Barack Obama would like to sing a love ballad with the economy, but the economy is sick and bed-ridden and being a real dick right now, so he has to make speeches to the American people about it, anddid so this afternoon in Ohio. Yes, the media would prefer to talk about some random nobody pastor in Florida who likes to burn holy books. That is more important than the president. But Obama is going to talk about the economy anyway. So what sort of weird things is he yammering on about while nobody pays attention?

"A lot has changed since I came here in those final days of the last election," Mr. Obama told a largely sympathetic crowd of around 3,000 at the Cuyahoga Community College campus in Parma, a Cleveland suburb. "But what hasn’t is the choice facing this country. It's still fear versus hope; the past versus the future. It's still a choice between sliding backward and moving forward."

That latter part of the quote is interesting. Sometimes Obama prefers the past over the future! For example, on issues such as gay rights. For example, in inhabiting his own 49-year-old body and refusing to transfer his consciousness to a brand-new supple space-lizard body.

But Obama also chose the past over the future when he put together his economic team, people who either worked for Clinton or are from the same school of thought as those who did.

In fact, much of the speech was about the past. Sure, the need to end the Bush tax cuts was an important point to make. But then he used that to promise Clinton-era accomplishments.

Mr. Obama repeated a theme he has been sounding all summer: the economy performed better during the Clinton administration — before the Bush tax cuts went into effect — than it did afterward.

What is Obama's position on Elian Gonzalez? Should the little Cuban boy be returned to his father on that communist isle?

Perhaps the only sensible thing to do is promise the voting public a return to the economy of the late Clinton years. But that economy is gone. It died more than a decade ago, at the exact moment our beloved Cuban boy was taken away from us, at gunpoint.

Alternatively, Obama could have used the speech to take Orange Boehner's advice to fire his economic team. YES, that guy is a dumb troll, but it would be more fun if Obama just shut Thomas Friedman up by immediately naming him King of the Economy. What do we have to lose?

Instead, Obama is looking to do this thing with his small-business package:

Mr. Obama is calculating that business groups will like the package so much that Republicans may feel they have to support it in Congress. In fact, Mr. Obama appeared to be setting up the debate in such a way that he can accuse Republicans of opposing it simply because he proposed it.

He's tried this sort of thing before, and Republicans just called his bluff and supported him, ruining the (truthful) narrative that the minority party is obstructionist. But what if he calls their bluff? What if he tells Boehner that if Boehner wants to save the economy so badly with his brilliant Boehner ideas, he should be a patriot and share Tim Geithner's job with Friedman? THAT'S NEWS ENTERTAINMENT. [NYT]

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Fellow Wonkers, this last week of horror has been wearing on us all, because here we are in a world where the "president" of the United States has ordered that migrant children be taken away from their parents at the border, and is simultaneously proud of it (for his base) and cravenly blaming it on Democrats because even he knows it's morally reprehensible. But what the hell can we do about it beyond calling our senators and representatives and posting sadness on Twitter, the latter of which is of dubious utility to anyone, and mostly depressing?

Resist the urge to disappear into a bottle. The kids and the families need you.

Slate has compiled a great list of places to start, which we will liberally summarize for you right now:

The thing these folks need most is LAWYERS. If you're an immigration lawyer, you're probably already swamped. But on the off chance you have time and expertise to spare, the American Immigration Lawyers Association is building a list of volunteers.

Yr Dok Zoom has given money to the fine folks at RAICES, a San Antonio-based group that has two major projects. They're getting lawyers for migrant families (and for the kids when possible) and raising money to pay migrant parents' bond so they can be out of jail and with their families. If you're in Texas, then click here to volunteer!

Update: RAICES is also holding a "what you can do" webinar this Thursday:

Also for folks who are in Texas:

The Texas Civil Rights Project is seeking "volunteers who speak Spanish, Mam, Q'eqchi' or K'iche' and have paralegal or legal assistant experience."

There's also CARA -- an umbrella organization for the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, the American Immigration Council, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Together, they provide legal services at immigration detention centers.

To help kids who are already in immigration detention, there's Kids in Need of Defense, which provides children with representation in immigration court and also lobbies for children's legal interests. Donate here.

If you're not quite sure where to give, ActBlue has bundled several immigrant rights groups into a single donation button -- see the list and donate here.

Remember, there's always the ACLU, which is fighting family separation with a federal class action lawsuit.

You want to march? Former top government ethics lawyer Walter Shaub, who gave up trying to tell the Trump administration what ethics even are, will be announcing the details of a national march (think DC and local affiliated marches) tonight on MSNBC's "All In with Chris Hayes." We'll make noise here, too.

Good people are coming together to put an end to this cruelty. EVERY Democrat in the Senate is now co-sponsoring Dianne Feinstein's bill to stop family separation.

And hell, we'll even give the last word to Jennifer Rubin, who seems to have reassessed some of her previous political views. She has a reminder for all of us:

Damn straight. Remember it every damn day between now and then.

It's your open thread. Don't boo -- organize. Time to RESIST.

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Don't take for granted that the institutions you love will always be there, like democracy, and Wonkette. Click to save at least one of them!


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There are perks to being the only Harvard professor willing to shill for the Bush League Mussolini. Everyone else has to haul ass to the Fox studio and sit for hair and makeup. Not Alan Dershowitz! He just parks his laptop in Pee Wee's playhouse and Skypes in that rant. Is he even wearing pants? We hope never to find out!

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