The Web of Washington

Friday, March 27, 2009

Susan Page, Washington bureau chief for USA Today, and Ed O'Keefe, Federal Eye columnist for, discuss the latest from Washington, including the virtual town hall and budget negotiations.


Ed O'Keefe and Susan Page

Comments [13]

hjs from 11211

you pay for bush's wars that I did not "need want or use" i'll pay for the rebuilding of education healthcare and infrastructure.

Mar. 27 2009 12:09 PM
longstreet from NYC area

Leo # 9: I'll be too busy working to pay the taxes for programs I'll never need, want or use.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Dems controlled the Congress for 2 years. They were powerless to stop the dunce Bush, apparently. The community organizer is in charge and there's nobody to blame going forward, especially since his insane spending will only make the ditch deeper and wider.
My kids will thank him for that, I'm sure.

Mar. 27 2009 11:05 AM
hjs from 11211

love the "feces-filled ditch" line.

typical GOP they had their party now we show up and they say there's no beer left! I'd love to see the GOP split into libertarians/pro big bussiness and loon xians.

Mar. 27 2009 10:54 AM
Ben from Manhattan

Your guests drew a distinction between voters for the town hall and votes cast -- did they actually register and vote? It would be very difficult to vote-bot something like that, or at least it seemed so to me. The site kept track of every question I voted for.

I voted for every well-posed and topical marijuana question -- the ones that related to the topic they were posted under. And these questions weren't shoehorned: the drug war affects virtually every serious policy area.

Thanks to your guests, though, for showing the disconnect between beltway media, who think this issue is too gauche to talk about, and the public, who see that this IS an important issue. Why ignore the Rockefeller reforms going on in Albany? Why ignore Hillary's recent comments? What are you people afraid of?

This issue matters to regular people, because their lives are affected by it.

Mar. 27 2009 10:38 AM
Leo from Queens

Longstreet you should continue monitoring those poll numbers and the Dow numbers every 5 minutes for the next 4 years. That should keep you busy while the rest of the country does the real work to get us out of the feces-filled ditch the Republicans drove us into..

Mar. 27 2009 10:34 AM
KC from NYC

JD: He did! I'm glad someone noticed that. Oh, the not-so subtle condescension from a mainstream media that helped blunder us into these wars and this banking collapse. They are so smart, and we are so dumb...except for the way they are basically never right about anything anymore.

If I were that bad at my job, I would be fired. What's O'Keefe's excuse?

Mar. 27 2009 10:33 AM
mc from Brooklyn

I heard Romer too. She sounded more like a bird chirping to me.

I think you mean "rein" in, not "reign" in.

Mar. 27 2009 10:33 AM
Norman from Manhattan

Fringe liberal(!).

The people at WNYC are well-meaning liberals, but they really don't represent a major part of their listeners in the NYC area, who are on the left (that is, the people who warned us against the war in Iraq).

WNYC is OK but to get the whole truth you also have to listen to Amy Goodman at

Mar. 27 2009 10:31 AM
KC from NYC

longstreet, you're hilarious: "non-Marxist Democrats." All those millionaire Marxist with their Wall Street donors...I'm pretty sure "Das Kapital" extols the virtues of extending un-regulated credit to people you know can't afford it, then jacking up the rates when they inevitably default, just like Joe Biden does.

You should learn the definitions of political terms before you use them; you might find them really illuminating.

Mar. 27 2009 10:29 AM
JD from jackson heights, NY

Did Mr. O'Keefe actually just use the term "fringe liberal" to describe those who are opposed to escalation in Afganistan? I'm amazed that Andrea Bernstein let that description go unchallenged, especially after such a long discussion on how polls show that so many Americans are opposed to a buildup, and want the monies used here at home. It amazes me how the meme that anything the left articulates is "fringe" is allowed to persist in the media.

Mar. 27 2009 10:21 AM

(Romer transcript on MEdition today):

Patronizing, incompetent (at best) -- we may have found Our Economy's Jocelyn Elders.

Mar. 27 2009 09:45 AM
longstreet from NYC area

The US needs moderate Muslims to help us fend off the extremists Muslims.
So it is with the non-Marxist Democrats in DC: we need them to reign in Obama. They are our only hope for at least 2 years.
Happily, it's getting easier for them to defy Mr. Prompter with each day since his poll numbers continue drop.

Mar. 27 2009 09:43 AM
Phil Henshaw from NYC

Maybe people are ready to understanding some of the elemental questions about financial systems the natural scientists of systems have been struggling with. In terms of the US budget it is drawing our plans for the future around the assumption of having ever multiplying money to spend, and the hope to stimulate the physical systems of the economy and environments to produce that. The problem is that attempts to guarantee a physical impossibility, and so nature intercedes and destabilizes any system that attempts to do that. That's the problem. We've been designing our long range budget around the same promise that is too good to be true that the financial system stumbled over.

For financial systems it's rather easy to define, and easy to tell when you’re buying into a promise too good to be true. It’s whenever the promises do 2 things, both guarantee a positive return on investment AND allows you to add your returns to your investment. That’s it. Having a bet you can't loose and letting you add your winnings to the next bet.

Yes, you many have noticed, that defines the problem as the *purpose* of financial regulation, not the effectiveness. No form of regulation will guarantee limitless compounding returns because it will destabalize its environment. That's the mistake. It may be temporarily possible but it unavoidably changes all the relationships it was based on and gets into trouble if you try to make it perpetual. It attempts to assure the permanence of things that are naturally temporary.

That’s what seems to have been the problem in all the great financial panics of the past, that it's been our having had the wrong purpose rather than an imperfect strategy keep repeating the error and blaming the strategy that failed rather than the mistaken purpose.

Make any sense? We seem to have some adjustment to do, definately.

Mar. 27 2009 07:59 AM

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