Monday, February 09, 2009

Early Monday Obama Roundup (excerpts)

"Big line forming for Obama's Elkhart visit" (Elkhart Truth):
The line outside McCuen Gym at Concord High School is longer than a football field and quickly growing, four hours before President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak here.

"It's freezing but it's worth it," said Angela Goins of Elkhart, a nursing student and one of the many waiting in the cold temps before doors at the gym open. "It's history."
"The $800 Billion Gamble: Economists Say Stimulus Cuts Could Be 'Disastrous'" (Thomas B. Edsall):
"The compromise is worse than the original bill because it is smaller, and the changes appear to have reduced rather than increased the bang-for-buck effectiveness of the bill," said Berkeley economist J. Bradford DeLong, who was a Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary during the Clinton administration. "Ben Nelson and Susan Collins don't appear to have understood what they were doing very well -- the point is to keep lots of extra Americans from being unemployed for the next two years and have them, instead, do useful things for the country. Nelson and Collins, well, it's not clear what their objective is."
"The Fighting Conciliator" (E.J. Dionne):
It took less than three weeks for the real Barack Obama to come into view. He turns out to be both a conciliator and a fighter.

These are not contradictions in his character. They represent different sides of a politician who sees some issues as more susceptible to compromise than others and who wants his adversaries to know that his easygoing style does not make him a pushover.
"WHO GETS WHAT: Billions to colleges and students" (AP):
The stimulus plan emerging in Washington could offer an unprecedented, multibillion-dollar boost in financial help for college students trying to pursue a degree while they ride out the recession.

It could also hand out billions to the states to kick-start idled campus construction projects and help prevent tuition increases at a time when families can least afford them.
"Quote of the Day" (Steven D-Booman Tribune):
“In every planning scenario we built, our worst assumptions on the state of the global economy have been met or exceeded, with the continuing grip on credit and declining consumer confidence being the most damaging factors,” Nissan’s chief executive, Carlos Ghosn, said in a statement.
"Nelson: Hair-Splitting in Defense of Bad Policy is No Vice" (Matt Yglesias):
The Senate bill would be a good deal better than no bill, but a good deal worse than the House bill. The conference committee definitely needs to undo some of the damage.
"Uncompromising Conservatives Blast Obama For Failure To Act In Bipartisan Fashion" (Think Progress):
While conservatives in the House and Senate engage in pure political theater, Obama has decided to go around them, appealing directly to the American public. Obama will visit Indiana today and Florida tomorrow to rally support for the recovery package.
"Stimulus and spending" (Ben Smith):
One of the oddities of the stimulus debate is that "stimulus" is just a focus-grouped word (since replaced by "investment" and "recovery") for "spending."

Which the liberal economist Dean Baker put particularly nicely Friday:

Trying to save money on stimulus, is like finding a short cut for your jogging route. We can do it, but it undermines the whole point of the effort.

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