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Obamanomics


Before the State of the Union address, I'd like to talk about the central issue of the Obama Presidency, which of course none of the talking heads will really get to. Obama's Presidency will hinge on how he handles the economy. More even than the wars, more than health care, more than the political sclerosis of the Senate, it's the economy. The bad news about that?

Barack Obama hasn't thought about the economy.

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What the Left Should Do About Obama

2009 was a frustrating year for liberals and progressives, and 2010 is off to a bad start. After electing the first unapologetically liberal President of the United States in forty years, with large majorities in both the House and Senate, liberals have seen our agenda diluted, stalled, and now seriously set back. It shouldn't have happened. And now, of course, there is rage and confusion and we are circling into our old firing squad. But as I see it, there are only three questions, and they all have simple answers.

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Call Your Representative

 

I'm going to shamelessly repost this from Tim F. at Balloon Juice, because it's good and timely advice. Call your member of the House and tell them to vote for health care reform. Tell them loud, and tell them proud. Here's how:

(1) Use a phone. Email has nigh on zero impact. Trust me on this. Letter mail gets read, but you don’t have time. Reach the House switchboard at (202) 224-3121 .

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Robert B. Parker Is Dead, Alas

Robert B. Parker died today, in Cambridge, at his writing desk. I turned on my cell after an afternoon class and found that every male member of my family had left a message with the news.

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Massachusetts Senate Betting Pool

I don't like to blog about narrowly political horse-race topics often, and whoever wins in Massachusetts today I'll be blogging the same big picture. If Coakley wins, it's still instructuve that she had trouble with a specific breed of Democrats (whom I will call the Big Daddy Democrats), and even if she wins there may be trouble ahead in places like Ohio and West Virginia. If COakley loses, Obama and the Dems will still be in much the same relatively difficult place as before, and the difficulties (and their relative nature) won't change radically.

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Progress and the Pendulum

I'm watching the snow through an airport window, thinking about the posts I've meant to get to in the last hectic week or so, and about the things I have to do and the places I have to fly over the next ten days. But for today, it'll have to be a short one, and mostly a metaphor.

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Why Obama Won the Nobel, Part II

When Obama's Nobel Prize was first announced, I tried to explain why the Nobel Committee might have chosen him. Today, as he accepts the Prize, seems like a good time to finish that attempted explanation. But first, two quick things I need to say to frame the discussion.

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Having an FDR Christmas

Exactly three weeks before Christmas, my bank failed.

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Mister Hope Is Secretly Mister Reliable

The day before President Obama announced his Afghanistan strategy, Politico published John F. Harris's very important and newsy thumbsucker about the peril that "anti-Obama storylines" pose to Obama's Presidency. The first sentence of the article is, no kidding, "Presidential politics is about storytelling."

Storytelling. Huh. And here I thought it was about the economy and the two wars.

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Biography

Doctor Cleveland is a transparent pseudonym for Shakespeare scholar Jim Marino, who blogs about politics, education, literature, and the arts. His personal obsessions include live theater, Red Sox baseball, and powerful black coffee. He teaches college, somewhere along America's glorious North Coast. He has also been known to write about Shakespeare and early modern theater.

While he blogs about the general academic life, he does not discuss his current institution, its students, or its employees on the blog. Nor does he use any university resources to blog. Opinions expressed on the blog are not those of his employer, and do not reflect the content of his classes.

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