Purposefully Passing A Stimulus Plan That Will Fail

Today President Obama said about the Senate stimulus plan that:

"We can't afford to make perfect the enemy of the absolutely necessary. The scale and scope of this plan is right. And the time for action is now."

It is simply false, imo, that the "scale and scope of this plan is right." More . .

Paul Krugman and most serious economists disagree with the President as well. I believe the President must know this. The 11 dimension political chess defense of the President's acquiscence to this inadequate plan is that he will come back later for more. Given the urgency of the situation, even if true this is a poor defense. But I think it is not even true.

The reason why is President Obama has allowed this plan to be bloated with ineffective tax cuts. The AMT fix is NOT stimulus. It costs 70 billion dollars. There are hundreds of billions of dollars of other tax cuts which are also ineffective stimulus. This is not an 800 billion dollar stimulus package. At best, it is a 500 billion dollar package, when well over a trillion dollars of spending stimulus is needed to stave off a depression.

When President Obama comes back for more, he will be told that "spending" did not work and that he has had his chance at stimulus. I do not believe there will be second bite of the stimulus apple. This is why the 11 dimension political chess defense does not even make sense on its own terms.

President Obama has committed a grievous mistake imo. I do not think it can be corrected.

Speaking for me only

< AP Surprised By Pragmatic Presidency | Late Night: A New Constitution >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    I think there's only one option left to try (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by andgarden on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 09:44:58 PM EST
    and fix this. The House must reject the Senate amendments. In further negotiations, the tax cuts can come out.

    Waiting on Pelosi to defy (5.00 / 4) (#25)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:10:43 PM EST
    Obama is like waiting for Godot.

    She's talkin the talk. (5.00 / 3) (#34)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:20:13 PM EST
    "Nancy Pelosi (5.00 / 2) (#128)
    by NYShooter on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 03:24:43 AM EST
    told her leadership team that she had told the president, "I don't mind you driving the bus over me, but I don't appreciate your backing it up and running over me again and again."...M.Dowd

    Is that a real quote... (none / 0) (#200)
    by EL seattle on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 03:15:41 PM EST
    ... or an oh-so-clever little made-up bit from Maureen Dowd(TM).  If there aren't witnesses or a tape recording, I tend to question the authenticity (or at least the accuracy) of anything that Maureen Dowd writes.

    That may be only to appease (none / 0) (#107)
    by jar137 on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 12:38:15 AM EST
    those who are unhappy.  This can stave off the outrage until the deed is done.  I hate feeling so cynical, but given the seriousness of the current state of the economy and the way this is being played out, I am really worried we are going to get screwed.

    She picked him (5.00 / 11) (#71)
    by Radiowalla on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:06:16 PM EST
    and now she is going to have to live with him.

    Boy, isn't that the truth (5.00 / 3) (#151)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 09:53:04 AM EST
    If she thought he was going to be easily led around by congressional leadership, she made a very large mistake.

    But Obama IS being led (none / 0) (#167)
    by Cream City on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 11:48:09 AM EST
    around by Congressional leadership.  It's just not Pelosi and Read.  It's Spector, McCaskill, etc., et al.

    So no one else will say anything? (none / 0) (#30)
    by andgarden on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:14:28 PM EST
    I don't think Dave Obey or Barney Frank are going to think much of this. (Charlie Rangel is politically neutralized).

    He should put down ... (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 09:50:17 PM EST
    those Lincoln and FDR biographies.  And start reading ones about Herbert Hoover.

    I'm sure some of his right wing friends can lend him some.

    Or check out those black and white (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:01:54 PM EST
    photos of Hooverville.  

    It seems like he just doesn't care (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:04:00 PM EST
    He's off to Camp David for the weekend,  after and evening at the Kennedy Center,  and a brief speech today that explained nothing.  

    He hasn't even tried to sell his bill to the American people.  I still don't know what he wants, or how he thinks it will help the average guy/gal.  I'm not convinced that even he knows.  

    Maybe it's just me who is confused and sick of all of it.  
    What happened when the last quorum call ended?  Anything?  

    Perhaps the Obama admin. hopes (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:06:20 PM EST
    we'll remember the promises of green jobs, infrastructure, help for Main St., not Wall St., and not look to closely at the content of this bill?

    When campaign promises (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by Fabian on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 04:43:51 AM EST
    of Green Jobs and Renewable Energy were made, my response was simple:

    "Show me the budget!"

    That's real action.  Anything else is just words.  


    The refusal to debate (none / 0) (#160)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:55:04 AM EST
    both Hillary and McCain at the level they both requested was proof that Obama was just words. He wasn't even listening to himself and couldn't answer questions that weren't rolling the answer across the teleprompter.

    It worked. He's there. Now, the real work of the voters begins.

    His obsession to keep that blackberry makes me think it's really his portable prompter.


    Ha! (none / 0) (#162)
    by Fabian on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 11:21:02 AM EST
    We used to speculate about GWB's mysterious "hump" but any tech-dependent person has a Blackberry.  There's nothing mysterious about that!

    ihave one, but, unfortunately, (none / 0) (#173)
    by oculus on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 12:38:34 PM EST
    I cannot read the screen if, as others do, I'm holding it beneath the lip of the table.  Also, despite wide-spread promises, it didn't work in India or in Copenhagen.  World wide roaming indeed.

    Talk is cheap (none / 0) (#19)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:08:09 PM EST
    He needs to actually get something accomplished!  

    But everyone here is aware of that.  :(  


    The main thing that Obama accomplished (5.00 / 8) (#22)
    by tigercourse on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:09:49 PM EST
    over the past 2, 3 weeks is to reinvigorate the half dead Republican machine.

    I'd say the bloom is a bit off the (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:10:06 PM EST
    rose at DK also.

    Really? (none / 0) (#31)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:14:42 PM EST
    I haven't read there since the primaries, when they go so very nasty.  

    Like I said in a previous post, Obama is pleasing NO ONE.  

    But I hear it's lovely at Camp David this weekend, sunny, and in the 60's.  I'm sure they are having a lovely time in the country.   Perhaps we should encourage the Senate to take a nice long break too so that they too can relax and DO NOTHING.  


    I don't begrudge the Obamas some (none / 0) (#33)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:16:52 PM EST
    family time.  Those girls are pretty young and Dad was gone--what--two years?

    Spend time at the WH. The optics are terrible. (5.00 / 8) (#52)
    by masslib on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:44:39 PM EST
    Throwing a big Kumbaya Super Bowl Party, jetting off in air force one, taking in a dance recital, running down to Camp David, all in the first two weeks, meanwhile Rome burns.  

    Yes, that was my point. (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:11:11 PM EST
    Reminds me of what my folks told me about Ike, always off golfing and then going to Camp David.  

    Maybe he's competing with W. (none / 0) (#90)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:40:11 PM EST
    Who can take off the most days during a crisis?

    Golfing (none / 0) (#155)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:05:21 AM EST
    Heh.  I remember it being said of JFK at the time that he was such a good golfer that he'd be better than Ike if he had as much practice.  Ooooh!!  Zing!

    Apparently JFK was practicing (5.00 / 1) (#172)
    by oculus on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 12:36:47 PM EST
    other skills.

    One of the criticisms (none / 0) (#163)
    by KeysDan on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 11:21:38 AM EST
    made of President Eisenhower was that he admired rich people way too much.   Trust this is not the case for President Obama.

    Axelrod was on some talk show yesterday (5.00 / 1) (#197)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 02:41:28 PM EST
    and he looked really dejected. It was sad, almost. I have no idea what he said - the MUTE button is my friend.

    It has been their father's choice to be gone (5.00 / 6) (#63)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:58:19 PM EST
    For much of their lives. Campaigning is a 24/7 job.  Candidates are NEVER home. That's what Obama CHOSE to do.  He could have chosen another profession, one that better accommodates a family, but he didn't.  But for those little girls, this is 'normal'.  They'll see more of their father now, than ever before.  He'll be home most nights.  

    I don't begrudge them family time either but I would like to see Obama working harder on this bill.  He could try harder to sell it to the people, and the Senate.  


    A lot of folks are still acting like they (5.00 / 4) (#42)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:34:43 PM EST
    believe Obama must really, really want to help the average, workaday Joe and Jane. None of his actions make much sense if that is our premise.

    On the other hand, his actions make a bit more sense if one assumes his overriding concern is not for the Joes and Janes.

    I'm going with the latter conclusion, at least until I see some really, really concrete evidence to the contrary.


    He's stalling (none / 0) (#112)
    by jar137 on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 12:48:03 AM EST
    My guess is that he doesn't want to blow the discussions up right now., under the impression that the parties will reach a compromise, but mentioned the speeches next week as a threat that if they don't get it together he's going to start pointing fingers.  All well and good, except that he hasn't specifically told us or congress what should be done.

    Community organizers (5.00 / 3) (#157)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:10:17 AM EST
    don't tell people what needs to be done, they "facilitate" discussion so people come up with their own solutions and action plans.

    I said months ago it looked to me like Obama has some wild idea that he's going to "community organize" the country, all that bs about letting ideas bubble up from the people, etc.  Bush rationalized his lack of study by making decisions "from the gut."  Obama rationalizes his lack of convictions and unwillingness to actually lead by letting others work out their own solutions.

    And this is what happens when you "community organize" the congress.


    It's all making me more that a little queasy. (5.00 / 3) (#158)
    by Anne on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:34:21 AM EST
    Especially since, as a facilitator, he's not exactly helping things along, is he?  It kills me to remember that there were many of us who questioned what, exactly, his community organizing skills had accomplished (I still think it is telling how few voices there were extolling Obama's grand accomplishments on that front), who saw little to no accomplishment in the Senate, who were troubled by his blowing off the Foreign Relations subcommittee responsibilities, who didn't see any particular evidence that he could apply himself to any task that was for the sole benefit of someone other than himself.

    And who could see that he would be instantly and irretrievably in over his head, from Day One.

    But, it was like trying to talk to the pod people.

    This, from Politico, does not warm the cockles of my heart:

    Described by his press secretary as "a restless soul," President Obama will be moving around quite a bit in the coming week.

    The first family heads to Camp David for the first time on Saturday. The Obamas will stay overnight and return on Sunday.

    On Monday and Tuesday, Obama is slated to travel to Indiana and Florida for town hall meetings on the economic stimulus package slowly making its way through Congress.

    On Thursday, he flies to Springfield, Ill. For an Abraham Lincoln celebration. And then on Friday, the Obama family will return to Chicago for the first time since moving to DC shortly after the new year.

    "I'm sure the president and the first lady will go out for Valentine's Day," Robert Gibbs said.

    Asked if the president is already feeling cooped up in the White House after three weeks in office, Gibbs replied, "Safe to say."

    "He's a bit of a restless soul," Gibbs explained. "His idea of a crazy day is to take a long walk...in solitude and isolation."



    You will entice Stellaaa out of (none / 0) (#174)
    by oculus on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 12:39:32 PM EST
    the woodwork!

    I love it..... (none / 0) (#182)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 01:28:30 PM EST
    "for the first time" - makes it sound like he's been isolated in the Oval office for months.

    I know I'm not one bit surprised that it was the "perks" he couldn't wait to familiarize himself with.


    Like the "mission accomplished" jacket (5.00 / 1) (#185)
    by Cream City on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 01:43:14 PM EST
    the "Ike" jacket style that Obama wore some day this week, some photo op I saw -- it must have been at a military base or something.

    Ugh.  I hope it wasn't the same one Bush wore.  


    I think it was his own personal (none / 0) (#199)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 02:47:30 PM EST
    Air Force One jacket - for the presidential plane.

    I think (5.00 / 3) (#165)
    by KeysDan on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 11:33:27 AM EST
    you nailed it.  Community organizers are often not a part of the particular community, but use their place as an "outsider" to get the community to have a unified voice on whatever that community really desires and needs.  But, President Obama is not only a part of the American community, he is its elected leader. The community organizer's admirable skills are not applicable and may be the antithesis of what is needed for an effective president.

    Gyrfalcon, this comment (5.00 / 2) (#186)
    by Cream City on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 01:46:32 PM EST
    is so perceptive, really changing the way I will try to analyze what I am seeing in what Obama is doing.  Duh, of course! the community organizer model.

    Btw, I have been subjected, in my workplace, to so many stupid "facilitators."  They do not know anything about what I do, but they think they know it all and have all the answers.  I rarely have seen a one who understands that truly facilitating, which is part of my job, is listening and learning.

    And that's a forte of Obama's, so I read.  But yes, there also comes a time in my job when it's time to cut off discussion and lead.  Let's hope he will.


    'Obama wants to community organize the country' (none / 0) (#198)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 02:44:40 PM EST
    Thanks Gyrfalcon - I just wanted to repeat what you said - it bears repeating.

    What is the point of having economic (5.00 / 7) (#24)
    by Anne on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:10:15 PM EST
    advisors if you're always going to do what the political advisors recommend?

    Am wondering how long it will be before it is leaked that "some" on the economic-advisor side of this are unhappy with the president's decisions to bow to political pressure.

    The GOP is just killing the Dems on the social side of this bill, and it escapes me completely why the Dems have not better explained that while jobs must be created (and here's how the bill will do that), there is an obvious and crying need for a lifeline for those who have been hardest hit by the economic downturn.  The farther these people are allowed to fall, the greater the burden to the state and local jurisdictions, which are already having trouble keeping their heads above water.  The feds have the ability to stop the domino effect that will wipe out the states, but have we heard anything about that?  I haven't.

    The scale and scope of the plan just plain sucks, and it's sucking more and more the longer the Milquetoast Mob is allowed to "shepherd" it through the Senate (translation: slice it, dice it, cut it, water it down and turn it into pablum so bland that even a baby would refuse it).

    Hope Obama is enjoying his weekend; maybe he's learning to play the fiddle.

    Headline in San Diego Union-Trib (none / 0) (#28)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:13:08 PM EST
    today:  UC retirement system in trouble; may require contributions from employees and employers; may cut benefits.  (Actually, I didn't realize UC retirement system was non-contributory.)

    US to California: drop dead (5.00 / 5) (#32)
    by andgarden on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:15:09 PM EST
    (To New York, too, incidentally).

    Cutting out the funds (5.00 / 12) (#40)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:31:26 PM EST
    to state governments was really really stupid. More people are going to lose their jobs as a result. Many of my colleagues at state institutions are telling me about layoffs and furloughs - Florida State University, Arizona State University, University of Minnesotate, and others - they are all instituting mandatory furloughs and laying people off. The state budgets are slashed.

    Jobless numbers are going to rise, imo, and this bill will be partly to blame.

    They cut the 3 billion that was supposed to go to National Science Foundation, claiming it wasn't stimulative - not true. That money would have gone out the door in the form of research grants to higher education, which would have ended up in jobs for faculty, grad students, lab techs, etc.

    It's like..... they don't know what they're doing.


    Consider this: maybe these Dems do know what (none / 0) (#54)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:46:21 PM EST
    they're doing. They're screwing the general public, and the weakest among us, in the worst possible, accidental-on-purpose, GOP copy-cat, bi-partisan way.

    It's been shocking to watch (5.00 / 8) (#58)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:49:26 PM EST
    the sudden emergence of a re-empowered GOP opposition. The party was dead and eviscerated a month ago. Suddenly, they are framing this whole debate and running the show. I can't figure out how they did this.

    The GOP did it by playing dead... (5.00 / 4) (#64)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:01:43 PM EST
    Frankly, I think they didn't want to win this election. All the better to dump the whole GD mess on the Dems and spend the next 2-4 years creating a stink that's big enough to cover over the rot of the past 8 years.

    They have dominated the debate (5.00 / 5) (#70)
    by Radiowalla on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:04:55 PM EST
    for most of the decade and they are always leagues ahead of the Democrats in knowing how to frame issues.  

    Sort of makes one wonder what the Democrats are getting out of  all the high-priced consultants they hire.  Not very bloody much, I'd say.


    True, the GOP can dominate the debate (5.00 / 5) (#81)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:18:02 PM EST
    and get more air-time, because the GOP and the MSM have a common, overriding interest - which is maintaining the status quo.

    The GOP issues the talking points and The MSM is all to eager to type them up and get the spin out to the public. It's a closed loop and it works really well.


    I think that's basically ture. Though, I (none / 0) (#56)
    by masslib on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:47:38 PM EST
    would say they are trying to split the difference between the plutocrats and the rest of us.

    Do you mean they're trying (none / 0) (#75)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:09:18 PM EST
    to divide the "stimulus" evenly - among the moneyed class, the middle class, and the underclass?

    Maybe I've misunderstood your comment.


    Yes. (none / 0) (#78)
    by masslib on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:12:49 PM EST
    But I think there are a lot of intersections between "middle class" and "underclass", and lot's of people will be waking up in the next few months to find they are no longer middle class.

    Like the GOP the Dems are beholden (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:27:51 PM EST
    to the corporate benefactors who financed their campaigns, no? On the whole, I'm not seeing the will, or the intent, or the autonomy that would enable them to evenly distribute the stimulus funds among 'all the people'.

    Employees don't contribute? (none / 0) (#37)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:24:31 PM EST
    Wow.  That's gonna change.  

    They haven't for 18 years (none / 0) (#59)
    by talesoftwokitties on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:50:52 PM EST
    And look where they are now................ (none / 0) (#95)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:57:45 PM EST
    It actually is contributory (none / 0) (#111)
    by dualdiagnosis on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 12:45:58 AM EST
    It actually is contributory, just not from the employee. Nice.

    the social side of the bill (none / 0) (#201)
    by Bornagaindem on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 03:16:23 PM EST
    How is it that the great speechifier gets caught on the social issues? It should have been easy to come out with all barrels blazing on the medicare kerfluffle and say that they were finally funding contraceptives which has been disallowed by the religious right part of the republican party for far too AND the CBO says it will actually save $200 million. But no his Oliness folded as he will continue to do.

    Hey guys you picked him


    Someone explain to me in plain English (5.00 / 6) (#44)
    by Teresa on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:36:08 PM EST
    what the hell we are in for? What is the reality we are facing?

    Marriott has a regional corporate office here and they had 400 applications for a temporary accounting job. Temporary! How bad is this going to get?

    Wow (none / 0) (#46)
    by andgarden on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:38:28 PM EST
    That's unreal.

    Isn't it? We've had three corp headquarters (5.00 / 5) (#57)
    by Teresa on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:48:14 PM EST
    close all in the same week. That's a lot of business degreed people out of jobs.

    One of them was the largest sign company (the big signs like at Burger King, etc) in the country. Wachovia pulled their credit line and they closed in one day. No notice to anyone.


    If Obama really believed all of that (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by AX10 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:39:37 PM EST
    bi-partisan nonsense, then we are in trouble.
    The House has to reject the senate changes to the bill.

    In theory (none / 0) (#132)
    by Fabian on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 04:53:54 AM EST
    bipartisanship CAN work.

    Someone with a well defined plan and a sharp political and media campaign can sell it to enough partisans to get it passed.

    Obama may have the skills needed to sell, but does he have a well defined plan and the courage to stick to it?


    The Glow has dimmed. (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Sweet Sue on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:39:42 PM EST
    I think that Obama and his team are hoping that the first black President thing (historic!) will carry the day. That's important-not more so than the first woman, of course-but these are perilous times.
    Do not attend a dance recital and high tail it out to Camp David. Stay in Washington and work your arse off. FDR,LBJ,WJC and HRC would.

    The idea that the first ________ President (5.00 / 4) (#87)
    by AX10 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:33:09 PM EST
    should carry the day is absurd.
    What that person is doing must trump their racial/gender/ethnic/orientation, etc.
    If Obama thinks that the historic nature of his Presidency is going carry him to victory in congress then he will fail quite badly.
    If he is tired after two weeks, then he clearly did not know what he was getting into.
    I am not a politician and I knew what the Presidency is in terms of work/stress.

    Remember how McCain was (none / 0) (#51)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:43:36 PM EST
    ridiculed for suspending his campaign to push passage of TARP?  Did we such visible support from Obama?  Does he really want to get his hands dirty w/this stuff?

    It's not a presidential candidates job (5.00 / 8) (#55)
    by tigercourse on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:47:25 PM EST
    to shape and push through policy. That was a grandstanding political stunt.

    IT IS the President's job to govern this country. And swanning off two weeks into that job with possibly the most important legislation of his career sitting unresolved is not the best move.


    Both McCain and Obama were sitting (none / 0) (#60)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:50:53 PM EST
    Senators during TARP run-up.  I'm sticking with my theory, i.e., heh-I was at Camp David and supporting the arts--what could I do?

    The man is probably exhausted (none / 0) (#69)
    by Lora on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:04:32 PM EST
    Seriously, has he had any break at all in several months?  He has to pace himself for 8 years.  Jeez.

    He took a week off just before the (5.00 / 4) (#77)
    by tigercourse on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:11:43 PM EST

    Oh Please, (5.00 / 7) (#82)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:21:18 PM EST
    He's exhausted after two weeks?  Then he had NO CLUE what job he was campaigning for.  Or he just doesn't much care what happens now that he's won.  He does enjoy campaigning, but there is no indication that he actually loves the jobs that he wins.  

    That's not so unusual.  Many pols love the campaigning, the fights, the competition, the strategizing, the adoration of the crowds, captive audiences, every day, who adore you and hang on your every word.  Then they love winning, but find the job much less exciting.  

    Other pols, the real work horses in office, hate the campaigning, but really do like the work that they can do when elected.  A few rare pols enjoy both the campaigning and the job.  So far, it would appear that Obama is one of those pols who loves the excitement of campaigning, as evidenced by how much of his life he has spent doing it.  But I saw no evidence that he liked being in the Senate, and so far, little evidence that he is enamored of his current position.  


    Correct (5.00 / 4) (#113)
    by dualdiagnosis on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 12:48:28 AM EST
    He may have run out of jobs to run for.

    Time to get serious about stopping (5.00 / 2) (#175)
    by oculus on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 12:41:34 PM EST

    Picky (none / 0) (#189)
    by Lora on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 01:53:34 PM EST
    You're just finding stuff to pick at him for.  Nothing of any substance.  A one-day trip to Camp David does not a slacker make.  Methinks you just don't like the man and are using any excuse to shoot him down.

    When you run for President (5.00 / 8) (#116)
    by cal1942 on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 01:19:03 AM EST
    it should be understood that the job will be exhausting. There will be events, policy matters and opposition.  It doesn't do to quit or complain of fatigue. A President must be President 24X7, every day. No cheap excuses.

    Agreed (none / 0) (#124)
    by BrassTacks on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 02:21:38 AM EST
    What would he do if we were attacked again?  For weeks?  

    He likes to run for office, not actually do the job of the office.


    The GOP's best option (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by andgarden on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:45:09 PM EST
    to try and make Obama fail. That should have been obvious from the start.

    If you get in bed with the devil (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:56:40 PM EST
    you've got to be prepared to...you know.

    Republicans will take credit for tax cuts (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:08:24 PM EST
    People like seeing more money in their paychecks (those who still get paychecks!).  Republicans will claim they kept taxes down and the deficit down.  I suspect it will work, to some extent.  People will blame Obama if the economy doesn't begin to turn aroud SOON, and it won't.  There isn't enough in this bill to do anything like that.  

    and republicans succeeded (5.00 / 1) (#137)
    by pluege on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 07:02:55 AM EST
    Obama stimulus bill = failure
    Obama controlling the political debate = failure
    Obama undoing failed republican/conservative ideology = failure

    I don't know how to support this bill. (5.00 / 4) (#83)
    by masslib on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:24:39 PM EST
    Don't get me wrong, the states need emergency funds.  But, this bill is laden with tax cuts, and there is nothing in it that transforms the economy for the future.  No high-speed rail.  No major education initiative.  It's a hodgepodge.  My feeling is the bill may, may, stave off the inevitable for a brief time, but then eventually we'll have to pay for that and whatever comes next too.  Everyone said we have to support TARP, and that hasn't worked, and we'll be paying for that for years to come.  And, next week we'll be asked for more funds for another weak TARP plan, which we will have to pay for for many years to come.  It's hard to support any of this.

    Masslib, I don't know how to love him, do you? (5.00 / 1) (#191)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 01:55:35 PM EST
    A la Jesus Christ Superstar;-)

    SNL opening skit (4.00 / 2) (#118)
    by caseyOR on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 01:39:04 AM EST
    Even those crazy kids at SNL recognize that the senate bill, and this bipartisanship schtick, are total cr@p. Opening skit is Reid and Pelosi commenting on the negotiations so far. Harry touting bipartisanship, and Nancy making the point that the Dems control Congress and the WH. Couple of good jabs at the Repubs sudden interest in bipartisanship.

    Go, watch it. It's funny (and sad) 'cause it's true.


    The only people talking about bipartisanship (none / 0) (#125)
    by BrassTacks on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 02:23:14 AM EST
    Are Obama and the 3RINOs and 2DINOs.  

    I lost count of the DINOs (none / 0) (#139)
    by jussumbody on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 07:21:45 AM EST
    but I'm pretty sure it's many more than 2.

    They cut aid to states (none / 0) (#141)
    by Coral on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 08:29:59 AM EST
    so is this going to help the states? In the short run, not so much.

    I don't understand your comment (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:38:03 PM EST
    Obama sent Rahm to lobby for MORE tax cuts.
    If Obama has any more "face cards", he might use them to make the bill even worse!

    A) It's pretty much over. (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by tigercourse on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 01:50:53 AM EST
    B)the stimulus that emerges from conference will be little changed from this. It's not suddenly going to become 100 billion in tax cuts and 1 trillion in stimulus. There will be little change.

    If I had Tom DeLay batting for me, I'd agree (5.00 / 4) (#122)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 01:55:46 AM EST
    but the spineless Dems, not so much. DeLay understood how to pass the bill he wanted. Dems should learn.

    Well, you must know (5.00 / 4) (#129)
    by NYShooter on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 04:02:40 AM EST
    So, you're telling us that because you " learned during the long primary and general campaigns the folly of underestimating Barack Obama," and that "he's his own man and nobody's fool," he's got The House and The Senate right where he wants them.

    They fell for his trap!

    You telegraph to The House you'll accept a crappy bill, and then tell The Senate, "Send me anything you want, but please don't hurt me." Then, in Conference, the participants will hold hands, click their heels three times, chant in unison, "the Urgency of Now, WE Are the One's We've Been Waiting For, Yes We Can!!!" and out comes a 1.2 trillion dollar STIMULATIVE Bill, with no pork and no tax cuts.

    WoW! He IS a Genius!


    teh 11th level chs is brning (none / 0) (#131)
    by phat on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 04:44:23 AM EST
    Why anyone is shocked, shocks me.

    A long comment that doesn't (5.00 / 2) (#146)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 08:46:20 AM EST
    address what I wrote in the least.
    It's apparently a FACT that Obama lobbied to make the bill worse. Get your mind around that, ok? THEN make a comment.

    I'm sending My Pet Goat (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:40:53 PM EST
    to Obama. Maybe that would give him a sense of urgency.

    or maybe Glengarry Glen Ross. (5.00 / 3) (#93)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:50:53 PM EST
    Obama's next speech can use some of the dialog from that movie.

    Roma (none / 0) (#103)
    by Dadler on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 12:25:40 AM EST
    That character is brutal: "Who the f*ck told you you could work with men?"  Perfect right now.

    Or some props. (none / 0) (#105)
    by lobary on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 12:34:36 AM EST
    Preferably of the brass variety.

    He's already got (none / 0) (#115)
    by dualdiagnosis on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 12:58:45 AM EST
    The Moon Over The Star.

    Well, now, define "fail," BTD. (5.00 / 8) (#94)
    by Cream City on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:57:05 PM EST
    To a newbie Senator mindset -- say, one who had only two years there and was absent for most of that -- a bill that "succeeds" is one that passes.  

    This is classic short-term thinking, of course.  And with a short-term thinker in the White House, we are doomed for the long term and will fail.

    But that's us that will fail.  Obama will say he has not failed, because he got a bill passed.

    I remember reading once (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 12:02:38 AM EST
    that during WWII, FDR's blood pressure, which was not healthy to begin with, would have enormous spikes--as high as 300 diastolic IIRC.
    I wish Obama would risk just a little high blood pressure and insomnia to get the job done.

    I disagree (5.00 / 6) (#114)
    by jar137 on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 12:52:14 AM EST
    We've got to assume the worst and start complaining publically.  I am tired of waiting for things to be corrected (they'll pass another bill, they'll address soon, etc.).  I am unwilling to hold my tongue until we screwed and then it's too late.

    Is anyone writing to their (5.00 / 2) (#123)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 01:58:05 AM EST
    representative and senators to tell them how they want them to vote on this?

    Good question (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by Donna Darko on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 02:32:55 AM EST
    But Obama wasn't serious about the bill to begin with. He should have taken the time to write a quality bill instead of compromising with Republicans. Democrats would not be in disarray as they are now. We've got Pelosi fighting with Rahm too.  

    oh yes (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by jedimom on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 08:35:09 AM EST
    and I have linkys here for anyone else who wants to as well

    Anybody? (5.00 / 2) (#149)
    by lentinel on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 09:27:23 AM EST
    Does anyone have a clue about who will be getting our 800 billion?

    If it is not going directly to people at the bottom, when might they be expected to feel some improvement in their lives?

    I don't know whether I want this bill to pass or not.

    I can't help but feel that, as with the previous administration, we are last in line.


    yeah (none / 0) (#159)
    by Nasarius on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:43:21 AM EST
    I don't know whether I want this bill to pass or not.

    My last-ditch hope right now is that a few liberal Senators will defect, pushing the margin under 60, and the GOP will be stupid enough to filibuster. Then the whole thing gets scrapped and the House comes up with a decent bill with a whole new attitude.

    It's a nice fantasy, anyway. The sad reality is that absent some kind of miracle, this will be passed, the economy will continue its downward spiral, and Obama will get absolutely nothing of significance done in his single term.


    $70 billion to buy 2 republicans, maybe (5.00 / 2) (#136)
    by pluege on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 06:52:33 AM EST
    that's sum negosheatin' and politikin' there by the genius of Obama and his team.

    Where can we buy some puts on the future?

    If Judd Gregg (none / 0) (#166)
    by KeysDan on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 11:44:46 AM EST
    was not nominated for Commerce Secretary and voted, as he said he would for the bill, we could saved $35 billion.

    I totally agree this bill needs to fail, (5.00 / 2) (#140)
    by jussumbody on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 07:38:08 AM EST
    at least as written.  And I mean "fail" in Congress.  It's failure to stimulate is a foregone conclussion.  In 2 or 3 weeks there will be another crisis and they can try to do it right, the mono-partisan way.  Like spiking the bank rescue if we don't get stimulus.  

    That said, this will play out to 3Ms' (Maine's "Moderate" Morons) Holy Joe's and McAssdrips's delight.

    After all his patently transparent platitudes, the next thing that set me off against Obama last year was all his early endorsements from the wrong type of People:  Nancy, Steny, and McAssdrip among them.

    education (5.00 / 3) (#142)
    by jedimom on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 08:32:40 AM EST
    I am plainly devastated they gutted the education money

    these frakkers are dumping the bill on the kids and wont give them an asbestos free school to learn in so they have a chance in life

    the one hot meal a day many of them get, cut

    head start, cut

    school construction, more than half cut

    I am disgusted
    still calling the critters who area all avoiding emptying their voice mails cuz they dont want to hear it

    Pelosi needs to stand up for he children she surrounds herself with when taking the gavel..

    get education back IN

    Why do you believe this? (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 09:48:03 PM EST
    I believe the President must know this.

    Because I think his advisors know this (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 09:51:01 PM EST
    The politcal advisors trumped the economic advisors in my opinion.

    In short, he listened to Rahmbo.


    I think he listened ... (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 09:56:11 PM EST
    to himself.

    Given the number of selves he seems (5.00 / 7) (#85)
    by Anne on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:31:56 PM EST
    to have, it must have been quite a conversation...

    This is Obama's biggest problem - that he really has no idea who he is or what he believes, because he seems to have spent his whole life trying to overcome the fact that the people who mattered - or should have mattered - the most to him, just up and left him.  His father first, and then his mother.

    I totally get that these things carved a huge hole in his center that he has spent years trying to fill so that he feels good enough...but I think the presidency is not the right place to sort all of that out and become a whole person.

    It's not that I want a president who seeks conflict at every turn, but I do want a president who is not afraid to take a stand and fight for it, and who understands how to lead people to his side.

    I'm telling you, the way he has handled this stimulus bill?  He does not have leadership in him, and we are all going to pay the price for that.


    President as victim. Not buying it. (none / 0) (#135)
    by oculus on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 05:19:48 AM EST
    I do think this President is adept at moving between difference groups, againing cred, and then moving on.  

    But what is the end result of his (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by Anne on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:09:24 AM EST
    moving between and among all these different groups?  Does it result in better policy, better proposals?  No, it results in him being pretty much unable to carve out a clear and solid and principled position - because he thinks everyone has a point, everyone has a good idea.

    Obama's not a victim, any more than you are or I am for whatever hurdles we faced growing up; my point was more along the lines of only having to look at his track record to know that he has never done much for any of the adoring supporters - it's they who have done something for him, and in order for them to keep giving him what he wants, he has to be whatever he has to be, has to take whatever position will get him the swooning fans.

    Some might say that I have just described a typical politician - but there are many examples of politicians who actually accomplished something for their constituents, who have devoted years to a particular cause or interest, and worked and fought for those things.

    Obama seems to be okay on single-issue things - ones that can be dealt with by signing an executive order - but these big, complex and multi-faceted issues, like the stimulus, seem to paralyze him to the point where all he can do is stand on the edges gently and generally chastising others for not getting it done.

    He's not a leader.


    I think we read the same article detailing (none / 0) (#161)
    by oculus on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 11:10:44 AM EST
    Obama's rise to power in IL.  Palestinans, African Americans, The Rev. Wright's huge congregation, Emil Jones, etc.  I don't think he is a victim; he is a shrewd politician. Or Axelrod is.  Not sure which.

    Nailed it, Anne (none / 0) (#153)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 09:59:48 AM EST
    Joe Klein over at Time's blog said something the other day about what a relief it was not to have a guy in the White House governing by working out his Oedipal conflicts with his father.  I think that's very much what we've got once again.

    She won't do that (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by Spamlet on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 12:10:13 AM EST
    President is slated to "take it (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:01:10 PM EST
    to the people."  How will he explain why this is THE bill which must be passed?

    Hard to imagine how he can do it (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:03:19 PM EST
    Maybe he doesn't have a very substantive (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by masslib on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:04:24 PM EST
    understanding of economic policy.

    That's my hunch, and my fear (none / 0) (#101)
    by Spamlet on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 12:12:29 AM EST
    Maybe he doesn't have a very substantive understanding of economic policy.

    It's been my "hunch" for two years now. (5.00 / 6) (#102)
    by masslib on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 12:14:45 AM EST
    He doesn't seem to have a real deep understanding of policy, but hey, the media loves him, so I am sure it will all work out.

    I think he's smart (none / 0) (#110)
    by jar137 on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 12:44:37 AM EST
    enough to know that able himself.  I think he is driven by other concerns- postpartisan, being liked, etc.  I don't think it's his nature to take the lead.  His background doesn't demonstrate it.  And he may be thinking that if they are all in this (admin/congress/both parties) the nation will have to blame them all and they can all point the figure at the other.

    If that's what he thinks (5.00 / 4) (#117)
    by Spamlet on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 01:31:38 AM EST
    he may be thinking that if they are all in this (admin/congress/both parties) the nation will have to blame them all and they can all point the figure at the other

    then he's actually not so smart. Before you can "change the way Washington works," you have to understand the way Washington works. And that ain't the way it works.


    He'll lie, It shouldn't be too hard. He's got (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by tigercourse on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:08:38 PM EST
    a 70 percent approval rating. The people still love him. Of course, he should have used that 70% to get a good bill passed... but it's too late for that.

    According to Gallup (5.00 / 4) (#35)
    by Upstart Crow on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:21:14 PM EST
    65 percent ... and falling...

    Obama has fallen from 84% to 65% in 2 weeks? (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:36:37 PM EST
    Yes. (none / 0) (#96)
    by Upstart Crow on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:59:06 PM EST
    Check Gallup.  Sumpmum, innit?

    I still don't get how they come up with such (none / 0) (#184)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 01:38:23 PM EST
    a high number. People who didn't vote for him surely don't approve of him and just what has he done so far for them to change their opinion?

    I want to hear the questions asked before I will ever believe these dumb polls.


    Could have done it earlier (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:01:19 AM EST
    when the public didn't know quite what to think, but now the whole idea has been solidly defined by the Republicans and isn't really open to reinterpretation.

    It's the "pragmatic" alternative ;-) (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by andgarden on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:03:26 PM EST
    An alternative that pleases no one? (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:11:19 PM EST
    From what I've been hearing, and reading, republicans are not happy and democrats sure aren't either.  NO ONE is getting what they want.   What IS the point of this absurd exercise?  

    Forgive me, this whole thing is giving me a headache and making me cranky.  

    When do the buffoons return to the Senate?  


    His advisors know (5.00 / 5) (#9)
    by andgarden on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:02:43 PM EST
    that the package needs to be $2T, which apparently they didn't think could pass.

    So the lowballed from the start, and that was just stupid. (I want to know whose call that was).


    same difference (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:03:58 PM EST
    politcal advisors ruled the day.

    Just who is running this circus? (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:05:37 PM EST
    Any ideas?  

    Axelrod? (none / 0) (#21)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:09:07 PM EST
    I kind of thought he would be a behind-the-scenes type of fellow after the election, but-- not so.

    Bad politics (none / 0) (#27)
    by andgarden on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:12:40 PM EST
    My guess (none / 0) (#15)
    by phat on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:04:33 PM EST

    It could have be Nelson, too.


    Ben Nelson? (none / 0) (#18)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:06:39 PM EST
    Say it ain't so!  

    I expected more from Rahm, assuming that he's running the show.  


    Maybe (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by Spamlet on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 12:09:18 AM EST
    But isn't it also true that Obama's economic advisers are, broadly speaking, just more comfortable with the ideas of Ronald Reagan than they are with those of John Maynard Keynes?

    Any expert at ... (none / 0) (#5)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 09:52:03 PM EST
    11 dimensional chess would.



    OT, but remember John Brennan? (none / 0) (#29)
    by lambert on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:13:52 PM EST
    My headache is now a migraine (5.00 / 3) (#36)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:22:13 PM EST
    UGH!!!!  Just when I think this administration can't get any worse.................

    Obama told us who he was when he was running.  Why didn't people believe him?  

    It reminds me of a woman in love.  Her guy can tell her exactly who he is, that he loves to party, have fun and have no commitments.  Then she's heart broken when he won't settle down, stop partying, and commit to a family.  DUH.  He told you who he was, but you didn't want to believe him.  Same with Obama.  The press and democrats fell in love, convincing themselves that he was the messiah, the new FDR, even Lincoln!  We had NO reason to believe all that crappola, except that we WANTED to believe it, just like a woman in love who believes the guy will change, believes that he really isn't who he says he is.  

    Moral of the story:  When people tell you who they are, believe them.


    Go easy on the women in love metaphor;-) (5.00 / 3) (#61)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:53:01 PM EST
    It was Tweety and Olbermann and the blogger boys who were all a-tingle over Obama. They didn't know if they were coming or going, or whether they wanted to be him or do him.

    Right............shoulda used men in love, (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:12:56 PM EST
    With tingly legs and weak spines.  Perhaps the tingly legs were due to weak bladders, not spines?  

    Did we really ever believe he wasn't (5.00 / 7) (#38)
    by Anne on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:30:22 PM EST
    coming in the back door after being turned away at the front?

    Obama likes him, which means he will have a home in this administration.

    It's really just a crying shame we couldn't have elected someone who doesn't give a cr@p whether everybody likes him or her.  You know, someone with actual core beliefs.

    I freakin' Give.  Up.


    Hmmm, wouldn't many of those issues (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by masslib on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:30:46 PM EST
    fall under the purview of the Secretary of State?  Well, I suppose Hillary will be busy with all those teas and cookies abroad.

    Defintely OT (none / 0) (#41)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:32:53 PM EST
    Please keep your commets on topic.

    Asking for dispensation... (none / 0) (#43)
    by lambert on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:35:40 PM EST
    ... because you've been all over this one. But delete it need be!

    Please all, please none? (none / 0) (#47)
    by Lora on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:39:31 PM EST
    Is Obama just plain scared to take a strong enough stand?  Afraid of losing support?  I don't really get it.

    BTW, what has happened to all that bank bailout money?

    Stimulus evolution (none / 0) (#66)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:01:49 PM EST
    Interesting chart on the evolution of the bill.

    Our new leaders (none / 0) (#68)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:04:23 PM EST
    Doesn't this picture of our new leaders just warm your hearts?  

    I'm feeling sicker by the minute.  

    Four people who ought to be (5.00 / 6) (#91)
    by Anne on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:40:39 PM EST
    settling nicely into irrelevancy because the country needs true progressives, but who, thanks to Obama's pathological need to be liked - really, REALLY, liked - are really pretty tickled (I mean, LOOK at Lieberman's face, for heaven's sake!) that they are standing in the limelight. Nevermind that they are like the hair you didn't want to find in your sandwich, right?

    We weren't supposed to have to be saddled with these a$$hats.


    One almost Democrat in that picture. (none / 0) (#72)
    by Teresa on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:08:12 PM EST
    I feel sick too.

    Arlen Spector? (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:09:09 PM EST
    lol, first time I've laughed all night. (none / 0) (#88)
    by Teresa on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:34:12 PM EST
    OMG, don't they all look really thuggish (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 11:32:03 PM EST
    and kind of GUILTY - like they just got away with murder?

    "OMG, what did we just do?" (5.00 / 2) (#100)
    by BrassTacks on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 12:10:13 AM EST
    "Do you think anyone will notice"?  That should be the caption.  Except for Leiberman who looks like he has no clue what has happened, but he's happy anyway, kinda like my dear old Aunt with dementia.  

    There aren't 11 dimensions (none / 0) (#104)
    by MikeDitto on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 12:33:19 AM EST
    Just one- the number of votes it takes to invoke cloture in the Senate, and that number is 60.

    All other concerns are moot if the Senate can not move.

    True (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 12:44:23 AM EST
    But what convinced Arlen Specter and Susan Collins that this was the package to accept? Answer that question, and you'll find team Obama's political failure.

    drumroll [lease (none / 0) (#145)
    by jedimom on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 08:38:18 AM EST
    rahm emanuel???

    a WH too chicken to stand and fight?

    do I get a prize??

    can I trade it in for a semester of private school for my kid??


    Wonder what's going on (none / 0) (#106)
    by Spamlet on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 12:36:14 AM EST
    at the Obama house parties this weekend? Talk of serious pushback against this terrible bill? Or popcorn and nonstop playback of Barack and Michelle dancing to "At Last"?

    Lambert has an excellent story about this at (none / 0) (#108)
    by masslib on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 12:41:45 AM EST
    Corrente.  Apparently, the host sat his party peeps down for a powerpoint on the importance of National Health Insurance administered by the government.  That's fantastic.  

    Link? (none / 0) (#134)
    by lentinel on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 05:15:11 AM EST
    Can you provide a link to this?

    It has not been my impression that Obama was for universal health care administered by the government.

    If there is evidence to the contrary, I would like to see it.


    No, not at all. The contrary actually. (5.00 / 1) (#196)
    by masslib on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 02:31:40 PM EST
    Which is why it is so excellent that his activated supporters see different.

    phil (none / 0) (#144)
    by jedimom on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 08:37:01 AM EST
    if Phil Bredesen gov tenn gets HHS I doubt we will see UHC, even Sheboresus I think would be better

    dont get why they cant find qualified peeps OUTSIDE the payback beltway crap.....

    seeing what just happened to education, Obamas big talking point for this bill, the little schoolhouse that needed repair yada yada yada

    well it makes me LOL at the idea of him pushing for UHC


    lie (5.00 / 3) (#147)
    by lentinel on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 09:17:42 AM EST
    Don't you know?
    Obama's campaign was financed by millions and millions of people just like us. Sending in whatever we could afford from our meager savings.

    That's why Obama is behaving as he is. Because he is beholden to us. He wants to do everything he can to help people who have lost their homes. He wants to give homeowners subsidies and very low cost loans so that they can save their homes. He is pushing like mad for universal health care. High on his agenda is the reversal of the abuses of the Patriot Act. The end of warrant-less wiretapping is at hand. Our personal information will be safe. Our troops will all be coming home in May. Katrina victims will at last receive the help they need in rebuilding their homes. Food and shelter will be provided to those in need.


    "The sun will come out tomorrow, . . ." (none / 0) (#164)
    by oculus on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 11:27:54 AM EST
    Are you being ironic or not? (none / 0) (#188)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 01:51:33 PM EST
    I'm outraged at this. (none / 0) (#127)
    by birdsie98 on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 03:08:59 AM EST
    We take Obama at his word and this is the sh*t he gives us! He's not listening to the people who put him in there and he seems very difficult to work with. Un-freaking-believable!

    Assumption (5.00 / 4) (#148)
    by lentinel on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 09:20:45 AM EST
    The sad fact is that Obama is paying attention to the people who put him in there. And it ain't us.

    Bush in sheep's clothing. (none / 0) (#133)
    by lentinel on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 05:09:41 AM EST
    The details about the "stimulus" package are so muddy.
    ("Bailout" is no longer the catchword du jour.)

    What will it do for the folks who have had their homes taken away from them?

    It reads like the well-known Republican trickle-down theory - or as Archie Bunker accurately described it, the "tinkle-down theory".

    One thing is sure. It does not supply relief to the people who need it most. We are supposed to wait for an indefinite period after the money is given out for any benefits to tinkle down upon us.

    There is no sense of urgency on the part of the government to help those among us who were most severely hurt by the financial crisis.

    This probably is not what Obama had in mind when he evoked the "founding fathers" - but I'm beginning to take them quite seriously:

    "...all experience [has] shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce [the people] under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security."

    --Thomas Jefferson

    It is over for stimulus (none / 0) (#138)
    by pluege on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 07:11:37 AM EST
    When has Pelosi ever done the right thing? (answer: never)

     1. There is no political benefit for Pelsoi in changing the bill.
     2. reid would lose specter and collins and therefore the bill, which would give republicans and the corporate media even more hay to make over Obama and democratic failure.
     3. Obama wants a plutocratic bill, not one that works.

    as usual, when republicans and democrats in Washington set out to "do something" about a crisis, America suffers.

    Maybe the reublicans know the plan will fail (none / 0) (#150)
    by Saul on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 09:45:23 AM EST
    as is so far and that is why they are trying to keep as many republicans from endorsing the bill.

    I had posted several  days back that Obama would only get one shot at this stimulus plan so he better check it out with the best minds and get it right.  There will be no second chance.

    If the stimulus plan fails that is the end of Obama, nothing that he would accomplish after that would have any significant meaning. The republicans know this. Obama's failure on this one issue is the republican's victory for the next election.

    However, the republicans will monitor the plan as it goes to conference to see if they need to get on board politically,  but if it's the same plan or weaker then they will stay out of it.  

    Obama's stimulus plan (none / 0) (#152)
    by Rajan on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 09:56:56 AM EST
    President Obama and his economic team, and even the entire political class in this country, are suffering from collective myopic vision in viewing and tackling the current economic downturn.  2009 is not 1932 but they are trying to apply 1930's prescription to tackle  the 2009 problems when the country had undergone a sea-change in its economic activities during the intervening seven decades.  During the earlier era, almost everything this country's population needed -  even articles like bedspreads, towels, pillowcases, children's  clothes and toys etc. -  were manufactured within the country. Today nearly 90 per cent of the items sold in  WalMart and Target stores come from China and elsewhere.  Add to them all the consumer electronics,  computer hardware, home furniture, etc. Any money which will be put in the hands of the general population  by way of tax cuts and rebates will straightaway go into purchase of goods manufactured in other countries and will, possibly, ameliorate the economic situation in China, Mexico and other countries and certainly not here. The manufacturing jobs that had gone overseas are gone for good; they will never come back, let us have no illusions about it. No amount of exhortations,  like King Canute stopping the tide from coming in, will bring them back. This country, at the prevailing per hour labor costs, cannot afford to manufacture most of the everyday items and even other  more expensive durable goods within its borders any more.   This applies also equally to the services sector like software development and maintenance.  As for the stimulus which is sought to be induced by building/renovating highways and  by spending billions on creating other infrastructure, they may all be completed within 2-3 years from the date they are started. After that, what next?  What will happen to the jobs which are now created in such shot-gun scatter-shot fashion?  Are we going to tear down the roads and buildings already built and re-build them again? Or, are we going to begin building bridges to nowhere just to preserve the jobs already created?

    There should be a completely revolutionary change in the mindset of the "experts" who are now entrusted with the task of lifting the country out of the economic morass into which it has fallen.  Otherwise, the trillion+ dollars of the stimulus plan will inevitably go down the drain.

    Kenyes is still correct (none / 0) (#170)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 12:23:21 PM EST
    And pushing up aggregate demand through public sector spending remains the most effective stimulus.

    Your comment does not change this basic fact.


    This is a strawman argument (none / 0) (#171)
    by Manuel on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 12:34:53 PM EST
    Almost no one pretends that the effect of world trade can or should be undone.  The stimulus bill is based on the idea that government spending can temporarily turn the tide against the underutilization of resources in our economy.  As such, the expenditures in such a plan should be smart investments likely to lead to new jobs that utilize our strengths.  The Republicans believe that tax cuts will lead to those investments being done by the private sector.  They are wrong.

    In addition to investment there is money in the plan to provide inmediate aid to those most affected by the economic dislocation.  Since such funds are likely to be spent right away, the result will be a small short term jolt in economic activity.  In general those expenditures, though worthwhile, don't help as much with the long term picture.


    Obama needs your help (none / 0) (#168)
    by Manuel on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 12:14:12 PM EST
    How many of you that are complaining about Obama have done anything to support this bill or to increase its size to the level the country needs?  Look, this elephant of a bill, like the TARP, isn't the most popular legislation out there.  The MSM isn't interested in reporting on the efficacy of the bill.  They want to focus on the process and the politics.  Obama can't afford to let this legislation be obstructed by the Republicans in the Senate.  Hence, as in the Supreme Court, the "moderates" have a lot of influence.  Given his temperament and his post partisan promises, which we all knew about when we elected him, Obama can't lead the charge for progressive policies.  It's up to us to do it.  Instead of wringing our hands, we should be figuring out what concrete actions we can take to advance our position.

    Who's we? (none / 0) (#169)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 12:22:03 PM EST
    And what exactly do you think I have been doing?

    We is all of us (none / 0) (#176)
    by Manuel on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 12:46:10 PM EST
    who care about the future of this country.

    President Obama has committed a grievous mistake imo. I do not think it can be corrected.

    If the mistake can't be corrected should we just give up and go home?

    We need to take the focus off Obama and put it on concrete actions that we can take to support the right policies.

    The Obama administration should be doing more to organize the grass roots but we can't wait for them to lead.


    The Obama administration has no interest (5.00 / 1) (#180)
    by tigercourse on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 01:17:24 PM EST
    in organizing the grass roots to do anything other then cheer loudly for their bad bill. Obama has an approval rating of 65-70%. He sent his chief of staff to secure this bill. He's come out loudly against anyone who tries to hold his bill up. Congress has an approval rating of well less then half of Obama. Who do you think wins the PR fight between the two?

    Obama gets what Obama wants, and this is the bill that he wants.


    The Senate bill isn't the final bill (none / 0) (#183)
    by Manuel on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 01:33:49 PM EST
    The plan now should be to get as much restored from the house bill as possible in reconciliation.  Governors are potential allies as aid to states was one of the areas cut.  

    While the House bill was better then (none / 0) (#193)
    by tigercourse on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 02:04:32 PM EST
    the one Nelson/Collins put together, it was by no means great. Even if the final bill looks alot more like the House bill, it won't be much of a victory.

    If the result is a bad bill (none / 0) (#194)
    by Manuel on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 02:20:34 PM EST
    and worse than nothing, then we should be preparing to work for its defeat.  My take is that we need to push to improve it.  We should also be laying the groundwork to claim that not enough was done to counteract the claim the spending was tried.

    Who has the necessary information (none / 0) (#177)
    by oculus on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 12:49:48 PM EST
    and intelligence to write the talking points for contacting our Representatives and Senators, and, perhaps President?  Yes, lots of information about what got cut and how McCaskill, et al. are pushing for a compromised, possibly ineffective bill.  But who will lay out the alternative and reasons supporting same?

    I keep looking for a good political action (5.00 / 1) (#187)
    by Manuel on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 01:50:10 PM EST
    web site but so far I have not found one.  Most sites are more focused on opinion and commentary.  Those that aren't (e.g. moveon) are limited in their scope.

    One of my talking points would be the irrationality of the baby splitting moderates.  They are trying to split the difference betwen the flat landers and the Copernicans.  Tax cuts are not the answer.  The deficits will only increase if we let the economy deteriorate.  The "moderates" are getting kudos for politics but they should be getting ridiculed for their neither fish nor fowl policies.  Obama can't or won't go after the moderates but we are not so constrained.


    For example, do the Paul Krugmans (none / 0) (#178)
    by oculus on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 01:04:02 PM EST
    of world advocate for the stimulus bill passed by the House?  

    At this point most economists (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 01:11:56 PM EST
    are talking about getting whatever they can get as soon as possible and getting that in the hopper ASAP, but also saying that this stimulus is NOT ENOUGH we must come back for more.  Waiting to come back for more until it is obvious that we need more and hoping we won't have to fight the Repubs and the blue dogs about the fact that we must have more and a tax cut is not stimulus is too late though.  We are either proactive mofo's at this point and embrace a deep recession or we say hello to the depression that awaits us.

    Here's a quote from Krugman (none / 0) (#181)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 01:27:01 PM EST
    that actually gives some frame of reference

    "I'd like to see it bigger." Krugman said. "I understand that there's difficulty in actually spending that much money, and I--they're also afraid of the--of the T word. They're afraid of a trillion dollar for the two-year number. But you know, the back of my envelope says it takes roughly 200 billion a year to cut the unemployment rate by 1 percent from what it would otherwise be. In the absence of this program, we could very easily be looking at a 10 percent unemployment rate. So you do the math and you say, you know, even these enormous numbers we're hearing about are probably enough to mitigate but by no means to reverse the slump we're heading into. So this is--you know, I--they're thinking about it straight."

    And linkage to it.

    Read the Larry Summers link there too, it is worth the time and effort.  Scary also that this was all being laid out there for all Americans to read about and hear about on December 28th but these voices are being drowned out by so much BS!


    Good comment (none / 0) (#192)
    by Lora on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 01:59:52 PM EST
    Here is Blanchard's crazy notions (none / 0) (#190)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 01:54:05 PM EST
    So what are policymakers to do? First, and foremost, reduce uncertainty. Do so by removing tail risks, and the perception of tail risks. On the portfolio side, establish a price, or at least a floor on the price, of the troubled assets. Ring fence them or take them off balance-sheets. On the consumption side, commit to do whatever it will take to avoid a Great Depression, from fiscal stimulus to quantitative easing. Commit to do more in the future, if and when more is needed. Above all, adopt clear policies and act decisively. Do too much instead of too little. Delays and turnarounds in financial packages have cost us a lot already. Further rounds of debate and discussion will stoke uncertainty and make things worse.

    With linkage. These are his "global" recovery recommendations.  Can't imagine why America would need different recommendations but I'm certain the GOP thinks so because America and the American way of life is always soooooo different and so precious compared to that of the rest of the world.


    It needs another 850 bn (none / 0) (#195)
    by Jlvngstn on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 02:24:06 PM EST
    in stimulus spending at a minimum.  Doesn't matter though, we are going to be at 9% UE at the end of the year regardless.

    They waited too long and the layoffs spiraled exactly where we thought they would.  I know 8 people who have lost their jobs in recent weeks and their prospects are dim.

    The Chicago Tribune didn't even have a print version of their career section as I can only imagine that they did not have much in the way of job advertisements to justify running the section.

    I think they might be depending too much on the MO-Mod they are discussing which is a mistake unless of course the payments from individuals is reduced to 30% of what they receive from UI benefits.

    Our economy needs big thinking and big investment from our gov't.  What our gov't is delivering is ankle deep and lacking in both.  

    stimulus plan or what? (none / 0) (#202)
    by CTYankee on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 04:40:28 PM EST
    Whenever Pres. B.O. in the last two years actually made a solid point, and they were few, his foot got stuck in his mouth. He, as usual, says the proposed stimulus bill is right and we are waiting for the rest of the statement for BO to say who it is right for. He says it is the "right time". Didn't the Republicans say it had to be done "without delay" several months ago? I call both parties stimulus plans THE FLEESING OF AMERICA.