The budget freeze is largely symbolic and Obama is outplaying the Republicans yet again. Take an issue your opponents will likely use against you. Steal* this issue from them by getting out in front before they can form a narrative that permeates with the bulk of the "undecideds." This strategy robs them of one of their few talking points that make any sense at all. Not that we should really be worrying about deficits in this economy.
Once Obama has a reputation as a deficit hawk, he will have an easier time spending on things that the Republicans will wail about as deficit ballooners. Once you have the reputation as an early riser, few will give you grief when you sleep in.
* When you borrow something, you have to give it back. It isn't really yours. When you steal it, you make it your own.
... but this type of response is likely to do more harm than good. In saying "There's nothing mandatory about it," Ms. Barnes is playing the wingnut's game, by their rules.
What the White House needs to do is go on the attack, and call out the "deathers" as irresponsible, shameful, and un-American liars grasping at straws to derail good policy at any cost, regardless of who it hurts.
The reason this is getting any traction at all is the wingnuts are controlling the framing.
The City of Kalamazoo is solidly Dem based (some precincts over 85%) and the county overall went for Kerry, Granholm, Stabenow and I think always goes to Levin. We took control of the County Commission in 2006 as well, despite some serious gerrymandering in 2001 -- we went from 9 to 17 districts, via the same software company who brought you Tom Delay's Texas.
I can tell you that here in Kalamazoo, the demand for Obama yard signs (which we don't have yet) and bumper stickers at the County Party is unprecedented.
Most people I know blame Debbie Dingle, Carl Levin, and--yes--the Governor for the Michigan primary fiasco. However, the Republican-controlled Senate lobbed monkey wrenches at any attempts to fix the problem once it became clear what a bad idea the January 15th primary was.
One can look at peak oil as peak job creation. Unfortunately, the real problem isn't when we run out of cheap oil (which we has already started), food shortages (ditto), or even when people start killing each other over fresh water.
The problem is the way our stock market-based economy requires ever more resources; when the dollar is nothing more than an IOU, the economy MUST keep growing to keep from dying.
A tree cannot grow to the sky, however. I encourage all readers to google "peak oil" and see what turns up. I'm not convinced there are any "solutions" unless by that one means "responses."
After watching them together in Grand Rapids a few hours ago, I'd put the odd on Edwards fairly high. There was a lot of "Barack and I" from Edwards and "John Edwards and I" from Obama.
Granted, this is exactly the sort of talk one would expect at an endorsement, but we were also half-expecting them to announce JE had accepted Veep. It's still too early to do that, though--bad taste as HRC hasn't dropped yet.
... has been declared unconstitutional. While arguments can be made to include the Florida popular vote--although since Florida, like Michigan, broke the rules and won't be counted--one cannot include the results from Michigan.
And I don't want to hear one more word about how "it's Obama's own fault for taking his name off the ballot." That's what ALL candidates, including HRC, were asked to do. It's his fault for playing by the rules?
Yeah, we are steamed here in Michigan, but it's not directed at Obama.
If one must look to a game analogy, think of cribbage.
Does anyone imagine if the situation were reversed (in terms of lead in the popular vote, states won, and pledged delegates) that Team Clinton wouldn't be calling for her opponent to drop out "for the good of the party?"
And what of the Clinton campaign's assertion a while back that she would have the nomination sewn up by February 5th? By the same logic we're hearing now, John Edwards should have stayed in the race because dropping out when he did denies the right of those in North Carolina to have their voices heard.