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Morning Fix: Obama convenes the Cabinet

1. President Obama meets with his Cabinet this afternoon at a critical time -- on both the domestic and foreign fronts -- for his administration. Obama won a victory over the weekend with the Senate's vote to bring his health care bill to the floor for debate but statements by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) among others on the Sunday talks shows suggest that trouble lurks -- most notably over whether or not a public option will make the final version of the bill (if, of course, there is a final version of the bill). Internationally, Obama's decision on Afghanistan is expected any day -- make sure to read the Post's Mike Shear's terrific piece on the ever-shrinking calendar -- but it has become increasingly clear that the time the president has taken to make the decision has actually complicated things. Wrote the Post's Dan Balz in his Sunday Take: "The lengthy policy debate inside the administration has spun out of control as it nears its finish, with damaging leaks and counterleaks." Cabinet meetings have become more photo-op than serious policy discussion in recent years but the gathering of the Obama braintrust -- the first since Sept. 10 -- is sure to set off discussion of the series of challenges facing the administration in the coming months.

2. The headline out of Gallup's daily tracking poll Friday was that the president's job approval numbers had dipped below 50 percent. Context matters, however. First, as Gallup noted, Obama's numbers have fluctuated within a relatively small range this fall after dropping somewhat precipitously in July and August. Second, as we noted when we wrote about the Quinnipiac poll, which showed Obama at 48 percent, last week's polls are a snapshot in time and using them as predictive measures is a major mistake. Interestingly, the arc of Obama's job approval as president most closely mirrors that of Ronald Reagan who dropped under 50 percent just days before Obama -- albeit 28 years earlier. If Obama stays on the Reagan path, the 2010 midterms will be tough on House Democrats (Reagan's party lost 26 seats in the House in 1982) and a break-even year for Senate Democrats (Republicans picked up a single seat in 1982).

3. The New York Times's Frank Rich has penned an insightful column on former Alaska governor Sarah Palin that includes this critical observation: "Palin is far and away the most important brand in American politics after Barack Obama, and attention must be paid. Those who wishfully think her 15 minutes are up are deluding themselves." We couldn't agree more -- whether or not you agree with Palin, she is a prime mover in Republican politics and cannot be ignored by anyone hoping to understand where the party is and where it's going. While Rich is highly critical of Palin in the piece, he does get at the heart -- we think -- of her outsize role within the political world; at one point Rich calls Palin the "pit bull in the china shop of American politics" and adds that "she can do what she wants, on her own timeline, all the while raking in the big bucks she couldn't as a sitting governor." Rich is right and that scares the Republican establishment.

4. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) continues to insist he will not run for president in 2012 even while giving speeches that sound very much like those of a national candidate. Daniels' latest came in an address to the state Republican Party in which he pledged loftily that the GOP must "be soldiers who think always of opportunity, not of reputation." Daniels also slammed the Obama administration: "The pose is over," he declared. "I don't know what color these dogs are, but friends, it ain't blue, I'll tell you that right now." Daniels, as we have written in this space, could well be an appealing national candidate for Republicans as he has spent the past five years running out the same sort of hope and change message with which President Obama captivated the country last year. But, despite that appealing profile, Daniels pledged during his 2008 gubernatorial campaign that he would not run for any other office and he seems to be sticking by it. Of course, minds can change in politics....

5. Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio's (D) strident call for Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to resign -- the only House Democrat to do so to date -- has the whiff of politics, according to some longtime political observers. DeFazio, who turned down recruitment efforts for the 2008 Senate race, continues to flirt with the possibility of running for governor next fall. Running as a populist could be DeFazio's way into a governor's race with several well known names led by former governor John Kitzhaber. Republicans lost their best candidate late last week when Rep. Greg Walden announced he was staying in Congress. Without Walden, Republicans may well cede the state to whomever Democrats nominate.

6. The hemming and hawing of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) about when she will resign her seat -- she insists she will do so after the early March gubernatorial primary whether she wins or loses -- has led to significant speculation about the future of the Democrats' top prospect in the race. Houston Mayor Bill White (D) continues to be the subject of rampant rumors that, when the Jan. 4, 2010 filing deadline for governor comes, he will have filed his paperwork to run. The Houston Chronicle's Joe Holley lays out the case for White to run for governor, the critical principle of which is that KBH hasn't stuck to her past pledges about the Senate seat and, if she wound up losing to Gov. Rick Perry in the Republican primary next year, she would have little incentive to quit. White and former state Comptroller John Sharp are both running for Senate; Sharp ran and lost to Perry in the 1998 lieutenant governor's race. One knowledgeable source said White remains far more likely to run for Senate but that it is not a done deal.

7. How much will Linda McMahon, the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, spend on her bid to win the Republican Senate nomination next year? Conventional wisdom suggested between $30 and $50 million -- a massive sum for a state as small as Connecticut. (For perspective, Ned Lamont, who beat Sen. Joe Lieberman in a 2006 Democratic primary only to lose to the incumbent in the general election, spent $16 million.) The Hartford Courant notes that "Superstar" Billy Graham has publicly speculated that McMahon will spend $100 million, a sum that would equal what New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg dropped to win a third term earlier this month and nearly double what Jon Corzine spent on his 2000 Senate victory. McMahon's early spending -- $3 million -- has quickly moved her into second place in polls and those familiar with the campaign (and the candidate) insist there is MUCH more where that came from.

8. Think you know everything about the Senate vote on health care last weekend? Put it to the test with the Post politics quiz. (Full disclosure: the Fix missed the last question but four for five ain't bad.)

9. For our money, the best ads we've seen so far in the 2010 midterms are in Illinois for Republican gubernatorial candidate Andy McKenna. McKenna, a former state party chair, has featured the famous hair of disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) in each of his early ads -- a symbol of the corruption and business as usual that has dominated politics in the state. McKenna's new ad starts with an image of Blago's hair atop the state capitol dome while a narrator details what Blagojevich -- and, by extension, his successor Pat Quinn -- have done to the state. McKenna faces a serious primary challenge from, among others, former state attorney general Jim Ryan but win or lose he has provided a potent blueprint for the GOP nominee to ensure voters don't forget about Blagojevich next year.

10. Even book tours are political nowadays, writes James Oliphant in the Chicago Tribune. Oliphant says that former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee's entourage at a recent book signing had the look of a "NASCAR pit crew, red uniform shirts adorned with the corporate logos of Mike Huckabee's Web site, his speaker's bureau, his publisher, and 'Huck' emblazoned on their epaulets."

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 23, 2009; 5:25 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Next: Dennis Moore retires



Posted by: nodebris | November 23, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

leapin is trying to get away with "deficits are bad" and hope nobody notices the sleight of hand.

Obama is running up a deficit for sound reasons.

Bush ran up far greater deficits for sh*tty reasons.

Is that too hard to understand?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 23, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

The point, Simple Simon, is that the only time economists agree you *should* engage in deficit spending is during a recession, and we'd be in much better shape to do that if we hadn't just inherited $12 trillion in debt coming *into* the recession. So your complaints now are a day late and $12 trillion dollars short of the mark.

Posted by: nodebris | November 23, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

And what good did it do us to run up such a deficit to fight two wars we didn't need to fight?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite
It didn't do any good, what's your point that's its good to extend the stupidity?

Posted by: leapin | November 23, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Last week, our federal debt passed $12 trillion - a mind-boggling $3 trillion increase in just two years.


And what good did it do us to run up such a deficit to fight two wars we didn't need to fight?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 23, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Last week, our federal debt passed $12 trillion - a mind-boggling $3 trillion increase in just two years. To put this into perspective, the total value of our yearly Gross Domestic Product is around $14 trillion.
But this debt is just the tip of the iceberg.Americans have unfunded promises to pay for, retirement benefits for government employees,$38 trillion for Medicare, $7 trillion for Social Security.

The grand total of liabilities is about $60 trillion, overwhelming GDP by more than four times and exceeding our combined net worth of approximately $53 trillion.

On top of this, we are about to expand Medicare through "health care reform." Today's D.C.-speak says it pays for itself. It is another spending fraud. The sponsors use faulty accounting, calculating 10 years of increased taxes for six to seven years of health benefits. In essence, it's another Ponzi scheme, which will add another $2 trillion in debt.

Day by day, the hole the United States government, led by BO and the NeoCom Statists, is digging is getting deeper and deeper. The numbers are so large, it is beyond belief. One has to wonder how long our creditors, mostly foreigners, will continue to support this spending frenzy. Ominous signs are appearing - the traded-weighted dollar index is down about 8% so far this year while the price of gold has rocketed 30% to more than $1,100 an ounce.

Posted by: leapin | November 23, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

This leapin guy sounds to be about nine years old

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 23, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Weekend Update
E-Gore bemoans the inconvenient truth of emails.

Did Obama practice safe sex with China?

It’s been established what Mary Landrieu is but what was the final price?


Posted by: leapin | November 23, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know if Aunt Zeituni is on the guest list for Thanksgiving Day dinner at the White House? Can’t dither there is only a couple days left to make a decision.

Posted by: leapin | November 23, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

"I prefer NeoCom Statist."

And you think that makes you look smarter?

Posted by: nodebris | November 23, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

"Seriously, your nonsensical, repeated use of the word socialism makes you look like an idiot. Oh wait..."
I prefer NeoCom Statist.

Posted by: leapin | November 23, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

"And please don't anyone say cutting taxes and regulations, because that was precisely what landed us in a depression to begin with."
SNL should do you next.

Posted by: leapin | November 23, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

'Many economist believe that rather than "averting a Depression," the stimulus made it much worst.'

You can tell a discredited notion is coming when it starts with "Many [insert specialty here] believe that . . . ."

I'll see your "Many" and raise you with a "Vast Majority" that disagree with your "Many."

Posted by: nodebris | November 23, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

"The U.S., on the other hand, blessed with prosperity for many years thanks to capitalism, is taking the path of socialism, the path that leads to poverty and despair."

Right. That would explain why those capitalists on Wall Street are so worried that the Dow is back up close to 10,500 and the other indexes are way up as well.

Seriously, your nonsensical, repeated use of the word socialism makes you look like an idiot. Oh wait...

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | November 23, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Many economist believe that rather than "averting a Depression," the stimulus made it much worst.

Among the "gems" that are being paid with the stimulus package are the death panels for Obamacare:

"It can be found in SECTION 9201 of the Stimulus bill. It sets up a 15 member Comparative Effectiveness Board, modeled after the UK's "NICE" board. Obama has appointed the members of this board and one of the members is DR. EZEKIEL IMMANUEL.

In socialist doublespeak, Obama and his accomplices will call Obama’s death panels "life panels" and the government’s takeover of health care “public option,” but lies do not change Obama's pro-abortion and pro-infanticide (late-term abortion) stand, nor the aberrant stands of Obama's Health Care Czar Ezekiel Emanuel and Science Czar John Holdren.

Obama's Health Care Czar Ezekiel Emanuel, rightfully called "Doctor Death," would make Dr. Kervorkian proud.

Dr. Emanuel has said that "Medical care should not be given to those who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens." As per Dr. Emanuel, your mother suffering from Alzheimer’s or your child diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome SHOULD NOT receive medical care.

And Obama's "Science Czar" John Holdren has called for population-control policies such as forced abortions, mass sterilizations, and mandatory population controls.

Lies do not change the FACT that we are broke and Obamacare will further destroy our economy, our future and the future of our children and grandchildren.

Lies do not change the FACT that Obamacare is another scam to enslave us.

Pray the fraudulent and criminal Obamacare bill slips forever into oblivion!

Posted by: AntonioSosa | November 23, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

drindl, the Chinese realized that socialism/communism DESTROYS economies and multiplies poverty. Therefore, the have used CAPITALISM in the economic sector and we can see how successful they have been. They continue to enslave people in other areas and should not be imitated in those areas.

The U.S., on the other hand, blessed with prosperity for many years thanks to capitalism, is taking the path of socialism, the path that leads to poverty and despair.

Posted by: AntonioSosa | November 23, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Obama has destroyed and continues to destroy businesses and jobs every day. Everything he has done so far has been anti-business and, therefore, job-killing and prosperity-killing.

Obama's SCAMs, including Obamacare and cap and trade, will be the final nails on the coffin or our prosperity!


Spitting out successive clichés like this sounds positively robotic.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 23, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Co-sign on the urgency of unemployment. I think the biggest mistake this administration has made, among all too many, is bailing out the top instead of the bottom. The money that went to banks already returned to the practices that got us into this mess should have gone to homeowners facing foreclosure, to public works projects, to new development of sustainable energy technology .. not to the banks.

Krugman has nailed it all along, that the stimulus averted a Depression but it isn't enough.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 23, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

drindl, Obama "creating" jobs?!!! Do you mean the mythical jobs he has "created" in districts that don't even exists? Do you mean the mythical jobs he has "created" while unemployment soars?

Obama has destroyed and continues to destroy businesses and jobs every day. Everything he has done so far has been anti-business and, therefore, job-killing and prosperity-killing.

Obama's SCAMs, including Obamacare and cap and trade, will be the final nails on the coffin or our prosperity!

No wonder the Russians are gloating. From Pravda: "The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America's short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more then another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe..."

Posted by: AntonioSosa | November 23, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

We (and our children and grandchildren) will be forced to pay billions for bribes alone. Obama and his accomplices have BRIBED everyone who can be bribed to advance their criminal trillion-dollar SCAM. As we can see, most Democratic Senators seem to be U.S. hating Marxists or corrupt politicians open to BRIBERY.

To get the House to pass the Obamacare scam, Obama and his accomplices lied, manipulated, intimidated, coerced and bribed (at our expense) Big Pharma, the AARP, the AMA, “Catholics” like Cao, insurance companies, etc.

To get the Senate to pass the scam, Obama and his accomplices have perfected the lies, the manipulation, and the intimidation. And they are bribing (at our expense) additional organizations and people like Ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln, and Mary Landrieu.

The intent of the Obamacare bills is NOT to improve anything. It's just government control (socialism/Marxism). Kill the bill!

Posted by: AntonioSosa | November 23, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Just one way Obama is working to create jobs. But you won't read about this in the MSM, because they are too busy reciting Republican press releases:

"The Obama administration is strongly urging Capitol Hill to add new funds to a popular small-business loan program that is nearly out of money.

As part of the $787 billion fiscal stimulus package earlier this year, lawmakers included $375 million to support Small Business Administration (SBA) programs to spur lending through higher guarantees and reduced fees.

The administration credits the programs with helping to rejuvenate lending for small businesses. Loan volumes under the program had crashed during the financial crisis last fall and winter. But the programs have been so popular this year that they are running out of money several months early."

Posted by: drindl | November 23, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse


Perhaps President Obama convened an emergency cabinet meeting because he finally realizes that a silent coup is subverting his agenda, decimating human and civil rights in America -- and that all cabinet departments must act immediately to restore the rule of law in America.




We know the Fort Hood shooter was harassed. Was he also "community stalked" by government-enabled vigilantes? Did this covert federal program help drive him to kill?


• Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan
• FEMA Director Craig Fugate
• NSA Director Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander
• Former JSOC Commander Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal
• DIA Director Maj. Gen. Michael Maples
• DOJ Asst. Atty. Gen./National Security David Kris
• CIA Deputy Director Stephen Kappes
• FBI Director Robert Mueller

TEAM OBAMA, CONGRESS MUST ASK: What do they know -- and when did they know it?


Posted by: scrivener50 | November 23, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

dawd, amazing, isn't it? Yes, let's learn from the Chinese about freedom. The irony, the very concept of irony, is completely alien to the Right.

Posted by: drindl | November 23, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Glenn Beck's example of protecting freedoms is...the Chinese???

Nice. I wish I had a cadre of mindless sheep to buy my books too.

Nice South Park a few weeks ago mocking Beck.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 23, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

4 out of 5 for me, too.

I agree with Mark completely about the unemployment issue. If Obama doesn't start treating it as the number one crisis requiring his attention, it will impact all of the other policy and political issues both for the administration and the Democratic Party overall.

It doesn't matter that Republican politicians would fight any jobs initiatives he might propose. What matters is what this is doing to those who are unemployed, underemployed and self employed. It's much deeper than politics as seen from a beltway perspective. It's like a hidden cancer ready to administer a death sentence to the economy if not treated early enough.

It also doesn't matter that this was caused by Bush policies. So what? Obama is president now. The buck stops with him. The blame game won't spare him if he fails to use his power to implement solutions to the crisis. He must create an effective jobs creating program. The stimulus bill was not enough.

Posted by: optimyst | November 23, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse


The number of 15 is correct that will be the majority the Republicans will have in the House of Representatives after the independents go back to voting center/right in the next elections.

The country is fearful of the deficit that the Democrats are piling on the backs of the voters and they want to know how increased spending and taxation will create jobs!

Posted by: mwhoke | November 23, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I was also able to get the first four correct.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 23, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Things are looking up today. With the stock market bouncing back (the Dow is close to 10,500), Americans are in the process of rebuilding the trillions in assets lost during the distastrous Bush regime.

Of course, what's good for most americans is bad for rightwingnuts. Could be a very unhappy thanksgiving for them.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | November 23, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

"Yesterday, while promoting his latest book at “a festive campaign-style rally” in The Villages in Florida, Fox News host Glenn Beck announced that he was crafting “a 100 year plan” that will be “radical” and will “restore our nation to the maximum freedoms we were supposed to have been protecting.” In his speech, which Media Matters captured on video, Beck told his followers, “we need to start thinking like the Chinese“:

The mind reels. Starting with our own Tiananmen Square, presumably.

Posted by: drindl | November 23, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Actually that would be Jesus Superstar Billy Graham.

Posted by: drindl | November 23, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

drindl, I assume you mean Regular Billy Graham, not Superstar Billy Graham.

And Franklin Graham reported on the story. How confusing.

Posted by: Blarg | November 23, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

"Sarah Palin, the hottest name in the Republican Party, took a detour from her book-signing tour Sunday to dine with Billy Graham at his mountaintop home in Montreat.

She quizzed him on the presidents he's known and wanted his take on what the Bible says about Israel, Iran and Iraq, Franklin Graham reported."

Really, just what we need.

Posted by: drindl | November 23, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

"They need to address employment in the private sector not the government sector. "

You clearly don't know anything but rightwing talking points. Stimulus money WAS given to the private sector. Now, any actual ideas?

Posted by: drindl | November 23, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

When Nancy Pelosi prepared the last stimulus package she loaded it up with the liberal wish list of the last 20 years.

Then Joe Biden stated that it was filled with "shovel ready" jobs that would employ people immediately.

When Barack Obama signed the legislation he claimed that it would prevent unemployment from passing 8%.

Now unemployment is 10.2% on it's way to 11% and they still are not focused on jobs or the deficit or the economy.

They need to address employment in the private sector not the government sector. Employment in the private sector leads to more revenue for the government. Employment in the government sector leads to a sky-rocketing deficit.

"Jobs, jobs, jobs" and "it is the economy, stupid" worked for Bill Clinton and it is time for the Democrats to realize that!

Posted by: mwhoke | November 23, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

"Mike Huckabee's entourage at a recent book signing had the look of a "NASCAR pit crew, red uniform shirts adorned with the corporate logos "

Uniforms with corporate logos. Well, we see what kind of a president Huck might be. Next up, let's see -- corporate logos for our military's uniforms?

"Superstar Billy Graham is speaking out against the woman he says made millions from the violence, sexual exploitation, blood and excesses of professional wrestling. " No matter how much McMahon spends, will it wash away the dirt?

Posted by: drindl | November 23, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

I have to agree with margaret. Exactly what is it that Republicans want Obama to do about jobs? Another stimulus? You know they'd go through the roof about that. So what then? Where are the job creation ideas from R's? And please don't anyone say cutting taxes and regulations, because that was precisely what landed us in a depression to begin with. Inconvenient truth and all.

It doesn't matter what he does, or doesn't do. They will find fault with all/any of it. It's just another excuse to whine.

Posted by: drindl | November 23, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

geez, Chris, just because Dan Balz said it doesn't automatically make it so. all of this reporting on other reporters work, must be nice to get paid for that. Like Shear, cancelling a PolChat so that he could copy the story that WashTimes had put out about visotors to the WH, never mentioning that Cheney is still trying to hide who visited him. Just mentioned that according to the conservative paper the watimes, there were many visits form so-called big donors, which this WH showed at month's end with their release of the visitor's logs. Can't you guys ever just be balanced, and quit reporting all of the GOP's talking points? Thank you Chris for finally mentioning that the GOP brand is still suffering in the polls you seem to hold in such high esteem. How the opinions of 1700 people can be construed as relevant in a country of 300,000,000 people is beyond me. Polls were sure wrong last year, and the media's reliance on them is self serving and self perpetrating.

Posted by: katem1 | November 23, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

I heard some analysis on market place saying the job market would fully recover by 2012. Once again tying into my analogy of comparing Obama to the Reagan administration. Both gave the economy some tough but necessary medicine early in their administrations and suffer in the polls. While the GNP numbers are looking real good employment is lagging. Note that the stock market is a predictor of the direction of the economy. The Democratic party will lose seats in the mid-terms. They took some seats they should not hold according to the demographics. I think unemployment will be down around 8.5-9% by next November. That should minimize the lost seats to 15.

Posted by: bradcpa | November 23, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Mark, this was a very thoughtful post. It must be frustrating to like her so, and see her so stalled in her planning. She isn't doing what she needs t do to be successful in her plan to be Governor.

I especially like the point about unemployment, because I find this the most frustrating thrust of anti-Obama administration sentiment. This tide of unemployment is the result of action of the previous administration. The private sector will not start hiring until they have had several quarters in the black and money starts moving through our economy again. This will take time. If Obama were doing something BIG and sudden to stimulate hiring the GOP and Conservatives would be all over him for his wrecklessness.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | November 23, 2009 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Palin's "15 minutes" may not be up anytime soon, but it should matter that here fame is isolated to her already frenzied personal base. This is not a nation-sweeping event.

Posted by: parkerfl1 | November 23, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

When the cabinet meets today I hope that the top topic to be addressed is the deficit.

It appears that the Obama administration wants to load the American people with a debt that can never be reduced.

The ever-expanding deficit will prevent jobs from ever being created inside the United States.

It is time to end government spending and start to focus on jobs and the deficit!

Posted by: mwhoke | November 23, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Mark, I agree that KBH has everyone waiting in suspense, and I personally don't beleive for a minute that she will resign if she loses the primary to Perry, which it is starting to look more and more like the likely scenario. If that does happen the GOP will end up with two weak candidates running for Governor and senator.

I disagree however that BHO is struggling. He inherited a really crappy situation with the economy on the brink of depression, Two wars with no agreement of how to get out, a need for major healthcare reform, bank reform, climate policy reform, as well as a HUGE deficit left to him by GWB. In 9 months he has started the withdrawl from Iraq, got the economy back on sure footing and restarted growth (albeit at a slow pace), has passed major healthcare legislation in the house and has it debating in the senate, has a bipartisan climate bill in the works in the senate (thank you L Graham), Banking reform legislation is in committee, and passed a stimulus bill that is just now ramping up to create jobs.

The only two things he hasn't addressed is Afganistan (whihc he will address in the next day or two), and the deficit/national debt. Which BTW, I think will be the post 2010 campaign focus, and that means Social Security reform. This is inevitiable as he has already addressed some of the main problems with Medicare in the healthcare bill.

It takes a lot of time to fix all that was wrong with the direction of our government and frankly I think he is doing an admirable job so far. 6 months from now when unemployment is at 9% his numbers will be back at 57% and everyone will be singing his praises again.

Posted by: AndyR3 | November 23, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse

KBH has complicated the entire game of musical chairs for everyone else in TX. She is the general election candidate no one wants to challenge. Goodhair is the general election candidate many would challenge. An open Senate seat would be even more appealing.
A dozen Rs and 2 Ds are now hanging on KBH's indecision.

After what seemed to me to be a strong start, the BHO Admin is struggling, I think b/c of unemployment, and unemployment alone. All other decision making could be deliberate and would be applauded for its caution if new jobs were opening and optimism was in the land.

With the pessimism that follows job shrinkage comes disillusionment about the entire process of governance. All other decision making seems slow and "dithering" and to the forlorn, irrelevant.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 23, 2009 6:53 AM | Report abuse

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