Archive for Friday, July 9, 2010

In K.C., Obama draws political line

President offers choice between moving forward or back

July 9, 2010


— President Barack Obama on Thursday cast upcoming elections as a choice between the party that caused the economic meltdown and the one that’s fixing it, seizing on a populist, sharply partisan theme for the critical November midterms.

“This is a choice between the policies that led us into the mess or the policies that are leading us out of the mess,” Obama said at a rally for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “It’s a choice between falling backward and moving forward.”

Earlier Thursday Obama delivered much the same message of Democrats’ progress vs. Republicans’ retreat at fundraisers in Missouri for Democratic Senate hopeful Robin Carnahan. Carnahan, Missouri’s secretary of state, and GOP Rep. Roy Blunt are contesting the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Kit Bond. Carnahan represents a chance for a much-needed Democratic pickup.

Helped by recent gaffes by Republicans, Obama has arrived at the message he’ll employ as he campaigns more frequently and aggressively around the country for Democratic candidates.

In the case of Reid, Obama said he needed the senator to stay in Washington for a fifth term to help him move Democrats’ agenda forward. Without ever mentioning her by name, the president went on the attack against Reid’s GOP opponent, tea party-backed Sharron Angle, calling her too extreme and ridiculing comments she made on the BP oil spill.

President Barack Obama speaks at Smith Electric Vehicles in Kansas City, Mo., on Thursday. Obama discussed the economy and helped campaign for two Senate candidates on Thursday, Robin Carnahan in Missouri and Harry Reid in Nevada.

President Barack Obama speaks at Smith Electric Vehicles in Kansas City, Mo., on Thursday. Obama discussed the economy and helped campaign for two Senate candidates on Thursday, Robin Carnahan in Missouri and Harry Reid in Nevada.

Taking aim at GOP

For both Democrats, Obama’s newly honed message turned the man who pledged during his campaign to bridge partisan divides into a president who has begun playing into them.

For instance, the president repeated his attacks on Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, who had to apologize for apologizing to BP PLC, the primary owner of the blown-out well spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico, and House Minority Leader John Boehner, who contends his metaphor likening the financial crisis to an “ant” is being twisted by Democrats.

Obama listed Republican policies he said led to economic disaster: lower taxes for millionaires and billionaires, fewer rules and regulations for the biggest corporations, and decisions that “cut working people loose.”

“Pretty straightforward,” he said.

Using a populist-themed refrain, he offer this description of the GOP approach: “You don’t have health insurance? Tough luck, you’re on your own. Can’t afford to send your kids to college? Tough luck, on your own.”

His jabs grew sharper as his remarks closed, saying Republicans care more about political points than “what it means for the next generation” and side with corporate titans over regular Americans.

“They don’t think in terms of representing ordinary folks. That’s not their orientation,” Obama said. “So that’s the choice we face in this election. We got the Bartons and the Boehners and the Blunts. They’ve got that ‘no’ philosophy, that “you’re on your own” philosophy, that status quo philosophy.”

As for Democrats, he said their policies were straightforward, too: cut taxes on the middle class, make sure big corporations are “playing by the same rules” as small businesses and invest in making sure people get the “skills for the future.”

Republicans rejected Obama’s rhetoric.

“Unemployment is near 10 percent. The American people continue to ask, where are the jobs? But the president keeps whining and indulging in childish partisan attacks,” Boehner said in a statement. “How out of touch can he get?”

Electric car tour

Obama has been trying to get voters to buy a message he himself acknowledges is a tough sell — that things would be a lot worse if last year’s $862 billion stimulus bill hadn’t been passed.

Before the events for Carnahan, Obama spoke at a Kansas City electric car manufacturing plant that benefited from the stimulus bill. He plans additional remarks on the economy today while in Nevada, at the University of Nevada.

A recipient of $32 million in stimulus grants, Smith Electric Vehicles just hired its 50th worker and planned to bring on 50 more, Obama noted.

“You are setting a model for what we need to be across the country,” Obama told a small crowd inside a former TWA airplane maintenance building that Smith Electric now occupies.

“And we’re seeing similar things all across America, with investments and incentives that are fostering growth in wind power and solar power, in energy-efficient appliances and home building materials, and in advanced battery technologies and clean energy vehicles,” the president said.


cato_the_elder 7 years, 8 months ago

Let's see: Smith gets $32 million in "stimulus" money, and has just hired its 50th worker. That's $640,000 per job, folks. You don't have to wear a green eyeshade to ask what's wrong with this picture, how they ever got this money, and how much this kind of situation has been going on all over the country since Obama's ill-conceived porkulus spending was uncorked.

The subject of Obama visiting a car manufacturing plant brings to mind the Ford Edsel: Much hype, much hope, much disappointment and much failure - and, in Obama's case, significant damage to America and its position in the world.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 8 months ago

So if they have a 1000 workers in a few years, would you change your opinion?

Scott Drummond 7 years, 8 months ago

Well, the article makes clear that there are another 50 imminent, so that brings us down to $300K per job. When you consider that there are facility, material and administrative costs that must be experienced before a return on the expenditure can be expected, that gets us in to pretty reasonable territory real quick.

Those 100 workers will spend their wages in the KC area and that money will circulate through our economy and do a lot more good than you are acknowledging.

So, perhaps a bit less of your hyped hatred of our President

Flap Doodle 7 years, 8 months ago

"Pres. Obama is the best fundraiser the Dem Party has, but his drawing power is way down from its peak during the '08 campaign. Obama is heading to MO and NV today to raise money for Sec/State Robin Carnahan (D), running for an open Senate seat, and Senate Maj. Leader Harry Reid. But Carnahan's campaign wasn't able to completely sell out the Folly Theater, where Obama will appear for a grassroots event on Carnahan's behalf, at the prices they wanted. Tickets once priced at $250 are now going for $99, while $35 tickets are half off...."

Stuart Evans 7 years, 8 months ago

The only differences between Bush & Obama are pigment and the fact that Obama has thrown out more American liberties than Jr. could have ever dreamed of. Love this president, he may be the last one you ever get!

Alyosha 7 years, 8 months ago

Kindly explain or define "socialist" as you employ the term here. There's nothing in President's actual behavior or statements that fits the accepted definition of "socialism" as a historical or contemporary economic philosophy.

If by "socialist" you mean "not extreme far right wing," or "not corresponding to my view of reality," kindly say so. Then we'll know what you actually mean.

As it stands, though, to any rational observer with a basic knowledge of the history of various types of economic philosophies, including socialism, your use of the term "socialist" is simply without factual basis and, yes, incorrect.

One can call a squirrel a tree, in the same way you call Obama a socialist.

The only question is, what motivates you to again and again make claims lacking any truth or intellectual merit? Are you trying to confuse other readers into believing things that have no basis in fact?

c_doc77 7 years, 8 months ago

I can't speak for Mr. Shewmon, and I will grant that the term "socialist" has been thrown around quite liberally in the past year or so, but no one can deny Obama's socialist leanings. All you have to do is listen to what he says. A lot of people have socialist ideas, whether they use the term to describe themselves or not.

First, the definition:

so·cial·ism    /ˈsoʊʃəˌlɪzəm/ [soh-shuh-liz-uhm] –noun 1. a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.

Now a few quotes:

"We've got to make sure that people who have more money help the people who have less money. If you had a whole pizza, and your friend had no pizza, would you give him a slice?"

"What is more important is to find means by which we can redistribute our economic gains to the benefit of all. This is the government's obligation."

"This is the moment when we must build on the wealth that open markets have created, and share its benefits more equitably."

"I think when you spread the wealth around its good for everybody."

A philosophy that views wealth distribution as a function of government is, by definition, socialist. I mean, this isn't just someone's opinion. It is a fact.

ksjayhawk74 7 years, 8 months ago

But we can all agree that he is a Fascist, Communist, Muslim who hates all white people, right?

Just kidding.

The "Socialism" the wingnuts describe has been a part of America for a long long time. Social Services... it's got more then half of the word "Socialism" in it!!! Where as these people want a society where their tax dollars are spent on nothing that doesn't directly help them.

They attack Obama for not getting more done but part of their party platform is fighting Obama every step of the way, no matter what the issue is...

cato_the_elder 7 years, 8 months ago

Bozo, "1,000 workers in a few years?" By the way, where did you get your MBA? Have you ever run a business? Do you even have a job? Just curious.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 8 months ago

I guess the question was just too difficult for you. Your attempts at making the discussion about me are just plain childish.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 8 months ago

I (heart) bozo when he gets all stern and judgemental and stuff.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 8 months ago

No, I was being smug. And as I've said-- you make smug easy.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 8 months ago

I'd like to hear an answer to bozo's question, but perhaps it would be best to rephrase it.

How many workers would Smith need to have 5 years from now for the stimulus funding to be worth it? 100? 250? 500?

tomatogrower 7 years, 8 months ago

So today all the leftist must be welfare people, not overeducated, overpaid elitists. Tom, we all know that if they created an inexpensive car and/or truck, that only used oil to lubricate parts, you would not buy it. Right now, I have a hybrid. But the next time I buy a car, it will be an all electric car. Either from this company or from anyone who produces the best one. I look for quality. Keep investing in those oil companies. The tide is starting to turn, and we will gladly leave you behind.

MyName 7 years, 8 months ago

That's the stupidest thing I've heard in awhile kubacker. He's already got 2 years of on the job training as President of the US. He's got at least 2 more years ahead of him. Unless that room you're talking about is a room with Carter, Clinton, and Bush I and II, then you've got to be out of your mind.

I mean Obama may lose on his record, but he won't lose because he's "less experienced" at being President than whatever joke candidate the Republicans decide to run.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 8 months ago

Nothing here, I see, to rebut the President's criticism of the republicans. Telling.

"This is a choice between the policies that led us into the mess or the policies that are leading us out of the mess,”

BigPrune 7 years, 8 months ago

He is a worst president than Jimmy Carter. He doesn't bring hope, he brings fear.

I think Obama suffers from ADD.

Liberty275 7 years, 8 months ago

In K.C., Obama draws political line

Probably with a crayon. 2012 mr obama, your pink slip will be ready then. Don't let the capitalism hit you on the backside on your way out.

tomatogrower 7 years, 8 months ago

How many big Black Panther people were at your voting booth, Tom. I know they are big and scary, but even this little old lady wouldn't back down from them. Do you even leave your bunker to vote?

cato_the_elder 7 years, 8 months ago

Bozo and Bob_Keeshan, Smith Electric Vehicles is owned 49% by the Tanfield Group PLC, a British international conglomerate. What Obama has done is in effect provide $32 million in risk venture capital to a company that isn't even 100% American-owned. (Bob_Keeshan, regarding risk venture capital being "invested" for political reasons, you do remember what happened at KPERS during the mid- and late-'80's, don't you? Do you recall how much money KPERS lost from these "investments," and the extensive litigation that ensued as a result?) The average American doesn't know this, and may have even believed that Obama's porkulus spending was intended to "create jobs," which has proven to be largely mythical as far as the private sector is concerned. The average citizen simply has no idea how much "stimulus" money has gone into projects like this one, and the politicians want to keep it that way.

Let me tell you what legitimate "stimulus" spending could have done: The cost of building an effective border fence across our entire southern border has been estimated to be $4 billion. That project could have been started as the first tangible effort of the "stimulus" package, would have employed real people in real private sector jobs, and when completed would have represented a demonstrably successful and valuable asset to this country, similar to the Hoover Dam. In fact, had it been done Arizona wouldn't have needed to pass the laws that it has recently enacted solely for its own self-preservation and protection. Of course, the chances of someone of Obama's ilk doing this would have been Zero (his most appropriate nickname, I might add) - a fact that has now become patently apparent to a great number of Americans only one and one-half years into Obama's faux presidency.

tomatogrower 7 years, 8 months ago

"That project could have been started as the first tangible effort of the "stimulus" package, would have employed real people in real private sector jobs, and when completed would have represented a demonstrably successful and valuable asset to this country, similar to the Hoover Dam."

Of course most of those jobs would end after the thing was built, just like the Hoover Dam. And again, more conservative thinking. The Hoover Dam produces electricity. All of these good conservatives have taken jobs that produce something out of the US. This wall won't produce anything. More service crud. Ever read "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy"? At one point they shipped all the service people, who don't produce anything off to another planet. That would include stock market day traders. Conservatives don't like to produce anything, but money made off the labors of others.

cato_the_elder 7 years, 8 months ago

Tomatogrower, it's unfortunate that your envy of others causes you to make such ill-informed, narrow-minded comments. You've posted, "That would include stock market day traders. Conservatives don't like to produce anything but money made off the labors (sic) of others." Wow, tomatogrower - are there no day traders who are liberal Democrats? I know of number of day traders who are ardent Democrats. Are there no liberal Democrats who are business owners, employ people, and make a profit? Do you really mean to say that all businesses in America are owned by Republicans? You are either extremely naive or get all of your information from sources of biased propaganda. Perhaps you subscribe to Mother Jones. If so, you need to broaden your horizons.

Mike Ford 7 years, 8 months ago

it's nice to see that all of the name calling with nothing to back it up chuckleheads are on line.... I remember Watergate interrupting my cartoons in 1974, I remember cheering for Jimmy Carter's victory in 1976 as a six year old... I remember how all of the people around us in louisiana and here got religious and stupid and apocolyptic from the late 1970's to the early 1980's... these people's kids are the dumblican teawhatevers now. I remember how worldly Jimmy Carter looked with Anwar Sadat and Menachem Beigin signing a peace treaty in that time. It's amazing how the good things get overshadowed by loud denialistic dumblicans.... other than calling names... starting wars... encouraging mortage and credit card debt to jump the economy, god, guns, and xenophobia... what do you chuckleheads have to offer at election time... opposition and no platform whatsoever besides repealing health care bills... what a bunch of baseless chuckleheads.

Liberty275 7 years, 8 months ago

I remember cheering for Jimmy Carter's

You seem the type to go for the losers.

Mike Ford 7 years, 8 months ago

liberty275 you seem to go for the fascists full of tax rebates and supply side mumbo jumbo who ran this country into the ground and want no one to fix it... Let's see... as a son of clergy I've seen the rise of evangelicalism at ground zero (Louisiana in the 1970's, home of Jimmy Swaggart) the complete divestment of intelligence for a national cheerleader, Ronald Reagan and dumblicans, and a group of people who got their behinds handed to them in the 2008 election who still don't have any substanative ideas other than opposing the democratically elected leader in a fair election...member 2000 anyone.... this person had the stones to call out a facist U.S. Supreme Court on campaign election law... I think he cought to take it a step further and call out Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Roberts, after all, the Supreme Court is the place where the dumblicans are making law without answering to anyone... that's what the dumblicans wanted. Like when John Marshall made the Cherokee ruling and Andrew Jackson said Marshall made the ruling, let him enforce it. The dumblicans are the judicial activists in the U.S. Supreme Court. It's funny that many of you watch a network that encourages name calling and depersonalization to lower politics to game of verbal bullying... just ask Bill O'Reilly.. and yet when one approaches you all the way Bill O'Reilly approaches people, you don't like it..... fitting... ironic....

Commenting has been disabled for this item.