Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Flotsam and Jetsam

Almost as bad an idea as commandeering military jets to fly her around the country: “Nancy Pelosi said this week that she’s keeping the door open for a second stimulus bill. She may be the only one. As the nation continues to shed jobs, an increasing number of economists are saying Congress will need to pump more money into the economy this year. But reaction on Capitol Hill has been almost uniformly negative — and much of the blowback is coming from Democrats. ”

Robert Gibbs thinks the stock market is a lagging indicator? No wonder he thinks all those CNBC guys are dumb.

This is why the markets aren’t a “poll”: “The wealth of American families plunged nearly 18% in 2008, erasing years of sharp gains on housing and stocks and marking the biggest loss since the Federal Reserve began keeping track after World War II. The Fed said Thursday that U.S. households’ net worth tumbled by $11 trillion — a decline in a single year that equals the combined annual output of Germany, Japan and the U.K. The data signal the end of an epoch defined by first and second homes, rising retirement funds and ever-fatter portfolios.” Do we think Obama gets this? No.

The real polls don’t look so hot for Obama: “It is simply wrong for commentators to continue to focus on President Barack Obama’s high levels of popularity, and to conclude that these are indicative of high levels of public confidence in the work of his administration. Indeed, a detailed look at recent survey data shows that the opposite is most likely true. The American people are coming to express increasingly significant doubts about his initiatives, and most likely support a different agenda and different policies from those that the Obama administration has advanced.”

And that FBI raid in the former office of the president’s Chief Technology Officer? Well he is now “on leave” from his White House post. Makes you miss the days of Alberto Gonzales and Michael Browne.

And then there is this: “Tony West, a high-powered San Francisco lawyer whose clients have ranged from corporate giants to ‘American Taliban’ John Walker Lindh, has been nominated by President Obama as an assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.” Because Bill Ayers was busy?

Charles Krauthammer lays into the president for punting the tough questions on stem cell research: “This is not just intellectual laziness. It is the moral arrogance of a man who continuously dismisses his critics as ideological while he is guided exclusively by pragmatism (in economics, social policy, foreign policy) and science in medical ethics.”

Tim Geithner gets dragged over the coals in front of Congress: “It was a bipartisan grilling — both Obama’s Democrats and rival Republicans were tough while praising his and the president’s abilities and acknowledging the difficult situation they find themselves in. The committee chairman, Democratic Senator Kent Conrad, said his Danish roots compelled him to emphasize the need to keep the debt from spiraling out of control — ‘an unsustainable fiscal course,’ he said.” Well, thank goodness for that all-powerful Danish Lobby.

Obama changes his tune: “Confronting misgivings, even in his own party, President Barack Obama mounted a stout defense of his blueprint to overhaul the economy Thursday, declaring the national crisis is ‘not as bad as we think’ and his plans will speed recovery.” What happened to the catastrophe? Well, if things are not so bad we can stop spending money for the sake of spending money.

You sense the Washington Post editors are a tad disgusted: “Like a dieter who allows himself just one more slice of cake before starting to count calories, President Obama signed the $410 billion omnibus spending bill, then pledged to get tough on congressional earmark spending — next time. “This piece of legislation must mark an end to the old way of doing business,” Mr. Obama announced. As with the dieter, skepticism is appropriate.  . .  Tradeoffs come with the territory, but Mr. Obama is accepting them after holding himself out as — indeed, while continuing to hold himself out as — the avatar of a new way of doing business.”


Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.