The Optimists Club

Who on earth are the 8 per cent of people in a recent CBS News/New York Times poll that said the economy is getting… better? Steve Hartman meets a couple of them — in Michigan* of all places.

*Yes, I know… there are nice parts of Michigan, but we’re not exactly talking Bloomfield Hills here.


White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said he and President Obama spoke yesterday about the fact that CNBC’s Jim Cramer was set to appear on The Daily Show. Although not sure if the president actually caught it (having forgotten to remind him), he himself gave the show a thumbs up. “I enjoyed it thoroughly,” Gibbs said at his daily briefing.

Update: Slightly different version from Firedoglake that has a bit more context than the one from TPM.

The “Snub” That Wasn’t

Bob Schieffer talks to Christopher Hitchens about Barrack Obama’s supposed “snub” of Gordon Brown during his state visit to Washington the other week. Although barely reported stateside, the British press got quite exercised over perceived lapses in decorum and a seemingly “insulting” gift in particular (a boxed set of 25 American “classic films” on DVD specially commissioned from the American Film Institute).

Despite being a non-story, squawkers in Wingnuttia nonetheless seized on it with relish, using the opportunity to launch a salvo of personal insults: cheapskate, ignorant, clueless, naïve, and so on; further suggesting Obama had maybe just rustled them up from the sofa cushions or hastily purchased them at the nearest Wal-Mart. Whatever.

As Hitchens points out, this was a trivial flap that says more about the self-involvement of the British press than anything else. By the same token, the reaction from the wingnuts says more about their seething, unresolved anger and irrational mental derangement than any particular concern over a breach in relations between the two leaders or anything else for that matter.

Canada’s Economic Inaction Plan

Gee, do ya think “Grit Girl” is a Liberal operative of some sort? Or maybe even a certain “private citizen” perhaps? She, and I use that term hesitantly, was pretty quick off the mark with a fairly slick new video slamming Harper’s economic action plan that utilizes Statcan figures from this morning’s release of the unemployment toll for February. And there’s even a full-blown website derisively mocking the Harper stimulus plan, of which it’s a component.

If so — and it’s just pure speculation on my part, although I’m certain that Sherlock Janke will be ferreting around to get confirmation — I guess the Liberals can hardly complain about Conservative attack ads, as it seems they’ve gotten the jump on things with this campaign, albeit in a rather stealthy way. Furthermore, (again… it’s just a guess on my part, remember) but this would be a tad hypocritical, no? Considering that Ignatieff has vigorously denounced the Conservatives for playing partisan political games in the midst of an economic crisis, I mean.

Note: The video has been killed by the pinheads at CTV/Globemedia due to some unspecified copyright violation. But I’m leaving it there anyway. If a new version comes along (which I’d fully expect in short order) I’ll swap that in.

Update: Video is back now!

Whackaloon Extraordinaire

I’d heard that Victoria Jackson, the ghastly, washed-up SNL “comedian” and D-list celebrity, was a batshit crazy Jesus freak, but now it seems she’s also a rabid political wingnut. My word, the so-called “conservative movement” certainly does seem to attract the intellectual crème de la crème for some reason, doesn’t it?

Watch and be completely amazed and/or mortified. Oh, go on… I dare you.

Surely the goalposts have moved (possibly to Neptune) when it comes to the definition of the expression “Great American”…

No Laughing Matter

Not much levity to be had from the latest “sharply downgraded” forecast from the TD Bank or from last month’s jobless figures, both of which put lie to the farcical notion advanced by Harper and Flaherty until quite recently that Canada was somehow magically insulated from the global recession; a view then later revised to purport that at least we’re outperforming our other key trading partners (maybe so in certain respects, but then again, the number of people thrown out of work last month was proportionately 16% higher north of the border which doesn’t look too promising). Ah, but of course you had to know those two were lying, after all, their mouths were moving…