Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for November 7th, 2008

First press conference: B-minus/update

Posted by Charles II on November 7, 2008

Barack Obama gave his first press conference. While there were, unsurprisingly, no gaffes, it gained no ground. The main financial take-away news was that he might try to get the next stimulus package through the lame duck session and that he will attempt to focus it on job creation, a slippery term that seems to include small business capital gains tax cuts (which are potentially good for high technology industries, but generally at a high price).

He did get prickly on a few things, notably Iran (where he repeated the concern about Iran getting a nuclear weapon) and whether intelligence he has seen has changed his mind about anything (an inappropriate question, but one that should be brushed aside with humor). He was also a bit mysterious about what kind of dog he was going to get for the First Daughters: “hypoallergenic and, if possible, from a shelter.”

Addendum: Grace points for calling himself, in the context of shelter dogs, a “mutt.” A slight stumble, in the context of how he has consulted with living presidents, over talking about Nancy Reagan having seances [As far as I know, Nancy Reagan never engaged in a seance. Hillary was accused of doing so when Bob Woodward said she had conversed with Eleanor.]

One small outright negative: he arrived later than expected. While this is something that’s almost inevitable with powerful people, it’s bad optics. However, I don’t expect this to be the norm with Obama, the way it was with Clinton.

The press was deferential. That was a nice change.

Update: Developments for the President-elect can be followed at

Posted in Barack Obama | 5 Comments »

Obama’s Economic Advisers: Who’s Missing?

Posted by MEC on November 7, 2008

Barack Obama’s Transition Economic Advisory Board:

David Bonior (Democratic member of the House of Representatives, 1977-2003)

Warren Buffett (chairman and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway)

Roel Campos (former commissioner at the Securities and Exchange Commission)

William Daley (chairman of the Midwest, JPMorgan Chase; former secretary, U.S. Dept of Commerce, 1997-2000)

William Donaldson (former chairman of the SEC, 2003-2005)

Roger Ferguson (president and CEO, TIAA-CREF and former vice chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve)

Jennifer Granholm (governor, state of Michigan)

Anne Mulcahy (chairman and CEO, Xerox)

Richard Parsons (chairman of the board, Time Warner)

Penny Pritzker (CEO, Classic Residence by Hyatt)

Robert Reich (professor, Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley; former secretary, U.S. Dept of Labor, 1993-1997)

Robert Rubin (chairman and director of the executive committee, Citigroup; former secretary, U.S. Department of Treasury, 1995-1999)

Eric Schmidt (chairman and CEO, Google)

Lawrence Summers (managing director, D.E. Shaw; former president of Harvard University; former secretary, U.S. Department of Treasury, 1999-2001)

Laura Tyson (professor, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley; former chairwoman, National Economic Council, 1995-1996; former chairwoman, President’s Council of Economic Advisors, 1993-1995)

Antonio Villaraigosa (mayor, city of Los Angeles)

Paul Volcker (former chairman, U.S. Federal Reserve 1979-1987)

Business leaders, politicians, government officials, bankers, academics…

As much as Obama has talked about strengthening the economy “from the bottom up”, I’m disappointed that he didn’t include someone who represents the workers. Is there no union leader or workers’ rights activist at all who can provide useful insights and remind our new President of his own priorities?

The Transition web site includes a form through with the American people can submit their ideas to the new president. If you agree that omitting representatives of working people from the economic advisory board is unacceptable, you know what to do.

Posted in economy, President Obama, Uncategorized | 13 Comments »

Bonus Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on November 7, 2008

Because I could not resist.

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

I am happy to report that Socks the Cat is still alive and living with Betty Currie.

Posted in Friday Cat Blogging, Just for fun | 11 Comments »

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on November 7, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging - Alex

Posted in Alexander the Great, Friday Cat Blogging, Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

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