Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
March 19, 2009

Pejman on Geithner, who increasingly looks like the only thing keeping him from getting fired is the fact that you can't have no senior people at Treasury at all. As Casey Stengel said, you gotta have a catcher or you're gonna have a lot of passed balls.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 8:08 PM | Politics 2009 | Comments (26) | TrackBack (0)

Geithner's job is obviously important, so I'd like to see him succeed. But he's certainly not off to an auspicious start. He's like a football coach who needs a vote of confidence from the owner at halftime on opening day.

Posted by: Jerry at March 19, 2009 8:47 PM

Most vote of confidences are just a prelude to a firing!

To respond to Casey: Yea, but what if the catcher can't catch?

This Obama team (and the Democratic Congress) is the most inept group we have had in the charge since well the Clintons! Oh, that's right most of them were with the Clintons!

Posted by: Lee at March 19, 2009 9:00 PM

OK. The problem is Obama put Geithner--a guy who was part of the ruination of the world's economy- -in charge. That's a mistake.
You want them to seem less inept. Challenge them to break-up the whole fucking house of cards economy built on the lies told by Ronald Reagan.
But, Lee--breathe deep and think about what you're saying (no, not that a Right-winger like Clinton helped fuck this whole thing up), and give the bullshit you're spewing a rest.
You REALLY can't remember more inept people being in charge?? Really? Can you remember 8 weeks ago? How about the $8+ Billion missing from Iraq? (Not to be confused with the trillion dollars flushed down the toilet in a 6-week or 6-month (certainly not 6-year) war).
Or are you saying the Bush Administration wasn't inept, they were just evil?
The problem with Conservatives (and the American people) is they have worse memories than NFL defensive backs.

BTW, all the hyperventilating from the Right about shredding the Constitution by the taxation of AIG executive bonuses might be believable if they got half as upset about the spying on American citizens WITHOUT A WARRANT and the torture regime they backed for 8 years.

In less words: Hey Lee, Go fuck yourself!

Posted by: Berto at March 19, 2009 10:08 PM

The question in my mind is how Geithner ever managed to hold his previous job. It seems like an escalation of the Peter Principle, where a man tends to be promoted *beyond* the level of his incompetence.

It might be time to reintroduce this query: What's the difference between Barack Obama and Jesus?
Ans: Jesus knew how to assemble a cabinet.

Posted by: Dai Alanye at March 19, 2009 10:56 PM

Wow Berto. What a convincing argument. Absolutely compelling.

Ummm. Come on back to earth. Really, it's ok. No one will hurt you. Just come back and join the rest of us. Reality isn't as dangerous as you think. You can handle it.

Posted by: stan at March 20, 2009 12:47 AM

Since you are incapable of discussing complex issues, here is an easy one: Is it cool to make fun of the handicapped? Your guy certainly thinks so, delightfully presidential mocking the Special Olympics. Take away the teleprompter and he becomes a rambling idiot of epic proportions. Maybe he'll thank himself for inviting people to the White House again? Maybe he'll kick off another trade war with a neighbor? Get a base closed overseas? Insult the PM of England and his family? Nominate a tax cheat to head the IRS? Hope and change my ass, we elected a clown.

Posted by: dave at March 20, 2009 7:36 AM

At this moment I have to believe that Choo-Choo Coleman would be a better Treasury Secretary.

Posted by: joated at March 20, 2009 9:22 AM

Sorry, it's way too early to judge the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of Geithner yet, unless you want to use short-term political fall-out as your measurement.

Don't forget - when his appointment was announced, Geithner was -universally- praised - particularly by the markets:

"The stock markets cheered the would-be appointment of Geithner, who is well-known to Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average had been down as much as 1.4 percent in the morning. Around 3 p.m., when news of Obama's pick broke, the index shot up, ending the day 494.13, or 6.5 percent, higher.

"Geithner is uniquely situated and has the business experience and the political experience and the policy experience to handle this crisis," said Scott Talbott, senior vice president of the Financial Services Roundtable, which lobbies for the nation's largest financial firms. "Everyone I talked to at the New York banks have had positive comments or no negative comments."

In fact, he was viewed as so uniquely qualified that most overlooked (rightly or wrongly) the fact that he failed to report income on his taxes.

So if you are going to slam Obama, then you may as well slam everyone else who thought he would do a great job.

Secondly, his body of work hasn't been nearly large enough to come to such a pat conclusion about him. The main knock on Wall Street about his first televised report was that it was short on details, not that it was wrong in its essentials. That doesn't bother me much. Just because Wall St. wants a fast, detailed answer doesn't mean that the administration should rush out an ill-conceived policy. Yes, the market is a concern, but given the long-term implications of any treasury plan, I'm inclined to let them take a little time.

As for the AIG flap, it's embarrasing if it's true that Treasury officials put that language in the bill, but this is not exactly a monumental error in terms of the economic problems we are facing. The money given out as bonuses, which I do think is egregious, is a drop in the bucket in the context of this crisis. It's more important for the political blame game than it actually is to this recession.

Posted by: MVH at March 20, 2009 9:42 AM

I suspect Geithner is a brilliant person who was very good at his job but is a lousy politician. By all accounts, he did a great job at the New York Fed, and I can't imagine he got to that position without having great ability. But some people just aren't cut out for jobs in the administration. Harvey Pitt comes to mind. I worked for him in the private sector and he was brilliant, but a disaster as the head of the SEC. To an extent, Jimmy Carter was the same way. Brilliant, but not cut out to be president.

Posted by: wd at March 20, 2009 9:44 AM

Joated: Thanks for bringing ChooChoo Coleman into the equation. Perhaps you and I sat behind the same post at the Polo Grounds watching him underwhelm the baseball world.

Anyway, Geithner (aas clueless as he seems to be) is nothing more than a sideshow distraction. Pay attention to the Socialist behind the curtain. Hopefully sooner than later, even his most fervent sycophants will admit that Bush and Reagan cannot be blamed for the crap he is doing.

Posted by: NRA Life Member at March 20, 2009 10:24 AM

I'll say this: Berto's posts are easy to read. You just skip the stuff regarding the warrantless wiretapping, the expense of the Iraq war, and his general hatred of conservativism, which we've all heard a thousand times over. That usually only leaves you with a sentence or two.

You don't learn anything, but at least you don't waste much time.

Posted by: MVH at March 20, 2009 10:41 AM


As for the AIG flap, it's embarrasing if it's true that Treasury officials put that language in the bill, but this is not exactly a monumental error ...

No, it's not. But taking to the airwaves to boob-bait with it, that was a monumental mistake. They should have at least tried to explain to their half-witted supporters what a retention bonus was. They either couldn't resist the opportunity to wage a little class warfare or they didn't think their supporters were smart enough to understand.

They're probably right about their half-wit supporters, but that still leaves a lot of us. The bertos of the country do not yet outnumber the rest of us.

Posted by: spongeworthy at March 20, 2009 2:32 PM

"No, it's not. But taking to the airwaves to boob-bait with it, that was a monumental mistake. They should have at least tried to explain to their half-witted supporters what a retention bonus was. They either couldn't resist the opportunity to wage a little class warfare or they didn't think their supporters were smart enough to understand."

Perhaps. The case for retention bonuses was made here - - though I don't find it entirely convincing as a justification in this case, and it certainly isn't the counterargument that AIG is making publicly.

I also don't think it's being waged as a class warfare issue - it's more the idea that these people were being rewarded for poor performance.

But my main point was that in terms of judging Geithner's performance, the AIG flap is not a huge indictment of his personal performance thus far- however embarassing it might be to the Democrats. The treasury's public rationale for the clause - that there would be about a slew of lawsuits if the provision was not inserted - is not a ridiculous one.

Posted by: MVH at March 20, 2009 3:27 PM


I think you have lost your cool. Hey this is just a blog site. No lives in jeopardy here, just a place to express your ideas freely. The kind of freedom that our military is defending every day-for which I appreciate them every day.

So take a deep breath, step back, and read what you posted. It was probably not your best moment. I bet you are capable of more rational comments than you wrote. Maybe re-post it with some more thought. I won't hold it against you. After all, I am a compassionate Conservative.

Posted by: Lee at March 20, 2009 7:16 PM


Your link to Worstall fries my computer. But clearly I agree with your point about Geithner. Tax cheat and all, it's a rough job and I cannot imagine what I would do differently in his shoes. But watch as Obama tosses him under the bus, it ought to be good for a laugh.

I agree with every point you made. I simply think the Obama Administration handled this awfully, and I think they'll keep handling it awfully. It should be good for some laughs.

Posted by: spongeworthy at March 20, 2009 9:42 PM

Re joated and NRA: As soon as Crank mentioned Casey and catchers, I immediatetly thought of Choo Choo as well. I think I still have a 1963 baseball card of him somewhere.

Posted by: feeblemind at March 21, 2009 12:26 AM

Re NRA at the Polo Grounds: Just wondering if you had a 'VRAM' T-shirt, or were they reserved for the people that sat behind first base?

Posted by: feeblemind at March 21, 2009 12:30 AM

I've compiled a 25 man roster consisting of players drafted from the 2000 MLB draft.


I appreciate the read, and plug if you like it.

Posted by: GM-Carson at March 21, 2009 8:47 AM

"Your link to Worstall fries my computer."

Sorry about at that. Worstall takes his main argument from here - this link might work better:

Posted by: MVH at March 21, 2009 11:54 AM

Feeble: You're killing me. I'd completely forgotten the Marvelous Marv Throneberry T-shirts. No, I did not have one, and the $3.50 seats behind first base were way over my ability to pay (and my dad's willingness to spend). In retrospect, as I am a packrat to the nth degree, if I had one then, I'd still have it now, wrapped in plastic to preserve the madness. No, I sat in the upper deck down those ridiculously short foul lines and out in the distant wilds of the bleachers under the Rheingold sign. I was probably 500 feet away, but I was at the game! It was easy to please an 10 year old in 1962.

Posted by: NRA Life Member at March 21, 2009 1:51 PM

re NRA: Thanks for the reply. That made my day!

Posted by: feeblemind at March 21, 2009 4:08 PM

Berto's comment is the new teleprompter-generated troll reply to conservatives who dare mock the loony Liberals who had robotically screamed for eight years that Bush was "shredding our (i.e., theirs, like it was reserved for the anointed) Constitution", by pointing out to them that, by parity of logic, or illogic if you want, Obama is now shredding the Constitution.

Troll reply probably works for the inattentive, i.e. most of the public, alas.

Way to go Berto!

Posted by: From Inwood at March 21, 2009 9:46 PM

Memo to Obama admin, Nicolas Sarkozy is the French President. It is true, google him, seriously.

Posted by: dave at March 23, 2009 10:56 AM

The markets sure liked Geithner's plan today. That's half the battle and you know it.

Posted by: robert at March 23, 2009 5:43 PM

You're right on your latest post. I lost my cool on my post, but reading the writing of people who spent 8 years defending the indefensible, who suddenly have found their way now that their team isn't in first place will do that to you.
However, read MVH's post at March 20, 2009 10:41 AM.
That ought to tell you something. Just dismiss the cost of the Iraq War and warrantless wiretapping. It's SO not important to how the country has been run.
Analogous, just disregard the whole killed 6 million Jews and Holocaust shit, and you'll find Li'l Adolph wasn't such bad guy after all and certainly doesn't deserve all the shit the goody-to-shoes-liberals have said about him.
It's all part of the selective memory we've come to expect from the GOP apologists.
Did you know America had no terrorist actions against it's citizens since 9/11/2001? It's true if you don't count the Anthrax attacks or DC sniper attacks.
Similarly, the Boston Red Sox haven't won a World Series since 1918? It's true if you don't count 2004 and 2007.

Posted by: Berto at March 24, 2009 9:19 PM

"However, read MVH's post at March 20, 2009 10:41 AM.
That ought to tell you something. Just dismiss the cost of the Iraq War and warrantless wiretapping. It's SO not important to how the country has been run."

What I am saying is that you made those arguments a -thousand times- already - it simply isn't necessary to read them again. And this is coming from someone who -does- believe we spent too much on Iraq. But that's not the answer to every issue that pops up. This is a post about Geithner, not the Iraq war.

Posted by: MVH at March 26, 2009 7:27 AM
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