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02:29 PM on 06/18/2012
Good article on a good book on sound solutions: Circa 2009 or Circa 1992. I felt like I was in a time tunnel. Surely Mr. Goodman is aware of the naïveté in these suggestions. We are so way past the moment for any LBJ calisthenics to be effective; on vote after vote, issue after issue... The Whitehouse could not even move Snowe, Collins and McCain ON ANYTHING to break a filibuster. They voted lock stock and barrel with the tea party reds in their party. If it one thing that is true about Obama, it is his willingness to capitulate and "give away the store"...so I am not sure what could have moved these republicans. And if we are asking Obama to spit, chew tobacco, cuss up a storm, threaten or intimidate senators or sic the IRS on 'em....well that just ain't gonna happen. Seriously though, the iron fist is just not his style of diplomacy. Most importantly of course; THE reCONS ARE NOT NEGOTIATING IN GOOD FAITH ! They are paid lobbyist for their financial backers-PERIOD ! Their "representation" of the electorate is only ceremonial, incidental and proportional only to the stupidity of the electorate willing to send them. Mr Obama has finally gotten that message after the, perfectly predictable, Debt Cieling fiasco last summer. However at the end of the day, the President unfortunately perhaps, is a gentleman; and sees the imaginary good in people before their abundant evil intentions.
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MiddleMolly
Working to better the USA!
03:01 PM on 06/18/2012
Pretty much true.. And too many people here have not bothered to look up the huge majorities in Congress that LBJ had.. not so with Obama.
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spytheweb
Black Democrat
02:26 PM on 06/18/2012
America has exported their manufacturing base. No hamburger flipping job will not make up for the higher wages and benefits these jobs provided. Add to that the government's support to allow illegal aliens to flood the labor force even thou it's illegal for them to work in the country and you have a unemployment mess. In the past unemployment has always recovered but it won't after the mass export of jobs and companies moving overseas.
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Dave Price
We need to reverse this Fascist Corporatism
02:25 PM on 06/18/2012
how can you call this a failure, I dont even like Obama but i refuse to lie and make up ridiculous stories.

http://zfacts.com/node/319
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MiddleMolly
Working to better the USA!
03:03 PM on 06/18/2012
Yep.. here's another chart in a similar vein: Shows private jobs lost and gained as totals, not as additions/subtractions...

http://mollysmiddleamerica.blogspot.com/2012/06/private-sector-job-loss-growth-since.html
02:21 PM on 06/18/2012
It has been almost 4 years . I guess the book presidency for dummies was not read or written. Humm if you do not begin you never start. Typical elite attitude no motivation to accomplish when money is rolling in for helping banks and corporations.
02:20 PM on 06/18/2012
President Obama strong arm weak republicans? When pigs fly
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Americangangster
Dual masters in dominance and modesty
02:20 PM on 06/18/2012
High Unemploymemt, over 80% believe the economy is getting worse, increase in debt and deficit, high gas prices, 30% drop in average family wealth.

Obama failed. There is a reason he is trailing in all the major polls :) deal with it libs.

It's actually fun watching him fail so miserably :)
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MiddleMolly
Working to better the USA!
02:27 PM on 06/18/2012
Unemployment 8.2% now and declining just about every month. Unemployment 8.3% in February 2009: Question. compared to the time it takes a fire to start and burn out of control, how long does it take firefighters to put it out? To cool it down? Then for scavengers to clear out the debris?

Did you really expect unemployment to drop the minute Obama stepped into the Oval Office? Did you really think he was the Messiah? 80% believe the economy is getting worse? Where'd you find that figure? And if so, it just shows us that the media is not doing a very good job of factually reporting the news.

Why do you think he is failing? You haven't made ANY arguments for failure and you show a lack of knowledge of basic numbers right now. I think you need a new source of information.
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dizmo4
02:50 PM on 06/18/2012
Gas prices have been falling and will continue to fall thanks to the energy boom.

The 40% drop in wealth is due almost exclusively to the GOP policies that have been in place for at least 10 years.   Obama has tried to reverse them but the GOP in the Congress have blocked him at every attempt.
02:19 PM on 06/18/2012
Obama and the Dems should have realized that there was a reason why the 2010 mid term elections were a landslide win for Conservative Republicans.....voters sent a message that our country was spending too much and not dealing with entitlements. Big missed opportunity for Obama to move to the middle, accomplish things with Republicans, and get the economy on track and himself re-elected. Now he's going to continue to lay blame over the next 5 months on the Bush Depression, obstructionist Republicans, and Europe. When really its his own fault. Halfway through his Presidency his policies were rejected by the majority of Americans and he's been too narcissistic to compromise to get something done. All elections are a referendum on the incumbent, and unfortunately for our current leader that is not good news
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MiddleMolly
Working to better the USA!
02:28 PM on 06/18/2012
Now wait.. You want Obama to "move to the middle"? But we have people here complaining that he is too conservative, too much like a Republican?

Good heavens.. people don't know much of anything these days, do they?

And most people actually do blame Bush. Maybe Americans aren't as stu pid as we sometimes think they are.
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Robert SF
03:35 PM on 06/18/2012
This is a naive analysis. Other than resigning office, there's nothing Obama could agree to that Republicans would also agree to.

As for the 2010 election, that was the result of the Republicans managing to scare the voters. And the issue wasn't really "entitlements." Not a single Tea Partier wants to give up his Medicare or see his Social Security checks cut. As usual, this is all a curtain to hide racism. What Tea Partiers really don't want is entitlements for blacks and "Mexicans."
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demilieu
Texas liberal...with reservations
02:18 PM on 06/18/2012
up to the 1970's, it was unheard of anyone with a college education not finding a good job unless they simply didn't want to work.
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MiddleMolly
Working to better the USA!
02:35 PM on 06/18/2012
Well, a Bachelor's degree then is like a Master's degree now. Many more people have them, so an undergrad degree is not very special anymore. But the unemployment rate for people with degrees of any kind is in the 3's% compared to the 8.2% for the economy as a whole.

Let me check: 3.9% now. Same as it was in January 2009.
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Robert SF
03:37 PM on 06/18/2012
A Master's degree is no guarantee of a job today, and in many cases, it renders your "overqualified."

The unemployment rate is not a good measure by itself because it includes people who have had jobs for the past 20 and 30 years, thanks to their college degree. It doesn't show the difference between those people and people who graduated within the last five years.

And yes, many more people have bachelor degrees today, but didn't they always tell us that we needed more and more? Aren't they still saying even today that we need more and more education?
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demilieu
Texas liberal...with reservations
02:15 PM on 06/18/2012
lbj knew the poor. but a senseless war ruined his administration and tarnished his legacy. the way things operate now, i don't know if we will ever see that brand of tree-stump politician again.
02:11 PM on 06/18/2012
Employment in contemporary America is similar to a bicycle with a chain wheel without teeth. The pedals rotate, and the bicycle remains in place! The majority of unemployed Americans on Main Street might as well transmit their Resumes of Qualifications to the Moon as Earth. Washington and Corporate America have both been impotent participants in the domestic employment quagmire.

Now presidential contestants plan to invest millions of dollars in media marketing campaigns. We love Main Street, and you are in our prayers. We hope you find a job! Why do politicians have to invest untold millions in media marketing campaigns? Why aren’t we already experiencing economic opportunity in terms of employment from our erstwhile political and corporate friends? Grandiose political rhetoric has proven to hold empty promises for unemployed Americans on both sides of the political aisles!
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MiddleMolly
Working to better the USA!
02:48 PM on 06/18/2012
2,046,000 more people are reporting themselves as employed in 2012 alone. The highest increase in people reporting themselves as employed in the first five months of a year in unadjusted "real" numbers since 1984.. yes, since 1984. But no one knows that.
03:32 PM on 06/18/2012
How many telephone or email notifications have you received from the 2,046,000 that have gotten new jobs? I wonder if the employment statistics are similar to sub prime property values that are upside down now! I have not received any notification from anyone, or their friends of new employment opportunity!
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Robert SF
03:42 PM on 06/18/2012
I'd like a cite or a clarification at least. Two million more people report themselves employed in 2012? More than when? 2011? So that means we saw 2 million jobs created in 2011? I don't think so. In any case, we still have fewer people employed to day than in 2008.

In fact, once you adjust for the shrinking labor force, we see stagnation over the past 30 months. You've said before that's due to people retiring, but if it is so, it's a forced retirement. If you're 60 and cannot find employement, you're basically retired, but it hardly means you're living the good life.
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karenmmn
2016 Year of the Woman
02:07 PM on 06/18/2012
Different times now than LBJ's era. They didn't outsource our jobs. We made thing's here and were proud of it. People did the work, not machines. When you made a call, a real person answered the phone. When you went to the bank,real people cashed your check. Mom and pop businesses were everywhere which took people to run them. Lots of little stores instead of huge bix box stores with no customer service. Gas station attendents pumped your gas and cleaned your windshield. Dad's made enough money to support their families so moms could stay home and take care of the kids and house. You know the drill. Now it's all about profit, profit, profit. Billions and trillions, so let's get the cheapest labor force we can find while we turn our heads knowing that the people making our products are overworked, underpaid and suffering. We are our own worst enemies. You want jobs,
go to China.
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Wheelo
A man a plan a canal Panama
02:04 PM on 06/18/2012
Methinks the real task is to get John Q. Public to feel like he can afford to buy widgets again. Demand for widgets is what creates jobs. All those fat cat "job creators" sitting on their piles of cash don't hire when there's nobody buying many widgets.

After years of seeing our incomes flat-lined or declining, it's time to throw America's middle-class the bone it deserves. We've coddled the rich for the last couple of decades and they ain't getting it done.
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froggythegremlin
I'll never do it again, I promise.
02:03 PM on 06/18/2012
LBJ governed with an iron fist. Obama tried to appeal to the better angels of our nature. Unfortunately, "better angels" are harder to find than hen's teeth.
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Robert SF
03:45 PM on 06/18/2012
Obama fundamentally misunderstands power and leadership. A good leader is not entirely cynical, but he knows human nature and has no illusions about it.
02:01 PM on 06/18/2012
Someone doesn't know the difference between the legislative majorities LBJ had at his disposal compared to today. LBJ even had a GOP opposition relatively willing to accept high post-WWII taxes, vast government works projects from Eisenhower and greater liberty and civil rights.

There were only seven attempts at GOP filibusters in the 60's. Seven Cloture votes...total. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filibuster_in_the_United_States_Senate

Obama, at best, had a marginal majority. Couple that with the GOP's willingness to use the filibuster to block everything under the sun, and the eras are substantially different.

The only way out of this mess is for the Democrats to stand up and give it as hard as they have received it for the next round of GOP governance. Maybe that would soften things up a notch or two and leave the far right wingers with no intent on solving any issues out in the cold.
03:23 PM on 06/18/2012
LBJ's problem wasn't the GOP.. it was the Southern Democrats who - after LBJ - became the GOP.

Read Robert Caro to see how LBJ bent Richard Russell, Harry Byrd to his will - and they were made of a lot more resilient stuff than John Boehner.
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Robert SF
03:50 PM on 06/18/2012
LBJ had a "relatively willing" GOP opposition? Not really. What happened is that LBJ was a bastid who knew a lot of dark secrets. A lot. And if a senator didn't see things his way, he had no problem getting on the phone and reminding the senator that he knew where the bodies were buried, so the senator had better start acting reasonable fast unless he wanted to see his name splashed across the newspapers.

LBJ made Karl Rove look like no more than a clever child. LBJ was one of the last political thugs in the White House (Nixon was the last), but he used his power mostly for good.
07:57 PM on 06/18/2012
Compliant may have been a better choice of words. But, he certainly did not have the type of obstinate naysayers that Clinton and now Obama has faced, in spades.

LBJ had political skills almost unexcelled in recent memory. Not only did he have them, he used them. And, except for getting Westmoreland, he used them for vast good. No one in the last 50 years is close.

I was as anti Vietnam as anyone, living in Texas, in college during his second term. He faced more hatred from the left than from either the Democratic racists or the GOP. But, in hindsight, he sure knew how to use the office even if he was played by the military. Which he definitely was. But, the further you get from the cultural changes of the era coupled with the assassination of JFK and the coming war, the brighter LBJ's star. He was a teacher and he taught the country to begin to accept other races within society, not against it or outside of it. The surprising thing was that it wasn't his nature. He channeled a vast strength and he knew he was wielding his ability and power mostly wisely.
01:55 PM on 06/18/2012
"Bradley argues that the president ought to employ the tactics of the legendary Texas lawmaker Lyndon Johnson and strong-arm opponents into cooperating on a master plan to restore economic vigor via a sustained campaign of shame". Aint gonna happen, NOT IN OBAMAS DNA. Progressives have been screaming for this since the sausage making on HealthCare; and we don't buy we couldnt have had a public option. If they wanted to handle Leiberman and Nelson they could have.