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Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen



Douglas and Obama chat about economic stimuli

Gov. Jim Douglas reported Monday evening he spent about 30 minutes with President Barack Obama earlier in the day -- although he admitted he really hadn't kept track of the time.

They talked about the economic recovery legislation pending in Congress. Douglas said he stressed he didn't have a favorite -- there is a House and Senate version and will likely be a third version in the end. His message was simply that states need help so please do something fast.

Obama told Douglas, according to the governor, that he's trying hard to find a package that wins at least some bipartisan support.

The invitation to meet the president came over the weekend and out of the blue (kind of an apt term when talking about a Democrat, don't you think?) Douglas had a speaking engagement and decided to piggyback onto his trip to DC some meetings about the stimulus package. He had contact the White House office of intergovernmental affairs to provide some ideas about what states need/want in the package -- flexibility and more money for infrastructure.

My take is the Obama staff saw an opportunity to showcase an ally who happens to be Republican but wants the federal government to give the states some spending money. Voila, a half-hour audience complete with an opportunity for the press to see the pair seated in front of the fireplace amiably chatting.

Douglas said he didn't feel used -- he got a chance to say some things directly to the guy in charge.

They had a comfortable conversation. "He's a very genial guy," Douglas said. Did Obama offer refreshments? Water, "but I declined." Douglas had gotten just outside before the "audience."

Douglas twice visited the Oval Office when Bush was president -- but always with a group and never when cameras recorded the visit.

Did he say anything interesting, unexpected? Did you? Douglas answered that before leaving he brought up another topic. I waiting anxiously wondering what topic he might have raised with the president.

Douglas explained. "I said I wanted to thank him" for the directive to the Environmental Protection Agency about reconsidering states' requests for waivers allowing stricter tailpipe emissions standards.

Well, did you invite him to Vermont? Remember Bush never came during his eight years as president. Douglas said they talked about whether Obama had been to Vermont -- he said he had while campaigning. Douglas told Obama he hoped he would come again -- soon. In fact, Douglas shared later, the president may not know it, but an invitation has been issued for him to come to the big Lake Champlain celebration in the summer.

So who gained the most out of this session and did anyone lose?

-- Nancy Remsen

Talk about the reasons the stimulus bill is in so much trouble - both Leahy and Sanders voted FOR a $246 million dollar tax break for Hollywood producers! Does a lot for Vermont, eh? Must be Pat's way of saying "thanks" for his bit role in Batman! And of course the far left in Hollywood always support Bernie. (Isn't this called "pay to play"?)At least ALL REpublicans, Lieberman, and 13 Democrats killed this monstrous piece of HOG.
Yeah, go deb!
bubba said...

"At least ALL REpublicans, Lieberman, and 13 Democrats killed this monstrous piece of HOG."

Gee, I hate to keep confusin' ya with the facts, bubbakis, but while Lieberman is clearly a meshuggah schmuck, he's still a member of the US Senate and the Senate hasn't voted on the Stimulus Package yet.

Secondly, when the House voted 244-188 in favor of Stimulus Package, it passed.

This isn't golf, deduce bag. The lowest score doesn't win.

Feel free to check, little factose-intolerant fella. Learn somethin'.

Always a pleasure.
You idiot jw - the vote was to REMOVE the $246 million FROM the stimulus! The entire package will be voted on later, and hopefully after more dimocrat pork is removed. Sober up before you read the news, moron.
Bubbakis, you grow dimmer by the day. Amongst other things, those measures can easily be put back in by the Senate, during the reconciliation process or at final vote, passage and signature.

Secondly, Lieberman is still a Senator and the Senate still hasn't voted on bupkis.

Look it up. Learn something.

Alas, you forget that we no longer have illegitimate, incompetent gop trash in the White House threatening to veto everything he doesn't like like shrub or the putz in the pavilion.

Honor, dignity, intellect, integrity and legitimacy have been restored to the White House. Two years from now it will have been restored to the Pavilion.

Finally, after going further out of his way to be bipartisan during his first two weeks than shrub did in eight, he's finally taken to putting his foot down and reminding the gop-slime brigade that, as was the case with the Great Depression and the reagan/bush recessions and deficits, their "ideas", incompetence and clueless corruption put us in this this fix in the first place and the American People rejected more of the mcsame psychotic slop in November when you and the rest of the scum vote had your heads handed to ya.

Therefore, you can either come to the table and bargain in good faith or you can join with the david duke wing of the gop slime society and continue to obstruct your way into total irrelevance with the rest of nameless nitwit nation.

The meter's runnin', bubbakis.

Always a pleasure.
Jw, was that you I saw in the Free Press photo at Denny's gettin' your free grandslam breakfast the other day?

Lookin' good there, pal.
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