Thursday, September 29, 2011

Goalie goal

It's a rarity, and here's Flyers goalie Ron Hextall putting the puck in the other net:

That super-important jobs bill we should have passed already

I recently noted that it was strange that Obama didn't even consult with Congressional Democrats before he took to his perpetual road show of demanding Congress pass his jobs bill.  In every speech, he whines: "What are they waiting for?"  Well, it looks like the Democrats aren't so ready to fall on their sword for this turkey.  Ace of Spades "Dick Durbin: We don't have the votes to pass this phony jobs bill"
This is the thing that confuses me about bull--- legislative proposals that have no meaning except to act like you're doing something because you're tanking in the polls: Don't you need your party, who still hold a majority in the Senate, to kinda act like they'll go along with this? Wouldn't that be kind of a big deal? I mean, to look serious and all.
That's Obama for you: he can't even fake sincerity well.

Extra - Commentary: "The Obama Meltdown"

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Besmirching the name of Beacon Hill politicians?  Outrageous slander!

Here in Massachusetts, they're trying to pass legislation to allow that last resort of revenue generators: casinos.  But, perhaps taking a cue from the statehouse corruption in Pennsylvania, one representative tried to pass an amendment to the casino bill stating that former Massachusetts politicians couldn't benefit until a fixed period after leaving office.  This prompted howls of indignity on Beacon Hill:
Sen. James Eldridge, the original amendment's main sponsor, said it was important to make it absolutely clear that lawmakers voting to license casinos in Massachusetts were working in the best interest of the state, not their own pockets.
"It should not be an economic development bill for lawmakers," said Eldridge, D-Acton, adding that "we need to keep some space between lawmakers" and casinos.
Eldridge's comments outraged casino supporters in the Senate who accused him of stoking the public's perception of corruption at the Statehouse.
Sen. Stanley Rosenberg, a casino supporter, said that to suggest that the only way for the Senate to maintain the public's trust is to block former senators from finding work fuels the perception that there's already a lack of integrity in the chamber.
"We are contributing to the cynicism," said Rosenberg, D-Amherst.
Golly, I can't imagine why anybody here in the Bay State would suspect our fine representatives of anything but working in the public's best interest.  Oh, yeah, well there was this recent unpleasantness:
Chief US District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf said today in federal court in Boston that he hoped his sentence of eight years in prison for former House speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi will send a strong message to Beacon Hill that corruption will not be tolerated.
In comments that focused mostly on DiMasi -- and not DiMasi’s co-defendant Richard McDonough -- Wolf said the former speaker was not the first political figure in Massachusetts to tarnish the American dream by acting in a corrupt manner once he gained political power.
Wolf noted from the bench that DiMasi was the third successive speaker of the Massachusetts House to face federal prosecution for breaking the law.
Yeah, but this time will be different.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Aaron Sorkin is right

I always liked "A Few Good Men" too, but here's one episode of "The West Wing" with a familiar pre-2008 theme:

Key quotes: "Every time your boss got on the stump and said "It's time for the rich to pay their fair share" I hid under a couch and changed my name" and "The top 1% of wage earners in this country pay for 22% of this country.  Let's not call them names while they're doing it."

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Defining a "fair share"

White House representative David Plouffe was on Fox News Sunday today and host Chris Wallace tried to pin down what level of taxation on the rich the Obama Administration would consider "fair":
I also want to get back to this issue of fair share, which you keep talking about. Put it up on the screen. According to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, the 1 percent of households with the highest incomes pay 38 percent of federal income taxes. The top 10 percent pay 70 percent of federal income taxes. Meanwhile, 46 percent of households pay no federal income tax at all.
And the president thinks that the wealthy aren't paying the fair share?
Plouffe dodged the question and focused on some 22,000 millionaires who pay a lower marginal rate because (I assume) they earn income from capital gains which is taxed at a lower rate or because they earn interest income on government bonds which are not taxed at all.  Of course tax laws are structured this way to encourage investment and provide an influx of funds to state and local governments.  But the capital gains tax, in particular, offends Obama's fetish for "fairness" where he'd rather have the government lose revenue than allow the "rich" to keep their investment income.

Over at National Review, Andrew McCarthy notes that the White House won't put a number an what's a fair share because it would suggest that the awful rich have a right to any of it (h/t Cold Fury):
In this instance, they are deathly afraid of that number. The “fair share” can never be quantified - not in theory, not in practice. Conceptually, it is a non sequitur, because it gets the Left’s premise exactly backwards. To peg the rich man’s “fair share” at anything greater than zero would be to admit that the wealth is his in the first place. Having intensely focus-grouped the matter, the strategists are quite sure you’re not ready to be told that all wealth belongs to the state, and that since it is theirs, not yours, “fair share” is whatever they decide under the exigencies of the moment.
And, brother, we got over 14 trillion in exigencies at the moment.  I've noted before that if Obama could be honest about shared sacrifice, he'd make the case for raising the income rate equally - say 2% - across all income groups.  The rich would pay the lion share in total taxes and the bottom 46% would have at least some stake in funding the government.  But Obama isn't really interested in "shared sacrifice" and "fair" taxation since everybody knows that his plans are just campaign markers.

Is anybody really fooled by Obama's transparent political machinations?  Even Plouffe seemed embarrassed to parrot them.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Morgan Freeman is disappointed in you, America - The Hill: "Poll finds Obama approval at historic low."

Maybe it's just me but whining about the previous President for two years followed up with whining about the Republicans in Congress for two more years doesn't paint a flattering picture of Obama's capability for leadership.  Such as it is.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Shutting down the government on a rounding error - Putting the politics aside, I can't believe that Congress is threatening a shutdown because some oppose to diverting $200 million from Solyndra-style green-loans program to pay for disaster relief.

The federal government is borrowing $4 billion every day.  The amount they're arguing over is a shade over what we borrow from China every hour.  If Washington can't shave off an hour of spending from a program that has shown to be a colossal waste, we're really doomed.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Why the U.S. of A got downgraded

Neat analysis via the Corner:
Why S&P Downgraded the US:
U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
Federal budget: $3,820,000,000,000
New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
Recent [April] budget cut: $ 38,500,000,000
Let’s remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget:
Annual family income: $21,700
Money the family spent: $38,200
New debt on the credit card: $16,500
Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
Budget cuts: $385
Of course, if we're making the household budget comparison then traditionally it's been reasonable to look at the national debt vs. GDP, or the household credit card balance vs. yearly income.  The CBO estimates that the total debt will reach 100% GDP in 2021 and could reach 190% GDP by 2035.  When you owe as much as you're making in one year it's time for the repo men, who are not going to be impressed by your recent pledge to slow spending by $385.
Pitching Stimulus Jr. - If you loved all the new jobs of Stimulus I, you'll love the latest Obama plan.  He's sworn to take his case to all corners of the country which - coincidentally, of course - start in every swing state.  Today he was in Ohio.  Hot Air: "Obama pitches jobs bill in front of bridge that won't benefit from jobs bill."

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I saw R.E.M. in 1987 at Radio City Music Hall.  10,000 Maniacs opened for them.

That was a great show, supporting their last IRS label album "Document."  Anyway, they're calling it quits.  Rolling Stone: "R.E.M. breaks up after three decades."

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ponzi schemes everywhere! - The Justice Department says that Full Tilt Poker engaged in a classic scam while Paul Ryan says he agrees that Social Security provides a lower rate of return for later suckers recipients.
Future Obama is going to continue the Bush tax cuts

Just a day after the President rolled out his deficit-reduction plan, David Brooks is upset, various people good at math are finding that it's nothing but tax increases, and the "cuts" are based on budget baselines that are ludicrous.  But some of them are downright hilarious:
Obama’s proposals to overhaul the tax code, which were included in the deficit-reduction plan, drew criticism. In his previous budgets, he has measured his policies against a baseline that assumes a continuation of tax cuts for the middle class enacted under President George W. Bush; those cuts are scheduled to expire next year. Because Obama wants to extend the middle-class tax cuts, the assumption permits him to do so without appearing to make annual budget deficits worse.
This month, however, the White House began using a new baseline that assumes continuation of all the Bush-era tax cuts, including those for high earners as well as for the middle class. This approach, as one senior GOP aide put it, allows Obama to claim “fictitious savings” of $866 billion over the next decade by letting the tax cuts expire for high earners.
So although Obama once swore he would never extend the Bush tax cuts, he knows future Obama will break that vow.  But if he keeps that promise now, then he can save almost a trillion dollars.  Nice!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Speaking of stupid plans - Here's Megan McArdle reviewing the Netflix fiasco with "The Qwikster and the Dead."  It seems like only yesterday I was reading about Netflix and how they avoided the "pain points" that consumers felt with conventional rental stores like Blockbuster.  Now Netflix is both raising their prices and making access more complicated; this is business hara-kiri.  I'm going to cancel and I give this brilliant plan a month.
Designed to fail, part II

I always feel like I'm late for an issue because I can't comment until I get home from work.  Suffice to say that Obama's latest speech/plan on debt reduction is more of the same class warfare with tax hikes that couldn't pass through Congress when the Democrats held wide majorities.  But now that Republicans have posted gains in both the House and the Senate thanks to the anti-tax Tea Party - now is the moment to propose new taxes.  As before, this "new" proposal exists only as a transparent campaign ploy.

It's a sign of weakness and belittlement of a man who never wanted to lead.  He only wanted the adoration of the campaign trail.  Give 'em hell, Barry.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

It's long past time for the media to put down the pom-poms

The evidence of media cheerleading for Obama is extensive.  Here's the WashPost media analyst Howard Kurtz back in July 2007:
HOWARD KURTZ, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Barack Obama had been getting the most glorious press coverage perhaps in the history of the republic. I mean, the press just acted like this guy walked on water. 
Here's Kurtz again in December 2007 quoting Newsweek's Howard Fineman:
Newsweek's Howard Fineman says Obama's coverage is the buzz of the presidential campaign. "While they don't say so publicly because it's risky to complain, a lot of operatives from other campaigns say he's getting a free ride, that people aren't tough enough on Obama," Fineman says. "There may be something to that. He's the new guy, an interesting guy, a pathbreaker and trendsetter perhaps."
A couple weeks before the election, the WashPost reported this shocker: "Study: Coverage of McCain much more negative than that of Obama"
Media coverage of John McCain has been heavily unfavorable since the political conventions, more than three times as negative as the portrayal of Barack Obama, a new study says. 
Now, by way of Ace of Spades, here's Rex Murphy of the National Post suggesting that the media take a hard look at the abrogation of duty that elevated Obama: "The media's love affair with a disastrous President"
As the bad economic news continues to emanate from the United States — with a double-dip recession now all but certain — a reckoning is overdue. American journalism will have to look back at the period starting with Barrack Obama’s rise, his assumption of the presidency and his conduct in it to the present, and ask itself how it came to cast aside so many of its vital functions. In the main, the establishment American media abandoned its critical faculties during the Obama campaign — and it hasn’t reclaimed them since.
It's not too late to amend your ways, mainstream media.  Just play fair, for once.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Demographic shift - Hit & Run: "Nice try libs, but Social Security is no 401(k)."
Doubling-down on class warfare - As Legal Insurrection notes, since the latest jobs bill didn't "whip the masses into pitchfork and torch frenzy" it's time to hit those awful millionaires.  Because they have more money than you, the bastards.

More - From the Minuteman.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Designed to fail

I honestly did not know this until today, but Obama didn't consult with any of the Democrats in Congress before rolling out his latest stimulus plan:
This is why a competent White House would have asked their allies in the one chamber of Congress their party still controls for input before writing the bill.  Their failure to engage with their allies had Senate Democrats publicly blasting the plan earlier this week, ruining Obama’s strategy of blaming Republicans for stalling on his jobs bill.  If the White House can’t even convince Democrats to take the plunge with Porkulus II: Economic Boogaloo, Republicans will argue, then why should they?
As Ed Morrissey points out, there are already five Democrats in the Senate who have publicly voiced opposition to the so-called jobs bill which is enough to sink the bill in the Senate; this explains why Harry Reid has not even introduced the legislation.  The Democrats see the handwriting on the wall: Obama intends to throw them all under the bus as part of the the "do-nothing Congress" to enhance his odds for re-election.  Understandably, some of them up for election next year have a problem with that.

Think about it: if Obama really wanted to pass this jobs bill, he would have consulted with Congressional leaders to determine what was possible and what could be compromised.  As a minimum, he would have sat down with Congressional leaders for his own party to ensure a unified front.  Finally, if you want to win over the opposition, you might want to cool the rhetoric of calling Republicans unpatriotic

.But then Obama didn't want a jobs bill - he wanted an issue.
It is already crystal clear that Obama’s Stimulus II can’t even pass the Democratic Senate, let alone the House.  It is such an obviously transparent play to try to set up his own re-election as Harry Truman redevivus, but the political mistake Obama has made is thinking that Democratic Senators whose own poll numbers are collapsing ... will want to be his advance guard and vote for a suicidal measure on his behalf.
Memo to Obama: you're not fooling anybody, despite your Smart Power.
I am serious

My kids are in the other room watching "Airplane!" for the first time and they're hysterical with laughter:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

America sounds its barbaric yawn

This country has reached a tipping point.  No, I'm not talking about the upset election in NY-9.  It's that America is tuning out that crashing bore:

In four speeches on his jobs plan in six days, President Obama has hounded lawmakers to “pass this bill” and urged Americans to raise their voices and join him in the call to action.
“Call, email, tweet, fax, visit, Facebook, send a carrier pigeon to” Republicans in Congress, telling them to pass his plan right away, Obama has said with an impassioned plea.  The president has spread his rallying cry on Twitter and Facebook, even launching a website designed to help supporters contact their representatives.
So far, at least, the effort to leverage a flood of popular support for the plan against recalcitrant members of Congress seems to have fallen flat. 
Sources on Capitol Hill tell ABC News congressional switchboards and email servers have not been inundated by any notable increases in traffic, certainly nothing close to what was encountered after Obama delivered similar pleas for action during the contentious debt-ceiling debate and health care-reform battle.
At some point, even Obama's vaunted oratorical skills could not move the needle when every issue is met with a campaign speech.  Since his latest grand speech to Congress, Obama's popularity numbers continue to slide and a majority of Americans think this latest stimulus is a waste of money.  And as the Minuteman points out, Republicans - who aren't hearing their phones ringing - aren't going to pay a political price for blocking legislation Americans don't want.

Extra - Patterico: "America's just not that into you."
I guess this makes up for NY-26 - Politico: "Twin defeats spark Democratic fears."  According to the article, the mood among Democrat officials was "something short of panic."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Look out below

Opinion Journal: "The 2013 tax cliff - Business had better enjoy the next 16 months."
Not the result he was looking for - CNN: "President gets no bounce from speech, but disapproval rating peaks."  Meanwhile, Obama's out on the perpetual campaign, urging crowds to "write, email, and Tweet" Congress to put pressure on Republicans in the mistaken, media-driven belief that Americans favor his approach over the GOP.

Monday, September 12, 2011

What happened? - I updated my Blogger template and the whole format changed.  Well, I guess you get what you pay for.
Republicans are hip! - Did Jon Hunstman just make a Nirvana reference during the Tea Party debate?  Nice!
Everybody act surprised: Obama wants massive new tax hikes

In case you were wondering if Obama really cared about any job other than his own, take note of how he wants to pay for his new jobs package.  Obama wants tax increases - and only tax increases - the same ones rejected by a filibuster-proof Democrat-controlled Congress two years ago.

Remember all that empty talk about "taking on his own party" to reform entitlements?  Yeah, right.  This jobs bill exists to save one job by allowing Obama to campaign against a "do nothing" Congress that will surely refuse to pass any legislation now that was unpalatable when Nancy Pelosi was Speaker.

Extra - Megan McArdle sees it too "A Never-Never Plan": "I was tenatively in favor of the jobs plan that Obama proposed last week.  But that's before I realized that he has no intention of trying to get it passed."

More - From Q&O: "Gotta love it.  No politics in this.  Nothing happens until January 2013 (how convenient).  And the changes will pay for his spending now in 10 years."

And this - Charles Krauthammer: "The word 'cynicism' is inadequate here."

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 + 10

I remember that Tuesday because my wife went to a seminar in Boston so I had to put my kids on the school bus.  That meant I was commuting to work when I heard on the radio that a "small plane" had hit one of the World Trade Center towers.  But once I got to work, where everybody was plugged into the Internet, the full extent of the disaster was evident.  Of course, nobody could concentrate on their jobs, and by mid-morning our jerkoff boss (I'm no longer employed there) was urging everybody to get back to work.  Stunning.  I remember that both my cubemate and I wanted to say something: me, because my father was working in midtown Manhattan and my co-worker because he had a brother-in-law at the Pentagon.  We left for an early lunch at a restaurant with a television over the bar.

But by lunchtime the Towers were rubble and there was nothing left to do but try to figure out "what just happened?"  One thing I remember for the remainder of the day was that every television station - even MTV and the Weather Channel - were showing either special coverage or were feeding in network news on the day's events.  The attack on the Towers were the most evident attack of the day and only later would video of the Pentagon attack come to light.  Then something had happened in Shanksville, Pennsylvania - what was that all about?  The rest of the day was a blur, grasping for bits of information and watching awful replays of destruction.

There's one other thing I vividly remember from ten years ago.  We went to church on the following Sunday and it was somber affair.  But after the pastor's (rewritten) sermon and the benediction, the organist played "God Bless America" and I almost cried.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I wrote myself an IOU - I'm rich!

The Boston Globe's token conservative Jeff Jacoby explains the "assets" in the Social Security trust fund: "IOUs can't save Social Security."
But the trust fund’s assets are an illusion. Social Security doesn’t own $2.6 trillion in gold bars or real estate or shares of Google. All it has are Treasury IOUs. Those IOUs represent $2.6 trillion that the government has already spent and promises to spend again. But to spend it again - to redeem those IOUs - Congress will have to raise taxes, cut spending, or go deeper into debt. Which is exactly what Congress would have to do if the Social Security trust fund didn’t exist.
As I've noted before, the Social Security surplus has served to hide the true federal deficit but the Baby Boomers are about to eat through the incoming revenues and a pile of Treasury bills which must be honored.  Taxes, spending or more borrowing: pick your poison, America.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Ford stands on its own two feet

Hat tip to Gateway Pundit: "Ford goes there."
A reasonable request by the rational opposition - The Corner: "GOP to Obama: Can we have that in writing?"  Less than a month ago, Obama promised a "very specific plan" and the Republicans would like a copy - on paper - for the CBO to evaluate since they "don't estimate speeches."

Of course, that didn't stop the President from going on the road to implore Congress to "pass this jobs bill right away" even though no legislation exists to pass.
Headline of the day - LA Times' Andrew Malcolm: "961 days in, Obama becomes sick and tired of someone dawdling about jobs."
Understanding large numbers

I was shaking my head at this post on the liberal Balloon Juice citing a report by Moody Analytics estimating that Obama's brand-new $448 billion stimulus would "likely add 1.9 million jobs" to the economy.  Good news!
Now again, this is a ratings agency, so you might as well be polling random crackheads and asking them who will win the Super Bowl in 2027. But still, it at least it sounds positive and can be used to bludgeon Congress into doing something
Yes, Mr. Congressman, pass President Obama's Stimulus II at a cost of only $235,000 per job.  (Coincidentally, this is almost exactly the cost of every job "created or saved" with Stimulus I.)  At some point, you have to wonder if it wouldn't be better for the economy to just send $1000 to every man, woman, and child in America - which would still be cheaper than Obama's plan.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

What a great jobs plan - All that's missing is 1) a plan, 2) the cost and 3) a way to pay for it.

Extra - Minuteman: "I need to hit the TiVo, but Obama seemed to say that his plan will be paid for the the simple expedient of asking the debt-limit commission to find more savings.  Geez, that was easy!"
Actions speak louder than words

In advance of Obama's big speech tonight, it's worth noting that whenever he talks about "responsibility" or "cooperation" that the President only views this going in one direction:
Republicans also criticized Obama for not meeting with them in the days leading up to the speech, as requested by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.
"It's hard to take seriously the White House suggestion that his plan will include all bipartisan proposals when Republicans were not allowed any input," said Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck.
So the President sought no input from the Republicans to find common ground and refused a meeting request with the House leadership.  And after the speech?  Obama's not going to stick around to see what he can do to move his plan forward.  Big surprise: he's heading right into campaign mode and barnstorming in Richmond on Friday.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

He'll gladly pay you Tuesday for $300 billion today - Zero Hedge: "Obama - the Wimpy President."
Digging with spoons - Opinion Journal: "Why the stimulus failed - New research on what actually happened to a trillion dollars."
The floor is yours

Here's Ann Althouse on Obama's big job speech:
It's big enough to upset Tea Party types, but not big enough to impress his lefty critics. I think the President's reelection strategy is to be really rather dull and middling... and to count on the other side looking extreme.
And that's precisely why Nancy Pelosi is flipping out that the Republicans are declining to give a rebuttal to the President's speech.  Obama is so desperate to run as Harry Truman, the last thing he wants is a reserved and rational Congress, perhaps - heaven forfend - one that passes some reasonable portion of his "plan."  Obama wants to campaign and counterpunch, because that's all he's got.
The rare Four Pinocchios - WashPost Fact Checker: "Obama's whopper of a claim on tax cuts."

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Please Mr. Postman

Here's Megan McArdle with "Whither the Post Office?"
Congress has given the Post Office two incompatible mandates.  It is to make money like a business . . . but it is not to have any of the freedom that businesses have to, say, close branch offices, cut its delivery area, or change delivery schedules. 
This is, to put it mildly, lunatic.
The USPS is handling 22% fewer pieces of mail than five years ago.  Personally, I pay most of my bills online and if the Post Office closed down I can't think of a single transaction I couldn't handle through online banking. That leaves - what? - Christmas cards and Netflix?  They should have weaned off Saturday delivery a year ago.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Patriotism, questioned - Here's John Podhoretz's too-good-to-excerpt: "Obama's 'Country before Party' nonsense."

I have a follow-up question: since Obamacare has never had the support of the American public, and has recently hit an all-time low in popularity, despite the promise that we would love it once it passed, shouldn't we listen to the will of the country and repeal this flawed legislation?  But there I go again with my traitorous, unpatriotic opinions.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Teamsters boss questions the patriotism of Apple

Just to show I'm not paraphrasing, here's the transcript from today's interview with Jim Hoffa on CNN:
CROWLEY: I'm hearing tweets across the universe here because -- I want to go back. Are you questioning the patriotism of Apple for sitting on money rather than hiring?

HOFFA: Yes, I am.
Hoffa went on to say that American companies like Honda (?) have an obligation to build their plants in America instead of Mexico. I understand where Hoffa's coming from but - despite Candy Crowley's questions - he seemed impervious to the argument that corporations don't want to expand in an uncertain business environment. Also, Americans don't want to pay $400 for an IPod.

Extra - From Memeorandum and Campaign 2012.
There is no plan, the continuing series - Commentary: "The Emperor's new plan."
Hope springs eternal - Real Clear Politics: "Six reasons the Supercommittee will succeed."
Lee invades the South - It's looking very doubtful they'll run the NASCAR race in Atlanta tonight due to rain. I guess I'll be watching "The Bourne Ultimatum" again.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Friday, September 02, 2011

There is no plan

The scribes at Politico - who must not have been paying attention - write "Deficit plan coming after speech." Uh, sure, sure it is. According to Politico, the White House plan will include "unpopular measures" like entitlement reform.

If Obama puts out a bona fide plan to pare back Medicare and Social Security, I may have to take back all the unflattering things I've written about him. But I doubt it: scaring Grandma in an election year is like crack to Democrats. There's no way they'll neutralize their favorite strategy ahead of 2012. Let's see this mythical plan.
This is getting ridiculous

Remember Obama's pre-vacation promise to put forward a "very specific plan" to help the economy and generate jobs? At some point, this was downgraded to an "outline" but then it looked like we were going to get a very important speech to a joint session of Congress. Finally, here was an opportunity for the President to put to task his oft-repeated call for discipline, responsibility, and "getting things done."

In what could be a way of lowering expectations for next Thursday's big economic speech, aides to President Obama are privately spreading word that he will not present his entire jobs plan in his address to a Joint Session of Congress.

Aides say Thursday's speech will be part of a bigger plan the White House will roll out throughout the fall with the president hitting the road for speeches and town hall appearances.
No jobs plan - certainly nothing with numbers - but more speeches. And now I'm rooting for a big audience this Thursday night since I agree with Kevin Hassett:
Frankly, I expect Obama’s jobs speech to be the worst presidential speech in my lifetime.
The man does not want to lead; he just wants to talk.
August job creation: ZERO

The latest employment report from the Labor Department is out and there's not a hint of good news:

Unemployment still 9.1%
Net jobs created: zero.
June and July jobs revised down.
Average work week: down.
Hourly earnings: down.

Worst of all, this will trigger a whole new round of stale speeches from Obama about how we need to work together before he questions his opponents patriotism in the next breath.

But wait, there's less! "Among the more disturbing numbers: the amount of people "marginally attached to the labor force" rose to 2.6 million from 2.4 million. These are workers not included in the unemployment count because they had not sought work in the past four weeks but have looked in the past year."
New England runaround - After working in Connecticut, I drove home to Massachusetts, so I could then head up to a campground in Vermont...that was flooded. It's going to be an uneventful Labor Day weekend for me.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Quotes of the day - WashPost's James Downie on the Obama-Boehner speech kerfuffle: "If this was an attempt to make the Republicans look unreasonable, then, in almost every conceivable way, it failed spectacularly." Read the whole thing, as they say.

In other news, Ann Althouse thinks that this was all White House theatrics designed to cover up a lack of substance: "His bluff was called, so the theatrics look particularly lame, but he may even prefer our gabbing about the lameness of the failed theatrics to our scrutiny of the actual substance of the plan."

My guess is that Obama's "very specific" plan is going to be a tossed salad of small-ball and vague ideas like extending the payroll tax cut which (somehow!) leads to more jobs, not counting the jobs that have already failed to materialize. There's no way he'll put forth some bold idea which will smack of election-year desperation.
White House delays report hoping for good news. It does not arrive.

I got a chuckle at the very last paragraph of this story: "White House projects 9% jobless rate ahead of 2012 election"
The White House delayed released of the report, which was due in mid-July, as the debate over the debt limit and accompanying budget deal wore on. The delay caused a need to factor in new economic data released over the summer -- including downward revisions in the growth in gross domestic product -- and the result was a gloomier forecast than it would have issued based on information available in June.
So, basically, they were going "double down" on a reversal of fortune that didn't materialize, leading to the weekend-before-Labor Day news dump.