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The Obama Era

November 12, 2008

What will happen in the Obama Era?
How should Democrats reach out to Republicans?

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  • Robt November 29, 2008 3:38 pm

    Where did you get the “Civilian Military” phrase?
    An Americorp style service would be useful during times of national disasters aswell as betterment of inner cities in dire needs.
    I can see its use during the Katrina catastrophy instead of the privatized use of Blackwater and the likes.
    Do you support using special for profit (no bid) croney contractors as the Bush Adm has?
    We have already been seeing many prisons privatized for profit. When a privatized for profit prison system only makes money from the Gov’t who pays it handsomely for housing priisoners.
    What do you think the release rate will be?
    Besides, nowhere can you factually show Obama wants a civilian military stronger and better funded than the U.S Military.
    What can better the military would be to reduce contracting of what is the military’s duty and function(s).
    Cooks are contracted out. A cook was foremost a soldier and a cook second.
    When S hits the Fan the cools grabbed their weapons and defended. Now, when it hits the fan, our specified soldiers must fal back and protect the civilian contracted cooks. Leaving even less boots to do thier job.
    I think the fears you have of Obama’s Civilian corps would be done by contractors as Blackwater. The Merc’s are loyal to pay not country.

  • Sol Pitchon November 29, 2008 9:32 am

    Dear Mark:
    I do not miss any of your shows.
    One point that Obama mentioned during the campaign (and he has so far not talked about) is that he intends to create a civilian military, similar and stronger and as well or better funded than the regular military.
    This civilian force is supposed to act as Community Organizers (like he was in Chicago) who will organizers, endoctrinate and push far-left ideology.
    This group looks very much like Castro’s “neighborhood committees” and the group “for rapid reaction” that crush any incipient sign of rebellion in each neighboorhood. Another of this group duty is to spy on the neighbors.
    The regular military defends the USA against foreign aggressors. Then who is the civilian military supposed to defend us from? This could easily be converted into neighborhood militia like Cuba’s. And he expects the taxpayers to pay for it.
    Altough Obama has not mentioned it so far, I think that the VOICE OF ALARM should sound starting immediately so as to create a popular opposition to this civilian military.
    Not once or twice but constantly.
    This group would be used against the radio stations who oppose any of Obama’s nefarious plans.
    Thank you and bless you for your efforts.
    Sol Pitchon

  • Robt November 26, 2008 2:51 am

    Try this extracuricular reading of Obama is the change agent.
    Not nescessarily those he appoints.
    Maybe the following can ease your concerns on Obama;
    ‘m not sure what everyone has been thinking. Obama said he’d be bipartisan, weed us off dependence on foreign oil, negotiate with the world at large instead of attacking them and never, ever torture people. He also promised to cut taxes for that plumber guy and implement a sweeping change in our health care system and also inject a much-needed stimulus package into the economy. One would hope it would be called universal health care. Bush has left Obama with a complete disaster and I’m going to at least wait until he takes office and begins trying to dig us out of the ditch before I get too upset over his picks.
    If you remember, during the general election Howie and I wrote a post called:
    Anatomy of a Right Wing Myth: Obama is the most liberal Democratic Senator
    If only! Actually there are 39 Democrats with more liberal voting records, although Obama does at least beat perennial Bush rubber stamps Holy Joe Lieberman (CT), Ben Nelson (NE) and Mary Landrieu (LA). His voting record– however you slice it, however you dice it– points to a solidly mainstream centrist…read on
    Obama has never said anything different in his campaign. There’s been some rumblings in the blogosphere about Obama’s choices to fill out his Cabinet so far. I like Christopher Hayes a lot, but I think he’s wrong here. When did he promise a Cabinet full of Progressives? And Chris Bowers writes:
    I really don’t want to be pessimistic about the new Obama administration. Rather, I much preferred my optimistic mood from last night, discussing how the House seems to be moving in a more progressive direction, and how cutting military spending was a real possibility over the next couple of years. That felt good, and I want to keep feeling that way.
    However, the apparent leading contenders for several top Obama administration positions continue to worry me.
    Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff, Bob Gates possibly retained at Defense, Tom Daschle at Health and Human Services and Eric Holder at Justice. With the market dropping because of more economic bad news, Obama named Timothy Geithner as the nation’s next Treasury Secretary. What do you know? With a little leadership displayed, Wall Street rallied.
    I hated the pass that was given to Joe Lieberman, but that wasn’t Harry Reid’s fault. Obama decided to forgive Lieberman so that he would keep caucusing with the Democratic Party and to add another vote to help implement his agenda. A major reason why I wanted his gavel removed was his failure to investigate Katrina. For that alone, he should have been stripped of his chairmanship, but it’s Obama’s party and he makes the choices. Joe will probably play nice for the time being and Obama needs all hands on deck when he is sworn into office because of the devastation left behind by Conservatives and BushCo. But make no mistake, Holy Joe will eventually stab him in the back. Still, it was Obama’s decision and Congress went along with him.
    Holder is well respected in DC and on the left too and Obama couldn’t care less if FOX News foamed at the mouth over his choice when it was announced. I say good for him. I had no opinion on Hillary being Secretary of State, but to me, it shows a lot of guts. I actually agree with John Dickerson’s take on the nomination:
    By picking Clinton, Obama may be making some kind of special political play, removing one of his rivals to protect himself from political harm, but I think he’s more serious than that. There’s been no evidence over the last two years that he engages in this kind of overly clever bank shot. It’s more likely he’s picked Clinton because she’s smart and because he wants to surround himself with people who will challenge him.
    Do you mean Obama shouldn’t get a food taster and worry about a parallel government being run by Hillary? Matthews has been really going ballistic over this, but here’s a little news for Chris: Obama ran his campaign about Obama. And this country is in terrible shape and I believe that he’s trying to assemble what he believes will be the people that will Git-R-Done.
    He’s the change agent — it’s his vision and policy choices that will define him, not who he chooses for the Chief of Staff or any other position. I hope that he appoints only one Republican to his staff, if any at all. We’ve seen how Conservatives govern, especially when they re-brand themselves like Bush did and they say they are compassionate, so who cares what they think at this point? Obama has a lot of heavy lifting as soon as he’s sworn into office so that’s when I’ll do the best I can to push forth a liberal agenda and try to hold him to those principles. The country has rejected Conservatism. So now it’s our turn.
    If you’ve been following the financial section lately, they are totally freaked out about what is happening there. Many seriously want him to actually succeed at all costs on Wall Street. Sure, the gasbags on TV will try to rip him, but the real money men behind the operations need Obama to be successful or all the cash they made off the backs of the working class will be gone. You know, just like has already happened to the working class.
    Digby wraps it up with these thoughts:
    I’m actually hopeful that he will not choose center-right policies (or at least not be able to choose them out of necessity)but I’m actually quite happy if they decide to consciously sell anything using the argot of progressivism, particularly movement progressivism, outside of the stump. One of the biggest challenges for the left is disrupting the soothing comfort people feel when they hear conservative bromides that have been so thoroughly internalized they don’t even recognize them as political anymore. If you want progressives to have a long run you have to create a language of progressivism that becomes a default, mainstream way of thinking. Conservatives have been massively successful at that with things like “government isn’t the solution, it’s the problem” and “it’s your money.” People hear that and it just sounds … true. Changing the rhetoric is as important to a movement as changing government policies.
    So, if Obama is going to continue using the more progressive and populist argot that Sirota correctly observes politicians often use at election time, then I think it’s good news for the long term prospects of the progressive movement.
    As for the policies, we’ll have to wait and see. I suspect that on the economy, it’s going to have to be a hell of a lot more progressive than anybody dreamed it would be even three months ago. There are no conservative solutions to economic meltdown except just letting it happen — and I don’t think anyone expects Obama to do that.
    Glenn Greenwald writes: Progressive complaints about Obama’s appointments
    I’ve been genuinely mystified by the disappointment and surprise being expressed by many liberals over the fact that Obama’s most significant appointments thus far are composed of pure Beltway establishment figures drawn from the center-right of the Democratic Party and, probably once he names his Defense Secretary and CIA Director, even from the Bush administration — but not from the Left. In an email yesterday, Digby explained perfectly why this reaction is so mystifying (re-printed with her consent)…read on:

  • Robt November 25, 2008 2:52 am

    First I will answer your question of, “What do I think Obama will reverse of Bush”.
    There are a few off the top of my head.
    1-The Bush Adm, President’s signing statements. Stroke of the pen.
    It was already reported that John Podesta and his transformation team have reviewed Bush Signing Statements and have identified many that will change at the stroke of President Obama’s pen.
    (laws will be enforced as example).
    Obama being strattled with a depressioned economy plans on Congress to have a reaching stimulas package for him to sign
    by Feb 1st. Stimulas covering all Americans and not just top down (trickle down) but enhance al of us. This will reverse the Bush Adm’s horrendous unemployment rate, begin rebuilding American infrastucture, layout ground work for a new electrical grid that can handle solar powered and alternative energy.
    2- The Atty General appointed is to clean up a corrupted legal Dept and return to representing the constituion. Such as Guantanamo, Torture, Rendering, Well reinstating the entire Bill of Rights.
    3- Obama still stands tall on allowing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to fade and will not renew them.
    4- Ted Kennedy will head up a health care in the Seante, Obama naming Tom Dashle as HHS will prove essential to health care change, Hillary as Sec of State will also be informmational on health care as well. This isn’t all of it but you can see Obama is laying the foundations to accomplishment.
    There are many other signs and indicators. The above are a few.
    Try to remember, He hasn’t taken control of anything.
    I will tell you, I didn’t think Obama was liberal/progressive enough for me. He is more toward the center. The center appears way to the extreme left juxtaposed to Bush and his policies. It is almost scarey. Yet Most of everything I see Obama doing right now is placing the Human resources and skills in place and having a Congress prepared to send bills to sign ASAP. There are many Bush policies that will take time to ebb and reverse. Again, Bush is going to make what he thinks is his legacy of policies last as long as he can by drowning America in economic sewage. To tie Obama’s hands on health care. As well as alternative energy.
    Let me say this, What better way to make Bush’s Iraq War plunder via lying to us for its reality even more of a failure for all his greedy war profiteers than to make alternative energy a valid everyday reality. Yes I’m talking the oil companies shceme to reap the Iraqi’s of their natural resource for their profit no matter who had to die.
    Understand when Bush pushed for health industry to take your every lifes earnings for medical care and then leave you to die. Oregon State passed a right to die with dignity law. Bush in full force to overturn oregon’s law in the name of God (Profit) failed with quite thunder. John Kerry in the ’04 campaign touted removing American industry from providing major medical and catastrophic illness and create a medicare type health plan to cover this and it would assist business economically.
    Kerry was right but not listened to.
    So when it comes to Obama and the auto industry vs Wall Street. They are different in some manners. I don’t like it but they are. Yet the Union demonizing is ideolgically hateful. Citi Group just busted and it had NO union. Neither did Lemmon Bros, Merril Lynch, Goldman/Sacks, etc. All unionless but bellied up all the same.
    With the auto makers the problem begins with the CEO’s and top execs and little with the unions.
    Gm for example has been hinting to Congress for about a year to Bush deaf ears for retooling cash to manufacture the VOLT. It is supposed to be a great innovation and reliable. I think its sad that the workers (union) will have to take another hit on wages and benefits because the execs failures and luxury living. They studied union workers and released to the press that GM must place $1,800 on each car because of union worker wages and benefits.
    Notice there is no study that tells us how much all the execs perks, bonus, salaries, luxury jets, benefits cost and that cost added to each auto they sell?
    But, because it is tax payer money the workers will have to take some of the pain. But how do you loan the money to keep the auto industry alive and thriving? With the same old execs who can’t seem to do anything with unions or low wage earners?
    All those union workers have health care. Think of the hospitals, doctors, nurses and the communities that they stimulate?
    I think China would buy up GM pronto and every car that is made and sold will have its profit return to China although wages will stay. This happens with Toyota, Honda, Mercedes, etc. America’s wealth will continue to leave the country. Its not easy but it will have implications for all. I know a guy that tells me they are working 6 hour shifts to make hours for everyone in the union so this means they are taking pay cuts amongst themselves to keep there union workers getting some sort of pay.
    Obama is not President, he is President elect. He is being cautious. Obama did make it sound as if the unions were the fault of the auto industry. I will tell you this, unions can try to work with companies, they can try to stop companies from poor directions, and argue a human Resource manager that is in a job dealing with people that the human resource manager hates. Unions can become more than adversarial and when that occurs it is always in-house fighting. Companies don’t like listening to unions because they are demonized but unions want to survive and keep their union members working too!
    Pain and shared sacrifice in the auto industry will no doubt happen. It is just that the pain the workers will feel vs the execs pain. Like union workers losing health benefits vs Execs losing luxury jet perk triops once or twice a year to Hawaii or paradise Isle.
    I don’t think Obama will get to your feared “Agenda 21” for quite a while because of the White House toilets are overflowing with slimey Bush policies.
    I will leave you with this, Joe Biden is a greater VP choice than you think. Biden will correct Cheney’s misadventures. And it is criminal but we will not see impeachment.
    The only issue I wonder of.
    Should Obama wait to reverse the Bush unitary president power grab? So that Obama can use that power to actually overturn Bush’s unitary presidential policies.? Then reverse this unitary presidential mess????
    So there is sacrifice. Bush has the economy that bad. It will reach most of America in due time. “economic hard times coming to a community near you”.!
    What exactly is so scarey of “Agenda 21”.
    Managing resources as forests, water etc is already done. Just that now it is done for pure profit. These are life sustaining resources and there should be the element of working for humanity than humanity slaved to it.
    Keep in mind, Obama seems intent on still revisiting NAFTA, and other FREE TRADE policies of Bush Adm that is more FAIR TRADE (let us call it).

  • Sean November 24, 2008 10:58 pm

    What do you think all his calls for “sacrifice” mean? What do you think his implementation of Agenda 21 will result in?
    Where did I get this? I went to google and did a search for ‘obama calls for sacrifice’.
    What was his answer to the auto industry mess? He called for all the workers to take a reduction in pay, that is his solution. He was at the head of the pack for the Bankers Bill they just passed, which took more wealth out of the hands of the middle class than any single action Bush has done.
    If you’re even a little bit familiar with me you know that I’m not a fan of Bush. The decision of who is US president is not binary.
    Let me ask you a question; What action taken by Bush do you think Obama will reverse?