Chanson De Roland

Roland Burris will be in Washington, D.C. today to inherit the soiled Obama U.S. Senate seat. Roland Burris will provide the day’s entertainment.

Although entertaining, the Roland Burris Obama Drama is not foolishness, even if the players are mostly Chicago clowns.

There is a real world reason and purpose as to why Roland Burris is the target of Big Media and Dimocrat bile. It’s not racism as the race-baiters suggest. It’s not Blagojevich as the not-presumed-innocent crowd crow. It’s not corruption as prosecutors might wish. It’s not “taint”, not guilt-by-association, not innocence, not justice, not jurisprudential nor constitutional, not process, none of the above – it’s all to protect Barack Obama.

* * *

For those of us who have examined Barack Obama’s low accomplishments and history it is appropriate to see Roland Burris inherit the Obama seat. Roland Burris like Obama is a rather low level Chicago pol selected by a powerful corrupt Illinois pol who used the selection to further a survival scheme via race-baiting. That the powerful corrupt Illinois pol was himself elected on promises of change and reform is a bonus irony point.

Big Media and Dimocrats see the all too obvious similarities shared by Barack Obama and Roland Burris. Big Media and Dimocrats do not want the all too obvious similarities to be seen by bamboozled Americans who genuinely believed the Big Media and Dimocrat deceptions that Obama, like Blagojevich, represented change and reform.

Big Media and Dimocrats understand that the superficial skin color shared by Barack Obama and Roland Burris just might be the thread that leads Americans to understand the real shared nature of Obama and corrupt Chicago pols. Americans will see that the sole African-American in the U.S. Senate (Barack Obama) is followed by the sole African-American in the U.S. Senate (Roland Burris) and this superficial fact of skin color might lead Americans to reason that skin color is not the only shared trait.

Big Media and Dimocrats do not want Obama to be seen as the tawdry Chicago pol that he is. Big Media and Dimocrats will protect Barack Obama and to that end have tried to get rid of Roland Burris.

Imagine Roland Burris as the U.S. Senator from Illinois, replacing the very replaceable Barack Obama. With every vote, with every appearance, with every word uttered – Roland Burris will remind Americans of how he became U.S. Senator from Illinois and with every vote, with every appearance, with every word uttered the danger looms that Americans will realize that Obama too came from the cesspool of Chicago politics and perhaps Obama is not what they were bamboozled to hope he was.

* * *

Obama does not want Americans to see an African-American Chicago pol selected by a corrupt politician, who campaigned on change and reform, take his soiled Senate seat. Americans might begin to catch on, Obama reasons. Obama has supported Harry Reid and the vow never to seat Roland Burris.

Thus far, Harry Reid is not displaying much fortitude. The race-baiting by Representative Bobby Rush and his “lynch” remark appears to have had dramatic impact.

When scandal-tarred Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich named Burris to Barack Obama’s Senate seat last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) issued a statement in which he said that Burris “will not be seated by the Democratic Caucus.”

But as Burris made his way from Chicago to Washington on Monday, Reid took a softer line. “Of course, Roland Burris has not been certified by the state of Illinois,” he said. “When that takes place, we of course will review it. At this stage, we’re waiting to see what’ll happen in Illinois.”

Asked whether there was any chance that Burris will be seated, Reid said, “Listen, let’s just deal with reality, not with hypotheticals.” Asked about his earlier, unequivocal threat not to seat Burris, Reid said: “I’ve made my statement.” [snip]

No one in the Democratic leadership suggested Monday that Burris would actually be seated when he arrives at the Capitol on Tuesday — or at any point thereafter — but the rhetoric was clearly softening as a potential showdown at the Capitol loomed, and Democrats were eager to get past the distraction.

Dimocrats who assisted Barack Obama to race-bait during the primaries are now race-baited themselves. Senate Dimocrats are responding with the old “some of my best friends are black” defense:

Durbin said race wasn’t an issue.

“Let’s be very clear about this,” he said. “For many of us involved in this very complicated and frustrating issue — many of us actively supported Barack Obama for president of the United States. And raising some question of whether or not we have prejudice involved in this — there is no prejudice involved whatsoever.”

Republicans, in full hypocrite mode, are for once race-baiting on behalf of seating an African-American and to discomfort race-baiting hypocrite Dimocrats:

“If a candidate presents himself with the appropriate credentials, what, then, would be the basis of the Senate to deny his being seated?” Kyl asked. “I don’t know.”

Republicans — relishing the thought of sticking Democrats with the Blagojevich taint — suggest that it would be hypocritical if Democrats were to welcome Al Franken, whose victory in Minnesota remains subject to legal challenges from Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, while denying a seat to Burris.

In contrast to his wait-and-see approach with Burris, Reid said Monday that “Norm Coleman will never, ever serve [again] in the Senate.”

Dimwit Dimocrats are dreaming up schemes faster than Bernard Madoff in order to ignore the rule of law and protect Barack Obama:

The Democrats’ preferred solution to the Burris problem is for the Illinois Legislature to impeach Blagojevich, paving the way for Democratic Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn to take his place and appoint someone other than Burris to Obama’s vacant seat. But even that could create a legal headache, legal observers say, since the Burris appointment would still be pending.

Even if Blagojevich is impeached, that doesn’t undo all the actions he has taken as governor,” said Andrew Raucci, a former chief justice for the Illinois Court of Claims and now a Chicago-based attorney.

* * *

Today will be an entertaining day. It is the first day of the new incoming Congress. Roland Burris will be the star in today’s Obama Drama.

Today is also yet another ‘protect Barack Obama from being discovered for what he really is day’.

There will be many more ‘protect Barack Obama’ days ahead. January 20 will be the ultimate ‘protect Barack Obama’ day.

Every day after January 20 however will get us closer and closer to “Obama Drama Reality Day”.

As children we enjoyed the medieval poem Chanson De Roland. The Song of Roland, is a tale of Saracen princes from Spain, Charlemagne, knights, swords, betrayal, revenge and slaughter. Song of Roland was one of many epic French poems called Songs of Deeds.

A modern day Song of Roland will soon be heard. It too will be a tale of betrayal, revenge and slaughter. The singer will be Roland Burris.

Roland Burris will sing The Executioner’s Song.

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238 thoughts on “Chanson De Roland

  1. Re certification: as others have noted, it is a ministerial act. It is not discretionary. Is there a legal basis upon which the Ill sos can refuse to certify. If not there is a legal action which can be brought to force the official to do what he is under a legal duty to do. To do otherwise is obviously . . . racism. Mormon Reid is obviously a racist. He has opposed every African American for the job. It used to be I looked for the innocent explanation first. But when there is nothing innocent about him, why try?

  2. Mornin’, Admin and wbboei. What a delicious essay! Love the title – I’m a French undergrad.

    The Dims think they all have their “get out of racist jail free” cards to play because they supported Waffles. Surprise! This will be a fun day. Can’t wait to hear from the same IL supreme court that dismissed the AG’s insanity case against Blago.

  3. “Let’s be very clear about this,” he said. “For many of us involved in this very complicated and frustrating issue — many of us actively supported Barack Obama for president of the United States. And raising some question of whether or not we have prejudice involved in this — there is no prejudice involved whatsoever.”
    ————————————-
    Does anyone in the world believe what Dick Durbin says. He is nothing more than a mouthpiece for the Combine. No prejudice whatsoever? Really?. The truth is what Admin says they do not want another black who shows up the Messiah, and they do not want the world to see the corruption which is part and parcel of the process. While delusional people celebrate their own bambooling, clear eyed people have a very different reaction to all this. They will worry for our country. They can call us bitter if they want through all the euphoria. But they are wrong about that. We are not bitter we are worried as anyone who thinks this through must be. As for Bambi–sic transit gloria mundi. Richardson, mia in Hawaii, since on Gaza, NY do not want the Princess, Rezko and now this. And as the song says we have only just begun.

  4. Good morning Illionis. Reid is a racist. That much is clear. As for Obama his race does not insulate him from criticism. A civil rights attorney would be inclined to dismiss the accident of his race as tokenism, given the history of the Machine. They are more vulnerable on this point than they think given the gullibility of many voters.

  5. Sen. Dick D. is a card-carrying member of the Combine – make no mistake. But, he actually is a heck of a nice fellow, no big ego, nor is he a typical greedy pig, which IMHO has contributed to his longevity in public service. But he plays the same false games of three-card Monty – whipping up fervor for divisive social issues (from the left) while enabling those from both left and right who would rob us blind in what I usually refer to as a clever sleight of hand writ large.

  6. Last night I posted a quote by Charles Adams about the effect of power upon men. My reference was to Obama–and it is apt. But you can see it as well in the two incompetent heads of congress Reid and Pelosi. In time, they will be perceived as enemies of the people.

  7. wbboei Says:

    January 6th, 2009 at 10:35 am
    Good morning Illionis. Reid is a racist. That much is clear. As for Obama his race does not insulate him from criticism.
    * * * * *
    wbboei: Agreed about Reid. But, respectfully, I disagree about the insulation from criticism – all evidence to the contrary. I seem to recall that was one of my earliest posts on Big Pink (*gasp!*) about wanting a president whom we would be able to criticize without being called racist. President Clinton showed us the first preview of their insulation strategy in South Carolina.

  8. It seems that the Burris affair is also an extension of the entire primary distortion.

    The theme that runs through all is that what the people vote for is unimportant. It is the prerogative of Dem leaders to interpret, adjust, or ignore results of elections.

    An elected governor nominates a senator. The Senate leader says no — the governor is obviously corrupt. He doesn’t tell us how he knows this or if the senate agrees with him. He is able to take away the legitimate powers of the governor by himself.

    Does this remind us of taking Hill’s delegates away and giving them to Obama? Does this remind us of switching NV’s primary to a caucus so that most people couldn’t vote?

    Let’s not go through the courts any more or abide by elections — let’s just havea couple of people tell us how things will be.

    On that note, I was awakened by a Franken worker telling me that it wasn’t over and that Coleman was going to appeal. Before he could ask me for funds, I asked him what he was going to do with them. He said “Organize so that Franken wins”. I told him that the election was so screwed up that it should be in the courts, not counted by Franken supporters.

    I finally asked him if he knew who really won the election. When he insisted that it was Franken, I lost my temper. I said that nobody knew who really won and manipulating the ballots to achieve any particular result wasn’t something I could help fund.

    It will be interesting if they seat Franken who doesn’t have his paperwork signed and not seat Burris.

  9. Mrs. Smith Says:

    January 6th, 2009 at 3:03 am
    Occasionally, I’ve wondered if the SCOTUS has held out deliberately from passing judgment on the NBC issue in case it was necessary to pull the plug on his presidency
    &&&&&&&

    What is this “NBC issue”?

  10. January 6th, 2009 at 10:42 am wbboei Says:
    “…In time, they will be perceived as enemies of the people.”
    * * * * *
    Quite right. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. But, history shows that the pendulum always swings back once it’s reached it’s furthest point to one side. Let’s hope that history will be right again.

  11. Sen. Dick D. is a card-carrying member of the Combine – make no mistake. But, he actually is a heck of a nice fellow, no big ego, nor is he a typical greedy pig, which IMHO has contributed to his longevity in public service.
    __________________________________
    Illionis. I agree with both statements, with one caveat. The first takes precedence over the second. Trust me. In years past I have known Mafia guys with the same schtick. Really nice guys, grinnng, affable, solicitous–but it was a con. I agree with your analysis 100%.

  12. wbboei: Let me be clearer – I agree with you wholeheartedly – he is an enabler of the highest order.
    * * * * *
    Freckles said, “I said that nobody knew who really won and manipulating the ballots to achieve any particular result wasn’t something I could help fund.”
    * * * *
    GOOD FOR YOU! Speak truth.
    * * * *
    Gotta work now, Hillfriends. Back noonish. Bonne journee, cher/e Admin! (does WordPress support French?)

  13. Wbboei: Again, I agree. Commitment to good government through their actions really is my only personal measure for any public servant.

  14. I have begun to wonder how any honest person can survive in the political parties, after they see the fraud and lying that goes on.

  15. Quite right. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. But, history shows that the pendulum always swings back once it’s reached it’s furthest point to one side. Let’s hope that history will be right again.
    —————————————
    Yup. It is like gravity. But alot of damage is done in the process. Also, some of the reform forces that step forward can sometimes beg the question of whether the cure is worse than the disease.

    During the late 19th century living conditions were deplorable and policemen were corrupt. The definitive novel on this is Maggie a girl of the street by Steven Crane (Red Badge of Courage). This ushered in an era of reform led by William Travers Jerome a hard charging DA and a social reformer whose name escapes me at the moment. Jerome was a cousin of Churchill and his book Courtroom Warrior is worth reading. I have another book by Lloyd Paul Stryker who was one of the gret defense lawyers of the 1950s which I cannot seem to find at the moment. In it he recalls the early years of his practice and remembers the worst judge he ever appeared before–one who would prejudice the jury against innocent police officers he represented, and would lower the blinds before he rendered a verdict sending innocent law officers to the Tombs. I happened to notice this judge was the same reformer who fought corruption in an earlier era alongside Jerome. That is what happens when the pendulum swings too far in either direction. On the odds that is what will happen here in the fulsomeness of time.

  16. YAHOO / POLITICO “ANAL-YSIS”, plus my snide remarks prefaced by “$$$”

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20090106/pl_politico/17089

    Team Obama dabbles in drama
    Roger Simon Roger Simon – Tue Jan 6, 4:24 am ET

    For an outfit known for its lack of drama, Team Obama has become a downright thrill show.

    $$$ We knew the NoDrama could not last. Partly because the media has finished fun and profitable part of installing Obama, so now they can get on with the fun and profitable part of tearing him down and creating headlines.

    Bill Richardson! Rick Warren! Rod Blagojevich! Roland Burris! Talk about a ride through the fun house.
    President-elect Barack Obama doesn’t bear responsibility for all these speed bumps on the road to a better, happier, more respected America, but he certainly bears responsibility for some of them.

    Obama’s selection of Bill Richardson for secretary of commerce didn’t seem like an awful idea. Richardson certainly has accomplished some things in his life, and he wanted an administration job really, really badly. He wanted to be vice president and didn’t get it. He wanted to be secretary of state and didn’t get it. So he lowered his sights to “Anything in the Cabinet Whatsoever,” and he got it.

    $$$ “Hey, Sec. of Commerce is already reserved? Okay, I’ll take Sec. of Fisheries”. Also, did Judas want to get out of his current job because of the ethics issues, much like Obama quit the Senate super early to free himself of their ethics rules?

    Exactly why Obama felt he had to give Richardson something is unclear. Maybe it was an act of compassion. Maybe Richardson had threatened to hold his breath until he turned blue. In any case, he got the nomination.

    $$$ SQUID QUO PRO. “Hey, Barack, I’ll run for Pres to siphon off votes from the Capable Candidates With Actual Accomplishments to hurt Hillary, and then throw you my support when it becomes obvious that I cannot even inspire the Boy Scouts to recycle. Of course, it will cost you a favor, or else…I tell how you made deals. I already have the book written, so you better not hang up on me here”.

    But Richardson clearly did not get the vetting that is supposed to go along with it.

    A few weeks ago, I bumped into Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh, who told me about his own vetting for vice president this time around and all the forms he had to fill out and how he had a personal interview with Obama.

    Obama asked Bayh if, in essence, there were any skeletons in his closet. Bayh mentioned a minor incident that didn’t really touch on him directly and also said that he had once tried marijuana. That was it, Bayh said. Obama looked at him. “You really haven’t had much of a life, have you?” Obama said. Both men laughed.

    One hopes, however, that the vetting process for high office goes beyond what the potential nominee tells you. In the case of Bill Richardson, however, it seems not to have.

    Jonathan Martin of Politico recently reported: “Barack Obama’s transition team pressed Bill Richardson about a federal probe into ‘pay to play’ allegations against his office. … But a Democratic source said Obama’s questioners came away empty-handed.”

    $$$ “Okay Gov., you aren’t coming clean with us, are you”. Richardson: “Whaddyamean. I put up more info than Obama with his no-hardcopy birth certificate and the one page doctor’s note saying ‘Obama, heap healthy, like Smoking Horse’ “.

    Jake Tapper of ABC News recently reported that “officials on the Obama transition team feel that, before he was formally offered the job of commerce secretary, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson was not forthcoming with them about the federal investigation that is looking into whether the governor steered a state contract towards a major financial contributor.”

    See something slightly off-kilter in both of those examples? I do. Maybe it’s because I was a criminal courts reporter for several years, but in my experience, people with something to hide often hide it.

    Hey, call me cynical.

    The transition team “pressed” Richardson and came away “empty-handed.” The transition team felt he was “not forthcoming.” But he got the nomination anyway? How did that happen?

    How come somebody didn’t say, “Gov. Richardson, we think you are very well-qualified for the position of commerce secretary, but so are about 11,000 other people in these United States, and we think we can find somebody who is a little more forthcoming.”

    Or how come somebody didn’t say to Obama, “Before we name this guy, let’s keep looking into this. After all, a late appointment is better than an embarrassing appointment.”

    So blame this drama on Team Obama.

    Then there is the matter of Rick Warren, the pastor of the Saddleback Church in Orange County, Calif., whom Obama has invited to give the invocation at his inauguration. This is no small thing. Even though Warren preaches at a megachurch, this will undoubtedly be the largest audience he has ever addressed.

    Warren has certainly done good works in his life, including fighting global poverty and AIDS, but he also was a prominent supporter of California’s Proposition 8, which outlaws gay marriage in the state. “This is not a political issue,” Warren wrote in a church bulletin. “It is a moral issue that God has spoken clearly about.”

    Obama opposes gay marriage, but he also opposed Proposition 8, calling it “divisive and discriminatory.”

    So why did Obama give a prominent role in his Inauguration to Warren? It is understandable in terms of raw politics. The Democrats want to reach out to evangelical voters (Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean has been meeting with groups of evangelicals for years), and Warren is considered a moderate by many. So why not toss him a speech? After all, 2012 is right around the corner.

    But the angry reaction of the gay community and others caught the Obama people flat-footed. They didn’t fully appreciate how volatile Proposition 8 had become as an issue.

    Nor was Obama’s defense especially satisfying. Obama said that Warren had invited Obama to Camelback Church to give a speech, and now Obama was inviting Warren to speak.

    But this isn’t just any speech. It is an inaugural invocation, and it has huge symbolic importance. And the new administration is going to be on tenterhooks until it hears what Warren actually plans on saying.

    So for this drama, blame Obama.

    As for Rod Blagojevich and Roland Burris, neither has learned the difference between being spectacular and being a spectacle.

    More on them in the future, but Obama has shown a wise amount of distance from both. Their drama cannot be laid at his feet. But, unavoidably, he is going to have to bear their burden on his shoulders.

  17. # rgb44hrc Says:

    January 6th, 2009 at 10:49 am

    Mrs. Smith Says:January 6th, 2009 at 3:03 am

    Occasionally, I’ve wondered if the SCOTUS has held out deliberately from passing judgment on the NBC issue in case it was necessary to pull the plug on his presidency

    What is this “NBC issue”?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Natural Born Citizen..

    As a point of fact, the Burris circus is the perfect distraction used as a vertical interface for the unfettered ascension of Obama to the throne.

    Another example of the principals’ use of TRIANGULATION. 1 + 1 = 3

  18. Wbboei: Again, I agree. Commitment to good government through their actions really is my only personal measure for any public servant
    —————————————–
    Illinois: I concur and that is why we love Hillary. Her commitment, intellect and courage which are unique and rare at any time in history, but especially in the current landscape.

  19. freckles Says:

    January 6th, 2009 at 10:48 am
    ——————————————–

    Amen! The dims and obamalite are between a rock and a hard place. A little bit of revenge and a little checkmate moment for Blago. He is definitely not going out gracefully, but I certainly hope he drags some dims with him when he does go.

    ———————————–

    As far as Franken is concerned, I listened to his acceptance speech last night and wanted to throw tomatoes at him. He may be a dim, but this whole thing reeks.

  20. wbboei Says:

    January 6th, 2009 at 11:16 am
    Wbboei: Again, I agree. Commitment to good government through their actions really is my only personal measure for any public servant
    —————————————–
    Illinois: I concur and that is why we love Hillary. Her commitment, intellect and courage which are unique and rare at any time in history, but especially in the current landscape.

    * * * * *
    AMEN, wbboei!
    Following Mrs. Smith’s note that Burris is serving as a timely distraction from the NBC case – any hope for a judgement making Waffles prove that he is a natural born citizen?

  21. I know this is off topic, but does Donna Brazille have her own show on CNN now??? I was flipping the stations this weekend and saw her and her guests kissing up to her saying she should be head of the DNC!!! That lady , next to Oprah, makes me physically ill to look at and hear.

  22. jbstonesfan,

    I noticed her leading a roundtable discussion on CNN the weekend before last. Her smarmy attitude of entitlement turned me right off.

  23. Admin — you certainly are correct. There is absolutely nobody to root for in this Obama-Blago-Burris-Reid et al debacle.
    ————————————–
    Freckles-I agree with you and Admin. I would be satisfied with a demolition derby.

  24. I know this is off topic, but does Donna Brazille have her own show on CNN now??? I was flipping the stations this weekend and saw her and her guests kissing up to her saying she should be head of the DNC!!! That lady , next to Oprah, makes me physically ill to look at and hear.
    ————————————-
    Except it did not happen. Why? Because there is a Judas problem with her as well. Who can trust someone who sleeps with the enemy–Rove. Even among dims that must make her suspect.

  25. rgb44hrc Says:

    January 6th, 2009 at 11:09 am
    ————————————————-

    I thoroughly enjoyed your “snide analysis!”

    Well done!

  26. My hope is that Hillary and Bill( via their surrogates like Carville) will do everything behind the scenes to repay those who not only showed disloyalty, but actively worked against her nomination. The irony of it all, is that BO’s so called change represents a third term for the Clintons as BO has brought in so many of the former advisers b/c of his incompetence in actually governing, and not reading campaign scripts. While BO , via the media, race baiters, and quite frankly a ignorant electorate was able to steal the nomination, it has been apparent from the day after Nov 4th, he had no clue what he actually was going to do to fix this mess. He is also , with t he help of MSM, setting us up for a long recovery period so that if anything goes right , he can claim credit for it. Change is simply politics as usual.

  27. wbb – “demolition derby” is hilarious — and apt. I vote aye but who would replace this group?

    How about

    1. Born rich people who don’t care about money, live simply, and spend their time improving their neighbourhoods, or cities or states.

    2. Very poor people who climb their way out of poverty without manipulating stocks or investors and show creativity. Their work should include bringing others out of poverty too.

    We need smart without rapacious. A good place to start would be the Global Initiative members who have put their money into wonderfully creative ways to help others.

    The only problem with them is that almost none would accept a political job as they can do so much more without the infighting and ego-boosting that absorbs so much of Congress’ time. We would have to elect them anyway.

  28. IF OBAMA MAKES IT TO JAN. 20TH (Springsteen: “Barack, was Born in the USA!!!)…
    OTHERWISE, HERE’S WHAT PRES. McCAIN WILL HAVE TO DEAL WITH:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090106/ts_nm/us_russia_ukraine_gas

    Russian gas disruption spreads across Europe
    By Christian Lowe Christian Lowe – 1 hr 31 mins ago

    MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia sharply cut gas flows to Europe via Ukraine on Tuesday in a dramatic worsening of a pricing dispute with Kiev that threatened to disrupt supplies as far west as Italy and Germany.

    Russian export monopoly Gazprom said it had supplied around 65 million cubic meters (mcm) to Europe on Tuesday through ex-Soviet neighbor Ukraine, a fall of 78 percent from the 300 mcm it had been shipping since the dispute erupted on January 1.

    The European Union, dependent on Russia for a quarter of its gas, urged Moscow and Kiev to find a solution this week. The head of Ukraine’s state energy firm said he would fly to Moscow on Thursday, while Gazprom said it was ready to talk any time.

    Bulgaria, Turkey, Macedonia, Greece and Croatia said flows of Russian gas via Ukraine had come to a halt, creating what Bulgaria called a “crisis situation” in the middle of winter.

    EU members Austria and Romania said deliveries were down 90 percent and 75 percent respectively, and German energy firms warned there could be gas shortages in Europe’s biggest economy if the dispute dragged on and sub-zero temperatures persisted.

    “Even our possibilities will reach their limits if these drastic cuts in shipments last and if temperatures continue to stay at very low levels,” E.ON Ruhrgas Chief Executive Bernhard Reutersberg said.

    BLAME GAME

    Gazprom can only guarantee gas supplies to Italy of 7 million cubic meters on Tuesday, or less than 20 percent of the expected amount, an Italian source close to the matter said. The industry ministry earlier said Rome planned to increase gas imports from alternative suppliers.

    Russia and Ukraine blame each other for the crisis, which has struck at the height of the European winter and spread alarm across the continent.

    The baseload day-ahead price for gas traded in London was up 18.5 percent at its highest since late October, driven by cold weather and anticipation that a protracted dispute could have a knock-on effect on British supplies.

    Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov declined to elaborate on the reasons for the sharp fall in supply to Europe on Tuesday.

    “There was a request for 130 mcm. We have supplied those volumes minus 65.3 mcm,” he told reporters. The figure of 65.3 mcm refers to the amount of gas that Moscow accuses Ukrainian of stealing since January 1 by siphoning off gas meant for Europe.

    Gazprom had previously accused Ukraine of shutting down three Russian export pipelines early on Tuesday and said it was a hostage of Kiev’s “irresponsible behavior.”

    But Ukraine blamed Russia, with President Viktor Yushchenko saying Moscow would continue cutting gas supplies to Europe or stop them altogether. State energy company Naftogaz said Russian supply was down to 58 mcm, below the Gazprom figure.

    Ukraine’s government ordered regional utilities to start using fuel oil instead of gas. Neighboring Slovakia will declare a state of emergency, Czech news agency CTK reported. Poland cut gas supplies to industrial clients, while Serbia and Bosnia said Russian supplies had completely stopped.

    The Czech Republic, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency, said it was considering the “extreme option” of a three-way EU-Russia-Ukraine summit.

    “However this is not on the table yet because we insist the two sides must reach an agreement,” Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek said.

    The dispute threatens to worsen Russia’s ties with the West, already fraught after its war with Georgia last year.

    JAN. 1 CUT

    Europe’s heavy dependence on Russian energy — and vulnerability to supply disruption — was highlighted when Moscow reduced volumes to Ukraine on New Year’s Day after failing to reach agreement with Kiev over gas prices.

    But most larger EU countries say they have large amounts of gas stockpiled after several mild winters, and have access to supplies from sources such as Norway and Algeria.

    “If there are significant drops in supplies to the European Union, the key question is whether it goes on for a very long time. But it would have to go on for weeks or months for serious problems to arise for Western European customers,” said Simon Blakey, director of European research at Cambridge Energy Research Associates.

    Russia and Ukraine have clashed repeatedly on a range of other issues, particularly the ambition of Ukraine’s pro-Western leaders to join NATO.

    The disruption comes at a bad time for Europe, which is experiencing a cold snap likely to drive up gas demand.

    “We are in a crisis situation,” Bulgaria’s Economy Ministry said in a statement. State firm Bulgargaz told industrial users it was suspending or cutting supplies to a minimum and urged them to switch to alternative fuels like oil. Two fertilizer companies had to halt production.

    The government said people would not be left in the cold, but urged households to start using other means of heating. Temperatures on Monday night fell below minus 15 Celsius (5 Fahrenheit).

    Worries about European gas supplies, coupled with Israel’s military operation in Gaza, have pushed oil prices up to a three-week high close to $50 a barrel. Russia, whose main export is oil, stands to benefit from a recovery in prices.

  29. From what I have heard from the Dims in NM, these situation and other situations were well known about Richradson within the NM Dims inner circle. Now why would O’s staff, who certainly have access to this circle not call and ask. I knew if Os staff called, they would have been told.

    There certainly has been a double standard in the vetting of O supporters, compared to HRC supporters. Yet, it is his HRC appointments that appear to be saving his you know what. As pointed out in the primary, O either is incompetent (along with his staff), or he is definent, as he knews the fix is in, and he does not have to perform at a high level. The press, obviously cleans everything up for him. (It reminds me of a spoiled child who know no matter how crappy they are, their parents and the people around them will continue to condon, explain, and accept the crap that they do. In fact, they will take the blame or explain everything the child does, with the child not getting any disciple or rules that they ever have to adhere to). When he becomes President, then he will change or say the Rules do not apply to him. Pelosie has already begun this process for him.

    This makes me sick.

  30. I think the best thing the Clintons can do is continue to take the high road. They truly are the “royal family” of the U.S.A., having surpassed the wannabe Kennedys many times over.

    By continuing on a road of ethical and humane behavior, not only do they diminish those who would crush them, but they also run circles around the dims and obamarot with their continued accomplishments.

  31. freckles Says:

    January 6th, 2009 at 11:54 am
    wbb – “demolition derby” is hilarious — and apt. I vote aye but who would replace this group?

    * * * * *
    Individuals with fully formed character who cannot be bought or coerced. I’m sure there are some who fit that criteria…..

  32. wbboei Says:

    January 6th, 2009 at 11:40 am
    I know this is off topic, but does Donna Brazille have her own show on CNN now??? I was flipping the stations this weekend and saw her and her guests kissing up to her saying she should be head of the DNC!!! That lady , next to Oprah, makes me physically ill to look at and hear.
    ————————————-
    Except it did not happen.
    &&&&&

    What did not happen? Stopthehate Brazile getting her own show? Or her being head of DNC?

    Just my opinion, but how far down the tubes the DNC has gone, they might as well take it to its logical conclusion…off the cliff…and make Stopthehate its head. I’m sure it will be raised that, “for the first time, I can be proud of my party, to have an AA as its head.”

  33. The criticism of Panetta for his “lack of intelligence experience” is the definition for George Bush’s career.

  34. NMF,

    What bothers me is people like richardson, obama, and the lot who continually think they walk on water no matter what crimes they commit. Something is really out of whack with their moral codes.

    The populaces of New Mexico and Illinois deserve so much better!

  35. January 6th, 2009 at 12:05 pm, JanH Says:

    “The populaces of New Mexico and Illinois deserve so much better!”
    * * * * *
    JanH: NMF and I thank you.

  36. WASHINGTON – The secretary of the Senate on Tuesday turned Roland Burris away from taking the seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

    Burris left the Capitol offices of the secretary, Nancy Erickson, after a meeting of about 20 minutes.

    In a bizarre rainy-day scene on the Capitol grounds as lawmakers awaited the gaveling of the 111th Congress into session, Burris stood amid a huge throng of reporters and television cameras and declared that he had been informed that “my credentials are not in order and will not be accepted.”

    He said he was “not seeking to have any type of confrontation” over taking the seat that he was appointed to by embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. But Burris also said he was looking at options for taking the seat.

    But Democratic leaders were determined to keep him out of the exclusive club. The immediate reason is that his letter of appointment has not been signed by the Illinois secretary of state.

    snip

    “There’s nothing wrong with Roland Burris and there’s nothing wrong with the appointment,” Burris said.

    Burris has found little support among fellow Democrats.

    The Senate was scheduled to convene at noon Tuesday with its newest members. Yet the controversy over the appointment and the ongoing dispute over election results in Minnesota practically guaranteed that both seats would remain empty by day’s end.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Monday that Burris would not be permitted to take his seat because Burris “has not been certified by the state of Illinois,” a reference to incomplete paperwork that only touches on the dispute. Senate Democrats maintain that Burris’ appointment is tainted because of the charges against Blagojevich.
    While Blagojevich has signed formal appointment papers, Jesse White, the Illinois secretary of state, has not, and Senate rules require that signature. Burris, in turn, has gone to court hoping to win an order for White to sign the necessary paperwork, and he has also threatened to sue to take his seat in the Senate.

    msnbc.msn.com/id/28507873?GT1=43001

  37. Isn’t it also offensive that because Joe Biden was sworn in and will now resign, his chief of staff will get an appointed 6-year term?

    Shouldn’t the term be until the first election (in two years at the most)?

    How many unelected senators are we going to have?

  38. http://cbs2chicago.com/politics/burris.senate.ceremony.2.900848.html

    Roland Burris was denied entry to the U.S. Senate Tuesday morning, when the Secretary of the Senate said his credentials were not in order. [snip]

    Burris’ attorney, Timothy W. Wright III, said that “our credentials were rejected by the secretary of the Senate. We were not allowed to be placed in the record books. We were not allowed to proceed to the floor for purposes of taking oath. All of which we think was improperly done and is against the law of this land. We will consider our options and we will certainly let you know what our decisions will be soon thereafter.” [snip]

    “As I read the U.S. Constitution,” he said on CBS’s “The Early Show” earlier Tuesday, “it says the ‘governor shall fill a vacancy, and as a former attorney general of my state, I have no knowledge of where a secretary of state has veto power over a governor carrying out his constitutional duties.'”

    Burris also maintained that the announcement by Blagojevich Monday of a date for an election for a successor to Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., proves the governor still has legal authority to carry out his duties. Emanuel will be Obama’s White House chief of staff. [snip]

    Meanwhile, Burris has been ordered to appear on Wednesday before the state House impeachment panel meeting in Springfield, but he has indicated that he will not honor the subpoena. He says he will have to be in Washington performing his senatorial duties.

    State Rep. Jim Durkin, the committee’s ranking Republican, says this is not acceptable.

    “We have the right to hold Mr. Burris in contempt and I don’t believe Mr. Burris would like that,” Durkin said. [snip]

    Despite Durkin’s irritation about this matter, he told CBS 2 Monday that he does believe, absent any evidence of wrongdoing, that Burris is legally entitled to the Senate seat.

    Another member of the impeachment committee, Skokie Democrat Lou Lang told CBS 2 he agrees. The appointment, he says, is perfectly legal.

    Roosevelt University policy studies professor Paul Green said there is no reason why Burris should not be seated.

    “One doesn’t know what’s going on, because legally, (Burris is) absolutely correct, and there should not be any debate; there should not be any discussion. Secretary of State White really has no function in this; the statute is clear. The governor makes the selection,” Green said. “I don’t know how you bar somebody from a sovereign state who was legally appointed not to go to the U.S. Senate – which, by the way, is not known for being the home of many vestal virgins – and all of a sudden you have everyone shocked, outraged by this process.”

  39. Freckles, my understanding is that these appointments are only until the next regular national election.

  40. Is this Illinois Sec. of State kind of like the Supreme Court peons clerks who officially control what the Supremes rule on? Actually, I’m sure it’s a formality, the Supremes talk to the clerks in encoded hand signals, so if they don’t want to rule on a case, the clerks file it off into oblivion.

    Like when a boss whispers to his secretary “If it’s my wife, tell her I’m meeting with a client, or something”.

    &&&&
    Secretary of Illinois: “And you are…?”

    Burris: “Roland Burris. I was Comptroller of Illinois from 1979 to 1991 and Attorney General of Illinois from 1991 to 1995.”

    Sec.: “And this is in regards to…”

    Burris: “My appointment as Senator to replace Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat. I was appointed by the Governor”.

    Sec. “Well well well. I can’t seem to find your paperwork. Are you sure the Governor filled out the correct forms?”

  41. So what will the voters of Illinois due about this? How many times can the Dims give the finger to the popular vote, and the interpreted legal rules of the government. NM inner circle O dims, even though HRC won the primary, treated HRC supporter like she had lost, and stole delegates from her. The voters did nothing.

    I think NM and Illinois deserve so much more also, but you must insist on being treated better, and follow up on that, or you will continue to be beaten, because they know they can get away with it.

    PLEASE ILLINOIS, STAND UP TO THE O DIMS!!!EVEN THOUGH THE NM DIM VOTERS CANNOT SEEM TO DO THIS!!!

    TO THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLEASE STAND UP FOR OUR CONSITUTION, AND THE DEMOCRACY OF THIS COUNTRY.

  42. Is Harry (coward Reid a liar?

    buchanan.org/blog/2009/01/pjb-theres-something-about-harry/

    interesting article

  43. January 6th, 2009 at 12:35 pm
    NewMexicoFan Says:

    “So what will the voters of Illinois do about this?”
    * * * * *
    NMF: Apparently this is the topic of the day among reform-minded IL republicans. (Rahm: “Never waste a good crisis.”) The entrenched Dem Machine leading a bi-partisan Combine makes it difficult for any well meaning individual to change the game. They run the only game in town. “Demolition derby” (Heh, heh) followed by new leadership might be one possible path. At the grassroots, it is hard to know what to do, but I and I’m sure many others will have ears to the ground.

    Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn announced yesterday at the City Club luncheon that he is convening an ethics commission. We’ll see if their agenda is substantive or calculated only to get rid of the loose cannon, Rotten Rod.

  44. Repost (sorry I didn’t know our smiley/winkey faces prompted moderation)

    Admin, would you please be so good as to moderate my 12:34 comment and embed a favorite clip?

  45. Illinois Underground

    Hopefully there is an acorn there that will lead to true reform. I am at the grassroots also, and I admire any actions taken. It is difficult in a room where the emperor has no clothes, to stand up among those with there noses in the emperors you know what to say, YOU ARE NAKED.

    GO ILLINOIS GO.

  46. I wonder if there is any provision in the law to send the ill secretary of state to jail. On the civil side there must be something equivalent to a writ of mandamus.

    Blacks Law Dictionary: “a writ of mandamus is a writ which issues from a court of superior jurisdiction and is directed to . . . an exectutive or administrative officer commanding the performance of a particular act therein specified and belonging to his or her public, official or administrative duty . . .”

    If such a writ issues and the ill sos defies it then he can get ready for Freddy–as in Romeo and Joliette.

  47. Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn announced yesterday at the City Club luncheon that he is convening an ethics commission. We’ll see if their agenda is substantive or calculated only to get rid of the loose cannon, Rotten Rod.
    —————————————–
    Before Pat gets to Rod, he should ask this kangaroo court ethics committee to look into his own bona fides. I would not be surprised if he is not at least a person of interest to Fitz. Just a hunch.

  48. What a mess Obama has on his hands in this matter. And worse to come, I am sure. Big Media screeds who claim this will not affect Obama are whistling past the graveyard.

  49. An earlier post stated the need for a new democratic party. I agree.

    Here is something to think about. I am very active in animal rescue and animal rights. There is a huge segment of the population that is organized and for whom these issues are paramount. I believe that there are enough of these voters to swing an election. Neither party has involved itself, for example, in advocating a federal ban on puppy mills…the major contibutor to millions of young, healthy dogs being killed each year in this country. That is primarily because both major parties are so indebted to big business and puppy mills are big business as well as blood money.

    I hope that an honest, centrist democratic party can emerge . Please think about harnessing the energy, organization and votes of americans who care deeply about animal rights.

    I am nauseated by the current democratic leaders and am looking for new leadership.

  50. I would sooner reform the media than the party. This is what parties do. The media is supposed to keep them honest. NBC and its affiliates and CNN have sold their souls to the devil. Thus, they magnify the dishonesty tenfold. Therein lies the greater problem and grave threat to democracy.

  51. Representative Bobby Rush has now actually said that not seating Roland Burris is racist. We’ll put a Youtube of the remarks as soon as they are available. Wasn’t voting for Obama supposed to end racial politics?

    Those who suffer actual racism are diminished by the race-baiting Obama has utilized and now inspired.

    Maybe Harry Reid will seat Burris but only give him half a vote like the Dims did to Michigan and Florida.

  52. A question I was asked to ponder yesterday by a university professor friend: Would I be so angry at the media if they had been equal opportunity election attackers, i.e. if they had gone after everyone, especially obama as vigorously and with as much hateful bias as they had with Hillary?

    I answered that it was the media’s responsibility to report the news, not to twist it, not to embellish it, and not to slant it in favor of anyone over another. And that promoting a charleton without any vetting whatsoever was wrong on many levels. I told him I would have no problem with them vetting Hillary if it had been done honestly and fairly.

    Could I have said anything else?

  53. Admin, I was wondering if anyone else saw it that way also. The Dims continue to modify the democratic rules to suit themselves.

  54. January 6th, 2009 at 12:51 pm, NewMexicoFan Says:

    Illinois Underground

    Hopefully there is an acorn there that will lead to true reform.
    [SNIP]
    GO ILLINOIS GO.
    * * * * * *
    AMEN to that. GO NEW MEXICO, GO!

  55. Repost of similar article: I’m not yet vouching for his approach, but looks like an independent panel, headed by federal prosecutor Patrick Collins. I will vouch for Pat Quinn, though – he’s always been pretty straight-up for open, transparent government and anti-waste. A semi-outsider, he wasn’t the machine’s pick for Lt. Gov.
    * * * * *
    Lt. Gov. Quinn calls for state government ‘fumigation’
    January 4, 2009

    BY DAVE McKINNEY Sun-Times Springfield Bureau Chief
    SPRINGFIELD- Launching a spring ethics push, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn has asked the same lawyer who prosecuted former Gov. George Ryan to recommend ways to “fumigate” state government.

    Quinn Monday will name former federal prosecutor Patrick Collins to chair a panel to draw up legislation and other reforms to respond to the litany of alleged wrongdoing tied to Gov. Blagojevich.

    “He’s indefatigable, tireless and an extremely hard worker,” Quinn said of Collins. “He’s just what the doctor ordered for beginning to provide remedies to Illinois’ political ills.”

    Quinn will announce Collins’ appointment to the unpaid post Monday during an appearance at the City Club. The panel eventually could comprise a dozen or so appointees, Quinn said, and will issue a report “with all deliberate speed.”

    “The purpose of this commission is to take someone of impeccable integrity, as its leader, and within a short period of time…really lay out for the people a blueprint for reform – whether it be laws that we need or changes in practice,” Quinn said.

    The lieutenant governor would not say specifically what reforms he would like to see originate from the commission other than the need for “a laser-like focus on how do we root out the undue influence of special-interest money in politics.”

    The commission may have public hearings, Quinn said, and will consider input from voters who visit a website the lieutenant governor has created: http://www.reformillinoisnow.org.

    Collins, now a partner in the Perkins Coie law firm, served as the lead federal prosecutor in the Operation Safe Roads investigation that delved into massive fund-raising abuses in the secretary of state’s office and culminated in Ryan’s criminal conviction in 2006.

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/blagojevich/1361720,pat-quinn-ethics-panel-blagojevich-010409.article

  56. Illinois Underground, if Pat Quinn wants to fumigate the Illinois state government we have a suggestion. Investigate how Obama got his house with Rezko help, where Rita Rezko got the money, the role of the banks too. Start with Obama and work your way down. Do not tolerate corruption no matter how popular the corrupt person is.

  57. admin Says:
    January 6th, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Maybe Harry Reid will seat Burris but only give him half a vote like the Dims did to Michigan and Florida
    *********
    Or return to the Article I sec 2 rule….”3/5 of other persons”

  58. And from a blog post at the Illinois Observer. Note that Lt. Gov. and Gov. are separately nominated by the voters:

    Meet Pat Quinn, Lietenant Governor of Illinois
    Tuesday, December 09, 2008

    Patrick J. Quinn (born December 16, 1948) is an American politician from Illinois.

    A career Democrat, he currently serves as the 45th Lieutenant Governor of Illinois and now as the current Governor, because Blagojevik was arrested on charges of corruption. He was elected in 2002 and took office in 2003. The Governor is Rod Blagojevich. However, on December 9, 2008, Blagojevich was taken into federal custody on felony charges of corruption. For the time, Blagojevich remains governor, but if he resigns, pleads guilty, or is convicted, Quinn will take over as Illinois Governor in his absence. Quinn served as the elected Illinois State Treasurer from 1991 to 1995. Prior to state service, Pat Quinn worked in Cook County government. Quinn has two sons, Patrick IV and David, born on April 12, 1983 and December 16, 1984 respectively. Both competed collegiately in track & field specializing in the middle and long distance events.

    In 1980, Quinn led the ultimately successful statewide campaign for the Cutback Amendment to the Illinois Constitution, which reduced the size of the Illinois House of Representatives. Before the Cutback Amendment, three state representatives had been elected from each of 59 districts, yielding a total of 177 members. After the amendment, only 118 representatives were elected from single member districts.

    Before becoming lieutenant governor, Quinn was a tax attorney. He earned an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and a law degree from Northwestern University. He gained some early fame in the late 1970s by leading an ultimately unsuccessful drive to amend, via a petition drive, the 1970 Illinois Constitution with the “Illinois Initiative”. This amendment would have provided people from Illinois with the same power to enact statutes through the process of referendums that is used in other states, notably California. Though Quinn’s petition drive was successful, his efforts were blocked by the Illinois Supreme Court that ruled that the Illinois Initiative was an “unconstitutional constitutional amendment”, and it was never allowed to be placed before the voters.

    After serving one term as State Treasurer, Quinn ran for the office of Secretary of State in 1994, losing in the general election to the incumbent (and future Governor) George H. Ryan.

    Quinn sought the office of Lieutenant Governor in 2002, and after winning the Democratic primary in March of that year, he ran together with Democratic Gubernatorial Nominee Rod Blagojevich. In Illinois, candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor run separately in the primary election, and are then joined together as a ticket in the General Election. Blagojevich and Quinn went on to defeat Attorney General Jim Ryan and State Senator Carl Hawkinson in the general election. He received a second term as lieutenant governor of Illinois. In the Illinois primary election in March 2006, he ran unopposed as a Democrat. In November 2006, he and Governor Rod Blagojevich won re-election to their respective offices. With the election of Senator Barack Obama as President in 2008, Quinn is considered a possible candidate to be appointed to succeed Obama in the U.S. Senate. Quinn maintains a website to highlight his social issues: http://www.standingupforillinois.org/ He focuses on community, environmental, and educational issues
    * * * ** *
    http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/blogentries/index.html?bbPostId=BDUWnhLKr1hYB1qwRcmCmxS6B4J6VQWrfBMCACp5u1LfhEY&bbParentWidgetId=B816qv1rbXL01FLGtsnJ6tn

  59. Repost of similar article: I’m not yet vouching for his approach, but looks like an independent panel, headed by federal prosecutor Patrick Collins. I will vouch for Pat Quinn, though – he’s always been pretty straight-up for open, transparent government and anti-waste. A semi-outsider, he wasn’t the machine’s pick for Lt. Gov.
    ————————————-
    Thanks Illinois. I trust your judgment on Quinn. If he is the real deal then we all should support him. The question is whether he and others are willing to follow the evidence wherever it leads, even if it leads to Obama. At some point he may have to confront the question of political courage. Sheldon Silver in New York has already flunked that test on the Caroline Kenney matter.

  60. Admin, I concur with your priorities – I’ll be interested in seeing where this all leads. Don’t forget, Illinois has virtually NO campaign finance laws. Anything is legal as long as you report it – any change would be new. And, Fitzmas still has a pivotal role to play in this Obamadrama, too. “Sing….. sing a song….. sing out loud…. sing it strong….” (Or, something like that – Karen Carpenter, right?)

  61. Wbboei, I do know this: Quinn is a guy who never raises more money than he needs in any given election – he holds fundraisers for $75 per ticket (I’ve attended several) then stops when he has paid all his debts. He has expressed disgust with Blagos power-hungry, hoggish M.O. – precisely because of the corrupting influence of money in politics.

  62. Illinois Underground, if Pat Quinn wants to fumigate the Illinois state government we have a suggestion. Investigate how Obama got his house with Rezko help, where Rita Rezko got the money, the role of the banks too. Start with Obama and work your way down. Do not tolerate corruption no matter how popular the corrupt person is.
    —————————————–
    Admin> yes indeed. That is the test for Quinn. In order to work fumigation must be comprehensive as opposed to selective. If it falls short of what Fitzgerald comes up with cynics like me will wonder whether this was all a ruse–even if it was sincere. If he ignores Obama he cannot be taken seriously.

  63. Illinois Underground Says:

    January 6th, 2009 at 2:00 pm
    ——————————–

    Thanks for the information on Quinn. Who would have thought that among the ashes there would be one light to shine.

    Good for him!

  64. Wbboei, I do know this: Quinn is a guy who never raises more money than he needs in any given election – he holds fundraisers for $75 per ticket (I’ve attended several) then stops when he has paid all his debts. He has expressed disgust with Blagos power-hungry, hoggish M.O. – precisely because of the corrupting influence of money in politics.
    ———————————–
    Illionois: based on what you say, there is reason to believe Quinn is ethical. The question then becomes is also courageous. In other words, do you believe he will be willing to charge the committee with investigating Obama? I will bet you he wont. What do you think?

  65. pm317 Says:

    January 6th, 2009 at 1:35 pm
    This is very sad… this Burris situation.
    —————————–

    Yes it is sad. But apart from the race-bating and dimocrat heavy-handedness, is it really possible that Burris didn’t know he needed that signature? Was he determined to circumvent the appropriate steps to push his senate placement?

    Just wondering.

  66. Illinois: I appreciate your insights on your home state. They are valuable in piecing this thing together. If big media were honest they would be doing this themselves with the vast resources at their command. But we know the answer to that one.

  67. As far as Quinn goes, I really don’t know anything about him, but when it was rumored that he might have the responsibility of picking BO’s replacement, it was rumored that Christopher Kennedy was a candidate.

    He is rumored to be among the candidates to replace President-Elect Barack Obama in the US Senate.[11]

    wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_George_Kennedy

  68. Maybe Harry Reid will seat Burris but only give him half a vote like the Dims did to Michigan and Florida
    *********
    Or return to the Article I sec 2 rule….”3/5 of other persons”

    That’s funny!

  69. Thanks, Hillfriends. (Sorry had to step down the hall for a short meeting.) Amid extreme hopelessness, we may have reasons to be hopeful about Quinn… until we have reasons not to be.

    Wbboei: “….do you believe he will be willing to charge the committee with investigating Obama?”

    The short answers: I don’t know or just no. But, he surely knows where all the bodies are buried. Perhaps he may employ a bottom-up approach. It’s the results that matter. If you remove the foundation, a house cannot stand.

  70. the names matter little to me now. what was revealed about the dim party this past election cycle has absolutely destroyed my faith that our government will ever be in reach of the average American person.

    simple phrases that were established along with our Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, and Constitution are now lost with the goverment mafioso,
    phrases such as “life ,liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”, “a government of the people by the people and for the people”

    many institutions that I looked up to for their hard work have now become the dirt under my feet. people that I have admired for years sacrificed all dignity in order to gain power and priveledge. companies that I loyaly bought products from have taken that money to fight against me and buy influence in our government. religion has now turned into a message of hate rather than acceptance and love.

    I have now taken my life off cruise control. I thank the dims for this.
    I will be forever vigilant against these hard lessons. I will speak out. I will fight back.

    I wish our country no harm therefore I wish for our president none as well. But, I will never forget and it may take till my dying day to forgive

    I pray there will be an insurgence of new leaders that will truly change. I remember the saying, “actions speak louder than words”. I just hope I live long enough.

  71. JanH Says:

    January 6th, 2009 at 12:03 pm
    I think the best thing the Clintons can do is continue to take the high road. They truly are the “royal family” of the U.S.A., having surpassed the wannabe Kennedys many times over.

    By continuing on a road of ethical and humane behavior, not only do they diminish those who would crush them, but they also run circles around the dims and obamarot with their continued accomplishments.

    *****************************************************

    …so true, JanH…the Clintons are real and authentic…they are true born LEADERS…self made people…Bill came from a very tough upbringing and got where he has on his own…no trust fund baby is he…and Hillary…from a regular middle class (republican) family where she earned what she achieved through hard work…again, no trust fund baby having everything handed to her…quite the contrary, with enemies and even some ‘friends’ trying to stop her progress at so many turns…but both of them have prevailed, survived and SUCCEEDED…they have the common, human touch…

    …they are the real american dream, unlike the georgetown crowd and the rest of the posers…

    and as someone said upthread (I could not find it to achknowledge) Obama now has the whole Bill Clinton team working for him (clinton II)…the only one he left out was Bill…only so he could replace himself as Bill…however, we know Bill Clinton and Obama will never be a Bill Clinton and he will need as much support as he can muster from the Clinton team to function…regardless of how many times MSM tries to ‘upgrade’ O vs Bill…Bill and Hill are the real deal…they are the ones that rescued the Democratic party from executive oblivion…

    Obama Drama is here to stay…

  72. Obama never really wanted to BE president, IMHO. He just wanted to be the first AA elected as president and he really has no plans for our country.

  73. Dead-on, Admin.

    The whole show is meant to protect BO.

    BTW, anyone else hear that Bo received over 30G from the same pay-to-play CA associate Richardson is having problems with?

  74. ROTF!!!!!

    Listening to snipets of Roland’s interview this morning.

    he calls himself the “Magic Man!”

    Uh-oh. BO isn’t gonna like that. He’s the ‘magic’ one. Just ask Sharpton.

  75. WHOAH!!!!!!!!

    Bobby Rush is saying the democrats actions are racist!

    Here are his words, today. They may not (intend) to be racist (paraphrasing) but “their actions are racist.”

    “The longer the process takes the more racialized it becomes and the harder it will be to win in 2010.”

  76. I gotta confess my heart goes out to Burris, a little.

    I saw him braving the onslaught of reporters this morning. At one point he grabbed the arm of one of his escorts and looked for all the world like a scared elderly lady trying to cross 5th Avenue during Rush Hour.

    He is 71.

  77. Blago’s getting copies of Fitz’s tapes TODAY! No word about WHICH tapes he’s getting but . . . Blago’s gonna know about BO’s involvement in the pay-to-play ploy. BO doesn’t have the right to the tapes, legally, while Blago does.

    Wbboei,

    Could you provide a legaleeze-for-dummies translation, please?

    😉

  78. The 44th President
    NY Times:

    Biden Schedules Fact-Finding Journey to Asia:

    By PETER BAKER
    Published: January 5, 2009

    WASHINGTON — Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. will not wait to be inaugurated before embarking on the new administration’s first overseas fact-finding trip. Mr. Biden will fly to undisclosed destinations in Southwest Asia this week.

    Mr. Biden will travel in his capacity as a senator, a job he will vacate within days of returning, the trip effectively represents the incoming administration’s first foray into foreign policy since the Nov. 4 election. While outspoken on economic matters, President-elect Barack Obama and Mr. Biden have avoided discussing international issues publicly the last two months, deferring to President Bush.

    The journey will also throw a spotlight on Mr. Biden, who has remained largely out of the public eye since the election, and reinforce his intention to play an important role in foreign policy in the new administration. With the selections of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state and Gen. James L. Jones, a retired Marine commandant, as national security adviser, many in Washington have speculated about how much room would be left for Mr. Biden.

    Aides said Mr. Biden would not be speaking on behalf of the United States government or the incoming administration during the trip, although it seems unlikely that his hosts would make a distinction between Senator Biden and Vice President-elect Biden. His office declined to specify exactly when or where he would travel, citing security concerns, but Southwest Asia usually refers to a stretch of countries including Afghanistan and Pakistan, both very likely to be important hot spots for Mr. Obama.

    Mr. Biden will be accompanied by two Democratic senators, John Kerry of Massachusetts and Jack Reed of Rhode Island, and two Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

  79. Anyone else, think that Reid et al, are in a snit, because Blago defied their wishes and demands? Blag is still a sitting governor, whose powers have not been rescinded. This seems like a turf war.

  80. admin Says:

    January 6th, 2009 at 1:49 pm
    Illinois Underground, if Pat Quinn wants to fumigate the Illinois state government we have a suggestion. Investigate how Obama got his house with Rezko help, where Rita Rezko got the money, the role of the banks too. Start with Obama and work your way down. Do not tolerate corruption no matter how popular the corrupt person is.
    &&&&&&

    …how Michele Obama got her glamorous $270,000 year on the Chicago University Hospital board?

    …what exactly MO does for that kind of money?

    …how and why the Obama’s got that little bit of extra property from the “kind new neighbors next door”?

    …why did Rita Rezko pay over market prices for their parcel of land, while the Obamas saved $300,000?

    …how Obama got such a fantastic mortgage rate, and how much was that worth?

    …if Sen. Ted Stevens went to jail for petty stuff like home improvements, how much more did Obama profit? and what should his penalties be?)

    &&&
    Yeah, stuff like that.

  81. wbboei,

    Many people will not hoard the $800 stimulus, they will use it to survive. IE to make one more mortgage or credit card payment, or buy necessities.

  82. marie3548 Says:

    January 6th, 2009 at 12:36 pm
    Is Harry (coward Reid a liar?

    buchanan.org/blog/2009/01/pjb-theres-something-about-harry/
    &&&&&&&&&&&

    For BinkPinkers’ convenience, here’s the text of marie3548’s link to Pat Buchanan’s piece (notice the date, it’s hot off the presses):

    January 6, 2009
    PJB: There’s Something About Harry
    By Patrick J. Buchanan

    About the appointment by Gov. Rod Blagojevich of Roland Burris to the U.S. Senate, somebody big is lying, big-time. It is either the governor or Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

    Last week, Reid declared that he would not permit Burris, the African-American elder statesman of Illinois politics, to fill Obama’s seat, or even to enter the Senate chamber, though no one had suggested Burris is other than an honorable and able public man.

    Reid declared Burris “a tainted appointment,” not because of any ethical defect of his, but because of the cloud over the governor who had appointed him.

    Saturday, however, the Chicago Sun-Times reported, in a story sourced to the governor’s office, that Reid personally phoned Blago on Dec. 3, six days before the scandal broke, to urge him not to name any of three high-profile candidates for the Obama seat.

    On the Reid blacklist were, according to the source, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., Rep. Danny Davis and State Senate President Emil Jones.

    What do the three have in common? All are black.

    Reid reportedly urged Blagojevich to pick either state Veterans Affairs Director Tammy Duckworth or Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

    What do these women have in common? Neither is black.

    As Prince Riley, a senior consultant to Burris, told Politico, “It’s interesting that all those who are viable are white women and the ones who are unacceptable are black men.”

    It sure is, Prince — if the story is true.

    Confronted by David Gregory on “Meet the Press,” Reid called Blago a liar and said he thinks Jackson would make a fine senator. Said Reid:

    “This is part of Blagojevich’s cloud. He’s making all this up. I had a conversation with him. I don’t remember what was in the conversation, other than the generalities that I just talked about. I didn’t tell him who not to appoint. He’s making all this up …”

    However, this brings us back to the contents of a conversation Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel reportedly had with Blago, also before U.S. Attorney Pat Fitzgerald busted the governor for allegedly hawking Obama’s seat to the highest bidder.

    Valerie Jarrett, Barack’s confidante, had by then withdrawn.

    Rahm reportedly told Blago he should choose from one of three names: Duckworth, state Comptroller Dan Hynes and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky. Rahm then reportedly called back to add Lisa Madigan.

    All four are white. Conspicuously missing from Rahm’s list were all four black candidates: Jackson, Davis, Jones and Burris.

    Are Blago or his people all lying? The truth is on Fitzgerald’s tapes.

    As Gregory pressed Reid, whose re-election in 2010 in Nevada is no sure thing, the majority leader suggested his feet were not so set in concrete and he may be open to a deal with Burris:

    “I’m an old trial lawyer. There’s always room to negotiate.”

    The deal being talked about is that Reid may let Burris take the seat if he agrees not to run in 2010. For the fear Democrats have is that no black male in Illinois can for sure hold Barack’s seat.

    Now, if any such deal is what Reid has in mind, one hopes Burris will slap it away. He has as much right to be in the Senate as Harry Reid does. And for Burris to enter that body as a professed lame-duck would mean that not only would he be last in seniority, he will have neutered himself.

    Reporters need to get to the bottom of this. Did Reid and Rahm convey to Blagojevich that Jackson, Davis, Jones and Burris were all unacceptable? Or is the governor’s office putting out malicious lies against Rahm and Reid? Again, the truth is on the tapes. And the ball is in Blago’s court, as Reid has all but openly called him a liar.

    Incidentally, can one imagine the firestorm if Mitch McConnell, GOP leader, was reported to have called members of the Republican National Committee and told them all the candidates for party chair were acceptable, except for Ken Blackwell of Ohio and Michael Steele of Maryland, the two African-Americans?

    McConnell would suffer the fate of Trent Lott, the GOP leader who in 2002 had to resign his post over a toast to 100-year-old Strom Thurmond. Lott observed that Strom had run for president on the Dixiecrat ticket in 1948, that Mississippi had voted for him and that, had Strom been elected, we might not have all these problems.

    Lott was maliciously accused of endorsing the segregationist stand Strom had run on, 54 years before, though Lott never voted for segregation, and Strom’s voting record had been consistent for decades with that of other Southern conservatives.

    Al Gore, whose father, Sen. Albert Gore Sr., stood beside Strom and voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, called Lott’s remarks racist and urged his censure by the Senate.

    Let us see if the media, and his colleagues, are as tough on Reid as they were on Lott.

  83. wbboei Says:
    January 6th, 2009 at 10:42 am
    Last night I posted a quote by Charles Adams about the effect of power upon men.
    ================

    I keep reading this with two ‘d’s.

  84. I watched the Senate floor activity for a while and sure enough Hillary breezed in and received an overwhelming reception from the good ones and they were numerous.Harry Reid gave hillary a long cheek to cheek hug and at least a 30 seconds or more ear dialogue and she smiled radiantly.Good Sign.Joe Biden entered and waited for quite a time while senators greeted Hillary.They talked and strolled toward the exit and stood by as more greetings took place and then exited.I was impressed with scene and I do believe Hillary is going to be well informed about game plans that the Dims might have for her and the envy that will keep the political pot boiling as the endure buyers remorse when
    Pre.Stealth starts shedding the few clothes he has remaining.

    By ABM90

  85. basil9 Says:

    January 6th, 2009 at 3:18 pm
    WHOAH!!!!!!!!

    Bobby Rush is saying the democrats actions are racist!
    &&&&&&&&&&

    How soon will it be before Obama will start being called the R-word, and having AA’s point out that “he’s actually half white”?

  86. JanH Says:
    January 6th, 2009 at 12:03 pm
    I think the best thing the Clintons can do is continue to take the high road. They truly are the “royal family” of the U.S.A., having surpassed the wannabe Kennedys many times over.

    By continuing on a road of ethical and humane behavior, not only do they diminish those who would crush them, but they also run circles around the dims and obamarot with their continued accomplishments.
    =================

    More like continuing on the straight central course and letting the fools run in circles.

    There’s an old US song: “Know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, know when to run.” And as the I-Ching says, “The roofbeam sags and shakes. It furthers one to have somewhere to go.”

  87. While Blagojevich has signed formal appointment papers, Jesse White, the Illinois secretary of state, has not, and Senate rules require that signature. Burris, in turn, has gone to court hoping to win an order for White to sign the necessary paperwork, and he has also threatened to sue to take his seat in the Senate.

    msnbc.msn.com/id/28507873?GT1=43001
    =================

    As a former Atty General of Illinois, Burris might know what he is doing.

  88. freckles Says:
    January 6th, 2009 at 12:16 pm
    Isn’t it also offensive that because Joe Biden was sworn in and will now resign, his chief of staff will get an appointed 6-year term?

    Shouldn’t the term be until the first election (in two years at the most)?
    ====================

    I’ve heard it elsewhere as 2 years, till Biden’s son gets back from serving in the miliatry in Afganistan and plans to run for the seat then.

  89. Oh man, I’ve been too busy to check in here and missed the chance to mock Judas. 🙁

    Anyone have a link to the vid of him ducking reporters?

  90. Blago’s getting copies of Fitz’s tapes TODAY! No word about WHICH tapes he’s getting but . . . Blago’s gonna know about BO’s involvement in the pay-to-play ploy. BO doesn’t have the right to the tapes, legally, while Blago does.

    Wbboei,

    Could you provide a legaleeze-for-dummies translation, please?
    ——————————————-
    Basil: I do not practice criminal law but do have first hand experience in this area. Governor is the target of the inquiry and has the right to that information. Obama has no legal right to that information because he is not the target and the governor has a privacy interest at this pre indictment stage. Typically, wire tap records are handed over in a document entitled Inventory Of Court Documents–with back up detail. At least that is how it used to work.

    In terms of strategy I am just guessing. I do not think the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure require the Prosecutor to turn over the tapes now, months before the indictment is filed. Nor do I think this was a something the court required in granting the extension. Therefore, I can only assume that the decision is tactical. The theory would be once the Governor sees the evidence against him, he will be obliged to cooperate.

  91. wbboei Says:
    January 6th, 2009 at 1:20 pm
    I would sooner reform the media than the party. This is what parties do. The media is supposed to keep them honest. NBC and its affiliates and CNN have sold their souls to the devil. Thus, they magnify the dishonesty tenfold. Therein lies the greater problem and grave threat to democracy.
    ===================

    Right. And we HAVE possibly got the leveredge to do it, eventually. Archimedes.com anyone?

    What shall we do next with midstreamnews.com — aside from getting more readers and more contributors? wbboei, I should email you on one point. On public points, the current project (going merrily along thanks to Blue) is about non-spin stories, as models of good standard — and taken from MSM for those readers who beleve nothing else.. That’s the target audience i’m currenty trying to wean off of MSM. I’m very leery of mixing in stories from blog or opinion (tho I’ve deviated for a few) which would dilute Midstreamnew.com’s current brand of just the facts mam.

  92. wbboei Says:
    January 6th, 2009 at 1:24 pm
    We need big media to be a watch dog not a lap dog. Wont happen.
    ===================

    Probabaly it won’t. Looks like a case for … Gentlemen Amateurs!

  93. Oh man, I’ve been too busy to check in here and missed the chance to mock Judas.
    ————————————
    It is never too late. One bad turn deserves another.

  94. It is never too late. One bad turn deserves another.

    Well, in all fairness, I do mock that asshat at LEAST once a week. But I wanna mock him for ducking reporters. 🙁

  95. As a former Atty General of Illinois, Burris might know what he is doing.
    ——————————————
    ya think?

  96. JanH,

    My working assumption is that as a former IL AG Burris knows what he’s doing. Sounds like he’s got a good legal case in Illinois agaisnt the Illinois guy who is refusing to sign; it will just take soem time.

    In the meantime Burris is proceeding along, showing up for the job, puttign the Senate on record as objecting to the lack of signature rhater than to larger issues, giving Rush something to shout ‘lynch’ about…. And presumably keeping Blago from appointing anyone else.

    It’s certainly embarrassing Reid, so yay!

  97. From dailykaos:

    by SusanG
    Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 12:14:10 PM PST
    Another unconventional choice from President-Elect Obama, as Howard Kurtz reports that CNN’s Sanjay Gupta appears on the road to be tapped as surgeon general:
    [snip]

    &&&&&&&&

    “Unconventional” is used to describe Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the “TV News Celebrity Doctor, as choice for Surgeon General.

    Panetta is described by NYTimes as a “surprise” pick.

    Are these choices:
    a) Obama “thinking outside the box”
    b) Obama choosing good “marketing” people rather than good technical or managerial people?

    Obama has always been big on the “message”, the style, and light on the substance. Mr. Nothingburger. My money is on answer b.

    (Notably one obvious exclusion: Hillary as SoS does both well, the perfect blend of style and substance).

  98. Dickie the hickey toe muncher is springing up on FOX POX doing their dirty work while they act shocked for a moment or two.When asked about current happenings he always slides back to a stream of venom about his days as an adviser to Bill.This poor excuse for a human is unfit to give any advise.I have theorized on several occasions that I really believe he tried a hit on Hill and she let him have a real shot below the pot.

    By ABM90 Thank you Jan and all the other great people that make my day every day.

  99. BOB HERBERT NOW CONCERNED OBAMA WILL HAVE TO OVERCOMPENSATE AND “PROVE” HE’S NO PEACENIK BY GOING BERSERK ON AFGHANISTAN.

    For the whole op-ed piece, go to:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/06/opinion/06herbert.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

    excerpts:

    The U.S. military is worn out from years of warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan. The troops are stressed from multiple deployments. Equipment is in disrepair. Budgets are beyond strained. Sending thousands of additional men and women (some to die, some to be horribly wounded) on a fool’s errand in the rural, mountainous guerrilla paradise of Afghanistan would be madness.

    The time to go all out in Afghanistan was in the immediate aftermath of the 2001 terror attacks. That time has passed.

    With no personal military background and a reputation as a liberal, President-elect Obama may feel he has to demonstrate his toughness, and that Afghanistan is the place to do it. What would really show toughness would be an assertion by Mr. Obama as commander in chief that the era of mindless military misadventures is over.

    “I hate war,” said Dwight Eisenhower, “as only a soldier who has lived it can, as only one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.”

    [snip]

    If Mr. Obama does send more troops to Afghanistan, he should go on television and tell the American people, in the clearest possible language, what he is trying to achieve. He should spell out the mission’s goals, and lay out an exit strategy.

    He will owe that to the public because he will own the conflict at that point. It will be Barack Obama’s war.
    &&&&&&&&&&&

    Methinks Bob H. is worrying about Obama having to be a hawk to prove himself. Or he could have supported McCain, who would be poised to trim the military, bring costs under control, while keeping a firm grip on Russia and the rest of the world’s boogeymen.

  100. IOWA RESIDENT NEEDED

    From Pumapac.org:
    Dr Orly Taitz has an interesting request on her blog. She is a lawyer and is working very hard to defeat Obama. She deserves a lot of respect from us. Another woman doing great. She is from Russia and feels Obama is doing things like in Russia. She strongly opposes him. The phone number at the end is her phone. I am impressed she is ready to jump on an airplane immediately. I think she lives in California. She gets things done. Her blog is real good if you are into the Obama NBC issue in the courts. Anyway I am appealing to all Iowa PUMA to help. This should be easy. The lawyers simply need someone from Iowa so they can bring the suit against Obama. Hopefully we have an Iowa Puma who can help. It should not cost you any money.

    H*****/ no w
    drorly.blogspot.com/

  101. “SON, IT’S TIME WE HAD …THE SPEECH. ABOUT PROTECTING YOURSELF”

    NY Times article on new “worm” security threat, for y’all Internet Citizens:

    http://www.nytimes.com/external/readwriteweb/2008/12/11/11readwriteweb-the_facebook_virus_spreads_no_social_network_is_s.html?em

    “Koobface” is the name of the Trojan worm that’s been making its way through the social networking site Facebook lately, but to the site’s users, it’s been simply known as “the Facebook virus.” That name will soon become a misnomer, though, because the worm is now spreading outside of Facebook’s walls to attack other social networks like Bebo, MySpace, Friendster, MyYearbook, and Blackplanet.

    About Koobface

    Once a computer has become infected with the Kooface worm, it spams the friends belonging to the owner of the computer by leaving comments on their profiles. Those comments appear to come from the infected user, saying things like “Are you sure this is your first acting experience?”, “is it u there?”, “impressive. i’m sure it’s you on this video”, “How can anyone get so busted by a spy camera?” and “You’re the whole show! i’m admired with you.” Save for that last one, whose bad English will likely raise a flag that all is not what it seems, the other comments appeal to people’s vanity. They wonder: is that really a video of me? and then click through on the link provided.

    The link actually takes them to an off-site page which pretends to offer a video download from “YuoTube,” but then stalls saying that you’ll need a new version of Adobe’s Flash Player installed in order to continue. Of course, if you click the button to proceed with the install, you’re infected. Infected users are then directed to even more contaminated web sites when they try to use search engines, which puts them at risk of identity theft, among other things. “Search terms are directed to find-www.net,” said McAfee’s Craig Schmugar, and that “enables ad hijacking and click fraud.”

    Social Networks Will Be the New Breeding Ground for Viruses

    Koobface may not be the first bit of malware to hit the social networks, but it has become so widespread that it now accounts for one percent of ScanSafe’s blocked malware, said ScanSafe senior security researcher Mary Landesman. (Facebook will not disclose how many members are infected.)

    What’s frightening about the spread of this Trojan is not the worm itself – it’s really nothing new in terms of malware – but the way its being spread. Over the years people have learned to be suspicious of unknown links and attachments in their emails, so the virus writers turned to hit us where we’re more vulnerable: on our social networks. Here, many people still have a feeling of comfort and security. They don’t always have their guard up.

    According to Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, “a key factor which helps social-networking spam and malware succeed is that people are more prepared to click on a link or message if they believe it is from someone they know. The average person is used to receiving unsolicited e-mails in their regular inbox, but believe messages have more credence when they arrive via Facebook. The message is clear — people need to beware.”

    Cluley also warns that the situation is going to get worse next year. There will be more attacks and they will become more sophisticated. “It will probably take a long time before the general public begins to learn that hackers and scammers are using the system for their own ends.”

    How To Protect Yourself From Koobface

    Besides doing the obvious – running an up-to-date antivirus, security patches, and firewalls – you should be on the look out for the following:

    A sample spam message.

    The malicious site.

    The warning message.

    You should also keep an eye on Facebook’s security page (http://www.facebook.com/security) which warns of the latest threats.

  102. Another gem from the 30’s.Stealth’s Stimulus theme song.

    ——————————————————————-
    We’re in the money, we’re in the money;
    We’ve got a lot of what it takes to get along!
    We’re in the money, that sky is sunny,
    Old Man Depression you are through, you done us wrong.
    We never see a headline about breadlines today.
    And when we see the landlord we can look that guy right in the eye
    We’re in the money, come on, my honey,
    Let’s lend it, spend it, send it rolling along!

    Oh, yes we’re in the money, you bet we’re in the money,
    We’ve got a lot of what it takes to get along!
    Let’s go we’re in the money, Look up the skies are sunny,
    Old Man Depression you are through, you done us wrong.
    We never see a headline about breadlines today.
    And when we see the landlord we can look that guy right in the eye
    We’re in the money, come on, my honey,
    Let’s lend it, spend it, send it rolling along!

    He really believes all this stuff because he hasn’t been around very long and his avisers are also his providers and dreaming will make it so.

    By ABM90

  103. From dailykaos:

    by SusanG
    Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 12:14:10 PM PST
    Another unconventional choice from President-Elect Obama, as Howard Kurtz reports that CNN’s Sanjay Gupta appears on the road to be tapped as surgeon general:
    [snip]
    ————————————
    Richardson was an unconventional choice too Susan G. It is unconventional for a hope changey hope head to select someone who may well be indicted for a cabinet position. Yet another example of the near flawless work done by his wonderful intergalactic transition team according to msm. Mind if I ask a personal questoin Susan G.? How did you ever get along in life before Bambi came along? Better question is how will you deal with it when he implodes?

  104. choice from President-Elect Obama, as Howard Kurtz reports that CNN’s Sanjay Gupta appears on the road to be tapped as surgeon general:
    ———————————–
    I see this as symptomatic of the incestutous relationship which exists between CNN and the Obama campaign. There is alot more to it than this however. Look for him to push a media bailout at some point.

  105. I know the elections are over, but I just have to say this. It makes me sick to my stomach that this phony is getting ready to be innaugurated and is treating it as if he is the messiah and deserving of all the lavish spending that is going on for it.

    It still makes me sick that he lied and stole his way into the oval office.

  106. Hellooooooooooo

    Sorry not been around, I needed a long break after that year of shit that was the election.

    Busy working and ignoring the news until last week when, of course what we all expected started to happen, the well of corruption and shit began to flow from Obama and his chicago crew.

    Glad to see you all still here and again sorry for taking such a long break.

  107. Happy New Year, Moon. I’ve missed your posts and links to cutting edge news around the world.

    Hope all is well with you!

  108. Happy New Year to you all, or as they say round here, Mutlu Yillar.

    I missed you all, i just needed to calm down and relax, that election just about killed me.

  109. As the worm turns:

    WASHINGTON – Roland Burris failed to capture President-elect Barack Obama’s old Senate seat Tuesday in a wild piece of political theater, but the Democrats’ opposition cracked when a key chairwoman said seating him was simply the legal thing to do. Sen. Dianne Feinstein rejected the reasoning that all of the chamber’s Democrats, herself included, had cited in a letter last week — that corruption charges against Burris’ patron, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, tainted his appointment.

    “Does the governor have the power, under law, to make the appointment? And the answer is yes,” said Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Rules Committee, which judges the credentials of senators.

    for more: news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090106/ap_on_go_co/senate_burris

  110. speaking of which I was interested to see James Carvilles predictions of the oncoming huge democratic scandal storm, not like we couldnt have predicted that one, only been writing it here for the last 12 months.

    See we could open the psychic hotline, or lay a betting pool of which scumsucker goes down next, but i am beaming from ear to ear about Richardson, something tells me that guy is in deep doodoo and he is going to jail.

  111. All this infighting is going to be fun but despicable to watch because you know what, the power hungry dems are now going to rip themselves to shred that in 2 years time, they are going to be shredded in midterms.

    It always happens, get drunk on too much power and they would pull the plug on each others life support if it meant they got a leg up.

  112. Kaine, words cannot describe my modd on that MotherF%%%r.

    A cold hearted homophobic twit that obviously only got the job because he stole, i mean landed Obama, Virginia. Poor old Dean must be sore from all that Obama blowjob and sore from getting screwed over out of his job with no thanks.

    Well Howie, don’t say we didnt tell ya. Now kindly get under that bus.

  113. moononpluto Says:
    January 6th, 2009 at 6:57 pm
    Hellooooooooooo

    Sorry not been around, I needed a long break after that year of shit that was the election.

    Busy working and ignoring the news until last week when, of course what we all expected started to happen, the well of corruption and shit began to flow from Obama and his chicago crew.

    Glad to see you all still here and again sorry for taking such a long break.
    ===================

    Welcome back!

    If you get back into your news project, pls pls send the info also to me for MainstreamNews.blogspot.com

  114. Obama’s presidency is going to mired down in scandal after scandal, that it will never get off the ground, its going to make the Clinton years look like a disney production.

    If its bogged down now, imagine it in a year when all the festering pus rises when the media get bored of sucking Obama off and knife him.

  115. Obama is hated here, his whole stance on the Armenian thing went down like a sack of poo. He aint got friends here.

  116. Hey, moon, welcome back! :hi:

    And thanks, ABM90, for that post about HRC’s reception in the Senate. Loved it!

  117. ABM90: Thanks for your postings. Paula reminded me, of your great post regarding Senator Clinton’s reception in the Senate. Thank you.

  118. I should bloody hope so, if she didnt get a good reception, i’d postal worker the bastards myself.

  119. The American people did to take OUIR White House back..and dump all these people out of office …They are all LIARS and if ya voted for these LIARS …and are learning from here like me ..for 2yrs and realize what the Heck is going on with elected people we put in office to serve US..
    someone needs to remind pelosi and reid and send them a letter the AMerican people own the white house NOT you..and the media too
    this OB gonna be sworn in He lIED he is a lIAR>>
    Hillary is the only one I trust…I hope all these elected people are not voted in anymore..we need new people…2 term limit not 20 years..and people are getting real smart after this election 2008 we the will of the people see oh 2 terms cant vote for him or her…anymore …they get real shady after the first term..think they can get past the LAWS …

  120. and also Senators need to be 4 yr terms and not 6, we need to re-elect them every presidentiial election, dont let them languish for 6 years in the trough, make them work.

  121. yall want one of those plates 22 gold trim plated with change to believe in..2 victory plates to choose from…365 firing days then the die will be destroyed….thats right POCKET Change… selling on tv ..its worth 2 cents..lol…i turn the channell when that comes on..

    welcome back moon..and hope everyone comes back because i think this dem crap is gonna get reall good…blago is gonnna sing sing i think he willl….and rezko you trhink there gonna spend all there in life in jail nope i dont think so…
    I wonder when the DNC will ask for money with kaine in there…none from me thats for sure..

  122. moononpluto Says:
    January 6th, 2009 at 7:27 pm
    Obama’s presidency is going to mired down in scandal after scandal, that it will never get off the ground, its going to make the Clinton years look like a disney production.
    =================

    Might happen starting in 2010. Bill Clinton had a Dem congress the first two years, then the GOP got Congress and spent the next 8 years investigating nonsense. Who controls Congress controls what investigating committees can get set up, and then the investigators can feed the media with rumors.

  123. Then again, maybe the dims will go at each other before then and implode. It’s not as if they won’t be continuing their knife in the back policy for each other if and when it suits them.

  124. Freckles-I agree with you and Admin. I would be satisfied with a demolition derby.

    Amen to this comment!!!!

  125. exactly Jan, they’ll be knifing each other left right and centre and they didnt even wait until Jan to do it.

  126. moononpluto

    Thanks for rejoining us from your part of the world. All of us are working through this the best that we can. I hope your break gave you what you needed. We really are glad to see you back. This is a comfort zone for all of us, and a place where we get acurate news.

  127. I threw the d@mned phone and broke it. I just got a call from Telefund, Inc saying they were NOW. I remember visiting their website, but be d@mned if I left my telephone number!! And at this time of day!!!!

    She talked so fast I could hardly keep up with her, but I heard: we finally have a president who cares about women’s rights, women’s rights have never been more important….yada yada yada.

    I stopped her right there and asked her where they were when Hillary needed them. Where were they when Sarah Palin needed them and she said…………SOME PEOPLE DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT WOMEN’S RIGHTS ARE [like I was not around before she quit sh!tting green!!!].
    I think I gasped then. She said then that SHE was a big supporter and fan of Barrack Obama…..I ended the call with, WELL, I AM NOT AND YOU CAN GO TO………………….

    How dare they look up my phone number and solicit from me!!!!!

  128. and the comedown and letdown is like hearing ballons hissing in defaltion now they realised that Obama really is a liar after all.

  129. Turndown: we need to catalogue the idioms big media will use to protect bambi from the consequences of his arrogance, stupidity and poor judgment. So far the list is short and therefore manageable. But as time goes on it will grow more extensive. Here are the ones we have seen so far in order of preference:

    1. this is all Clintons fault

    2. this is all Bush/Cheneys fault

    3. the republican congress is the culprit

    4. this will not affect obama

    5. this is something of a lesson for Obama

    6. not the Rezko he knew

    5. Richardson did not tell him everyhing

    6. Obama has a loyal but overzealous staff

    7. Poland, France misunderstood that he said

    8. this problem will take time to resolve

    9. unity is more imporant than . . . dissent

    10. have you noticed he looks different, etc.

    11. he has excercised remarkable restraint

    12. time for another well earned vacation

    Here is a business proposition for big media. Assign these responses a number, and let the pundits hold them up rather than jawbone. Saves us the trouble of listening to those numbskulls. Saves time for more commercials.

  130. 13. this is accidental launch of nuclear weapon is really no different than the time Bill Clinton went to a shooting range and fired a 45 automatic at a silouette target, since both involved the use of deadly force.

  131. I got the NOW donation call on Sunday afternoon. I ripped the guy a new ***hole. I wouldn’t let him go, demanding to know why NOW didn’t endorse a female candidate for President. Why they sat on their hands. I asked what they’ve done for women and he started in on a bill passed in 1994. The guy was so mad, he started yelling at me and then asked again for my donation.

    I said, “I wouldn’t give a goddamn red cent to your organization.”

  132. don’t forget the tried and true:

    “You should be ashamed of yourself from trying to use the race card against me…

  133. I stopped her right there and asked her where they were when Hillary needed them. Where were they when Sarah Palin needed them and she said…………SOME PEOPLE DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT WOMEN’S RIGHTS ARE [like I was not around before she quit sh!tting green!!!].
    I think I gasped then. She said then that SHE was a big supporter and fan of Barrack Obama…..I ended the call with, WELL, I AM NOT AND YOU CAN GO TO………………….
    —————————————–
    They have got a great sale pitch and just the kind of people you want to sell it. Lets just say the logic escapes me. . . .

    1. If the bot is correct (which she is not) and we finally have a president who cares about womens rights, then NOW is superfulous and it would be wasteful to make a contribution.

    2. If the bot is wrong (which she most definitely is) and we do not have a president who cares about womens rights, then NOW is once again superfulous because it has shown no willingness to call him on it or to support Hillary in her hour of need. Again, it would be wasteful to make a contribution.

  134. Since Bambi is into changing the words of the star spangled banner, I say lets also change Hail To The Chief to HAIL TO THE CHEAT and use the Dragnet theme. That would be the highlight of his coronation.

  135. wbboei

    I like that, Hail to the CHEAT.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    …. and I suggest, The Law and Order theme.. DoinkDoink!

  136. After a day of listening and watching all the news media I just can’t believe what has happened to our congress and and our political system since BHO with a Race card and a phony BC has turned this country into one big pitiful mess.It is even worse than a Banana Republic with both Dems and Repugs ripping our poor country to shreds and we are now the laughing stock of the world.Something big must happen before Jan 20th and stop this fraud who has created so much fear and dissention amongst us.
    We need you Bill and Hillary stay the course.This is the old movie
    “OUR GANG COMEDY” all over again.

    By ABM90 These words haunt me with every passing day

    “Breathes there a man with soul so dead who never to himsel has said,this is my own my native land”. AMEN

  137. From USA Today:

    Biden: It was ‘just a mistake’ that Feinstein wasn’t consulted about Panetta

    When she heard yesterday that President-elect Barack Obama has reportedly chosen Clinton-era White House chief of staff Leon Panetta to be CIA director, Sen. Dianne Feinstein did not appear pleased.

    She said she hadn’t been consulted and that “I believe the (CIA) is best-served by having an intelligence professional in charge at this time.” Feinstein, D-Calif., is the new chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which will handle the confirmation hearings for Obama’s intelligence choices.

    Panetta has been a congressman, budget director and chief of staff — but hasn’t worked for the CIA or other intelligence agencies.

    Today, Politico and other news outlets report, Vice President-elect Joe Biden told reporters on Capitol Hill that “I’m still a Senate man and I always think this way. I think it’s always good to talk to the requisite members of congress.”

    Not notifying Feinstein or other senators who oversee the intelligence agencies was “just a mistake,” Biden said.

  138. Poll: Half say Burris should be blocked
    From USA Today:

    A new USA TODAY/Gallup poll indicates that a majority of Americans say Roland Burris should not be able to accept a controversial appointment to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama. Burris arrived at the Capitol on Tuesday, just before being rebuffed.

    Don’t let Roland Burris take the vacant Illinois seat, say 51% of those surveyed in the latest USA TODAY/Gallup national poll.

    Of the rest, 27% said he should be seated and 21% had no opinion. (1,000 adults were surveyed yesterday. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points.)

    By Susan Page and John Fritze, USA TODAY

    WASHINGTON — A majority of Americans say Roland Burris should be blocked from taking a U.S. Senate seat he was appointed to by embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds. Most say the state should hold a special election to fill the vacancy.

    Even so, Burris’ effort to claim the seat that was held by President-elect Barack Obama got a boost from a key Democratic senator, Dianne Feinstein of California. The outgoing Rules Committee chairwoman said the governor had the power to make the appointment. Failing to seat Burris, she warned, “has ramifications for gubernatorial appointments all over America.”

    Burris, 71, the former state attorney general, is scheduled to meet Wednesday with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

  139. I have always liked Feinstein–since the days she was Mayor of San Francisco. She is decisive on issues and loyal to her friends. That is unusual. I think she stayed with Hillary right up to June 3. Ditto Boxer. Freckles, is my recollection on that accurate? So many others are just sleezy.

  140. The polls are meaningless. Mainstream media feeds the public half truths. Then they poll them. And the public reguritates what they have been told. It is a Pavlovian exercise. Garbage in and garbage out–these pseudo scientific polls.

    This is not democracy–it is fraud. Democracy assumes that people can think for themselves and gives them both sides of the story.

  141. His and his staff’s inexperience is showing, but then it does not matter. The media will say it is not important.

  142. His and his staff’s inexperience is showing, but then it does not matter. The media will say it is not important
    ———————————
    To many of us it is regardless of what they say. Big Media is on its last leg.

  143. I thought alan colmes was gone why is he still on tv…

    Big media on its last leg and hopefully bankrupt…for all the lying news they tell..and people believe them…

  144. wbboei Says:
    January 6th, 2009 at 11:23 pm
    I have always liked Feinstein–since the days she was Mayor of San Francisco. She is decisive on issues and loyal to her friends. That is unusual. I think she stayed with Hillary right up to June 3. Ditto Boxer. Freckles, is my recollection on that accurate? So many others are just sleezy.
    ===================

    Boxer wasn’t so good. Early she said she would go with the majority of California voters — who of course went strongly for Hillary. Instead of following them, Boxer kept delaying and temporizing.

  145. The post office is complaining about the reduction of bulk mail, and newspapers, and TV are scrabbling for ads, when in fact the people that advertise are going after blogs, and the internet.

    Just as the car dealers were told, the hand writing is on the wall. People don’t look at you, because they do not believe you and the market you reach has diminished. Start looking for a new job. Any package by the O will only prolong the failure.

    That really feels good to say. Good Night All.

  146. Moon, good to see you. I was getting a bit worried about you and was about to ask if anyone had heard from you.

  147. I’m concerned that O wants to increase the size of government by 600,000 jobs. Who’s going to pay for this plan? We knew that he would be attempting to set up a Chicago-style patronage organization on a national scale, but I thought it would take him a little longer. Yikes!

    Goodnight, all!

  148. jtjames Says:

    January 6th, 2009 at 11:51 pm
    ny daily news is reporting the hills confirmation hearing is next tuesday.
    ————————————-
    thanks jt. should be interesting. I suppose it will be on c-span.

  149. MOON! You came home! I’ve been thinking for the past few days that I’d like to post something like: “moononpluto, if you are reading this please come home — you are loved and missed a lot.”

  150. Just Got Home From Work Tonight…….. y’all were busy!! LOL!!

    It’s so wonderful to see familiar posters here tonight!!!

    Welcome home Moon!

    Idunn…..missed ya too!!

    Welcome to any and all new big pinkers too!!

    Wish i had something more to add to the conversation tonight but i am just beat….so will come back tomorrow .. G’ nite all

  151. Morning All~

    Burris is getting support from the Rule of Law. (in absentia)

    Apparently Diane Feinstein’s cognitive skills surpass the morbid reactionary, Harry Reid’s lame attempt at usurping the law at:

    pumasunleashed.wordpress.com

    And Queen Caroline has been promised a challenge if she insists on Hillary’s Senate Seat, by the King, Peter that is at:

    hillaryunleashed.wordpress.com

  152. On the AOL fashion comments on MO, evidently many commenters did not agree. They came back with, well I guess some did not agree with us. Amazing that they would admit that.

    I wondered what would happen with that story.

  153. If MO gets any bigger, she’ll be eligible for the LA Lakers.

    She has the physique of a man. Huge bone structure, long reach and massive legs.

    Like a sun baked Janet Reno!

  154. Daley taking city’s case for stimulus help straight to D.C.
    BUDGET | Doesn’t want funds tied up by gov’s mess

    January 6, 2009

    BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter

    With Gov. Blagojevich facing impeachment, Mayor Daley is trying to engineer a political end-run around Springfield when it comes to Chicago’s share of the $800 billion economic stimulus plan being crafted by President-elect Barack Obama.

    “Mayors are going directly to the federal government. They have to. We can’t wait. You can’t allow Springfield to take your money, hold the interest, then eventually give it to you in the middle of winter. You’ll never get the job done in the middle of winter,” Daley told reporters.

    “You just go straight to the federal government and say, ‘We have all the construction ready to go. We have matching funds. Let’s go with it.’ You cannot layer from the federal government to the state government. By the time it gets back to local government, it’s after the construction season. We can’t allow that.”

    Daley was cagey when asked how a city struggling to survive its worst budget crisis in recent history would come up with the matching funds needed to qualify for federal grants. That’s normally where the state comes in.

    “That’s how you do creative financing,” he said.

    Chief Financial Officer Paul Volpe, the mayor’s newly-designated chief-of-staff, refused to say what the mayor meant by “creative financing.” Last week, Volpe acknowledged that Chicago closed the book on 2008 $31 million deeper in the hole than previously thought because of declining revenues tied to the economic downturn. He warned that the city might have to tap into a ,b>$324 million “rainy day fund” created when Chicago parking meters were privatized.

    Continue: suntimes. com /news/politics/1364373,blagojevich-daley-economic-stimulus-010609.article

  155. “He warned that the city might have to tap into a $324 million “rainy day fund” created when Chicago parking meters were privatized.”

    the word, “might” is a mighty word for the word “will”..

  156. Having worked with Government Approriations, it means you take money Appropriated by your elected officials, for a specific thing, and somehow justify using it for something else.

    Such creative bookkeeping has put some people in Jail.

  157. If Daley would kick back the vig to the citizens of Chicago he would not need to go around Springfield and to Washington. But why kick back anything when you can feed at an even bigger public tough. Just what are these projects and what is the Chicago Machines piece of the axes. And–oh yes, why should we pay taxes if this is the endgame.

  158. Oh dear! What will bam bam do when the mayors, the governors, law enforcement, the street corner vender…all come running to him for a hand out? Will he hide his head in the sand? Take another much needed vacation? Will he know how to balance priorities and govern a nation?

    Very doubtful!

  159. wbb — I have always liked Feinstein in spite of the fact that she used her mayoral office to deprive my family of a tremendous amount of money. It’s a long story about a lease with the city but I believe she did it to upgrade the city. She was advised by a corrupt lawyer — a big noise in Dem politics — who was unlikely to tell her the truth.

    OTOH, I like the fact that she says what she thinks, as she did yesterday with “Seat Burris!”. I don’t always agree with herbut that’s OK with me.

  160. How will Obama payback all those promises and kickbacks he promised, when the mob dont get them, he’ll be persona non grata for quite a few.

  161. DOWD ENDORSES THE ENORMOUSLY FLAWED CAROLINE TO BE SENATOR OF NY

    There is so much flawed thinking in Dowd’s essay today, that there is no need to comment. It has to be the Titanic of bad op-ed pieces. But I’m sure you all will have plenty to comment on; I can’t wait.

    Enjoy.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/07/opinion/07dowd.html?_r=1

    Sweet on Caroline

    By MAUREEN DOWD
    Published: January 6, 2009

    Ask not, you know, what your country can, like, do for you. Ask what you, um, can, you know, do for your country.

    After a lifetime of shying away from the public spotlight, Caroline Kennedy asked herself what she could do for her country.

    Her soft-spoken answer — to follow her father and two uncles and serve in the Senate — got her ripped to shreds in the, you know, press.

    I know about “you knows.” I use that verbal crutch myself, a bad habit that develops from shyness and reticence about public speaking.

    I always thought that Caroline and her brother, John, had special magic capital in America because of their heartbreaking roles in the Kennedy House of Atreus.

    Joe Kennedy, the wily patriarch of the clan, had pioneered the use of Hollywood glamour in pursuit of Washington power. With his glossy pop-culture political magazine, George, John reversed that equation, using his stature as an American political prince to persuade Salma Hayek to pose on the cover of his magazine.

    I wrote a column once saying that it seemed like a frivolous use of his time. I thought he should run for office and employ his special clout to make life better for Americans. He died before he had the chance.

    So I found it bizarre that when Caroline offered to use her magic capital — and friendship with Barack Obama — to help take care of New York in this time of economic distress, she was blasted by a howl of “How dare she?”

    People are suddenly awfully choosy about who gets to go to the former home of Jesse Helms, Strom Thurmond and Robert Torricelli.

    Although Americans still have enough British in their genes to be drawn to dynasties, W. has no doubt soured the country on scions. And the camps of the other two New York dynasties — the Clintons (still bitter about Caroline’s endorsement of Obama) and the Cuomos (who’d like that Senate seat for Andrew) — have certainly done their best to undermine Caroline.

    Congress, which abdicated its oversight role as the Bush crew wrecked the globe and the economy, desperately needs fresh faces and new perspectives, an infusion of class, intelligence and guts.

    People complain that the 51-year-old Harvard and Columbia Law School grad and author is not a glib, professional pol who knows how to artfully market herself, and is someone who hasn’t spent her life glad-handing, backstabbing and logrolling. I say, thank God.

    The press whines that she doesn’t have a pat answer about why she wants the job. I’ve interviewed a score of men running for president; not one had a good answer for why he wanted it.

    Robert Duffy, the mayor of Rochester, complained that when the would-be senator visited the Democratic headquarters there recently, she did not respond to pictures in a conference room of her father, mother, brother and herself as a little girl. Isn’t it creepy to expect her to emote on cue? Isn’t it more authentic to want to keep some of your most private feelings to yourself?

    I know Caroline Kennedy. She’s smart, cultivated, serious and unpretentious. The Senate, shamefully sparse on profiles in courage during Dick Cheney’s reign of terror, would be lucky to get her.

    And believe me, she talks a whole lot better than the former junior senator from New York, Al D’Amato, who once wailed that he was “up to my earballs” in some mess, and another time complained to me that those “little Jappies” bring over boats full of cars and then take the boats back empty.

    Anyhow, it isn’t how you say it. It’s what you say. Hillary Clinton is a great talker, but she never stood up in the Senate to lead a crusade against any Republican horror show, from Terri Schiavo to the Bush administration’s dishonest push to war.

    Sitting in the Senate gallery on Tuesday as senators were sworn in by Dick Cheney, I saw plenty of lawmakers who had benefited from family.

    Two Udalls were being sworn in, under the watchful eye of Stewart Udall. Mark Begich, the new senator from Alaska, is the son of a former Alaska congressman. The classy Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, son of the late Gov. Robert Casey, was there in a festive pink tie. John McCain, whose wife’s money and Arizona pull made his Senate election possible, looked on with a smile. Hillary, whose husband paved the way for her to join this club and run for president, chatted with colleagues. Jay Rockefeller wandered about, as did Chris Dodd, son of Senator Thomas Dodd. And Teddy Kennedy, walking with a cane, worked the room with his old brio.

    It isn’t what your name is. It’s what you do with it. Or, in the case of W., don’t.

  162. January 7th, 2009 at 8:40 am, Mrs. Smith Says:

    “…Apparently Diane Feinstein’s cognitive skills surpass the morbid reactionary, Harry Reid’s lame attempt at usurping the law…”
    LOL, Mrs. Smith! Morning, Hillfriends! Apparently reactionary public opinion is catching up with the law of the land. Please keep in mind that my opinion about seating Burris is not based on his experience, personal traits, or the cesspool he shares with his fellow Illinois career politicians.
    * * * * * * * *
    Opposition to seating Burris in Senate weakening
    By ANN SANNER, Associated Press Writer Ann Sanner, Associated Press Writer
    46 mins ago

    WASHINGTON – Former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris is closer to taking President-elect Barack Obama’s seat in the Senate, say knowledgeable officials in both parties, despite Democratic leaders’ vows to reject any appointee of Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

    After being rejected Tuesday when he tried to join the class of incoming freshmen senators, Burris is finding new support on Capitol Hill as Democratic leaders scramble for a way to defuse the standoff with growing racial, political and legal complications.

    The likelihood that Burris, a Democrat, will eventually prevail and become the Senate’s only black member after Obama’s resignation from the seat, increased Tuesday evening when a key chairwoman got behind him, cracking what had been united public front by Senate Democrats against a Blagojevich appointee.

    Burris was scheduled to meet with the Senate’s top two Democrats — Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and assistant leader Dick Durbin of Illinois — on Wednesday, a day after his paperwork was rejected at the opening of the 111th Congress.

    Senate officials in both parties, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly for Senate members, said there is a growing expectation on Capitol Hill that the saga will end with Burris being seated.

    Blagojevich shocked Democratic leaders by appointing Burris to finish the final two years of Obama’s six-year term in the Senate just three weeks after the governor was arrested on corruption charges in what federal prosecutors said was a scheme to sell or trade Obama’s vacated Senate seat to the highest bidder,

    Blagojevich denies the accusations and has yet to be indicted. There has been no indication that Burris was involved in the alleged scheme, and he has not been accused of any wrongdoing. Democrats have repeatedly said the issue is Blagojevich, not Burris’ qualifications.

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Rules Committee, told reporters Tuesday evening that Burris should be seated.

    “If you don’t seat Mr. Burris, it has ramifications for gubernatorial appointments all over America,” the California Democrat said. “Mr. Burris is a senior, experienced politician. He has been attorney general, he has been controller, and he is very well-respected. I am hopeful that this will be settled.”

    In a piece of political theater, Burris, 71, tried and failed Tuesday to take Obama’s seat.

    He marched into the Capitol, declaring himself “the junior senator from the state of Illinois,” and asked Secretary of the Senate Nancy Erickson to accept a certification of his appointment signed by Blagojevich. Erickson refused, saying it lacked Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s signature and the state seal.

    White has refused to sign the appointment letter that Blagojevich gave to Burris, saying he won’t sign onto any such decision by a governor under legal siege.

    White said Wednesday says he’s being unfairly blamed by senators for not seating Burris, saying Burris could have been accepted there without his signature, calling that “mostly ceremonial.”

    And in Chicago, Burris’ attorneys asked the Illinois Supreme Court on Tuesday to expedite a hearing on their petition for a court order directing White to certify his appointment.

    Burris also was considering a federal lawsuit to force Senate Democrats to seat him.

    “Our credentials were rejected by the secretary of the Senate,” said Timothy W. Wright III, an attorney for Burris. “We were not allowed to be placed in the record book. We were not allowed to proceed to the floor for purposes of taking oath. All of which we think was improperly done and is against the law of this land.”
    ___
    Associated Press writers Laurie Kellman and Erica Werner contributed to this report.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090107/ap_on_go_co/senate_burris

  163. Just curious, but do others see your comment while it is “awaiting moderation”? Can me 10:41am comment be seen:

    rgb44hrc Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    January 7th, 2009 at 10:41 am

    DOWD ENDORSES THE ENORMOUSLY FLAWED CAROLINE TO BE SENATOR OF NY

    There is so much flawed thinking in Dowd’s essay today, that there is no need to comment. It has to be the Titanic of bad op-ed pieces. But I’m sure you all will have plenty to comment on; I can’t wait.

    Enjoy.

    [snip]

  164. In MoDo’s comments, the first viewer rips her a new one:

    Oh my, you very much missed the boat on this one.

    While I agree that the Senate needs more people who are “smart, cultivated, serious and unpretentious”, why Caroline Kennedy?

    Just… because?

    – Peter Steinberg, Brooklyn, NY

    Why not my Sister? She went to Harvard law school, is extremely well-spoken, is extremely capable of expressing her beliefs and desires when asked, is accomplished in her career… and has done all of this without any wealth or family name to pave the way for her.

    If Caroline wants my support she has to do something — *anything* — to show that she’s more fit for the seat than any one of the hundreds of other Harvard-educated lawyer/authors in New York.

  165. This is very funny. This machine hack did as he was told and now regrets it. (I’ll post the link separately, since it will prompt “moderation.”)

    Jesse White: I’ve been made the fall guy
    January 7, 2009 6:52 AM |
    Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White said this morning he has been made “the fall guy” by the U.S. Senate, which he said is using him as an excuse not to seat Roland Burris.

    “They could have seated him without my signature; my signature is not required,” he told WGN-AM 720’s John Williams.

    The Senate barrred Burris Tuesday, saying he lacked proper credentials in that his appointment was not signed by White.

    But White said today that “my signature is mostly ceremonial, rather than a point of law.”

    “They played a little bit of a game with him [Burris] yesterday,” he added.

    Asked by Williams if he had been made “the fall guy,” White responded: “You’re absolutely correct.”

    (For the full interview, click here.)

    White said he had pledged, shortly after Gov. Rod Blagojevich was accused of trying to make a deal for his appointment to the Senate seat, not to sign off on anyone selected by Blagojevich. And he said he will continue to honor that pledge unless ordered otherwise by a court.

    Yet at the same time he said he thought Burris should be admitted to the Senate and said he had the highest possible regard for him. He predicted Burris eventually will be seated.

    –Staff report

  166. Congressional Black Caucus Assesses Its Role Under a Black President

    By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN
    Published: January 6, 2009

    SNIP

    the contested appointment of Roland W. Burris to fill the Illinois Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama has added further discomfort to an already rough period for the Black Caucus. The refusal by Senate Democrats to seat Mr. Burris on Tuesday has also splintered the caucus and caused a dust storm of racial politics at a time when many Americans hoped Mr. Obama’s election was a sign that the country was moving beyond its racially troubled past.

    SNIP

    But as Mr. Obama prepares to take office, shifting power to the White House in ways both real and symbolic, caucus members have been wrestling with an unsettling reality: the new president can propel their agenda but he may also diminish their influence.

    SNIP
    As the only black senator, Mr. Obama was a member of the caucus but attended meetings only occasionally

    SNIP
    Caucus members clearly rejoice in Mr. Obama’s election; many can describe exactly when and why their tears started to flow on election night. But many members initially supported Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York over Mr. Obama. Already, there have been signs of unease.

    SNIP

    In interviews, some prominent black lawmakers said they expected the caucus to remind Mr. Obama of his roots.

    “Barack Obama needs to hear from us,” Mr. Clyburn said. “And we need to be a sounding board for him.”

    SNIP

    Former Representative J. C. Watts of Oklahoma, a black Republican who refused to join the caucus because of its traditional dominance by Democrats, said he expected that tensions between the group and Mr. Obama would be likely to emerge behind closed doors. Such strains, Mr. Watts predicted, will be likely to involve members of the old guard, like Mr. Clyburn, who as majority whip is the No. 3 Democrat in the House.

    “I think Jim has a lot of influence with the C.B.C. members, he’ll have a big stick at the leadership table and he’ll carry a pretty decent size stick with the White House,” Mr. Watts said. “I’d love to be a fly on the wall, when they have some of those contentious issues, when you have Jim Clyburn and Rahm Emanuel trying to work through.”

    nytimes. com /2009/01/07/us/politics/07blacks.html?_r=1&pagewanted=2&em

  167. rgb44hrc Says:

    January 7th, 2009 at 10:45 am
    Just curious, but do others see your comment while it is “awaiting moderation”? Can me 10:41am comment be seen:

    rgb44hrc Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    January 7th, 2009 at 10:41 am

    DOWD ENDORSES THE ENORMOUSLY FLAWED CAROLINE TO BE SENATOR OF NY
    ——————————————————————————————————-

    When I have a comment awaiting moderation, I can see it. I don’t see other people’s comments that are awaiting moderation.

    Dowd is awful. Whomever she endorses, I’ll run the opposite way, screaming. Just shows that Dowd is all about money and kiss a**ing.

    Btw, apparently Burris has been seated. Anyone else hear this? What a lot of drama for nothing. Talk about a distraction.

  168. BREAKING:
    Senate Democrats to acccept Burris
    Jan. 07, 2009
    (AP) — Senate Democrats plan to accept Roland Burris for President-elect Barack Obama’s vacant seat.

    Check back soon for more details.

  169. I had to laugh watching parts of Olberman and Madox as they tried to portray Obama’s ineptitude in not advising Feinstein/Rockfeller as payback for their lack of oversight ….today, he apologized to Feinstein. The MSM will do anything to protect this fraud and bring down the Clintons. That ass Fineman even brought up Lewinsky incident on Olberman last night…

  170. Let’s review some facts since the media is very little help:

    Delaware — if Joe Biden had not been sworn in, there would have been a special election in at least 2 years. Now the appointee will fill out his term which is 6 years.

    The Illinois seat has only 2 years to go.

    The Ill SOS says that his signature is really ceremonial and not necessary to seat Burris.

    The Minn election went from 700+ Coleman to 225+ Franken. As soon as Franken reached the lead, the counting was over. Also, I understand it was the Coleman and Franken people who had vetoes over the commission’s review of spoiled ballots. I have complete faith that they made the decision about hundreds of ballots completely objectively, don’t you?

    And speaking of media, many commentators insist that Caroline Kennedy is more qualified than Sarah Palin. That’s not a fact, just a widely held absolutely stupid opinion. I like to be tolerant of differing views but this one is beyond annoying.

    With the exception of the last opinion, do I have these facts right? Or has the media misrepresented them again? It is dizzying not to know what facts aren’t facts, so I appeal to this well-read group.

  171. Illinois Underground Says:

    January 7th, 2009 at 10:49 am
    ————————————————-

    actually not funny to me. I find it totally disgusting that the dnc would stoop even lower into the mud than they already have by “playing games” like this. Do they have a self-destruct button or something?

    I didn’t think my opinion of this mob could get any worse. I guess I was wrong.

  172. Freckles, sounds factual to me. Please add:
    Roland Burris was lawfully appointed to fill a vacant seat as U.S. Senator from Illinois by a soon-to-be (but not yet) indicted governor.

  173. As for Patrick Fitzgerald, I now believe that he likes to make headlines but that he doesn’t move unless he has 100% chance of conviction. Thus the Carl Rove extension and this Blagojevich temporizing.

    If Blago has been under investigation for 3 or 5 years, and if everyone says that he is “obviously corrupt”, there is no excuse for this delay — which led to the Burris affair.

  174. JanH: Funny as “ironic” not “ha-ha.” Agree with you completely. Imagine the continual state of disgust actually living in this state.

  175. Report Raises Questions About Burris’ Relationship With Blagojevich
    Roland Burris has denied having any relationship with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, but a close examination of his record raises new questions about that claim.

    FOXNews . com

    Wednesday, January 07, 2009
    SNIP

    MyFOXChicago . com reports that Burris — the former Illinois attorney general who has been appointed by Blagojevich to fill President-elect Barack Obama’s vacated U.S. Senate seat — held a 2006 fundraiser for the governor at his home.

    Burris and his lobbying firm also donated $22,295 to Blagojevich’s campaign, according to MyFOXChicago.com.

    Over the past four years, Burris’ lobbying firm reportedly won $705,435 in state contracts.

    And Burris’ longtime lobbying partner Fred Lebed is a board member of the Christian Industrial League — the same group that hired Blagojevich’s wife Patricia.

    Lebed has denied having any involvement in the hiring of the governor’s wife.

    “I first learned about her after her appointment — her being on contract I think a day or two after she was hired,” Lebed told MyFOXChicago.com.

    “There’s absolutely, unequivocally, no conflict of interest whatsoever,” he said.

    foxnews. com /politics/2009/01/07/report-raises-questions-burris-relationship-blagojevich/

  176. DOWD ENDORSES THE ENORMOUSLY FLAWED CAROLINE TO BE SENATOR OF NY
    ————————————–
    Dowd is an example of consistently bad judgment. She is the conniving, social climbing high school girl who never gets invited to the dance and rather than saying who gives a damn she snipes at top girl (Hillary) and sucks up to moneybags (the princess). A date with modo would be a fate worse than death. Pathetic. I have to believe she is widely disliked by New Yorkers and others who can stand to read that rag in which case her endorsement may turn out to be counterproductive.

  177. Clinton confirmation hearing planned next week

    BLOOMBERG NEWS
    January 7, 2009

    Senate Democrats plan to take up next week the nomination of Hillary Rodham Clinton to become secretary of state in what is likely to be one of the highest-profile confirmation hearings for President-elect Barack Obama’s cabinet.

    John Kerry, the new chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said in an interview he plans to hold the hearing next Wednesday. “I expect everybody to be focused on the real issues that confront the country and I think it will be a good hearing,” he said.

    It will be one in a series of Senate confirmation hearings in the coming weeks. A hearing on Tom Daschle’s nomination to lead the Department of Health and Human Services will take place in two days before the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

    The panel, headed by Edward M. Kennedy, on the following day will consider Hilda Solis’ nomination as labor secretary.

    Arne Duncan is due to appear before the committee on Jan. 13 on his nomination to be education secretary. Senate Budget Committee chairman Kent Conrad said he has tentatively scheduled a confirmation hearing for incoming White House budget chief Peter Orszag that day. Steven Chu, Obama’s choice for energy secretary, is to appear that day before the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

    On Jan. 15, the panel will take up the nomination of Ken Salazar to be interior secretary. The Judiciary Committee will consider that day Eric Holder’s nomination to be attorney general. The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs panel is tentatively scheduled that day to consider Janet Napolitano’s nomination to be homeland security secretary.

    Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus said his panel will probably take up some time next week Timothy Geithner’s Treasury secretary nomination in what is likely to be another much-watched hearing.

    newsday. com /news/nationworld/ny-ushill075989378jan07,0,6288122.story

  178. Another MoDo fan questions her judgment, and points out MoDo’s double-standard against Hillary when she **ran for the position of Sentor** rather than sought out an appointment as CK now does.

    &&&&&
    Maureen, it’s great to have you back! I hope you had a good holiday!

    ——————–

    Now about this column:

    You’ve regularly criticized Hillary Clinton for trading on Bill’s connections to get ahead. When Hillary ran for Senate in 2000, you wrote a column in which you said:

    “Hillary’s resume, pre-first lady, may not be as impressive as she thinks it is. This self-described activist for a better world was more of a Reagan-era yuppie lawyer…Sitting at the right hand of Marian Wright Edelman does not entitle someone to a seat in the United States Senate.”

    Shouldn’t the same argument apply to Kennedy’s resume, which is littered with ceremonial non-profit, board-type positions?

    When Hillary started her presidential campaign, you wrote:

    “She started her presidential campaign wearing an off-putting ermine robe of entitlement and presumption.”

    Why is it okay for Caroline to trade in on her family connections and not for Hillary?

    You have also criticized Hillary for, “cloaking her nepotism on feminism”.

    Here, Kennedy seems to be doing the same thing, by complaining that she was asked less substantial questions than are asked by male candidates.

    I really do feel that there is a double-standard here, and I would love it if you could address this in your next column.
    — O.R. Siddiqui, London, Ontario

  179. You watch, Burris will get seated, then we’ll find out, he bought the seat, Dem Senate goes down in a ball of flames along with Blago, taking Obama and the chicago WH with him.

    One can only hope!

  180. It would be seriously funny, if Hillary’s confirmation went smooth and the rest of Obama’s pick imploded, i so want to see Dashcle and co take a hit.

  181. djia Says:

    January 7th, 2009 at 11:14 am
    Clinton confirmation hearing planned next week
    ————————————-
    I’m glad they are doing this. With so many fires to put out, we need Hillary to get out there and start saving the day!

  182. Until my 10:41am comments gets moderated (I assume it’s because of the url link to MoDo’s article), I thought I put the post up again without the link.

    DOWD ENDORSES THE ENORMOUSLY FLAWED CAROLINE TO BE SENATOR OF NY

    There is so much flawed thinking in Dowd’s essay today, that there is no need to comment. It has to be the Titanic of bad op-ed pieces. But I’m sure you all will have plenty to comment on; I can’t wait.

    Enjoy.
    &&&&&&&&&

    Sweet on Caroline

    By MAUREEN DOWD
    Published: January 6, 2009

    Ask not, you know, what your country can, like, do for you. Ask what you, um, can, you know, do for your country.

    After a lifetime of shying away from the public spotlight, Caroline Kennedy asked herself what she could do for her country.

    Her soft-spoken answer — to follow her father and two uncles and serve in the Senate — got her ripped to shreds in the, you know, press.

    I know about “you knows.” I use that verbal crutch myself, a bad habit that develops from shyness and reticence about public speaking.

    I always thought that Caroline and her brother, John, had special magic capital in America because of their heartbreaking roles in the Kennedy House of Atreus.

    Joe Kennedy, the wily patriarch of the clan, had pioneered the use of Hollywood glamour in pursuit of Washington power. With his glossy pop-culture political magazine, George, John reversed that equation, using his stature as an American political prince to persuade Salma Hayek to pose on the cover of his magazine.

    I wrote a column once saying that it seemed like a frivolous use of his time. I thought he should run for office and employ his special clout to make life better for Americans. He died before he had the chance.

    So I found it bizarre that when Caroline offered to use her magic capital — and friendship with Barack Obama — to help take care of New York in this time of economic distress, she was blasted by a howl of “How dare she?”

    People are suddenly awfully choosy about who gets to go to the former home of Jesse Helms, Strom Thurmond and Robert Torricelli.

    Although Americans still have enough British in their genes to be drawn to dynasties, W. has no doubt soured the country on scions. And the camps of the other two New York dynasties — the Clintons (still bitter about Caroline’s endorsement of Obama) and the Cuomos (who’d like that Senate seat for Andrew) — have certainly done their best to undermine Caroline.

    Congress, which abdicated its oversight role as the Bush crew wrecked the globe and the economy, desperately needs fresh faces and new perspectives, an infusion of class, intelligence and guts.

    People complain that the 51-year-old Harvard and Columbia Law School grad and author is not a glib, professional pol who knows how to artfully market herself, and is someone who hasn’t spent her life glad-handing, backstabbing and logrolling. I say, thank God.

    The press whines that she doesn’t have a pat answer about why she wants the job. I’ve interviewed a score of men running for president; not one had a good answer for why he wanted it.

    Robert Duffy, the mayor of Rochester, complained that when the would-be senator visited the Democratic headquarters there recently, she did not respond to pictures in a conference room of her father, mother, brother and herself as a little girl. Isn’t it creepy to expect her to emote on cue? Isn’t it more authentic to want to keep some of your most private feelings to yourself?

    I know Caroline Kennedy. She’s smart, cultivated, serious and unpretentious. The Senate, shamefully sparse on profiles in courage during Dick Cheney’s reign of terror, would be lucky to get her.

    And believe me, she talks a whole lot better than the former junior senator from New York, Al D’Amato, who once wailed that he was “up to my earballs” in some mess, and another time complained to me that those “little Jappies” bring over boats full of cars and then take the boats back empty.

    Anyhow, it isn’t how you say it. It’s what you say. Hillary Clinton is a great talker, but she never stood up in the Senate to lead a crusade against any Republican horror show, from Terri Schiavo to the Bush administration’s dishonest push to war.

    Sitting in the Senate gallery on Tuesday as senators were sworn in by Dick Cheney, I saw plenty of lawmakers who had benefited from family.

    Two Udalls were being sworn in, under the watchful eye of Stewart Udall. Mark Begich, the new senator from Alaska, is the son of a former Alaska congressman. The classy Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, son of the late Gov. Robert Casey, was there in a festive pink tie. John McCain, whose wife’s money and Arizona pull made his Senate election possible, looked on with a smile. Hillary, whose husband paved the way for her to join this club and run for president, chatted with colleagues. Jay Rockefeller wandered about, as did Chris Dodd, son of Senator Thomas Dodd. And Teddy Kennedy, walking with a cane, worked the room with his old brio.

    It isn’t what your name is. It’s what you do with it. Or, in the case of W., don’t.

  183. FRANK RICH MAKING SENSE????

    Just ’cause I now can stands the dude anymore doesn’t mean that I’ll ignore him when he has valid criticisms of Obama. I missed this piece when it came out due to my Sunday Times boycott (the other six days, I *need* the crossword puzzle). But my mom saved the Sundays for me, and I hung onto it, and only today did I get around to reading this (I’ll post the url in a separate post). Paragraphs of extra interest are indicated by %%%%. He compares the MSM love-fest with Obama to that of Kennedy in 1960.

    Op-Ed Columnist
    The Brightest Are Not Always the Best

    By FRANK RICH
    Published: December 6, 2008

    IN 1992, David Halberstam wrote a new introduction for the 20th-anniversary edition of “The Best and the Brightest,” his classic history of the hubristic J.F.K. team that would ultimately mire America in Vietnam. He noted that the book’s title had entered the language, but not quite as he had hoped. “It is often misused,” he wrote, “failing to carry the tone or irony that the original intended.”

    Halberstam died last year, but were he still around, I suspect he would be speaking up, loudly, right about now. As Barack Obama rolls out his cabinet, “the best and the brightest” has become the accolade du jour from Democrats (Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri), Republicans (Senator John Warner of Virginia) and the press (George Stephanopoulos). Few seem to recall that the phrase, in its original coinage, was meant to strike a sardonic, not a flattering, note. Perhaps even Doris Kearns Goodwin would agree that it’s time for Beltway reading groups to move on from “Team of Rivals” to Halberstam.

    The stewards of the Vietnam fiasco had pedigrees uncannily reminiscent of some major Obama appointees. McGeorge Bundy, the national security adviser, was, as Halberstam put it, “a legend in his time at Groton, the brightest boy at Yale, dean of Harvard College at a precocious age.” His deputy, Walt Rostow, “had always been a prodigy, always the youngest to do something,” whether at Yale, M.I.T. or as a Rhodes scholar. Robert McNamara, the defense secretary, was the youngest and highest paid Harvard Business School assistant professor of his era before making a mark as a World War II Army analyst, and, at age 44, becoming the first non-Ford to lead the Ford Motor Company.

    The rest is history that would destroy the presidency of Lyndon Johnson and inflict grave national wounds that only now are healing.

    In the Obama transition, our Clinton-fixated political culture has been hyperventilating mainly over the national security team, but that’s not what gives me pause. Hillary Clinton and Robert Gates were both wrong about the Iraq invasion, but neither of them were architects of that folly and both are far better known in recent years for consensus-building caution (at times to a fault in Clinton’s case) than arrogance. Those who fear an outbreak of Clintonian drama in the administration keep warning that Obama has hired a secretary of state he can’t fire. But why not take him at his word when he says “the buck will stop with me”? If Truman could cashier Gen. Douglas MacArthur, then surely Obama could fire a brand-name cabinet member in the (unlikely) event she goes rogue.

    No, it’s the economic team that evokes trace memories of our dark best-and-brightest past. Lawrence Summers, the new top economic adviser, was the youngest tenured professor in Harvard’s history and is famous for never letting anyone forget his brilliance. It was his highhanded disregard for his own colleagues, not his impolitic remarks about gender and science, that forced him out of Harvard’s presidency in four years. Timothy Geithner, the nominee for Treasury secretary, is the boy wonder president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He comes with none of Summers’s personal baggage, but his sparkling résumé is missing one crucial asset: experience outside academe and government, in the real world of business and finance. Postgraduate finishing school at Kissinger & Associates doesn’t count.

    Summers and Geithner are both protégés of another master of the universe, Robert Rubin. His appearance in the photo op for Obama-transition economic advisers three days after the election was, to put it mildly, disconcerting. Ever since his acclaimed service as Treasury secretary in the Clinton administration, Rubin has labored as a senior adviser and director at Citigroup, now being bailed out by taxpayers to the potential tune of some $300 billion. Somehow the all-seeing Rubin didn’t notice the toxic mortgage-derivatives on Citi’s books until it was too late. The Citi may never sleep, but he snored.

    Geithner was no less tardy in discovering the reckless, wholesale gambling that went on in Wall Street’s big casinos, all of which cratered while at least nominally under his regulatory watch. That a Hydra-headed banking monster like Citigroup came to be in the first place was a direct byproduct of deregulation championed by Rubin and Summers in Clinton’s Treasury Department (where Geithner also served). The New Deal reform they helped repeal, the Glass-Steagall Act, had been enacted in 1933 in part because Citigroup’s ancestor, National City Bank, had imploded after repackaging bad loans as toxic securities in the go-go 1920s.

    Well, nobody’s perfect. Given that John McCain’s economic team was headlined by Carly Fiorina and Joe the Plumber, the country would be dodging a fiscal bullet even if Obama had picked Suze Orman. But I keep wondering why the honeymoon hagiography about the best and the brightest has been so over the top. Washington’s cheerleading for our new New Frontier cabinet superstars has seldom been interrupted by tough questions about Summers’s Harvard career or Geithner’s record at the Fed. For that, it’s best to turn to the business press: Andrew Ross Sorkin at The New York Times, for one, has been relentless in trying to ferret out Geithner’s opaque role in the catastrophic decision to let Lehman Brothers fail.

    No doubt the Pavlovian ovations for the Obama team are in part a reaction to our immediate political past. After eight years of a presidency that valued cronyism over brains (or even competence) and embraced an anti-intellectualism apotheosized by Sarah Palin, it’s a godsend to have a president who puts a premium on merit. I also wonder if a press corps that underrated Obama’s political prowess for much of the campaign, demeaning him as a professorial wuss next to the brawny Clinton and McCain, is now overcompensating for that mistake. No one wants to miss out a second time on triumphal history in the making.

    %%%%%
    This, too, is a replay of what happened when Kennedy arrived, beating out the more seasoned Richard Nixon and ending eight years of Eisenhower rule. “Rarely had a new administration received such a sympathetic hearing at a personal level from the more serious and respected journalists of the city,” Halberstam wrote. “The good reporters of that era, those who were well educated and who were enlightened themselves and worked for enlightened organizations, liked the Kennedys and were for the same things the Kennedys were for.” They couldn’t imagine that “men who were said to be the ablest to serve in government in this century” would turn out to be architects of America’s “worst tragedy since the Civil War.”
    %%%%%

    %%%%%%
    Post-Iraq, we’re unlikely to rush into a new Vietnam. But we ignore the past’s lessons at our peril. In his 20th-anniversary reflections, Halberstam wrote that his favorite passage in his book was the one where Johnson, after his first Kennedy cabinet meeting, raved to his mentor, the speaker of the House, Sam Rayburn, about all the president’s brilliant men. “You may be right, and they may be every bit as intelligent as you say,” Rayburn responded, “but I’d feel a whole lot better about them if just one of them had run for sheriff once.”
    %%%%%%

    Halberstam loved that story because it underlined the weakness of the Kennedy team: “the difference between intelligence and wisdom, between the abstract quickness and verbal facility which the team exuded, and true wisdom, which is the product of hard-won, often bitter experience.” That difference was clearly delineated in Vietnam, where American soldiers, officials and reporters could see that the war was going badly even as McNamara brusquely wielded charts and crunched numbers to enforce his conviction that victory was assured.

    In our current financial quagmire, there have also been those who had the wisdom to sound alarms before Rubin, Summers or Geithner did. Among them were not just economists like Joseph Stiglitz and Nouriel Roubini but also Doris Dungey, a 47-year-old financial blogger known as Tanta, who died of cancer in Upper Marlboro, Md., last Sunday. As the Times obituary observed, “her first post, in December 2006, took issue with an optimistic Citigroup report that maintained that the mortgage industry would ‘rationalize’ in 2007, to the benefit of larger players like, well, Citigroup.” It was months before the others publicly echoed her judgment.

    For some of J.F.K.’s best and brightest, Halberstam wrote, wisdom came “after Vietnam.” We have to hope that wisdom is coming to Summers and Geithner as they struggle with our financial Tet. Clearly it has not come to Rubin. Asked by The Times in April if he’d made any mistakes at Citigroup, he sounded as self-deluded as McNamara in retirement.

    “I honestly don’t know,” Rubin answered. “In hindsight, there are a lot of things we’d do differently. But in the context of the facts as I knew them and my role, I’m inclined to think probably not.” Since that interview, 52,000 Citigroup employees have been laid off but not Rubin, who remains remorseless, collecting a salary that has totaled in excess of $115 million since 1999. You may be touched to hear that he is voluntarily relinquishing his bonus this Christmas.

    Rubin hasn’t been seen in a transition photo op since Nov. 7, and in the end Obama chose Paul Volcker as chairman of his Economic Recovery Advisory Board. This was a presidential decision not only bright but wise.

  184. so you can cut/paste text for immediate consumption without “awaiting moderation”, and put the link in a separate posting which admin later will approve or not.

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