Let Them Vote No

I didn’t watch much cable news yesterday, and boy was I happier. At any rate, CNN is on in the background now, and it appears that Boehner and the Republicans intend to vote no on the stimulus package. Obama is apparently going to Capitol hill to talk to the Republicans, but I can tell him what will happen- they will want more tax cuts, and even then, they still hope the stimulus will fail.

I’m not going to bother giving Obama advice, because first of all, I am just some idiot with a website, and unlike delusional sorts in the blogosphere, I really don’t think I have any influence whatsoever. Additionally, I don’t think Obama needs any advice, because he has proven to be a pretty deft politician.

If I were to give advice, I would say to just forget the politics of it all, at least in the House. You have the votes. Just put whatever you think will best get the economy rolling again, and if the Republicans have an idea that will help, add it. If the House Dems lard it up with useless stuff, get it out. The majority of the Republicans can be counted on to act in bad faith, so bipartisanship should not be giving them symbolic nods just to get their votes. Bipartisanship should be including their good ideas when they have them.

Trust me. That will be so rare, it will be obvious when they have a good idea. It will look as out of place as a whale in a salad bowl.

So just do what you think is right (it may still fail, we are aware of that) and ignore the Republicans until they have something to offer. And even then, be careful, because as soon as you accept their idea, they will try to change it to offer themselves more political advantage. That is just how they roll.

*** Update ***

Words of wisdom:

But that dubious point seems to be obscuring a more obvious and telling reality: the Republican leadership in both houses has decided that it’s in their political interest to oppose the Stimulus Bill no matter what.

In the most cynical of evaluations, it’s not clear to me that they’re incorrect. If the stimulus is judged a success, their political gain from adding more votes to what will be seen as Obama’s bill will not be that great. So they’re figuring that only failure will work for them politically; and they judge that they want Obama to own it entirely.

One can pick apart the political ethics of their stand, but the reality of it is clear. They want to criticize as many provisions of the bill as possible, push for as many non-stimulus inducing tax cuts as possible at the expense of spending on infrastructure, and then vote against the final bill en masse.

This really is not hard to figure out, as the Republicans are not even trying to be subtle. They intend to get as much as they want in the bill, provide the screeching points for the wingnuttosphere (latest edition- ZOMG ACORN) so they can be whipped up into their usual froth, and then vote against the thing anyway and hope it fails. 2010, baby.

Similar thoughts here.






69 replies
  1. 1

    Here is what is pissing me off to no end. They keep invoking President Obama’s name when they speak on the floor of Congress to oppose the measures that President Obama supports. If I hear one more Republican yell "That’s not what President Obama was talking about…" one more time I am going to kill my Tee Vee

  2. 2
    BombIranForChrist says:

    I totally agree. _Nothing_ has changed for the Republicans. If anything, their electoral losses have only increased the likelihood of them acting in bad faith. They no longer have the moderates to temper their worst nature.

    So I say Obama should just go ahead and get this out of the way. Show the world that the Republicans have learned absolutely nothing and then leave this current crop in the dust.

    Hell, this is probably the best thing that could happen to the Republicans. The sooner they realize that their current trajectory is one that will leave them in political oblivion, the sooner they can get their act together.

    But I think your best point is about not giving advice to Obama, even if I fail to heed it. He’s not perfect, but he sure seems to know what he is doing most of the time. It’s weird to be in a position of learning something from a president, instead of the other way around.

  3. 3
    Nicole says:

    Amen to this. I watched some clip from somewhere or other this weekend (something with Paul Krugman in it) and I remember one of the right-wing bloviators saying something about the infrastructure stimulus stuff being a bad idea because, "Look at Amtrak." And my thought was, "What’s wrong with Amtrak? I think they do a pretty good job under pretty bad constraints." But it’s typical Republican autospeak- if it doesn’t put more money in rich people’s off-shore bank accounts, it’s bad. And rich people don’t do mass transit.

    I did also hear on Maddow that the original stimulus proposal included money for Amtrak but that’s already been cut. Sigh. The loons are winning already.

  4. 4
    Kid G says:

    Obama has put his neck out on the line by saying he wants a new brand of politics in Washington. It leaves him open to attack from the right should he follow your suggestions on eschewing bipartisanship. He could then be cast as a hypocrite. The real danger here lies in the fact that the stimulus bill is anything but guaranteed to succeed. The problems the global economy faces right now are truly overwhelming. There will be a drastic downward correction that lasts at least 2 or 3 years, in my opinion. If the economy remains sluggish into the midterm elections, this could spell disaster for the Dems. Thankfully I believe there has been a real, permanent shift in the electorate, and this is NOT 1992 all over again. Having said all this, I actually agree that what the Dems should do at this point is put the best possible package out there minimizing the pork, and hope for the best. I think the public realizes that we’re in a bad place. The good faith effort will be appreciated and hopefully rewarded in 2010.

  5. 5
    sarah says:

    Dieting is eating more plants, good parenting is disciplining your children, and bipartisanship is ignoring bad faith machinations.

  6. 6
    demimondian says:

    If I were one of less coherent trolls, I’d simply write "Machiavelli, _The Prince_, Ch. 4" and leave it to you to figure out what I was thinking.

    I wonder what Rahm Emmanuel is doing in the background? Obama is out there doing the whole "Prince as face of the nation" thing…what’s his magistrate doing? I’ll bet that he’s kicking butt and taking names — and will make the R’s pay downstream.

  7. 7
    Mnemosyne says:

    After watching Obama through the campaign, I have some hope that the whole "bipartisan" thing was a maneuver. Now that it’s been established for the public that Obama is a nice, bipartisan guy, it’s the Republicans who will look like a-holes for trying to obstruct the bill, especially since they don’t have the votes to torpedo it.

    My only worry is the Blue Dog Democrats, who just love to vote with the Republicans and look "fiscally responsible." Hopefully they’re getting feedback from their constituents that to do nothing in this crisis is the opposite of "fiscally responsible."

  8. 8
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    The Repubs’ shortsightedness once again leaves them open to a calm but firm smackdown by Obama. Something along the lines of the following:

    "I invited input from Republican leadership on ideas for moving America forward and they responded by asking for more tax cuts for the wealthy. I declined."

  9. 9
    cleek says:

    Obama’s going to the Hill to give the GOP a very public opportunity to say "no" to his first big attempt at bipartisanship. and he’s bringing along a bunch of cameras and reporters to document it.

    now, when McConnell says it’s all the Dems’ fault and that the talk of bipartisanship was a sham, there will be a lot of HD evidence to prove that he was lying.

  10. 10
    Napoleon says:

    I personally think Obama almost certainly expected them to vote against the package, but by going the extra mile with the Republicans once they pull their inevitable BS and try to scuttle an affirmative plan to deal with the crisis everyone will see it for what it is.

  11. 11
    JenJen says:

    @cleek:

    Obama’s going to the Hill to give the GOP a very public opportunity to say "no" to his attempt at bipartisanship. and he’s bringing along a bunch of cameras and reporters to document it.

    Precisely. Or at least, that’s what I think he’s doing, too. It’ll take the Village at least six weeks to figure out what happened.

  12. 12
    Persia says:

    I hope they put the family planning money back in when they pass it. Without the whiners. Ugh.

  13. 13
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @cleek: I hope you’re right, and I hope that any Republican trying to obstruct things blurts out some really egregious WATB crap on camera that can be played over and over again for maximum embarrassment.

  14. 14
    Zifnab says:

    If I were to give advice, I would say to just forget the politics of it all, at least in the House. You have the votes. Just put whatever you think will best get the economy rolling again, and if the Republicans have an idea that will help, add it. If the House Dems lard it up with useless stuff, get it out. The majority of the Republicans can be counted on to act in bad faith, so bipartisanship should not be giving them symbolic nods just to get their votes. Bipartisanship should be including their good ideas when they have them.

    Obama doesn’t need to get all the Republicans. There are still a handful of non-evil assholes left in the building. If he can peal off a dozen or so, he can play the "bipartisan" card on anything he wants.

    But yeah, this is about par for the course at any other place I’ve read. The common wisdom is that Republicans will obstruct because they want to obstruct. They’re not playing coy here. They’ve laid their plan on the table going back to the McCain Presidential bid – lower corporate taxes, lower capital gains taxes, lower income taxes, deregulate various industries, break up unions, find some more taxes to lower.

    There isn’t anything much left to bargain on. We know it. House leadership knows it. Senate leadership knows it. Obama entered office promising bipartisanship and the GOP will make him a liar or wreck the stimulus in the process or both if they can manage it.

    They will vote en mass against anything he puts forward, just because. And they’ll scream about bipartisanship. And we’ll see how many people get suckered by their bullshit in 2010. But pandering to them is absolutely useless at this point.

  15. 15
    Rick Taylor says:

    The majority of the Republicans can be counted on to act in bad faith, so bipartisanship should not be giving them symbolic nods just to get their votes. Bipartisanship should be including their good ideas when they have them.

    I couldn’t agree more, especially now that we’re busy trying to help save the world from financial catastrophe. Now is not the time to water anything down to try to garner a few extra votes that probably won’t materialize anyway.

  16. 16
    Fern says:

    @cleek:

    This is what I am hoping is going on – that Obama is counting on this one not passing, after which he can say – screw you and put through what he really wants.

    I’m hoping, but not exactly confident.

  17. 17

    […] advice would ever reach the president’s ears, I think it’s worth repeating on another idiot with a website’s website: If I were to give advice, I would say to just forget the politics of it all, at […]

  18. 18
    ksmiami says:

    The Repukes just need to be shown for the complete assholes they are and then move on with the most encompassing infrastructure stimulus we can deliver. FUCK THEM ALL and make it a very public fucking

  19. 19
    kay says:

    It’s an opinion, but I think we’re all too far in the weeds. Obama wants to make good on the middle class tax cuts campaign promise when the economy is imploding. He wants infrastructure spending. He wants the refundable tax credit because he wants to help low-age workers to hang on for the next two years.

    I think some specific allocated projects can go, and Obama gets 90% of what he wants.

  20. 20
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    Obama doesn’t need to get all the Republicans.

    He just needs to be seen as being inclusive.

    If his programs fail, or are seen as failing, it won’t matter whether he got Republican votes or not. If he succeeds, it matters mainly to the Republicans. If they look like peevish obstructionists while his administration presides over a recovery, then …. too bad for them.

    His success doesn’t really depend on them, it depends on how good the programs are and how well he manages them. Republicans are choosing to be peevish, so let them. It worked pretty well for them in the last 4 years, eh?

  21. 21
    The Moar You Know says:

    It leaves him open to attack from the right should he follow your suggestions on eschewing bipartisanship.

    They’ll attack anyway.

    He could then be cast as a hypocrite

    They’ll do this, too, no matter what he does.

    The Republicans have made the right decision on this, actually. If it works, they’ll get no credit; it will be forever known as the "Obama Stimulus Package" and they’ll be looking at another 40-50 years out of power just as they were following FDR.

    If it fails (and it well could) then they can step forward into the limelight, say "we were right", everyone will agree, and then maybe they’ll really get that permanent majority Rove used to blather on about, because if the stimulus package doesn’t work, the increased debt load is going to economically cripple this nation for a long time to come.

    So, really, this is a no-brainer for them.

    Also, I think Obama is well aware of this, and just like with Hillary and McCain, I think he’s giving them enough rope to hang themselves.

  22. 22
    RememberNovember says:

    it’s time to treat the House Republicans like Spaulding in Caddyshack
    "You’ll have nothing and like it!"

  23. 23
    demimondian says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe: Actually, Obama won’t say that. Rahm Emmanuel, Barney Frank, and Obama’s other attack dogs will say that. Obama himself will stay cool, precise, polite, and untouchable.

    I’m loving this.

  24. 24
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @Zifnab

    I’m not sure there are a dozen Republicans who would do the right thing on this issue. Only ten of these clowns confirmed Geithner as Treasury Secretary, all citing "Turbotax" as their primary objection.

  25. 25
    ksmiami says:

    Seems very basic actually – construction is a huge component of our economy. Stimulate construction and you stimulate auto purchases, home sales, leisure etc… plus have any of you seen the current state of infrastructure in the USA? We look like a piss poor cousin of the Europeans and AMTRAK cars are a disgrace. BEsides, good infrastructure has a long lasting benefit and so there really is no downside at this point…

  26. 26
    MattF says:

    I suspect that Obama and Pelosi are doing a good cop/bad cop routine with the House Republicans. The next step, mark my words, is that Ms. Nancy will say something mean.

  27. 27
    The Moar You Know says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe: At the moment, all it takes is two, not a dozen. Or ten. Just two.

  28. 28
    Ash Can says:

    @cleek:

    Thirded. It’s also going to give him the opportunity to get up in front of those same cameras and say, "See? I literally went to them to get this worked out." Congressional Republicans will continue to do their partisan obstructionist thing and it won’t sink in that they’ve been hung out to dry until it’s too late.

    Will the stimulus package be perfect? Of course not. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of these obstruction-uber-alles Republicans start turning up with tire marks across their shirts.

  29. 29
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @The Moar You Know

    Oh, I realize that, I was just responding to the number Z suggested. The existence of the Republican party as a viable power in this country depends on the stimulus failing. Even getting two to cross the aisle may be tough.

  30. 30
    Rick Taylor says:

    Kos makes a similar case:

    Therefore, if Republicans won’t play, why should Democrats water down the stimulus to the point of ineffectiveness and cave to ridiculous ideological demands (like the family planning stuff) when they won’t get their cherished "bipartisanship" anyway? They should craft the best solution possible to the nation’s woes, and if those solutions work, people will know exactly who to credit. And if they fail, they’ll know exactly who to blame.

  31. 31
    headpan says:

    Is this just a way of showing up repubes as cold-hearted, insensitive a-holes, I wonder. Every time they get in front of a teevee camera and say, "there’s not enough tax cuts to create jobs" (Eric Cantor) — who’s buying this? Doesn’t that just make us Dems look nice and compassionate while they come off as selfish, insensitive, greedy dickwads? Is that what Obama is up to, because I just can’t believe he doesn’t get the message as expressed in John’s post here, that bipartisanship is a losing proposition and he doesn’t need to cater to repubes on this.

  32. 32
    Joshua Norton says:

    something about the infrastructure stimulus stuff being a bad idea because, "Look at Amtrak."

    What the repugs always leave out of statements like that is that things like Amtrak actually worked until they get their grimy paws on them and try to beat them to death and defund them in order to create an example of how things won’t work.

    I’m more than a little tired of wingnuts throwing feel-good slogans out there and having them treated as absolute fact. The next time they start their usual drivel about things like tax cuts = jobs and thriving economy, I’d like someone to challenge them for facts and figures. Right now they still subject us all to the same airy-fairy theory and ideology that got us into this mess and no one calls them on it. They just echo the same clueless talking points.

  33. 33
    gbear says:

    If they look like peevish obstructionists while his administration presides over a recovery, then …. too bad for them.

    I’d feel more comfortable with this sentiment if Boener & Co. weren’t getting SO much support from the broadcast media. Almost everything that I’m hearing on radio and TV is from the republican point of view. The message that I keep hearing is ‘why isn’t Obama working with the republicans’, which is bull. The media’s been in a rut for 16 years and shows no sign of changing with the voting public.

    edit: my own feeling is that Obama should make them fillibuster if they want to obstruct. Let them read phone books while the country is losing 60,000 jobs per day.

  34. 34
    Tony J says:

    We look like a piss poor cousin of the continental Europeans and AMTRAK cars are a disgrace.

    Fixt for accuracy.

    British trains and buses are a fricking shambles and cost a fortune. Why? Because our Government sold them off to private companies decades ago, and now pays out 3 to 4 times the amount of public money in subsidies (read – shareholder profit) that it cost to run when they were nationalised.

    The only time I take the train is when I’m camping in France, Italy, etc. There’s something very refreshing about being able to pay less than £20 and actually getting somewhere far away on time without sitting in a pool of cheap lager.

  35. 35
    headpan says:

    BipartisanSHIT.

  36. 36
    Punchy says:

    It will look as out of place as a whale in a salad bowl.

    Where do you WVerginians come up with these corny (yet funny) phrases?

  37. 37
    JenJen says:

    Why is it that Boehner’s fake permatan cracks me up so much?

  38. 38
    Rick Taylor says:

    Just to add, Obama’s stress of unity during the primaries bugged me at the time. Unity for the sake of unity makes no sense, and it made me wonder if he understood how obstructionist the other side had become. So I’m not happy when he asks Democrats to remove support to extend birth control under medicaid, or bankruptcy reform. There’s no good reason to do either: what’s the point of pursuing policies that will result in more unwanted pregnancies any time, let alone during a recession? What’s the point of nixing bankruptcy reform, when that should be one of the tools we’re using to address the financial crises we’re in? They’re bad ideas and they’re not going to win more than a few votes from Republicans. The Republicans will stonewall, and I’m hoping Obama and the Democrats learn there is zero point in compromising the good of the country for the beloved ideals of bipartisanship or unity. Bipartisanship, if it happens at all, ought to be a means, not an end.

  39. 39

    […] While John is saying “let them vote no”, the Politico is gushing about the Repubicans’ new tactics: […]

  40. 40
    passerby says:

    @cleek:

    Obama’s going to the Hill to give the GOP a very public opportunity to say "no" to his first big attempt at bipartisanship. and he’s bringing along a bunch of cameras and reporters to document it.

    I also see this happening. If this goes down like I think it’ll go down, we will see the Republican Obstructors pants themselves in front of the whole world.

    Obama’s political adeptness is in the running to be the 9th wonder of the world. Hell, I wish him success for the entertainment value alone.

    Jiffy Pop, Jiffy Pop…

  41. 41

    This all seems like a huge possible disappointment. I just don’t think that adding more tax cuts to make the Republicans happy but they still vote against it and then rue that the gutted bills fails is the way to prove a point. Do they even need the Republicans much right now? I agree that there needs to be reach out and exchange between the sides but still with the overwhelming atmosphere that Republicans should feel a slight tinge of gratefulness that Democrats are even taking the meeting.

    All that said, obviously Barack Obama is not a dupe. Whether he’s going through the motions or not on this reach out to Republicans, you need to keep in mind that his first presidential interview was to Al-Arabiya television and making his first call to the Palestinian president. He doesn’t look like he’s just going through with the motions. There are countless stories of him listening to someone’s point of view and being open to exchange so maybe he’s just seeing what the Repubicans have. Not much, I guess.

  42. 42
    ksmiami says:

    JenJen says, "Why is it that Boehner’s fake permatan cracks me up so much?"

    I say, why is it that Boehner’s name cracks me up so much… Granted he is such a wanker, seems appropriate

  43. 43
    demimondian says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe: I think yuo underestimate the resilience of the R’s. They will be helped by the stimulus failing, to be sure, but they won’t be hurt by it succeeding.

    And the true outcome, which will be a mix of success and failure, will be more a matter of how stuff gets reported. If Obama has played "good cop", then there will be plenty of cover for him — "Gosh, if the Republicans had been more amenable to reason, things would have worked *even better*."

  44. 44
    Napoleon says:

    @Rick Taylor:

    It is possible that he is simply setting them up so that it is clear to the public who is the obstructionist, at which point the Dems simply roll over them on every issue.

    Time will tell.

  45. 45
    John Cole says:

    @Punchy: I couldn’t think of a good popularly used image, so I made it up.

    I said “What looks really out of place?”

    Then I thought: “A whale in a salad bowl would look odd.”

    And then I went live with it.

  46. 46
    Gwendy says:

    What I learned from paying attention during the campaign: Obama sometimes lets the whiners whine for a while and the liars lie for a while, then his operation goes into overdrive to "re-set" the narrative, usually by-passing conventional means (why mainstream reporters aren’t too fond) and to great success. See also: Rev Wright and virtually ignoring the existence of Palin.

    This is counterintuitive to most observers of the process who may want him to, Clinton-like, try to drive the coverage from beginning to end and answer every contrary view on a minute-by-minute basis.

    I don’t know how all this GOP obstruction will play out. Obviously, governing is different from running for office, but Obama’s track-record may be instructive. The fact is, America already voted for Obama’s tax cut plan and most of us couldn’t care less about the capital gains tax cut or whatever other nonsense the Republicans are promoting. Obama knows this. He’ll be going over their heads and to their constituents soon enough.

  47. 47
    R-Jud says:

    @Tony J:
    As far as the UK has fallen (especially compared to the Spanish and French) it is preferable to the US "system", if only because you are guaranteed not to sit for ten hours behind a freight train, as happened to me between Chicago and Milwaukee once. I even include Virgin Trains in that assessment, and I’ve never ridden Virgin without a huge delay and/or a funny smell in the carriage.

    Reliable, well-linked passenger rail service in the US would be a boon to productivity while reducing traffic, air pollution, airport congestion, traffic accident deaths, and so on– which is why the obstructionist wing of Congress won’t go for it.

    @JenJen:
    It’s cracking him up faster. He will look like a leather sofa come 2010.

    @ cleek:
    Yes, but will Obama walk there?

  48. 48
  49. 49
    passerby says:

    Gwendy@46:

    The fact is, America already voted for Obama’s tax cut plan and most of us couldn’t care less about the capital gains tax cut or whatever other nonsense the Republicans are promoting. Obama knows this.

    I agree. I think his use of "I won" at a recent meeting with them was not only a declarative for the sake of those at the table but also as a dog whistle cue for us (and the media) to bang that drum.

  50. 50
    ChrisB says:

    @headpan:

    Is this just a way of showing up repubes as cold-hearted, insensitive a-holes, I wonder.

    I swear to God they are the party of Herbert Hoover. Every time a Republican parrots their "do nothing except cut taxes" routine an oversized picture of Hoover’s fat face should be superimposed on his or her body.

    And John:

    Just put whatever you think will best get the economy rolling again, and if the Republicans have an idea that will help, add it. If the House Dems lard it up with useless stuff, get it out.

    Exactly right.

  51. 51
    Cain says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:

    A turd in the punchbowl?

    I’m getting a caddyshack flashback.

    cain

  52. 52
    ksmiami says:

    Another solution is just to eat the Republicans – they are a cheap source of FATTY white meat

  53. 53
    A Different Matt says:

    It seems like republicans have recognized an opportunity to have their cake and eat it too – there are 58 dems in the senate and plenty in the house to pass this bill on their own. Republicans will stand against this by 99.9 percent and it can still pass with a bunch of gifts to republican interests.

  54. 54
    Don says:

    The Republicans have made the right decision on this, actually. If it works, they’ll get no credit; it will be forever known as the "Obama Stimulus Package" and they’ll be looking at another 40-50 years out of power just as they were following FDR. If it fails (and it well could) then they can step forward into the limelight, say "we were right"

    You’re being silly. We no longer allow reality to define when something works or fails, we make these definitions ourselves. The question is no longer whether something has or has not worked, it’s whether one group manages to get the cultural zeitgeist to accept their definition of success & failure.

  55. 55
    D-Chance. says:

    The maddening part of the bailout stimulus package debate is that… the Republicans are right.

    We gave Paulson $700 billion. It disappeared, sunk into a banking black hole where no one is forced to account for anything.

    Now, Obamamerica has named Tim Geithner, tax cheat and a Paulson lackey, to Treasury Secretary? And less than 12 hours later, Geithner’s new chief of staff is named… a guy who was a LOBBYIST FOR GOLDMAN SACHS, are you fucking kidding me?

    And they want ANOTHER TRILLION DOLLARS?

    Oh, Hell, give it to them. Our country is history, anyway. We’re now closing in on third-world financial status with our tens of trillions of dollars worth of phantom transactions for invisible assets backed by… well… nothing. What’s another trillion… at least it will keep the employees at the treasury’s printing presses employed. Nice to see some people have job security.

  56. 56
    Libby says:

    I think you’ve nailed it Mr. Cole. That’s the same advice many of us would give if anyone was asking us.

  57. 57
    D-Chance. says:

    passerby:
    I agree. I think his use of "I won" at a recent meeting with them was not only a declarative for the sake of those at the table but also as a dog whistle cue for us (and the media) to bang that drum.

    "I won" = the Democrat version of "I’m the Decider".

  58. 58
    cleek says:

    there are 58 dems in the senate

    that’s still two short of the magic number. you know, the number that makes Harry Reid throw his hands up and quiver in fear…

    "I won" = the Democrat version of "I’m the Decider".

    sadly, yes.

  59. 59
    NonyNony says:

    @Joshua Norton:

    What the repugs always leave out of statements like that is that things like Amtrak actually worked until they get their grimy paws on them and try to beat them to death and defund them in order to create an example of how things won’t work.

    No kidding. They’re still upset about the fact that despite their every effort to kill the US Post Office, it continues to operate more efficiently and effectively than a private sector operation could with the same level of service (there’s a reason why UPS and FedEx don’t try to deliver daily mail to any address in the country – they’d go bankrupt).

    And even hobbled as it is, Amtrak is an amazing service that too many people reject out of hand. Taking the train is so much more comfortable than flying – it’s perfect for vacation travel. I just wish that Amtrak had its own rails so that the schedule could be a little better (and that more trains would run so I didn’t have to go to the station at 3am to get on a train). If it had that, it would be perfect for in-country business travel for me too.

  60. 60
    passerby says:

    @D-Chance.:

    Now, Obamamerica has named Tim Geithner, tax cheat and a Paulson lackey, to Treasury Secretary? And less than 12 hours later, Geithner’s new chief of staff is named… a guy who was a LOBBYIST FOR GOLDMAN SACHS, are you fucking kidding me?

    D-Chance, I struggle to avoid gnashing my teeth on this too.

    Also, the Lynn (former Raytheon lobbyist) appointment to the pentagon seems counter to everything Obama stands for.

    Since these developments, on the face of it, don’t seem to make sense, I put on my tinfoil thinking cap and try to think outside the box:

    Perhaps these appointees, with their intimate knowledge of the various rabbit holes in their perspective industries, are exactly the ones who can lay the whole thing bare or at least operate the buttons and levers that will effectively shut down the machinery that drives secret and fraudulent banking (bankers) as well as the military industrial complex that has controlled the economy for so long.

    So while it may look like more of the same, Obama’s strategy may be that of "it takes one to know one".

    This approach would not be outside of the realm of possibilities because, why would you put a newbie who has little or no experience with Goldman Sachs or with the inner working of the MIC in a position surrounded by those who seek to maintain the status quo? These "insiders" could be acting like moles in order to help facilitate the changes Obama aims to make. Plus, they’ve been placed in pretty powerful positions.

    I’m pretty jaded when it comes to government and politics and if Obama cannot pull this thing off, the only thing left is to storm the Bastile. Hope it doesn’t come to that.

  61. 61
    passerby says:

    "I won" = the Democrat version of "I’m the Decider".

    sadly, yes.

    "Sadly, yes"? I think you’re misunderestimating Obama. This man has demonstrated that he is acutely aware of the words that come out of his mouth and I think he intentionally used them for a specific effect.

  62. 62
    LITBMueller says:

    The tough guy act doesn’t work so well when you act tough before the meeting with Obama, and then have the Hill write this after the meeting: GOP-ers Swoon Over Obama Despite Differences

    Clearly, Boehner needs to review all GOP Twitter accounts!

  63. 63
    John Cole says:

    Now, Obamamerica has named Tim Geithner, tax cheat and a Paulson lackey, to Treasury Secretary? And less than 12 hours later, Geithner’s new chief of staff is named… a guy who was a LOBBYIST FOR GOLDMAN SACHS, are you fucking kidding me?

    And they want ANOTHER TRILLION DOLLARS?

    A couple of points here. Unless I am mistaken, D-Chance was a fervent Hillary supporter. You remember Hillary, the person who said the following:

    Twice in the debate, Sen. John Edwards challenged his fellow candidates to refuse to accept contributions from federal lobbyists. The second time he brought up this demand, the narrator, Matt Bai, asked Clinton whether she’d continue to take money from lobbyists.

    “I will,” she said.

    “A lot of those lobbyists whether you like it not, represent real Americans,” she said. “They represent nurses, social workers” — here the audience began to boo — “and yes, they represent corporations and they employ a lot of people.” “I just… I just ask you to look at my record.” Never, she said, in her 35 years of public service, had she bowed to the will of a lobbyist. But she would not change her mind.

    Please cut the fucking concern trolling. Our options were Obama or Hillary (McCain’s campaign was, quite literally, RUN by lobbyists, so he was not even a choice), and it is obvious that Obama was the better option if lobbyist influence is your main concern.

    Second, I don’t like the fact that all these financial industry guys are in government, but someone has to do it, and hopefully that someone would have some experience with the industry. We didn’t appoint Michael Moore to Secretary of Defense for a reason.

    Third, whether you care or not, Obama did just put in place the most strict lobbyist rules ever. There is no debate about that. Will there still be lobbyists? yes. Will they still have more influence than you and me? Yes. Are things most likely going to be better than they are now? Hopefully. Will things be better than they would be with the Republicans running the show? Without question, right now, they will be. Who knows what will happen in the distant future, should Democrats become corrupted by power again. We will deal with that then.

    Finally, the notion that this stimulus bill is the same exact thing as the 700 billion that went to the financial industry is such a load of bullshit that I can’t even be bothered to take the time to comment at length on it.

    Stop the damned concern trolling and the pre-emptive whining. Things aren’t 100% the way I would have them, but given my choices (McCain, Clinton, or Obama), I went with what I thought was the best.

  64. 64
    cleek says:

    "Sadly, yes"? I think you’re misunderestimating Obama.

    it’s not so much about Obama as the fact that some people are going to use that quip to mock Obama the way lefties used "the decider" to mock Bush. his intent is irrelevant, since the people mocking him aren’t going to give a shit about things like intent and context.

    and yeah, they’d have found something to mock him over anyway, so it’s not really a big deal.

  65. 65
    Thlayli says:

    CNN is on in the background now

    CNN’s Congressional correspondent?

    HAWT.

  66. 66
    Gregory says:

    Almost everything that I’m hearing on radio and TV is from the republican point of view.

    You don’t say.

  67. 67
    Redhand says:

    Boemer & McConnell: Two totally incorrigible, compleat f*cking numbskulls.

    I can’t say I’m surprised. What would have surprised me was if they were willing to do anything for the good of the country. This is right out of Rushbo’s "I want Obama to fail" playbook.

    The most nauseating thing about their new found concern over "spending" is how willing they were to piss away a trillion plus in the Iraq War.

  68. 68

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    […] By the way, commenter Cleek, who runs a fine blog of his own, nailed this the other day in the comments: […]

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