Politics

February 24, 2009

Newsflash: McCain Lost the Election!
12:00 AM

The Republican Party has been using a grab-bag of strategies to counter Obama's policies over the past month. They rail against the stimulus package for its (supposed) pork. They hammer home their points with gimmicky videos and props. They speak in warrior rhetoric and revel in heroic, fighting-man stunts. But if there is one strand running through all these strategies, it is that they evoke a discomfiting feeling of deja vu. We’ve seen this stuff before: The GOP is currently reliving John McCain’s presidential campaign.

The Real News In Obama's Speech
12:00 AM

...was this line about the bank bailout: "Still, this plan will require significant resources from the federal government – and yes, probably more than we’ve already set aside." Among people who follow this stuff inside and outside the administration, there's been a presumption that we're going to need more than what's left of the $700 billion bailout Congress approved last fall. But, so far as I now, this is the first time the administration has acknowledged it publicly. I'd guess Wall Street will react pretty favorably tomorrow. --Noam Scheiber  

The Real News In Obama's Speech
12:00 AM

...was this line about the bank bailout: "Still, this plan will require significant resources from the federal government – and yes, probably more than we’ve already set aside." Among people who follow this stuff inside and outside the administration, there's been a presumption that we're going to need more than what's left of the $700 billion  bailout Congress approved last fall. But, so far as I now, this is the first time the administration has acknowledged it publicly. I'd guess Wall Street will react pretty favorably tomorrow. --Noam Scheiber

When Free Enterprise Needs Government
12:00 AM

Here's your synopsis of the Obama domestic agenda: I reject the view that says our problems will simply take care of themselves; that says government has no role in laying the foundation for our common prosperity. For history tells a different story.  History reminds us that at every moment of economic upheaval and transformation, this nation has responded with bold action and big ideas.  In the midst of civil war, we laid railroad tracks from one coast to another that spurred commerce and industry.  From the turmoil of the Industrial Revolution came a system of public high schools that prepar

Game On
12:00 AM

Obama on health care, moments ago: ...there will be many different opinions and ideas about how to achieve reform, and that is why I'm bringing together businesses and workers, doctors and health care providers, Democrats and Republicans to begin work on this issue next week. I suffer no illusions that this will be an easy process. It will be hard. But I also know that nearly a century after Teddy Roosevelt first called for reform, the cost of our health care has weighed down our economy and the conscience of our nation long enough.

Health Care Reform: Game On
12:00 AM

Obama on health care, moments ago: ...there will be many different opinions and ideas about how to achieve reform, and that is why I'm bringing together businesses and workers, doctors and health care providers, Democrats and Republicans to begin work on this issue next week. I suffer no illusions that this will be an easy process. It will be hard. But I also know that nearly a century after Teddy Roosevelt first called for reform, the cost of our health care has weighed down our economy and the conscience of our nation long enough.

What Do The Propeller Heads Drive?
12:00 AM

The Detroit News has a delicious little piece about the kinds of cars Obama's auto-industry task force members drive. First, the overall numbers: Among the eight members named Friday to the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry and the 10 senior policy aides who will assist them in their work, two own American models. Add the Treasury Department's special adviser to the task force and the total jumps to three.

What Do The Propeller Heads Drive?
12:00 AM

The Detroit News has a delicious little piece about the kinds of cars Obama's auto-industry task force members drive. First, the overall numbers: Among the eight members named Friday to the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry and the 10 senior policy aides who will assist them in their work, two own American models. Add the Treasury Department's special adviser to the task force and the total jumps to three.

Mission Accomplished At White House Fiscal Summit?
12:00 AM

In addition to starting a conversation about our long-term finances, the President probably had two goals for yesterday's fiscal summit: 1.) Preempt a domestic political revolt by voters and pundits who worry he's bankrupting the country. 2.) Convince creditors that we plan to bring our budget into balance (eventually) even though we're spending a lot right now, so they don't lose confidence in the U.S. government and dump long-term Treasury bonds. It's obviously too early to say if Obama accomplished either goal. But the early signs aren't bad.

The Mandate Debate, Revisited.
12:00 AM

"It will cover everybody. And I don't see how you cover everybody without an individual mandate." That's a senior administration official talking about Obama's vision for health care reform, as quoted by Ezra Klein over at his blog. And it's an important statement to get into print.

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