March 17, 2009

Former head of CBO (and current Obama budget director) Orzag member of JournoList

But, so what? No conflict of interest there. Right Ezra?:

Journolist is meant to serve a very specific purpose that’s actually related to my experience building this blog. The work of this site has always been to illuminate standard political reporting with expert policy commentary. In that, I’ve been helped by the many experts who have adopted the medium as their own: Mark Thoma, Brad DeLong, Paul Krugman, Matthew Holt, Peter Orszag, Andrew Gelman, Larry Bartels, Dani Rodrik, John Sides, among others. As a journalist, it’s hard to always know who to call or which questions to ask. The joy of those blogs is that I don’t have to guess what experts think is important: They simply explain what they think is important and I can use, or follow-up on, the information.

But as NRO’s Mark Hemingway notes:

And therein lies the problem. Ezra’s trying to say, “What’s the big deal? Lots of people discuss stuff over email, message boards etc.” If explicitly liberal bloggers, activists and policy wonks want to want to get together several times a week and burn black candles and perform obscure magick rituals to converse with FDR from beyond the grave, that’s fine with me. But when supposedly objective journalists or, worse yet, people such as Peter Orzag who until recently was the head of the Congressional Budget Office, participate in their shennanigans and at the very least fail to disclose it, then I have a problem.

I would like to think that journalists whose credibility rests on working for publications that represent themselves as objective news outlets as well as very influential civil-service employees would see the problem in granting exclusive access to people with a specific political agenda. Even the appearance that the news, let alone actual policies that affect all Americans, are being shaped disproportionately by reporters and unelected civil servants in the thrall of ideological crusaders is a problem. To some extent I can’t fault the list’s overtly liberal members for trying to get in even better with the press and policymakers than they already are, but if Klein and others on the list want to sluff off the questions here by saying “what’s the big deal?” — well, that’s a problem too.

Well, you’d think so.

But let’s face it: the mainstream press has, in many cases, given up even the appearance of objectivity and have become instead “advocacy” journalists. That their “advocacy” is almost entirely in support of the progressive agenda is just, like, a coincidence.

So what should be a big deal really isn’t all that much of a big deal, at least not to the ideologues involved.

Oh. And also, HOW DARE YOU QUESTION OUR PATRIOTISM!

Luckily, there seems to be a market remedy

(h/t cj burch)

Posted by Jeff G. @ 5:15pm
93 comments | Trackback

Comments (93)

  1. I will say this much for the left, though. They at least try to make use of people like Ezra or Matt Yglesias.

    Here, if you don’t wear your hair like a starched bundt cake and agitate for the GOP, well, best of luck.

  2. This seems like a pretty big deal to us.

  3. Orszag is currently Obama’s budget director who is agitating to end the filibuster even on legislation (gee, you think he got the idea to do this via Journolist???0

    The White House budget director said Tuesday that the Obama administration may take advantage of a rarely used congressional rule that would strip Republicans of their filibuster power to get some controversial proposals through the Senate by simple majorities.

    Peter Orszag told reporters fellow JournoList™ members that the White House would prefer not to use the “reconciliation” process, which allows measures to pass on simple majority votes, a tactic that’s being considered for global-warming and health-care proposals.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2009/03/17/nuclear-option-back-on-the-table-obama-going-after-filibusters/

  4. We also note that this Orszag guy is now the White House Budget director. http://hotair.com/archives/2009/03/17/nuclear-option-back-on-the-table-obama-going-after-filibusters/ Sorry for out lack of link-fu. We are unsophisticated clod-hoppers after all.

  5. Topsecretk9 who noticed this before any of us is way ahead of us. Good.

  6. Comment by Jeff G. on 3/17 @ 5:20 pm #

    I will say this much for the left, though. They at least try to make use of people like Ezra or Matt Yglesias.

    two words, Jeff: Oliver Willis

    On the plus side, think of all the character-building experiences you’ve had over the past three-to-four years while blogging as a classical liberal, all the “if it doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger” moments by being aligned with the right instead of selling your soul to the left … what is money compared to that?

    ~ cough ~

  7. agitate for the GOP

    Seriously. That crap’s just gotta go. Who cares about a party? For some it’s just like the home town sports team (I’ll confess to a touch of this myself). But who cares what color uniform somebody’s wearing if there doing all of the wrong things? What matters is preserving our freedoms and liberties. None of the clowns we’ve had in office have been up to that, frankly. And too many, especially now, seem to have been working actively against it.

  8. “But let’s face it: the mainstream press has, in many cases, given up even the appearance of objectivity and have become instead “advocacy” journalists. That their “advocacy” is almost entirely in support of the progressive agenda is just, like, a coincidence.”

    You don’t mention the timeline origin of this advocacy. Perhaps you remember the runup to the Iraq war? Yes, they are GroupThinkers who succor the popular POV. But now they gore YOUR ox….Pity.

  9. I wonder if Cass Sustein, the new head of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, is a member of the JournoList. Seems like he’d fit right in:

    “A system of limitless choices, with respect to communications, is not necessarily in the interest of citizenship and self-government. Democratic efforts to reduce the resulting problems ought not to be rejected in freedom’s name.”

  10. And Semen checks in from Pluto.

    Bye, Semen. See you in a week.

  11. ou don’t mention the timeline origin of this advocacy. Perhaps you remember the runup to the Iraq war? Yes, they are GroupThinkers who succor the popular POV. But now they gore YOUR ox….Pity.

    Cleo, on the VERY off chance that you actually have a point, spit it out. I’m too tired to untangle your nonsense.

  12. ere, if you don’t wear your hair like a starched bundt cake and agitate for the GOP, well, best of luck.

    Fuck the GOP. They need to buck up if they want my vote in the future. I can’t believe they’re allowing all this AIG bullshit to dominate the airwaves.

    And, forgive me if this has come up, but WTF is up with Obamama appearing on Leno this week. Has the world gone made.

    There is so much grist for the mill … and it’s being squandered.

  13. mad.

    Whatever bitches. I need the juice-box boy to get me a beer.

  14. “I’m too tired to untangle your nonsense.”

    Then join the lazy layers of our beloved Press Corp. GroupThink requires less energy and stamina.

  15. I can’t believe they’re allowing all this AIG bullshit to dominate the airwaves

    Carin,

    How do you mean? I’ve had some thoughts on this myself. I’m curious what your thoughts are.

  16. I want to be “made”. Being a mob lawyer would kind of take all of the pressure off.

  17. Look, I remember the run-up to the Iraqi war. I also remember that they actually “covered” the protests. So, remind me how they were uncritical of our president?

  18. The entire AIG bonus was the “ONLY” news I heard all freakin day. Drop in the bucket $$-wise in comparison to everything that has been going on. It is a huge fucking distraction … from Obama’s falling numbers … from his asinine idea regarding military health care … regarding his runnning this entire country into the poor house.

    But, what is everyone focusing on today? Those FUCKING AIG guys. It is not that important.

  19. “remind me how they were uncritical of our president?”

    Laxy layer………….cluck, cluck

  20. Yea, I figured you didn’t have much Cleo. Kinda like that Kathy chick over at the other blog.

  21. You know, Plastic Jesus might want to be careful about stirring up mob action. Such things have a tendency to…backfire.

    Of course, he’s utterly ignorant of history and too fucking stupid to know it.

  22. Yeah, I mostly agree. But Obama can still takes a political hit on this. Or rather, he does in the short run. He might gain, in the long run, if he “takes action”. In more ways than one, too. Or maybe I’m getting paranoid (but not without reason, since they really are out to get me).

  23. He’s not stupid, but vain.

  24. Spies, if the teleprompter tells him to stir up mob action, what choice does he have?

  25. Gotta disagree with you, there, Patrick. The man simply isn’t very smart.

    Oh, he’s glib. Has a winning smile. Can deliver a speech if someone else writes it for him (or put his name on a book that someone else has written), but he’s fundamentally not a bright man.

    Bill Clinton was sociopathic but smart. Obama is sociopathic and dumb as a fucking post.

    He’s the culmination of the “self esteem” movement.

    God save us all.

  26. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think he’s the brightest bulb in the merry-go-round, I just don’t think he’s actually stupid.

  27. Ah, but OUTLAWs do have such a place, a secret mailing list where we can disseminate information.

    38, 11, 19, the fat man sleeps alone

  28. Intelligent men don’t end up in the narrow uneducated ideological state that Obama is in Patrick, how could they? I see no signs of intellectual curiosity in the man at all. His evident ignorance of the history of the country he pretends to lead tells volumes.

  29. but WTF is up with Obamama appearing on Leno this week.

    He’s a late night joke.

  30. “I see no signs of intellectual curiosity in the man at all. His evident ignorance of the history of the country he pretends to lead tells volumes.”

    OMG!!!! What a fuckin’ riot. Short-term memory is not even history yet, asshole…..!

  31. Townhouse JournoListâ„¢ echo chamber at work..I guess they had to spitball this one around a little bit this morning…

    Glenn Greenwald / Salon:NEW!
    The dishonest “Blame Dodd” scheme from Treasury officials — There is a major push underway — engineered by Obama’s Treasury officials, enabled by a mindless media, and amplified by the right-wing press — to blame Chris Dodd for the AIG bonus payments. That would be perfectly fine if it were true.
    +Discussion: Think Progress and FOXBusiness.com

    Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
    Treasury Attempts to “Blame Dodd” for AIG Bonuses — As Geithner tries to get out of the way of the AIG bonus train wreck, it looks like the designated sin eater is going to be Chris Dodd: … So Treasury says Chris Dodd did this? In a word. . . no. — What they’re talking about is a clause …
    Discussion: Open Left

    They’re like little Dominoes…they all fall in line and into place.

  32. Semanticleo forgets the vote in the run-up to the war. Who were they giving cover to, Bush?

    Besides, you seem to have also forgotten I don’t want you here.

  33. Well, Patrick, it depends on your comparison group.

    He’s a cut above the union thugs and dropouts that were his constituency in Chicago, and the “media elite” that are his backers now, sure.

    In comparison to previous Presidents and UChicago professors (actually lecturers), he’s a fucking retard.

  34. that’s memeorandum–

    Socks
    “The dishonest “Blame Dodd” scheme from Treasury officials ”

    Bitch Hamsher
    Treasury Attempts to “Blame Dodd” for AIG Bonuses

    funny, I didn’t see it quoted.

  35. In comparison to previous Presidents and UChicago professors (actually lecturers), he’s a fucking retard

    Yeah, me too. And I ain’t dumb neither. But since comparison group is other pols, he can hold his own.

    Certainly, his administration has shown few signs of competence.

  36. oh. This is like an example. Here Baracky’s dirty socialist Associated Press forgets that George Soros’s dipshit butt boy lied lied lied like a pigfucker. So you have to wonder if dirty socialist propagandist Daniel Lovering is on this propaganda cartel listserv thingy or if he’s just freelancing. I guess we’ll be wondering that a lot from now on.

  37. Wonder, hell. I just assume it.

  38. The amount of stupidity that has been shown since his inaugeration has been breathtaking. How the hell can he sit here and yell at the AIG bankers for collecting bonuses when his own stimulus bill he signed into law guarenteed their contracts? Oh yeah I forgot he is teh One and can do no wrong so now it has to be someone elses fault. Look over there an overweight radio show host!!!!!!!!!

  39. Is is ok for the gov’t to right bills that void existing contracts, after those contracts have been agreed to, and where the contracts would otherwise be legally enforceable?

    I sure don’t think so.

  40. This AIG OUTRAGE dealo is a calculated political move, that depends on – to be successful – full cooperation by the MSM. You can say it’s stupid, but don’t think for a minute that he doesn’t know the real deal. He’s a fucking tyrant.

  41. But since comparison group is other pols, he can hold his own.

    Well, I did mention “other Presidents”.

    He’s dumber than Bush by at least 20 IQ points, I’d say. Maybe 30 or 40 compared to Clinton (note that I’m not saying that I like Clinton here… just saying that he’s a smart motherfucker). Bush I? Nope. Reagan? Nope. Carter? Nope. Nixon? No friggin’ way. Johnson probably the last one who was in the Obama range.

  42. And, I mean tyrant in the ancient Greece sense.

  43. R.I.C.O. Statute…

  44. Is there no one with an ounce of integrity left in the MSM to call Obama on this?

  45. Isn’t it funny Carin in that all this bruhaha that noone is questioning the Constitutionality of the government legislating taxing away 100% of someones bonus? Not tyranical at all.

  46. Carin, that’s along the lines of what I’ve been thinking, but with the whole ability to void contracts thing thrown is.

  47. Yeah, Mr. Pink. The “flawed document” I studied calls that a bill of attainder.

  48. Johnson probably the last one who was in the Obama range

    I don’t disagree. He’s probably about the same as W, though.

  49. I know I’m questioning it, Mr. Pink. Grist for the mill. Republicans should be shouting it from the hilltops.

  50. #44:
    Jeff, they haven’t called the Mulatto Mussolini on ANYTHING so far. Why should they start now?

  51. More than half of the shit the gov’t has done in response to the economic crisis is unconstitutional.

  52. “He’s the culmination of the “self esteem” movement.”

    This, more than anything else I have read, sums it up nicely.

  53. Hey Jeff;

    As a “neo-con” conservative, I want to thank you for having the backbone to continue to call out the “progs” on all this tripe. Unfortunately, the libertarians have become more concerned about libertine lifestyle issues, David Frum has become a butt boy for G*d knows what, and the Republican party is a thin veneer of McCainism. A bunch of dopes. Sad (or hopeful?) that a “house-frau” as yourself has more cogent comment on our current issues than Michael Steele or Chuckie Grassley (R-Wherever). G*d Bless you–me and my M-16 have got your back. At least until Mr. Dumbo ears and his ilk can pry it from my cold dead hands! ! ! ! ! !

  54. They will not report anything that doesn’t get disseminated down from high Mount O!lympus to our modern day Moses, Rahm Emanuel.

  55. Oh crap–right after Semantic cream-o.

  56. Mr. Pink that’s like so totally anti-semitic.

  57. but WTF is up with Obamama appearing on Leno this week.

    Maybe Axel or George is sending Obama out every so often just to test the masses. If I were sitting in that audience at NBC I’d not applaud anything dripping out of that liar’s mouth.

    Love the Leno but it will be glorious if the ratings for Junior are less than expected. Dimming star power on the bright messiah..

  58. Leno is just part of him focusing lazer like on our economy. Without the precious ad revenue generated for Geritol we would all be dooooomeeeed.

  59. Is it totally an accident that so many of Obama’s courtiers are red-diaper-baby descendants of those who gave us the glorious October putsch, er. revolution?

  60. #44 — No. Next question?

  61. Is there no one with an ounce of integrity left in the MSM to call Obama on this?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    Oh, wait, you weren’t kidding?

  62. If by call you mean lovingly fellate while gently massaging the balls then yes they will be right on that.

  63. Pardon me if I’ve asked this before, but is it too soon to ask if Teleprompter Jesus is a MISERABLE FAILURE?

  64. Comment by Semanticleo on 3/17 @ 6:03 pm #

    Do you speak English by any chance?

  65. You can call Obama a failure at any time. Plus, the righties have their own coffee klatches, with no interest or attempt to subvert on my side’s part. Get over it, and start making sense.

  66. Comment by Semanticleo on 3/17 @ 6:12 pm #

    pw ers are from Earth.

    Semantic[HA!] is from Teh Stoooopid Universe.

    BTW, seman, DO you speak English?

  67. Really, cynn? Please provide for us the documentation that the Right has such an apparatus, reaching all the way into the White House.

  68. Comment by Semanticleo on 3/17 @ 6:47 pm #

    Told ya!

  69. cynn chimes in a with a false equivalency, “get over over it because it bothers me that you’ve noticed this problem with my side’s conduct” comment. What a surprise!

  70. Last night cynn was telling me that I was “greedy”.

    I asked her why I’m “greedy” for buying a house with a mortgage I can afford (for now), and not using it as a refi cash machine to buy toys.

    She didn’t respond.

  71. Well, maybe you have a point. I’m thinking NRO, but that must be somewhat embarrassing.

  72. JD didn’t you mean “reaching all the way into around on”?

  73. Spies! You are are god among mortals! Huzzah!!!!!

  74. Yes, Sdferr. This is one ginormouns reach-around. But only for the pure of intention.

  75. Wait, so we can burn down Washington now? I mean, I don’t want to be overly partisan, cleansing fires and all…

  76. Yeah go ahead. We got ours.

  77. What precisely do ya’ll think Obama did in his Columbia and Harvard days? He is the guy who showed up at 1 am sober to all the in parties where the Cass Susnteins and Samantha Powers of the world were wasted playing flip cup and he walks in and makes a couple snide comments and everyone says, “O man, this guy is deeeeep.” I think we underestimate the stupidity of the Ivy crowd.

  78. Spies! You are are god among mortals! Huzzah!!!!!

    Because I pay my fucking bills?

    So, grade inflation has struck the apotheosis market as well. Not too surprising.

    cynn, you’re fucking programmed. You’ve been indoctrinated with bullshit until there’s no chance of you ever shaking it off. You’re 100% convinced that the Dems are on the side of the “little guy”.

    Hint: John Kerry and Warren Buffett are not “little guys”. Neither are most of Obama’s other prominent supporters.

    Ah, but they’re the “good” kind of rich people, I suppose. The kind that give millions of dollars to a guy who’s planning to take all their money away and give it to people like you.

    God, you’re stupid.

    These people are after a two-tiered noble/peasant society. They don’t screw the “rich”. They screw the middle class, because the middle class is the one that poses a threat to their (in most cases) inherited statuses.

    The John Kerrys and Pinch Sulzbergers of the world couldn’t hold down an assistant manager job at Burger King, and they know it.

    They want a world where their (unearned and inherited) status is made permanent by the force of law. Likewise your status as a peasant who shows up at the gate for a handout, cap in hand.

    America was founded as a nation of the middle class. Republics only work when there’s a strong middle class.

  79. The AIG Executives

    You’re welcome.

  80. “No conflict of interest there.”

    That would be some ridiculous interest rules.

  81. Carin is right. Spies is right. Dash and JD and Smoke are right. All yous I would pick for kickball but not meya.

  82. In case you haven’t noticed we’re the ball this week.

  83. Sorry, Mr. AIG Executives. Baracky needs his enemies. Does this ever stop being creepy?

  84. No problem…punch me, pay me. It’s all good.

  85. Every week, the Teleprompter appoints another person/entity as a demon for distraction purposes. How long until they run out of persons to demonize ?

    And why are the repubs not screaming about this ? Well, I know why people like McCain aren’t – they took lots of AIG money. Personally, I’d like to see the repubs put a bill forward that requires politicians to return all the AIG money they took as campaign contributions. Could you imagine Barney Frank on the floor screaming about how wrong that would be ?

  86. Is is ok for the gov’t to right bills that void existing contracts, after those contracts have been agreed to, and where the contracts would otherwise be legally enforceable?

    If it is, then I have an easy fix for overgenerous underfunded public employee pensions.

  87. Matt – It is as if they need a Demon of the Week in order to function, if you want to call what they are doing functioning.

  88. “Hint: John Kerry and Warren Buffett are not “little guys”. ”

    There are more Democratic millionaires in the Senate than there are Republican ones.

  89. JD- agreed ! “functioning” is how I should have put it.

  90. SBP is pretty dead on.

    The irritating part is how many people are realizing NOW and not six months ago which is the Evil Party and which the Stupid Party.

  91. with all that shtupping it’s a wonder Orzag had time for this, too.

  92. Clarice,

    Love that Jewish sailor talk.

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