Look, we know what those 8 a.m. classes were like, and even Barry lacks the eloquence to keep you awake. That’s why we called in the Stinque Macroeconomics Dancers to welcome you to our Obama news conference Open Thread/Champagne Cabaret. Because when it comes to the dismal science, we know you could use the distraction.
Anyone taking bets on which lefty blogger will get called on? My money’s on David Kurtz over at TPM — the concept of Sam Stein is just tired.
Oooh, this make me want to break out my Follies album.
Our Tribeca loft needs a giant logo on the wall for our MSNBC live remotes.
Barry is looking right at me! Hi, Mr. President!
@chicago bureau: Is he getting more gray, or did someone dump some flour on him?
No, it’s gray hairs.
Damn. Is this thing being webcast?? And, uh, is the showgirl on the right busy after work?
@chicago bureau: He’s going to be sporting the Full Ossie by summer.
@Dodgerblue: Go to cnn.com for the webcast.
Comparing new AIG structures to the FDIC? Shit — the FDIC works. Ish. I’m missing something here.
got it — on Huffpo.
“Government warning: Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems.”
When did the Feds get to my beer?
What’s going on? I thought Presidents waited six years before having primetime pressers. What’s next on the media blitz, CSI: DC?
Chuck Todd doesn’t live in the bubble. Chuck Todd is the bubble. He’s two-for-two on the “brother, please” responses at WH pressers.
“When the majority of growth comes from the financial sector, that’s not sustainable growth. ”
I can’t believe that a Pres of the US actually said this. He’s talking to us like adults.
Chuck Todd’s cribbing from the 9/11 news conference.
Jake “bow-chicka-wow-wow” Tapper.
Scorecard: AP, broadcast networks.
Honest question: what’s wrong with going with CBO numbers, if they are more conservatively (as in: cautious, as opposed to wingnut-approved) drawn? If we overshoot the GDP growth number, then that’s just dandy. He’s losing me here.
In other news: Helen Thomas needs, approximately, 2 weeks of uninterrupted sleep.
Thought from left field No. 1: are they going to plan arugula in the White House garden?
@chicago bureau: I think his argument is that the 2.2/2.6 gap only applies in later years — which is all fantasy anyway.
What I like is that he’s identifying those differences in presumptions.
@chicago bureau: When Helen slumps over, DRINK!
Nabisco: God only knows how much she really, really deserves a good, solid nap.
Mexico? Sandy Eggo faces a greater danger from beach riots.
Univision en la casa!
ADD: Why didnt they choose one of the chicas from “Siempre en Domingo”, not Betty la Fea..
Stars & Stripes? NYT & WaPo must be fuming.
nojo: Totally. And the dude served up a creampuff. “Do you want to cut funding for veterans’ care?” “No.” Big fat hanging curve.
Thought from Left Field No. 2: Where do they design and manufacture the presidential podiums?
@Nabisco: I actually love questions like that.
Shout out to PsychoGeezer, drink!
Nabisco: Lockheed. Podium is bulletproof and has a GPS system. All yours for $1,999,999.95.
Ed Henry needs to return his tie to the barber shop.
Answers are choppier than last time. He’s keeping it to less than 10 minutes apiece.
I love seeing TV cameramen in suit and tie. So retro.
Sidebar: perhaps the recent signs of life in the economy come from $2 gas, as opposed to $4 in the bad old days of Summer 2008.
“I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak.”
This cannot stand. Bring back Shrub!
That was just plain odd from Major Garrett there. China dumping dollars is a good question — but dropping “communist” and “socialist” in there was just… well… off. I know he’s the Fox head here, but damn.
@nojo: Factoid – Tapper once had a date with one Monica Lewinski.
@chicago bureau: I hate that I keep hearing Fred Armisen when he talks.
@blogenfreude: Dude. I’m impressed at your trivia.
A need for a global currency? Who let Ron Paul in the room?
Politico now. The NYT/WaPo thing is still hanging out there. Who did they fuck over?
What good is being rich if you’re not filthy rich?
Memo to Ann Compton: we know that Barry’s black. Lord.
Washington Times?! Media bitchslap!
The Washington Times gets a question, and not the Washington Post (at least, not yet). This is getting weird.
nojo: Dopeslap. We’ve discussed this today. Please, sir.
No, really — Politico, Stars & Stripes, Moonie Times. We must be missing something here.
@chicago bureau: I’ll thank you to remove your tongue from my ear, sir.
nojo: I demand satisfaction, suh.
[I keed, in re dopeslap vs. bitchslap. Carry on.]
No NYT, no WaPo, no Helen. Robert Gibbs is going to find a donkey’s severed head in his bed tomorrow morning.
@chicago bureau: Does Politico count as the blogger question?
nojo: I guess so.
Oddly: no questions in re Afghanistan or Iraq. If you had called that a year ago, you could have retired on the payout.
I’ve inherited naughty problems myself, but we won’t get into that.
@chicago bureau: Whatever happened to drill, baby, drill? Oh, right. That $2 gas.
And it’s a final. Nothing truly new.
Barry’d better get on top of the fury over the financial crisis, like yesterday, or he’s in for a world of headaches.
I’ve been surprised how tone deaf he and his team have been on this.
Here is my question; are the members of the WH press corp stupid, or, do they deliberately act stupid, mouthing the stupidity of the public they are trying to attract the attention of (this parenthetical is so that I did not end the sentence with a preposition, dumbest rule in English grammar).
@Original Andrew: Andrew, Obama is not the target of the public’s wrath, and I don’t think he will wind up being the target. He is apparently the target of the reporters shared opinion, the DC official thinking on things, but thats not the public.
Did anyone, anyone at all, except for foreign reporters, ask a question that was meant to obtain an answer on policy and tactics to attain that policy goal? Would it be fair to say that all they were seeking was some kind of “gotcha” so they could be the one with the front page headline? They raised a lot of spurious issues, a few dumb issues, it was pathetic.
I am starting to see a big difference, when foreign reporters ask a question, there is a big difference in tone, almost as if they were trying to be substantive, as opposed to playing “gotcha” with some inside the beltway bullshit non-controversy.
@chicago bureau: When moron threw in “communists” and “socialists” appropo of nothing, the answer I was hoping he would throw out was “well, if I am pissing off the communists and the socialists, I would have thought that would mean I must be doing something good.”
@Promnight: Axelrod blew off Keith’s (actually, Tweety’s) tactical question as being just an inside-baseball thing, not what Real Americans are concerned about.
But the question is valid, and Barry’s minions have said as much: If their goal is to get plans that will pass, as opposed to Krugman’s pipedreams, then the question of 50 vs. 60 is very relevant.
@Promnight: David Broder said the following about Bill Clinton:
“He came in here and he trashed the place. And it’s not his place.”
That tells you everything you need to know about how the Villagers think.
@nojo: The economic rescue plans are almost all passed now, Hopey is working on the budget, thats why the big change in tone, talk down the economy to impress the need for big, unprecedented measures, now that its almost all in place, he’s saying “things are getting better” in order to pass a budget that has health care in it.
Krugman hates everything he has been doing, BTW.
Schumpeter! I haven’t heard that name since econ seminar. I read it, but didn’t really understand it.
@Promnight: And you know, things are getting better. I am not basing that on the stock markets, they are not a measure of how the economy is doing. I mean that in February, new unemployment claims went down, housing prices went up, and yes, the market is indicating some renewed hopefulness, if not yet confidence.
Tax refund checks are hitting now, and you will see next month a significant bump in consumer spending, hey, it ain’t no basis for an economy, but its all we got. I am not saying it would be good to go back to the borrow and spend economy we had, but we also have to get through this fear-induced “hunker down and spend nothing” phase we have been in.
I think Obama is aware and working all this, poker player, remember? I think its going the way he wants it to, so far.
The AIG bonuses are the only fly in his message ointment so far, and thats a fucking bogus issue. Wall street bonuses are not a reward for success, they are just the way those people are compensated. These AIG bonuses were all in the single digits of millions, these aren’t the obscene bonuses people should be outraged over.
@Mistress Cynica: I don’t think I’ve heard the name in, oh, thirty years, but once I thought of those 8 a.m. classes, the professor and the reference came straight to mind.
Next week: Max Weber!
@nojo: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Add fishing and beef and you have the makings of a great weekend.
@blogenfreude: The DC press bubble is as fantasy-based as W’s presidential bubble.
I watched the U-tubes of the idiotic questions being asked at the hearing today. These reporters were mostly echoing that same idiocy.
Damn them, they should be cutting through the partisan sniping and trying to educate the public about whats really going on, objectively. Instead, they jump on any criticism of Obama, no matter how idiotic, and give validity to the partisan sniping. One of them actually asked the same question, about the supposed Chinese proposal for an international currency, the very same moronic question Bachman asked, to much sniggering and outright jaw-dropped, “oh my god, how fucking stupid is this cunt” stares.
@Promnight: And CNBC should have been reporting on Big Shitpile instead of cheerleading for it. The Village believes Republicans are big and strong. Democrats are ditherers. It’s never mentioned that liberals have been cleaning up after the elephant since Roosevelt.
breaking/Ancient Discoveries “Ancient Torture Tech” on the Discovery Channel features the anal pear (inserted in the mouth to keep it family friendly).
Why am I still the “loser”? I’ve been the “loser” for, like, 15 days. HF lost sooner than I did and he never had to be the “loser”, not once.
@blogenfreude: I know what you are. Don’t worry, I won’t tell.
That attitude you mention, the Adlai Stevenson effect, liberals are weak, the unstated part of it is “they are the ones we jocks used to throw in the trashcan.” You know, faggots, nerds, dweebs. Its the American macho- sport-worshipping culture. Pure and simple.
Obama upsets that view a little bit because he is so outside the box. That was why Hillary was such a disaster, she is the very symbol of all the negatives that the macho culture despises.
Obama doesn’t kowtow to that macho culture, but as a black man, that fact just overshadows and confuses the stereotypes so much, it breaks down. They just can’t call this guy a spineless dithering liberal. He has too much mojo going on.
Yes, the perception is that liberals are people who say “On the other hand…” while for conservatives the other hand is part of a left-right combination. Are the villagers puzzled because they might be facing Ali?
@Jesuswalksinidaho: Liberals don’t say “on the other hand,” they say “its complex.” Those who don’t understand the issue at all because they are fucking morons, tend to prefer simple answers, or they follow those who offer them simple answers.
But I am not talking about the pyschological aspects what what draws people to different political philosophies, I am talking about even stupider stuff, the characterizations and demonizations of personalities that descend to the lowest, sub-verbal depths. Faggot liberal, tough cowboy.
My senator, Evan Bayh, Hillary’s presumptive choice for VP, is plotting to stab President Obama in the back in the Senate. Am I disloyal to think that Team Unicorn is going to eventually hang, draw and quarter Sen. Bayh and I’ll be cheering them on?
I’d trade this Sen. Bayh for his dad, Sen. Birch Bayh in a heartbeat. I’m afraid Evan has a heaping helping of the same drive to become president to show Dad up that our last president had.
No, they’re frightened because they might have to face Allah.
Where is another Everett Dirksen? He was a staunch conservative, and a hawk, but he was also one of the few true moral humans who sat in the Senate. He understood what the “loyal opposition” should be within our system of government. He was a gadfly and a pain in the ass. He was genial and brilliant. Without his direct support, two of the major civil rights acts of the 60’s would not have passed. My favorite quote from him is not the “billion here, billion there…” thing, but this one: “The mind is no match with the heart in persuasion; constitutionality is no match with compassion.”
I generally don’t like Sandberg, he’s such a frakkin wimp, but I’ve always liked this:
“The people yes
the people will live on.
The learning and blundering people will live on….”
@Promnight: That’s exactly the kind of shit people think before a starving neonazi eats their faces. The currency will collapse inside of a year and people will trading pets for gasoline.
And using the gasoline to make Molotov Cocktails.
Does anybody really want to hear this crap? No, everyone in the universe wants to see Elizabeth Kucinich bury her face between Michelle Obamas taught, dewy legs. Anything else is just a conference and a waste of the WH’s most precious assets.
@Ewalda: Or, more likely, to burn the dead.
We smash the State now, Master? Hunnnnnh, hunnnnh, hunnnnnh.
@Tommmcatt the Wet Sprocket: Hey, the man just calls ’em like he sees ’em.
Remember, Stinque didn’t exist during the NCAAs last year. So any updates on my loser-ness would have had to be done by Greg or Hunter, so…I think you know how that one goes.
@Ewalda: Wait a year and there’ll be nothing left to smash, just the charred remains of a culture that’s run its race.
@FlyingChainSaw: Yes, Master. HaHaHa. HaHaHaHaHa! Unnnnh, Hunnnnh…..
With the exception of the magnificent Helen Thomas, it’s been really bizarre watching the American DC press corps devolve over the last 20 years into these grotesque, sycophantic dumbasses, who honestly have no idea why everyone outside of I 495 despises them.
On this topic, I must yield to my super-constitutional boyfriend, Glenn Greenwald:
That’s the most important truth of American political life: journalists like Fineman (and Ignatius, Marcus, etc. etc.) endlessly pretend to be watchdogs over the political establishment when, in fact, they are nothing more than subservient appendages to it, loyal spokespeople for it, completely merged into it. It’s not that we have a press that fails to perform its function. They perform it perfectly. The point is that their function is to amplify and glorify establishment power — the exact opposite of what Thomas Jefferson thought they would be doing when he advocated for a free press as the supreme safeguard against abuses of power.
At this point, they don’t even know how to perform their function in society, they’ve lost all perspective, hence the gotcha, TMZ-worthy questions.
Re: Barry and Co.
I’ve been appalled by the way they’ve handled the crisis so far, but I’m surprised they’ve been so off-message.
They haz it.
Or had it.
During the campaign.
But whatever names they keep coming up with for their various bank bailout schemes, the public (correctly) hears it as “we’re stealing your money.”
That anger will eventually reach Black Eagle no matter what poker face he presents.
I don’t think you are being fair. Barry was perfectly clear explaining the devastating impact on the economy caused by his predecessors and their fiscal irresponsibility in doubling the deficit in recent years. He was equally clear explaining how we would solve the problems he inherited by first quadrupling the deficit, then cutting it in half. Which would um… let me figure this out… four times X divided by two equals.. um… I can’t figure this out right now. You do the math.
Plus you have to be heartened by his explicit commitment to create a foundation during his administration that will end booms and busts in the economy for all time. Given that booms and busts have existed since, well since there has been markets and capitalism, you have to admit that this will be a remarkable and laudable achievement. Give the guy a chance.
Why did Black Eagle call the Space Station today?
For real, right?
One plus two plus one plus one
or is it
One plus two plus two plus one
Two plus one plus one plus one
Deficit math is just like Clue.
@redmanlaw: It’s in the job description.
What I find truly incredible, in all this talk about the detonating deficit–which has the Chinese so flipped out they seriously wanna create a whole new freakin’ currency to invest in–is that any discussion of whether we should be spending a trillion dollars a year on the military is completely out. of. the. question.
700+ overseas bases?
Suck on ’em, people of Planet Earth, ’cause there’s gonna be an Ahmurkin’ boot up your ass and an M-16 in your face even if our empire has collapsed.
@Tommmcatt the Wet Sprocket: Let’s check the daily standings…
Yup. Still a Loser.
Intraday scores don’t count. That would be like calling the game at halftime.
@Original Andrew: Izzy Stone’s first rule of covering DC: Skip the cocktail parties.
@libertarian tool: I’m surprised you didn’t drop the line about legislating the business cycle.
But given the inordinate concision about the boom & bust line, I think he’s alluding to what had been conventional wisdom until about twenty years ago: that late-19th century American capitalism was an era of wild booms and busts, and that institutions like the Federal Reserve and New Deal financial regulations were designed to mitigate the swings, if not eliminate them entirely.
Everything that has happened was predictable and preventable, and not just in retrospect. It was the cumululative result of willful failures of regulation since 1987. Everyone wanted a Formula One economy, forgetting that the crashes are as spectacular as the speed.
Am I the only one who thinks we should be going for “economic health” as opposed to “economic growth?” It strikes me as being a subtle but hugely important difference. I just don’t know if it’s something we can work around to without 200 years of gentle nudging and preparation.
@blogenfreude: A coworker of mine once had a date with Tapper pre-Monica.
@IanJ: We have to go for economic growth so long as this world continues its unbridled population explosion. It’s the fart in the church that nobody wants to acknowledge.
institutions like the Federal Reserve and New Deal financial regulationsSSRIs were designed to mitigate the swings, if not eliminate them entirely
Fixed. They apparently are effective in controlling premature ejaculation, too, which is just as apt a metaphor.
@SanFranLefty: I shall refrain from commentary on population growth, except to say that it is something which is slowly dooming the human race.
ADD: But I also recall hearing that many of the 1st world nations are actually slowing down to the point that there’s either no growth or slight shrinkage of the population, which I whole-heartedly commend.
Curse You and Your Rules, Nojo!!!!!
My mom says I’m a winner….
@Tommmcatt the Wet Sprocket: Back in the ’70s, the local paper carried a syndicated college-football column called “The Bottom Ten”, which everybody found very amusing. At least until the local team started appearing on it. Then the column was an abomination, and it was canceled.
@Nabisco: NYTimes article about plans for the WH garden said yes, arugula made the cut.
@lynnlightfoot: Let us call arugala by its proper English name, the name that has been used since god was a child: rockets. As in
“I just sowed rockets in the White House vegetable garden.”
“Would you like some rockets with that burger?”
“Do you want french or italian with your rockets?”
@Benedick: But if you call it rocket, Whole Paycheck can’t take the markup.
@lynnlightfoot: Thanks! The question only came to me because it seemed that Barry was stifling a mild digestive erp during the presser, which of course made me thing about presidential prandial and finally, “rocket”.
@nojo: I’m reading the Michael Wolff book about Murdoch. Dude launched the Sun into the British stratosphere in the 60s with a t.v. campaign about cats called, reliably, “Pussies in the Sun”.
ADD: He was the original “short-fingered vulgarian”, for Private Eye.
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