"We’re in the aftermath of a severe financial crisis, which has led to mass job destruction. The only thing that’s keeping us from sliding into a second Great Depression is deficit spending." - Paul Krugman
"Americans didn't send us to Washington to fight each other in some political steel cage match." - Barack Obama
"But then after the president spoke, the Republicans gave their rebuttal, during which they pointed out that Obama has repeatedly failed to solve any of the problems they created under President Bush." –Jimmy Kimmel
confront the Republican Caucus. They had inviting him to speak, and to their surprise, he accepted and wanted it to be televised and have reporters there. Seeing as how it looked like he got the better part of the exchanges, they might want to rethink trying to debate him one on one... He confronted the over the top way that the Republicans have been demonizing him, and how it ultimately hurts them: "What happens is that you guys don’t have a lot of room to negotiate with me,” Obama said, silencing the smattering of Republicans who had applauded when he said “Bolshevik plot.” "The fact of the matter is, many of you, if you voted with the administration on something, are politically vulnerable with your own base, with your own party because what you've been telling your constituents is, ‘This guy's doing all kinds of crazy stuff that's going to destroy America."
He also accused them of biting off their noses to spite their faces: "I've read your legislation. I take a look at this stuff. And the good ideas we take," Obama said. "It can't be all or nothing, one way or the other … If we put together a stimulus package in which a third of it is tax cuts that normally you guys would support, and support for states and the unemployed and helping people stay on COBRA, that certainly your governors would support … and maybe there are some things in there, with respect to infrastructure, that you don't like … If there's uniform opposition because the Republican caucus doesn't get 100 percent or 80 percent of what you want, then it's going to be difficult to get a deal done, because that's not how democracy works."
It looks like more bad publicity for the GOP, especially if John Boehner and others come back with the same old, tired negative rhetoric. Quite frankly, I don't think that the Congressional GOP leadership has the mental capacity to shift gears and engage in a give and take.They certainly can't use the argument anymore that there is a lack of bi-partisanship in the legislation, because it will be their own damned fault. Not after they have to start attending monthly meeting of the leadership of both parties at the White House, if they don't attend the consequences will be their own damned fault: "Mid-way through the questions and answers, Pence said that there would be just a few more questions.
Obama said he wasn’t in any hurry to leave."
In the meantime, conservative Republican Ben Bernanke was reconfirmed as head of the Fed. He remains as an essential part in Obama's bi-partisan administration...
another bin Laden audiotape...
audiotape from Osama bin Laden. Proving that he must be getting the History and Science Channel, this time Mr bin Laden is tackling climate change and global warming. waxing philosophical on US policies that have contributed towards it. I didn't realize that he had attended the conference in Copenhagen, I wonder what name tag he used.
"Noam Chomsky was correct when he compared the US policies to those of the Mafia"Sounding a bit professorial, in a message that may have been cobbled together by students attending university in Riyadh or Beirut, Osama began: "This is a message to the whole world about those responsible for climate change and its repercussions - whether intentionally or unintentionally - and about the action we must take," bin Laden said. "Speaking about climate change is not a matter of intellectual luxury - the phenomenon is an actual fact."
- Osama bin Laden
In his other tape, which Time-Life will put out in a special offer after he issues four more so we can collect the complete set, bin Laden threatened the US with more terrorist threats if it didn't step up and work harder for Palestinian negotiations. I guess he didn't get the nesw that that is exactly what George Mitchell is doing, working with the Palestinians. It certainly is weird that Osama would want the US to resolve the Palestinian question when we are his Great Satan. Instead of telling us to bug out, that it's an Arab problem and solution, he is recognizing that the US is the best hope for helping the Palestinians in getting the two sides to the negotiating table. And that is why I seriously doubt that it is Osama bin Laden making these tapes, and that someone has too much time on their hands. Or else he is auditioning for a teaching job at the new Saudi university of technology and science...
The latest monkey wrench towards the negotiation process was the assassination of a Hamas leader in Dubai, where he had traveled from Syria. He died from a massive electrical shock to the head, and there were ligature marks on his neck. Dubai has turned over to Interpol the nemes of several European passport holders who are suspects, and Hamas is claiming that it's very likely that they were agents of the israeli Mossad. But usually the Mossad are more professional and the thinking may have more to do with a criminal gang and less about politics, despite the loud cries from Hamas. The manner of death implies that torture was involved, so the suspicion goes directly to Dick Cheney... The gentleman had survived a couple of previous assassination attempts, the last one hospitalized him for a month. So, who knows? It's certainly possible that he was victim of a hit squad, or a mafiya squad that followed him to Dubai to whack him during a sex holiday. Ironic, because most businessmen from the UAE go to places like Beirut for their prostitutes...
hillary may retire...
US Secretaries of State usually only last one term because the job is so demanding and exhausting. Hillary Clinton has been globetrotting a lot this past year, and she says that she is looking forward to being able to sit down and read a book, or travel leisurely. Obama's foreing policy towards Afghanistan seems to be owrking well, with many other countries pledging support for reconstruction projects at the conference hosted by Gordon Brown in London today. As reported from the Asia Times: "In an effort to bring stability to South Asia, Washington continues to run from pillar to post in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Even though a "trust deficit" with Pakistan remains, US President Barack Obama has played his cards cleverly with his surge and withdrawal strategy in Afghanistan, leading to near-unanimous support for financial assistance at this week's London conference." - Zahid U Kramet. Here's hoping that more than 5 cents on the dollar actually gets to the projects and not into the hands of corrupt reconstruction agencies and corrupt politicians...
late night political jokes:
"Tomorrow night, President Obama will give his State of the Union address. The White House says the speech will focus on American jobs. So, I guess he's going to talk a lot about India." –Jay Leno
"Focus on jobs. This is going to be the shortest speech in history. 'Hey, there aren't any. Thank you. Good night.'" –Jay Leno
"President Obama has now been called for jury duty in Chicago. I think he should go. I mean, the economy is in bad shape. We could use five bucks a day. Every little bit helps." –Jay Leno
"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that California can save money by no longer incarcerating illegal immigrants and just sending them to Mexico instead. Well, actually, today, the immigrants had three words for Schwarzenegger — 'I'll be back.'" –Jay Leno
"More problems for Goldman Sachs. Did you know the tax rate it paid on its profits last year was 0.6 percent? And of course, the CEO of Goldman Sachs was furious when he heard this. He said: 'What? When did we start paying taxes? This is ridiculous.'" –Jay Leno
"Wal-Mart announced it's cutting over 11,000 jobs. Wal-Mart said it's cheaper to fire people in bulk." –Jay Leno
"That's an amazing amount of people: 11,000 jobs. The problem is they made the announcement in English, so everybody kept showing up for work." –Jay Leno