Revenge of the Village

Obama has been humbled! Obama can not live up to his ethical standards! Obama is fleeing the White House! A scalp is claimed, and the Victor Davis Hanson at the NRO predicts the end of the Obama administration:

We are quite literally after two weeks teetering on an Obama implosion—and with no Dick Morris to bail him out—brought on by messianic delusions of grandeur, hubris, and a strange naivete that soaring rhetoric and a multiracial profile can add requisite cover to good old-fashioned Chicago politicking.

***

At home, Obama is becoming laughable and laying the groundwork for the greatest conservative populist reaction since the Reagan Revolution.

Abroad, some really creepy people are lining up to test Obama’s world view of “Bush did it/but I am the world”: The North Koreans are readying their missiles; the Iranians are calling us passive, bragging on nukes and satellites; Russia is declaring missile defense is over and the Euros in real need of iffy Russian gas; Pakistanis say no more drone attacks (and then our friends the Indians say “shut up” about Kashmir and the Euros order no more “buy American”).

This is quite serious. I can’t recall a similarly disastrous start in a half-century (far worse than Bill Clinton’s initial slips). Obama immediately must lower the hope-and-change rhetoric, ignore Reid/Pelosi, drop the therapy, and accept the tragic view that the world abroad is not misunderstood but quite dangerous. And he must listen on foreign policy to his National Security Advisor, Billary, and the Secretary of Defense. If he doesn’t quit the messianic style and perpetual campaign mode, and begin humbly governing, then he will devolve into Carterism—angry that the once-fawning press betrayed him while we the people, due to our American malaise, are to blame.

Let me first note that considering the NRO and VDH have proclaimed victory in Iraq so many times and for so long all while screaming that removing the troops will “lose” Iraq that I think the Democrats don’t have much to worry about here, and that they are safe and secure for a long, long time.

But on to the more important point- I find it absolutely mind-boggling that the village and the GOP are now actively and openly rooting for this administration to fail. I admit that Daschle sure looked to me like he was committing tax evasion, and he never should have put his name in the mix knowing full well that this could be a problem. You all can call him a nice guy all you want, but he screwed Obama. President Obama, for his part, stood by him for too long, and while it is nice to see loyalty in the face of right-wing criticism, this was a bad place to spend political capital. I would also note that it sure is refreshing to see President Obama do what Bush never in eight years could- acknowledge the obvious and admit to and take responsibility for a mistake.

Second, I find this “gotcha” nonsense on the ethics question maddening. Has anyone pointed out that the point of high ethical standards is not just publicly setting them, but it is setting them and living up to them. In the Geithner case, I think Obama failed, as did the Senate when they confirmed him. I was ambivalent at the time (and my judgment may have been shaded by knee-jerk opposition to the frothing nutters on the right), but now, looking back, they should have put the kaibosh on him. But with the Daschle issue, even though Obama is admitting a mistake, this was not an ethical lapse.

Let me be clear. Tom Daschle was never in the administration. He was never confirmed. This was not failing to adhere to ethical standards, this WAS adhering to them. Same with that woman who withdrew her name yesterday for not paying a couple hundred taxes (and the stupidity of that can be covered some other time and place- our tax laws make no damned sense whatsoever). But again- this wasn’t a failure to follow ethical standards, this was adherence to them. Say it again- Tom Daschle never was confirmed. Obama set ethical standards, and Daschle did not meet them. Obama’s mistake was supporting him, but in the end, we had the ethical outcome- no Daschle in the administration.

And for some perspective, this was not an administration official outing a CIA agent and then engaging in perjury and obstruction of justice for several years, all with numerous willing accomplices high in the WH power structure. This was not an administration pursuing illegal firing of justice department employees for ideological reasons. This was not, well, do I really need to go through all of them again?

I really can not wait to see what happens on Friday when the unemployment numbers hit 8%, and the Republicans have spent the week blocking the stimulus package and lying about government spending not being stimulus all while getting their economic advice from a plumber, and the village has spent two weeks playing the same old games- “Is he smoking again? Did they break their word on transparency by only having five members of the media present for the second oath?

Just shoot me now. DougJ, a couple of weeks ago when discussing the Broders and the Milbanks and the rest of the crowd noted the following:

I’m watching Monica Crowley and Pat Buchanan on the McLaughlin group and so help me God, I am praying for a dirty bomb in Georgetown.

These people will destroy us all.

Don’t be fooled by Obama—we are fucked.

Go read the op-ed pages today at the WaPo and the NYT and tell me he is wrong. Watch CNN or MSNBC or Fox News for 15 minutes and tell me you come away with a different opinion.

Quite literally, everything in this country is melting down, we are in two wars we can not afford, the market is dead, the jobs market is horrible, we are probably going to foolishly dump trillions into more bad banks, no one has any money and the economy is so bad that IBM is working to send out-of-work employees to India to find jobs, large portions of Appalachia are still frozen over and without power, and, it turns out that for the past eight years our entire food system in the United States has been completely and wholly unregulated, and the village and the GOP are back to business as usual.

So just blow it out your ass if you think I am shirking my “responsibilities” as a blogger by posting pet pics and talking about the Steelers all the time. I have to keep sane somehow.

*** Update ***

This got rantier and disjointed as I wrote it. Sorry. I am smacked up on coffee and the idiots on CNN were giving me chest pains while I wrote it.

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238 replies
  1. 1
    DougJ says:

    I find it absolutely mind-boggling that the village, along with the GOP are actively rooting for this administration to fail

    I wish I could say it surprised me. The Villagers want to knock Obama down a peg. It’s part of their whole shtick. Bush scaped it because he was such a bumbler that he was already down a peg, which is why they loved him so much.

  2. 2
    Craig says:

    As we enter Week 3 of the Failed Obama Administration…

  3. 3
    Craig says:

    …the Obama Recession enters it’s 15th month with no signs of abating…

  4. 4
    Craig says:

    …Obama’s Quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan are in their eighth and fifth years, respectively, and Obama has been unable to satisfactorily extract American troops from either…

  5. 5
    dr. bloor says:

    I know it’s early, and I know Obama’s all about the long game, but the game’s going to be over due to the Mercy Rule if he doesn’t get his ass in gear pronto. The Villagers making a big stink about problematic nominees who never got a whiff of a cabinet meeting? Big Fucking Surprise. Don’t tape a "Kick Me" sign on your back next time by sending three nominees with tax gaffes up to the Hill. Problems with the stimulus bill? Big Fucking Surprise. Get in there, tell the country that Bipartisanship is for Grown-ups Only, take charge and stop trying to sing Kumbaya with scumsuckers like McConnell and Demint.

    He had an enormous mandate in this election. He’d better start acting like it, or he’ll be Carterized before his first 100 days are up.

  6. 6
    Craig says:

    …and Obama’s first pick for Health and Human Services Secretary removes himself due to ethical considerations, thereby undermining Obama’s claim to restore ethics to Washington.

    Somehow.

    I think. At least that’s what Fox News says.

  7. 7
    Dave says:

    Perhaps it’s time to refresh the tree of liberty again…

  8. 8
    DougJ says:

    I like the new category about the failed Obama administration.

  9. 9
    Jason says:

    Are you also keeping an eye on Rendell’s budget speech? It just started on PCN (streaming via internet, too). If you want your urge to kill to rise, just turn it on.

  10. 10
    Michael D. says:

    John, don’t take this as me agreeing with ANYTHING VDH says, but you state:

    This was not failing to adhere to ethical standards, this WAS adhering to them.

    […]

    Obama set ethical standards, and Daschle did not meet them.

    Not really. Obama set ethical standards but was trying to make an exception for Daschle. He pushed to keep him in spite of his tax problems. It wasn’t Obama who asked Daschle to withdraw. If, when Daschle’s tax problems were identified, Obama immediately asked him to step down from nomination, that would have been adherence to ethical standards. That didn’t happen. Exactly the opposite – Obama actively fought for Daschle.

  11. 11
    poopsybythebay says:

    I’m at the point I wish they would all blow up. I have completely had it with the press. Until they start losing their own jobs, which I hope happens soon, they will continue to play this game. I assume we will have to have a revolution and starting rioting in front of their businesses in order for them to take this shit seriously and stop acting like this is Clinton and 1993.

  12. 12
    John Cole says:

    Exactly the opposite – Obama actively fought for Daschle.

    AND. THEN. ADMITTED. HE. MADE. A. MISTAKE. AND. WAS. WRONG. TO. DO. SO.

  13. 13
    JL says:

    John, It’s your blog and you can do want you want.

    So just blow it out your ass if you think I am shirking my “responsibilities” as a blogger by posting pet pics and talking about the Steelers all the time. I have to keep sane somehow.

    By the way Go Patriots.!

  14. 14
    wilfred says:

    But on to the more important point- I find it absolutely mind-boggling that the village and the GOP are now actively and openly rooting for this administration to fail

    C’mon, you’re not that naive. This is Rome, not Washington; we have factions, not political parties. Game, set, match.

    We had a generation of schoolchidren study too much DEMOCRACY and not enough Jefferson.

  15. 15
    cleek says:

    know why the Villagers have power? they have power, like three year olds, because people pay attention to them.

    don’t pay attention to them.

  16. 16
    Joshua James says:

    I am glad Daschle removed himself, but the hypocrisy of the GOP just amazes me … aren’t these the same motherfuckers who gave convicted felon Ted Stevens A STANDING OVATION on his last day in Congress, on his way out?

    Didn’t they do the same to "Diapers" Vitter once he got back?

    All animals are equal, but some animals more equal than others.

  17. 17
    Dave says:

    Fuck bi-partisanship. Put the Republicans in a corner and just do this shit already.

  18. 18
    Joshua Norton says:

    Chimpy had his share of "whoopsies", which the Village people seem to forget about since it happened before last week. Off the top of my head there was Linda Chavez, wingnut commentator who withdrew in January, 2001 as the Repug nominee to be labor secretary after it was disclosed that she gave a Guatemalan woman free room and board in her home and $1,500 during a two-year period in the early 1990s even though Chavez knew she was an illegal immigrant.

    A labor secretary nominee using undocumented workers kind of beats the hell out of Daschle’s mistakes any day of the week.

  19. 19
    Laura W says:

    This got rantier and disjointed as I wrote it. Sorry

    Au contraire. I found it to be one of the most inclusive, coherent, well-flowing and depressing things you’ve written in weeks.
    And not one damn typo?
    Bravo.
    (Baby aspirin.)

  20. 20
    JL says:

    David Kurtz at TPM has a great rant.. It’s so good that I’m reprinting his rant without permission.

    It occurred to me while reading Politico’s interview with Dick Cheney, that the GOP’s plan to regain political viability in the short term rests on two disaster scenarios: the failure of the financial rescue efforts (stimulus, TARP, and other bailouts) to stave off complete economic collapse and a new mass casualty terrorist attack — both of which they are positioning themselves to blame Obama for.
    Without one of those two, they have to figure it’s going to be a long time wandering in the political wilderness. Now think about the curdling effect, the blight on the soul that comes with rooting for such disasters to befall your country. The rot is now eating at the party’s very core.

  21. 21
    kay says:

    I was buying it until I watched Obama last night. He’s not rattled. At all. He’s same old measured Obama. Moving right along. I saw a media feeding frenzy yesterday. I didn’t see the President rattled.
    I know that must be infuriating to them, and it might make it more difficult to create a reality, but that’s what I saw.
    How many times are they going to ask him if he quit smoking, by the way? I think it’s clear he’s not answering that question. Good for him.

  22. 22
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Rant on John, you are reading the cards right. We are truly fucked. The press wants FAIL in the headlines, the Repubs want FAIL in the headlines and so we get FAIL in the headlines.

    The only way I see of getting out of this is that if Obama becomes the anti-Bush. If Obama sees a way out of this, he has to beat the shit out of both sides and walk right over them to get the job done, if need be. I sure as hell ain’t holding my breath waiting for the idiots in the House and Senate to save us because they were the ones who got us in this mess in the first place.

    Do you really think that they will get us out of it? I sure as hell don’t think so. In my opinion, it is Obama or bust. We don’t have the time to wait four years for another try, it is now or never.

  23. 23
    Fulcanelli says:

    I’m inherantly skeptical of people who damn near no one has ever heard of that seem to feel they need to use all 3 names, especially in a byline.

    Kill your television before it kills you. Or at least stick with NatGeo, the Science or Discovery Channels. Learn something authentic and useful as opposed to twisted opinion and propaganda passed off as fact. Even the History channel runs that Biblical Apocalypse shit wayyy to much for my liking. Christ, what a pack of tossers.

  24. 24
    DougJ says:

    @JL

    It was good rant but people (including some here) have been saying that for weeks, that the Republicans are openly rooting for terrorist attacks and a prolonged recession.

  25. 25
    cleek says:

    It wasn’t Obama who asked Daschle to withdraw.

    you don’t know this.

  26. 26
    Michael D. says:

    @John Cole:

    AND. THEN. ADMITTED. HE. MADE. A. MISTAKE. AND. WAS. WRONG. TO. DO. SO.

    Oh, I agree.

    What I am saying is that he should have known better, having specifically campaigned and promised us a more ethical Washington. I mean, admit it, knowing your nominee is a tax evader and still actively rooting for him is not just “a mistake.” It’s no more a mistake than, say, someone who was on the Senate Finance Committee making “a mistake” and not paying $128,000 in taxes.

    To me, Obama admitting he made a mistake is like the kids who do something bad and say, “I’m sorry.” They’re sorry, yes – sorry that they got caught.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m still 100% behind Obama, and find a lot of the criticism of him to be cheap shots by desperate people.

    But he is due plenty of criticism for this. Like it or not, he HAS set himself up. Obama didn’t make an innocent mistake by standing by Daschle after his massive tax issues were exposed. He tried, unsuccessfully, to make it so the rules didn’t apply to Daschle – or something.

    If Daschle didn’t withdraw, Obama would likely still be pushing for him to be HHS Secretary.

    It’s not wrong to criticize him for that.

    Update: I believe Washington changes people. I believe Obama when he says he wants to change Washington. But we, his supporters, need to constantly remind him of the things he said he would do. Only when a politician knows he or she will be held accountable will that person do what he or she promised to do.

  27. 27
    Gus says:

    Perhaps it’s time to refresh the tree of liberty again…

    I’m afraid that’s what it’s coming to. I don’t remember who linked to this yesterday, but it’s a good read.

  28. 28
    Dave says:

    And who gives a shit if Obama is smoking again? If that is what he needs to do to get the job done, I’ll fucking buy him a carton of Marlboros each week and consider it my patriotic duty to do so.
     
    I can just see CNN back in the Civil War: "General Grant, is it true you drink whiskey while you plan your campaigns? Doesn’t this set a bad example for America’s children?"

  29. 29

    The wingnuts are building a narrative. Dick Cheney is even getting in on it. LINK

    Protecting the country’s security is “a tough, mean, dirty, nasty business,” he said. “These are evil people. And we’re not going to win this fight by turning the other cheek.”

    Citing intelligence reports, Cheney said at least 61 of the inmates who were released from Guantanamo during the Bush administration — “that’s about 11 or 12 percent” — have “gone back into the business of being terrorists.”

    It is a mistake to assume we are on the same side as the wingnuts. When we are attacked again the Righties won’t rally around President Obama, they will use the attack as an opportunity to tear Obama down and win back the power they lost.

  30. 30
    Rome Again says:

    This is Rome, not Washington; we have factions, not political parties

    Glad to see some people understand this.

  31. 31
    Atanarjuat says:

    John Cole wrote:

    This got rantier and disjointed as I wrote it. Sorry.

    It’s quite understandable, Mr. Cole. The sense of shock and betrayal felt by most Obama supporters stemming from his disappointing (and rather predictable) shenanigans must be rather vexing.

    What’s interesting is that many leftists think that Obama being sorry for Daschle’s unpaid tax issues is somehow an ennobling and humble attribute that should be lauded, when it’s just the beginning of what’s to come. Obama will be sorry, and sorry repeatedly for his stumbles, oversights, errors, and general mismanagement of his Presidential duties. In the end, it’s the American people who will be sorriest of all that this decidedly unprepared Chicago politician was ever elected to reside at the White House.

    -Country First.

  32. 32
    kay says:

    @Michael D.:

    I don’t think you know whether Obama asked Daschle to step down. I don’t think either person has any duty to reveal that, or that the public has a "right to know". It was intensely humiliating for Daschle, and an embarrassing episode for Obama. They fixed it. I don’t need a public lynching.

  33. 33
    Joshua Norton says:

    Whoops – my pie filter kicked in. Must be a troll around.

  34. 34
    Josh Hueco says:

    Kids, stop panicking. We’ve been down this road before, remember the election last year? Back then, just as now, the media was obsessing over its horse race trivialities and the GOP was attempting their usual ratfucks. Somehow we got through that just fine, and I think we’ll be okay (bruised and bloodied, but survived).

  35. 35
    Rome Again says:

    Rant on John, you are reading the cards right. We are truly fucked. The press wants FAIL in the headlines, the Repubs want FAIL in the headlines and so we get FAIL in the headlines.

    Hmmm, methinks there is some middlemen there that are a part of this whole thing. Rupert Murdock or Roger Ailes anyone?

  36. 36
    Rick Taylor says:

    It’s easy to get worked up about the inanity of the mainstream media, but they’re doing what they’ve always done. I’m with Digby; why aren’t Democrats pushing back hard? Why aren’t they calling the Republicans out? Why aren’t they explaining the situation we are in over and over again? They aren’t pushing back nearly hard enough. They’re still playing nice and bipartisan, and the Republicans are taking advantage of it and the media are letting them just like they always do. So it’s fine to kvetch about the media not doing it’s job, but it hasn’t for over a decade, so what is our side going to do about it? One of the things that gave me hope during the primaries was Obama didn’t just take the high road and assume other people would realize how ridiculous some of the smears he was being targeted with were inane; he fought back. Not always perfectly, but generally quickly, and with increasing skill as the campaign wore on. That gave me hope that he’d do the same thing in pushing are agenda through. But this round hasn’t been good. We opened from a position of negotiation, introducing tax cuts and cutting items in the bill the Republicans didn’t like, they predictably played hardball, and they’ve put us on the defensive. Now it’s uncertain if it will pass the Senate and the question is what further compromise will we have to make to keep a few moderate Republicans and blue dogs on board. If the time was not so dire, I’d be more sanguine. I’d say, well Obama gave bipartisanship a shot, which is reasonable, and now that the Republicans have shown their cards he can use that as a basis for playing hardball. But economists are screaming this is the worst fiscal emergency since the great depression, we need a stimulus that is as effective as possible as quickly as possible. There’s no time for learning.

  37. 37
    Comrade Darkness says:

    Wait, the standard has gone from "ordered torture and rampant breaking the law by the administration is hunki dori" to "zomygod, the president wanted to appoint someone with unpaid taxes"111! in just over two weeks?

    I guess I knew that would happen.

    How can this generate a conservative backlash, again? Real Conservatives™ worship methods of not paying taxes.

    On the subject of worship…the "messianic" is just freakish projection. These guys really need meds. Or, stronger meds.

  38. 38
    El Cid says:

    All you libruls tol’ me it’d be better with Obama. Well, it’s done been 2 weeks, and everything ain’t fixed. You all lied and now the Republicans will hold a special election for everything next week and win every office. You’ll see.

  39. 39
    former capitalist says:

    Come on, guys. We knew this was going to happen. None of us expected these clowns to jump aboard the Save America train. They want the economy to completely tank so they can say I TOLD YOU SO. The handwriting was on the wall when the Repubs nominated a bat shit fundie for VP.

    On the other hand, didn’t the Obama vetting process (sixty page application, etal) ask any effing questions about delinquent taxes? The perception of this issue is huge.

    And, Doug, you’re correct. We are so fucked.

  40. 40
    Rick Taylor says:

    I wrote that quickly. Just to be clear, I’m focussing on the debate on the stimulus bill.

  41. 41
    JL says:

    @Atanarjuat: If you were really concerned about your country, you would read Zandi’s Financial Shock or Klein’s Shock Doctrine. Gee, you’re like a stoned college kid still reading Rand. (must credit an earlier commenter for that one.)

  42. 42

    You guys are hyperventilating over the same crowd of hyenas who said that Reverend Wright was the end of the Obama campaign.

    When you get tired of doing your Chicken Little imitations (the pundits are destroying us, so let’s spend another day talking about nothing but the pundits!) and realize that the pundits are just doing the same act you are doing, which is trying to draw a crowd, and mostly failing in their case, then we might see what is really going on out there.

    Obama is fine. Meanhile you guys need to breathe slowly into a paper bag for a while.

  43. 43
    Michael D. says:

    @kay:

    I don’t need a public lynching.

    And you certainly won’t get that here. I believe in Obama, but when I see him deviate on something this serious – which he did – I am going to call him on it.

    I don’t subscribe to many of the comments like, “He’s only been there for two weeks! Give him a chance!” etc. Sorry, whether you fuck up on day one or day 1,000, it’s still a fuck-up. Continuing to support someone with major tax evasion problems, as Obama did, is going against everything he said he would do.

    I hope people with a much larger voice than I do their best to keep him honest, because I want this administration to succeed like you wouldn’t believe.

  44. 44

    I think it’s time for Obama to realize that the Repubs don’t want to play bipartisanship and take the ball and hold on to it. It’s HIS ball, it’s HIS administration.

  45. 45
    Zifnab says:

    I don’t think you know whether Obama asked Daschle to step down. I don’t think either person has any duty to reveal that, or that the public has a "right to know". It was intensely humiliating for Daschle, and an embarrassing episode for Obama. They fixed it. I don’t need a public lynching.

    I don’t even know why it matters. Maybe Daschale volunteered, maybe Obama gave him a silent boot, maybe the sweet baby Jesus in all his immaculate glory descended from the Heavens to demand the former Majority Leader step aside. Who cares? Daschale will not be the next head of HHS.

    Meanwhile, I’m still paying thousands of dollars a year on an insurance policy that may or may not be worth the paper its printed on, depending on how nice my rep is. And I’m one of the lucky ones.

    Tell me when my family gets reliable affordable health care and I might starting caring exactly who gave whom the Oval Office BJ that keeps the gears of Washington moving.

  46. 46
    Dave says:

    @Atanarjuat:

    Blow it out your ass. If McCain was running things we’d be picking a fight with Russia by now.

  47. 47
    Zifnab says:

    When you get tired of doing your Chicken Little imitations (the pundits are destroying us, so let’s spend another day talking about nothing but the pundits!) and realize that the pundits are just doing the same act you are doing, which is trying to draw a crowd, and mostly failing in their case, then we might see what is really going on out there.

    When does the cable news business model collapse? Seriously? Another half million jobs this month, but Wolf Blitzer, Joe Scarburough, and Sean Hannity still have full employment. When do they get the axe?

  48. 48
    Adrienne says:

    I already noted what I think the game plan should be in the other post. It’s time to stop playing this game and play hardball. Short version: Make the Senate Republicans actually filibuster, have the Dem leadership give a press conference, cut ads to be played in bluish/purple states/districts with Republican Reps or Senators who either voted against the stim in the House or support the filibuster in the Senate, preferably in those places with high unemployment (Ohio, Florida, Michigan, PA), and have Obama do a televised talk to the nation about how the economy is in the crapper and all Republicans want to do is obstruct while millions lose their jobs, their homes, and their lives.

    We already have the footage we need of Obama trying to ride the bipartisan unity pony. Now it’s time to put that pony in the stable in break out the monster truck and ride right over these bastards, crushing them in the process. He can do it. Yes we can kick their ass. Si se puede bitches.

  49. 49

    When does the cable news business model collapse? Seriously? Another half million jobs this month, but Wolf Blitzer, Joe Scarburough, and Sean Hannity still have full employment. When do they get the axe?

    As soon as everybody stops watching them and their advertising sales drop off?

  50. 50
    Joshua Norton says:

    If McCain was running things we’d be picking a fight with Russia by now.

    If McCain was running things it would have been damned near impossible for him to find anyone who wasn’t involved in tax evasion and knee deep in conflicts of interest from his pack of lobbyist cronies and hangers on.

  51. 51
    Michael D. says:

    Let’s promise to hold President Obama to the same standard that we wish we could have held George W. Bush to. If President Bush came to DC with a promise to restore ethics to Washington, etc, etc, and then pushed to get someone who evaded taxes into Treasury and HHS, what would you all have been saying?

    I know the commenters here. You would NOT have been saying “Give him a break.”

    And you would have been right not to.

  52. 52
    Josh Hueco says:

    @TheHatOnMyCat:

    Obama is fine. Meanhile you guys need to breathe slowly into a paper bag for a while.

    Yessss!

  53. 53
    DougJ says:

    Short version: Make the Senate Republicans actually filibuster, have the Dem leadership give a press conference, cut ads to be played in bluish/purple states/districts with Republican Reps or Senators who either voted against the stim in the House or support the filibuster in the Senate, preferably in those places with high unemployment (Ohio, Florida, Michigan, PA), and have Obama do a televised talk to the nation about how the economy is in the crapper and all Republicans want to do is obstruct while millions lose their jobs, their homes, and their lives.

    I agree. And I think that’s how this would play out…except for the fact that the Republicans won’t filibuster.

    I think what we’re seeing in the Senate now is mostly Kabuki theater aimed at pretending that the Senate is "protecting its prerogatives" or whatever the old saw is. And Dems in the Senate like that kind of thing too.

  54. 54

    When do they get the axe?

    Soon I hope. I already called for a mass resignation and replacement of all pundits a couple weeks ago. Apparently they have not gotten my memo.

  55. 55

    We already have the footage we need of Obama trying to ride the bipartisan unity pony. Now it’s time to put that pony in the stable in break out the monster truck and ride right over these bastards, crushing them in the process. He can do it. Yes we can kick their ass. Si se puede bitches.

    This I agree with. Obama is not going to get anywhere if his only game is bipartisanship and the other side won’t play.

  56. 56
    Wisdom says:

    @Dave:

    Fuck bi-partisanship. Put the Republicans in a corner and just do this shit already

    There you go again. You liberals want to go all authoritarian on the Republican party, and you can’t wait to hug the French, Palestinians, Iranians and Russians…

    All it would probably take to change your simplistic worldviews would be to put an R after Putins or some Hamas leaders name on the TV news.

  57. 57
    jcricket says:

    There are pros and cons to obsessively following any subject in the media and/or blogs. The pros are that if you read a lot, and you’re not a wingnut, you’re probably really well-informed about the ins and outs of any particular issue.

    The cons include that you try to "see" the situation before it’s fully unfolded. The media contributes to this by changing the narrative they’re pushing every week or so in an attempt to juice up their news coverage.

    Look at Obama’s entire campaign. If you follow it week-to-week there were plenty of "little mistakes". But the long-term strategy paid off – more than I ever could have imagined (I’m not an original Obamanaut, believe me).

    I think the same thing will be true here. No one is going to give a crap about Daschle or these other nominees in 6 months. Obama’s even saying this on AC 360 already. It’s not even about whether we can get the stimulus passed. It’s about whether it works (or at least appears to). Republicans are desperate to stop Obama before he starts, because if he can plausibly claim credit for fixing the economy, getting us out of Iraq, stabilizing Afghanistan, etc. the GOP is toast in 2010 and 2012 (at least).

    Bush claimed he had a mandate and political capital, when he didn’t. Obama has both, but knows the real mandate comes from achieving big successes over time, not getting elected.

  58. 58

    If McCain was running things it would have been damned near impossible for him to find anyone who wasn’t involved in tax evasion and knee deep in conflicts of interest from his pack of lobbyist cronies and hangers on.

    Wrong, all of them would have been seated because they wouldn’t have even considered looking into such things.

  59. 59
    kay says:

    @Michael D.:

    And you certainly won’t get that here. I believe in Obama, but when I see him deviate on something this serious – which he did – I am going to call him on it.

    I had a little time to think about it, and I’m going to disagree on "serious". I know this is a minority opinion. Don’t throw populist rage tomatoes at me. I’m wary of media-driven pile-ons. I’m wary of a 30 year career being trashed over this. It looked like a frenzy, and I don’t even think it was entirely about Daschle. I think it was about a generalized rage at where we are and how we got here, and how Obama probably isn’t going to be able to pull a rabbit out of a hat and "fix this".

    I absolutely believe you want him to succeed, and it sounds like your concerns were Daschle-specific and good-government focused. That’s not, however, what I witnessed in general yesterday. I don’t know what the hell that was.

  60. 60
    KXB says:

    For the past 2 weeks, my uncle/boss has been in India visiting his mother. She does not have a TV or newspaper delivered to her home, so in a sense he is cut off. We held regularly scheduled calls to keep him up to speed on the office. After I gave him the office updates he would ask, "What news is there?" And I was honest, "Well, the markets are still tanking, but the only thing on the news is who in DC got a job or who did not get a job. It’s not real news, it’s gossip."

    Really, aside from Secretary of Treasury and State – do the other secretaries have any real impact on the sectors they are supposed to monitor? Is the health care sector going to fall apart because Daschle does not get the job? I can’t even remember the names of any of Bush’s HHS secretaries.

    BTW – you gotta turn off the "news" networks every now and then. Just because it is on CNN does not make it newsworthy. After all, A&E no longer has any "A", and I can’t say much for the quality of its "E".

  61. 61
    libarbarian says:

    "The salmonella outbreak was traced to the company’s sister plant in Blakely, Ga., where inspectors found roaches, mold, a leaking roof and internal records of more than a dozen positive tests for salmonella."

    So they knew it was poison and released it anyways.

    How is that not "Involuntary Manslaughter"?

  62. 62
    DougJ says:

    You liberals want to go all authoritarian on the Republican party, and you can’t wait to hug the French, Palestinians, Iranians and Russians…

    That’s too obvious a spoof. You were doing well before.

  63. 63
    Dave says:

    @wilfred:
     
    I don’t think is Rome, but Byzantium. Multiple factions, religion having a disproportionate influence on politics, power players more concerned with their own hides than the good of their country. And occasionally someone came along to salvage an unsalvageable situation. Here’s hoping Obama’s that guy.

  64. 64
    Dave says:

    @Wisdom:
     
    Simplistic? Brother, you got that market cornered.

  65. 65
    Mr Furious says:

    I hear ya Zifnab. My wife fractured (for real) her tailbone falling on some ice, and my fucking Blue Cross hasn’t paid dime one for e.r. visit, x-rays, orthopedist or meds because the attending in the E.R. wrote "accident" on the paperwork. They must think there’s gonna be someone to sue for this or something, but in the meantime, we owe four figures and creditors are calling.

    Awesome!

  66. 66
    Adrienne says:

    If President Bush came to DC with a promose to restore ethics to Washington, etc, etc, and then pushed to get someone who evaded taxes into Treasury and HHS, what would you all have been saying?

    Oh for goodness sakes, get some perspective here. We are talking about people who made, what seem like honest, mistakes in their PERSONAL lives, not completely screwing fucking up ethically in their JOB CAPACITIES. There is a difference.

    Further, they did not "evade" taxes, which infers motive and intent, they made mistakes on their taxes which anyone who files anything approaching the level of difficulty as Geithner’s and Daschle’s are prone to make. Again, there is a difference

  67. 67
    Michael D. says:

    @KXB:

    After all, A&E no longer has any “A”, and I can’t say much for the quality of its “E”

    Oh see, now you have me hot under the collar.

    And don’t even get me started on Bravo. Remember when it said it was “TV too good for TV” and actually was?

  68. 68
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Gee, you’re like a stoned college kid still reading Rand. (must credit an earlier commenter for that one.)

    I am a former stoned college student (ok, former college, still stoned) and I resent this. Stoners are too fucking smart to read Rand. Now if we were out of papers though, I am sure that her book would have worked just fine. While rolling joints, someone might be reading the torn pages out loud but everyone else would be laughing their asses off at it.

    We might smoke shit, but we don’t read it unless we are in need of cheap laughs.

  69. 69
    Joshua Norton says:

    you gotta turn off the "news" networks every now and then.

    I recommend "House" and "NCIS" reruns on the USA channel. Calms me down immediately. And I don’t have to deal with a bunch of yahoos who make a paycheck by pissing on my shoes and then trying to convince me it’s raining.

  70. 70
    liberal says:

    @Dave:

    If McCain was running things we’d be picking a fight with Russia by now.

    Exactly.

    McCain was, I thought, scarier than Bush in 2000, and given his rhetoric re the Georgia crisis, I thought it much better (GASP!) that Bush was in the WH at the time than McCain.

    The current economic woes are pretty bad, but nothing compared to a hot war with another nuclear power.

  71. 71
    KRK says:

    @kay:

    Not getting rattled is kind of Obama’s thing. But he’s right. Let’s recall how short Americans’ memories are, and media memories specifically. Zoe Baird didn’t derail the Clinton administration; Linda Chavez didn’t derail the Bush43 administration. A year into those respective administrations, most people wouldn’t have remembered why those names were all over the news for a few days. Remember how often we heard that Obama’s campaign had taken a blow (or committed a grave error) from which he would not recover?

    I predict that it will not be long before it’s down the memory hole with Barack’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. In the meantime, the media and Republicans will find a hundred other things to identify as "where Obama went wrong."

  72. 72
    Laura W says:

    @Michael D.:

    And don’t even get me started on Bravo

    What? No love for The Real Housewhores of Atlanta?

  73. 73
    gopher2b says:

    Dead on. The whole post.

  74. 74
    gopher2b says:

    Dead on. The whole post.

  75. 75
    Mr Furious says:

    @Michael D.:

    Tell me about. Remember when you had to be DeNiro, Pacino, Streep or even Robin Williams to sit across from James Lipton on "Inside the Actors’ Studio?"

    Conan O’Brien was in that chair recently. Conan. Fucking. O’Brien. What? Seth Rogan was busy?

  76. 76
    former capitalist says:

    @Adrienne: The question is not whether or not taxes were evaded, but that the question wasn’t asked to begin with. I know this issue will go away in about 36 hours, but it upsets me that it happened in the first place. These kind of things just give the JTP’S one more thing to distract the media from the real issues. It’s the perception that becomes the reality.

  77. 77
    DougJ says:

    If McCain was running things we’d be picking a fight with Russia by now.

    You say that like it’s a bad thing.

  78. 78
    liberal says:

    @Michael D.:

    I mean, admit it, knowing your nominee is a tax evader and still actively rooting for him is not just “a mistake.”

    I don’t like this tax evasion stuff anymore than anyone else, but it’s really missing the point.

    The point is:
    (a) Daschle was a lobbyist for health industry fat cats
    (b) Geither is in favor of giving away hundreds of billions of dollars to banks with no strings attached

  79. 79

    Stoners are too fucking smart to read Rand.

    I agree with this, those who think getting high makes you automatically stupid are those who have never tried it.

    Making assumptions about something you’ve never experienced yourself is the height of stupidity.

  80. 80
    liberal says:

    @Adrienne:

    We are talking about people who made, what seem like honest, mistakes in their PERSONAL lives, not completely screwing fucking up ethically in their JOB CAPACITIES. There is a difference.

    The problem is that the tax issues arise from their connections to the powers that be.

    Daschle wouldn’t have had a driver to pay taxes on, if he hadn’t been a whore for the health industry, for example.

  81. 81
    Ash Can says:

    I’m suspecting more and more that these idiotic screeds (apart from the National Review bit, because it’s a given that those folks are completely divorced from reality) are nothing more than evidence of serious and growing financial trouble throughout the corporate news media. With their bosses increasingly desperate for readers, these writers appear to be under increasing pressure to write something, anything to attract attention.

    And I’m not sure what the best way to deal with it would be. To ignore it would presumably translate into less revenue for the purveyors (and theoretically fewer of these garbage-spewers employed). To fail to push back against it, on the other hand, risks allowing pernicious memes to take hold in the national conscious, flourish, and do — quite possibly and easily, as experience shows — substantial damage.

    IMO, pushback needs to happen, but it must happen on the same scale as the garbage-spewing. Equally high-profile pundits need to say, on the same pages where the dreck originally appears, explicitly who is wrong and why, swiftly and in exhaustive detail, every time it happens. And then say it again. Idiocy needs to hurt, and responsibility needs to be restored.

  82. 82
    ChrisNBama says:

    So just blow it out your ass if you think I am shirking my “responsibilities” as a blogger by posting pet pics and talking about the Steelers all the time. I have to keep sane somehow.

    John, I’m new to your blog. A friend of mine linked to it, and I was taken in by the refreshing perspective here–not just be the front page headliners, but the blogger comments as well. An intelligent community.

    I just want to say, keep the faith and keep up the good work. Your contributions are more meaningful than you know.

    Cheers.

  83. 83
    Michael D. says:

    @liberal:

    Daschle was a lobbyist for health industry fat cats

    I’d have to know what he was lobbying for. If he was lobbying for the right things, I wouldn’t care.

    And, for what it’s worth, I don’ t think not paying your taxes is a disqualification for the job of Sec. of HHS, any more than I think it’s a disqualification for my own job (I think it is disqualifying for Treasury). I’m just saying that Obama is not holding himself to the high standard he set for himself.

  84. 84
    Adrienne says:

    And I think that’s how this would play out…except for the fact that the Republicans won’t filibuster.

    If Reid can manage to find his nuts on this and say FUCK a cloture vote, they’ll have only two choices: Actually filibuster or let this thing go to an up-or-down vote, where it WILL pass. If it’s the latter, Obama can claim victory. If it’s the former they can stick to my script above and run over the bastards, and like that crazy lady did to her husband a couple of years ago, back up over their asses and run over them again just to make sure they’re really dead.

    I’m sick of these assholes. Really I am. Who the hell do they think they are? They just got their clocks cleaned and still they think they run shit. Well it’s a new sheriff in town and I hope he’s about to saddle up.

    //rant over. I usually don’t curse this much on the web, but I’ve really had it.

  85. 85
    Zifnab says:

    If President Bush came to DC with a promose to restore ethics to Washington, etc, etc, and then pushed to get someone who evaded taxes into Treasury and HHS, what would you all have been saying?

    I’d have been pissed. And when the GOP took to the airwaves calling anyone who questioned the tax records of an appointee a smear merchant and deranged Bush Hater, I’d be more pissed. And when the fellow got appointed by unanimous consent in the Senate (because we’re in a CRISIS god damnit, and we don’t have time to worry about these things!) I’d be even more pissed. And when I turned on my radio to hear another rendition of "Chris Dodd is in bed with Countrywide for getting a slightly better than average mortgage rate!" literally days after this non-story got buried on page 412Q of the hyper-liberal NYT, I’d be spiting venom.

    Fortunately, Bush isn’t in office, Daschale isn’t getting confirmed by the Senate, and the media isn’t mindlessly jerking off the Commander ‘n Chief. But Chris Dodd was still in the news on my drive home from work last night.

    So fuck you very much.

  86. 86
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    So just blow it out your ass

    Your approval is noted.

    Just as you covet ours, we covet yours.

  87. 87
    El Cid says:

    It has already been like another hour or somethin’ since I posted above and Obama still ain’t fixed everything so he’s failing even more. Wake Up Sheeple!

  88. 88
    JL says:

    Daschle was not a registered lobbyist.

  89. 89
    Adrienne says:

    @Laura W:

    What? No love for The Real Housewhores of Atlanta?

    Don’t hate LauraW. I l-l-l-loved that show. It’s awesome.

  90. 90
    Zifnab says:

    @The Silent Fiddle of Nero:

    Making assumptions about something you’ve never experienced yourself is the height of stupidity.

    Agreed. How bad could a gunshot wound be? I mean, who am I to judge, having never been shot before? Your logic is infallible.

    Just say’n. If you need me, I’ll be shooting a gallon of heroin into my eyeball.

  91. 91
    liberal says:

    @Michael D.:

    I’d have to know what he was lobbying for.

    Well…

    Mr. Daschle’s financial ties to major players in the health care industry may prove to be even more troublesome as health reform efforts proceed. Like many former power players in Washington, Mr. Daschle cashed in on his political savvy and influence to earn $5 million in recent years, including more than $2 million from Alston & Bird, a law and lobbying firm; more than $2 million from the private equity firm, InterMedia Advisors, which provided the car and driver; and hundreds of thousands of dollars for speeches to interest groups, including those representing health insurance plans, medical equipment distributors and pharmacy boards.

    While one can claim "well, but maybe he took the right position on various issues," I think the fact he’s representing these groups is enough to say he shouldn’t be heading anything involving health care reform.

  92. 92
    kay says:

    @KRK:
    Not getting rattled is kind of Obama’s thing. But he’s right. Let’s recall how short Americans’ memories are, and media memories specifically.

    It’s appealing to me, calm, because I’m sad and tired.

    I have a real distrust of mob outrage. Feeding frenzies make me nervous. Stuff gets busted up, there’s a lot of yelling and screaming….and I’m looking at the result, and not at all sure that we accomplished anything here.

  93. 93
    Hyperion says:

    @TheHatOnMyCat:

    the pundits are destroying us, so let’s spend another day talking about nothing but the pundits!

    Thank you. Anyone who watches cable news and then freaks out about the BS they are seeing there is a FUCKING IDIOT.

    On the other hand, Kathleen Parker today openly mocked the whole "think of the Children" meme in a WaPo column about Phelps and the bong hit. This is progress.

    Wrt "Obama said he made a mistake", that’s fine but I don’t see why it was so hard to know BEFOREHAND that Daschle would be a problem. "Mistakes were made" is definitely not going to fly. And getting in front of one’s errors will eventually pale.

    Make fewer unforced errors if you want to win.

  94. 94
    liberal says:

    @JL:
    Doesn’t mean a damn thing.

    Question is: who paid money to him?

  95. 95
    bago says:

    If I was asked about smoking while dealing with 2 wars and a depression I would flip out.

    Do you know how high you can stack the coffins of the dead americans in iraq alone? 1.6 miles high. Not lengthwise, flatwise.

    Do you know how much debt we are in? Given 4 trillion lent by the fed, 1 trillion in TARP, and 1 trillion in Stimulus, that’s 6 trillion. That is 407197 miles of 20 dollar bills stacked atop each other. Not lengthwise, flatwise. ENOUGH TO REACH THE APOGEE OF THE FUCKING MOON!

    And you’re asking about a goddamned cigarette. Also.

  96. 96
    Adrienne says:

    @KRK:

    Barack’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

    I’m so stealing that as a category for my blog. Thanks. I’ll even give you a shout out.

  97. 97
    cleek says:

    I’m just saying that Obama is not holding himself to the high standard he set for himself.

    i don’t think you have enough evidence to make that conclusion, either.

    you don’t know what kinds of conversations they had about the tax and lobbying situations. you don’t know if, for example, they were working under the assumption that the tax issue was an innocent mistake – the kind of thing that could happen to anybody in that situation.

    and, you still don’t know the real reason why Daschle dropped out – you only know the press-release version.

    but, you’ve concluded that there was a deliberate effort on Obama’s part to go forward in bad faith and in violation of his own standards, with the Daschle appointment.

    i thin we can say they messed up in their estimate of the reaction to the news of Daschle’s tax problem. but we can’t say they knew it was bad and were trying to skip over it.

  98. 98
    JL says:

    FYI Lieberman is on CSPAN talking about a tax credit for buyers of new homes. He wants to create a new bubble. Yahoo! I had to finally mute the tv but his whine is still ringing in my ear.

  99. 99
    Michael D. says:

    @cleek:

    you don’t know the real reason why Daschle dropped out – you only know the press-release version

    So, are you now telling me the administration would release a dishonest news release? That wouldn’t make me feel much better about “restoring ethics and responsibility”, to be honest.

  100. 100

    If CNN is giving you chest pains I highly recommend a daily does of 81mg aspirin. Just in case the clicker somehow lands your TV on Fox News network.

    I personally don’t give a shit if Daschle is Granpa Fucking Walton he knew better. He is now the poster boy for what happens to relatively decent people who get Washingtonized and forget where they came from. I also wasn’t all that concerned about the taxes because from what I read it didn’t look good but I’m not convinced it was entirely his fault. But that is now neither here nor there. In the end Daschle bailed as he should have done BEFORE accepting the nomination.

    These to withdrawals highlight what a fetid pool of dog feces the DC crowd has become. That really is not a partisan issue. These motherfuckers want to cash in on connections they’ve made and they really have forgotten that government serves the people.

    I was actually very proud of the President when he admitted he and his team screwed up. And if VDH and NRO want to root for Obama’s failure, I say go for it it bitches. The administration will get the last laugh at those tired NRO pussies. I’m just waiting for NRO to announce a joining of forces with the RSSF. Any guesses as to who gets to be Patton and who gets to be MacArthur?

  101. 101

    If President Bush came to DC with a promose to restore ethics to Washington, etc, etc, and then pushed to get someone who evaded taxes into Treasury and HHS, what would you all have been saying?

    Bush did promise to restore ethics to Washington. How’d that work out? Transparency? Try NSA Wiretapping. Ethics? Try no bid contracts to Cheney’s former employer. Yeah, that was a really ethical period of time, wasn’t it?

  102. 102
    flounder says:

    Any time someone brings up tax cheats, I am going to inquire if they think that corporations who "move" their business to a PO Box in the Cayman Islands are tax cheats. then I will lead the conversation to Dick Cheney and conservative principles of offshoring in general.

  103. 103
    Mac G says:

    Thanks for this post John because this is exactly how I have been feeling. I turned on CNN and MSNBC this morning for a few minutes and it was a big mistake.

    CNN was talking about big one trillion is and the Morning Joe blabbers were just ripping the Xmas tree Stimulus and how Nancy Pelosi screwed Obama.

    It was maddening because our country is so screwed and the place most Americans go to get their news on TV have no idea how to describe the situation. They just repeat GOP Talking Points over and over.

  104. 104
    cleek says:

    @Michael D.: "So, are you now telling me the administration would release a dishonest news release? "

    Daschle may have made the decision, but there might have been pressure to help him decide, which Daschle graciously failed to mention. it wouldn’t be the first time in history a nominee has decided at the last minute to spend more time with his family, after all.

    or maybe not. we just don’t know.

  105. 105
    Michael D. says:

    @The Silent Fiddle of Nero:

    Bush did promise to restore ethics to Washington. How’d that work out? Transparency? Try NSA Wiretapping. Ethics? Try no bid contracts to Cheney’s former employer. Yeah, that was a really ethical period of time, wasn’t it?

    You’ll get no argument from me there.

    But do you know why Bush could do all these things?

    It was precicely because no one in his party would ever criticize him or hold him accountable for anything he did.

  106. 106
    liberal says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum:

    He is now the poster boy for what happens to relatively decent people who get Washingtonized and forget where they came from.

    Why "relatively decent"?

    Guy’s taken millions of dollars from industry groups since he retired, AFAICT. He dumped his wife (with whom he had three children) when he was in his thirties, for a 23 yo beauty queen.

  107. 107
    Punchy says:

    I find it absolutely mind-boggling that the village and the GOP are now actively and openly rooting for this administration to fail.

    In other news, Cole apparently crawls out of his cave, his abode for the past 15 years, and is also surprised to see Paris Hilton is a whore.

  108. 108

    Agreed. How bad could a gunshot wound be? I mean, who am I to judge, having never been shot before? Your logic is infallible.

    Just say’n. If you need me, I’ll be shooting a gallon of heroin into my eyeball.

    Zifnab, there’s a difference between doing physical harm to your body and taking a bong hit. I knew someone would go there. Why am I not surprised?

  109. 109
    Ash Can says:

    @bago: Actually, this is exactly what I’d love to hear Barack say. Profanity optional. The press would be whimpering and whispering afterward about anger issues, but it might make them think twice about asking asinine questions.

  110. 110
    kay says:

    @cleek:

    I’m glad Obama did the fall on sword number, whatever the circumstances. Anything else is impossible.
    Imagine: "I fired Tom Daschle because he was less than forthcoming about his tax problems", or ANY variation on that. That’s unthinkable. Obama’s the boss.
    I would hate that. I would hate Obama for that. Obama can’t beat the shit out of the guy who failed the entrance exam, publicly. Good Lord.
    Again, I don’t know what happened, but there’s only one possible answer to "who is to blame for this?" and that is, "I screwed up". It can’t be "Tom Daschle, of course!" Not from Obama.

  111. 111
    former capitalist says:

    Whether or not Daschle eff’ed up (which obviously is debatable here), what happens now to the health care issue? Since he was supposed to lead the charge, will NHC be back-burnered? Now is the time for Obama to show real leadership and explain clearly that the issues at hand (especially the economy) are way too serious to quibble over simplistic bullshit. Say it forcefully. Make the MSM and Rethugs look like selfish, Philistine douchebags.

  112. 112

    Dammit, I go to edit and I got 16 seconds? WTF?

  113. 113
    magisterludi says:

    I would consider it a bright spot in this meltdown if it would include the collapse of the cable news industry. If jobs are to be lost, let them belong to Blitzer, Mika, Joe and the rest of the toadshits that masquerade as journalists.

    Boycott the bastards.

  114. 114
    liberal says:

    @JL:

    FYI Lieberman is on CSPAN talking about a tax credit for buyers of new homes. He wants to create a new bubble.

    I saw something about Rethuglicans in Congress wanting to reorient some of the simulus package in a similar manner.

    Though if you look at the rantings of Barney Frank, this would appear to be a case where the stupidity falls on both parties.

  115. 115
    TenguPhule says:

    Don’t be fooled by Obama—we are fucked.

    And the proof is here

    Do you think Fire Roasted Boehner tastes better with garlic or ginger?

  116. 116
    Samuel says:

    This was not failing to adhere to ethical standards, this WAS adhering to them.

    I know you allude to Tim Geithner and how he is already Treasury Secretary and all, but the fact of the matter is, that the Administration used all of their brownie points with Geithner.

    The Daschle problem was brewing all weekend with all of the talking heads murmuring about what was going to happen. When Killefer withdrew her name because of tax issues also, the die was cast for Daschle. Not because of some altruistic notions that President Obama may or may not have about integrity in Washington.

    Obama set ethical standards, and Daschle did not meet them.

    Don’t the "ethical standards" apply to the Treasury Dept as well as the HHS?

  117. 117

    It was precicely because no one in his party would ever criticize him for anything he did.

    That’s exactly why I said anyone who had a tax evasion problem would have been seated in Bush’s administration.

  118. 118

    Go read the op-ed pages today at the WaPo and the NYT and tell me he is wrong.

    Not possible. This morning, Ruth Marcus was telling me about the vital role lobbyists play in our democracy. Where do these people come from?

  119. 119
    Ed Drone says:

    Perhaps it’s time to refresh the tree of liberty again…

    The ones who most need the bleeding aren’t patriots

    Ed

  120. 120

    @TenguPhule:

    I don’t read that trash anymore, sorry.

  121. 121
    Ash Can says:

    @Punchy: I understand your point, but I’m going to latch onto it as an excuse to emphasize, as I’m sure John would, that there are some things no one should ever become inured to.

  122. 122

    I got an idea, let’s audit all the people in the previous administration. ;)

  123. 123
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    @The Silent Fiddle of Nero:

    Thanks for the second on that. Unfortunately there are some jokers who like to go to extremes and compare smoking pot to shooting a gallon of heroin (into their eyeball, no less!) or putting a bullet in their brain.

    Usually we are better off if these types would actually follow through. If they are going to be stupid enough to use that for a comparison then they or their kids would probably be the ones to do it, thus their fear. ;)

    Yeah, I bet I could have worked my 3.71 GPA up to a 4.0 if I hadn’t been stoned every single day of school. Damn, what a fool! I guess I will have to settle for being a DFH stoner who made the Honor Roll, Dean’s List, President’s List and the National Honor Roll. Somehow I will just have to live with that.

    Time to get stoned and forget my wasted life. ;)

  124. 124
    former capitalist says:

    @The Silent Fiddle of Nero: Didn’t Nixon try that?

  125. 125
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    President Obama, for his part, stood by him for too long

    What, two days?

  126. 126
    JL says:

    @Conservatively Liberal: Sorry! I did not mean to generalize.

  127. 127
    Ash Can says:

    On the subject of Geithner and all the opprobrium he’s been garnering of late, wasn’t one of Geithner’s main selling points the fact that he was, after having been appointed to the Fed by Bush in the first place, well-liked and well-regarded by Republicans as well as Democrats (as well as highly regarded up and down Wall Street)? That would be in keeping with Obama’s primary objective of engaging political rivals with the objective of getting them to support his policies and thus getting said policies enacted. It would also make the Johnny-Come-Lately-ness of Republican criticisms of Geithner appear rightfully suspect.

  128. 128

    What, two days?

    Yeah, that’s like a million years now, you know?

    I mean, Obama hasn’t even been president for a full month and Goopers are celebrating the death of his presidency before he’s even gotten his entire cabinet seated. These people are unhinged.

  129. 129
    kay says:

    @The Silent Fiddle of Nero:

    I detect a little walk-back from the feeding frenzy yesterday, among the media elite and politicians. Tax issues are now being portrayed as an ethics rule that is specific to Barack Obama, because he SAID most ethical in HISTORY!

    I get it, I guess. The point. That Obama wil be held to this standard, and Maureen Dowd resents lectures on ethics. I’m not sure where we go from here, though. I don’t know what all of this has to do with me.

  130. 130
    Elie says:

    I agree with Dr Bloor @ #5. Time for O to get going and take command of the message. He is not the substitute teacher anymore…its HIS class and he had better exert some discipline. His message team also needs to get up off their chairs and get the message out — 24/7. Enough Mr nice guy and lecturing the bad guys from afar. Make sure that he has a General Grant and stop drilling the troops outside of DC ala McClellan. Abraham Lincoln knew when it was time or blood and consequence. That stern messenger that we saw on inauguration day had better level and focus his gaze and at the Congress and MSM real soon.

    Honeymoon, if there ever was one, is over.

  131. 131
    ThymeZone says:

    So, are you now telling me the administration would release a dishonest news release? That wouldn’t make me feel much better about “restoring ethics and responsibility”, to be honest.

    After eight years of profoud, constant and venal mendacity from the previous administration, our response is to resort to this kind of nit-picking, hyena-barking bullshit about something that doesn’t even fucking matter? Who cares how the decision was reached to withdraw a nominee? Who called whom and said what?

    All of these people serve at the pleasure of the president, and with the exception of the Attorney General, can be booted at any time with no questions asked as far as I am concerned. The AG is a special case because his authority is in the law and his accountability is to the law, in a way that trumps politics, or should. Unless the pres is a Bush or a Nixon.

    But the point is, who gives a flying fuck what the arcane details are of the Daschle decision? It’s a political item and will be handled in a political fashion, and rather gracefully by my lights, judging from the Obama appearances yesterday. When was the last time you saw a president basically go on tv the same day a story breaks and say, I blew it? Let’s learn from this?

    Obama is a big man, and you guys carping over this are a bunch of fucking idiots. If you can’t tell the difference between Bush and Obama in this regard, you really don’t get it at all.

  132. 132

    @Conservatively Liberal:

    Well, considering I exited college with a 3.92 myself, perhaps we should get a government grant and study whether smoking bong hits makes you smarter.

    Hehe!

  133. 133
    gopher2b says:

    (b) Geither is in favor of giving away hundreds of billions of dollars to banks with no strings attached

    He attached some pretty big strings this morning.

    I think Geitner is the exception because he’s kind of liberal (in the Larry Summers sort-of-way), but he knows how Wall Street works, didn’t work for bank that was bailed out, doesn’t want to nationalize the banks, and generally agrees with Obama. People say, and I tend to believe them, that there are very few people out there with that lineup of "qualifications."

    As far as I’m concerned, Daschle is a dime a dozen and can be tossed. Besides, universal healthcare is at least two years away….probably second term. Daschle would just be sitting around on his ass for four years doing nothing anyway.

  134. 134
    former capitalist says:

    @Ash Can: I’m almost embarrassed to say it, but I’m somewhat in agreement with the Repub’s criticism of Geithner. He was the Pres of the NY Fed, for crying out loud, while the fire was starting and now it’s a raging inferno and he’s going to come in and put it out.

    Really.

  135. 135
    Rome Again says:

    @ThymeZone:

    I am in complete agreement (but you knew I would be).

    ::smiles::

  136. 136
    ThymeZone says:

    That stern messenger that we saw on inauguration day had better level and focus his gaze and at the Congress and MSM real soon.
    Honeymoon, if there ever was one, is over.

    No offense, but I think you are totally full of shit.

    The man leveled his gaze on himself, took responsibility, and instructed his staff to do the same, all in public and on the same day the relevant incident happened.

    It doesn’t get any more focussed than that.

    And you are wrong, this type of thing makes him a stronger figure in the long run. The presidency is not a marriage, and there needn’t be any "honeymoon" expectation. The expecation should be for forthrightness on day one, and that’s what we are getting.

    Good job, Mister President, and keep it up, and ignore these fools around here, they have no idea what they are talking about.

  137. 137
    4tehlulz says:

    Why does anyone give a fuck about what the purity trolls in the Village think?

    No one outside of DC and Manhattan does.

  138. 138
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    @JL:

    np, ta… :)

    If you want to come up with a fucked up demographic that would probably really get into Rand or shit like that, may I suggest glue (or paint) sniffers? I have known more than a few of them in my life, one being a younger brother who has thankfully broken the habit, and they are some really trippy people who would get off on reading shit like that and ‘exploring’ that concept in their mind travels. With the serious huffers, when they are fucked up they are not attached to reality in any way. You can get into some really deep conversations with some huffers, at least the ones who are not totally crazy. The others are just interesting in the sense that they are able to still make coherent sounds and not make any sense.

    No shit, you want a crazy ‘deep thinker’, find a glue sniffer. Just stay back a safe distance while talking, they like to thrash around suddenly and it can be quite startling.

  139. 139
    Farley says:

    If someone is "praying for a dirty bomb in Georgetown," he’s wishing for alot more than the POTUS to fail. He’s wishing for the POTUS to die, no?

  140. 140
    Zifnab says:

    @The Silent Fiddle of Nero:

    Zifnab, there’s a difference between doing physical harm to your body and taking a bong hit.

    Well, that wasn’t in the quote, so you’ll have to excuse me. I don’t have any problem with weed, but I do have problems with rather lackluster reasoning. "You don’t know if it’ll hurt you if you’ve never tried it before" is the sort of dumb ass logic that really does lead people to go from pot to heroin. It’s the sort of bullshit reactionism generated by bullshit "Say No to Drugs!" lectures.

    THC is still a drug. Not all drugs are safe for all people. Arguing that we should all do a line of coke before we write it off as dangerous is fucking stupid. And its the sort of stupidity that costs the other side of the drug debate credibility.

  141. 141
    ThymeZone says:

    I am in complete agreement

    Oh oh, I am going to get chewed out for this. My job is to piss people off. How will I live this down?

  142. 142
    HRA says:

    Brilliant and on message, John Cole.
    I have stopped watching the 5 pm plus shows of MSNBC, CNN, etc. You are so right about the chest pains. I cannot even repeat it’s their job when they failed so many years during Bush.
    At least I am getting a lot of work I once avoided done by not watching this out for blood posse.

  143. 143

    @liberal: I don’t know all the circumstances of that divorce but it was 25 years ago. Is every person who divorces their spouse stigmatized in your eyes? Did he have his wife sign the divorce decree while she was in a hospital bed? I’m just wondering what the problem is. Many of us have been married more than once.

  144. 144
    Samuel says:

    He attached some pretty big strings this morning.

    The man was president of the NY Fed while the "unregulated" financial system started to implode and helped organize the TARP.

    And yeah, he’s for putting caps on executive salaries at bailed out banks, but it’s hard to take this seriously from a financial "uberman" who thought his kids summer camp was a business expense.

  145. 145
    ThymeZone says:

    but I’m somewhat in agreement with the Repub’s criticism of Geithner

    The point is taken, but …..

    One, I don’t think any Repub gets the real nature of the current crisis. Their reservations about Geithner notwithstanding, I don’t care what they think.

    Two, Geithner was a big softball teed up for the opposition. If there was an issue there, it was that, for me. I didn’t think that it wasn’t possible to find another qualified guy who didn’t walk around with a Kick Me sign on his back.

    Three, I don’t really like Geithner on a personality level. He seems sort of wimpy in front of the big lens. But I know nothing of his true qualifications for the job he is getting. I don’t think Obama would make a stupid choice, and I have no evidence that he did, so far.

  146. 146
    gopher2b says:

    @Samuel:

    You go into a Depression with the Treasury Secretary you have, not the one you wish you had.

  147. 147

    I get it, I guess. The point. That Obama wil be held to this standard, and Maureen Dowd resents lectures on ethics. I’m not sure where we go from here, though. I don’t know what all of this has to do with me.

    It has nothing to do with you. It’s gamesmanship for the sake of gamesmanship. it’s a circus and you don’t have to watch. Just go turn on some soap operas for a few weeks, and come back and see if anything is different (perhaps it won’t be, I am not sure).

    ______

    @Zifnab: I’m sorry, I didn’t write "within reason" into that post. I operate "within reason" and I assume others here do too.

  148. 148
    Emma Zahn says:

    John, you are at your best when you post a righteous rant. This is one of them. Thanks.

  149. 149
    Rome Again says:

    @ThymeZone:

    Are we going back to basics today? (handles)

    I kinda like it, reminds me of old times. ;)

  150. 150
    Samuel says:

    @gopher2b: Point taken

  151. 151
    ThymeZone says:

    I don’t know what all of this has to do with me.

    As soon as you admit that your mind is controlled by the evil Broder/Dowd Power Center, then you will know what this has to do with you.

    Confess your weakness, and be assimilated.

  152. 152
    Zifnab says:

    And yeah, he’s for putting caps on executive salaries at bailed out banks, but it’s hard to take this seriously from a financial "uberman" who thought his kids summer camp was a business expense.

    Who would be your nominee for Treasury Secretary?

  153. 153
    ThymeZone says:

    I kinda like it, reminds me of old times. ;)

    Betty Rubble :)

  154. 154
    kay says:

    @The Silent Fiddle of Nero:

    I don’t watch a lot. I checked out during "lipstick on a pig" because I was losing my mind, and I haven’t checked back in to cable, really.
    I hate both "teams" on cable. I don’t like the liberals or the conservatives.
    I like Lawyer Toobin, because he occasionally raises his eyebrows with disbelief and tells the truth. The best part of yesterday was watching Toobin calmly recite why Gonzales is a terrible lawyer, and a hack. It was like numbered paragraphs. Toobin read the People v Gonzales complaint.
    A beautiful thing.

  155. 155
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    @The Silent Fiddle of Nero:

    Ha! (as Tweety would say)

    Hell, weed was a constant companion in school. I got stoned every day, doubly so during finals. It helps me relax and think about my answers or study deeper. I’ve had classes in chemistry (my favorite class), music theory, poli-sci, economics (I actually had to cut back a bit there as the teachers were as exciting as Ben Stein), machine & programming languages, operating systems, software design, networks and more, and I was stoned all of the way.

    It is not for everyone, that is for sure. People who are a bit ‘hyper’ can benefit from some calming ganja, same with type A personalities, and I am both so it works for me. It sure ain’t like drinking and I quit getting ‘stoned’ long ago when I became used to it.

    I probably piss 40% THC…lol

  156. 156
    Mnemosyne says:

    Bush escaped it because he was such a bumbler that he was already down a peg, which is why they loved him so much.

    Actually, they loved him because he was one of them. Son of a president, grandson of a Senator, only the morons who voted for him thought he was a "Washington outsider" of any kind. The Washington establishment knew what they were getting in Bush, and they didn’t care. They still don’t, and they still protect him.

    Bush was a Villager born and bred and they closed ranks around him. Obama, on the other hand, is Not Their Kind (as Clinton was Not Their Kind), so they’re going to do everything in their power to hamstring him and prevent him from doing anything that could disrupt the cocktail parties of the "real Americans" who live in Georgetown.

  157. 157
    Rome Again says:

    but it’s hard to take this seriously from a financial "uberman" who thought his kids summer camp was a business expense.

    His kids summer camp WAS a business expense, he got more done while they were away.

    /Rome Again’s father

  158. 158
    Ravi J says:

    The article (seattle times) about IBM notes that there were 9000 people in 2003, and now IBM has 74000 employees in India. As an Indian, I can say with certainty that that’s simply not true. There never were 9000 employees in India. That’s a little more than what they have now. I estimate about 7000. I worked right next to them for several years.

  159. 159
    Rome Again says:

    Betty Rubble :)

    Would you like some Mammoth Steaks and Sloth Stew?

    ;)

  160. 160
    ThymeZone says:

    study whether smoking bong hits makes you smarter.

    I already did the lab work on this.

  161. 161
    Rome Again says:

    @Conservatively Liberal:

    It made me think too. I have not been partaking of late, and I have to tell you, my cognitive skills have gone severely downhill since.

  162. 162

    This is what happens when an academic is placed in an executive position. Daschle would have been a part of the administration, if the administration had had its way. His ethical failings were known in advance.

    Geithner took a salary of $410,000 for his excellent work overseeing Wall Street, and received compensation for ‘vacation and comp time’ of ‘between $50,000 and $100,000’. Based on the new $500,000 salary cap, I predict that Geithner’s exact compensation for ‘vacation and comp time’ was between $88,560, and $90,000.

    This raises my previous vacation and comp time estimate of $5,300/day to $6,400/day, which makes his $435,668 ‘severance’, which was not a ‘bonus’, paid by the Wall Street banks Geithner was regulating, seem all the more reasonable.

  163. 163
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    So just blow it out your ass if you think I am shirking my “responsibilities” as a blogger by posting pet pics and talking about the Steelers all the time. I have to keep sane somehow.

    Stop fucking around and fix the world, John.

  164. 164
    Rick Taylor says:

    @TheHatOnMyCat:

    I really hope you’re right about this. I’m starting to get worried, and it has nothing to do with Daschle or Geitner. Maybe the Washington post is blowing smoke when it writes:

    Senate Democratic leaders conceded yesterday that they do not have the votes to pass the stimulus bill as currently written and said that to gain bipartisan support, they will seek to cut provisions that would not provide an immediate boost to the economy.

    . . .

    Moderate Republicans are trying to trim the bill by as much as $200 billion, although Democrats working with those GOP senators have not agreed to a specific figure.

    The Senate’s first vote on a stimulus amendment, a failed effort yesterday to add more infrastructure spending to the package, signaled the change in course. For weeks, the measure has grown to meet a worsening economic crisis with the largest possible infusion of government cash. Despite warnings of dire consequences if Congress does not act boldly, Republicans have become resolute in their opposition to what they view as runaway and unnecessary spending in the legislation. And as the total in the Senate version climbs to $900 billion, unease also is stirring among moderate Democrats.

    We started the debate from a position of compromise and seeking bipartisanship, and the Republicans predictably used that as their baseline from which to seek concessions. A vote to increase funding for infrastructure, which should have been a bipartisan no-brainer, failed. And now while economists are talking about the worst financial crises since the great depression, the senate is debating what we have to cut to get those moderate Republicans on board. This is insane. Democrats should be on the offensive. They should be all over the airwaves explaining the dire situation we’re in to the American public, Obama ought to be mobilizing that wonderful grass roots machine he created to win the Presidency to get the word out, put pressure on congress, and support his stimulus plan, we should be on the attack not the defensive. Forgive me, but I don’t see the strategy in making fine moves to bipartisanship, then crying and kvetching when Republicans and the gas bags respond they way they always do.

  165. 165
    Rick Taylor says:

    @TheHatOnMyCat:

    I really hope you’re right about this. I’m starting to get worried, and it has nothing to do with Daschle or Geitner. Maybe the Washington post is blowing smoke when it writes:

    Senate Democratic leaders conceded yesterday that they do not have the votes to pass the stimulus bill as currently written and said that to gain bipartisan support, they will seek to cut provisions that would not provide an immediate boost to the economy.

    . . .

    Moderate Republicans are trying to trim the bill by as much as $200 billion, although Democrats working with those GOP senators have not agreed to a specific figure.

    The Senate’s first vote on a stimulus amendment, a failed effort yesterday to add more infrastructure spending to the package, signaled the change in course. For weeks, the measure has grown to meet a worsening economic crisis with the largest possible infusion of government cash. Despite warnings of dire consequences if Congress does not act boldly, Republicans have become resolute in their opposition to what they view as runaway and unnecessary spending in the legislation. And as the total in the Senate version climbs to $900 billion, unease also is stirring among moderate Democrats.

    We started the debate from a position of compromise and seeking bipartisanship, and the Republicans predictably used that as their baseline from which to seek concessions. A vote to increase funding for infrastructure, which should have been a bipartisan no-brainer, failed. And now while economists are talking about the worst financial crises since the great depression, the senate is debating what we have to cut to get those moderate Republicans on board. This is insane. Democrats should be on the offensive. They should be all over the airwaves explaining the dire situation we’re in to the American public, Obama ought to be mobilizing that wonderful grass roots machine he created to win the Presidency to get the word out, put pressure on congress, and support his stimulus plan, we should be on the attack not the defensive. Forgive me, but I don’t see the strategy in making fine moves to bipartisanship, then crying and kvetching when Republicans and the gas bags respond they way they always do.

  166. 166
    Rome Again says:

    @ThymeZone:

    I already did the lab work on this.

    Sorry, we’re only accepting results that are produced AFTER the granting comes through. ;)

  167. 167
    Rick Taylor says:

    Forgot to embed the link in that last. Via Digby.

  168. 168
    Zifnab says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: Shorter – bitch bitch bitch.

    Brick Oven Bill, who would have been your choice for Treasury Secretary?

  169. 169
    Rome Again says:

    We started the debate from a position of compromise and seeking bipartisanship, and the Republicans predictably used that as their baseline from which to seek concessions.

    They don’t just want concessions, they want to run the whole fucking ball game again, and they didn’t win the office to do so.

  170. 170
    Adrienne says:

    @Rick Taylor: See Comment #48.

    Si se puede – si nos podemos. Whatever. We need to kick some ass.

  171. 171
    kay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Bush was a Villager born and bred and they closed ranks around him. Obama, on the other hand, is Not Their Kind (as Clinton was Not Their Kind), so they’re going to do everything in their power to hamstring him and prevent him from doing anything that could disrupt the cocktail parties of the "real Americans" who live in Georgetown.

    Obama was ballsier than Clinton. His whole campaign was an indictment of them, they knew it, and then he won. That can’t have been easy for them.
    The outsider meme appeals to me, it did in Clinton, and it does (again) in Obama. One of the things I liked about Obama yesterday was I saw him as the outsider again. I’m one, as are 99.9999 of Americans. I recognize it. He’s looking at the talking head and apologizing, and the talking head is playing some stupid game that I don’t understand, and don’t want to follow.
    I do understand an apology, though. That’s easy. I just took him at his word.

  172. 172
    Mnemosyne says:

    If someone is "praying for a dirty bomb in Georgetown," he’s wishing for alot more than the POTUS to fail. He’s wishing for the POTUS to die, no?

    I don’t think the White House is considered to be in Georgetown, but I don’t know the neighborhoods of Washington DC very well.

  173. 173
    ksmiami says:

    I need help spreading a message. Can anyone assist? It should go something like this

    Dear Smug Mainstream Media Assholes who think that they are insulated from the economic peril:

    May the next jobs lost be your own:

    Sincerely,

    A sane person at the edge of reason

  174. 174
    TenguPhule says:

    Senate Democratic leaders conceded yesterday that they do not have the votes to pass the stimulus bill as currently written and said that to gain bipartisan support

    Shorter Harry Reid: Please Sir, Blow your thick GOP wad in my mouth. May I have another?

  175. 175
    Nicole says:

    I think liberals are probably trying to direct the argument in a different way, but the media isn’t allowing it. It’s really understandable (though wronger than wrong in terms of the nation’s health). Television is dramatic entertainment and drama revolves around conflict. Every well-written scene has a conflict and as soon as the conflict is over the scene is over because then it gets boring. So, the TV media, especially, is driven to keep everything a major dramatic conflict for as long as possible so you won’t change the channel. And to keep the conflicts as simple as possible so latecomers can tune in and understand right away what’s going on. There’s no conflict in explaining the details of the stimulus package but lots of conflict in a guy trying to get away with something illegal (intentional or not). And the Republicans are providing great conflict material.

    It’s always the problem when your main source of information is from a medium that is basically just trying to hold your attention in between commercials, its actual raison d’etre.

    Towards the end of Chris Wallace’s interview with Obama yesterday Wallace said something along the lines of, "Let’s do a lightening round of quick questions and answers about changes to the stimulus bill… okay, tax credits for small businesses… good or bad? Go!" And to Obama’s credit, he took time with the answers, but Christ on a Ritz cracker, if that’s the way the media presents everything, as a yes/no question, there’s only so much liberals can do in terms of getting a message out.

    So, yeah, we’re f*cked.

  176. 176
    bago says:

    But republicans still have the sena…

    Wait.

    They still have the hou…

    Wait.

    They still have the presiden…

    Wait.

    They still have the Popula…

    Wait.

    They still have new ide…

    Wait.

    They still have tax cuts. Again.

    They still have cable?

  177. 177
    Hunter Gathers says:

    Cry HAVOC! And set loose the dogs of war!

    I don’t think ANYONE in Washington wants him to succeed, his own party included. Anyday now, the power of that huge e-mail list is going to be unleashed. And when that happens, the Congress and the Villagers are going to shit themselves. They don’t know the meaning of the word pressure. All Obama has to do is give the nod, and the Dogs of War are going to be up the ass of anyone mucking this shit up. Even Democrats. Just give me the word, and I’ll spend all of my free time doing what I did over the summer and fall – making phone calls. And they won’t be of the nice variety either. I’ll spend 8 hours a day harrasing these pigfuckers. Hell, my own local Rep (Tim Johnson Illinois-15, GOP) has blocked my phone number I think, since I can’t get through to his office anymore. Evidently, his staff doesn’t like me calling them everyday asking why Congressman Johnson wants me to loose my job. The Hammer is coming, and these shitheads won’t know what hit them. I will do whatever is asked of me, because there are no do-overs this time. If we fail, we are all fucked. Forever.

  178. 178
    Elie says:

    #136 —

    I find your attitude and comment offensive

    I am neither wrong nor full of shit. I have an opinion or opinions that I have a right to voice, just like you. Who died and left you the sole arbiter of the "correct" ideas?

    O is not on his game — in my opinion. How can I tell? His message is not soaring clear of the interference — he is not shaping it as he might more successfully.

    I absolutely support him and for what its worth, I am happy to be wrong.

  179. 179
    gopher2b says:

    If the Senate trims some of the fat, and you have to admit there is some fat in there, that is a good thing, isn’t it?

  180. 180
    ThymeZone says:

    We started the debate from a position of compromise and seeking bipartisanship, and the Republicans predictably used that as their baseline from which to seek concessions.

    Yes, your points are well taken (and well written, which makes taking them easier).

    But I have a slightly different worldview on this whole thing. In my worldview, legislation is one of the most infuriating and horrifying processes on earth. It has been compared to making sausage, but I think it is more like trying to get a bunch of cats and dogs put on choir robes and sing Bach and Madrigal music on key. You are going to get bitten, clawed, covered in dog and cat urine and poop, and possibly killed before it’s over, and the animals will not even remember your name.

    I expect Obama to deliver change in the executive, and I think we are seeing that. I do not expect him to be able to deliver quick change on the legislative side, and I don’t hold him accountable for that. He can bully pulpit, he can confer, and he can sign or veto. He can’t do the whole thing and he can’t turn those crazy assholes on the Hill into his lawmaking machine.

    If we look at everything through the concern-weary eyes of Wolf Blitzer, we are going to get distracted.

    Your thoughts?

  181. 181
    ThymeZone says:

    I find your attitude and comment offensive

    Tough noogies. I’m right, you are full of shit. I think so and I said so. If you don’t like it, too bad.

  182. 182
    ThymeZone says:

    Who died and left you the sole arbiter of the "correct" ideas?

    Expressing my opinion does not make me "sole arbiter" of anything, you horse’s ass.

    Fuck off.

  183. 183
    liberal says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum:

    The problem, as a gay columnist pointed out, is that this hypocrite has the gall to make negative noises about gay marriage.

    And I don’t give a goddamn who you are, dumping your three kids for a 23 yo beauty queen is BS.

  184. 184

    Zifnab; I would have put Sully Sullenberger in charge of the Treasury. He called the library to inform them that the book that he had checked out, which was on professional ethics, would not be returned as it was in the cargo hold of his A320.

    Treasury is more of an ethical job than it is a technical job.

  185. 185
    ThymeZone says:

    No offense, but I think you are totally full of shit. The man leveled his gaze on himself, took responsibility, and instructed his staff to do the same, all in public and on the same day the relevant incident happened.
    It doesn’t get any more focussed than that.And you are wrong, this type of thing makes him a stronger figure in the long run. The presidency is not a marriage, and there needn’t be any "honeymoon" expectation. The expecation should be for forthrightness on day one, and that’s what we are getting. Good job, Mister President, and keep it up, and ignore these fools around here, they have no idea what they are talking about.

    I thought that was such a great post, I’d repost it.

  186. 186
    Rome Again says:

    @ThymeZone:

    I know you’re having fun, but would you mind answering you email so I know where I’m supposed to be in 22 minutes? Please?

    Thank you!

  187. 187
    Rome Again says:

    @Elie:

    Go find your brass balls, you need them around here.

  188. 188
    liberal says:

    @gopher2b:

    He attached some pretty big strings this morning.

    Bullcrap. The executive compensation thing? It’s a distraction. Aside from the likelihood that there are probably 50 ways to get around it, the big issue isn’t exec comp, it’s taxpayer loans and loan guarantees for dirt cheap.

    I recommend Barry Ritholz’s comments (link in next post, to avoid moderation trap for this post):

    Consider this statement from Geithner, who said that Treasury is considering a “range of options” for its financial rescue plan, with the goal of preserving the private banking system. “We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we’d like to do our best to preserve that system.”

    No! Defending these idiots was your old gig. In the new job, you no longer work for the cretins responsible for bringing down the global economy. Please stop rationalizing their behavior, and preserving the status quo!

  189. 189
    ThymeZone says:

    @Rome Again:

    Sorry, my email is broken. How about the place we had planned to go yesterday before we knew of the problem them were having, the one by the freeway behind the Starbucks where you have drive around the hotel to get in?

    What say ye?

  190. 190
    liberal says:

    More from Ritholtz:

    A few reminders for Geithner that are of the utmost importance:

    You no longer work for the Banks: The NY Fed is a private corporation, doing the bidding of the FOMC and its private sector owners — primarily, the primary dealers. In other words, the President of the NY Fed works for the biggest commercial and investment banks in New York. That is no longer operational for you.
    As Treasury Secretary, your immediate boss is the President, and your ultimate charge are the citizens of the United States, and the finances of the country.
    When any conflict comes into play between the nation and the banks, you as Treasury Secretary are on the side of the Nation.
    You cannot serve two masters, especially when they are in direct conflict with each other.

    When the post-script to this era gets written, I suspect we will learn all sorts of unsavory facts about the former Treasury Secretary, and how he unfortunately had a tendency to believe he was working for the benefit of Goldman Sachs.

    The new Treasury Secretary has that mental muscle memory of who his former employers were. He needs to concentrate on the new job, and who he works for. Unfortunately, the early signs suggest that he has yet to figure this out. Let’s hope that changes. Fast.

  191. 191
  192. 192
    Rome Again says:

    @ThymeZone:

    Okay. See you there.

  193. 193
    headpan says:

    So just blow it out your ass if you think I am shirking my “responsibilities” as a blogger by posting pet pics and talking about the Steelers all the time. I have to keep sane somehow.

    I don’t fully understand football, but you go right ahead, honey bunches (and YAY Steelers, btw) – do keep the pet pics comin’ also

  194. 194
    ThymeZone says:

    I find your attitude and comment offensive

    By the way, thank you. I don’t get enough of that kind of positive reinforcement around here.

  195. 195
    liberal says:

    @Samuel:

    And yeah, he’s for putting caps on executive salaries at bailed out banks, but it’s hard to take this seriously from a financial "uberman" who thought his kids summer camp was a business expense.

    The real reason not to take it seriously is that it’s probably much less than it appears to be, and misses the main action, which is government handing over super cheap loans and loan guarantees to banks which are insolvent and should just be shutdown and put into conservatorship.

  196. 196
    TenguPhule says:

    If the Senate trims some of the fat, and you have to admit there is some fat in there, that is a good thing, isn’t it?

    When you take all the fat out of a good cut of meat, you end up with digusting piece of charcoal.

  197. 197
    Andrew says:

    Luckily, smart people like Eugene Volokh are thinking about pressing issues like the chances that an EMP will disable the smart guns that don’t exist.

    Wait, what?

  198. 198
    Rome Again says:

    @Andrew:

    Some people are equating this with a biblical concept where the war at Armageddon ceases because the equipment won’t operate. The bible-thumpers think it’s an EMP which was given as a gift from God.

  199. 199
    headpan says:

    DougJ, every time I roll my eyes and say I can no longer be surprised by their greed, selfishness, whore-mongering, misogyny, shallowness, deceitfulness, mendacity, lack of ethics, and truckloads of hatred for the weak, poor & powerless, I always am. So cute how they always manage to pull that off.

  200. 200
    gopher2b says:

    @liberal:

    Nationalizing the banks is a terrible idea. They should not be run by the government. Period.

  201. 201
    MH says:

    re: your update:

    John, you have nothing to apologize for. The fucking television media is the death of all things, and you it’s not actually possible to be as angry at them as they deserve. So let it fly, man, let it fly.

  202. 202
    TenguPhule says:

    Nationalizing the banks is a terrible idea. They should not be run by the government. Period.

    Why not?

    We did it before, gave the shareholders the boot and then after it was fixed sold it back.

    At this point, it’s not like government can possibly do a worse job if in charge.

  203. 203
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @gopher2b, nationalizing is the wrong word because it confuses people into thinking the government will run the banks. It won’t. The word that should be used is "seizure". Since they are insolvent, this is perfectly reasonable action for the government. Frankly, it’s the only rational action. Wipe out everyone, kick out the cronies and dissolve these oversized fraud machines and reform their functional, solvent parts into units that are put back into the marketplace.

    When you hear "nationalize" think "seizure".

  204. 204
    Original Lee says:

    Great rant, John. Although maybe you should consider watching BBC instead, so you don’t stroke out any time soon. I have become a decided fan of BBC news in recent weeks; watching CNN or any of the other cable "news" channels afterwards (except for Maddow and Olbermann) is rapidly becoming a similar experience to visiting Red State.

    I would like to echo Rick Taylor above and ask WTF has the Democratic leadership been doing? I think Obama has been giving them too much credit for having functioning brains, because they should have had a little meeting weeks ago to decide what counted as stimulus and what didn’t, and then they should have been whacking people over the head with The Giant Lead Pipe of Cluefulness every time someone tried to add a provision that didn’t fit. Maybe it will happen in conference, but I doubt it. I need to see the receipts from the spine transplants before I believe in that kind of miracle.

  205. 205
    El Cid says:

    Banks should apparently not be run by private bankers either. They have done a far worse job than the worst imaginable Venezuelan or Russian bureaucrats.

  206. 206
    Napoleon says:

    @TenguPhule:

    I think it is a great idea. Clean out the bank then re-privatize it when things calm down, and the government can at least off set some of its cost with whatever it gets during re-privatization.

  207. 207
    ATB says:

    @Atanarjuat

    In the end, it’s the American people who will be sorriest of all that this decidedly unprepared Chicago politician was ever elected to reside at the White House.
    -Country First.

    Could you imagine the state we’d be in right now if Mr. Country First and the Moose Hunting Sidekick had won the election.

    I shudder to think.

  208. 208
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @Napoleon: "Clean out the bank then re-privatize it when things calm down,"

    We need them re-privatized immediately so they can start issuing credit. That’s the reason worries about some kind of socialist banking state (like that would be a problem anyway) are totally unfounded.

    Had they done this from the beginning of this crisis, we’d be over the hump already.

  209. 209
    Rick Taylor says:

    @ThymeZone:

    Normally I would agree with the point about the President not inserting himself too much into the legislative process, but these are not ordinary times. Incidentally, part of my urgency comes from your earlier posts about how we needed to stop winging and get behind a bailout plan, warts and all. Obama himself has said that the success of his Presidency is going to hinge on the success of the response to this crises. With that in mind, I think he could be making greater use of the bully pulpit, educating Americans about the situation we’re in, how we got here, and why a big response is so necessary. He did give an interview to ABC news which was good; I’d like to see more of that. I also think he could make use of that network he created. I think in general, Demcrats need to be speaking out more, as well as legislating and debating and making sausage.

    It seems to me the Republicans she paying more of a political price for their opposition. Remember when a majority of the country wanted us out of Iraq, Democrats had won the congress, but the administration successfully framed the debate as either you support this spending bill or you don’t support our troops, as though a no vote would suddenly have stranded are troops in Iraq with no weapons. They successfully cowed the Democrats, because no one wanted to be in the position of abandoning our troops. Republicans ought to be feeling a similar pressure now; maybe the bill isn’t exactly what they want, but they’re in the minority and do they really want to be branded as opposing a bill necessary to avert catastrophe? They don’t seem to be, though. Republican governors are feeling all sorts of pressure of course, but not in congress.

    Just to add, we haven’t seen the end of the process yet. This site is called "Hot Air", so I feel free to state my opinions strongly even though politics is very far from my field of expertise. But I’m also watching looking to see what happens; it’s kind of an experiment. What will the result be of Obama’s beginning by reaching out to Republicans? So far pretty much what any of us would have expected. Will it help us in the end? Specifically, will it help pass this bill, and make it more effective? Some have argued that by opening by being reasonable, we gain political capital when the Republicans react predictably, but so far I’m not seeing it. If anything, the terms of the debate seem to have shifted in their favor. When the economy is in deep crises as it is now, it seems to me the side that is opposing responding ought to be on the defensive. But again it’s not over yet. I suspect that Obama is opening by being reasonable, but will take a more active hand if it looks like the stimulus bill really does look like its in trouble, which makes sense.

  210. 210
    headpan says:

    Speaking of the media, in a sane world, repube leadership, given their track record of completely destroying this country wholesale, would be painted as the corrupt, rotted, insanely selfish, greedy, grasping turds that they are instead of people to be taken seriously whose sensibilities are so fine and respectable, we must tiptoe around them and cater to their completely discredited philosophies of government and the free market while the world collapses.

  211. 211
    Tsulagi says:

    Pretty much agree with most of your rant, but not this…

    In the Geithner case, I think Obama failed, as did the Senate when they confirmed him.

    Yeah, Daschle was an asswipe not disclosing his $130k tax issue to the transition team or whoever doing his vetting. And an arrogant stupid one for thinking it would never come up before or after confirmation. On top of that lying when called on his tax problem essentially saying “Gee, it just didn’t occur to me earlier that being provided a car and driver for a few years could be considered income.” Bullshit.

    Arrogance, stupid, and lying. Three strikes, toss the bum out. Voters seem to agree as that combo was Executive branch SOP the previous eight years.

    But Geithner’s case was different. It’s not a black/white world. Not wearing a seatbelt is a moving violation, but not quite in the same moving violation league as running over granny in a crosswalk while drunk. And contrary to wingnutter meme, Geithner owned up to his mistake during hearings and didn’t blame TurboTax.

    With Geithner, at most you could call one strike. I’d still leave him up to bat. More than anything else, the hope and 180-degree change I crave in a new administration is on-the-job competence ethically acheived. Really don’t care if someone on their own time gets a blowjob from a hot intern or their buttugly preacher. Don’t care if they’re a saint away from their job, or if they never gave a dime to charity. I want them to do their job well. And if prior to getting their job they made a minor mistake and owned up to it, works for me.

  212. 212
    Bootlegger says:

    @Conservatively Liberal: Stoner for the last 20 years (and very successful thank you). Lots of books on my shelves but I collect Hunter S. Thompson and Kurt Vonnegut. I tried to read Rand once and got bored with it, never finished it. Atlas never really shrugged for me. Lately I’ve been devouring historical fiction (sans romance).

    On-topic: this is insane, he’s two weeks on the job and the Right is calling him a failure and the spark for a new Conservative Revolution?! Talk about delusion and hubris. I agree with TheCat, this is only annoying, BO is chill, and the Shrieking Right will shout themselves into another drubbing in ’10. Need proof? Three names: Limbaugh, Palin, Joe T. Plumber. ‘Nuff said.

  213. 213
    Bootlegger says:

    @TenguPhule: If I may torture you metaphor…

    Leave too much fat on the outside and it will cause a flare-up that will burn your meet. You need just enough marbling (seam fat) inside to keep it juicy but you have to trim the fat on the outside. High heat, good marbling, short cooking time.

    Ummm, what were we talking about again? I’m hungry.

  214. 214
    Samuel says:

    Obama ought to be mobilizing that wonderful grass roots machine he created to win the Presidency to get the word out, put pressure on congress, and support his stimulus plan,

    Because the "wonderful grass roots machine" only gets turned on at election time. Its all about Obama. He knows about campaigning–not much else. And when the only executive experience you have is "running" said grass roots machine, then, well—let’s just say you run into a bit of turbulence when you have to deal with the extremist fringes of both parties in Congress…

  215. 215
    JD Ryan says:

    I’m waiting for Tweety Matthews or someone, after they’ve had one too many on the commercial break, to just look at their GOP stooge-du-jour right in the eye, and ask, “You people have screwed this economy and just about everything else up about this country so unbelievably, why should the American people or Barack Obama give a flying fuck about what you think about anything? If the national crisis was finding a cure for herpes, you’d say the solution was “more tax cuts”. Now get out of here, don’t you have a young male hooker to pick up somewhere?”

  216. 216
    JD Ryan says:

    Samuel…. we have "extremist fringes" on the left? Are you fucking kidding me? Let me know who they are so I can send ’em some money.

  217. 217
    myiq2xu says:

    Obama ought to be mobilizing that wonderful grass roots astroturf machine he created to win the Presidency

    Fixt

  218. 218
    gopher2b says:

    @TenguPhule:

    It would take too long. At best, you would go months without a banking system. A banking system on life support is better than a dead one.

    The fundamental problem with the government "owning" the bank is that it can’t make rational decisions on credit. Does the federal bank loan the auto industry money when it asks again in March because Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana reps are lobbying hard? Does the federal bank loan money to a Mexican company to build a factory that will "steal" U.S. jobs. What about a loan to a tobacco company? If the U.S. government truly owned the banks, you would have every ya-hoo in Congress trying to force the banks to make terrible financial decisions.

    Everyone is better off if the government acts like a senior creditor would and makes demands on the debtor (like its doing with the comp limits). If they still go belly up, then the government owns the remaining assets.

  219. 219
    timb says:

    @Bootlegger:
    Dude, that’s exactly what they did to Clinton after two months. There were Newsweek or Time cover stories (I remember back then when they were relevant) about the "failed Presidency."

    They are massively stupid, but one can assuage one’s fear by remembering the American people aren’t listening to them right now

  220. 220
    Samuel says:

    Everyone is better off if the government acts like a senior creditor would and makes demands on the debtor (like its doing with the comp limits).

    How does that help the economy as a whole? President Bush gave the automakers a loan (from the TARP) back in December with the understanding that they turn things around by March. Well, March is less than 2 months away, the automakers just came out with insanely depressing news yesterday (sales declines between 40-50%) and continue to bleed cash.

    How is the government holding a IOU that’s worth less than the oil rag in my car, acting as a "senior creditor" help ANYBODY?

  221. 221
    ThymeZone says:

    Incidentally, part of my urgency comes from your earlier posts about how we needed to stop winging and get behind a bailout plan, warts and all. Obama himself has said that the success of his Presidency is going to hinge on the success of the response to this crises.

    Gotcha. Well put. I would say I see it this way: We are at the end of the first quarter in the stimulus football game. We know how the game is going to end, we are going to have a bill signing. We know who is going to win, it is going to be the administration, pretty much. What we are seeing right now is the game, the people running up and down the field, the coaches yelling at the officials, the announcers going on and on about some replay, the crowd making noise when it feels like making noise.

    But all of that is distraction. The bill signing will come, the bill will be pretty much what the administration wants, everyone will get their 5 minutes of attention, and there will plenty of opportunity later to claim credit for being on either side of the outcome because a lot of what we see now is posturing for that future posturing.

    Obama knows that he cannot by himself turn around the next Great Depression. Neither could Roosevelt. But he can manage to keep the country on a positive course and his own administration having the trust of the people as we go along. I think he will accomplish that just fine.

    Thoughts?

  222. 222
    ThymeZone says:

    When you take all the fat out of a good cut of meat, you end up with …

    …. my diet.

  223. 223
    passerby says:

    @liberal:

    This.

    The NY Fed is a private corporation, doing the bidding of the FOMC and its private sector owners — primarily, the primary dealers. In other words, the President of the NY Fed works for the biggest commercial and investment banks in New York. That is no longer operational for you.
    As Treasury Secretary, your immediate boss is the President, and your ultimate charge are the citizens of the United States, and the finances of the country.
    When any conflict comes into play between the nation and the banks, you as Treasury Secretary are on the side of the Nation.
    You cannot serve two masters, especially when they are in direct conflict with each other.

    I am enjoying reading this thread.

  224. 224
    Rick Taylor says:

    @ThymeZone:

    My thoughts at this point are I’ve said my piece and now I’m going to wait and see what happens. I’m hoping the bill passes largely as it is now, as you say it will; when I read a story that claims Democrats are saying they don’t have the votes, and they need to compromise to attract moderate Republicans and Democrats, I get nervous. But we’ll see, there’s still time, and much Democrats and Obama can do between now and then. One bill isn’t going to fix the crises, but what we accomplish or don’t accomplish this time may have an impact on the debate on the future.

    On a different but related subject, I’m also concerned with the administrations reluctance to seriously consider temporary nationalizing any of the banks. Bank CEO’s aren’t public servants, they are answerable to shareholders. Throwing money at them and hoping they start lending it is a bad idea, and I hope it’s not where we end up. If any private institution spent the amount of money it looks like we’re going to spend, there’d be no question who owned the bank afterwards; there shouldn’t be in this instance either.

  225. 225
    gopher2b says:

    How does that help the economy as a whole? President Bush gave the automakers a loan (from the TARP) back in December with the understanding that they turn things around by March. Well, March is less than 2 months away, the automakers just came out with insanely depressing news yesterday (sales declines between 40-50%) and continue to bleed cash.

    How is the government holding a IOU that’s worth less than the oil rag in my car, acting as a "senior creditor" help ANYBODY?

    Two points: Everyone who really understands the auto industry knew there was no way they could turn it around by March. The auto bailout is a subsidy based on the belief that the industry (at least the one in Detroit) will fail. It just cannot fail right now because the timing would really, really suck. If I was in living in Michigan, Ohio, or Indiana and my job depended on the auto industry and I was in my 20s, 30s, or 40s…I would be looking for a new job…yesterday.

    The country, however, can survive without an automobile industry. It cannot survive without banks. Now your right that it makes no sense to hold an IOU that worthless but this is based on the premise that the bank’s assets are really worthless. I don’t think they are. There’s just no market for them right now.

    If these assets were truly worthless then every piece of real estate in the U.S. would be worth 0-25% of the original purchase price. This is simply not true. Imagine if you were shopping for a house and were told that whatever price you pay, no one will buy this house from you for thirty years. Even though the house has value, and you want to live there, you probably wouldn’t buy it. It doesn’t mean its worthless, it means the market failed.

    Thus, enter the government. They are the only entity that can buy these assets. What you are going to see is the government is going to buy up a significant portion of the assets the banks have already written down to zero. By definition, the government will overpay for these assets but they will still be pretty cheap. With the remaining assets, the government will essentially sell a Put Option to the banks (where they agree to buy at a predetermined price) in exchange for a premium. This gives the banks an artificial floor to operate on so that they don’t have to keep writing down these assets. As the housing market stabilizes (it will never really rebound…at least not for a decade), these assets will solidify around real prices. Once we get to that point, banks can start lending in earnest again.

    This sucks, and the premium should come at a hefty price, but this a better solution than nationalizing the entire industry.

  226. 226
    RememberNovember says:

    Man, the line for the Village Idiot Job Fair is miles long…

  227. 227
    D-Chance. says:

    Let me be clear. Tom Daschle was never in the administration.

    Tell that to your Liberal buds over at ThinkProgress:

    In the wake of Daschle’s departure, the right-wing is gunning for another Cabinet victim — Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA), the nominee for Labor Secretary.

    How can Dash depart if he was never there?

    How can there be an other Cabinet victim if there hasn’t been a first Cabinet victim?

    Or can we blame the shitty blogging over there on Yglesias seepage?

  228. 228

    […] The idiocy of The Village™ is starting to get to John Cole. Obama has been humbled! Obama can not live up to his ethical standards! Obama is fleeing the White House! A scalp is claimed, and the Victor Davis Hanson at the NRO predicts the end of the Obama administration: […]

  229. 229
    excathedra88 says:

    It’s quite understandable, Mr. Cole. The sense of shock and betrayal felt by most Obama supporters stemming from his disappointing (and rather predictable) shenanigans must be rather vexing.
    What’s interesting is that many leftists think that Obama being sorry for Daschle’s unpaid tax issues is somehow an ennobling and humble attribute that should be lauded, when it’s just the beginning of what’s to come. Obama will be sorry, and sorry repeatedly for his stumbles, oversights, errors, and general mismanagement of his Presidential duties. In the end, it’s the American people who will be sorriest of all that this decidedly unprepared Chicago politician was ever elected to reside at the White House.
    -Country First.

    Certainly beats "I can’t think of any" mistakes from Gee Whiz Shrub. And no doubt , John "WWIII" McInsane would of course being doing so much better, given his outstanding choices during the campaign ( gosh, like the tax dodging unlicensed plumber dude; that Pol from Alaska who failed to pay taxes on free travel for her family, or the per deim she collected while staying at home).

  230. 230
    TenguPhule says:

    Tell that to your Liberal buds over at ThinkProgress:

    Shorter D-Chance: If ignorance is bliss, I’m fucking high.

  231. 231
    TenguPhule says:

    …. my diet.

    I apologize, I didn’t know the Arizona GOP dictated nutrition there too.

  232. 232
    TenguPhule says:

    . At best, you would go months without a banking system.

    How so?

    Only the top gets kicked out, new owners but the same day to day people at the banks.

  233. 233
    TenguPhule says:

    Leave too much fat on the outside and it will cause a flare-up that will burn your meet.

    If you’re burning the meat, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG.

  234. 234
    TenguPhule says:

    The fundamental problem with the government "owning" the bank is that it can’t make rational decisions on credit.

    I can’t believe anyone can say this with a straight face after the Private Sector did exactly this already.

  235. 235
    gopher2b says:

    How so?

    Only the top gets kicked out, new owners but the same day to day people at the banks.

    I can’t believe anyone can say this with a straight face after the Private Sector did exactly this already.

    These are not well developed thoughts.

    At every level of the bank, the employees job is to make money. The more money they make, the better their individual prospects. The government will not change this culture in a few days, weeks, months without removing all the incentives. Thinking that all you have to do is remove the CEO, COO, CFO, and a few executive vps is well, immature and naive.

    To be honest, making loans in this environment is more risky than buying up residential loans two years ago. Its irrational which is why the banks are not lending.

    Explain to me how the government will assess risk and allocate credit better than the banks are doing RIGHT NOW and I will begin to be persuaded. Bitching about yesterday accomplishes nothing.

  236. 236
    TenguPhule says:

    Explain to me how the government will assess risk and allocate credit better than the banks are doing RIGHT NOW and I will begin to be persuaded.

    1. Whoever the government puts in charge will not invent financial shit instruments in an attempt to diguise risk by chopping it into thousands of different pieces.

    2. At this point the concern about loans should be VIABILITY, not profitability. Not about how much of a bonus you get for suckering someone into terms they can’t afford and then sell off the loan to someone else, but buy and hold. Half the problem of the loans was they were playing musical chairs with who held which shit sandwich.

    3. The banks obviously aren’t assessing risk well now, obviously government can’t be any worse at it.

  237. 237
    mere mortal says:

    I admit that Daschle sure looked to me like he was committing tax evasion

    This is foolish.

    From what I can tell, Daschle was doing consulting work for a company that sent a car to collect him for the work.

    Now, if I travel during my consulting, I get to expense the cost of transportation (cab, plane) to and from the gig. There was no reason for him to think he owed taxes on the car and driver in Daschle’s case.

    Am I committing tax evasion when my boss pays for a conference call that includes me? Do I owe taxes on the benefit of the phone service paid by another party because they call me and I don’t call them? It’s absurd.

    And if I do or if I do not, you’d better be really, really careful before you call me a tax evader.

  238. 238
    gopher2b says:

    3. The banks obviously aren’t assessing risk well now, obviously government can’t be any worse at it.

    What is this based on? If I were a bank, I wouldn’t be giving out too many loans right now either (one reason being you its instantly worth less as soon as you make it because of the writedowns)

    2. At this point the concern about loans should be VIABILITY, not profitability. Not about how much of a bonus you get for suckering someone into terms they can’t afford and then sell off the loan to someone else, but buy and hold. Half the problem of the loans was they were playing musical chairs with who held which shit sandwich.

    Viability and profitability in lending are not mutually exclusive. In fact, if its a "viable" (which I assume you to mean it won’t go into default), then its profitable (unless you are loaning out the money at rate lower than what it costs you which would be retarded).

    The problem with putting the government in charge is that they won’t look at whether its "viable." It will look at whether its politically correct. This is a worse situation than the one we are in.

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