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    • Interview Part 2: Politics Thru Climate Change
      This second excerpt from my interview is more interesting and longer. This is the second clip from my interview with Ian Welsh (Ian blogs at ianwelsh.net). For this segment, we went on a wild ride discussing the big picture mess that is US politics and society more broadly. I asked Ian what might happen if […]
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Ohhhhh, NOW It Makes Sense!

_45455865_obama_ap2261Now that I’ve watched the latest edition of the new series,  “Dreams of My President: Live! On Location,” I have a much better understanding of his vision as it relates to remedying the nation’s ailing economy.  If I understand correctly, he wants to pump money into devastated communities like, Elkhart, Indiana, so they can get back to work making RV’s that violate his “green energy” standards unless they retool plants and make them more expensive with better batteries since nobody can afford to buy them now, anyway. If they build them, stingy banks will suddenly start loaning money to broke people so they can spend it on vacation vehicles.  That oughta fix everything.

Otherwise, we’re fucked.

Oh, and he wants the “bipartisan” participation of the guys who screwed everything up in the first place with their wrong ideology, and then left the putrid mess on his otherwise pristine desk to clean up on arrival.  (We’ll conveniently forget how he lobbied, twice, and voted for the Wall Street pay-off disguised as TARP as a Senator on the campaign trail.  Being a perpetually campaigning President is much harder and deserves some slack.)

I think that about covers it.

So, I don’t know bout you, but I was certainly reassured as I watched the Spokesmodel-in-Chief read familiar phrases from his TelePrompTer-To-Go that the rest of us know by heart before he opened the floor to pre-screened questions from previously selected suck-ups sympathetic patriotic hacks journalists reporters dedicated to bringing us the Astroturfed spin unvarnished truth, that I can now sleep peacefully, content in the knowledge that, with the young Ronald Reagan aging Urkel Haskell Obamessiah at the helm, the country is screwed nine ways to Sunday in AllState-like good hands.

Cross-posted at Cinie’s World

Post-Presser Open Thread

teleprompter

What did you think?

BTW – Did he answer 8 questions?

Obama Presser Live-blog

Let’s see if he answers more than eight questions this time.

Press conference begins at 8pm EST – W.O.R.M. begins immediately afterwards.

worm1

Fraud – Stimulus – Sex-ism All Rolled into ONE!

Watch

and comment

 

ALSO, have you seen this??

Remember back in September when we heard Paulson was begging Nancy Pelosi on bended knee to please give him some $$$. That event was our first clue into our economic dire straits and a prelude to the 1st Financial Bailout Package. Here is a C-Span video clip of Rep. Paul Kanjorski of Pennsylvania. He explains how the Federal Reserve told Congress members about a “tremendous draw-down of money market accounts in the United States, to the tune of $550 billion dollars”. This is September 2008.

Here is a transcript:

“On Thursday Sept 15, 2008 at roughly 11 AM The Federal Reserve noticed a tremendous draw down of money market accounts in the USA to the tune of $550 Billion dollars in a matter of an hour or two.

Money was being removed electronically.

The treasury tried to help with $150 Billion.

But could not stem the tide.

It was an electronic run on the banks

The treasury intervened but had they not closed down the accounts they estimated that by 2 PM that afternoon. Within 3 hours. $5.5 Trillion would have been withdrawn and collapsed and within 24 hours the world economy.”

He goes on to say it would have been the end of our economic and political system as we knew it.

WOW!

h/t liveleak

Senate Saturday Stimulus Session Liveblog

[Billy Preston’s “Will It Go Round In Circles” performed by Paul Weller band.]

February, 7, 2009 — Liveblogging the Senate debate on the huge, now $1.2 trillion bill. Quoted from live testimony, as best I can keep up with the typing, for as long as it’s interesting — or should I say frustrating. Why am I agreeing with the Republicans’ caution? As you know, I’ve always, until last year, been a Democrat. But never mind about that — that gets back to a great point made down page by Johann: it doesn’t matter how we got here, stop blaming each other and get to explaining what the bill will do and to making one that actually creates jobs.

And so they go, around, and around, and around, and around . . . .

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-AL —

The new OBM Director, whose nomination  both Democrats and Republicans just approved, reported that the $1.1 trillion stimulus package will create jobs that “cost” between $100,000 – $300,000. Some reports say the number is as high as $900,000 per job. My non-econ brain thinks this means that there’s so much other spending besides job creation that what it costs to produce each job averages out to that.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-CA is chastising the Bush Admin for getting us in there, but I find her self-righteous tone annoying. Hmm, another one of my gals. I’m just not sure I can get over her behavior as head of the California Delegation at the Democratic Convention, but she’s reporting:

  • 2,589,000 2008 jobs lost
  • 1% increase in Medicaid state and national spending
  • 1000 applicants line up for 35 firefighting jobs in Florida and the police were called to control the crowd, plus other examples
  • Extensive layoffs happening in California.
  • Going on about the past eight years, Boxer hits that we had a surplus during Clinton and balanced the budget, but the Republicans took it up to $3 trillion – war in Iraq and tax cuts to the wealthiest.

It seems to me that instead of bitching and moaning about the past, that BOXER, SOMEBODY, ANYBODY could be explaining the damn bill and how it would help create jobs. Instead, we hear about her putting aside her ego (really?) and compromising, because oh right, “WE WON!” implies Barbara.

This election was about change . . .  not just about trickle down tax cuts that the Republicans want.

So it’s either or? She has blathered on without saying a word of what the bill has in it or will do. Our government is an idiotic mess.

Sen. Mike Johanns, R-NE —

A bill $1.2 trillion — the biggest bill in the history of the world. Many couldn’t answer the number of zeros in the number, yet we have to vote on it within the next 24 hours. It’s not good enough that we’ve trimmed. Now it’s $7 billion over the house version, so we have a more expensive one. They’ve cut $110 billion. but bill is still comprised of wasteful spending — might be worthy of support in appropriations process, but doesn’t stimulate the economy. It is a giant appropriations bill. I’ve fought for many of these programs, money: to consolidate the Dept. of Homeland Security, for Earth Science Mission, money for trail maintenance and cars — worthy projects, but they don’t stimulate the economy.

I hear a lot about bi-partisan efforts. In Nebraska, our senators were elected on a non-partisan ticket, [and we hash things out.] Unless there is a new meaning attached to this word, this “compromise” closed door meetings, with 2 Republicans attending and in the end that was announced as the bi-part efforts, less than 1/4 of 1/10 of Republican Senators were included.

I’m not willing to put aside due diligence to find a couple of months from now that what we thought would work did not. . . . This is literally borrowed money, yet we’re not going to take a vote on paying for this. I’ve heard the debate about who’s responsible and who did what and what they wanted us to accomplish was to get out fiscal house in order, not to sort out faults, to solve problems.

I come from a state where our Constitution requires a balanced budget and forbids borrowing money over a certain amount. I could not issue debt, so instead of cutting taxes, I cut spending. It never occurred to any of us in our legislature that we’d tell our kids, etc. how we were going to borrow and leave the payback to them.

I think the Change people voted for was about how we run our government. We’ve got to grab ahold of this or our dollar won’t be worth anything, because we keep printing it.

Okay, dude, I’m in. Mike Johanns for President.

Sen. Amy Klobushcar, D-MN —

Blah, blah, blah, real families, bad times, all’s lost. Blah, blah, blah, what the new energy jobs will get us.

Sen. John Ensign, R-NV — A history lesson

Roaring twenties: Pres. Coolidge: low tax rates, encouraging private sector to invest was good, stock market became over-valued, like .com of 90s bubble burst, the banking bubble burst. Pres. Hoover increased taxes, government spending on infrastructure, instituted Smoot-Hawley protectionist trade law. Roosevelt, New Deal, massive government spending. people argue today that the Great Depression happened because the spending was stop and go. 1937 taxes were raised again, which caused a depression within a depression. The New Deal didn’t bring us out the Depression, it was WWII. Tremendous sacrifices were made with rationing of basic supplies. After 1929 market never recovered until mid-1950s. Do we want to wait that long for our market to recover?

% of debt to GDP chart: Went up over last few years. Tax rate cuts like under Reagan, Kennedy, Coolidge, stimulated economic revenue. Problem under Bush was that we spent too much money. All of this spending, sovereign wealth funds have been buying our treasury bills. what happens if other countries think we’re too big of a risk? Our economy goes off the cliff. At a certain point, living beyond your means catches up with you.

All spending is not bad, but all doesn’t create stimulus.

Ensign showed that in Japan lost 1990s decade: spending increased but it didn’t get them out of their economic woes.

$1.3 trillion bill when you add the interest, $300,000 per job created or saved. 1.3 million jobs (the low end) the price tag is $600,000 per job.

Examples of the pork in this bill: $6.1 for corp. jet hangers in Fayetteville, bike facilities, pedestrian ways, and bike paths.

I love to cycle, but this isn’t a time to build these things. Invest in infrastructure that makes the economy more efficient. Take our time to see where the money’s going. If we rush through this thing, we’ll have inflation and higher taxes and will do more damage to our economy.

If stimulus package was put together with both sides – because neither has the right idea, we would have had 80 votes. We should have sat down together to craft it, but the Dems brought a Dem bill to the floor in the first place.

To be continued. . . .

[cross-posted from Lady Boomer NYC]

Senate Saturday Stimulus Session Part Deux

[After all these windbags finish spoutin’, the late, great Billy Preston says it best.]

February, 7, 2009 — Liveblogging the Senate debate on the huge, now $1.2 trillion bill. Quoted from live testimony, as best I can keep up with the typing, for as long as it’s interesting — or should I say frustrating.

PART DEUX:

Sen. Tom Udal, D-NM —

Blah, blah, blah

Helping the states so they don’t contribute to the downward spiral.

Helping states — isn’t that a Republican thing?

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-AL

There’s no free lunch. you can’t make nuthin’ come from nothin’.

Sessions quoted Larry Summers from Financial Times in 2007-8:

Fiscal stimulus must be: “timely, targeted and temporary” and must be targeted well. Poorly targeted stimulus can make things worse than if we didn’t do anything at all.

We’ll be paying $40 billion PER YEAR INTEREST on this bill.

Quoted Alice Rivlin, Budget Director during Clinton Administration: A long term investment plan should not be put together hastily or lumped in with an anti-recession package. The element of the investment program must be carefully planned and will not create jobs right away. Otherwise, money will be wasted if the investments are not carefully crafted.

We supported ethanol and thought it would fix all our problems (and it didn’t.)

This bill contains: $120 billion of “bow wave” spending that will continue past the spending in the bill.

Not reflecting well on the Congress. Last year, Paulson said we must pass $700 billion bill before Asian markets opened the next morning. Only $350 have been spent to date, so wasn’t most important thing in the world and results are dubious. It went outside the budget process with very little in terms of hearings and was an emergency bill passed outside of the regular appropriations process. Like this bill, it didn’t go through authorization or appropriations committees.

In a few days, we’ll get another Wall Street bailout and perhaps housing bill. We’re being asked to make huge and unprecedented expenditures without saying how they compete with other ongoing programs.

I think we’re losing our discipline. I voted against the Bush Wall St. bailout, and I’ll vote against this one unless it’s changed.

Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-AR —

Blah, blah, blah, we came together and trimmed $100 billion. Can’t we all get along and reduce the major spending in this bill. We should be proud because we’re being bi-partisan.

She sounds like a grade school teacher: let’s be patient and all get along. What a waste of time. Talk about what’s in the f*ckin’ bill that you’re trying to pass.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-IA —

Discussed proposal for provision for small businesses, capital gains cuts for small business original investment be targeted to $1.5 billion and is a good investment.

Objected to children’s health insurance program passed last week in that it would give it to kids with insurance already instead of those without it???

Dems are trying to nationalize healthcare. Normally they should be in the healthcare reform package of which I’m a part of planning. Giving money to states isn’t targeted, you can get a subsidy to pay for health insurance regardless of how much you make.

National Science Foundation porno idiot – culture there that encourages this sort of thing. Porno not the main problem, just that the NSF hasn’t been the subject of much scrutiny over the years. More about the porno.

Grassley soap boxing about morality. I’m sure the NSF must be a hotbed of porno viewing. sigh. Sen. Barbara Mikulski will be looking into it. Go, Barbara!

Grassley Amendment: Show us the Money, so we can see where it’s going. If an agency gets a request for the records by Congress, it must comply. Vote for my amendment!

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-WV —

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-FL —

I lost interest after a couple of hours of this. Not too much information about what exactly in the bill. sigh. But anyway, here’s as far as I got . . .

[cross-posted from Lady Boomer NYC]

Hey Nancy Keenan – NARAL – Get a CLUE

X-Post No We Won’t

The Baltimore SUN has an article by James Oliphant about how Abortion Policies Take a Back Seat.

When Barack Obama was campaigning for president, he promised to enact legislation to prohibit the states from limiting the right to abortion. Now that Obama is in the White House and solid Democratic majorities are ensconced in Congress, opponents of abortion rights have been bracing for that and other major changes to abortion laws.

But there are indications that what those groups dread most and some liberal voters eagerly anticipate as the rewards of victory might not come to pass – at least not yet. Democrats on Capitol Hill say that while they are committed to reversing several Bush administration policies with regard to abortion rights and family planning, they might hold off on pursuing the kind of expansive agenda feared by social conservatives.

Despite gains in the House and Senate in last year’s elections, there are still significant numbers of moderate Democrats, particularly in the House, who either oppose abortion altogether or are not in favor of sweeping changes, instead preferring a more incremental approach. And any large-scale effort involving something as polarizing as abortion necessitates spending political capital, something the Obama White House needs in abundance at the moment to ensure the survival of its economic policies.

Remember the backlash regarding the decision of Nancy Keenan of NARAL to endorse Barack Obama on May 14, 2008 well before Hillary Clinton suspended her campaign for President of the United States:

“Today, NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC is proud to endorse Sen. Barack Obama for president. Sen. Obama has been a strong advocate for a woman’s right to choose throughout his career in public office. He steadfastly supports and defends a woman’s right to make the most personal, private decisions regarding her reproductive health without interference from government or politicians.

“Sen. Obama has been a leader on this issue in the United States Senate. Since joining the Senate in 2005, he has worked to unite Americans on both side of this debate behind commonsense, common-ground ways to prevent unintended pregnancy. Sen. Obama supports legislation to provide our teens with comprehensive sex education, prevent pharmacies from denying women access to their legal birth-control prescriptions, and increase access to family-planning services.

“We are confident that Barack Obama is the candidate of the future. Americans are tired of the divisive politics of the last eight years, and will unite behind Obama in the fall. We look forward to working with a pro-choice Obama White House in January.”

I am sure all us PUMA’s remember that day well. It was shocking. We knew Barack Obama was no friend to women, yet these women’s groups who pretend to represent women’s interest in this great country of ours were fooled, or were they. Take a look at what good ole Nancy has to say today in this same Baltimore SUN article:

We deal in reality,” said Nancy Keenan, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. “You have to be pragmatic, realistic and, in the end, strategic.”

Keenan said that solid majorities that could ensure passage of ambitious abortion-rights legislation don’t exist. “The votes just aren’t there,” she said.

And who could forget Nancy Keenan’s personal view on abortion:

For many public officials, personal conviction that abortion is wrong does not extend to public responsibility. “As a Catholic, I accept the teaching of my church on abortion. That is my personal religious belief . . . As a public official, there is no question in my mind that depriving women of the right to follow their conscience is the same as imposing religious beliefs,” Montana’s school superintendent, Nancy Keenan, said in a Dec. 5 letter when questioned by her bishop.

Well Nancy, you are quite the capitulator aren’t you. You make us all so proud. We knew back in May what a complete farce you are, and now you just add the exclamation point to it. Thanks but no thanks to that kind of leadership. You won’t hold anyone’s feet to the fire will you? There has got to be a change in all leadership for these alleged women’s groups or we need a new groundswell of women who know what it is we are fighting for. People who decide their status inside Washington DC power brokerages is more important than the women’s back they climb upon are a sickening bunch. You screwed up. Admit it. You really screwed up! Many women knew it in May and it is only reaffirmed every single day, by people like you and your organization and Barack Obama.

Barack Obama has allowed Family Planning measures to be gutted from the stimulus package. Barack Obama has not undone the Bush “conscience rule”, and I think it’s safe to say he doesn’t give two hoots about sex education in schools.

What a bunch of FOOLS!

And you gotta love this from the same article:

There are signs, however, that the Obama administration is in no mood now for a politically draining fight over abortion

I GUESS YOU AREN’T EITHER NANCY, ARE YOU?!?!?

Monday: Barn doors and horses

Hat tip to Alegre’s Corner for this very instructive video of Glenn Greenwald and Jay Rosen on Bill Moyer’s Journal recently:

Now, technically, everything they are saying is correct.  In order for Obama to not catch hell about any of the things he does, he has to assume that the DC Villagers have some kind of autistic disorder that makes them freak out whenever their routine is changed.  The Villagers are all about anti-Change!  But the Kool-Ade drinkers should have picked up on this paradox last election season: why would the Obama, the Change! agent, become the “media darling” of the Village when the last thing the Village wants is for its cheese to be moved?  And as much as I enjoyed Greenwald, Rosen and Moyers laying it all out so succinctly, I’ve got to wonder why it is that they just now noticed that they’ve been had because all three of them were Obamaphiles to one extent or another during the election season.

Getting back to Obama and his relationship to the Villagers, he had to have reassured them in some way that their cushy, insular, courtier lives would not be disturbed.  Maybe he appealed to the civil rights era crowd who grew up in the 50’s and 60’s who are now old enough to run everything, ie, older baby boomers, who were yearning for their lost youth.  Or MAYBE it was the fact that he took all that money from the bankers and investment class types that gave them the reassurance that he wasn’t that different from Republicans.

But one thing is absolutely for sure.  He always looked like a shmoozing, corporate ladder climbing, ambitious, ass-kissing guy whose only goal was getting to the top.  People in the corporate world know the type.  They spend most of their working lives getting to be best buds with the guy two levels above them until they have sweet talked themselves into their manager’s position.  They are ruthless manipulators who know how to get others to do the work for them while they spend their time scheming.  When they finally get appointed to their next rung, no one below them is happy.  It’s not that they’re mean bosses.  It’s just that they don’t know their jobs and they tend to make things harder for the people they manage.  Their direct reports just pray they get promoted out of their jobs and let everyone go back to doing their jobs without interference.

This is Obama.  He’s a shmoozer type.  He’s now the president but he has no idea what that entails.  He doesn’t come from a political family so he doesn’t have a daddy who can appoint people to do the heavy lifting.  He doesn’t have a coherent political philosophy.  He’s doing the bi-partisan thing not because he has to keep the Villagers from shrieking.  A good president would get things done during the cacophony.  He’s doing it because he wants to stay on the right side of the guys who footed the bill for the election so he can get their help when he runs for a second term.  That’s why everything is on the table to be negotiated away.  When you don’t have a political conscience, it’s easy to make those kinds of deals.  The unfortunate thing about the way Obama is going about his job is that he isn’t bothering to make nice with the Congressional leadership of his own party and he is giving the impression that the party is at war with itself- which it is.  But giving that impression at a time like this is deadly because the American people are scared $#@!less and it adds to their general anxiety.  When people are scared and anxious, they tend to get stirred to action.

Greenwald, Rosen and Moyers all recommend that the Obama grassroots start holding his feet to the fire.  I hate to break it to them but the time for smoking tootsies was last summer before Obama voted for that damn FISA bill.  But the Obots gave him a pass.  It would have been great if they had demanded more knowledge of the job and less committment to process from him.  But they let that slide too.  And those of us who were insisting on a competent, knowledgeable, experienced leader instead were called racists by the likes of the Moyers types who insisted on living in the past.

Well, I’m sure these three gentlemen will figure it all out without any help from the rest of us.

Harshmellow

shrill

Paul Krugman is really being a buzzkill:

What do you call someone who eliminates hundreds of thousands of American jobs, deprives millions of adequate health care and nutrition, undermines schools, but offers a $15,000 bonus to affluent people who flip their houses?

A proud centrist.

[…]

The original plan also included badly needed spending on school construction; $16 billion of that spending was cut. It included aid to the unemployed, especially help in maintaining health care — cut. Food stamps — cut. All in all, more than $80 billion was cut from the plan, with the great bulk of those cuts falling on precisely the measures that would do the most to reduce the depth and pain of this slump.

[…]

All in all, the centrists’ insistence on comforting the comfortable while afflicting the afflicted will, if reflected in the final bill, lead to substantially lower employment and substantially more suffering.

But how did this happen? I blame President Obama’s belief that he can transcend the partisan divide — a belief that warped his economic strategy.

[…]

And Mr. Obama got nothing in return for his bipartisan outreach. Not one Republican voted for the House version of the stimulus plan, which was, by the way, better focused than the original administration proposal.

Remember way back in January and December when the sippy-kup kidz were telling everyone to wait until Obama actually did something to complain?  Remember last summer when they said PUMAs were Republican ratf**kers?  Remember all last year when they told us to STFU because experience was less important than being the media darling?

In the words of Katiebird, our retired librarian:

“So many Obots, so little spit.”

Sunday Night Open Thread

Stephen Fowler is Simon Cowell without the charm.

Continue reading