March 27, 2009
Posted: 08:05 AM ET
By NY Times' Paul Krugman
On Monday, Lawrence Summers, the head of the National Economic Council, responded to criticisms of the Obama administration’s plan to subsidize private purchases of toxic assets. “I don’t know of any economist,” he declared, “who doesn’t believe that better functioning capital markets in which assets can be traded are a good idea.”
Leave aside for a moment the question of whether a market in which buyers have to be bribed to participate can really be described as “better functioning.” Even so, Mr. Summers needs to get out more. Quite a few economists have reconsidered their favorable opinion of capital markets and asset trading in the light of the current crisis.
But it has become increasingly clear over the past few days that top officials in the Obama administration are still in the grip of the market mystique. They still believe in the magic of the financial marketplace and in the prowess of the wizards who perform that magic.
The market mystique didn’t always rule financial policy. America emerged from the Great Depression with a tightly regulated banking system, which made finance a staid, even boring business. Banks attracted depositors by providing convenient branch locations and maybe a free toaster or two; they used the money thus attracted to make loans, and that was that.
Filed under: Paul Krugman
Posted: 07:26 AM ET
Connie and Donald McCracken were watching CNN one evening last week when they learned of the tragic death of actress Natasha Richardson from a head injury. Immediately, their minds turned to their 7-year-old daughter, Morgan, who was upstairs getting ready for bed.
Two days earlier, Morgan, her father, and brother had been playing baseball in the yard of their Mentor, Ohio, home when her father hit a line drive that landed just above Morgan's left temple. A lump formed, but the McCrackens iced it down and the swelling subsided within an hour.
"For the next two days, she was perfectly fine," Donald McCracken says. "She had no symptoms. She went to school both days and got an A on her spelling test as usual. There were no issues whatsoever."
But after hearing about Richardson's death, the McCrackens wondered if Morgan was really as OK as she seemed. After all, Richardson had been talking and lucid immediately after her fatal injury.
When they went upstairs to kiss Morgan good night, she complained of a headache. "Because of Natasha, we called the pediatrician immediately. And by the time I got off the phone with him, Morgan was sobbing, her head hurt so much," McCracken says.
Filed under: Natasha Richardson
Posted: 01:12 AM ET
Writing by Matt Spetalnick/Reuters
Legalizing marijuana is not the kind of change President Barack Obama can believe in - - at least not as a remedy for the ailing U.S. economy.
On Thursday, Obama tackled the issue head-on, only half-jokingly, at an online townhall meeting where he noted that the idea was a favorite among the 3.6 million people who voted on more than 100,000 questions submitted on the White House website.
"I have to say that there was one question that was voted on that ranked fairly high, and that was whether legalizing marijuana would improve the economy and job creation," he said to laughter at the White House event.
"And I don't know what this says about the online audience," Obama said, tongue-in-cheek. "This was a fairly popular question. We want to make sure that it was answered."
"The answer is, no, I don't think that is a good strategy to grow our economy," he said before moving back to a more sober discussion of unemployment and healthcare reform.
"Thank you for clearing that up," said Jared Bernstein, Vice President Joe Biden's chief economist, who was acting as moderator.
Many of the questioners suggested that regulating the marijuana industry could yield large tax revenues.
Posted: 12:52 AM ET
March 26, 2009
Posted: 05:10 PM ET
Tonight, the online president! President Obama held a virtual town hall meeting today at The White House, during which more than 104,000 questions were submitted. The media covered the event, but did not get to ask the president any questions. Health care, the economy, tuition costs and even legalizing marijuana were some of the topics online submitters and a live audience quizzed the president about.
Larry's panel discusses this new approach by the president to push support for his economic package and other issues on his agenda.
WE WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!
CLICK HERE to comment. Then, tune-in to the live show at 9 p.m., ET, tonight. We just may use your comment on the air!!
Then, the alleged "Smiley Face" murders. Did dozens of men accidentally drown, or were they killed? Why two New York detectives say they're homicides, and federal lawmen say they're just cases of bad luck! Hear from the victims' families! We're investigating the alleged "Smiley Face Murders tonight on "Larry King Live!"
1) Stay on topic.
4) No links
5) Use a name (no initials or screen names)
Posted: 08:55 AM ET
By Ted Nugent
America is being punked. That is the only way I can describe the clear cut case of self-inflicted grief and suffering at the hands of the Obama Masters of Ineptitude running the three-ring circus we call the American political insanity these days. Has logic been outlawed, or just temporarily suspended? Somebody wake me from this heartbreaking dream, quick.
Filed under: Ted Nugent
Posted: 07:36 AM ET
By Karl Rove, former adviser to President George W. Bush
Something powerful is stirring in the land, and it may not be good news for President Barack Obama, his agenda or the Democratic Party. Mr. Obama said Tuesday night his budget moves America "from an era of borrow and spend" to "save and invest."
But people are realizing he would add $9.3 trillion to the national debt, doubling it in six years and nearly tripling it in 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). How can that be "save and invest"?
In his inaugural address, Mr. Obama told us, "The stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply." He wants to turn to new issues of education, health care and green jobs, which he plugged at every opportunity in Tuesday's press conference.
Suddenly, though, it doesn't seem like a time of new politics and new concerns. Many Americans are anxious - and in some cases angry - about a set of old issues: deficits, taxes and the national debt. Mr. Obama's radical budget, his administration's slapdash operating manner, and events such as the AIG bonuses have revived animosity over government's size and cost.
In response, tea parties are sprouting up, and opposition is growing to more bailouts, more spending, higher taxes and larger deficits, even among Congressional Democrats.
Filed under: Karl Rove
March 25, 2009
Posted: 12:00 PM ET
Note: We'll be discussing this tonight on LKL - as the war on drugs heats up in Mexico, are you worried it may spill over into the U.S.? Let us know!
President Obama on Tuesday vowed to invest the resources needed to address the threat posed by drug traffickers in Mexico.
"We are going to continue to monitor the situation, and if the steps we have taken do not get the job done, then we will do more," he told reporters Tuesday night.
He praised the efforts of Mexican President Felipe Calderon to counter drug cartels, which "have gotten completely out of hand," but said the United States must take further steps, such as ensuring that illegal guns and cash do not flow from north of the Rio Grande to the cartels in Mexico.
"That's what makes them so dangerous," he said.
Obama's remarks came hours after Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that the United States is sending hundreds of federal agents and crime-fighting equipment to the border.
Posted: 10:20 AM ET
By actor Chuck Norris
Do you ever wonder how we can conquer the Middle East but can't close our own borders?
In the news just this past week was this small sampling of headlines: "Locals, Feds Prepare for Any Escalation of Mexican Border Violence"; "(New Mexico) delegation asks for border task force"; "Texas lawmakers angered by border security money being spent in other regions"; "U.S. Sues Railroad Over Smugglers"; "Border drain open for hours before 8 entered it."
More than 7,000 lives have been lost in Mexico's drug wars in just the past 14 months. Nine in 10 guns recovered from those crime scenes have come from the United States. Border towns are experiencing outrageous escalations in crime, including more than 300 drug-related kidnappings in Phoenix alone in 2008. (Most involved Mexican immigrants with ties to drug cartels.)
Isn't it time we finally built a wall that works? Isn't it time for us to quit restricting our border agents by granting illegals more rights than our citizens? Isn't it time we post military personnel at particularly hot illegal crossings?
Instead of shifting tens of millions of dollars from investigating employers guilty of hiring illegal immigrants to fighting Mexican drug cartels, the Obama administration should leave that money alone and hunt down the $100 million-plus that AIG executives robbed from taxpayers for their bonuses.
Posted: 09:20 AM ET
By Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker
The GOP's identity crisis just got more interesting with the media splash of Meghan McCain, daughter of the senator who did not become president.
Young McCain, who began blogging during her father's presidential campaign, recently made waves at the Daily Beast when she picked a fight with conservative media mavens Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham.
This is enough sport to make the little dog laugh, to say nothing of the dish and the spoon.
McCain, just 24, is one smart cookie. In a matter of weeks, she has created a brand, presenting herself as a fresh face of her daddy's party and a voice for young conservatives. Strategically speaking, what better way to launch herself than to challenge the reigning diva herself, Miz Coulter?
Madonna, meet Britney.
McCain jammed traffic on Tina Brown's site with her charge that Coulter is bad for the party. In a voice that is sometimes, alas, reminiscent of a coed's tweet, she wrote: "I straight up don't understand this woman or her popularity. I find her offensive, radical, insulting, and confusing all at the same time."
Filed under: Meghan McCain
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