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White House Cheat Sheet: Sending an (Economic) Message



President Barack Obama heads to Indiana today to sell his economic plan. AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson

President Obama will use today's trip to a city in the job-starved Midwest and tonight's prime-time press conference as the leading edge of the final push to pass his massive economic stimulus plan through Congress.

Obama will travel to Elkhart, Ind. -- located in the far north-central part of the state and represented by Rep. Joe Donnelly (D) -- this morning for a town hall meeting designed to illustrate the necessity of immediate action on the stimulus plan. Elkhart, a city of just over 50,000, has seen its unemployment rate triple over the past year and has shed 8,000 jobs during that time, according to figures provided by the White House.

"The news may have hit Washington on Friday with the job losses but hit many other communities long before," said one White House official, referring to the report late last week that nearly 600,000 jobs had been lost nationally in the month of January alone.

Obama and his team demonstrated time and time again during the campaign that they grasped the importance of symbolism when choosing event locations -- witness the coming-together of Obama and his one-time rival in Unity, N.H. (get it?), a town in which they each won 107 votes -- and heading to a traditionally Republican state in the middle of America that Obama won last fall is not an accident. It's meant to reinforce the message that the economic crisis that catapulted Obama into office is not a partisan issue and woe to politicians who view in through that lens.

Just in case anyone misses that message, Obama is bringing along a bipartisan group of lawmakers that includes Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a former Illinois congressman, and Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton as well as Sen. Evan Bayh and Donnelly among others.

The true audience for the Elkhart town hall -- and for Obama's press conference in the East Room of the White House at 8 p.m. (more on that below) -- is Congress where Obama's plan has run into a significant amount of resistance from Republicans and even some Democrats.

Assuming the compromise -- arranged by Sens. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) late Friday night -- holds through the day, a Senate vote is expected tomorrow on the package. The legislation will then go into a conference committee designed to work out the differences.

Obama's goal today and throughout the week is to keep the pressure on lawmakers to act by focusing on everyday struggles of average working Americans. Will Republicans continue to hold the line? Or will Obama's persuasion effort pay off?

Sked Stuff: For the first time since taking over the presidency on Jan. 20, Obama will take reporters' questions in prime time. This is a delicate dance for the newly-elected president and his team as Obama must ensure he doesn't step on the message of the day -- the time is now to act -- or appear flustered or agitated at the reporters who will be pressing him for information. Where will the Fix be for the festivities? Find out after the jump.

Twitter Time!: A prime time presidential news conference is made for the wise-crackery (and analysis) that we aim to provide via our live twittering. (Read more about The Fix's adventures in Twitter here.) Make sure that you sign up for "The Hyper Fix" Twitter feed to follow all the fun starting at 8 p.m. tonight.

No HHS Secretary In Sight: Despite all of the reporting over the weekend that suggested Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (Kan.) is the leading contender to be the next health and human services secretary, one White House official warns that the reporting is getting ahead of itself and that the process remains "wide open." Sebelius, who was in Washington for several days last week and huddled with Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, is clearly a serious contender, but after the problems the White House has had with several of its recent nominees, expect them to take it slow. And, given that this week is likely to be dominated by the economic stimulus vote and the unveiling -- on Tuesday -- of a broad financial rescue plan, an announcement on HHS might not come anytime soon.

Sebelius for Senate?: Speaking of Sebelius, new polling done by Research 2000 for Daily Kos suggests she would start off as the favorite in the open seat Senate race in the Sunflower State if she decided to run. Sebelius led Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R) 47 percent to 37 percent and Rep. Jerry Moran (R) 48 percent to 36 percent. Although rumors have circulated that Sebelius isn't interested in running for the Senate, our sources suggest she is still weighing the possibility. If Sebelius runs, she will face a daunting history, as no Democrat has been elected to the Senate from Kansas since 1932.

Click It!: Looking for the next Barack Obama? Lots (and lots) of political insiders believe you can find him in Newark, N.J. Newark Mayor Cory Booker is already widely regarded as a rising star in the Democratic Party but a new piece in the Guardian puts him on the world stage -- casting him as the second coming of, well, the second coming. The profile is incredibly favorable to the young mayor and is just the sort of piece that gets those who buzz about these sort of things buzzing.

Say What?: "With the press here, they're looking at me to say something wrong. I'm only kidding, guys. I never say anything wrong." -- Joe Biden being Joe Biden during a stopover Sunday at a British Air Force base.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 9, 2009; 5:50 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Weekend Wag the Blog: Debating the Stimulus
Next: Democrats Launch Poll Offensive

Comments

President Obama to the unemployed and poor: "Let me use you as a sounding board so no one will dare examine my pork-laden, impossible to track spending bill any further. After all, you're either so desperate or stupid (or both), I know you'll stand here and let me use you. Don't worry though, I'll ask for another $300 billion right behind this bill to help achieve what this package is supposed to do. That means we could get to visit again, though I'll probably have to pick a less deperssed area so I can pretend the so-called stimulus package is having a positive effect on someone besides Wall Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. Thanks for playing; I'm outta here. This place is depressing."

Posted by: JHG_sec405 | February 9, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

As far as the stimu-LESS bill, read the bill yourself. It is POLITICAL PAYBACK to all the people that voted in Barry. Unions, teachers, cops, park rangers, Federal workers, Indians, stooges, community activists. Wait……….what is missing? Where is the working class of Americans in this stimulus? NOT IN IT ANYWHERE!

Posted by: MaggieMay2 | February 9, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a good basketball player. To use a basketball analogy he is about to score a TRIPLE Double!

Double digit inflation

Double digit interest rates

Double digit unemployment

Posted by: leapin | February 9, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

A GOOD QUESTION Sounds GREAT, dbaker. Hope you got a lot of attaboys (I sincerely mean it!) from all the WaPo bloggatoriolists. But let me ask you one question...how will you ensure that we the peoples lobby will not assume shades of private interest groups, that, even as we speak, are tearing apart the very fabric of our once-great nation?
Posted by: yard80

ABOUT

WAKE UP MY FELLOW AMERICANS
By Dwight Baker
317 words

The use of the Internet is not going to save our nation. Just because we can air our wishes and desires to bring coalitions together to discuss between ourselves the needs of others and us is far from a FIX for our GOVERNMENT.

The Internet is not the fix it is just one step along the way to bring saneness back as a core of thought between us.

But WAKE UP WE HAVE NO POWER for our thoughts and desires to be pushed along inside of our corrupt affairs of our GOVERNMENT.


ANSWER ----

We have a model to look at it is called the GRANGE. They are located in Washington DC and in their prime they got things done that many thought impossible. They were farmers and ranchers that were being pushed around by big government. Look on the Webb there you will find all the data about the GRANGE. The other things of import is that AARP and the CONSUMERS UNION and many others that have needs to be in front of the many issues that concern all of us should be very good allies. There are non-for profit groups that advocate for our Veterans, children, mental health issues, etc.

Let us begin this process of the Grass Roots efforts to bring about the change that will change the face of our Democracy.

Posted by: dbaker00711281944 | February 9, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Good Morning Fellow Neo-Marxists,

All unemployed white collar and retail workers will report next Monday for bridge construction lessons. By Friday you will be 100 feet in the air, welding rebar in a driving rain storm on a new bridge on the BHO memorial highway.

Posted by: leapin | February 9, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

The candidate of “Hope and Change” has decided to be a president who espouses “Fear and Loathing.”

And one need look no further than the comments of his supports on these comment boards to see the most hate-filled rhetoric in the history of American politics. These people have a plan for the Final Solution to the Conservative Problem!

Posted by: NeverLeft | February 9, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

..........WAKE UP MY FELLOW AMERICANS

Contact dbaker007@stx.rr.com on how you can help push the concept of
WE THE PEOPLES LOBBY along.

Posted by: dbaker00711281944

Sounds GREAT, dbaker. Hope you got a lot of attaboys (I sincerely mean it!) from all the WaPo bloggatoriolists. But let me aks you one question...how will you ensure that we the peoples lobby will not assume shades of private interest groups, that, even as we speak, are tearing apart the very fabric of our once-great nation?

Posted by: yard80197 | February 9, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Young Nemo, when you posted

"remember, the first part of this, with Baby Bush still in office.....well, where did that go? Banks. I haven't gotten a letter from Chase "enticing" me to re-do my loan. No notice from my bank who got a big chunk. No customer service evident at all."

I thought you were referring to TARP-1.
I take it that your reference point was actually the non-TARP funding of financial houses that preceded the TARP?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 9, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

This is the Pelosi/Reid White House with Obama as the token black to do the talking.
That has been his job from the beginning;
The democrats took advantage of their their Chairs of Banking, Finance, oversight venues and did not detect this fiasco. Why should they... they made money and continue to do so all lulling in contributions from the financial and mortgage industries. The Dem. critics of bankers "that go partying and get bonuses on taxpayers shoulders" did the exact same thing this week-end at a luxury very posh place in Virginia. so much for "do as I say, not as I do"

Posted by: concernedcitizen13 | February 9, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Nevadaandy Re: down the road

This country is "down the road" and without a "functioning government." Those $Trillions being tossed about are by those without the sophistication as to the issues at crises and how best to respond.

To watch some of those politicians puff and bluff is downright frightening. Oh, OK, $700Billion? Over a weekend? The "urgency" of Obamatroms is the pile of chits of ORGANIZED LABOR demanding payback.

Where do you think those $Ts come from? An "Easter Bunny?" I have watched the whole bunch ... Waxman and Franks and the "La La" gals, Pelosi and Feinstein. Not to forget Schumer nor Biden who rallied Dem support for Iraq!!

The "Best?" How did we end up with such limited alternatives for the presidency? I personally thought Gov Palen was a short of the required expertise, but Obama has NOTHING. When you don't know what you don't know and will rely on "advisers" and "managers" and "staff" to provide that "education and training?" No legislation, responding to Roll Call for votes "present?"

God and country first, many of us voted for Sen McCain,not a bad choice for all his experience; look at the votes amasses by Obama .. they even went after those awaiting trial on felony charges and those having served; young voters, drop-outs?

Scarce funds on hand are not even enough to seriously address health care and you think we should defer the social issues and construct bridges? When those contracts are competitively bid and not UNION BUCKS, and in moderation, there might be a possibilty of reational thought.

Posted by: SavvyRead | February 9, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

For too long our leadership has not given enough forethought to their actions. We are suffering the consequences of massive deregulation, much of which has been initiated and passed by Republican administrations and by a Republican Congress. Clinton can be faulted for the massive contracting out of government.

Now we have a President who is looking far down the road to what America needs to remain strong and that is by shoring up our infrastructure. There are many interstate highways and bridges that have been in need of repair for too long. What is wrong with putting people back to work fixing things that too many administrations have ignored. How much longer can these bridges withstand the strain of daily commuters and interstate truckers? It is only when there is another bridge collapse like in Minnesota will people then clamor for the government to do something.

For too long the American approach has been one of reaction not prevention. We need to change this mind set. For too long we have been putting off changing to alternative fuels and better mass transit systems. The cost of repairing something, and manufacturing new alternatives today will be far less than having to do it ten years from now because some catastrophic event dictates we do something.

Posted by: Nevadaandy | February 9, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse


holy mackerel..
last week, 109 amendments on the books by the Senate for HR
today, 483.

Senate has passed the following amendments already (numbered)
s.amdt-102 104 106 109 125 145 176 178 237 274 363

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 9, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

hold on..
"the I screwed up" was in reference to Daschle. and not checking up on some nominees and their taxes.

let's not apply to everything

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 9, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Republicans to America: DROP DEAD! The only thing they're interested in is regaining power, and if it takes the collapse of the USA to do it so be it! They are nothing but obstructionist political pond scum who would steal the pennies off a dead mans eyes, and their druggie defacto leader Rush Limbaugh IS a big, fat idiot.

Posted by: Bushwhacked1 | February 9, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

You are optimistic as always, Mark, but the WaPo tells a different story--one that shows Republicans are interested only in tax cuts for the well-off, which is all that matters to them in this world. Not this country, not working Americans, but their rich benefactors who keep them in office: They are, as they admit, like the Taliban -- a negative, destructive force, an insurgency, with no interest whatsoever in solving America's problems. Quite the opposite, in fact. They pray for Obama to fail and the country to fall apart, because they see that as their only hope.

"The party, these Republicans say, need only hold true to its small-government principles for a center-right electorate to gravitate back. That means rejecting the stimulus package and offering in its place an alternative package centered mostly on tax cuts, as House Republicans did last week.

It also means focusing the stimulus critique on relatively small slivers of the package that echo old culture wars, such as spending for contraceptives and for the National Endowment for the Arts. And it means rallying to Rush Limbaugh, who has put himself forward as a de facto party leader, penning an op-ed article in the Wall Street Journal and accepting the on-air apologies of Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), who criticized the radio host and paid for it in a deluge of angry calls."

Posted by: drindl | February 9, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin writes
"The 24-7 news cycle keeps us from stepping back and seeing patterns. Every event takes on a life of its own when news becomes a commodity. But I am submitting to y'all that the emerging patterns I see of a Congress actually debating and passing legislation and a Prez who talks to them and us rationally and with a modicum of good will is a generally good thing, even if it is not a perfect thing."


That's a worthwhile point. Congress is a creature of habit. The congressional leadership started work on this bill prior to the administration being sworn in; particularly on the House side the legislation was written within the constraints of US vs Them habits. In the Senate we're seeing a bit more influence from the moderates (of which there are more in the senate than the house). When the bill hits committee, we'll see more compromise - probably shifting the final package a bit more to the left than what the senate passed. The more important patterns, from a political perspective, are whether the congress is going to change the way it behaves, given that the executive branch is treating congress differently than prior administrations.

Posted by: bsimon1 | February 9, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Talk about "a slog!" Only 20 days down! Yesterday's [Sunday] "talk shows," "Reliable Sources," supposedly a critique, instead gushing and condoning; followed by "MEET THE PRESS" and the soft balls. CNN has been an Obama chorus. No bias no bull? Incisive and authoritative critique of Obamatrons has been off limits, hushed! Rudely! The "circus" of the same performers regularly travel the same loops. And the collective media doesn't "get it?" Smiley faces .. former press agents and politicos? What else would they say? And pulllease, journalists: "HOPE" .. "CHANGE?" The "media" is this country is too shallow to grasp substance and implication.

The Democratic Party leadership is pathetic and the media blames this economic debacle on Republicans, who sinned by preserving Bushlites. What is it all about? Many of us long dedicated to Democratic values came to see a "shell game."

No longer "the Party" to protect the public welfare, health and safety, ranking interests are those of the coalition of UNION and GAY/LESBIAN agendas, that is the level of intellectual and social sophistication secured in office by the UNION CLOUT funded by those DUES built into PUBLIC PAYROLLS and MANDATED CONTRACTS all billed to taxpayers now LEFT OUT; no matter jobless, without health care, mortgage carnage, social services and law enforcement amok.

These are forces behind the "mouthpieces" marshalling the "Stimulus Package" to benefit the 12% of the careerforce that is UNION while ignoring the intelligent, rational and sane 88% rejecting that agenda, and now to be overpowered?

The Dem Chairs of Banking, Finance, oversight venues that didn't detect this fiasco? All lulling in contributions from the financial and mortgage industries? The Bush Sec of State under investigation?
Many top engineers and scientists are unemployed. Shovels? Accountants? Marketing and sales people?

A "Black president." Would that this president had the qualifications and experience to be a truly remarkable "President?" The day will come when those who supported him will come to realize that most successful Black Americans grew on their own and not from a corrupt political machine in Chicago, the ordinary commerce with UNIONS.

Those shouting rebuttal and objection should be encouraged to do so. It is our good fortune those voices are BOTH Democratic and Republican, those concerned for our National Security and indeed survival. Infrastructure, indeed. Note that UNION EMPLOYEES are SACRED COWS locally, state and nation wide. Why? Given the effectiveness of "government" presenting? Clue?

More roads to transport what/who where? UNION JOBS. That Obama "admits" that "he screwed up?" He wrote his script and expect an acting award? Next chapter Afghanistan? Lives of our Armed Forces? His appointments to cabinets posts are bizzare. And with Biden as VP outrageous. What a departure for The United States of America. "Little mistake(s)?"

Posted by: SavvyRead | February 9, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

mark in austin
re-read my entry. you must have read it wrong.

I know TARP is in HR1. I never mentioned TARP.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 9, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

WHAT CAN EACH OF US DO TO STOP THIS MADNESS

WAKE UP MY FELLOW AMERICANS
By Dwight Baker
317 words

The use of the Internet is not going to save our nation. Just because we can air our wishes and desires to bring coalitions together to discuss between ourselves the needs of others and us is far from a FIX for our GOVERNMENT.

The Internet is not the fix it is just one step along the way to bring saneness back as a core of thought between us.

But WAKE UP WE HAVE NO POWER for our thoughts and desires to be pushed along inside of our corrupt affairs of our GOVERNMENT.

Petitions and Pleas and all our blogging trying to tell each of our stories best as we can will never bring the kind of POWER to bring about the needed changes.

The economic stimulus bill being discussed has had the LOBBYIST in Washington DC in a feeding frenzy adding the things that their clients WANT ADDED to the bill and some call that PORK.

I call it GREED. The give and take and chit chat and back slaps and ballyhoo are just a repulsion to me how about you?

We have the number of folks to start our own LOBBY in Washington DC. When done we would have power to affect the changes needed to bring a halt to our run a way GOVERNMENT for a time.

Our LOBBY would represent us. They would snoop too ---- to give all of us the day by day LOW DOWN what and who were pushing for what to be added to a bill to get a FREE RIDE in our DEMOCRACY.

Our LOBBY would be seen on CSPAN each night for the nightly NEWS not VIEWS from the elites and EAST COAST BLUE BLOODS needs to have their agendas pushed down our throats.

WAKE UP MY FELLOW AMERICANS

Contact dbaker007@stx.rr.com on how you can help push the concept of
WE THE PEOPLES LOBBY along.

Posted by: dbaker00711281944 | February 9, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Scrivener50 asks...

WHAT HAPPENED TO "QUALITY" PAID DISINFORMATION?

Someone ("scrivener60") is obviously exerting much effort on lame "psy ops" in an attempt to discredit a longtime, widely-published journalist, a frequent contributor here at The Fix who posts under the user name of "scrivener50".

Who -- or what "unit" -- would go to such trouble... so pathetically transparent as to be laughable?

Below are links to the articles that give the still-entrenched, human rights- abusing Bush-Cheney "extrajudicial punishment network" such agita.


(Fix readers, if you are unable to access these links, please leave a message on the "forums" page of www.nowpublic.com)


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

EYES ONLY; TO: President Obama; VP Biden; R. Emanuel; D. Axelrod; D. Blair; J. Brennan; J. Jones; E. Holder; J. Napolitano; R. Gates; L. Panetta; R. Mueller; H. Reid; N. Pelosi; D. Feinstein; S. Reyes

RE: Credible reports of human/civil rights abuses by the ongoing Bush-Cheney "Extrajudicial Punishment Vigilante Network"


IT IS DAY 21 OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION.

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

http://www.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/DISABLED):

http://My.NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | February 9, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I'm so glad the President is standing strong against the economic ignorance and political games of the Republicans. We need investment in jobs and infrastructure, NOW- not tax cuts.

Among other cuts, the state stabilization funding and the school construction funding that the "centrists" cut from the bill would be immediately, strongly stimulative to local economies- allowing school districts across the country to both save and create thousands of teaching and construction jobs, right now. These cuts must be restored in the final version.

Also, the wasteful and non-stimulative tax cuts that the Senate "centrists" put in should be removed. Tax cuts don't work. We need investment in jobs and infrastructure, not more tax cuts.

Posted by: ruthadkins | February 9, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

January 6th, 2009

“We are going to ban all earmarks — the process by which individual members insert pet projects without review,”
President Obama

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/01/06/1735189.aspx

February 5th, 2009

In defense of the Stimulus Bill:
When was the last time that we saw a bill of this magnitude move out with no earmarks in it? Not one.”
President Obama

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Obama-ratchets-up-the-apf-14284923.html

Posted by: leapin | February 9, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Young Nemo, the TARP-1 was not the first part of "this". "This" is the stimulus package.

TARP is for the financial system. TARP-2 will be announced by Geithner later this week. It is in the hands of Treasury, subject to disapproval by Congress.

Stimulus aims to stem declining demand by putting money in places where it will be rapidly spent and respent, preferably within the USA.

TARP attempts to clean up the clogged financial system. In its first half, it mainly injected money to save the system from collapse. While it has not collapsed, it has shown a slow pulse. TARP-2 will have to concentrate on the "bad" assets.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 9, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

yard80....senate is saying 790 Billion now. they are proud of themselves that they cut 39 billion off. all "money that was going to go states"

and HR1 outlines the programs, etc. where money will hopefully go.

remember, the first part of this, with Baby Bush still in office.....well, where did that go? Banks. I haven't gotten a letter from Chase "enticing" me to re-do my loan. No notice from my bank who got a big chunk. No customer service evident at all.

however, the first part----Energy (solar -wind programs) was paid for (allegedly) already. Big big part of the first part....((( muffled laughter ))

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 9, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Scrivener60 has hit on something here LOL.

Yard, I do know the details. You can, too. Download a .pdf of the senate estimate. It is 778 pages long, but searchable in adobe acrobat.

Posted by: MoreAndBetterPolls | February 9, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

i totally disagree with the statement, heard from those who comment to the gop, that support for president obama's economic stimulus and reinvestment bill is dwindling!

ask the republican governors of donor states who have been hit the worse, ask the chambers of commerce all over this country, ask the millions of americans who are out of work.

the good ol' gop has succeeded, enabled by the msm, in not only obstructing this bill but conflating this with the tarp - designed and implemented with, as usual, no oversight by their guy and the last administration. they, as usual, are pulling out all their code words - nancy pelosi (have you gotten the viral email going around about bullsh%t and pelosi,) spending, big government.

if president obama fails then our country fails whether you voted for him or not, whether you have a job now or not, whether you are not in peril of losing your home or not; what about that statement do they not understand?

Posted by: sbvpav | February 9, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Anyone know the details of where the $850,000,000,000 are going to be spent? All I see in the news is that "those smarter than the voter" (namely our representatives, who know just how to solve all our problems) are in agreement that it should be spent. Personally I am sketical that it will do any good at ALL. See where the first $800,000,000,000 went---? Right into the pockets of republican businessmen who had done Bush favors. I fear that this $800,000,000,000 will go into the pockets of those who did this administration favors. WHAT happened to all the renewable energy projects OBama promised us???

Posted by: yard80197 | February 9, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

There are multiple competing theories overlaid on multiple competing constituencies and the political result will be unsatisfactory but bearable to most. What we should note here, in contradiction to Krugman on the left and Eric Cantor on the right, is that it is both inevitable and good for democracy that we get a mixed result because the alternative is no result at all.

I say this having my own set of skeptical views on the matter.

The Prez has the opportunity to cajole and convince - both members of Congress and the general public. This is good too, and should be the norm, as opposed to a darkly veiled monarchical executive.

The 24-7 news cycle keeps us from stepping back and seeing patterns. Every event takes on a life of its own when news becomes a commodity. But I am submitting to y'all that the emerging patterns I see of a Congress actually debating and passing legislation and a Prez who talks to them and us rationally and with a modicum of good will is a generally good thing, even if it is not a perfect thing.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 9, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Campaign Diaries just released the first Governor rankings of the 2010 cycle, with extensive analyses of all 38 (!) races - a stunning 17 of which will feature open seats. For once, Democrats will be on the defensive, as 14 Dem-held governorships are already vulnerable: http://campaigndiaries.com/governor

Posted by: campaigndiaries | February 9, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

folks best get used to it....

HR1 passes.
Americans are not going to wake up on Monday March 30th (for instance)....
with everything different.

It's not going to be Dorothy opening the door to technicolored Munchkin land.

Processes must be tweaked. The regs must be in line.

And then look for the one Executive Director of an agency or branch agency (state, fed, local, etc)
that is pissed as hell because they must ENFORCE THE NEW LAW, that they make it hell for everyone on the state, local, county level.

Take notes on what will happen when the bill is past folks. You are going to need the documentation.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 9, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

So much of this reminds me of the 1993 Clinton budget. Republicans were hyperbolic in their opposition, claiming that it would destroy the economy and drive us into another Great Depression.

After Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky bravely cast the deciding vote for the budget, she was viciously attacked by Republicans and lost her reelection bid in 1994.

And then what happened? Terrific economic growth and a budget surplus that put us on track to pay off the national debt (sigh).

When will the Republicans ever learn?

For a refresher, here's a New York Times article from the 1993 budget battle:

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0CE7DB1531F930A3575BC0A965958260

Posted by: Bondosan | February 9, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

BUT WHAT WILL OBAMA DO ABOUT THE SHAMEFUL LACK OF RESPECT FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE PARANOID?

We who know more and better than everyone else - ABOUT ALMOST EVERYTHING - urge President Obama NOT to ignore our warnings, and those of the other talented paranoid people close to him! WE ARE A NATIONAL RESOURCE! We are able to predict EVERY disaster with unfailing accuracy... and the fact that in order to arrive at these predictions, we may first give voice to other fears NEED NOT prevent the president from making good use of our pathology!

We who are paranoid know what is being plotted against us before even the plotters themselves do! For example, at this very moment, SOMEONE could be introducing PATHOGENS into school lunches at a secret underground lab in Oklahoma! A VIRAL TIME BOMB which will explode....... NOW! No?

NOW!

NOW?

uh, soon?

In any case, it never hurts to be prepared, and this level of preparation is only supplied by PARANOID PEOPLE.
If Obama continues to segregate us from his legitimate advisors, trying to distract us with crayons and little paper cups filled with APPLESAUCE as we wait for the short bus to take us back to the group home, then I - ME, SCRIVENER - WILL RUN FOR PRESIDENT IN 2012! And I will live in the White House... IF THERE IS STILL A WHITE HOUSE LEFT AFTER THE MINIATURIZED NORTH KOREAN AGENTS DISGUISED AS TERMITES HAVE BEEN IGNORED, DESPITE MY REPEATED WARNINGS, SINCE 2005!

http://my.nowpublic.com/world/theres_a_man_on_the_wing_of_this_plane/

http://my.nowpublic.com/u.s./at_night_the_pod_people_rise_to_feed/

OR http://My.NowPublic.com/scrivener_for_president_2012

Posted by: scrivener60 | February 9, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

How much of a hit on Obama's image will the stimulus inflict? The polls show plenty of public opposition that the GOP is already taking advantage of. And what if the full effects of the stimulus aren't felt for, say, two years? How much patience does the public have?

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

Posted by: parkerfl1 | February 9, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse


he's bringing transportation secretary LaHood.
perhaps President Obama is looking for the "shovel ready" jobs in the midwest. It's the new word.
The shovel ready jobs are an important factor in the stimulus. Are they ready to go? Then fund them.

Any funds going to "programs" will take the period of adjustment to the new process. Those are the ones that will be "shovel ready or administrative ready" in ...say....6 months. Fund them.
If you've had a proposal or a project you've been floating for 2 to 3 years, planning, --bring it to the table.....
It's a very exciting time in all reality.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 9, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

People can make a difference. Call every politician you can find and let them know
how angry and upset you are with their republican party. Their local offices or
Waashington DC.
You may not be able to get through to everyone but be consistent.
We voted for change and the republicans are playing politics as usual at our countries and our expense.

Posted by: kathlenec | February 9, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

The republicans trying to destroy any chance of the stimulation/job creation bill being successful is right down crimnal. They put party first and their irresponsible solutions before the welfare of millions of Americans.
They got us into this mess and now they are "experts" on the economy?
They are doing their best to bring on another Republican Great Depression,supporting their hypocritical, outdated, uneffective policies and sacrificing our country and us.

Posted by: kathlenec | February 9, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

this is scary - he took us out on a limb. no-one thinks that much money can be spent efficiently in that short a time. he is making a caricature of the old spending Dem. stereotype - that Dems. just want to spend government money.
can we have a do-over? this guy is over his head big time by week three.
go get Hillary. right now.

Posted by: nancyjeanmail | February 9, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

because he doesn't have repulsive support.
they bit*h slapped him by no House votes and now--in senate, slaughtering it.

it's a good move for him to bring it to the people. he should do more. 'cause we like him and he likes us, etc. etc.

i wonder if Rahm is holding down the fort. "Hey Rahm, can I get you back" !!!

i am going to hold chris to his prediction of a vote by the senate by tomorrow (probably after 3pm press release no doubt).
we will see.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 9, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Why is Obama taking the stimulus message to the people? We don't have a voice in the decision. In reality, our lawmakers don't even want to hear our opinions. They totally disregard what we want and vote against the wishes of the people in their districts. This is a Pelosi/Reid Whitehouse and Mr. Obama needs to get a grip on his presidency before they take over.

Posted by: WindyCity | February 9, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

linda_521:

unlikely... obama's not the coward idiot son is.

Posted by: mycomment | February 9, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Question: Are these town hall meetings seeded with supporters; like the Bush gatherings were?

Posted by: linda_521 | February 9, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

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