Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Daily Strike-3/7/09-Radio Address/NY Times Interview/Vocab

Good Saturday evening. A very quiet day in politics, so this will be a short entry.

RADIO ADDRESS: The common theme for the President in both his radio address and his interview yesterday with the New York Times was the to reassure consumers and investors that we "shouldn't hide money in our mattress." The radio address was Obama assuring the country that he's got a handle on the problem. He mentioned the early effects of the stimulus package, the continuing effort to free up credit, and his upcoming budget. The address highlighted the still delicate balance Obama has to strike by both reassuring the populace and the market, and keeping things doomy and gloomy enough that he can a) give the American people a realistic view of what's going on, and b) make it clear that Bush has gotten us into a pretty deep mess.

NY TIMES INTERVIEW: President Obama gave an interview to the New York times aboard Air Force One yesterday. The biggest news out of that interview was Obama's apparent willingness to negotiate with some of the more moderate elements of the Taliban in Afghanistan. He cited General Petraeus' effort in Iraq to reach out to the Sunni population, which contributed to the success of the surge. I'm sure we'll hear a lot of griping from the foreign policy hawks in the next couple of days. But if it weren't for them, we would have defeated the Taliban six years ago. The situation in Afgahnistan is pretty perilous, so it makes sense to make some dramatic diplomatic change.

The other news item? The administration will not let the banks that fail the "stress tests" go under. Oh yeah, and he doesn't read blogs, apparently.

VOCAB: As long as it's a slow day, how about some Vocab? Today's term is "continuing resolution." Almost every year, Congress does not pass the annual appropriations bills before the fiscal year ends on September 30th. Therefore, they'll have to pass a stopgap spending measure to fund the government at current levels. This past year, for example, Bush and the Democratic Congress could not agree on a set of appropriations bills, so they passed a continuing resolution that funded the government through March 6th (yesterday). Because the Senate did not pass the omnibus appropriations bill by Friday, Congress had to agree to another continuing resolution through the middle of next week. Continuing resolutions though, have the practical effect of decreasing funding for federal departments, because they don't account for inflation.

That's it for today. See you tomorrow!

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