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White House Cheat Sheet: A Cabinet In Full

The White House is now playing with a full Cabinet deck. Photo by Pete Souza -- White House Photo

Update, 5:40 p.m.: We may have spoken too soon when we declared Obama's Cabinet entirely full. U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, who is not a part of the Cabinet but is at a Cabinet-level position, has not paid more than $10,000 in back taxes, according to a release from the Senate Finance Committee today. Finance Chairman Max Baucus (Mont.) said, however, he remained behind Kirk, which should help the former Dallas Mayor weather the storm.


The official announcement today of Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as President Obama's choice to head the Health and Human Services Department may well end the search for a complete Cabinet roster that began even before Obama was elected president last November.

Sebelius's formal unveiling will come in the East Room of the White House this afternoon, 81 days after Obama initially chose former South Dakota Sen. Tom Daschle as his HHS pick (and health care czar) and 27 days after Daschle removed his name from consideration after questions arose surrounding back taxes involving a car and driver.

The Daschle episode -- and Obama's wider search for his Cabinet -- is, in many ways, illustrative of the first forty (forty-one if you are counting exactly) days of the new administration, a period of time that has seen the former Illinois senator repeatedly fight the ways of Washington with mixed results.

Obama has won the big battles -- passing his economic stimulus plan, delivering his first address to Congress, putting forth his first budget -- but has lost several of the smaller skirmishes, particularly those involving his Cabinet.

Although Obama and his team touted their ability to put the best and the brightest into his Cabinet, hurdles have arisen -- from Daschle's too-cozy relationship with major party donor Leo Hindery to Sen. Judd Gregg's (R-N.H.) acceptance and then rejection of an offer to be commerce secretary.

The panoply of presidential Cabinet picks -- three Commerce nominees, two HHS nominees -- have, at times, threatened to derail the post-partisan efficiency that Obama has sought to project to the country.

And yet, public opinion polling suggests that the American people remain strongly behind both Obama and his Cabinet choices. A Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted late last month showed nearly seven in ten (68 percent) of voters approving of the job Obama has done so far in office with a nearly identical 64 percent offering approval of his Cabinet picks.

Obama continues to fly above traditional political calculations. How long it will last and how much he can get done before his honeymoon ends remains to be seen.

Sebelius Stuff: If you've been paying even the slightest bit of attention, you know by now that Sebelius, a former Kansas Insurance Commissioner, as been governor of the Sunflower State since 2002. And, you probably know that her father, John Gilligan, is the former governor of Ohio. But here's a few things you probably don't know about the new HHS secretary-designate: she is close personally to Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts (R) who worked for her father-in-law (Rep. Keith Sebelius) in Congress; she is a regular runner and golfer; she has two sons; and she and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) are both graduates of Trinity College in Washington.

Monday's Must-Reads: Need to know what you need to read to sound smart today? Look no further.

1) New York Daily News' Liz Benjamin on Scott Murphy's (D) big win in the coming New York 20th district special election.
2) Rush Limbaugh's speech at the Conservative Political Action Committee.
3) WaPo's Lois Romano's profile of appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).
4) Ken Starr and California's Proposition 8 fight.
5) Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is at the top of the 2012 field in a new CNN poll.

Crowley to Collect House Cash: Rep. Joe Crowley, an up and coming star in the House will be named the vice chair of finance at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, a post from which he will be charged with leading the fundraising efforts for House Democrats in the 2010 election. Crowley, every bit a New Yorker, headed the DCCC's Business Council -- a group designed to raise cash from, well, the business world -- and did a fair amount of his own fundraising, bringing in $7.3 million ($2 million for Democratic candidates and $5 million for the DCCC). Of the move, DCCC Chair Chris Van Hollen (Md.) said, "I'm pleased that Congressman Crowley will continue using his expertise and leadership to ensure House Democrats have the resources we need to get our message out."

New Partners Launch New Firm: Less than a month after the once-mighty consulting company of Hildebrand-Tewes broke up, a new firm -- named, appropriately enough, New Partners Inc. -- featuring several of the former H-T players has been formed. New Partners is comprised of eight founding members -- a super-group like, say, the Traveling Wilburys -- a roster that includes Paul Tewes, Iowa state director for candidate Barack Obama and Tom McMahon, a past executive director of the Democratic National Committee and a close ally of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean. Former Hildebrand-Tewes employees Cara Morris Stern, Dave Hamrick and Ben Jones are aligned with New Partners as are fresh faces P.J. McCann, Ami Copeland and Craig Schirmer. In an email to be sent later today announcing the new firm's formation, Tewes writes: "We are all operating in a new environment based on a fundamental shift in how we organize, how we communicate and how we advocate...the team at New Partners has been at the epicenter of that shift."

2012 Like It's Today: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's straw poll victory at the Conservative Political Action Committee over the weekend is the first test of strength for the 2012 field. Or it's an entirely meaningless dog and pony show with absolutely no long term predictive ability. Which of those previous two statements you believe depends on who you support for 2012. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle -- with a slight tilt toward the meaningless end. Remember that Romney won the CPAC straw poll in 2008, the same day he dropped out of the presidential primaries. What Romney's victory suggests, however, is that he has -- at least for the moment -- truly convinced a segment of conservatives that he is one of them. Romney's advisers insist there was no concerted effort to wrangle vote -- spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom and former campaign manager Beth Myers didn't even vote -- and noted that he addressed the convention after balloting had ended. "Mitt Romney didn't go there to win a straw poll," said Fehrnstrom. "He went there to remind conservatives that we want America to be prosperous and free, that we have a duty to state our case without resentment or anger."

Star Watch -- Paul Ryan: The Fix is always on the lookout for new talent on the national stage -- fresh blood in the political bloodstream. One guy to keep an eye on is Rep. Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican first elected in 1998 and almost immediately discussed as a statewide candidate thereafter. Ryan has, so far, passed on such a bid -- preferring to bolster his credentials in the House, where he has earned a seat on the influential Budget Committee. And now Ryan is starting to get the call by Sunday show bookers, a sure sign of his increased profile. During an appearance on "Fox News Sunday," Ryan offered a critique of his own party (describing them as "amateur big spenders") while insisting House Republicans would offer their own "full alternative budget" sometime in April. Senate GOPers would like to get Ryan into the 2010 race against Sen. Russ Feingold (D). Whether or not he runs for that office, Ryan is one to watch.

Baby Fix Pic: Thanks to EVERYONE for their well wishes for Charlie Cillizza and the entire Fix family over the last few days. And, for those looking for a picture of the little tyke, here's one.

Say What?: "The era of big government clearly is back." -- Georgia Republican Rep. Tom Price to CNN's John King on "State of the Union."

By Chris Cillizza  |  March 2, 2009; 5:45 AM ET
Categories:  Cheat Sheet Share This:  E-Mail | Technorati | Del.icio.us | Digg | Stumble Previous: Friday Line: Ten Republicans to Watch
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>>Leapin writes:

...The challenge we face is how to effect systemic change. As was noted we've been overconsuming for decades.<<

If we are not consuming what are the employed going to doing. Do you really think Obama's plan of giving Trillions to unproductive supporters in the financial industry is going to put ordinary Americand back to work? Do you really think that spending Trillions more on education so the educated can serve an non-consuming market id going to help ordinary Americans? Do you think that Obama giving AIG more money in one day than what he is spending on alternative energy in his "economic stimulus" plan is the right path for America?

Posted by: rpatoh | March 3, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Obama might be able to balance the budget just by nominating his Democrat cronies to Cabinet positions.

Posted by: rpatoh | March 3, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse



Scribes, correspondents and producers:

Still-secret Bush Justice Department memos are believed to have approved the covert use of classified, silent microwave radiation weapons on U.S. citizens -- "targeted" under the pretext of the "war on terror" as "undesirables" and "dissidents."

Victims, including the journalist who authored the articles linked below, say these painful, debilitating and illness-inducing microwave assaults constitute torture and "slow-kill" (a military descriptive) homicide -- what could be described as an American genocide.

Victims of these assaults say their family finances are decimated by an array of secret "programs of personal financial destruction" that involve the forced cooperation of private enterprise; surveillance and interception of mail and telecommunications; and the forging of billing, utility, banking and mortgage statements -- what they charge is a process of expropriation and theft by deception.

Sources say these covert programs were justified by the Bush Justice Department under legal theories that are said to include a suspected "nexus to terrorism" and, according to a source, the legal theory that weapons and/or medical experimentation on U.S. citizens is permissible if subjects are under federal investigation for suspected offenses.

These microwave weapons assaults have continued under the Obama administration, and are facilitated by an "extrajudicial punishment network" enabled by federal agencies; local police nationwide; and "community gang stalker" citizen vigilantes fronted by government-funded community policing and volunteer organizations.


Victims have asked the FBI/Justice Department to launch a civil rights investigation. They say officials have told them they see nothing to investigate, refuse to run down leads, and hint that victim accounts are delusional.

Victims maintain that marginalizing the persecuted as "unstable" or "mentally ill" is a tactic being used to cover up crimes against humanity, a highly organized and well-funded social genocide.



• Silent, covert microwave radiation weapons assaults on innocent but "targeted" U.S. citizens;

• Terroristic vigilante community gang stalking, surreptitious home entry, police-tolerated vandalism;

• Secret federal "programs of personal financial destruction."


OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):


Posted by: scrivener50 | March 3, 2009 1:42 AM | Report abuse

And btw - let's humor your causal argument for one second. If it is true, then why didn't the markets tank in April, when it was clear Obama would be the Dem nominee and thus have a big advantage? Why did the market not tank until John McCain took the lead??

Posted by: kreuz_missile | March 2, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

"The stock market is much more perspecacious than you. It can look ahead and plan. Did you think traders would wait until the day he was elected to plummet"

This is the market that accurately saw the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Bears Sterns, etc., and anticipated them???

They are reacting to the future based on assumptions from the present, which are changing as new information is trickling out. It isn't fiscal policy that is shaping this collapse, it is still the toxic assets and the zombie banks. If Obama announced tomorrow that he would fully embrace all of the Republican plans slash the discretionary budget, cut taxes especially on businesses, etc., it wouldn't do a damn bit of good, because the problem with the banks would still be there and that would do nothing to shore them up. AIG is driving the markets for the next couple of days, and until they have reassurance that they are safe, the markets will overreact to the financial industry in rough proportion to how they underreacted to the news that had been leaking out about the other financial houses in the two years leading up to their September 2008 collapse. This is what actual, genuine intelligence will tell you, rather than blind partisan bomb throwing. If you want a seat at the grownup table, feel free to engage. Otherwise, NO ONE CARES WHAT YOU THINK.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | March 2, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Brainz-missing. The stock market is much more perspecacious than you. It can look ahead and plan. Did you think traders would wait until the day he was elected to plummet. Unlike you who still can't see the disaster, we knew about this before he got in. But everyone knows libs just aren't too swift. Especially about money.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 2, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

astonishing,, no washington post political bloggers have devoted a column to the fact that obama is breaking one of his campaign promises-- no earmarks in his budget.

are you all journalists are just obama worshipers?

Posted by: tru-indy | March 2, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

"In other news, moonbats protest warming during blizzard. Sort of like promising to save during splurge"

It's been 80 degrees in Texas for two weeks. Funny Global Warming deniers ignore that, and when this snowfall is followed b ya sudden heatwave the next week that leads to flooding (as happened in the midwest last time), they agian look the other way. More cherry picking data by idiots.

"Bushs last year- record highs
Obama first year- record losses"

Yes, Obama, not Bush, was responsible for a stock market crash that began three moths before he was even elected.

I am sure now you will freely admit that 9-11 was Dubya's fault, right? After all, any idiot can see he should have solved that problem, he had a full nine months in office!!!!!

Posted by: kreuz_missile | March 2, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

"1999 - Your buddy Slick"

Yup, blaming Dubya three months after he leaves office is a sick obsession, but blaming Clinton never goes out of style.

1. I never claimed to be a big fan of Clinton, he was a Blue Dog DLC triangulator more interesting in winning elections than in setting good policy, and his signing off on the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (an ultra liberal bill clearly, named for Phil "Nation of Whiners" Gramm).

2. This isn't the root of the problem, as the low income sub-prime mortgages weren't the problem. The problem was the extension of sub-prime mortgages to middle income folks in key areas that were for real estate purposes. They were the ones who defaulted en masse when their investment schemes failed to pay off, not the low income folks who were actually living in their homes.

3. Fannie and Freddie only enable other folks to loan money, they don't force any banks hands. The banks hold the responsibility to determine how much a homeowner can pay and to make sure they are making good investments when the issue loans. Sub-prime mortgages enable people to make lower payments and thus to be eligible for the loan because they can then afford basic payment,s but is no excuse for banks to issue loans knowing full well people cannot pay for them.

4. 3 above means that the mortgage moves of the 1990s were a necessary condition for the housing bubble, but not a sufficient one. The system went to hell in this decade with the "Ownership Society," the push for greater deregulation, and the repeal of Glass-Stegall (mentioned in point 1) which effectively turned the banks into loan sharks, removing their normal ethical and regulatory barriers. This led to an explosion in home ownership which many, notably Krugman, had been writing about, and derided by conservatives, for most of this decade.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | March 2, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

drindl: yes, any senator or house rep from Arizona is crooked as hell.
With no brains.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 2, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

an entertainer who is addicted to downers and spent HIS healthcare money on
the classic "let's use 6 doctors so I can refill my 6 prescriptions at any given time"---------because I eat 20 percocettes a day and need to keep RE-UPPING from my doctors.

He used 6 doctors to scam percocette prescriptions. That is breaking the law in some states. He used street dealers to get them!!!
And do you know what downers do to your brain cells? And don't tell me he hasn't been addicted for DECADES !!! (not you drindl)
Rush Limbaugh is not qualified to speak for anyone and repulsives should put him on the first train out of town IF they don't want to get lumped in with a FAT FREAK DOWNER ADDICTED PERSON !!

And they lamblasted Mike Phelps for a bong picture...yet, people & the entire Republican Congress will listen to this drugged out fat freak.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 2, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

keep hoping drivl. Maybe one day the great and powerful oz will grant you too a brain. Scarecrow got one.

Clearly mr thin skin knows that the truth and wit from Rush is the greatest threat to the propoganda and lies.

Mike b a drop of 500 is called Wednesday In libenomics.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 2, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

I think we need a pool here -- to bet on which republican member of congress can say the most ludicrous and insane thing-- they kool-aid theyr'e serving must be getting stronger:

"In the days and weeks since President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, conservatives have distorted its provisions in a desperate attempt to mislead the public about what the package will do. First they mocked parks preservation funds as spending on “grass”. Then they repeatedly and falsely claimed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sought $30 million to save a mouse. And they completely made up a mythical high-speed rail line between L.A. and Las Vegas, gleefully attacking the “magnetic levitation” train apparently because they thought the term sounds funny.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) took the lies to a new level today when he — with the help of an enthusiastic Fox News’s Megyn Kelly — declared that the 2009 omnibus bill included funding for a train traveling straight from “Disney” to Nevada’s most famous brothel, the Moonlight Bunny Ranch:

KELLY: It’s a super railroad, of sorts — a line that will deliver customers straight from Disney, we kid you not, to the doorstep of the moonlight bunny ranch brothel in Nevada. I say, to the moonlight Bunny Ranch brothel in Nevada. So should your tax dollars be paying for these kinds of projects? […]"

Posted by: drindl | March 2, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

"But this was so predictable for anyone with a brain. Present company excepted obviously."

Obviously, as you make so clear every time you post -- every two minutes.

Posted by: drindl | March 2, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

TheBabeNemo - No it won. China will blow up and end as a series of fiefdoms. Before this is over, "globalization" wont just be over, it will go down as a bad joke. The result is going to be wars, disease, starvation, and end to infrastructure. E.g. - forget cheap oil. Middle Eastern oil will really cheap for a while, but unobtainable in about two years as every country with a military and the means to project it makes a grab for resources. ANd, this isn't a wild guess, it's a modeled projection of what has been set in place.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | March 2, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Just to clear up some facts. The bush tax cuts led to such
Prosperity and expansion the momentum even survived an entire year of the peloony congress. But the market in it's wisdom, saw the path stretching out toward socialism. Hence the tumble.

Bushs last year- record highs
Obama first year- record losses

But this was so predictable for anyone with a brain. Present company excepted obviously.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 2, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

I see the republican party fracturing like a rotten melon... and the wedge is rush limbaugh.

"Today at CPAC, Rush Limbaugh was supposed to deliver a 20-minute speech. It ended up lasting for 1 1/2 hours, before a right-wing audience that greeted him like a hero. Rush again defended his controversial comments that he hopes President Obama fails, saying they were “common sense.” He also claimed that Democrats had wanted the war in Iraq to fail. The overflow crowded exploded into applause at Rush’s remarks. After his speech, CPAC presented Rush with a “Defender of the Constitution” award, which included a document signed by Benjamin Franklin. The presenter then compared Rush to Franklin:

The king of England sat with his advisers, and they read the writings of Ben Franklin. They said, “The colonists will never be successful if they read what he writes.” Just as the king’s successor, who is in the White House, said the other day, that conservatives will never be successful if they listen to Rush Limbaugh. The only way we will be successful is if we listen to Rush Limbaugh!

The crowd again erupted into cheers."

Michael Steele:

Last night, RNC Chairman Michael Steele appeared on D.L. Hughley’s show on CNN and disputed Hughley’s statement that Rush Limbaugh “is the de facto leader of the Republican Party.” “I’m the de facto leader of the Republican Party!” Steele insisted. Steele admitted that Limbaugh’s shtick is “incendiary” and “ugly”:

STEELE: So let’s put it into context here. Let’s put it into context here. Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. Rush Limbaugh, his whole thing is entertainment. Yes, it’s incendiary. Yes, it’s ugly."

ugly indeed...
kinda fun to watch though....

Posted by: drindl | March 2, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Leapin writes
"In relative terms, it is no longer 2005, but that does not mean it is 1932 either."

You're correct about that. What the Fed & the Obama administration are trying to avoid is a slide into a depression. In '32 the unemployment rate was around 25%; tomorrow's announcement is projected to be around 7.9% - a fall, but nowhere near great depression levels.

The challenge we face is how to effect systemic change. As was noted we've been overconsuming for decades. The last decade, give or take, represents particularly excessive levels of borrowing & spending. The consensus among economists & finance experts is that doing nothing and 'letting the market sort it out' will likely send us into the '32 like economy that we'd all like to avoid. That's why the Paulson-Bernanke team last year (under President Bush) pushed for the bailout program (TARP) and other Fed actions.

Sadly, the credit markets are still generally frozen, which is having a detrimental impact on the free flow of capital. When capital stops flowing, businesses start having trouble meeting payroll or investing in raw materials, or in growing their businesses. So the actions promoted by the Fed & the Admin are designed to firstly free up the flow of capital, and secondly address the growing unemployment problem that is a huge drag on the economy and state budgets.

Posted by: bsimon1 | March 2, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

We had to destroy the economy in order to save it.

-- the libs.

Too late. We already took care of that.

-- the cons.

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | March 2, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

mibrooks - very valid

and China will survive beautifully.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 2, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

leapin, KOZ - This is not a "sharp downturn", nor some sort of liberal invention. You are witnessing the beginning of an economic catastrophe that will wipe out the wealth of nations and lead to the collapse of whole societies. If my model is correct, and it has been dead on for quite some time, you will see an avalanche of bank, financial services, and insurance failures accompanied by a CRASH, a sharp drop of between 500 and 1000 points, by the DOW, and losses on the CAC, DAX, London, Tokyo, and other world markets of at least 10%. At the latest, this will occur before April 10, and it is better than even odds it will occur before the end of next week. There is no way Obama could have caused this. This is a systematic, institutional, and world wide response to you era of unfettered and unregulated corporate predation upon the Western consumer driven economies. That crash will continue right up until the governments of the West close down your precious markets and try and figure out some sort of rational and united response. They wont, of course, and it will mark the beginning of a series of crises the likes which the world has never seen. It will mark, very likely, the end of Western Civilization. It WILL mark the end of your twisted and perverted "conservative" ideology.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | March 2, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

"For the last two decades, we borrowed and spent as if there were no tomorrow."

paying for the greatest generationERs.
and they want to blame the "break" on the influx of baby boomers.
don't think so.

sounds cold, i know, but the Greatest Generation broke us!!!!

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 2, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

All this moral posturing and incrimination has led to the sort of nemesis we saw with the "highest ethical standards" devolving into Daschle, Geithner, Killefer, Lynch, Richardson, Solis, etc. (and silence about Blago, Burris, Murtha, Rangel, etc.). Does anyone remember that, decades ago, a flip-the-channel collective response met Jimmy Carter every time he put on the cardigan sweater and began to lecture America about what was wrong with it rather than trying to uplift Americans' spirits to meet new challenges?

Posted by: leapin | March 2, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

"we simply cannot have these treasonous scum running amuck, undermining the government and creating even more instability"

Eric Cantor - dancing to Steven Tyler.
Rush Limbaugh - noddin' out in the corner on Percocettes listening to Tubular Bells.
Judd Gregg - "sorry folks, i'll take your money but can't serve on the new administration."
Mitt Romney - "uh, where am I suppose to stand?"
Sarah Palin - "don't I look cute in my Chanel suit"?

priorities, priorities, priorities

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 2, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

So are we in a depression that justifies a vast redefinition of government and a massive takeover of the private sector? Not quite. What we are witnessing instead is a sharp downturn from the most affluent era in the history of civilization. For the last two decades, we borrowed and spent as if there were no tomorrow. Now we are living in that tomorrow of cutting back and making do.

In relative terms, it is no longer 2005, but that does not mean it is 1932 either.

Posted by: leapin | March 2, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

In other news, moonbats protest warming during blizzard. Sort of like promising to save during splurge.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 2, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

The Dow is "only" down 300 today. In lib economics this is less down than usual. So it is good.

The war on terror is over. We have folded. The war on prosperity is just begun.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 2, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

no way king
Senate tacked on 450 pages of more earmarks.

Talk about destroying the economy..
I think that was Baby Bush. Earlier in the decade was Paulson's precise words.
Yeppers, the was Bush's

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 2, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

"we simply cannot have these treasonous scum running amuck, undermining the government and creating even more instability."

True , Nancy, Dangling Harry, Barney "I luv Fannie" and Chris "Contrywide" report to Camp Gitmo.

Posted by: leapin | March 2, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

We had to destroy the economy in order to save it.

-- the libs.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 2, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

- If you think this is all a "housing bubble", you haven't been paying attention. This is all due to a whole series of Ponzi Schemes, mismanagement, an entire class of greedy people that compose Wall Street and the corporate world, that took all of that extra money laying around - savings, retirement accounts, insurance money - and burned it in a mad attempt to satiate the delusions of ordinary citizens that they could have it all. At least half of the 12 trillion dollars by ordinary American's in those areas is GONE. Add in another 37 to 71 trillion dollars in similar foreign money and you have a financial debacle, a catastrophe!, that will cause the Great Depression to be renamed the Recession of 1929. NOTHING has ever ben seen before like this EVER and none of the Washington insiders has the slightest chance of predicting it, much less fixing it. Now, the model (maybe I should rename my hobby The Model) has shown a banking and financial services industry collapse later this month. But the chart lines predict that as happening once the DOW closes at 6500, which looks like this week. If we assume CITI goes under on Friday, pretty likely, then "The End" happens early. Historian's will write about this, future economists will study it, they just wont be American because wont survive this, but you and KOZ and everyone else here gets to live through it. Isn't it exciting? And to think, we had so many warning, so much information about the effects of globalization, outsourcing, unregulated financial markets, huge corporations that "cannot be allowed to fail" (remember the Sherman AntiTrust Act?), the unsustainability of a service based economy, and we still plunged blindly ahead and committed suicide. Morons. All of us, stupid, blind, greedy, barn raised chickens.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | March 2, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

It seems the messiah missed over 8000 earmarks In his line by line review to tighten the federal budget.

Another promise expired.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 2, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

kreuz_missile -

Want to really know why we are where we are today?


1999 - Your buddy Slick

Posted by: leapin | March 2, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Limbaugh is spouting “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”’. What outdated concepts! We need to print MUCH more currency and NOW!

Posted by: leapin | March 2, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Not Matt Drudge. How the mighty have fallen.

Posted by: DonJasper | March 2, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

The Borgen Project has some good info on the cost of addressing global poverty.

$30 billion: Annual shortfall to end world hunger.
$550 billion: U.S. Defense budget

Posted by: atsegga | March 2, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse


At today's WH briefing, finally someone among the pack asked a new question, about the CIA's destruction of 100 hours of detainee interrogation tapes. Gibbs' demeanor revealed some real Team Obama dissatisfaction, a response that cried out for follow-up.

And then it was Chip Reid's turn. So he promptly asked the umpteenth question about the issue of the day.

Hey, Chipper:

Redeem yourself tomorrow. Ask Gibbs whether the inquiry into Bush torture tactics extends to reports of DOMESTIC TORTURE via the Bush DOJ approval of the covert "use" of silent, tissue-cooking microwave radiation weapons on innocent but "targeted" U.S. citizens:


OR (if links are disabled / corrupted):


Posted by: scrivener50 | March 2, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

"I am not surprised at the feeble outcome of the lib government. Only that the truth was revealed so quickly."

The truth:

"Liberal economists like Paul Krugman ridicule the Bush boom as nothing more than a housing bubble destined to burst. But if the numbers-challenged Krugman would do some homework he would find that the GDP contribution of residential investment has dropped from 15 to 8 percent in the last two years. For that matter, the consumer contribution to GDP has slowed from 90 to 75 percent. By taxing investment less, the economy is generating more of it."
- Larry Kudlow, 17 Aug 2005

"One Wall Street investment manager asked me when the Fed is going to “fix” housing. I asked him, “Do you mean that Greenspan should get a ladder and a paint bucket and actually begin work on a house?” “No, no,” he said. “When will the Fed stop the bubble?” To which I responded, “That’s not the Fed’s job.” There is a bubble in Naples, Florida. But there are no bubbles in Syracuse or Hartford."
- Larry Kudlow, 11 May 2005

"Homebuilders led the stock parade this week with a fantastic 11 percent gain. This is a group that hedge funds and bubbleheads love to hate. All the bond bears have been dead wrong in predicting sky-high mortgage rates. So have all the bubbleheads who expect housing-price crashes in Las Vegas or Naples, Florida, to bring down the consumer, the rest of the economy, and the entire stock market."
- Larry Kudlow, 20 June 2005

"Meanwhile, the Goldilocks economy remains alive and well. It’s still the greatest story never told. And while Goldilocks may have softened somewhat, getting her back on track is not rocket science.

The key thing to remember is that businesses drive the economy. Businesses create jobs and incomes for consumers to spend. Today’s John Edwards/Mike Huckabee anti-business populism sounds more like William Jennings Bryan than Adam Smith. It’s absolutely crazy. They attack Wall Street and investors, which is another way of attacking capital. Without capital investment, there will be no new business, no new jobs, and no middle class.

And the reality is that today’s economic weakness is coming from the business side, not the sub-prime/housing/consumer side. We’re witnessing high energy and raw-material prices cause unit costs for businesses to rise faster than prices. That spells weakening profits."
-Larry Kudlow, 4 January 2008

This Bush cheerleading jackass is a big part of the reason why we're where we are today.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | March 2, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

"Perhaps there's a reason for this?

That's the problem. Everyone wants a quick and painless solution. One hasn't been proposed most likely because there isn't one."

There absolutely isn't one. The problem still rests with toxic assets in the real estate market, which still represents the backbone of the economy. The choice of conservative economists would be to let them fail and let the markets sort it out, but that would mean a 2,500 point drop in the market and years, if not decades, of economic chaos while the market sorts it out. The liberal alternative would be nationalization of the banks, seizure of asset, and government indebtedness to cover the costs to reset the markets, but that runs the risk of stagflation. There are no easy solutions that this generation, which is too used to having things too easy, is willing to accept right now.

I think the plan right now is to maintain the status quo, with lingering doom slightly overhead until enough conservatives recognize their way simply is not going to happen, so they come to the table proposing their own way of doing the latter so as to get everyone on board.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | March 2, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

(the babe is laughing very heartily)))

mibrooks: best reason I can find for NOT closing GITMO---

"President Obama MIGHT actually be forced to do what Lincoln did during the Civil War and lock up people like Limbaugh and Sean Hannidy and Anne Coulter, and more than a few Republican politicians, as we simply cannot have these treasonous scum running amuck, undermining the government and creating even more instability."

Hannity makes me gag too

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 2, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD - Oh, there are solutions. But they will be VERY difficult for Wall Street and corporations to swallow. We need to recognize that our "global policies" are fantasies that do not work. We need to recognize that an excess amount of investment cash was floating around that demanded insane returns and that set up a playground for a whole slew of con artists with assorted Ponzi Schemes. And, in spite of the hot air blown by experts, Chinese cash accounted for less than 5% of that money. Most of it was *OURS*. It was our pension plans, public employee pension plans, 401K's, automobile and home insurance funds. That money amounts to more than 12 TRILLION dollars, just for U.S. consumers, and there isn't fifty cents on the dollar of it left. So we have a massive amount of unfunded debt. On a world wide scale, similar funds have gone into the stock markets of the world, but especially in the U.S. The liability totals, by some estimates, as high as 70 TRILLION dollars (but the low estimate of 37 trillion dollars ought not make you feel much better). The fact is, our LARGE bank and financial services companies, our insurance companies, all are so deeply in debt that they don't have a prayer of surviving. They need to be broken up, not made even larger, as the fools in Washington are doing. Doing this will be painful. Your pension funds, fictional anyways, will disappear, so will the investments of "shareholders" in those companies. In the meanwhile, temporary government takeover, complete takeover, of those companies will be necessary, just to ascertain the amount of exposure hey face. To do this, without the markets going nuts, will entail shutting them down for a period of 30 days. We can actually do this here, alone, but it would be far more effective if it were done globally. Right now, that is the ONLY out we have. It would be painful, it would create insecurity and fear among citizens like you wouldn't believe, and the crazies of the Republican attack machine would simply go nuts. President Obama MIGHT actually be forced to do what Lincoln did during the Civil War and lock up people like Limbaugh and Sean Hannidy and Anne Coulter, and more than a few Republican politicians, as we simply cannot have these treasonous scum running amuck, undermining the government and creating even more instability. You wan pain? That would be pain. But I see no other possible solution.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | March 2, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

i can't get the picture of Baby Fix up - it's "blocked"......(i'm at work).

Geitner looks like Sean Penn in MILK!!!!

mibrooks is correct in his entry. Do you know how hard it is to "clean up a Bush mess"? The Bush family is very very good at "messin' with law & code" ever so slightly.

The Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 was Bush's. And look - AIG got the biggest chunk and now they want more. The TARP funds didn't get released until President Obama was in office. And he told Congress to release TARP monies. Where did those go?
The last dying breath of Number 43 - Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 is a flop.

HR1, in some parts, repeals some of the ESAct of 2008. Thank God.

king - wall street always takes a dive in a paradigm shift. It will come back, just like property values.

and lastly, Eric Cantor is a jerk!

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 2, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

"Not one Democratic or Republican economic expert or insider has proposed doing anything differently."

Perhaps there's a reason for this?

That's the problem. Everyone wants a quick and painless solution. One hasn't been proposed most likely because there isn't one.

Posted by: DDAWD | March 2, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

hey king - what law was signed today?

And if Rush Limbaugh is the new face of the Republican party- - OH MY GOD!


this fat guy (using the nice word) with a Percocette addiction is the new face of the GOP.

oh BTW -- everyone review their 401k(s) and take AIG off !!!

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 2, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

KOZ - At the very least you are being intellectually dishonest. The economic crisis was set in motion and nurtured by Bush and his NeoCon jackals. It was never anything more than a hogs slop trough set up for their friends on Wall Street and corporate board rooms across the world. Bush literally traded our jobs, our factories, our technology, to buy friends and influence. That is what "globalization is all about. If every nations economy is interdependent, they are not so likely to war against each other.

Without regulations or oversight, the maggots of Wall Street ate the heart out of every bank and institution they encountered. Pension funds were treated like so much "Monopoly" money, creating new investments in mortgages, commodities, and exotic securities. Now the whole ramshackle, worm eaten mess was handed off to Obama. Left entirely alone, it would be even worse. The Bush-Obama stimulus packages have amounted to throwing more slop to the corporate and Wall Street swine, buying us a little more time, with doing anything to fix the underlying problem. Not one Democratic or Republican economic expert or insider has proposed doing anything differently. So collapse it will, but is will do so because the blithering idiots keeping making the same mistakes and are so blind, cheered on wildly by ginned up partisan's from either side, that they don't have a clue. This rotten stump is going to fall on you and you have no one to blame but yourself.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | March 2, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

the forward looking Dow has sunk 12 percent in feb. The worst in a century. Yet the loons blame this on bush. Is he coming back? The verdict on barry.harry.nan is so clear even a moonbat could see it. Maybe even a nytimes journo.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 2, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

"I need to download one those " days until" apps to prepare for nancys departure in just under two years. "

Are those Bush countdown clocks reprogrammable?

Posted by: DDAWD | March 2, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

President Obama needs our thoughts and prayers. Cleaning up the massive damage and destruction wrought by Bush, his flunkies, and their moronic GOP allies in Congress will take years.

Fortunately the GOP can do no further damage, but it can and clearly will obstruct the reconstruction efforts. Of course, this will just lead to further GOP losses in 2010 but oh well.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | March 2, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

hey...not to get off topic

did anyone see Katrina from THE NATION magazine crucify Karl Rove on the Sunday talk show.
I think it was Meet the Press or George Steffyland.......

she gave him h***
i was so proud of her

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 2, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I told ya....play Jimi Hendrix and the Baby Fix will be born.

Haven't pulled up the picture.
Guess Chris didn't name the new tyke
NEMO, uh?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 2, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure the Kansas Governor is a good pick for the HHS post. But strategically, I wonder if it's smart taking a Democrat out of state-wide office in a conservative state like Kansas. She could be anchor for more Democratic gains in Kansas.

Posted by: AlaninMissoula | March 2, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

The cabinet is full indeed. Full of ..

Posted by: leapin | March 2, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

A puppy is a perfect metaphor for Obama. Cute, perhaps loving but clueless and distracted, thinking he is actually a big ferocious dog. I promise not to pee on the rug or to chew shoes. I am a different kind of pup. And when you gaze into those eyes, you believe.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 2, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Interesting that KOZ complains about a cabinet full of Bush look-alikes. These, KOZ, are failing by doing exactly what those Wall Street experts have advocating all along. Paulson and Geithner are inner changeable. Summers is a free trade fool, no different than any of Bush's cretins. And Sebelius and Locke are as stupid as anyone Hoover had. Someone needs to tell Obama that he needs someone other than an empty suit for advice. At a time when we need genuine change, genuine new ideas, he has gone back to the same well. Does anyone genuinely expect the outcome to be any different. Oh well, maybe Chris will tell someone about economic modelling after the market really melts down later this month.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | March 2, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

who says the market is inefficient? It has barry, harry and nan figured out. I need to download one those " days until" apps to prepare for nancys departure in just under two years.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 2, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Hey Zouk,

You remind me of this guy:

Angry that your bad ideas aren't picked up by the rest of society, you stomp on a puppy. What a jerk.

Posted by: hiberniantears | March 2, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I am not surprised at the feeble outcome of the lib government. Only that the truth was revealed so quickly.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 2, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Why in the name of anything, is anyone listening to Newt or Rush? In addition, the news media should think less about ratings and more about substance. This sensational reporting is distoring the issues and news/ information.
Collins and Snowe should be congratulated their attempts to compromise and moderation in politics. THe Fix, today,was a bust.

Posted by: crrobin | March 2, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

8000 earmarks signed into law today by the guy who promised to go line by line and eliminate them. What a total fraud.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 2, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

shouldn't that read: white house cabinet sheet- cheat in full?

Another day of lib economics. Another plunge in the dow. Can we enforce the vote of no confidence and dissolve the government before we are all in ruin?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 2, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

This guy almost looks as bad as Jindal did last week (and last night on 60 Minutes):


Typical member of the GOP.

Posted by: hiberniantears | March 2, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: hiberniantears | March 2, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Now Team Obama must turn its attention to an ongoing "Silent Genocide" enabled by federal agencies...


We will continue to be "a nation of cowards" until the federal government stops enabling the TORTURE innocent but "targeted" citizens with microwave radiation weaponry in what is a horrific but silent "American Genocide."




Victims have asked the FBI/Justice Department to launch a civil rights investigation, because local police appear to countenance these covert, federally-enabled crimes against humanity.

Victims have been told by federal and local authorities that "there is nothing we see to investigate."




The ONGOING Bush/Cheney- initiated American social genocide via the "extrajudicial punishment network" :

• Silent, covert microwave radiation weapons assaults on innocent but "targeted" U.S. citizens;

• Terroristic vigilante community gang stalking, surreptitious home entry, police-tolerated vandalism;

• Secret federal "programs of personal financial destruction."




OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):


Posted by: scrivener50 | March 2, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Charlie's adorable! Congratulations again.

Posted by: KatherineWelsh | March 2, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

If Paul Ryan is smart he will definitly pass on taking on Feingold. They love him in Wisconsin and he is one of the best campaigners out there. Not to mention the fact that Fiengold was born to be a senator, and IMO is one of the best ones in that chamber.

Posted by: AndyR3 | March 2, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

I think the public has moved on regarding the faux controversy on changing Cabinet choices... The stock markets will tank again today and the public remains focussed on the poor economy.

(Thanks for the picture if your son. A real cutie!)

Posted by: RickJ | March 2, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

>>"The era of big government clearly is back." -- Georgia Republican Rep. Tom Price

No you just had your eyes closed. It's never left the fold. Highly ironic coming from someone in GA politics, who's idea of shrinking government is putting all the power in their hands.

Posted by: mtcooley | March 2, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

The cabinet embarrassments have been forgotten by everyone but the most ardent right-wingers. No harm, no foul.


Posted by: parkerfl1 | March 2, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

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