Sunday, February 01, 2009

Obama's Pay Equity Act & Stimulus Package Passes

UPDATE: 12:25 & 12:45 PM & 5:07 PM Feb. 1, 2002
On Limbaugh ,Obama & the Media see: post Feb.6, 2009

Anyway there are good reasons for criticizing Obama when it comes to foreign affairs especially in regards to Gaza and Israel but on other fronts in the Domestic Policies he is moving fairly quickly to undo much of the damage done by the Bush Regime .

Meanwhile the Fear and Hate mongers led by Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and Fox News are stirring up their base to undermine Obama's administration from the get go - They are still spewing their lies and propaganda about Obama and the " liberals " they love to hate . They are also attacking Obama's economic stimulus package as being the first steps on the road to a socialist/ communist collectivists totalitarian state.

Do people like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and Fox News not realize that the more inflammatory their rhetoric is that this may lead to massive unrest and illegal and criminal actions and possibly to violent actions on the part of some of their followers who believe everything that these conservative spokespersons tell them and who do not see the difference between rhetorical overstatement and reality. Are Hannity, Limbaugh and Fox News etc. using more " dog whistle racism " or encouragin an all out rebellion of American conservatives against Obama's administration and his supporters. Words and speech have consequences especially when that hate filled speech is aired over the Radio and TV and Internet reachin well over 20 million angry pissed-off conservatives.

As Limbaugh puts it in rather crude terms Americans are asked to bend over grab their ankles and take whatever Obama wants to dish out - this is about as nasty as it can get . What Limbaugh and the Conservative movement is claiming is that Obama has no right to do what he is doing -his administration they claim is UnAmerican and should be resisted at all costs - do they mean by any means necessary- Is their stirring up of their base to merely voice their opinions or to turn it into actions such as protests and demonstrations or by encouraging those who agree with them to with hold their taxes - or as one individual on YouTube is calling for a strike of US truck drivers if not in all states but rather he calls for a blockade as such of New York and California If Democrats had called for such actions during the Bush Era they were called UnAmerican and even traitors because America was at war. A truck drivers strike or blockade was used in Chile in 1973 to bring the country to a point of crisis followed by a US sponsored Military Coup to oust the popular reformist President Allende.

President Obama signs pay-equity law
reaching out to labor
Stimulus Package passes in the House Of Representatives
Republicans refuse to co-operate
Republicans and their Media Echo Chamber distort facts and lie about the Recovery Package in their all out propaganda war against Obama and the Democrats
Is Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity running for leader of the Republican Party

President Obama signs into law a pay equity law . It is significant in that it goes againat the policies of the former Bush Regime regarding labor and women's issues . To Obama equal pay is basic to America's notions of equality and justice.

Hooray: Obama Signs the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act " by Amanda Terkel, Think Progress/ Jan. 29, 2009.

"And I sign this bill for my daughters, and all those who will come after us ..."

Today, President Barack Obama signed his first major piece of legislation, boosting workers’ ability to bring pay-discrimination lawsuits.

and as Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks points out the Republicans are not interested in cooperating with Obama in some sort of post partisanship in order to weather the US economic meltdown . They refuse to accept that the meltdown was due to Bush's economic policies and deregulation when America was involved in two costly wars .

"Rush: 177, Obama: 0" by Cenk Uygur at Huffington Post Jan. 29, 2009

Obama tried to charm them, Rush tried to bully them. And the results are in. Round 1 goes by unanimous decision to Rush Limbaugh. Not one House Republican voted with the president on the stimulus package even after his "charm offensive."

These guys are the barbarians at the gate, there's no charming them. President Obama went to visit them, he invited them over to the White House, he had drinks with them, he stood by while they bad-mouthed Congressional Democrats, he adjusted the bill for them, he cut out the contraception education and he added tax cuts. In the end, what did he get for his efforts? A big fat doughnut. Nothing.

Not one House Republican voted for his stimulus package. 177-0.

On the other side, they went groveling over to Rush, tripping over themselves to court his favor and take his tongue-lashings (how grotesque does that sound?). In the end, he got them all (and all the national attention -- which was his true goal).

Now, Obama might be playing a chess match here. He might be positioning himself politically to be able to say to the American people, "Now look, I tried to be bi-partisan. I did all I could. And they did not budge. They are obstinate, partisan and obstructionist." He would have an excellent case to make.

And another critic points out bipartisanship did not work and it is better that Obama realize the Republicans are not in the mood to help him fix the economy. They appear to be still too angry over the fact that they lost the election.

GOP Schools Obama on Partisanship
by: Robert Parry, Consortium News Jan. 29, 2009

On Wednesday, when the House voted on the $819 billion stimulus bill, which many economists say is vital for the United States to avoid a possible depression, not a single Republican supported the legislation.

Clinton, too, made gestures of bipartisanship. He helped sweep several Reagan-Bush scandals under the rug just like Obama has been signaling that he will look forward, not backwards, about George W. Bush's abuses. But the Republicans and their right-wing media allies responded with an all-out war on Clinton and his mildly reformist agenda. [For details, see Robert Parry's Secrecy & Privilege.]

Obama in his stimulus package has managed to make some positive changes for instance by tripling the budget for Education as this next article points out.

"Obama Is a Two-Faced Liar. Aw-RIGHT!" January 30, 2009

Republicans are right. President Barack Obama treated them like dirt, didn't give a damn what they thought about his stimulus package, loaded it with a bunch of programs that will last for years and will never leave the budget, is giving away money disguised as "tax refunds," and is sneaking in huge changes in policy, from schools to health care, using the pretext of an economic emergency.

Way to go, Mr. O! Mr. Down-and-Dirty Chicago pol. Street-fightin' man. Covering over his break-your-face power play with a "we're all post-partisan friends" BS.

And it's about time.

Frankly, I was worried about this guy. Obama's appointing Clinton-droids to the Cabinet, bloated incompetents like Larry Summers as "Economics Czar," made me fear for my country, that we'd gotten another Democrat who wished he were a Republican.

Then came Obama's money bomb. The House bill included $125 billion for schools (TRIPLING federal spending on education), expanding insurance coverage to the unemployed, making the most progressive change in the tax code in four decades by creating a $500 credit against social security payroll deductions, and so on.

It's as if Obama dug up Ronald Reagan's carcass and put a stake through The Gipper's anti-government heart. Aw-RIGHT!

...Now I understand Obama's weird moves: dinner with those creepy conservative columnists, earnest meetings at the White House with the Republican leaders, a dramatic begging foray into Senate offices. Just as the Republicans say, it was all a fraud. Obama was pure Chicago, Boss Daley in a slim skin, putting his arms around his enemies, pretending to listen and care and compromise, then slowly, quietly, slipping in the knife. All while the media praises Obama's "post-partisanship." Heh heh heh.

and Obama is signaling that he will be a friend to labor .

Obama Hosts Labor Leaders, Will Undo Bush Orders " by: Philip Elliott, The Associated Press / Jan. 30, 2009

Washington - President Barack Obama is playing to one of the Democratic Party's most reliable constituencies - organized labor - reversing a number of his predecessor's executive orders that critics regard as anti-union.

Labor leaders were to visit the White House for a second consecutive day Friday, where, a union official said, Obama was to abolish four Bush-era directives that unions opposed and then reintroduces Vice President Joe Biden's task force focused on the middle class.

and : "Obama Calls Bonuses Shameful as Dodd Vows to Reclaim Money" by Dawn Kopecki and Julianna Golman, Bloomberg Jan. 29 2009

President Barack Obama fed a swelling populist revolt against Wall Street bonuses, calling it "shameful" that banks doled out $18.4 billion as taxpayers bail out companies and the U.S. remains mired in a recession.

The bonuses are "the height of irresponsibility," Obama said today before meeting Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Vice President Joe Biden at the White House. Firms need to "show some restraint and show some discipline," Obama said.

The president joined politicians such as Senator Christopher Dodd, who today called for using "every possible legal means to get the money back." The bonus pool for 2008 by New York City financial companies was the sixth-largest ever amid record losses in the securities industry, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a report yesterday.

and Vice President Biden had harsh words for these CEOs

Vice President Biden said in an interview on CNBC today that he would "like to throw these guys in the brig" for taking excessive bonuses.

"They are thinking of the same old thing that got us here: Greed," Biden said. "They are thinking: Take care of me."

and as we see in this piece posted at that there will be a price to be paid by Republicans who refused to vote for Obama's stimulus package well his administration is not going to merely let it go but are going on the offensive and let constituents know how their representative voted and how this will impact their particular area.

" Obama Strikes Back, Plans Payback for House Republicans " by Steve Benen, Washington Monthly Jan. 29, 2009.

Not one Republican in the House voted for the stimulus. We're starting to get a sense of how the White House plans to respond.

The White House has invested quite a bit of time and energy reaching out to congressional Republicans. Late yesterday, the president's efforts were rewarded with exactly zero GOP votes on an economic stimulus plan. The Politico reported that when Republicans announced their opposition, the minority party "slapped" Obama's "outstretched hand" as part of a "coordinated effort to embarrass" the president.

We're starting to get a sense of how the White House plans to respond.

Pushing back against the unanimous House Republican vote against President Obama's stimulus plan, the White House plans to release state-by-state job figures "so we can put a number on what folks voted for and against," an administration aide said.

"It's clear the Republicans who voted against the stimulus represent constituents who will be stunned to learn their member of Congress voted against [saving or] creating 4 million jobs," the aide said.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said the lawmakers will have to answer to their constituents. A Democratic official added: "We will run campaigns in their districts."

and grass roots organizations are planning to air adds in support of Obama's stimulus package:

What's more, Greg Sargent reports that a coalition of groups and unions, including Americans United for Change, Political Action, AFSCME and SEIU, are launching a new television ad targeting Republican senators and pressuring them to vote for President Obama's stimulus package.

The spot shows some arresting images of the recession -- chained up factories, empty warehouses -- and features Obama talking about our dire economic times and his economic package, an effort to harness Obama's popularity to push the plan at a time when Republicans are training their fire on House Dems, rather than the White House.

" Stimulus Package Unleashes Onslaught of Republican Lies" by Jane Hamsher, Firedoglake Jan.29, 2009.

They looked like a bunch of petulant, narcissistic brats and did a nice job of making Obama appear measured and statesmanlike by comparison.

While few found the economic stimulus bill perfect for a variety of reasons, most sensible people admit that it was desperately needed. Bernie Horn of Campaign for America's Future called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act "a remarkably 'clean' bill" and "the biggest and boldest progressive legislation in 40 years."

But the praise isn't one-sided. James Clyburn said:

"Economists across the political spectrum agree that a bold plan is needed to jump-start the economy. Economist Mark Zandi of and an advisor to the McCain campaign said that the House plan would create 4 million jobs by 2010. In South Carolina, Zandi predicts the recovery package will create or save over 37,000 jobs by 2010, helping to decrease the unemployment rate by 1.7 percent. For every month we don't act, Zandi predicts an additional 2 percent will be added each month to the unemployment rate. We can't wait to act. I believe, along with a long list of economic experts, that this package is the best approach to turning our economic crisis around."

Media Matters (see below) has a rundown of the zombie lies now in circulation about the bill, but suffice to say that there was no shortage of people willing to sacrifice the American economy for political gamesmanship. The Republicans unleashed their inner Church Lady and demanded contraception be cut for the sinfully promiscuous poor, then complained they didn't "get" anything in the bill and turned the whole thing into a well-choreographed publicity stunt. They looked like a bunch of petulant, narcissistic brats and did a nice job of making Obama appear measured and statesmanlike by comparison.

Meanwhile Mainstream Media is still attacking Obama with lies, distortions and propaganda. The Media include CNN, Fox News, Washington Post and all the usual suspects on the right from Sean Hannity to various right wing " Think Tanks" - It once again seems these people are still drinking the Neocon Kool-aid and live in an alternative universe where all of Bush's economic policies were a success and that in fact America's economy is strong and is not in meltdown. They still believe in trickle-down economics no matter what the facts and statistics tell them. They are still "True-Believers of a free market economy unfettered by regulations and safe-guards or protections for the average citizen from corporate Greed , corruption , ineptness .

The problem becomes getting the truth out to the American people which is difficult as the Media still acts a Neocon Echo Chamber where facts and the truth are up for grabs. In their world whatever someone like Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity say no matter how ill-informed or ideologically biased must by definition be the truth. It also shows that these critics are not at all interested in working in a bi-partisn or co-operative fashion. They out to scuttle everything and anything the Obama administration tries to do. The problem is that they are still fighting the 2008 Nov. election and refuse to accept that they lost and that much of the Bush policies have been rejected by a majority of American voters.

This should also send a message to President Obama that he can not work with these people in a co-operative bi-partisanship manner. They are still suggesting that Obama is either ill-suited to the job or is a raving socialists who is not a real American and is UnAmerican in his views. They also suggest that the stimulus package is aimed at only helping minorities and left wing organizations.
That reminds me didn't Bush pour large sums of money into Faith Based Evangelical Christian groups and give aid to various Bush friendly corporations and right wing Think Tanks .

"Myths and falsehoods surrounding the economic recovery plan" by Eric Boehlert and Jamison Foser at Media Matters Jan. 28, 2009

During their coverage and discussion of the economic recovery bill supported by President Obama, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, media figures have advanced several myths and falsehoods relating to the details and effects of the plan. These myths and falsehoods include: the assertion that a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) "study" found that the majority of the money in the bill will not be spent for a year and a half; that provisions in the bill to extend food stamps and unemployment insurance payments are "not stimulus"; that President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal policies failed to reduce unemployment during the Great Depression; that Japan's fiscal stimulus policy during the "lost decade" of the 1990s failed to help it recover from recession; that the bill would spend at least $217,000 for every job created; that the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) would receive $4.19 billion from the bill; and that former Labor Secretary and Obama adviser Robert Reich proposed white males should be excluded from jobs created by the bill...


and so it goes,

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