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Paul Krugman is scared: Keep it up, conservatives

November 9, 2009 1 comment

Typically, Paul Krugman can’t help himself. He’s quick to call any fight for the Democrats and, when he can get away with it, has no problem starting the knockout count even before Republicans hit the ground. So when even he is worried about the next election, you know change is afoot.

In fact, the party of Limbaugh and Beck could well make major gains in the midterm elections. The Obama administration’s job-creation efforts have fallen short, so that unemployment is likely to stay disastrously high through next year and beyond. The banker-friendly bailout of Wall Street has angered voters, and might even let Republicans claim the mantle of economic populism. Conservatives may not have better ideas, but voters might support them out of sheer frustration.

And if Tea Party Republicans do win big next year, what has already happened in California could happen at the national level. In California, the G.O.P. has essentially shrunk down to a rump party with no interest in actually governing — but that rump remains big enough to prevent anyone else from dealing with the state’s fiscal crisis. If this happens to America as a whole, as it all too easily could, the country could become effectively ungovernable in the midst of an ongoing economic disaster.

The point is that the takeover of the Republican Party by the irrational right is no laughing matter. Something unprecedented is happening here — and it’s very bad for America.

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Swine flu: Yes, the First Daughters deserve special treatment

October 28, 2009 Leave a comment

I don’t doubt the White House went through the same process to get the swine-flu vaccine for the First Daughters that everyone else in the District must go through:

OBAMA GIRLS GET VACCINATED – N.Y Times’s Sheryl Gay Stolberg reports: ‘The Obama daughters, Malia and Sasha, have gotten their swine flu shots. The White House has been flooded with questions about whether the First Family has been vaccinated against H1N1, the swine flu virus. The administration posted the answer on its Web site Tuesday: President Obama and his wife Michelle will ‘wait until the needs of the priority groups’ –- including young people under 24, pregnant women and people with underlying illnesses –- have been vaccinated. But Malia, 11, and Sasha, 8, fall within the priority groups, and they received their injections last week from the White House doctor, who applied for the vaccine through the District of Columbia Department of Health ‘using the same process as every other vaccination site in the District.”

But does anyone believe those handling the process treated the White House application like every other vaccination site’s in the District? It’s like Meryl Streep saying she went through the casting process for the local Christmas play “just like everyone else,” as if anyone would believe her winning the lead role had nothing to do with her being, I don’t know, Meryl F–g Streep?

Why can’t the White House say what the White House really means? Like, Look, some people simply matter more than others. If the First Daughters caught swine flu and brought it home and the president caught it, that’s a week of feverish, nasty sickness the most important man in the country — and the country itself — probably can’t afford.

But as it turns out, the White House statement is disingenuous and patronizing, which should come as no surprise.

Categories: Obama administration

Because the last housing bubble wasn’t enough fun …

September 28, 2009 Leave a comment

… the Obama administration is setting us up for another one. You wouldn’t expect a political party that thinks the New Deal worked to learn from history, of course, but this isn’t history; the last housing bubble is still a current event. Considering Democrats have tripped over themselves to hang the last bubble’s responsibility around Republicans’ necks, you’d think they’d slow down on extending credit to people for homes they can’t afford. But alas, another election is nigh, and Democrats have to be able to say they gave a lot of people free stuff.