Town Square

Post a New Topic

Looks like the Obama glow is wearing off

Original post made by Arnie, Del Prado, on Sep 24, 2009

Interesting piece by Associated Press about the presidency of Obama being at a potential crossroads.

Web Link

Comments (16)

Like this comment
Posted by Arnie
a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 24, 2009 at 7:49 pm

Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 24, 2009 at 8:16 pm

Well I'm sure the conviction of one of his fundraisers (Nazamee) isn't helping much. Democrats....Republicans...they're all crooks.

Like this comment
Posted by what accomplishments?
a resident of Danville
on Sep 24, 2009 at 8:31 pm

Thank you for the article link, however I disagree with the AP author who said that Obama has had a number of accomplishments, including the "Stimulus Package."

Say WHAT? Dear Mr. AP Author, you measure accomplishments by outcomes. Yes, there was "effort" at passing the Stimulus Package...but what has it "Stimulated"? Nothing...except bigger government. There have also been studies that conclude the economy would have rebounded faster without any stimulus package, as well.

Yes, Obama HAS accomplished a great deal of destruction of our economy, our national defense, our freedoms.

He is showing his true colors now...and they are not red, white and blue.

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Sep 24, 2009 at 9:00 pm

PRESIDENT OBAMA is still a star in my eyes. Nothing you say will change my mind.
All the negative article that posted mean nada to me. Sorry!

Where on your body are yo red, white and blue?

Like this comment
Posted by Stay Cool
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 24, 2009 at 9:10 pm

Especially when they are saying nothing of consequence. "...destruction of our economy, national defense, and freedoms?"
Um, O.K.
Life is good in the R.B.C. You should think about joining it sometime soon.

Like this comment
Posted by Patriot Liberal
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 24, 2009 at 9:11 pm

What in GODS name are YOU talking about?

"Yes, Obama HAS accomplished a great deal of destruction of our economy, our national defense, our freedoms."

Like this comment
Posted by poster boy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 24, 2009 at 9:14 pm

So the point of this AP "Analysis" (aka, hit piece) is that Obama hasn't fixed the world yet. I mean, my god, he's had 9 months. What is he waiting for? "Obama has had successes, a fairly long list, actually, for a relatively short time in office....But none of his victories has been big-time enough to create game-changing momentum." I don't even know what that means...what is "game-changing momentum"...would that be another 9/11 or another hurricane katrina? If things don't change RIGHT NOW then you're a failure...nice analysis. "Obama doesn't fix world, is failure"

In response to "what accomplishments" post...if you honestly believe that doing nothing would've resulted in greater economic growth then I have a book on Herbert Hoover you should read. Or maybe call a few currently-employed GM workers who'd be out of a job right now had Obama not intervened. Or maybe talk to some of the 1.5 million - 2 million additional people who WOULD HAVE lost their jobs had obama not intervened. Between the federal reserve and the stimulus package, more than 23 Trillion (with a T) dollars was pumped into the economy to keep it afloat. If you think that was trivial or a waste of money that's one thing, but if you think you could have NOT pumped that much money in and everything would've been fine then I don't even know if it's worth arguing with you cuz it'd be like arguing that the world isn't flat. We came within a few hours of all of us going to the ATM and finding that we can't withdraw any money. This is no exaggeration. Had the fed not intervened last year at this time and guaranteed the return of money market funds (which for the first time in history were returning less than $1.00 per every dollar put in), then there would've been a run on the banks that would've made your head spin. Millions of investors worldwide would've cashed in those money market funds for cash, the banks and investment firms would've been forced to sell off assets to cover the demand for cash, this would've flooded the stock market and bond markets with sell orders and you would've seen the stock market drop 8k pts in 1 day. Had the fed not stepped in with that cash infusion and put a stop to the panic, we'd be looking at a much different world now.
It's easy a year later to say things weren't as bad as advertised or that Obama is taking advantage of the situation to turn as all into socialists, but it's also ignoring reality.

As for the destruction to our national defense, not sure how he pulled that one off so quickly. After all, it took bush all of 8 years to drive our military into the ground, with under-equipped troops sent into a mission they weren't trained for to fight an enemy that wasn't a threat to our country. It wasn't obama that drove our military to a near breaking point, with stop-loss policies the only thing standing in the way of a complete meltdown of the military, not to mention an underfunded VA that short-changes our wounded troops. But sure, Obama wants to replace a wasteful missile defense system in europe with one that actually works, so he must be weak on defense...he is a democrat after all...a republican would never put our military at risk...

As for our freedoms. I'd like a few examples, make that ONE example of a way in which obama has trampled on our freedoms. Has he instituted a program of roving wiretaps that don't require a warrant? Has he made it legal for the FBI to demand from the public library what books you check out? Has he made it legal for the airline industry to refuse you a ticket because your name matches some fool on a list? Has he made it legal for the government to take you into custody without a need to show cause in front of a court? Oh wait, that was Bush...he's a republican so he's always looking out for our freedoms. The only knock you can give to obama is that he hasn't torn down a lot of these restrictions on our personal freedoms that bush put in place.
Instead of reflexively attacking the policies of the president, at least try to understand the rational behind the decisions. Throwing out catch-phrases like "big government" and citing fictitious studies that claim doing nothing would've been better is not at all helpful.

If you claim obama has caused a great deal of destruction to our economy, national defense, and our freedoms all in a matter of 9 short months, detail these claims. I'd love to be convinced...

Like this comment
Posted by Me Too
a resident of Canyon Creek
on Sep 24, 2009 at 10:32 pm

The problem is that everyone gives way to much credit to a President and way too much blame. We try to push bills through that are so big now that no one can read them. Most of Congress and the Senate have no idea what's even in them. It would be nice if everyone who voted on a bill was required to take a test before voting about what was in the bill. If they did not score an "A" then could not vote.

Obama is trying to force health care down our throats as he himself has stated.

You can argue economy all day and night, but there is no way to prove a universal negative, so we can only see what has happened, not prove what would have happened. If you believe bailing out GM was a good idea, then I can not help you. Great we saved Bobby's job for another year or 2 because its this legacy company. Well, corporation must live and die by making a profit. Just because they stopped making a profit doesn't mean the government should through billions there way. We give billions to the banks and they give executive in ran them into the ground multi-million dollar bonuses. Makes sense to me.

Like this comment
Posted by poster boy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 24, 2009 at 10:50 pm

Me too,

two things: "Obama is trying to force health care down our throats as he himself has stated." If you can find me the quote where Obama is saying "I'm going to force healthcare down your throat" then I'll nominate you for president. Even a paraphrase would do...

In regards to healthcare, the cost of doing nothing will far exceed the cost of any plan that gets passed. Right now the average premium for a family of four is over 13k. If we do nothing, allow the status quo to stay in place, in 10 years that same premium will cost over 28k. Name for me a single company in america that will be willing to pay 28k per employee to provide healthcare to its employees. If putting in a plan to curtail this rate of increase is considered ramming healthcare down our throats, then I'll take it. It seems much better than having millions of employed americans losing their insurance because their companies can't afford to provide it anymore, which will accelerate the increase of costs for everyone...the system will implode. Doing nothing is not an option.

As for bailing out GM, it's true that it might only work for 1 or 2 years and GM will still fold, but making GM give up equity to the government in return for bailout money was a whole lot better than what bush was doing in november and december last year...pumping billions into GM and Chrysler with nothing in return and not require GM or Chrysler to show a plan for a turnaround. Obama basically held GM accountable, said if you truly think you can turn it around then give it a shot, but if you want billions more in government aid, you need to give up your equity stake. If it works you can buy back that stake, the government recoups its investment and the company survives, once again as a privately-run corporation. If it doesn't, you're right, the company dies in a few more years anyway, but at least we didn't flush billions more down the toilet for no reason and without the chance of recouping the investment. GM was hardly a bailout, in that regard. I agree that corporations must make a profit or die, but GM is hardly just some other corporation. If GM goes, all the parts suppliers that supply it go, as well as all the dealers that sell their cars, as well as the mechanics that service them, as well as all the third party shippers and other assorted businesses that support GM, as well as all the food and other service industry that support their employees. This would've ended up being more than a loss of a few hundred thousand GM union jobs...this would've had a devastating cascading ripple through our economy at precisely the time we couldn't afford it. You think 12.2% unemployment rate is bad, then let GM fail and see how you handle 18% unemployment...In the end, the job of the president is to look out for the well-being of the citizens who hired him. The GM takeover might end up not working, but you can't fault obama for at least trying. The alternative would've been much worse.

As for the banks, I agree with you. It shouldn't be allowed to happen that executives that ran those banks into the ground get rewarded for their ineptitude. But I remember a few months ago that when proposals went forward to limit executive pay and bonuses for banks who receive bailout money, the GOP went bonkers, so Obama backed off. I do agree that obama should do more to make these bankers pay for their excesses. Perhaps a targeted windfall profit tax on all banking executives to pay for healthcare? But that wouldn't be fair...

Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 24, 2009 at 10:58 pm

we have bankers shaping the rules for the financial sector and lawyers managing the budget.

Like this comment
Posted by Curious
a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 25, 2009 at 10:19 am

@ poster boy - re: bank bailouts - isn't it also true that some of the banks that received bailout or stimulus funds have REPAYED those loans WITH interest, Goldman-Sachs comes to mind. So in effect, the tax payers loaned the banks money, saved the bank from failing, and then were rewarded with interest on our loan. Sweet! Nice post BTW.

Like this comment
Posted by JimF
a resident of another community
on Sep 25, 2009 at 11:12 am

PB, revising history on Bush again, and Obama at the same time:
"pumping billions into GM and Chrysler with nothing in return and not require GM or Chrysler to show a plan for a turnaround. Obama basically held GM accountable, said if you truly think you can turn it around then give it a shot, but if you want billions more in government aid, you need to give up your equity stake."
Web Link - NY Times, 12/20/08
The plan pumps $13.4 billion by mid-January into the companies ... the two companies have until March 31 to produce a plan for long-term profitability, including concessions from unions, creditors, suppliers and dealers....In Chicago, Mr. Obama embraced the plan...demanding immediate repayment would be enormously difficult to do, unless Mr. Obama chose to drive the two icons of American industrial strength into bankruptcy court during the first 70 days of his administration...he will come under tremendous pressure, including from the U.A.W., which supported his candidacy and helped finance his campaign.

Everyone knows now what happened when Obama came into office
Web Link - msnbc,com 6/1/09

The plan is for the federal government to take a 60 percent ownership stake in the new GM. The Canadian government would take 12.5 percent, with the United Auto Workers getting a 17.5 percent share and unsecured bondholders receiving 10 percent. Existing GM shareholders are expected to be wiped out.

GM layoff data as of 8/3/09
6,000 General Motors Co. blue-collar workers have taken the latest round of early retirement and buyout offers, but it fell short of the company's goal, meaning more layoffs are likely...Sixty-five percent of the workers took early retirement packages, while 35 percent took buyouts...workers were offered $20,000 plus a $25,000 car voucher for early retirement, while skilled trades workers were offered $45,000 plus the voucher, workers with 20 or more years of service were offered buyout packages of $115,000 and the car voucher.

Perhaps the "currently-employed GM worker" who PB thinks we should talk to is his hand-picked Chairman Whitacre, who came out of retirement from his old telco job, no experience with auto industry whatsoever?

Tell me how this is not brazen political payback?

Like this comment
Posted by JimF
a resident of another community
on Sep 25, 2009 at 11:22 am

Responses like "find me the quote" and "Doing nothing is not an option" are diversions from discussing the actual issue, or to use the current phrase, intellectually dishonest.

PB knows very well there are many GOP proposals that have the goal of reducing the cost of health care on the table which do not involve government run health insurance, either via single-payer or the first step towards it, the so-called public option.
As for the quote, you can watch the youtube videos
"I don't think we're going to be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately. There's going to be potentially some transition process.."
Web Link
A single-payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. That's what I’d like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we've got to take back the White House, we've got to take back the Senate, and we've got to take back the House."

Like this comment
Posted by JimF
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 25, 2009 at 11:53 am


You make some solid arguments on your first post. But you missed the point I was making. I wasn't revising history in any way. I was making reference to the first round of bailout payments made to GM/Chrysler/Ford that were bundled into the $700 billion dollar bailout package passed by congress and signed into law by bush in september of 08. That package included $25 billion in loan guarantees to GM without asking for anything in return from those companies.

Web Link

When Obama was elected, he pressured Bush to sign into law the congress will pass to guarantee another 17.4 billion in loans to the automakers, but part of that package included the stipulation that the auto companies report back to obama on March 31st with a plan to return to profitability in exchange for more money. When chrysler and GM came back without viable plans, this led him to cutoff of the spigot, chrysler was sold to Fiat and GM went into bankruptcy and was taken over by the feds to keep it going. This doesn't contradict anything I said.

As for saying my quote "doing nothing is not an option" is intellectually dishonest and a diversion, i'm not sure how you can say that as it came at the end of a paragraph that describes in detail exactly what the cost of doing nothing will be. Our insurance premiums will more than double in the next 10 years, companies will no longer afford to provide insurance to its employees, millions more americans will thus be left without insurance, and the system will implode. How is pointing that out intellectually dishonest? That's reality. Is pointing out that the earth revolves around the sun also intellectually dishonest now?

As for the GOP plans to rein in costs and providing coverage to all, I'd love to see them. Most of them seem to involve either providing tax credits to americans to purchase their own insurance (not sure how a $5k tax credit will help me pay for my 13k/year insurance), or something like David Vitter's plan to replace Medicare with a voucher system. I saw another GOP plan to incentivize people to use Health savings Accounts, which are great, but do nothing to make insurance more affordable to americans. And NONE of these plans do a single thing to contain costs. If you feel the GOP has viable plans on the table, present them in detail, explain their costs, their benefits and how they'll provide coverage to those without while at the same time reining in costs. Otherwise, I have to say it is you who is being intellectually dishonest.

As for the quote from Obama you linked to, that's great. Honestly, I'd love to have a single-payer plan as well, since it works well to contain costs, cuts down overhead, and covers everyone. I see millions of medicare recipients who love their single-payer coverage, yet don't connect the dots..."keep the government off my medicare!" But sure, obama said that in a partisan setting when he was fighting for the democratic nomination that he really wants single-payer. Fine. But it would probably be much more relevant to look at what he told congress just 2 weeks ago instead of what he said to the AFL-CIO 18 months ago. Mostly because what he said is directly reflected in the set of bills currently being hammered out in the various congressional committees (non of which call for single-payer). And I paraphrase roughly...either converting to a single-payer system now or replacing our employer-provided system with a system of vouchers and tax credits will both be too disruptive to our current system of delivery. In light of that, a plan that expands coverage by reining in costs, providing subsidies to both individuals and companies to cover their costs, which allows people to keep their current healthcare if they so choose, but slows the rate of premium growth, that eliminates exclusions for pre-existing conditions and makes it illegal to drop people from coverage in their time of need, and one that provides a robust public option to those who can't afford private insurance is the best way to meet the goals we've set forth...reining in costs and covering as many people as possible, while not adding to our deficit.

Now you can make an argument that obama has a secret plan to convert us all over to a single-payer plan and that the public option (which will be limited to at most 10 million americans) is an attempt to bankrupt private insurance, but I have yet to see anyone point out how a private corporation can't compete with a public entity...FedEx and UPS do just fine competing against the USPS, for example.

If you can show me, in detail, a GOP plan that is able to do hold down costs while providing coverage to all those currently uninsured while not adding to the deficit, then that's a good place to start. And the intellectually honest place to start.

Like this comment
Posted by m
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 25, 2009 at 1:55 pm

Old news ... it's getting tired. Can we move on or must we dwell on the big O as the problem of all the Universe??? Myopic thinking if you ask me.

Like this comment
Posted by anita
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Sep 25, 2009 at 2:52 pm

I can hardly wait for the midterm elections and the chance to vote these people out. Will be a long time before I vote for an incompentant I mean incumbant again.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

GE's re-organization reaches San Ramon digital headquarters
By Tim Hunt | 3 comments | 1,905 views

Sound and Fury over Vile and Slur-ry
By Tom Cushing | 72 comments | 1,128 views

New state housing requirements could affect Pleasanton
By Jeb Bing | 2 comments | 429 views