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In an excellent analysis of the disastrous effects of Obama’s latest betrayal, Krugman startled me twice.
The first strange note is
I’ve spent the past couple of days trying to make my peace with the Obama-McConnell tax-cut deal. President Obama did, after all, extract more concessions than most of us expected.
Maybe it is an rhetorical device (such as “Brutus is an honorable man”) – but I found myself wondering: Is it Krugman’s job to try to make peace with whatever Obama does? Should he even write that? Well, apparently so.
To be sure, he doesn’t make the peace and goes on to correctly explain why the “hostage release” Obama negotiated secures the captors with new hostages – including the risks to Social Security and Medicare .
But before daring to speak up, he becomes defensive by stating
Yet I remain deeply uneasy — not because I’m one of those “purists” Mr. Obama denounced on Tuesday but because this isn’t the end of the story.
And do prove it, he spends a great deal of his column analyzing the bad political effects of the deal. Mostly on Obama (economy will worsen right before the next election).
Maybe the argument needed to be made (not only you damned millions to poverty but you harmed yourself), but not from a defensive position.
By doing so, Krugman appears to be telling Obama: please, don’t insult me, I am looking out for your best interest here”
So, when he correctly concludes that
The point is that by seeming angrier at worried supporters than he is at the hostage-takers, Mr. Obama is already signaling weakness, giving Republicans every reason to believe that they can extract another ransom.
Krugman can apply this argument to himself too: by appearing more concerned with the adverse impact of the deal on Obama than on the people, Krugman is undermining his credibility. Or, signaling weakness.
Because by declaring that he is not a purist, Krugman begs the question: who are the purists and when can we round them up?
Because by exempting himself from Obama’s attack, Krugman also legitimizes it – and that’s the last thing we need from him.
Irony of ironies!
Paul Krugman went ignored throughout 8 years of Bush and 2 years of Obama campaign. He’s been ignored during the times when economy made page one of papers and tabloids.
But the man who kept himself out of the secret meetings of Obama & his propagandists is started to be noticed now. Funny, all he had to do for this was stay in one spot, not change his tune as Jr made room to Jr.Jr – and somehow he stood out enough to become object of curiosity (and judging by the “Dumbledore Army” like poster seen in NYC, is developping a following as well)
…a lot of people have a ‘creeping feeling’ that the Cassandra from Princeton may just be right. After all, the original Cassandra was.”
Washington Monthly which seems to be on a mission to explain to us how every occurrence in the Universe is meant to help Obama, comes with the “Overton window” concept
Krugman is fulfilling that role, opening what many have called the Overton window, moving the conversation away from the failed conservative ideas of the past.
Yeah, and it makes Obama’s ideas seem less extreme in the “Goldilocks window”, I bet.
But they do include Krugman’s reaction to his new found celebrity
I’ve long been a believer in the magazine cover indicator: when you see a corporate chieftain on the cover of a glossy magazine, short the stock. Or as I once put it (I’d actually forgotten I’d said that), “Whom the Gods would destroy, they first put on the cover of Business Week.”
In other news, our “internationally backgrounded POTUS” who listed under foreign experience “growing up in Indonesia” and was supposed to repair the damage created by Jr, seems to be just as effective abroad as within the borders.
According to the New York Times
Obama Will Face a Defiant World on Foreign Visit
But how can that be? The beer, bratwurst and a show crowd in berlin promissed different! The world was supposed to be his oyster, non?
New York Times, the newspaper who championed him and made all the previous predictions, now writes
Despite his immense popularity around the world, Mr. Obama will confront resentment over American-style capitalism and resistance to his economic prescriptions when he lands in London on Tuesday for the Group of 20 summit meeting of industrial and emerging market nations plus the European Union.
And it seems that Obama needs to lower expectations for his Jr.jr goals.
The president will not even try to overcome NATO’s unwillingness to provide more troops in Afghanistan when he goes on later in the week to meet with the military alliance.
And in East Europe Obama is sacrificing everyone else to Russia
In Prague, Mr. Obama will confront an Eastern Europe nervous about Russian attempts to reassert itself in an area that Moscow views as its backyard. Mr. Obama has taken pains to reassure Russia that his administration will tread carefully regarding Bush administration plans to locate a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic.
Yet in placating Russia, Mr. Obama has raised hackles in Poland, where officials seek closer ties to the United States.
And his economic choices are unpopular over seas as well
Compounding the problem for Mr. Obama is that the route that he has chosen to lead the United States out of the mess — heavy government spending — is not available to many other countries. European governments, for instance, are far more lukewarm about enormous stimulus programs because they already have strong social safety nets, and more fears of inflation, than does the United States.
There’s one man who cannot get unemployed in this economy no matter how much he tries it , and that’s Bush’s first bailout architect and Obama’s tax cheating Secretary of Treasury. In spite of shoveling taxpayers money directly into the wallets of AIG executives, his job is secure. Or, rather, because of it.
According to Politico, Obama stated so in his 60 Minutes interview
And, yet again defending his Treasury Secretary, Obama said he wouldn’t accept Timothy Geithner’s resignation if it were offered.
Obama said jokingly that he’d respond: “Sorry Buddy, you’ve still got the job.”
And this is a joke the White House won’t try to cancel with a WORM. This joke is here to stay!
I am reminded of W joking to his Army secretary, embattled Enron executive Thomas White: “I need you – you’re my lightning rod”
(same type of humor Jr and Jr.jr). But Geithner is more the reason Obama was installed than White ever was, so his job has to be the most secure of all.
Meanwhile, Paul Krugman is explaining once again why Geithner 9and Obama) are dead wrong in their plans
buying up a bunch of troubled assets. Actually, that’s not quite it: the Obama administration has apparently made the judgment that there would be a public outcry if it announced a straightforward plan along these lines, so it has produced what Yves Smith calls “a lot of bells and whistles to finesse the fact that the government will wind up paying well above market for [I don’t think I can finish this on a Times blog]”
And now that Geithner’s boss is si firmly behind him, maybe we can hold him responsible too
Because I’m afraid that this will be the administration’s only shot — that if the first bank plan is an abject failure, it won’t have the political capital for a second. So it’s just horrifying that Obama — and yes, the buck stops there — has decided to base his financial plan on the fantasy that a bit of financial hocus-pocus will turn the clock back to 2006.
A series of articles I’ve been looking for exploring the question “who advises Obama”
Sorry Sirota, B0bots who think yourselves policymakers – it ain’t you, he told this to the New York Times.
Of course, considering the topic, the venue and the subsequent insult, I doubt he was even thinking of B0bots:
And part of the reason we don’t spend a lot of time looking at blogs is because if you haven’t looked at it very carefully then you may be under the impression that somehow there’s a clean answer one way or another – well, you just nationalize all the banks, or you just leave them alone and they’ll be fine, or this or that or the other. The truth is this is a very complex set of problems and bad decisions can result in huge taxpayer expenditures and poor results.
So, who is that simplistic idiot who can’t figure out complexity the way Obama does? I can only think of one “simpleton” who writes a blog for the New York Times and spends a lot of time on Banks nationalization lately: Paul Krugman.(see his simplistic entry here) Whether he reads him or not, the Reagan admiring Hope & Change” fast talker took time to call the Nobel prize in economics a simpleton.
Which brings into question: whose brilliant minds is Obama trusting?
Well, a puff story in Chicago Times says that this guy
is reading Obama’s mind
Obama has called his head speechwriter a mind-reader.
I mean how could these two not understand each other?
Similarities (and differences) exist in David Axelrod’s relationship with the current president and Karl Rove’s with the past.
Of course the Jr.Jr team doth protest
Both Mr. Rove and Mr. Axelrod forged partnerships with their clients long before they began campaigning for the presidency, guided them through elective office and, ultimately, to the White House. Mr. Axelrod rejects the comparison, saying that he is more of a protector of Mr. Obama’s image and message than a policy maker or strategist intent on remaking the country’s political DNA, as Mr. Rove often talked about.
He only plots enemy lists and such, gingerly called by NYT “back and forth”
The recent back-and-forth with Rush Limbaugh, for example, was explicitly authorized by Mr. Axelrod, who told aides that it was not a moment to sit quietly after Mr. Limbaugh said he hoped that Mr. Obama would “fail.”
And while Favreau “reads Obama’s mind”, Axelrod is the speech center in the brain
There are few words that come across the president’s lips that have not been blessed by Mr. Axelrod. He reviews every speech, studies every major policy position and works with Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, to prepare responses to the crisis of the day.
The cutest thing about the new political henchman running the White House? He somehow humbly thinks of himself as the voice of the people
. “Can I speak on behalf of the American people here?” he said Mr. Axelrod often asks aloud.
Not that we the people elected him for anything ever, but if you look back at the primaries, we didn’t elect his puppet either.
WaPo reports this and one the funniest parts of their headline is calling Gupta a journalist.
If you aren’t smiling, you may have missed Gupta’s dishonest deconstruction of Michael Moore Sicko, or their interchange here.
The short of it – Gupta hardly believes in Universal healthcare. In fact hear him on this video complaining about high taxes needed tor universal healthcare.
But he is expected to accept the position within days.
Once again, I have Krugman concurring
Gupta specifically claimed that Moore “fudged his facts”, when the truth was that on every one of the allegedly fudged facts, Moore was actually right and CNN was wrong.
And he adds one more element – the “Villagers way” when truth can only be acceptable at a certain time, from certain people
And appointing Gupta now, although it’s a small thing, is just another example of the lack of accountability that always seems to be the rule when you get things wrong in a socially acceptable way.
And now Conyers joins Krugman and writes to congresspeople
‘credibility gap’ because he never served in the National Health Service Corp, and furthermore, does not have the ‘experience or qualifications to be the leader of the nation’s public health service.’
I used to be a fan of Conyers. Until he started a similar letter campaign asking people in Michigan to vote “anyone but Hillary”. But on this one, I agree with him again.