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January 21, 2010



I don't care if Joe Klein is sleeping over at the White House or doing strong "monkey sex" with "The Won," he still doesn't speak for the Administration or Obama.


There really has been a "Great Deflation" over the past two days. Obama has receded from Messiah to "Jimmy Jr." in full glory.

Now if we can just get Obama to take on Scott Brown on the basketball court, we will have Obama sneaking off to bowling allies at night.


I'm listening to Medved interviewing John Boehner. Boehner just told a caller that the GOPers will have "some kind of agenda that we'll promote" which he described as a "document." Good. They've been reading my posts and agree that they have to have a party wide platform. Boehner says they'll look for input from the "people," which I assume means polling. You people who didn't like my idea? Such an egg. If done right, this is a very necessary move.

However, I'm a bit concerned about his criticisms of Obama's banking moves. I'm not up on the details, but there is this description that makes me wonder whether the administration's move may have merit: Good News: We're Getting Glass-Steagall Back, Now Here's How To Make It Work For The 21st Century. Boehner and Medved were specifically discussing the provision that commercial banks will not be allowed to operate hedge funds for their own account, as I understand it.


That should've read: Suck an egg!

Captain Hate

Now if we can just get Obama to take on Scott Brown on the basketball court, we will have Obama sneaking off to bowling allies at night.

He'll never do that; the beatdown would be so huge he'd be wearing a full-body nicotine patch forever.


Barney Frank walks back his comment that health care is dead.

Clyburn says 50, not 60 votes is the magic number, therefore HCR not dead.

Looks like Rahm is making the phone calls.



New FWD&J Podcast---The Scott Brown edition. Link">http://fwdaj.com/2010/01/21/fwdaj-1-19-10/">Link


50 v0tes if the House passes the Senate bill but both Eric Cantor and Pelosi have said that's impossible. There's so much whistling past the graveyard here that we could set up a windfarm to capture it and run the city for a year.

George Ditter

I agree with the President that one of the "trickiest foreign policy challenges" is to come up with a "dual track" "open hand" approach to Iran. Who is this Joe Klein character? Did he go to college, didn't he know dozens of guys who didn't do the reading, but figured they could bs the instructor with a blizzard of fine fine sounding words. I'm sure our Russian and Chinese friends are saying, "say what?"


I think Clyburn's talking about budget reconciliation but I don't know how that could possibly work. They are just trying to figure out a way to ease out of this with minimal carnage on the left. The right and the independents are obviously already lost.


Did any read the Obama answers to Klein? if he believes half of that crap he's hopelessly lost. he is nothing but a dope smoking, community activist, southside chicago pol, his worldview is exclusively I need the government to run my life. he knows nothing about nothing else. scariest thing, he really believes that garbage.


Very clever title for this thread, Mr.Maguire.


If you were under the impression that the victory of Brown and the defeat of ObamaCare are good things, then you haven't been reading the BBC.

The comments attached to this BBC story ">http://newsforums.bbc.co.uk/nol/thread.jspa?forumID=7426&edition=2&ttl=20100121222748"> Have Your Say: What does Massachusetts defeat mean for Obama? will let you know that you are stupid and mean and evil and neanderthals and unsophisticated and just horrible to the planet and to it's savior, Obama.

Actually, I'm heartened by how many commenters are counterattacking the knee-jerk liberalism spouted by the standard BBC letter-writers on the thread.

Dave (in MA)

The other day folks were looking for a map that shows both the election results and the makeup of the MA congressional districts. Here's the front page of the Globe that has one in an exploded view. It's kind of hard to read at this resolution, but Barney's is the one depicted at the bottom, gerrymandered to pull in parts of Boston and then encompass a region that extends southward 1 or 2 towns wide, then widening to pull in some of the other largest cities such as Brockton, New Bedford and Fall River.

This sort of configuration is repeated in several other districts as well, and it gives you a picture of just how the Democrat party has been able to maintain such a stranglehold on power in MA for so long. [With 3 consecutive Speakers of the House who resigned while facing felony charges]

A few hopeful signs: the 5th (Niki Tsongas) --normally a D stronghold-- looks like it might be vulnerable this year, and a few challengers have already come forward in the 10th to try to unseat the execrable Friend of Hugo, William Delahunt. You may recall his exchange of words with Cheney's chief of staff a couple of years ago.

Rick Ballard

"There's so much whistling past the graveyard here that we could set up a windfarm to capture it and run the city for a year."

The MoveOn morons and Code Pinkos purchased the Democrat party a few years ago. They're jerking the piano wire nooses around the scrawny chicken necks of every party "leader" as hard as they can. It won't be enough.


For decades liberals have been waiting for One who would personify liberal ideas and ideals. Obama definitely is that One. Though he won't admit to being a liberal, he is. He won't admit to being for bigger government and higher taxes, but he is. He has been captured on camera advocating for higher energy costs and government controlled health care.

During the last Presidential Campaign, Obama claimed he wanted to change government. He wanted to reform the processes, get rid of the corruption, the hyper-partisanship, the secret deals. Obama said he wanted fiscal responsibility and he railed against the excessive spending of the previous administration. So, a lot of people got the idea that he wasn't the One the liberals had been waiting for, but he wasn't being truthful.

After the election we found out Obama doesn't want to reform government at all. He wants to reform people and free markets, and he wants to grow government.

Once people found out who Obama truly is, big government Obamabot candidates started dropping like flies.


Good Politico article: Sour swing voters desert Democrats

Though there were no exit polls, GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio surveyed 800 voters on election night and found that Brown won 64 percent of independents to Coakley’s 34 percent.

Democratic pollster Dave Beattie said that independent voters — particularly whites and Hispanics — are worried about the economy and that Democrats had erred in focusing on health care at a time when voters are focused on jobs.

Economists are still predicting unemployment will rise in 2010, and the news today won't change that view.

Soylent Red

Now if we can just get Obama to take on Scott Brown on the basketball court, we will have Obama sneaking off to bowling allies at night.

I would pay top dollar for an autographed photo of Brown in mid-air, skying over Obama's .05" vertical leap and smoker's wheeze like Dr. J.

Top dollar.

Oh, and Air America is going under, finally. Man, isn't life swell these days?


Would that NPR would go next, but its only bankruptcy is that it is bankrupt of ideas.

Thomas Collins

Axelrod still has it, I'll grant him that. His boss is getting pummeled on health care and national security, so what does Axelrod do? Tell his boss to bash the banks! See LUN.

I know I have presented no evidence that Axelrod is behind the timing of this. Just a hunch, I admit.


Volcker's plan may have merit.


I have CNBC on while I'm working on the computer and Zero's attack on the big banks was definitely the topic of the day on that network.
I've never heard such disparaging remarks against this tactic and there was no doubt this was retribution for the D's loss in MA amongst the commentators.

Wonder if Goldman Sachs, et al, will be donating to his campaign in three plus years.

JM Hanes

The love affair is definitely over! Could Politico have picked a less flattering shot of the Prez?

Bill and Barry

At least he's not spending money on hair stylists.


Not nice JMH,

I think you picked that unflattering photo in order to embarrass our first 2 "Black" Presidents.



Did you ever have a nightmare where you were doing something way above your abilities and were being found out? I know someone who's living that.


Peggy Noonan expresses my hopes and fears well today.

This unique accent -- which has set New Yorkers apart for decades -- may now be disappearing among some of Gotham's natives, according to a Jan. 9 presentation at the Linguistic Society of America in Baltimore.

O/T If you sent any money as a donation to the Rifqa Bary Defense Fund (She is the teenager who is trying to leave her Islam family and live as a Christian) YOU WILL want to read the latest at Atlas Shrugs


Yesterday I remarked that "Volcker's plan may have merit." Today the WSJ seconds that emotion: Obama v. Wall Street: The President gets serious about moral hazard. Key excerpts:

President Obama and Democrats have settled on demonizing Wall Street as a campaign theme for November's elections. If history is any guide, Mr. Obama and New York Senator Chuck Schumer will now persuade Wall Street to underwrite this campaign. Ah, the politics of hope and change. How refreshing.

Phony populism aside, yesterday Mr. Obama introduced his first serious idea into the debate on reforming the financial system. In calling for an end to proprietary trading at firms with a federal safety net, the President showed that he now understands an important principle: Risk-taking in the capital markets is incompatible with a taxpayer guarantee.

Under the President's still-sketchy plan, firms that hold government-insured deposits or are eligible to receive cheap loans in an emergency from the Federal Reserve would not be able to trade for their own accounts. The firms could facilitate customer orders as brokers have always done and continue to underwrite new issues of stocks and bonds, but they could not make bets with their own capital or own or invest in hedge funds.

Yesterday's announcement is a critical departure from the reform plan Mr. Obama introduced last year—largely incorporated in the House and Senate bills written by Barney Frank and Chris Dodd. Those plans all sought to expand the universe of too-big-to-fail companies eligible for taxpayer rescue. Mr. Obama has at last joined the most important policy discussion: How to eliminate the moral hazard now embedded in the U.S. financial system. Political assaults on banker compensation have done nothing to address this core problem that enables gargantuan bonuses.


If we are going to have a Fed and a political class as reckless as we have, then we need a more comprehensive answer to financial risk. Bankruptcy for risk-takers who bet wrong is the best option. Barring that, strict limits on margin and leverage, especially for holders of insured deposits, can be helpful. Mr. Obama's suggestion yesterday of limits on the size of financial firms—with the limits still to be determined—deserves a hearing but would seem more problematic.

Still, we're encouraged by yesterday's announcement. The Democrats appear to finally realize that too-big-to-fail is a problem to be solved, not the foundation of a modern banking system.

Reflexive GOP accusations of an "assault on the banks" are not a sufficient response. The GOP needs to get involved, because they share responsibility and an informed electorate will realize that sooner or later.

Cecil Turner

Your concern is noted.

Cecil Turner

Hey, Mrs Brown is hot! And those guys were seriously dissin' Digney, but I thought the tune was kinda catchy. Lose the sitar solo, punch up the lyric, and maybe add some cowbell, and he might have somethin'. (H/T Insty)


Heh. This was funny: Jon Stewart Mocks Keith Olbermann Over Scott Brown Attacks.

Interestingly, I couldn't get the video in Firefox but I could in Konqueror (the browser that gave KHTML to Mac's Safari).


I really wanted to paste in this entire blog, President Obama’s Excellent New Banking Proposal, but I was afraid that if I did JOMers might call me nasty names--plus, I thought that if I exercised restraint centralcal might allow that I was being a "nice guy" for a change, thus starting a tsunami of good feeling.

Nevertheless, if not only the WSJ but also NRO are voicing cautious support, then I think conservatives need to put the "assault on the banks" meme on hold for the nonce.

Check out what NRO (Jim Manzi) is saying--did you ever think to read stuff like this about Obama in even a Neocon rag like NRO?

This is an excellent proposal. More precisely – since, as Megan McArdle’s shoe-leather work has highlighted, many important details of even this part of the proposal remain to be determined or revealed — the concept the president has proposed is excellent.

I have been arguing for more than a year that this was the direction financial regulation needed to go, and that the logic of the situation would drive us here. The reason why is straightforward.


The political aspects of such reform are compelling. People are disgusted at recent bank bonuses. I’m a right-of-center libertarian businessman, and I’m disgusted by them. Make no mistake, many banking executives right now are benefiting from taxpayer subsidies. Even if they pay back the TARP money, the government has demonstrated that it will intervene to protect large banks. This can’t be paid back. And this implicit, but very real, guarantee represents an enormous transfer of economic value from taxpayers to any bank executives and investors who are willing to take advantage of it. Unsurprisingly, pretty much all of them are.

The “populist” observation that the fact of a bunch of well-connected guys each pulling down $10 million per year while suckling on the government teat constitutes almost certain evidence of self-dealing is accurate, and all the fancy finance talk in the world can’t get around it. President Obama has a clear political incentive to pursue this proposal. I assume Republicans will see that they have a clear political incentive to go along, rather than standing up for such a situation. Hopefully, this will create the political dynamic that will allow real, positive reform.

The GOP cannot afford to allow Obama to own real banking reform. The current system is NOT a free market and if Obama is going to restore market incentives then the GOP needs to encourage that. It worked under Clinton with Welfare Reform. It can work again.

Dave (in MA)

Cecil, around here a few years ago that was the "video that Channel 5's Gail Huff was in".

It's amusing to see it being passed around now by uptight libs as some big skeleton in Scott Brown's closet.

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