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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 12, 2012 12:46 PM. The previous post in this blog was Strapped Tri-Met to borrow a cool $111 million. The next post in this blog is Another politician for... wait for it... jobs!. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Advice to Obama: Stop telling us it's getting better

The pollsters are back from Ohio and Pennsylvania, and they warn the President that he needs to concede that the middle class has been screwed, and talk about fighting back:

If Obama is going to gain traction in the campaign, they continue, he needs to deploy a message "with minimal discussion of the recovery and jobs created and maximal empathy for the challenges people face."

"Most voters identified with the line that 'the middle class has taken it on the chin for years.' The message turns mid-way to what we will do, beginning with raising taxes on those earning over $200,000 to make the economy work better for the middle class," the memo continues. "It taps into their frustrations that began building before the recession even hit and recognizes that this election needs to be about the 'future of the middle class.'"

The problem, of course, is that he made the same tax promises last time, and then despite having control over Congress, the Democrats did nothing.

Comments (22)

What has always bothered me about Obama speeches (and I voted for him) is that he uses the phrase "folks" to describe ordinary people. In fact a few times I heard him call us "ordinary folks." Never calls his own family that. Where I come come, the term "folks" is derogatory.

This is going to be pretty tough-
"Dems call for fresh message, warn of 'impossible headwind'"

-when they can't even convince their union "middle class" to stick around and cough up their dues.

"In less than one year, -AFSCME, the second-largest public-sector union in Wisconsin, has lost more than 50 percent of its membership.

It was predictable. In Indiana, where Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) instituted by executive order a similar reform seven years ago, government-worker unions have since lost 91 percent of their dues-paying membership."


Statistics often do not tell the story but this one sure jumps at you: The median U.S. household lost nearly 39% of its wealth from 2007 to 2010.

Now, of course, we're in full deflection mode from what really caused this meltdown. The corporate media is blaming it on the unwillingness of the rest of us to embrace austerity. It's the unions fault. That's the lesson of Wisconsin. Don't look at the bankers. Look at their account manager President Obama instead, and tell the middle class to stop being so greedy with the entitlements.

Derivatives are behind everything. And it wasn't the median families who thought up derivatives.

He's in an impossible situation. If he doesn't say, "The economy is strong" or "things are improving" even when he knows it's not true, then he's admitting that he (and in fact, no one on earth) has been successful in turning the tide. It will be used against him, even thought his opponent is just as ineffective.

It's too bad that candidates who speak the truth are quickly consigned to the ash heap by the hordes who are looking for "happy talk" and small issues.


So the Dems make tax promises, and the GOP makes cuts promises, and neither of them ever follow through. Hmmm. It's almost like neither intends to balance the budget but they put on a big show to distract the electorate. Could it be?

* Robert, my family uses "folks" without meaning anything derogatory at all. I use it mostly in reference to my own parents, as in "my folks". May be a regional thing.


The housing bubble and subsequent collapse may have happened without a single derivative ever being issued. The CMO's and CDO's made more capital available to lenders, but they didn't MAKE anybody buy a home they couldn't afford.

If you want a more tangible boogyman, why not pick on real estate agents or mortgage brokers? They fanned the flames of the Real Estate Frenzy as much as anybody on Wall Street, and some of them got very rich in the process.

Or blame the regulators who failed to maintain reasonable mortgage underwriting requirements.

The candidate that is going to win the election is the one who is going to promise to build the Keystone pipeline, drill for oil on all federal lands, reinstate logging on all federal lands and fire all the environment zealots running the EPA. Foster clean coal and develop nuclear power plants. Yeah, yeah, yeah the blue Oregon left thinks this is poison; but give me a break, this country needs jobs and cheap energy. We don’t need Brahmin Sierra Club, Audubon Society, Green Peace and Humane Society limp wristed trust fund smug Kennedyesce people calling the shots.

Mister Tee -

As I see it, it's the SECURITIZATION of those crap mortgages that's the larger issue. No bank or mortgage company would continued with so much subprime lending had they had to hold that risk themselves. But since they could shed the risk (or so they thought), the investment part of these organizations were demanding more and more and more mortgages to securitize.... fueling the boom well beyond what it would have been otherwise.

Mister Tee,
My understanding is that the banks were so eager to gamble with the new derivative instruments that the entire subprime mortgage effort was just a way to front-load the system so they would have more to gamble with.

And the regulators were at the mercy of the Street. The triple A ratings were also not just driven by basic fraud. That rating was required for many pension plans and union funds to be allowed to play.

The "plenty of blame to go around" strategy is another part of the mirage. One sector of the economy created a financial exposure of 600 trillion - now 700 trillion. That is the number that's killing us. It ate Greece and it's eating Spain. There's no way to keep it from unraveling further.

Derivatives make all other economic problems look like chump change. Put another way, if we could go back to 1999 and not allow these banks to start gambling so much, we'd be in a completely different economic world.

That's the final proof of the power of these things. How quickly they can destroy.

"The private sector is doing fine."

Our leader says so.

It cannot be otherwise.


We don’t need Brahmin Sierra Club, Audubon Society, Green Peace and Humane Society limp wristed trust fund smug Kennedyesce people calling the shots.

"The private sector is doing fine." Our leader says so.
I'm not sure which line sounds the more bigoted ... bigoter? Captured suspects list of the Bigot Police.

The election is posed lose-lose for WTF, (We The Folks): Obama vs. NObama.

So if NObama loses, (as expected of the idiot selected), then it means we're all okay with Obama, right? Go on with the drone murder crimes, right? we're all together on that?
Nobody said 'NO', right?

Barney Frank: "Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are in fine shape".

John, I get where you're coming from, but I think John Kennedy might be considered a moderate Republican in today's political spectrum.

First of all, there is no such thing as a "moderate Republican" in the current political spectrum. Just ask Richard Lugar about that.
Secondly, Obama's financial backers in the 1% don't want to hear about how they've screwed the rest of the country for going on four decades. They just want business as usual, no matter which party is "in power."

How can things get better when none of the problems have been fixed? It's like everyone is thinking we are in a cyclical recession and we are just going to come out of it.

This is not cyclical. It's a systematic issue. Without addressing the problems in the system nothing will get better.

The problems cannot be addressed by our government because the whole freakin' thing is bought off.

So if you want a fix you first have to create an election system not controlled by the big donors. Then you MIGHT see some progress after a couple of elections.

Also I think placing blame on people that borrowed money to buy a house is ridiculous. The individual borrower is responsible for their debt and will feel that pain of default, but they are only responsible for their own individual actions. The people that control the system are the financiers. They are the ones that tanked the system so badly.

Funny though, we bad mouth borrowers who are now paying the price via foreclosure. But the banks that knowingly made bad loans in order to flip a quick dollar are not hurting at all. In fact the reports say they are doing just fine.

This is not cyclical. It's a systematic issue. Without addressing the problems in the system nothing will get better.


However, it's even worse than that. Because we've established that some entities are Too Big To Fail, and then bailed out those same entities (with zero requirement for meaningful changes), we've set a precedent that bad behavior, no matter how idiotic or criminal, will not be punished. What should be private risks WILL be converted to public pain.

And that precedent will NOT be ignored in the future.

Just think - the crooks that pulled this off did so NOT KNOWING that they would be bailed out. Now they know that they will.

We're f*cked.

Larry -

You're an optimist. We are so much worse than f*cked.

I consider Mitt Romney to be a moderate Republican, and for many on the right, too moderate.

The media produces endless meaningless rhetoric (propaganda),
but the real cause of the rug being yanked out from under America and it's golden civilization boils down to TWO things,

1. 1999 repeal of the Glass-Stigal banking act,

2. The Bush massive Tax Cuts for the 1% rich.

Where - I see those 2 things as a symptom of the expanding influence of big money on the system. Just getting those things passed and blocking their repeal requires years and years of election buying. Statistically it started in earnest in 1980 and culminated in the backwards system you see today.

I'm with those other 2 guys really. We are totally 'f'ed. The entrenchment is too complete. I see no easy way out.

That is right!
Most folks don't remember it began with Ronald Reagan!


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
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Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
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Locations, Spanish Red Wine
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Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
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Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
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Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
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Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
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Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
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King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
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Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
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Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
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Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
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Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
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Keith Richards - Life
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Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
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William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
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