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Archive for February 27th, 2009

A Reason to Believe in Miracles

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 27th, 2009 5:40 am by HL

A Reason to Believe in Miracles

Let me interrupt the constant flow of unsettling news about budgets, bailouts and bankruptcies to welcome Tiger Woods back to competition and back into the spotlight.

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William Bradley: Whitman’s Sampler: The Ex-eBay CEO’s Moves Mirror the Republican Crisis

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 27th, 2009 5:39 am by HL

William Bradley: Whitman’s Sampler: The Ex-eBay CEO’s Moves Mirror the Republican Crisis
Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman addressed the Republican National Convention. Like Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s rebuttal to President Barack Obama’s speech to the joint…

Democratic Members of Congress Appoint Stimulus Czars In Home Districts
Call it trickle-down politics. President Obama has tightly embraced the ‘czar’ model of oversight and now first and second term members of Congress are following…

Mileage Tax Supported By Congressional Panel, In Spite Of White House
WASHINGTON — Raise federal gasoline taxes to help pay for road projects? Not during a recession, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has said….

Obama’s Budget: Undoing Reagan Ideas
The budget that President Obama proposed on Thursday is nothing less than an attempt to end a three-decade era of economic policy dominated by the…


Progressive Government: The New Center

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 27th, 2009 5:38 am by HL

Progressive Government: The New Center
The man can give a speech. Confident, relaxed, bold, serious, President Obama made his case to the American people with boffo reviews from all who saw it no matter what their party allegiance. And his case was a clear and bold statement of the need for progressive government as the vital instrument to move us out of this crisis and into the future. The recovery plan to put people back to work. Banking reform and “new rules of the road” to get banks working once more. The mortgage initiative to help homeowners stay in their homes. But more, the need for sustained public investment and leadership to move us into the future with new energy, reform of our broken health care system, and provision of a world class education from birth to a career for every child.

GOP Keeps Avoiding Its Fiscal ‘Principles’
How big should government be? The answer is: As big as it has to be — and for small-government types, no bigger than it has to be. The whole debate about the proper size of government is a blind alley leading into a dead end. Government must grow at times of war or collapsing economy. It grows when there are lots of schoolchildren, elderly people or natural disasters. Government provides necessities that the private sector can’t. We can argue over what constitutes a necessity.


Foggo Claimed Credit For Getting Mistress’s Boss Fired

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 27th, 2009 5:37 am by HL

Foggo Claimed Credit For Getting Mistress’s Boss Fired
In addition to his penchant for road rage, Dusty Foggo certainly seems to have known how to treat a lady. The sentencing memo tells how, after Foggo moved from overseas to the CIA’s headquarters — leaving his wife and family…

Report: Goss Knew Foggo Shared A Girlfriend With Russian Spy, But Hired Him Anyway
The Dusty Foggo story has never reflected well on Porter Goss — the man who, as CIA director, gave Foggo the number 3 job at the agency. But it looks like we didn’t know the half of it. Congressional Quarterly…


10 Reasons Why Conservatives’ Fiscal Ideas Are Dangerous

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 27th, 2009 5:34 am by HL

10 Reasons Why Conservatives’ Fiscal Ideas Are Dangerous
It would almost be funny if their ideas about spending didn’t lead us into the deepest financial catastrophe in nearly a century.

Why the Dark Secrets of the First Gulf War Are Still Haunting Us
Americans, and our leaders, would do well to take a hard look at the war that we continue to love only because we never got to see it.

U.S. Immigration Policy: The Whole World Is Watching
Across the world, people are judging the U.S. — and Obama — on how we treat our detainees.

James Galbraith: Obama Isn’t Doing Enough to Solve the Financial Crisis
There are six things Obama needs to fix as we approach "a long, profound, painful process of change."


Quick Morning After Thoughts On Obama’s Speech

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 27th, 2009 5:33 am by HL

Quick Morning After Thoughts On Obama’s Speech
1 – These thing are always a Rorschach test, but in our household Obama was king of the world last night. In fact, my wife Jody (as usual) had the best quick take when he was done. “After he does…

Obama: Responsible Capitalism vs. Crony Capitalism
President Barack Obama’s speech Tuesday night was laced with phrases and ideas that emphasized his view that government has a responsibility not only to foster a strong economy, but also to insure that ordinary people benefit from that economy. He…






EXCLUSIVE: Tancredo Says Jindal?s Speech Was The ?Last Nail In The Coffin? For His Presidential Ambitions

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 27th, 2009 5:32 am by HL

EXCLUSIVE: Tancredo Says Jindal?s Speech Was The ?Last Nail In The Coffin? For His Presidential Ambitions
Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) has been heralded as everything from the next Barack Obama to the next Ronald Reagan. As the GOP searches for a new leader, Jindal is seen by some conservatives as their best hope of capturing the White House in 2012. But Jindal’s abysmal response to Obama’s address to the nation on […]

Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) has been heralded as everything from the next Barack Obama to the next Ronald Reagan. As the GOP searches for a new leader, Jindal is seen by some conservatives as their best hope of capturing the White House in 2012. But Jindal’s abysmal response to Obama’s address to the nation on Tuesday has been ridiculed by commentators across the political spectrum, raising doubts about his 2012 ambitions.

Stepping up in Jindal’s defense yesterday, Rush Limbaugh warned his fellow conservatives yesterday not to say negative things about Jindal. “Those of you who think Jindal was horrible….I don’t ever want to hear from you ever again,” he said.

One Republican who isn’t heeding Limbaugh’s warnings is the anti-immigrant zealot and former congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO). In an interview with ThinkProgress at the CPAC conference today, Tancredo declared that Jindal’s speech marks the end of his presidential ambitions:

TP: [Jindal] has gotten some flack for his performance on the response to Obama. I’m curious what your thoughts on it was.

TANCREDO: Great content. Lousy delivery. And I’m sorry to say this because I like him a lot. I served with him. Good guy. Solid guy. But I think that performance would very well have put the last nail in the coffin for him, for running for president. Mostly because what we are desperately looking for today in this party is a leader. Bobby Jindal is a great intellect, but his capacity to lead just is, his bearing, is not there. At least, it wasn’t there.

Watch it:

“I’m not saying he can’t overcome it, but I’m telling you it’s a major obstacle now. And I’m sorry about that,” Tancredo said. “In this business, often times you need more sizzle than steak.”

Update RNC Chairman Michael Steele says Jindal is doing a “friggin awesome job” and offers up some “slum love“:

SLIWA: Because he is — when guys look at him and young women look at him — they say oh, that’s the slumdog millionaire, governor. So, give me some slum love.

STEELE: I love it. (inaudible) … some slum love out to my buddy. Gov. Bobby Jindal is doing a friggin’ awesome job in his state. He’s really turned around on some core principles — like hey, government ought not be corrupt. The good stuff … the easy stuff.

Kay Bailey Hutchison?s Bizarro World: ?Every Major Tax Cut In History Has Created More Revenue?
In the budget released today, the Obama administration announced that it would end the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans, as well as shut off loopholes that effectively eviscerate corporate tax revenues, all in an effort to fuel a robust domestic agenda and start lowering the deficit. Predictably, the right wing is up in […]

In the budget released today, the Obama administration announced that it would end the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans, as well as shut off loopholes that effectively eviscerate corporate tax revenues, all in an effort to fuel a robust domestic agenda and start lowering the deficit.

Predictably, the right wing is up in arms over the small tax increase for the richest businesses and families. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) complained to a friendly crowd at CNBC this morning that Obama’s tax increases would harm the economy, and insisted the best way to raise revenue is to cut taxes:

HUTCHISON: I think we get revenue the way we’ve done it in the past that has been so successful in the past and that is tax cuts…Every major tax cut we’ve had in history has created more revenue.

Watch it:

The notion that cutting taxes somehow — magically — increases government revenues is a myth that won’t die. “The claim that tax cuts pay for themselves…is contradicted by the historical record,” reported the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which showed that revenues grew twice as fast in the 1990s, when taxes were raised, than in the 1980s, when taxes were cut. FactCheck.org called a claim like Hutchison’s “highly misleading” and stated the obvious fact that “we can’t have both lower taxes and fatter government coffers.”

“[E]verything you’ve heard about how revenues have boomed since the Bush tax cuts is wrong,” economist Paul Krugman wrote, noting that government revenues climbed steadily through the Clinton administration, then plunged dramatically following the 2001 Bush tax cuts. And falling revenues during tax-cutting Republican administrations means growing debt:

debt-graph21.gif

Hutchison must be looking at a different “history” than everybody else.

Update Also during the CNBC interview, Hutchison was asked if “it’s necessary to postpone our nations answers to health care because it costs too much.” She responded, “I certainly do.”


Congressional Leaders Announce Plans to ‘Green the Capitol’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 27th, 2009 5:31 am by HL

Congressional Leaders Announce Plans to ‘Green the Capitol’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid today said they want to convert the U.S. Capitol Power Plant to burn only natural gas, calling it a key step in their effort to “green the Capitol.”

In Stock Deal, U.S. Plans to Enlarge Stake in Citigroup
The federal government plans to take a substantial ownership stake in Citigroup, launching the Obama administration’s new strategy to prevent the failure of any more large banks, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Orszag Is Economic Centrist Who Knows How to Deal
The gangly, bespectacled official who yesterday laid down the fiscal footprint of a new presidency is an unassuming man who proudly refers to himself as the administration’s “super-nerd.”

Republicans Attack Obama Budget, Call It Loaded With Spending
Republicans criticized President Obama’s first budget as a new spending bonanza that fails to address the entitlement crisis and relies overly on tax increases and new business costs to close the deficit gap.

Senate Panel to Examine CIA Detainee Handling
The Senate intelligence committee is planning an unprecedented review of the CIA’s handling of captured terrorist suspects, drawing back the curtain for the first time on the agency’s use of waterboarding and other interrogation tactics inside secret CIA prisons, congressional sources said…


Making War on Business is No Way to Stimulate Economy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 27th, 2009 5:29 am by HL

Making War on Business is No Way to Stimulate Economy

White House Proposes the Mother of All Budgets
Andrew Leonard, Salon

The Republican Future: 3 Choices
Henry Olsen, NewMajority.com

We Cannot Delay Health-Care Reform
Sens. Baucus & Kennedy, WSJ