Feed on
Posts
Comments



Oh boy

John Aravosis with a real doozy of a story:

From Ben Smith, who confirmed it from two sources, we learn that at last night’s “Common Purpose” meeting, a regular (supposed to be secret) get together between the White House and progressive advocacy groups (where the White House routinely yells at them, I hear), the groups got an earful about the President’s new deficit deal he reached with Republican Speaker John Boehner:

Yesterday, [White House National Economic Council Director Gene] Sperling faced a series of questions about the White House’s concessions on the debt ceiling fight, and its inability to move in the directions of new taxes or revenues. Progressive consultant Mike Lux, the sources said, summed up the liberal concern, producing what a participant described as an “extremely defensive” response from Sperling.

Sperling, a person involved said, pointed his finger backed at liberal groups, which he said hadn’t done enough to highlight what he saw as the positive side of the debt package — a message that didn’t go over well with participants.

That sounds oddly familiar. In fact, it’s the same admonishment a group of liberal bloggers received from then- vice presidential economic adviser Jared Bernstein on the one-year anniversary of the stimulus. I attended that meeting and wrote at the time, back in February of 2010:

I guess what struck me as most interesting about the meeting were two things. First, when Bernstein noted that, in trying to solve the country’s economic problems, the administration faces “budget constraints and political constraints.” By that, I took Bernstein to mean that the stimulus could only be so large last time, and we can only spend so much more money this time, because we’re facing a huge deficit, so there’s not much money to spend, and because the Hill and public opinion won’t let us spend more.

That struck me as GOP talking points winning the day, and I said so (Professor Kyle wrote about this very notion the other day on the blog). The only reason we’re facing a budget constraint is because we gave in on the political constraint. We permitted Republicans to spin the first stimulus as an abysmal failure, when in fact it created or saved up to 2m jobs. Since Democrats didn’t adequately defend the stimulus, and didn’t sufficiently paint the deficit as the Republicans’ doing, we now are not “politically” permitted to have a larger stimulus because the fiscal constraint has become more important than economic recovery.

And whose fault is that?

Apparently ours.

Bernstein said that the progressive blogs (perhaps he said progressive media in general) haven’t done enough over the past year to tell the positive side of the stimulus.

[…] In any case, this isn’t a coincidence. They actually believe, inside the White House, that we’re to blame for their problems. That they’re doing a chipper job and the public would know it, but for the Netroots and the liberal advocacy groups doing such a lousy job selling the President’s magnificent handiwork.

Breaking up

Rude Pundit says, “It’s not me, it’s you” to the president.

Salmonella

36 million pounds of ground turkey.

Born under a bad sign

Booker T. Jones with Daryl Hall and Mayer Hawthorne:

Just ain’t gonna work out

Meyer Hawthorne with Daryl Hall:

How it works

‘I don’t think assigning blame is what our job is’

There’s an interview in the Columbia Journalism Review with David Leonhardt, the NY Times’ new Washington bureau chief. Go read it to get some idea of just how wedded these journalists are to getting it wrong.

On a roll

More Matt Damon:

“I’m so disgusted,” he told a reporter about the protracted negotiations. “I mean, no, I don’t know what you do in the face of that kind of intransigence. So, my heart does go out to the President. He is dealing with a lot.”

Still, despite any sympathy, he was furious with the negotiations’ outcome, as well as the greater thrust of American economic policy.

“The wealthy are paying less than they paid at any time else, certainly in my lifetime, and probably in the last century,” Damon said. “I don’t know what we were paying in the roaring 20’s; it’s criminal that so little is asked of people who are getting so much. I don’t mind paying more. I really don’t mind paying more taxes. I’d rather pay for taxes than cut ‘Reading is Fundamental’ or Head Start or some of these programs that are really helping kids. This is the greatest country in the world; is it really that much worse if you pay 6% more in taxes? Give me a break. Look at what you get for it: you get to be American.”

When asked whether he thought tax cuts helped create jobs, he was more than clear in his belief that they do not, and struck again on the inequality in the nation.

“I didn’t go start a small business with my tax break, and I don’t know anyone else who did. No, everybody’s socking their money away,” he said. “I was against those tax cuts. I thought they were ridiculous. So little is asked of the upper class anyway. I mean, what percent of them or their kids are fighting in any of these wars? What percent of their day is occupied by the fact that there are men and women in positions over the world, risking their lives. If you walk down 5th Avenue, there’s no sense of shared sacrifice.”

Damon has long been vocal politically; he campaigned with then-Senator Obama in 2008, though earlier this year he hit out at the President on education and economic policy.

“I really think he misinterpreted his mandate. A friend of mine said to me the other day, I thought it was a great line, ‘I no longer hope for audacity,'” Damon told Piers Morgan in March. “He’s doubled down on a lot of things, going back to education… the idea that we’re testing kids and we’re tying teachers salaries to how kids are performing on tests, that kind of mechanized thinking has nothing to do with higher order. We’re training them, not teaching them.”

And on economics, he told the UK’s Independent, “I think he’s rolled over to Wall Street completely. The economy has huge problems. We still have all these banks that are too big to fail. They’re bigger and making more money than ever.”

How can you not love the man who wrote these scenes for “Good Will Hunting”?

Virtually Speaking

Thursday, Aug 4 |
8 pm eastern |
5 pm pacific |Virtually Speaking A-Z | Stuart Zechman and Jay Ackroyd| This week in liberalism: a continuing conversation.

9 pm eastern | 6 pm pacific |Virtually Speaking with Jay Ackroyd | CW Anderson – Ethnographer and Assistant Professor of Media Culture at CUNY, Anderson’s studies concern changes within local journalistic ecosystems and their bearing on questions of media policy in the digital age.  In addition to his own blog, he writes at http://www.niemanlab.org/.

Sunday Aug 7

9 pm eastern | 6 pm pacific |Virtually Speaking Sundays

Digby & Avedon Carol

Pelosi: My members will protect benefits

Talking Points Memo:

The debt limit fight is over, but the fight over entitlement programs will continue for months. In the weeks ahead, the leaders of both parties in both the House and Senate will name three members each to a new committee tasked with reducing the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion.

The ultimate makeup of that committee is key. It will determine whether this Congress will pass further fiscal legislation, and, thus, what the major themes of the 2012 election will be.

At a pre-recess press conference Tuesday afternoon, TPM asked House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) whether the people she appoints to the committee will make the same stand she made during the debt limit fight — that entitlement benefits — as opposed to provider payments, waste and other Medicare spending — should be off limits.

In short, yes.

“That is a priority for us,” Pelosi said. “But let me say it is more than a priority – it is a value… it’s an ethic for the American people. It is one that all of the members of our caucus share. So that I know that whoever’s at that table will be someone who will fight to protect those benefits.”
Continue Reading »

Things are bad

When even the NY Times knows it’s a shitty deal.

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

'
eXTReMe Tracker