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vastleft's picture

Obama speech live blogging

What do you think? Read below the fold...

Caro's picture

Politics and Media Headlines 2/24/09

You say goodbye, I say halo (by Joseph Cannon at Cannonfire)
Remember when AP ran a photo similar to this one [below] featuring Dear Leader George Dubya? Remember how the progblogs (correctly) screamed for weeks about that gross exercise in Messianic imagery? Do you think any progs will complain about this? Naw. It's very, very different, y'see.

Gregg plan at center of summit debate (MSNBC) Read below the fold...

Why did we "loan" Citi $45 billion when we could have bought them for $20 billion?

And when I say "we," I most definitely mean "they." Dean Baker asks that question, and some other good questions:

The government originally lent $25 billion to Citigroup at below market interest rates in the first wave of TARP lending. In December, it lent another $20 billion and guaranteed $300 billion in bad assets. (The guarantee was almost certainly worth more than $30 billion annually, given the quality of the assets.) On that day, $20 billion would have been sufficient to buy Citi in its entirety on the stock market.

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What digby said

Never listen to anybody who wanted to privatize Social Security*. Read the whole thing, but here's the bottom line: Read below the fold...

a little night musing's picture

In other news: Hell freezes over...

Hmm. Or is it: In which a little night musing apologizes for being prematurely cynical?

Headline on CNN:

hat tip Read below the fold...

Now they tell us: 401(k) plans a "crap shoot"


Investors had $2.7 trillion in 401(k) accounts as of Sept. 30, according to the Washington-based Investment Company Institute, which represents mutual funds. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that workers lost $2 trillion over a span of 15 months from declining stock markets at an October hearing of the House Education and Labor Committee.

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Sarah's picture

You know, if Brooksie is this upset, Obama must be doin' somethin' right

Call me what you will -- naive, blindsided, gobsmacked, overcome, a turncoat, whatever -- if David Brooks, the New York times pundit, can be all "they don't know enough to do this much" a month into the new administration -- I can be thrilled.

Quoth David:
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Everything you need to know about twitter as a political medium

See this post from twitter founder Biz Stone, November 10, 2000:

This site is great. You can manipulate the faces of Bush and Gore so they look like freaky old men. If you make their white collars really tall they look like Edward Gorey drawings! I love Ed Gorey!

240 characters, here we come! Read below the fold...

Sarah's picture

"I've never had a helicopter before, so you know, maybe ..."


I like a lot of the things I read in the transcript of the fiscal responsibility meeting -- for example, despite the misreporting on the subject, President Obama accurately identified the biggest problem we face: it isn't Social Security. It's the rising cost of health care.

That affects the states' budgets in terms of Medicaid / S-CHIP. It affects the federal budget in terms of Medicare. (Yeah, THAT program needs a money infusion in a major way and will need so very soon if it's to continue serving the needs of its customers. Fold it and the VA into single-payer and you get about a quarter of the way there ... fold EVERYBODY in the country into single-payer and BINGO! -- but that's another post.)

But with all due respect to Senator John McCain, lately the Republican candidate for President and a genuine US Navy veteran whose experience as a POW has earned him some respect, if not affection or veneration, he may not have meant to give the President the opening he did when invited to comment.

"I'm going to start with John McCain, because, know, he and I had some good debates about these issues," President Obama said in the final session of the Fiscal Responsibility Summit. "But -- and I mean what I say here -- I think John has also been extraordinarily consistent and sincere about these issues. And I want to see if you've -- John, you've got some thoughts about where we need to go and some priority areas. I know you were in procurement, for example, which is an area I know we would like to work on together with you."

So up steps Senator McCain.

Now give the man his due, he's always had a streak of something un-goose-step-Republican-like in his public statements. So, with that in mind, maybe what he said wasn't such a huge surprise -- even if the reaction he got surprised him.
After all, he's looking for something he can use to get an advantage for his party over the President. We've all heard that there's a new Marine One on order (or is it a whole bunch of 'em, so that bad guys won't be able to tell which one is real by looking when they're working?) and that, as happens with defense contracts, it's going to cost more than it was supposed to back when President George W. Bush (well, actually, I suspect it was VP Cheney, but what can I prove?) ordered it.

Said the president's former Republican rival, "Well, thank you, Mr. President. And thank you for doing this...Just one area that I wanted to mention that I think consumed a lot of our conversation on procurement, it was the issue of cost overruns in the Defense Department. We all know how large the defense budget is."
And, McCain noted, "your helicopter is now going to cost as much as Air Force One. I don't think that there's any more graphic demonstration of how good ideas have -- have cost taxpayers an enormous amount of money."

Nothing new there. Same-old same-old, spar between the representatives of the parties. But then President Obama said this:

"I've already talked to [Defense Secretary Robert] Gates about a thorough review of the helicopter situation. The helicopter I have now seems perfectly adequate to me. Of course, I've never had a helicopter before. So, you know, maybe -- maybe I've been deprived and I didn't know it. But I think it is an example of the procurement process gone amuck, and we're going to have to fix it."

Broke up the room; and, I admit, me.

Shorter Eugene Robinson on stress tests: "Lie to me!"

Via the great Avedon, this from Read below the fold...

DCblogger's picture

Rep. George Miller: I favor a single payer system

The Summit Breakouts: Health Care, and Everything on the Table

Rep. George Miller: "Thank you for starting this conversation as opposed to a demand or a debate."
He said he favors the single payer system.
There needs to be a strong focus on prevention, and improving the health status of Americans. Child obesity will soon become a problem for the adult population.
"We have turned every dial ... over the last 30 years, and it is only gotten more expensive and more difficult, and the health status of Americans has gotten worst. It is startling what children are bringing to school because of the lack of health education and access to care."

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I like Sirota's Celtics v. Lakers metaphor

(here), but those who actually saw and still remember the series may think he's missing a very important data point: Read below the fold...

Why should looting Social Security be a "Grand Bargain"ing chip?

Hamsher asks a good question.

As she's been doing a lot, lately.

As Avedon writes:

Baby-Boomers didn't just pay for their parents' retirement during their working lives, but also for their own, thanks to Ronald Reagan giving us the biggest tax hike in American history - on payroll taxes.

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