Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

February 8, 2009


Paul Krugman, NY Times - To appease the centrists, a plan that was already too small and too focused on ineffective tax cuts has been made significantly smaller, and even more focused on tax cuts. . .

Now the centrists have shaved off $86 billion in spending - much of it among the most effective and most needed parts of the plan. In particular, aid to state governments, which are in desperate straits, is both fast - because it prevents spending cuts rather than having to start up new projects - and effective, because it would in fact be spent; plus state and local governments are cutting back on essentials, so the social value of this spending would be high. But in the name of mighty centrism, $40 billion of that aid has been cut out.

My first cut says that the changes to the Senate bill will ensure that we have at least 600,000 fewer Americans employed over the next two years.

The real question now is whether Obama will be able to come back for more once it's clear that the plan is way inadequate. My guess is no. This is really, really bad.


Anonymous m said...

It wouldn't be so bad if the so called "centrism" was only a matter of economic policies. The destructive, indeed suicidal tax cuts are insanity. But these are issues on which people can disagee. The opinions may be foolish, self serving, even pathological, but they are not criminal.

But there is criminal, and incredibly heinous behavior that is called "centrism" and "bipartisianism". One of the most flagrant is over torture.Obama (no longer can I call him President Obama) has just announced his thankfulness that the British government is keeping its secrets about what was done to British citizens in Guantanamo. His administration has said that no CIA agents will be prosecuted for torture. It is pretty clear that none of those who ordered the tortures are going to be prosecuted.

Now, less than a week after these announcements, we learn that the tortures were not limited to waterboarding, but included other interrogation techniques like genital mutilation.

"The 25 lines edited out of the court papers contained details of how Mr Mohamed's genitals were sliced with a scalpel and other torture methods so extreme that waterboarding, the controversial technique of simulated drowning, 'is very far down the list of things they did,' the official said," Tim Shipman and Melissa Kite, report for The Telegraph.

How could he have ever excused such behavior? How could he have ever thought that this information would not come out? This is not just criminal, it is idiotic. Obama has earned the appellation Bush44. His behavior has come to the level of covering up gross criminal acts, some of which have quite apparently led to death. Bush44 is now a criminal.

February 9, 2009 1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bipartisanship = I'll hug your Elephant if you'll kiss my Ass.


February 10, 2009 8:23 AM  

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