Sunday, October 10, 2010

"Rearranging the deck chairs" @ the White House and the "Professional Left Weekly Podcast"

brooklynbadboy's diary on Kos:
Those hoping for a bit of a reboot of this presidency may find themselves largely disappointed if the most recent appointments are any indication. These moves indicate that any new policy initiatives coming from this White House over the remainder of the term will be largely like the first: a seeking of bipartisan consensus and "pass something" insider dealmaking. With a smaller majority to work with almost certain, it is likely that the White House will adopt even more "bipartisan" approaches than before as a necessary component of passing "something." Again, the "art of the possible" philosophy that guides this White House isn't going to change with the promotion of the same folks who play by it. Politically speaking, we have no idea what the White House has in store for the re-election effort except that the same people who have been managing the president's politics since 2007 are likely to run things in 2012.

So is this going to all work out? Time will tell, of course. The outlook for major energy legislation to spur a green economy is bleak. Employee Free Choice Act? Similarly bleak. The long promised increase in the minimum wage (and indexing it for inflation)? Well, if the president's recent delay of an increase in the minimum wage in the Northern Mariana Islands is any indication of policy, signs aren't hopeful. On immigration, the outlook may be a bit rosier, although I'd predict major concessions on the path to citizenship and expect a second-class citizen system of work permits to prevail. We are also likely to see a major battle on the budget deficit, no matter who wins in 2010.

On the major issue of the day, jobs, the White House is winging it. There are no plans, so far, for major legislation to deal directly with the problem. If there is one area where this White House needs some fresh outsider thinking, it is in the area of jobs. Goolsby said in September “I don’t think the unemployment rate will be coming down significantly at any time in the near future.” That may be one iceberg too many. MORE...

Howie P.S.: If you are looking for some tragi-comedic relief, try the "Professional Left Weekly Podcast" courtesy of the Crooks and Liars Video Cafe. It's thirty three minutes and five seconds of full-throated political commentary with a satirical edge.

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