Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"Dude-in-Chief: It just isn’t any of your business."

Dennis Kneale at CNBC comments on Obama's speech tonight:


Remember the excited, butterflies-in-the-tummy feeling we had the first time we got to watch the newly elected President Obama address the nation?

One month later a queasy sense of dread emerges whenever he takes the lectern. As our new president prepares to address both houses of Congress at 9 p.m. eastern, the markets and investors brace for his next damaging soundbite.

"Every time the guy speaks, the Dow starts falling," complains one venture capitalist, Ross Manel of ReStart Group in Addison, Texas.

Bam was the Message Man during his incredible campaign for the presidency, besotting millions with his reassuring call for hope and change. Since taking office he has plied an entirely different—and wrongheaded—message, one of fear and fingerwagging, of crisis-mongering and retribution.

This has been damaging to Citigroup, Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and their ilk. We need these firms to help us find our way out of this financial abyss, yet the President decries a compensation system he doesn’t understand. He carps at Merrill Lynch’s now-ousted chief, John Thain, for spending the equivalent of ten minutes of revenue to redecorate his office.

Dude-in-Chief: It just isn’t any of your business.


I'm not sure that this Kneale guy was listening carefully enough when "the Message Man" was running his campaign. I heard the fear and fingerwagging then too. It wasn't like Obama was tryng to hide his message of retribution and crisis mongering then. It's just that no one wanted to hear it; they were too busy trying to get the first African American President in office to "make history." Nothing else mattered.

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34 Comments:

Blogger Francis W. Porretto said...

Time was, we knew better than to attach a lot of weight to the statements of politicians -- especially campaigning politicians. The maxim was "Never believe anything political until it's been officially denied."

Time was.

A great part of the contemporary maliase can be traced to taking politicians and their statements too seriously. These people are glory hounds. Their need for adulation makes the typical movie star look like a misanthrope. It's death to get between one of them and a live microphone. They have to speak at us -- syntax deliberate, thank you -- at every conceivable opportunity...and God help us all if we appear insufficiently interested in what they have to say.

For President Obama to be relentless in spreading doom and gloom is just one more data point on this graph. He has to say something, reassurance simply isn't his style, and he can hardly prattle about how great things are going without being laughed out of office.

Your Curmudgeon yearns for a President and Congress completely composed of deaf-mutes. It would end so many unnecessary pretenses!

4:44 PM, February 24, 2009  
Blogger Larry J said...

For President Obama to be relentless in spreading doom and gloom is just one more data point on this graph. He has to say something, reassurance simply isn't his style, and he can hardly prattle about how great things are going without being laughed out of office.

Obama has no intention of trying to reassure the country's jitters. If consumer confidence picks up and bouys the economy, Obama will have a harder time getting his massive socialist rework of America through Congress. The more he can talk down the economy, the more desperate the demand is to "do something, ANYTHING!" no matter how poorly thought out or economically foolish.

5:42 PM, February 24, 2009  
Blogger Peregrine John said...

They made history.

Now we're history.

Yay.

6:46 PM, February 24, 2009  
Blogger Terry said...

When BHO has another press conference, I just want one reporter to ask - just once over the next four years, "Mr. President, who is John Galt?"

7:30 PM, February 24, 2009  
Blogger JAM said...

The problem is that they now hold far too much power over the businesses, banks and regulatory agencies that matter to markets. Markets respond in kind. If government stayed out of business, business would care less what government officials said.

7:41 PM, February 24, 2009  
Blogger nathan said...

What is the latest value of your home compared to a year ago? How many people do you know or have you heard about who have lost jobs? What is the deficit these days? and on and on...Obama has been at his job for 3 weeks and you want him to tell you everything is just fine? so you can call him a liar?
the groups listed above in the post are some of the companies taking my tax bucks to stay in business and they complain that Obama is not cheerful enough?

Get real. He will tell us this evening that we will see better days. And then you will have to find some other silly thing to say just because...well because you did not vote for Democrats. Too bad: most of the nation did and they are pleased with the job he is doing...see poll results for today. Meanwhile, the complainers: GOP--have gone DOWN again in the polls.

8:04 PM, February 24, 2009  
Blogger Andrew_M_Garland said...


A comment by Joe Y


He says it well. An insight into the simple view that many intelligent people have of the world. An explanation why hope and change is so attractive. An evaluation of President Obama's abilities.

---- quote -----
[edited] The oddest thing about this election, was the continual leitmotif of Obama’s genius, from people that should have known better. People like Obama, of which I know and am related to far too many, are unable to seriously consider that there is any job (oil company CEO, football coach, running the local post office) that they cannot do as well or better than the person currently in the role, should they ever exert the effort to do so. It’s not a matter of faith, as faith requires a conscious effort; rather, it is a prejudice in the true sense of the word.

Like most Ivy leaguers, he’s a smart operator and a dedicated hustler obsessed with accomplishment. Like almost all Harvard men and women, he lacks an aptitude for self-doubt and humility, which people usually, and a bit unfairly, mistake for Harvard arrogance. He is superb at his chosen field; but that field is not being President, it is becoming President.
---- /quote -----


The Solution is Simple

Read the entire comment.

8:30 PM, February 24, 2009  
Blogger CastoCreations said...

He's making history all right. Sadly, it's not a pleasant history. :(

8:46 PM, February 24, 2009  
Blogger ic said...

Do you know where John Thain, the Merrill Lynch guy who spent so much to redecorate his office without the Dude-in-chief's approval, is now? He is one of the "brains" working for our Tax-cheat Treasurer overseeing TARP.

We, the little tax paying people, and our children and grand children, are to reward those who rob us of our livlihoods and our future. Nice.

9:02 PM, February 24, 2009  
Blogger Donny Baseball said...

So you're saying "we window dressed"? I agree, but if that is what you're saying, say it.

10:39 PM, February 24, 2009  
Blogger Roci said...

"We will rebuild"

I've heard that speech before.

1. Morgan Freeman (playing the role of a black president) said it at the end of Deep Impact.

2. Tina Turner (playing the role of post-appocalyptic mayor of Bartertown) said it at the end of Mad Max: Beyond thunderdome.

It works so well for fictional leaders, it must be good for real ones. Or maybe Obamas writers have been watching too much TV.

9:15 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

I think it wasn't ignoring his statements, but more that they were hoping he wasn't really meaning it. I've read bloggers who wrote exactly that. Some very well known and presumably intelligent.

9:15 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Larry J said...

Nathan, they tell us that consumer spending makes up 2/3rds of the US economy. Obama has been bad mouthing the economy for at least a year, first as a candidate and now as President in order to get what he wants. Do you suppose that what he says has any impact on consumer confidence (recently reported to be at an all time low), which in turn could impact consumer spending and the economy as a whole? At the same time, when the economy tanks, there is greater pressure to get through senseless legislation like the so-called stimulus package and massive bail-outs to individual home owners who bought unwisely and expect everyone else to pay for it.

9:31 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Mel said...

"Remember the excited, butterflies-in-the-tummy feeling we had the first time we got to watch the newly elected President Obama address the nation?"

No. No, I don't.

9:50 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger I R A Darth Aggie said...

What is the latest value of your home compared to a year ago?

Ah, yes. But what was the real value of your home a year ago, not the artificially high price that cheap and available money caused? The financial markets would call the real estate bubble collapsing a correction.

What is the deficit these days?

I don't know, but I do know that The One just tacked on an additional $787 trillion to that sum. It'll have to be borrowed (and paid back with interest) or printed out of thin air (inflation). Times like these make me glad I don't have children. Otherwise, they'd get stuck with this bill. And if not them, then their children and their children's children.

10:23 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Ern said...

It's happening again. State of the Union speech yesterday evening, and all three major stock market indices are down approximately 2.5% right now.

11:01 AM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger submandave said...

"Time was, we knew better than to attach a lot of weight to the statements of politicians"

Time was the President and Congress didn't hold billions of dollars at the end of a string in front of troubled businesses, leaving them to try and guess which tunes the politicians want them to dance to instead of actually concentrating on making their business better and their product more attractive to the consumer.

12:23 PM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger br549 said...

Still have the "Matthews Tingle", eh nathan?

12:29 PM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger wolfboy69 said...

companies taking my tax bucks to stay in business and they complain that Obama is not cheerful enough?

GM, Chrysler, AIG (I think) all have said that they have already blown through what they were given and need more. If they don't, then they will have to file bankruptcy. So how much money was just pissed away to no gain?

most of the nation did and they are pleased with the job he is doing...see poll results for today. Meanwhile, the complainers: GOP--have gone DOWN again in the polls.

I defy you to find any president in history who had bad poll numbers after a month in office. The GOP are down because they are speaking out against all this bailout crap. Considering that the polls are taken traditionally in large cities that are predominately liberal, I don't put much faith in polls.

1:12 PM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger FrederickJohnson said...

Funny how Dr Helen and her rightwing minions fail to discuss all that reckless war spending that has been going on for the last 8 years in addition to the Bush tax breaks for the wealthy and corporate elite. If this nation didn't have enough Joe the Plumbers on Main Street, Wall $treet wouldn't be in the pickle it's in. In fact, if Ralph Nader had been president these last years, this country wouldn't have been screwed up by now. I'll take socialism over RIGGED and unfettered "capitalism" at this point.

1:39 PM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Mike Wilson said...

Terry: That would be genius.

1:42 PM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Andrew_M_Garland said...

To FrederickJohnson,

There is a very common argument from the Left about government spending. Bush was a big spending Republican who ran up obscene deficits, so Republicans have no right to criticize Democrats when they run up even bigger deficits! At least Democrats are doing it from their heart, and "doing something" about the economic crisis, they say.

Other lines go "We may not know what we are doing, and can't predict what will happen, but we must do something, and those Republicans didn't know either. Don't tell us that we are reckless, those Republicans were reckless before we were."

The Republican big spending was/is bad. Spending on the war was/is an expense, not a benefit. Bush did not argue that war SPENDING was making us better off, only that the expense of the war was worth it. People can differ on that.

Democrats (socialists in your opinion) want to spend obscene amounts of money on their favored supporters. Obama said "Its a spending bill, that is the point". The defense by Democrats is that it going to improve the wealth and economic health of the U.S. They are intentionally making this up.

If government spending led to prosperity, the government by now would be paying us dividends and we would all be living on a beach in Aruba.

1:58 PM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Larry J said...

FrederickJohnson said...
Funny how Dr Helen and her rightwing minions fail to discuss all that reckless war spending that has been going on for the last 8 years


And Obama's so-called stimulus package is at least a couple hundred billion dollars more than all of the wartime spending since 9/11 combined.

in addition to the Bush tax breaks for the wealthy and corporate elite.

Also known as the people who pay taxes. According to the IRS, the bottom 50% of wage earners combined only pay about 4% of all income taxes. Giving anyone a real tax cut is by definition giving a "tax cut to the rich."

If this nation didn't have enough Joe the Plumbers on Main Street, Wall $treet wouldn't be in the pickle it's in.

Joe the Plumber - by asking Obama a single question - did more than the main stream media to pin down Obama during the entire campaign. Other than that, your sentence makes no sense at all. How is Joe the Plumber in any way responsible for what happened on Wall Street?

In fact, if Ralph Nader had been president these last years, this country wouldn't have been screwed up by now.

What a joke!

I'll take socialism over RIGGED and unfettered "capitalism" at this point.

Washington has been messing with things for decades. There isn't anything remotely close to unfettered capitalism in this country. What we have are a bunch of economic illiterates running Congress and the Executive Branch.

2:18 PM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger JG said...

This may be a bit off topic, but I saw Joe Biden and Nancy Pilosi in the background during Obama's speech yesterday and thought about what an empty suit and empty pantsuit they respectively are. Just disgusting.

Pilosi, in particular, had a plastered-on smile the whole time, masking any real thought that may have emerged from her friggin' bird brain. Those two are truly self-righteous, self-important, inflated idiots.

6:12 PM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger FrederickJohnson said...

JG,

Both parties are a sick joke. What this country needs are 3rd parties plain and simple. Both are just pure sellouts.

Larry J,

What I meant to say was "If this nation didn't have enough Joe the Plumbers on Main Street, Main Street wouldn't be in the pickle it's in." Sorry but I don't believe in flying pigs ala Donald Trump.

As far as Republicans are concerned, the only one who makes sense is Ron Paul. End the wars and get rid of the ban on Industrial hemp are especially what I like about that dude. Hell, he even joined Ralph Nader in the need to promote 3rd parties to battle the two party duopoly.

7:00 PM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger br549 said...

Millions of Frederick Johnsons taking socialism over capitalism and a free republic is exactly what the left is betting on. Chavez, too. And Frederick, you are either an idiot for buying it when we know socialism is a world wide failure, or you want someone else to cover your ass for the rest of your life.

Funny thing, there are plenty of nations in this world one with those beliefs can move to. Throw a dart at Europe and pack your bags. You could just settle right in no problem. But you don't want to do that. That's not quite what you really have in mind.

6:18 AM, February 26, 2009  
Blogger br549 said...

I see two Americas to be served at the dinner table down the road. They're simmering on the stove at the moment.

6:24 AM, February 26, 2009  
Blogger Coffee Catholic said...

"It's just that no one wanted to hear it; they were too busy trying to get the first African American President in office to "make history." Nothing else mattered."

Yes, indeed!

Ah, but agreeing with this statement must mean I'm RACIST!

7:34 AM, February 26, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Honestly, I do not listen to him. He is my President, but I avoid hearing what he says. I am trying to keep my head down and get more options about how to support my family. Listening to our president just makes me frightened and angry.

Trey

11:09 AM, February 26, 2009  
Blogger # 56 said...

Kneale is a comedic figure. This might be his best commentary to date. He is a clueless cheerleader whose most entertaining moment came in an exchange with Charlie "little gaspipe" Gasparino, in which Charles humorously suggested Kneale was patronizing Spitzer's prostitution ring.
I've stopped listening too Trey, the script is far too predictable, the rhetoric classless, to sit through.

12:30 PM, February 28, 2009  
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