Unfortunately, President Obama still has not learned how to govern. — sage Maureen Dowd

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+weak+president+obama&qpvt=images+weak+president+obama&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=95DEE170E6B8EDA6F5E4389C6BDDB45141499132&selectedIndex=46

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+weak+president+obama&qpvt=images+weak+president+obama&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=8CD5F734A508FA09CBA821E9311D87876AFB5A4E&selectedIndex=15

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+weak+president+obama&qpvt=images+weak+president+obama&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=3503467ED179CB4F74B940F807FE78AC3D1A4487&selectedIndex=63

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sage Maureen Dowd

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http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/21/opinion/sunday/dowd-president-obama-is-no-bully-in-the-pulpit.html?ref=maureendowd&_r=0

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THE graying man flashing fury in the Rose Garden on behalf of the Newtown families, the grieving man wiping away tears after speaking at the Boston memorial service …

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President Obama has watched the blood-dimmed tide drowning the ceremony of innocence, as Yeats wrote, and he has learned how to emotionally connect with Americans in searing moments, as he did from the White House late Friday night after the second bombing suspect was apprehended in Boston.    

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Unfortunately, he still has not learned how to govern.   

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How is it that the president won the argument on gun safety with the public and lost the vote in the Senate?   [senators voted against any common sense rules to limit gun violence, even though 90 percent of the country — including a majority of gun owners –support the bill on simple background checks, per Jim Wallis 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-wallis/the-common-good_b_3110738.html?utm_hp_ref=religion&ir=Religion ]

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It’s because he doesn’t know how to work the system.

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And it’s clear now that he doesn’t want to learn, or to even hire some clever people who can tell him how to do it or do it for him.   

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It’s unbelievable that with 90 percent of Americans on his side, he could get only 54 votes in the Senate.

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It was a glaring example of his weakness in using leverage to get what he wants. No one on Capitol Hill is scared of him.       

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Even House Republicans who had no intention of voting for the gun bill marveled privately that the president could not muster 60 votes in a Senate that his party controls.       

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President Obama thinks he can use emotion to bring pressure on Congress. But that’s not how adults with power respond to things. He chooses not to get down in the weeds and pretend he values the stroking and other little things that matter to lawmakers.       

After the Newtown massacre, he and his aides hashed it out and decided he would look cold and unsympathetic if he didn’t push for some new regulations. To thunderous applause at the State of the Union, the president said, “The families of Newtown deserve a vote.” Then, as usual, he took his foot off the gas, lost momentum and confided his pessimism to journalists.       

The White House had a defeatist mantra: This is tough. We need to do it. But we’re probably going to lose.       

When you go into a fight saying you’re probably going to lose, you’re probably going to lose.       

The president once more delegated to the vice president. Couldn’t he have come to the Hill himself to lobby with the families and Joe Biden?

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There were ways to get to 60 votes. The White House just had to scratch it out with a real strategy and a never-let-go attitude.       

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Obama hates selling. He thinks people should just accept the right thing to do.

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But as Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat, noted, senators have their own tough selling job to do back home. “In the end you can really believe in something,” he told The Times’s Jennifer Steinhauer, “but you have to go sell it.”       

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The president said the Newtown families deserved a vote.

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But the President was setting his sights too low.

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They deserved a law.

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http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/01/opinion/dowd-bottoms-up-lame-duck.html?ref=maureendowd&_r=0

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During the 2012 campaign, the president and his top advisers liked to make the argument that if he was re-elected, the “fever” would break. Washington would no longer be the graveyard of progress, the crypt of consensus. Once dystopian Republicans accepted that Obama was not running again, they would start cooperating with him.       

But it’s beginning to sink in that the opposite may be true.       

The president called a press conference to mark the first 100 days of his second term, and he quickly ended up playing defense, dwelling on how hemmed in he feels.       

ABC News’s Jonathan Karl asked Obama if he was already out of “juice” to pass his agenda, citing the president’s inability to get a watered-down gun bill passed in the Senate, Congress swatting away Obama on the sequester cuts, and the recent passage of a cybersecurity bill in the House with 92 Democrats on board, despite a veto threat from the White House.       

“Well, if you put it that way, Jonathan, maybe I should just pack up and go home,” President Obama said with a flash of irritation, before tossing off a Mark Twain line: “Rumors of my demise may be a little exaggerated at this point.”       

Then he put on his best professorial mien to give his high-minded philosophy of governance: Reason together and do what’s right.       

“But, Jonathan,” he lectured Karl, “you seem to suggest that somehow, these folks over there have no responsibilities and that my job is to somehow get them to behave. That’s their job. They are elected, members of Congress are elected in order to do what’s right for their constituencies and for the American people.”       

Actually, it is his job to get them to behave. The job of the former community organizer and self-styled uniter is to somehow get this dunderheaded Congress, which is mind-bendingly awful, to do the stuff he wants them to do. It’s called leadership.       

He still thinks he’ll do his thing from the balcony and everyone else will follow along below. That’s not how it works.       

How can the president star in a White House Correspondents’ Association dinner satirical film pretending to be Daniel Day-Lewis playing Barack Obama in Steven Spielberg’s movie “Obama,” and not have absorbed the lessons of “Lincoln”?       

“Some folks still don’t think I spend enough time with Congress,” he said in an alleged joke at the dinner Saturday night. “ ‘Why don’t you get a drink with Mitch McConnell?’ they ask. Really? Why don’t you get a drink with Mitch McConnell.”       

He insisted primly on Tuesday: “I cannot force Republicans to embrace those common-sense solutions. I can urge them to. I can put pressure on them. I can, you know, rally the American people around those common-sense solutions, but, ultimately, they themselves are going to have to say ‘We want to do the right thing.’ ”       

He said that if lawmakers are worried about primaries and afraid that working with him will be seen as “a betrayal,” he can try to “create a permission structure for them to be able to do what’s going to be best for the country.”       

A permission structure?       

He might do better to remember what Jeremy Irons’s pope says on “The Borgias,” “Do you not see that even the impression of weakness begets weakness?”       

After Syria, Obama discussed another issue where he came across like a frustrated witness to history, rather than shaper of it. After putting the moral quandary aside for political reasons, he finally began urging once more that the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, be closed. A hundred prisoners there, held for a decade without trial, are on a hunger strike, some being force-fed Ensure through tubes in their noses, despite opprobrium from the American Medical Association.

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It’s true that Congress put restrictions on transfers of individuals to other countries with bad security situations. But, since 2012, Congress has granted authority to the secretary of defense to waive those restrictions on a case-by-case basis. The administration hasn’t made use of that power once. So it’s a little stale to blame Congress at this point.       

The senior senator from Kentucky has been a leader in Keep-Terrorists-Offshore. Maybe, if the president really wants to close Gitmo, he should have a drink with Mitch McConnell. Really.

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President Obama’s Wall St. masters who continue to plunder Main St. —

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http://baselinescenario.com/2013/04/30/can-you-say-bubble/

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By James Kwak

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal had an article titled “Foosball over Finance” about how people in finance have been switching to technology startups, for all the predictable reasons: The long hours in finance. “Technology is collaborative. In finance, it’s the opposite.” “The prospect of ‘building something new.’” Jeans. Foosball tables. Or, in the most un-self-conscious, over-engineered, revealing turn of phrase: “The opportunity of my generation did not seem to be in finance.”

We have seen this before. Remember Startup.com? That film documented the travails of a banker who left Goldman to start an online company that would revolutionize the delivery of local government services. It failed, but not before burning through tens of millions of dollars of funding. There was a time, right around 1999, when every second-year associate wanted to bail out of Wall Street and work for an Internet company.

The things that differentiate technology from banking are always the same: the hours (they’re not quite as bad), the work environment, “building something new,” the dress code, and so on. They haven’t changed in the last few years. The only thing that changes are the relative prospects of working in the two industries—or, more importantly, perceptions of those relative prospects.

Wall Street has always attracted a particular kind of person: ambitious but unfocused, interested in success more than any achievements in particular, convinced (not entirely without reason) that they can do anything, and motivated by money largely as a signifier of personal distinction. If those people want to work for technology startups, that means two things. First, they think they can amass more of the tokens of success in technology than in finance.

Second—since these are the some of the most conservative, trend-following people that exist—it means they’re buying at the top.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/president-obamas-cowardly-capitulation-to-wall-st-our-mega-money-pillagersplunderers/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2011/04/27/33/

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Social Gospel of Presidents Lincoln, FDR, & LBJ  [Obamathology plays out itself with timidity-caused miscues aplenty]

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/02/10/but-while-excel-the-program-is-reasonably-robust-the-spreadsheets-that-people-create-with-excel-are-incredibly-fragile-there-is-no-way-to-trace-where-your-data-come-from-theres-no-audit-tr/

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http://baselinescenario.com/2013/04/18/more-bad-excel/

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http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/19/opinion/krugman-the-excel-depression.html?ref=paulkrugman&_r=0

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5 Responses to Unfortunately, President Obama still has not learned how to govern. — sage Maureen Dowd

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