Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
December 8, 2008
POLITICS: Obamises Watch - The Economy

Flip - October 7, 2008:

Brokaw: Sen. Obama, time for a discussion. I'm going to begin with you. Are you saying to Mr. Clark (ph) and to the other members of the American television audience that the American economy is going to get much worse before it gets better and they ought to be prepared for that?

Obama: No, I am confident about the American economy.

Score - November 4, 2008:

In Next Year, Economy Will...
TotalObamaMcCainOther/No Answer
Get Better (47%)61%38%1%
Get Worse (23%)43%54%3%

Flop - December 6, 2008:

MR. BROKAW: On this program about a year ago, you said that being a president is 90 percent circumstances and about 10 percent agenda. The circumstances now are, as you say, very unpopular in terms of the decisions that have to be made. Which are the most unpopular ones that the country's going to have to deal with?

PRES.-ELECT OBAMA: Well, fortunately, as tough as times are right now--and things are going to get worse before they get better--there is a convergence between circumstances and agenda.

If you had "32 days" in how long that one would last past Election Day: time to cash in. Funny thing about this "new politics": it seems so...familiar.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 5:05 PM | Politics 2008 | Comments (32) | TrackBack (0)

Can someone tell me what Obama actually says in this video? Other than general statements, does he actually say what he and the congress will actually do?

I am not a fan of his, but I am trying to give him a fair shot. But I am getting a little frustrated with the platitudes and empty words. Sure he is not yet President, but geez his party still controls congress. Maybe he can actually suggest some good ideas?

Posted by: Lee at December 8, 2008 5:36 PM

I know, its not like there hasnt been mountains of evidence of a worsening economy within the last month, or anything else to hang your hat on.

Posted by: seth soothsayer at December 8, 2008 7:37 PM

I was so waiting for somebody to claim that Obama didn't know in October that the economy was in bad shape.

Posted by: Crank at December 8, 2008 7:53 PM

Posted this on Next Right. It's all self-actualization and the One hopes the business cycle turns before the public turns on him.

" Last month, America cast a vote to feel better about itself. Much as I had predicted in July , in the absence of a well reasoned economic alternative from the McCain campaign the voters would revert to casting a vote that would expunge the Bush years.

I do not need to link to every quote where someone has said how good the Obama win made them feel about themselves, or their country. It's like the entire clientele of Whole Foods Market has obtained validation that those crass, bellicose Republicans have lost.

But in the end, this is all ephemrical feelgood nonsense. We elected a Gatsby candidate who now must enact real policies that do real things, which his resume offers scant evidence of.

Indeed, the election of Obama reminds me of this scene from the movie Dave, where the stand-in President is looking for money for a homeless program and inquires why the government is spending lavishly on making existing car owners feel better about their cars.

Dave: I don't want to tell some eight-year-old kid he's gotta sleep in the street because we want people to feel better about their *car*. Do *you* want to tell them that?
Secretary of Commerce: [quietly] No sir.
[sits back in his seat and reflects]
Secretary of Commerce: No I sure don't

Well, the Obama Presidency may prove to be a multitrillion dollar effort in making people feel better about themselves. Whether it accomplishes anything useful for non-idealogues will probably be answered in how it handles the auto bailout."

Posted by: ironman at December 8, 2008 9:34 PM

Exactly Crank-I expect that soon he will have to tell people that you know that tax cut he was promising(wink, wink) for 95% of americans well, gosh darrnit, now I just realized I can't do it-blah, blah, blah-ala Bill Clinton within what a month or so of being sworn in 1993. Of course, the real flip flop that I will enjoy is when he basically continues all those "evil" Bush Cheney policies against terrorism since now he has to deal with the problem.

Posted by: dch at December 8, 2008 9:46 PM

The only person who seemed dim to the fact that the economy stunk was McCain, who literally up to the minute banks were falling apart left and right was insisting on it being fundamentally strong. Obama's approval is already through the roof. It's going to be a long 8 years for you guys.

Posted by: seth soothsayer at December 8, 2008 10:12 PM

I find it funny that Obama's favourite show is The Wire because he reminds me so much of Tommy Carcetti. I'm still not sure that McCain would have been a better choice though.

Posted by: Duff Soviet Union at December 8, 2008 11:37 PM

Life was so much easier under W. You never had to think because, no matter the question, the answers were always the same.


Surplus -- cut taxes.
Deficit -- cut taxes.
Expansion -- cut taxes.
Recession -- cut taxes.


WMD -- Invade Iraq
9/11 -- Invade Iraq
Spread freedom -- Invade Iraq
Afghanistan -- Invade Iraq

The good old days.

Posted by: Magrooder at December 9, 2008 9:13 AM


From the Crank, July 31, 2008:

"Well, the data is in this morning, and in the most recently concluded quarter - the 2d quarter of this year - the economy grew, at a 1.9% annualized rate, the best since the 3d quarter of 2007.

Great news? No. 1.9% isn't the kind of robust growth we'd been used to since 2003, and the underlying structural worries are still there, and some reports are crediting short-term stimulus checks and weak-dollar-driven drops in imports, neither of which is cause for long-term celebration. But as usual, the bad news has been overstated by efforts to paint this as 1933 or 1979 all over again. If we elect a president who wants to jack up taxes, close off trade and hold the line against domestic energy production, though, it might be."

Posted by: Magrooder at December 9, 2008 9:17 AM

Magrooder its sort of interesting how people of your ilk are so personally dishonest about Iraq. How you develop amnesia about the ceasfire agreement, the tens of thousands of violations of that agreement from 1990-2003, the what numerous UN Security Council resolutions, the hundreds off reports of UNMOVIC regarding Iraqs WMD program, all of the comments and actions of the Clinton Admin. and Congressional Dems regarding Iraq from 1990-2003, the Iraq liberation Act of 1998, the total breakdown/corruption of the oil for food program and sanctions, etc , etc

Is it that you dont know what are you talking about or you do and you are just lying.

Posted by: dch at December 9, 2008 10:04 AM

Magrooder, some advice on reading the calendar.

July: before the September credit crisis.
October: after the September credit crisis. You know, the one that was, by October, the single issue Obama was running on.

Posted by: Crank at December 9, 2008 10:27 AM

Oops. Facts are tough things.

"Alan Greenspan, ex-Chairman of the Federal Reserve, stated in March 2008 that the 2008 financial crisis in the United States is likely to be judged as the harshest since the end of World War II."

"In March 2008, Warren Buffett stated in a CNBC interview that by a "common sense definition", the U.S. economy is already in a recession."

I'm sure Greenspan and Buffett were just in the tank for Obama, so just ignore what they were saying.

Posted by: Magrooder at December 9, 2008 11:26 AM


I'm dishonest about Iraq? Let me see if I understand your criteria for invading a country.

The country need have not had any involvement in an attack on us? Even W now concedes publicly that Iraq had nothing to with 9/11. But, you have the pre-emptive strike argument, so let's see.

Cheney and Rice talk about mushroom clouds and smoking guns. But, wait, even W now admits there "intelligence failures," though of course, he bears no responsibility for them.

Saddam was a bad guy, the citizens of Iraq are treated abominably, Iraq vilates international standards. Please explain how you distinguish Iraq from, say, North Korea, Iran, and all the other countries of the world we did not invade.

Posted by: Magrooder at December 9, 2008 11:35 AM

By the way, Crank,

Your post was July 31. In July, IndyMac failed and the feds had to bail out Fannie and Freddie. It is true this was before the "September credit crisis," but do you REALLY mean that things changed so much in a mere month that you would have to have chnaged your position?

Posted by: Magrooder at December 9, 2008 11:39 AM

My my, the Republicans are a busy lot, already trying to trash Obama. And maybe they don't even remember that Bush is still the President. I guess it's going to be difficult dealing with a reality where we (will in the near future) have a president who actually reads a newspaper.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at December 9, 2008 12:27 PM


What is your point? It looks like you took a topic that was about Obama and hijacked it to talk about Bush/McCain. Just rehashing the old Bush lied junk. How about you get back on topic?

What is Obama actually saying in this video and what is HE (and the democrats in congress) plan on doing?

Posted by: Lee at December 9, 2008 12:28 PM


The point of Crank's post is that Obama has flip-flopped, not the substance of what he said on the video. The flip-flop charge is, characterisitcally, a charicature from Crank.

My point was two-fold. One, changed circumstances require re-thinking positions and, perhaps, changing them. W, by contrast, kept the same positions irrespective of "changed" facts. Two, Crank himself wrote things not long ago that don't stand up very well to current knowledge.

dch got me going on the Bush lied meme. My apologies for that.

Posted by: Magrooder at December 9, 2008 12:42 PM

No Magrooder -the only liars that I know of are lefties who are actively trying to rewrite history. Do you deny that there was around 15 UN resolutions each of which stated that Iraq was in continuing violation of the ceasefire agreement and each that warned them that if they continued to violate the ceasefire agreement, tougher sanctions and miltary action, up to and including regime change would be initiated? Those UN resolutions, the Iraq Act of 1998 and all the actions/comments of the Clinton Admin and congressional dems predated George Bush and 9/11 by as much as 8 years. The reason that countries like North Korea, Syria, etc are not in the same category is because of all this history that you and others want to pretend never happened.

The Bush administration never said Iraq was involved with the planning or the operations of 9/11, matter of fact George Bush himself explicitly stated that on a number of occassions before the Iraq War. What the Bush Admin did say was that Iraq supported terrorist networks and groups-which they most certainly did. Have you heard of Salmon Pak? How about Al-ansar Islam? Are you aware that the group run by Zawahiri that merged with Bin Laden to form the new Al-Quaeda was supported by Saddam Hussein? Are you aware that the Clinton Admin in its criminal indictment of Saddam Hussein (what a joke) stated that Iraq was assisting Al Quaeda-thats the Clinton admin, not the Bush Admin.
BTW-have you ever read the full text of David Kay's testimony before Congress outlining all the violations concerning WMD that he did find-why don't you google and read it-I guarantee you will find it very informative.

But you know what, just keep keep pretending that everything that has occured in Iraq started only with George Bush and was not backed up by Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Albright, Hillary, John kerry, the dems, the media, the UN and everyone else for the preceding 13 years.

Posted by: dch at December 9, 2008 2:22 PM

Nuance, Crank, nuance!!!

Posted by: Dean at December 9, 2008 4:34 PM

Crank, I can see you're coming down with ODS. It's sad. I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness of BDS. You can fight this! With just a bit of rational thought instead of flailing at all supposed wrongs!

Now, a rational mind would be able to say 1) he recognizes things have changed for the worse 2) he's getting the full rush of Treasury+Fed info the the President does, let alone 3) actually having a recession declared and having a rush of more bad news coming.
Now why, when he has the work of hundreds - if not thousands - of people in finance and economics being summarized and given to him - can't he hold the same opinion?! The horror.

"I was so waiting for somebody to claim that Obama didn't know in October that the economy was in bad shape."
If you'll notice, neither seth's response or mine says that. Just that it has gotten worse. I know, a President who will recognize a changing situation and provide appropriate responses! The horror!

Posted by: Dave at December 9, 2008 4:55 PM

This has been a tough day to not have time to blog...let me just pop back in a minute. On the Iraq debate we've had a million times, let's recall again that Iraq didn't magically appear as an issue in 2002. It was the end of a 12-year line of a previous war, a violated cease-fire, a crumbling containment system that had created more problems than it solved, a porous sanctions regime and a frequently flouted inspections regime.

The basic timeline on the economy is that we had bad signs beginning around June 2007, and various smart people were more or less pessimistic up through August 2008. Personally, I thought for a while we were due for a down cycle, but in retrospect, I was less pessimistic than I should have been. I'm not an economist, and even very successful economists are often wrong in predicting the future (Krugman predicted an imminent recession basically every single year of Bush's term).

But after the credit crisis in mid-September, anyone with a functioning brain stem knew things would get worse before they got better, since it takes time for credit market problems to cascade through the consumer and labor markets. I'm quite certain Obama knew that too, but he insisted on telling people what he thought they wanted to hear in that debate. I wrote it down as soon as he said it, certain that he would change his tune after Nov. 4 if he won, and sure enough he did.

Posted by: Crank at December 9, 2008 5:23 PM

With today's events I predict the next blog entry will be the standard fare guilt by association politicking where Obama's emergence from "Chicago" will somehow impugn him with guilt for the governor's pay for sale schemes. You watch, its like clockwork around here.

Posted by: seth soothsayer at December 9, 2008 6:24 PM

Who did Obama endorse for Governor in 2006?

Posted by: Crank at December 9, 2008 6:35 PM


That was as predictable as a hanging slider from Pedro Martinez on pitch no. 102.

To answer your question, probbaly someone as honest and capable as Princess Sarah endorsed for Senator from Alaska.

Posted by: Magrooder at December 9, 2008 10:41 PM

Nice try. Palin pointedly declined to endorse Stevens and Young this time around, and didn't endorse Lisa Murkowski in 2004, either, and ran a primary challenger against Young.

Would that Obama had expended any of his political capital to stop Blago and Daley and Jones and Stroger and Giannoulis and their ilk, instead of endorsing them.

Posted by: Crank at December 9, 2008 11:09 PM

Princess Sarah is going to follow throuhg on her pledge to get Stevens to resign, of course. Well, no, as they said in the Nixon WH, that is "no longer operative."

Soon after a jury convicted Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) on seven felony charges, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) called on Stevens to resign from the U.S. Senate. “Alaskans are grateful for his decades of public service but the time has come for him to step aside,” she said in a statement. But days later, when asked if she would vote for Stevens, Palin refused to answer. Now, Palin is backtracking on whether Stevens should resign.

Don't you just HATE that?

Posted by: Magrooder at December 9, 2008 11:28 PM


He lost the election with her pointed refusal to endorse him. There's no longer any point in pushing him to reisgn. I don't know what you are getting at.

Posted by: Crank at December 9, 2008 11:33 PM

I suppose Obama should have endorsed a Republican challenger for Governor, Crank?

Posted by: Mr Furious at December 10, 2008 12:55 AM

Sorry kids. Bush lied, and there is NO way around that fact. He continuously mentioned (and still does) that Saddam expelled the UN weapons inspectors from Iraq. NOT TRUE!!!
In fact, they were withdrawn by Richard Butler, the head of the inspections team.
And before you go off about how you couldn't care about the the crappy little UN and their inspectors, remember you've justified the US attack and occupation of Iraq due to violation of UN treaties.

dch is right, though. The Clinton Admin and Congressional Dems are pieces of shit too. Not as bad as W and the Congressional Republicans, but REALLY how could they be?

Posted by: Berto at December 10, 2008 2:45 AM

Furious - He could have done that, and it would have made a very big difference. But he didn't have to; he could simply, like Illinois' Democratic AG, have pointedly refused to endorse in the race. That was what Palin did with corrupt Alaska Republicans the last few years, that and back primary challengers. But Obama's MO is to endorse the crooks. As far as I can tell the only primary challenge he backed was when he ran himself against Bobby retaliate for Rush's primary challenge to Mayor Daley the previous year.

Posted by: Crank at December 10, 2008 9:59 AM

The point Crank is that it is pointless to try to drum up attacks by associations because everyone has associations. There is no doubt that every politician -- even mav-riks like Princess Sarah and McCain -- have had associations with supporters or other politicians who turn out to be less than honorable. (I know, I know, you think she is still a virgin, but you're wrong.)

Even your sainted Rudy had Kerik, Judy and others of their ilk. If your standard is that, because Obama ran a campaign on change and "new politics," that he has to be purer than Caesar's wife, then you're going to have lots of fodder for inane columns, but little in the way of meaningful points.

Ask yourself this, McCain ran as a "maverick." Would you have criticized him every time he did something conventional? Really? I don't recall such criticism during the campaign as he tempered (and I'm being generous here), his maverick ways.

Posted by: Magrooder at December 10, 2008 11:23 AM

Nor will you see Crank mention the fact that the governor explicitly went off on Obama in the phone calls because he knew he was unbribeable, let alone the simple fact that Obama is accused of zero wrongdoing. Incovenient truths that get in the way of a new meme.

Posted by: seth soothsayer at December 10, 2008 1:34 PM
Site Meter 250wde_2004WeblogAwards_BestSports.jpg