Saturday, February 28, 2009

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 ideas of Ronald Reagan and his supporters.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Jindal's Office Spins Itself Into Deeper Hole On Bogus Katrina Story
Bobby Jindal's office was apparently thrown into full crisis mode today after a spokeswoman admitted that a key story of Katrina heroism the governor told in in his GOP response speech Tuesday was false. But, with some help from Politico, they only succeeded in digging themselves deeper.
Watch The Vid ... Jindal Makes Admission

The Times is right to compare this moment to 1932 and 1980. Yes, a multitude of special interests and political powers await the chance to eat his proposals to death. But Obama wants to make history…

Thursday, February 26, 2009

At Last, Accepting Some Clues From Across the Pond
By Joe Conason —
We suddenly seem willing to consider sensible ideas that were always deemed unthinkable. Soon we may be mature enough to observe how other developed countries address problems that have baffled us for generations.

Government’s Long Night May Be Ending
By E.J. Dionne —
Obama’s message was plain: The era of bashing government is over. So, too, is the folklore of a marketplace capable of producing abundance without regulation, oversight or public intervention.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What should government do? A Jindal meditation
by Paul Krugman

What is the appropriate role of government?

Traditionally, the division between conservatives and liberals has been over the role and size of the welfare state: liberals think that the government should play a large role in sanding off the market economy’s rough edges, conservatives believe that time and chance happen to us all, and that’s that.

But both sides, I thought, agreed that the government should provide public goods — goods that are nonrival (they benefit everyone) and nonexcludable (there’s no way to restrict the benefits to people who pay.) The classic examples are things like lighthouses and national defense, but there are many others. For example, knowing when a volcano is likely to erupt can save many lives; but there’s no private incentive to spend money on monitoring, since even people who didn’t contribute to maintaining the monitoring system can still benefit from the warning. So that’s the sort of activity that should be undertaken by government.

So what did Bobby Jindal choose to ridicule in this response to Obama last night? Volcano monitoring, of course.

And leaving aside the chutzpah of casting the failure of his own party’s governance as proof that government can’t work, does he really think that the response to natural disasters like Katrina is best undertaken by uncoordinated private action? Hey, why bother having an army? Let’s just rely on self-defense by armed citizens.

The intellectual incoherence is stunning. Basically, the political philosophy of the GOP right now seems to consist of snickering at stuff that they think sounds funny. The party of ideas has become the party of Beavis and Butthead.

Surrender, Bobby Jindal!
A combative Obama blasts irresponsible CEOs and the deficit he inherited while promising, "We will recover"
By Joan Walsh

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Jay Smooth: Why Not to Feed the Trolls
By Tim Einenkel
As New York Post Chairman Rupert Murdoch issues an apology and boycotting continues against the newspaper, Jay-Smooth, hip-hop blogger, dissects the psyche of cartoonist Sean Delonas and why he believes protest is unnecessary.
‘Entitlements’ Take a Bum Rap
By Marie Cocco —
It is time to wipe the term entitlement reform, a monument to the dark art of disinformation, out of the political dictionary. There is no crisis in Social Security, or even in Medicare and Medicaid.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

FRANK RICH What We Don’t Know Will Hurt Us
No one knows when there will be an end to the economic crisis, of course, but a bigger question may be whether we really want to know.
There Was No GOP ‘Victory’
By Joe Conason —
Republicans congratulate themselves for remaining unified in defeat and whine about Obama’s refusal to capitulate—but in fact it is they who have failed in the initial episode of a confrontation that will certainly continue for four years.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

"You can't sweep unlawful activities under the table"
Abu Ghraib investigator Antonio Taguba talks to Salon about why he backs a commission to examine Bush torture policies
By Mark Benjamin
The Presidents Weekly Address

Thursday, February 19, 2009

'Racist' cartoon angers New Yorkers
By Marlene Naanes

Angry New Yorkers yesterday called for a boycott of The New York Post, the firing of the paper’s editor and cartoonist and even a criminal investigation into an editorial cartoon they considered racist.

The cartoon shows two police officers who just shot dead a chimpanzee saying “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.” A chimp was shot dead in Connecticut after attacking a woman Monday, and President Barack Obama signed off on the economic stimulus bill Tuesday. The cartoon led some to infer that the chimp represented the president.

“This is nothing more than a sick racist mind at work. … Not only should the editor be fired, but there should be a front-page apology to the president of the United States who you have characterized as a primate,” Councilwoman Letitia James (D-Brooklyn) said at a protest of about 25 people outside the Post’s headquarters yesterday. “You not only have offended people of color, you have offended millions of people who voted for the president of the United States.”

The elected officials will also have a noon protest today in front of the newspaper, and some are calling for a U.S. Department of Justice Investigation, saying the cartoon went beyond just racism and depicted the president’s assassination.

“I’m insulted, and I’m very upset,” said Stephanie Woods, 42, of Coop City. “[The cartoon is] not funny — it’s very offensive. It’s a very tragic story with the monkey. I’m upset on both ends.”

The New York Post’s editor-in-chief, Col Allan, said the cartoon was a parody of the chimpanzee’s shooting while criticizing the stimulus bill.

“It broadly mocks Washington’s efforts to revive the economy,” Allan said.

The cartoonist, Sean Delonas, has drawn controversial depictions before, once overemphasizing the size of The Rev. Al Sharpton’s rear-end and another time commenting on same-sex marriage with an image of a man and a sheep donning a bridal veil. Sharpton and his National Action Network, along with many other black groups, denounced the cartoon.

Cartoonist Ted Rall, a syndicated editorial cartoonist for Universal Press Syndicate and Association of American Editorial Cartoonists President, said he does not believe Delonas, who he does not know, meant to be racist. He used a common ploy of combining two big news stories into one cartoon, however, he noted a cartoonist tries to avoid using stereotypical caricatures of minorities.

“Normally you end up with a dumb joke — in this case it’s racially insensitive,” Rall said of the technique.

Rall added that it is an editors’ job to reign in their cartoonist.

Free speech advocates noted that the flap ironically may invigorate the First Amendment, the whole purpose of which is to invite, dispute and exchange views.

"Newspapers shouldn't be timid,” said Ronald Collins, of the First Amendment Center in Washington, D.C. “That defeats the purpose of having editorial cartoons. On the other hand, if they can dish it out, they should be able to accept it. ... They'd better be ready to put on their flak jackets."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Senate approves stimulus

Officially, it took just over five hours, but at about 10:45 ET Friday night, the Senate vote 60-38 in favor of the stimulus. The bill will now go to President Obama for his signature.

The vote went on for so long because of the absence of Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown, who was home attending his mother's wake. With Ted Kennedy absent due to his illness, Brown's vote was crucial, as he provided the 60th vote needed for passage.

Like the House had earlier, the Senate split almost completely along party lines on the bill. Only three Republicans -- Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania -- voted for it, but they were all that was needed.

― Alex Koppelman

Friday, February 13, 2009

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Obama's winning ugly, but he's winning
The White House is making policy in public, and it's messy.
By Mike Madden

What Went Wrong for Tim Geithner byRobert Kuttner
Tim Geithner was supposed to be the answer to all our financial woes. Why, then, did the markets panic after he announced his plans for TARP?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Arianna Huffington: Bipartisanship Fetishism vs. What's Best for America: Obama Needs to Choose

Monday, February 09, 2009

The Real Obama
By E.J. Dionne —
It took less than three weeks for the real Barack Obama to come into view. He turns out to be both a conciliator and a fighter.
Obama goes bipartisan for real
The president puts congressional pandering to the GOP in his rearview as he thrills a crowd in a Republican stronghold
By Joan Walsh
No More Mr. Nice Guy
by Katrina vanden Heuvel:
As the economy draws nearer to the abyss, the time for post-partisan happy talk with obstructionist Republicans is over.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Even under the new president, Washington is the same one-party town it always has been -- controlled not by Democrats or Republicans, but by thieves.
By David Sirota

Friday, February 06, 2009

by David Corn
Not necessarily by hopping on Air Force One (which he has yet to use), but by reaching out to the millions of Americans who are rooting for him in order to obtain their active support for his economic stimulus plan.
On the Edge
A not-so-funny thing happened on the way to economic recovery. Over the last two weeks, what should have been a deadly serious debate about how to save an economy in desperate straits turned, instead, into hackneyed political theater, with Republicans spouting all the old clich├ęs about wasteful government spending and the wonders of tax cuts.

Michael Phelps: Puppy Torturer!
Come on, people, all he did was smoke some weed, like Bill Gates, Barack Obama and countless other overachievers.
By Joe Conason

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Republicans Want to Gut Worthy Stimulus Programs »
By Matthew Rothschild
They can call all of this “pork” if they want to. But it all looks kosher to me. And their opposition to it is not only economically foolish, it’s cruel, and class-based, and woefully shortsighted.
Stimulus Skeptics Wrong (Again)
By Joe Conason —
Mythology is overshadowing history in the debate over Obama’s plan to stimulate the depressed economy. Excessive airtime is devoted to the prejudices of cable hosts and radio personalities who regurgitate ideas they barely understand.

Dear Wall Street
By Marie Cocco —
The reason you are such a big story is that you’ve stolen our money. Or at least that’s how most of the country sees it. You think those auto executives looked bad when they flew into Washington on their private jets? Just you wait.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Ther real fight starts after the stimulus is enacted
We can't fix the economy in the long term without significant public investment.
By Robert Reich

by John Tirman
The human cost of Bush's war: 1 million dead. 4.5 million displaced. 1 million to 2 million widows. 5 million orphans.
Bateman: Rush Limbaugh has a plan

Monday, February 02, 2009

The leaderless GOP
Limbaugh and Palin are in charge, and there's nothing Michael Steele or Mitch McConnell can do about it.
by Joan Walsh

How Republicans created the myth of Ronald Reagan
With the Gipper's reputation flagging after Clinton, neoconservatives launched a stealthy campaign to remake him as a "great" president.
By Will Bunch

Sunday, February 01, 2009

When Did We Stop Caring About Civilian Deaths During Wartime?
By Robert Fisk —
I wonder if we are “normalizing” war. It’s not just that Israel has yet again gotten away with the killing of hundreds of children in Gaza.

The GOP’s Soundproof Room
By Eugene Robinson —
Unbeknown to the House Republicans who voted unanimously against President Obama’s stimulus package, we are in the midst of a rare fundamental shift in American politics.

Let the Limbaughs Whine
By Joe Conason —
How fortunate for Barack Obama that Rush Limbaugh, big radio personality and leader of the instinctual far right, has yet to retire to a sunny island with his bottles of pills.

Herbert Hoover Lives
by Frank Rich
No one expects the Republicans to give the new president carte blanche to pass his stimulus plan, but the opposition might want to pitch in and play a serious role at a time of national peril.

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