If all of the beltway cocktail party class think that 40 seats is guaranteed for the GOP, when they only win 12 seats, they'll all have a bigger egg on their face. There's nothing like killing high expectations in politics....PA-12 proves that. Victory is sweeter, and recriminations on the losers harsher.
One of the problems of getting elected on a message of of vast "change" and transformation...and really, that was THE central message, honed in day in and day out, is that when you don't deliver it people keep asking you what indeed has changed? Where is this transformation?
And it's pretty pathetic that their only response now is simply to say..."well look it's a black guy in the oval office! That's not enough change for you!!!??" Going down that path when they get criticized for not delivering on Hope-n-change is a recipe for ridicule, and disaster.
Brilliant strategy to bring new people into the process. "Unity" sounds great after the partisan hell that was the Bush years post-9/11 with Republicans inciting treasonous undertones and the like among the population. So I have no doubt that the whole kumbaya message from the Obama camapaign was a good strategy especially for the young and naive who are getting involved in the process for the first time. Selling a transformational message as you say and not issue based.
But governing-wise...it has been a completely different story. I wonder if those same star struck young people who were awed by Obama and his message will feel the same way come 2012 if the same governing style continues that allows the Republicans and recalcitrant Democrats have so much power when they should be fought instead. To claim that there has been "transformative" change thus far is pretty much a joke, and unless things change by the time re-election comes around, there's going to be a lot of jaded people when he comes around again selling a hollow message of "keeping the change going." For the rest of us who have seen disillusioned by pols time and again, but who DO care about what's going on and for whom the alternative GOP universe is frightening no matter what...that message will still ring hollow but holding our noses when pushing the lever is now habitual behavior--for the millions of young people who believed in the man in 2008, I'm not sure how many will hold their noses instead of staying home.
I agree...I also thought it would take about a year for him to lose the #1 spot and maybe a bit longer to get the pink slip. He will definitely be replaced at some point, there is really no turning back--Gregory can change his questions, but he can't change his style or non-telegenic nature. He absolutely sucks at this job.
Russert was extremely biased to the GOP--that much was clear to political junkies, but to the masses he was just a tough questioner, and at least his style was compelling, plus he was likeable on TV--Gregory looks like a smarmy elite schoolboy, the haircut doesn't help, and he is just annoying--plus his questioning style doesn't appear as aggressive.
And this again is why questions on the debt and deficit are absolutely not hand wringing. When all these "stimuli" are being proposed in addition to the bailouts and giveaways--all coupled with a reluctance to increase taxes by Obama (he will only now tax the rich, and it's only a repeal of Bush's tax cuts, while actually cutting taxes for everyone else depriving the treasury of revenue on balance) questions must be asked. It is not enough to just say "emergency, fuck the debt." Because once this debt approaches 100% of GDP, which it will before Obama's first term is over, it will have enormous ramifications on our ability to keep spending and adding debt. We're going to have Italy's debt to GDP ratio, and for the US to be in that position would be disastrous.
If our debt is say $17-18-19 trillion by the time Obama is out of office in 8 years, with almost no recourse to pay it back or substantially decrease it, only 2 options are left: massive devaluation of the currency, or default. Two options who's consequences would make this crisis look like a picnic.
In order to avoid this, taxes must be raised across the board, not just for the rich, and substantial increases at that, combined with eventual massive spending cuts--preferably defense cuts, but not just that alone. Failure to do that, which is all but guaranteed is going to leave the other 2 inevitable solutions, and their consequences.
Nonsense. Yes he does have a point in the abstract--as in that is just a general observation that is true, what makes it comeplete nonsense is that the Chinese, including Mr. Jiabao, have been instrumental in that reality being the case.
The system was set up so that China would run massive trade surpluses by exporting their cheap crap to the conspicuous American consumer causing giant US trade deficits which China would then plug in by buying US debt, keeping their currency artificially low...and giving the US the money it needed to keep financing its wars and the rest on the "cheap" without having to do painful things like raising taxes. And on and on it went...for years and years creating an unsustainable balance of trade system, and now the Chinese are questioning the value of their US investments? As if this is all a surprise?
Sorry but the Chinese government is NOT sincere in this and in fact it smacks of utter ridiculousness that they have the gall to complain about a system they happily participated in for over a decade knowing full well the end result. If they let the Renmimbi rise, their dollar holdings end up being worth less, that much is obvious--and that they didn't think about this over a decade ago when this started is pretty astounding.
Bottom line is that China is asking for a reassurance that the US cannot give. They took a risk in this, and it is their problem when the shit hits the fan, and to pretend they are the innocent party here is preposterous. Their whole economic growth "miracle" since the mid 90s is wholly dependent on export growth that was unsustainable, now that it has crashed and there is enormous overcapacity, they should fix their problems instead of sable rattling on shit they helped create.
It's a good first step, but it doesn't go far enough in undoing Reagan--you compare Reagan's first budget to this, you will see Reagan's as far more radical in its departure from the past.
Obama is simply restoring the status quo pre-Bush, which means Clinton vis-a-vis tax rates. Tax rates for the rich ought to be much higher than the 39.6% he'd be taking them to, especially considering his massive $700 billion + permanent tax cut for everyone else (which I think is misguided) which obviously creates a $700 billion + hole in the budget that the increase in taxes for the rich won't come close to covering.
Obama is also cutting $700 billion in taxes for the "middle class"--while I think a temporary tax break as stimulus is a good idea, I do not think a $700 billion permanent tax cut when so many things need to be funded is a particularly good one, even for the middle class, especially if the tax rate on the rich is simply going back to 1990s levels. Unless he's planning some secret $700 billion cuts down the line to make up for this enormous cut in revenues, it is a really bad idea.
Why would they name him in the first place? They had to have known about the investigation--it came out literally hours after his nomination was announced. This was a sloppy, and poor choice by Obama.
Anyone with an "FBI investigation" anywhere near them should NOT get a cabinet appointment, whether the investigation clears them eventually or not. Perception is reality. Everyone in politics should know that by now.
Don't kid yourself, we are headed for default or devaluation of the dollar. The bailouts and this stimulus when all added (as of now, not including future bailouts which will happen) plus factoring in the tax cuts that are coming, we are now so deep underwater that there is no way to pay it back ever.
All this money being created out of thin air is going to have consequences.