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White House Cheat Sheet: The Fight Is On



President Obama is now in a fight for what his stimulus package means to the American public. AP Photo/Steve Nesius

President Obama's economic stimulus plan may now be on the glide path to passage in Congress but the fight over what the legislation means for average Americans and how it will impact the political landscape for both parties is only just beginning.

Already interest groups on each end of the political spectrum are hammering away at the politically vulnerable and it's clear that both Obama and congressional Republicans are sticking to their respective positions on the legislation.

All of that sets up an old-fashioned message battle with Obama and, to a lesser extent, House and Senate Democrats, pitching the stimulus bill as a much-needed job creator and Republicans casting it as a partisan, pork-laden mess that does little to stimulate the economy and lots to please Democratic interest groups.

"The bottom line is jobs, jobs, jobs and more jobs," said one White House adviser, adding that the bill in Congress was a "hard fought compromise" but the end result is "a plan that will save or create more that three million jobs and that has been the president's goal all along."

House Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio) explained the Republican position in a press conference shortly after the announcement that a compromise had been reached on Wednesday. "It appears that Democrats have made a bad bill worse by reducing the tax relief for working families in order to pay for more wasteful government spending," said Boehner.

As we have written before, Obama has a major leg up in the message battle because of the bully pulpit, which ensures that everywhere he goes and everything he says will draw huge attention from the media. (Need evidence? Look at how Obama dominated the news cycle on Monday and Tuesday.)

And, polling suggests that voters are inclined to side with the popular Obama right now -- giving him the benefit of the doubt on his biggest priority. The latest Gallup survey showed roughly six in ten (59 percent) were supportive of Congress passing an $800 billion stimulus package.

But, an advantage does not mean a victory and Republicans should feel confident in the political viability of opposing Obama on the economic stimulus, said Mark Salter, a longtime aide to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

Salter called the bill a "target rich environment" for Republicans due to the various spending measures in it, adding: "Obama has set up a false choice, a vote against it is a vote to do nothing. The challenge for Republicans is to communicate they are for something better."

And, even some Democratic strategists are expressing some doubt that the legislation will be a clear win for the President.

"We expected the now-legendary Obama message machinery to sell the recovery package to the public," said one senior Democratic strategist. "It didn't happen, not on the front end where messaging matters most."

The next few weeks will be critical when determining the winners and losers of the economic stimulus fight. In truth, what (if anything) the bill does to turn around the economy is the biggest factor in determining who wins. But, both sides will still work overtime to shift the political landscape in their favor. It bears watching.

Sked Stuff: The president has never been terribly subtle about his admiration for and interest in Abraham Lincoln. So, it's no surprise that Obama travels to Springfield, Ill. today to deliver remarks at the 102nd Abraham Lincoln Association Annual Banquet in honor of the Great Emancipator's 200th birthday. The Fix is something of a Lincoln buff (read: nerd) and, to our mind, the best Lincoln biography out there is David Herbert Donald's "Lincoln." Fred Kaplan, who wrote a GREAT summary of the must-read Lincoln books in the Post's "Book World" over the weekend, agrees.

Jindal vs. Obama: The news that Bobby Jindal will deliver the official Republican response to President Barack Obama's Feb. 24 address is evidence of two things: Jindal is THE hot thing in the GOP right now and Jindal wants it to stay that way. The choice, announced yesterday by congressional GOP leaders, is evidence, explained Republican Governors Association executive director Nick Ayers, of a new way of thinking within the party. "Republicans in D.C. finally understand our message can't come from D.C.," said Ayers. "This signals a change in tone and strategy for the Party, and its the right one." It also signals that Republicans understand the need to counter Obama's historic presidency with new faces of their own -- from Michael Steele, the first African American chairman of the Republican National Committee, to Jindal, the Indian-American boy wonder governor. And, while Jindal continues to downplay any interest in a 2012 race, gigs like this one (and his keynote at the National Republican Congressional Committee dinner in March) will put him at the front of the line when the next presidential cycle rolls around -- if he wants to reconsider.

Gerlach for Gov?: Rep. Jim Gerlach (Pa.), one of only a handful of Republicans seen as potential "yes" votes for Obama's economic stimulus plan, is formally weighing a run for governor in 2010. Gerlach has formed a gubernatorial exploratory committee and said in a statement recently that he would make a final decision by "late spring." With Gov. Ed Rendell (D) term limited out of office in 2010, a free-for-all is expected in both parties. From Gerlach's perspective, a wide open field could be attractive as he has base in suburban Philadelphia and a demonstrated ability to raise the millions of dollars any candidate running statewide in Pennsylvania would need. If Gerlach leaves his 6th district seat, it immediately becomes a prime Democratic pickup opportunity as, according to Swing State Project, President Obama carried it by 17 points last November.

Nick and Fred: Brian Nick, a longtime aide for former North Carolina Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R), has been hired by GOP media guru Fred Davis to open a Washington, D.C. hub of his Hollywood-based firm Strategic Perceptions. Nick, who will take on the title of Director of Strategic Development and Communications (not bad), joins a firm that served as the lead media consultant for Sen. John McCain's (Ariz.) presidential bid and also handled the ads for now National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas).

Meanwhile in the Democratic Consulting World....: Jon Vogel, the man who oversaw the massive independent expenditure operation at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee last fall, has signed on with the Global Strategy Group as a partner -- joining pollsters Jef Pollock and Harrison Hickman at the firm. Vogel served as the political director at the DCCC during the 2008 election before moving over to direct a the spending of $85 million on television ads, direct mail pieces and phone calls into a series of congressional districts. GSG handles polling for -- among others -- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) as well as Govs. David Paterson (N.Y.), Chet Culver (Iowa) and Brian Schweitzer (Mont.).

Click It!: The Post's Paul "PK" Kane pens a profile of the unassuming but increasingly admired Maine Sen. Susan Collins (R) and, in doing so, gives us a window into her critical role in forging a deal on the stimulus. The Fix has long been a Collins admirer; any Republican who can win 60-plus percent of the vote in a state where Barack Obama was taking 58 percent -- as Collins did last November -- deserves major kudos. It's why we gave Collins an "honorable mention" in our rankings of the best Senate campaigns of 2008.

Say What?: "I would like to apologize for a joke that was in no way an official response from Congressman [Eric] Cantor, but instead an inappropriate email." -- Cantor spokesman Brad Dayspring on sending this to a reporter when asked to respond to ads knocking his boss.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 12, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Cheat Sheet Share This:  E-Mail | Technorati | Del.icio.us | Digg | Stumble Previous: Wag the Blog Redux: Debating the Stimulus
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Comments

If the market i.e. freedom has failed and government is the answer, why be half-assed about it? Is it not time we adopted the Soviet model?

Posted by: lerkkweed | February 13, 2009 3:35 AM | Report abuse

In January Dick Cheney said of the economic collapse that “nobody anywhere was smart enough to figure it out,” hence Bush needn’t apologize because he had taken “bold, aggressive action.” It was not an issue of smart, but of ideology. What we are dealing with are the results of an untouchable mainstream orthodoxy: the ideas of British economist John Maynard Keynes (1883–1946), whose theories have exercised the single greatest influence on policy makers of Western industrialized economies since World War II. His ideas were largely responsible for the present catastrophe – yet are shaping the proposed cure to it.

In fact the collapse had been predicted by a school of economics sidelined by Keynesianism. The word "wirtschaftswunder" – German for “economic miracle” – was a term coined to describe the “miracle” of Germany’s rapid recovery and rise from the ruins of World War II to preeminent economic power Britain in contrast was still on rationing ten years after the conflict. (It wasn't due the Marshall plan which only accounted for 5% of Germany's GDP at the time and was offset by things like reparation payments). The architects of this, arguably most extraordinary economic success story of all time, were two men, Wilhelm Roepke and Ludwig Erhard, guided by the ideas of a third: Austrian economist and dean of the “Austrian School” of economics, Ludwig von Mises (1881–1973).

Mises and his student, Nobel Laureate (economics, 1974) Friedrich A. Hayek, were also the only economists to predict the stock market crash and subsequent depression of 1929. (Hayek was offered a professorship at the London School of Economics based on this prediction, made in the Austrian Institute of Economic Research Report, February, 1929). Recently economists in this tradition predicted the present catastrophe. In both cases the reasons given were the same: policies of the Federal Reserve Bank artificially expanding the supply of credit, leading to a pattern of ever greater malinvestment (in the present case directed towards the housing market) – a bubble – that sooner or later had to burst, compelling reality to be confronted, the piper to be paid and the crash ensue. The bailout is setting up a greater disaster down the road.

Check out the Bailout Reader at mises.org for a radically different analysis of the catastrophe, and what must be done to right our economy (i.e. the opposite of what is being done now):

http://mises.org/story/3128

Posted by: lerkkweed | February 12, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

"neoconservatism is a foriegn policy world veiew and has nothing to say on the domestic economy or financial system.
"
---------
Nearly a trillion for Iraq, that would come close to settling the deficit.

Posted by: JRM2 | February 12, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse


CALL - CALL - CALL!!!


The outcry against the devious, secretive and undemocratic way that the conference Stimulus Bill was negotiated has led to House Speaker Pelosi putting the House vote off until Friday.

The entire bill should be thrown out due to the overwhelming amount of pork alone - but We know that won't happen...

Even though Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Reid and the Obama White House have made it clear that they will not accept any limitations on ILLEGAL aliens in the Stimulus Bill, there remains an outside chance that your phone calls this afternoon could tip the balance somewhere.

The people who most need calls are Democratic Senators and these 3 Republican Senators: Snowe (R-Maine), Collins (R-Maine) and Specter (R-Penn.)

If any two of those 61 Senators will tell Sen. Reid that they won't vote for the Stimulus without an E-Verify protection of American workers, we will get the protection.

IT WILL TAKE ONLY 2 SENATORS TO CHANGE EVERYTHING.

To find representatives phone numbers click the link below and CALL - CALL - CALL!!!


http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/


Posted by: cingi | February 12, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

"for starters, there are no neoconservatives in government and havent been since rumsfeld left in 2006."

VP Cheney isn't a neocon?

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

"fact is though that when you do something costly and controversial (such as borrowing a trillion dollars from the Chinesse/printing a trillion dollars to expand welfare, give tax breaks, and fund a few token infrastrucute projects) you have the burden of proving it achieved the results you wanted"

The difference with the economic claims versus the national security claims is that we don't have to take Obama's word for anything. There are tons of economists out there who do their own independent work. That is why the fear mongering comparison between Bush and Obama is such a false equivalent. There are plenty of people who will corroborate what Obama has said. Not so with Bush. This is due to the nature of the problems, of course. National security data isn't available to the public. With Bush, it just came down to whether you trusted him. No one did. You don't have to trust Obama. Just look at all the economists who agree with him.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Good old Dan Rather has come out with a bit asking "Where's the Outrage?" and it's Rather whom I actually find to be a more worthy target of outrage. He's talking like someone from FOX news. He states: "So far, however, there has been little if any real help for these families, the hard-working, trying-to-make-it members of the middle class and the working poor. Again and again, they are told, 'Help is on the way.' Where is it?"

What's it been, a bit less than 3 weeks since inauguration day? Did we really expect, by now, the magical appearance of thousands of government workers going through the streets of every city and town, handing out bundles of cash to each and every suffering citizen? Obama has continued to stress urgency in getting a recovery plan into effect. The peeved and petulant pachyderms of the GOP are making things a bit difficult, but a plan is on the move even so.

The trouble is that even a major recovery plan is not a "plop, plop, fizz, fizz" type of of thing that will provide instant relief for the national headache. The painful plight of many millions of Americans is going to continue and probably will get worse before it even begins to get better--no matter what the government does.

Meanwhile, there is no need for Rather's sort to incite riot--and also no call for those of us who can afford otherwise to sit on our money rather than poking it back into circulation to benefit our local economies. Any damned fool can get up and pompously rant and rave about the situation we're in--and many are doing so. But it's not particularly productive. It's also misdirected when aimed at the new, rather than the old administration in D. C.

Posted by: TomCamfield | February 12, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

These are the 10 states with the highest levels of adult
obesity, according to a 2007 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

1. Mississippi, 32.0 percent
2. Alabama, 30.3
3. Tennessee, 30.1
4. Louisiana, 29.8
5. West Virginia, 29.5
6. Arkansas, 28.7
7. South Carolina, 28.4
8. Georgia, 28.2
9. Oklahoma, 28.1
10. Texas, 28.1
Source: Associated Press"

The "growing" part of the country indeed ! A Southern Party of Pillow People. Somebody has put something in y'alls food... maybe the growth hormones in pigs... I think it also comes out in the education statistics... you fatties may need to think about Seceeding again, only all the tasty snack treats are made in the North (except Goo Goo clusters).

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | February 12, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING: THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX

It is not just the market downturn and the banks and the layoffs concerning Americans, but consumers are also not very confident in the US government’s ability to help. We are tired of the same old message, it is the other parties fault. Albert Einstein once stated that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. In my opinion, the results we have seen lately from the US government is bordering on insanity.

Obama (or democrats) might argue they want to do something different, but really the results are the same. The problem is non bi-partisanship. Now, I support Obama and I believe he is a president for the people, but it doesn’t matter. It is still basically a two party Congress; therefore, results will be the same. The only reason why this stimulus bill passed at all was because the Democrats hold the majority.

It is a sad state of affairs that each party refuses to do nothing but to stand behind the party that supports them. How does anything ever get done. It is sad but true that it is in the interest of the Republican party to see Obama fail, because then they would have another chance in four years to win the majority of the votes. “Human history is the sad result of each one looking out for himself.” Julio Cortazar.

Let’s think outside the box: What Congress needs is redesigning. In my opinion, that would help improve consumer confidence more than anything. The fundamental problem with Congress is the following: For someone to be successful politician, they usually have to obtain the backing of either the Democrats or Republicans and/or have backing of lobbyist and other special interest groups. For the politician to remain in Congress he must please those that put him there. “The force of selfishness is as inevitable and as calculable as the force of gravitation.” ~Haillard

Here’s an idea let’s vote Congress men/women in by utilizing modernize technology. I think all campaigns and votes should be held similar to reality shows. Every season we are presented with a new set of candidates, they are given challenges, their history is dug into, their past achievements clearly represented and every new season we vote candidates in to the House of Republicans (of course we possibly could do this by regions and state as well- but do we really need to – after all we have state politicians as well) and do the same for candidates of the Senate. No more Democrats, no more Republicans; just representatives of the people.

This would solve three major problems: 1) the cost of campaigning 2) the non bi-partanship currently in Congress and 3) problems with taking campaign funds from special interest groups. Different, definitely; but, here’s the Catch 22, guess who would have to make it law. That’s right, our non-functioning government.

Posted by: butterfliesblossom | February 12, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Um... that was "RENEGADE" GOPers in the post below...

...but to their hard-right detractors, maybe the typo applies...

Posted by: scrivener50 | February 12, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

SPECTER, SNOWE AND COLLINS GET THE 'SAVE'...

THAT'S A LESSON THAT IS NOT LOST ON OBAMA.

WATCH HIM BRING THIS BRAVE, DEFIANT TROIKA INTO HIS POLITICAL ORBIT.

This trio is getting savaged today in the hard-right blogosphere. What better measurement is there of their impact and effectiveness?

Now will these renege GOPers help right the human and civil rights abuses of the past eight years?

*******************************************

IT IS DAY 24 OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION.

DO YOU *REALLY* KNOW WHAT YOUR 'MULTI-AGENCY ACTION CENTER' IS UP TO?

http://my.nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-targets-terrorizes-u-s-citizens

http://my.nowpublic.com/world/domestic-torture-radiation-weaponry-americas-horrific-shame

OR (if links are corrupted):

http://My.NowPublic.com/scrivener


Posted by: scrivener50 | February 12, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what Bobby Jindal thinks of his new BFF, RNC Chair Michael $teal?

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | February 12, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

TimeforChange:

The neocon Republicans have already lost points in this financial battle, but as usual they must oppose anything a Democrat does no matter what.
********

way to let everybody know within your first sentence that you are uninformed, ignorant and uninvolved.

for starters, there are no neoconservatives in government and havent been since rumsfeld left in 2006.


moreover, neoconservatism is a foriegn policy world veiew and has nothing to say on the domestic economy or financial system.


why do dems make fun of southern republicans and call them ignorant while they are just as ignorant?


Posted by: dummypants | February 12, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Day 24 – The War on Prosperity

Our country had the greatest economic engine in history. One that allows most people to have something to eat each day which is not the norm for many people on earth and one that was so successful that large portions of the population don’t contribute or work, but still survive (w/ cell phones, hdtv, and more), now has come to the point where those people, who have greatly benefitted from it, now reject it .

Government of the people, by the people, for the people. The people in this phrase are referred to by our royal elitist politicians as chattering classes who if they received a tax cut would probably spend it outside the country.

Some much for openess and accountability on the stimu”less”. The taxpayers should be getting the trillions and the government should be getting $13 a week. It would prove to be much more effective.

Don’t be surprised if there is a time when all the inflated/devalued currency will be recalled and you will be issued a government debit card for your needs. It will be nice card with a smiling Barry on it and good at all soup lines.


Posted by: leapin | February 12, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

"how the legislation will impact the political landscape . . . "

Both legislation and the political landscape are abstractions.

"Impact" is what happens when a solid body strikes another solid body.

You mean how the legislation will affect the political landscape.

Posted by: jpk1 | February 12, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Chris spare us the "anon" criticism from the all purpose "Democratic strategist" who could be Karl Rove as far as I know. I'd say Obama won this hands down. He let the Republicans charge into a deep canyon with signs over it saying "Partisan obstruction" and "We want failure" and then when this notion was formerly implanted in the public mind he slammed the gate shut upon them with a series of emotive townhalls and a knock out presser. The silence from the GOP since then has been deafening and apparently Rush has gone on holiday. Meanwhile approval for his handlling of the process sits in the high sixties while the Republicans is in the low thirties and Gallup shows approval for the package jumping to 59%. And Obama didn't even break a sweat.

Posted by: johnbsmrk | February 12, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

"a plan that will save or create more that three million jobs and that has been the president's goal all along."
******

what a meaningless standard, obama could come out a year from now and say "this saved FIVE million jobs and you could never disprove it.

for all we know, invading iraq kept hussien from passing along nuclear secrets to bin laden. fact is, we'll never know.

fact is though that when you do something costly and controversial (such as borrowing a trillion dollars from the Chinesse/printing a trillion dollars to expand welfare, give tax breaks, and fund a few token infrastrucute projects) you have the burden of proving it achieved the results you wanted

i hope the media hold's the democrat's feet to the fire and hold them to some meaningful standard on this "jobs" bill, since the dems have gotten a good start at avoding any meaningful standard so far

so much for accountability right? no standard = no accountability

Posted by: dummypants | February 12, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

The neocon Republicans have already lost points in this financial battle, but as usual they must oppose anything a Democrat does no matter what. So should they choose to continue this battle, they may well find themselves a micro-mini-minority with no power at all. People are so very tired of their same old answers and how they constantly cause controversy, their lack of civility,lack of caring about every day Amricans, and lack of compromise. For these neocons, compromise is a dirty word when actually it should not be considered a negative. They refuse to get it because winning and having power is their entire reason for being and nothing less is acceptable. That mantra is a recipie for extinction.

Posted by: TimeforChange | February 12, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

The people to watch in the GOP are:

The independant three: Collins, Snowe & Specter

and Jindal.

The former ahve the potential to lead the GOP back to the middle. It is worth watching how many other defectors join them in the final vote for the stimulus package, then see where the party coalesces for subsequent legislative initiatives. Will the GOP maintain their party discipline, or is this a significant crack that will create opportunities for moderate leaders in that party?

Speaking of which... Jindal is in the catbird seat. He has the potential to be one of those voices of reason that redirects the GOP from their stubborn ideology of borrow and spend as 'fiscal conservatism' back to a more pragmatic approach. Maintaining a profile through events like the Feb 24 response will help build that all-important name recognition for 2012. My guess is that he sits out the race for the Presidential nomination, but positions himself as the obvious choice for running-mate. The more strategic GOPpers will position themselves for 2016, not 2012. I expect Jindal to pursue that strategy.

Posted by: bsimon1 | February 12, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I have issues with the "stimulus" (great word for a targeted bonanza for some) but it has to happen.

I also was very worried about the Democrats getting a filibuster-proof majority, but if all the Republicans are going to do is oppose this as a means of positioning themselves for the next Congressional elections as the "opposition", rather than engage in fashioning work-able legislation, they deserve to stay in the wilderness. When will the cynical maneuvering of the Republican leadership end? Do they really want to keep the country in a recession (which they helped create) for 2 more years just as a means of getting their preferred parking spaces back at the Congressional lot?

Posted by: dyinglikeflies | February 12, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I wonder what the poll results would be if, instead of asking people if they support the stimulus, the polling agencies asked them if they understand it?

My guess is that most people don't get that our treasury doesn't actually have that kind of money to spend and that a great deal of the stimulus money isn't actually earmarked for programs that will stimulate the economy.

People support this bill because they've been told to be afraid if it doesn't pass.

For someone who uses every opportunity to bash "the past 8 years," Obama is sure doing a good job of following in Bush's footsteps. He's fear mongering to push through his party's agenda.

This administration is more of the same, wearing a blue tie instead of a red one.

Posted by: nlynnc | February 12, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

"But, an advantage does not mean a victory and Republicans should feel confident in the political viability of opposing Obama on the economic stimulus, said Mark Salter, a longtime aide to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)."

********************
Seriously, this is source of hope for republicans - Mark Salter? bwahahahahaaaa...maybe he should climb up the scaffold and give Cantor a break from being hoisted on his own petard.

Posted by: LABC | February 12, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

runners take your mark.

white house advisor: Rahm.

Rahm MUST continue the freeze on regulations now.
Don't give the window of opportunity at all-- to mess this bill up.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 12, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Chris, do you know if the Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) provisins made it in the package? That part really doesn't seem much like stimulus, and instead looks like the first step toward Obama's health care plans, as it creates more government control. I have been a huge Obama supporter but I am concerned that he is getting this through without the requisite debate. What do you think?

Posted by: mb129 | February 12, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Cantor, Cantor, Cantor, Cantor, Cantor!!!!!

If none of you have not click the link about Cantor, you are missing something that is wide open that's potentially going on behind closed doors.

The media need to make this a bigger story. I saw it on MSNBC, but of course they had to "bleep out" all those (bleeps). Someone like that need to stand out and be punished!!!!

The MEDIA NEED to make this a BIGGER STORY!!!

Posted by: clifton3 | February 12, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

"Ddawd - Was the email actually a youtube video clip making fun of AFSCME? If so, it had sort of a "f-----g A" quality that almost made it work for AFSCME - was it a voice over an actual AFSCME clip?"

Actually, it wasn't really making fun of AFSCME at all. It was talking admiringly of the union, but uses a lot of cursing and a Bronx accent to make the point. The only thing that might be remotely offensive is that the voice refers to crossing guards as "broads"

From the youtube page...

"This is a rare gem. This was a PSA that the voice-over person decided to record an "alternate" version of for fun. This comes from the archives of a local tv station. You won't find this anywhere."

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Here's Obama's big problem with the stimulus bill: If you handed him $500 million in spending authorization in his sixth year in office, he could pretty much do what he wished with it and thus maximize (at least in his view) its impact. However, being less than a month into his administration and having only a handful of his "Schedule C" (political) appointees in place in the various agencies, the administration of spending under the bill is largely at the mercy of burrowed-in Republican agency personnel. And the Bush II administration was the best in history at both hiring and hiding political types in what would otherwise be civil service positions.

The Obama administration is challenged with showing results from spending a lot of money while simultaneously depending on thousands of persons who are philosophically adverse to administer the spending. When the Congressional Republicans charge that the bill's spending will be wasteful and ineffective, unfortunately, they know something of which they speak.

Posted by: Stonecreek | February 12, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

The preception of the golden stimulus package are now being presented to the American people. No checks to every tax payer, like the Bush stimulus package. $13 a week to every full time worker. Universal health care and the restrictions that accompany it, how nice it will be toward senior citizens and the babies in the womb.

Posted by: phjesuswarrior7 | February 12, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Ddawd - Was the email actually a youtube video clip making fun of AFSCME? If so, it had sort of a "f-----g A" quality that almost made it work for AFSCME - was it a voice over an actual AFSCME clip?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 12, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Dayspring's email - not safe for work, but its hilarious if you can get away with it.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

The Cantor story has legs -- and fortunately it's going to cut off his legs before he starts a really nasty class-war within our country.

I sense a double bus accident coming --- very soon.

Cantor will throw Dayspring under the bus, and then AIPAC, if it’s smart, will throw Cantor under the bus.

A sad end to a sad political career

Cantor is singing the wrong song for the times.

He's got very traceable baggage, with skin in the game of the Wall Street looters.

His biggest backers will have to throw him under the bus.

This is a particularly bad time to be riling the goyim ‘working class’ ---- sort of like a fireworks factory owner throwing lit matches at his fired workers’ protest line.

The only stupider thing that Cantor could have done would have been to have Bernie Madoff help Dayspring send out the video.

This outburst will kill his political career ---- but thankfully before Cantor could become even more dangerous to our country and the world.


Posted by: macturna1 | February 12, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

We are going to add a massive amount of debt that will have to be paid back by our children for what? So that every liberal special interest and program that has been chomping at the bit for the past eight years will get more money with no cost benefit analysis performed. This bill is like Christmas in February for the liberals. This bill was supposed to be about stimulating the economy not liberal payback. If these programs are so fantastic they should be taken out of this bill and voted on throught he normal appropriations processes and that way the stimulus bill can go back to being about creating jobs and getting this country out of this recession. To be true stimulus the bill should be one third infastructure spending, one third corporate tax reductions (since the US has the second highest corporate income tax in the developed world) and one third individual income tax reductions. The liberals who say that tax cuts don't do anything to stimulate the economy don't really understand basic economics. The consumer in this country drives two thirds of the economic activity. We shouldn't be talking about a wimpy tax cut like the one Obama's proposed either that'll put thirteen dollars in your pocket a week.

Posted by: RobT1 | February 12, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

The stimulus plan is just the first event. The arguments over it will not disappear. But they will be folded into the disputes over many major issues that will have attention focused on them before the next election. Contrary to much of the media noise, President Obama has done very well with this first major piece of legislation. Momentum is building towards a serious effort to confront the major needs of our society. All President Obama needs is a few more Republicans who want to contribute to the solution to have a very comfortable majority to confront these problems. The rest of the Republicans will be free to demonstrate their impotence to the American people.

Posted by: dnjake | February 12, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

For 4-6 years the high incomes among us have been given tax cuts that were suppose to give them extra funds with which to create more jobs.
WHERE'S THE JOBS???

Posted by: richardsdailymail | February 12, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

It's good to see that Pelosi has finally gotten the message and figured out how to get some brass.
She understands that the President and the left side of the aisle extended the hand of cooperation, and the right spit on it and continues to do so.
Okay, in that case, full speed ahead. The right put this nation on its knees, and did it consistently for 8 years. The fault for the causation is obvious; but now the right is claiming policy failure before it is even enacted. What ignorance, and they wonder why their party fell on its face.
We have 100's fo 1,000's of people out here in the real world wondering where their children will be able to sleep next month, next week; where they are going to get food to feed them. We have 1,250,000 NEW unemployment claims in THE LAST TWO WEEKS! I'm glad to see that all these right-wing legilators have a place to live. It's their constituents that are getting hit the hardest and they are doing exactly the wrong thing. There is no such thing as free markets. Markets are where more than one party transacts business where both benefit, a meeting of the minds. That no longer exists in this country. We have to CHANGE how things are done, getting those markets back.

Posted by: richardsdailymail | February 12, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Everyone had better settle down. Need I remind you of the historic election we just had in November? The President not only won the election in a landslide, he won our loyalty, support, and commitment to his objectives. All of us -- including this life-long (quite long) Republican -- knew what we were getting in a President -- an honest, ethical, and brilliant young man who had our best interests at heart. All that is written, all that is spoken, and all the games that the Republicans have played in Congress during these past several days will not deter us from supporting the President. I hear statistics from all over regarding his status at this time. Funny, none of my numerous friends (supporters of the President) have been asked what they think.

You have not heard from us yet. The same avalanche that hit the Republicans on November 4, 2008 can strike again. I, for one, would be willing to travel the state-wide, indeed, the country-wide, and let all whom I meet know what he is trying to do to help the middle class and what the Republicans are trying to do to harm us. Our message would not be one delivered by politicians but from the common people who are most affected by what is happening in Washington. I am sure that there are millions of others who would be happy to join me! We are not just some people – we are a cause.

Posted by: Formerrepublican | February 12, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

"We expected the now-legendary Obama message machinery to sell the recovery package to the public," said one senior Democratic strategist. "It didn't happen, not on the front end where messaging matters most."

And yet 60% of the people support it. I wonder who the toolshed is that Cillizza quoted?

Posted by: infinite_nether | February 12, 2009 8:04 AM | Report abuse

I see Obama showing up at ribbon-cuttings and busy factory floors every week for the next year and a half. It will be very difficult for the GOP to win the message battle when all they have to offer is more tax cuts for the wealthy.

Posted by: hoos3014 | February 12, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

You cite the Gallup Poll that shows that 6 in 10 favor the Democratic stimulus package. What you don't cite is how few, 2 in 10? favor the Republican position, whatever it is besides tax cuts. Getting this bill through this quickly is a major victory for Obama. Your analysis is kind of reporting on a football game which is won 28-3 by noting that the winning team had a fumble in the second quarter.

Posted by: cdierd1944 | February 12, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Political rhetoric is the same - regardless of whose lips are moving.

Posted by: newbeeboy | February 12, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse

This is a continuation of the very old battle between the interests that believe robbery in the name of Capitalism is OK (banking failures, Ponzi schemes, Salmonella in peanuts, etc., etc.) and the interests that believe Capitalism needs to be regulated. Those favoring robbery have in charge for 8 years (actually since Reagans administration) but the fallacy of their philosophy has been exposed again (just like in the Great Depression). Obama fought a good round; the GOP robbers scored some points and the battle is on in earnest. If the Democratic Congress can control their avarice and support their president, Obama and the US of A will give the voters an opportunity to undo the damage the GOP has done to the country.

Posted by: Thependulumswings | February 12, 2009 7:39 AM | Report abuse

There's still plenty of time for Pelosi's shenanigans or a defection from the GOP threesome supporting the stimulus. Not over yet...

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | February 12, 2009 7:20 AM | Report abuse

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