Obama Gives Automakers a Short Lifeline


WASHINGTON — President Obama delivered an ultimatum toGeneral Motors and Chrysler on Monday, telling them to adopt radical changes in short order or face bankruptcy — a move that came after a series of somber discussions in which he concluded that a controlled bankruptcy might be the best way to reorganize the two ailing auto giants.


In the end, the president decided to throw the companies a short lifeline. He gave G.M. 60 days and Chrysler one month to avert bankruptcy and restructure on their own. Continue reading


What Did You Think of Obama’s News Conference?



In his second prime-time televised news conference, President Barack Obama on Tuesday night emphasized he has had to make a lot of important decisions just two months into the job, but none of them have been rash.

This theme of cautious action was driven home when CNN’s Ed Henry pressed the president on why it took the White House two days to comment on the shocking revelation that AIG executives had received large bonuses. “It took me a couple of days because I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak,” he replied pointedly. Continue reading

Official says China to continue buying US debt


BEIJING (AP) — China will continue buying U.S. government debt while paying close attention to possible fluctuations in the value of those assets, a vice governor of Beijing’s central bank said Monday.

Investing in U.S. Treasury bills is “an important component part of China’s foreign currency reserve investments,” People’s Bank of China Vice Governor Hu Xiaolian said at a news conference on Monday. Continue reading

Networked Leaders

CAMBRIDGE – In an environment of mobile phones, computers, and Web sites such as MySpace, Facebook, and LinkedIn, it is commonplace to say that we live in a networked world. But different networks provide new forms of power, and require different styles of leadership. Barack Obama understands this; indeed, it helped to secure his victory. Continue reading

Obama says treasury secretary’s job is secure

In interview, Obama says Treasury chief Geithner’s job is safe; responds to Cheney criticism

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says treasury secretary is one job that’s not up for grabs.

In an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” Obama said that if Treasury chief Timothy Geithner offered his resignation, the answer would be, “Sorry buddy, you’ve still got the job.”

Obama also took the opportunity to strike back at recent comments by former Vice President Dick Cheney, who claimed that plans to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center will make the U.S. less safe. Continue reading

AIG: Congress Passes Tax, Refuses to Demand Recall of Executive Bonuses


It appears that the political subterfuges in the AIG fiasco just keep pouring from the Halls of Congress and Capitol Hill now daily.

The most recent word is that Congress has overwhelming passed a bill which now will tax the bonuses recently handed over to the executives of AIG by the Executive Office’s lackey, Timothy Geithner, last Sunday. It appears maybe this is Mr. Obama’s answer to “pursuing every legal course available” in order to “get back” those bonuses. The tax measure was passed again in haste by Congress, and was reported to involve a 90% return to the U.S. Treasury of the sums afforded those executives, many of which received literally millions in claimed unpaid bonuses.

You do the math. 10% of 20 million dollars (the amount of bonuses paid, after all, were over 165 million) is still 2 million dollars. Add interest since those sums will not be due for another year at the U.S. rate of interest and you have a pretty sizeable bonus (not to mention most of those sums will go to the Caymans). In fact, I wonder if the amounts of those bonuses weren’t inflated to begin with in order to provide such a cushion to those executives for just such a maneuver.

Not to mention the fact that within the terms of that bailout, Congress actually disempowered themselves from any such actions against the Executive branch to whom they acceded all power and control over the distribution. This move now is a corporate tax attorney’s dream, and by the time it winds its way through the courts when those executives challenge such a move, their interest and profits will have quadrupled on those original illegally distributed bonuses.

And Mr. Obama is, after all, a lawyer – although appears to be so far no Constitutional lawyer, so as such well aware that these executives can use such loopholes to eventually avoid repayment fighting through the U.S. Tax Courts if U.S. citizens (then again, since AIG is a global concern and now even “corporate” foreigners have been given “rights” simply intended for the American citizens by the founders, even that little technicality I’m sure at this point would be overlooked).

The spins now are getting to the point where most Americans are not simply outraged anymore, they are nauseous.

By Betsy Ross

Does President Obama watch American Idol?! Jay Leno drops the ball

American Idol came up, believe it or not, as President Barack Obama went on “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno, becoming the first sitting president to appear on a late-night talk show.

Washington, D.C. “is a bit like ‘American idol’ except everybody’s Simon Cowell. Everybody’s got an opinion,” President Obama told Jay, according to the New York Times’ The Caucus blog.

(The Times reporter must not have time to watch the show, since he doesn’t seem to know it’s “American Idol,” not “American idol.”)

Click here to see photos of President Obama on Jay Leno, and around L.A.

Is it possible that President Obama is watching American Idol?! It doesn’t seem like Jay Leno asked him that obvious question.

Back when he was running for president, President Obama did do a taped appearance for the Idol Cares charity show, along with Sen. John McCain. At the time, he said his daughters watch the show; so at the very least he’s probably watched some of it by accident.

If the president is watching the current season, I wonder who he’s rooting for… my guess would be Anoop Desai–the intellectual guy who’s actually pretty cool. Or Allison Iraheta–the young talent who’s startling people with her big voice.

Or, maybe Adam Lambert, the guy who does his own thing and has lots of people who love him, but a few who really, really don’t.

President Obama apparently made a few jokes during his appearance on Leno show, but spent a big chunk of time talking about the economy — trying to reassure Americans that it may take a while but we’ll get out of the current mess.

The entire point for President Obama to go on Leno was to try and reach millions of Americans who might not always be reading the newspapers and watching the news, but are still worried about the recession and will probably appreciate a chance to hear our president explain his policies (the show airs tonight, at 11:30 p.m. EST on NBC).

Hey, I know another show where President Obama could get his message out to lots of people… the biggest show on television, actually….

Just one piece of advice: It’s not a good idea to try and sing Whitney.

Would President Obama like watching this season’s “American Idol”? Who would he root for? Is it a good idea for him to go on shows like Jay Leno’s to reach people, or is that unpresidential? Tell us what you think in the comments, below. (Please don’t be vulgar or profane in your comments; those will be deleted).

1) Click here to see photos of President Obama on Jay Leno, and around L.A.

2) Click here to see our “President Obama, he’s just like us!” photos

3) Click here for photos of the “American Idol” finalists performing each night

4) Vote in our poll, for your favorite finalist now that we’re down to 10

5) See photos from inside the after-party for the 13 “American Idol” finalists

6) Check out the other entries, conversations and latest news on our American Idol blog