Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF OBAMA'S PRESS CONFERENCE.

Obama: The credit crisis is real.

I for one thought this was a very important and informative moment because up until now, I thought everyone was just kidding.

Obama: I don't have a crystal ball.

So where is it? He never did say.

Obama: Having said that...

Having said what?

Obama: I don't plan on letting Al-Qaeda and Bin Laden plan attacks against America with impunity.

I happen to think this is a really good idea.

Obama: We are in the winter of our hardship.

The sheer poetry is staggering. So we received a weather report too though we have yet to get a forecast as to whether this will be the spring of our hardship and the summer of our hardship.

One thing he did say, which he did say forcefully and it needed saying, was to remind the Republicans that it was their ineptitude, incompetence and idiotic policies that created this gross financial mess in the first place and they are hardly the ones to get us out of it, though Pelosi did no one any favors with the way she padded the stimulus bill the first time around with programs that are worthwhile but should have been voted on separately in other bills. How well this stimulus will work no one can say. It has to have some positive effect and still makes more sense than the policies that created this mess.

Further note: I was against the Democratic bailout of the Big Three auto makers from the very beginning but all we heard from Pelosi and people like Chris Dodd and other Dems was that the the money was needed to save jobs and how much worse the unemployment picture would be without it. The Governor of Michigan also screamed for the bailout money saying that it was needed to save jobs in her state. The car makers got their $27 billion. Today GM announced they are cutting 10,000 jobs.

13 comments:

Virginia said...

Hi Tom,

I disagree with your accusation that Nancy Pelosi was responsible for excesses in the stimulus bill. Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake recently posted that the Obama team had deliberately thrown Pelois under the bus on that one:

"The Obama transition team has been working on the substance of the bill from day one. Their first step was to go to the Association of Mayors, the National Governors' Associations and other non-congressional groups and say "give us all your shovel-ready projects." That and other provisions written by the Obama team became the spine of the bill. It went through only three committee markups, and moved through the House at lightening speed in a way that made many House chairs unhappy, with the notable exception of Dave Obey (now also under attack) who helped push it through quickly."

Anonymous said...

Can't we all just get along?

Anonymous said...

"One thing he did say, which he did say forcefully and it needed saying, was to remind the Republicans that it was their ineptitude, incompetence and idiotic policies that created this gross financial mess in the first place and they are hardly the ones to get us out of it, . . ."

Unfortunately, the Democrats bear considerable responsibility for this mess going back to Bill Clintons Admin. Not to discount or make light of the mess that Repub and Bush created. Considering the criminal behaviour we are seeing in high level choices to fill Obama's Admin, I wonder how many of the bankers, Hedge fund managers and others who created the toxic waste and spread it around were actually Democrats. I'll be they didn't turn the money down.

Marc Rubin said...

"I disagree with your accusation that Nancy Pelosi was responsible for excesses in the stimulus bill. Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake recently posted that the Obama team had deliberately thrown Pelois under the bus on that one:

"The Obama transition team has been working on the substance of the bill from day one."

I have no idea where she is getting her information which is not to say it isnt correct but every other news organization has reported that Obama had no input in it and I believe it because he cant speak authoritatively about it when asked. Only what will happen if it isnt passed. He might've thrown Pelosi under the bus in agreeing to drop some pet provisions.

Marc Rubin said...

"Unfortunately, the Democrats bear considerable responsibility for this mess going back to Bill Clintons Admin."

These are the facts surrounding Clinton's 8 years. The lowest unemployment in 40 years, the greatest economic expansion in US history, a balanced budget and a $5 1/2 TRILLION budget surplus.

If the deregulation under Clinton had anything to do with the subprime mortgage meltdown which is at the core of the crisis it wouldnt have taken 9 years to happen.

Anonymous said...

Obama's Stimulus Package Throws Seniors Under the Bus:

http://www.bloomberg.com/
apps/news?pid=20601039&refer=columnist_mccaughey&sid=aLzfDxfbwhzs

Ruin Your Health With the Obama Stimulus Plan: Betsy McCaughey

Commentary by Betsy McCaughey

Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Republican Senators are questioning whether President Barack Obama’s stimulus bill contains the right mix of tax breaks and cash infusions to jump-start the economy.

Tragically, no one from either party is objecting to the health provisions slipped in without discussion. These provisions reflect the handiwork of Tom Daschle, until recently the nominee to head the Health and Human Services Department.

Senators should read these provisions and vote against them because they are dangerous to your health. (Page numbers refer to H.R. 1 EH, pdf version).

The bill’s health rules will affect “every individual in the United States” (445, 454, 479). Your medical treatments will be tracked electronically by a federal system. Having electronic medical records at your fingertips, easily transferred to a hospital, is beneficial. It will help avoid duplicate tests and errors.

But the bill goes further. One new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. The goal is to reduce costs and “guide” your doctor’s decisions (442, 446). These provisions in the stimulus bill are virtually identical to what Daschle prescribed in his 2008 book, “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis.” According to Daschle, doctors have to give up autonomy and “learn to operate less like solo practitioners.”

Keeping doctors informed of the newest medical findings is important, but enforcing uniformity goes too far.

New Penalties

Hospitals and doctors that are not “meaningful users” of the new system will face penalties. “Meaningful user” isn’t defined in the bill. That will be left to the HHS secretary, who will be empowered to impose “more stringent measures of meaningful use over time” (511, 518, 540-541)

What penalties will deter your doctor from going beyond the electronically delivered protocols when your condition is atypical or you need an experimental treatment? The vagueness is intentional. In his book, Daschle proposed an appointed body with vast powers to make the “tough” decisions elected politicians won’t make.

The stimulus bill does that, and calls it the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research (190-192). The goal, Daschle’s book explained, is to slow the development and use of new medications and technologies because they are driving up costs. He praises Europeans for being more willing to accept “hopeless diagnoses” and “forgo experimental treatments,” and he chastises Americans for expecting too much from the health-care system.

Elderly Hardest Hit

Daschle says health-care reform “will not be pain free.” Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them. That means the elderly will bear the brunt.

Medicare now pays for treatments deemed safe and effective. The stimulus bill would change that and apply a cost- effectiveness standard set by the Federal Council (464).

The Federal Council is modeled after a U.K. board discussed in Daschle’s book. This board approves or rejects treatments using a formula that divides the cost of the treatment by the number of years the patient is likely to benefit. Treatments for younger patients are more often approved than treatments for diseases that affect the elderly, such as osteoporosis.

In 2006, a U.K. health board decreed that elderly patients with macular degeneration had to wait until they went blind in one eye before they could get a costly new drug to save the other eye. It took almost three years of public protests before the board reversed its decision.

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"The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the
oppressed." --Steve Biko

Anonymous said...

Please, let's remember that Obama WAS IN WASHINGTON ... in the United States senate ... for FOUR YEARS ... while this economic meltdown was occurring.

Obama did NOT just land in Washington D.C. on inauguration day, having recently emigrated from the planet Mars ... he was ON DUTY as a senator for four years ... yet, Obama saw nothing ... heard nothing ... and he certainly spake nothing in all those FOUR YEARS to stop the downward spiral.

Did Obama see this economic meltdown coming?

Apparently not, if we are to go by his four-year SILENCE.

Now, Obama says it was all dumped on him on Day One -- as if HE hadn't been an elected U.S. senator, for FOUR YEARS, whose job it was to spare us from this mess.

sue said...

What I found most chilling last night was watching the void in Obama's eyes while he was trying to articulate the stimulus. He really doesn't have a clue.
When I watch Newt Gingrich or Pat Buchanan speak- although I don't agree w/ much of what they say- you can see that they are speaking from knowledge- they understand their positions and are able to defend them.
With all that time Obama spent at Ivy league schools, he has no ability to debate (as we daw in the primaries and general) nor articulate his position.
The fear mongering that is being pushed by Obama and Pelosi and Reid should make every American put on the breaks- this was the same exact tactic Bush used before invading Iraq.
I cannot believe liberals are using a play right out of the Bush/Cheyney/Rove handbook- unbelievable.
As for Geitner- this is a guy who worked in the finance industry while the ship was sinking- he is now the captain of the ship to steer us out of this economic swamp and he has the same void in his eyes.
They seem like aliens or puppets or machines or something- I can't put my finger on it- but I am very nervous about them

Anonymous said...

yreMarc - Great piece, as usual. (Gave me a good laugh/cry.) Lots of good comments, too, so I won't reitterate points already written. I will add regarding the automakers that I had leaned toward ensuring they didn't melt down if for no other reason that we rely on the auto industry to build tanks and the like for national defense. So, I think it's a complex matter when discussing the auto industry in America. If we allow it to slide too far into ruin we're up a creek without a paddle in terms of concrete needs our military inevitably has in terms of equipment.

Anna

Sarah Ferguson said...

sue: i'm nervous too. it's all about the branding and directing where we look. obama is our first "unisex, one-size-fits-all" president. this is not a comment on his masculinity, but his "stepford wife" approach to the presidency. the focus is on the role, the narrative. he is performing mr president, he doesn't embody it, and that seems to be good enough for nearly half of the country. by itself, that is what terrifies me.

american girl in italy said...

i started off this post laughing my arse off. by the end, i wanted to cry....

great post!

Anonymous said...

Annonymous who posted Betsy's piece and to anyone who cares:

We're in the 11th hour of the 11th hour. The stimulus package passed Congress, is out of committee and being voted on in the House and Senate NOW! If you find the Health Provision that is posted on this thread inappropriate to include in a stimulus package and/or utterly Draconian, call your elected officials NOW. Call your senators, you congressperson, Nancy Pelosi. Contact AARP to register your disapproval. Call the GOP and ask them where their voices are in opposition to the federal government becoming the gatekeeper on our health and turning seniors into second class citizens.

Anna

Anonymous said...

Who does that sound like? Rumsfeld, baby! Remember his hand waving gestures showing that the possibility of wmd's were somewhere in Iraq. He didn't have a crystal ball, either.