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Friday: Ruh-Roh, The Shrill One’s Hair is on Fire

David Broder, Medieval MD.

David Broder, Medieval MD.

Remember the accounts of Richard Clark and George Tenet at the 9/11 Commission hearings about how they were running around the White House with their hair on fire trying to get Condi’s and W’s attention in the summer of 2001?  They knew something bad was going to happen and even went to the trouble of delivering a presidential daily briefing called “bin Laden determined to strike within the US” to Bush while he was on vacation.  Remember how they said he told them it was harshing his mellow and he didn’t want to hear about it anymore?  Jeez!  Why didn’t we impeach the guy!?  Bill Clinton could *never* have gotten away with that.  Oh, yeah, Nancy took impeachment off of the table.

Well, Paul Krugman, aka “The Shrill One”, must have written his last column with his hair on fire.  Our economy balances on the edge of a knife.  One false move and we’re right back to the “Buddy Can You Spare A Dime” days.  You know, I don’t think he’s kidding.  The layoffs are coming fast and furious and pretty soon, the economy is going to shrink in a big way.  But it’s Obama and the Republicans playing games that has Krugman worried:

It’s as if the dismal economic failure of the last eight years never happened — yet Democrats have, incredibly, been on the defensive. Even if a major stimulus bill does pass the Senate, there’s a real risk that important parts of the original plan, especially aid to state and local governments, will have been emasculated.

Somehow, Washington has lost any sense of what’s at stake — of the reality that we may well be falling into an economic abyss, and that if we do, it will be very hard to get out again.

It’s hard to exaggerate how much economic trouble we’re in. The crisis began with housing, but the implosion of the Bush-era housing bubble has set economic dominoes falling not just in the United States, but around the world.

I think that Krugman has touched on something and may have briefly overlooked its significance.  He says, “Washington has lost any sense of what’s at stake”.  This is the nail hitting statement of the piece.  Washington, ie, the Villagers, has never had a firm grip on reality.  They have their own fantasy version created straight from the smelly, old brain of David Broder and his friends.  Broder is the equivalent of a medieval physician.  No matter what you have, the cure is to smear it with goat dung to bring draw out the evil in the form of pus and then he will bleed you for awhile.  The Villager crusade against reality started when Hillary Clinton entered the race.  Immediately, they consulted their Aristotle and diagnosed that she had improperly violated the natural order so they sought to return her to her level.  The signs of an impending catastrophe with the economy have been around for a couple of years now, so much so that the podunk Des Moines Register specifically cited it as a reason for endorsing Hillary over Obama.  But this made no difference to the Villagers who were determined that no one should question their authority to wreck a woman’s career whenever it struck their fancy.

Now, this is not to say that Hillary would have been able to save the world.  When she first started out, even I wasn’t totally convinced she could overcome the tsunami of Republican opposition she would have faced.  But circumstances and adversity have a funny way of forging some raw elements into steel.  But this is beside the point.  Hillary is not our president.  The Villagers saw to that.  And since they were so successful, they are now strengthened.  No one stood up to these anachronisms stuck in the past.  They were unable to imagine a future that might be as bleak as The Great Depression.  They are still writing weighty tomes praising the virtues of bi-partisanship and lark’s tongues.

The unfortunate thing is that their young apprentice, Barack Obama, seems to have genuinely bought into the bi-partisanship philosophy.  The Bushies dragged the country so far to the right and the country is so out of joint that voters everywhere voted in desperation for a Democrat.  And now that Obama has majorities in the House and Senate and all the power in the world to set things right, what does he do?  He tries to appeal to… Republicans?  Well, I’m glad to see that he’s made a speech.  That’s very public and loud and finger wagging.  But as we have pointed out before, integrity means matching your word with your actions.  If they don’t gem, all the speeches in the world aren’t going to save us.  We will have to comb through the stimulus package to see how sincere he and Congress really are.  Are they paying any attention to the man with his hair on fire?:

So what should Mr. Obama do? Count me among those who think that the president made a big mistake in his initial approach, that his attempts to transcend partisanship ended up empowering politicians who take their marching orders from Rush Limbaugh. What matters now, however, is what he does next.

It’s time for Mr. Obama to go on the offensive. Above all, he must not shy away from pointing out that those who stand in the way of his plan, in the name of a discredited economic philosophy, are putting the nation’s future at risk. The American economy is on the edge of catastrophe, and much of the Republican Party is trying to push it over that edge.

First thing we do: shoot the bipartisanship messengers.

170 Responses

  1. Riverdaughter gets it right again. Act. Lead. Obama. Now.

  2. I noticed that Krugman is increasingly desperate over the Indecisive One. And yet, he couldn’r forget that Mr Bipartisanship didn’t turn this way over night
    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2009/02/06/krugman-heloooo-there-crisis-remember/

  3. RD,

    Dear God, is he capable of doing what he has to do? This is getting really scary. He’s actually worse than even I expected, and I’m one of the most cynical of cynics when it comes to Obama. He’s so very very very bad at this! He can’t even scare people because it’s so clear that he doesn’t get how bad things really are.

  4. Krugman seems to be pushing passage of the “stimulus,” but yesterday the OMB said the spending that it contains isn’t going to help much and in the long run it will hurt. Where is the spending on bridges and levies and other vital public works needs?

  5. It was Daschel who gave Democratic testicles away back in 2001 and Obama seems to prefer that Republicans continue to keep them locked away.

    I’m trying to understand Krugman’s position here: he doesn’t think the stimulus plan is a good one. Nobody seems to think that. So what’s the point of passing it? Shouldn’t Krugman instead be screaming about specifics that would make it a good plan?

  6. DYB,

    That is exactly my question. I think maybe Krugman knows he’s not going to get Obama to listen to him. He has said before what he thinks needs to be done. Obama doesn’t pay attention to him. I doubt if Obama even knows what it in that bill.

  7. I too am having a hard time figuring out exactly what Krugman’s saying. He seems to think it’s a bad bill but better than no bill.

    The polls have shown sinking support for the Stimulus Bill not just because the Republicans are talking their usual nonsense about tax cuts. People are seeing the “wish list” items Democrats stupidly put into a stimulus bill and they don’t like it. Don’t get me wrong, many of the things they want are things I would happily support. Just not in a stimulus bill.

    Pelosi and Reid need to calm down and accept the fact that they are now in charge and will be able to introduce other bills. No one is going to snatch their majority away from them. At least not until 2010 when it’s possible if they keep acting like the thugs they were supposed to replace.

    As for the line about “Republicans taking their marching order from Rush Limbaugh” that’s a liberal talking point that I believe gives Lardy Limbaugh credit for far more power than he has. I like Krugman, but every now an then not so much. I’m still holding a grudge about his line about their being something wrong with me if I wasn’t happy about Obama being in the White House.

  8. It was Daschel who gave Democratic testicles away back in 2001

    Democrats had testicles?

  9. Krugman says the bill is too small. I don’t know what to think, but I am a little disappointed that Obama does not either. He did want to be in charge, right. I figure if we are going to spend this money, then I would like my grandchildren, who will undoubtedly be cute as buttons, to have good bridges, roads, transportation and communications infrastructure and healthy parents and grandparents to hang out with.

    The Repubs are going to succeed in tossing out the good stuff and leaving in the bad. I guess that is what Krugman is worried about.

  10. I said this in the last thread but it bears repeating:

    I get a kick out of the idea that the GOP is scared to oppose Obama.

    They have nothing to lose. Most of the GOPers are in red districts/states.

    If they oppose him and he flops, they win big.

    If they oppose him and he succeeds., they lose.

    If they cooperate and he flops, they go down with him.

    If they cooperate and he succeeds they lose anyway.

    The Republicans really have no place to go. The only sensible strategy from their point of view is to oppose everything Obama does.

  11. Yes myiq, Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, Democrats came equipped with testicles. Now they are an endangered species and the “testicular” actions are more apt to be taken by female Democrats than the males. Maybe something wrong in the ozone layer or sumpin.

  12. Any stimulus plan should be from the bottom up – that means, f@#k the politicians and corporations….start with we, the People.

    Seriously – give stimulus to us and we’ll spend it (some will spend wisely and pay down debt, others – just like politicians and corporations, will be stupid). Then let the benefits perk up, not hope that they flow down to us.

  13. myiq,

    Duh! But didn’t at least Axelrod know that? I’ve been assuming that Obama wanted the Republicans to do their thing, but it doesn’t sound like that would help Wall St. in the long run, so why isn’t Obama trying to help his buddies?

  14. The why don’t the effing Democrats go back to the drawing board? WTH are they thinking? I am very apprehensive about this stimulus. We don’t need to fix potholes, we need high-speed rail. This is dumb. We are getting screwed by both Parties. It’s just like helping the banks that were too “big to fail”. We’re screwed. Obama is an empty suit.

  15. But but but….The Shrill one thinks the plan is stupid, so why is he saying this today?

    “Above all, he must not shy away from pointing out that those who stand in the way of his plan, in the name of a discredited economic philosophy, are putting the nation’s future at risk.”

    Obama’s plan sucks – we need a new plan that needs to be shoved down the Repugs throats!

  16. Obama hasn’t learned that you can’t lead and preen at the same time.

    We told them, they didn’t listen and now We the People are the ones paying the price while the politicians who put him in Our White House have nothing to fear because their fortunes remain secure.

  17. ABCnews just announced 598,000 jobs lost in January the most since 1976. Unemployment is up to 7.6%.

    If the Dems are right and we need a defibulation of the economy, then they need to stop blaming the Reps. They need to sell it, they need to explain to us how this will work. They tried to be patronizing with the voters, we know what is best, and to push it through while we were still had our koolaid hangover. (The population, not we PUMAs.) They should have had hearings on the bill and studied what would work and what would not work, I think the Dems are in trouble now, because they did not create the right foundation and now it is crumbling.

  18. myiq
    Good summary on the GOP political interests. And they’ll go with it too. Unlike the Dems who, with Daschle, were in the identical position – and due to election theft rather than popular opinion – and still chose to cooperate. I still remember Daschle scoffing at Hillary’s proposal to start a war room for the senate!

  19. RD – thank you for this – sorry I didn’t join you yesterday – I’m sick again, my strep is back again for a sequel appearance and before it gets worse I’m off to the county clinic now.

    Of course, the doctor did say that a couple of months ago that I needed a tonsilectomy otherwise I’d get recurring infections. But without any insurance, medieval medicine is my only option at this point.

    Krugman didn’t win a Nobel Prize for being a schmuck – this man knows what he’s saying and that stimulus package will not help homeowners, employment or anyone except the people that funded Obama’s campaign.

    I refuse to support something that essentially is a Quid Pro Quo.

    Anyway, catch you guys later.

  20. Honora, I totally agree. The reason Obama can’t stand up and defend the bill properly is that he truly doesn’t understand its provisions. He left the work to others so now all he can do is try to defend their work. That’s not leadership.

    Obama needs to stand on his hind legs and say that the problem for American business isn’t taxes, it’s revenue. He needs to say that the constant tax cut strategy was the losing strategy that got us into this situation and that is the reason voters chose Democrats to lead instead. He needs to be able to say exactly which pieces of the bill are stimulus–and give some concrete examples–and exactly which pieces are safety net provisions. He also needs to explain how this bill is going to alleviate the housing crisis (something I’m not sure he can do, because I don’t see that it does).

  21. I’m sorry, I would like to see a good stimulus bill passed, but I don’t think the current one is a good one. Some of it is, and other parts are payback to those who helped him get elected or down right silly expenditures. And, with the rush to spend the money, I fear much will either be wasted, or go to graft and corruption.

    I also fear that as the months go by, we’ll realize that more money is needed to prop up other areas of the economy, or that there are other essential projects which require additional funds, and after wasting millions and billions, we’ll have to spend even more.

    The Republicans used fear to get us into Iraq, and the Democrats are using fear to get this stimulus bill passed. In both cases there were and are real threats, however, decisions based on fear and made under pressure often turn out to be more harmful than beneficial long term.

  22. The Obama camp never saw this coming. The GOP has done a magnificent job of stabbing any notion of bipartisanship in the back because they have nothing to lose. They have rallied a terrified public to their side which is something unheard of in the world of Obama.

    He turned this over to Pelosi and Reid without much understanding of how the economy works. I seriously doubt that he has a clue as to the provisions in that package. Both Clintons would have worked up a paper by now and presented it to the public in the “wonkiest” of terms but could sit back knowing that they at least knew what the hell was in there.

    He must be reeling from the effect that this thing is not going to fly without revisions that the GOP is going to take credit for opposing since he has been riding a wave of “love” for the past two years without criticism. The press failed us then in not at least questioning his bona fides and preferred to ride the tide of “history” while turning over government control to a man who is basically clueless.

    He inherited much of the mess, this much I will grant him. But he is as unprepared today as he was two years ago and thinking that all that acclaim would carry the day must be an eye opener.

    If this is how he handles domestic problems what does this signal when it comes to foreign policy? Not much in the way of confidence, particularly from those of us who saw from the outset the danger in turning over our government to a neophyte with such a thin resume.

  23. Pat J: I agree on all counts. Obama is proving to be impotent. As far as foreign policy goes, thank goodness for Hillary, provided he listens to her and is capable of making a decision (which, I admit, are two big “ifs”).

  24. You said it, Pat. We’re in serious trouble and we have zero leadership.

  25. Thing is Obama doesn’t have any idea what to do. Before the inauguration he had said he wanted a package on his desk for signing on day one. In so saying he was asking other people to do the heavy lifting and he would get the credit as soon as he scribbled his John Hancock.

    But once the Democrats became the majority party the Republicans were always going to oppose anything they proposed; egged on by conservative talk show hosts. So the bi-partisan b.s. should have been a non-starter from day one.

    The real problem, to my humble mind, is that it ISN’T a good bill, from what I’ve seen; and BHO doesn’t know how and isn’t inclined to roll up his sleeves and try to fix it.

  26. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123388255500354969.html

    Peggy Noonan makes some harsh observations about Obama and Pelosi in the Wall Street Journal.

    The Obama campaign made a number of mistakes that were covered up by the media, such as the NAFTA re-negotiation mess, so the present problems shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who was paying attention. The Obama team was really never as good as the media claimed.

    For all our sakes, I hope they pull their act together.

  27. At least Bush managed to scare everyone into going along with his stupid policies after 9/11. This is going to be so much worse than 9/11, and we have a complete wimp in charge.

    { silently screaming }

  28. But isn’t everything all fixed now that his Oliness gave a speech? Isn’t that the way it works now? 😉

  29. Acting like a petulant child will not resolve this Country’s economic problems. I personally do not care a flying fig that Obama inherited this economic mess. He chose to run for President and cheated to get there. He wanted the job, now do it. Is the MSM giving him a hard time? Not really compared to how they treated Bill or Hillary Clinton. What is clear is that Obama has no plan. Never had and never will. He is off message because he has no message. He can’t blame the Republicans because this is his show. The Dems have both houses and the executive. The best thing Obama can do now is admit he has no plan and consult with those that do have knowledge, like Krugman and the Clintons. Grow a spine Obama and own up to your shortcomings. For once, do the honorable thing. Do what’s best for this Country and not what’s best for yourself.

  30. As Cinie points out nicely in the previous thread, when it comes to this bill, the Repubs have more to lose and nothing to gain by supporting it, less to lose and more to gain by rejecting it. Yet Barry insists on straddling, even though his party has a strong majority. The only explanation that makes sense to me is the TC explanation. He doesn’t care about this hot potato bill, he only cares about 2012. People who have no real convictions will always seek to spread accountability.

  31. There is no leadership. Just starting from the list of nominees for cabinet posts who all seem to be suffering from tax issues and lobbying connections which have only enriched them further, to the handling of this tax package is an indicator that whatever “change” was promised with this administration is meaningless.

    We are the audience to a never ending chess game between two parties and the “usual suspects” representing each side.

    These two sides are far from interested in what constitutes the daily life of an average voter but are merely carving out the landscape for 2010. The Repubs, along with a few agreeable Dems, have brought us to this sorrowful place and we have turned the solution over to a man so woefully unprepared that it is laughable.

    The seriousness of the situation seems to elude both sides as they blithely move along to their next campaign rally cries for 2010.

    Meanwhile the morass has become chin high. We need to remember that all elections represent the next election for those who make a living from the public trough. Keeping that seat in congress is first and foremost in the minds of those elected to serve. How else to guarantee that treasured lobbyist position when the day comes where you need to “spend more time with the family”?

  32. Krugman was on Morning Joe for a long time this morning.
    When he managed to get in a few words without
    Scarborough saying stupid things to teach the Nobel
    Prize Winner, Krugman was very clear on what he thinks.

    He thinks the stimulus bill should be passed, because
    without it, we will end up in another Great Depression.
    He also named McCain and the Repubs, saying that
    their only plan is to lower taxes and do nothing else.
    He talked about why this was so dangerous, since our
    interest rate has already been lowered to zero. Therefore,
    that traditional means of helping the economy, which helped
    under Reagan (it was lowered from 13% to 7%), is not
    relevant to what’s happening today. He was clear –
    doing nothing or lowering taxes would not help, would
    only put us in a terrible depression.

    He also said that the problems with the bill were small
    and unimportant compared to the danger of not passing
    the bill, that it was only a few billion dollars he didn’t like.

    That’s the pragmatic Krugman, as he’s been
    throughout. He’s brilliant, liberal, and not afraid to confront
    Obama and the Dems. I trust him. And though I would
    like to see some big changes in the bill (specifically take out
    Acorn and some other things, plus address housing), I
    don’t think not putting money and programs into this problem
    is the answer.
    I do hope that somewhere housing is addressed in
    a serious way. Without some bold moves there, everything
    else is a bandaid.

  33. Speaktruth,

    The bill will probably pass, but it appears that anything related to health care or education or cities and states in need, or anything else that might help ordinary Americans will be gutted. There will be plenty of money to fix up buildings in DC and resod the mall.

  34. Obama is quickly becoming Carter Lite.

    Only an idiot would trust the Reps. I just can’t decide on the best analogy. Either it is like Lucy, Charlie Brown and the football; or it is like the hustler that asks you to teach him how to play poker. Once the betting starts you realize that they knew all along.

    If Obama really thought that the Reps were going to be all bipartisan with him he is an idiot. But I guess we all knew that.

  35. My only hope is that when they put Social Security back on the table, and they will, the loyal opposition, not already in the pockets of Big Business, will stand in open opposition with the same resolve.

    But wait, aren’t they all lined up at the same trough? The GOP was all for this move just a few years before and the Dems are in place to make it happen with a fool proof majority.

    We are so f*cked!!

  36. Things to me seem to be over exaggerated…on all fronts..we cant even get madoff behind bars and you are worried about who is right and who is wrong on this whole stimulus package?

    Obama won running his mouth talking about bush’s spending, and wants to double it. He hasnt quit running his diareah mouth since he entered the oval office, he’s on tv every damned day talking about “love thy neighbor as thyself” at a national prayer breakfast, making a comment about not going to alaska in front of his democratic buddies at their retreat, and then blasting his republican congress folks for not buying into everything he wants. He wants his hands on this money to pay back all his loyalist, you know it, i know it, and if it does put some people back to work great, but the banks have to be put on a Lending road, period.
    HOw the hell do you think you get that done? Surly not be handing ACORN billions more, and he will….this is scare tactics at it’s worst. He reminds me of a spoiled child threatening his family he will destroy the whole house if he doesnt get what he wants. whatever

  37. Well said, Pat.

    Obama turned this over to Pelosi and Reid, basically them to create a package around $800 billion worth (just the big number) and then had no idea what they actually stuffed in there.

    And Krugman pisses me off today with his accusation that those who oppose the crappy bill are those who “take their marching orders from Rush Limbaugh.” Krugman knows that’s crap, but includes it anyway. YUK.

    Even Jim Webb admitted that the House bill picked a number ($800 billion) and then asked members to submit requests “just to fill it up.” There was no “big plan,” no analysis of what the members stuffed in there. Obama gave them no leadership or guidance except the big number.

    But the Blue Dogs….for whatever Digby et al want to blame failures on them……knew better, made suggestions for improvement, and were completely blocked by Pelosi and the Dem leadership.

    There were 11 Democrats voted against the bill in the House…..not because they “take marching orders from Limbaugh,” but because they knew the bill was crappily created and wouldn’t actually help. Pelosi blocked them from any input and any amendments (let alone ignoring Republicans).

    And yet, Obama, in his histrionic speech at the Dem retreat, PRAISES her, and chest bumps, as if he’s still campaigning against Hillary.

    This is not the Republicans’ fault.

    This is Obama’s fault.

    And it sure doesn’t represent “change.”

    Thanks, Pat. Tell it like it is.

  38. bostonboomer- If you are right, then the Reps are winning 1-0. It will be a long four years, but probably only 4. 😉

  39. bostonboomer, on February 6th, 2009 at 8:31 am Said:

    DYB,

    That is exactly my question. I think maybe Krugman knows he’s not going to get Obama to listen to him. He has said before what he thinks needs to be done. Obama doesn’t pay attention to him. I doubt if Obama even knows what it in that bill.\

    Maybe Krugman should have sold his soul and attended that meeting with Obama to kiss his a$$ like the other hacks who attended did.

  40. No, the Blue Dogs plans sucks too. That’s the problem. The Democrats plans have no transformative value. The Blue Dogs and the Republican plans will sink us in to a Depression. They are both wrong.

  41. Obama is attempting to write his own place in history. The first AA president. The first to break down the partisanship mood in DC. The first to actually “reach across the aisle” by appointing Repubs to key positions.

    Of course there really is no “aisle” anymore since they all co-mingle with the same special interests who are the ones who call the shots. Wasn’t it Bush who permitted lobbyists to write and craft a lot of the legislation the Repubs eagerly passed on his watch?

    They eat the cake and the crumbs as well while the rest of us are left the clean up after another festive party.

  42. Mary- I don’t know about the other ten, but one of the eleven is a freshman congressman from the Baltimore suburbs. He just won a really tough election in a Rep. leaning district. I am sure that he figured that his first vote better not be for the stimulus package. I agree that Limbaugh had nothing to do with his vote. Maybe Pelosi has not whipped him into shape yet.

  43. Speaktruth,

    As per housing. The Dems just defeated a proposal from the Rebubs to lower the mortgage interest rate to 4% or 4.5%. Chuck Schumer said it would give the banks “a windfall of refinancing fees”. Can you imagine how a low mortgage rate would help those in trouble now with their 8%+ mortgages or new homebuyers would? And if banks made money they would lend money. This whole thing makes me ill. The stimulus is geared to help social, gov’t. programs not anyone who works for a living. God help us.

  44. Charles Krauthammer is using the stimulus and appointment issues to tarnish Obama’s image in the Washington Post. The Democrats really messed this one up by not getting their message out early, and by trying to hide some of the spending in the bill, they allowed the Republicans to take control of the message …. not a good idea.

  45. I am stuck in moderation again.

  46. Has anyone else wondered where we would be if people had listened to Hillary when she first called for a program to help re-work existing mortgages so people could stay in their homes?

  47. Oh well, I’m off for now. I expect today will prove to be rather interesting and I can’t help but wonder what type of package will end up passing in the Senate.

  48. The h/t in my first sentence above should be to myiq, not Cinie. Coffee stimulus not working yet.

  49. Do you think someone needs to tell Obama that the airforce one does not belong to him personnally, basically it’s our jet, we the people paid for it,

    He told reporters aboard it yesterday and i quote, “how do you like MY spiffy new ride?”

    a man who truly will never grow up and who is brainwashed by none other than rev wright and all his other cronies and looney tune friends including farrahkan…they all are gonna suck this place into a deep dark hole.

  50. let’s shoot all the lobbyists, let’s shoot them tonight …

    (with apologies to the Eagles)

  51. We were admonished and chastised for not having tears in our eyes and lumps in our throat when this No Nothing won the election because we refused to accept the “historic” event in those terms.

    Perhaps that would be true if we had been in opposition to a candidate who came qualified to the arena but most of us hesitated because he offered little by way of experience that would have us believe otherwise.

    So this is what we get. What we expected. What was predicted. A neophyte facing overwhelming disasters with a background wholly related to a community organizer and one who has done little beyond running for higher office at every opportunity.

    We told you so.

  52. Everything is in Spammyville today.

  53. The h/t in my first sentence above should be to myiq, not Cinie

    S’ok, we were sharing the same brain last night anyway.

  54. oy, i’m in moderation … oh, well

    don’t they teach game theory at Harvard Law?

  55. just heard someone say, the millions of jobs that obama’s stimulus package would create would be government jobs that go on and on and on, just like the
    the health care program he just signed, we will pay forever and we will need to borrow more eventually because of the way it was funded…this sucks soooooooo badly.

  56. Everyone is out now. I don’t know what’s going on with the mod filter today.

  57. I personally do not care a flying fig that Obama inherited this economic mess. He chose to run for President and cheated to get there. He wanted the job, now do it.

    Amen FL Voter — if he had an ounce of decency he would not have run with things as bad as they are, much less promising that his mere election would slow the tides of the oceans. He actually said that & even as I remember it now to write it I am struck by how stupid that sounds — the morons who voted for him when he offered nothing but these ridiculous platitudes get none of my sympathy either.

    And why all the blame on Republicans? The Republicans aren’t in the majority in either the House or the Senate. The Republicans didn’t run a campaign promising “unity” (which, in fact, is NOT good for democracy). I know we all here, despite how unethically the DNC acted this year, would like to believe that Obama is a Republican — but he isn’t — he is the head of the Democratic Party — we are seeing for the first time what exactly that means. I’m glad I’m registered Independent.

  58. Dakinikat,

    Have you had to time actually read the bill? I know they did it at pumapac. I wish some newspaper would just publish a specific summary.

  59. I saw the Krugster on Joe Scar this morning and he was wonderful. He handily disarmed Joe, Buchanan, and the others who kept trying to claim that the Republicans have had *some* good ideas about the economy, and he did it with panache and good cheer. Joe even asked if he would come do a sit-in on the show (where they have a guest actually sit with them for 2-3 hours, commenting) which is something they only do for guests they REALLY like…I was disappointed when the Krugster said “If I have time,” he should have jumped at the opportunity! Maybe he was just caught by surprise.

    Here’s another voice of doom:

    “Dear God, let’s just kiss the US economy goodbye. It may take a few years before the loyalists and permabulls throw in the towel, but the handwriting is on the wall.

    The Obama Administration, if the Washington Post’s latest report is accurate, is about to embark on a hugely expensive “save the banking industry at all costs” experiment that:

    1. Has nothing substantive in common with any of the “deemed as successful” financial crisis programs

    2. Has key elements that studies of financial crises have recommended against

    3. Consumes considerable resources, thus competing with other, in many cases better, uses of fiscal firepower.

    The Obama Administration is as obviously and fully hostage to the interests of the financial services industry as the Bush crowd was…”

    — Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism blog

    Read more if you can bear it: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2009/02/bad-bank-assets-proposal-worse-than-you.html

  60. Has anyone else wondered where we would be if people had listened to Hillary when she first called for a program to help re-work existing mortgages so people could stay in their homes?

    It was at least an attempt on solving the problem unlike the package now offered which includes little of that solution.

  61. My car broke today. i’m sitting at home while my undergrads are at school celebrating that they have friday off now …

    but anyway, the deal is with the stimulus is that all spending is not equal because of the way it enters and multiplies through the economy

    Tax breaks and especially rebates are not as effective as government spending because a portion of those goes to tax, a portion, to savings or paying down bills, and a portion will be spent on imports

    when you’re in a deflation trap, the portion that gets put into savings or paying down bills grows (this is called the paradox of thrift because it’s bad for the economy at the point but good for the household)

    So, government spending is more powerful, because on the first round it goes out as 100% as long as its spent in the country (hence the specification to buy American)

    The other thing we now is that if you compare the rich or old to the poor or young, they tend to save more…

    savings and paying down bills doesn’t stimulate the economy

    Any form of government spending stimulates the economy and will create jobs … some of it just has demand and supply effects, so for example a bridge project not only means construction workers get jobs, but it is an increase in something that encourages commerce, trucks can use it, etc. Problem with your typical infrastructure project is that it takes a long time to bid and start …

    My suggestion for the stimulus package is to focus on getting it to state and local governments for what they feel they need … it’ll stop those entities from increasing taxes and it will enable them to get projects and spending started in places they know are needed …

    increases in food stamps even, would be good, or more money for folks to buy meds … the money needs to go directly to folks that will buy american stuff immediately. That would be poor people and state and local governments …

  62. This is I suppose OT, and I’m not sure whether others have brought up this column, but here’s some truly revealing commentary from the inside of an Obot mindby a blogger on the NY Times.

    Warning: Do not read this on a full stomach.

  63. My comment should read “housing SHOULD be
    addressed in a serious way.”
    I just went back and read the comments, and that
    changes the gist of my comment above – namely, I was
    replying to comments on other posts, some of which were
    supporting the McCain plan. None of these comments did.
    Very well said, Pat Johnson. There is no leadership.
    The problem is there is no one representing the needs
    of the people, which is, duh, what they are there for.

    Basically, Pat said it all already.

  64. oh, and we also need to start revamping the regulatory environment for financial institutions asap … you can’t throw money at them to make the same bad decisions, they need to be forced to do things differently

  65. bb: yeah, but it’s been morphing as we speak … i read what came out of the house in general terms

  66. bb: there was a summary i linked to maybe a week ago, but it probably needs to be done … think the link was on balloon juice or something like that

  67. frankly0: You were right, I almost lost my breakfast reading that crapola. These people are total loons!

  68. i recommend reading the FT and Wolf, he’s got some good suggestions and some really depressing statistics and graphs

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4a44f222-f221-11dd-9678-0000779fd2ac.html?nclick_check=1

  69. his ending paragraph is telling:

    “We are living on the cusp of history. The priority is to reverse the downward spiral of despair through overwhelming and concerted action. That will only occur if the US now gives the leadership we need. Mr Obama may even find, as many presidents have found before him, that leading the world is easier and more rewarding than cajoling a recalcitrant Congress. This may not be the challenge he expected. But it is the challenge he confronts. History will judge his presidency on whether he dares to succeed.”

  70. What a mess. First, I don’t think the Republicans are only suggesting tax cuts. I’ll post the clip I saw of Graham yesterday talking about Obama’s complete lack of leadership on this, and I think he is right. He proposes spending AND tax cuts. Ok, lose the tax cuts as Krugman suggests, but it is inaccurate to suggest they are only proposing tax cuts. And I don’t buy that this has all been caused by Republican led deregulation–we know that Frank & Dodd and their love-affair with Fannie & Freddie created a housing nightmare that was then exploited by the deregulated financial system. It was a perfect storm of dysfunction.

    Obama handed this bill over to Pelosi & Reid (because he doesn’t know what he’s doing and is too lazy) who have crammed it full of unnecessary special interest give aways, and it’s obvious. At a critical time like this, they are pulling this sh*t, and making the Dems look like the caricature the Republicans have made of them in the past. If they would just focus on spending for actual stimulus (and worry about the other programs later, when they have time and political capital), then they would not be giving the Republicans a stick with which to beat them. Obama is completely feckless, and his attempts to market the plan, like he marketed himself with speeches and op-eds, are pathetic and weak. No surprise to us, but this is getting scary, and who is going to step up and take the helm?

  71. Dakinikat,

    Sorry about your car. I hope it’s fixable. I have to be at school all afternoon, but I hope they don’t vote on it today in a state of panic. I wish there was some way to know exactly what’s in it. I saw a list this morning of proposed cuts, and they are all things related to health care and help for lower income people.

  72. frankly0 — I do not thank you for that link. BLECH!!

  73. The stimulus package is bloated pork! This country, actually this world,will NOT get out of this downward spiral for quite some time, hopefully level off by the end FQ1 2010, maybe…Things won’t start heading north probably for another 2 years which means the senate must rush through pukey nancy pelosi’s pork belly package by today because……WHY????
    WHY MUST THEY RUSH THIS THROUGH????
    I will tell you why, the stimulus package is bloated pork!
    Let’s put impeachment BACK on the table nancy, I call for the impeachment of Nancy Pelosi. Yesterday won’t be soon enough!

  74. It’s the Iraq war all over again, Dak. Some of us yelling to wait and think just a little bit and watching the “leaders” take us over the cliff.

  75. the inside of an Obot mind

    That was . . . perverted, but in a bad way.

    Captain Spaulding is trying to bleach his brain clean of the images

  76. bb: it should be fixable, i’m just praying I have enough money to do that … between the lock breaking on the front door, the car needing to be fixed, and emily’s kitten needing to be fixed too … i’m headed for a second job, if i can find one …

  77. Yes, it’s Krauthammer, but he is right about the illusion that is Obama.

    The Fierce Urgency of Pork
    By Charles Krauthammer

    “A failure to act, and act now, will turn crisis into a catastrophe.”

    Catastrophe, mind you. So much for the president who in his inaugural address two weeks earlier declared “we have chosen hope over fear.” Until, that is, you need fear to pass a bill.

    After Obama’s miraculous 2008 presidential campaign, it was clear that at some point the magical mystery tour would have to end. The nation would rub its eyes and begin to emerge from its reverie. The hallucinatory Obama would give way to the mere mortal. The great ethical transformations promised would be seen as a fairy tale that all presidents tell — and that this president told better than anyone.

    I thought the awakening would take six months. It took two and a half weeks.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/05/AR2009020502766_2.html?referrer=emailarticlepg&sid=ST2009020600191&s_pos=

  78. i feel like a one woman economic stimulus package at the moment … and believe me, it’s all deficit spending

  79. oh, and did you hear that the depart of labor sec. appointee’s husband has major tax liens on his business?

  80. that’s four public officials now that Obama has found that want to spend OUR money but not THEIRS

  81. This package will be passed and it will be done prior to their next “break” coming up by the end of next week. Got to get those vacation days in by God!

    Deals are being made as we sit here. Arms are being twisted and promises are being offered to sweeten the deal. In other words, asses are being kissed, threats are being made, money is more than likely changing hands by lobbyists wanting more, while we, the public, merely stand around like bystanders holding our breaths.

    Obama must be painted to look like a “leader”, the Repubs will have their “talking points” going into 2010, and the world will keep turning as the nation staggers through the another round of “who’s on first?”.

  82. What is with the Spam bucket today? I have been there so often I feel like I am serving Madoff’s sentence.

  83. What is with the Spam bucket today?

    frankly0 made Spammy sick with that link

  84. No wonder we are in deficit spending. The only people that pay their taxes are us lowly peons and the Clintons.

  85. “They are still writing weighty tomes praising the virtues of bi-partisanship and lark’s tongues.” Brava!

  86. This is the kind of thing that makes you want to cry:

    A guy is getting paid $93,803 a year to do nothing, and he complains.

  87. Dak – if you are still about – thanks for the kind words about my references to Adam Smith – I’m glad you have my back when I, a philosopher of economics, actually discuss any economics (smile).

  88. dakinikat, on February 6th, 2009 at 10:33 am Said:
    oh, and did you hear that the depart of labor sec. appointee’s husband has major tax liens on his business?
    ***********************************************

    yes, the nytimes is trying to excuse her because it’s her husbands business. Problem here though, Hilda Solis, when asked to list her assets,, listed her husband’s business. The liens go from 1993 thru pretty recently. Now this isn’t just forgetting to pay nanny taxes. Tax liens are accompanied by notices upon notices. They aren’t levied in secret ceremonies.
    Obama seems determined to become more of a laughing stock than his predecessor, as hard as that may be!

    His little hissy fit last night is gonna come back to haunt him when the trillion dollar pork bellied pelosi package does diddly squat!

    Love how he doesn’t like the phrase “war on terror” but has NO qualms about declaring a “war on wall street” and “war on republicans”. Mr. Obama forgets just who funded his trip to the white house but come 2012 he will be beating his fists against closed doors.

  89. Heidi: I was thrilled you called in last night too! RBG is a national treasure. You definitely need to write that post about her!!!

  90. I am a member of a group opposing the opposition of the position of Obama. At this rate I have no idea what I oppose any longer since the opposition has become circular to the first wave of opposition to the opposition of the position. Or something like that.

  91. dakinikat, on February 6th, 2009 at 10:33 am Said:

    So HER hearings are delayed. What is appalling is that we are confronting a recession/depression with no Secretary of Commerce, no Secretary of Labor, and no Secretary of HHS. Great going on the domestic front President Obama.

    O/T For those interested – links to updated content and news about 51 Percent are here: http://tdg.typepad.com/heidi_lis_potpourri/2009/02/updates-from-51-percent.html

  92. Pat Johnson, on February 6th, 2009 at 10:42 am Said:

    Hmm…sounds like your head is spinning.

  93. I am a member of a group opposing the opposition of the position of Obama.

    It’s called “Oppositional defiant disorder”

    You down with ODD?

  94. I admire Krugman, but he’s not a pure saint either. I think he’s saying that doing SOMETHING is better than doing nothing, but warning that what Obama has on the table is not enough.

  95. A guy is getting paid $93,803 a year to do nothing, and he complains.

    There is a simple solution: eliminate the job. Obviously is does not warrant a position, especially with a salary that high. Another example of “your government at work”. And if he does not like that he can always sue on grounds of discrimination. He seems to be an expert at that.

    Moron!

  96. Just want to caution people not to buy too much into what people like Peggy Noonan, Charles Krauthammer and Leslie Graham say. Sure, they’re criticizing Obama. But don’t forget that they were the cheerleaders for the Republican idiots who got us into this situation in the first place.

    The Democrats may have been spineless enablers too often, but it was the Republicans who planned and executed the policies to make the working class poor and the middle class to head steadily in that direction.

    The enemy of your enemy is NOT necessarily your friend, and will backstab just as soon as it suits him or her.

  97. Here’s Lindsey Graham: I don’t think this really is a “bi-partisan” effort as Obama is selling it. Nancy & crew are doing their back-door magic to pay off all of Obama’s friends, and in doing so, they are giving the Republicans a theme that is resonating (ie: pork). Meet your new boss, same as the old boss.

    But I do agree with Graham’s frank assessment of Obama’s lack of leadership here:

    http://www.foxnews.com/video/index.html?playerId=videolandingpage&streamingFormat=FLASH&referralObject=3533965&referralPlaylistId=c985e69916535a2170b2b18ab0ab7eb60401f9bb&maven_referrer=staf

  98. Moron!

    Someone at Ace of Spades said he needs to start a blog.

  99. The pelosi piece of poo stimulus package also contains trade restrictions “buy American” policies that other countries have taken note of. Other countries which are in the processes of preparing their OWN stimulus fixes. How do nancy and pals think these other countries will react? What, pray tell, do they think will happen to American exports when countermeasures are put in German, Chinese, etc. stimulus legislation?
    This STIMULUS PLAN IS CRAP AND THEY NEED TO WORK ON IT AND NOT RUSH IT THRU FOR THE LOBBYISTS AND SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS.
    Its not going to make any difference whether they get one signed up today or 2 weeks from now.
    The billions that are unaccounted for already should not be followed by billions more.

  100. sister of ye, on February 6th, 2009 at 10:48 am Said:

    In politics ESPECIALLY the enemy of your enemy is not necessarily your friend – sometimes your strange bedfellow – but not your friend. Good point.

  101. sister of ye: I do not agree. The housing crisis, which is the sink hole in the middle of this meltdown, was enabled by the Democrats, not the Republicans. Let’s be honest here. It is not ALL the Republicans fault. Frank and Dodd ignored all calls for accountability. Hillary was warning about the Fannie mess for a year, and they continued to deny and hide the problem. These toxic assets were then circulated throughout the financial system due to the deregulation initiated by the Republicans. This was a joint effort. I am no longer a “Republicans = Bad, Dems = Good” cheerleader. It’s just not accurate.

  102. Heidi Li, on February 6th, 2009 at 10:47 am Said:
    I admire Krugman, but he’s not a pure saint either. I think he’s saying that doing SOMETHING is better than doing nothing, but warning that what Obama has on the table is not enough.
    **************************************************

    Wasn’t doing something what Bush and nancy pelosi managed to do last year which resuled in basically nothing but losing billions and an even quicker and steeper slide in the economy? Throwing billions of dollars into pork spending is NOT better than doing nothing. Obama should have crafted legislation that was truly a stimulus for the economy, not left the job to one who has so often screwed us up before.

  103. Do I need Lindsay Graham to tell me that Obama lacks leadership skills? No. And as Boxer pointed out on the floor, he was not as strident when pushing through all of the Bush proposals when that could have made a difference.

    Traitors all, Dems and Repubs. The only interest for them is holding those seats which house their fat asses so they can enjoy another bite of the apple which shafts the public once again.

    The only solution is to “clean house” and that is something that will not occur on either watch. Graham’s faux outrage and Boxer’s righteous indignation leave me cold.

    This is nothing more than “theater” and a dress rehearsal for 2010. Spare me.

  104. I’d like to add that I will gather my information from all sources, and if I find a valid argument, I am not going to immediately dismiss it just because it comes from a conservative journalist. I will not blindly follow the “Liberal” mouthpieces (or dismiss conservative journalists) anymore, just like I would not support Obama because he had a “D” after his name. If something resonates, it’s worth considering.

  105. yay fif!

  106. fif, on February 6th, 2009 at 10:57 am Said:
    I’d like to add that I will gather my information from all sources, and if I find a valid argument, I am not going to immediately dismiss it just because it comes from a conservative journalist. I will not blindly follow the “Liberal” mouthpieces (or dismiss conservative journalists) anymore, just like I would not support Obama because he had a “D” after his name. If something resonates, it’s worth considering.
    **************************************************

    well said.

  107. fif, on February 6th, 2009 at 10:57 am Said:

    —–
    yep, if I learned anything this past couple years that is it.

  108. fif: Agreed. But we must always be mindful to take into account what either side maintains with a jaundiced eye. Most of these hacks have an agenda to sell, both right and left. The trick is in finding something coherent coming from the middle.

    Those I tend to follow have to show some semblance of breaking from their usual stance which indicates a willingness toward flexibility.

    The rest is just a clarion call of propaganda and demonization. Many of those writers and pundits wear their stripes well.

  109. What a lively discussion going on here this morning.
    Obama would be exhausted.

    While we try to solve the world’s problems Obama is probably yawning and picking at his waffle.

    angienc ridiculous platitudes
    I’m stealing that.

    dakini i told you those Smart Cars are nothing but pieces of shit.

  110. Well you guys will be happy to hear that Obama has thrown post-partisanship under the bus after he saw his charms were not working on the Republicans.

    Last night before the DEMS he said:

    “We’re not going to get relief by turning back to the very same policies that, for the last eight years, doubled the national debt and threw our economy into a tailspin,” he said. “We can’t embrace the losing formula that says only tax cuts will work for every problem we face, that ignores critical challenges like our addiction to foreign oil, or the soaring cost of health care, or failing schools and crumbling bridges and roads and levees.

    “I don’t care whether you’re driving a hybrid or an SUV — if you’re headed for a cliff, you’ve got to change direction.”

    They did not send us here to get bogged down with the same old delay, the same old distractions, the same talking points, the same cable chatter,” he said. “They did not vote for the false theories of the past, and they didn’t vote for phony arguments

    Newsflash Obama you won.

    There is only one president at a time that that guy is you.

    Republicans didn’t vote for your bill. Get over it.

    Your little speech will not actually persuade any Republican to vote for the bill either.

    You have the majority in Congress. Pass it. Why are you so concerned about what the Republicans do? Man up.

    Republicans say: (Move along nothing to see here)

  111. cat 🙂

  112. OMG, look at what has become of our old friend Charles Lemos. He’s mainlining Kool Aid:

    The President Takes His A-Game to Williamsburg

    by Charles Lemos, Fri Feb 06, 2009 at 03:05:12 AM EST

    The full video is at C-Span and it is a must see.

    After seeing the Republicans and the chattering class go on extended run scoring points left and but mostly right about tax cuts this and tax cuts that, the President brought his A-game to Williamsburg, Virginia delivering a fiery and often partisan speech to the House Democratic caucus reminding his audience of the urgency of the hour noting that this “is the moment for leadership that matches the great test of our time.”

    But his brilliance tonight was his embrace of the partisan. He attacked the Republicans for the “gift” of the ten trillion dollar debt that doubled on their watch. And he warned of the same old “false theories of the past.”

    Frankly, this was the speech that we have been awaiting with growing anxiety. Tonight he delivered a slam dunk.

    http://www.mydd.com/story/2009/2/6/3512/81028

  113. I have worked through the night so my diplomatic skills may not be so good this morning…

    Having kept an eye on both Republican and Democratic blogs for quite some time and seeing a certain nasty develoment surface I have to vent a little. If members of both parties are going to continuosly brand each other as evil and untrustworthy we will never get anywhere as a nation.

    48% or 52% of this country is made up of the most evil, vile, criminal, untrustworthy people depending on whose viewpoint it is. Yet each person contributes to this nation, works, pays taxes, volunteers etc. and we all benefit from it. That evil Republican may just be the doctor who saves your life today, That insane liberal may just be the one who increased revenues for your company so it could offer more jobs to people. Or they may be the ones who cleaned your streets, fixed the telephone wires, or completed one of a million tasks that enhance your life.

    I am 50+ and over time I’ve found that even in the positions I consider diametrically opposed to mine there is often a kernel of truth.

    We need to work together and respect each other especially now, and we need to realize that, just like in a marriage, or merger, no one will get to have the entire cake.

  114. off to work, g’day all.

  115. Peggy Noonan loathed and despised John McCain to such a degree that she openly stated it. Her “love” of Obama was based on her young son’s estimation of him at the time. Not unlike McCasgill.

    But Peggy is a tried and true Repub, a great admirer of Reagan, whom she chose to compare with Obama. That was enough for me to realize that Obama represented far more as a Repub than he did as a Dem to be honest.

    Peggy, running true to form, will revert to her usual stance before long. But they will have to offer her more than a Sarah Palin for her to jump ship too soon. As soon as a Repub emerges that she can ooze over, the Obama enthrall will disappear.

  116. Andrew Malcolm has a funny piece on the Obama tax saga:

    Dramatic tapes of Hilda Solis-White House emergency radio chatter

    In an amazing news coincidence, on the very same day as the US Air Flight 1549 emergency radio tapes were released, The Ticket has exclusively obtained the tapes of recent emergency radio conversations between ground traffic controllers with the Obama administration’s White House and Rep. Hilda Solis.

    She’s the California House member and secretary of Labor-designate whose confirmation is before the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Hers is the latest Obama Cabinet nomination in trouble over tax issues. Tom Daschle and Nancy Killefer have already gone under the bus.

    The dramatic tape excerpts tell a compelling story of confused but calm determination and political professionalism during the sudden tax emergency and unexpected descent this week. Here are the exchanges between Solis and the White House:

    HS: We had a problem on takeoff. Flew into a flock of liens.

    WH: Of what?

    HS: Liens. Tax liens. My husband has more than 6,000 in unpaid business taxes.

    WH: That’s a lot of faxes!

    HS: No, not faxes. Taxes. You know, like money. That regular people pay to government.

    WH: We’ve heard of that.

    HS: It was an accident. An unintentional oversight.

    WH: We’ve heard of that too.

    HS: For about 16 years.

    WH: Oh.

    HS: Yes.

    WH: How long have you been in public office?

    HS: For about 16 years.

    WH: Oh.

    HS: What should we do?

    WH: Well, you could pay the taxes.

    HS: OK. OK. Hadn’t thought of that. I suppose we could.

    But won’t it look funny to not pay 15 tax liens over 16 years? And then suddenly the day before the committee’s scheduled vote we pay them? What if USA Today goes poking around?

    WH: They wouldn’t do that. The newspapers are all wrapped up in Sunday’s Pro Bowl.

    HS: OK, we’ll pay the taxes Wednesday and say we’re gonna appeal them.

    WH: Good. Then Thursday we’ll have the press secretary say that your own taxes are just fine. They are, aren’t they? And no decent American would want to penalize a hard-working wife for her husband’s mistakes. It worked for what’s-her-name up in New York.

    HS: But I’m worried about Thursday’s vote.

    WH: We’ll get the unions to turn up the heat on committee members. We’ve got the majority. We’ll be fine.

    HS: OK, good.

    WH: We’ll be OK as long as there’s no last-minute postponement of the vote.

    HS: What about a boat?

    WH: You’ll need one if you go in the river.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2009/02/obama-solis-tax.html

  117. Yes, fif, and I’m with you on that–which is why I am changing my party reg to Green…but let’s face it: When it comes to the economy, let’s face it, the Republicans REALLY SUCK. Not one of their goddamned ideas should be given the consideration you’d give a cockroach scuttling across an alley. NOT.ONE. What have they proposed — more tax cuts? If it weren’t so completely insane it’d be the funniest joke you ever heard. “Get rid of pork?” To them, “pork” is anything — ANYTHING –that helps their rich pals.

    And no, I’m not kidding myself. The Dems are just as much in hock to the corporatrocity as they are. It’s just that they are not averse to spending or to tax hikes (tax-and-spend liberals, remember?) and this is one time when we absolutely need to tax and spend.

    This is one time when the Republicans — who have failed, epically, every single time they’ve had their hands on the economy — need to be locked out of the discussion, period. The Democrats may only be a “little” better but that little is going to mean a lot to anyone who’s job is saved or who doesn’t have to collect food stamps.

  118. From Deadenders:

    Today while speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast, President Sunshine caused pro-life advocates fall out of their seats when he said “God wouldn’t condone taking the life of an innocent human being.” This coming from the man who argued against children being born alive after an abortion getting medical care. I wonder what he will tell the pro-choice advocates tomorrow.

  119. Myiq,

    Obama is bi-polar. Didn’t you know that? 🙂

  120. There is no longer a “blurring” of the line between church and state. They have merged altogether. Like Brad and Angelina, the only thing missing so far is the marriage license.

  121. So much time wasted with the silly squabbling and posturing, when a real leader would have figured out what needed to be done to get the support of the public. And done it already!

    The Treasury has been looted. The US is in a hole. We’re letting the people who made the hole fix the hole?
    The so-called dems don’t even make provision for the people who are really suffering financially.They’re indefensible.

    Unemployed, uninsured people are losing their homes. Help them, you fucking assholes!

    Afro is right-they have the power. And they blew it.
    Where am I? Where is the outrage? I mean, besides here…

  122. Where am I? Where is the outrage? I mean, besides here…
    ******************************************************

    If dick durbin’s “buy American” additions to the stimulus package are not stripped down you will see the outrage worldwide. Already Canada, Japan, Germany, Mexico, etc. have been very vocal in their outrage.

  123. myiq
    wtf wtf wtf
    what is deadenders?
    is that real??

  124. Sorry if this has been pointed out…but Barry has never done anything, as far as I can tell. I mean we don’t even know under what circumstance he got the law decree. He’s done nothing that has taken any sustained effort, he doesn’t even know what that means . Already for him being POTUS is the Bataan death march….because he’s expected to do something besides give a speech. I think The Barry Adventure has been about sinking Dems and rehabbing the GOP….and allowing the looting to go on. All THAT Barry is doing and he’s doing a hell of a job

  125. Obama is bi-polar.

    He likes penguins and polar bears?

  126. As my mother would say when I brought home another “love him forever boyfriend”, he is useless!

  127. ainnj, why not have a trade war? Might do something about our trade imbalance. We already highly subsidize agriculture, and what products do we really need from Europe anyway?

  128. I agree, paper doll, and I still believe that due to his laziness, he is using the most recent POTUS as a general model of what a presidency can be, in other words a minimalist affair. I can imagine Clinton going in the trenches and carving out a worth-while stimulus package and leaving the cheerleading until the job was done. In blabla’s case, he begins with the dismissive cheerleading, dismissive of anyone who would deign to disagree.

  129. Catarina – precisely

    Mawn – Unfortunately we are global. Many of “our” corporations have stakes here and abroad and thus such provisions would also affect Americans adversely. It’s like pulling a thread in a knitted scarf. Everything unravels.

  130. It might be hard to get in a trade war when we get a lot of our oil from Canada and have to hope the Chinese are willing to continue supporting our deficit spending.

    Now, with all the attention on the stimulus package, it seems no one is paying attention to how inept and possibly corrupt the SEC and other financial regulatory agencies are. LD at noquarter has had some interesting articles about the Madoff ponzi scheme and all the red flags that were overlooked.

  131. mawminc, on February 6th, 2009 at 11:20 am Said:
    ainnj, why not have a trade war? Might do something about our trade imbalance. We already highly subsidize agriculture, and what products do we really need from Europe anyway?
    ***********************************************************

    are you kidding? Besides the fact that we are truly living in a global economy now, and our import needs aside, our economy is VERY dependent on our exports, just like every other major global economy.
    We will fall and fall fast if a protectionist steel industry agenda is pushed in this package.

  132. lililam, what has worked wonderfully for him for 47 years, will not work now. And it’s like expecting someone with out legs to run a mile….after a speech and looking pretty ( to some ) Barry can’t even fathom what people want from him . It’s never him doing anything …it never has been . Any doing has always been in some glorious future. Well the future is here….how’s it working out ?

  133. , on February 6th, 2009 at 11:27 am Said:
    It might be hard to get in a trade war when we get a lot of our oil from Canada and have to hope the Chinese are willing to continue supporting our deficit spending…..

    True! instead of “buy American” …that part of the bill should be called “find American” because it’s damn hard to even find US made to buy !

  134. opps that was

    sam, on February 6th, 2009 at 11:27 am

  135. “As per housing. The Dems just defeated a proposal from the Rebubs to lower the mortgage interest rate to 4% or 4.5%. Chuck Schumer said it would give the banks “a windfall of refinancing fees”. Can you imagine how a low mortgage rate would help those in trouble now with their 8%+ mortgages or new homebuyers would? And if banks made money they would lend money.”

    When one lives the life of a multi-millionaire one cannot understand the problems regular folk have. Many of my neighbors who are going through a very tough time would have been ecstatic – and are now just angry. I rent and now I am thankful that I don’t own a home.

  136. looking for integrity,

    HA! Like the banks didn’t already get a windfall from Bush’s bailout and now more from Obama’s bailout? Heaven help it if something in that bill actually helped the homeowners directly.

  137. fif, on February 6th, 2009 at 11:06 am Said:

    OMG, look at what has become of our old friend Charles Lemos. He’s mainlining Kool Aid:

    The President Takes His A-Game to Williamsburg

    by Charles Lemos, Fri Feb 06, 2009 at 03:05:12 AM EST

    The full video is at C-Span and it is a must see.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Charles drank the kool-aid a while ago and I’d say he’s even worse than some of the original Obots who are now criticizing the President. Charles was a late convert but he started using the same talking points from DKos, calling us disgusting and then saying multiple times that Obama’s speeches were historical and made him cry, I knew that he was someone I never wanted to read again. I haven’t been to his site in a while but the last time I was there, he only had praise for Obama and I could tell that he would never dare criticize Obama again. Charles didn’t even call out Obama for inviting Rick Warren to the inauguration. GaryChapelHill is seriously one of the few progressive gays on the liberal blogosphere who is speaking the truth and has the guts to tell Obama and other Democrats to go f*ck themselves when they are gambling away the rights of women and gays.

  138. fif, on February 6th, 2009 at 11:06 am Said:

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Charles drank the kool-aid a while ago and I’d say he’s even worse than some of the original Obots who are now criticizing the President. Charles was a late convert but he started using the same talking points from DKos, calling us disgusting and then saying multiple times that Obama’s speeches were historical and made him cry, I knew that he was someone I never wanted to read again. I haven’t been to his site in a while but the last time I was there, he only had praise for Obama and I could tell that he would never dare criticize Obama again. Charles didn’t even call out Obama for inviting Rick Warren to the inauguration. GaryChapelHill is seriously one of the few progressive gays on the liberal blogosphere who is speaking the truth and has the guts to tell Obama and other Democrats to go f*ck themselves when they are gambling away the rights of women and gays.

  139. looking for integrity, on February 6th, 2009 at 11:44 am

    so instead of a bank windfall that helps people too , we get a bankwind fall that just helps banks? Buy canned goods

  140. looking for integrity- I saw when that was introduced. It would have been wildly popular with the public at large- perhaps the dems didn’t wish to give such credit to the repubs? I was concerned re: how the mortgage valuations would be set in such a case- that may have been problematic, but could have been worked out. It was presented as akin to the GI Bill, but for everyone. It would actually indirectly increase tax revenues somewhat by decreasing the interest tax deduction.

  141. sister of ye, on February 6th, 2009 at 10:48 am Said:
    Just want to caution people not to buy too much into what people like Peggy Noonan, Charles Krauthammer and Leslie Graham say. Sure, they’re criticizing Obama. But don’t forget that they were the cheerleaders for the Republican idiots who got us into this situation in the first place.

    Thank you!

    Limbaugh and the others + the msm propagandized the GOP into power in 1994 so that they could impeach Mr. Peace, Prosperity & Surplus and put us where we are now – in the terlet!

  142. FLVoter, on February 6th, 2009 at 11:50 am
    lol! I was typing the same thing when you posted.
    One way or another, refinancing is what going to keep people in thier homes. If the banks don’t get a fee for that, it won’t happen….what’s wrong with this picture?!

    HELP

  143. I’d drop Pelosi like a hot potato if I were him.

    Ps: Cheney (his 8th cousin) the other day?

    Right. He and Biden — do you have ANY faith in any of these people?

    I don’t. Leadership isn’t their forte. Pelosi?
    I wonder if she’s pals with guys like Madoff, myself.

  144. RD, another great post.

  145. “sister of ye, on February 6th, 2009 at 10:48 am Said:
    Just want to caution people not to buy too much into what people like Peggy Noonan, Charles Krauthammer and Leslie Graham say. Sure, they’re criticizing Obama. But don’t forget that they were the cheerleaders for the Republican idiots who got us into this situation in the first place.”

    Thank you!

    Yes – and Limbaugh and the others and the msm propagandized the GOP into power in 1994 so that they could impeach Mr. Peace, Prosperity & Surplus and put us where we are now – in the terlet!

  146. We are getting an idea of what Washington would look like on the domestic front without Hill. It ain’t pretty

  147. My response to sister of ye is just to make a point that probably doesn’t need making here. True loyalty and friendship in politics, particularly toward voters, is exceedingly rare. It makes sense to form alliances, to get information from all sources, to be open to listening to most. But the pols have their own agendas, partly because all people do, and partly because it seems to be endemic to politics in this country to today that those agendas come before commitment to the voters.

  148. DO and Kat from way up:

    The problem is that when it comes to the financial services industry both parties are in bed together and $$$$$ come before the party or the people. They all scratch each others back and it has been going on so long that it may never change.

  149. As I said yesterday, why don’t they get rid of all of their pet projects and just give the money to us to spend. You could give every person in this country, rich or poor, black, white, taxpayer, not a taxpayer, $3000 and spend less money than this stinker of a bill. I don’t know about you, but I would be spending that money about 2 seconds after I get it. I really think that might stimulate the economy.
    And if you cut the mortgage interest rate to 4% and help people refinance and keep their homes, that would have to help, too.
    I know I am not an economist, but it seems to me those 2 things might just work towards helping the economy.

  150. Barry is good at speeches. Lindsey Graham said that apparently last night Obama thought he was still on the campaign trail:

    “The president has not led. He has tried to campaign. The campaign is over. We’ve got to govern. Roll up your sleeves Obama”

    Obama is really beginning to embarrass me. He is doing worse than I thought he would. Why didn’t he just let Hillary have this presidency? He could have been VP and learned from her. Then after 8 years he could have run for office himself. He had to have it all. Ego will get you every time.

    It is obvious he is not ready.

  151. celeste, on February 6th, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    if they really wanted the help the economy that’s what they should do! But you can’t steal a bunch from a bill that gives the wee people a sip. These bailouts are so top heavy, they can’t even pretend there would be a ” trickle down “—which always reminds me of someone pissing on another . ugh

  152. angienc2, on February 6th, 2009 at 10:16 am Said:
    …[snip] “And why all the blame on Republicans? The Republicans aren’t in the majority in either the House or the Senate. The Republicans didn’t run a campaign promising “unity” (which, in fact, is NOT good for democracy). I know we all here, despite how unethically the DNC acted this year, would like to believe that Obama is a Republican — but he isn’t — he is the head of the Democratic Party — we are seeing for the first time what exactly that means. I’m glad I’m registered Independent.”

    A-MEN.

  153. Just Out. Obama plans to go back on the stump again to take the stimulus bill to the people. He loves campaigning.

  154. afrocity, on February 6th, 2009 at 12:17 pm Said:

    Just Out. Obama plans to go back on the stump again to take the stimulus bill to the people. He loves campaigning.
    ***********
    If true, then they are really short of votes. If he is going to take it to the people, he had better get his act together. I was forced to see the speech last night; I was at the gym and it was on TV without sound. All that I saw was a pissy, petulant man who’s ego has gotten bruised.

  155. New thread up

  156. Obama plans to go back on the stump again to take the stimulus bill to the people.
    Oh now he wants my vote?
    He can have it for a low low price of $500,000 dollars, cash.

  157. afrocity, on February 6th, 2009 at 12:17 pm Said:
    Just Out. Obama plans to go back on the stump again to take the stimulus bill to the people. He loves campaigning.

    campaigning is all Barry knows…plus the added bonus is : he gets to escape from the White House! ….That stump stuff did not work for Bush when he wanted social security for Wall st. . Support wained every time he opened his mouth.

    help

  158. I think one of the messages Obama is going to stress is that all government spending has a stimulative effect. Last night Obama portrayed the naysayers as those clinging to failed policies of the past, and said (something like) of course it is a spending bill, and of course it spends a lot, spending is stimulative.

    New names for the bill that immediately came to mind are “spendulus” and “spend-a-lot” bill.

    I won’t argue with the point Dak made above about the multiplier effect of government spending, but continue to believe that if would be better to spend the money wisely. Certain investments provide for years of benefit, while others don’t. And, even good projects can suffer from implementation problems (can you imagine how that money will be spent in Chicago and who will ultimately benefit).

  159. Because of the hard times most reular Americans are faced with, I sincerely hoped that Obama would not be as bad as we predicted. I know that sounds un-puma-ish; but there are thousands out there, that are jobless, homeless and it is going to get worse before it gets better. For the sake of those that so desperately need help, I have to admit, that I wanted him to shock me, to be all that he proclaimed himself to be.

    He did not surprise me and he is every bit as bad at governing as I thought he would. The economy is a house of cards right now, the least little shove and the domino effect will start, if it hasn’t already. Why does he seem dead set on shoving this down the throats of republicans?

  160. Kim, he’s actully worse than even I thought he’s be. The mellow didn’t even last a month. He could have a workable package tomorrow….right now even. Just ask Hill for hers . She wouldn’t mind. It’s just sitting in a drawer. Every time I think the top 1 % will be satisfied with a certain level of loot….they surprise me by wanting more . They have entered the suicide phase
    and seem hell bent on bring it all down. Is it tin hat Tue yet?

  161. afrocity, on February 6th, 2009 at 12:17 pm Said:

    Just Out. Obama plans to go back on the stump again to take the stimulus bill to the people. He loves campaigning.

    OH GAWD. Being president isn’t just about campaigning. Why does this remind me of Bush and his anti-Social Security tour? We need someone in Washington working from the White House. Not from Crawford, not from Camp David, and not from Hawaii. Why are we paying these guys hundreds of thousands of dollars to tour the country and go on vacation? This is just the beginning, folks. This country is in for some tough times and the Obots are in for some harsh realities about their messiah.

  162. Has anyone heard about this? This is from Amy Siskind of the New Agenda:

    Is anyone aware of the Monserrate issue? He is the NY State Senator from Queens that was sworn into office in Jan despite a video tape that shows elements of him beating his girlfriend in the lobby of an apt building. His is charged with felony assault. NOW NY has spoken out about this – and given the outrage of many of our members, The New Agenda issued a press release on it as well this morning:

    http://thenewagenda.net/2009/02/06/the-new-agenda-sent-out-the-following-press-release-on-hiram-monserrate/

  163. Obama is a leader in name only. He has no credibility… no credibility as an intellect… no credibility as an executive… no credibility as a legislator… no credibility as an achiever… and on and on and on. He’s fluff, and his stimulus package is a manifestation of his fluff.

    The package is a product of Obama’s magical, “but it’s so easy” kind of thinking. It was put together by scooping everything off the “passed but unfunded” shelf, stuffing it in a sack, dusting off his hands and saying, “Look at me, I’m so smart, now let’s partay!”.

    The components have undergone less scrutiny than his cabinet appointees. And he has given no hint that he wants to reverse the Bush tax cuts on the most wealthy (to mention nothing of the beneficiaries of the bail-outs) even as window dressing on a plan to pay for it.

    It’s fun to be caught up in the moment and cheer the phenom of the day. But that’s not who you pay attention to when the chips are down.

  164. I firmly believe that Obama is now coming to the realization that he is in way over his head!
    He seemed to think that the “heavens would part. celestial choirs would sing and all would be well!” Remember that one?

    He actually believed that he was “The One!” Reality bites Obama! We here in the “Real World” knew all along that this mess we are in, was going to take more than some “Pretty speeches!” Too bad your disciples could not see all you are, all you have ever been is a prepackaged pound of Bologna!

    As the former coach of the Arizona Cardinals once said after losing to my beloved Chicago Bears:

    “You are who we thought your were!”

  165. This last part of that krugman article is telling. We’re actually seeing another person talk about mistakes … this time economics. Last time, Daschle’s appointment … speaking of which, what’s up with the labor secretary and the tax problems of the family business?

    “So what should Mr. Obama do? Count me among those who think that the president made a big mistake in his initial approach, that his attempts to transcend partisanship ended up empowering politicians who take their marching orders from Rush Limbaugh. What matters now, however, is what he does next. “

  166. I agree with what TheRealKim said. I am so desperately worried for our country that I earnestly prayed he would really take its problems seriously and listen–really listen–to people who actually know what they’re talking about. Really insist on something that would provide immediate relief, immediate job creation, and long-term stability. I am more than willing to give credit where credit is due: I praised him for his recent rollback on Dubya’s environmental assaults, and lifting the abortion gag order. OK, fine, good great..but this stimulus bill is the single most important thing on his plate, and the thing that the country desperately needs.

    He does not need to turn this into yet another goddamn performance, or opportunity to make the Bestest Speeches Evah. He needs to roll up his sleeves and do something, and he needs to use those famed oratorical skills to sell it to the public and fracking ignore those useless, destructive, bastard spawn of an ignorant cockroach Republicans. Just ignore them. Spend the money. Fix infrastructure, pump tons into Amtrak and other transportation, create WPA-type jobs for all types of workers and tell the GOP and the Blue Dogs to go fark themselves. Just do the right g.d. thing.

  167. get the pitchforks, scythes, hoes and other implements for the Revolution. it’s on its way.

  168. FLVoter, I understand how you feel, as a “bitter gun clinging” person, I did vote for Obama. I saw how this country was heading towards hell. I could not vote for McCain knowing that he would still keep the country center-right. I am not over the primaries and I know who is who within the mysoginist, I mean, “Progressive” community. I will act accordingly.
    I am concerned that Obama has no plan at this point.
    I do wonder if the reason so many conservative backed Obama is because they believed that Obama would be Carter-Lite and would be a one term wonder. In four years they could put another right wing nut such as Sarah Palin into the Whitehouse (GOD FORBID!).
    I want Obama to be successful. He needs to turn to those who know what they are doing. Otherwise we are in for horrible times.

  169. Putting money in Amtrak is like flushing it down the toilet. Amtrak has always been a losing proposition, so why throw good money after bad?

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