Monday, September 20, 2010

Obama town hall: Whacking Wall Street with a stick

Netanyahu wouldn’t extend the settlement “freeze” for something as small as keeping Middle East peace talks going. But he would do it in exchange for the release of the spy Jonathan Pollard.

Obama held a “town hall” “discussion” in D.C. for CNBC.

HE’S THE REMINDERER: “But the thing I’ve just got to remind people of is the fact that it took us a decade to get into the problem that we’re in right now.”

YEAH THE QUICK FIX THING, LET’S DO THAT: “So there are a lot of plans in place that can make improvement, but it’s slow and steady, as opposed to the kind of quick fix that I think a lot of people would like to see.”

A lot of the questions were about why he hated rich people so much, including one poor woman who had to eat hot dogs and beans to keep her children in private school, and a hedge fund manager who says Wall Street feels like “we’ve been whacked with a stick” by Obama. Half of America didn’t hear any of the rest of the broadcast, just daydreaming happily about Obama whacking a hedge fund manager with a stick. The CNBC guy actually asked if Obama thought that “working for profit is morally inferior to the kind of work you used to do as a community organizer.” Obama says he doesn’t think that, although he so does think that.

GETTING YOUR FOOT IN THE DOOR WHILE YOU’RE TREADING WATER: “Now, as I said before, what we saw happening during 2001 to the time I took office was wages actually declining for middle-class families, people treading water, young people having more trouble getting their foot in the door in terms of businesses.”

IS IT THAT DREAM ABOUT YOU WHACKING A HEDGE FUND MANAGER WITH A STICK? “So if we’re doing all those things, I am confident that the American Dream will continue for the next generation.” And then, pfft.

On the tea party movement: “I think that America has a noble tradition of being healthily skeptical about government. That’s in our DNA, right? I mean, we came in because the folks over on the other side of the Atlantic had been oppressing folks without giving them representation.” Should a black man in America, even one whose ancestors didn’t come over in shackles, be propagating that particular origin story (although people whose ancestors were kept in chains for generations by the legal system might also be said to have a healthy scepticism about government in their DNA)?

WHAT THE CHALLENGE FOR THE TEA PARTY MOVEMENT IS (FINDING A PLACE THAT RENTS OUT FIFES AND DRUMS?): “And so the challenge, I think, for the Tea Party movement is to identify specifically what would you do. It’s not enough just to say, get control of spending. I think it’s important for you to say, I’m willing to cut veterans’ benefits, or I’m willing to cut Medicare or Social Security benefits, or I’m willing to see these taxes go up.”

TELL THAT TO SEN. TOM COBURN: “But you know what, the truth is everybody here probably thinks it’s a pretty good idea that we regulate the food industry, for example, so we don’t get E. coli and salmonella.”

OH GOOD, IT’S ALWAYS GOOD THAT ALL STUPID VIOLENT OPTIONS ARE ON THE TABLE: “We don’t think that a war between Israel and Iran, or military options would be the ideal way to solve this problem. But we are keeping all our options on the table.”

BILL AYRES? REV. WRIGHT? YOUR SECRET MUSLIM PAYMASTERS? “Now, I stay up every night and I wake up every morning thinking about the people who sent me into this job.”

SO WE’RE TOTALLY BONED, IS WHAT YOU’RE SAYING: “I have put forward proposals that are going to require bipartisan cooperation in order for us to get government spending under control.”

And then he went to Philadelphia and bought not one, but two Philly cheese steak sandwiches. The economy is saved!

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