Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Second Year Begins

If you have time to read only one political blog entry today, make it this one by former White House speech writer, and now editor, Hendrick Herzberg: "One Year: Beware of Sudden Downdrafts." We don't always agree with Herzberg, but we always pay attention to his keen insights. A small taste:
That Obama let the “outside game” part of the health-care drama get away from him, so focussed was he on the “inside game” of trying to force the legislative elephant through the Congressional keyhole, can no longer be denied. He and his team can also be faulted for the political (and perhaps substantive) inattention that has allowed the right to profit handsomely from the economic disaster that their policies, not Obama’s, brought about.

Whether yesterday’s upset in Massachusetts turns out to be a catastrophe or merely a setback now depends largely on the grown-upness, or lack of it, of liberals in the House of Representatives. I don’t see any way out of the darkness right now other than for the House to tighten its stomach muscles, pass the Senate version of the health-care bill A.S.A.P., and move on to jobs and the economy. The Senate health-care bill, however inferior to the House version, is vastly superior to the status quo. The only alternative I can discern is no bill at all—a political, substantive, and humanitarian failure that would reverberate for a generation.

There's more, including a wonderfully succinct summary of President Obama's considerable accomplishments in just twelve months, given what Herzberg accurately terms the "systemic grotesqueries like the filibuster... ."


Anonymous said...

How's that list of jobs from the economic stimulus money coming?

Can you provide a link yet?

Deannie said...

A few days before Christmas it was reported some 30k jobs were created in Florida with federal 09 stimulus money but state and city govts wiped that out by cutting more jobs.

Anonymous said...

Found this in the Orlando Sentinel.

The report notes some interesting, and concrete, examples of how the stimulus money was to be spent: Orange County schools, for example, said the stimulus money saved the jobs of 275 guidance counselors, 143 media specialists and 26 social workers, among others.

ETA: The 19,525 is full-time equivalent jobs. The 18,042 saved jobs + the 2,934 new ones are actual jobs, which includes full and part-time slots.

Those numbers are for Orange County.

Of course, it doesn't matter if one has made up their mind that the stimulus hasn't helped at all and the economy would have chugged along just fine without it.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the economy would have chugged along without it, but I would like an eye kept on the money.

The school jobs are good but those are saved jobs not new jobs and should be reported as such.