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Tue Apr 30, 2013, 12:13 AM

Liberals Only: Rate President Obama's Job Performance

The DNC, DCCC, DSCC, and OFA have teamed up, at great expense (paid for by that patriotic American, Pete Peterson) to bring you this poll to prove we want to hear from our Liberal friends, too.

So how's the president doing?
34 votes, 5 passes | Time left: Unlimited
He\'s done a poor job for bankers.
1 (3%)
He\'s done a so-so job for bankers.
2 (6%)
He\'s done a good job for bankers.
0 (0%)
He\'s done a fantastic job for bankers.
13 (38%)
The best President that a banker could conceive of.
18 (53%)
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Disclaimer: This is an Internet poll

38 replies, 2540 views

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Arrow 38 replies Author Time Post
Reply Liberals Only: Rate President Obama's Job Performance (Original post)
MannyGoldstein Apr 2013 OP
nadinbrzezinski Apr 2013 #1
magellan Apr 2013 #2
MannyGoldstein Apr 2013 #8
magellan Apr 2013 #19
mick063 Apr 2013 #3
gcomeau Apr 2013 #4
scheming daemons Apr 2013 #17
SpartanDem Apr 2013 #5
Number23 Apr 2013 #6
MannyGoldstein Apr 2013 #13
Number23 Apr 2013 #36
Electric Monk Apr 2013 #7
lunatica Apr 2013 #9
FSogol Apr 2013 #25
JoePhilly Apr 2013 #10
Ruby the Liberal Apr 2013 #11
duffyduff Apr 2013 #24
dembotoz Apr 2013 #12
duffyduff Apr 2013 #26
Nye Bevan Apr 2013 #14
Fumesucker Apr 2013 #15
NCTraveler Apr 2013 #16
ProSense Apr 2013 #18
Benton D Struckcheon Apr 2013 #20
zipplewrath Apr 2013 #29
Benton D Struckcheon Apr 2013 #21
MannyGoldstein Apr 2013 #22
Benton D Struckcheon Apr 2013 #32
Demo_Chris Apr 2013 #23
duffyduff Apr 2013 #30
devilgrrl Apr 2013 #27
Buzz Clik Apr 2013 #28
Smarmie Doofus Apr 2013 #31
Indykatie Apr 2013 #33
Tarheel_Dem Apr 2013 #35
Tarheel_Dem Apr 2013 #34
patrice May 2013 #38
patrice May 2013 #37

Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Tue Apr 30, 2013, 12:23 AM

1. You know, like a few unions, the best owners could hope for

The more I read on that the deeper the crisis

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Tue Apr 30, 2013, 12:25 AM

2. How are you defining liberal here?

Just so I know if I should vote.

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Response to magellan (Reply #2)

Tue Apr 30, 2013, 07:23 AM

8. Do you think that old people shouldn't be allowed to starve or freeze?

Or that the wealthiest should pay taxes at the same rate or higher than what others pay?

Then you, my friend, are a card carrying Liberal.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #8)

Tue Apr 30, 2013, 10:34 AM

19. Excellent. n/t

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Tue Apr 30, 2013, 01:21 AM

3. The narrow range of choices is spot on.

 

Let the concerned party faithful cry foul over it. I could care less.

We got sold down the road by Reagan lite and his spineless Attorney General.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Tue Apr 30, 2013, 02:03 AM

4. Oh joy, another leading juvenile poll

...with every question slanted to reinforce the same message the author wants to send.

Those NEVER get old...

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #4)

Tue Apr 30, 2013, 10:01 AM

17. That's all we get from this OP any more



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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)


Response to SpartanDem (Reply #5)

Tue Apr 30, 2013, 03:24 AM

6. + a million. Hope his dwindling fans are taking notice

Not that they've ever been a particularly discerning group in the first place...

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Response to Number23 (Reply #6)

Tue Apr 30, 2013, 09:29 AM

13. He is a bitter dead-ender, and increasingly irrelevant.

And don't get me started on his sock puppet followers...

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #13)

Tue Apr 30, 2013, 09:07 PM

36. They are legion. Yes, everyone knows. Absolutely LEGION

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Tue Apr 30, 2013, 07:25 AM

9. You couldn't be more biased if you were a Tea Party Republican

unrec

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Response to lunatica (Reply #9)

Tue Apr 30, 2013, 03:44 PM

25. Agreed. Unrec. n/t

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Tue Apr 30, 2013, 07:38 AM

11. A Republican wouldn't have gotten away with what we have allowed

the banks to do.

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Response to Ruby the Liberal (Reply #11)

Tue Apr 30, 2013, 03:44 PM

24. Nobody with an "R" after his or her name could have EVER gotten away with what Obama has pulled

with regard to all kinds of things including trying to scrap the New Deal and Great Society, and actually trying to destroy public education in this country.

People, that's a very, very terrible legacy to leave.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Tue Apr 30, 2013, 09:28 AM

12. at best a rockerfeller republican

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Response to dembotoz (Reply #12)

Tue Apr 30, 2013, 03:45 PM

26. Rockefeller as in Nelson was a liberal Republican and a good one

though few people remember how good he was, except perhaps in bed.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Tue Apr 30, 2013, 09:48 AM

14. Under President Obama, the top rate of tax on interest income has increased by 8.4%,

the top rate of tax on capital gains has increased by 8.8%, and the top rate of tax on earned income has increased by 4.6%.

Many of the rich bankers coughing up these higher taxes would probably see room for improvement.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #14)

Tue Apr 30, 2013, 09:53 AM

15. But then there's this

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Tue Apr 30, 2013, 09:59 AM

16. The answer is dependant on the definition of banker.

Are you talking BofA, Wells Fargo, Chase... or are you talking the small community banks. You know, the ones familiar with the community they operate in and are dependent on the vitality of that community. They are also "bankers".

For one this administration has been very helpful...the other, not so much.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Tue Apr 30, 2013, 10:07 AM

18. Well, he did

remove banks from the student loan process, something Republicans tried to repeal.

Senate Republicans Unanimously Support Repeal of Student Loan Reform Law

By Josh Israel

All 45 Senate Republicans voted Friday for a budget amendment that endorsed the repeal of both Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. While Congressional Republicans attempting to repeal Obamacare is nothing new — this marks the 39th repeal attempt — this proposal also aimed to repeal the student loan reform and Pell Grant expansions that were enacted at the same time.

All 54 Senate Democrats present successfully voted to defeat the amendment, offered by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). If passed, it would have put the Senate on record in support of a repeal of provisions that moved student loans from commercial banks to direct lending from the U.S. Education Department and:

  • Used half of the the estimated $61 billion in savings to increase the maximum annual Pell Grant scholarship to $5,550 in 2010 and to $5,975 by 2017, while indexing the grants to inflation.

  • Lowered monthly payments on federal student loans and shortened the debt forgiveness timeline. For new loans after 2014, this will mean graduates will have to pay 10 percent of disposable income, instead of 15.

  • Provided $2.55 billion to support historically black colleges and universities and minority-serving institutions; $2 billion for community colleges; and $750 million for a college access and completion program for students.
Such a repeal would have meant a return to larger payments, smaller Pell Grants, and reduced support colleges and universities while putting billions of dollars back in the coffers of Wall Street banks. But in his floor speech explaining the amendment, Cruz told his colleagues only that his proposal was about defunding and repealing Obamacare, making no mention of the billions of dollars he would take from higher education to give back to for-profit banks.

Though every Congressional Republican voted against the health care and student loan reforms, House Republicans specifically exempted the student loan reform provisions from previous repeal attempts, though they have repeatedly slammed the reform as a “Washington takeover” of the student loan industry.

- more -

http://thinkprogress.org/education/2013/03/22/1762921/senate-republicans-unanimously-support-repeal-of-student-loan-reform-law/


And he did implement the CFPB:

Reed, Brown, Warren Demand an Up or Down Vote on CFPB Director

Senators say efforts to prevent a vote on CFPB Director imperils consumers and undermines our economy

WASHINGTON, DC – In an effort to protect consumers and crack down on financial fraud and abuse, U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) today called on Republicans to end unprecedented obstruction and allow an up or down vote on Richard Cordray’s nomination to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Reed, Brown, and Warren, who are members of the Banking Committee, said that confirming a CFPB director will help consumers and strengthen our financial marketplace.

Congress created the CFPB in 2010 to help ensure the financial products and services that Americans depend on every day —including credit cards, mortgages, and loans—work better for the people who use them. But in an effort to limit the effectiveness of the consumer watchdog, a sufficient number of Senate Republicans have stalled the confirmation of the CFPB’s director, former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray. Earlier this month, 43 Republican Senators sent a letter protesting the CFPB’s independence and vowing to oppose any nominee to lead the consumer protection agency.

“Every year, hard-working American families lose millions of dollars to deceptive financial practices like hidden fees and predatory lending. The CFPB is there to help keep families from getting scammed. They are shining a spotlight on predatory loan practices and products -- bringing them into the light, where they can be seen and stopped. We must not let opponents of Wall Street reform turn back the clock on consumer protection. Instead of preventing the CFPB from doing its job, opponents of the agency should take an up or down vote. A well-regulated marketplace is good for the economy. It improves consumer and business confidence and ensures fair competition,” said Senator Reed.

“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau stands up for average Americans,” Senator Brown said. “And yet, Wall Street special interests and their allies in Congress have repeatedly refused to approve anyone to serve as the Director unless the agency’s authority is watered down. The American people are fed up with the obstructionism in Washington. We need to protect this agency that protects American families.”

“Under the leadership of Director Cordray, the CFPB has been making a real difference for hard working families everywhere. After two years, it is time for the Senate to give Rich Cordray a vote--up or down--and remove the uncertainty that is costly to families, to community banks and credit unions, and to everyone in financial services.” said Senator Warren. “Political stalemates don’t end in more government or less government, but in bad government - government that lacks the clarity and predictability that our businesses need to plan for the future, to serve their customers, and to create jobs.”

Since the CFPB opened for business in 2011, it has helped hold financial institutions accountable for mistreating consumers and worked in coordination with our federal regulators to return roughly $425 million to consumers’ pockets. The agency’s Consumer Response center has already heard from more than 100,000 consumers with their individual problems related to their credit cards, mortgages, student loans, and bank accounts.

http://www.warren.senate.gov/record.cfm?id=339671


He did give the FDIC more powers.

Public Citizen, a public interest nonprofit organization representing more than 250,000 members and supporters nationwide, hereby petitions the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Board”) and the Financial Stability Oversight Council (the “Council”) to recognize that the Bank of America Corporation (“Bank of America” or “the bank”) poses a “grave threat” to the stability of the United States financial system and to mitigate that threat, as provided by section 121 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act” or the “Act”). 1 Pursuant to the authority in the Act, the Board and the Council should reform Bank of America into one or more institutions that are smaller, less interconnected, less complex, more manageable and, as a result, less systemically dangerous.

Under section 121 of the Dodd-Frank Act, if the Board determines that a financial institution poses a “grave threat” to U.S. financial stability, then the Board, with approval from the Council, “shall” mitigate that threat.2 The Act offers regulators the flexibility to take a range of actions, including limiting the institution’s mergers and acquisitions, restricting or imposing conditions on its products or activities, or ordering it to divest assets or off-balance sheet items.

- more -

http://www.citizen.org/documents/Public-Citizen-Bank-of-America-Petition.pdf


Orderly Liquidation Fund

To the extent that the Act expanded the scope of financial firms that may be liquidated by the federal government, beyond the existing authorities of the FDIC and SIPC, there needed to be an additional source of funds, independent of the FDIC's Deposit Insurance Fund, to be used in case of a non-bank or non-security financial company's liquidation. The Orderly Liquidation Fund is to be an FDIC-managed fund, to be used by the FDIC in the event of a covered financial company's liquidation that is not covered by FDIC or SIPC.

Initially, the Fund is to be capitalized over a period no shorter than five years, but no longer than ten; however, in the event the FDIC must make use of the Fund before it is fully capitalized, the Secretary of the Treasury and the FDIC are permitted to extend the period as determined necessary. The method of capitalization is by collecting risk-based assessment fees on any "eligible financial company" – which is defined as " any bank holding company with total consolidated assets equal to or greater than $50 billion and any nonbank financial company supervised by the Board of Governors." The severity of the assessment fees can be adjusted on an as-needed basis (depending on economic conditions and other similar factors) and the relative size and value of a firm is to play a role in determining the fees to be assessed. The eligibility of a financial company to be subject to the fees is periodically reevaluated; or, in other words, a company that does not qualify for fees in the present, will be subject to the fees in the future if they cross the 50 billion line, or become subject to Federal Reserve scrutiny.

To the extent that a covered financial company has a negative net worth and its liquidation creates an obligation to the FDIC as its liquidator, the FDIC shall charge one or more risk-based assessment such that the obligation will be paid off within 60 months (5 years) of the issuance of the obligation. The assessments will be charged to any bank holding company with consolidated assets greater than $50 billion and any nonbank financial company supervised by the Federal Reserve. Under certain conditions, the assessment may be extended to regulated banks and other financial institutions. Assessments are imposed on a graduated basis, with financial companies having greater assets and risk being assessed at a higher rate.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodd%E2%80%93Frank_Wall_Street_Reform_and_Consumer_Protection_Act#Title_II_.E2.80.93_Orderly_Liquidation_Authority


And just think about the implications of implementing the Volcker Rule, signed into law by this President.

Occupy the SEC Sues Fed, SEC, OCC, CFTC, FDIC, Treasury Due To Failure To Implement Volcker Rule

by bobswern

Just a few days plus a year after approximately 100 supporters of the former Occupy Wall Street (“OWS”) working group, the now-autonomous Occupy the SEC (“OSEC”), peacefully marched on Wall Street carrying signs stating, “We don’t make demands so this is a suggestion: Enforce the Volcker Rule,” we’re now learning via a concise and inspiring post by Naked Capitalism Publisher Yves Smith that “Occupy the SEC, Frustrated With Regulatory Defiance of Volcker Rule Implementation Requirements, Sues Fed, SEC, CFTC, FDIC and Treasury.”

First, here’s the link to Wednesday’s story, directly from the OSEC blog: “Occupy the SEC Sues Federal Reserve, SEC, CFTC, OCC, FDIC and U.S. Treasury Over Volcker Rule Delays.”

Occupy the SEC (OSEC) has filed a lawsuit in the Eastern District of New York against six federal agencies, over those agencies’ delay in promulgating a Final Rulemaking in connection with the “Volcker Rule” (Section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010).

Congress passed the Volcker Rule in July 2010 in order to re-orient deposit-taking banks towards safe, traditional activities (like offering checking accounts and loans to individuals and businesses), and away from the speculative “proprietary” trading that has imperiled deposited funds as well as the global economy at large in recent years. Simply put, the Volcker Rule seeks to limit the ability of banks to gamble with the average person’s checking account, or with public money offered by the Federal Reserve.

Almost three years since the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act, these agencies have yet to finalize regulations implementing the Volcker Rule. Section 619(b)(2)(A) of the Dodd-Frank Act set a mandatory deadline for the finalization of the Volcker regulations. That deadline passed over a year. Despite this fact, the federal agencies charged with finalizing the Rule have yet to do so. In fact, senior officials at the agencies have indicated that they do not intend to finalize the Volcker Rule anytime soon.

The longer the agencies delay in finalizing the Rule, the longer that banks can continue to gamble with depositors’ money and virtually interest-free loans from the Federal Reserve’s discount window. The financial crisis of 2008 has taught us that the global economy can no longer tolerate such unrestrained speculative activity. Consequently, OSEC has filed a lawsuit against the agencies, seeking declaratory, injunctive and mandamus relief in the form of a court order compelling them to finalize the Volcker Rule within a timeframe specified by the court…
- more -

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/02/28/1190410/-Occupy-the-SEC-Sues-Fed-SEC-OCC-CFTC-FDIC-Treasury-Due-To-Failure-To-Implement-Volcker-Rule


Wall Street reform was a huge achievement, but while its implementation is being ignored by supporters, its opponents are doing everything in their power to delay it.

Anyone paying attention saw this coming in 2011.

Report: Wall Street’s Opposition to Dodd-Frank Reforms Echoes Its Resistance to New Deal Financial Safeguards

Bedrock Consumer Protections Once Were Flogged as ‘Exceedingly Dangerous,’ ‘Monstrous Systems’ That Would ‘Cripple’ the Economy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the nation approaches the first anniversary of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, opponents are claiming that the new measure is extraordinarily damaging, especially to Main Street. But industry’s alarmist rhetoric bears striking resemblance to the last time it faced sweeping new safeguards: during the New Deal reforms. The parallels between the language used both then and now are detailed in a report released today by Public Citizen and the Cry Wolf Project.

In the decades since the Great Depression, Americans acknowledged the necessity of having safeguards in place to prevent another crash of the financial markets, including the creation of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and laws requiring public companies to accurately disclose their financial affairs. Although these are now seen as bedrock protections when they were first introduced, Wall Street cried foul, the new report, “Industry Repeats Itself: The Financial Reform Fight,” found.

“The business community’s wildly inaccurate forecasts about the New Deal reforms devalue the credibility of the ominous predictions they are making today,” said Taylor Lincoln, research director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division and author of the report. “If history comes close to repeating itself, industry is going to look very silly for its hand-wringing over Dodd-Frank when people look back.”


<...>

In fact, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is designed to prevent another Wall Street crash, which really made it tough on everyone by causing massive job loss and severely hurting corner butchers and bakers, as well as retirees, families with mortgages and others. The Dodd-Frank law increases transparency (particularly in derivatives markets); creates a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to ensure that consumers receive straightforward information about financial products and to police abusive practices; improves corporate governance; increases capital requirements for banks; deters particularly large financial institutions from providing incentives for employees to take undue risks; and gives the government the ability to take failed investment institutions into receivership, similar to the FDIC’s authority regarding commercial banks. Much of it has yet to be implemented.

- more -

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2011/07/12-0




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Response to ProSense (Reply #18)

Tue Apr 30, 2013, 10:42 AM

20. Simon Johnson, a very astute observer of the megabanks,

figured that power for mitigating risks given to the FDIC was a way of forcing their breakup. Enforcement, as always, is all important, though.
Brown-Vitter is more explicit on this, as its increased capital requirements would make being a megabank uneconomical, which would put huge pressure on them to break themselves up voluntarily. A very clever bill in every way. It would be good if it passed.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #18)

Tue Apr 30, 2013, 03:47 PM

29. Which is Why I didn't vote for "best they could hope for"

All he did was protect their bonuses and to make them healthy, not to mention protect them for their criminal behavior on foreclosures. But they didn't get EVERYTHING they wanted.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Tue Apr 30, 2013, 10:59 AM

21. To reply explicitly to the premise of this thread,

the big banks are groaning under a massive full-court press of regulators who are on them all the time now to report, among other things, their immediate liquidity, that is, how much money they have available to answer depositors' immediate claims. For a huge global bank, this is a lot harder than it sounds.
Up until now they've been able to fudge the numbers by reducing their loan loss reserves, which gooses their profits. But that's artificial. They have large added costs due to already stricter capital requirements, they have to justify, via annual stress tests, how much they pay in dividends to their shareholders, they have to produce a living will that details how they can be wound up if they fail; the list of things they now have to track in order to satisfy the regulators is very long. Sooner or later those added costs will weigh, and that alone may force them to break up just to get rid of the added costs unique to being a megabank.

Obama didn't do anything as elegant as FDR's fix, which was Glass-Steagall, but what he's done doesn't qualify as a gift to the banks either.

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Response to Benton D Struckcheon (Reply #21)

Tue Apr 30, 2013, 03:24 PM

22. Didn't Holder say he can't really hold big banks responsible?

Didn't Sen. Warren make the same point?

Last year, didn't BoA move its derivatives into its depository arm, so if they implode the FDIC is on the hook?

Aren't we still making free loans en masse to the bankers?

Sounds like it's good to be a banker right now, but perhaps I'm looking at the wrong indicators.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #22)

Tue Apr 30, 2013, 03:53 PM

32. Yes, but you could have made all those points in 2008 too.

Which I know is your point: things haven't really changed. But life as a megabank is a lot tougher now than it was in 2008. They're trying hard not to show how hard it is to their shareholders, but the truth will come out sooner or later. Once it does, there will be a lot of pressure applied to break up. If Brown-Vitter passes, that pressure will become extreme.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)


Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #23)

Tue Apr 30, 2013, 03:47 PM

30. Too bad we can't recall him

We just have to hope he doesn't destroy SS, Medicare, Medicaid, and we have to halt his and Duncan's war on public education.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)


Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Tue Apr 30, 2013, 03:46 PM

28. meh. Where's the trash can icon...

Ah. There.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Tue Apr 30, 2013, 03:52 PM

31. I don't like the choices but I don't like this presidency, either.

Yes... he's marginally better than what's available on the other side on many issues but I'd oppose him for a third term were that still possible.

And I'd likely vote for the Left third party if he were nominated again by the DEMs.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Tue Apr 30, 2013, 04:15 PM

33. How Many of Manny's 20,000+ Posts Have Been for This Kind of Crap?

Obama is in good shape with liberals as evidenced by real polls which I'm sure irritates Manny and a few others at DU.

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Response to Indykatie (Reply #33)

Tue Apr 30, 2013, 04:24 PM

35. Manny can't accept that DU doesn't represent the Democratic Party, or the progressive left......



"About a year ago, 74% of liberals approved of Obama's job. Now it's 80%. (92% for liberal Democrats)"

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=2759454

http://www.gallup.com/poll/124922/Presidential-Approval-Center.aspx

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Tue Apr 30, 2013, 04:17 PM

34. Oh lookie, a Manny pushpoll. I'm shocked! Shocked, I say!



To all lurking freepers, and third party asshats (Nader, Stein, et al) who keep trying to divide & conquer, keep in mind that this is DU, where Kooch routinely wins these fake purist popularity polls, and that should tell you everything you need to know about the new DU. There's a reason why it's still "Underground", it operates on the margins of the leftosphere. Most Democrats left here a long time ago.

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Response to Tarheel_Dem (Reply #34)

Wed May 1, 2013, 12:08 PM

38. Well put, "marginal". nt

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 11:30 AM

37. There are over 300 million people in this country. There are how many liberals?

He is the Liberals' president too.

The REAL questions are about how to make that work for liberal goals*. That seems to me to be more about Liberals and their goals and how Liberal identity and goals are articulated in a way that produces progress toward those goals.

.........................

*Which are what, btw? Yes, I know something about the answer to that question, but I'm asking for those (what??) 280 million people who are not Liberals (depending upon how we define Liberal in terms of concrete deliverables) and who would be affected by _______________________ (???) whatever it is that Liberals would do if they somehow managed to elect a liberal president.


I think polling about job performance that includes nothing of the HOW, except banks, is pretty meaningless. People can answer the same way for entirely different reasons, opposite reasons even. Maybe the problem here is that this is, as always, way more about President Obama than it should be, TOO AUTHORITY FOCUSED, TOO REACTIONARY, too top-down, than it is about Liberals themselves: who they are? what are their behaviors that construct liberalism? liberal process/hows?, liberal outcomes?

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