    riverdaughter on They just really hate Dem…
    William on They just really hate Dem…
    lililam on They just really hate Dem…
    lililam on They just really hate Dem…
    Lucyk on They just really hate Dem…
    Lucyk on They just really hate Dem…
    riverdaughter on They just really hate Dem…
    jmac on They just really hate Dem…
    Beata on Arrows Up
    Beata on Arrows Up
    William on Arrows Up
    Beata on Arrows Up
  • Categories

  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    January 2010
    S M T W T F S
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • The Law of Equal Treatment
      Last Friday I wrote an article on the idea that if a society has a rule or duty, it must apply to everyone in the applicable situation, no matter who they are, even if it’s someone you love. It was interesting to me that most of the commenters disagreed. Perhaps this is my fault in choosing the famous example of a German general executing his own son for aba […]
  • Top Posts

Obama to focus on jobs? Right. If we’re lucky, maybe he’ll focus on Jobs’ tablet.

If ever there was a photo that captured the "professorial" Obama, RELATIONSHIPS BUILT ON SELF INTEREST is that photo. All that is missing are two bubbles to the left of CORP & BANKS that read "MEDIA" & "EMPTY SUITS."

January 27th. Big news day.

We’ve got the State of the Union address of course, in which our obfuscator-in-chief will tell us he’s focusing on jobs while blowing smoke about freezing domestic spending. With all that hot and cold, the president may as well skip that pesky lip service on climate change.

If this is the O-ministration’s idea of getting in touch with its more populist side, pray tell what BHO and his advisers say about all us rubes behind our backs. Oh, that’s right. Once upon a time Obama told his fundraisers that small town Democratic primary voters who weren’t voting for him were too bitter and clingy and xenophobic to appreciate his magnificence. Nobody could have predicted that there was no there there. Certainly not any of the bitter clingy people who chose Hillary over him. Speaking of things announced in San Francisco…

Today is also the unveiling of Steve Jobs’ new Apple tablet. Maybe Obama should take notes. Change is not about changing the candy’s wrapper. Marketing is not enough. A brand that outlasts the trends needs to put out a product that works, and putting out good product requires leadership:

In Jobs’s favor is his track record creating popular, easy- to-use devices in product categories already crowded with competitors. Digital music players were on the market for more than three years before Apple introduced the iPod. It is now the U.S. market leader, with more than a 70 percent share, according to NPD Group Inc. In 2007, the iPhone entered a smartphone market dominated by Research In Motion Ltd., Palm Inc. and Motorola Inc. The iPhone was ranked No. 2 in smartphone sales in the U.S. behind RIM in the third quarter, NPD said.

“It takes somebody with leadership characteristics to ignite the market,” said Trip Hawkins, the founder of game maker Electronic Arts Inc. and one of the first 100 employees at Apple. “When Apple talks, consumers listen.”


“To fill high expectations, it has to be an awesome device,” said First Empire’s Obuchowski. “Not to disappoint anybody will be virtually impossible.”

Obama really ought to take note of that last part. He and his inner circle can keep saying that they are not going “small-bore like Clinton” all they want, but Obama promising people the moon, failing to deliver, and yet still trying to sell himself as all things to all people instead of trying to use what little capital he has left to start rebuilding trust— that is not the vision of a “transformational figure, looming large on history’s stage,” no matter how much the romantics around Obama want it to be. There is no pleasing everybody all of the time, especially not through the powers of speechifying alone. In that much reviled-by-DC “soap opera” called The Nineties we saw 22 million new jobs, a balanced budget, and a surplus. Bill Clinton did not please everybody, but he drew lines in the sand, governed competently in a hostile environment, showed people that government can work FOR the people, and left office with a 68% approval rating for it. Speaking of working for the people…

Tavis and Secretary Clinton walking through the Capitol Building on the way to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing. (photo:"Tavis Smiley Reports")

Hillary is away in London and Paris for diplomatic talks from January 26th to the 29th, so she will not be at the SOTU to do the stand-up-and-clap theater. Lucky her, and I for one am glad I will be spared the sight of her clapping for Barack Hoover Obama’s domestic mess. Over on PBS, though, at 8/7 pm central, served up as the first installment of Tavis Smiley Reports is a one-on-one with Secretary Clinton. Lucky us! Tavis has this quote up from the interview featured on his website:

“I’m honored to serve…but it’s a 24/7 job, and I think at some point, I will be very happy to pass it on to someone else.” Secretary Clinton in a conversation with Tavis

It is a good thing Hillary’s interview will be airing BEFORE the SOTU instead of after. Otherwise, I might have been too sleepy to watch it in real time. Either from drinking every time Obama persists in the delusion that he’s a Washington outsider. Or, from the monotony of his voice going back and forth from prompter to prompter, like a set of windshield wipers, whilst the clothes with no emperor try their best to impersonate their hero Ronnie Raygun. We stupid bitter clingy low-info Clintonistas tried to sound the warning signal so many times during 2008, but progressives were too busy calling people raycist to pay attention to what was happening right in front of them:

189 Responses

  1. That top photo — what’s the words near the circle he’s drawing?

    Is it “MAYOR” then “***MEN”?

    Love the $ from CORP to the circle.

  2. you are not the first one looking at the picture


  3. shouldn’t that poster say “think differentLY” ????

    • it’s “Think Different” as in the Apple slogan

      • Am I incorrect that the phrase is not grammatically correct?

        • No you’re correct… just pointing out the reference. Plus his actual slogan (“change you can believe in”) had a dangling preposition.

        • Depends on what they mean. Is different the result or the method of thinking? “Think Small!” or “Think Big!”

        • If it is referring to how one thinks—process then differently is correct. But here I think the point is to use different as it is grammatically placed. The very use of the construction under lines the concept of different, as in, This is different.

        • Yes, think that was intentional and “different” could also be a noun. They launched that slogan way back when to challenge IBM. Didn’t BO or someone run a reworked version of that Apple TV ad with Hillary on the screen as the Orwellian leader instead of IBM. Whatever. Schmucks, whoever did it.

          • a former roommate of Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt did that “Vote Different” ad.

          • Grammar Nazi here–“different” is an adjective. “Difference” and “differential” are nouns.

          • Yes but if think was meant only as an adjective, the adverb might have been better. Maybe it was also meant as almost a proper noun or concept as in think summer not winter. Dunno.

      • what a rip-off, but then the Obama campaign has never cared about copyright violations or seeking permission from others when it came to promoting “The One” since the adherence to rules didn’t exist for them.

  4. Rep. Brad Sherman went on radio and said that there is a new stimulus bill that is basically the same thing as the old stimulus bill, with money targeted to mainly pork and propping up state and local govts. So I guess it will do no more to create jobs than the first one did. And more “shovel ready” projects that don’t even start for a few years.

    BUT there is a huge difference: Dems have been instructed, according to Sherman, to NOT call it a stimulus bill. It’s now a “jobs bill”.

    While the country crashes and burns around our ears, and we have zero real solutions, let’s not do anything differently – God forbid, can’t do that. Let’s just RE-BRAND and MARKET it better. The stupid voters will buy it. That was the Obama campaign in a nutshell, and it’s also the Obama mode of governing. Smoke and mirrors.

    • Brad Sherman is one of the few who has actually worked in a “real job” before coming to Washington. He’s a very savvy guy, IMO.

    • Propping up state and local governments I think is probably a good element because it has a direct job savings component. Even better would be a state government windfall to improve state parks and recreational areas. That would create jobs, have high visibility and last long after the program is ended. w/0 that I think we will see a tidal wave of state and local government layoffs (which in some cases could be a good thing but would definitely add to the unemployment numbers). The state and local save of the 1st stimuIus to me was one of the few good things about it. But if we have more congressional pork in there, then it is another failed effort.

      Education lay-offs at local government levels are set to be pretty big in the states like CA that are really still depressed because of the failed housing market.

      • I’m not saying that govt employees should not have some cushion. I’m not opposed to some spending there, not at all. What I am saying is that govt employees do not and never will DRIVE a robust economy that creates as many jobs as we are going to need.

        And there has been zero, zip, nada coming out of the Whitehouse to address that fact. We need more private sector jobs, period.

        • Part of the reason private sector small businesses were holding off hiring was the unknowables in the healthcare bill, especially when the unions were going to be given an exemption from the excise tax. The largest unions are public/govt employees, and small business owners in the private sector saw their costs increasing due to the exemptions for others.

          But you’re absolutely right. Private sector jobs, period.

          As soon as these stimulus packages propping up govt employees go away (no longer affordable), many states will have no other choice but to cut back. Especially California.

          Either that, or raise state and local taxes a whole helluva lot.

          • Yes, the focus should be on helping the private sector, especially small business owners. My sis indicated that her unemployment insurance costs to the small business owner doubled this past year.

            Also, the only “save” we’ve seen in the public sector was our budgets not getting a cut from last year. The budget was frozen at the same levels of the previous years, which had seen a 3-5% decrease in funding levels from fed agencies since the Shrub took over. We’ve seen no real growth to speak of.

    • It’s all a game to them.

      • Instead of a new stimulus bill, why can’t they just reprogram the old stimulus money and move up the schedule?

        If we create jobs now, we don’t have to create them later again.

  5. A comment posted at BAR:

    ” It’s not Obummer’s Fault??? Huh.
    by Enlightened Cynic – 01/27/2010 – 11:32

    “Yet another day, yet another bout of liberal handwringing over yet another jilting by Barack Obama. This time, their hero has let them down with his planned freeze on “discretionary” spending”
    “Obama’s spending “freeze” is a disastrous, cynical farce whose only real result will be an increase of suffering and hardship for the most vulnerable in our society.”
    “Many of the writers seem to be operating on the assumption — or under the delusion — that Obama actually had some kind of political-economic-social agenda that he wanted to enact as president, and that he is now “failing” to enact it, “squandering” his opportunity. ”
    “But Obama is not “failing”; he is doing exactly what he set out to do: be the president. That’s it. That’s all he wanted to do. And he’s doing it. ”
    “Obama, on the other hand, stands for nothing; thus nothing he tries to do will stand. He was already hollowed out when he came into office, with a “brand” not an agenda, not a program — and, as becomes increasingly apparent all the time, not a clue.”


  6. An interesting article in the Chicago Trib today: http://tinyurl.com/ybs2ojc, entitled “Quit Chasing the Cool”.

    Author Neal Gabler discusses the Conan O’Brien/Jay Leno situation–something I had never really understood, in spite of all the headlines. Gabler says:

    But Leno, for all his ratings prowess, was just too square for NBC in the age of the almighty 18-to-49 demographic that everyone now lusted after. In a way, NBC, like an aging suitor, was addled by youth.


    O’Brien’s supporters may think that he is the neatest kid in class and that he is therefore entitled to occupy the host’s chair, but he was pulling half the ratings Leno got and recently was even down from Leno in the coveted demo. And O’Brien wasn’t doing any better than Letterman.


    But this never was about funny. This was about image. In the great high school of life, NBC opted to follow the siren call of cool. And now, for what may be the first time since 18-to-49 became TV’s holy grail, the system has blown up, so much so that NBC was willing to pay O’Brien tens of millions of dollars just to get rid of him and restore Leno to “Tonight.”

    There was something about this quote that struck me as uniquely applicable to the 2008 primary and the results since. Obama was playing to the crowd that wanted to be hip and cool; Hillary was courting those who had been around the block a few times. Seems that NBC finally learned the same lesson that the American public is beginning to understand regarding politics and leadership.

    • Do these people not read demographic data? Like where is the population headed?

      • I hate Leno, and I’m old. But I don’t like Letterman either. I dislike cruel humor. I do like O’Brien.

        • he is less cruel. I don’t watch any of them. However I did see O’Brien’s good bye and he told his fans not to be cynical, that it wasn’t cool.
          I appreciated that, cynicism is not helpful.

  7. Well, it looks like the Narcissist just doesn’t get it. The headline is misleading—all he is copping too is that they didn’t get their “message” out. More speeches. TOTUS must be exhausted.

    In Speech, Obama to Admit Missteps in First Year

    WASHINGTON — For all the questions circulating in Democratic quarters as President Obama tries to weather the worst storm of his administration, perhaps none is as succinct as this: Are the missteps at the White House rooted in message or substance?

    As Mr. Obama navigates a crossroads of his presidency, a moment when he signals what lessons he has drawn from his first year in office, the public posture of the White House is that any shortcomings are the result of failing to explain effectively what they were doing — and why. He will acknowledge making mistakes in pursuit of his agenda, aides said, but will not toss the agenda overboard in search of a more popular one.


    • It is both—no substance (therefore making messaging rather difficult) and mixed and wrong messages (because no substance to focus content).

    • Successful = popular and popular = successful, as a rule.

      I don’t get the effort to claim that a good policy would be unpopular.

    • Sounds like it’s going to be a major dud.

    • It must be really exhausting for NYT writers to keep trying to prop up the worst President since Reagan.

      Yes, I think he’s worse than W.

      • Yes, he is worse not only because as the leader of the “opposition” (as if) party he has morphed into Bush/Cheney but he elevetated everything they destroyed in 8 years happily and permamently to a much higher and terrifying level.

        Obama reneged on every promise he made although as a non-Obot I completely expected that to happen. The village people with their $$$$ salary don’t see it and keep hoping …

        Obama promised to close Gitmo, provide health care, end wars I bet millions of Obama voters believe that he has done all the stuff he promised. He learned that from Bush/Cheney, too.: Talk,talk, talk, …. and then forget what you promised and do exactly the opposite.
        And it works. Obama right now is the most popular man in the US, so was W for eight years.

        Then he was given the Nobel. Maybe next time it is W’s turn.


  8. Too bad Nancy—you backed the wrong horse:

    Top Democrats at war – with each other

    President Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will be all smiles as the president arrives at the Capitol for his State of the Union speech Wednesday night, but the happy faces can’t hide relationships that are fraying and fraught.

    The anger is most palpable in the House, where Pelosi and her allies believe Obama’s reluctance to stake his political capital on health care reform in mid-2009 contributed to the near collapse of negotiations now.

    But sources say there are also signs of strain between Reid and White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, and relations between Democrats in the House and Democrats in the Senate are hovering between thinly veiled disdain and outright hostility.


    • That’s what I was saying in my comment on the previous thread.


      The knives are out and the in-fighting begins. BO/Rahm are going to use the STFU speech to posture strength in an attempt to fend off Reid & Pelosi.
      It’s like Survivor! DC. Without the mosquitos.

      • Lots of gnats tho’.

      • In his Diane Sawyers ABC interview, Obama acted like it was all Congress’s fault: “I wasn’t making deals behind closed doors,” acting like Rahm wasn’t the middle man on his behalf running these deals to Congress.

        It was quite striking the way he was trying to separate himself from Democrats in Congress.

        I think he’ll destroy the party completely, if his own ego is at risk.

        • Speaking of that interview, what do you guys think of BO’s kiss-the-cheek greeting of Diane Sawyer?


          • I don’t have a problem with a social cheek-kiss, really, unless it’s true that Obama didn’t do the same for Couric and other female interviewers.

            Diane Sawyer is a**hole buddies with Oprah. Maybe Obama saw her as a life preserver, and hoped to get fluffer questions to “rescue” him.

            Maybe the kiss/warm welcome was really a “Oh thank goodness. An ally.”

            Who knows?

          • Ewww. Can you imagine, if Bill Clinton had done that? How Obama can get away with sh*t like that is always amazing. Very sexist and condescending.

          • It’s so chummy and cliquish though, isn’t it?

            Did you see the clip of Brian Williams bowing to His Oliness? ROTFL.

          • It’s condescending. He does it all the time. Watch him greet women vs. men…he seems to think the women all need/want a hug and a peck. At least she was quick enough and turned her head so he landed on her cheek….unlike poor Mrs. Biden, who ended up with a lip kiss at the convention.


          • Eeew & creepy — he kisses and pets women for the same reason that Freud gave rings to Jung and his other proteges … to keep power over them.

            It reminds me of that “hug”/arm grab he gave Hillary on the tarmac before they were getting into their separate planes during the primaries.

          • Unprofessional. Shouldn’t have done it.

    • I think she really thought if she helped the empty suit puppet get in that she would be pulling the strings. She should have paid attention to who was paying the bills. Sorry Nancy, but GS and others paid for the puppet not you. You were only a means to and end. Nancy, you’ve been had.

  9. Two thoughts:

    1) I am reluctant to say this in case W2 gets wind of it and actually follows my advice. He doesn’t need to change is message or his marketing or his tone or any of that. He needs to solve a problem. Any problem. One solution would allow him to reset the media machine. They would love to go back to worship mode, but “just words” isn’t going to do it. It doesn’t have to be a big solution, anything that would allow his sycophants in the media and his wild eyed supporters in the country to say, “Hey that was a great idea and it worked!” My sister says he doesn’t solve any problems because he can’t. Maybe she is right.

    2) How is this for a SOTU drinking came, every time he says “NOTION” we strip naked and baptize each other in Kool-Aid? Ok, if you live where it is cold you don’t have to do a full on “dunking” baptism.


    • Even if he did that I don’t think it would help. If you have a naive puppy who is cute and cuddly but keeps diddling on the floor, there comes a point when pup has outgrown cute, cuddly and welcome. It’s over.

    • How about bets on the color of tie he wears?

      • That reminds me of that snark piece a while back about the color of MO’s dress being a signal to BO’s agenda.
        I wish I could find it …

          • Yeah, that’s it! Thanks!!!!

            If Michelle Obama shows up in a sober outfit, sleeves still in place, it means that the White House is focusing on bamboozlement of ordinary Americans not the Hopium addled. A sober outfit will demonstrate that the White House understands the level of trouble they are in – bad enough to force Michelle to wear something sensible that will not frighten the visually unimpaired.

            A crazy quilt cocktail dress without sleeves will tell us the target audience is still the Hopium addled.

            A sober outfit but without sleeves will clue us in that the Obama’s are still playing both sides of the fence.

            Maybe tonight MO will be in denim overalls.

          • Oh noez. Spammy ate my reply.
            Anyway, thanks for the link! Hilarious as ever.

            I wonder if Mo will wear denim overalls tonight./snark

      • I am going to bet on red white and blue.

    • that is one of my biggest pet peeves with his speeches. Now he has other people saying “:somehow the notion that….”. It makes me want to scream. But usually when he says that he is lecturing someone for not accepting and promoting his wonderfulness. I wonder if even he would be that stupid tonight to lecture the American people and the two houses of congress.

  10. Interesting! It’s funny because I really disliked Conan at first and didn’t think he was at all funny, but eventually I warmed up to him. Still, I always felt like I was the only one not getting the joke–everyone saying how great he was while I thought, hmmm, what are they seeing there? Whereas Jay always came across as likable and he is, from all accounts, truly one of the hardest-working men in show business who reportedly spends his off days honing his craft in small standup venues. (Shades of Obama vs. Hillary, eh!?!) Of all the late-night guys I’ve always liked Letterman best.

    • Johnny Carson best evah. Letterman. At one time he was good. He has sold out to cheap, tawdry and sexist.

    • Yes, imagine how those paragraphs might read if you substituted “Obama” for “Conan” and “Hillary” for “Leno”.

    • Conan was never funny. He got the job because Jeff Zucker knew him at Harvard when Zucker ran the Crimson newspaper and Conan ran the Lampoon. Can’t believe Conan gets 40 million to leave and go to Fox. He’s not worth it.

      • He was only funny for college frat boys. NOthing wrong with that, but it narrows the viewing crowd considerably.

      • Conan O’Brien has a degree from Harvard?


      • Conan started as a writer, correct? Simpsons, or some other really funny show.

        I can’t stand his delivery style. He’s not funny because he’s not at all believeable in his presentation. Too, too corny.

        I heard he couldn’t work for the competition for a period of time after the contract to leave.

      • The whole Late Night game is a farce. A bunch of mediocre white male comedians, fighting over the privilege to talk down to Americans, and interview some over paid celebrities.

        • yeah, they just are not that funny, though Leno really does have some funny bits like the ads people send in

          OT…Bridgit Fonda is 46? Holly sh*t!

          and his timing in the man on the street bits is excellent.
          However if you want to get me laughing, put on a re-run of Fraiser.

  11. Did you all see this comment from MYIQ’s thread below? What is the matter with people? Why would someone bother to drop in and make such an asinine comment, insulting the blog because it doesn’t suit their particular tastes on any given day? Besides, it makes no sense–there are several posts each day, covering exactly what is going on in the news, and the poster’s perspective. Very odd behavior based on the freedom of anonymity. I’d love to see him/her say it to RD’s face.

    Regular reader, on January 27th, 2010 at 9:40 am Said:

    I’m not sure why Confluence thinks it is necessary to dredge up a bunch of stories appearing elsewhere on the internet every morning. I came to Confluence to read its specific point of view. Like others, I can read these other stories elsewhere. Now I must sift through the junk in order to find the occasional original thought here. Please return to your election format of posting only what is relevant to the purpose of the blog and stop posting these morning digests.

    • I did not see that comment but I for one really appreciate the am digest and always look forward to it. I don’t have the time to go after all that stuff. Here it is condensed and people have comments on it that i enjoy. Sometimes the digest maybe goes further than needed but if that happens I just ignore it. And sometimes the added trivia is interesting and a diversion.

      TC is my home base so leave it alone.

    • Why? Because people are stupid.

    • I love the Morning News. Sure, I’ve seen some of it elsewhere, but when you get real newshounds like bb and SOD, you’re bound to find articles you weren’t even aware of.

      Beyond that, The Confluence is one of the few blogs where the comments are often as good or better than the original post. In a way, all of us who participate in the comments are authors.

    • Pfffft! I never understand people who wade in officiously to tell this or that blog what they “ought” to be writing about.

      With ANY blog you read what you like, take away what you can, ignore what doesn’t appeal to you, and be an adult.

      Don’t like it? Want a different focus? Go make your own damn blog. Who the fuck made you the blog police?

      • ROTFLMAO! Love love love me some WMCB. I said the same thing on the other thread–go write your own blog if you don’t like it. Talk about unappreciative. These people are not getting paid you know!

    • If the morning news roundup isn’t someone’s thing, they can easily skip those posts and just read whichever opinion pieces during the day that sparks their interest. I find it interesting that this reader says they came to TC for its POV and doesn’t understand that the community that grew here had to find a new way to get our news after what happened in 2008. As riverdaughter said in her post last week:

      Frankly, my Dems, we don’t give a damn what David Brooks or David Broder says anymore. We only pay attention to Joe Klein because his stupid musings are so easy to debunk and his name is, well, amenable to juvenile mockery. Paul Krugman *used* to be our goto guy but he’s lost the plot recently and thinks that propping up Obama is more important than actually Change!™ing things.

      But people have to still get their news from somewhere. I gave up TV news of all kinds last year. I don’t watch network or cable “news” of any kind. I got sensitized to the propaganda and now, whenever I hear the prepared talking points with just the right psychological spin, I break out in hives and can’t breathe. No, now I’m forced to surf the net both domestically and internationally and sift through the information with the skills of a professional data miner looking for nuggets of truth among the truthiness.

      Not everyone has the time to do this.

      • I’ve actually been trying to put more of a point of view in my morning news posts. But truthfully, I like writing them because it forces me to look around the ‘net and see what is happening. It also allows me to react to more than one topic in a post or relate several topics. And I like reading seeing what the other writers think is most interesting.

        We had a bit of a slow period for awhile there, but lately we have been averaging more than 10,000 hits per day. I think that’s pretty good for a small group blog like this. And we have managed to keep a steady readership for more than two years now while a lot of the other blogs that were originally oriented toward the 2008 primaries have fallen by the wayside.

        I’m really proud of The Confluence. And I think we have some of the smarted commenters around!

        • I don’t post very much, but I love this blog and the varied postings, from SOD’s National Park posting, to BB’s opinion pieces, to RD’s snarky posts, to the daily news roundups and all the wonderful and intelligent posters. It is great! Keep up the good work!

        • BB, I love the morning roundups and think you do an excellent job adding perspective. I find this complaint rather strange–to say “I came here for your POV” and then not even understand why we are gathering news links and sharing with each other our finds and our thoughts on them. What does he or she think IS relevant to the purpose of a blog for Democrats in Exile?

          • Yes, and the part I like best is the links that people post in the morning news comments. It’s great, because I get lots of other stories to check out–things I wouldn’t have seen on my own–and I don’t have to do the work of searching for them. We all end up basically knowing what is going on around the world and the ‘net by collaborating and sharing.

        • I like the format and personality of TC’s posts and posters very much. Maybe the commenter was thinking of something more like this, snark. http://bit.ly/4H0Syf

        • BB I’ve been a lurker since day one, and wouldn’t miss a day. I rarely comment because the regulars always seem to express what I’m thinking in a much more coherent fashion that I could.
          When you folks started the morning news, I was so thankful – it meant I didn’t have to spend hours flipping around (although I still went to certain news sites religiously), and the views part of the news were thoughtful, and oftimes side splittingly funny. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain – “regular commenter”. I have not seen his handle before, and the way he phrases things is also unfamiliar. (I can tell a Wonk, WMCB, WV, jangles, Myiq etc post from a mile away – elderj and SM77 too (wish they’d come back)
          You folks do an incredible job, and I am just one amongst many, many who truly appreciate the time, effort, and creativity involved. Well done.
          Back to lurkerdom – still haven’t read all the links.

          • You sound very coherent to me HT! 🙂

          • HT — you put the shared sentiment into words so powerfully!

            Personally, I know that I can check the Confluence every day for news that might be important to me — political, economic, and interesting tidbits — that I might miss when I’m hurriedly trying to scan the news on the internet.

            I’m grateful for the morning coffee, and love the pics everyday!

    • I like the digest links too. Great opportunity for the commentors to discuss “the buzz”

    • Well, sometimes I am in the mood to traverse all that and sometimes I am not. It all depends. When I am in the mood I find it useful and I don’t go to a lot of those places on my own. When I am not in the mood I just skip down to the comments to see what the locals are saying. That is the most interesting part anyway. Most of the time I read the original diaries but sometimes I don’t read them either. I use this little tool where I actually censor out or skip things I don’t want to read. It is easy to do. I don’t feel obligated to read everything or agree with anyone. I try to keep my critical thinking skills cap on at all times even here.

      • I do the same thing. I sometimes don’t have time to go through all the posted links, so I scan the post and then look to see which stories are getting most of the comments.

    • I love the morning news roundups! And the comments and other links people add. It’s a lovely blend of topics and I usually learn something new or fun or alarming {{sigh}}.

      If someone doesn’t care for it, then just skip it. Probably “regular reader” is an Obot in withdrawal.

    • Ooh, that’s gotta burn!

      CEOs can smell where the real action is.

    • Ha! But I’m not really surprised. Davos always seems like a snorefest to me.

    • Heh heh. Too bad, Barack.

    • Experts said Clinton had an unrivaled mix of power and celebrity that pushed his annual summit, which coincides with the United Nations General Assembly in New York, to the top of chief executives’ speaking agendas.

      “He’s got a wonderful mix of both celebrity status and he is a former American president. And, at least for the moment, he is married to the Secretary of State,” said Barbara Kellerman, a professor of public leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School.

      […] “It helps that the Clinton Global Initiative is associated with doing good much more than the World Economic Forum, which has been the subject of protests in recent years,” she said.

      “The Clinton Global Initiative has become the gold standard in terms of CEO participation so business executives have shifted their focus to that event,” said Darrell West, vice president and director of Governance Studies at the Washington, DC-based think tank the Brookings Institute.

      Game Paused: Ben Smith and Mark Halperin stand in shame.

  12. My only question is, what crumb is Obama going to throw to the progs that they will gush over while they ignore all the elephants in the room?

    • My guess is that he may finally do something about DADT. That’s a move that I would applaud, of course, but the intent will be purely political – to get the Obots once again gushing that they knew all along that he was really really really a liberal at heart all along.

      • I think it’s gonna be something to do with Education, emphasizing more Charter Schools and vouchers.

        But then, what do I know? lol

        • That won’t thrill the prog blogs. Charter Schools are not a Democratic-type thing at all.

          • It is to inner-city Black Democratic parents.

            Vouchers were a huge attraction in DC for middle and upper-middle class Black parents. Chicago, too.

            Obama’s Dept of Ed guy is a huge supporter of Charter schools and vouchers.

      • I would be curious what he would do about it, aside from asking Congress to change the law.

        • DADT is an executive order. He could change it anytime he wants.

          • If he genuinely wanted to be “a good one termer than a mediocre two-termer” he would have changed it already.

          • This is why Clinton had to make the compromise he made:

            “What stops gays from serving openly in the military is the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which prohibits specific homosexual acts, and unless the code is changed by Congress you can not settle this issue.”


          • Not really..It’s part of the Uniform code of Military Justice. That is one of the main reasons why Clinton got burned by his gays in the military pledge.

            Obama could stop the discharges of gays by issuing an exec. order suspending the investigative process.

          • That’s sort of what I meant, SHV. Yes, the law would have to be eventually changed, but he could flat STOP it from having any teeth at all via executive order.

            Tons of laws are on the books that are simply not enforced. They are relics. Obama could make this one of them at the stroke of a pen.

          • DADT was created to forestall legislation codifying the ban on gays and lesbians in the military.

            In theory now would be the perfect time to lift the ban because Democrats have a super-majority in Congress.

            But then again – “Stupak-Pitts”

          • http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/01/27/obama.gays.military/

            Washington (CNN) — President Obama will ask Congress Wednesday night to repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that bars gays and lesbians from openly serving in, White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod told CNN.

      • I will be very surprised if he does, actually. I think BO actually has a problem with gays … back in 2008 (I think) he had an interview with The Advocate and he gave off the “gays are icky” vibe to me.

        • I don’t like his “God in the mix when a man and a woman marry” quote. That sounded really off to me.

        • I have no doubt the man himself is homophobic. That’s why I said it would be a purely political move.

          • Remember when Obama refused to be photographed with the gay major of San Francisco?

          • Actually, the mayor of SF is not gay. Gavin Newsom was working for gay rights and for the rights of gays to marry. Obama didn’t want to be photographed with the mayor, because it wasn’t “politically correct” and Obama was running for the senate seat. Ironically, Newsom was hosting a fundraiser for Obama.

          • Fair enough, birdgal.

            But if just being photographed with Newsom because it wasn’t “politically correct” was one of Obama’s will-not-do’s, I doubt DADT is ever going to be on his to-do list. I don’t see him as having the courage Bill Clinton had.

          • Exactly. The article with this information was published by the SF Chronicle the day before Super Tuesday. It was written by Willie Brown who was at the fundraiser and saw Obama avoiding being photographed with Newsom. I guess, Obam thought that it might harm his candidacy for the IL. senate seat.

            He won’t do anything about DADT, because he lacks political courage and has no core beliefs or passion about helping people.

        • He’s a repressed gay-hating gay, IMO. He needs to get the hell over it.

      • He’s not going to piss off the evangelicals.

      • I think that would put the final nails in Obots political coffin. 1/2 his voters are RW Republicans and AA’s. Now that he has finally successfully alienated many on the LW despite all his lying and doubletalk that is all he has left. Needs to court new voters now. Who is left? The rest of the right?

        • That’s what the “budget freeze” is — a desperate white flag to the Tea Partiers. Hah.

      • Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) has been pushing hard on DADT, and got the hearings scheduled. Word is that Defense is getting on board. Of course, Obama will take all the credit after he conveniently hovered in the background while someone else led the way.

        • I think he will have it both ways – where he distances himself in a uber-Christianish way and then points it out as a win for the obots to say “there!”.

          • He will tell Congress to do it, and get a big round of applause.

            Then it will be their problem if it doesn’t happen.

  13. Somebody mentioned on an earlier thread that Oregonians have voted to increase corporate income taxes. I believe that should be considered a big loss for the Tea Partiers and a good sign.

    • That was me!

      Direct democarcy via referendums is starting to look more and more attractive.

      • Ack! But just north of Oregon we have Washington state, where that Tim Eyman wingnut keeps organizing referenda to lower taxes, cut health care services, etc. The referendum process can be used for good or more nefarious purposes.

      • I have no problem with any state doing that if they choose. I am utterly opposed to any sort of national referendums, and would lobby against my own state doing it. Laws should not be a political ping-pong match for the (currently) most vocal group. That’s what usually happens with referendums. Change should not be knee-jerk, but carefully considered, and arrived at through a process within a overall constitutional framework.

        Just my opinion.

    • I’m not so sure. This affects low 6 figure income. It hurts the small business owner, imo.

  14. Cash for Work program ofthe UN in Haiti:


    “There are a million Haitians on the streets who lost their homes,” Kim Bolduc, UN Humanitarian Coordinator and the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative, said in a statement released today. “We need to start programmes like that that immediately meet their most critical needs while involving them in the process of reconstruction.”

    The project gives priority to female-headed households, particularly those with destroyed housing and those with deceased family members.

    Dominique Charles is a 21-year-old mother who lost her home in the Carrefour Feuilles district of Port-au-Prince. She is one of 1,500 workers currently employed in her neighbourhood.

    “I work for my three children,” Ms. Charles told UNDP. “To put food on the table and ensure their well-being. This programme allows me to do that. I am able to work and earn a small wage.”

    The project has a dual benefit. While earning a small wage, workers also provide vital services that the Haitian Government cannot coordinate right now, such as clearing the debris and rubble from the roads and removing waste that is piling up on streets.”

  15. DADT hearing were supposed to be held this week. Apparently they were cancelled.

  16. Levin was told to hold off on announcing the hearing until after the president’s address Wednesday, according to a Senate aide. Levin was also told that Obama will address the issue of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” in his speech on Wednesday, but Levin does not know what’s in the speech, the aide added. Levin also mentioned this in a huddle with reporters on Monday.

    “Somebody representing the Pentagon said that the White House, that the president was expected, they thought, to state that policy at the State of the Union,” Levin said.

    A source familiar with some details of the initial draft of the State of the Union said it would address the repeal of the controversial law.


  17. I have to say I’m not too impressed with the name for his new gadget. i-pad? It sounds like a feminine hygene product.

    • LOL.
      If it can do THAT too I’ll REALLY be impressed.

    • I don’t like the name either… and it looks like a giant ipod

      • It is supposed to run over $1,000. I have a very nice new Asus computer that I got for around $600. It has 12 hr. battery life, weighs 3 lbs. and has huge memory and hard drive. I got that and my Kindle for less than this new gadget.

        • I think I like my itouch better… I was holding out on getting a kindle to see what the tablet would be like… probably time to get a kindle.

          • Me, too. I’d been holding out to see if the new tablet was really all that. But since my eyes have problems with lengthy LED reading, I’ll likely spring for a kindle now. I have a laptop, I have a phone, what the heck else would I need the tablet for, besides lengthy reading?

          • I received a nook for Christmas and I am really enjoying it. A big plus is being able to download library books and read them on the nook, for free! After 21 days the book just goes away, no late fees, nada. It’s really great and there are lots of free books available, mostly classics or sci-fi stuff people are self publishing. After I finish the three waiting form me, I’m going to read some Mark Twain and Thomas Hardy. So far, I’ve purchased one book from Barnes and Noble, The Lacuna by Kingsolver, and that was very easy, too.

        • $499. See next post.

      • I’m sure it still is far better than Obama’s SCOTUS though.

  18. As you know, when Obama promises something to the American people, he does exactly the opposite because he is beholden to the big time companies who gave large sums of money unlike the common people who could only give small amounts of money to his camp during the election.

    So that is what he is expected to do until next election. Remember this: when he promises something as in “focusing on jobs and freezing domestic spending” the end result will be he will do the opposite w/c is focusing on employers and a skyrocketing domestic spending. As my mom used to say, strike a rock with a big knife but that statement is true.

  19. http://www.maniacworld.com/fake-speaking-seven-languages.html

    I think this might be one of backtrack’s speech writers. I am not sure if this is the one that types the teleprompter.



  20. NYTimes Editorial:


    “But there’s a crater in the economy where the job market used to be, a hole so deep that it would take at least 10 million new jobs to fill it. There are more than six jobless workers for every job opening, which means prolonged spells of unemployment for many of the nation’s 15.3 million jobless workers.

    A lack of jobs also means delays in getting hired or lower entry-level wages for millions of high school and college graduates — long-lasting setbacks. It portends little to no wage gains well into the future for millions of underemployed Americans, and even for the majority who have held on to their jobs as the economy has tanked. It means intractable budget deficits — because without new jobs, economic performance and tax revenues will remain inadequate.

    Mr. Obama owes the country an unflinching assessment of the dire job situation and a plan for fixing it that starts with a commitment to lead the effort himself. If he leaves it up to Congress, lawmakers are unlikely to deliver. Even the $154 billion jobs bill passed by the House in December is only a starting point for the repair and recovery work that needs to be done.

    To create jobs, Mr. Obama must make it clear that he will not abandon the states at this time of budget crises. Bolstered aid to states is unpopular. But it is among the surest ways to preserve and create jobs because the money is pushed through quickly to employees, contractors and beneficiaries. The alternative is recovery-killing spending cuts and tax increases on the state level.”

  21. http://fora.tv/2009/11/05/Joe_Biden_Challenges_Facing_Middle_Class_in_21st_Century#Joe_Biden_The_American_Dream_Is_Receding

    nothing like hope and change to set the tone for backtracks speech.



  22. A MUST READ at anytime but esp. today for anyone who plans to listen to the State of the Union address .

    Paul Craig Roberts writes:
    “But what can Obama do other then spout more rhetoric?”

    He then gives a detailed explanation and an overview which incl. it all from the corporate interest groups for campaigns to war profits, health care, habeas corpus ( i.e. lack of), jobs and income growth, etc.


    Don’t Look to Washington for Help
    Rule by the Rich


    The election of Republican Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate by Democratic voters in Massachusetts sends President Obama a message. Voters perceive that Obama’s administration has morphed into a Bush-Cheney government. Obama has reneged on every promise he made, from ending wars, to closing Gitmo, to providing health care for Americans, to curtailing the domestic police state, to putting the interests of dispossessed Americans ahead of the interests of the rich banksters who robbed Americans of their homes and pensions.
    …. read on

  23. http://www.counterpunch.org/hudson01262010.html

    And here is another MUST READ for today. I just started to read and it promises to be v. good. Depressing but worth a study.

    Can there be a jobless recovery? No way. Hudson’s opinion.

    by Michael Hudson

    Which Economy is Obama Talking About?

    in the second paragraph Hydson mentions that kind of stuff that makes you want to WALK AWAY FROM THE DEMOCRATS.:*sigh*
    Corporate Democrat Harold Ford Jr. thinks otherwise. Obama just has to move to the right he says…..
    Well, that kind of talk should finally get him a Senate seat, don’t you all think?

    don’t miss

  24. New post up. In fact, my first post. 🙂

  25. Hillary is away in London and Paris for diplomatic talks from January 26th to the 29th, so she will not be at the SOTU to do the stand-up-and-clap theater..

    You have made my day!

  26. Ah I see my skill at thread killing has lost none of its vigor! ……Congrats, DandyTiger!

  27. Heads up! Retirement deductions on the table!~Wrote about this extensively over the last week or so…it’s may be more complicated than it sounds in the litte “previews” we’re going to hear tonight…….esp. if it involves AIG!!!!!

    First Rumblings About Retirement Savings Plan in the State of the Union Address Tonight?



  29. Hill is on!!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: