obama presidency.

November 23, 2008 § Leave a comment

oh oh.

In light of the downturn, Mr. Obama is also said to be reconsidering a key campaign pledge: his proposal to repeal the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. According to several people familiar with the discussions, he might instead let those tax cuts expire as scheduled in 2011, effectively delaying any tax increase while he gives his stimulus plan a chance to work.

i consider this to be the end of the hoped for obama presidency. the logic is a mess.not only does keeping the tax cuts on the rich let the rich get richer, the money should be used for the stimulus. but even there he says, "In the Democrats’ weekly radio address, Mr. Obama said he would direct his economic team to craft a two-year stimulus plan with the goal of saving or creating 2.5 million jobs. He said it would be “a plan big enough to meet the challenges we face.”

Weasel words,because you are guaranteed "saving 2.5 million jobs." What really shocks me is the way reporters and readers are thinking – that is, not reading what is said, but feeling it as what they want to hear.

The real test will be Afghanistan. Because we are going to lose in the long run because winning is, as in Iraq, not defined. Also Guantanamo, if it is shut but the the afghan prisons are not.

10:12 am friedman comes in with

What we can do now, though, said the Congressional scholar Norman Ornstein, co-author of “The Broken Branch,” is “ask President Bush to appoint Tim Geithner, Barack Obama’s proposed Treasury secretary, immediately.” Make him a Bush appointment and let him take over next week. This is not a knock on Hank Paulson. It’s simply that we can’t afford two months of transition where the markets don’t know who is in charge or where we’re going. At the same time, Congress should remain in permanent session to pass any needed legislation.

re cabinet, Drum writes

So why aren’t I more frustrated? Several reasons, actually.

First, even with the near-certain names that have been leaked, I don’t have the foggiest idea who’ll fill more than half of Obama’s cabinet. I’m inclined to wait and see. We’ll have a much better sense of the rest of the team soon enough.

Second, cabinet secretaries won’t be the only ones with access to Obama’s ear, and some of the top aides in the White House — Gaspard, Rouse, Schiliro, Axelrod — include some great people I do consider pretty liberal.

Third, I’m not especially surprised by any of the choices thus far. The truth is, Obama campaigned as a pragmatist. He seems to like wonks and technocrats, and has always emphasized competence and results while downplaying ideology. That’s who he is; it seems to work for him.

And fourth, my goal is to see Obama push progressive policies; whether he uses progressive people to achieve these goals is important but secondary. Is Tom Daschle a dyed-in-the-wool liberal? Probably not. But if his role at HHS helps make a major healthcare reform initiative more likely — and I believe it does — his position on the ideological spectrum is less consequential.

Indeed, in the three weeks since the election, I’ve seen little evidence that Obama’s progressive policy agenda has changed in any meaningful way. He still appears committed to a national healthcare push; he gave a video address on climate change last week that sounded very encouraging; and he spoke just this morning about an economic stimulus effort that includes considerable spending on infrastructure. This doesn’t sound like a move to the "center"; it sounds like a set of ambitious, progressive ideas.

10:56 am few are willing to call it a depression.We keep hearing language like "worst in 70 years, or worst since the great depression." I think it is worse

1.more people are dependent on the globalized economy

2. news travels faster which means everyone is firing or being fired.

3. everyone is cutting discretionary spending at the same time.

4. there is no manufacturing base to retreat to.

5. the underlying economy has been migrating away from jobs and towards over production.

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