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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Democratic Chatter 2-11-2009

George Wenschhof Bio

Today, President Barack Obama will travel to Springfield, Virginia - he will visit a construction site with Virginia Governor Tim Kaine late this morning as he continues to sell the creation of jobs under his Stimulus bill to the public. You can read more here.

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The Senate and House may reach compromise on Stimulus bill today - reportedly, progress was made last night on a compromise between the House and Senate versions of the bill. Yesterday, the Senate voted in the same manner they had to end the filibuster, 61-37 to pass the America Recovery and Reinvestment Plan. The bill is expected to be signed by the President by Monday. Politico.com has more here.

Meanwhile, questions abound pertaining the the Stimulus bill and what effect it will have on bolstering the weak economy. The use of an impending doom to create urgency to act has failed in the past. Most recently, in the area of foreign policy with former President George W. Bush. In the urgency to avoid disaster in the shape of "a mushroom cloud", President Bush invaded Iraq and in the process redefined the acronym WMD from Weapons of Mass Destruction to Words of Mass Distortion.

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Yesterday, the Bailout bill grew from an original 700 Billion to who knows? - a couple of Trillion? - Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner presented his modifications to the bill yesterday which included more oversight on how the remaining 350 Billion of the TARP funds are used. Other new aspects presented were public-private partnerships up to 1 Trillion to buy bad debt from banks and up to another 1 Trillion to provide lending to businesses and consumers. Yesterday, after the announcement the Dow Jones dropped several hundred. Bloomberg.com has a good read here.

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On the foreign policy front, Israel elections do not produce a clear winner - and you think our representative form of government is hard to figure out? As the results were tabulated from Israel's elections, a woman, Tzipi Livini's centrist Kadima party had won 28 seats in the 120 seat Knesset. While, right-wing Benjamin Netanyahu's party had won 27 seat with him claiming to be able to control 64 seats. President Simon Peres will choose the next Prime Minister. Keep an eye on these developments as the outcome will be crucial in future negotiations with the Palestinians. Reuters .com has more here.

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Defense Secretary Robert Gates to meet with President Obama today - they will be discussing troop levels in Afghanistan. Hard to believe it has been seven years since the initial U.S. action in Afghanistan following 9/11. It is expected the President will announce an increase of up to 25,000 troops to be deployed in Afghanistan. You can read more here.

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2 comments:

Hawkeye said...

President Obama has stated that he opposes "buy American" provisions in the stimulus package. If the bill that reaches his desk contains any of these provisions or any other protectionist overtones, he should veto it. The American economy is not a standalone market; global recovery is key to American recovery. Open trade brings down costs and helps to stimulate the global economy, and it must be a key part of any economic stimulus package. "Buy American" provisions would essentially remove any chance that the bill could produce genuine results.

George Wenschhof said...

Here is an update from Politico.com 2-13-2008 on how Obama has softened his position on "Buy American" http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0209/18809.html