Trump’s Claim That Putin Is A Better Leader Than Obama Is Utterly Insane

Trump’s Claim That Putin Is A Better Leader Than Obama Is Utterly Insane

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Since last night’s Commander-in-Chief forum on NBC, Republicans have been on the defensive about Donald Trump’s reiterated praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Here’s what Trump said:

“If he says great things about me, I’m going to say great things about him,” Trump said of the Russian president. “The man has very strong control over a country.”

The GOP nominee added that Putin has been a leader “far more than our president’s been a leader.”

Essentially, Trump’s case for why Putin is a good leader is this: 1. The Russian president has high approval ratings; 2. He has complimented Trump.

We know that there are few things Trump values more than polls and praise.

With that said, the Republican nominee’s decision to wrap his arms around Putin isn’t just insane, but it also shows that Trump’s definition of leadership is pretty frightening.

First of all, Putin is presiding over a terrible economy, which was made even worse by U.S.-led sanctions imposed following his illegal annexation of Crimea and Russia’s overall meddling in Ukraine.

In a Reuters report from yesterday, one Russian employer said, “The Russian economy has hit bottom, but who would have thought the Russians would start digging?”

VOA News also reported earlier this week that Putin’s economy “has plunged millions of people into poverty…”

It’s not just economic conditions that are dire in Russia; life also isn’t so good for those who support a free press.

Since Putin came to power, 25 journalists have been killed. The majority of those killings were carried out by military or government officials, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

If this is the type of strength and leadership that Donald Trump wants to emulate as the President of the United States, then we’re all in trouble.

Meanwhile, in President Obama’s America, the economy has rebounded from the worst downturn since the Great Depression. More than 15 million jobs have been created over the last 78 months – the longest streak of private sector job growth in history. The uninsured rate is at record lows, the stock market is soaring, and the unauthorized immigrant population has actually fallen.

In a recent analysis conducted by Gallup, the American people report that their lives have gotten better during Obama’s two terms as president. Obama’s rising approval ratings only confirm that reality.

All of this despite Trump’s repeated attempts to paint the country under Obama as a hellscape overrun by “illegals.”

For score-keeping purposes: Putin isolated his country from the rest of the world, drove his economy into the ground, and ordered the killing of journalists. Obama halted a second Great Depression, laid the groundwork for sustained economic growth, provided health insurance to millions, and improved – yes, improved – America’s reputation abroad.

The contest of which of these two men is a better leader isn’t even close. In fact, Putin would likely trade his record for Obama’s in a heartbeat.

Ultimately, all of this says more about the Republican nominee than it does about either Putin or Obama. If Putin’s is the leadership that Donald Trump admires then he should be nowhere near the White House.

Biden wants ‘uncomfortable’ racism debate

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Vice President Biden said on Thursday that Americans must confront “institutional racism.”

“No one wants to say that,” he told a National Urban League legislative policy conference in Washington, according to Politico. “I know I sometimes speak out too loudly, sometimes, but I make no apologies for it. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable, but these are uncomfortable times.

We’ve got to shake up the status quo a bit.

“You know, we see this institutional racism today in voting, in children’s education, in the very makeup of our neighborhoods, housing patterns, employment, transportation, access to transportation,” he added.

His speech focused on “the overwhelming problems of the legacy of institutional racism which we still live with,” Politico reported.

Biden said the 2008 economic recession had particularly hurt minorities and the impoverished.

“[The] freefall was particularly bad for poor folk and particularly bad for African-American and Hispanic poor folk,” he said.

“You have a disproportionate share of African-Americans living in cities who do not own an automobile,” he added.

“You can’t have a job if you can’t get there to the interview. So we’ve got to put a lot of money into transportation, meaning everything from streetcars to buses to rail transit, connecting inner cities to the suburbs.”

Biden also said that Americans “can’t pretend that children of different races have the same opportunities.”

“I’ll be here with you pushing the next president to level the playing field,” he said.

“I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do,” Biden joked of his term’s upcoming end. “[I’ll need] career advice from some of you.”

Biden ruled out a third Oval Office bid last October, likely signaling the end of a political career that has spanned four decades.

He concluded that he did not have the time or emotional energy for a viable campaign after the death of his son, Beau Biden, following a battle with brain cancer last year.

By Mark Hensch

Memo to Hillary: Do Not Put Bill in Charge of the Economy

Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton Campaigns In Louisville, Kentucky
John Sommers II – Getty Images



Most Americans don’t want to go back to the 1990s. And here’s why they’re right about that

During a campaign stop in Kentucky on May 15, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said her husband, Bill, would be in charge of “economic revitalization” were she to win the election.

This is a terrible idea and, possibly, the most tone-deaf suggestion Clinton has made during the current campaign.

Bill Clinton’s economic legacy is not a net positive to Hillary politically. Sure, economic growth was relatively strong in the 1990s. But what kind of growth was it? I’d argue it was growth of the short-term, saccharine variety, fueled by a brief tech productivity boom (now ended) and a stock-market bubble which corrected much of the asset wealth created during that period. This period was also the point at which wages began flattening not just for poor Americans but for nearly everybody. The high-tide of the late-1990s did lift a lot of boats, but plenty of wreckage was left in its wake as soon as it was sucked back to sea.

That’s in part because many on President Clinton’s team bought into notions of trickle-down economics Republicans before them had. The history of deregulation and economic policy shifts under his tenure contributed in many ways to some of the problems that we face in the financial markets today. (For more on these, read TIME’s current cover story on saving capitalism, adapted from my book, Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business.)

Many now acknowledge that derivatives deregulation under Clinton was, in retrospect, unwise. But a less well understood legacy of his economic policy is the pressure for companies to make short- rather than long-term decisions.

A little bit of history: Robert Rubin, who served as both Treasury Secretary and head of the National Economic Council, and Larry Summers, the deputy who succeeded him at Treasury, favored allowing greater corporate compensation in stock as well as tax breaks for the rich. There were a few, like Joseph Stiglitz, the former head of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, who were concerned about income inequality. That’s one reason back in the early ’90s, in response to the growing debate about the divide between CEO pay and what the majority of American workers took home, legislation was introduced that would limit the tax-deductible portion of CEO compensation to $1 million. To get around that cap, Rubin and others wanted an exemption for “performance-based” pay, which on Wall Street and in corporate America was typically awarded in options. The loophole camp prevailed.

Stiglitz now views this as one of the most problematic legacies of Clinton’s tenure. The tax code, which was relaxed to favor corporate debt over equity, only perverted incentives further. “The whole stock-options boom caused so many incentives for bad behavior of all kinds, and for making each [corporation] look better than it was. It’s all directly responsible for what I’d term ‘creative accounting,’ which has had such a devastating effect on our economy,” he says.

The Clintons surely recognize how much America’s economic ailments have changed since the 1990s. But it is important for Hillary to spell out exactly which parts of Bill’s legacy were valuable—and which she’d discard. As any number of surveys, including some by the Clintons’ own pollsters, show, a lot of voters don’t really want to go back to the 1990s. They’d rather see more fundamental change. Candidate Clinton needs to grapple with this fact, or risk losing the economic debate to a populist opponent.

Rana Foroohar

Media Slam Trump’s “Insane” Plan To Default On U.S. Debt


Analysts Explain That Real Estate Gimmicks Don’t Work For The American Economy

During a lengthy phone interview with CNBC, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump outlined a plan to partially default on the United States’ outstanding sovereign debt obligations in hopes of eventually negotiating lower rates of repayment. The tactic is common in the types of commercial real estate dealings, but journalists and financial analysts stressed that employing such a strategy with American debt would undermine global financial stability and potentially drive the American economy into a deep recession.

Trump Floats Partially Defaulting On U.S. Sovereign Debt Obligations

Trump Suggests “Swashbuckling” Approach To Renegotiating U.S. Debt. During part of an hour-long CNBC interview ostensibly focused on the Federal Reserve’s domestic monetary policy decisions, Donald Trump concerns of runaway interest rate inflation for trillions of dollars of outstanding U.S. Treasury bonds while declaring himself “the king of debt.” Trump expressed concern that interest rates on the Treasury bond market might spike by two to five points at some point in the future. After being pressed by co-host Becky Quick and Andrew Ross Sorkin, Trump suggested that the “swashbuckling” approach he had used to renegotiate private debt deals could be employed to “refinance debt” owed by the United States Treasury. From the May 5 edition of CNBC’s Squawk Box:

DONALD TRUMP: We have $19 trillion of debt, right? We have — it’s going up to [$21 trillion]. I mean, we have numbers that are beyond belief. We are paying a very low interest rate, what happens if that interest rate goes two, three, four points up? We don’t have a country. I mean, if you look at the numbers, they’re staggering. I mean, we have a very low interest — we have tremendous debt, tremendous, and it’s at low interest rates, fortunately. If those rates went up two points, three points, five points — because you know, I was here during the Jimmy Carter days when the prime rate went up to like what 21 or 22 percent, Becky. Right?


So, I’ve seen what can happen. And its not — its not a good picture. But, what do we do with all of the money that we owe everybody when rates go up, and now all of a sudden we have to borrow at two points, or one point more even is devastating. But two, three, four, five points more. It’s a real dilemma, and we have to be very, very careful. And I am the king of debt, I do love debt, I love debt, I love playing with it. But of course now you’re talking about something that’s very, very fragile and it has to be handled very, very carefully.


ANDREW ROSS SORKIN (CO-HOST): Mr. Trump, you talk about debt. And you are to some degree the king of debt — I appreciate that point. You’ve also renegotiated debt agreements over the years. Do you believe that we, in terms of the United States, need to pay 100 cents on the dollar? Or do you think there are actually ways that we could renegotiate that debt?

TRUMP: I think — look, I’ve borrowed knowing that you can pay back with discounts. And I’ve done very well with debt. Now of course I was swashbuckling, and it did well for me, and it was good for me, and all that. And you know debt was sort of always interesting to me. Now, we are in a different situation with a country, but I would borrow knowing that if the economy crashed you could make a deal. And if the economy was good, it was good, so therefore you can’t lose. It’s like, you know, you make a deal before you go into a poker game.

BECKY QUICK (CO-HOST): But Mr. Trump are you suggesting that we would negotiate with the U.S. credit in such a way?


I understand that you’ve done this in business deals, but are you suggesting we would negotiate with the U.S. credit in such a way? Because —

TRUMP: No, I think this — I think there are times for us to refinance. We refinance debt with longer term[s], because you know we owe so much money. It’s so — nobody talks about it. Nobody talks about it until the bubble pops, and the bubble could pop, and it could pop, and it could be ugly. You’ve seen it a couple of times, but you haven’t seen it as bad as it could be. As bad as it was, you haven’t seen. And I could see long-term renegotiations, where we borrow long-term at very low rates and, frankly, we do need money to rebuild the infrastructure of our country.


QUICK: But let’s just be clear, you’re not talking about renegotiating sovereign bonds that the U.S. has already issued?

TRUMP: No, I don’t want to renegotiate the bonds, but I think you can do discounting. I think, depending on where interest rates are, I think you can buy back. I’m not talking about with a renegotiation, but you can buy back at discounts, you can do things at discounts. I’m not even suggesting that we don’t borrow money at very low rates long-term, so we don’t have to worry about when they come due.


If interest rates go up one percent, one percent, it’s devastating. If they go up two, or three, or four percent. … But I would refinance debt, I think we should refinance longer term debt. [CNBC, Squawk Box, 5/5/16]

Media Blast Trump’s “Astounding” And “Insane” Idea, Which “Would Destroy The Economy”

Business Insider: Trump’s Proposed Debt Restructuring Is “An Insane Idea That Would Tank The American Economy.” Business Insider senior editor Josh Barro slammed the presumptive GOP nominee for promising to “approach financing the US government as if it’s one of his failing casinos.” Barro noted that Trump’s plan to renegotiate American debt obligations would not function like the “corporate finance deals” Trump alluded to. Rather than shedding some debt obligations, Trump’s plan would immediately undermine investor confidence, “spark a crisis in the Treasury markets,” and drive interest rates even higher. From Business Insider:

Some corporate finance deals really do work like this: You issue risky debt, and the lenders know you might not be able to pay them back in full if something really bad happens. But that kind of debt bears a high interest rate, because the lenders know you might not be able to pay them back in full if something really bad happens.

US Treasury bonds have very low interest rates because investors are extremely confident they will be paid in full, even in poor economic conditions. Trump — by openly saying that he would keep partial payment on the table as an option — could spark a crisis in the Treasury markets if he became president. Investors would cease to see Treasurys as a safe asset, and they would demand higher interest rates in exchange for risk.


It has been common for years for some Republicans to talk about America’s debts as unpayable. Starting from that incorrect premise, Trump is only adding the insight that if you’re going to default anyway, you might as well borrow what you can while you still have access to the credit markets. [Business Insider, 5/6/16]

Bloomberg: Bond Expert Calls Trump’s Idea “Stupid And Ridiculous.” Bloomberg reported that U.S. bond traders dismissed Donald Trump’s idea to renegotiate debt, something no Treasury secretary in the history of the country has ever done, because as David Adler, head of government-bond strategy for CRT Capital Group said, the idea is “stupid,” “ridiculous” and “never going to happen.” From the May 6 Bloomberg article:

Since the founding of the country Treasury secretaries have been unwavering in their commitment to always make good on government obligations, an assurance that’s helped make U.S. debt a haven from risk around the world. A default would put that status in jeopardy, sinking the value of the dollar and sending yields surging, according to David Ader, head of government-bond strategy at CRT Capital Group LLC. Growth could stall as borrowing costs for holders of mortgages and other consumer loans — which are tied to government debt yields, spiked.

“This is stupid and ridiculous and never going to happen,” Ader said from Stamford, Connecticut. “But it’s not impossible that he could be president, and could try all the seemingly ludicrous and impossible things he’s talked about. You can’t just dismiss it when the guys got his finger on the button, so to speak.”


Treasury market participants aren’t immune to concern about the national debt, even as they remain unshaken by Trump’s comments. When partisan gridlock brought the government to the brink of default in August 2011, one-month Treasury bill rates climbed to a 29-month high and stocks fell as S&P Global Ratings cut the nation’s credit rating.

“This is irresponsible talk,” says Patrick Chovanec, New York-based chief strategist for Silvercrest Asset Management Group. “If there was a belief that he would actually do it, I don’t know how markets would react. Clearly, they’re dismissing it at the moment as simply rhetoric, and not particularly well thought-out rhetoric.”

The U.S. has never defaulted on its obligations in modern history. [Bloomberg, 5/6/16]

The Economist: Treasury Bonds Are What “Underpins The Entire Global System.” The Economistreported that Donald Trump compared negotiating United States government bonds to how a company negotiates its debt in bankruptcy, something that would not make sense because U.S. bonds are “the heart of the financial system.” U.S. bonds are collateral for banks, insurance, pension funds, and mutual funds, and default would result in “cataclysmic consequences for the economy that would far outweigh any gains in refinancing costs.” From the May 6 edition of The Economist:

The idea, it seems, would be to get creditors to accept less than 100 cents on the dollar. This happens with corporate bankruptcies; if the market price has fallen to 60 cents on the dollar, and been snapped up by specialist hedge funds, then redeeming the debt at 70 cents on the dollar may be a good deal. Emerging economies have done the same in the past when they have fallen on hard times; it happened in Greece.

But with Treasury bonds, investors expect to get 100 cents on the dollar. It is the risk-free asset that underpins the entire global financial system.


A forced deal, of course, would count as a default. Treasury bonds are at the heart of the financial system. Banks use them as collateral for loans; insurance companies hold them as reserves; pension funds own then to fund retirement benefits; mutual funds own them as well. Any default within the system would have cataclysmic consequences for the economy that would far outweigh any gains in refinancing costs. To cap it all, the Federal Reserve owns almost $2.5 trillion of Treasury bonds and the Social Security Fund some $2.8 trillion. So the government would, in part, be defaulting to itself. [The Economist, 5/6/16]

NY Times: “Such Remarks By A Major Presidential Candidate Have No Modern Precedent” And Show “The Limits Of Translating [Trump’s] Business Acumen Into The World Of Government Finance.” The New York Times reported on Trump’s plan by noting that there is “no modern precedent” for “a major presidential candidate” to suggest only partially paying back debts owed by the federal government. The Times explained that Trump’s proposal might end up “costing American taxpayers a lot of money” and noted that the reason the U.S. government can borrow at such low rates is that “Treasury securities are regarded as a safe investment” and are expected to repaid on time and in full. From the May 6 New York Times article:

After assuring Americans he is not running for president “to make things unstable for the country,” the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump, suggested that he might reduce the national debt by persuading creditors to accept something less than full payment.


Such remarks by a major presidential candidate have no modern precedent. The United States government is able to borrow money at very low interest rates because Treasury securities are regarded as a safe investment, and any cracks in investor confidence have a long history of costing American taxpayers a lot of money.

Experts also described Mr. Trump’s vaguely sketched proposal as fanciful, saying there was no reason to think America’s creditors would accept anything less than 100 cents on the dollar, regardless of Mr. Trump’s deal-making prowess.


Repurchasing debt is a fairly common tactic in the corporate world, but it only works if the debt is trading at a discount. If creditors think they are going to get 80 cents for every dollar they are owed, they may be overjoyed to get 90 cents. Mr. Trump’s companies had sometimes been able to retire debt at a discount because creditors feared they might default.

But Mr. Trump’s statement might show the limits of translating his business acumen into the world of government finance. The United States simply cannot pursue a similar strategy. The government runs an annual deficit, so it must borrow to retire existing debt. Any measures that would reduce the value of the existing debt, making it cheaper to repurchase, would increase the cost of issuing new debt. Such a threat also could undermine the stability of global financial markets. [The New York Times, 5/6/16]

Vox: Trump Is Proposing “A Bankruptcy Of The United States Federal Government That Would Incinerate The World Economy.” Vox editor Matthew Yglesias noted that Trump’s plan to renegotiate debt obligations toward only partial repayments would amount to “a bankruptcy of the United States federal government that would incinerate the world economy.” Yglesias slammed Trump’s “dangerous ignorance” about monetary policy while highlighting the inherent problem of approaching the day-to-day functions of government as if it were a private business. Yglesias concluded his argument by pointing out that Trump’s debt default proposal would not be necessary in any “conceivable circumstance” because the United States Treasury can produce “instantly and in infinite quantities” all of the American dollars it needs to repay any amount of debt. From the May 6 Vox article:

With his statement, Trump not only revealed a dangerous ignorance about the operation of the national monetary system and the global economic order, but also offered a brilliant case study in the profound risks of attempting to apply the logic of a private business enterprise to the task of running the United States of America.


Remember 2008, when the markets went from thinking housing debt was low-risk to thinking it was high-risk, and a global financial crisis was the result? This would be like that, but much worse — US government debt is the very foundation of low-risk investments.

What’s especially troubling about Trump’s proposal is that there is genuinely no conceivable circumstance under which this kind of default would be necessary. The debt of the federal government consists entirely of obligations to pay US dollars to various individuals and institutions. US dollars are, conveniently, something the US government can create instantly and in infinite quantities at any time. [Vox, 5/6/16]

Wash. Post: Conservative Economists Criticize Trump’s Idea As “Outrageous.” Max Ehrenfreund wrote on The Washington Post’s Wonkblog that “doubts have arisen before” that the U.S. government would not default on its debt because of Republican members of congress refusing to raise the debt ceiling in 2011, which led to Standard & Poor’s rating agency downgrading the U.S.’s credit rating. Ehrenfreund also quoted two conservative economists who were critical of Trump’s idea for the national debt. From the May 6 Wonkblog post:

The comments were striking because, historically, U.S. government debt has been treated as sacrosanct, the safest investment in the world, and a pillar of global financial stability.


While Trump’s precise plans were unclear from the interview, if the U.S. government did not pay some of its debts in full, creditors would come to see the country as an unreliable borrower, said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, an economist who heads the conservative American Action Forum think tank.

“You’re Puerto Rico,” he said, referring to the fact that the U.S. territory is on the verge of defaulting on its debt. “That’s not a good thing.”
“The Treasury Department could go to people who hold the debt and say, look, we’re not going to be able to pay you back,” said Michael Strain, an economist at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute. “That would be an outrageous thing to do. … It could introduce chaos.”


U.S. government debt has remained crucial to the global financial system over the past few years, especially as the global economy has weakened. Still, doubts have arisen before, particularly when Republican congressional leaders threatened not to raise the federal limit on borrowing without policy concessions from the Obama administration in 2011. Ultimately, the cap was raised, though not before the Standard & Poor’s rating agency reduced the rating of the debt from the firm’s highest grade. [The Washington Post, WonkBlog, 5/6/16]



Wall Street Journal Warns Republicans Are Greatest Threat To America’s Economy

Shut er down


It is fairly well known that since Republican demigod Ronald Reagan was president, the GOP have concentrated on the one and only economic agenda that has proven to fail since its inception. Oh it is true that there are several other failed economic policies Republicans embrace besides just giving outrageously generous and unfunded tax cuts to the richest one percent, but oil subsidies, spending cuts, financial deregulation, poverty wages and allowing corporations to hide their trillions of dollars in profits are secondary in the extent of harm to the economy and Americans to the absurd trickle down scam. However, over the past six years Republicans have employed a novel means of wreaking economic havoc on the nation that typically has had nothing whatsoever to do with spending, debt and deficit, or growing the economy, and this year they are using religion to slow down job creation and thwart economic growth.

The world’s economists, like all Americans, have sat back and marveled at how Republicans in Congress have deliberately and repeatedly taken the country into fiscal deadline after fiscal deadline to force Democrats to bend to their will. Now, as another deadlines looms, a majority of economists responding to a Wall Street Journal survey predicted Republicans would once again damage the economy and world financial markets because evangelicals hate Roe v. Wade, contraception, and the incomprehensible idea of women making their own reproductive health choices that are contrary to evangelical and Catholic clergy.

According to a recent survey of 62 real economists by the Wall Street Journal, it is not the instability of China’s stock market, or its move to devalue its currency, or the Greek Eurozone crisis, or the possibility of the Federal Reserve finally raising interest rates. What frightens a great majority of the nation’s leading economic experts most of all is that the Republican-controlled Congress willprecipitate another fiscal crisis this fall” when Republicans plan to either shut down the government unless Planned Parenthood is destroyed, or hold the debt ceiling hostage until Planned Parenthood is destroyed. It is important to note that the push to put an end to Planned Parenthood has nothing to do with the economy, debt and deficit, national security, jobs, or economic growth; it is about legislating and enforcing an extremist religious policy.

Continue reading here>>>

Thanks, Obama! Jobless Claims Drop to 42-Year Low

attribution: None


Oops, he did it again!

“Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 26,000 to a seasonally adjusted 255,000 for the week ended July 18, the lowest level since November 1973,the Labor Department said on Thursday.”

Now keep in mind that the unemployment benefit claims in number of applicants is at the lowest level in 41-and-a-half years, which, given the fact that the labor force has grown considerably in that time, is phenomenally impressive. The 4-week moving average (a key marker since it tends to eliminate the week-to-week spikes and lows) has stayed under 300,000 for 17 straight weeks, indicating more good jobs news is coming when the July jobs report is released.

Here is how jobless claims have dropped since the Bush great recession was handed over to President Obama to manage, end, and pull the country back from.

Bloomberg provides the big picture on Barack Obama’s record on jobs.

And here is how the initial and 8-week moving averages have looked since President Obama was sworn in for a second term.

Chart credit: Pantheon Economics.

Add that feather to President Obama’s cap that the economy has added 200,000+ jobs for 14 of the last 16 months, dropping the unemployment rate to 5.3%, just above the 5.2% considered to be full employment by Fed officials, not to mention the US is on its longest ever expansion of private sector employment.

It looks like that job killing Barack Obama is just intent on taking us from utter disaster to full employment in less than seven years. This is so inconvenient for talking points!

These 4 Things GOP Said Were Supposed To Happen By 2015 Because Obama Was Reelected

Barack Obama Grant Park Chicago 2008 – Photo by Matthew Ginger via Flickr


Obama has been elected for his second term. His detractors were all claiming that so many things would happen during this second term. How close were they to what actually happened?

1. Gas Would Peak at $5.45 per Gallon Mike Lee (R-UT) claimed that if Obama was reelected, gas would go up to $6.60 per gallon. Lee was not the only one claiming these prices. Republican Newt Gingrich claimed prices could go as high as $10 a gallon. Today’s average gas prices are $2.24 per gallon.

2. Unemployment Would Stay Above 8% Mitt Romney predicted that if Obama was reelected, we would continue to see massive unemployment for a long time to come. At the time, the unemployment rate was 8.1%. Romney claimed if he was elected, he could bring unemployment down to 6%. Today the unemployment rate is 5.8%, lower than what Romney himself thought was the best he could do.

3. Huge Stock Market Crash Donald Trump attacked Obama on Twitter after his reelection, claiming the drop in currency and stock prices was due to Obama. Other experts claimed there would be no end in sight for the dropping prices. At this time, the stock market is currently over 35%, much higher than the 20% claimed by experts at the time.

4. U.S. Economy Collapse Many conservative, like Rush Limbaugh, claimed the U.S. economy would completely collapse if Obama was reelected. Since Obama’s reelection, the economy has been steadily climbing.

H/t: DB

5 Obama Successes Republicans Have To Pretend Never Happened

5 Obama Successes Republicans Have To Pretend Never Happened
President Obama arrives at Bob Hope Airport via helicopter from LAX, en route to ABC Studios for an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

The National Memo

Republicans have consistently said that a president cannot take responsibility for a strong economy — unless of course he’s a Republican.

A weak economy, however, is always a Democratic president’s fault. And if a Republican president presides over the worst financial crisis in a half-century after seven years in office, that is clearly the fault of poor people.

President Obama is in an awkward position when it comes to the economy. It’s only great if you compare it to the last 14 years. But with 50 percent of America now saying in the latest CNN poll that his presidency is a success, he figures that he’s now allowed to “take a well-earned victory lap” by answering the question Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) asked for four years: “Where are the jobs?”

“Well, after 12 million new jobs, a stock market that has more than doubled, deficits that have been cut by two-thirds, health care inflation at the lowest rate in nearly 50 years, manufacturing coming back, auto industry coming back, clean energy doubled — I’ve come not only to answer that question, but I want to return to the debate that is central to this country, and the alternative economic theory that’s presented by the other side,” the president said in Cleveland on Wednesday.

A sensible media would be debating which of Obama’s two great accomplishments — the stimulus or the Affordable Care Act — is a bigger success; which better proves that the government can successfully intervene to prevent suffering while reshaping our economy to be more sustainable; or about which Republicans were more wrong.

But conservatives won’t let that happen. They’ll focus on metrics that languished before Obama came into office — we’re very concerned about labor force participation all of a sudden! — and blast him for not solving all of the failures of conservative economics and foreign policies.

America should be used to Democratic presidents outperforming Republicans by now. While no administration is perfect, President Obama has staked strong claims for liberal values and policies that prove things Republicans have to pretend never happened.

  1. Proved trickle-down economics are wrong, again
    You don’t hear it mentioned often enough, but 2014 was the best year of job creation in this century. This is a key point, because it’s the first full year in which Obama’s economic policies really took hold. Most of the Bush tax breaks on the rich ended in 2013. And in 2014, new taxes on the wealthy and corporations kicked in to help 16 million Americans gain health insurance. The result was a job market like we haven’t seen since the’90s. As they did in 1993, Republicans claimed that asking the rich to pay a bit more would destroy the economy. So, of course, the opposite happened. It’s almost as if some tax hikes on the wealthy are good for the economy! But if Republicans admitted that, they’d have to give up their entire reason for existing, which is to comfort the most comfortable.
  2. Proved we can expand health insurance coverage and shrink the deficit.
    America’s long-term debt problems are largely built on conservatives’ unwillingness to do what every other advanced nation in the world does — insure everyone. As a result, we pay more and get worse results than almost every industrialized country in the world. Obamacare has shown that we can increase coverage dramatically while cutting more than $600 billion from long-term debt projections. Republicans have finally gotten honest in their new budget and admitted that their alternative to Obamacare is… nothing. They’ve got nothing because Obamacare was their alternative, and every prediction they’ve made about it has been wrong. Health spending isat a 50-year low, businesses aren’t dumping employees’ coverage, hospitals are performing better, and policy cancelations were likely lower than they were before the law. Meanwhile, Obama has been even more successful at shrinking the deficit as a percentage of GDP than even Bill Clinton.
  3. Proved that the government can kick-start a clean-energy revolution.
    When it comes to fighting climate change, President Obama has done more than anyone on Earth. Beyond the regulations he set in his first term, which are quickly reducing our dependency on dirty energy, the stimulus launched the clean-energy technological revolution this nation needed. Republicans started calling the stimulus “failed” before it even became law. And that kind of message discipline — plus half a billion dollars in ads that smeared the bill — scared Democrats from bragging about it. But now that we’ve experienced the first year of economic growth where carbon emissions didn’t increase in 40 years, maybe they should.
  4. Proved we can regulate Wall Street without killing the stock market.
    Good news! Bankers are complaining about being regulated too much. Despite this “over-regulation,” we’re seeing constant stock market records. Meanwhile, the memory of the costs of under-regulation — 8 million jobs and trillions in wealth — continues to fade. Democrats have become newly proud of the Dodd-Frank law now that they see how desperate Republicans are to gut it. The success in keeping the economic engine of the rich purring should not dissuade those on the left. Instead, they should continue to fight against the persistent dangers to our economy that come from ridiculous executive compensation schemesstock buybacks, and high-frequency trading.
  5. Proved that we should give diplomacy a chance.
    The Bush administration left America facing a newly nuclear-armed North Korea, an Iran building nuclear centrifuges, and a wrecked Iraq, run by a propped-up sectarian strongman with no interest in reconciliation. Democrats were likely naive in assuming this Tower of Babel of foreign policy disasters could be kept from crumbling. The Obama administration’s effort to re-engage the world may seem foolhardy now — but what was the alternative? More confrontational Republican alternatives would have guaranteed nothing but more American lives lost. Syria is a disaster. Libya proved that regime change is never simple. Putin is emboldened or frantically flailing, depending on your point of view. But as a result of re-engagement with our allies and a Medvedev-led Russia, sanctions brought Iran to the negotiating table. We’re closer than ever to a nuclear deal that could prevent another, still more disastrous war. And even if it fails, at least we tried not to repeat the catastrophes of the past.

Despite these successes, Republicans have to see Obama as a floundering, economy-shrinking, deficit-creating failure, or risk questioning their failed worldview.

Essentially, they have to pretend he’s Bobby Jindal.

West Wing Week 03/14/14 or “What’s Up, Captain America?”

The White House

This week, the Vice President and Dr. Biden traveled to Chile to attend the inauguration of Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, while President Obama worked on improving access to college for students, raising the minimum wage, and negotiating a peaceful settlement to the conflict in Ukraine. He also got out the word about the March 31 deadline for health insurance applications, congratulated NCAA champs, and designated a new national monument.


Friday, March 7th

·       The President and First Lady visited Coral Reef High School in Miami, Florida to speak about the importance of signing up for Federal financial aid.

Monday, March 10th

·       The President participated in a conference call with healthcare enrollment leaders.

·       The President congratulated the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Division I Champions at the White House.

Tuesday, March 11th

·      Funny or Die released an interview with President Obama on the web series Between Two Ferns.

·      The President added the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands to existing National Monument land in California

·      Later that day, the President visited a Gap Store in New York City to highlight Gap’s choice to raise the minimum wage for their               employees.

Wednesday, March 12th

·     The President met with a group of advocates who are getting the word out about the Affordable Care Act.

·      Later that day, the President held a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk of Ukraine.

·      Then, the President hosted a meeting with women members of Congressto discuss the 2014 women’s economic agenda.

Thursday, March 13th

·       The President spoke on the urgent need to get hardworking Americans the overtime pay they deserve.

·       Later, the President took a photo with the 52nd Annual U.S. Sentae Youth program.


Fox’s Hume Details How Right Wing Media Push GOP To Extremes

Media Matters

HUME: I’m not sure they’re calling the shots but make no mistake about it, Bill. These — some of these radio talk show hosts have real influence. They have a huge following, particularly in very conservative areas where they are most popular and where the many members of congress who inhabit those areas are not worried about being reelected if they can get nominated. But they are worried about a primary challenge that could deny them the nomination.

O’REILLY: And that happened —


HUME: So they’ll go a long way to avoid it and keeping radio talk show hosts off their back is one way of doing that.


O’REILLY: That happened in Indiana to Lugar. He was a very well thought of senator, moderate. And then a more conservative guy got the nomination. He lost in the general race. So you believe that in Congress, if somebody has to run every two years as they do, and they get on the wrong side of a powerful radio voice, that’s beamed into their district, because the guys are national, they can really do them bad damage if they promote the other guy?


HUME:  Well, look, it’s not controlling but it’s a factor. I mean, if you’re a pragmatic politician up for reelection, you’re looking at the landscape and you don’t want to a lot of problems. And you don’t — and in many of these districts the Democrats can’t cause you any problems. There are just not enough of them. What there are enough of is conservative Republicans and conservative Republicans around the country today are very disappointed in their party and its leadership. And they think that the control of the House of Representatives should have been able to give them much more leverage than they seem to have been able to demonstrate and they should have been able to do more with it. And so if you’re sitting over in the House of Representatives and some measures of defund Obamacare comes along and you think it’s a suicide mission because it might involve a government shutdown you’re going to be hesitant to oppose it anyway because you don’t want the most conservative — you don’t want the tea party and you don’t want the conservative radio talk show hosts on your back. That doesn’t mean they can defeat you but it means you don’t want it.

See video here…