From Anatole Kaletsky, over on the London Times Online:
Get your act together, Obama:
Mr Obama himself seems to have attached a surprisingly low priority to dealing with the financial crisis. He had, for example, selected key State Department officials, from Hillary Clinton downwards even before his inauguration. He has managed to get dozens of these confirmed by Congress in the past two months and immediately put his personal stamp on US foreign policy. Yet there has been no similar focus on creating a properly functioning economic team or launching a coherent new response to the financial crisis.
The lack of urgency, of focus and of national unity in America's response to the financial crisis is the most surprising - and most dangerous - threat to our chances of recovery. With clear American leadership, a global policy to stabilise the banks and pull the world out of recession could readily be agreed. All the main elements of such a policy - lower taxes, public works programmes, monetary and credit expansion, cast-iron government guarantees for recapitalised banks - are broadly agreed among economists and endorsed by global institutions such as the IMF.
All that is quite true. For weeks prior to the election, we heard, time and time again, "my team" this and "my team" that. We could hear more iterations of the upright pronoun in any Obama speech than in any speech from any three preceding candidates.
We heard a lot about "my economic team".
What team is that? The Treasury Department continues to flounder, many - most, almost all - key positions unfilled. The British government is complaining that "there is no one to talk to at the US Treasury Department." Which is not entirely true; there are plenty of people to talk to. There's just no one who can make a decision. And of course, Timmy Geithner has become something of a laughingstock over on Capitol Hill, even among Democrats.
Obama, having focused on a narrow goal, like the Chikaga hack he really is, has now weather-vaned. What Obama did was screech doom and gloom at every moment. "We must act boldly and decisively" he said. Last month he warned of impending "catastrophe" time and time again. One - merely one- example:
In his first prime-time news conference, U.S. President Barack Obama called this "the winter of America's hardship."
Fresh off a daylong visit to a town in the state of Indiana that has been devastated by job losses, Obama said the country is in a "full blown crisis" and warned if Congress doesn't pass his economic plan immediately, the results could be catastrophic.
Remember also that this is the White House that holds the philosophy that no crisis should go unused.That's from Rahm "The Fish" Emanuel: “You don’t ever want a crisis to go to waste; it’s an opportunity to do important things that you would otherwise avoid,” Mr. Emanuel said in an interview.
The "important" things have not been dealing with the economy. The "important" thing has been funding forty years of Democratic Party waste, earmarks, pet projects, and whackjob tomfoolery and calling it the "economic stimulus" package.
Now that he has managed to do that by using those same Malthusian, Chicken Little tactics that he now eschews, Obama has canceled the economic crisis:
"I've never bought into these Malthusian, woe, Chicken Little, the earth is falling. I tend to be pretty optimistic ... I wouldn't be here if I weren't pretty optimistic."
The man obviously thinks that you and I are compleat idjits.
Meanwhile, over on Sistah Michelle, we find some very good photoshops of the Obama "Recovery.gov" logo:
Mark of the Porculus Beast