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28 October 2010 @ 01:07 pm
Arizona prisons, ancient insects, and salsa Beethoven  
* Illustrating how the world sees us vs. how we see ourselves.
* Of course. Private prison companies behind the Arizona anti-immigration push.
* "German multiculturalism was dead long before Angela Merkel buried it for good this week."
* Did the White hour make a mistake with a lack of urgency on certain issues? Or not going big on the stimulus?
* Senator DeMint and the Tea Party shift towards religion.
* Somedays, BAGnewsNotes is a punch in the gut. We get the country we deserve.
* "More than 700 new species of ancient insect have been discovered in 50-million-year-old amber."
* Nice! Giving Beethoven a salsa beat.
* Syfy cancels Caprica. Ouch.

PMMJ: Politicscheetahmaster on October 28th, 2010 06:54 pm (UTC)
What happens to the Tea Party after the election?
blackflame2180blackflame2180 on October 28th, 2010 10:20 pm (UTC)

I think I'm starting to get tired of the notion that the Obama administration has somehow made some sort of critical error, especially with regards to the economy.

I think the White House got the biggest stimulus they could passed through the Congress. The impact of the recession was underestimated by all sides in the days the stimulus passed, and there has not since been the political will in Congress to take further actions which would expand the deficit. And they acted very urgently to the crisis-- the stimulus bill was passed in less than a month after the administration took office, which is really unheard of.

They managed the banking crisis excellently; credit markets never entirely froze, as they were in danger of, and most of the Tarp money has been recovered. They similarly managed their intervention in the automotive market just as well.

I think most telling of all these criticisms is that none of the critics really offer any substantive alternative that the administration has not tried. The GOP even blocked a small business tax-cut they proposed when it was offered by the White House because the White House chooses not to renew the Bush tax cuts for those making more than 2000.

Economically, there was only so much the administration could do; if there has been a failure of the administration, it has been in making that clear to the public. But if Obama had gone before the nation in, say, March or April of 2009 and said that, this would have only made things worse, as markets would have panicked further. The fact is that even if job growth had returned to it's pre-crash levels, we would still have high unemployment considering the numbers of jobs that were lost during the crash. But there is a feedback loop in that cycle-- high unemployment in turn depresses job growth.

The bigger failure of the administration perhaps started on the campaign trail, but is one now common to every President since Reagan (Bush, Sr. excluded)-- which is campaigning on the notion that the structural problems of Washington can be fixed politically.

If anything, I think the past two years have shown that the US government has become structurally dysfunctional with an acute case partisanship that only continues to deepen. No President or party in power can change that dysfunction without seriously pursuing amendment to the Constitution and changes to fundamental rules of how the House and Senate work.
Selkiselki on October 29th, 2010 02:02 am (UTC)
Thanks for articulating my aggravation with this sort of coverage.
PMMJ: Space Jerkcheetahmaster on October 29th, 2010 11:21 am (UTC)
I think I'm starting to get tired of the notion that the Obama administration has somehow made some sort of critical error, especially with regards to the economy.

I agree, and freely admit I left that presumption in the headline to generate interest in the article.
P Sunshine: bad ideap_sunshine on October 29th, 2010 12:58 pm (UTC)
Agreed. The way these articles were written, you'd think the pres sat there with his thumb up his rear and nothing happened at all.
Tarsustarsus4 on October 29th, 2010 02:35 pm (UTC)
Hear, hear.

If there was one misstep, it might have been early on, when crafting the stimulus bill, to not reach across the aisle, before Republicans went obstructionist. I'm not sure it would have changed anything in the long run, health care still would have alienated a lot of people, but if Obama was serious about bipartisanship and changing the politics of "business as usual", he would have reined in Pelosi and Reid from day 1.
PMMJ: Politicscheetahmaster on October 29th, 2010 02:39 pm (UTC)
I honestly believe the Republicans planned to go obstructionist from day one.
Tarsustarsus4 on October 29th, 2010 02:40 pm (UTC)
But I don't think they had the political cover to do so until health care, I think it would have wound up hurting them.
PMMJ: Politicscheetahmaster on October 29th, 2010 02:53 pm (UTC)
I don't think it would have hurt them with their base, and that's pretty much all they care about these days.
nazgulpseudotheist on October 30th, 2010 04:23 pm (UTC)
What makes you think that? The fact that they did?
Selkiselki on October 29th, 2010 02:52 am (UTC)
I didn't care much for the Beethoven salsa, but I loved the Tomita it led me to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5QlK5g8xSE (Debussy's Golliwogs Cakewalk)
P Sunshinep_sunshine on October 29th, 2010 12:59 pm (UTC)
Hee! Loved the salsa.