Patterico's Pontifications


Obama’s Pointless Presser

Filed under: General,Obama,Politics — Karl @ 6:06 am

[Posted by Karl]

Pres. Obama went on TV again Tuesday night to flog his “too much, too soon” approach to government, claiming his budget is inseparable from economic recovery, particularly his proposals on healthcare, clean energy, deficit reduction and education.

At the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, key Democratic Congressional leaders were already performing major surgery on the Obama budget.  Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad’s mark does not provide for Obama’s signature middle-class tax cut or money for future bank bailouts, and merely patches the alternative minimum tax increasingly hitting the middle class.  Technically, these should all be counted as gimmicks, as it is virtually certain these will pass as needed.

More significantly, Obama’s ginormous global warming tax will not be fast-tracked in either chamber, while (as thought yesterday) healthcare will not be rammed through the Senate.  Indeed, Conrad said he would leave out new spending for Obama’s proposed expansion of healthcare coverage.  It is tough to see how a deficit-neutral Obamacare proposal emerges from the bowels of Capitol Hill.

Moreover, Sen. Evan Bayh’s Gang of 16 moderate Democrats — without whom the Democrats cannot move a budget — plan to push for further cuts.  Obama’s ineffectual astroturfing seems unlikely to change this environment.

Accordingly, Pres. Obama spent last night talking to the TV audience (many of whom would have preferred American Idol), while the audience that really matters — Congress — plans to punt on at least two of his key priorities in favor of the deficit reduction Obama only claims to champion.  That a Democratic Congress is more hawkish on the deficit shows not only how reckless the Obama agenda is, but also how little Obama may get out of the budget process.


65 Responses to “Obama’s Pointless Presser”

  1. The foolishness of much of this is emerging. The AIG resignation letters are coming in now. The Europeans are voting thumbs down so even would-be European Obama (who speaks no European language) can’t bring along his philosophical models.

    As time goes by, sense is returning to Senate Democrats and the danger recedes a bit. Obama will increasingly be seen as an impotent fool. Even his ACORN allies seem ineffectual.

    Ironically, his loss of influence may lead to a recovery as doubt and fear decreases.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  2. What he’s already gotten is sick though. The budget doesn’t just need to stall President Soros’s new initiatives it needs to walk back the ones he already passed I think. We need to go back to being America.

    happyfeet (ba8a9d)

  3. A guy I know at my gym (big – time Lib) was complaining about how Obama’s Special Olympics remark was taken way out of context – and I agreed wholeheartedly with him. However, in the next breath I told him that his fab guy better get the hell off the talk – show circuit and start doing his freaking job, and that includes getting off the TV in general. Surprisingly, he agreed – even some of his most loyal acolytes are starting to get sick of him, it would appear. Follow Mies Van Der Rohe’s (legendary architect) advice – less is more.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  4. Obama will increasingly be seen as an impotent fool.

    Mike, he’s learned nothing from Clinton’s 1st term, when he was taken to measure by his own Democratic majority and subsequently rolled. I find this even more surprising, since so many of his staff is composed of former Clintonites – did these folks learn nothing from those days?

    Dmac (49b16c)

  5. We should have a contest? Who is more mendoucheous – Hackey sack or Barcky?

    JD (a71690)

  6. Except for a massive tax cut, watching Obama is like watching Kennedy… The king of Camelot couldn’t get much passed, was largely ineffectual except with the tax cut and the Cuban missile crisis. Obama hasn’t had the cojones to attempt either.

    GM Roper (d53336)

  7. feets!

    Correct, but elections have consequences. What Obama has gotten so far was inevitable. Running into the Congressional buzzsaw (like Clinton, Carter and JFK before him) is a least the first step in the right direction.

    Karl (3bf5f8)

  8. I did notice that the one question he got on AIG failed to point out how those bonuses were specifically gaurenteed in his trillion dollar stimulus bill.

    Mr. Pink (eae12c)

  9. I think for real we need to smack this Baracky can’t get anything done meme down. He’s already destroyed the character of this nation. That’s a big big legacy I think. Not just by passing all the dirty socialisms in his “stimulus,” but by passing a stimulus that wasn’t even a stimulus.

    Him and his dirty socialist pals already raped our little treasury on an unprecedented scale. Throw in a couple dirty socialist Justices and anything else is just fascist anti-American gravy.

    happyfeet (ba8a9d)

  10. He repealed welfare reform. That’s a big dirty socialist win. HUGE, really.

    happyfeet (ba8a9d)

  11. From Mike K.’s link at The Corner

    Likewise, watching a couple of dozen ACORN activists pretending to be indignant citizens leading a ton of news reporters willingly colluding in the fraud around suburban avenues in Connecticut, a talented executive would have to be completely desperate to offer his services to any entity bailed out by the government.

    But reporters are a vital check against political activists, who would otherwise mislead the public by planting stories in those partisan blogs!

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  12. I think I might be having something of a fatalistic morning, Karl.

    happyfeet (ba8a9d)

  13. I agree happy. He repealed it in his socialist “stimulus” bill right beside gaurenteeing those AIG bonuses.

    Mr. Pink (eae12c)

  14. feets!

    You are often ironically named. But usually with good reason.

    Karl (3bf5f8)

  15. Is there a transcript of the presser up anywhere?

    JD (dfa7f5)

  16. JD – NPR has a transcript up.

    SarahW (fdd722)

  17. Thank you, Sarah. I had vowed to not give them any traffic because of their dirty little socialist ways, but i will make an exception this time.

    JD (dfa7f5)

  18. Reading it is much preferred over watching it – turned it off after about 10 minutes. He gives me bad vibes, reminds me of the Clinton years, but w/o the hour – plus speeches (thank goodness).

    Dmac (49b16c)

  19. Come on. Nobody is going to channel Levi and say, “You don’t need to read the presser… you already know what he said.”?

    Okay, troll-shredding has left me with a powerful need for humor.

    I work here is done.

    Stashiu3 (460dc1)

  20. Multiple trillions of dollars in deficit for decades is a good thing?

    JD (a71690)

  21. It depends on your goal, JD.

    If it is increasing government control and power…yup.

    Eric Blair (55f2d9)

  22. Multiple trillions of dollars in deficit for decades is a good thing?

    JD – It’s for the chirren and to seduce future generations of democrat voters. Both good things from a Democrat perspective. Party first!

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  23. It occurs to me that “the bowels of Capitol Hill” is kinda redundant.

    Dodd (fbfada)

  24. I think we need to convine Obama to go kill some brown people and take his focus off the economy and domestic issues for a while.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  25. Make sure you all promote and show up for the tax revolt 4/15 we need to show the left we are not letting them take over the country!!! Was at the tax revolt in Orange, Ca. The crowd was estimated between 8-15 thousand showed. Talked to a policeman and told him he did not have to be there we were not leftest and there would not be any problems and we would leave the area just as it was before we arrived!!

    William (b0f95b)

  26. Obama is repeating Bill Clinton’s ploy: “sorry, folks, can’t afford that middle class tax cut I promised.” Same message, same timing.

    Republicans better wake up and realize that nothing less than major cuts in this budget are acceptable.

    No trimming around the edges. CUT.

    Patricia (2183bb)

  27. I am so sick and tired of all these people with the hostility and negativity towards our President. Anyone who has anything to say, in my opinion, are a buch of ignorant racist idiots who would rather see our troops dying in Iraq and continue to give them billions of dollars under what could be the McCain-Palin administration.
    People fail to realize that Obama has eight years worth of damage to clean up which GEORGE BUSH CREATED. So to whomever reads this comment and gets upset after reading it, good! Get upset! I’m just keeping it real.

    CC (d6550b)

  28. Obama is keeping the troops there “dying” to use your words. Whatever do not let facts get in the way of felating a politician. I love when you called anyone that doesn’t like Obama a racist that is great. So I guess this means I can say you are a racist against all white people cause you do not like McCain or Palin?

    PS I want him to fail.

    Mr. Pink (eae12c)

  29. CC- try joining Mikey Moore, Alec Baldwin, Sean Penn, Ollie Stone and assorted other socialist rabble and move to Cuba, Canada, Zimbabwe, Iran, Venezuela or N. Korea. Life would be more suitable for you in any of those workers’ paradises.

    Always with the BushHitler meme. Selective memory serves you so well. Give the purveyors of the push for expensive homes to deadbeats a break. Continue to believe in algore’s global warming scam. Trust that health care is so much superior in Cuba, England and Canada. Those are all on your messiah O’Dumbo’s agenda. Enjoy kissing his ass and continue drinking Bet you’d even think luap nor was a better choice than Mccain too. Embrace those cults of personality. Now get back to your video games, picking at your acne and masturbating over pix of Barry Hussein. jajajaja

    aoibhneas (0c6cfc)

  30. “I am so sick and tired of all these people with the hostility and negativity towards our President.”

    CC – You’re talking about the years of the Bush Administration, right?

    Oh, nevermind, just read the rest of your comment.

    Carry on.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  31. Thank you, CC. Could I suscribe to your newsletter, douchenozzle?

    JD (b5a4c1)

  32. CC, that’s among the more juvenile comments I’ve seen … which is saying something given the troll infestation we have here.

    SPQR (72771e)

  33. Obama is pissing away more money than Bush did in his finest hour. Also keeping those evil evil wars for oil continueing as far as the eyes can see. From what I see Obama is taking the Bush policies and squaring them.

    Mr. Pink (eae12c)

  34. I agree Mr Pink. I pray that Teh One fails big time. Funny how O can get votes from blacks in percentages similar to what Castro or Stalin got, but that’s not racist. We are told white trash in Alabama and Mississippi are racist because THEY voted against the Messiah. I’d be ok if elections were not secret because I’d still vote againsts the dipwad marxist wannabe. Sorry I have to question the sanity and intellect of anyone outside of ACORN, the Kennedy compound and the perpetually wanna stay poor who would vote for socialism. Nice to see all the empathy Barry Hussein shows for his own family in Kenya and in Boston, despite his own wealth.
    btw, I am looking forward to seeing Palin nekkid in Playboy and Michelle O in National Geographic. Oh, I know, can’t make fun of the Messiah, only rethugs like junkie/fatboy Limbaugh or chimp bush.

    aoibhneas (0c6cfc)

  35. “Keeping it real” = “I live in a fantasy world and just have to shove my fantasies into the conversation.

    Anonymous (0d6d87)

  36. I don’t get the “our President” part.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  37. “Keeping it real” – in his bedroom next to his parents.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  38. Found this on a FoxNews site…
    The AP closed one of their posts of the presser as such:

    “…One of the few times he summoned raw emotion came after a reporter demanded to know why it took him so long to express outrage over the AIG executive bonuses.

    “It took a couple of days because I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak.”

    Even better, he likes to have it up on the teleprompter.

    AD - RtR/OS (10cf6d)

  39. Dmac, you always do make me laugh. Because I think you are very right.

    I can see that person now, muttering how he or she “schooled those wingnuts but good,” as they go sifting through the cat litter box. Allowance day is Friday, after all.

    Eric Blair (55f2d9)

  40. CC: Right. Look at the pretty picture. Notice that Obama’s projected deficit for this year is larger than the total actual deficit for all eight of Bush’s years.

    htom (412a17)

  41. Remember only government can save us!!!
    So more government can save more of us. Right?
    Drop in a cool 3-4 billion for ACORN and the economy is fixed and we’re fucked.

    gus (36e9a7)

  42. CC just figured out governance is hard. So easy to govern when you don’t actually have to do any governance, so hard when you do.

    The media and the Dems have spent 8 years saying everything that Bush does is wrong (even where they sometimes agreed with him at the time an action was taken). But that’s not even half of it. The bigger lie was: and it’s all so easy. The right decisions were staring Bush in the face and he just passed them by. The right decisions had no negative consequences and incredible upside. Christopher Reeve was even going to walk again.

    Now O comes to office and says those $400 billion Bush budget deficits were really, really bad but to fix it he needs trillion dollar deficits. Darn it, I think I doubled back on myself: the Dems STILL think it’s easy. How else could O forward such a lame construction? Deficits bad. Really, really big deficits good. It’s not good when the minions, like CC, figure it out before the President has.

    EBJ (2fd7f7)

  43. With these defacit #’s, Obama could serve filet to his minions

    Sorry, there is a waygu / mignon joke in there somewhere, I just missed it.

    carlitos (efdd90)

  44. I just read this which in my estimation aids in acquiring a calmer and more comprehensive perspective of the AIG bonus affair from the ‘other side’. I have no idea of this gentleman’s veracity or intent, merely pointing out another version of the backstory for your perusal.

    AIG internal email resignation.

    allan (fc38ac)

  45. The AIG / Times letter pretty much says it all.

    The productive are vilified.
    The demagogue populists are rooted for.
    The parasites and lazy are rewarded.

    You call this America a democracy? This is a kleptocracy.

    Say what we may, Europeans have more freedom than we do nowadays. While the Gov.t may be too ingrained in their economic lives at least the Gov.t generally stays out of their personal and social lives and doesn’t run around encouraging harm on their productive citizens.

    Jimminy'cricket (637168)

  46. That letter is the same letter, published in the NY Times. Liddy said that most of the bonus refunds would come with resignations. This is just the first. It is becoming more and more clear that the AIG bailout was a mistake. They should have been allowed to go BK.

    There was never a strong case for the rescue of AIG last September. It was not likely that the international economy was going to “melt down” if AIG failed. Executives from Goldman Sachs (AIG’s largest “counterparty” bank) have said that their company was never in jeapardy of failing as a consequence of AIG’s insolvency. This was probably true of other counterparty banks as well. AIG’s liabilities, while large, were not large enough to bring down the financial system. AIG, in contrast to Lehman Brothers, was not a bank at all but an insurance company. Bernanke and Paulson were operating in the dark, based on what they were told by bankers who stood most to gain from the rescues.
    Bernanke and Paulson panicked last September and, in the process, threw the national election to the Democrats and established a terrible precedent in the rescue of AIG that has led to embarrassments and now to ever more ambitious missteps.

    I disagree that they threw the election because, once the financial meltdown began, McCain was toast.

    Mike K (8df289)

  47. I like Mr. Desantis.

    JD (e738c0)

  48. Not having as much class as Mr. DeSantis, I would have been able to say what he said in a much shorter note:

    With all due respect, I’m tired of being ….ed here, why don’t you all just go …. yourselves for a change!

    …with CC to Barney, Chris, and the two State AG’s (and I would have kept the money).

    AD - RtR/OS (10cf6d)

  49. Mike K – Obama’s statement last night that we don’t have a process for these nonbank financial institutions to get taken over or wound up was also a big fat lie. We have 57 state insurance departments scattered around the country chock full of public servants whose job it is to regulate insurance companies. They blew it in the case of AIG and it’s securities lending operation, specifically New York state which was monitoring that activity. When insurance companies go belly up they get placed into conservatorship or rehabilitation by regulators to protect their policyholders. It’s something that happens all the time, just like the FDIC taking over banks that Obama referenced. The courts are there for the operations that don’t have an industry regulator in place for a wind down.

    As I mentioned yesterday, AIG is an insurance holding company. It’s biggest liquid assets were in its insurance operations. The ability to access the cash of its insurance operations is subject to the insurance regulations of the various states in which they are domiciled. Debt is dangerous for an insurance operation because it can come due at the wrong time. If you think of their CDS operation as debt, e.g. the demands for collateral from customers, as well as its securities lending operation, when cutomers stopped rolling over their accounts and demanded their collateral back, AIG’s debt did come due at the wrong time. The problem was that they had cash, but it was in the wrong pockets, i.e. the wrong companies within the holding company structure, and they were restricted from moving it where it was needed.

    Ask yourself, if I’m an insurance regulator from Oklahoma am I going to approve an extraordinary intercompany loan of billions to bailout hot shot gamblers in another part of the AIG holding company empire at the potential expense of the safety of the policyholders I’m charged with protecting?

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  50. It is my understanding that the Financial Products division was a separately incorporated entity under the AIG umbrella, and could just as easily applied for protection under Chapter-11, obviating this entire mess.
    Of course, Paulsen’s friends at Goldman and elsewhere might have had to take a small trimming if that happened, and we couldn’t have that, could we Hank?

    AD - RtR/OS (10cf6d)

  51. AD – Technically I believe you are correct except that I understand that the parent holding company guaranteed its obligations, which is what put the entire structure at risk. AIG-FP would have had no creditworthiness as a trading counterparty absent some form of intercompany guaranty.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  52. That would be something entirely within the jurisdiction of the BK Court to unravel.
    The separate insurance entities would be protected, would they not, under the various state statutes and requirements?

    It just seems that Paulson, Bernanke, and Geithner (as head of the NY-Fed), came up with a solution searching for a problem, so-to-speak, and created a larger problem without offering any solution.

    AD - RtR/OS (10cf6d)

  53. A minor update on the AIG doings which may indirectly speak to the future shape of the parent/subsidiary structure. From a newsletter called the 5 Min. Forecast:

    AIG, the lightning rod for the public’s anxiety over the economy, dropped its logo and nameplate from its New York headquarters yesterday. The corporation announced it would undergo a massive campaign of global rebranding. Its property casualty branch, one of the company’s solvent branches, has already changed its name to… drumroll, please: AIU Holdings.

    allan (fc38ac)

  54. I hated the idea of the AIG bailout, and thought Paulson guilty of practicing the worst kind of crony capitalism – and by establishing such a terrible precedent, they opened the floodgates for what we’re seeing today.

    BTW, daleyrocks comes from an area of expertise regarding this matter, so his words carry quite a bit of weight to these ears.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  55. “AIU Holdings”

    Nah, that doesn’t sound quite right – more like IOW Holdings.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  56. “The separate insurance entities would be protected, would they not, under the various state statutes and requirements?”

    AD – See my #48

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  57. allan @52 – AIG has pretty much already publicly identified which operations they intend to sell, although when you have an 80% shareholder and someone makes you an offer for an operation you intended to hang on to you are not really in a position to say no if it’s a reasonable offer. A problem I see in the current situation is that the longer the uncertainty goes on, the less the operations are worth. Competitors are free to circle the the company picking off both people and customers, diminishing the remaining value. If you read between the lines of their 4th quarter earnings release, that’s already happening to a significant degree.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  58. Thanks for that info. And like Dmac, I highly value someone who knows what they are talking about. Good stuff.

    And Dmac…take out any parking meters yet?

    allan (fc38ac)

  59. Comment by daleyrocks — 3/25/2009 @ 3:13 pm

    Yes, that’s what I thought.
    It still seems that BK was the proper way to work this out.

    AD - RtR/OS (10cf6d)

  60. And Dmac…take out any parking meters yet?

    You could pull a “Luke” and use a pipe-cutter.

    AD - RtR/OS (10cf6d)

  61. Allan, don’t even get me started on our Mayor’s brilliant plan to auction off the parking meters –for over 50 years. And the anger’s not just over the parking meters – 2nd highest county and city taxes in the nation, state finances completely bankrupt (thanks, Dems!), infrastructure a mess. But let’s sock the poor taxpayers once again, by trebling the meter rates. Arsehole.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  62. The wizard can’t fool all of the people. Wake up! We’re not in Oz anymore.

    Foxwood (185dba)

  63. If the Fed, the SEC, and the various insurance commissioners failed to see and/or prevent the failure of AIG, it is time to disband them and let the “regulators” try to earn an honest living.

    After they’re gone, we can disband the Dept. of Education.

    Patricia (2183bb)

  64. That a Democratic Congress is more hawkish on the deficit shows not only how reckless the Obama agenda is

    As a reminder of how that recklessness — of liberalism that’s more leftwing than even some liberals can stomach — will be a gift that keeps on giving, the following is a good illustration of the way that idiotic decisionmaking from a late-1970s version of Obama (ie, Jimmy Carter) continues to leave a nasty, smelly splat, 30 years after the fact:

    LA Times, March 25, 2009:

    A federal judge Tuesday rejected a bid by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and state Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown to end court oversight of healthcare in state prisons and to drop construction plans for inmate medical facilities estimated to cost up to $8 billion.

    U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson, who seized control of the prison health system in 2006, wrote in a 24-page decision that the state had not proved it would, on its own, bring the quality of care up to standards consistent with inmates’ constitutional rights.

    “California is spending almost $14,000 per inmate for healthcare per year, far more than any other state,” said [Attorney General Jerry] Brown, who is exploring a run for governor next year. “It is time for a dose of fiscal common-sense.”


    Now an esteemed and controversial federal judge, Thelton Henderson came to Cal from Los Angeles on a football scholarship. President Jimmy Carter appointed Henderson to the federal bench, the U.S. District of Northern California, in 1980. He became Chief Judge in 1990, the first African American to hold that position, and in 1998 became Senior U.S. District Judge.

    In 1997, he struck down Proposition 209, the ballot measure that banned affirmative action in public contracts, hiring, and college admissions in California. Subsequent calls for his impeachment came to naught, but his decision was overturned in 1998 by an appeals court.

    Mark (411533)

  65. Would you want communism to fail?

    Jay Leno Blasts Obama

    Even Jay Leno is comparing Obama’s policies to communism. I want that to fail. Watch Leno blast Mr. O’s policies:

    Barb Lamont (c80c29)

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