Friday, February 20, 2009

Hit-and-Run 2/20/09: Wall Street Tea Party Edition

Here's some more quick hits of news and commentaries before I fall asleep again...

President Obama unveiled his mortgage/homeowner relief plan earlier this week and, while struggling homeowners are probably optimistic, the super-in-touch folks at CNBC are not. One network star, Rick Santelli, has gained cult-hero status on the right (look out, Sam Joe the Plumber!) for his rant, in which calls those facing foreclosures "losers" and calls for a new Boston Tea Party. As one blogger stated, "The revolution has begun. These workaday stock traders are going to take back this country for the laissez-faire capitalists who are entitled to it." Bailed-out fat cats of the world unite!

You may have seen the above story pimped enthusiastically by Drudge who, as Time's Joe Klein points out, is also rooting for Obama to fail. You can see this every day for the last month, how the entire structure of his page is dedicated to tearing down the administration and highlighting every piece of bad news. Just another reminder of how the President is naive to assume that the current GOP-- who lost by running a base campaign, but seem determined to try again anyway-- can ever be negotiated with in good faith. The stimulus proved that their votes are not needed in the end, we have the majority... cut them out of the process. They'll come around, or get voted out. Either way, he wins.

Speaking of... top GOP governors act tough for said base, claiming they will refuse stimulus money for their states. Spoiler alert: they won't. Unlike random GOP congressfolk, they have some sense of political self-preservation.

And with growing talk over "nationalization", the right again engages in false debate to scare people. No one is talking about some mass nationalization of the financial sector (Bush already did that [/sarcasm]). To the extent that such a thing is being discussed, it's merely (and would be temporarily) for the handful of top banks who took bailout $$ but seem incapable of correcting themselves. At this point, I say just do it and get over it. Or shut up.

The National Review throws Schwarzenegger under the bus?

Random thought... the Democrats are having some shitty Senate luck this year.

Moving on to international news-- I'm ignoring Hillary Clinton's trip, because it seems like all PR-- this situation in Pakistan with the Taliban seems very disturbing. This is where 7+ years of ignoring a mess takes you. I'm also ambivalent about the Obama decision to send more troops to Afghanistan because, while I admire his commitment to fixing this mess, I think we're just way past a point for any kind of major military solution. What's my suggestion? I have no clue, and I don't think anyone else does either.

Finally, Obama promised to end the Bush/Cheney war policies. So is he?


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