Posts tagged ‘obama’

March 30, 2010

Bad News For Republicans: Economy Shows Signs Of Recovery

by Ben Hoffman

Employers in the U.S. probably added jobs in March, setting the stage for a broadening of the economic expansion.

Payrolls are expected to rise by 190,000, the most in three years, after declining 36,000 in February, according to the median forecast of 62 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News before a Labor Department report due out Friday.

Various news organizations, including Dow Jones, Reuters, Bloomberg and CBS MarketWatch, poll economists before release of the report, which includes job numbers and the unemployment rate.

A Dow Jones Newswires survey predicts March nonfarm payroll jobs will increase by 203,000. That would be the largest rise since March 2007 — well before the recession began.

Read more…

The March consumer confidence index came in at 52.5, up from 46.4 in February, slightly beating forecasts, the Conference Board said moments ago.

This marks a rebound to January levels, which hit 56.5.

The Conference Board index is one of two prominent monthly measures of consumer confidence, the other being the Reuters/University of Michigan number. That number came out last week and showed essentially no change from February.

So we’ve got conflicting numbers between the new major indexes. Obviously, each poll has different methodology. The Conference Board’s index is based on a monthly survey of 5,000 U.S. households, for instance.

Read more…

The Democrats are growing a backbone, the economy is recovering, we’re getting out of Iraq, the Afghanistan mission seems to be working, and the Democrats passed health insurance reform that will help a lot of people, all with the Republicans trying to blog every move so they could claim a “do-nothing” administration. Next is financial reform, which Republicans will try to block.

Democrats may actually pick up some seats this fall!

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March 22, 2010

Ten Immediate Benefits of Health Care Reform

by Ben Hoffman

Here are ten benefits which come online within six months of the President’s signature on the health care bill:

  1. Adult children may remain as dependents on their parents’ policy until their 27th birthday
  2. Children under age 19 may not be excluded for pre-existing conditions
  3. No more lifetime or annual caps on coverage
  4. Free preventative care for all
  5. Adults with pre-existing conditions may buy into a national high-risk pool until the exchanges come online. While these will not be cheap, they’re still better than total exclusion and get some benefit from a wider pool of insureds.
  6. Small businesses will be entitled to a tax credit for 2009 and 2010, which could be as much as 50% of what they pay for employees’ health insurance.
  7. The “donut hole” closes for Medicare patients, making prescription medications more affordable for seniors.
  8. Requirement that all insurers must post their balance sheets on the Internet and fully disclose administrative costs, executive compensation packages, and benefit payments.
  9. Authorizes early funding of community health centers in all 50 states (Bernie Sanders’ amendment). Community health centers provide primary, dental and vision services to people in the community, based on a sliding scale for payment according to ability to pay.
  10. AND no more rescissions. Effective immediately, you can’t lose your insurance because you get sick.


It’s a national security issue. Obama and the Democrats have made us more safe.

January 29, 2010

Obama Visits House Republican Retreat – Ruins Their Vacation

by Ben Hoffman

As promised in his State of the Union Address, President Obama met with House Republicans for a question and answer session. The Republicans used all their talking points and lies and Obama knocked them down, one by one. Even after a year of dealing with the skunks, Obama still has hope that everyone can work together in peace and harmony. What he doesn’t realize is that right-wingers have nothing to offer but fear and hatred, so they’re not going to try to work with Democrats on anything.

Anyway, here’s the video… (The audio gets better after a minute or two)

President Obama Full Q&A

January 27, 2010

Obama’s First Year As President

by Ben Hoffman

Barack Obama took office during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. He got off to a good start in February when he signed the $787 billion stimulus bill. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has created or saved 800,000 to 2.4 million jobs. This is probably his greatest accomplishment so far.

In March, he signed into law major changes to the credit card industry, but we’re still not back to where we were before deregulation by the Bush administration.

He eliminated some wasteful spending, such as the F-22 Raptor program. He signed some equal rights protection bills, expanded SCHIP, protected wilderness areas, and improved transparency in government. He also eased restrictions on federal money for embryonic stem cell research.

But he could have done a lot more. Where is the major reform of the banking industry? Where is the trust busting? Why is Geithner still head of the Treasury? Where are the tax increases on billionaires to bring down the deficit? And where are the prosecutions of the Bush crime family?

As Shakespeare wrote: “Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them”.

Obama had the opportunity for greatness, but instead he chose the path of least resistance. What that got him was venom from the right-wing and disillusionment from the left. Few people are happy with Obama, but it’s not too late for him to be the real progressive we voted for.

We’ll see what he has to say about it this evening in his State of the Union address.

January 26, 2010

Obama: “I’d rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president”

by Ben Hoffman

Barack Obama told ABC’s World News anchor Diane Sawyer that he’d “rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president.” Source

Let’s take a look at Obama’s first year accomplishments.

After some two trillion dollars in bailouts including the 700 billion dollar TARP giveaway, there has yet to be any real banking regulation put in place to prevent another collapse. Obama should have immediately pushed for the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act, which was repealed in the late 90s. Its repeal allowed banks to become high-stakes gamblers.

There were numerous laws broken by the Bush administration, yet there has been no action taken. Obama claimed he didn’t want to look back. Well, we are a country of laws and criminals need to be prosecuted.

The push to get the costs of health insurance reform down was a noble cause, but the current bill being considered will do little to reduce costs and is really just a giant giveaway to the insurance industry. All the work trying to get a few Republicans on board was a waste of time and ruined any chance for real reform. Republicans have no desire to reform the health insurance industry. Their only objective is to bring down the Obama administration, just like they did with Clinton.

The “too big to fail” corporations that were bailed out have gotten even bigger. They are reaping record profits while the rest of the country suffers. There needs to be some trust busting going on to break up these banking giants.

There has yet to be any election reform, which is desperately needed to assure honest elections. Now, with the recent SCOTUS right-wing activist judges’ ruling, our democracy is in even greater peril.

And where’s the leadership we thought we were getting? The general public responds to rhetoric. Ronald Reagan was one of our worst presidents, but because of his powerful speaking skills, people consider him to be a great president. He was a horrible president but a great orator.

So far, Obama has been a very mediocre president. I guess he’s shooting for a second term.

January 14, 2010

Barack “The Rock” Obama Tells Banks: “We Want Our Money Back”

by Ben Hoffman

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama told banks Thursday they should pay a new tax to recoup the cost of bailing out foundering firms at the height of the financial crisis. “We want our money back,” he said.

In a brief appearance with advisers at the White House, Obama branded the latest round of bank bonuses as “obscene.” But he said his goal was to prevent such excesses in the future, not to punish banks for past behavior.

The tax, which would require congressional approval, would last at least 10 years and generate about $90 billion over the decade, according to administration estimates. “If these companies are in good enough shape to afford massive bonuses, they are surely in good enough shape to afford paying back every penny to taxpayers,” Obama said.


Of course, right-wingers will be outraged that capitalism isn’t allowed to reign free and Republicans will vote against it because they vote against all tax increases. Some two trillion dollars has been spent by our government over the past few years to help out the banking sector. This is only $90 billion. There needs to be far more tax increases to recoup our money. Glass-Steagall needs to be reinstated. Commodity trading needs to be re-regulated.

January 13, 2010

Obama Wants $708 Billion For Bush’s Wars Next Year

by Ben Hoffman

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will ask Congress for an additional $33 billion to fight unpopular wars in Afghanistan and Iraq on top of a record $708 billion for the Defense Department next year, The Associated Press has learned — a request that could be an especially hard sell to some of the administration’s Democratic allies.

The extra $33 billion in 2010 would mostly go toward the expansion of the war in Afghanistan. Obama ordered an extra 30,000 troops for that war as part of an overhaul of the war strategy late last year.

$708 billion comes out to $2,329 per person in the United States. Think about if the wars weren’t being paid for on credit but instead we had to ante up the money every year. We would have been out of there a long time ago.

April 25, 2009

Obama tells GOP to get f*cked

by Ben Hoffman

Republicans had their chance for bipartisanship and showed that partisan politics is more important than the country. Zero votes in the House for the stimulus bill and only three in the Senate has it’s repercussions. Obama basically told them to get f*cked:

A major overhaul of the health care system, he told the Republican leadership, would be done using a legislative process known as reconciliation, meaning that the GOP won’t be able to filibuster it.

Congress has until October 15 to pass health care or student lending reform under the normal process. If it doesn’t, reconciliation can be used to eliminate the 60-vote requirement.