February 3, 2009

Obama has now been President for exactly 2 weeks.

How are you feeling about it?

Now, I voted for Obama, so I feel compelled to say that things would be at least as bad if John McCain were President right now. I never got caught up in the hope-n-change unicorns-n-rainbows, so I don't particularly expect or need to feel good. I will simply note that things have looked awful — and that's with the press passionately on his side.

127 comments:

Justin said...

I know I'm better off than I was two weeks ago.

Original Mike said...

How are you feeling about it?

I'd say forget it and continue on as before.

fcai said...

I know I will never pay taxes again - must toe the company line.

AllenS said...

Here's something that should make you feel better: Nancy Killefer withdrew her nomination to become chief performance officer, because of tax issues.

LonewackoDotCom said...

Things would definitely be a little less certain with McCain; BHO is in some ways a safer choice.

On the other, oblivious to Althouse hand, a BHO defeat would have been a shocking defeat for the elites, especially those in the MSM. Their lies and smears would have been shown to be ineffective. The constant racialization by BHO and his supporters would have been shown to be ineffective.

Since Althouse is linking to Insty, I was wondering whether she had a chance to ask him why he didn't promote my plan I sent him that would have undercut the MSM and might have helped defeat BHO. Is it that he hasn't read the First Amendment that closely (the "petition" bit)? Is it that he isn't interested in holding politicians accountable? Is it that he just wants to put on a show rather than actually doing anything?

Henry said...

The Times tells us that "[Michael Steele] does not seem to share Barack Obama's hunger for bipartisanship."

I'm feeling better about that.

Bob said...

Obama dozed, rednecks froze.

So far all he's done is reverse Bush policies and nominate tax cheats to the Cabinet. He hasn't really hit his stride on ruining the country yet.

Joe said...

That he's on track to lead the most corrupt presidency ever. Hoo ha!

(This isn't criticism; someone has to be the best!)

al said...

On one hand it's more entertaining than if McCain had been elected. OTOH watching the republicans actively support nominees like Holder makes me want to scream.

As for Obama - he's the same clueless person I thought he would be. Lots of promises and he's working on breaking all of them.

traditionalguy said...

Let,s face it, Obama is a great leap forward in racial cooperation, which is a Big Deal. However he comes with a price tag of empowering the Kleptocrats for 4 to 8 years. That can still all work out so long as he doesnt use his years to lead us into a New World Order starting with a new currency, then a new world kleptocrat system to govern the air,then a new world religion to bring Peace, and finally a new world Armed Forces to "protect" us from recalcitrants who forget who won.

save_the_rustbelt said...

The ethical superiority did seem to vanish very quickly.

But I am hopeful for some good results.

TitusWantsToRecruitU said...

I am super, thanks for asking.

How are you?

We are hiring like crazy. I will be getting my big bonus in two weeks and I am going to go shopping. My merit increase was a little lower this year-5%-but other then that can't complain. But I am naturally an optimistic person.

Also, my gym regiment is going splendid. The arms, tits and abs are well defined. I will beginning my Winstral Steroid Cycle in March for 12 weeks and I should be in good shape for the first day at the beach. I don't inject myself, my friend, who is a doc does. I call her Nurse Ratchet.

But more important, how are you? I care.

Big Special Hugs all around.

Balfegor said...

Now, I voted for Obama, so I feel compelled to say that things would be at least as bad if John McCain were President right now.

I don't think that's entirely fair. I suspect that McCain would have been better on two fronts --

First, I suspect his cabinet line-up would not have run into quite so many scandals. I mean, maybe I'm just remembering the Bush II and Clinton transitions as cleaner than they actually were, but at least as I remember them, the scale of wrongdoing that knocked out one or two of their nominees here and there was inconsequential, compared to Geithner, Clinton, Holder, and Daschle. And no one was hooked into sleazy and potentially criminal negotiations regarding sale of political offices (Rahm). Or dropped because he was likely to get indicted for corruption (Richardson). The transition team has just done a terrible, incompetent job of vetting people and preparing the narrative regarding these nominees. I think the nominees are all getting through anyhow largely because the Senate has seen Obama's nomination of Richardson and realised just how much worse it could be -- a little tax fraud is nothing to worry about in comparison, and we do need to have a functioning cabinet, however sleazy.

And second, I think I'd like McCain's stimulus/pork-giveaway better than Obama's. Although partly this is because I suspect that even McCain would have exercised a little more leadership in putting together the stimulus, rather than doing what Obama appears to be doing, which is hide while Congress takes the bill and does whatever it wants with it. Substantively, McCain's instincts probably aren't any better than Obama's, but at least he'd do something to see that his preferences actually get reflected in the bill. In some form.

Michael S said...

How are you feeling about it?

Sick of the rhetoric and posturing.

With the Middle-Class Task Force I ask, "where's the beef"?

With the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 I already know where the pork is...

sean said...

I am surprised that Prof. Althouse thinks the administration has "looked" awful. I'm not sure why.

A few nominees with tax problems? I think this is about par for the course. Certainly Clinton had about the same level of problems. Though maybe Bush did not? I don't remember.

A grab bag stimulus program without much theme, other than to spend gobs of money? But no rational person could have expected less from a Democratic president with a large Democratic majority in Congress. So it wouldn't make sense for someone who voted for Obama to complain about his behaving as any Democrat would; it would be like complaining because your wife or girlfriend behaves as any woman would.

A bit of incoherence with respect to terrorist detainees, etc.? Compared to, say, Jack Balkin, Obama is actually making sense. Again, it doesn't make sense to vote for a liberal lawyer and then complain that he sounds like, you know, a liberal lawyer (though not quite as kooky as the liberal lawyers who teach law).

Curtiss said...

"...things would be at least as bad if John McCain were President right now."

Yes they would. But McCain didn't promise "hope-n-change unicorns-n-rainbows". (I'm not sure what McCain promised. Not enough, apparently.)

Obama is limited to many the same options that Bush had. When he takes some of the same decisions as Bush and in conflict with his campaign promises, he'll have some splainin' to do. He already does.

I think he's going downhill faster than anyone expected. But that's just me.

AllenS said...

The large Democratic majority in Congress will write the stimulus bill. Obama will do what he's always done, vote present.

AJ Lynch said...

Althouse, what is astounding is this...in the 60 days after the election, Obama stood around while the Dem congress critters wrote a surplus bill that is full of pork and business-as-usual earmarks!

What were Obama and his "team of rivals", briliant advisers thinking?? Where is the bold stuff Obama promised? Where are the new ideas?

[I think AllenS just said the same thing as me]. Heh.

AllenS said...

AJ--

Great minds...

David said...

Not so good, but it's early yet. Complete despair, revulsion and remorse have to fester for a while.

MadisonMan said...

Seems like longer than just 2 weeks. Maybe that's because it's winter.

SteveR said...

Bad start and mostly avoidable.

Nominations/lobbyists/transparency: promises promises- broken

Stimulus Bill: Never good to let Obey and Pelosi run the show. They don't know a damn thing about economics beyond enriching relatives and friends, and taking care of special interest groups. This isn't even close to a good try and of course the media is largely in the tank. Thanks

MadisonMan said...

By the way, not exactly two weeks, as that post went up a few minutes after 11.

Jeremy said...

[Enter Michael]
Michael - "WHIIIIIIINE! Boo hoo hoo!"

Everyone else - "I've gotten plenty of (fill in the blank), but only from women"

[Exit Michael]

There, that's out of the way.

bearbee said...

Happy 2 week anniversary. 104 more to go.

Henry Buck said...

Robots don't feel, they just play their pre-determined part in the giant factory of life. There is no hope, no change, just the path we are set upon.

Henry Buck said...

How do women "fill in the blank," Jeremy? I thought only men could do that.

Anyway, that line is like Raid for Michael, I'm glad he supplied us with it.

Outis said...

Al said, "On one hand it's more entertaining than if McCain had been elected."

Are you kidding?! President Yosemite Sam would have been a hoot! Not to mention it would have been a regular barrel of monkies watching Andrew Sullivan have conivulsions about how America turned its back on the ONE TRUE CONSERVATIVE BARACK [don't you dare mention his middle name] OBAMA.

Balfegor said...

Re: Sean:

Certainly Clinton had about the same level of problems. Though maybe Bush did not? I don't remember.

I'm open to correction on this, but I think Clinton had both (a) far fewer nominees with problems and (b) much smaller problems -- the tax issues were much less blatant (easier to see as innocent mistakes), and didn't add up to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes evaded. Clinton did have similar problems asserting his authority over Congress, though -- his big push in his first two years was for nationalised healthcare (Hillarycare) and it went down to crashing defeat in a Democratic congress.

I think Bush II's transition was considerably smoother than Clinton's (I can only recall that one major nominee ran into problems, but I can't remember who or what the problems were). And in marked contrast to Clinton, Bush basically achieved all the major legislative initiatives he campaigned on within his first year -- massive tax cuts and an education reform bill (NCLB). Of course, then 9/11 came and his administration careened off in an entirely different direction, with new and different goals.

Obama's performance, in comparison, has been positively shambolic. It's the stuff of satire, frankly -- a reformer who wants to staff his administration with a crew of crooks. A leader who is conspicuously failing his first test of leadership.

A grab bag stimulus program without much theme, other than to spend gobs of money? But no rational person could have expected less from a Democratic president with a large Democratic majority in Congress.

One of the professor's stated rationales for voting for Obama was, if I recall correctly, that Obama would push back against Congress more effectively than McCain would, seeing as McCain's shtick is that he's always willing to reach an (incoherent) compromise. I suspect Obama has been a disappointment in this regard because he's just rolled over. Didn't even put up token resistance when the Congressional Democrats threw out his suggestions and decided to make it into a grab bag of pork. (Although the stimulus debate is not yet over -- he could still recover some dignity by the end)

John Althouse Cohen said...

I'd say forget it and continue on as before.

For his apt allusion to yesterday's free will post, Original Mike wins the thread.

Patm said...

How do I feel about Obama now?

Less positive than two weeks ago.

I find him disingenuous and slippery, like a conman.

I'm not appointing lobbyists... except these guys.

I'm going to close Gitmo...someday.

No rendition, except when we really need it.

We're broke...but we can spend tax money to fund overseas abortions.

And you know, someone made the point that if it was President Bush going to the Alfalfa club or watching the Super Bowl while Kentuckians freeze and starve, the press would be calling for his head. That's true.

I am underwhelmed with Obama but the press is really who I hate.

Freeman Hunt said...

We found out that huge chunks of our taxes are, it would seem, optional. That's nice to know.

MayBee said...

so I feel compelled to say that things would be at least as bad if John McCain were President right now

I do think it's a good idea to keep an imaginary baseline in your head for comparison. You can't lose, because you can imagine it would have been worse.

Kind of like the anti-Iraq war people who, knowing we *did* go to war in Iraq, imagine Iraq would be all kites and unicorns if we'd just left Saddam in place.

rdkraus said...

Exactly what I expected. And anyone who listened to non-MSM should have too.

Chicago politician.
Bought house with/through Rezko.
Wife got $300,000 political job.
Socialist.

More of the same.

Freeman Hunt said...

Exactly what I expected. And anyone who listened to non-MSM should have too.

That's true. There was an initial wave of optimism. Maybe he won't be that way. But now he's in office, and it's reality time. Oh well.

Patm said...

The thing about Obama, though is his polling numbers will NEVER go down as low as Bush's because he has a built-in protectant there. The 95% African Americans who voted for him will NEVER criticize a thing he does - everything he does will be "spectacular." And much of the rest of his base will never critique him, either, because they're not even thinking, they're just "feeeeeling."

So, he's going to have unrealistically inflated numbers throughout his presidency, and a press that kowtows to him incessantly.

So, basically...we're going to watch a little tyrant grow.

Henry said...

We found out that huge chunks of our taxes are, it would seem, optional. That's nice to know.

I have never forgotten to count the limousine service as income.

ricpic said...

I'd say Obama is right up there with Lincoln, in a reverse kind of way, the re-enslavement of Americans is proceeding on schedule.

Henry Buck said...

MayBee -

"Kites and Unicorns" would be a good name for a blog.

Joe McCarthy said...

Things have looked terrible, indeed.

That Executive Order on transparency. Awful!

The Executive Orders against torture. Horrendous!!

And don't get me started on that Equal Pay Act. What could possibly look worse than that!!!

MayBee said...

Oh!
And I would say I feel good about it, because the irrational exuberance may be over, and the Obama bubble may have popped.

It is best if people see him as a flawed politician.

Henry Buck said...

ricpic -

Your post brought to mind Lincoln's Lyceum Adress from 1838 (he was only 28 years old).

Towering genius distains a beaten path. It seeks regions hitherto unexplored.--It sees no distinction in adding story to story, upon the monuments of fame, erected to the memory of others. It denies that it is glory enough to serve under any chief. It scorns to tread in the footsteps of any predecessor, however illustrious. It thirsts and burns for distinction; and, if possible, it will have it, whether at the expense of emancipating slaves, or enslaving freemen. Is it unreasonable then to expect, that some man possessed of the loftiest genius, coupled with ambition sufficient to push it to its utmost stretch, will at some time, spring up among us? And when such a one does, it will require the people to be united with each other, attached to the government and laws, and generally intelligent, to successfully frustrate his designs.

Jeremy said...

Joe,
If everything else is open to getting a waiver, why would you be fool enough to think that those two Executive Orders will not be subject to waivers?

Kevin said...

So, basically...we're going to watch a little tyrant grow.

You think he's really running things, that he's not being managed from behind the scenes?

I don't really get a sense that he's in charge of his own agenda...

Franco said...

I am someone who as a libertarian leaning conservative I hate McCain and the way the Republican Party foisted him on us, so I didn't vote for him.

On the whole I was for releasing the tectonic plates of hate and outrage that we would have had with a McCain victory.

And it wasn't too difficult because
I was not going to stand for another Statist Republican while he moved the the country further left, at the same time paving the way for a double dose of leftism in 2012.

Obama will teach Americans more about the left than McCain ever could, so perhaps we can stop the bleeding in 2010 and 2010.

I am shocked however at how un-serious this administration has presented itself.

The cabinet nominees are a joke.

The stimulus plan is unbelieveable.

Biden is another joke - but I knew that.

Hillary as Secretary of State is downright weird.

Obama may take down the Democrat Party AND the MSM in 4 years.

Buford Gooch said...

About what one might expect, with Urkel in charge.

Eli Blake said...

Let's see:

In two weeks he's

1. kept his promise to order Gitmo closed.

2. reviewed and decided to maintain the previous administration's policy on using predator drones to hunt AQ leaders in Pakistan.

3. Signed the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the first piece of legislation passed by Congress and sent to his desk.

4. Met with Republicans about the stimulus plan. Presidents Bush I, Clinton and Bush II never made a visit to Capitol Hill to talk turkey with the opposition.

5. Told Joe Biden to organize a middle-class task force to focus on economic policies that will best benefit working Americans amd offer suggestions. Most importantly, unlike either Hillary Clinton's health care task force or Dick Cheney's energy task force or the Social Security task force set up under the Bush administration the Biden task force will be transparent and its proceedings either carried live or published.

6. Indicated he will sign the new version of sCHIP that has now passed the Senate. It contains significant improvements over the version that President Bush vetoed last year.

7. Had an interview with Al-Arabiyah in which he stressed that improved relations with the muslim world will be a top U.S. priority.

8. Issued an executive order banning waterboarding.

Definitely an active President. GOOD!

Big Mike said...

Main difference is that if McCain was president I would believe that a person with integrity was holding down the job. No way that Obama could come out of the Chicago political cesspool with any semblance of integrity in his makeup, nor did I detect any during his campaign, nor do I detect any to this point.

As for the rest, about the same. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid would test McCain, the same way that they are testing Obama (MSM doesn't think to point this out -- what a shock). Probably less effort on McCain's part to kowtow to Muslim's at Israel's expense. The economy does not turn on a dime and wouldn't for McCain either.

jdeeripper said...

I'm still numb.

But I know I will begin to feel those jabbing pins when the blood starts to circulate and then that awful pain.

But then it's over and it's no big deal. At least that's what I hope.

Romney/Palin 2012.

Patm said...

This guy calls it a big con

http://www.theneweditor.com/index.php?/archives/9116-Just-to-Reiterate-for-the-Record....html

TitusWouldLikeToRecruitU said...

I along with everyone else here am ballistic. This has been the worst two weeks in the entire history of our great country.

I am most grateful that I have an ass you bounce quarters off of because if I didn't I think I would shoot myself. Also, the ability to get sex in the drop of a hat which certainly helps.

I am ready to move to another country.

Who's with me?

Patm said...

Executive Order on transparency

that would look a lot better if the administration was transparent.

they don't even supply transcripts of wh press breifings.

TitusWouldLikeToRecruitU said...

I am practically despondent I barely get a hardon and that never happens.


That is how bad it is.

Completely and totally devastating.

Is hardon one or two words?

Patm said...

Kevin - you wrote:

I don't really get a sense that he's in charge of his own agenda...

My son says that too. But don't you find that every one says that about every president? I remember they said it about Reagan, Clinton and Bush II.

TitusWouldLikeToRecruitU said...

I think my balls have stopped producing chiz...that's how bad it is.

Michael said...

"Now, I voted for Obama, so I feel compelled to say that things would be at least as bad if John McCain were President right now."

Gosh, ya think so, Ann?

Even after 14 whole days in office?

Good lord...

Michael said...

"...a BHO defeat would have been a shocking defeat for the elites, especially those in the MSM."

Those bastard "elites."

LonewackoDotCom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LonewackoDotCom said...

One more comment like that, and Eli Blake is going to be eligible for the trip to ObamaCamp! Everyone, chip in and help him reach his goal.

As for #5, the transparency will probably be as much an illusion as their other attempts. They also apparently want input from the citizens (before they do what they were going to do anyway).

However, in case anyone wants to do something, see if you can ask Biden a question.

TitusWouldLikeToRecruitU said...

I don't know if I can even type anymore it is getting so difficult. But I will...it is the Patriotic thing to do. We still have our voices and no one can take that away.

Calgon, take me away.

I sense a revolt coming. To the Bastille!

We have to do something soon. Before it's too late.

TitusWouldLikeToRecruitU said...

I am generally not an enabler but for those addicts in the house I recommend running not walking to your choice of poison.

LonewackoDotCom said...

Referring to my first comment, Michael says: Those bastard "elites."

Now, let's put on our thinking caps. If our elites - the relatively small number of people who have actual power in the U.S. - had wanted BHO to fail it wouldn't have taken much. They would have simply told their friends who own MSM outlets to do hit pieces on him, looking into his associations, his far-left statements, where exactly he was born (something that still hasn't been definitively proven), etc. etc.

Instead, the MSM covered all that up and helped him win. That wasn't necessarily a coordinated campaign, but it wasn't just because individual reporters are corrupt: it's because MSM sources more or less got clearance from those who sign the checks.

For some learning, see this, this, and this.

TitusWouldLikeToRecruitU said...

Rapunzel!!!! Rapunzel!!!!!

Michael said...

"I don't really get a sense that he's in charge of his own agenda..."

Did you miss the part about it being 14 days?

Are you people completely out of your minds?

What executive, stepping into a position of authority, and facing anything even remotely close to the kind of dire situation Obama has, would be judged god, bad or otherwise...after 14 days???

I realize whining is the standard mode here, but this is more of a high-pitched squeal.

Kirby Olson said...

At some point the persona will fail, and then we'll see who he is. He will be revealed.

I'm waiting for that moment.

At some point the real Obama will actually just simply appear, and someone will be right.

I'll bet a nickel he's not the Second Coming, but beyond that, I can't say. Everything so far has been a hologram, a projection of what he thinks people want.

rdkraus said...

Big ice storm in Kentucky last week. Hundreds of thousands freezing without electricity. Where is Obama's FEMA? Why are they so incompetent? Why does Obama hate white hicks from the sticks?

TitusWouldLikeToRecruitU said...

Don't you dare call us deranged Michael you traitor.

TitusWouldLikeToRecruitU said...

Who gives a fuck about Kentucky. They didn't vote for him. That's what happens.

TitusWouldLikeToRecruitU said...

And tell the hicks from Kentucky to fend for themselves. Geez, always expecting the government for a handout. Socialists.

traditionalguy said...

For a little humor when all seems lost, try out Mark Steyn, who is filling in for El Rushbo today and tomorrow. I actually laughed until it all felt better. Now let's see, 2 weeks down and 206 weeks certain to go, and a potential 414 weeks to go. There is a rumor that jobs are opening up in China, India, and Mexico, but I plan to weather the storm here.

rdkraus said...

Steyn was good.

Heard a bit on the way to lunch.

Henry said...

Eli -- that's a good list. I mean, it's the best list possible.

I'm quite in favor of #1 and #8.

But the middle is pretty squishy stuff. #5 is insulting. If Obama signs the current stimulus plan, what difference does the Biden taskforce make? Maybe Obama can assign Biden a taskforce that studies how to get worms back into cans.

I knew going in that what I liked best about Obama's platform (#8) would be accomplished in the first few days. After this I have few illusions.

AlphaLiberal said...

Liberated!

TitusWouldLikeToRecruitU said...

I wish Rush was on today. That would of been amazing.

Missed Mark though. I bet he was brillant.
Got to get the clip.

Also, Hannity was great.

Jim said...

Ann, all I can say is that you can vote with your heart, vote with your head, or not vote at all. And these two stinkers in '08 left me with a headache and heartburn.

Michael said...

LonewackoDotCom - Who the hell are these "elites" you're talking about??

Are you actually saying that the Democratic Party represents more of an "elitist" populace than the Republicans?

Your party's candidate for President is worth 150 million dollars, owns so many homes he didn't even know how many there were and flies around the country on a jet he and his wife own.

As for the "elite" MSM...are you throwing the Washington Times, Weekly Standard, WSJ, New York Post, newspapers in Colorado, Ohio, North & South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, red states, talk radio people such as Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly, Savage, Ingraham, bloggers like Malkin, Coulter, Beck, etc.???

Your "elitist" argument is disingenuous and laughable at best.

Mark said...

Amateur hour ( * 24 * 365 * 4 )

With a serious caveat about the 4, considering impeachment - or the Nixon option - is always in play....

Seriously, if things get bad enough, don't think the press doesn't remember where all the dirt they didn't report is. They'll turn on him like Guy Ritchie turned on Madonna when the tingle fades.

Michael said...

Kirby Olson said..."At some point the persona will fail, and then we'll see who he is. He will be revealed. I'm waiting for that moment."

It's nice to see an American so interested in their President failing.

And if there's anyone who knows all about "failure," I'm betting you're at the top of the pile.

BJM said...

Me? not so much, but Hollywood is feeling the love:

A provision in the current "stimulus" bill would allow Hollywood moguls to write off half the production and filming costs of big-budget films and TV shows.

Backed by Walt Disney and the Motion Picture Association of America, the provision amounts to an estimated $246 million Hollywood tax break over 11 years.

It's the least Democrats can do for some of their richest and most generous supporters, who gave nearly $20 million in campaign contributions to Democrats during the 2008 election cycle, according to OpenSecrets.org.

Henry Buck said...

I've gotten plenty of high pitched squeals over my life time, but always from women.

Michael said...

# Sixty percent of the nation's daily newspapers print more conservative syndicated columnists every week than progressive syndicated columnists.

# In a given week, nationally syndicated progressive columnists are published in newspapers with a combined total circulation of 125 million. Conservative columnists, on the other hand, are published in newspapers with a combined total circulation of more than 152 million.

# The top 10 columnists as ranked by the number of papers in which they are carried include five conservatives, two centrists, and only three progressives.

# The top 10 columnists as ranked by the total circulation of the papers in which they are published also include five conservatives, two centrists, and only three progressives.

# In 38 states, the conservative voice is greater than the progressive voice. In only 12 states is the progressive voice greater than the conservative voice.

Michael said...

Henry - Do any of your women have curly little tails?

X said...

I didn't know Obama had actually ordered Gitmo closed. So when's the close date? What's going to happen to the prisoners? I think it's more accurate to say he pushed it back a year and will deal with it later.

JAL said...

I don't think he has ever had some many things coming at him at the same time. He is, for all his zen calmness (? does ZC include the thin skin?) in over his head. He's smart, but the training wheel thing should have come outside the Oval Office.

He has usually been in control. When he moved into politics (IL state senate) and had less control, and did not want to respond or act -- he voted
"present."

That simply will not work anymore.

As for filling positions, whatever happened to that questionnaire everyone was supposed to fill in? Didn't that include some questions which asked (or inferred) "Is there anything that would be an embarrassment to the President or his administration?"

Interesting. Must be everyone lied. Or they didn't fill the things out. (Maybe you were eliminated from consideration if you did?) Or the Dems don't have enough qualified people who are clean? Or the President really did not care, for all the hype.

(But then, how clean and transparent can one be who wheels and deals with the likes of Tony Rezko?)

It's going to be a long 4 years.

JAL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JAL said...

Michael, Michael.

Columnists are not editors or reporters.

Just like OpEds are not reporting.

Mark said...

Michael, I'm actually rooting for Obama; and as far as foreign policy decisions go, I've been pleasantly surprised. (All the high profile bones thrown to the Left have come with so many caveats and strings it's more like he's thrown sh*t sandwiches and Progressives have just decided to call them bones.)

But the stimulus package as it exists? Yep, I hope it fails. Transparency? So far, whatever you or I want, that part has been a failure. (As a libertarian I'd love to see more transparency in government.) Change? I don't know, besides Obama's, are there any new faces in the Administration?

But hey, Hope springs eternal....

BJM said...

Yada,yada, yada Michael...that notoriously right wing rag the NYT really piled on Daschle in service to their overwhelmingly conservative readers.

Daschle's post-senate greed was and is indefensible, especially when this admin and congressional majority continually chides business for excessive pay and bonuses.

Another bastion of right wing propaganda, Politico, is reporting that Daschle sought an admin position for BFF and limo provider Hendry. Which certainly has the appearance of a quid pro quo.

Why can't you admit that Obama has made rookie mistakes? Every admin makes missteps in opening days of their administration. How soon he finds his feet is the issue. Obama needs to fire those on responsible who failed in the vetting process ASAP and be seen to hold them accountable.

Michael H said...

Things I've noticed during the second week of the Obama administration:

The "We Won" smirk got shoved back in his face by the reality of two-party politics.

Obama looks pale under his skin, and his hair seems to be graying a bit. POTUS pressure, no doubt. And the reality that problems easily dismissed by campaign promises aren't as readily dispatched post-election.

Too many of his picks were bloopers. His short time in the Senate wasn't sufficient for him to meet and evaluate prospective team members.

His strings are being pulled by former Clinton aides and by Pelosi. He seems to be a man without a charter, pulled hard by progressives and centrists. The hand on the tiller seems to be steering the ship erratically.

His words do not instill confidence in the markets, nor in the American people. There is none of Reagan's "We can do this because we are Americans" optimism.

H hasn't grasped the importance of symbolism. He should have been on a plane to Louisville last week, helicoptered over the storm damaged areas, handed out a few bottles of water, posed for pictures, listed the good things being done by gov't to help out. didn't happen.

Overall, a C, at a time when Americans were expecting an A with honors.

Michael H said...

He, not H.

traditionalguy said...

They are going to hold a telethon this weekend( before the Bank opens Monday) for Tom Daschle who has had his hopes daschled and all after he had written the IRS a hot check. Talk about a Catch 22. Even John McCain is thinking about donating one of his smaller houses. Mercy is called for here, not glee. Why if only $1 is donated by every gleeful Republican, Tom will have way more than he needs.

AllenS said...

The Beatles were ahead of their time.

He's a real nowhere Man,
Sitting in his Nowhere Land,
Making all his nowhere plans
for nobody.

Reid Farmer said...

Interesting looking back to eight years ago. We've been so conditioned by Bush's unpopularity that we forget where he started.

About this point in 2001 Bush's approve/disapprove was at 57/25 and trending upward. Linda Chavez withdrew her Sec Labor nomination due to maid tax problems but most cabinet nominations sailed through, with some push back on Ashcroft and Norton.

Obama for all his media accolades is at 61/36 and trending downward. Not really that much different. Daschle has withdrawn his name, Richardson was about to go for Commerce and withdrew his at the last minute due to some obscure scandal. Geither sneaked by for Treasury but has the whole country laughing with his tax problems. Killefer (though not a cabinet level pick) withdrew for the same reason. Is there a trend here?

The other shoe really hasn't dropped yet with the role Emmanuel played in the Blogo story. And it will.

And now his recovery plan that passed the House is only supported by about 42% of the country. I know 75% support "a" plan - but that's the perfect plan each of us has in our head. Less than half support the real plan. Sad

Overall, not so hot. He's luck everyone is cutting him slack

Reid Farmer said...

Oops - the latest information on (non)support for the stimulus bill from Gallup

"The poll, conducted from Friday through Sunday, found that 75 percent of Americans want Congress to pass some version of the plan. But the survey reflected deepening doubts about the effectiveness of the programs and spending items currently being considered by federal lawmakers. Only 38 percent of those polled favored the existing stimulus proposal, down from a slight majority holding that view in the Jan. 28 Gallup survey."

Only 38% in favor

Tactically, it looks like Reps were right to back away

BJM said...

I especially enjoyed this graf from the Politico piece:

Hindery, who divides his time between New York and Charlotte, N.C., made his money in cable television. A former Seattle newsboy and executive at the San Francisco Chronicle, he came to prominence when he became CEO of cable giant Tele-Communications, Inc. in 1997. He was hailed for turning the company around and sold it to AT&T in 1999, reportedly collecting $300 million in stock options in the process.

$300 mil for 2 years work? Hmmmm, sounds a little excessive doesn't it? Wonder what CWA wages and salaries were at the time?

Bart DePalma said...

Unsurprisingly, the inexperienced Obama appears to be more than a little lost.

Let us pus aside for the moment the foolishness of nominating a swarm of lobbyists after making a show of barring them from his administration and nominating not one but three tax evaders knowing full well about their problems.

What is revealing is that Obama has completely lost control of his "stimulus bill." Pelosi and Reid ignored The One's blueprint and created government expansion bills meant to pay off every Dem constituency in the country while trying to make down payments on more than a few hoped for future constituencies.

Obama's show of bipartisanship by deigning to chat with the GOP is not being followed through with even a hint of compromise. Either Pelosi and Reid are ignoring Obama requests for compromise or Obama is simply lying to the GOP and has no intention of giving them anything for their votes.

Obama does not appear to be involved at all in the Senate attempts to rework this turkey. We read about various combinations of Senators offering plans, but nothing from the White House apart from fictions about how the bill is needed to create 3-4 million jobs.

There is no way an old hand like McCain would have been this lost coming through the gate.

PJ said...

I'm enjoying him more than during the election for several reasons. The media and Obamamites were so up Obama's butt and so much harder on Hillary and Palin that it was like being vicariously bludgeoned to death every day, so it's a relief to have the daily dose of pain and hypocrisy pause, if only momentarily. Ironically, this leaves me free to enjoy the things about Obama that are good, including his style, which I could never enjoy before because of that whole bloody truncheon thing.

My view of Obama was closer to yours - positive but not starry-eyed. They could be misinterpreted as negative if I got next to a worshipper because I would feel compelled to point out how dangerous idolatry is in the political arena. My instincts about Obama appear to have been more correct than the Obamamites, so counter to their disappointment, impatience, I am feeling both relieved and smug --which is very pleasant. Additionally, the worship has been scaled back by a magnitude of 10.

It's nice to see so many black people stuck in shit jobs suddenly cheerful and skippy the entrepreneur peppy. (True! At least around here.) That'll last until they figure out, like white people have always known about their white leaders, that not everyone is going to be Obama, but still, it's nice while the illusion lasts. Could be good for six months, maybe a generation - after which it'll likely be full on class war with the color lines no longer available as a distraction.

So, all in all, I feel much better.

theobromophile said...

Well, if you were against Obama, not just because he's a huge liberal and you're a conservative, but because you think that "Hope and Change" was a load of b.s. (especially coming from a guy who rose to power in a corrupt, dirty political area and didn't do a damn thing to change that), then the past two weeks have been pretty awesome.

I will say: this is far, far better than I could have hoped for, which is tough, because my opinion of Barack was so incredibly low. But... after hearing about how Gov. Palin wasn't "properly vetted" because her daughter was (horrors!) pregnant, it's wonderful to watch O. appoint a bunch of tax cheats.

After listening to O. say that he would take public financing, then reject it... and after watching him say that he wouldn't have lobbyists on his campaign, then having them there, it is blissful to watch him make seventeen waivers for his "no lobbyists" rule in less than two weeks.

After listening to how he's going to "change" Washington and bring in new ideas, I think I shed tears of joy when he appointed a bunch of Clinton re-treads to his Cabinet.

Be still, my heart. I expected dirt and incompetence from a Chicago pol with no experience, but thought that I would spend at least a few months telling myself that good things come to those who wait. To quote Snakes on a Plane, "This [administration is] going down faster than a Thai hooker on a busy night."

Revenant said...

Now, I voted for Obama, so I feel compelled to say that things would be at least as bad if John McCain were President right now.

I voted against him and I agree with you. :)

Patm said...

Death toll in Kentucky is up to 55.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090202/ap_on_re_us/winter_storm

Those people have had a hell of a time for 8 or 9 days now and the press hasn't even asked why Obama hasn't flown over the area to at least check it out.

Michael said...

JAL said..."Columnists are not editors or reporters."

Right.

Columnist, editors and reporters aren't part of the MSM.

The publications, etc. just magically appear.

*Just wondering: When you read or hear something via that nasty left wing MSM...how did it get there?

Michael said...

Patm - The entire Midwest and East Coast is experiencing all kinds of terrible weather.

You're not suggesting Obama get into a plane and fly over half the United States because of a winter storm...are you?

Get real...you're just whining.

Michael said...

theobromophile - Ahhhh, the cry-baby is back once again.

If only we could go back to those golden Bush years...

Michael said...

Bart DePalma - "Unsurprisingly, the inexperienced Obama appears to be more than a little lost."

And this is based on his first 14 days in office?

Katrina happened after Bush was in office for...oh...two years?

The dumb just keep getting dumber.

Bruce Hayden said...

Death toll in Kentucky is up to 55.

Those people have had a hell of a time for 8 or 9 days now and the press hasn't even asked why Obama hasn't flown over the area to at least check it out.


Where's FEMA when you need it?

Bruce Hayden said...

Now, I voted for Obama, so I feel compelled to say that things would be at least as bad if John McCain were President right now. I never got caught up in the hope-n-change unicorns-n-rainbows, so I don't particularly expect or need to feel good. I will simply note that things have looked awful — and that's with the press passionately on his side.

Let me suggest that this is wishful thinking on your part, likely somewhere between denial and cognitive dissonance.

First, there is no indication that McCain would have been so tone deaf as to the ethics of his appointees. McCain has worried about ethics at least since the Keating scandal. Also, the Republicans seem much better at vetting their cabinet nominees, which Bush (43) only having possible problems with one nominee, who, after withdrawing her nomination was later exonerated.

Secondly, a McCain election would have continued the divided government that seems to work best for us. Indeed, a lot of those Senate seats that flipped probably wouldn't have - but the Democrats would have had majorities in both houses of Congress. Just not nearly as big of majorities. And with divided government, instead of the gross overreaching we have seen with the larger Democratic majorities in Congress, we would have seen actual bipartisanship.

Thirdly, McCain actually knows how Congress works, having been there for more than 4 years (and in a senior position, as compared to the former back bencher from Ill). He wouldn't have been rolled by Pelosi, Obey, et al. with their "stimulus" bill.

Fourthly, McCain actually knows how to work with the opposing party, as evidenced by numerous major bills he has his name on with prominent Democrats (e.g. Kennedy, Feingold, etc.), as well as being the lead Republican in the Gang of 14.

AJ Lynch said...

Here is an unoriginal thought.

The immediacy and harsh velocity of information and news is frigging astounding. There is no such thing as a honeymoon anymore even for Obama.

Simon said...

Eli Blake said...
"[He's] kept his promise to order Gitmo closed."

I thought he promised to close gitmo. I didn't realize he promised to promise to close it a year hence. That's the second President in a row to be embarassed by a "mission accomplished" banner, and I'll tell you, it doesn't look any better when the banner is metaphorical.

"Signed the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the first piece of legislation passed by Congress and sent to his desk."

Sure, because strapping a time bomb to the bottom of every enterprise in America - and threatening to actually undermine Title VII - is a sensible thing to do in a recession.

"Met with Republicans about the stimulus plan. Presidents Bush I, Clinton and Bush II never made a visit to Capitol Hill to talk turkey with the opposition."

Presidents Bush I, Clinton and Bush II never made a visit to Capitol Hill to get a photo op with the opposition leadership while offering nothing that could remotely be construed as an attempt at bipartisanship - and neither has President Obama.

"the Biden task force will be ... carried live...."

Brilliant leadership by Obama, B.H.: he's going to put Joe Biden on television. Impressive shit.

Patm said...

Michael wrote:
Patm - The entire Midwest and East Coast is experiencing all kinds of terrible weather.

You're not suggesting Obama get into a plane and fly over half the United States because of a winter storm...are you?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Listen up, you hateful, unthinking little Obamabot apologist: the people in Kentucky and the Appalachians have been without power for over a week. They are running out of food, they don't have water, they don't have heat. 55 of them have died. Those are people dead - someone's wife, someone's father, someone's kid. Are you going to be so dismissive about it?

Rescue workers have said there are many places they can't get to, and they don't even know if more are dead. FEMA was late getting there because (as with Katrina and the water) the ice made it impossible. All that being said, when a president declares a place a disaster area, as Obama has, then he has a duty - as president - to go LOOK OVER THE FUCKING AREA and MAKE HIS PRESENCE KNOWN TO THOSE PEOPLE.

Or, let me simplify it for you: if the exact same situation was occuring, and Bush was entertaining the congress with 100lb steak, going to the Alfalfa club for cocktails with Palin and watching the Super Bowl and yukking it up with Matt Lauer, you'd be SCREAMING because he was not "helping those poor people in Kentucky!" In fact, Lauer would be snarling about it, himself.

But maybe I'm being too hard on you as you blithely yawn away people's lives because its your party in charge - the truth is you probably don't even know anything about this, or that a quarter of a million people may not have power for a month or more, because the press has ignored the story. What's a bunch of dead freezing rednecks, after all. They don't go to Hahvahd.

Patm said...

Michael said:
Katrina happened after Bush was in office for...oh...two years?

The dumb just keep getting dumber.
* * * * * *

God, you're stupid. Katrina happened in 2005, not 2003. And Bush was hardly lost. Do you really want to go through the catalogue of things Bush got right and Nagin and Blanco murderously wrong?

No, you don't. You don't want to hear it and I won't waste it on you. If you wanted to know you could find it easily enough.

You prefer your ignorance and your fake narratives.

And you call others dumb.

You know what? You're not worth talking with. All you know how to do is repeat slogans; you can't think.

You should think about that. It's no way to go through life.

Patm said...

A list of all the lobbyists and former lobbyists being employed by the Administration that "will not employ lobbyistst."

Hotair is right to note that Daschle is a lobbyist, too.

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/02/03/the-list-of-lobbyists-in-the-obama-administration/

But he did close Gitmo, and he's sure not going to waterboard anyone unless he really has to.

Eli Blake said...

Simon,

He's kept his promise. Gitmo will be closed. What is your problem with that?

Obviously it will take a few months because they have to, starting from scratch, examine each case and decide whether to release the prisoner, transfer them to a site in the U.S. and charge them, or what other options they may be looking at.

How would you do it? Just open the cells and march them to the fence around the base and tell them to keep on walking into Cuba?

Obama is keeping his promise to close Gitmo (which he said he'd do.) Your spin is pretty wild.

Patm said...

Sorry I blew my stack. I have been reading too many forums. Time to go watch The Simpsons until my brain irons out.

AJ Lynch said...

Patm:

Good ones. No apology needed.

Every so often one of has to go postal on the duetschbag Michael.

fcai said...

Douchebag. I misspelled it as two words earlier, along the lines of "Michael troll", if I recall correctly...

Revenant said...

He's kept his promise. Gitmo will be closed.

He promised to close Gitmo. Now that he's President, he re-promised to close Gitmo. He will have "kept his promise" when Gitmo actually closes.

Until then, he's kept his promise about as well as George Bush kept his promise to fix Social Security.

Simon said...

Eli, spin? You say he's "kept his promise. Gitmo will be closed." I don't believe that's any more or less likely than it was on January 19th. Maybe he will, maybe he won't - be he hasn't yet. It's not so much the delay - it might suffice if he had announced that Gitmo will close on _/_/2010 - setting a date that is concrete and self-executing with no further action, but it is absolutely clear that that is not the case here. Without further orders from Obama (or legislation from Congress), Gitmo will not close. That means that Obama has not yet kept his promise - he has simply (as Rev put it) re-promised it, in a more formal setting.

How would I liquidate gitmo? That's not a question you really want an answer to.

Freeman Hunt said...

Patm is right. I'm more than a bit disturbed that I haven't seen more stories about the aftermath of the ice storm. I'm in Arkansas, and I have friends who still don't have power. In parts of our state, people have no water and haven't for a week. Not good.

section9 said...

IMPEACH!!!!!!

There, I was the first commentator, probably, on any blog, anywhere, to use the dreaded "I" word against Barack.

For what, I don't know. I just want to be first.

Mark said...

Michael, re: the killer ice storm and Obama's response:

"Katrina happened after Bush was in office for...oh...two years?"

Forget whether Bush should have been held accountable for local infrastructure. His response was bad PR, and I guess in a PR age that's a sin.

Your man Obama can't learn from other's experience? The press isn't going to be in the tank forever, Michael.

Mark said...

FWIW, though, there's one thing Obama seems to have down pat; inside baseball political knifework. If Judd Gregg opts to sell his soul for Obama's table scraps, it will be one of the finest bits of political gamesmanship I have ever seen.

Paul Zrimsek said...

He's kept his promise. Gitmo will be closed.

Little-known fact: in English, the perfect and future tenses are interchangeable.

theobromophile said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
theobromophile said...

theobromophile - Ahhhh, the cry-baby is back once again.

???? Michael, that doesn't even make logical sense. I've mentioned my dislike* for BHO exactly once on Althouse, which was a few hours ago. My response was jubilant, not sad.

So of those eight words, the only thing that you got right was my screen name. Maybe I can give you the "Ahhhh," which gets your "makes sense" average up to 0.25. Even in the major leagues, that's a crummy batting average.


*IIRC, I also gave the standard deviation of approval ratings for the past presidents, and compared them with those of Obama.

PatCA said...

I feel good. My greatest hopenchange has been realized: the electorate is beginning to see him as a man, not a god--in fact, as a Chicago politician, which is a lower form of man.

Four years of necessary pain is worth it, to stop the cultification of this man.

And he's committed to saving Iraq and bombing terrorists. Good.

John Althouse Cohen said...

I will simply note that things have looked awful — and that's with the press passionately on his side.

That's some odd reasoning. If the press is making things look awful, wouldn't it make more sense to conclude that the press is not "passionately on his side"?

Laura(southernxyl) said...

"theobromophile - Ahhhh, the cry-baby is back once again."

I wondered about that too.

I think some people, faced with an unanswerable argument, think that they can refer to that argument as "whining" and others will find that very smart and telling.

John - thinks looking awful is not equivalent to the press making things look awful. Some things may look awful even as the press are doing their level best to dress them up.