Friday, July 8, 2011

Unemployment Figures Won't Hurt Obama: David Plouffe

Okay, I was half-kidding when I called Obama "evil" in my last post.  But today I have a new diagnosis:  deluded sociopath.  The jobless figures just came out this morning, and as usual, they're worse than expected.  And if you're wondering why the Administration doesn't seem all that concerned, it's because they are in fact not at all concerned.

According to White House Advisor David Plouffe:

The average American does not view the economy through the prism of GDP or unemployment rates or even monthly jobs numbers. People won’t vote based on the unemployment rate, they’re going to vote based on: ‘How do I feel about my own situation? Do I believe the president makes decisions based on me and my family? (Bloomberg News)
Translation: Americans are so selfish they are only in it for themselves.  Ask not what you can do for your country or fellow men, but ask what my President can do for the top two percent of wage earners, corporations, the Wall Street elites, and the Military-Industrial complex.  It'll all trickle down eventually.

Paul Krugman thinks we should be more aghast than usual at the new monthly report:

Almost no job creation, with slow private-sector growth offset by falling public-sector employment; a falling employment-population ratio; and (I don’t know how many people have picked this up), an actual decline in wages, albeit a small one.

The politicians are all buying into Reagan voodoo economics at this point, confident that cutting trillions from the budget will miraculously create the Confidence Fairy and inspire the money-hoarding tax-evading multinationals to create jobs, jobs, jobs.  They are wrong, wrong, wrong.  And I think they know it and just don't care.

Arriving Soon... From Wall Street to Pennsylvania Avenue


Janet Camp said...

I think Plouffe is--sadly--absolutely correct.

Marvel said...

I think it's safe to say that until after the next election (and even then, based on what's happening now, there's not much reason to expect large scale improvement) the economy will go no where. In fact, the odds are that we'll move steadily backwards. Obama has no game plan to attack unemployment, which is amazing considering the drubbing he took in 2010. If the republicans control Washington in 2013 they'll push us off the cliff by year-end. If Obama wins re-election we may well go over that same cliff, just at a slower pace. I never would have thought that, as I approach my 53rd birthday, I would be considering a place like Toronto as my primary future residence. I've simply got too much to protect to let a screwed-up health care/medicare/social security system potentially bankrupt me.

James F Traynor said...

Yeah, sigh, he's right, more's the pity.

Ciara said...

Karen, I've pretty much come to the conclusion that Obama is a clinical narcissist. That's pretty close to sociopath, I suppose. He does not seem to have any genuine concern for other people, even for the people who voted for him. Insofar as he has a goal, it seems to be to make Republicans like him. To that extent he is, of course, clinically delusional because all the available evidence tells us that that can never happen.

He needed to run as a Democrat in order to get elected. As soon as he was elected, he turned his back on those who voted for him. And yes, that does seem to be the behavior of a sociopath.

Question: what is the difference between Barack Obama and Bernie Madoff? A: Very little?

Maybe Barack Obama really is the Bernie Madoff of the Democratic party. I think that the comparison is worthy of some consideration.

Ciara said...

Really, if Obama does what it appears he intends to do -- gut Social Security and Medicare -- he will have shown that he is a criminal. A shakedown artist. A con man. Pure and simple.

Ciara said...

Karen, I apologize for the serial postings. I'm so upset about what Obama is doing that I'm nearly beside myself. If he continues on this path, I will certainly not vote for him - what would be the point? It seems we have only one way to influence the Democratic party -- to turn against it and refuse to support it at all.

On an even more alarming note, I was just reading about Nancy Pelosi and her "clear line" position (we won't vote for the debt-limit legislation if SS & Medicare are on the table). And I realize what that s.o.b. has done -- he's turned the tables around so that now the Democrats will be forced to vote No -- and they will look like the bad guys!!!

Up until now, the Republicans were clearly the party of irresponsibility, the people who were not fit to govern. Now that Obama has taken their side, he has made the Democrats into the party of the unfit.

Yes, he really does seem to be evil.

Anne Lavoie said...

As long as Obama continues to be a tool of the Oligarchy, and the corporate media plays their role in continuing to manipulate the public, Plouffe is right. They puffed him up in 2008. Should work again.

After all, everyone knows that jobs are the #1 concern, but the media is playing up the debt as being #1 in order to distort the public's reality, and to provide an excuse for...what else? Privatization.

But don't despair. Too much, anyway. It won't be the doomsday for the economy by any means. On the contrary, it will be the beginning of a financial golden age. For the 'real' economy - you know, Wall St. The only economy that counts to those in power. They really don't care about us. Trickle down, trickle up, trickle around. They pee on our pants and have the corporate media tell us it's raining.

If Obama continues to be the tool to allow the privatization process to proceed, the media will give him very favorable treatment and demonize and mock all opposition.

Recall corporate media's treatment of Dr. Howard Dean when he was on a roll towards the nomination. They took his honest and enthusiastic exclamation to his supporters and endlessly and mercilessly described it as a lunatic scream.

The public bought it, and his campaign was destroyed by the media singly through their relentless ridicule and portrayal of him as a nut case. They did not let up until he was finished off. Good thing for the health insurance industry, eh?

Obama is playing his cards exactly Right.

Jay - Ottawa said...

You guys sound a little sad today. Understandable.

On TV this morning, with Mr. Obama once again instructing us to be calm in the face of economic “ups and downs” and “headwinds," always assuring us that this too will pass, we should probably respond with the same long “Ha” that consoled the Chinese farmer that DraftSpitzer described in her comment for a previous post. So here goes: the joke for today.

Hope I don’t forget the punch line when I get to it:

The Pope and Obama are on the same stage in Yankee Stadium in front of a huge crowd. The Pope leans towards Mr. Obama and says, "Do you know that with one little wave of my hand I can make every person in this crowd go wild with joy? This joy will not be a momentary display, but will go deep into their hearts and they'll forever speak of this day and rejoice!"

Obama replied, "I seriously doubt that! With one little wave of your hand.... Show me!"

So the Pope backhanded him and knocked him off the stage!

Karen Garcia said...

Bingo Jay! Thanks for the laughs.

Anne Lavoie said...

Thanks Jay! Got me LOL.

@Ciara - you said it. Obama has boxed in the Democrats. Again! Making them look like the bad guys if they don't vote for another one of his secret backroom deals. Perfect strategy.

You have to give him credit. He's an evil genius.

DreamAmelia said...

Theoretically the group is planning to camp and stay in D.C., from October 6, 2011 and onward just like Tahrir Square. I fear it may be more like Bloombergville. Typically, googling and yahooing does not yield results, should anyone want to find it not knowing about it.
Tahrir square had many smaller protests that fizzled over the years. I worry things will have to get worse before they get better, and I am in a pure funk as everyone above over the fact that our government is to the right of Hoover and Reagan. Just last summer, I had Republican friends arguing I was being over-paranoid about losing SS and Medicare--I was saying we would see it effectively vanish to be as good as useless within 10 years. I didn't think it would be this year.
Anne, you are spot on. The media will fawn over Obama's selling us out.

Kat said...

@Ciara-- you hit the nail on the head with the clinical narcissist assessment. But, I guess I would go all in and declare that his narcissism (two term president at all costs!) has led him to full blown sociopathy with his drone love and all.

Karen-- nice bobo comment today.

Napoleon said...

I think Karen Garcia and Kate Madison are both on to something in stressing the importance today of the roles of progressives in Congress and of getting better representation in local and state offices. After Pelosi's drawing of a line in the sand on Social Security and Medicare, the news, especially in progressive publications, should have been on Pelosi, emphasizing what she had done and buttressing support for her refusal to go along with any cutbacks on these programs. Instead, a check of a number of liberal publications, shows virtually no mention of Pelosi. If liberal office holders get credit by the media for taking proper stances, perhaps it will encourage them to do so more often as well as inspire others to come forward.

The political environment today is worse in many respects than in previous decades for all the reasons that have been stated in this blog. As a result, political discourse in the nation has drifted to the right. But another factor also makes the political environment more problematical for liberals.

During the sixties when the nation was galvanized by anti-war protests and civil rights demonstrations, many leaders in private positions, especially those in the ministry and those leading major universitites and foundations, stepped forward as public advocates for these liberal causes. Today, that is not happening. One reason is the fear of such leaders that publicizing their opposition to right wing policies will dry up their fund raising possibilities. This however is not a deterrent on the right but it is on the left, perhaps as a result of the prominence of finance people on their boards of directors. Hopefully, blogs such as these, i.e., the new journalists, are taking up the slack, along with many professors.

Kat said...

Oh, I meant to add re: David Brooks-- regular (meaning non-fawning sycophant) people do not need to read a study in the Journal of Human Behavior or whatever to conclude that life is hard when you're poor.

Kat said...

I would counter that in my community it has been churches that have been carrying the water for the peace movement and advocating for those at the very lowest rungs of our society. And no, I'm not talking about charitable works, I'm talking about working for social justice. Yes, the labor protests of the past winter were a good thing, but lets face it-- many of these union members were perfectly happy to vote Republican until the class war was aimed at them.

Universities well, they have been thoroughly coopted by corporate interests and most of their leaders seem to identify with CEOs rather than scholars. I would not look to them for any sort of leadership.

Ciara said...

LOL, @Kat.

Anonymous said...

"On an even more alarming note, I was just reading about Nancy Pelosi and her "clear line" position (we won't vote for the debt-limit legislation if SS & Medicare are on the table). And I realize what that s.o.b. has done -- he's turned the tables around so that now the Democrats will be forced to vote No -- and they will look like the bad guys"

Holy smokes. I hadn't realized that.

Re Napoleon's comment: another reason people aren't protesting is how much more power AND shielding has been given to the police. It's really terrifying whether you're organizing even small protests or totally apolitical, as I used to be before I was harassed and intimidated by a local police officer. This officer had a documented record of criminal violence but was not only retained by the dep't but serially promoted.

This "shielding" of criminal cops creates a hostile environment for good officers. And it makes for a deeply cynical and fearful underclass.

I spoke this week at our local gov't mtg. on the level of unconstitutional shielding afforded via state laws and state Supreme Court decisions to police officers who have a documented record of extreme violence. This should be a wake-up call that we are losing ever more of our civil rights. I was cut off by the govt. official at two minutes - I was supposed to be allotted three. 

I'll write more about this later today. But I'm finding out that it's not just bank lobbyists who have too much say in our gov't, but law enforcement lobbyists. So you can have literally murderous cops retained and promoted, and the taxpayer is restricted from knowing even how large a settlement the city had to pay out. 

Meanwhile, every "progressive" local pol lives in fear of the police officers' union, which has extorted from the city the highest police salaries in the country. An officer who was recently caught stealing on video from an SRO was making over $220,000 a year. And... he's... STEALING FROM AN SRO HOTEL?????

To paraphrase Woody Allen on God: "The founding fathers, were they to see what was being legislated in their names, would never stop throwing up."

Separately, important article on Sullivan & Cromwell vis-a-vis Obama administration/Justice Dept. not prosecuting banks in the NYTimes dated yesterday.

-still anonymous.

Pat said...

Just wait till you see the unemployment numbers after Rep. Issa have their way with the Post Office. The USPS is this country's 2nd largest employer (after Wal-Mart!) and its dire financial situation is caused by several factors, too many of which to go into here. It needs to be said, however, that it doesn't take in one red cent of tax revenue, nada, nilch. Love it or hate it, it's one of the few remaining workplaces that provide for a middle-class existence. Issa and Co. want to gut and privatize it and sell it off to the highest bidder. And the wimp in the white house will let it happen. I have been a postal worker for 26 years, still work nights and weekends and it's hard to describe what I do to those who've never been on the inside, but we're not all mail carriers. Stay tuned. When this bubble bursts it won't be pretty, and I don't mean in a "going postal" sort of way either. Imagine nearly a half million more people unemployed, if you can.
Thanks for letting me rant.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE my post office staff and carriers. Triple AAA service. I also love my transport workers.
Cops, these days, not so much.
-still anonymous

Karen Garcia said...

@"Still Anonymous",
Please make up a name for yourself, like "Jane/John Doe" so we can distinguish you from the other anonymati. Your story sounds extremely compelling.
Local PDs are now part of the larger Security State, all the way from being encouraged to gather information on dissidents to forwarding fingerprints to Homeland Security as part of the dragnet of the "Secure Communities" program. Worse, some budget-strapped communities are doing away with paid police depts altogether and relying on citizen "volunteers" -- who often turn out to be vigilantes and psychopaths.
Most big city departments with competitive salaries stringently screen applicants for mental health issues and quite a few don't pass the psych test. Something about a uniform, a badge and a gun attracting dangerous people.

Al Rodbell said...

Your comment on Krugman's article was highlighted, and important. You should put in on your blog here.

Krugman has ended the illusion about Obama. He is a corporatist, and even his Obamacare promoted the existing Medical-industrial complex. His disguise as a minority worked perfectly.

The tragedy is that he leads the party of the left. If these policies had been under Republicans we could hope the the people would dump him, but he is the party of the people.

I just found out that I couldn't emigrate to canada even if I wanted to. No where to go, which is depressing.

Napoleon said...

I agree with all you said. Numerous local church groups here in NYC, a number of places in the South, and elsewhere have been mainstays in their communities in aiding and abetting the peace movement, poor immigrants, the hungry, and others of the lowest rungs in our society. I was not speaking about them but rather about national religious leaders. During the sixties, Father Hesburg, the Rev. Sloan Coffin, and a number of others became national advocates of the peace movement, the fight against poverty, or the civil rights movement. The Archbishop of Canterbury and Rev. Desmond Tutu have acted similarly as national leaders in Britain and South Africa respectively. We no longer seem to have this type of leadership in the US at the national level fighting for causes, except for those from the Right.

As for universities, I was speaking only of professors, of whom Noam Chomsky and Paul Krugman are examples. But there are more, one or two of whom have achieved large followers in the HuffingtonPost. Unhappily, many others don't get return invitations to appear on PBS's Newshour. I tried to make clear that the administrative leaders of universities, such as presidents and deans, have long since abandoned this role out of fear of upsetting donors.

DreamsAmelia said...

Dear Mr. Rodbell...The Festival of American Folklife is still here on the Mall in D.C. a few days more, and they are featuring The Peace Corps...I was thrilled to find a real-life exhibit of the ultra fuel efficient wood burning stoves that are saving the world from de-forestation, that I had read about in the NYTimes. I was doubly thrilled to find out you are NEVER TOO OLD to join the Peace Corps!! Whereas I am too old for the military (and ideologically opposed) and to immigrate to Canada...
I wonder, in this era of ever-increasing unemployment, if they are swamped with applications....
My daughter is young, and I am weary contemplating subjecting her to the complete corporate coup which has become the definition of "education" in this land. I honestly believe you can learn more traveling the world and reading widely. And possibly skipping the reading, and just traveling. Every person on the planet is a teacher, but unfortunately many teach degeneracy and corruption. But to meet an upright soul? You can't put that all on paper. But the corporate boxes we are squeezed into expressing ourselves in, in our narrow definitions of jobs, do not manifest the deeper spiritual dimensions of life seen in more traditional communities, where life, work, money, a house are not so rigidly separated. Those components are subsumed by the larger idea of idea we searching Americans might have better luck finding elsewhere...and not Canada, if they won't have us!

Anonymous said...


Thank you. I will sign in through an account tomorrow. 

I do have to amend my earlier comments because I just got the tape of the meeting - I absolutely did get the full three minutes allotted, I simply wasn't talking as fast at City Hall as I had practiced at home. My bad. I had been up for many nights debating whether or not to speak at all.

Reviewing the tape, I stumbled in several places (said "City Attorney lost 120 cases in the last few months due to police misconduct" when I meant the District Attorney lost that many; forgot the word "records" after "police misconduct"; and accidentally dropped an intro clause that would have made a stronger connection.)  

Though my delivery blew (I'm working on it for next week's repeats at other city meetings) here is one arresting visual: the sight of an unassuming white female (no plain Jane could be plainer than myself) in business attire discussing with some openness:

1) the harassment she experienced after filing a complaint against a police officer, and 

2) the near-impossibility of trying to find out why this officer had been reinstated and serially promoted after viciously beating an unarmed, already apprehended man.

If I were a black man, or a disenfranchised white guy, would I even be heard? What if I were a woman five or ten years older? If the melanin doesn't DQ you, Father Time will.

David Shipler wrote about the outsized powers being granted to police in the Times last month, it's a must-read:

And yet I'm still here, another duckling somehow accounted for through Karen.

-still anon, but will sign in through an account tomorrow.

Janet Camp said...

@Al Rodbell

I've had the same revelation--too old and not enough $$. Depressing, isn't it? I have considered going as as "undocumented" and have also been trying to "hook a Canuck" for some time now. I spend a lot of time in Canada and have been told by most people I talk with that as long as you support yourself and don't cause trouble, no one will care if you live there. If you live in a border town, you can still access what will be left of Medicare, although I've also been told that the Canadian Medicare system will not turn you away--or bill you. I am only waiting for my (younger) housemate to retire and then will cross the border for good one way or another.

Perhaps I should not post this with my real name?

@ The rest

Yes, Obama is a constant source of disappointment, but I do think that words like "evil" are a bit much. So is throwing out actual mental health diagnoses in a cavalier way. You start to sound like the right! Narcissist is their favorite epitaph. It makes me respect him just to read the truly vile and ridiculous things the whacked out right say about him. Then I come here and read some of the same stuff! I'm fine with criticism, but lets not so easily let them divide and conquer. We can best apply pressure by supporting truly progressive candidates (through groups like BoldProgressives and Progressives United, et al). If Obama had not been saddled with so many Blue Dogs, he could have pushed a lot more on health care--although, I was the first to be distressed when he handed it to the likes of Daschel and Baucus. Progressives don't actually have anything near a majority in Congress, so that's what we need to be working on.

Karen Garcia said...

Actually, the favorite EPITHETS of the Right are Kenyan Marxist Socialist Nazi. I would be willing to bet most rightwingers cannot even define Narcissism, let alone discuss the word origin from Greek Mythology. Most of them do not even know the dates of the Civil War, or name the three branches of government. And EVIL is not too strong a word, in my opinion, for an orchestrated neofascist campaign to overthrow Democracy. Hope you are right and the Democratic Congress doesn't buy into the Obama initiative.

Draft Spitzer said...

@ Janet:
"If Obama had not been saddled with so many Blue Dogs, he could have pushed a lot more on health care"

At great personal cost, I worked full-time for O's HC reform and couldn't disagree more strongly. There were conservative economists (even Bill Dowd, Bush's former Sr. Economist) AND Blue Dogs (from Feinstein to Rockfeller) who supported the P.O., and more would have followed. but Barry never showed up, he never led. He wouldn't  lead into battle after cuing the bugler himself.

As for "evil", this is just semantics. A lot of good Presidents have done "evil" things along with the good. So, evil or not is irrelevant.

He's unsuited. 

I'm baffled as to why people continue to make excuses for him.

Draft Spitzer said...

"Progressives don't actually have anything near a majority in Congress, so that's what we need to be working on."

That's just the thing. I'm NOT a "progressive" - I'm a traditional Democrat. And I'm far to the left of Obama. So please do not divide further into Dems and Progs - it gives Corp Dems more leeway to trash the brand.

I think the word progressive is part of the problem - by abandoning the VALUE of the names "Democratic Party" and "Democrat" and the associated proud legislative history (WPA, beatin' 'em Nazis in WWII, Social Sec, medicare,  Civil Rights Act) "progressives" have allowed Corporate Dems to tarnish the legacy.

Valerie Long Tweedie said...

Great Comments All Around! So glad to have some new voices weighing in as well.

@Still Anonymous - Thanks so much for your contribution. I have mentioned this before on this blog site but have worried I was sounding a little paranoid. Your comments have confirmed my worst fears.

To give you a little background in case you are relatively new to reading the site. Those who support this option (and I really want to point out they are not FOR Obama – and do not like what Obama is doing), believe we should hold our noses, vote for the Prez and spend our energies and what money we can spare getting as many progressives elected to the House and Senate as well as at the State and Local level. As for the Executive Branch, those advocating this approach have pretty much given up on 2012 and are looking further down the line to getting a true progressive elected in 2016 (Russ Feingold’s name has been bandied about – a very legitimate contender with a record for supporting the Middle Class.)

My concern is that our Middle Class will continue to erode over the next five years on the jobs/income front. Meanwhile, behind the scenes our security forces are being “powered up” under the guise of being better able to catch terrorists, gang members, drug dealers, etc. My worry is we aren’t paying attention to this build-up of police and security powers, nor do we have the data to prove it is going on because it is all being kept quiet and under the radar. My fear is by the time the Middle Class has had enough – that many of us who used to be solidly Middle Class will have fallen through the cracks or will have family members or dear friends in this position – the police and other security forces in our country will see those of us who will protest as radicals or worse, domestic terrorists. If we wait too long to hold our politicians’ (especially Obama who is selling us out daily) feet to the fire, will we be giving our corrupted elected officials time to, in essence, create a police state where they can protect the ultra wealthy from us rif-raf? The bankers who are scamming the system and the millionaire Senate members don’t live in our neighbourhoods. They are already establishing their mansions in gated communities. How long before they demand better protection from the regular population? Look at how the police stand guard over Wall Street for fear one of us should approach a banker and express our outrage.

Will 2016 (or 2014) be TOO LATE to organise enough of a movement to get a Progressive elected? Do we have the time to wait patiently? Have most of the corporate chess moves been played and are they close to taking the game? Bush and Co. were very effective at getting judges elected at the lower levels and getting corrupt corporate friendly heads of regulatory agencies into positions of power. So much is going on behind the curtain to set the scene for an oligarchic dictatorship.

I am really frightened for my country.


My grandma used to say, "Pretty is as pretty does." and "Birds of a feather, flock together."

We cannot afford to judge Obama by his image (which is articulate, cool but caring, and a Democrat) but must determine the kind of man and leader he is by his actions. You must admit that Obama's actions have caused irreparable harm to the most vulnerable amongst us. We also have to be honest about the character of the people he hangs out with and who he has chosen for advisors.

When does cooperating with evil - enabling evil –taking part in evil - finally become evil itself? When is the blame for all the suffering and heart-ache Obama has helped create, finally going to rest at his feet?

Kat said...

Sadly, you're words are true.

Gerald Rubin said...

Karen, you are pretty close when you diagnosed Obama to be a "deluded sociopath". The following link describes him as a narcissist and interestingly, the author predicted that he would be a very harmful, duplicitous president that would surround himself with like minded figures (such as all of the CEOs advising him).

Karen Garcia said...

Thank you, I had not read that article. Just a year or so ago, most people would have scoffed at it. Now, not so much.
Per Al Robdell's request, here is my comment on Paul Krugman's latest column:

I imagine a few principled House Democrats might refuse to toe the party line and just go along to get along, but I lack that all-important "confidence" that seems to be the exclusive right of the almighty markets. Nancy Pelosi was all smiles in the WH photo-op. To me that signalled she was mighty pleased to have been granted a seat at the table. And history is always the best indicator of future performance: erstwhile defenders of the public option in health care reform, she and her fellow "progressives" eventually caved to the Caver-in-Chief on that one.

“Debt Ceiling Armageddon” is just another manufactured crisis to give cover for both political parties to cede further control of the country to the Wall Street Lords of Finance. It’s Disaster Capitalism in action, in the best shock and awe tradition.

Obama, the supposed Constitutional scholar, is loath to even admit that the 14th Amendment not only exists, but is there for a purpose. (notwithstanding today's NYT op-ed by his old Harvard Law professor-turned-cheerleader). It would not be in keeping with his apparently long term goal to slash the New Deal and save the world (aka Wall Street).

We should have seen the writing on the wall during the campaign when a despairing, Bush-fatigued nation was sucked right in by this charming corporate-funded demagogue. We should have seen it when he filled his cabinet with the very Wall Street insiders who helped orchestrate the economic collapse. We should have seen it when he appointed his draconian Deficit Reduction Commission – whose co-chair, Al Simpson, openly scoffed at Social Security as a milk cow with 300 million udders. The hints kept coming that this man is a closet Republican who makes Nixon look like a liberal and Reagan a centrist.

The real Armageddon is the impending death of American democracy. But with the cool and glib Obama at the helm, it might go down in history as Charmageddon.

Janet Camp said...

Oh dear!

Fair points, but just different spokes of the wheel I hope. Draft, I, too, am a traditional Democrat (I support the platform), but also a Progressive, meaning that I support the work of the earlier Progressive movement, especially as expressed here in Wisconsin. Since there is no formal Progressive Party, I am a Democrat.

I wouldn't label Feinstein or Rockefeller "Blue Dogs", moderates, but not Blue Dogs. Blue Dogs are more like Blanche Lincoln, Max Baucus, Ben Nelson--people who are nearly indistinguishable from Republicans, people who break with the Democratic Platform. Progressives ARE Democrats, just lean further left.

Re evil: Evil is a religious term that has no place in mental health jargon, but the two are often conflated and both are thrown around way to much for my tastes.

I think I'm coming off as an Obama apologist, which I am not; but I still think he is better than any of the Republicans. If a Dem challenger appears, I am willing to jump on that if he/she is better. I just don't see it happening. Also, I don't condemn Obama for wanting to get reelected, although I do have misgivings about the term system. I think I'd be in favor of a single six-year term and get rid of the waste of time reelection concept altogether.

Having said all that, I am alarmed by Obama's latest dealings with the debt issue as reported in the NYT today.