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Judah Bellin
The Politics of Impatience « Back to Story

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I read as much of Grunwald's book as I could stomach. The unabashed chauvinism for Obama is unabated for over five hundred pages of slick, glib, superficial Standard MSM prose. "Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, was the warmhearted wellspring of his social conscience, teaching him needlepoint values like empathy and compassion." Retch! Hagiographic BS such as this inflates this book.
This seems to be one of those books that come along toward the end of every Presidential election, that, relying on carefully screened facts, makes broad and typically ridiculous assertions supporting the Democratic candidate, or pillorying the Republican candidate.

These books are usually written by so-called journalists posing as intellectual experts in some other field, like economics or foreign policy.

The book is then used as fodder for the Democratic media to parrot the positive claims about the Democratic candidate, or in other instances, negative claims about the Republican candidate (most ridiculous was the book about Giuliani that claimed his extended family had ties to the mafia. Not one of journalism's finer moments).

Once the election is over, and the book's purpose is served, it is instantly forgotten.

So...why waste a single sentence on it? Why make the classic mistake of giving it more publicity than it deserves?
yuval Brandstetter MD October 20, 2012 at 10:14 AM
From here, in the tumultuous Middle East, Obama's hope and change ring more hollow than anywhere, Florida and Las Vegas included. Since Obama the brittle stability maintained by American-backed dictators has collapsed and instead an avalanche of Fundamental islamism has swept all before it. Four more years of such hopeless change and white house hostility bode ill for peace and security
A fantastic book (Grunwald's); I am reading it now.
The 2010 midterm elections did not shatter the illusion; they showed only that a loud group does not comprehend Obama's long-range plan.
The Great Depression, Part II. Osama bin Laden free to run an international terror network. Open ended occupations of two Muslim countries. Two of our major car companies going down the tubes. Staggering deficits at the Federal Budget.

Gee, all of that is either gone or ameliorated. And this list is what our president faced on January 20, 2009.

My parents lived through the Great Depression, Part I. They appreciated FDR's efforts both to get the country moving again and then in the war. Obama has done no less -- applying the economics of Richard Koo to this recent Balance Sheet Recession as well as he could.

In the interest of competent economics: some $320-billion of this stimulus was largely wasted on tax cuts. Republican goof-balls insisted on it. Tax cuts do not work for the problems of a Balance Sheet Recession. If the stimulus had not wasted $320-billion in tax expenditures and then the Jobs Bill had been passed, we would be back in the range of 6.5% unemployment by now.

5.2-million private sector jobs -- way better than drowning in Great Depression, Part II.
It takes an ideologically committed man with a lot of patience to pen a 528 page fairy tale about a president who has accomplished nothing of significance, other than manage to be elected. And it takes an optimistic publishing house to charge customers $28 for it. Especially when you consider the palace eunuchs among Obama’s retainers publish much the same praise every day free of charge.

Follow E. J. Dionne, Eugene Robinson, Paul Krugman or Joe Klein on the net or peruse the New York Times or Salon websites any day of the week and you’ll read pretty much the same sentiments at the cost of only a few mouse clicks. The 47% have better things to do with their 28 bucks, like buy lottery tickets. So, it’s puzzling who the intended market for this propaganda is.

Future historians will look back on Obama as America’s first black president. And they will list his primary accomplishment as being America’s first black president. But, is Obama to blame for the mess we’re in or could it be some moral weakness within ourselves? When our economy is determined to go South, which has been pretty much the case these past couple decades, our government can be counted on to make an existing problem even worse. The Feds have only one solution really – take money from some of us citizens and give it to some other citizens. And if that doesn’t generate adequate relief, then borrow even more money from anyone who may have it and promise to repay it someday with money we’re not confident we will scrape up when the payment comes due. It’s hardly surprising President Obama would also glom on to that solution in defining his presidency - as a solution, it’s been around for decades and has become a perennial favorite among both Democrats and Republicans.

Surprisingly, this Golden Child of solutions has been somewhat less than functionally adequate in solving our economic problems but Americans still firmly believe it will work. With the right “vision”, our chief elected employee can fix whatever ails us. So, it’s probably easier to focus national attention on the latest “vision” and unfurl our respective banners for the man who owns that vision than to honestly debate our real problems. Wonder what future historians will make of a nation firmly rooted in stubborn denial.
As I read this article, I couldn't help reflecting back on my own research into government-funded science and engineering R&D in the 1940s, '50s, and '60s in the wake of WW II, and the Soviet nuclear threat. They were spurred on by three crisis situations in which the U.S. perceived itself. One was in the midst of WW II, where the Army needed firing tables for artillery. Human computers were not fast enough. So the Army funded its own digital computer project, which was completed after the war ended. Then in 1949 the Soviets exploded their first nuclear weapon. This prompted the Army and Navy to do research and development on defensive weapons systems to combat Soviet bombers. Then in 1957 the Soviets shot the first orbiting satellite into space, Sputnik. This prompted the creation of permanent defense R&D institutions to develop technological superiority over the Soviets. These events resulted in more sophisticated defense systems, and jump-started our private computer industry.

As I look at what Obama has done, I don't see this pattern of development. Instead what I see is cronyism, pushing money towards Obama's donors, more specifically pushing it towards companies whose sole purpose was to manufacture products for sale, based on research that had already been done. That's not what we did in the '40s, '50s, and '60s (so far as I know). The assumption back then was that the crises proved that *current* research was inadequate, and that we needed to do *better*, so we did. In other words we had to wait to achieve better results in what was produced. We had to "delay gratification," as it were.

Secondly, research was focused on where the perceived crisis actually was, in defense systems, but it was ultimately made dual-use, bringing technological change, years down the road, into the private market. This mode of public spending reaped huge economic dividends that we ultimately saw in the 1980s, and '90s, and still benefit from today.

Perhaps I'm missing the boat and some money has gone into this sort of R&D, and we will see the benefits years down the road, but I looked at the stimulus plan pretty closely. Around $200-300 billion was used for infrastructure projects. Another portion was used to increase spending at scientific institutions like the National Institute of Health, and other science labs, but this was a much smaller portion than for infrastructure. The rest, as I understand--more than half--was used by states to keep state employees employed. No, I don't anticipate we'll get as much bang for the buck out of this.
Let's look at what we are dealing with here. Like many other so-called 'journolists' Grunwald is an apologist for the Obama regime. Where is the journalism here?

In fact, an internet search reveals that Grunwald has peculiar ideas about using a crisis - the Media Research Group notes for example, that Grunwald wrote after the day after shooting in Aurora, Colorado that “There is nothing wrong with politicizing tragedy....Gun control and the Second Amendment are issues, too, and now seems like a pretty good time to talk about them."

So what the difference between politicizing tragedy, and politicizing a crisis i.e. lying to the American people about the need and use for stimulus? Not much apparently. As noted here, Obama sold the stimulus to the public as: (1) something that HAD to be passed immediately, even though the money turned out not to be spent for months (2) that it was a bill that included money for "shovel ready" projects. In other words, it was sold premised on the assertion that it was a immediate expenditure of money for infrastructure projects to get Americans back to work.

But all that was a lie if the stimulus was for more than that - and Grunwald's book apparently claims that the Administration had no problem using the crisis for its own policy ends. But, Americans didn't support a change of industrial policy, they supported a short term solution to what had seen represented to them was an enormous fiscal crisis.

Grunwald is obviously ok with blantent lies about the use for and need for the Stimulus - would he be so sanguine if this was done by a Republican President? Of course not - his interest is in promoting support for Obama.

Excellent. Reminds one of the old Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman TV comedy. Just when the world was about to end,Mary would assemble her bizarre family (including the flashing uncle)and assure them that: "First of all....Everythings gonna be allllright!"

The Obama interregnum makes Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman look not quite so crazy/zany!
Weren't the Five Year Plans that rolled on decade after decade in the late, unlamented USSR based on the same concept?

There was/is a conservative, sometimes out-of-control radio commentator, not presently on the air, who described liberalism as "a mental disorder". How right he was.
Grunwald sounds like a lot of people I've met while living here in CA for the past 30 years. They suffer from 3 fundamental problems: 1) In school, they learned WHAT to think, rather than HOW to think, 2) They believe that effort and good intentions count for more than actual results achieved, and 3) They think that just because everyone has an equal right to an opinion (which is true), that means that everyone's opinion is equally well thought-out and hence of equal merit (which certainly is NOT true). I've found that most of the people who fit this description are liberals, which goes a long way to explaining why California is in such serious trouble.
I'm amazed at the intellectual gymnastics Obama justifiers would inflict on basic intelligence to uphold an undefensable,
incapable and fiscally irresponsible government.