Tales from the Trail

Washington Extra – Foot in mouth

August 25, 2010

alan_simpsonSuggestion of the day. Encourage top officials to undertake some basic training in what to say and write in public. Specifically, try and avoid insulting and tactless remarks in print, on camera, in public or in front of journalists.

Is the recession over? Obama’s advisers differ

December 13, 2009

Is the economic recession over in the United States? It depends on who you ask, even among President Barack Obama’s advisers.

Schumer calls foul on Adidas’ NBA uniform plan

November 25, 2009

nbaNew York Senator Chuck Schumer has called a foul on German sports equipment giant Adidas AG and its plans to shift production of official National Basketball Association uniforms to Thailand from a factory in upstate New York.

The First Draft: Washington haiku

August 14, 2009

USA-CANYON/Sometimes prose doesn’t quite capture the goings-on in Washington. These haikus might not either, but at least they’re short, which is an appropriate length for many of the capital events these days and easily Twitterable. Poetry is supposed to reduce things to their essence. Just in case these go too far in that direction, there are highlighted links to take you to a fuller explanation, if not a deeper meaning.POTUS hits the roadTo parry health care criticsIn Bozeman. Yeehaw!Hitting a plateau?Feds say economy isLeveling. Really?African sojournEnds for Hillary ClintonA tough trip, completeGrand Canyon freebie,For Obamas and others,aims to lure touristsFor Mrs. Shriver,They gather in Hyannis.Eunice, rest in peaceAnyone can do this. You probably know the rules: three lines, with five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, five in the third. Show us what you’ve got!Photo credit: REUTERS/Rickey Rogers (Grand Canyon, January 2, 2008)

Poll shows Americans trust Obama, Democrats

April 14, 2009

WASHINGTON – OBAMA/U.S. President Barack Obama has yet to turn around the troubled U.S. economy, but American voters have confidence in his efforts and see him headed in the right direction.

from Global News Journal:

Obama gets rockstar welcome at town hall meeting

March 19, 2009

President Barack Obama on Wednesday stepped out from behind the podium, took off his suit jacket and dispensed with the teleprompters to defend his budget, attack Republicans who label him a tax-and-spend Democrat and express outrage at the bonuses paid at insurance giant AIG.
 
Obama, who has made no secret of the fact he chafes in the White House "bubble" and enjoys engaging directly with Americans, headed west to California to hold a town hall meeting in Costa Mesa, a town of about 113,000 in Orange County that has been hard hit by the recession. 
 
Obama's critics say his comments expressing outrage at the AIG bonuses and other Wall Street scandals lack passion because they are often scripted and read from a teleprompter.
 
But on Wednesday, Obama sounded like he was back on the election campaign trail as he rounded on Republicans for criticizing his $3.5 trillion 2010 budget, which he says is crucial to tackling the worst economic crisis in decades.
 
"Most of these critics presided over a doubling of the national debt. We are inheriting a $1.3 trillion deficit. So they don't have the standing to make this criticism, I think, given how irresponsible they've been,"  he said.
 
Under the glare of hot lights in an uncomfortably warm hall at Costa Mesa's state fairgrounds, Obama invited his audience to ask him questions and feel free to take him to task and tell him if he was a "bum and doing a bad job".
 
But there was little danger of that. When he entered the hall, he received a rockstar welcome.
 
Obama at times spoke with passion, his voice rising above the cheers, while he was at times professorial, explaining credit default swaps and mortgage-backed securities and breaking his promise to keep his answers short as he explained how and why America's economy had plunged to such depths.
 
Despite the fact that he has only been in office two months, one of the first questions he fielded was from a woman asking him if he would run for re-election in four years' time.
 
"I would rather be a good president taking on the tough issues for four years than a mediocre president for eight years," he replied.
 
And if he fails to deliver on his promises on health care, education and fixing the economy, then it will be the voters and not he who decides whether he runs again.

Bold budget boosts bailout

February 27, 2009

USA-OBAMA/How do you buy $750 billion of toxic bank assets with only $250 billion of taxpayer money?

Fed staff in trouble, but cited for raise, too

February 25, 2009

USA/It’s not just U.S. stocks that are on a roller coaster ride in reaction to congressional testimony by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and other top officials.

When is a housing crisis like venereal disease?

February 20, 2009

If you’re among those upset that your taxpayer dollars may be spent in volume to rescue people who — for whatever reason — can’t make their mortgage payments, Federal Financial Analytics analyst Karen Shaw Petrou recommends thinking about it this way: