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Towleroad Guide to the Tube #410

BARACK OBAMA: Responding to Paul Krugman's column criticizing him for an economic stimulus package that falls short of what's necessary: "If Paul Krugman has a good idea in terms of how to spend money efficiently and effectively to jump-start the economy, then we're gonna do it."

LEON PANETTA: Obama's nominee for CIA director gives his speech, continues 'war on terror' terminology.

SHEILA DIXON: Baltimore mayor indicted on 12 counts of corruption.

HOWARD DEAN: Chris Matthews gives Howard Dean his due.

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  1. This is fabulous! Obama uses politics of fear to cram down a pork laded trillion dollar stimulus package to the American people. Obama promises to double the war effort in Afghanistan (which is twice as large and twice as populated as Iraq). Obama keeps Secy Gates! With the politics of fear and the expansion of war in the middle east it looks like we have four more years of George Bush. And for good measure let's have a homophobe like Rick Warren give the invocational prayer. What a disaster Obama already is proving to be for those of us on the left.

    Posted by: obamanation | Jan 9, 2009 4:53:02 PM

  2. "What a disaster Obama already is proving to be for those of us on the left."

    You mean Joseph Stalin kinda' Left?

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jan 9, 2009 5:08:15 PM

  3. Finally Howard Dean getting the accolades he deserves. Man what a good president he would have been.

    Finally, after the long national nightmare of the Bush/Cheney years, it's time to get this country back on its feet.

    While we must always remain vigilant, it is finally time to say goodbye to fear mongering and replace that with hope and action.

    I truly hope we haven't seen the last of Governor Dean. I'd vote for him again in a second!

    Posted by: Dave | Jan 9, 2009 5:13:44 PM

  4. While I do not agree with his choice of Rick Warren, to simply state that Obama is already failing when the President Elect has to take office is putting the cart before the horse. Furthermore, take a moment to examine the mess the Bush administration has left Obama's cabinet and our nation. It almost appears that the Republican party set up a landslide win on Nov 4th knowing that no one, Republican and Democrat alike, can fix this mess, paving the way for the Republicans to point the finger (again) and take over come 2012.

    Posted by: CJ | Jan 9, 2009 5:14:11 PM

  5. Dean did nothing and does not deserve such high praise. He stood back and let the Dem preliminary turn into a silly fight that went on and on. The Demos won because of Obama's coat tails. It was easier to blame the entire Republican party in this election and give the Demos a try. Now out comes the microscope while the Bush/Cheney team had a free reign of terror.

    Posted by: 2nd Class Citizen | Jan 9, 2009 5:56:43 PM

  6. Agreed, Obamanation.

    I keep hearing this "he hasn't taken office yet" excuse! Well did you know Cynthia McKinney attempted to deliver food and supplies BY BOAT to Gaza? And an Israeli ship denied them access, forcing them to turn around. I wish I had voted for her now!

    Posted by: Paul | Jan 9, 2009 6:46:37 PM

  7. Ditto 2nd Class Citizen & CJ:

    Obama hasn't taken office. I'm happy to fault Obama for the Rick Warren debacle but the rest of these inane rants are worthless.

    Pork in the spending bill? Really? Name it. Oh, that's right. There is no bill. Did you bother to read Paul Krugman's article? Krugman wants MORE spending. He's against Obama providing tax cuts. Krugman believes that giving people an extra $500/year spread out as an average $19 per paycheck would be wasteful since the previous stimulus checks that Americans received did nothing to help the economy.

    Krugman and other economists believe that the bill should be closer to a $1 trillion or more and not the $700- to $800 billion Obama requested. The economist want most of the money going to infrastructure, housing crisis projects, health care, and other projects.

    Again, these mindless attacks on Obama saying that he is a terrible president BEFORE he even takes office are pathetic. Please, please provide some proof of how Obama has mismanaged and destroyed America's economy and geopolitical standing like George W. Bush has.

    You can't. Why? Because Obama hasn't taken office. He hasn't signed one piece of legislation or taken any executive action because he is NOT president.

    As for charging Obama with pork barrel politics, he's said that the bill would be posted online for all to see before it's voted on and that it would not allow for earmarks. That's called transparency.

    Seriously, did you purposely ignore the fact that Obama is actually listening and responding to complaints from critics UNLIKE W. who did whatever he and his cronies wanted.

    The reality is that Krugman and the Congressional leaders are right that Obama's initial pass is faulty. Their jobs are to fight for what they believe to be the best solutions and provide him with alternative views. (Isn't that the idea behind Obama embracing some of his former adversaries like Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden? He didn't want yes-people.)

    Finally, while Dean deserves credit for his efforts, did everyone forget that Howard Dean is being sued for discriminating against a gay employee and that his leadership of the DNC was marked with conflict with many in the "gay community"?

    Posted by: noah | Jan 9, 2009 7:05:37 PM

  8. Paul,

    Are you serious? What exactly do you expect Obama as a private citizen to do? Since he's not president he can't order any humanitarian aid. Do you want Obama to intercede in the Israeli/Palestenian conflict? How would that work Constitutionally?

    Be real about the law and what Obama can do as president-elect. Hell, Obama can't even spend the traditional transition period in Blair House because Bush decided to screw him over and lied that there were guests in a huge mansion!

    Would you propose that Obama ignore the Constitution and somehow seize power? How exactly do you think that would work out? What do you think Obama should have done after the election?

    What worse about all of this is the free pass Bush is getting. He's still president and has barely lifted a finger to do anything to assuage the horrific economic damage he's overseen.

    Democrats spend too much time hurting each other instead of offering constructive critism and support of each other.

    Posted by: noah | Jan 9, 2009 7:17:49 PM

  9. Noah:

    No pork in the stimulus package? Check out this tidbit from the NY Times:

    And so putting the spending projects online somehow makes them more worthy?

    How about taking that $1 trillion and simply dividing it equally among the citizens or providing universal health care rather than dumping it into the pockets of those businesses and individuals who are well-connected through their campaign contributions to the governors and mayors?

    And sure, we keep hearing the Obama mantra about only one president at a time, but he did agree to keep Robert Gates as Defense Sec'y and he keeps repeating how he wants to DOUBLE the size of American troops in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is going to be like LBJ's Vietnam, and I don't see much wisdom in taking troops from Iraq only to send them to Afghanistan: kind of like robbing Peter to pay Paul.

    Good citenship is about more than gratuitously supporting the President-elect simply out of your partisan motivations.

    Posted by: obamanation | Jan 9, 2009 9:05:30 PM

  10. Noah, you're wasting your time on these people. They have their ears and eyes shut screaming "lalalalalala". It's childish, but it appears some Republicans just can't bear the truth: they lost.

    Posted by: Cj | Jan 9, 2009 9:15:28 PM

  11. Obama: Same shit different day.

    Posted by: gwyneth cornrow | Jan 9, 2009 9:44:39 PM

  12. "Obama promises to double the war effort in Afghanistan (which is twice as large and twice as populated as Iraq)."

    OBAMANATION, do you even bother to check rudimentary facts? Iraq is about 169,000 sq mi in size with a population of 29 million while Afghanistan is about 252,000 sq mi in size with a population of 33 million. Of course, your definition of "twice" may be different from mine.

    Posted by: RJ | Jan 9, 2009 10:24:48 PM

  13. Howard "the scream" Dean a good President? Please. Why not just bring Clinton back for round 2 of Oval Office fellatio, another impeachment, and rape accusations.

    And please Noah, HuffPo? WTF? You've got to be kidding. Arianna's bloggers have burned our flag so many times that I've lost count. It they really believed the lies they fabricated, they'd wrap themselves up in the damn flag before burning it.

    And the New York Times? Seriously? Screw that. That group of haters believe America will only achieve greatness if it were Cuba. Spare us the HuffPo nonsense and the gray lady garbage.

    What did you expect from Obama? It looks like you're getting the 3rd term of George Bush. You honestly thought he was being truthful during his campaign? Jesus Christ, his best buddy was a terrorist, his pastor is hateful SOB, he could give a shit about his aunt and brother who live in slums eating wet cigarette butts

    Gay men, myself included, need to wise up. Liberal Democrats consistently stand for nothing. They're racist, homophobic, terrorist-appeasing, America-hating, Marxists who caused the Democrats to lose the last 7 out of 10 elections and kept Bill Clinton in office for only 8 of the last 28 years. They're losers.

    I wouldn't have voted Democrat or for Obama if you had put a gun to my head.

    Much of the condemnation of Bush policies is driven by a venomous hatred of his personality and leadership style, rather than an objective assessment of his achievements. Ten or twenty years from now, historians will view Bush's actions on the world stage in a more favourable light. America's 43rd president did after all directly liberate more people (over 60 million) from tyranny than any leader since Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

    Shut-up and fly the flag.

    Posted by: alan | Jan 10, 2009 10:45:58 PM

  14. RJ:

    And yet you do not dispute -- nor can you given Obama's repeated representations -- that Obama intends to double the troop force in Afghanistan by bringing in an additional 20,000 to 30,000 soldiers into that country (and they all will be U.S. troops since NATO allies are on record against any further commitment to the region). Your failure to see the forest through the trees is tragic. We already have lost too many lives in Iraq, and now Obama intends to spill more American blood in Afghanistan. If you think that expanding the war in Afghanistan is such a good thing, then Obama is your man but there are many of who hope that he rethinks this policy. I understand the need to target specific terrorist groups in that difficult region but I believe escalating the war by a "doubling" -- to use Obama's own word -- in troop size is a mistake.

    Posted by: OBAMANATION | Jan 10, 2009 10:56:39 PM

  15. Seriously, what do the liberals expect Obama to do?

    All he can do now is send Hillary to Cairo and Tel Aviv to talk them down a little. He certainly can't change the entire "war on terror" policy without congressional approval. And that support simply doesn't exist.

    Obama's also contrained by the terms through which this debate has been framed. The Cindy Sheehan and Ralph Nader types have done more damage to the cause than they'll ever know. By positioning "peace" on the far left and then aligning themselves with Islamist rethoric, they've made the peace movement much weaker than it would have otherwise been.

    As a person who usually consider myself of the center-left, I don't enjoy extremists making my job that much harder by behaving like crazed idiots in front of Middle America.

    Thank you very much Hamas protestors in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. You've just made it absolutely impossible for the Democrats to say anything even remotely critical of Israel. And incidently, you've helped put the peace process on hold for at least another year. I know this will come as a shock to you Che Guevera t-shirt revolutionaries, but pro-terrorist sentiments, burning American flags, and chants of "death to the Zionist pigs" don't play very well with voters in suburban Virginia.

    Posted by: John in CA | Jan 11, 2009 2:52:46 AM

  16. Alan,

    You're comments are ridiculous. First, Howard Dean and the DNC faced a lawsuit for anti-gay discrimination. That's fact regardless of your Republican political deranged views about the The lawsuit against Dean and the DNC has been reported in the Washington Post and Washington Blade. If you weren't lazy, you could have done a web search and found report after report.

    As for your screed against the Democrats, get real. No matter how you try to wrap yourself in Old Glory, you're just another idiot who uses the idea of patriotism to justify anything you say.

    Guess what? We have all seen that same kind of B.S. used to bully Americans from standing up against the abuses of power and gross incompetence of the Bush Administration.

    You want to say that Democrats are racists, homophobes, etc. Of course there idiots like that in the Democratic Party. This is America. But, the overall Democratic Party has a platform and a 40 year history fighting against racism, sexism, and homophobia.

    You can't say the same for the Republicans. The Republican Party has a 40 year history of racist, sexist, and homophobic intolerance as part of its operating procedures. Americans saw this in the recent presidential campaign and rejected it.

    But why should we expect anything else but lies and false patriotism from a Republican? When all else fails, lie, lie, bully and intimidate is the Republican way. Game over!


    The City of Las Vegas wants to use stimulus money for a mob muesum? Whatever. That's about idiots in Nevada and not Obama. Any fool can make a request for money, but that doesn't mean he or she will get a dime.

    The stimulus bill has not been written yet. Right? The idea to put the bill online is to force politicians to not toss in pork. Bills are not normally given the light of day for full examination.

    As for Afghanistan, what do you think should happen there? Your comparison to Vietnam is false because Afghanistan IS supported by NATO. The Taliban is not a popular ideology.

    How should NATO proceed? Should NATO abandon the country to the Taliban again? What would you do? I don't know what the solution is. You're against increasing troops but you don't offer any solutions.

    Posted by: noah | Jan 11, 2009 11:27:57 AM

  17. Noah:

    Good point. None of the specific projects for the spending proposal are yet a done deal. However, will all of the proposals be posted online for public review and comment before the stimulus package is enacted or will they only be posted after the fact as a fait accompli?

    And on Afghanistan, the country already is controlled and governed by narcoterrorists, and the New York Times just ran a story last week or maybe the week before that the country pretty much is a Mafia state. I don't know what the answer is. But I don't believe in making a bad situation worse, and I really believe that escalating the war in Afghanistan with more deaths on both sides is tantamount to escalating the war generally in the Middle East -- a region that is getting increasing nasty with the Israeli invasion into Gaza -- and if Obama really wants to repair our reputation in the world he should reconsider from his intention to double the troop levels in Afghanistan.

    Just because I don't have the answer does not mean more deaths and bombings is going to provide the solutions as Obama and you hope for. What did our war in Iraq accomplish for us in the world? Why do you Democrats now want to do the same stupid thing in Afghanistan?

    Posted by: obamanation | Jan 11, 2009 1:34:55 PM

  18. Ummmm, is anyone else tired of the same person commenting under different names? How trite...

    Posted by: CJ | Jan 11, 2009 8:43:25 PM

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