Saturday, February 28, 2009

only a matter of time

Suppose in these conditions it was only a matter of time before President Obama's sky high approval ratings would start to come down to Earth.

More from Gallup

Friday, February 27, 2009

the ants go marching

President Obama today laid out his plan to draw down troops in Iraq. In a theatrical presentation at Fort Bragg, the president promised to end military operations in Iraq by August 31, 2010.

Afghanistan lingers

Thursday, February 26, 2009

this is a pretty picture

The the angles are just a bit too perfect - read tax breaks ++++++ or is that ------

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

this is great



Remind you of anything?

Monday, February 23, 2009


Today President Obama held a whole group wrap session up with members of working groups during the White House financial summit.

The attendees were organized in task force groups and reported back to the whole group after their break-out sessions.

Listen to Obama the teacher, first minute

and again - just the first minute or so

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009

Chicago Pity Party

Seems this the argument about whether capitalism, unchained, works is a bit off the tracks. Bond traders of the world unit!

Rick Santelli says...
"If you read our founding father, people like Benjamin Franklin and Jefferson, what we're doing in this country now is making them roll over in their graves."

Hum, Jefferson no doubt would have been leery of a national bailout of anything, but Franklin? I suppose Santelli just got carried away.

Wolfpack in the Housse
RIF - decaf

Thursday, February 19, 2009

baby steps

President Obama took hist first trip abroad today. The timing is in line with recent presidential trips, including Bush 43 to Mexico in 2001. An interesting little analysis by a republican group disparaging foreign travel by president Clinton, seemingly not the sort of thing anyone would bother to do today.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

billions and billions

Would South Carolina governor Mark Sanford actually turn down federal stimulus money? CNN political contributor and democrat Paul Begala had a blistering response today to Sanford dollar rattling of late.

"Justice Louis Brandeis famously called states "laboratories of democracy." So let's experiment. Gov. Sanford can be the guinea pig. His Palmetto State already gets $1.35 back from Washington for every dollar it pays in federal taxes, according to 2005 numbers, the latest calculated by the Tax Foundation, a nonprofit tax research group."

"South Carolina is a ward of the federal government. It's been on welfare for years. If Gov. Sanford is so all-fired opposed to federal spending, let's start by cutting federal spending in South Carolina. Otherwise, he's got about as much credibility on fiscal conservatism as A-Rod has on steroids."

"Obama throws $75 billion lifeline to homeowners"
It seems like each day brings a new billion something dollar releif package or relief request from Washington. But, what are the relaitive measures of the debt we are encouring.

This chart throws some light on the numbers.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

check is in the mail

(AP Photo/Darin McGregor, Pool)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Presidents on Presidents Day

Since 1971, the third Monday in February has been celebrated as President's Day. How do presidents spend President's Day?

On Presidents Day 1972, Nixon became the first U. S. president to visit China

February 18, 1979 President Carter awoke on presidents day to news that China had invaded Vietnam.

George W. Bush and his inner circle, photographed in the Cabinet Room of the White House in December 2001. From left: Secretary of State Colin Powell, Vice President Dick Cheney, the president, National-Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, White House chief of staff Andrew Card, C.I.A. director George Tenet (seated), and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.
February 19, 2001 Richard Hansen was arranged in a federal court in Washington charged with spying for Russia.

Obama on this Presidents Day watch the Congress approve his massive stimulus plan.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Eight pounds, a thousand pages and this

"I'm not happy, and most of us aren't at the lack of true bipartisanship in approaching this legislation"
John McCain Feb 15, CNN State of the Union with John King

"If I may say, if this is going to be bipartisanship, the country's screwed. I know bipartisanship when I see it. I've participated in it. I've gone back home and gotten primary opponents because I wanted to be bipartisanship."
Lindsey Graham on This Week with George Stephanopoulos

"I believe that Senator Geithner -- I mean Secretary Geithner -- got off to a bad start last week. He was unprepared as far as details were concerned after a lot of fanfare. He wasted about four hours of the Senate’s time. I was there. We didn’t learn a lot of things. He was nervous about the whole plan."

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Thursday, February 12, 2009








(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Doug Mills/The New York Times

Susan Collins, senator from Maine was one of three republicans who gave President Obamas his biggest victory of his young presidency today. With lightning speed, House and Senate leaders agreed on the broad outline for a compromise stimulus bill. The vote could happen as early as tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner laid an egg today, at least as measured by the financial markets' response, in presenting the details (or lack of) in his morning press conference. President Obama attempted damage control later in the day in an appearance in Fort Meyers Fl. But it was Henriette Hughes who measured the day.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Full court press

White House photo 2/9/09 by Pete Souza

Today, the Obama administration opened the renewed effort to win over support for the stalled stimulus plan. The president appeared in Elkhart Indiana at a town hall meeting and then held his first new conference.

text of Elkhart event

Opening remarks and answers to all thirteen questions from the news conference at CNN

Obama's answer to question about tax policy. Is this Obamanoics?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A جديد Day

Two weeks ago, President Obama gave his first television interview to Al Arabiya, an Arab language station.

Is there some back-channel work being done by Obama to repair relationships with the Muslim World? John Espisito has some interesting thoughts here

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Foreign Policy sneaks in

In what will be a week dominated by domestic news, the Obama administration sent Vice President Joe Biden to Europe yesterday to lay out the broad outline of a new foreign policy. Framed by the twin pillars of cooperation and deliberation, Biden specifically creaked the door open on climate change, talks with Iran, and a thaw in the recently frosty relationship with Russia.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Raw meat and being presidential a study in styles

"I don't care whether you're driving a hybrid or an SUV — if you're headed for a cliff, you've got to change direction"

This appeared at the top of a Google news search on Obama tonight. The quote came from President Obama's speech last night at a democratic party retreat in Williamsburg, Va where Obama offered up some campaign style rhetoric on the stimulus bill for the party the faithful.

Today, President Obama returned to the presidential leadership style that has marked the first two plus weeks of his administration in the announcement an Economic Recovery Board to study and advise the president on the long-term nature of economic recovery.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Obama goes a pandering $$

President Obama has proposed curbing executive pay for CEOs and other executives in companies receiving tax payer bailout monies. Under the plan, compensation would be capped at $500,000.

More from New York Times

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Cabinets, rivals, history

Doris Kearns Goodwin's book, A Team of Rivals, has become the standard historical context (also) for analyzing the Obama cabinet. Lincoln appointed all of his political opponents from the Republican party in the election of 1860. The Lincoln cabinet included William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Simon Cameron and Edward Bates.

President Obama has brought in former rivals Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. He attempted to put Bill Richardson on the cabinet and has asked two Republicans to serve including Commerce Secretary-designee Judd Grey (announced today) and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who served President Bush in the same position is also a rival of sorts, although Gates is not a registered Republican.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I screwed up

Obama's admission to Brian Williams in an interview today about his handling of Tom Dashcle's nomination to be the secretary of Health and Human Services can now be filed alongside the long history of presidential admissions of error.

Bush (43) just two weeks ago admitted to mistakes in his handling of the Iraq War.

"Clearly, putting a 'Mission Accomplished' [banner] on an aircraft carrier was a mistake."

In reference to Abu Ghraib and the failure to find weapons of mass destruction, Bush said; "I don't know if you want to call those mistakes or not, but they were -- things didn't go according to plan, let's put it that way,"

Of course, Bill Clinton mastered the art of the mea culpa. In 2004, he admitted to making a "moral error" in his relationship with Moncia Lewinsky. But, these recent presidents are by no means unique in their capacity for remorse. Abraham Lincoln was a well practiced apologizer and reconcilor. In this one example, Lincoln wrote to New York political boss Thurlow Weed apologizing for what Lincoln thought might have been a perception of "disparaging" thought from an ongoing disagreement between Lincoln and Weed confident Horace Greely.

My dear Sir:

I have been brought to fear recently that somehow, by commission or omission, I have caused you some degree of pain. I have never entertained an unkind feeling, or a disparaging thought towards you; and if I have said or done anything which could be has been construed into such unkindness or disparagement, it has been misconstrued. I am sure if we could meet we would not part with any unpleasant impression on either side.

Yours as ever

A. Lincoln

Monday, February 2, 2009

Obama in pictures and deeds is now featuring a slide show of all 44 presidents. This one of Obama portrays the 44th president with an almost serious face. In fact, Obama is a stark contrasts to the previous five presidents who are shown with toothy smiles. The most recent president on the slide show with a toothless expression? - Nixon.

Maybe Obama has his White House ethics rules on his mind with the camera snapped.
more on that from the NYT

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super bowl

Obama hosted a bi-partisan group of legislators at the White House for the Super Bowl. His appearance earlier with Matt Lauer continued the overall charm offensive- although Obama does seem a bit too quick to quip, this time Jessica Simpson in a "weight battle."

Guest list included
Senators Arlen Specter (R-Pa) and Bob Casey (D-Pa) attended the Super Bowl Party, along with representatives Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.), Trent Franks (R-Az.), and Raul Grijalva (D-Az.). Other attendees included Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn), Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), Artur Davis (D-Ala.), Rosa DeLauro (D-Ct.), Paul Hodes (D-NH), and Fred Upton (R-Mi.), and Delegate Eleanor Holmes-Norton, (D-DC).