Obama Broken Promises: Lobbyists, Transparency, Ethics, Accountability

Hopium addled addicts are learning day by day that Obama – the messenger is the wrong man for the job. The Hopium addled addicts are also learning day by day that the Obama message is also wrong.

Today we start a new series to be highlighted on our side columns detailing Obama Broken Promises.

Today, the day Tom Daschle was forced to withdraw his name as Health and Human Services secretary, we will examine Obama’s Broken Promises in regards to Lobbyists, Transparency, Ethics and Accountability.

* * *

Obama refuses to answer questions about his lies. The fake transparency is transparent. The fake committment to ethics and accountability is transparent. The fake anti-lobbyist talk is transparent. Obama refuses to come clean:

Nancy Killefer withdrew her candidacy to be the first chief performance officer for the federal government on Tuesday, saying she didn’t want her bungling of payroll taxes on her household help to become a distraction for the Obama administration.

Killefer was the second major nominee to withdraw. Within hours, former Sen. Tom Daschle also withdrew his nomination to be secretary of health and human services. [snip]

In announcing his choice of Sen. Judd Gregg to be commerce secretary, Obama took no questions Tuesday and left the White House lectern ignoring a shouted question about why so many of his nominees have tax problems.

Obama’s Chicago crime lords might not think tax cheats are a problem but tax-paying bitter Americans think ethics and accountability demand government officials pay their taxes too. Obama and his Chicago crime lords supported Daschle to the last. Only when Daschle ran away did the Obama Chicago crime lords recognize the central issue of credibility and ran away from Daschle and questions:

But White House press secretary Robert Gibbs later insisted Killefer and Daschle decided on their own to withdraw. “I think they both recognized that you can’t set an example of responsibility but accept a different standard in who serves,” Gibbs told a White House briefing.

Obama lied to the American people and now his own words, just words, are coming back to haunt him.

Obama’s first choice for commerce secretary, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, withdrew when his confirmation appeared headed toward complications because of a grand jury investigation over how state contracts were issued to political donors.

More recently, Tim Geithner was confirmed as Treasury secretary despite belatedly paying $34,000 in income taxes, and Daschle acknowledged his late payment of more than $128,000 in income taxes.

Obama supported tax cheat Tom Daschle till the end. The New York Times abandoned Daschle and precipitated the end – Obama obeys when his Big Media overlords command:

Unfortunately, new facts have come to light — involving his failure to pay substantial taxes that were owed and his sizable income from health-related companies while he worked in the private sector — that call into question his suitability for the job. We believe that Mr. Daschle ought to step aside and let the president choose a less-blemished successor.

Mr. Daschle’s tax shortfall is particularly troubling because it comes on the heels of another nominee’s failure to pay taxes due. We were not pleased when the president’s Treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, admitted that he had failed to pay tens of thousands of dollars in federal self-employment taxes while working for the International Monetary Fund despite having signed paperwork acknowledging the obligation.

Now we are confronted with an even larger lapse by Mr. Daschle, who failed to pay $128,000 in taxes, primarily for personal use of a car and driver provided to him by a private equity firm for which he consulted. [snip]

Only after the Obama transition team flagged unrelated tax issues that would require filing amended returns did Mr. Daschle and his accountant address the need to report the personal use value of the car service — more than $255,000 over three years — as income. Only after he had been chosen to be the health secretary did Mr. Daschle tell the transition team about the unpaid taxes. He paid some $140,000 in back taxes and interest on Jan. 2 to settle several tax problems — and he acknowledges owing more. [snip]

Mr. Daschle’s financial ties to major players in the health care industry may prove to be even more troublesome as health reform efforts proceed. Like many former power players in Washington, Mr. Daschle cashed in on his political savvy and influence to earn $5 million in recent years, including more than $2 million from Alston & Bird, a law and lobbying firm; more than $2 million from the private equity firm, InterMedia Advisors, which provided the car and driver; and hundreds of thousands of dollars for speeches to interest groups, including those representing health insurance plans, medical equipment distributors and pharmacy boards.

Although Mr. Daschle was not a registered lobbyist, he offered policy advice to the UnitedHealth Group, a huge insurance conglomerate. He was also a trustee of the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, on whose behalf he voiced opposition to a federal loan for a freight rail line near the clinic’s headquarters in Rochester, Minn. The loan was subsequently denied by the Federal Railroad Administration.

Mr. Daschle is another in a long line of politicians who move cozily between government and industry. We don’t know that his industry ties would influence his judgments on health issues, but they could potentially throw a cloud over health care reform. Mr. Daschle could clear the atmosphere by withdrawing his name.

Recall Obama’s attacks on Hillary Clinton during the primaries on the foolish lobbyist issue?

Transparency and Accountability? – from Obama?

Recall Obama’s attacks on John McCain during the general election on the foolish lobbyist issue?

Obama lied. Obama can’t be trusted. Obama simply can’t be trusted.

Barack Obama promised a “clean break from business as usual” in Washington. It hasn’t quite worked out that way.

From the start, he made exceptions to his no-lobbyist rule. And now, embarrassing details about Cabinet-nominee Tom Daschle’s tax problems and big paychecks from special interest groups are raising new questions about the reach and sweep of the new president’s promised reforms.[snip]

On Jan. 21, the day after his inauguration, Obama issued an executive order barring any former lobbyists who join his administration from dealing with matters or agencies related to their lobbying work. Nor could they join agencies they had lobbied in the previous two years.

However, William J. Lynn III, his choice to become the No. 2 official at the Defense Department, recently lobbied for military contractor Raytheon. And William Corr, tapped as deputy secretary at Health and Human Services, lobbied through most of last year as an anti-tobacco advocate. Corr says he will take no part in tobacco matters in the new administration.

“Even the toughest rules require reasonable exceptions,” said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

Obama will sign or say anything – we watch what Obama actually does. That’s how you know a flim-flam man – what what they do, not what they say – talk is cheap – actions speak louder than words.

That was a big step back from Obama’s unambiguous swipe at lobbyists in November 2007, while campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination. “I don’t take a dime of their money,” he said, “and when I am president, they won’t find a job in my White House.”

Hypocrites will excuse Obama lies. The Hopium addled will still trust Obama, their Mess-iah.

During the primaries Hillary Clinton noted, with boos from the DailyKooks, that lobbyists are sometimes needed. Teachers, police and firemen have lobbyists and they should be listened to. Obama played to the crowd and lied to them, telling them what they wanted to hear, not what they needed to hear:

“This government is very complicated,” he said. “Often you’ll need people with a lot of experience in certain areas,” and current or former lobbyists sometimes fit that bill best.

“It was probably a mistake to come down so hard on lobbyists,” said Melanie Sloan, who is not shy about criticizing lobbyists or politicians as executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “I think the Obama folks’ intentions were great here,” she said. “But sometimes you realize you can’t actually govern on just what you campaigned on.”

Hypocrites will continue to protect Obama. We do not trust Obama nor the Obama message.

Hypocrites thought it was unfair to note that Obama immediately broke his promise to put legislation on the White House website five days before a vote. Hypocrite Hopium addicts will continue to protect Obama. But the truth of the Obama lies will rise:

During almost two years on the campaign trail, Barack Obama vowed to slay the demons of Washington, bar lobbyists from his administration and usher in what he would later call in his Inaugural Address a “new era of responsibility.” What he did not talk much about were the asterisks.

The exceptions that went unmentioned now include a pair of cabinet nominees who did not pay all of their taxes. Then there is the lobbyist for a military contractor who is now slated to become the No. 2 official in the Pentagon. And there are the others brought into government from the influence industry even if not formally registered as lobbyists.

President Obama said Monday that he was “absolutely” standing behind former Senator Tom Daschle, his nominee for health and human services secretary, and Mr. Daschle, who met late in the day with leading senators in an effort to keep his confirmation on track, said he had “no excuse” and wanted to “deeply apologize” for his failure to pay $128,000 in federal taxes.

But the episode has already shown how, when faced with the perennial clash between campaign rhetoric and Washington reality, Mr. Obama has proved willing to compromise.

Where are the celestial choirs? Hillary Clinton spoke the truth. Hillary said what Americans needed to hear. Obama said what the Hopium addicts and Bush weary wanted to hear, not the truth.

Every four or eight years a new president arrives in town, declares his determination to cleanse a dirty process and invariably winds up trying to reconcile the clear ideals of electioneering with the muddy business of governing. Mr. Obama on his first day in office imposed perhaps the toughest ethics rules of any president in modern times, and since then he and his advisers have been trying to explain why they do not cover this case or that case.

This is a big problem for Obama, especially because it was such a major, major promise,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “He harped on it, time after time, and he created a sense of expectation around the country. This is exactly why people are skeptical of politicians, because change we can believe in is not the same thing as business as usual.”

Obama is the Third Bush Term, but Obama is protected by the Hopium addicts and Big Media masters:

Some Republicans saw a double standard. “What would it be like if Hank Paulson had come in without paying his taxes, or any other member of the cabinet?” asked Terry Nelson, a political strategist who worked for President George W. Bush and Senator John McCain, referring to Mr. Bush’s Treasury secretary. “It would be roundly attacked and roundly criticized.”

Several Democrats, including some who have advised Mr. Obama, said privately that he had only himself to blame for delivering such an uncompromising message as a candidate without recognizing how it would complicate his ability to assemble an administration.

In the campaign, Mr. Obama assailed Washington’s “entire culture” in which “our leaders have thrown open the doors of Congress and the White House to an army of Washington lobbyists who have turned our government into a game only they can afford to play.” He vowed to “close the revolving door” and “clean up both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue” with “the most sweeping ethics reform in history.”

The language, however, was always more sweeping than the specifics. He spoke of refusing campaign money from lobbyists but took it from the people who hired them. The ethics plan he outlined, and eventually imposed on his administration, did not ban all lobbyists outright but set conditions for their employment and did not cover many who were lobbyists in everything but name.

Mr. Daschle, for instance, is not a registered lobbyist, but he made a handsome living advising clients seeking influence with the government, including some in the health industry. Mr. Obama also gave himself the right to grant waivers in cases he deemed exceptional, most prominently to William J. Lynn III, an ex-Raytheon lobbyist he nominated as deputy defense secretary. Others were lobbyists more than two years ago, and therefore not covered by the Obama rules.

Some who worked as lobbyists have found places in the administration, including Mark Patterson, who represented Goldman Sachs and is now chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner. William V. Corr, who lobbied for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, has been selected as deputy health and human services secretary.

Transparency? You can’t trust Obama. Simply, you can’t trust Obama.

U.S. government guarantees on securities totaling $419 billion for bank bailouts provide an early test of President Barack Obama’s pledge to be open with taxpayers about what they have at risk in the credit crisis.

Bloomberg News asked the Treasury Department Jan. 26 to disclose what securities it backed over the past two months in a second round of actions to prop up Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. Department spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said Jan. 27 she would seek an answer. None had been provided by the close of business yesterday.

As Congress debates an $875 billion economic stimulus bill, the guarantees represent a less publicized commitment. The public’s stake has grown along with assurances tying the Treasury to the fate of corporate loans and securities backed by home mortgages, car loans and credit card debt. [snip]

Obama promised a new era of government openness as he took office last week, issuing a statement telling agencies “to adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure” in responding to requests under the Freedom of Information Act. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Lawrence Summers, head of the National Economic Council, said they would emphasize accountability and transparency in using the second half of a $700 billion bank bailout fund.

Late yesterday, Geithner’s office put hundreds of pages about the fund on the department’s Web site. They did not include documents describing the guaranteed assets.

Members of Congress from both parties have complained about the Bush administration’s lack of disclosure about the spending of the first $350 billion from the fund. [snip]

Bloomberg News asked for details of the lending on May 21 and filed a federal lawsuit against the Fed Nov. 7 seeking to force disclosure. The loans were made under the terms of what became 11 programs in the midst of the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression. Arguments in the suit may be heard by a judge as soon as next month, according to the court docket.

Bloomberg filed a FOIA request yesterday for the list of what was covered by the Citigroup and Bank of America guarantees. Bloomberg asked for records on the fees paid by banks to the government, which securities were rejected for guarantees, as well as any contracts for data services and experts to assess the value of the securities.

Under the information law, passed by Congress in 1966, Treasury has 20 working days to respond to Bloomberg’s request. The measure allows nine exemptions, such as trade secrets or national security, for blocking disclosure. [snip]

Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Arlington, Virginia-based Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said “People are trying to get a handle on where the money went and how it’s being used. One would hope that we’ll get to see something. Personally, I want to know what my tax dollars are being used for.” [snip]

The Bloomberg lawsuit is Bloomberg LP v. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 08-CV-9595, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

Obama can’t be trusted. The trail of Obama Broken Promises is additional evidence that Obama can’t be trusted.

Obama can’t be trusted. Obama’s promises can’t be trusted. Obama can’t be trusted by friend nor foe. Obama can’t be trusted.


76 thoughts on “Obama Broken Promises: Lobbyists, Transparency, Ethics, Accountability

  1. Did you hear? He and MEschelle ditched the White House today and run to a school. He told them that he and shells had to get away and she said “we’re free” or something to that effect. Can you believe? It’s been what 2 weeks and he’s already needing a vacation? I see Hawaii within a few days.

    And BTW, he never has made any public statement about Ky has he? Has anyone at the WH mentioned Ky and the dead bodies?

  2. I wonder aloud if when the Huckster gets in trouble if he and his team do not have a pocketfull of larger distractions to keep our attention form staying focused on one place too long?

    What about KY, Obama?

  3. HRC spoke the truth during the primaries, and a majority of the voters, voted for her. So the responsibility of this mess was brought about by the SuperDelegates, who should know better than anyone what political games were played, and what actually can be believed. You can live with the truth, and the voters are not stupid. That is what they recognized in the Primaries.

    So, every time O screws up, we need to remind everyone that it was the SDs that places that idiot in office, and not the American voters.

  4. birdgal, I read that but I don’t believe it. He runs away at the slightest hint of a big problem.

    Do I hear the “surfs up” in Hawaii. Reckon when he’ll run.

  5. Steinmeier meets US secretary of state in Washington:

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has described Germany as one of Washington’s closest allies. Clinton made the statement following a meeting with visiting German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Washington. This was the first face-to-face contact between the German government and the administration of US President Barack Obama. Clinton said she had thanked Steinmeier in particular for Germany’s commitment to efforts to bring peace to Afghanistan. Germany has more than 3,000 troops in that country as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force. Steinmeier focused his comments to reporters on the need to establish a new trans-Atlantic agenda. Both Steinmeier and Clinton expressed concerns about the news that Iran had succeeded in launching its first domestically built satellite. Iranian state television said the satellite was designed for use for peaceful purposes only.


  6. Ok, The big media question we need to get asked and stir up shit is simple.

    “The question now is why did Daschle and the woman Killifer have to fall on their swords and Geitner gets a pass on tax evasion?”

    Lets stir the pot.

  7. Actually, I cannot see the screw up of these cabinet candidates in not pay taxes, any different from the screw up of the SDs who are wise to the political world, and ignored the will of the people.

  8. dot48 Says:

    February 3rd, 2009 at 7:37 pm
    birdgal, I read that but I don’t believe it. He runs away at the slightest hint of a big problem.

    Do I hear the “surfs up” in Hawaii. Reckon when he’ll run.


    Wonder, when he will take a weekend trip to Camp David?

  9. I wonder if he was out fund raising, while KY and other states freeze. He has made several telephone calls, but not visited the disaster area. Bush III is revealing himself.

  10. Screamin’ Dean no doubt trying to weasel his way back in The One’s good graces to HHS post he HINT HINT wanted before BamBam kicked him to the curb. Must be missing his sidekicks Brazile and Pelosi. Wonder if Dean’s brother “knew somebody who knew somebody who knew somebody at IRS who “helped” along the whistle blowing (?) on Dashing – Daschle? You don’t REALLY think Tom Tom offered this up all on his own, now do you? For NYT to go after him – guess they (Pinch Zulzberger) figured if CK goes down, they ALL go down…what a soap opera.

  11. Rezko wins move out of jail’s ‘hole’
    Relocation a sign he’s cooperating with investigators:

    February 3, 2009


    Tony Rezko is out of “the hole.”

    The convicted businessman — poised to become a crucial witness in the massive corruption case against ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich — was quietly moved out of a downtown jail and into another facility in mid-December.

    Authorities seeking Rezko’s cooperation pushed for the move after Rezko complained about being held in the tough confines of solitary imprisonment, known as “the hole,” even as he was providing information to prosecutors.

    Records show Rezko was released Dec. 16 from the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago.

    Kim Widup, the U.S. marshal in Chicago, confirmed that Rezko was relocated.
    “We have moved him into another institution,” Widup said.

    Widup wouldn’t specify where. The Marshals Service uses space in more than half a dozen county jails in addition to the MCC.

    Rezko’s relocation is a sign that, even with thousands of taped conversations of the governor, investigators still highly value Rezko’s potential as a witness.

    The U.S. attorney’s office wouldn’t comment. Rezko’s lawyer also declined comment.

    Upon his conviction last June on wide-ranging federal corruption charges involving state deals, Rezko went to jail voluntarily, saying he wanted to start serving his time. Then, in August, the Sun-Times reported, the 53-year-old Wilmette resident began meeting with prosecutors.

    Rezko, who served as an adviser and fund-raiser to Blagojevich and also was a longtime campaign supporter of other politicians including President Obama, provided authorities with substantial information involving the governor and bolstered so-called “pay-to-play” testimony by former Illinois Finance Authority director Ali Ata, as well as talking about other alleged deals.

    But the talks hit a stumbling block when Rezko grew frustrated at being held in solitary at the MCC. In late November, Rezko’s lawyers asked a federal judge to sentence their client — a threat to stop talking. Cooperating defendants usually aren’t sentenced until after they testify. But after that move, the two sides appeared to find a resolution.

    On Dec. 16, U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve indefinitely postponed Rezko’s sentencing — that was the same day he was moved to another jail.


  12. admin: great article. where is the transparency with this administration? where is the accounting for funds given out?

  13. http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/03/obama.qanda/index.html

    God the man is a class A Bullshitter…….

    ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks very much for sitting down with us today. Explain what happened today, Tom Daschle, you’ve let one of the most important domestic issues, which is health care, get caught up in what looks to many Americans like politics as usual.

    BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I think what happened was that Tom made an assessment that having made a mistake on his taxes that he took responsibility for, and indicated was a mistake, made the assessment that he was going to be too much of a distraction in trying to lead what is going to be a very heavy lift, trying to deliver health care. And …

    COOPER: Do you feel you messed up in letting it get this far?

    OBAMA: Yes. I think I made a mistake. And I told Tom that. I take responsibility for the appointees and …

    etc etc etc………………yawn

  14. FEBRUARY 3, 2009

    Dodd’s Peek-A-Boo Disclosure:
    The Senator’s modified, limited mortgage hangout.

    Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd has finally, sort of, kind of, ended 193 days of stonewalling about his sweetheart loans from former Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo. At least he did if you were a fast reader and were one of the few reporters he invited to his Hartford office yesterday to review — but not copy or take — more than 100 pages of documents related to his 2003 mortgage financings through countrywide’s “Friends of Angelo” program.

    These are the files that Mr. Dodd pledged to make public after the news broke last summer that the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee had received preferential treatment from Countrywide. At first, Mr. Dodd denied everything. Later, he conceded that he’d been given special treatment but thought it was “more of a courtesy.”

    Heck, we’d all love the kind of courtesy that would have saved Mr. Dodd $75,000 over the life of the two loans he refinanced to the tune of $800,000, according to an analysis by Portfolio magazine. The savings came from rock-bottom interest rates and a free “float-down” — the right to borrow at a lower rate if interest rates fall before you’ve closed on the loan.

    On Monday, with interest rates — even for non-VIPs — near historic lows, Mr. Dodd announced that he would refinance the sweetheart loans with another lender. The rates on the two Friends of Angelo loans were 4.5% and 4.25%, so the Senator will probably end up paying a bit more than he is now. But getting out from under the original loans doesn’t shed any light on the key question: Whether Mr. Dodd knew that he got the red-carpet treatment because of his central role in regulating the financial industry. That’s what former Countrywide employee Robert Feinberg has claimed to us and others.

    We don’t know whether the documents Mr. Dodd briefly showed yesterday illuminate this mystery or not, because he didn’t release them to us, or to the public or his constituents. Perhaps the reporters he allowed to take a quick peak will tell us more. What he did release to everyone was a set of fact sheets that purport to show there was nothing favorable about the terms Mr. Dodd and his wife received from Countrywide, along with a consultant’s report that reaches the same conclusion. Mr. Dodd’s office did not respond to our request for the documents themselves, which he promised to release more than six months ago.

    But consultant reports — prepared at the behest of a law firm hired by Mr. Dodd to help him through the Countrywide mess — tell us nothing about what Mr. Dodd knew and when he knew it. Instead, they are an attempt to change the subject. Mr. Feinberg has said that Friends of Angelo were regularly reminded that they were getting special treatment — otherwise, what was the point? And he claims to have Countrywide documents that prove that Mr. Dodd was aware that Countrywide had done him favors. Those documents may or may not be among those that Mr. Dodd played peek-a-boo with Monday, but we still don’t know. Mr. Dodd said he’s “sorry” he didn’t release the documents sooner — just not sorry enough to actually release them, apparently.

    Countrywide was for years the biggest single customer of Fannie Mae, the giant government-sponsored mortgage securitizer that has since gone into federal conservatorship. Much of Countrywide’s business was built around its ability to sell loans to Fannie, and Mr. Mozilo helped push Fannie to accept dodgier and dodgier paper. Mr. Dodd in turn supported this goal by pressing Fannie to do more for “affordable” housing.

    This nexus between Mr. Dodd’s public duties and Countrywide’s interests is a serious matter involving the Senator’s personal ethics and accountability to taxpayers who will be paying for Fannie’s bad loans for years to come. If, as Mr. Dodd claims, he has nothing to hide, then why is he still hiding it?


  15. I’m sorry I just can’t stand seeing his face on this site.

    Admin, please, please, please take it down. —————–> PUKE PUKE PUKE PUKE

  16. Dodd is one Senator, I’d happily see strung up and hung out to dry for uselessness and his part in this whole economic mess.

  17. dot48 Says:
    February 3rd, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    I’m sorry I just can’t stand seeing his face on this site.

    Admin, please, please, please take it down.


    I agree; in the meantime, Opera browser is free and makes it easy to turn images off and on on each page.

  18. OMG you have got to check out this photo. YES, he does realize what an ass he is and how much he needs to learn in order to run the country

    h t t p : //www.daylife.com/photo/079IbWEeGp1kA/Barack_Obama

    How friggin goofy

  19. gonzotx YES. They are still iced in, no power, no food, no water, NOTHING from the flim flam man. He’s ignoring them and some say it’s payback for the primary.

  20. just thinking how everytime something goes wrong for obama the MSM uses Bill Clinton (and Hill) as a comparison…Obama and cabinet problems, MSM immediately deflects to Bill and Zoe, Kimba, etc (although O has already outpaced Bill in two weeks)…Obama has gitmo issue, MSM immediately deflects to Bill and ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ etc, etc, etc…O and his HSS candidate withdraw and media deflects to Hillary’s health failure “bec she did not understand DC”..anyway they can rationlize for O, the MSM will…

    today I heard O say that his admin will be judged on how he handles the recession and economy…so when he and the dims plunge us into further debt without the results they are promising…will MSM compare O to Bill and the millions of jobs he created and the surplus he left…

  21. to quote a certain politician (name changed) if i could only say this to Obama,

    “I know Bill Clinton, Bill Clinton is a friend of mine, you sir are no Bill Clinton”

  22. Maybe some great pictures of U.S. Secretary of State Clinton could take the place of “he who shall not be mentioned?”

  23. blago on Larry king and letterman…on king tonight, blago sounds like he has alot to say…already calling legislature ‘hypocrites’ they did the same thing they were accusing him of doing, etc…hinting about the deal they wanted to make with him so he would not pick senate seat, etc…

    as has been said…this guy knows where all the skeletons are buried…and all the lyrics to the songs he might sing…

  24. just a thought…maybe if all the political appointees, cronies, and close thugs to BHO paid their taxes we wouldn’t need a stimulus package!

  25. as for the pictures of Bush/BHO, wonder if there is a way just to roll over them with the mouse to see them instead of having them glare at us..eeeewwwww

    admin the transformation is very clever though

  26. i think O got caught up in the euphoria and really started believing his own press and thought he could just waltz these people in because the press would never dare do anything to dent him…he probably thought he could just charm everyone and continue with his coronation…

    guess his usual deflection of “this is the silly season” just would not work this time…

  27. # debbie Says:
    February 3rd, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    as for the pictures of Bush/BHO, wonder if there is a way just to roll over them with the mouse to see them instead of having them glare at us..eeeewwwww

    admin the transformation is very clever though

    I like the transformation, too. However, the sight of Obama at Big Pink gets me everytime. I am at the point where I just do not want to be reminded that he exists. But of course, that’s like ignoring the sun.

  28. debbie 9:36

    I was thinking the same thing.

    S 9:42

    O, like many other bullies, think that they can control the situation. Certainly there are many people around him, bullies also that told him he could do that.

    Don’t worry, just run for office, we will take care of the compeition, Don’t worry, we will take care of the legislative history, don’t worry, all you have to do is give great speeches, which we will steal, excuse me write for you, don’t worry, we will bus people in, don’t worry, the liberal radio are preparing the voters for you, don’t worry, it does not matter that she got the popular vote (what do you think this is a democracy), don’t worry, we will take care of Florida and Michigan, don’t worry we will take care of the transition, don’t worry, this job is really easy. We just need to vet people like you should have been vetted.

    Don’t worry, the American Press, media will go along with this. Don’t worry, we can kill this democracy.

    And then the inaugaration came, and somehow, there is no one else there to blame but the President, which they talked you into being, as it was so easy.

    So far we have an ice storm which has killed some people, 4 people selected for cabinet positions that have questionable pasts, great welcome to HRC which makes her look like a leader, a flubbing of the oath, a retake of the other without Bible, and no media, the media are pissed, and that is the first two weeks. On top of that, they are failing to fall in line on the stimulus package. However, the bullies are trying to take care of that with TV spots, and talks with certain govenors.

    It can be lonely being a bully at the top. Sooner or later you find out that in a Democracy, voters follow leaders, they view as leaders and perform as leaders. Not those who tell you they are a leaders.

  29. NewMexicoFan Says:
    February 3rd, 2009 at 10:13 am

    I had the priviledge of driving Hillary’s Mother at a campagin stop in Iowa.
    Hey NMF

    Where were you working?

  30. I find it hysterical that the media are portraying Obama’s acceptance of blame for the Daschle debacle as some kind of heroic act. He’s the CIC whose vetting team failed to vet Daschle so of course blame is on him. Truman knew this over 60 years ago.

  31. I don’t know if anyone has posted this quote before but I found it on another blog and thought it was hilarious:

    “Make no mistake, tax cheaters cheat us all, and the IRS should enforce
    our laws to the letter. ” Sen. Tom Daschle, Congressional Record, May 7,
    1998, p. S4507.

  32. Yo djia—

    Take notice photo-whiz:
    NewMexicoFan Says:
    February 3rd, 2009 at 10:13 am

    I had the priviledge of driving Hillary’s Mother at a campagin stop in Iowa.
    Hey NMF

    Where were you working?
    # NewMexicoFan Says:
    February 3rd, 2009 at 10:55 pm


    Sioux City

  33. h t t p : //www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifOkLnUaeDU
    Where Are The Bankers Barney Frank

    What happened to the money

  34. Obambi new station (WGN) announced that now he is considering Howard Dean for the job.

    Which is the same job that Dean wanted in the first place or Kathleen Sebelius.

  35. If you are bored tomorrow after such a big day today, go here to read what a bunch of good people found and publicized.

    It is sort of messy in the beginning cause we didn’t know what we were doing, but eventually we found our way out of the ditch and could see the stupid and crooked highway.

    Now you know why there are demands for rewriting the whole dammmm thing.

    Don’t worry about understanding it all…just read the gist of it and call your representatives and senators. Hint:Get into skim mode. We CAN make a difference. Phones are ringing off the hook in DC and at your rep/senators LOCAL offices.

  36. canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/8181

    Bill Richardson, Nancy Killefer, Tom Daschle
    Whatever Happened to Vetting?
    By Aaron Goldstein Wednesday, February 4, 2009


    One of the biggest watchwords of this past political season, apart from hope and change, was vetting.
    Vetting (or vetted as it was sometimes called) was a very popular word with the liberal media especially where it concerned the likes of Sarah Palin or even a private citizen like Joe the Plumber who dared to ask St. Barack a question.
    But once Obama was elected President the word seemed to disappear without a trace. It could be said that all vets were off.
    We are a fortnight into the Obama Administration and not one, not two but three of his cabinet appointments have withdrawn their nominations.
    Bill Richardson withdrew his name from consideration for Secretary of Commerce on January 4th because of an ongoing federal grand jury investigation into pay to play allegations in his capacity as Governor of New Mexico. Obama has a since appointed New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg, a Republican, to fill the post.

    But once Obama was elected President the word seemed to disappear without a trace. It could be said that all vets were off.
    We are a fortnight into the Obama Administration and not one, not two but three of his cabinet appointments have withdrawn their nominations.
    Bill Richardson withdrew his name from consideration for Secretary of Commerce on January 4th because of an ongoing federal grand jury investigation into pay to play allegations in his capacity as Governor of New Mexico. Obama has a since appointed New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg, a Republican, to fill the post.

    One can take Richardson, Killefer, Daschle and for that matter Geithner to task for their lack of diligence. The liberal media can also be taken to task for being more interested in the White House dog than picking a bone with the President. All of these events were set into motion by one man: Barack Obama. It was Obama’s decision to appoint these people to cabinet level positions. It was Obama’s responsibility to undertake a proper vetting. For crying out loud, Daschle was one of the national co-chairman of his Presidential campaign. Obama has a duty to vet the red flags, investigate and exercise judgment.
    Was Obama unaware the grand jury investigation against Richardson was launched last August? Did Obama not ask Killefer to submit her tax returns? If Daschle knew his car service might be a problem why didn’t Obama? It is clear Obama did not properly vet at least three of his appointments. As such it calls Obama’s judgment into question. Perhaps John McCain was right about Obama’s lack of judgment all along.
    Then again what do you expect from someone who sat in the pews of Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s church for twenty years? If Barack Obama can’t properly vet who baptizes his children what makes anyone think he will properly vet the people who sit in his Cabinet?


    Another “F” for Obama: Performance Czar a Tax Cheat!
    By John Lillpop Tuesday, February 3, 2009

    Yet another Obama nominee is in deep dodo because of tax issues.
    As reported at Breitbart, in part, at Reference 1:
    “Nancy Killefer, who failed for a year and a half to pay employment taxes on household help, has withdrawn her candidacy to be the first chief performance officer for the federal government, the White House said Tuesday.
    “Killefer was the second major Obama administration nominee to withdraw and the third to have tax problems complicate their nomination after President Barack Obama announced their selection.
    “Nancy Killefer has decided to withdraw her nomination, and we accepted her withdrawal,” Tommy Vietor, a White House spokesman, said Tuesday.
    “The 55-year-old executive with consulting giant McKinsey & Co., was expected to explain her reasons for pulling out later in the day.”
    All of these failed Obama appointments are actually good news for the American people because we now know why the budget is so out of balance:
    Democrat elitists are refusing to pay their taxes!


    Franken Has Tax Problems, Too
    By Online Tuesday, February 3, 2009

    President Obama’s Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Health and Human Services Secretary nominee Tom Daschle have been getting some attention regarding their failure to pay taxes, but what about Al Franken?
    Franken, who is still fighting incumbent GOP Sen. Norm Coleman for Minnesota’s Senate seat, failed to pay at least $70,000 in taxes to 17 states prior to running for office.
    Minnesota’s Star Tribune reported Franken was paid to appear at a number of celebrity appearances across the country and file taxes appropriately in those states since 2003. Franken’s team released a spreadsheet to media detailing the debt through the campaign, but there has not been any verification Franken has actually paid them down yet.

  37. Greta was right on tonight. When Newt talked about one person, she brought him to task because that person had been so misogynistic during the primary – he just grinned as he talked.
    Hannity has taken a swipe at Hill and Bill with a tone of voice that indicates disdain at the minimum. So has O’Reilly.What has happened to them?

  38. Admin. the Chicago crew have always believed that the words tax problem are an oxymoron.

    In the old days, before Howard Hughes (Suma Corporation) bought them out, they skimmed the proceeds of the casinos 10-20%–and thereby reduced their gross taxable income.

    In the Obama cabinet they entrust such matters to accountants who make Jake Greasy Thumb Guzak (Capones money man) look like a choir boy. When they get caught we learn that they were too busy to report income and pay lawful taxes.

    Hope, change, noblesse oblige.

  39. Why do you think Barney Frank is stonewalling on the request for hearings. Is the afraid that if he does the spigot of campaign moneys to his and other peoples coffers will dry up? Is it because he knows the public mood which is already ugly will turn much uglier when it learns how they have squandered taxpayers money. Does he think that may prejudice support for additional bailout money. Does he have personal reasons to fear what may come out in such a hearing? There has got to be some reason. At a minimum he appears to be trying to buy time.

  40. just thinking how everytime something goes wrong for obama the MSM uses Bill Clinton (and Hill) as a comparison…Obama and cabinet problems, MSM immediately deflects to Bill and Zoe, Kimba, etc (although O has already outpaced Bill in two weeks)…Obama has gitmo issue, MSM immediately deflects to Bill and ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ etc, etc, etc…O and his HSS candidate withdraw and media deflects to Hillary’s health failure “bec she did not understand DC”..anyway they can rationlize for O, the MSM will…
    We need to call big media out on their pathology. Perhaps someone could retain a psychiatrist to explain it. It is a terrible thing for them to project their mental illness on the country.

    Everyone I speak to now is asking what is wrong with mainstream media? Are they mentally unbalanced or what? Or are they trying to cover up their own mistake in pushing him as hard as they did. If so they are losing what little credibility they have left by this delusional strategem.

  41. wbboei Says:
    February 4th, 2009 at 1:23 am
    Why do you think Barney Frank is stonewalling on the request for hearings. …. At a minimum he appears to be trying to buy time.


    On where the bailout money is going? Perhaps for time for more to go.

    Is this the other side of Obama stopping an investigation because of the Paperwork Reduction Act?

  42. Perhaps for time for more to go.
    I agree. If you are going to commit burglary in the middle of the night it is always best to not wake up the victim–in this case the taxpayers/

  43. Is this the other side of Obama stopping an investigation because of the Paperwork Reduction Act?
    Yes. Loot the treasury for 2010. It is the perpetual election cycle.

    On a different note, a freind of mine believes cnn andmsnbc have discreditied
    Bago to the point that anything he says about bambi will be dismissed as the manunderings of a lunatic. I disagree. What is your opinion turndown?

  44. A fantastic analysis once again by the administrator. You manage to capture the true essence of all that is wrong with BO in a factual, well thought out, and concise manner. Gold rings on you!!!!!

  45. Admin: the lessons of the last general election campaign have not been lost on Michael Steele. The euphoria on Obama however is starting to wear thin with alot of people I know.

    Michael Steele Plans a Grass-Roots Approach

    Monday, February 2, 2009 10:41 AM

    By: Ronald Kessler @Newsmax.com

    Look for a major shift to a decentralized Republican National Committee now that Michael Steele is chairman.

    When George W. Bush was president, he called the shots at the RNC, and his approach created a top-down operation that focused on 28 key states. That worked in 2000 and 2004 but not in 2006 and 2008.

    In campaigning for RNC chairman, Steele has said in private conversations that he will decentralize the RNC and emphasize organizing the grass roots of the party.

    Asked about that just before his election, Steele told Newsmax, “Grass roots — that’s the bottom line. We’re not going to gain any ground unless they’re engaged, period. You can talk all day long about a whole lot of different things, but if the next chairman, the moment they get that gavel, doesn’t have anything to say to the grass roots of this party, we’re going to have a tough row to hoe. So we better be prepared to hit the ground running with a vision and a message.”

    Steele is a charismatic, well-known figure. He is a smart, forceful straight-talker. The fact that he is black means Republicans can share in the euphoria that surrounds Barack Obama.

    “If the nation can celebrate the first African-American president, I would think the Republican Party would celebrate if we had the opportunity to celebrate an African-American national chairman,” Florida Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer said before the vote at the RNC’s 2009 Winter Meeting.

    But in the long run, the former Maryland lieutenant governor’s shift in emphasis may be equally important. Currently, about $100 million of the party’s $300 million annual budget goes to Republican state parties and offices. Giovanni Cicione, the Rhode Island party chairman, says his office is so starved for funds that it has had to shut down for six months at a time.

    “There’s a basic level of operational adequacy that we can’t meet,” Cicione says. “And the most telling problem is that we can’t keep good staff consistently over a period of years. After elections when our coffers are dry, a lot of times we have to knock staff down to part time, or even have periods without a staff, and you lose momentum; you lose institutional knowledge; and you’re playing catch-up when it comes down to the months leading up to Election Day.”

    Cicione says Steele understands the problem and will address it.

    “I think he [Steele] is great on this, and this is clearly a new direction for the party,” Cicione says. “In conversations I had with him, he directly addressed the concerns that I’ve raised. Obviously, he’s going to come up with a plan to transition the party from that singular national focus to something more broad based. It’s not going to happen overnight. But I really believe, and he’s told me directly, that he is committed to make that happen as quickly and as effectively as possible.”

    “Steele won’t tell local offices how to run their operations,” Andrew Langer, a Maryland Republican Party official who is a Steele supporter, says. “He doesn’t want people from Washington telling people in the states and counties how to do their jobs. Instead, he wants the RNC to do whatever it can to support them in order to seek victory.”

  46. Taipan Daily: Gideon Gono Gives Up the Ghost
    by Justice Litle, Editorial Director, Taipan Publishing Group

    The root cause of hyperinflation is excessive money supply growth, usually caused by governments instructing their central banks to help finance expenditures through rapid money creation.
    Hyperinflations have mostly occurred in a context of political instability, adverse economic shocks and chronically high fiscal deficits.
    – Joachim Fels and Spyros Andreopoulos, Morgan Stanley Global Economic Forum

    As your humble editor has said before in these pages: When it comes to rapid money creation, the U.S. Federal Reserve reigns supreme. In terms of sheer scale and scope, nobody but nobody prints like the U.S. of A.

    Here and now, though, there are at least two reasons traders are complacent about the dollar’s fate. One, because the greenback remains visibly strong; and two, because Fed Chairman Bernanke is still wrestling with a deflationary grizzly bear.

    There’s no arguing with the chart. Given the current climate, traders prefer greenbacks.

    This is, in large part, because Europe looks to be at risk of cracking up. Riots on the continent threaten to make France look like Greece (where things got so bad the police ran out of tear gas), and Britain is staring down the prospect of bank losses larger than the country’s entire GDP. (Some wags have begun newly referring to London as Reykjavik-on-Thames – though it seems a touch early for Iceland comparisons.)

    Add in Moody’s threat to downgrade Ireland’s credit rating, Spain in the grips of a vicious housing bubble unwind, and more troubles building up in Italy and the Eastern bloc, and what you get is a euro on the outs.

    Then further season the stew with ongoing global economic fears, a lack of certainty as to when growth will resume, and an increasing likelihood that Japan will devalue a too-strong Yen, and you wind up with a situation where the U.S. dollar is the only freely traded major currency alternative left standing. (Besides gold, that is.)

    Cracks in the Dam

    But you’ve got to wonder (or at least I do)… is it really a good thing, in the long run, for the Fed and Treasury to be given even more rope to hang themselves?

    Think about how we got into this mess – this global mess – in the first place. At root, U.S. consumers were given too much credit and Wall Street was given too much trust. In both cases, the appearance of stability led to a dramatic build-up of pressures beneath the surface.

    The U.S. consumer has never pulled back, we were reminded, and U.S. house prices have never gone down. These were key rationales for letting the bubble get bigger and bigger before its 2007-2008 burst.

    Now, with the greenback looking good in a relative paper sense, it’s easy to see the Fed and Treasury employing a similar line of logic. “Why not print more,” Bernanke and new man Geithner can say, “when the print-fest thus far has had no ill effects?”

    Furthermore, there is a similar “hidden pressure” problem embedded in the Fed’s deflation-fighting efforts.

    Imagine, if you will, the present gloom-and-doom outlook as a sort of deflationary dam holding back the waters of credit – waters desperately needed to refresh the economy. (The refusal of the banks to dole out their cash, in fact, is very much like a giant lending dam.)

    In order to get liquidity to the people, the Fed (with the help of the White House) will have to “break through” this deflationary dam via sheer, unadulterated force. (At heart, that is really what these “unprecedented” Keynesian measures are all about.)

    But what happens when the deflationary dam has well and truly smashed, giving way to inflationary flood? After you’ve ginned up a boiling river, how do you turn off the taps?

    On that score, I doubt Ben Bernanke has any more of a clue than Gideon Gono.

    That’s why I suspect the “extraordinary measures” being taken by the Fed now could prove even more extraordinary in their aftermath… and why I prefer the long-term prospects of countries with assets on hand rather than debts.

    Warm Regards,


  47. Emjay Says:
    February 3rd, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    Yo djia—

    Take notice photo-whiz:


    I DID!! *WINK*

    we might have to have a spring/summer meet up !

  48. Obama Pushes CEO Pay Limits

    02/04/09 – 12:38 AM EST

    WASHINGTON — The Obama administration plans to limit pay to $500,000 a year for executives of government-assisted financial institutions in a new get-tough approach to bankers and Wall Street, a senior administration official said.

    Obama plans to announce the new limits with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner at the White House on Wednesday.

    “If the taxpayers are helping you, then you’ve got certain responsibilities to not be living high on the hog,” President Barack Obama said in an interview with “NBC Nightly News.”

    [hey obama, I agree…..you should not be living high on the hog seeing as us little tax payers are helping you out with a salary, medical, government housing etc etc……SOOOOO! turn down the heat, inflate your tires, eat a bologna sandwich instead of those $100 steaks,and no more fancy elitist parties…… and forget about that next vacation in hawaii!!]


  49. washingtontimes.com/news/2009/feb/03/s-u-b-m-i-s-s-i-o-n/

    Frank Gaffney
    Tuesday, February 3, 2009

    According to GeostrategyDirect.com, a newsletter published by The Washington Times’ ace national security reporter Bill Gertz, “Diplomatic sources said Barack Obama has engaged several Arab intermediaries to relay messages to and from al Qaeda in the months before his elections as the 44th U.S. president. The sources said al Qaeda has offered what they termed a truce in exchange for a U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan. ‘For the last few months, Obama has been receiving and sending feelers to those close to al Qaeda on whether the group would end its terrorist campaign against the United States,’ a diplomatic source said. ‘Obama sees this as helpful to his plans to essentially withdraw from Afghanistan and Iraq during his first term in office.’ ”

    If surrender in Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran were not enough, upcoming opportunities for Mr. Obama to exhibit American submission to Islam include ordering U.S. participation in the United Nations’ “Durban II” conference – thereby legitimating its Iranian-dictated, rabidly anti-Israel, anti-American, Holocaust-denying and “Islamophobia”-banning agenda; adopting the program for undermining Israel promoted by longtime Friends-of-Barack Rashid Khalidi and Samantha Power (the latter just appointed a senior National Security Council official); and reversing the FBI’s long-overdue decision to end its association with the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a prominent front organization of the Muslim Brotherhood (whose stated mission is “to destroy America from within.”)

    Whatever Barack Obama’s intentions, the kind of “respect” he is exhibiting toward Shariah-adherent Muslims will surely be seen by them as submission. And that spells only one thing: D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R.

    Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy and a columnist for The Washington Times.

  50. Admin-

    I thought it was interesting John Kerry went full out defending Daschle’s Tax evasion as though it was of little consequence. You can also add Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg to the list of Tax Dodgers. Nannygate, I believe, would be the least of her problems if she agreed to full disclosure.

    Obama is definitely Bush III. Another round of 4 yrs of special treatment for people who believe they are above the law. A ‘Rouges Gallery’ of politicos would make for interesting column decor if you think you wouldn’t run out of space. heh!

  51. Admin:great information you continue to post and keeps us all in the this vital drive to restore integrity to our system of governing all people with honesty at all times.There are very few sources of unadulterated news left for we the people.We must keep SoS Hillary Rodham Clinton out front in the news and watch her emerge as the one cabinet member that can trusted with all that we have lived and work for since this country was founded.These were to be my golden years but with the onslaught of racial fears and intimidation by the pretender in the oval office there is waning confidence that there are enough political to step up and lead us back to honest government.There is and old and still valid description of these vultures that permeate our lives.

    Please replace those USPS Photos of B & O with those of the one person we can trust and be proud of Sec.HILLARY CLINTON.

    By ABM90 Pretty Please is our cry for this great lady.

  52. Richardson – check. Daschle – check. Caroline Kennedy – check. Killifer – check. Edwards (John) – check. (Geitner- dash). Speaking of “Stonewall” Barney Frank – time to put him in the check column. Lest we not forget THE person representing NY delegation that urged HRC to throw in the towel – Rangel. He can’t get in the check column soon enough. Frank and Rangel – what a pair of LOSERS. CHECKMATE?

  53. Democrat: Obama Team ‘Encouraged’ Defiance of Pelosi on Stimulus

    Rep. Jim Cooper, a conservative Democrat from Tennessee, told a liberal radio network on Sunday that the Obama White House encouraged him to defy House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the $819 billion economic stimulus bill.

    “Well, I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but I actually got some quiet encouragement from the Obama folks for what I’m doing,” said Cooper, one of only 11 Democrats to vote against the economic stimulus plan that passed the House last week.

    “They know its a messy bill and they wanted a clean bill,” he said. “Now, I got in terrible trouble with our leadership because they don’t care what’s in the bill, they just want it to pass and they want it to be unanimous.”

    Cooper, whose startling admission came on Liberadio, was one of about 55 House Democrats to sign a letter criticizing Pelosi for suspending debate and committee rules on the fiscal package, politico.com reported.

    “They don’t mind the partisan fighting cause that’s what they are used to. In fact, they’re really good at it — and they’re a little bit worried about what a post-partisan future might look like,” Cooper said during the radio interview. “If members actually had to read the bills and figure out whether they are any good or not. We’re just told how to vote. We’re treated like mushrooms most of the time.”

    An early supporter of President Obama, Cooper is a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition of Democrats.

  54. Hillary Clinton to visit East Asia

    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to make her first trip in her new role to China, Japan and South Korea. The move is a departure from Condoleezza Rice’s initial foray.

    By Paul Richter
    February 4, 2009

    Reporting from Washington — In another departure from her predecessor, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to visit East Asia on her first trip in her new role.

    Clinton is expected to visit China, Japan and South Korea, and perhaps a country in Southeast Asia, according to a foreign diplomat knowledgeable about plans for the trip.

    The itinerary signals that Clinton intends to take a closer interest in East Asia than did Condoleezza Rice, her predecessor. Rice in large measure delegated diplomatic matters concerning China to her deputies, sometimes skipping ministerial meetings in the region, to the frustration of diplomats there.

    State Department officials have not yet announced Clinton’s travel plans. The foreign official spoke on condition of anonymity, in keeping with diplomatic protocol.

    In her confirmation hearing, Clinton called for a new, “comprehensive” China policy that would incorporate a broad range of issues rather than just the economic questions that have dominated discussions for years.

    Rice’s first trip as secretary of State, in 2005, was to Europe and the Middle East, as she sought to improve ties that had been strained by the Iraq war and address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Rice’s predecessor, Colin L. Powell, made his first destination the Middle East, while Madeleine Albright before him visited both Europe and East Asia in an inaugural trip that lasted 11 days.

    Clinton has highlighted changes in tone from the Bush administration, stressing the need for U.S. diplomacy and promising engagement in troubled regions.

    The Obama administration also has named high-level envoys to the Middle East and the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. It is also expected to appoint an emissary to coordinate its efforts to persuade Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

    But the administration is not expected to name another veteran diplomat for East Asia. Obama has said his administration will strengthen ties with China, Japan and South Korea.

    The chief diplomat’s first trip abroad generally receives wide attention. Clinton, a worldwide celebrity since the early 1990s, is expected to command even more attention, whether or not the trip reveals much about the administration’s policy plans.

    Clinton had her first face-to-face meetings Tuesday with the foreign ministers of Britain and Germany, two key U.S. allies.


  55. Anazing to me that there is so little discussion of Gregg for Commerce.

    I remember in the primary HRC saying that she would be for changes in NAFTA which got a lot of press because Bill put it in. I don’t quite remember Obama’s take on NAFTA but I think he was for a big change.

    Now he has nominated Gregg who is a huge fan of NAFTA, undiluted free trade, outsourcing, offshore deals, etc. Aren’t progressives a little puzzled at this betrayal? Have they noticed yet that Obama may not be as progressive as they assumed?

    I’m glad to hear that Bob Herbert is rethinking a little. I so admire his writing.

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