February 8, 2009

"When the novelty of the first African American president wears off, the sight of Obama talking on television might have less impact..."

"For now, though, the White House is cranking up the volume, staging Obama's first presidential news conference [Monday night] -- in prime time."

How long does it take people to get something through their skulls? The Prez is black. I've been used to it since months before it happened. (And it seemed normal to me back when he was a long shot.) Are people really still going around dumbfounded, marveling that this — this! — happened in America? What is wrong with you? Get up to speed, people.

And yes, I'm very interested in the first big press conference. But that's because the country seems to be going to hell, and I want to see some competence and accountability. If Obama's people think they are "staging" some feel-good diversity show — it's "the first African American president ... talking on television"! — they must be crazy.

101 comments:

Eli Blake said...

And yes, I'm very interested in the first big press conference. But that's because the country seems to be going to hell, and I want to see some competence and accountability

And that's what the press conference is going to be about. George Bush launched us on this path, and it is going to focus on the stimulus and the rest of President Obama's plans to fix it.

You seem to be one of those obsessed with race, because I doubt if Obama is going to address race in the press conference unless he gets asked about it directly.

AJ Lynch said...

Las Vegas has established its "Over & Under line" for "uhs and duhs" by Obama at 3.5 per question.

Dennis said...

I'm so unamazed by the mere fact of President Barack Obama (!) that I'm irritated that he's imposing himself upon us in prime time tomorrow.

Life is tough enough right now without him getting in the way of new episodes of Chuck and The Big Bang Theory with a speech that could just as easily take place during the day.

I predict that most Americans will get sick of The Barack Obama Show pretty quickly. Few want to hear from the POTUS all that often, regardless of who it happens to be at the moment.

Diamondhead said...

Yep, here comes Obama to "fix" the mess Bush left behind. Just like the deer in my headlights is going to fix my fender.

Palladian said...

"And that's what the press conference is going to be about. George Bush launched us on this path, and it is going to focus on the stimulus and the rest of President Obama's plans to fix it."

Any day now!

It's coming!

Change! you know!

Takes time. But he's got his focusing hand ready, and he's going to focus soon!

With his SEKRIT PLAN!

Just you wait!

Any day, now!

save_the_rustbelt said...

Repeat after me:

Governing is different than campaigning.

At least he is not messing up Monday night football.

traditionalguy said...

It's a laugh a minute watching Mr Obama try to keep on massage about saving everyone while he never responds to any question or explains any job creation part contained in the Democrats Relief Bill of 2009. It's not nice to con us, you exalted man with a Kenyan ancestor.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

"Are people really still going around dumbfounded, marveling that this — this! — happened in America?"

Not people but the media- the race-obsessed, liberal boomer media. The kind who can finally be proud of America again.

They've been celebrating Woodstock and our defeat in Vietnam for the past 30+ years, and their canonization of JFK and MLK has yet to show any signs of abating.

Whatever his record, win, lose or draw, they will be shoving Obama down our throats for decades to come.

Simon said...

Eli Blake said...
"And that's what the press conference is going to be about. George Bush launched us on this path...."

And he will, no doubt, continue to emphasize that he's just dealing with the Bush administration's mess. At some point, "we have chosen hope over fear" turned into the pantomime presidency - "it's behind you!"

fcai said...

Yep, Chimperor MAObamaMussoliniSoros will save us all. He is an idiot and in way over his head. I wonder if his uhs can be converted into fuel.

We need to revive the DOOM poster with his his face on it. It is time.

IMPEACH NOW!!!

AJ Lynch said...

My questions would be:

These mortgage/ bank problems surfaced suddenly and with little notice by govt regulators nor the media. Are you aware of other significant govt balance sheet/ solvency issues and if so what are they?

Lastly, have they given you the keys to Fort Knox and is there any gold bullion left there?

Curtiss said...

Obama's staff is worn out, because they've been working night and day.

Any spending is stimulus.

Any presser is a feel-good diversity show.

(but without a teleprompter)

Did I mention that Obama's staff is tired?

David said...

He's the President now. As LBJ said, the only one we've got. It doesn't matter if he's green with pink stripes. It's what he does that counts.

It's impossible to judge how he's doing after three weeks. We will have a glimmer after three months, and at three years it will be pretty clear (though for some it will all still be Bush's fault.)

The Prez could drop the doom and gloom stuff, though. That is already wearing very thin.

Prime time press conference? I bet the press will be all prettied up and full of themselves. The press? Congress? How can Obama help but look good by comparison.

Eli Blake said...

These mortgage/ bank problems surfaced suddenly and with little notice by govt regulators nor the media. Are you aware of other significant govt balance sheet/ solvency issues and if so what are they?

I guess if you never follow the news at any rate.

The crisis began with the bursting of the United States housing bubble and high default rates on "subprime" and adjustable rate mortgages (ARM), beginning in approximately 2005–2006. source

Housing prices overall (including non-subprime loans) plateaued in mid 2006 and began to decline.

The subprime mortgage crisis began in mid-2007 and led to a continual decline in the Dow since it reached its peak at over 14,000 in October of 2007.

Ongoing losses involving toxic assets and hedge funds led to the collapse of investment bank Bear Stearns on March 14, 2008. The Federal Government (through the Federal Reserve Bank of New York) intervened and helped bailout Bear Stearns and engineer the transfer of Bear Stearns' assets to JP Morgan Chase.

Of course the proximate cause of the present crisis was the collapse of another investment bank, Lehman Brothers, on September 14, 2008. However, Lehman Brothers was in serious financial trouble over a year before that:

In August 2007, the firm closed its subprime lender, BNC Mortgage, eliminating 1,200 positions in 23 locations, and took an after-tax charge of $25 million and a $27 million reduction in goodwill. Lehman said that poor market conditions in the mortgage space "necessitated a substantial reduction in its resources and capacity in the subprime space".source

The spiral has certainly accelerated but if you think that everything was just peachy until all hell broke loose on September 14 of last year then you are either wilfully blind or blissfully foolish.

AJ Lynch said...

Eli:

Banks and large businesses fail almost every year.

Govt bailouts started with $85 Billion bailout for AIG then $200 Billion for Frannie /Freddie.

McCain was leading Obama in the polls following the RNC convention.

Then suddenly Bush & Paulson say we need another $700 Billion to avoid a 2nd Great Depression.

I believe that was pretty shocking to most informed people especially McCain.

Buford Gooch said...

The Congressional Budget Office is predicting that the recession will end in the second half of this year if the stimulus bill is not, repeat not, passed.

Donna B. said...

Eli, weren't there attempts to Congress to pay attention in 2005, 2006, and 2007?

Didn't Barney Franks and his ilk snuff out all attempts to do anything then?

blake said...

The spiral has certainly accelerated but if you think that everything was just peachy until all hell broke loose on September 14 of last year then you are either wilfully blind or blissfully foolish.

Same could be said for those who think the problems started January, 2001.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Prime time press conference?

Thank God for TiVo and the remote control.

I'm already so sick of hearing his voice droning .....or lately.... whining with desperation (Notice that the octave levels of his speeches have risen as the stress level rises??? Not good.)

Just don't mess with Antiques Roadshow!!

former law student said...

I read the article, and the quoted concluding paragraph seems a total non-sequitur.

I'm so unamazed by the mere fact of President Barack Obama (!) that I'm irritated that he's imposing himself upon us in prime time tomorrow.

Frequent press conferences would be another sharp contrast between Obama and W. But I remember how when I was a kid, I was irritated at how frequently LBJ appeared on prime time TV. At that time, all the networks carried Presidential appearances, leaving only old movies and "Chinchilla Ranching" as alternative programs. Of course, there was a war on, and riots in the streets. But still.

Simon said...

Eli Blake said...
"all hell broke loose on September 14 of last year"

If I can find you a theramin and a farfisa organ, could you be more melodramatic?

former law student said...

The Congressional Budget Office is predicting that the recession will end in the second half of this year if the stimulus bill is not, repeat not, passed.

I couldn't find that prediction on their website.

I did find a blog post from their director from a couple weeks ago. When did they change their mind?

The economy is currently weathering a recession that started more than a year ago, and absent a change in fiscal policy, CBO projects that the shortfall in the nation’s output relative to potential levels will be the largest– in duration and depth– since the Depression of the 1930s.
Most economists agree that both significant fiscal stimulus and additional financial and monetary policy approaches are needed.
H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, would, in CBO’s judgment, provide a substantial boost to economic activity over the next several years relative to what would occur without the legislation. (For the CBO cost estimate of H.R. 1, click here)
As the possibility of another round of fiscal stimulus is debated, it is not a surprise that employment effects of stimulus have emerged as a key measuring stick. According to CBO’s estimates, with enactment of H.R. 1, the number of jobs would be between 0.8 million and 2.1 million higher at the end of this year, 1.2 million to 3.6 million higher at the end of next year, and 0.7 million to 2.1 million higher at the end of 2011 than under current law.



This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 at 7:58 pm and is filed under Budget Projections.


http://cboblog.cbo.gov/?p=200

madawaskan said...
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Buford Gooch said...

FLS: It came from here; http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/99xx/doc9958/01-08-Outlook_Testimony.pdf page 2

CBO anticipates that the current recession, which started in December 2007, will last until the second half of 2009, making it the longest recession since World War II. (The longest such recessions otherwise, the 1973–1974 and 1981–1982 recessions, both lasted 16 months. If the current recession were to continue beyond midyear, it would last at least 19 months.) It could also be the deepest recession during the postwar period: By CBO’s estimates, economic output over the next two years will average 6.8 percent below its potential—that is, the level of output that would be produced if the economy’s resources were fully employed (see Figure 1). This ecession, however, may not result in the highest unemployment rate. That rate, in CBO’s forecast, rises to 9.2 percent by early 2010 (up from a low of 4.4 percent at the end of 2006) but is still below the 10.8 percent rate seen near the end of the 1981–1982 recession.

TmjUtah said...

On Obama's last day in office, I've no doubt he'll lay blame for his failed presidency at the feet of George Bush.

And what networks are interested enough, or just in existence, to bother covering him one last time, will solemnly agree.

But I think the love is already gone.

What a case of buyer's remorse. Not only is he not all that much of a real Lefty, he's about to make Reid and Pelosi look like statesmen.

AJ Lynch said...

Let's face it, there is only one solution to the deficit.

We, the taxpayers,have to take the checkbook back from the Congress critters. Right now the taxpayers pay the taxes then the tax eaters beg and cajole Congress to spend more and more.

AJ Lynch said...

TmjUTah:

I think you are wrong about Obama. He is a true lefty. Wait & see.

Eli Blake said...

OK, let's answer some of those:

AJ: Government bailouts started in 1977 with Chrysler. And late last year, the Government ironically got to bail out Chrysler again (though the first bailout was paid back ahead of schedule.)

And last year, as I alluded to the Fed bailed out Bear Stearns to the tune of 28 billion dollars in March. So the bailouts did NOT start with AIG or Fannie and Freddie. Lack of regulation and/or loosely enforced regulation even where it was on the books contributed to the problems at all of these firms.

And yes, it is clear that the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy did reshuffle the deck in the Presidential race. However Bush and Paulsen were essentially correct, and we may yet see a fullscale depression. The whole 'do nothing' approach you seem to be advocating is mostly what Herbert Hoover did, and it wasn't until the New Deal that things quit getting worse and started to slowly turn around. In fact, my problem with the Obama stimulus is I don't think it's big enough, and it is too watered down by tax cuts. In 1937 Roosevelt cut taxes and balanced the budget for a change and it led to a brief but painful recession that marred an otherwise steady recovery.

Buford: Link? Most sources I've seen indicate that it will last well into 2010 at the earliest and maybe longer than that. Where did you see any prediction that it would be over that soon, especially without the stimulus, or are you (or some loudmouth talking head on the radio) just inventing that number? I read the news every day and have not heard anything like that.

Donna: As you know, courtesy of rules changes made over the past dozen years, members of the minority party have about as much influence in the House as the scribe does. So if Congress tried and failed to do anything in 2005 or 2006 then there was nothing Mr. Frank could do for or against it. That was the days of the Hastert-DeLay house. In 2007 he could have gotten the house to do something, but then most of what the house passed that year was vetoed by the President anyway.

blake: You win the award for making a comment that I will concede you have a point on. Certainly some of the pieces were in place before Bush took office, but not all of them were and he had years to change the direction things were going in if he had wanted to.

Simon: See AJ's comment and my answer thereto.

Prior to September 14 we were talking about lipstick on a pig. After September 14 we hardly were talking about anything but the economy, the bailout money started flying, McCain tried to cancel the debate and the markets crashed and all the rest of it. You can say what you want but I think that most people would agree with my description of what happened that day and in its aftermath.

The funny thing is, if Paulsen and Bush had decided to work out a Bear Stearns type rescue for Lehman Brothers (which they decided not to, a move that Paulsen later said was a mistake) then things might well have held together long enough for McCain to be elected if he was otherwise able to maintain his slim lead.

vbspurs said...

Ann Althouse wrote:

How long does it take people to get something through their skulls? The Prez is black. I've been used to it since months before it happened. (And it seemed normal to me back when he was a long shot.) Are people really still going around dumbfounded, marveling that this — this! — happened in America? What is wrong with you? Get up to speed, people.

I just don't get this attitude that some people have.

Not all of them are liberals, but it seems a majority who constantly talk about his race -- as if it were somehow significant in his every waking moment -- are fixated about this topic.

During the RNC, the amount of comments from liberals about scanning the crowds and seeing too many white people in the stands was almost baffling. Who goes around scanning crowds to tot up the black faces, as if they were creatures in a zoo worthy of fingerpointing?

Sometimes I think that many people are post-racial, but that others are stuck in some time warp where it's still 1952, and Ralph Bunche is still the only black guy in Washington.

It's condenscending as much as frustrating...

Cheers,
Victoria

Eli Blake said...

OK. I see your link.

However, there is nothing in there about what effect the bailout will have. Apparently this forecast (and like the weather, a forecast is a forecast, not a prophecy) was made prior to the bailout bill being considered so of course there is no discussion of it there. And as you point out, they are predicting that the recession will end later this year (recession presumably as defined by the Government as consecutive quarters of economic contraction) but that unemployment (a lagging indicator) will not stop rising for almost another year.

Also if you check page 3, the projection is for negative economic growth for the year 2009 of -2.2%. So if you are suggesting as I think you are that the stimulus will make things worse then it is just as fair to say that if the economy does not contract by that much this year it would suggest that the stimulus has been a success.

vbspurs said...

Incidentally, my latest absence is more due to a lack of time, than not wanting to be amongst the best commenters in the Blogosphere.

It's just that this blog is so addicting, that I find myself sitting at my desk for hours at a time, reading and replying.

Think of me as an Althouse junkie who checks herself into rehab every once in a while, only to fall all over again later.

Cheers,
Victoria

Buford Gooch said...

FLS and Eli,
Do you really think you would be defending this shriveled gonad of a bill if McCain and the Republicans were in power and proposed exactly the same thing in exactly the same way?

Diamondhead said...

In fact, my problem with the Obama stimulus is I don't think it's big enough, and it is too watered down by tax cuts.

I agree - the bill definitely doesn't contain enough bullshit spending. And if most of the money can be spend after 2010, why stop there? Why not 2011?

former law student said...

Ah, Buford: The Jan 8 estimate shows unemployment will still be increasing even after the economy starts to recover -- a rather unsatisfactory sort of recovery. Plus there is a new sheriff in town (Elmendorf vs. Sunshine).

former law student said...

if McCain and the Republicans were in power and proposed exactly the same thing in exactly the same way?...

I would be clutching my heart like Fred Sanford.

Republicans are all about the trickle-down. If you feed horses enough oats, there will be plenty for sparrows to pick out of their shit.

Bender said...

The frustrating thing about MSM reporting on this is that, although they might mention the vast size of the spendulus bill, they rarely say anthing about the timing of it. Only 10 percent is supposed to be spent this year, while 90 percent is to be spent next year and the following years.

Do you think that anyone will bother to ask the president how spending money next year is going to create a job today?

Or will anyone bother to ask how permanent jobs will be created when the focus is all on temporary project work? Once the highway is built, are they going to tear it up and rebuild it again? and again? and again? Seems to me, once the project is done, the job is lost.

In any event, I think that there is a fairly good chance that the economy will pick up this year, but then when the other 90 percent of the spendulus bill kicks in, it will strangle the recovery in the crib. Then what will Obama and Pelosi and Reid say? The recovery begins only to have the economy really go catastrophic after their nationalization of industry kicks in.

Buford Gooch said...

FLS,
So, we will be in economic recovery, without a stimulus bill, later this year, but unemployment will be still on the rise for a few months. Great. Extend unemployment benefits at a few billion cost, save the trillion dollar stimulus, and we should be good.

Eli Blake said...

Buford,

Yes, absolutely I would. I supported the TARP bill when George W. Bush (a President who I rarely agreed with) proposed it last year.

You are correct about the 'shriveled gonad' though. See the line in my comment above in which I say,

In fact, my problem with the Obama stimulus is I don't think it's big enough, and it is too watered down by tax cuts.

You see, I believe that what is needed is a Keynsian approach of replacing what is not being spent in the private sector for the time being with heavy government spending. And there is no question that the work is there to get done (go to any mayor in America and you can get a list of projects in that mayor's community that need to be done but haven't yet for lack of funding.) In that framework, I really couldn't care less whether a Democrat or a Republican does it, but I believe that the spending is necessary.

I hope I'm not reading your comment as to suggest that you would choose to favor or oppose something solely for reasons of blind partisanship.

Buford Gooch said...

Eli,
I hope you're not reading my comment that way as well. Everyone seems to be laboring under the belief that the government can just shit money out of nowhere. If that were the case, the stimulus would make great sense. However, that money actually comes from somewhere. Even if it is fiat money, and the government can print all they want, it still has to have something to back it up. Otherwise, we would have no deficit and no national debt. The stimulus bill simply postpones (again) paying the piper.

reader_iam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

Or will anyone bother to ask how permanent jobs will be created when the focus is all on temporary project work? Once the highway is built, are they going to tear it up and rebuild it again

BINGO Bender. There is nothing long term or permanent economically stimulative about this bill. It is all about lining the pockets of the people who put Obama in power. It is all about creating a permanent power base......economy be damned ....for the Democrats.

In fact, they could not care less about the economy.

reader_iam said...

You see, I believe that what is needed is a Keynsian approach of replacing what is not being spent in the private sector for the time being with heavy government spending.

Your choice of placement of "for the time being" in that sentence speaks volumes, whether you know it or not--and whether you like it or not, Eli.

On those four words hang a tremendous burden ... not just of the history, but also of the future. And not just in your sentence.

Robert said...

I've got news for you. This can't be fixed. We are butting up against math. The government can't "Fix" this. It is game over for the great debt experiment.

1jpb said...

A link to Kurtz: he reminds me of Althouse.

I'm too much of an optimist [sucker?] for the Kurtz/Althouse mindset.

A lot of Kurtz-style posts around here. Where's the fun/happy?

Bruce Hayden said...

You see, I believe that what is needed is a Keynsian approach of replacing what is not being spent in the private sector for the time being with heavy government spending.

Well, maybe. But that seems to be more a pretext for spending on all of the Democrats pet projects and paying off all of their constituencies than anything else.

Still, if that were the best way to address the recession, then fine, spend money for one year. Period. And don't try to fund the states' welfare and educational systems for the forseeable future, don't start up every infrastructure and construction program anyone can think of, that won't be complete in the year.

Indeed, why should the government spend the money in the first place. They could probably do a better job if they just sent everyone checks. That they don't is strong indicia that the "stimulus" bill is all about paying of constituents, and has nothing, except pretext, to do with stimulating the economy.

PatCA said...

"Are people really still going around dumbfounded, marveling that this — this! — happened in America?"

The White House is hoping so.

Dave said...

"The whole 'do nothing' approach you seem to be advocating is mostly what Herbert Hoover did, and it wasn't until the New Deal that things quit getting worse and started to slowly turn around."

"After his successful election in November 1928, Hoover entered office with a plan for reform of the nation's regulatory system. A dedicated Progressive and Reformer, Hoover saw the presidency as a vehicle for improving the conditions of all Americans by regulation and by encouraging volunteerism. Long before he entered politics he denounced laissez-faire thinking.[18] As Commerce Secretary he had taken an active pro-regulation stance. As President, he helped push tariff and farm subsidy bills through Congress."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_Hoover

I recommend anyone interested in history read this article on Hoover.

blake said...

Yes, some seem to be pushing the meme that Hoover "did nothing" and that's what the Reps want to do again.

But of course, he "did something" and it was horrible.

jr565 said...

What's funny about the reaction to Obama is how much of a non issue it is that Obama is black. Maybe because Im not into racial politics so the color issue never was much of an issue either positive or negative.
But to those lefties who buy into the racial grievance and identity politics it's like their world just opened up and they can't believe the world. They're experiencing cognitive dissonance practically that their whole paradigm now needs to be changed.
When Michael Steele took over in the RNC there was some hubaloo, but very minor. But again, I've seen Steele on tv and always liked him and never for a second thought he couldn't be head of the RNC. so the fact that he is is not that much of a big deal.
Take away the racial newness though and what does Obama really have? Hes come across as shallow, petulant partisan, has back tracked on dozens of promises already and has been dissed by world leaders. And its only been a few weeks!

jr565 said...

Something tells me I better sell off my Franklin Obama commerative coins before they lose all value. Anyone want to buy some commemorative coins?

Revenant said...

Lack of regulation and/or loosely enforced regulation even where it was on the books contributed to the problems at all of these firms.

What's the evidence for this? The same problems have struck pretty much every country in the world, regardless of the type or amount of financial regulation there.

The real cause of the problem was that our ability to measure risk was not as good as we thought it was. This can be blamed on "lack of regulation" in the sense that a burglary could be blamed on not having dispatched police to sit in the house ahead of the robber's arrival. It is literally true, but for all practical purposes it isn't.

Revenant said...

Yes, some seem to be pushing the meme that Hoover "did nothing" and that's what the Reps want to do again. But of course, he "did something" and it was horrible.

He did pretty much exactly what Obama and the Democrats are doing now, in fact.

Michael H said...

If Obama's people think they are "staging" some feel-good diversity show — it's "the first African American president ... talking on television"! — they must be crazy.

Yep, crazy it is. Having an African American president is going to make the economy turn around, pronto. Just like having an African American mayor in Detroit or DC, for example, turned around the economy of major US cities.

Keyensian theory? A lot of hooey, as anyone who has read Milton Friedman knows.

rhhardin said...

Krugman's gone 'round the bend; just a sign that the left is not going to be good news for a few years.

_The Destructive Center_
President Obama’s pursuit of bipartisanship, and the cuts imposed by “centrists,” have led to an inadequate, insufficiently effective stimulus bill.


The trouble is evil people, in the mind of this economist.

Economics is the scientific study of evil people who are screwing things up.

Seven Machos said...

I'm going to go ahead and give away, free of charge and for no money, the name for the 2010 mid-term elections, when Republicans make huge gains: blacklash.

It perfectly encapsulates what all the liberals will come to believe is the reason for Obama's unpopularity.

Poor Obama. The way to get this economy right is to restrain spending and get back to a surplus. Otherwise, we are going to see massive debt and inflation. Sadly, he is not a statesman and he has no experience. So, he's listening to a bunch of people who have no earthly idea what they are talking about.

rhhardin said...

Vicki Hearne wrote somewhere, on the scientific study of animal behavior, there's a maxim: Don't use cats. They screw up the data.

Here, it's online.

Science needs maxims sometimes about what to avoid doing.

blake said...

It's gotta be difficult to think, Seven, when all the data tells you "Do nothing" or even "reduce what the government does", when everyone knows the state needs more power to right wrongs and fight injustice, and people can't be trusted with money or freedom.

Steven said...

It's not like we don't have historical records from 1929-1932. The claim that Hoover did nothing is easily debunked in primary sources. For example, there are newspaper reports of speeches by FDR running mate John Nance Garner. Among the things Garner promised in the 1932 campaign? The Democrats would stop intervening in the economy like Hoover and stop spending like Hoover, instead getting out of the way of business and allow the country to recover from the Depression naturally.

Of course, FDR did intervene and did spend, and the result of the Hoover-FDR interventions was . . . a decade with no economic recovery. Sixty years later, Japan had a combination banking crisis and recession. They cut central bank interest rates, bailed out banks, and spent a hell of a lot of money on stimulus, and the result was . . . a decade with no economic recovery.

So, now, with the examples of both Hoover-FDR and 1990s Japan showing us that stimulus in a combination banking crisis-recession means a decade of stagnation, the Obama plan for ending the current combination banking crisis-recession is . . . stimulus.

---

Back in the first half of the 19th century, statistics were applied for the very first time to disease survival rates. It was discovered that the poor were much more likely to survive serious illnesses than the rich.

You see, whenever the rich got sick, they got the best available medical care. The poor couldn't afford medical care, so they had to get by with none. Since the expert-approved, best-available medical care was bleeding, the result was that doctors applied their lancets to the rich and bled them to death. The poor, denied medical treatment, recovered and lived, because nobody tried to cure them.

The doctors were doing what they were taught to do, what the very best medical theories said they should. Intentions were good; expert consensus was on their side. And the result was thousands of people suffering unnecessary pain and dying prematurely.

---

So, before we give Obama the stimulus bill he's demanding, anybody want to give me reason to believe it's not an economic lancet?

Michael H said...

The Congressional Budget Office says that the recession will end in 2009 without the Stimulus Bill, and further, that the Stimulus Bill may actually hurt, not help the economy.

AllenS said...

Will this speech be the one where he uses his trump race card? As in, "you're not going along with me because I'm black." I'm not sure when he'll use it, but, use it he will, some day.

Hope and change, to doom and gloom.

Shanna said...

Obama is not going to be popular very long if he keeps delaying tv shows that just came back live! I waited until February for Chuck to come back and now Obama is having a stupid press conference. And apparently plans to have 2 more. WTF?

I don't even care about the politics of it. Anything he has to say can be said during a time that is not prime.

Michael H said...

It's not stimulus, it's political patronage, Chicago style.

We are all going to get hopeychangified.

al said...

Who cares about whether or not Obama is black. Didn't someone 40 or so years ago come out and say that people shouldn't be judged on the color of their skin. He was a big deal at the time...

I'll probably watch as both Chuck and Gossip Girl (I watch with my wife and daughter) aren't on. I'm hoping that Jake Tapper gets to ask a question and goes after Obama the same way he went after his press secretary last week. That would be fun. uh ok.

Larry J said...

For the week before and after the inauguration, the news coverage about how "historic" everything Obama did was over the top. I was half-expecting CNN and MSNBC to cover the historic "first bowel movement in the White House by a black president." Perhaps I just missed it.

Phil said...

Perhaps it is because I grew up overseas where I was one of the few white kids in my class at school or because I'm young enough to have missed segregation and the civil rights movement, but to me there is no novelty whatsoever in there "finally" being a president who is black. I don't quite understand the big deal over this.

Franco said...

I think this is a huge tactical mistake on Obama's part to schedule this so early and to have it in prime time.

The press, partisan as they are, still have a need to grandstand and also have been rebuffed by Gibbs in the last two weeks so they have a lot of unanswered questions.

Obama has never faced this kind of questioning in his entire life.

rdkraus said...

Steven

Stop confusing us with the facts.

Beth said...

Do Obama's people think they're staging a feel-good diversity show? If so, it's hard to arrive there from this article, most of which is a lame recap of Obama moments with the press thus far. That final paragraph, which Althouse quotes, is the view of the writer, not anyone he's quoting. It comes out of left field. Why assume it has anything to do with Obama's staff?

Original Mike said...

Are people really still going around dumbfounded, marveling that this — this! — happened in America? What is wrong with you?

The people who are dumbfounded divide into two camps: those who are faking it and those who are truly dumb.

George said...

George Bush launched us on this path, and it is going to focus on the stimulus and the rest of President Obama's plans to fix it.

Bill Clinton launched us on this path. He and Janet Reno strong armed banks using the CRA. Home ownership went up 8 percent under Clinton, only 1 percent under Bush.

Barney Frank kept us rolling down this path, "OVERSEEING" Fannie Mae / Freddy Mac while having an affair with the CEO.

Chris Dodd kept us rolling down this path, accepting sweetheart deals from Countrywide as a VIP, again while "OVERSEEING" this company as Senate Banking Chairman.

Obama took plenty of money from Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae in his very short stint as a (mostly absent) senator. His porculus bill promises to keep us rolling down this path as he gives billiions to Acorn.

"Bush did it" is simply fecal material.

Bart DePalma said...

If Obama's people think they are "staging" some feel-good diversity show — it's "the first African American president ... talking on television"! — they must be crazy.

Given that the approval for Obama and his porkulus bill are dropping in tandem, I doubt that we are in for a "feel-good" show. Rather, I would expect a continuance of the doom saying that has made Jimmy "Malaise" Carter appear like a comparative ray of sunshine. FDR, JFK or Reagan, this man is not.

Also, look for Obama to go back to ignoring Fox and ABC's Jake Trapper as he fishes for softball questions. The man is lost without a teleprompter and all we will get are talking points.

Anthony said...

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say...given the racism I see on a daily basis (more covert but no less prevalent than some decades ago) maybe the idea of an African American president isn't something everyone in this country can take for granted so easily. I think similar things would be happening if Secretary Clinton were president. Forgive people who have faced prejudice or at least empathize with those who have in this country for relishing in the moment a little longer than all of you would prefer. I'm not sure I see what harm it does.

Ann Althouse said...

Beth: "Why assume it has anything to do with Obama's staff?"

All I know about Obama's staff is that it's worn out from being jammed down our throat.

Pogo said...

"...given the racism I see on a daily basis (more covert but no less prevalent than some decades ago)..."

Jesus Christ on roller skates.
What nonsense.

How can it be that racism is "no less prevalent" than decades ago when Barry wouldn't have been allowed to drink at certain water fountains but now is President?

Absolute bullshit, contemptible nincompoopery, stupid on steroids, so dumb it makes my hair hurt.

yunkndatwunk said...

And that's what the press conference is going to be about. George Bush launched us on this path, and it is going to focus on the stimulus and the rest of President Obama's plans to fix it.


interesting, if you are against Bush's economics, why are you for Obama's, which are nothing but an extension of the Bush plan? Spend spend spend! That's what got us into this, spending money we don't have. And Obama's answer is more of the same?

ricpic said...

The Prez is black
And that's a fac'
That puts a crib
In Lib attacks
On "Amerika."

Patm said...

This is the endless campaign of the Clintons, but more ballsy, and more inept. "We are losing steam, let's put on a show!"

Actually, it's more Peron than Clinton.

I note a few things:

1) The networks wouldn't give Bush prime time without a fight.

2) Obama seems STUNNED to me that he went up to Capital Hill and his charm did not get the GOP to obey him. He'll make this stupid show tonight and "flashpolls" will tell us that "wavering Americans are now solidly behind the presidnet" (because the press is now Pravda) and they'll insist that it is unpatriotic for anyone to vote against the stimulus.

3) That will be enough to get Collins and Snow in line for their vote. But the president is still going to have to deal with the fact that Americans truly hate this plan and that

--a) his charm offensive is losing its power, and that does not come back.

--b) he's still in way over his head.

--c) without the charm, he's got nuthin'

Patm said...

George Bush launched us on this path, and it is going to focus on the stimulus and the rest of President Obama's plans to fix it.
- - - - - - - - -

The whole globe is in recession. It's a global, worldwide problem. If all Obama can say is "it's Bush's fault" then he's an ass.

But there is a way for him to be a bit of a hero: if he throws Pelosi, Reid and Frank under the bus and declares that he WILL demand necessary cuts before the thing leaves the house again.

Think he'll manage that? I don't.

He'll fall back on the Bush-bashing that is so easy and so cheap, because easy and cheap is actually what he's becoming all about. Not heroism.

Pogo said...

Maybe the supersecret racism, the one so hidden it even lets us vote for a black President, will manifest only as opposition to his policies. It is subterranean and invisible racism, but no less prevalent.

Get out your Obama decoder rings to spell out the message only non-racists will understand:

‘Be sure to drink more Ovaltine.'
It's like the kool-aid, and has that same almond flavor.

mymuttbob said...

I really don't accept it as the first African - American President. He is 1/2 white, 1/2 black and was raised by his white grandparents. He's just black enough that he could be marketed to the black community as one of theirs and with a white side that won't offend the whites.

I'm more concerned that someone with his lack of experience is making so many poor choices that I as a working middle class American will have to pay for.

JAL said...

Shanna says: I waited until February for Chuck to come back and now Obama is having a stupid press conference.

Surely this is a clue to how much many Americans care about listening to President Obama's first MPR (Managed Press Conference).

It's possible he hasn't realized (inexperience? ego? personality disorder?) that with the actual position of being the in-office-President the terrain has changed. And someone is going to ask a hard question.

For, when push comes to shove, there will be some journalist there who wants a bit of the spotlight on his/her reporting rather than just being one of many sharing the experience of the Obama Press Awe Community.

This could be interesting (I am not going to watch because I really really cannot stand his delivery.) I'll catch the gist after the fact.

It's going to be a long 4 years.

Bart DePalma said...

It is too late now, but Obama could have taken a page from Reagan in enacting his 1981 tax reforms or LBJ enacting anything and launched an ongoing schmooze campaign selling their programs to individual members of the opposing party, rather than a couple photo op meetings where Obama offered nothing of substance to sell his programs.

The yellow dog Dem/GOP alliance during the Reagan years was not an accident, but rather a product of hundreds of hours of work by the President.

PatCA said...

I'm reading Amity Shlaes' The Forgotten Man, and yes Hoover did a lot. In fact, FDR criticized him for doing so and thus won the presidency!

BHO is back to campaigning. Governing is too hard! I hope they give him an earful in Indiana.

Michael said...

The president's black? Why didn't I hear about this before?

The Den Mother said...

Right now, being the first black president is all Obama has going for him. He has yet to be anything but inept at governing. So of course his skin color has to be played up.

If he ever starts accomplishing something, we'll hear less about his race.

Shanna said...

Actually, it's more Peron than Clinton.

I can’t tell you how many times Evita songs have popped into my head since Obama starting running for President. Rainbow tour. The one about money has been popping up lately:

“And the money kept rolling in from every side
Eva's pretty hands reached out and they reached wide
Now you may feel it should have been a voluntary cause
But that's not the point my friends”

“When the money keeps rolling out you don't keep books
You can tell you've done well by the happy grateful looks
Accountants only slow things down, figures get in the way
Never been a [President] loved as much as [Barack Obama]”

Jones in CO said...

How many times during the 'press conference' will President Lightworker blame the previous administration for (insert sticky problem here)?

Anthony said...

Pogo said: "the one so hidden it even lets us vote for a black President, will manifest only as opposition to his policies."

I love the idea that voting for a black presidential candidate cures one of racism.

ASmith said...

Perhaps we should keep a scorecard to keep track of which reporter asks a non-softball question or about some subject that get "the tainted One" unhappy .. just to see if they ever get called on again.

Glen said...

Bender said:
"...but then when the other 90 percent of the spendulus bill kicks in, it will strangle the recovery in the crib. Then what will Obama and Pelosi and Reid say?"

They will say what they're already saying:

1) It's Bush's fault
2) Republican delays amplified and compounded the emergency.
3) We need to spend X more trillions.

...

Big Mike said...

Are people really still going around dumbfounded, marveling that this — this! — happened in America? What is wrong with you? Get up to speed, people.

People who write for a living are clearly still bemused. Those of use who work for a living are not. Most of us have had black bosses, black peers, and black subordinates. Sooner or later we were bound to get a black President. It happened sooner, and in my opinion to someone not worthy of the office. But it will happen again, and perhaps to someone ready to take on the responsibilities.

And I'm still angry that Barack Obama has preempted a new episode of "House." I see that MyNet is showing two rerun episodes of "Twilight Zone." I'll probably watch that -- more believable than anything I hear from the Great One.

jb9152 said...

"I love the idea that voting for a black presidential candidate cures one of racism."

I love the fact that you're able to ignore the skewering your asinine comment took a little earlier on in the thread.

Glen said...

Can anyone link to an explanation of why only 10% of the proposed stimulus is being spent in 2009?

I've seen the suggestion that Dems want the money to hit the system in optimum sync with the 2010 election cycle. But is there any other reason for the delay?

Patm said...

Glen, does this help? Makes semse to me:

http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2009/02/smoking-gun-caller-explains-stimulus-as.html

Democratic Patronage System

Anthony said...

I didn't realize we were obligated to address every response to a comment we post, but if those are the rules for someone, here goes...

When I used the word prevalent, I was using it to say that racism, as something that could possibly be quantified, is, in my experience, at similar levels than it has been over the last few decades.

If people want to interpret that quantitative observation (which I hedged with an admission that racism had changed qualitatively) into a strict qualitative, analysis, I suppose that is their right.

I hardly think it's fair to insist that we look to some of the most insidious forms of racism in the last 50 years as exclusive evidence to support a notion that racism, as a quantifiable term, does not occur at the levels it has at previous points in our history.

That's like saying because American deaths in 2008 as a result of terrorism are lower than they were on September 11 is definitive evidence that terrorism is less prevalent. And golly gee, if that's the case, let's rehang the mission accomplished banner.

Pogo said...

"I hardly think it's fair to insist that we look to some of the most insidious forms of racism in the last 50 years..."
So, you don't think it's fair to point out that since racism isn't practiced anymore in any recognizable form (except of course the supersecret invisible kind that only Anthony can see with his Special Glasses), that maybe it is not in fact occurring as before?

How does that work?
Why, just redefine your terms of course!
Christ, what bullshit.


"That's like saying because American deaths in 2008 as a result of terrorism are lower than they were on September 11 is definitive evidence that terrorism is less prevalent."
Well, yes, one would say exactly that; terrorism is less prevalent on US soil in the last 8 years.


You've got a strange relationship with facts, Anthony.

Anthony said...

Racism isn't practiced in America in any recognizable form? Speaking of strange relationships with facts...

RebeccaH said...

We all know Obama is just going to try sweet-talking us into accepting the Generational Theft Act, no questions asked. So the real question becomes, Will anybody bother to watch it?

Pogo said...

Oh, but Anthony, I agree with you.

The election of Obama is itself evidence of a very subtle and clandestine new racism, one that is so hard to see, only the detectable via the use of my Secret Racism Detector, now available by exclusive arrangement with Amazon at a Reduced Price!

What is the New Racism exactly?
It's a secret!

fcai said...

I will be very surprised if he gets even one difficult question. The press is not inclined to require much of him - the subtle racism of low expectations. Get used to it...

Glen said...

Patm said:

Glen, does this help? Makes semse to me: http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2009/02/smoking-gun-caller-explains-stimulus-as.html Democratic Patronage System

No that really doesn't help Patm. I get it. But I want to hear one lucid reason for the stimulus delay from someone who supports and understands that delay. If that even exists.