Tuesday, February 24, 2009

WTF is Jindal Talking About?

"Don't let anyone tell you we can't" overcome our challenges, is the jist of what Bobby Jindal is now saying his "rebuttal" to Obama's speech.

Um, hello? He does know that he's responding to the Hope President, right? Since when has Obama ever even remotely hinted that America "can't" overcome this crisis?!?

God, the Republicans are so out of touch it's insane.

UPDATE: "If it sounds like Jindal is targeting his speech to a room full of fourth graders, that's because he is. They might be the next people to actually vote for Republicans again." -Nate Silver.

Jindal's Rebuttal

Bobby Jindal strikes me as weirdly over-the-top.

Does he know how ridiculous he sounds? Is he drunk?

Thoughts on the Non-State of the Union State of the Union

What has always struck me about President Obama is that, regardless of the circumstances, he seems like he is the adult in the room. Whereas Bush was the drunk uncle at your cousin's wedding who was hogging the microphone for far too long, Obama is an almost grandfatherly figure - the elder statesman, the bridge-builder, the wise man (not a wise guy, like Bush). He is a leader capable of both sobriety and inspiration.

Tonight's address was classic Obama: a mix of cautious conservatism and some pretty lofty (liberal) goals. He is right in that, as we find ourselves in the midst of this great economic crisis, NOW is the time to tackle the problems that have dogged us for too long: health care and energy being chief among them. Our health care "system" - if you can call it that - and our importation of foreign oil is short-shrifting our citizens, poisoning our planet and putting a burden on our economy. Now is the time to tackle these problems, not shy away from them.

At 9:00 tonight, before the President's address, I found myself in my customarily pessimistic position as I reflected on the sorry state of our national economy and conscience. But as he has so many times, Obama somehow has managed to turn my frown upside down, and reframe this moment as a possibility for rebuilding and renewal, as opposed to a complete meltdown of the world as we know it. The job before him - and us - is extraordinarily difficult, if not mostly impossible, and none of what the President outlined tonight will be easy. But I have been reminded once again of the importance of having faith that we will get there. We will get there. And we will be better off when we do.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Daschle Withdraws His Nomination

Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) will not be the new Secretary of Health and Human Services, as he has withdrawn his candidacy.

I haven't written anything on this saga - the saga being that Daschle failed to pay over $130,000 in taxes and was paid more than $200,000 by the health care industry he had been nominated to regulate - but I think Daschle did the right thing by withdrawing. Yes, he was an early ally of President Obama, the two are very close and Daschle has a lot of experience on Capitol Hill and with the behemoth of an issue that is health care. But it's queasy to expect that someone - anyone, even something with the reported integrity of Tom Daschle - could receive hundreds of thousands of dollars from someone and then be expected to regulate that very same someone. It just didn't smell right.

For the record, the tipping point for Daschle seemed to be this morning's New York Times editorial (which urged him to withdraw his nomination), which you can read here.