Obama’s approval rating is 43%, with disapproval at 55%, worse than any president since Nixon. Congressional approval is way worse, at an abysmal 16%. However, a genuine budget is about to pass for the first time in years and healthcare.gov appears to finally be functioning as it should. So maybe this is a low point for Obama. Or not.
The economy is still mostly dismal and it looks like housing and real estate is set for another tumble. Obama has been relentlessly bailing out Wall Street but has yet to do much for Main Street.
Dear God, healthcare.gov is so stupidly coded it tells you if your user name is invalid, violating basic security precautions. Some security experts say it should be shut down until it’s fixed. If the site gets hacked and data is stolen, results will be catastrophic.
The site lets people know invalid user names when logging in, allowing hackers to identify user IDs, according to the report.
If someone enters an invalid login name or password, the system should say “invalid login” without giving details as to which one was wrong. Why give hackers information they can use, like telling them if a username is valid?
Healthcare.gov has 25x more code than Facebook? Are the contractors paid by the line? This is complete insanity.
The experts said the site needed to be completely rebuilt to run more efficiently, making it easier to protect. They said HealthCare.gov runs on 500 million lines of code, or 25 times the size of Facebook, one of the world’s busiest sites.
Obama is rushing to offer a ‘grand bargain for middle-class jobs.’ He starting ignored the middle class about three seconds after being elected in 2008. The rabble now is getting a bit cranky so he needs to pretend to do something.
And how will Obama create jobs, you ask? Wait for it… By cutting the US corporate tax rate, that’s how! And then spending on infrastructure and education in some vague and unspecified way. Woo-hoo, I can see all that money trickling down to us. Oh wait, maybe’s that a urine stream that’s trickling down. Hmm.
Last week Obama gave a speech at Knox College in Illinois on the economic situation that like his remarks on Trayvon Martin a few days earlier was filled with the number of bromides calculated to give his MSNBC posse just enough to rally around. To give you a sense of the shallowness of it all, he uses the term “folks” 26 times. One supposes that with people like Al Sharpton and Ed Schultz, the only thing that would cause a breach with the President is a Swiftian modest proposal that hungry folks eat their children.
Between the unprecedented seizure of AP phone records and TeaPartyGate, the Obama Administration will be preoccupied for months. Obama’s agenda is dead. For the foreseeable future instead it’ll be damage control and CYA. Of course, CYA is what brought down Nixon.
IRS officials in DC and at least three other offices were involved in the targeting of conservative groups. Confidential documents were sent to news organizations, something which is a firing offense at the IRS. What were they doing with the information and who told them to do it? The IRS is tasked with being completely non-partisan and non-political. Not only is this an egregious breaking of IRS rules, if defies logic to think they did this solely on their own.
The IRS cover-up so far has been remarkably inept. This will only make things worse as the lies are uncovered. The mass seizure of journalist phone records is something even Nixon didn’t try doing.
A limited hangout, or partial hangout, is a public relations or propaganda technique that involves the release of previously hidden information in order to prevent a greater exposure of more important details. It takes the form of deception, misdirection, or coverup often associated with intelligence agencies involving a release or “mea culpa” type of confession of only part of a set of previously hidden sensitive information, that establishes credibility for the one releasing the information who by the very act of confession appears to be “coming clean” and acting with integrity; but in actuality, by withholding key facts, is protecting a deeper operation.
WaPo quotes the usual anonymous sources saying Obama Administration is ready to supply arms directly to the rebels in Syria rather than through intermediaries. The next step will be “advisers” on the ground and sooner rather than later another botched invasion by the US will occur and we will have a war with Syria. Inquiring minds ask, what will the goal and the exit strategy be? Probably about the same as in our previous adventures in the Middle East, in other words the US will go charging into a quagmire, assuming its exceptionalism will save the day. This strategy worked so well in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, didn’t it?
Had we actually wanted to help the rebels, we would have done so months ago. But we don’t. I’m suspecting what the US really wants is a badly weakened Syria it can turn into a vassal country. Do you think the rebels will allow that? The people of Syria desperately need help but I’m not seeing how starting a war will help them much.
The current lurching fitfully towards war because Obama drew a red line over chemical weapons and now we must go to war to defend our honor and Obama’s word is lunatic. The Pentagon opposes this adventurism. But the war pigs and corporatists are bound and determined to have themselves another jolly little war. Hey, it’s not their kids who will be killed or maimed.
“Upward trajectory” is a frightening phrase, passing beyond “momentum” and into the territory of mission creep. The Obama administration has moved into a phase of deliberately looking for ‘provocation and response’ which will justify piecemeal escalation towards war.
Apparently it’s just a-ok with many Democrats if a president ignores laws and kills US citizens without a trial as long as that president is a Democrat. These would be the same compromised poodles who stopped going to antiwar protests when it became apparent that Obama would be elected in 2008. They weren’t antiwar at all, just anti-Bush and now cheerfully support what they opposed when Bush did it.
When I saw Bob’s post about Christopher Dorner and read his manifesto, I had this sudden sense of data vu — and then it hit me. Dorner copied his explanation from the one Obama made secretly just a few weeks ago, explaining his drone program!
Here’s the President’s original, eerily similar:
I know most of you who personally know me are in disbelief to hear from media reports that I am suspected of committing such horrendous murders and have taken drastic and shocking actions in the last couple of years. You are saying to yourself that this is completely out of character of the man you knew who always wore a smile wherever he was seen.
I know I will be vilified by the Republicans and the media. Unfortunately, this is a necessary evil that I do not enjoy but must partake and complete for substantial change to occur in the war on terrorism. Al Qaeda has not changed since 9/11. It has gotten worse. We never should have slacked off in Afghanistan, or been side-tracked into Iraq. The only thing that has evolved from those decisions is the people who attacked us have been promoted and rewarded….
Lordy, here we go again. Liberals including Krugman think that Obama just needs to be persuaded to do The Right Thing – that he has bad advisers, needs to stiffen his spine, put back on that Liberalman cape he somehow left in the closet, then swoop in and smite the Republicans.
Gosh, that’s makes a nice fairy tale, doesn’t it? Lots of otherwise smart and sensible people believe it.
Let’s face it, to go by 2009 and the debt ceiling brouhaha, Obama is one fucking shitty negotiator. Unless there is tons of public pressure put on him to do the right thing, I fear he’ll cave in to the Republicans on raising the retirement age, only modestly raising taxes on the rich and cutting social safety nets. Don’t trust Obama, put lots and lots of pressure on him.
First off, Obama is a highly skilled negotiator. He’s shown that many times with his pretend financial reform, by resolutely claiming the right to kill whomever he wants without bothering with Congress, and by refusing to enforce Rule of Law against the banks while mouthing platitudes about reform. He out-negotiated lots of people on these issues. Second, Obama can not cave in to the Republicans because he already essentially agrees with them. All those nasty “entitlements” need to be slashed and the middle class needs a strong dose of Castor Oil austerity. It will taste yucky but the results are guaranteed says Tim Geithner, and he wouldn’t fib to us, would he? Oh wait, Geithner was one of the main architects of the financial disaster and Obama hired him to fix it (when he should have indicted him instead.)
Anyone who thinks Obama will be persuaded by the pleas of liberals to save social safety nets is in denial. Ain’t going to happen.
He also traces Obama’s docility and compliance to corporate power back to the early 1990’s when he and Michelle were both disbarred. North believes there is a smoking gun there. (Update: Snopes says they weren’t) Could be, but elsewhere he says what I think is the core of Obama’s rise to power.
The Obamas were both social climbers from early in their lives. They are good, old-fashioned liberals, and they learned a crucial social skill as teenagers: how to work white academic liberals’ racial guilt.
As for the future:
The key to understanding the next four years of Obama is his desire to get a lifetime of speaking engagements at $100,000 each. He is a professional politician. If he does not go beyond what his handlers demand, he is set for life.