Lying About Everything

It just never, ever stops.






87 replies
  1. 1
    Zifnab says:

    If Republicans told the truth, why would anyone vote for them?

  2. 2
    c u n d gulag says:

    And idiot can make-up a lie.

    Truth requires a bit of work, research, fact-checking, and re-checking.

    Conservatives are lazy.
    And they bet on the MSM being even lazier.
    And for the most part – that’s as safe a bet as you can make.

  3. 3
    p.a. says:

    Amen to comment 1. When lying’s all you have, you lie. I’ve learned this via 26 years of employment at GinormousTelecommInc.

  4. 4

    @Zifnab: Exactly. They’ve moved so far from the way most people actually want the country to run that lies and fear-mongering are all they have.

  5. 5
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    Politifact rates this blog post and subsequent discussion thread half-true. They also rate Bobo as “dreamy” and Broder as “deeply missed.”

  6. 6
    rikyrah says:

    this is who they are.

    they can never tell the truth.

  7. 7
    kindness says:

    Lying is the Republican backstop. Lying is their whole game. Lying is the only way to sell the narrative Republicans have been passing since history shows their narrative doesn’t work. So they lie.

  8. 8
    New Yorker says:

    I thought we knew this already? It should be bleedin’ obvious to even the most dense that nobody knew how bad things were in the fall of 2008 until well after the fact.

  9. 9
    scooper says:

    Yea well what else is new.

  10. 10
    BGinCHI says:

    Al Franken should write a book about this.

  11. 11
    eric says:

    I have written this many times, but people “misunderestimate” the influence of Strauss on the modern GOP. We saw it with the run up to the Iraq War and we are seeing it everyday on everything else now. Winning is end justifying and sanctifying the means. Similarly, the religious wing of the GOP takes a similar approach (though they would never admit to bearing false witness). The difference is that the religious zealots believe that god is sanctifying their current opinions such that faith assures truth rendering reason, logic and proof not only superfluous but even demonic in that they seek to undermine conclusions and opinions held by the grace of god. In each case, there is no argument you make, no evidence you can cite, to change their respective opinions.

  12. 12
    harlana says:

    well, they can’t win without cheating, so . . .

  13. 13

    @c u n d gulag:

    Truth requires a bit of work, research, fact-checking, and re-checking.

    And, more importantly, doesn’t say what the Republicans want it to. They’d happily use the truth if it supported their positions. The main reason they lie all the time is that reality has a well known liberal bias.

  14. 14
    trollhattan says:

    LGM has this story about a talk show host from North Dakota (radio has reached North Dakota, who knew?) who blew the lid offa the White House’s radical lefty library back in 2010. Proof, as if any more were needed, that PBO is bad for ‘murika.

    The library books he literally photographed were selected by the Yale librarian at the request of Jackie Kennedy.

    http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblo.....rg-address

    Which doubtless reinforced the radio dude’s central point.

  15. 15
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Has WyldPirate been by to explain why this is actually bad news for Obama? Apparently, him and Veritrash are in agreement.

  16. 16
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Zifnab:

    If Republicans told the truth, why would anyone vote for them?

    To them, it isn’t really lying if people are stupid enough to believe them. The victim is always the one to blame, not the perp.

  17. 17
    currants says:

    @New Yorker: Right–and the conclusion to that article suggests that (once again) Krugman was right: the stimulus wasn’t big enough.

  18. 18
    rlrr says:

    @currants:

    “But the stimulus caused the recession, just like the New Deal caused the Great Depression.”
    — Fox “News”

  19. 19
    pragmatism says:

    OT– White neighborhood watch captain kills a 17 yr. old black teen who was visiting his gated neighborhood. Claimed self defense. Youngster was strapped with skittles. Fear of a Black Planet is manifesting–not the Public Enemy album.
    http://www.wftv.com/news/news/.....der/nLNq9/

  20. 20
    ksmiami says:

    hmm – I think though the lying has gotten to the point where it is insulting the intelligence of the non 27% ers. At least I think we are at a tipping point

  21. 21

    Yes, but both sides do it.

  22. 22
    Montysano says:

    An 8.9% contraction in the economy is depression-level by anyone’s metric.

    Also, too: I can’t remember another instance in my lifetime when the President-elect went to work immediately after the election, while the sitting President slunk off into obscurity.

  23. 23
    David Hunt says:

    @Zifnab:

    If Republicans told the truth, why would anyone vote for them?

    They’re actually even worse than that. It’s been my experience that even when telling the whole unvarnished truth makes Democrats look bad, Republicans will still paste on lies to make it look even worse. They lie when the truth would “help”…and I think I know why. They’ve spent so much time portraying Democrats, not as political opponents whose misguided ideas are bad for the country, but as a fifth column movement within U.S. Government intent on enslaving the population in a never-ending cycle of dependency. When the truth would make Democrats look bad, they still have to paste on some version of their conspiracy theory B.S. or it looks like they’re not really criticizing them.

    I was about to write, “Well, it’s a theory.” but I have no experimental data so…well, it’s an idea.

  24. 24
    Suffern ACE says:

    Hmmm. I think the kids solved a problem just like this once on an episode of Cyberchase. But as usual, the kids let the hacker get away and he was back doing the same thing again a week later. And again, a week after that.

  25. 25
    currants says:

    @rlrr: Yer right–I forgot! I should have just said, “Krugman was shrill!”

  26. 26
    Comrade Dread says:

    But Obama apologizes to Muslims and once hugged a black guy who thought the status quo favored white people, so he’s clearly a member of the new Black Islam KKK.

  27. 27
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur: In light of this post, Politifact now rates this discussion thread 100%, super-de-dooper TRUE…with a lime twist and two splendas.

  28. 28
    Martin says:

    The firebaggers lie about everything as well, by extension:

    Get that? Even after Romer’s chart, it only looked like GDP had contracted by 3.8% in the previous quarter.
    __
    It turns out, GDP was contracting at 8.9% — massively more than anyone realized at the time.
    __
    Romer was working off very imperfect data. If even the BEA didn’t realize how bad the economy was until July 2011 — over two years after the original stimulus — then Romer could have had no clue.
    __
    And this matters a lot. If stimulus works by filling the demand “hole”, then it’s a really big deal that the hole was nearly three times as big as anyone thought at the time.
    __
    So this endlessly hammering Romer and The White House over this chart makes for good politics, but it is misleading. It doesn’t show that the stimulus failed, it shows that nobody realized how bad things were at the time, and perhaps it even unwittingly makes the case that the problem was that the stimulus wasn’t nearly big enough.

    The arguments that Obama fucked up by making the stimulus too small – and remember, Romer is supposed to be the hero in this fable – is based on the same 20/20 hindsight. The stimulus was crafted in the view of a 3.8% contraction rate, not an 8.9%. This ironclad argument that Romer supposedly made to Obama wasn’t ironclad at all. She may have argued that the rate was higher than they were measuring, but Congress doesn’t spend a half a trillion dollars without at least some evidence that it needs to be spent, and clearly they didn’t yet have it. So they asked for what the evidence showed they needed.

    But the firebaggers come back and argue that Obama turned a blind eye to the 8.9% in spite of Romer trying to ram it down his throat. If the GOP is lying today about that chart, then so are the ‘Obama got the stimulus wrong’ folks. The argument against the GOP here requires that we accept the argument against the firebaggers as well as they’re both predicated on the same thing.

  29. 29
    Frankensteinbeck says:

    Currants:
    Sure, but that’s also old, obvious news. Unfortunately, the size of the stimulus wasn’t decided by what would do the best job, but by the largest amount that could be squeezed through the Blue Dogs.

  30. 30
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @currants: He’s worse than shrill. As Judge Smails would have said, “The man is a menace!”

  31. 31
    Marcellus Shale, Public Dick says:

    our ends are their means.

  32. 32
    MattF says:

    As everyone has been saying, Republicans don’t have much choice. If they don’t lie about the economy, they have to go all-in on the culture war, and that does not exactly look like a winner either.

  33. 33

    @Comrade Javamanphil:

    Splenda? You can pry the raw cane sugar from my cold dead hand.

  34. 34
    trollhattan says:

    @pragmatism:

    Ugh, that’s horrible. Gated community with an armed, roving neighborhood watch group.

    “What could possibly go wrong?”

    Here’s hoping that yutz at least gets manslaughter.

    Neighborhood watch should be “armed” with phones. Full stop.

  35. 35
    Soonergrunt says:

    Just saw this on Twitter, from Gen. JC Christian, @jcchristian:

    Economy doesn’t officially recover until Fox puts an “R” next to Obama’s name in it’s crawl.

  36. 36
    Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity says:

    Apparently, him and Veritrash are in agreement.

    @arguingwithsignposts: Hard to disagree with yourself.

    I’m surprised WP’s been let back in the building after his Jew-bashing meltdown a few days back. Oh well, one of the charms about this place is that it is truly democratic – we’ll let anyone post here.

  37. 37
    MonkeyBoy says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    And idiot can make-up a lie.
    __
    Truth requires a bit of work, research, fact-checking, and re-checking.
    __
    Conservatives are lazy.
    And they bet on the MSM being even lazier

    Actually in a rational world making up lies and maintaining them is much harder than truth maintenance because you have to consistently remember what you lied about and what you didn’t.

    In the GOP world this doesn’t matter because lying doesn’t matter and refutation is ignored.

    In fact in GOP land promoting two contradictory lies against the same fact is actually a stronger attack than using just one lie.

    See for example Contradictions Don’t Deter Conspiracy Theorists where people who don’t accept that Obama’s Seals killed Bin Laden can both believe that he is still alive or he was dead already.

  38. 38
    pragmatism says:

    @trollhattan: money quote in the article:

    In the recording, Zimmerman said “They always get away,” which could prove the family’s case that he was out to get their son that day.

    head…..desk headdesk.

  39. 39
    currants says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Went to the link, and THAT made me laugh out loud–thank you!

  40. 40
    Bludger says:

    Why stop? The lying works. Just look at Romney.

  41. 41
    currants says:

    @trollhattan: He hasn’t even been CHARGED yet.

  42. 42
    Mnemosyne says:

    @trollhattan:

    I think current Florida law allows you to shoot to kill if you feel threatened, so the guy may be in the clear legally.

  43. 43
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @Martin: I’m going by memory here, but as I recall, the stimulus was too small even going by the numbers we had at the time (Krugman, at least, was sounding off about this). So I wouldn’t entirely lump all the criticism into hindsight.

    Of course, I’m not entirely sure how much any of this would have really mattered, as I subscribe to the theory that the stimulus was constrained by politics.

  44. 44
    trollhattan says:

    @currants: @Mnemosyne:

    If the locals or State of Florida (what am I saying?) don’t act, then the DOJ needs to get involved. This kind of crap either has to stop or it’s 1963 again.

    Maybe Betty knows something about the case?

  45. 45
    pragmatism says:

    @Mnemosyne: you have to reasonably believe that if you don’t shoot, you will be subject to deadly force. the facts should mitigate against this, but hey, it’s in a gated community in FL so i won’t hold my breath.

  46. 46
    Cliff in NH says:

    The only prediction that President Obama made himself was that unemployment would hit 10%
    all this other stuff is just from advisors using very early data. I saw this interview live on bloomberg, I know there were discussions about it in the tickerforum.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/.....TTvgeN294Y

    Obama Sees 10% Unemployment Rate, Chides Wall Street Critics
    By Julianna Goldman and Rich Miller – June 16, 2009 22:30 EDT

    June 17 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama offered stern words for Wall Street and a prediction of 10 percent U.S. unemployment even as he said the “engines” of an economic recovery have begun to turn.

    “Wall Street seems to maybe have a shorter memory about how close we were to the abyss than I would have expected,” Obama said, referring to criticism of the government’s growing role in the economy and markets.

    Obama, in an interview with Bloomberg News on the eve of the release of his plan to revamp financial-market regulation
    – snip –

  47. 47
    trollhattan says:

    @pragmatism:

    I guess this is where the Skittles come into play.

    Channeling Herr Ole Perfesser: “An armed society is a polite society.” Still assuming facts not in evidence.

  48. 48
    JPL says:

    @pragmatism: It’s been updated

    George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in a Sanford neighborhood, has had a previous brush with the law.

    link

  49. 49
    pragmatism says:

    @trollhattan: sorry, apparently he had a can of iced tea as well. even fucking macgyver couldn’t turn that into a deadly weapon.
    ETA: i learned on spies like us that an unused weapon is a useless weapon.

  50. 50
    middlewest says:

    @JPL: So awesome we just got our “shoot first” law here in MN, guess this is what we’re in for.

  51. 51
    JPL says:

    Zimmerman was arrested in 2005 on suspicion of battery on a law-enforcement officer. He was not prosecuted, and it looks like the case was dismissed for some reason.

    This is from the link at my comment at 48…
    Maybe someone will write a book about What’s the matter with Florida.

  52. 52
    Satanicpanic says:

    @trollhattan: An armed society is a society where those people don’t invade your gated community. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.

  53. 53
    amk says:

    @c u n d gulag: As the saying goes, the truth puts on its shoes, while the lie has already has ….

    Fuck the third rate, amurikan fourth estate, the fifth columnists.

    ETA: Hey cole, when you’re gonna fix this fucking site ?

  54. 54
    Martin says:

    @Sentient Puddle: Krugman’s argument was that things were worse than people thought, and kept pointing to indicators, but not measures. I think Romers argument was that as well – so I’m not faulting her either here.

    The problem is that the stimulus needed to get through Congress, and Congress needed to be convinced that things were dire – and nobody could actually produce that information – because it lags. Romer had one set of data and argued that policy should be based not on that, but on her instincts. Krugman said effectively the same thing. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work. That’s not a case the President can make to Congress, and it’s not a case Congress is willing to defend to their angry constituents, even if they believe the instincts are correct.

    Ironically, it’s possible we would have gotten that bigger stimulus if only Obama had waited, and that data come in at the 8.9% number. But the left wouldn’t have that – they wanted action now. And reasonably so – waiting would have delayed the recovery even longer and started the recovery from an even weaker point. So how do you choose? Smaller stimulus sooner because you don’t have the data yet, or larger stimulus later but with a bigger hole to dig out of (and who knows how many additional people hurt by the delay)?

    As with so many problems that the President is called on to solve, the only way to win is to not play. By the very nature of the job, every solution is sub-optimal by definition. If there was an optimal solution that could possibly be implemented, it would have been implemented long before it got to his desk – because someone would have wanted to take credit for the optimal solution. He’s not ‘the decider’, he’s the decider of last resort. He’s the guy stuck choosing between nothing but bad outcomes and having to sell it.

  55. 55
    pragmatism says:

    @JPL: i was just wondering about the part you bolded. hey policemen, how many times does this clown have to batter/ignore you or try to do your job? then you release him?
    @middlewest: when i lived in CO we called it the “make my day” law.

  56. 56
    Mike E says:

    @Marcellus Shale, Public Dick:

    our ends are their means

    ANY idea is as good as any other to a movement conservative.

    Each time they open their mouths they subtract from the great reservoir of knowledge.

  57. 57
    trollhattan says:

    @JPL:

    If he fought with a cop before, they might be more predisposed to pursue a case. [Added statement about emerging winged monkeys deemed redundent at this time.]

  58. 58
    Martin says:

    @pragmatism:

    sorry, apparently he had a can of iced tea as well. even fucking macgyver couldn’t turn that into a deadly weapon.

    Riddick could have.

  59. 59
    EconWatcher says:

    I wandered over to the Corner (K-Lo’s House of Crazy) and was somewhat surprised that, in general, the commenters were even more positive about the recent job numbers than folks on our side. The consensus over there seemed to be that the numbers signal robust job growth.

    Not sure if this was some kind of random outbreak of candor, or if they think GOP leaders are making a mistake with their doom-and-gloom right now.

  60. 60
    EconWatcher says:

    @Martin:

    Pretty astute analysis.

  61. 61
    Punchy says:

    you have to reasonably believe that if you don’t shoot, you will be subject to deadly force

    Defense lawyer: Old white man + young black kid = automatic right to shoot to kill. Case closed. Cracker skates.

  62. 62
    Brazilian Rascal says:

    A rather long shot (geographically), but here goes:

    I am a journalist with an MBA in management. I’ve worked as a reporter in a big financial newspaper as well as Forbes Brasil, as an editor in magazines about healthcare, public management and general entertainment, and even done a stint as a news radio host. I’ve had my pieces carried by the brazilian version of Maxim as well. Happy to work with either english or portuguese and have plenty of contacts in the São Paulo/Rio de Janeiro area.

  63. 63
    catclub says:

    @Martin: I am always puzzled by the fact that they could not say: “Lets authorize a bigger package that can only be used if things are really as bad, or worse, than they seem to be now. But it will not be used if things turn out better.”

    What is so hard about that? It sounds like a conservative approach due to incomplete knowledge.

    Defense programs get scaled back all the time to hit a particular spending rate. It is not rocket science.

  64. 64
  65. 65
    scav says:

    They want their gated community back.

  66. 66
    trollhattan says:

    @Brazilian Rascal:

    Did you mean to post this in the previous thread? If not, you should anyway.

  67. 67
    bemused says:

    @middlewest:

    Gov Dayton vetoed it earlier this week.

    That bill was authored by Rep Tony Cornish who reminds me a lot of Sheriff Arpaio. Cornish is/was a police chief and I read he wears a hand cuffs tiepin or lapel pin. Cornish said the police swayed Dayton.

    Some people don’t belong in law enforcement work of any kind.

  68. 68
    Fwiffo says:

    There’s no reason to expect it to stop. You don’t expect the sun to stop rising, you don’t expect to stop needing air or water or food. Ecclesiastes 1 strikes again!

  69. 69
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @Martin: Yep, I’ll echo everyone else and say this sounds right. And that I think the fact that pretty much any decision will be sub-optimal is an under-appreciated point for most people. We expect Republicans to be total morons about this, but it does frustrate me when some people on the left say stupid shit as though Obama was working with perfect information and could unilaterally decide to do whatever he wanted.

  70. 70
    Martin says:

    @catclub:

    I am always puzzled by the fact that they could not say: “Lets authorize a bigger package that can only be used if things are really as bad, or worse, than they seem to be now. But it will not be used if things turn out better.”

    Because the truth is, the government doesn’t not use money when allocated. The GOP is correct on that point, even when it’s the GOP doing the abuse. If you authorize it, it will be spent – someone will earmark it, find a way to trade it to solve some other problem (as the Dems used the Iraq war funding in the budget to pay for the payroll tax). Now, you could come up with some kind of trigger policy – it’s $X billion if unemployment says under this number, but if it goes over then this next piece automatically happens. That’s reasonable, but hard to sell. The opposition will always accuse you of gaming the numbers to make the trigger happen.

    With trust and cooperation toward a shared goal, you’re right, it shouldn’t be hard. We don’t have that in this country. Hell, this and every other thread on this site should prove that clearly enough.

  71. 71
    patrick II says:

    @Martin:

    The problem I have with your evaluation of the political reality is that you are making it and President Obama did not have that opportunity. Larry Summers also did not think it was politically viable, so he withheld information Romy had placed as one option in the memo for presidential decision.

    You may well be right that the higher stimulus might never have gotten through congress, but I am sure you would agree that the should at least be informed of the option. Summers did exactly what advisers are not supposed to to, which is to withhold data he doesn’t like from the president. Summers substituted his own judgement for the presidents.

  72. 72
    Tony J says:

    @eric:

    Winning is end justifying and sanctifying the means.

    That’s the general belief amongst the Wingnuts I’m familiar with. They’re savvy warriors in a zero-sum cultural war for the soul of America that will only end when one side exterminates the other. In that mindset there’s no such thing as a weapon you can’t or shouldn’t use, because if you don’t, The Enemy, being evil, definately will, and all you’ve done is hand them an advantage they didn’t need to have. The stakes are too high for bleeding-heart crap like that be allowed on their side.

    They are very into Total War, these Wingnuts I know. Very, very eager for the day when they get to provide “9mm solutions” to the problems facing America, and can finally stop home-schooling their kids in a world where the (temporary) military government has their back.

  73. 73
    p.a. says:

    Strauss? Burke? Puhleeeeze. More like Costanza: “If you believe it, it’s not a lie.”

  74. 74
    JGabriel says:

    @Martin:

    The arguments that Obama fucked up by making the stimulus too small – and remember, Romer is supposed to be the hero in this fable – is based on the same 20/20 hindsight.

    No, it’s based on a number of economists — including Nobel Prize winners like Stieglitz and Krugman, plus Roubini, Delong, et. al. — saying at the time that the stimulus was too small, not 20/20 hindsight. I remember reading these people saying so at the time, and I’m guessing if you jog your memory you will too.

    That said, yes, there was imperfect information and Obama had to make decisions based on that, and then get a stimulus package through a Senate blocked by a Mitch McConnell-led GOP obstruction.

    .

  75. 75
    catclub says:

    @Martin: “Because the truth is, the government doesn’t not use money when allocated.”

    How about TARP? $700B allocated, some small fraction actually used.

    Various parts of the deals that Obama made to cut the deficit (but which ended up being much smaller than the headline number) were trades of allocated money that had not been spent.

  76. 76
    rikyrah says:

    Cole,

    I think you or another FP person needs to point out the Steve Benen weekly column that he does Chronicling Willard Romney’s Lies.

    he does it every Friday.

    here is today’s edition:

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.co.....ity-vol-ix

  77. 77
    Mnemosyne says:

    @JGabriel:

    That said, yes, there was imperfect information and Obama had to make decisions based on that, and then get a stimulus package through a Senate blocked by a Mitch McConnell-led GOP obstruction weak-kneed Blue Dogs.

    Sorry, but had to apply a fix — at least half (if not more) of the stupid obstructionism was due to idiot Democrats who didn’t like the “look” of the big number and wanted it made smaller just ’cause.

    2009 made me understand how broken Congress really is, even when Democrats are nominally in charge.

  78. 78
    nitpicker says:

    So the Breitbart goofballs have been clutching their pearls over the fact that not only did Obama talk about Prof. Bell, but he even “made his own students at the University of Chicago Law School read some of Derrick Bell’s most radical and racially inflammatory writings.” Being curious and having google, I typed “Race, Racism, and American Law” “derrick bell” and “syllabus” into this newfangled program called “Google” and quickly discovered that it seems nearly every law school which teaches a “race and the law” course USES THIS SAME BOOK to some extent.

    I also found a story from the New York Times in 2008 (which puts the lie to the tale that the mainstream media has hidden this story) and found a connected post in which four legal experts commented on Obama’s various syllabi. To a person, they found Obama’s syllabus for his race and the law seminar (to the extent they mentioned it at all) to be a good one.

    Randy Barnett, a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and Georgetown law professor, wrote, “While the course materials themselves do not tell us very much about Senator Obama, the candidate, what they do tell us about Obama, the teacher, is generally favorable. I was particularly intrigued by his 1994 syllabus on “Racism and the Law.” The materials assigned were balanced, including several readings by Frederick Douglass, who many modern race theorists have come to disparage as insufficiently radical (as Obama would know)…I was struck by Obama’s list of possible discussion topics for his seminar. They comprehensively and concisely identified most of the issues of “race and the law” that were then being widely discussed. What particularly impressed me was how even handed were his presentations of the competing sides the students might take. These summaries were remarkably free of the sort of cant and polemics that all too often afflicts academic discussions of race. Were this not a seminar on “racism and the law” I doubt one could tell which side of each issue the teacher was on. And indeed, even knowing it was written by Senator Obama, one cannot be sure which side of each issue he really took. Whatever position he held, however, Obama could clearly see and dispassionately articulate the other side.”

    Law professor, former Clarence Thomas clerk, conservative Republican and Federalist Society member John C. Eastman wrote, “The syllabus from the 1994 “Current Issues in Racism and the Law” course is particularly instructive. While at many law schools, such courses are frequently taught by critical race theorists who focus largely on one side of a complex legal and policy debate, then-Professor Obama’s course included, quite appropriately in my view, readings from across the ideological spectrum, from Derrick Bell and Malcolm X to Chuck Cooper and Lino Graglia.”

    You can read the whole thing here, but you’ve already given this thing too much thought.

  79. 79
    Rafer Janders says:

    @patrick II:

    You may well be right that the higher stimulus might never have gotten through congress, but I am sure you would agree that the should at least be informed of the option. Summers did exactly what advisers are not supposed to to, which is to withhold data he doesn’t like from the president. Summers substituted his own judgement for the presidents.

    Also, too, as Krugman has repeatedly pointed out, not asking for a higher stimulus robbed Obama himself of arguing later that the stimulus was insufficient in size. And once it was proven to be too small, it was too late for Obama to go back to Congress and ask for more.

    If you ask for X, and X doesn’t work, then your opponents can say look, X doesn’t work. But if you ask for 2X, and your opponents only give you X, and X doesn’t work, then you can come back and say of course X didn’t work, I wanted 2X and you wouldn’t give it to me.

  80. 80
    Rafer Janders says:

    @nitpicker:

    That goon Pollak also used the phrase “Obama FORCED his students to read Bell’s book.” Unless Obama was standing over them in class with a gun to their heads while his cadres, excuse me, teaching assistants led the class in a mass read-along, I assume this is the same way that every professor in every class ever “forces” his students to read a book by assigning it on the syllabus? The same way I was “forced” to read, say, Moby Dick in my class on 19th century American literature?

    It’s beyond contemptible, the race baiting here, the deliberately inflammatory use of “forced” to describe the commonplace act of a law professor placing a book of legal theory on the reading list.

  81. 81
    Lawnguylander says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Also, too, as Krugman has repeatedly pointed out, not asking for a higher stimulus robbed Obama himself of arguing later that the stimulus was insufficient in size. And once it was proven to be too small, it was too late for Obama to go back to Congress and ask for more.

    Where’s Obama going to make that argument? Pseudonymously in a blog’s comments section? That’s the only place on earth it would make sense because he’s certainly not going to be making the argument that one of his signature pieces of legislation stimulus was inadequate in public. Not when he’s going around talking up the economic recovery, as he has been for quite a while now. Krugman’s not such a smart guy some times. He needs to think that shit through.

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    Schlemizel says:

    “It takes two to lie Marge. One to tell the lie ans another to hear it”

    Homer Simpson – Willards CoS

  83. 83
    handy says:

    @nitpicker:

    I was struck by Obama’s list of possible discussion topics for his seminar.

    Barrett hasn’t been a very good observer of President Obama if he was “struck” by it. O is conciliatory and “fair and balanced” to a fault.

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    Rafer Janders says:

    @Lawnguylander:

    Where’s Obama going to make that argument? Pseudonymously in a blog’s comments section? That’s the only place on earth it would make sense because he’s certainly not going to be making the argument that one of his signature pieces of legislation stimulus was inadequate in public.

    But that’s exactly the point. He can’t argue it was inadequate because he got basically what he asked for. So now he’s stuck with having to argue that it was the right size. But if he’d asked for $1.4 trillion, and only gotten $700 billion, then he’d have a case to make that $700 billion wasn’t enough.

  85. 85
    Lawnguylander says:

    I get what the point would be. But Krugman thinks it’s too bad Obama doesn’t have a good argument for a lack of success when Obama is arguing that he has been successful in healing the economy. This seems like a much smarter approach than Krugman’s, it’s too bad he didn’t adequately prepare to make excuses for failure” approach. And there’s the fact that he didn’t fail. Krugman’s is embarrassing when he’s pretending to be some kind of political strategist.

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    Martin says:

    @JGabriel:

    No, it’s based on a number of economists — including Nobel Prize winners like Stieglitz and Krugman, plus Roubini, Delong, et. al. — saying at the time that the stimulus was too small, not 20/20 hindsight. I remember reading these people saying so at the time, and I’m guessing if you jog your memory you will too.

    But they didn’t have much to back that up with. Their GDP contractions numbers weren’t any different. They were all in ‘oh shit’ mode, and the argument from all of them for a larger stimulus was as much to boost market psychology as anything else. Well, market psychology arguments can’t be any stronger than Congress psychology arguments – and $800B was a big-ass number. And you have to go in with the measured data that you have, which wasn’t much at the time, and clearly wasn’t accurate. But remember, that $800B didn’t live in isolation. Everyone in Congress was adding it to the $700B that they authorized just a few months ago. When Obama asked for $800B, Congress ran the total and wondered how they were going to explain $1.5T to the voters. Had they tried this in the other order, we might have wound up with a $1.2T stimulus and $300B in TARP.

    The argument against Obama is that he made the wrong decision based on some cherry-picked subset of what was happening at the time – Romer’s proposal, or Summers advice, or Delong, et al. Obama wasn’t operating in some subset – he was operating in a scenario where half of Congress wanted $0, some advisors wanted $1.2T, the data wasn’t particularly conclusive one way or another, and oh, yeah, there was a laundry list of other shit that needed to get done, but also needed to get funded – like two wars and so on. In the midst of that, we got $800B.

    I know there are arguments that say that Obama should have asked for $3T, and negotiated down, but anyone who’s actually tried that – and needs to go back and negotiate with the same people over and over and over – knows that it doesn’t work that way. You might get away with it once, but the next time you go back, they’re going to tell you to go fuck yourself.

  87. 87
    peggy says:

    @pragmatism:
    Pleasantly surprised by the TV comment thread about shooting of a black unarmed teenager in Florida. He was killed in a gated community by a neighborhood watch guy with a concealed weapon.

    Except for one A-hole who said the black kid had it coming to him, all the other opinions varied from that the incident was disturbing to plain murder. Final remark was that the a-hole would be dangerous on a neighborhood watch.

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