Tuesday, March 31, 2009

As if there's not enough to do...

The Atlantic Monthly reported in an interview with the new again prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, that Israel expects President Obama to stop Iran from gaining nuclear weapons.

From the the interview with Jeffrey Goldberg
"The Obama presidency has two great missions: fixing the economy, and preventing Iran from gaining nuclear weapons,"

Monday, March 30, 2009

Obama out of control?

How can a president fire the CEO of a major United States corporation? Not even in at the hieght of his power did FDR pull such a stunt. And, others who have attempted state control of corporations or public agencies have been spurred.

Truman and US Steel

Of course, the U. S. Supreme Court slapped Truman down in Youngstown Sheet & Tube vs. Sawyer.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Why does Paul Krugman hate Obama?

Andrew Eccles for Newsweek

At it again, Paul Krugman gets the treatment inyesterday's Newsweek mag release's summary of Krugman's almost daily slams on President Obama and his cast of financial crusaders.

Here he is on ABC This Week

here is Obama mispronoucing Krugman's name (oo not u, see the Newsweek article), about a minute and a half into it.

This is something, sort of

Saturday, March 28, 2009

setting the table, with plastic knives

Here are some snips from an article based on an exclusive interview preceding president Obama's visit G20 visit in the Financial Times today

"His budget could yet unravel amid outrage over the kind of double digit fiscal deficits last seen in the second world war when FDR was in the closing stages of his life. Then there is the small matter of managing a drawdown of US combat troops in Iraq, their redeployment to Afghanistan – the “graveyard of empires” – a continued global terrorist threat and, closer to home, the possibility of neighbouring Mexico being torn apart by a drugs war."

"The president is understanding towards his partners, not least perhaps because he recently signed into law “Buy American” clauses that discriminate against foreign suppliers. While pointing out the “Buy American” provisions are consistent with World Trade Organisation rules, he observes: “I think in a democracy there are always going to be some loose ends out there. That is true here and true around the world but overall I don’t think that we have seen a huge rush to protectionism,” he adds. 'To the extent that the American people [and others] feel confident their leaders are doing everything they can to encourage and promote economic growth, I think we are going to be able to hold the line on any significant slippage.'"

from the transcript of the interview

FT: Is that a problem? Offshore tax havens.

Obama: Well, its something that is going to be discussed. I know that in my discussion I think there is a concern that we don’t want people to be able to game the system or circumvent regulated capital markets and making sure our regulations are targeting not just banks but any institution that could pose a potential systemic risk to the system.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Obama and the bankers

In the history of government intervention in banking, todays meeting between Obama and leaders of 15 of the largest banks in the United States was flat out tame. Reports from the meeting suggested that the tone was respectful and both sides agreed to listen to one another, but the tension over executive pay was left unresolved (update - WSJ story 3/28/09).

What would Andrew Jackson have done?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Congressional Budget Office say $9.3 billion in debt over nest q0 years, more from AP, Andrew Taylor

what's the Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Ortzag think? See Friday blog post OBM's new numbers - http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/blog/09/03/20/CBOsNewNumbers/

More from WSJ - Obama Sticker Shock

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Obama calling on news

Question 1 – 23,387 AP, AIG...
Question 2 – 39,627 NBC/MSNBC, why not ask people to sacrifice (I’m looking for the American people to do what they always do – volunteering
Question 3 – 38,646 ABC, Budget without a middle class tax cut
Question 4 – 19,246 CBS, Debt increase 7 billion (debt to GDP ratio) – assumptions about growth 2.3 verses 2.6
Question 5 – 108 Univision, should U.S. send troop
Question 6 – 410 Stars and Stripes, cutting military spending
Question 7 - 3,752 CNN, more on debt and outrage on AIG bonuses
Question 8 – 29,161 FOX – Chinese and the dollar
Question 9 - 725 Politico – tax cuts charitable giving
Question 10 – 4 Ebony – homeless out of work
Question 11 – 0 ABC radio – race, color blind time
Question 12 – 5,594 Washington Times – Stem cell research
Question 13 – 18,650 AFP - two state solution in Middle East

Monday, March 23, 2009

Whoa, Nellie


Market love, liberal doubt,
Paul Krugman
NYT op-ed
"This plan will produce big gains for banks that didn’t actually need any help; it will, however, do little to reassure the public about banks that are seriously undercapitalized. And I fear that when the plan fails, as it almost surely will, the administration will have shot its bolt: it won’t be able to come back to Congress for a plan that might actually work."

Geithner gets in on the op-ed act - WSJ

50M in AIG bonuses paid back

and 470 points on the ESPN NCAA bracket

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

fan in chief

lost productivity?
morale booster?
money on it?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Populist on the street

Guess President Obama's decision to attack AIG bonus packages today was a no brainer.

The polis speak...

Aeschines speaks

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The world awaits...

Obama's NCAA brackets more

from 2008 - story here

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009


I am curious about the yellow/gold curtains that are the backdrop for many of President Obama's white House appearances.

U.S. President Barack Obama waits to speak on the U.S. economy from the East Room of the White House January 28, 2009 in Washington, DC. The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote today on a $825 billion economic stimulus package proposed by Obama's administration.
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images North America)

Friday January 30, 2009, President Obama prior to signing an executive order on the Middle Class Working Families Task Force on Friday in the East Room at the White House.

President Barack Obama signs an executive order in the East Room of the White House

"Economic Advisory Chair Paul Volcker (2R) and others listen to President Barack Obama (R) speak in the East Room of the White House February 6, 2009 in Washington, DC. Obama and Economic Advisory Chair Paul Volcker held the event to introduce members of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

signing ceremony

One year ago today, then U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, signed a turbine blade at the Gamesa Wind Corp. in Fairless Hills, Pa.

Where was the pomp and pen today for President Obama's signing of the Omnibus budget bill?

There was for sure no mention on the daily schedule released by the White House press office.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Midway, it's education and the Greeks, again

(Backstage at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce gathering Tuesday, March 10, 2009, Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama's five pillars of educational reform

1) "Investing in early childhood initiatives" like Head Start;

2) "Encouraging better standards and assessments" by focusing on testing itineraries that better fit our kids and the world they live in;

3) "Recruiting, preparing, and rewarding outstanding teachers" by giving incentives for a new generation of teachers and for new levels of excellence from all of our teachers.

4) "Promoting innovation and excellence in America’s schools" by supporting charter schools, reforming the school calendar and the structure of the school day.

5) "Providing every American with a quality higher education--whether it's college or technical training."

Where back now to pillars - from August 30,2008 in the Washington Post

- The neoclassicism of Barack Obama

-Obama to accept nomination on stage that 'looks like a temple

Monday, March 9, 2009

She blinded me with science

President Obama is pushing out initiatives so fast it's a bit hard to follow. Today it was science day at the White House. The events were capped with a formal signing ceremony lifting the eight year partial ban on stem cell research. He started the process today meeting with students in the 2009 Intel Science Talent Search, a science program sponsored by Intel.

"Think ahead and don't look back," wise advise from Intel program finalist Julia Ransohoff.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Dolly Parton on Obama

From Feb 20, 2009 - an irresistible clip
Move up to 3:00 min to hear Dolly on Obama

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Friday, March 6, 2009

Keynes, spending freeze, a sing-a-long -stupid

On and off for over a half a century, democrats have trumpeted the economic philosophy of John Maynard Keynes. The general idea is that through massive borrowing and spending, the federal government can soften an economic downturn, essentially taking on risk and losses that private capital is unwilling or able to absorb. The recent stimulus bill passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama assumes that federal government spending will, in effect, soften the blow (or in the positive, stimulate the nation's economy). Republicans have long opposed the philosophy of Keynes and in fact house republicans voted in unison (all 177 members) against the stimulus bill.

The latest broadside against the notion that government spending will induce economic growth was lobbed by a covey of republicans today, led by House minority leader John Boehner.

So where is President Obama on this debate?
This from Andrew Leonard at Salon

Obama on Jan 29, 2009 "Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished."

Keynes in 1930 "We are as capable as before of affording for everyone a high standard of life -- high, I mean, compared with, say, twenty years ago -- and will soon learn to afford a standard higher still."

And more from the googlesphere (timestamp on this search 10:32PM EST)

Recovery and Reinvestment 102
Campus Progress - ‎8 hours ago‎
Economist John Maynard Keynes termed the current problem as a “lack of effective demand.” Let’s say your car has broken down and you need a new one—you want ...

David Moenning's Daily State of the Markets: 3/6
StreetInsider.com (subscription) - ‎11 hours ago‎
However, one of the most important things to remember about the ‘big bears’ is that, in the words of economist John Maynard Keynes, “the market can stay ...

Hand out cash and make us spend it
Gulf Times - ‎6 hours ago‎
How can a British Labour government ignore every lesson taught it by Keynes? How can policy remain dominated by one single maxim, that no bank should be ...

Living with the consequences of our choices
Windsor Star - ‎20 hours ago‎
Barack Obama and Stephen Harper have. So have many other others. But language has consequences. "The attention paid to the Depression story may seem a ...

Krugman y Currie: el salvataje bancario y el New Deal
El Argentino - ‎15 hours ago‎
Una frase del mismo Keynes abre la cuestión. Luego de un viaje que realiza a los Estados Unidos en 1934, antes de la publicación de su Teoría general, ...

Now, the sing-a-long!

"Hey we're not stupid!" oldie but..

Thursday, March 5, 2009

into the looking glass

Photo: AP

from an article on the telepacifier at Politico.com

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Rove on rhetorical fallacies; Jindal in Mayberry

A little bit late getting to this Sunday exchange between Karl Rove and Katrina Vanden Heuvel. Not sure where I fall on this "starving the beast" argument, but looking backwards is much easier that fixing the problems.

Also, just now getting this, but for us good folks in the big city, this is a bit much??? :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

buy buy buy

Maybe President Obama is talking too much these days. In a 60 second span during an appearance with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Obama managed to dismiss the recent downturn in the markets while seeming to single that it's time to jump back in the market. Very Clintonesque

Meanwhile on Capital Hill another day of budget hand wringing.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Budget directors in glass hosues

"What's very clear is this budget delivers a tax cut to 95 percent of working families. I mean, I think we have to come back to the basic question here. I just reject the theory that the only thing that drives economic performance is the marginal tax rate on wealthy Americans and the only way of being pro-market is to funnel billions and billions of dollars of subsidies to corporations.

That is the heart of this argument. And I think it's -- I think we've already -- we've seen what the effects are over the last eight years."

from Peter Orszag, Director of Office of Management and Budget on This Week with George Stephanopoulos

The Education of David Stockman

and, budget directors gone wild
Reagan Budget Head Stockman Is Charged With Fraud (charges since dropped)