Paul Krugman: Barack Obama is right on gas tax holiday.

John McCain recently proposed a "tax holiday" for the federal gas tax from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  Hillary Clinton joined McCain in that call, but said she would make up the lost revenue by imposing a "windfall profits tax" on oil companies.  McCain will just let the highway fund lose money, a policy consistent with his borrow and cut taxes philopsophy, i.e., "voodoo economics."   

Barack Obama opposes a "tax holiday" for the federal gas tax.

Who's right?  Paul Krugman says Obama is.

More, after the fold.

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Krugman: Obama's Attacks Are Equal To Republicans

In case you missed it, Paul Krugman wrote another good article today.  He discusses the false claim of Hillary's negative attacks against Obama.

Tellingly, the Obama campaign has put far more energy into attacking Mrs. Clinton’s health care proposals than it has into promoting the idea of universal coverage.

During the closing days of the Pennsylvania primary fight, the Obama campaign ran a TV ad repeating the dishonest charge that the Clinton plan would force people to buy health insurance they can’t afford. It was as negative as any ad that Mrs. Clinton has run — but perhaps more important, it was fear-mongering aimed at people who don’t think they need insurance, rather than reassurance for families who are trying to get coverage or are afraid of losing it.

No wonder, then, that older Democrats continue to favor Mrs. Clinton.

Apparently so many of the talking heads have a short memory, or they are just choosing to project Obama's own strategy with claims against Hillary.  We've seen that technique too many times from the NeoCons.

But even Markos of Dailykos and now Newsweek, had rightfully pointed out months ago Obama's attacks were like that of Republicans, attacking his own party.

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Klein May Be A Jerk But These Folks Get It (Updated)

Well it looks like everyone's still talking about that debate the other night.  Everywhere they go the candidates are either bringing it up at their campaign stops (Obama) or fielding questions from reporters curious as to what they think of it all (Hillary).  Even here on the blogs, we're seeing loads of posts and comments on that debate, and the things that have gone down since.  Including stories about BO's behavior on the stage during his campaign stops yesterday, which tells us he's pretty pissed at those moderators for having the temerity to ask him some tough questions.

Hillary's withstood this kind of grilling for over 15 years - she's been examined under every freakin' microscope out there.  She's been attacked, called a murderer, investigated nine ways to Sunday, treated to some of the most sexist, misogynistic BULLSHIT imaginable and sure - her supporters have called folks on it.  Including me.

But here we see Obama who - for the first time in this campaign - found himself on the receiving end of a handful of tough questions, and he goes on about it at his campaign events the next day.

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Krugman takes Obama to school

If you squeeze everything Maureen Dowd and Frank Rich have written this year, you won't get half the substance in today's column by Krugman.

his piece today mae a strong argument against several of Obama's assertions in San Francisco. These two struck me as very interesting:

1) Claim: Small town jobs were lost and never replaced:
   Debunking: Krugman notes that whatever jobs were lost were replaced with better ones, judging by the raising income, adjusted after inflation, during the Clinton years. And just in case any of you wants to make the point that "it is not about income, but about jobs", remember that there was a net gain of jobs in the Clinton years. Not a loss.

2) Claim: Poor people in the midwest and south cling to guns and religion because of financial hardship.
   Debunking: Krugman notes the obvious: The South is a traditionally religious area, period.
Why do poor people from Montana and Maine attend church at a smaller rate than its richer counterpart, Connecticut? How can Obama explain that only poor people from one area and not the other, according to his theory, are led to "cling" to religion, and even guns, because of financial hardship?

At the end of the piece Krugman asks Obama a favor:

[div class="excerpt"]let's hope that once Mr. Obama is no longer running against someone named Clinton, [b]he'll stop denigrating the very good economic record of the only Democratic administration most Americans remember.[/b]

This is arguably Krugman's best piece this year: n/18krugman.html?_r=1&hp&oref=sl ogin

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On the Rise of the Obamasphere

               There is a deep-seated craving common to all
                men of words which determines their attitude
                to the prevailing order.  It is a craving for
                recognition; a craving for a clearly marked
                status above the common run of humanity.
                "Vanity," said Napoleon, "made the Revolution;
                liberty was only a pretext."
                               --Eric Hoffer, The True Believer

Too many progressive websites now serve up identical daily fare: endless praise for Barack Obama; relentless criticism of Hillary Clinton; and, above all, great torrents of mathematical argumentation explaining why the contest needs to end immediately.

Some on the left are worried about potential Democratic disunity in the fall.  Many more seem dazzled by Obama's apparent charisma.  Still others are simply incapable of dealing rationally with the Clintons.  (Jonathan Chait of The New Republic called Hillary a "fratricidal maniac" for not yielding to the dictates of Obama math.  Whatever, Jon.)

But there's another reason for Obama's popularity among bloggers--indeed, among much of the left-of-center commentariat from TNR to The Nation.

They need each other.

Hillary Clinton may or may not make a good president, but one thing's for sure--she won't be reinventing the wheel.  No transcendental speechifying.  No post-partisan mind-melding with Mitch McConnell.  A Clinton presidency will contain its fair share of divisive politics.  We pretty much know what that looks like.  Some of us even welcome it.

For many bloggers the problem with Hillary isn't that she's a shrieking, mendacious harpy.  That's for their comment sections.  The problem is that her candidacy doesn't provide them with a subject worthy of their talents.

Enter Barack Obama, a slick politician peddling an extremely vague blueprint for change that cries out for further explication.  In due course, from the fertile steppes of progressive cyberspace, appears a multitude of bold theoreticians and stalwart number crunchers, all eager to work overtime constructing an intellectual framework to support the Obama hype machine.

Right now their efforts are concentrated on ensuring that no renegade superdelegates or pesky voters in Michigan and Florida threaten the Obama campaign's Fortress of Inevitability.  Leading the charge is Josh Marshall, and what a sad and sorry spectacle.  Once an indispensable source of honest progressive journalism, TPM has lost all credibility by becoming little more than a clearinghouse for the latest Obama campaign spin, sprinkled with a few Clinton smears.  (Has a more shameless Washington suck-up artist ever revealed himself?)

As long as the mainstream media has the Clintons to kick around, they'll be in lockstep with the Obamasphere, at least until their McCain fetish overpowers them.  If Obama manages to get elected, an unfortunate dynamic will emerge.

The media has no interest in promoting a Democratic agenda--ever.  Obama will be expected to fulfill his canpaign promise--as caricatured by the press--to end all the "partisan bickering" and start compromising.  If he doesn't...Well, Time magazine has some vintage Clinton-era "Incredible Shrinking President" covers they can recycle.

Obama won't relish getting photoshopped into that particular picture.  His universal health care plan will start looking even less universal than it does now.

Howls of protest will come from hardcore policy wonks, but Obama needn't worry--the big brains at Open Left, along with the rest of his online vanguard of hope, have his back.  They're currently seen waving his old Iraq speech in front of Hillary Clinton like Van Helsing brandishing a crucifix because they're not sure he's very committed to progressive solutions.  It's no big deal, though.  Obama is transcendentally transforming American society, and something so grand takes time.  The policy will have to wait for the politics.  Someday Congress will be full of Wellstone liberals.  Someday.

Eric Hoffer:

               What de Remusat said of Thiers is perhaps true
                of most men of words: "he has much more vanity
                than ambition; and he prefers consideration to
                obedience, and the appearance of power to power
                itself.  Consult him constantly, and then do
                just as you please.  He will take more notice
                of your deference to him than of your actions."

At least we still have Paul Krugman.

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