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Friday Night Video Blogging: Gibbs For the WIN

Sarah's picture

How to defend against right wing media noise :

"Now, every day when I come out here, I spend a little time reading, studying on the issues, asking people who are smarter than I am questions about those issues. I would encourage him [Rick Santelli] to read the President's plan and understand that it will help millions of people, many of whom he knows. I'd be more than happy to have him come here and read it. I'd be happy to buy him a cup of coffee -- decaf."
(Audience laughter.)
This is so much more palatable than anything Ari

Fleisher or Scott McClellan or Dana Perino provided over the past eight years, it's ... well, it's frankly just giddiness-inducing.

It's so refreshing, after having become accustomed to having the bar set six inches below the level of the floor. I'm not sure I'm ready for a White House speaker -- a staff member, now, not the actual President or Vice President -- who comes across this way.

Listen: the tone is not snide. Look: the facial expression is not supercilious. Behold: the body language is not hostile.

I could get used to this.

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Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

White House Press Office here.

Second best quote in the whole thing:

As the President has said, if your neighbor's house is on fire or if several houses are on fire, you don't debate it; you get a hose and try to put the fire out. That's what's most important. This plan will stop the spread of those foreclosures because it addresses those that are -- that potentially could be in trouble but aren't there yet, get the help they need so that the foreclosure sign doesn't go up on their front yard.

But I also think it's tremendously important that for people who rant on cable television to be responsible and understand what it is they're talking about. I feel assured that Mr. Santelli doesn't know what he's talking about.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

the Big Give and Big Give II, etc. This insistence that we hold homeowners' feet to the fire about whether they deserve to lose their homes is a sharp contrast to the "bonuses are on us" mentality that Hank's golfing buddies face.

But Gibbs can't say that without being busted.

Submitted by lambert on

Homeowners have to jump through hoops, automakers get almost nothing, the mayors get to hear them say Obama's going to watch them closely, and the banks get trillions shovelled at them, where we don't know where the money's going, and there's no plan anybody can explain.

Who's really running the country couldn't be more clear.

Submitted by jawbone on

thinking that 1) he was really dissing them (and I didn't realize he was dissing his own agencies as well in that speech as it wasn't mentioned) and 2) where the hell is that kind of language dedicated to Big Banksters and others in the financial and ratings agencies??

From the gitgo! Not after years of fiduciary irresponsibility. Banksters dump the economy down the toilet, and the mayors?? Good grief. Being accused of wrongdoing before they've even seen how much funding they'll get?

But Obama does seem to like that admonatory tone. We'll be hearing it about "sacrifice" no doubt.

I would have been one pissed off mayor listening to the condescending, censorious "advice" and threat from the president.

But, then, I'm not good with authority figures telling me what to do.... It irritated me no end.

Submitted by jawbone on

How'd that happen? Setting the mail on the keyboard and getting lots of +'s? Hhhmm.

+

inna's picture
Submitted by inna on

exactly.

i have to say, i am somewhat shocked by what appears to be absolutely obvious, "in-your-face", crookery. frankly, i simply_don't_understand why there is no public outrage; and i am somewhat puzzled by Obama's "strategery".... i'm starting to wonder if it may be limited to the "never-underestimate-the-gullibility-of-the-American-people" "principle".

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

I get it now. What I posted isn't what you want to talk about, and my points can be happily ignored in the stampede to further scorn the work being started in the White House.

I disagree with that mindset -- in fact I find it contemptible.

I provide below emphasis and documentation for my position.

From the White House blog:

Gibbs corrects the record on the President’s housing plan
Today Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked during the White House press briefing about criticism of President Obama’s housing plan from some talking heads and Wall Street pundits, who have claimed baselessly that the plan is geared towards helping irresponsible home buyers at the expense of others.

"[T]he American people are struggling every day to meet their mortgage, stay in their job, pay their bills, to send their kids to school, and to hope that they don't get sick or that somebody they care for gets sick and sends them into bankruptcy," said Gibbs. "I think we said a few months ago the adage that if it was good for a derivatives trader that it was good for Main Street. I think the verdict is in on that."

Gibbs reiterated the President’s explanation of how this plan will help responsible homeowners, who are struggling to make their payments in a tough economy and who have seen their home values plummet, through refinancing and standardized loan modifications. Then he ended any misconceptions:

"Here's what this plan won't do: It won't help somebody trying to flip a house. It won't bail out an investor looking to make a quick buck. It won't help speculators that were betting on a risky market. And it is not going to help a lender who knowingly made a bad loan. And it is not going to help -- as the President said in Phoenix, it is not going to help somebody who has long ago known they were in a house they couldn't afford. That's why the President was very clear in saying this was not going to stop every person's home from being foreclosed."

And just as HUD Secretary Donovan argued in this space this afternoon, Gibbs said Americans need to learn about the plan and see if they can take part: "every American with a mortgage payment should call their lender and see if they can refinance right now."

We have done our best to help homeowners get that information, and Gibbs encouraged everybody who might be able to get help – along with anybody else who wants to learn more about it -- to read the plain-spoken documents posted prominently here over the past few days:

Fact Sheet:
9 million +

The housing plan President Obama unveiled today could directly help up to 9 million people -- but indirectly, it will help all of us.

"In the end, all of us are paying a price for this home mortgage crisis. And all of us will pay an even steeper price if we allow this crisis to continue to deepen," President Obama said today in Phoenix, AZ. "But if we act boldly and swiftly to arrest this downward spiral, every American will benefit."

He laid out the four key elements of the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan:

1. refinancing help for four to five million homeowners who receive their mortgages through Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac
2. new incentives for lenders to modify the terms of sub-prime loans at risk of default and foreclosure
3. steps to keep mortgage rates low for millions of middle class families looking to secure new mortgages
4. additional reforms designed to help families stay in their homes

"The plan I’m announcing focuses on rescuing families who have played by the rules and acted responsibly," the President said, "by refinancing loans for millions of families in traditional mortgages who are underwater or close to it; by modifying loans for families stuck in sub-prime mortgages they can’t afford as a result of skyrocketing interest rates or personal misfortune; and by taking broader steps to keep mortgage rates low so that families can secure loans with affordable monthly payments."

Other documents linked at the blog are a Q&A and an Executive Summary of the plan.

No, I'm not ignorant of the facts of life. I never pretended to be even in the heady days before John Edwards dropped out of the primary. I have known the deck was stacked against the American family farmer, the American factory worker, and the American wage earner since 1967, when I discovered just how screwed one family making less than a princely income every year is in this country when the wage-earner is injured. I was eight years old.

Bankers lie, cheat, steal, and jack with interest.
Phil Gramm and his treasonous cohort in the legislature embraced that wholeheartedly and set out to further enable lying, cheating, stealing, and jacking with interest so that the investor class could migrate up to ownership -- and the rest of us could marinate in the trickle-down.
None of that is my fault.

People build houses where they should not. California's earthquakes, the Gulf Coast's hurricanes, and the Midwest's tornadoes are nature's way of paring back human intrusion on environments. Disaster relief is the response we all want to see when that happens. The Bush government let us down -- let the whole nation down, not just the Gulf Coast -- over the last eight years in every disaster from 9-11-01 to the California wildfires last fall.

President Obama is offering disaster relief.
Those who can take advantage of it in time and place of need should do so.

The rest of us need to do something more constructive than sneer at what we consider the inadequacies of the program.

Submitted by lambert on

That's not what anybody's saying here.

UPDATE The above was a response to the first version of the comment, which basically consisted of the headline alone. Sure, Obama's done some good stuff.

Bottom line: Obama needs to be shoved left if people like me and the 18 million are going to get any kind of a deal other than a raw one. I'm not, obviously, in "any stick to beat a dog" mode, but I am engaged in critique, with the objective of shoving the Overton Window, and Obama, left. If that's "contemptible," well, goodness, I suppose I'll just have to live with it.

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

upthread not only didn't address my comment on the difference between the Obama White House's tone and behavior with the press, but it went on to bash the housing plan -- either indirectly or directly -- and conclude that homeowners could gain no benefit.
To wit:

This insistence that we hold homeowners' feet to the fire about whether they deserve to lose their homes is a sharp contrast to the "bonuses are on us" mentality that Hank's golfing buddies face.

Homeowners have to jump through hoops, automakers get almost nothing, the mayors get to hear them say Obama's going to watch them closely, and the banks get trillions shovelled at them, where we don't know where the money's going, and there's no plan anybody can explain.

Who's really running the country couldn't be more clear.

NPR ran the admonition to mayors all day yesterday, and I kept
By jawbone on Sat, 02/21/2009 - 11:48am

thinking that 1) he was really dissing them (and I didn't realize he was dissing his own agencies as well in that speech as it wasn't mentioned) and 2) where the hell is that kind of language dedicated to Big Banksters and others in the financial and ratings agencies??

From the gitgo! Not after years of fiduciary irresponsibility. Banksters dump the economy down the toilet, and the mayors?? Good grief. Being accused of wrongdoing before they've even seen how much funding they'll get?

But Obama does seem to like that admonatory tone. We'll be hearing it about "sacrifice" no doubt.

I would have been one pissed off mayor listening to the condescending, censorious "advice" and threat from the president.

Nowhere in there does anybody suggest that any benefit might accrue from the plan.
Nowhere. in. the. three. quotes.
The consensus then is that it's out of the Obama White House and it can be vilified then dismissed.

Why? Because, after 8 years of Bush, all we want to do is vilify and dismiss anything sourced to the White House?
Or because it's sourced to the White House, where the President isn't who the commenter wanted to see elected?

What is anybody saying here?