✽ Disappointed supporters are confronting President Obama, according to a NY Times story. ~ link
Okay, he's not the strongest president we've ever had. But only the historically naive would say that he is the worst. I wonder if people (both on the right and the left) have been just totally unrealistic about him. We have projected so much onto Obama that it's no wonder that he can't live up to expectations. He's just the president -- not the messiah. Yes, he's the first president of color but that doesn't mean he can instantly repair all the damage of centuries of racism. Yes, he's of a different political bent than the previous president but that doesn't mean that he is capable of instantly turning the policy tide. (Campaign promises are by nature unrealistic.) While we may (or may not) need to make a change in two years we do need to get real now.
✽ The recession ended in June 2009 ~ WSJ
✽ "The Angry Rich" -- a little sweeping but there is at least a kernel of truth in here:
Now, however, as decision time looms for the fate of the Bush tax cuts — will top tax rates go back to Clinton-era levels? — the rage of the rich has broadened, and also in some ways changed its character.✽ Insightful Martin Marty: "The tantrum...against government, taxes, Muslims, and moderates continues to rage..." ~ link
For one thing, craziness has gone mainstream. It’s one thing when a billionaire rants at a dinner event. It’s another when Forbes magazine runs a cover story alleging that the president of the United States is deliberately trying to bring America down as part of his Kenyan, “anticolonialist” agenda, that “the U.S. is being ruled according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s.” When it comes to defending the interests of the rich, it seems, the normal rules of civilized (and rational) discourse no longer apply.
At the same time, self-pity among the privileged has become acceptable, even fashionable.
Tax-cut advocates used to pretend that they were mainly concerned about helping typical American families. Even tax breaks for the rich were justified in terms of trickle-down economics, the claim that lower taxes at the top would make the economy stronger for everyone.
These days, however, tax-cutters are hardly even trying to make the trickle-down case. These days, however, tax-cutters are hardly even trying to make the trickle-down case. Yes, Republicans are pushing the line that raising taxes at the top would hurt small businesses, but their hearts don’t really seem in it. Instead, it has become common to hear vehement denials that people making $400,000 or $500,000 a year are rich. I mean, look at the expenses of people in that income class — the property taxes they have to pay on their expensive houses, the cost of sending their kids to elite private schools, and so on. Why, they can barely make ends meet.
And among the undeniably rich, a belligerent sense of entitlement has taken hold: it’s their money, and they have the right to keep it. “Taxes are what we pay for civilized society,” said Oliver Wendell Holmes — but that was a long time ago. ~ Paul Krugman, NY Times
✽ Do you have health insurance for your pet? I'm not sure what I think about that. Responsible, given the high cost of vet care? Outrageous that we're spending so much money on pets when we can't even provide adequate health care and insurance for people? ~ link
✽ "The long-term payoff from earning a college degree is growing, according to a report to be issued Tuesday by the College Board..." Not that I disagree but the College Board is not exactly impartial. ~ NY Times