February 10, 2009

"Administration officials were greeted with sarcasm and laughter Monday night when they briefed lawmakers and congressional staff..."

"... on Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's new financial-sector bailout project... The laughter was at its height when Obama officials explained that the White House planned to guarantee a wide swath of toxic assets — which they referred to as "legacy assets" — but wouldn't be asking Congress for money."


Mark O said...

No shit?

Preternaturally unqualified. Good thing I don't have to buy any guns.

veni vidi vici said...

The Obama cabinet/staffers: a collection of "shit-heels". Now running your government (into the ground).

So shit-heeled that their own partisans openly laugh at them. And the administration's barely 3 weeks old yet... The "Change" is the lack of competence at messaging (Geithner, good for -382), which is surprising from this bunch; the "Hope" is that something will improve for these guys, and fast. I would like to hear the administration move beyond generalism and vagaries into specifics so that we're not standing here with our balls in our hands for too many more months not knowing how to plan for the economic future.

The lesson with Geithner's wall street performance today is that it's ok for the top guy to get up and speak generally -- he's the front-show, after all; but when the technocrat officials and staffers speak, they'd better be on their game and armed with specifics and sensible arguments or all the panache in the world ain't going to help their front show one little bit.

Darcy said...

Oh, gosh...not good.

veni vidi vici said...

Contrast with Bush (generalist front-show) and Bernanke/Snow/whoever (technocrat specificists all).

Joe said...

The joke is that Geithner criticizes the very plan he helped create and execute. Any failure of the first part of TARP is very much Geithner's failure.

The bigger joke is that like the rest of the Administration Geithner is doing something because he believes he should, not because he has a clue.

Buford Gooch said...

"I think we're all Bozos on this bus."

Joe said...

Incidentally, Geithner highlights Obama's fundamental error in the transition--picking insiders. Had he truly done change and picked outsiders, he would have a lot more credibility. Throwing select democrats in the Senate and House under his ever so crowded bus would also been a boon.

My biggest suggestion: veto the bailout, picked $100 billion of the worse parts of the program, like the computerized medical crap, and then tell congress to pass it. This is critical to establish that he is in charge.

Bart DePalma said...

This is looking like the beginning of a long national nightmare. I did not think that it was possible for a President to be even more inept than James Earl Carter, but Barack Obama is sure giving it a go.

Icepick said...

My biggest suggestion: veto the bailout, picked $100 billion of the worse parts of the program, like the computerized medical crap, and then tell congress to pass it. This is critical to establish that he is in charge.

This wouldn't work. Obama has been too much a cheer leader for this bill, and has offered very little criticism. If he were to veto it now it would be so transparently cynical that even Chris Mathews's leg would stop tingling. (Well, okay, that will never happen. But you get the idea....)

Psychedelic George said...

Hiya, friends! Ralph Spoilsport, Ralph Spoilsport Motors- the world’s largest new used and used new car automobile dealership- Ralph Spoilsport Motors- right here in the city of Emphysema! Let’s just look at the extras on this fabulous car! Wire-wheel spoke fenders and two-way sneeze through wind vents, star-studded mud guard, sponge-coated edible steering column, chrome fender dents and factory air conditioned air from our fully factory-equipped air conditioned factory! It’s a beautiful car, friends, with doors to match! Birch’s Blacklist says this car was stolen, but for you, friends, a complete price: Only two-ninety-five hundred dollars in easy monthly payments of twenty dollars a week, twice a week and never on Sunday!

Sofa King said...

Vercotti: Doug (takes a drink) Well, I was terrified. Everyone was terrified of Doug. I've seen grown men pull their own heads off rather than see Doug. Even Dinsdale was frightened of Doug.

2nd Interviewer: What did he do?

Vercotti: He used... sarcasm. He knew all the tricks, dramatic irony, metaphor, bathos, puns, parody, litotes and... satire. He was vicious.

BJM said...

Tim "Turbo Tax" Geithner has to go, he has zero moral authority with taxpayers and the market has taken his measure and found it wanting after his involvement with TARP I.

One can understand Obama's initial thinking; bring in the guy who understands TARP I, but in the weeks between the appointment and today, TARP I has been found to be a huge boondoggle on Geithner's watch.

Obama can't be faulted for his team's missteps or unforeseen changes in the financial climate quite yet. However he must react quickly to changing conditions as he set the crisis tone and jettison those who do not perform. If he doesn't he will lose the hand with Congress.

Jennifer said...

I'm beginning to empathize with your sympathy for President Bush.

BJM said...

SECDOT Lahood says "shovel ready" road and bridge projects are ready to go.

No one in the media has asked him for a list of jobs that will be will be created or available for unemployed or laid off workers. We know what they will not be doing:

Heavy equipment operators
Steel workers
Pipe fitters
Cement pouring
Transportation & supply drivers
Traffic control

All require specific skills/training/education, licenses, certification and experience. Safety regulations, local and state building codes and contractor liability excludes workers without certification to participate in public works trades.

Obama signed an Executive order requiring union labor, they will place union members in the better jobs through contracts via the union hall.

So that leaves back breaking day labor wielding shovels, rakes and brooms that is mostly done by immigrant labor nowadays.

How many factory, retail or office workers are fit enough to spread gravel or sand, haul lumber or mop tar for 8 hours in summer heat? What wages will they be paid? Will they receive benefits? If contracts have been awarded how will contractors pay a higher wage or for benefits not included in the bid?

What happens to the hundreds of thousands of immigrants who have been doing these low paying jobs? Will they be counted in the unemployed numbers? Require public benefits?

Anyone who has ever bid on a government or public works contract knows it's bullshit.