Archive for March 5th, 2011

05
Mar
11

some songs for bedtime …. night everyone

05
Mar
11

‘100 per cent true blue american’

I finally got to see this Chris Matthews clip at The Only Adult In The Room …. I think I almost love Chris again.

Read Salon’s ‘What the Huck?’ here

05
Mar
11

by george!

Freedom-crushing automobile-hating authoritarian

Conservative columnist George Will wrote a piece for right-wing comic Newsweek recently attacking President Obama’s support for high-speed rail.

Now, if Georgie’s main concern was cost, then you might say, ‘okay, that’s an argument’.

But no, as Steve Benen (Washington Monthly) put it, the column, which “featured a variety of errors of fact and judgment”, suggested that “liberals support high-speed rail (as) part of some elaborate, freedom-crushing, Ayn-Rand-inspired conspiracy.”

Seriously.

Okay, deep breath, here are a couple of extracts:

George Will: High Speed to Insolvency – Why liberals love trains.

“Generations hence, when the river of time has worn this presidency’s importance to a small, smooth pebble in the stream of history, people will still marvel that its defining trait was a mania for high-speed rail projects. This disorder illuminates the progressive mind…..

… Only an administration blinkered by ideology would persist … the real reason for progressives’ passion for trains is their goal of diminishing Americans’ individualism in order to make them more amenable to collectivism.

To progressives, the best thing about railroads is that people riding them are not in automobiles, which are subversive of the deference on which progressivism depends …. automobiles encourage people to think they – unsupervised, untutored, and unscripted – are masters of their fates. The automobile encourages people in delusions of adequacy, which make them resistant to government by experts who know what choices people should make…….”

I know, I know.

Paul Krugman, who described the column as “truly bizarre”, made a similar point to Benen: “….it’s amazing to see Will – who is not a stupid man – embracing the sinister progressives-hate-your-freedom line, more or less right out of Atlas Shrugged; with the extra irony, of course, that John Galt’s significant other ran, well, a railroad.”

So, you’d imagine Georgie would disagree with this columnist who, in 2001 (after 9/11), wrote:

” ….Americans are impatient problem-solvers, so here are three things that should be done, the doing of which will assuage any sense the nation is having trouble gaining traction in the tasks at hand.

…..Third, build high-speed rail service.

…..A government study concludes that for trips of 500 miles or less – a majority of flights; 40 percent are of 300 miles or less – automotive travel is as fast or faster than air travel, door to door. Columnist Robert Kuttner sensibly says that fact strengthens the case for high-speed trains. If such trains replaced air shuttles in the Boston-New York-Washington corridor, Kuttner says that would free about 60 takeoff and landing slots per hour.”

Who wrote this? A liberal trying to take away your automobile freedom? Eh, no. Ready for this? Those are Georgie’s very own words, as reported by Sarah Goodyear (Grist).

Benen: “I don’t care that Will changed his mind; I care that he casually dismissed the substance of the debate in order to make the truly stupid case that high-speed rail is part of a liberal crusade to “diminish Americans’ individualism in order to make them more amenable to collectivism.”

On the merits, he was right the first time. To agree with Will circa 2001 is not to be a freedom-crushing authoritarian.”

****

So, Georgie was an enthusiastic supporter of high-speed rail….until he found himself on the same side of the issue as President Obama??

The amazing part is that this guy displays sense, occasionally – as Krugman said, “he is not a stupid man”, he has supported the President at times and has attacked the extremes of the GOP/Tea Party.

So what’s this nonsense and hypocrisy all about??

05
Mar
11

the, um, news

😆

Gawker

05
Mar
11

ugh

Gawker: Shep Smith departed from the zombie-like gaze of news anchors and spent the last few seconds of his show looking repulsed, completely ignoring a talkative Chris Wallace. By the third frown, he was probably just making funny faces at Chris.

***

Sometimes I like Shep almost as much as I loathe Wallace.

05
Mar
11

back on course

President Barack Obama puts a little body English on his shot during a round of golf at Farm Neck golf course during his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, Aug. 24, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Today’s pool report: The President emerged from the White House at 1 p.m. for what is his first golf outing this year stateside. His golfing buddies today include Ben Finkenbinder of the press office, Marvin Nicholson, the president’s trip director and David Katz, a Dept of Energy staffer.

*** You have to hope it’s a more relaxing golfing round for the President than the one in Martha’s Vineyard ***

😕

05
Mar
11

the miami visit

In the second video, skip to 2:20 if you want to avoid having to hear the Bush boy speak

05
Mar
11

the invisible first lady!

😕

05
Mar
11

‘the recovery is gaining momentum’

President Obama arrives back at the White House after a trip to Florida  March 4

Washington Post: The missing piece of the U.S. economic recovery – job creation – is finally falling into place.

Employers added 192,000 jobs in February and the unemployment rate edged down to 8.9 percent from 9 percent, marking the third straight month of decline.

The jobs report was the most promising since the recession began more than three years ago and the most solid evidence yet that the recovery is gaining momentum.

….economists and executives see the new data as confirmation of an underlying trend that had been visible anecdotally and in various other surveys: Private employers are gaining confidence and beginning to hire.

…The unemployment rate has now declined nearly a full percentage point since November, the steepest drop over a three-month span since 1983.

Many analysts had viewed the rapid decline in the unemployment rate in December and January as too good to be true, expecting the February number to inch back up to 9.1 percent.

…hiring in the private sector was strong and broad-based. Private employers added 222,000 jobs … Every major sector of private industry except retail added positions….

Since late last year, the monthly reports had provided a muddied picture of the U.S. economy. But the quicker pace of job gains reported Friday now matches other encouraging measures of growth, such as surveys of businesses and weekly reports on unemployment insurance benefits.

“It’s a very fair representation of where the economy is,” said John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo.

Full article here

NYT: “Economic recoveries can be like a snowball rolling down a hill, in that it takes time to get some momentum,” said John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics. “People hesitate until they feel that the recovery’s durable enough, and then they have a tendency to jump in. Maybe we’re finally getting to that jumping-in moment.”

….Threats to a more robust recovery remain, of course, including a surge in energy and food prices, …. but for now, the improvement is notable….

Economists say the unemployment rate could rise temporarily in the next few months, as stronger job growth lures some discouraged workers to look for jobs again…….federal employees may also be at risk of significant layoffs if Republican leaders in Congress are successful with their proposed budget cuts. Economists at Goldman Sachs and elsewhere have warned that such budget cuts could ripple through the economy and lead to layoffs in the private sector.

Full article here

05
Mar
11

‘cutting waste, investing in the future’




@POTUS

@BarackObama

@WhiteHouse

@FLOTUS

@MichelleObama

@PeteSouza

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.

@TheObamaDiary

@NerdyWonka

RSS Obama White House.gov

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS WH Tumblr

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Steve Benen

  • Coronavirus cases hit a seven-month low in the U.S.
  • The women over 50 making a difference in mental health
  • "I'm returning to my roots in a way," says author of 'On Juneteenth'
  • Florida law a show being put on for Trump supporters, says strategist
  • 'The Three Mothers' looks at the figure behind MLK, Malcom X and James Baldwin

Categories

Archives

Blog Stats

  • 42,995,548 hits

WH Flickr