Adios, Jared Bernstein: Obama Brain Trust Almost Purged

Alone, unknown, unloved goes Jared Bernstein, Vice President Joe Biden's economic advisor. Bernstein, a central figure in the Obama economic team, left direct government employment yesterday to assume a senior fellowship at a think tank. 

History little noted nor long remembered the undistinguished Bernstein's undistinguished tenure: 

Speaking at a 2009 University of Delaware conference, Bernstein described his ambition to create a "virtuous cycle" in defiance of the "great recession." In the absence of fiscal stimulus, Bernstein said, "the recession could have morphed into a depression." (What morphing, a term popularized in digital movie effects, meant in this context went unexplained.) 

Dutifully pitching in with Ryan Lizza's attempt to puff Larry Summers that same year in El Neoyorquino, Bernstein (listed in the story as one of the team who attended a "half-hour meeting each morning" with the president) gushed without enthusiasm: "Wow, it’s all too rare that you see the thinking of such a prominent economist move like that." 

In a crudely edited video from this year’s Good Jobs, Green Jobs National Conference, Bernstein can be heard declaring “Government has an important role to play in fostering innovation” and claiming the Obama Administration is trying to implement “a clean energy future with American workers and businesses leading the way.” 

Bernstein was generally described as part of the pro-stimulus wing of the Obama economic team. The Hill calls him "Stimulus point man." 

The now-notorious group shot that accompanied Lizza’s glowing profile of the Obama economic team has, like the profile itself, been rendered bitterly ironic by the passage of time and the gradual shutting down of the American economy. It’s been fun to X out, in turn, Peter Orszag, Christina Romer, Summers and Bernstein, and there is grandeur in seeing the scale of the great deleveraging overwhelm these puny economists with their macro malarkey. 

Only Romer in some way approaches tragic terror and pity. Orszag has smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into his money or his vast carelessness. The unreflective Summers knows no world beyond confidence in his own genius. Bernstein – who cares? But Romer, as I described here, spent her White House tenure running away from solid early-career achievements and denying that her writings meant what they clearly meant. Having used up her credibility she is reduced to weak-tea defenses of administration policy, which like all defenses of administration economic policy, are asserted rather than demonstrated. 

You will note that the biggest fish is still out there. I have had no kind words for Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner since long before he joined the Obama brain trust, but at this point I’m like Biff Loman: There’s no spite in it anymore. I just want to know when Geithner will be fired. President Obama is understandably leery of firing department heads prior to an uphill reelection campaign, but George W. Bush fired his treasury secretary prior to winning reelection, and Bush, Reagan and Clinton each went through three secretaries of the treasury during two-term presidencies. Why is Geithner still in office? 

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  • ¢||

    Why is Geithner still in office?

    His dad gave Obama's mom a job back in the day.

  • ||

    No shit?

  • SIV||

    IIRC (and w/o a supporting link) Yes

  • ||

    There's a new invention called Google.

    The Obama's Mother and Geithner's Father Connection

  • ||

    There's a new invention called Google.

    The invention of searching the internet by asking strangers on blogs is about the same age as Google....

    ...and the search results tend to be more interesting.

  • SIV||

    I answered correctly and goaded Tulpa into doing the work to produce a citation. Work smarter, not harder;^)

  • ||

    You're a regular Wesley Mouch.

  • SIV||

    And you're a regular Dominique Francon.
    Well if you substitute cops for capitalists anyways.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    A job, or a job?

    /winkwinknudgenudgesaynomore

  • Citigroup||

  • ||

    That may be why he still has a job.
    But he didn't get it from Obama, he was a non-partisan selection to succeed Paulsen during the Bush administration's push for bailouts. [Although it's true Obama didn't have to go through with it.]

    The main reason Geithner still has a job is because Obama is a wuss. The one thing he's stood for again and again (other than government secrecy) is his corporate/lobby interests. Geithner keeps the federal-money-for-private-business chain greased.

  • ||

    His mom gave Obama a job in the White House? This will not end well....

  • DLM||

    His dad gave Obama's mom a job back in the day.

    I rather doubt that would carry much weight with Obama. He'd throw Geithner under the bus just as quickly and any other pol. Nothing against Obama, but at that level of politics something like this is irrelevant.

  • xay outway ethay xay outway||

    I hope none of them meet Loughner -we'll never hear the end of it

  • rather retarded||

    UH OH!

    Someone change my diaper?

  • ||

    Why is Geithner still in office?

    Cuz Geithner is more of a creature of politics then anything else.

    If Obama fires him Geithner will burn Obama's economics platform to the ground in retaliation

    Plus who the hell can they find to replace him? outside of the left wing blogosphere no one believes the government intervention horseshit of the last 2 years and a continuation is anything but bad.

  • ||

    Pauli Krugnuts. That is pretty much the only guy who would take Geittner's job and actually believe in that bullshit.

  • Bee Tagger||

    It would be gloriously fun to watch K-nuts struggle with that decision. I could only hope he'd take his anguished inner monologue to his website. He loves power. He loves never having to actually treat a patient with his prescriptions. What would win out?

  • Cytotoxic||

    I like it. Why not just go balls out on the insane economic policy front? When it all burns there won't be any "if only the right man was in charge" BS. Who'm I kidding the left will say that anyway.

  • Cytotoxic||

    But as long as we're killing brown people, I'm cool.

  • roystgnr||

    Krugman usually tries to avoid prescriptions. "I knew those trillions of dollars wouldn't be a big enough stimulus" isn't a prescription, it's an after-the-fact rationalization. In those cases where Krugman's been careless enough to accidentally recommend a specific course of action before the fact ("We should lower interest rates to encourage more housing construction!") he's generally wanted those prescriptions to be followed at the time, even though he tried to backpedal and outright lie about it afterwards.

  • ||

    Krugnuts could not make it past Senate confirmation plus the process would be a blood bath for public perception of progressive economics (which is already hobbling) and most progressives know it, including the Obama administration.

  • ||

    That in itself makes it worth trying!

  • JoshINHB||

    and most progressives know it, including the Obama administration.

    No way, it's clear that one reason we're fucked is that the progressives believe their own bullshit.

  • ||

    progressives believe their own bullshit.

    There is a difference between political calculations of public sentiment and the undying belief that progressiveness works.

    I am sure you have heard the term "voting against your own self interests" which some of the more pragmatic progressives use to describe the tea party movement and popular support of it.

    Yes they believe their own bullshit but they are still rational enough to understand that the voting public does not share their beliefs.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Yeah, there's no way Krugman would survive the Senate confirmation. He's helpless in a live debate because his wife's not there to sockpuppet his responses.

  • Tony||

    Paul Krugman's dandruff is more intelligent than you.

  • Lil Tony||

    Krugman's cock tastes like my ass.

  • ||

    Irregardless he is wrong about stimulus and Keynesian economics and the voting public agrees with me.

  • Tony||

    Hate to break it to you but Keynesianism is the only game in town. However credibility the alliterative had before the crash, it has none now.

  • SFC B||

    However credibility the alliterative had before the crash...

    None of these words make any sense when used the way you are using them.

  • Tony||

    Woah. I must have been on my phone when I typed that.

  • DLM||

    Hate to break it to you but Keynesianism is the only game in town.

    The problem with Keynesian economics is in its implementation.It might sound good on paper. The theory *might* be valid, but in practice, it's just a rationale to spend more money. Politicians have a tendency to ignore the inconvenient parts of Keynesianism. Economy bad, spend more. Economy good, spend more.

  • ||

    irregardless is not a real word

  • ||

    irregardless is not a real word

    Wildcard bitches!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYtjpIwamos

  • Paul||

    “Government has an important role to play in fostering innovation” and claiming the Obama Administration is trying to implement “a clean energy future with American workers and businesses leading the way.”

    Bernstein was generally described as part of the pro-stimulus wing of the Obama economic team. The Hill calls him "Stimulus point man."

    Sort of a company yes-man...

  • Paul||

    Oh, who was on the anti-stimulus wing of the Obama economic team? Serious question.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    Supposedly Summers (and maybe Orszag) argued successfully to make it only $787 million. They may also have lobbied to increase the percentage of the $787 billion that took the form of tax cuts rather than spending increases. Don't know how Romer came down in that argument: She's on record believing tax cuts carry bigger "multipliers" than spending increases, but as we now know, Romer's being on record doesn't mean much.

  • ||

    Better question Tim, how can a group of otherwise intelligent and successful people believe such self evident nonsense? I don't want to be a conspiracy theorist. I want to believe that Romer and company really did what they thought was best for the country. But to believe that I have to be able to explain how and why they believed such things. And that I cannot explain.

  • Jersey Patriot||

    Smart people are not immune to self-deception. In fact, they may be even more susceptible to it. A dumb person can hold his or her beliefs but knows there's a lot they don't know or understand. A smart person can be arrogant enough to think they know it all.

    Most macroeconomics looks like smart people engaging in mental masturbation, deluding themselves that they're understanding something. It resembles theology more than anything else. "Do we need more tax cut stimulus or more income assistance stimulus?" is today's answer to "Is Christ of same substance or similar substance to the Father?"

    If our descendants are wiser than we, economics will be seen as the voodoo state religion of the 20th and 21st centuries, and it will be on history's scrapheap with alchemy, phrenology, and the God of Abraham.

  • ||

    I think the God of Abraham gets a vote in that. He has managed just fine for about 3700 years now. I am quite sure he will be around for the foreseable future despite atheists' fervent prayers otherwise.

    Macro economics probably won't last the century.

  • ||

    The G of A has been dying a death by 1000 cuts over the past few centuries. True, a significant number of people still purport to believe in him, but the scope of his relevance in our world has narrowed down to the width of a pin. He may as well be one of those New Age crystal sprites at this point.

  • ||

    When the idol of government fails and the Zombie Mutant Bider finish their rampage, the only survivors might be Seventh Day Adventists, Mormons and Christian Fundamentalists.

  • ||

    The G of A has been dying a death by 1000 cuts over the past few centuries.

    There are more Christians alive today then there were 200 years ago.

    there are more Jews alive today then there were 200 years ago

    hell there are more Muslims alive today then there were last year.

    I agree that the god of Abraham is doomed but i come to that conclusion from the observation that nothing lasts.

    But your claims that it is currently dying is falsified by a simple head count.

  • kinnath||

    The Turtle Moves!

  • ||

  • ||

    I am quite sure he will be around for the foreseable future despite atheists' fervent prayers otherwise.

    Nah

    as it is he is on borrowed time.

    Name a god worshiped today that was worshiped 7600 years ago?

    Also as an atheist i find the nonexistent god of Abraham to be the best of of the other nonexistent gods out there and i would miss his demise.

    Plus if our decedents are still human i seriously doubt atheism will be the thing to replaces him.

    In fact with the death of the Abraham god i suspect secularism along with atheism would be replaced by fundamentalism.

  • Ray K||

    'if our decedents are still human'.

    I approve.

  • ||

    Ray K|5.1.11 @ 9:22AM|#

    'if our decedents are still human'.

    I approve.

    descendants

    =P

    And ray get back to working on that nanorobot replacement blood. I really want to hold my breath for 10 min.

  • rather||

    Name a god worshiped today that was worshiped 7600 years ago?

    Money

  • ||

    Name a god worshiped today that was worshiped 7600 years ago?

    Money

    First off when did you become a Ron Paul supporter?

    Second money is not 7600 years old.

  • rather||

    Looked again and I am certain I did not write the US currency ;-).

    The first woman who asked her husband to take out the garbage engaged in currency, AKA bartering

  • ||

    The first woman who asked her husband to take out the garbage engaged in currency, AKA bartering

    Exchange or trade is not money, so the first instance of exchange or trade does not constitute the invention of money.

    Looked again and I am certain I did not write the US currency ;-).

    My point was that if anything libertarians worship money less then the left does. Ron Paul does not give money special magical powers like the multiplier effect or think that money can avoid the laws of supply and demand.

  • rather||

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade
    I guess I am not alone in recognizing the roots of currency

    He'd ban abortion. Politicians and all men need to keep their personal beliefs to themselves.

  • ||

    I'm sure that someone, somewhere still worships the sun.

  • rather||

    kind of the way people worship dolphins?

  • ||

    No, he's right, John. More people look to Oprah for moral guidance than to Me. It was all really over by the time that Me-damned George Burns movie came out.

    Oh, and, BTW, I don't believe in voting.

  • ||

    And the second half of the 20th Century has been defined by bureaucratic cargo cults. Macro economics is just one. There is education theory, economic development theory, psychology and pretty much the entirety of the social sciences that fit your description of smart people decieving themselves.

  • Jersey Patriot||

    And the second half of the 20th Century has been defined by bureaucratic cargo cults. Macro economics is just one. There is education theory, economic development theory, psychology and pretty much the entirety of the social sciences that fit your description of smart people decieving themselves.

    Agreed.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I'd probably lump all of those under the broad category of "social engineering"--the idea that people are simply blocks of concrete and if you just put them In The Correct Place, society will be stable and harmonious.

  • Tony||

    Compared to the other side--people who don't believe in studying reality at all, and for whom empirical data doesn't serve as an anchor to belief so much as the enemy of it. Dumb people deceiving themselves.

  • Tony||

    Sorry that my comment wasn't quite as powerful and charged as mine usually are; my boyfriend was balls-deep in my mouth, so I had to type fast, making sure to maintain a grammatical consistency. Thanks for understanding. :)

  • TheSporadical||

    I wish reason could add a "Like" option for each comment so I didn't have to voice my admiration in a long drawn out comment, with the clear target of said admiration sure to be lost amongst the rest of the comments.

    LIKE!

  • DLM||

    Just my opnion, but the thing with Economics in general, is that it is not a hard science in the same vane as physics or chemistry. It's a social science as it deals with the interactions of people and this can be very tricky when it comes to predictions. One must always take human nature into account. It appears that many economists do not do this. An economy is not something where the same inputs will always produce the same outputs.

  • SIV||

    I want to believe that Romer and company really did what they thought was best for the country.

    Define country. They are doing what they believe is best for current government institutions and it's larger "stakeholders".

  • ||

    Jared Bernstein, Vice President Joe Biden's economic advisor

    I'm curious:

    How did he explain economics using cut-out dolls?

  • ||

    Dolls and finger paints mostly. Joe likes his finger paints and paper chains.

  • ||

    Sadly, no more paper chains since he has been caught eating the Elmer's glue...again.

  • Spencer||

    I want to have a high paying job that I suck at so I can leave it and get another high paying job at a thinktank that only wants me so they can publicize a member who previously had the aforementioned high paying job.

  • ||

    Consiquences are for little people. That is just how the elite roll. Once you get a big job it doesn't matter how badly you fuck up, you will always get another one. Once someone is important, they could never not be important. That wouldn't be right.

  • ||

    Reason.tv should do a "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" parody video showing govt bureaucrats living high on the hog during the recession and getting posh jobs after they leave "public service". Throw the leftists' weapon of class envy right back in their faces.

    And they better damn well give me a hat tip this time if they do that video!

  • Rrabbit||

    ... with detailed examples on how the bureaucrats wasted away taxpayers' money to those companies which later gave them posh jobs.

  • Troll||

    +1

  • ||

    100-1 Reason is the only organization that wouldn't be too lazy to do the research.

  • ||

    "The G of A has been dying a death by 1000 cuts over the past few centuries. True, a significant number of people still purport to believe in him, but the scope of his relevance in our world has narrowed down to the width of a pin. He may as well be one of those New Age crystal sprites at this point."

    You might think that, if you live in LA, never leave there and are retarded. Christianity has exploded in Asia and Africa over the last half century. There are three times as many Christians in Africa today than there were 35 years ago. The numbers are similiar in Asia. There are more practicing Christians today than there ever has been.

    http://www.christianpost.com/n.....frica-260/

    I really try to be open minded and think that not all atheists are ignorant when it comes to religion. But they constantly keep proving me wrong.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Agreed. S Korea, the US and Poland, in particular, are developed or close-to-developed countries that I don't see losing the faith anytime soon. It is also worth noting that trends favor evangelicals, Pentecostals, and other more literalist branches of Christianity -- not mainstream ossified branches like Episcopalianism or mainstream Baptists.

  • ||

    South Korea is almost half "no religion", with Christians making up only 30% of the population. And of course the Christianity they have there is heavily imported from...

    The US is already way down from where it once was, and what's left has heavily compromised with the surrounding secular society's liberalization. I'd love to see the reaction of the average American Baptist or Methodist preacher from 1800 observing what even evangelical Christianity has become. In a free market of belief, the churches that make it easy to append religion to your secular life, without uncomfortable changes having to be made, are the ones who prosper. Believe in your heart, confess with your lips, and then get on with your life...who could resist that offer of salvation! Especially compared to a church that changes slowly if at all, like the Catholic Church, which is going to make all sorts of demands on you when you join.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I think you're thinking of Vietnam when it comes to the relative independence of religious factions; S Korea actually has its own tradition of Christianity closely tied to modernist, republican and nationalist politics. It's far from being an import in any way, and hasn't been for a good ~80 years. S Korea has some crazy fuckers; lots of their Christian groups have jumped at the chance to work in N Korea to get converts.

    In a free market of belief, I'd say that your characterization works for a portion of the American populace... that said, there are plenty of minority churches that are popular precisely because of their fervency and the commitment required. I'm not convinced that Christianity/religion is on the decline; rather, I think that it's becoming more socially acceptable for people who self-report as religious to change their affiliation to something more true to what they always believed (theist, agnostic or atheist, respectively).

  • Not Sure||

    "In a free market of belief, the churches that make it easy to append religion to your secular life, without uncomfortable changes having to be made, are the ones who prosper." Mormonism is the fastest growing religion in America. The fastest shedding religions in America are those who have embraced liberalization of religion.

  • ||

    Yeah, cause Mormons average like 7 kids per woman rather than 1.9 in the general population. Wait till those kids grow up.

  • hazeeran||

    In principle we shouldn't count small children when we take religion-themed head counts because they're too young to make up their minds on the topic in the same way they're too young to make up their minds on competing political theories.

  • Cytotoxic||

    A temporary surge. They will secularize as we did with wealth and modernity.

  • ||

    The secularization thesis is dead. It is time for popular opinion to catch up to academic scholarship.

  • ||

  • ||

    Poor Borders. I just raped them for 40% off the STTNG DVD box set a few weeks ago when they foolishly sent me a coupon.

  • ||

    And now you're going to rape Wesley? You're The Traveler?

  • ||

    Seems like an upgrade from the neutronium vagina guy.

  • ||

    Nah, I like Commodore Decker for you. It works. Just be glad I didn't pick the hideous ambassador thing that no one can look at without going mad.

  • ||

    Aw, I've always wanted to be a hideous ambassador! No fir!

  • ||

    I was speaking of Western civilization there. I'll give you Africa though.

    Considering there were practically no Christians in Asia 35 years ago outside the small traditionally Christian countries of Lebanon, Armenia, and the Phillippines, a threefold increase doesn't mean much.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    ~30% of the population of S Korea becoming Christian from around 0% at the turn of the 19th century is a pretty dramatic shift, ditto the increases in China.

    I would also add some of the Ibero-American countries, given the dramatic trend towards evangelical/literalist branches of Christianity and away from nominal Catholicism.

    Your original statement that the G of A is losing influence is really only accurate in OECD countries, and even then only partially: Poland, Chile, S Korea and others are not trending away from the G of A, and several of the OECD countries are already at a high water mark for G of A beliefs.

  • ||

    You're talking about checking a box on a census form; I'm talking about actually acting in a different way in your life because you believe in G of A.

    We've got 500+ Christians in Congress by the former standard; we've probably got less than 10 by the latter.

  • SIV||

    Thousands of Christians are busily helping people hit by the tornado outbreak today. If you want a workable minarchy, or especially anarchy, Christianity is the most significant non-state mutual aid and charitable institution. I encourage everyone to become a Christian, preferably the evangelical kind.We can't have too many of them.

  • ||

    I'm not sure whether that's more insulting to non-Christians' charitable works or to Christianity's identity as a religion rather than a domestic Peace Corps.

  • ||

    And of course, Evangelical Christianity isn't really an institution in any meaningful sense of the word. If it were you'd have to explain what the institution is doing about its members like Fred Phelps and the Koran burners.

  • SIV||

    Phepls isn't an evangelical , he's a Democrat civil rights attorney.

    Non-Christian charitable works in our society is near non-existent (in the aggregate) outside of strictly financial contribution.

  • ||

    Phelps is an ex-what you said. In any case, they're not mutually exclusive.

    There are plenty of non-Christian charities in the US...I'm not sure what your lawyerish statement above is supposed to mean once the qualifications are subtracted.

  • hazeeran||

  • ||

    14 million people in 211 years is really insignificant, anyway.

  • johnl||

    Since the FG threat, Christianity has grown very quickly in PRC. The RCC has difficulties with its foreign control. But Protestant churches are doing great.

  • ||

    That a disgusting regime like the PRC is hunky-dory with Protestantism but suspicious of and resistant to Catholicism should give you a hint about how much the former really affects the people who check off the box for it.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Categories like "protestant" and "Catholic" are too broad in this context. The PRC "allows" (i.e., sponsors) sickened forms of the two, and subsidizes them. Of course, both the Protestant and Catholic clergy who are officially sponsored are part and parcel owned by the PRC, and everything not approved is banned.

  • DLM||

    I suspect the main issue with the RCC is that it is nominally a centrally controlled entity and the PRC might see that as competition. Any religion that is splintered should be fine with them.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    It's not the number of believers, but how much sway the institution has over the population. Christianity has virtually none in comparison to it's hey day in the middle ages. In another 1000 years, people swill read the bible like we read Homer.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    That's a rather materialistic take on it. Sure, the material assets and political sway of Churches is on the decline in most developed countries (a good thing), but the average adherent's knowledge of his own faith's doctrines and beliefs (and ability to acquire more knowledge) is unprecedented. The average peasant in the 1000s would have had a hard time differentiating God from the gods who came before.

  • ||

    The average peasant had far less knowledge than people today in many non-religious areas of human endeavor, too. I suspect that the increase in "common knowledge" in the religious sphere is way behind the increase in areas like biology and astronomy.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Perhaps. Even so, I'd be loathe to call it a "decline" simply because there's no measurable way of ascertaining the level of fealty that the majority of the "Christian" populace in the supposed "heydey" of Christianity had.

  • WasabiPeas||

    1000 years from now there won't be any people.

  • ||

    Balderdash. People will be around until at least the year 6565. Possibly all the way up to the year 9999.

  • Otto||

    In the absence of fiscal stimulus, Bernstein said, "the recession could have morphed into a depression." (What morphing, a term popularized in digital movie effects, meant in this context went unexplained.)

    I think "morphing" isn't being used enetirely incorrectly. He's talking about creating an illusion of something happening, through completely artificial means.

  • ||

    Here at Reason, the English language is a dead thing that never allows word meanings to change.

  • Wind Rider||

    In a way, kind of a "Weekend at Bernie's" sort of deal, eh?

  • ||

    Even I thought that movie was bad.

  • Beezard||

    Bad? But there's that part where lady has sex with him when he's dead- and she had NO idea! Can you believe that?

    Twister was really good, too. I like the part with the tornado.

  • ||

    That picture is eliminationist rhetoric.

  • Hobie Hanson||

    If us economic realists wanted to cross out libertarians who fell from the positions of economic advising that they had been trusted with, we'd be out of luck since there haven't been any, at least not since lazy-fairies was exposed as a fraud back in 1932. But if it makes you feel better to note when public servants "return to Monticello" as George Washington did after the country is back on the right track economically, go ahead and knock yourselves out with it.

    Your obsession with that impromptu snapshot taken as they were going home after a long day's work is borderline unhealthy though.

  • Trespassers W||

    Maybe this is the hopquila talking, but:

    u r retarded

  • ||

    George Washington went to visit Jefferson? He traveled from Mount Vernon to Monticello?

  • ||

    The worst part about Hobie Handjob is you don't even get a handjob.

  • Count M. Ig.||

    You know who did get a hand job?

  • ||

    "Sixteen years ago, my husband went for a massage at a massage clinic that is registered with the City of Toronto," Chow wrote. "He exercises regularly; he was and remains in great shape; and he needed a massage.

    Italics mine.

  • MNG||

    Texas Gov. Perry To Obama: Where's our Check?

    "Addressing about 3,000 delegates at the Texas Emergency Management Conference, Republican Perry questioned why tornado-battered southern states were receiving immediate aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency while his request for a federal disaster declaration was apparently being ignored."
    http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US.....z1L3OeOhin

    Guess he is gonna postpone seccession until after he gets his federal aid...

  • ||

    Considering they didn't secede before having to pay federal income tax, that's only logical.

  • ||

    Dont really think he wants to lose the only economically viable state in the union

  • MNG||

    I think Mitt Romney is perhaps the most pandering, least principled, most loathesome used-car salesmanesque pol out there today on the national scene, but this is some serious BS.

    "Mitt Romney scrambled to do some damage control after he suggested it was time to "hang" President Obama in a speech in New Hampshire Friday night.

    The former Massachusetts governor and probable 2012 presidential candidate was speaking at a dinner when he said in response to an attendee's question, "Reagan came up with this great thing about the 'misery index' and he hung that around Jimmy Carter's neck and that had a lot to do with Jimmy Carter losing. Well we're going to have to hang the 'Obama Misery Index' around his neck."

    Romney went on to describe how people in the U.S. are suffering because of high fuel prices, foreclosures and bankruptcies.

    "We're going to hang him with that," Romney said before catching himself and adding, "so to speak, metaphorically."
    http://www.nydailynews.com/new.....z1L3PqWA1S

    Joseph H. Smith it's clear he was speaking metaphorically. That lead paragraph is patently misleading.

  • ||

    Admit it, you're just afraid of a Romney/Paul ticket.

  • cynical||

    Romney should be afraid of a Romney/Paul ticket.

  • ||

    Nope it's pretty clear Romney wants to lynch Obama.

  • DLM||

    Yep. Just like Reagan tried to lynch Carter. As all good lefties would understand, 'Obama Misery Index' is really just a code word for a rope.

  • Tony||

    The flub probably won him some points with the GOP base.

  • Not Sure||

    Back in 07, my impression of Romney was that he wanted nothing more than the aggrandizement of his own power.

  • ||

    I think Mitt Romney is perhaps the most pandering, least principled, most loathesome used-car salesmanesque pol out there today on the national scene, but this is some serious BS.

    Nah, Trump's got him beat.

    -jcr

  • Scott66||

    "Only Romer in some way approaches tragic terror and pity."

    Give up the chivalry Tim, it's the 21st century. Remember Romer's parting statement when she admitted they didn't know why their policies weren't working but was still confident they made the correct decisions. She is as pathetic as the rest of them.

    It was a fun piece to read though. Thanks.

  • MNG||

    I see John Boehner, pushing for the "largest possible spending cuts," has personally asked the DOD to reconsider its plans to cut out a (unionized!) tank factory in Ohio.

    With common sense exceptions...

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Amazing how these guys keep proving Chuck Spinney correct at every opportunity...

  • ||

    It's not the people, it's the policies.

    What's amusing is that Geithner is the only exception: what he does (dole out money with no oversight) is cronyism and back-scratching. He's the one guy for whom the feeling should be personal, and spiteful.

  • PantsFan||

    Obama's birth video is a clip from the Lion King? WTF?

  • Donald Trump||

    Let me tell you, this Seth Meyer is not funny.

  • ||

    I didn't even know who he was before reading the WHCD story. Hopes weren't high upon hearing he was the head writer of SNL.

  • Binky||

    Why is Geithner still in office?

    Who is John Galt?

  • ||

    If Tim Geithner is John Galt, he is in a REALLY good disguise.

  • ||

    Nice to see that the White House Correspondents' Dinner is an unfunny joke once again, with Seth Meyer playing sidekick to Obama this year. Of the 10 "highlights" of his monologue listed here under the perplexing headline of "Seth Meyers Skewers DC", there are 1.5 jabs at Donald Trump, 1 at John Kyl, 1.5 at Sarah Palin, 1 at Mayor Bloomberg, 1 at Republicans in general, 1 at Paul Ryan, 1 at C-SPAN, and 2 extremely gentle nudges at the guy purportedly being roasted:

    To President Obama: “I’ll tell you who could beat you: 2008 Barack Obama. You would have loved him.”

    To President Obama: “If your hair gets any whiter, the tea party is going to endorse it.”

    And of course the last one is really more of a jab at the Tea Party.

  • Donald Trump||

    I agree. It was the singlemost unfunny thing I have ever had to sit through.
    I should have sent my chinless son in my place.

  • ||

    The one that raps?

  • Donald Trump||

    no, Eric

  • Wind Rider||

    Instead of being called "Survivor", the show is called "Moron". Even wasting Harvard's trust fund and nearly bankrupting the place couldn't save Summers from getting booted off. Guess that makes Geithner the biggest moron. Or maybe we're all morons for putting up with all their shit with just a shrug. . .

  • Bingo||

    So is Trump seen as the biggest threat to Obama or what? The liberal social media sites seem to be rather pre-occupied with mocking him at the moment.

  • Jerry||

    Of course he's not a threat, but keeping him in the picture is a nice way for Democrats not having to talk about the real issues: deficits, entitlements, wars. The same could be said for Republicans however.

  • MNG||

    How the U.S., on the road to surplus, detoured to massive debt

    The biggest culprit, by far, has been an erosion of tax revenue triggered largely by two recessions and multiple rounds of tax cuts. Together, the economy and the tax bills enacted under former president George W. Bush, and to a lesser extent by President Obama, wiped out $6.3 trillion in anticipated revenue. That’s nearly half of the $12.7 trillion swing from projected surpluses to real debt. Federal tax collections now stand at their lowest level as a percentage of the economy in 60 years.

    The Iraq and Afghanistan wars have added $1.3 trillion in new borrowing. A new prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients contributed another $272 billion. The Troubled Assets Relief Program bank bailout, which infuriated voters and led to the defeat of several legislators in 2010, added just $16 billion — and TARP may eventually cost nothing as financial institutions repay the Treasury.

    Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus, a favorite target of Republicans who blame Democrats for the mounting debt, has added $719 billion — 6 percent of the total shift, according to the new analysis of CBO data by the nonprofit Pew Fiscal Analysis Initiative. All told, Obama-era choices account for about $1.7 trillion in new debt, according to a separate Washington Post analysis of CBO data over the past decade. Bush-era policies, meanwhile, account for more than $7 trillion and are a major contributor to the trillion-dollar annual budget deficits that are dominating the political debate.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....ml?hpid=z2

  • Jerry||

    Federal tax collections now stand at their lowest level as a percentage of the economy in 60 years.


    That's just silly. If we decrease government spending, federal tax collections as percentage of the economy will rise, so why not do that? Oh wait, I see, it's the Washington Post.

  • MNG||

    What is "just silly" in that line? Are federal tax collections not at their lowest level as a % of the economy in 60 years?

    This is a great example of the bizarre way that many see 'bias' in the 'MSM.' You don't think what they SAID is silly or wrong, you wish they WOULD HAVE SAID something else, a prescribed course of action you like.

    Many critics of the 'MSM' are not disputing what they actually, well, report, they ar mad because they don't follow up with an analysis or prescription they would like.

  • Jerry||

    Because by using the logic of the WP, I can make the same argument that we have to increase the tax collection percentage of the economy by cutting government spending drastically. Who is biased now?

  • MNG||

    Again, where is the 'logic' in this line:

    "Federal tax collections now stand at their lowest level as a percentage of the economy in 60 years."

    It's a bald empirical assertion, either true or false, not an 'argument.'

  • Jerry||

    "The biggest culprit, by far, has been an erosion of tax revenue triggered largely by two recessions and multiple rounds of tax cuts."

  • MNG||

    Ah, but then that wasn't the sentence you criticized, now is it?

  • ||

    Go lie down, Mangy. No bark.

  • Jerry||

    How the hell can I critize a WP article based on a standalone sentence?

  • MNG||

    Like this:

    Jerry|5.1.11 @ 8:47AM|#
    Federal tax collections now stand at their lowest level as a percentage of the economy in 60 years.

    That's just silly. If we decrease government spending, federal tax collections as percentage of the economy will rise, so why not do that? Oh wait, I see, it's the Washington Post.

  • DLM||

    Are federal tax collections not at their lowest level as a % of the economy in 60 years?

    You might mean 40 years and this is apparently total revenue (feds + state). Federal revenue as a percent of GDP seems relatively constant. The states appear to have taken the hit. (I can't vouch for the accuracy of the site.)

    http://www.usgovernmentrevenue.com/revenue_history

  • ||

    So basically, the WP is saying that if the tech boom of the 90s had continued 10 years longer, the deficit would only be half as much.

    The flip side, of course, is that if the tech boom had continued 10 years longer we'd still have a massive deficit! Which shows pretty clearly that excessive spending is the problem.

  • ||

    The Troubled Assets Relief Program bank bailout, which infuriated voters and led to the defeat of several legislators in 2010, added just $16 billion — and TARP may eventually cost nothing as financial institutions repay the Treasury.

    LOL. Ignore the Fed dumping free money into the bailout banks behind the curtain.

  • ||

    All told, Obama-era choices account for about $1.7 trillion in new debt, according to a separate Washington Post analysis of CBO data over the past decade. Bush-era policies, meanwhile, account for more than $7 trillion and are a major contributor to the trillion-dollar annual budget deficits that are dominating the political debate.

    I'm not sure if the mixing of "debt" and "deficit" here is due to ignorance or guile. Bush and the GOP is not responsible for any deficits since 2009 at the latest, particularly with Dems in charge in both the White House and Congress.

    And if we want to compare debt added per year in office, Obama's only been involved as president in two budget years thus far compared to Bush's 8, so the yearly rates of debt addition are roughly the same. And that's with the WP attributing current Iraq and Afghanistan expenditures, as well as several other programs' expenditures, to Bush even though Obama has made no serious attempt to end them.

  • DLM||

    One thing that should be factored in is interest on the debt. This should not be counted when attemmpting to blame someone.

  • ||

    The biggest culprit, by far, has been an erosion of tax revenue

    Absolute bullshit. Tax revenues have been increasing since the 1960s.

    -jcr

  • MNG||

    Texas bill would make invasive pat-downs a felony

    A former Miss USA’s tearful claim that she was groped during a pat-down at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport could be a criminal matter under a bill gaining momentum in the Texas Legislature.

    The proposed Texas law, aimed at people conducting security checkpoints at airports and public buildings, would make it a felony to intentionally touch someone’s private areas — even on top of clothing — unless the officer or agent has probable cause to believe the person is carrying something illegal.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....?hpid=z10v

  • ||

    If a Texas cop lays a finger on a TSA agent, Obama will federalize the Texas National Guard faster than you can say "Orville Faubus".

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Some of the comments at that article :smh:

    Lefties sure do like their authoritarian government when a Democrat is in charge, don't they?

  • ||

    lol, OK thats pretty funny when you think about it dude. Wow.

    www.real-privacy.eu.tc

  • ||

    Bush-era policies, meanwhile, account for more than $7 trillion and are a major contributor to the trillion-dollar annual budget deficits that are dominating the political debate.

    Leave Odreamy aloooooooooooone!

    He inherited all that stuff.

    A Dreadnought won't stop on a dime, you know.

  • ||

    Funny that they never count SS and Medicare shortfalls as resulting from FDR-era policies.

  • ||

    What a surprise; that slimy cocksucker Axlegrease is on Meet the Press, telling America what an awesome guy his boss is.

  • MNG||

    It's expected that the guy is going to defend his boss, what's bizzare is that it makes you so upset you feel the need to go online and post an epithet-filled angry post about it. Take some meds dude.

  • Realist||

    But the Head,shithead is still there.

  • Confederal_Republic||

    I like the part where governments assume they have the authority to run economies. That part's really damned hilarious.

  • Not Sure||

    Given the people keep voting in politicians who promise to run the economy, one could argue they have authority by fiat.

  • Confederal_Republic||

    Any and all democratic elements of government within the borders of the United States may operate solely within the definitively miniscule and specific confines of supreme law. Propose or pass laws or edicts that you have no authority to propose or pass, whether you were elected to or not, and you have expunged the legitimacy of your government; everything of this sort, of course, is automatically null and void, and totally unenforceable. This isn't a democracy, but a republic. Everything must yield to the supreme law of liberty.

    1% of the people may not, should not, and cannot justifiably be made subservient to the will of the other �. Majority rule is an abomination.

  • Confederal_Republic||

    *elected to do so or not,

  • Confederal_Republic||

    *the other 99 percent.

  • Tony||

    Liberty as defined by whom?

    Any tyranny is bad, but tyranny of the minority is the more acute form.

  • ||

    Every individual should be an absolute, tyrannical dictator over himself and his property.

    The nice thing about individualism is that you don't have to worry about majorities and minorities in an electorate of one.

  • Confederal_Republic||

    I like how the state National Guards are de facto federal military, and the states don't have their own militias. So forget every individual being an absolute dictator of himself and his property - we haven't even got the autonomy of the states anymore.

  • Confederal_Republic||

    There is no "tyranny of the minority". In a true American republic, no individual or group can dictate to any other individual or group in any way whatsoever, for any purpose, at any time.

    Government must be powerful in the very few things it can justifiably assume power to do, and absolutely powerless in all else. Government may not, for example, tax one group to give to another.

    I honestly don't know what would happen if Thomas Jefferson was resurrected and spent a few years catching up to modern American affairs and life; would he blow every artery and vein in his body on the spot, or would he just blow up entirely, like a mine, or a box of TNT? I'm not sure, but definitely one of them.

  • ||

    Obama and his supposed economic braintrust have wreaked untold damage ou the nation economy. If you were one of them wouldn't you try and get off the bus before it goes over the edge of the Grand Canyoh. That is litterally what is happening. Another metaphor is rats leaving a sinking ship. Unfortunatley it isn't just the Obama administration that is sinking, it is the American economy. Possibly beyond recover!

  • ||

    The "brain" trust didnt have many functioning parts to begin with

  • AJ Lynch||

    Bernstein has zero formal education in either economics or business. I think he was a music major - wtf should anyone believe he knows what he is doing?

    And btw CNN's Ali Velshi was a religion major in college. No lie.

  • ||

    lol, OK we will have to wait and see what happens lol.

    www.real-privacy.eu.tc

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