Administration Public Relations Liabilities

Most of us understand at this point that Fox News is a living example of Pravdaesqe disinformation, but they still manage to surprise me once in a while, Fox News falsely claimed Obama budget “4x bigger than Bush’s costliest plan”

On America’s Newsroom, on-screen text falsely claimed that President Obama’s $3.6 trillion FY 2010 budget is “4x bigger than Bush’s costliest plan.” In fact, President Bush submitted a $3.1 trillion budget for FY 2009 and a $2.9 trillion budget for FY 2008.

Hedge Fund Paid Summers $5.2 Million in Past Year

Top White House economic adviser Lawrence Summers received about $5.2 million over the past year in compensation from hedge fund D.E. Shaw, and also received hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking fees from major financial institutions.

[   ]…Among the many decisions the economic team has wrestled with has been whether to step up regulation of hedge funds, one of the most contentious subjects during a summit of world leaders this week. European nations pushed for tougher rules, while the Obama administration preferred a less stringent approach.

Asked to comment, White House spokesman Ben LaBolt said that, “from the first days of the administration, we have bolstered accountability over banks” and made other rules changes so that “the influence of lobbyists is curbed, executive compensation is reined in, and firms are required to show how they will preserve or expand lending using government funds.”

If this is the trial of Lawrence Summers, there is no smoking gun evidence of wrong doing in this WSJ article. It does, as the snips show, go into some excruciating detail of Summers close relationship with firms, many of whom are at the heart of the Wall St mess. Let’s say that Summers has turned over a new leaf, has become a born again progressive on financial matters. Its possible, but the Obama/Geithner rescue plan leans more to the status quo with more regulation, then the over haul most Obama supporters would like to see. Having Summers on the team certainly doesn’t help with the ongoing battle any president has with public relations. I’m not crazy about it, but the Obama/Geithner/Summers plan does have some merits ( economy wonks will find this post interesting). Its difficult to get people to fellow basic news (see Jay Leno’s street interviews) and econo-jargon is even worse, but impressions matter, disproportionately so. If nothing else Summers is guilty of being a public relations nightmare. As Crisis Loomed, Geithner Pressed But Fell Short

Billions of dollars worth of financial instruments known as credit derivatives were being traded daily, as banks and investors worldwide tried to protect against losses on increasingly complex and risky financial bets. But the buying and selling of these exotic instruments was stuck in a pencil-and-paper era. Geithner, then head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, pressed 14 major financial firms to build an electronic network that would cut backlogs and make the market easier to monitor.

[  ]…Yet as Geithner and the New York Fed worked to solve narrow mechanical issues in the derivatives market, they missed clear signs of a catastrophe in the making. When the housing market collapsed, derivatives stoked the fires that ignited inside some of the biggest banking companies. The firms’ failure to assess an array of risks they were taking has emerged as a key element in the multi-trillion dollar meltdown of the global financial system.

[   ]…Geithner defended his tenure as New York Fed president in an interview last week. He said he had been “deeply concerned about risk in the system” and worked assiduously behind the scenes to cajole banking institutions to do more to identify weaknesses and protect the financial system. But he also took some responsibility for falling short.

“These efforts to improve risk management did change behavior, but they did not achieve enough traction,” Geithner said. “We’re having a major financial crisis in part because of failures of supervision.”

Even as critics have questioned how he used existing power before the crisis, Geithner, as Treasury secretary, now leads the push for the biggest expansion of financial regulation since the Great Depression. His sweeping plan to overhaul the U.S. financial system would empower regulators to broadly analyze risk and would grant more authority to the Fed and its 12 reserve banks.

With unemployment approaching 10%, I tried, but not hard enough, isn’t going to cut it with some people. The comments sections on Rightie blogs and liberal ones aren’t too different in their tone of condemnation of Geithner. Though on the Right, Geithner who just a few months ago could have been the poster boy for American style capitalism, is simply damned as a socialist. I don’t wish to discourage the Right from displaying their ignorance at every opportunity, it just adds to their inability to get any traction with mainstream America. There are differences between Summers and Geithner in terms of administration liabilities. Many working Americans have had some kind of supervisory experience and can understand that even a mid-upper level manger cannot have absolute control, nor should be forced to take all responsibility when the ship starts to take on water.

Governor: Massacre is ‘worst tragedy … in the history’ of Binghamton

The killer, believed to be a Vietnamese immigrant, then entered a room just off the reception area and fired on a citizenship class.

[  ]…Pakistani Taliban militant leader Baituallah Mehsud on Saturday claimed responsibility for the attack. However, he provided no evidence to support the claim.

MSNBC seems to be doing regular updates. Its not impossible, but unlikely that a naturalized Vietnamese- American, who has been here for what seems to be over twenty years would have ties to the Taliban. Buddhism and Christian are Vietnam’s most popular religions.

GOP Rep Blasts Rush As Not “Serious” And An “Entertainer”

In comments that passed unnoticed, Rep Zach Wamp of Tennessee, who’s running for Governor, blasted Rush Limbaugh twice on CNN as a mere “entertainer,” and suggested that rather than listen to Rush, we should listen to “serious” people on how solve our economic crisis.

I’ve heard Republicans suggest people start hanging themselves to solve our economic problems, that we freeze all discretionary spending ( I guess because the disabled, the elderly, children etc are expendable in a crisis), that we give the wealthiest Americans yet another tax cut, and President Obama  is already the worse president ever. The GOP is Limbaugh, Limbaugh is the GOP. There are no serious Conservatives in sight. Serious Conservatives have gone the way of the Carolina parakeet, extinct.

Jet and City Skyline wallpaper