The Shame Of The Democratic Left, Part IV – Social Security

The lack of details (for those wondering about why there was a lack of details we have an answer below) in the Obama Wall Street bailout “plan” announced yesterday aroused guffaws and a stock market tumble.

Obama bamboozles the American public and his adoring fans in Big Media with his continued refusal to lay out the hidden components of his Rube Goldberg-style economic contraption.

We opposed, (in Something For Nothing) the scam bailout of Wall Street and called instead for Hillary-style solutions such as a Home Ownership Loan Corporation.

While tax cheat, now Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner is busy renaming TARP to TALF our attention turns to the as yet unveiled Obama scams to come.

* * *

In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

As we have written:

We have been a lonely voice warning about the coming Obama Social Security Treachery. We have explained how Obama’s coming Social Security Treachery is tied to the whole of the “stimulus” scam and the other plans to loot the American economy.

Ironically, while Dimocrats and Democrats and PINOs and Big Blogs ignore our warnings about Obama’s Social Security Treachery, a Big Media outlet has joined us in noting the silence.

For those wondering about the lack of details in Obama “plans” we suggest the lack of details are the calculated Obama strategy for a George W. Bush style looting of Social Security and the American economy.

PoliticoLeft silent on Social Security, Medicare:

The new administration hopes to have a stimulus package passed by Congress, a new plan in place to shore up ailing banks and, by month’s end, to hold a “fiscal responsibility” summit.

If the stimulus and banking bailout weren’t controversial enough, the summit fills some entitlement reform critics with dread, as they fear it could speed calls for cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

Obama is planning an epic treachery – the Democratic Left – to its eternal shame – is silent.

Strikingly, however, Obama appears to be getting unusual room to maneuver on entitlements by most of his liberal allies. On the subject of entitlement reform, in fact, Obama’s honeymoon continues — at least in the unlikely precincts of the Democratic left, a counterintuitive development that has buoyed the spirits of reformers who would like to see drastic changes in the way Social Security works.

Big Media, especially the now departed Tim Russert, loathe paying into Social Security – a program that does not benefit them particularly. Republicans too, hate Social Security and have tried to destroy the crown jewel of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. Politico labels these Social Security haters “reformers” and those who want to save Social Security and keep it whole (us) “opponents” and “critics”.

Opponents of significant changes to Social Security benefits were jarred in January, when the then-president-elect echoed George W. Bush’s claim of an entitlement “crisis,” warning of “red ink as far as the eye can see” in Social Security and Medicare. Obama promised that those programs would be a “central part” of his plan to reduce the federal deficit.

Social Security defenders were surprised again last week, when Obama named a leading voice for reining in entitlement spending, New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg, to his Cabinet.

Obama plans to loot Social Security and the Democratic Left is silent. It appears the Democratic Left is really the Dimocratic Left and they plan to join Obama in looting Social Security. Apparently the Dimocratic Left did not want George W. Bush to feast on the spoils of the looted Social Security but now they will themselves feast at the table.

But despite some grumbling in the ranks, the powerful, organized movement that effectively defended the Social Security status quo from Bush’s ambitious reform effort in 2005 has been one of the key dogs that haven’t yet barked at Obama.

The relative silence of liberal activists who smashed Bush’s hopes of slowing entitlement spending is a mark of the deep trust Obama enjoys from the left of his party — and it’s also giving hope to those who would like to see major shifts in the way Social Security and other programs are funded and managed.

Obama is “in a honeymoon phase, and many liberals are afraid to express concerns,” said Rep. Jim Cooper, a Tennessee Democrat and deficit hawk who sees the current economic crisis as an opportunity to reform entitlement spending.

Obama has bamboozled on all sides of the Social Security question. Paul Krugman called Obama out on the bamboozlement when Hillary Clinton defended Social Security.

Paul Krugman has been silent too on the latest Obama treachery. Dimocrats like Barbara Kennelly are busy protecting Obama instead of protecting Social Security.

“The president gets it,” said former Democratic Rep. Barbara Kennelly, the president of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. “This is very different from the people who run around beating the drum for entitlement reform — they’re coming from a different place.”

Opponents of Bush-style changes also believe that sleeping liberals will awaken should Obama make a proposal offering significant changes. “Everyone wants to give Obama the benefit of the doubt, but if he were to get out of the gate and say, ‘We’re going to fix entitlements, and that’s going to mean cuts to Medicare and Social Security,’ he’s going to hit a wall real fast,” said Dean Baker, co-director of the left-leaning Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Obama’s treachery on Social Security will not be as foolish as the open warfare declared by George W. Bush. Obama’s treachery will be coordinated with high level Dimocrats and their PINO Big Blog supporters.

But make no mistake: The old foes of entitlement reform are quiet — and one key group from the last round of Social Security wars has moved on.

In 2005, a labor-backed group called Americans United to Protect Social Security set its sights on killing Bush’s privatization plan and silencing his warnings that Social Security was “headed toward bankruptcy.”

But now Americans United to Protect Social Security, whose top operatives worked for Obama’s campaign, has changed its name to Americans United for Change. And the group has turned its attention to rallying support for the White House’s stimulus package. The labor unions that underwrote much of the organization’s campaign against the Bush White House are Obama’s allies, with a broad agenda they hope he’ll advance.

Even many of the people who were rankled by Obama’s campaign comments about entitlements are disinclined to challenge the new president publicly, to the delight of those pushing to rein in spending on Social Security and Medicare.

Obama cannot be trusted and the Dimocrats know that is true on issue after issue. The reality is that the Dimocratic Left will now profit from Obama’s treacheries and that is the sole source of the supposed “goodwill”.

The defenders of maintaining Social Security and Medicare at their current levels say they’ve been alarmed at times by Obama’s rhetoric, but their relatively relaxed stance is an illustration of the trust and goodwill that Obama commands on the left.

Obama’s pronouncements on the American system of “entitlements” — proponents of the current system dispute the widespread use of the term to refer to government-provided income and health care for senior citizens — have drawn occasional fire from the left. In 2007, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman accused Obama of “Social Security crisis-mongering.”

When Obama said last month that “discussion around entitlements will be a part, a central part” of his economic agenda, liberal columnist David Sirota warned: “That’s coded politicalspeak for an effort to ‘reform’ Social Security and Medicare, which history has shown is often itself politicalspeak for cuts to those programs.

Embarrasments to rational thought like David Sirota should rarely, as in this case, be taken seriously. But why are usually intelligent sources like Paul Krugman silent? Surely, there are some on the Democratic Left that have some honor left?

The Gregg appointment caused another ripple of concern.

“I’m not pleased to see anything strengthen those voices within the administration,” said Lawrence Michel, president of the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute. Michel added that he’s concerned that the summit planned for later this month also could reinforce calls for cuts to Social Security and Medicare. “Why undercut the strongest pillar of retirement security?” he asked. [snip]

“The question is, whose leg is he pulling?” said Baker. “I’d like to think it’s theirs when he says [to deficit hawks], ‘I share your concerns.’ But I guess it’s conceivable that it’s mine.”

The Democratic Left has much to be ashamed of these past few years. Obama should not have been trusted and cannot be trusted on FISA, Guantanamo, Renditions, Torture or the economy – but the Democratic Left was mostly silent.

The latest shame of the Democratic Left is the silence on Social Security.

In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.


102 thoughts on “The Shame Of The Democratic Left, Part IV – Social Security

  1. JBStonesfan,

    Taking the 1/2 glass full attitude is the only thing we can do. I too love Israel, have visited and will always want the best for its people. No matter who gets in, we have to hope that its survival will be assured.

  2. “Obama’s treachery on Social Security will not be as foolish as the open warfare declared by George W. Bush. Obama’s treachery will be coordinated with high level Dimocrats and their PINO Big Blog supporters.”


    Another brilliant crusading expose!

  3. Clinton Says North Korea Shouldn’t Spark Instability (Update2)

    By Ed Johnson

    Feb. 11 (Bloomberg) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she hopes North Korea’s recent rhetoric won’t trigger instability in the region and called on Kim Jong Il’s regime to re-engage with the international community.

    The government in Pyongyang said last month it was scrapping all military and political agreements with South Korea. The communist nation is preparing to test-fire a long-range ballistic missile, Yonhap News Agency reported today, citing an unidentified South Korean source.

    The U.S. is hopeful North Korea’s behavior isn’t a “precursor of any action that would up the ante, or threaten the stability and peace and security” of its neighbors, Clinton said at a news conference in Washington yesterday. She makes her first visit as secretary of state to Asia next week.

    Clinton said there are “opportunities” for Kim’s regime if it makes progress on scrapping its nuclear weapons program, and said the U.S. is committed to six-party disarmament talks. The negotiations are at an impasse, with North Korea saying it won’t let international inspectors remove samples from its Yongbyon reactor, the source of the country’s weapons-grade plutonium.

    “North Korea has to understand that all of the countries in east Asia have made it clear that its behavior is viewed as unacceptable,” said Clinton, whose trip includes stops in Tokyo, Seoul and Beijing to discuss the nuclear stalemate.

    The U.S. hopes North Korea will engage in the six-party talks, which also include South Korea, China, Japan and Russia, as well as other international forums in the weeks and months ahead, she said. President Barack Obama has said he is willing to hold talks with non-U.S. allies such as North Korea.

    Relations have been strained between the governments in Seoul and Pyongyang since President Lee Myung Bak took office in South Korea a year ago. Lee has called for tougher monitoring of economic ventures with North Korea and demanded progress on nuclear disarmament.

    The two nations are still technically at war as their 1950- 1953 conflict ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty. They are separated on the 38th parallel, where 1.7 million soldiers face off each day. Vehicles transporting equipment for a missile launch have been traveling to North Korea’s Musudan-ri base from a military factory south of Pyongyang, the unidentified South Korean source told Yonhap. North Korea could fuel a missile within a month, the report said.

    The U.S. Pacific Command has stepped up its monitoring of North Korea because of reports of a possible missile test, Yonhap said, citing an unidentified American government official.

    North Korea appears to want improved relations with the new U.S. administration and the government in Washington should establish a diplomatic mission in Pyongyang, a U.K. lawmaker who just spent five days in North Korea said yesterday. “I did detect in the voices I talked to a deep desire for progress to be made,” Lord David Alton, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on North Korea, said in an interview in Seoul. “This is the time for the U.S. to formally end the war and to recognize the right of North Korea to exist.”

    Alton, who led a British parliamentary delegation to North Korea’s capital together with Baroness Caroline Cox, said he met with Choe Thae Bok, chairman of North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly; Ri Jong Hyok, chairman of the North Korea-U.K. Friendship Parliamentary Group; and Kung Sok Ung, North Korea’s vice foreign minister in charge of European affairs.

    The British group’s trip coincided with a separate visit by a private U.S. delegation that included Stephen Bosworth, former U.S. ambassador to South Korea, and Jonathan Pollack, a professor of Asian and Pacific studies at the Naval War College in Rhode Island. The North Koreans are waiting for Obama’s administration to make its first move, Bosworth said on Feb. 8.

  4. re-post from Americanthinker, hope it makes it!

    February 09, 2009
    The Bureaucratic Coup Targeting Hillary and Israel
    By Ed Lasky
    Barack Obama is centralizing power in the White House, marginalizing Hillary Clinton and the State Department, while offering ever-clearer signs that Israel’s status as a close American ally is imperiled. Beneath what appears to be obscure bureaucratic maneuvers lies an apparent significant shift in America’s Middle East policy.

    Karen de Young reported in Sunday’s Washington Post:

    President Obama plans to order a sweeping overhaul of the National Security Council, expanding its membership and increasing its authority to set strategy across a wide spectrum of international and domestic issues.

    The result will be a “dramatically different” NSC from that of the Bush administration or any of its predecessors since the forum was established after World War II to advise the president on diplomatic and military matters, according to national security adviser James L. Jones, who described the changes in an interview. “The world that we live in has changed so dramatically in this decade that organizations that were created to meet a certain set of criteria no longer are terribly useful,” he said.

    Jones, a retired Marine general, made it clear that he will run the process and be the primary conduit of national security advice to Obama, eliminating the “back channels” that at times in the Bush administration allowed Cabinet secretaries and the vice president’s office to unilaterally influence and make policy out of view of the others.

    “We’re not always going to agree on everything,” Jones said, and “so it’s my job to make sure that minority opinion is represented” to the president. “But if at the end of the day he turns to me and says, ‘Well, what do you think, Jones?,’ I’m going to tell him what I think.”

    The new structure, to be outlined in a presidential directive and a detailed implementation document by Jones, will expand the NSC’s reach far beyond the range of traditional foreign policy issues and turn it into a much more elastic body, with Cabinet and departmental seats at the table — historically occupied only by the secretaries of defense and state — determined on an issue-by-issue basis. Jones said the directive will probably be completed this week.

    National Security head Jim Jones made it clear that he will be “in charge” and will have “open and final access to the president on all national security matters”. He went on to say “When we chair a principals meeting, I’m the chairman.”

    This centralizing of power at the White House was telegraphed in an earlier column at Politico. There are two models that have been used to orchestrate the division of power between the State Department and the National Security Council. The first is the traditional one: the locus of foreign policy decision-making and implementation is in the State Department. The second model was that followed by Richard Nixon who ran foreign policy with National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger, leaving the hapless Secretary of State William Rogers flapping in the wind. Of course, there is a spectrum of power gradients in any administration. The guessing game is always: who has the power?

    During the campaign against John McCain, Barack Obama tipped his hand when he stated that Jim Jones would be among the three people (Joe Biden and Senator Dick Lugar being the other two) who “have shaped my ideas and who will be surrounding me in the White House”.

    The cursor seems to have moved towards the NSC and away from the State Department. Now Jim Jones seems to have achieved the height of his influence. He will not just shape Barack Obama’s ideas but flex his own power.

    This should not startle anyone, and was predicted in this American Thinker article . We were not alone, of course. Other experts predicted he would play a key role and would “be as strong as Henry Kissinger, the all powerful national security adviser to President Richard Nixon.”

    The National Security Council is located in the White House and its head — and people serving on the NSC — have direct access to the White House. The State Department is located in a different part of town, all the way down at Foggy Bottom. But there is more than just geographical distance separating the State Department from the White House. After all, despite some diplomatic makeup, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were political rivals and some nasty barbs were exchanged during the campaign.

    Pundits speculated about how Obama would deal with a very powerful Hillary Clinton; would she eclipse him, or try to aggrandize her own power and prestige? Her wings seemed to have been clipped somewhat with this evolution. Her prospects of regaining power have diminished.

    One other reason this should surprise no one: during the campaign, Barack Obama relied on advice from Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft, two of the more powerful National Security Advisers in history, and has been placing his protégés in positions of power in the Obama administration.

    Clearly, they counseled him to centralize power at the White House.

    A couple of other tells indicate that power may be slipping away from the State Department. George Mitchell, the special envoy to the Middle East, has direct contact with President Obama. He does not have as an intermediary the Secretary of State. Dennis Ross, who campaigned for Barack Obama, seems sidelined at the moment. There has been much conjecture about his future role in an Obama administration and much speculation regarding why his role has not been formally announced. He is close to the Clintons, having served in the Bill Clinton administration for years as their Middle East envoy.

    Also, Samantha Power has been appointed to an important post at the NSC; she will be in charge of working with multilateral organizations. Power is an advocate of working through multilateral organizations, and seems almost never to have come across one that she finds unworthy of praise and support. Power also has a very close relationship Obama, going back years. They are Blackberry and Basketball Friends Forever.

    We can expect more “cooperation” with a wide range of multilateral organizations and non-governmental organizations, such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the United Nations and any number of groups sponsored if not controlled by George Soros (who has connections to both President Obama and Samantha Power).

    The increased role of the National Security Council will only serve to enhance Power’s influence. Her recent marriage to Cass Sunstein, Barack Obama’s close friend from his University of Chicago days and now our nation’s regulatory czar, will yield ancillary benefits when it comes to the power-mapping in Washington.

    One group of Americans who should keep a wary eye on these shifting dynamics: supporters of the American-Israel relationship.

    Jim Jones has had chilly relations with Israel in the past when he served there:
    Israeli sources say that Jones is not a favorable choice because of his blatantly cool attitude to Israel.

    They point to the fact that in his current position, he has sought to expand trade with Gulf States and has expressed opposition to American laws barring U.S. firms from joining the Arab boycott of Israel.

    During this last role, which includes Israel in the group of 91 countries in the geographical area, Jones’ cool attitude toward Israel was noteworthy compared to some of his predecessors, such as Alexander Haig and Wesley Clark.

    Jones is of the same school of thought when it comes to Israel as another Marine general, Anthony Zinni, who served as envoy of the Bush Administration in 2002.

    (Zinni, as pointed out by my colleague Richard Baehr, is a fierce critic of Israel. He was also offered by the Obama Administration, according to varying accounts, the Ambassadorship of Iraq or Saudi Arabia).
    Eli Lake, in The New Republic, commented back in November that a collision between Jim Jones and Hillary Clinton over Middle East policy was likely and had this to say of Jones:

    He drafted a report on security in the Palestinian territories said to have been highly critical of Israel’s policies in the territories and its attitude towards the Palestinian’s security forces.

    In August, Israel’s leading newspaper, Ha’aretz, reported that the draft report challenged Israel’s conception of its security interests in the West Bank as being overly broad, and that the IDF in particular was too dismissive of the Palestinian security services. The newspaper quoted one IDF officer as saying he expected the report would be “very harsh, and make Israel look very bad.
    That report, perhaps because of its inflammatory nature, was deep-sixed. One suspects that it will be pulled-if it has not already been pulled-from a filing cabinet and is already on people’s desks in the White House.
    Jones will have a lot of sway over formulating policy in the Middle East. He seems to have won the battle with Hillary Clinton over the future course of Middle East policy. He brings to the power grab on the ground experience in that volatile region. As Aluf Benn wrote in Haaretz:

    His Middle East experience will presumably accord him a senior position in formulating American policy in the region.

    Incidentally, Brent Scowcroft would have no problems with an administration that took a lenient attitude towards enforcing the anti-boycott provisions in American law that prevent American companies from complying with the Arab boycott of Israel. His consulting firm the Scowcroft Group has business and international clients that would prosper should these provisions be ignored or the law changed. Increased trade with all Arab nations, as well as with Iran, would be financial windfall for the Scowcroft group. This may be even more likely with Jim Jones in charge of the National Security Council given this nugget buried in the Post article:

    He [Jones] has advocated military collaboration with the oil and gas industry and with nongovernmental organizations abroad.

    The National Security Council will work with the oil and gas industry? Clearly, the oil and gas industry seeks greater business with Middle Eastern nations, even at the expense of our allies in the area. The maxim: follow the money.

    The selection of Hillary Clinton reassured many supporters of the American-Israel relationship that our ally would be supported in the challenging days ahead. The centralization of power in the National Security Council and the White House makes this prospect increasingly dim.

    Of course, Samantha Power’s problematic attitudes toward Israel (and seemingly toward American supporters of Israel) are well-known. We at American Thinker have covered that topic, Noah Pollak at Commentary and Paul Mirengoff at Powerline have also done superb work on Power over the past year. Scott Johnson has also offered excellent commentary of Power for Powerline. While some dismiss concerns that Power will influence policy toward the American-Israel relationship given her current portfolio at the NSC, Paul Mirengoff finds reasons to be wary:

    Power’s obsession with Israel, a nation that, in her twisted world view, is the source of so much mischief, raises the possibility of “portfolio creep.” Perhaps “The Monster,” Hillary Clinton, will provide a safeguard against this prospect.

    Will Power work with multilateral organizations, almost uniformly anti-American and anti-Israel, to amplify their impact? This may be the drift that is happening before our eyes in Washington.

    America’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, has already started promoting the role of the International Criminal Court. This is a prospect that should concern all Americans, because of that body’s criticism of America over the years. The development should also prompt greater qualms for supporters of Israel, since that Court has been a tool to hammer Israel over the years. Will the Court echo Ambassador’s Rice’s view that Israel should investigate itself over charges that it committed war crimes in Israel — a startling statement to make about a close ally and one that received scant coverage in American media.

    Just in the last few days, the Court has worked to empower Palestinians in ways never done before.

    A reflection that the climate for such actions is more welcoming in Washington?

    Will the internationalization of American foreign policy be the final result?

    Ed Lasky is news editor of American Thinker.

  5. ok, my post on Hillary from Americanthinker hasn’t made it up. It talks to the Fraud weaakening the SofS…

  6. Can someone please help me out here? I am on Social Security Disability and with the meds I am currently on am having trouble with comprehension.

    Is there something I should be worried about here being on disability? Any and all help will be greatly appreciated.


  7. gonzotx Says:

    February 11th, 2009 at 4:15 pm


    I have to believe that Hillary would never have accepted this position if she were going to be cut off at the legs, as suggested in that article. Both she and Bill are way to smart for that.

    I am hoping that this is just more speculation by a media who has wanted to destroy her from the very beginning.

  8. JAnH

    You have to wonder about Samantha “the Monster” having such a voice and position. Blackberry buddies. My hope is if it is true, she steps down and runs again for Prez after his obvious failure(s) mount up.

  9. I have to believe that Hillary would never have accepted this position if she were going to be cut off at the legs, as suggested in that article. Both she and Bill are way to smart for that.

    I am hoping that this is just more speculation by a media who has wanted to destroy her from the very beginning.
    I agree with your comment Jan. These are staff people whereas Hillary is a line executive. That is a critical distinction to be kept in mind. Also, Powers prior bad acts and Rices overreaching have made it harder for them to conduct a stealth campaign. I am not dismissing these concerns, they exist, but they are manageable. Our allies have some influence and other key cabinet members are supportive of Hillary. She and Jones have a solid working relationship.

  10. You have to wonder about Samantha “the Monster” having such a voice and position. Blackberry buddies. My hope is if it is true, she steps down and runs again for Prez after his obvious failure(s) mount up.
    Not implausible. That would be consistent with Kreskins comments.

  11. I still can’t wrap my head abound that a person that FAILED at obtaning a seat for Congress, ends up President 8 years later…. You know, if he had won 8 years ago I am not so sure he would have been selected @ this point. House does not have the staure of Senate.

  12. Billy
    To my knowledge any changes to disability or social security would not effect those now currently recieving or those within 20 years of the present 62 year old cut off

  13. gonzotox
    he would also have had a record from which to be judged. In a small way can’t fault him as he said in one of his books I am a blank slate upon which others project and as thus draw or drew the conclusions they wanted about him.

  14. From The Washington Times:

    Gov. Jindal to respond to Obama

    Stephen Dinan
    Wednesday, February 11, 2009

    Republicans have tapped Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana to give their official response to President Obama’s Feb. 24 address to a joint session of Congress, giving Republicans a fresh face to offer their counterpoint.

    “Gov. Jindal embodies what I have long said: the Republican Party must not be simply the party of ‘opposition,’ but the party of better solutions,” said House Minority Leader John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, in announcing the decision.

    After taking a spanking in last year’s elections Republicans have been searching for faces to carry their message and for many, Mr. Jindal is an obvious choice.

    Mr. Jindal, the son of immigrants from India, is youthful, but has already amassed substantial legislative and executive experience. He won Louisiana’s governorship in 2007, and some Republicans thought he would have been a good vice presidential pick for Sen. John McCain in last year’s election.

    Like Mr. Obama, Mr. Jindal made ethics reforms a centerpiece of his own agenda in Louisiana.

    Mr. Obama’s address is similar to a State of the Union speech, though it is not technically the same. Mr. Jindal’s response, a tradition for the party out of power, will be televised after Mr. Obama speaks. He will speak from Baton Rouge, La.

  15. Martinez to Obama: Welcome to Florida, I still oppose the bill

    Mel Martinez says he’s been lobbied by Gov. Charlie Crist on the economic recovery package but just doesn’t believe it’ll work. He voted against it on a test vote last night and plans to vote “NO” again later today.

    He told reporters on a conference call that Crist — grappling with declining state revenue — is eager for “any port in a storm. “If you’re sitting there facing the problems the governor is facing, trying to balance the budget…making terribly hard choices between deserving programs that now are going to have to be cut and you have a lifeline, if you will, from the federal goverment, any port in storm,” Martinez said. “As a matter of national policy, national economic policy…I think my judgement is a different one as a senator.”

    He said he appreciated Obama’s visit to Florida today — but said he believes the bill has way too much spending and way too little stimulation. “If I thought it was going to create 4 million jobs, I’d be for it,” he said.

    Asked about whether GOP opposition to the bill — there were zero votes in the House for it and only an anticipated 3 in the Senate — Martinez said his new status — he isn’t running for re-election — means he hasn’t “done a lot of political calculating about this bill.”

    He noted that though Obama had reached out to Republicans, “while we may feel his touch and his reach, it is only in the hard work of compromising that you get a bi-partisan solution. This bill was never really going to be a bi-partisan solution.”

  16. # JanH Says:
    February 11th, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    gonzotx Says:February 11th, 2009 at 4:15 pm
    I have to believe that Hillary would never have accepted this position if she were going to be cut off at the legs, as suggested in that article. Both she and Bill are way to smart for that.
    I am hoping that this is just more speculation by a media who has wanted to destroy her from the very beginning.


    Yes, JanH.. Right Wing talking points designed to erode confidence of the one in charge. Hillary is a seasoned player. Whatsmore, she’s been in deeper water than this and always come out on Top.

    The First Rule of Life: “Always Know Who You’re Dealing With!” And by Heaven…No One knows better than her!

  17. gonzotx Says:
    February 11th, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    I still can’t wrap my head abound that a person that FAILED at obtaning a seat for Congress, ends up President 8 years later…. You know, if he had won 8 years ago I am not so sure he would have been selected @ this point. House does not have the staure of Senate.


    You can be damn sure if he won a seat in the house in 2000, he would have spent those 4 years running for Senate and then the Presidency, if anything he would have been more of a pain in the ass.

  18. Personally, I hope Obama does try and take Hillary on, you know he is going to try anyway, he does not want her there, Let him try only for the selfish reason it will expose him and she will legitimately be able to say Fuck you to his face and be in a position to say, I told you so. Personally i hope she uses the next 2 years to make him look like an utter failure.

    Let her dept shine and all his other things fail, and then she can go, it aint me, my Dept is ok, he’s the problem.

  19. obama, townhall meetings, empty promises…doesn’t he just sound more and more like a fake healer and false prophet all rolled up into one?

    Is he going to spend his whole term making good-feel speeches?

  20. Obama team has rocky start in bank bailout revamp

    By TOM RAUM and STEVENSON JACOBS –40 minutes ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — That bomb of a bailout intro could make things tougher later on for the administration.

    President Barack Obama and his top financial officials will be picking up the pieces and filling in the blanks in the sprawling bailout overhaul package in the coming days. And lawmakers and market professionals suggested Wednesday that the bad early reviews from Wall Street and Capitol Hill could complicate winning public and market confidence along the way.

    Obama had said that his new treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, would deliver “clear and specific” steps to revive the nation’s financial system. “He’s going to be terrific,” Obama bragged to reporters. But Geithner’s performance was a flop.

    Bert Ely, a longtime banking analyst, said the administration should have sought more feedback from knowledgeable investment professionals before unfurling the plan. “I think everybody is really scratching their heads and asking what happened? And now they’ve really put themselves behind the eight ball. The expectations are even higher, and they’ve got to start fleshing this out,” Ely said.

    Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., a member of the House Financial Services Committee, said the rocky start didn’t bode well for future announcements. “The next time we actually start seeing the details, let’s say tomorrow or two weeks from now, people will say, `Yeah, well, maybe that’s it, or maybe there’ll be another one.'”

    Lack of concrete details, unduly high expectations, a shaky performance by Geithner and overall economic angst led to the thumbs down on Wall Street and Capitol Hill, lawmakers, traders, economists and analysts suggested.

    “The devil is in the details,” Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JP Morgan Chase & Co., told a House hearing. Dimon was just one of several Wall Street CEOs who sounded less than clear about the latest effort to prop up the nation’s troubled banks.

    Standing his ground, Geithner defended the shortage of specifics on Wednesday during another round of congressional hearings. “I did not want to compound the mistakes of the past 12 months by rushing out a plan,” he said. “I will live with that disappointment because it is better than the alternative.”

    His detractors counter that the Obama team has been working on economic recovery issues since early in the presidential transition, and that Geithner himself had helped draft the original bailout plan last fall as president of the New York Federal Reserve.

    At first glance, the plan described by Geithner sounded ambitious and forceful, a wide-ranging rescue that could send $2 trillion coursing through the nation’s weakened financial system. It included a fresh round of capital injections into banks, an expansion of a Federal Reserve lending program, a public-private effort to relieve banks of bad loans and the promise of $50 billion for homeowners facing foreclosure.

    But on closer inspection, many of the proposals were modifications or continuations of the rescue effort launched last year by Geithner’s predecessor, Henry Paulson. “The feeling yesterday was deja vu,” said Quincy Krosby, chief investment strategist for The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.

    The more novel initiatives in the plan lacked detail, especially the proposal for a public-private partnership to buy bad mortgage loans and other toxic assets that are clogging bank balance sheets.

    “Everybody thought there was going to be an actual plan everyone could jump on,” said Lynn Tilton, whose private equity firm, New York-based Patriarch Partners, specializes in rebuilding distressed companies. “But then we didn’t get details.” Geithner “was so bad, I actually felt sorry for him,” she added.

    Many were rattled that much of the “new” lending in the plan would come from the Fed’s singular ability to create money — with potential inflation consequences later.

    The Dow Jones industrials plunged 382 points Tuesday to the lowest level since Nov. 20.

    Obama suggested Wall Street was “hoping for an easy out on this thing, and there is no easy out.” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Wednesday Geithner’s plan was “not designed to take care of the market for one day.”

    The Dow finished up 51 points on Wednesday after the announcement of a tentative $790 billion agreement on Capitol Hill on the other prong of the administration’s economic recovery plan, a stimulus mix of public-works spending and tax cuts that Obama contends will create or save some 3.5 million jobs.

    Together, the stimulus plan in Congress and the financial rescue plan being overseen by Treasury and the Fed could end up marshaling nearly $3 trillion toward revitalizing the economy, and the enormity of the task is contributing to anxiety among policymakers, corporate America and individual investors and consumers.

    “We’re really operating in uncharted waters. The stimulus package and the financial-institutions rescue package are really crap shoots. We really don’t have any sense of how they’re going to work out,” said Ross Baker, a Rutgers University politics professor. “We’re really talking about remaking the American economy and the banking system.”

    Administration officials acknowledged Wednesday that they did not manage expectations well, suggesting hopes may have been raised too high by news reports that the plan would include features it did not, including creation of a so-called government “bad bank” to vacuum toxic assets off bank balance sheets in hopes of eventually reselling them. “I have no doubt that what some people read in the newspaper charged their excitement and expectations up about something that wasn’t ultimately in a plan,” Gibbs said.

    Many banking professionals complain that the Geithner plan lacks a reliable way for valuing the illiquid mortgage-backed securities that the administration wants private investors to buy in a still-unspecified partnership with the government. The administration says markets would determine the price, but no benchmarks are offered. For months, banks have struggled with this very issue, just how to value the troubled assets on their books.

    The plan also proposes what Geithner called a “stress test” for the nation’s largest banks, those with $100 billion or more in assets, to determine whether they can make loans on their own or need further government aid. But it gives few specifics. And it proposes $50 billion to prevent foreclosures, although leaves it up to Obama to announce details a few weeks from now.

    “The market was clearly disappointed that there weren’t more details surrounding the private-public partnership,” said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist at RDM Financial Group. “Patience is something that investors don’t have a lot of right now. The longer we go on without more concrete news on this plan, the more fragile the markets might get.”

  21. Senate panel approves labor nominee Hilda Solis

    By SAM HANANEL – 1 hour ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Hilda Solis edged closer Wednesday to winning confirmation as the nation’s next labor secretary, after more than a month of delays over questions about her husband’s unpaid taxes and her work for a pro-union group.

    The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee cleared her nomination in a voice vote with only two Republicans voting against her. The action sends the nomination to the full Senate for a final vote likely this week.

    A committee vote scheduled last week was abruptly postponed after news that her husband had paid about $6,400 to settle outstanding tax liens against his auto repair business. White House officials said the Democratic California congresswoman and her husband were not aware of the liens until a newspaper reported them and that Solis was not involved in the business. But committee leaders said they wanted more time to review key documents.

    Anthony Coley, a spokesman for the committee’s chairman, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., said the panel would meet quickly between floor votes Wednesday to approve her nomination and send it to the Senate floor.

    White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said President Barack Obama was not concerned about the delays and was confident the process was back on track. Gibbs said he hoped Solis would be sworn in soon.

    Republicans had already stalled her confirmation for weeks after raising questions about her role as a board member and treasurer of American Rights at Work, a nonprofit group working to pass a bill to make it easier for workers to form unions.

    The wrangling over Solis’ ties to organized labor is seen as a precursor to a bitter fight to come over the Employee Free Choice Act, also known as “card check” — a bill organized labor is pushing that would make it easier for workers to form unions. Business groups and most Republicans adamantly oppose the measure.

    Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi, the committee’s top Republican, has suggested that Solis’ work for the advocacy group should bar her, as labor secretary, from debate over the legislation. But Solis said her positions did not involve lobbying and asserted that she would play a role in supporting the bill. Still, Enzi and most GOP members on the panel voted to confirm her. Republican Sens. Pat Roberts of Kansas and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma voted no.

    In a written statement, Enzi said the confirmation would not have been delayed if Solis had not omitted details of her positions for the nonprofit in paperwork filed with the committee and in financial disclosures to the House. Solis has said the omissions were an oversight.

    The latest delay in confirming Solis prompted unions, women’s and Hispanic groups to flood lawmakers’ offices with calls and letters urging them to confirm her.

  22. Senate committee backs Panetta as CIA chief

    By Pam Benson
    CNN National Security Producer

    WASHINGTON (CNN) — The Senate Intelligence Committee voted unanimously Wednesday to send the nomination of Leon Panetta as CIA director to the full Senate for confirmation.

    CIA chief nominee Leon Panetta answers questions February 5 at his confirmation hearing. If approved, Panetta, 70, would become the oldest person to head the spy agency.

    Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-California, said Panetta would mark a “new beginning” for the CIA. “He has the integrity, the drive and the judgment to ensure that the CIA fulfills its mission of producing information critical to our national security, without sacrificing our national values,” she said.

    Sen. Kit Bond, the ranking Republican on the committee, said he supported Panetta after receiving assurances from him that he will “use all appropriate and lawful means” to keep the nation safe.

    Panetta was an eight-term congressman from central California who chaired the powerful House Budget Committee before moving over to the Clinton White House as the budget director and later as the president’s chief of staff. He left government in 1997 and returned to California, where he and his wife created the Leon and Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy, a nonprofit foundation.

    During his confirmation hearing last week, Panetta was peppered with questions about the Bush administration’s interrogation, detention and rendition program and President Obama’s efforts to change the policy.

    He called waterboarding — the interrogation technique that simulates drowning — torture, but he said the intelligence officers who carried it out should not be prosecuted.

    Obama has signed an executive order limiting interrogation techniques to the 19 outlined in the Army Field Manual, but Panetta conceded those might not be enough. He said he would not hesitate to go to the president and ask for additional authority if there was “a ticking bomb situation.”

    Panetta vowed not to send suspected terrorists to other countries where they could be tortured. But he insisted such renditions are an “appropriate tool” if the United States got assurances from the receiving country that the individuals would not be treated inhumanely.

    Regarding Obama’s plan to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, he said the task is a very difficult one. Although some prisoners will be tried and others transferred to other countries, he acknowledged there may be a group of prisoners who will have to be detained without trial for a long time.

    Panetta said he did not see the need for any wholesale changes at the agency. The CIA has the tools to deal with the threats, he said, but it needs to stress the training, language capabilities and diversity that will produce better intelligence.

    Panetta’s nomination initially created a stir among both Democrats and Republicans who questioned the advisability of appointing someone with his lack of experience in the intelligence community at a time when the United States is fighting two wars and battling terrorists. But his lack of experience barely got mentioned at his confirmation hearing. Senators seemed satisfied that he has the confidence of the president, would have a good working relationship with Congress and would retain the top leadership at the CIA.

    Panetta was not the first choice to head the spy agency. John Brennan, a career intelligence officer who last headed the National Counter Terrorism Center, was the leading candidate until liberal bloggers effectively torpedoed the nomination by linking Brennan to the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques and to faulty intelligence estimates preceding the war in Iraq. Brennan said he was not involved in the decision-making process for those policies, but he withdrew his name from consideration. Sources close to Brennan said he was pushed by the Obama transition team to step aside. Brennan was subsequently appointed by Obama to be his homeland security advisor at the White House, a position that does not need congressional approval.

  23. We had every reason to believe that Obama would surround himself with “anti-Israel” people. I have been very troubled by Hillary’s willingness to get on board with this administration. I would have preferred to see her fight for what is right.

  24. I am a little surprised he did not select someone with real stature for Secretary of Labor. Solis’ credenitals are minimal at best. That is an indicator of the relative importance he ascribes to that position. It is also suggests that he will not fall on his sword for the cardcheck legislation.

  25. Carol,

    How do you know Hillary isn’t fighting for what is right?

    I think she went into the SOS position just so she could have some influence where it mattered most. I honestly doubt she would have accepted SOS without checking out the fine print first.

  26. wbboei,

    Or else he doesn’t have a clue, nor does his amateur buddies as to who would have been better. Then again, everything is rush, rush, rush with him so who knows.

  27. There is a lovely picture of Secretary Hillary Clinton up at Hillbuzz. It is the third story down, and she is wearing a pink suit. She is glowing and looks very happy.

  28. How depressing is this post. Let us hope O has used up his passes by the time Soc Sec comes up.

    wbb…you continue to impress with your posts. I often think we should write a book, start a group, teach a course, or something.

    If I weren’t so depressed………..

  29. Question re stimulus bill. Does anyone know “who is on the committee that is currently reviewing the stimulus bill?”

    A Puma has asked me but I think if she doesn’t get an answer soon she’ll no longer need it.

  30. wbboei Says:
    I am a little surprised he did not select someone with real stature for Secretary of Labor. Solis’ credenitals are minimal at best. That is an indicator of the relative importance he ascribes to that position. It is also suggests that he will not fall on his sword for the cardcheck legislation.


    Of course he won’t. His real bosses are the employers, who don’t want it. Typical Obama strategy. Get cred by appointing a token woman — to a post where she is sure to fail — on a project he wants to fail anyway. Giving him an excuse for the failure — and an excuse not to hire women to something that matters.

  31. Tell me someone, what is the chance the stimulus bill is completely accepted by Hillary. Has anyone heard if she supports the bill??? I haven’t heard from her at all about the bill. Could this be the reason she is out of the senate, if she were in the senate, I wonder what she would be arguing?? Anyone with any ideas???

  32. Of course he won’t. His real bosses are the employers, who don’t want it. Typical Obama strategy. Get cred by appointing a token woman — to a post where she is sure to fail — on a project he wants to fail anyway. Giving him an excuse for the failure — and an excuse not to hire women to something that matters.
    Turndown: that has got to be it. Thank you.

  33. Carol- Hillary knows that Israel is our one real ally in the Middle East. It shares our values and is the only democracy. As long as she is head of the State Department she will protect that relationship.

    Obama by contrast may call them an ally, but his closest advisors- Breznevsky, Power, etc. are no friends of Israel. Furthermore, his general approach is to embrace our enemies and disrespect our allies.


    Did Reid roll Pelosi?

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid played a little high-stakes chicken with each other at the tail end of Wednesday’s shotgun stimulus talks.

    It’s not clear who won – or who blinked.

    According to a half dozen Congressional aides and members, Reid went before the cameras Wednesday to announce a stimulus deal before Pelosi had agreed on all the details of school construction financing.

    “It’s ruffled feathers, big time,” said a House Democrat speaking on condition of anonymity. “The speaker went through the roof.”

    Added one House Democratic aide: “He tried to roll her and she knew it.”

    A few minutes after Reid announced the deal, Senate Appropriations Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) convened a public meeting of the House-Senate conference committee.

    It was supposed to be a glorified photo op. But there were no House Democrats in the room – and Inouye hastily announced the meeting would be scrapped pending a Pelosi “briefing” of members on the details.

    The problem, according to people familiar with the situation, was that Pelosi hadn’t completely signed off on the Senate’s approach to restoring some of the $21 billion in school construction funding. House Democrats are pushing to have school-repair funding listed as a recurring expense; Senate Republicans want such an allocation to be a one-time-only deal.

    The approach adopted by the Senate still infuriates many members of her caucus, and Pelosi had yet to fully make her case to dissenters, a source told Politico.

    The result: Pelosi summoned Reid to her office – her turf – to hash out unspecified modifications to the package prior to a 5:15 re-convening of the conference committee.

    People close to Pelosi painted a different picture – one that portrays Reid as the one being rolled. Pelosi, they say, strategically permitted Reid to make his announcement – and then held up her approval to extract a slightly better deal.

    Contradicting other sources who said that Pelosi had been blindsided, a House Democratic aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that Reid had placed a “head’s up” phone call to Pelosi before announcing the deal.

    A Senate aide concurred, saying that Pelosi “wasn’t blindsided” and “didn’t say no” when Reid announced he was going public. The staffer added that Pelosi spent much of the day trying — unsuccessfully — to convince the three Senate Republicans to make changes.

    Pelosi told reporters late Wednesday that she had some success selling the Senate on unspecified legislative language “that spoke to the purpose of school construction.”

    Whatever the real story, Pelosi’s members were more than a little bewildered and headed into Wednesday’s night’s negotiation singing their Kumbayas through gritted teeth.

    “[Senate Democrats] don’t know everything that’s in the bill,” said a laughing Charles Rangel(D-N.Y.), chairman of the Ways and Committee. “So I’m afraid to go to that damned conference.”

    Even Senate Democrats seemed a little flummoxed. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), briefing reporters after the Reid presser, stopped short of actually saying he was 100 percent sure a deal had been cut.

    “There was general agreement,” he said. “It doesn’t mean everything is locked in yet. But if we didn’t have an agreement, then there wouldn’t have been a news conference.”

  35. Is it possible that Poopsie was nipping on the kitchen sherry? It has been known to happen.

    Not to worry, when you preside over an empire where the sun never sets its alway cocktail hour–somewhere.

    Sober or not Poosie gives new meaning to Mark Twains observation that when congress is in session no one is safe.

  36. I have nawwthing against driiiiiiinnking. It sssteadies the nervesss.

    If you are Poopsie it is a damsite better than sitting down and reading a dismal 800 page piece of legislation that will cost the countryy 790 billion excluding interest.

    I laugh when Rangler laughs that Poopsie does not know what is in the bill, because neither does Rangler.

    When Rangler reads a bill the only thing he looks for are the tax loopholes. And, when he finds them it is le bon temps rolue until the ethics committee sees what he has done.

  37. HERE WE GO …………..A G A I N!!!!

    Obama backer Frank Sanchez and defunct steel company part of federal inquiry into $700,000 grant

    By Janet Zink, Times Staff Writer
    TAMPA — Authorities are investigating how a local nonprofit organization and a now-defunct steel company spent $700,000 in federal grant money.

    The investigation comes as the Obama administration considers Frank Sanchez, a former member of the nonprofit’s board and past president of the steel company, for a high-level position.

    Kenneth Wolfe, a spokesman for the Health and Human Services Department, said the agency is “investigating allegations that the funds were misused.”


    The nonprofit agency is taking Renaissance Steel to court, trying to recoup the grant money it loaned the company, according to Albert Lee, chairman of the agency board.

    Also, one subcontractor, Cathy Flippo, filed a criminal complaint last year with the Tampa Police Department, saying Renaissance owed her $89,006. Her complaint named Sanchez and two other Renaissance employees, Cecilia and Don Ball.


    In the middle of the investigation, though, Renaissance paid Flippo $42,130, saying that was all the company owed her.

    She dropped her complaint.

    “No charges were ever filed,” said Darrow, who noted t
    hat the case was marginal because he never uncovered a contract between Flippo and Renaissance.

    The case was closed in September, and determined to be a civil matter.

    However, Darrow said that last week FBI agents requested copies of the investigation documents.

    The FBI declined to comment on the matter, but the bureau typically runs background checks of presidential appointees.

    Sanchez was one of Barack Obama’s top advisers on Latin America during the presidential campaign. He has been in Washington, D.C., since December as part of Obama’s transition team.

    Sanchez served President Bill Clinton as a special assistant to the president in the Office of the Special Envoy for the Americas, and later as an assistant secretary in the Transportation Department.

    He made an unsuccessful run for mayor of Tampa in 2003.

    He declined to comment for this story.

  38. Tell me someone, what is the chance the stimulus bill is completely accepted by Hillary. Has anyone heard if she supports the bill??? I haven’t heard from her at all about the bill. Could this be the reason she is out of the senate, if she were in the senate, I wonder what she would be arguing?? Anyone with any ideas???
    Confloyd: the question you are asking is hypothetical but if you compare this piece of garbage to the long term investments she advocated as a candidate, I cannot imagine that she would be supporting this bill. Can you?

  39. Cancel this question, my friend got her answer elsewhere.


    turndownobama-com Says:
    February 11th, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    Question re stimulus bill. Does anyone know “who is on the committee that is currently reviewing the stimulus bill?”

    A Puma has asked me but I think if she doesn’t get an answer soon she’ll no longer need it.

  40. wbboei Says:
    February 11th, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    Of course he won’t. His real bosses are the employers, who don’t want it. Typical Obama strategy. Get cred by appointing a token woman — to a post where she is sure to fail — on a project he wants to fail anyway. Giving him an excuse for the failure — and an excuse not to hire women to something that matters.
    Turndown: that has got to be it. Thank you.


    Yup. Cf his strategy on the Stimulus. Whatever his bosses want out, pick a fight with the GOP, throw out those parts and blame it on the GOP. All in the name of bi-partisanship. Even if you have to run ads against the GOP holdouts and still not get their votes.

    Only trouble is that I’m not sure why his bosses, Wall Street, want to withhold contraceptives now and pay for childbirth nine months from now.

  41. Obama backer Frank Sanchez and defunct steel company part of federal inquiry into $700,000 grant
    (With Apologies To Ray Charles)

    Here we go again
    A BO nominee again
    With ethical problems again

    One more time

    Here we go again
    The nominee stinks again
    But will get a pass again
    Unless he resigns

    One more time

    Yes we have been there before
    One more bambi whore
    Whose conduct we deplore
    Now thats hope and change

    It never ever ends—Judas, Getner, Daschale, Solis, Sanchez et al.

  42. i just find it strange that no one is asking Hillary about the bill! T he press is always trying to cause trouble.

    wbboei, I just keeping thinking that I agree with that article about her being side lined in the SOS office. I am sure she is trying to keep her head above water, but I am still thinking she has been controlled. Sometimes when I see her and BIll together, they look like it. I guess its my imagination, but this whole economic crisis is suspect since it happened when McCain’s numbers were up. I think Bambi is puppet and the shadow government is running the country.

  43. wbboei,

    Here he goes again. Give Wall Street what it wants, blaming it on, this time, Geithner. Set Axelrod et al up as folk heroes, Geithner as villain.

    DAmmit, this is classic Chicago or other inner city stuff. Set up yourself as the hero of the downtrodden — when you’re really their opiate, keeping them distracted. And you always have to eventually fail, because that way the fatcats get to keep their money, and you don’t work yourself out of a job.


    Geithner Said to Have Prevailed on the Bailout
    In the end, Mr. Geithner largely prevailed in opposing tougher conditions on financial institutions that were sought by presidential aides, including David Axelrod, a senior adviser to the president, according to administration and Congressional officials.

    Mr. Geithner, who will announce the broad outlines of the plan on Tuesday, successfully fought against more severe limits on executive pay for companies receiving government aid.

    He resisted those who wanted to dictate how banks would spend their rescue money. And he prevailed over top administration aides who wanted to replace bank executives and wipe out shareholders at institutions receiving aid.

  44. Wbboei, If your still up, there are many scary things being said out in the blogs, if only half are true we are in for some bad times. Have you heard about the run on the banks in Sept. being set up by Soros? It sure sounds feasible. One blogger stated since we have such a good surveillance vehicle in place the govt should be about to track just who and what countries were in on the run of the banks. They also said it was the middle east and London. WHat do you think?

  45. Here’s a interesting re read from 2/08 and it seems to be coming true.h t tp :/ /w w w .rense. com /general 80/ sor.htm

  46. confloyd: Hillary is doing her job with deep care and a steady hand and above the fray of the greed merchants and wall street shills llead by the hustler.After her trip to Asia this coming week she will become untouchable and forein leaders are even now lining up to have her stop in their countries.Smart girl,smart husband an our national treasure.It takes guts,patriotism and smart negotiatios to get things done and she is responding to the call.

    By ABM90. BHO is looking more and more like square peg trying to hide in a round hole.If he does’nt fit we must remove and replace him,toot tsweet.

  47. I trust Hillary completely on Israel. I don’t trust O and don’t know how she can either. He does seem to be diminishing her influence and ability to set policy.

    I would have preferred to see her fight for the nomination. I think she gave up too soon. Someone needs to fight for the American people. It would have taken great courage and may have hurt her future in politics. We will never know… but is this better??? BO running the country…..the country going deeper into debt….corruption everywhere.

    I have always believed in this political system until now and thought that most politicians were doing their jobs. I really respected people like Schumer. Now I see him as one more political whore. His comment yesterday the the American people don’t care about a few pork dollars was unbelievable. The elite are out of control and drunk on their own power. Kirsten gillibrand was in the senate ONE day and Schumer and others succeeded in pressuring her to change strongly held opinions on issues such as illegal immigration and bring her in line. Revolting. The whole crew needs to be thrown out with the bath water.

    I really believe that the time has come for a people’s democratic party. I would like to see Bill and Hillary lead a people’s revolt for sanity and justice in government.

  48. “According to a half dozen Congressional aides and members, Reid went before the cameras Wednesday to announce a stimulus deal before Pelosi had agreed on all the details of school construction financing.”


    LOL…if we are lucky, obama and his cronies will combust and we won’t have to do anything about it. I wonder if they have bought stock in knives…so many backs to stab…so little time.

  49. Feb 12, 2009

    Clinton bows to Asia’s power

    WASHINGTON – HILLARY Clinton, who heads to Asia next week on her maiden mission, is bowing to an increasingly powerful region in order to tackle the global economic crisis, climate change and nuclear weapons.

    The new US secretary of state’s choice of travel to Japan, Indonesia, South Korea and China, analysts say, reflects the quest for a long-term strategy to deal with the changing dynamic in world economic, political and military power.

    Her predecessors usually traveled first to Europe or the Middle East, analysts said.

    For Michael Green, a former Asia adviser to president George W. Bush, Mrs Clinton is right to now focus the ‘US government on the challenges and opportunities’ in Asia. To be sure, he told reporters at a gathering here organised by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the crises of the moment are in the world financial markets, the Middle East, Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran.

    ‘But in the longer sweep of history, historians will judge this administration and our generation on how we managed the shift of power from the West to East and the rise of China and India and the growing confidence and activism of countries like Indonesia, Japan and Korea,’ Mr Green said.

    And unlike in the Middle East and Europe, where US standing fell after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, analysts said, in Asia President Barack Obama’s administration has inherited from his predecessor a strong position on which to build.

    The Chicago Council on Global Affairs said Mrs Clinton will arrive in a region where US soft power – the use of economic, diplomatic and cultural clout to influence the world rather than brute military force – still holds sway.

    Mrs Clinton’s travel plans shows ‘the Obama administration is determined to make use of this strength to address the many challenges in the region,’ Thomas Wright, an executive at the Chicago Council, said in a statement.

    The council based its conclusion on a 2008 survey of 6,000 people in China, the United States, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Vietnam. Mr Green expected the chief US diplomat to focus on defusing the US-induced world financial crisis, fighting climate change, and reviving the six-party negotiations aimed at scrapping North Korea’s nuclear weapons.

    Japan, South Korea and China are negotiating partners with North Korea, along with the United States and Russia. US officials said Mrs Clinton will travel with Todd Stern, her special envoy for climate change, and Christopher Hill, the Bush administration’s negotiator on North Korea who is now a leading candidate to become ambassador to Iraq.

    Mr Green said Mrs Clinton appears to have chosen Japan for her first Asia stop to smooth feathers she ruffled there when she wrote during her campaign for the US presidency that the US-China relationship will be the most important one. In Tokyo, CSIS Japan expert Nicholas Szechenyi said Mrs Clinton will discuss the financial crisis with Japanese leaders, possibly with a view to coordinating positions before the G20 summit in April in London.

    Japan will likely raise its concerns about Japanese nationals whom North Korea abducted to train as spies during the Cold War after complaining the United States has relegated the issue in the nuclear disarmament negotiations. It is also concerned about reports North Korea is pushing ahead with preparations to launch its longest-range missile despite international appeals for restraint, Mr Szechenyi said.

    Mrs Clinton, analysts added, will also have to deal with growing alarm in South Korea over Pyongyang’s increasingly ‘bellicose’ talk, including its scrapping of peace accords between the two countries.

    Bonnie Glaser, a China expert at CSIS, expected Clinton’s visit to Beijing to tackle North Korea, the financial crisis and climate change, but tread carefully on human rights.

    China, she said, may repeat that it wants the United States to stop arms sales to Taiwain, but may settle for some ‘face-saving gesture by Washington to resume’ high-level military exchanges suspended last year.

    In Indonesia, the only stop in South-east Asia, James said, Mrs Clinton may lay the groundwork for a ‘transformed relationship, new strategic partnership’ with the world’s largest Muslim-majority country.

    In his inauguration speech on Jan 20, Mr Obama vowed to seek a ‘new way forward’ with the Muslim world ‘based on mutual interest and respect,’ after eight rocky years under Bush. James said it is ‘a safe bet’ Mr Obama will visit Indonesia – where he spent part of his childhood and where he is popular – when he visits Asia later this year.

    Mrs Clinton is due to visit Japan from Feb 16-18, Indonesia from Feb 18-19, South Korea Feb from 19-20, and China from Feb 20-22. — AFP

  50. Gerald Warner

    Barack Obama and Tim Geithner rob Main Street of $3 trillion

    Feb 12, 2009

    “The sparkle has gone from his eyes already,” an American acquaintance said to me yesterday, referring to Barack Obama. “He doesn’t know what to do.” Obama’s performance at his press conference confirmed that impression, with the rhetoric of the campaign trail, fluent and banal as piped musak, replaced with long hesitations not just between sentences, but between clauses. This was an auto-cue junkie suffering cold turkey.

    Barack Obama’s stimulus plan is pure madness

    When a political lightweight is out of his depth, he seeks to compensate by counterfeiting the certainty he is far from feeling. Obama’s rantings in defence of his stimulus plan have assumed an apocalyptic intensity. Unless Congress agrees to flush almost $1 trillion of Joe Citizen’s hard-earned bucks down the sanitation, “Our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse.”

    So, America had better listen to the man who “screwed up” over Tom Daschle because he alone has the wisdom to extricate the US of A from financial disaster. The instrument of salvation is the biggest barrel of pork that the undeserving needy have ever seen in American history, from sea to shining sea. The financial crisis may seem complex, but the solution – the real solution – depends on one simple premise: tax cuts revive economies, handouts do not.

    Trillion-dollar giveaways are like buses: there will be another one along in a moment. Driving the next vehicle is Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who thinks it would be a nice gesture to hand another $2 trillion to Gordon Gekko and his pals on Wall Street. Apparently the last handout made no appreciable difference, so better throw some more moolah into the piranha pool – some of those poor SOBs are down to their last executive jet.

    Where will the money come from? No problem – we just divert it from Main Street to Wall Street, an increasingly familiar route to those in the White House and on Capitol Hill who specialise in redistributing wealth from the poor to the rich. This seems to be in addition to Geithner’s $0.5 trillion scheme to stimulate spending in real estate, drawing cash largely from the US Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

    So, overall, Barack and Tim are currently disposing of more than $3 trillion of taxpayers’ money. The only remotely comparable stimulus scheme proposed for America was a fictitious one: when the James Bond villain Auric Goldfinger planned to detonate a nuclear device in Fort Knox and irradiate the nation’s gold reserves. Incinerating $3 trillion in dollar bills could not be more wasteful than the Obama stimulus plan.

    It is madness. These lunatics are mugging Main Street of $3 trillion and squandering it on a liberal fantasy. It could be a generation before America recovers – not simply from the loss of these funds, but from the economic mismanagement of which it is a symptom. The fall-out will be very serious for the rest of the world. Hope? Change we need? Vote in haste, repent at leisure.

  51. Pelosi concerned about a Murtha probe
    By JOHN BRESNAHAN | 2/12/09 4:40 AM EST

    [NOTE: i forgot to put in the SNIP”S…SORRY.. so go to link above if you want to read this 2 page article in it’s entirety]

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders are “concerned” by a widening criminal probe that may involve Rep. John P. Murtha, but sources close to the leadership say there’s no move afoot to force him out as chairman of the powerful Defense Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee.

    “We are watching to see what happens,” said a senior House Democratic aide. “At this point, there is nothing for us to do. There is not a clear indication yet that Mr. Murtha has done anything wrong or that the Justice Department is targeting him in any way, so there is no reason to take any action.”


    It’s not clear yet whether — or to what degree — federal authorities’ search at PMA was related to Murtha.
    Murtha’s office said he has “not been contacted” by any federal investigators as part of this criminal probe. But several sources said FBI agents have spent months laying the groundwork for their current investigation, including conducting research on earmarks and campaign contributions.

    If Murtha does become implicated in a criminal investigation, it will be a major headache for Pelosi.

    While aides to the speaker said she has “put some distance” between herself and Murtha in recent months,
    Pelosi personally appealed to her fellow Democrats to give him money prior to the November elections.

    Democrats responded by pouring more than $330,000 into Murtha’s campaign coffers in the two weeks leading up to Election Day, helping him cruise to an easy win over Republican Bill Russell — even after he made remarks suggesting that the citizenry of his district was “racist.”

    Republicans, who have tried to score points over the ethical questions surrounding House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.), are treading cautiously around the Murtha-PMA issue. Several GOP lawmakers — including Reps. C.W. Bill Young of Florida, Don Young of Alaska and Zach Wamp of Tennessee and Sens. John Cornyn of Texas and Judd Gregg of New Hampshire — have received funds from PMA’s employees, PAC, or Magliocchetti and his family members.

    Former Sen. John Sununu (R-N.H.) and Rep. David Hobson (R-Ohio) also benefitted from Magliocchetti’s largesse.

    The National Republican Congressional Committee issued a press release Wednesday highlighting some of the recent stories about PMA’s problems. Yet FEC records show that Magliocchetti gave $15,000 personally to the NRCC in 2006-2007.

    “That’s why [Republicans] are not hitting this too hard,” said a Democratic operative. “They’ve taken a lot of PMA money as well.”

    Magliocchetti also donated $12,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee from 2006 to 2008, as well as tens of thousands more to individual Democratic lawmakers.

    But a probe involving PMA could be more troublesome for Murtha. The congressman has steered several hundred million dollars in earmarks to PMA’s clients and has been rewarded with hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions.

    Pentagon officials are also studying whether the military is “receiving value” for the federal dollars being funneled into the network of small defense firms affiliated with Murtha.

    Federal agents raided PMA’s office in Arlington, Va., shortly after the November elections, reportedly seeking information as to whether Magliocchetti was using “straw men” donors to illegally funnel campaign donations to Murtha and several other lawmakers.

    The PMA raid was first reported by ABC News on Monday night.

    A spokesman for PMA, Patrick Dorton, confirmed that “government representatives did come to the PMA offices,” and he said the firm is “cooperating with authorities.”

    An attorney for PMA, Carmen Jacobs, offered no additional information.

    In January, federal investigators, including representatives of the FBI, IRS and Defense Criminal Investigative Service, searched the offices of Kuchera Industries and Kuchera Defense Systems in three different locations in Pennsylvania.

    The homes of Bill Kuchera and Ron Kuchera — the president and CFO, respectively, of the companies — were also searched. The Kucheras have close ties to Murtha: Bill Kuchera hosted a fundraiser for Murtha at his game ranch in August 2008, and he sat on a board of a nonprofit run by Carmen Scialabbia, a longtime Murtha aide.

  52. Geithner with Brian Williams.. “I screwed up” like boss, like employee. He does not really inspire confidence, does he? His education is not impressive, but he seems to have “connections” (his dad managed Ford Foundation and at some point met/worked with 0bama’s mother) and he speaks Chinese and Japanese. Yay, Yay!! Maybe we should just appoint a Chinese for the treasury secretary. He may take some pity on us. My brother (in India) just can’t believe this mess — he keeps asking me how or why the govt did not see it coming.

  53. At this point I am so suspicious of all things Chicago that when I see their name show up anywhere I am sometimes right and at other times I see land where there is no land. So when I saw a new organization show up in the news called The Global Chicago Center, and began to commment in the news about Hillarys foreign policy agenda I wondered whether this is a venerable foreign policy institution, or a vehicle which will be used by the Daley machine to project its influence and expand its business opportunities not only nationally but world wide.

    If you visit their website you get the sense that they have been around for awhile-1922. You also get the impression that they are funded by reputable sources–at least the ones they tout. But why have we not heard from them before the Chicago crime lords took over the white house. And who exactly are they and what is their real agenda and who is using them and to what end. Here is what they want us to believe:

    The Global Chicago Center enhances Chicago’s strengths as a global city and raises awareness – both here and abroad – of Chicago’s international connections by:

    Identifying Chicago’s economic, social, intellectual, and cultural links to the rest of the world.

    Facilitating communication and collaboration among internationally minded groups.

    Helping Chicagoans understand the challenges and opportunities associated with globalization.

    Helping reputable people such as Rezko and Auchi and Daley spread their money and their gospel of private public partnerships worldwide for a fee (vig)–always for a handsome fee. Another Trojan Horse?

  54. Wow, Hillary’s busy today. Check out her schedule.

    BTW, the quote about the sparkle going out of Obama’s eyes is interesting. I really do think he had no idea what he’d be in for as president. Also, I bet if the economy had been this bad during the primaries Hillary would’ve been our nominee because her vote for the Iraq war would hardly have been an issue.

  55. i just find it strange that no one is asking Hillary about the bill! T he press is always trying to cause trouble.

    wbboei, I just keeping thinking that I agree with that article about her being side lined in the SOS office. I am sure she is trying to keep her head above water, but I am still thinking she has been controlled. Sometimes when I see her and BIll together, they look like it. I guess its my imagination, but this whole economic crisis is suspect since it happened when McCain’s numbers were up. I think Bambi is puppet and the shadow government is running the country.
    Connie-first, what I see here is Hillary Clinton with the state department solidly behind her moving in an orderly way to address the challenges, big media who will go to its grave trying to destroy her but losing its influence as bambi fails, staff people with strong opinions taking a contrarian approach, envoys selected by Hillary tackling the worlds hot spots, bumbling amateurs like Kerry rushing out to places like Syria in a uncoodinated egotitical attempt to make headlines, and no credible competing management system emerging to challenge Hillary. This is not a matter of heroic ventures, but sustained policy initiatives, carrots and sticks, a move away from gunboat diplomacy without losing leverage. That is a very complex challenge and the biggest threat to Hillary that I see is the problem of too many cooks and frankly chaos while Obama sits on the sidelines and practices his hoops because he does not know how to manage so much as a hotdog stand. The bailout bill, the outsourcing of it to congress and his failure to lower the boom on Pelosi are symptomatic of the disease.

  56. Clinton will pull Rubin stunt on visit to China

    Written by William Pesek / Bloomberg
    Thursday, 12 February 2009 21:20

    Chinese officials are bracing for Hillary Clinton’s visit.

    Clinton made a good call in making Asia her first trip abroad as US secretary of state. Officials in Tokyo, Jakarta and Seoul will be delighted that Clinton, in the words of Department of State spokesman Robert Wood, is visiting to “send a tremendous signal” of the region’s importance to American policy.

    Folks in Beijing have reason to be less enthusiastic: They will be on the hot seat.

    It’s telling that Clinton chose these four nations on a visit that begins February 15. Three rank among the top 10 national holders of US dollar assets. Add in Indonesia and the four have more than $3 trillion of international currency reserves. It’s a reminder of who holds the power these days. China, the US’ biggest debt customer, can’t be happy that Clinton will visit Tokyo first. She will be in China almost a month after the White House labeled it a currency manipulator. That charge was made by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in his confirmation hearing, and China is livid.

    Officially, Clinton will focus on North Korea’s nuclear-arms program, the financial crisis, security and climate change. Yet, Chinese leaders would be right to figure their currency and role in global imbalances will dominate her list of discussion points.

    Pulling a Rubin

    That can be seen in what Clinton wants to do with the state department. Both Clinton and Geithner have stressed that China, the fastest-growing major economy, is crucial in fixing the world financial crisis. Clinton says she wants her team to take a stronger role on international economic issues. As Barack Obama has said, history will judge his presidency by whether he avoided a US depression. Whereas the White House’s mantra during the 1990s was, “It’s the economy, stupid,” Obama’s is becoming, “It’s the economy or we’re all homeless.”

    Clinton wants to pull a Robert Rubin on his old department. When Rubin was Bill Clinton’s Treasury secretary, he co-opted many of the state department’s traditional functions. With Asia, Mexico and Russia in crisis during his tenure, Rubin fused economic policy with diplomacy in unprecedented ways. In late 1997, Rubin and Geithner, then a top treasury official, explained the shift to me and a small group of journalists accompanying them on a whistle-stop tour of Asia. In Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur, they laid out their view that economics had become the soul of US foreign policy.

    State’s brief

    Neutered even further during the 2000s, the state department seems ready not only to reassert itself under Clinton, but to broaden its brief. China can expect a multipronged approach to economic issues it would just as soon keep swept under the carpet. Thorny topics likely to get more attention include China’s currency, labor standards and intellectual-property rights. One reason Chinese leaders often prefer Republicans in the White House is they tread carefully on human rights. And after the last eight years—invading Iraq, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay—the United States has little moral high ground. So, Obama’s team will probably focus on labor standards.

    China is clearly unnerved by the tone coming from Washington. One worry is how many lawmakers think China bears responsibility for US job losses. Another reflects concerns about US protectionism, something fanned by the “Buy American” provisions in stimulus efforts. Geithner’s yuan-manipulation comments haven’t helped.

    Wen’s criticism

    Officials in Beijing also may sense a lack of contrition for the state of the global economy. In London earlier this month, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao criticized American- style capitalism and stressed “how dangerous a totally unregulated market can be.” China is very regulated, a quality that is an asset as growth swoons. It has no need to get stimulus efforts through skeptical lawmakers and boasts $1.9 trillion of currency reserves. China is in for a rough year. Is it a coincidence that the most open economies in Asia—Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and, arguably, South Korea—were the quickest to wilt? Asia’s export-led business model is rapidly unraveling. Governments are struggling to stabilize growth.

    Clinton and Geithner need to offer Asia something else. The gospel of free-market capitalism no longer passes muster. Nor does talk of deregulation and the magic of democracy. They need to articulate a new economic and foreign-policy doctrine that recognizes its limits.

    Easier stops

    Jakarta, Seoul and Tokyo will be easier visits for Clinton. The Japan stop is about maintaining a vital geopolitical relationship. Korea is about that and also tackling the North Korea issue. Indonesia marks the US’ reengagement with Southeast Asia via a nation with the largest Muslim population.

    Lecturing China is no longer an option. Clinton shouldn’t pull punches, yet it would be more constructive to work with China. The United States needs China’s money, and China needs US demand for its exports. The last thing the US needs is a trade war with its main creditor. That doesn’t mean Clinton’s visit to China will avoid hard feelings. Not with US diplomacy and economics becoming one.

  57. wbboei, it may be related to getting the nod on Olympics?
    PM: you may be right. It does appear to have a business purpose. But let us see if it emerges as a routine commentor on Hillarys work or goes back into the shadows.

  58. While the NYT and other egomaniac media outlets have pushed forward the agenda that Hillary has been cut off at the knees, I firmly believe that she is going to be a mover and a shaker. This lady has a brilliant mind and is an amazing negotiator/diplomatist. Her choice of going to Asia first is a perfect first move on her part.

    Contrary to her being sidelined, Hillary Clinton will be front and center.

  59. I just find brian williams hard to watch. Someone posted a dudley dooright cartoon the other day and it reminds me so much of Williams. Maybe it is the fact that he is a multi milllionaire and makes no bones about his elitism and works for the ge controlled media and is madly in love with Obama . . I dont know.

  60. Jan–I completely agree. Their plan was to push Hillary off the national stage and to their shock and dismay she is now on the world stage. In the back of their tiny minds is the certain knowledge that this bambi hopium filled dirigible will do a Hindenberg, and they will go down with him, given the times we are in. In the meantime, they do not have alot of access and influence. Finally, their adulterous publisher is still smarting over Carolines implosion. This is the worst example of a newspaper in a democracy. They abuse the public trust and use to do hit pieces on people they do not like and to promote people who are no good whatsoever for the country. One can scarcely thing of enough bad things to say about them, which are all true.

  61. Geithner Bailout Plan May Speed Bank Failures

    More banks could fail as a result of the government’s plan to test the health of prospective recipients before doling out new federal aid — and maybe that’s part of the point, analysts say.

    The government will require so-called “stress tests” for banks with at least $100 billion in assets as a means of determining whether they need capital, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in unveiling the next stage of the financial bailout plan on Tuesday. While Geithner was vague on exact details of the plan, the stress test could be used as a way to allow certain financial institutions to fail, says Quincy Krosby, chief investment strategist at The Hartford.
    “There seems to be a growing concern that perhaps we do need to allow banks to fail if the systemic risk and the ensuing doesn’t replicate what happened after Lehman Brothers’ demise,” she says.

    Nancy Atkinson, a senior analyst at Aite Group, an independent research and advisory firm, also says she suspects “there could be some more banks that, rather than be bailed out, could fail.”

  62. I am wondering who among the press corps will be sent to cover Hillary’s trip. The news spin for her trip and at the same time what is going on with obama, the stimulus, partisonship, Wall Street/market issues will be interesting.

  63. LOL…wbboei,

    It’s a pleasure to listen to some of those koolaid media voices so desperate to find something good to say about their messiah. They are scrambling to make this a “good-news” “fear-mongering” stimulus bill. They are raving over his speech making as if it were election time again.

    Can’t see how the unwise one can keep this up for a full term. He has to come back home sometime…lol…to roost…

  64. Good Bloomberg article about the challenges Hillary faces on her China visit and about how she’s changing the role of the State Department. Thanks for posting it.

  65. wbboei, I agree. Proud to say I have never sat through even one full news presentation of his, well before his tingly infatuation with 0bama.

  66. Bill Clinton to address Arkansas Legislature

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Former President Bill Clinton will address his home state’s Legislature next week for the first time since his presidency, legislative leaders announced Wednesday.

    Clinton, who was born in Hope, will speak next Wednesday during a joint session at the same House chamber where he delivered six State of the State addresses as governor. It will be his first joint address to lawmakers since 2001.

    Before being elected president in 1992, Clinton served as Arkansas’ governor for 12 years. His presidential library is in downtown Little Rock.

    “I don’t think he’s here to talk policy or any sort of agenda as much as he is to just be home,” said Senate President Bob Johnson, D-Bigelow. “I think he’s going to do a lot of reminiscing, talk to his friends in the Senate and a lot of the staff.”

    Gov. Mike Beebe, who served in the Senate when Clinton was governor, plans to attend Clinton’s speech, his office said.


    I hope the media covers this.

  67. SOS is suppose to be above politics so Hillary can justuifiably not comment despite knowing what BO and team Obama are doing to wreck our country.

  68. SOS is suppose to be above politics so Hillary can justuifiably not comment despite knowing what BO and team Obama are doing to wreck our country.
    Abolutely right. To say she has been silenced is not really the point. The point is not that she has no right to speak out against this travesty of a bill when all her enemies in congress and big media are tied to it like an albatross, but it is the fact that our girl has no OBLIGATION to speak out on it lest she be accused at a later time of having been part of the problem.

    When there is a storm at sea the best place to be is a safe harbor. If it is not the time to fish it is often the time to cut bait, so when the time to fish returns you are ready to put the net in the water.

  69. And relative to the question what would she have done under present circumstances, her record in the primary will serve her well in separating herself from Obamas benighted policies.

  70. One further thought: in 2012 she will have the advantage of running against his record. An actual record as opposed to hot air and hopium.

  71. Thanks everyone for answering my questions about Hillary. I agree she has chosen the most complex situation to start with (Asia) and I believe she will bring home the bacon.

    You know sometimes its not so good to read all the BS on the net, it will scare the hell out of you!!!

  72. “You know sometimes its not so good to read all the BS on the net, it will scare the hell out of you!!!”


    I totally agree!

  73. Pelosi and Reid come out the biggest losers….followed closely by those like Dashscle, Richardson, Kennedy(both Ted/CK), Dodd, Dean, and a few others. Sadly, Brazille seems to have come out stronger .

  74. wbboei said:
    carrots and sticks, a move away from gunboat diplomacy without losing leverage.


    Interesting picture there. HMS Archimedes?

    I typoed that as Arachimedes, which made the picture even more interesting.

  75. wbboei said further:

    too many cooks and frankly chaos while Obama sits on the sidelines and practices his hoops


    The picture gets yet more and more interesting. Lowering the boom on Pelosi is unexpectedly consistent with the gunboats, which makes a nice closure.

  76. Hillary Clinton’s climate-saving voyage
    To help Obama win a Senate vote on emission caps, she needs to have China take action on global warming, too.

    By the Monitor’s Editorial Board
    from the February 13, 2009 edition

    Hillary Clinton chose Asia, particularly China, for her maiden voyage next week as secretary of State. While the most urgent issue is Beijing’s help to end a global recession, Mrs. Clinton’s more planet-saving goal is to enlist China to set curbs on its carbon emissions. Without that, President Obama may not be able to win enough Senate votes for a cap on US greenhouse gases.

    As the world’s two largest emitters, China and the US will set the pace this year among all nations in make-or-break negotiations for a post-Kyoto treaty on global warming. The talks end this December with a summit in Copenhagen. If the world is to make a commitment to fight climate change, each of these giant polluters needs to know the other will jump into the same chilly pool of obligatory curbs on their tailpipes and smokestacks.

    But if China isn’t making much of a sacrifice, many US senators, especially those from coal states, may not support CO2 cuts or a treaty seen as reducing US competitiveness. China says it and other developing countries deserve to be allowed to pollute for a while to catch up to modern standards. Mrs. Clinton must break this standoff. The bleak future that each country faces in a warming planet isn’t all that different. And working together on climate change might even draw them closer.

    Both countries have taken a long time to wake up to the task. Mr. Obama’s election ushers in a drive for a “green” economy. And since 2005, Beijing has made some efforts to rein in its worst polluters, if only for the sake of not letting the local damage hinder growth or to quell rising environmental protests that challenge the party itself.

    But China has two problems that may keep it from satisfying the US.

    Rather than slow its economy with emission caps, it wants the West to give it advanced energy technology, such as “clean” coal plants. That’s a cost the US may not be willing to bear given the energy investments it needs. The second is that the Communist Party, despite its green intentions, seems unable to control local chiefs in the provinces who are rewarded for growth and often ignore party mandates. And many of them are part owners in polluting factories.

    A top-down campaign against CO2 is likely to fail. Until Beijing allows local democracy – and full freedom for citizen activists – there won’t be enough public pressure on these local chiefs. While Beijing has tolerated a blossoming of environmental groups since 1994, it keeps a rein on them, fearing they may spark a “green” revolt against the regime. Clinton needs to push China to loosen those reins and allow political and media freedom.

    She can start by asking for the release of Wu Lihong, a prominent activist who was given a three-year sentence in 2007 after leading a campaign against pollution in the home province of President Hu Jintao. His release would signal a new freedom for eco-advocacy.

    Just as millions of Americans now pressure their leaders for action on global warming, China needs millions of courageous activists like Wu Lihong.

    For want of a dissident released, a planet should not be lost.

  77. JanH Says:

    February 12th, 2009 at 11:30 am

    I am wondering who among the press corps will be sent to cover Hillary’s trip. The news spin for her trip and at the same time what is going on with obama, the stimulus, partisonship, Wall Street/market issues will be interesting.


    Hopefully even the MSM executives would prefer to avoid WWIII.

  78. From Dickless Morris whom I cannot stand he a a great point my sentiments exactly. I am very suspect about how this is unfolding but we just have to wait and see.

    Dick Morris

    Hillary’s incredible, shrinking role
    By Dick Morris
    Posted: 02/09/09 06:23 PM [ET]
    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is finding that her job description is dissolving under her feet, leaving her with only a vestige of the power she must have thought she acquired when she signed on to be President Obama’s chief Cabinet officer.

    Since her designation:

    • Vice President Biden has moved vigorously to stake out foreign policy as his turf. His visit to Afghanistan, right before the Inauguration, could not but send a signal to Hillary that he would conduct foreign policy in the new administration, leaving Hillary in the role of backup.

    • Richard Holbrooke, the former Balkan negotiator and U.N. ambassador, has been named special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan. He insisted on direct access to the president, a privilege he was denied during much of the Clinton years.

    • Former Sen. George Mitchell (D-Maine), negotiator of the Irish Peace Accords, was appointed to be the administration’s point man on Arab-Israeli negotiations.

    • Samantha Power, Obama’s former campaign aide, who once called Hillary a “monster,” has been appointed to the National Security Council (NSC) as director of “multilateral affairs.”

    • Gen. James L. Jones, Obama’s new national security adviser, has announced an expansion of the membership and role of the NSC. He pledges to eliminate “back channels” to the president and wants to grow the NSC’s role to accommodate the “dramatically different” challenges of the current world situation.

    • Susan Rice, Obama’s new United Nations ambassador, insisted upon and got Cabinet rank for her portfolio, and she will presumably also have the same kind of access to Obama that she had as his chief foreign policy adviser during the campaign.

    So where does all this leave Secretary of State Clinton?

    While sympathy for Mrs. Clinton is outside the normal fare of these columns, one cannot help but feel that she is surrounded by people who are, at best, strangers and, at worst, enemies. The competition that has historically occupied secretaries of State and national security advisers seems poised to ratchet up to a new level in the current administration.

    Hillary’s essential problem is that she is an outsider in the current mix. She was the adversary in the campaign, and Rice and Powers — at the very least — know it well, having helped to run the campaign that dethroned her. Can they — and she — be devoid of bitterness or at least of normal human trepidation? Not very likely.

    The fact is that the power of the secretary of State is not statutory, nor does it flow from the prestige of the post’s occupant. Former Gen. Al Haig, once supreme commander of NATO and chief of staff to President Nixon, found that out when he was undercut as secretary by the White House troika of Mike Deaver, James Baker and Ed Meese. Bill Rogers, Eisenhower’s attorney general and Nixon’s California confidant, found himself on the outs from the moment he became secretary of State, with Henry Kissinger soaking up all the power through his direct access to Nixon as national security adviser.

    The power of the secretary of State flows directly from the president. But Hillary does not have the inside track with Obama. Rice and Powers, close advisers in the campaign, and Gen. Jones — whose office is in the White House — all may have superior access. Holbrooke and Mitchell will have more immediate information about the world’s trouble spots.

    So what is Hillary’s mandate? Of what is she secretary of State? If you take the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan out of the equation, what is left? One would have to assume that the old North Korea hands in the government would monopolize that theater of action. What, precisely, is it that Hillary is to do? The question lingers.

    And for this she gave up a Senate seat?

  79. sry was just on Foxnews

    Talking about the Slick Census move Obama and Rahm are trying.

    At least Repubs are paying attention.

  80. Christian Science Monitor says:

    each of these giant polluters needs to know the other will jump into the same chilly pool of obligatory curbs on their tailpipes and smokestacks.


    H44 is full of interesting pictures today.

    Maybe I’ve had too much caffeine.

  81. Geithner’s Bank Plan Led To Hasty Goldman Meeting

    How worried was Wall Street about a lack clarity in Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s plan to save the banking system through the purchase of toxic debt? So worried that Goldman Sachs called a meeting to figure out how to fix the problem.

    -This meeting known as the “Goldman Sachs rountable” took place just hours after Geithner’s speech (and the dismal market reaction) on Tuesday at the headquarters of Goldman Sachs (NYSE: gs) in lower Manhattan.

    -Around 20 of the firm’s biggest hedge fund and private equity clients from around the country showed up-a testament to just how concerned financial industry insiders are about what few details geithner presented.

    -They included representatives of KKR, Fortress Investment Group(NYSE: fig), Bain Capital, Perry Capital, Capital Research, Putnam and Citadel.

    Goldman sachs says the meeting was planned well in advance. But people who attended tell CNBC that they received the invitation after the speech and decided to attend because of the speech. Goldman Sachs initially denied that the meeting, hosted by co-presidents John Winkelried and Gary Cohn, took place.


    Commentary: Obama should have told us the whole sad truth

    Story Highlights
    Ed Rollins: Obama came off well in his first presidential press conference
    He says the nation needs a truth-teller right now, not a cheerleader
    Rollins says Obama should have explained how dire the financial crisis is now
    Rollins: We don’t have trillions to spend; we are borrowing the money from China

    By Ed RollinsCNN Contributor

    Editor’s note: Ed Rollins, who was political director for President Reagan, is a Republican strategist who was national chairman of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s 2008 presidential campaign.

    Ed Rollins says Obama came off as likeable but didn’t tell the American people the whole sad truth.

    NEW YORK (CNN) — President Obama had his first prime-time news conference Monday, and 60 million viewers tuned in.
    They wanted to hear him and see him in action and hope that things weren’t as bad as they were hearing every day from the media and in their hometowns.
    He was glib, rambling, a little long-winded and very defensive. But he is a talent and very likeable even when he is being serious. And he had plenty to be serious about.
    On numerous occasions, he made sure reporters and the millions tuning in knew that he had inherited a mess, the Republicans weren’t helping him at all, and things were tough.
    After spending hundreds of millions of dollars and traveling thousands of miles over the past two years running for this office, did he think he was going to get the big plane, the big house, the box at the Kennedy Center and Camp David without the heavy lifting? Well, maybe not this heavy a load.
    This is a president who has promised transparency. He promised that we as a nation will know what our government is doing and what we are spending. Just go to the Internet, and it will be there. But not quite yet.
    The president gave us a lot of rhetoric on Monday night.
    Four million jobs will be created or saved, with 90 percent of them in the private sector. He didn’t tell us how. Just trust me, and we will get you out of these tough times.
    I know a president needs to be a cheerleader sometimes, but right now, I want a truth-teller.
    He said, “at this particular moment, with the private sector so weakened by this recession, the federal government is the only entity left with the resources to jolt our economy back to life. It is only government that can break the vicious cycle where lost jobs lead to people spending less money which leads to even more layoffs.”
    I ask, what resources does the federal government have? We are broke, too!
    Real transparency would have been walking to the podium and saying, “Friends: This thing is a lot worse then I thought. Just like many of you, we are way over our budget. Some of you bought houses you couldn’t afford. Many of you spent more money than you made and put the stuff you couldn’t afford on your credit cards. The banks were irresponsible, and Wall Street was greedy, but I have to admit to you, the guys and gals over in the Congress have been spending at record rates, too. And they still have a bunch of pet projects they want to spend on, too. That’s why this bill got bloated.
    “And, oh, by the way, the $800 billion that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid want to spend is money we don’t have. The U.S. is broke just like you are, and the banks that I have to borrow from are thousands of miles away in China. We are going to spend $1 trillion-plus more than we take in this year in revenue, and next year it will be $2 trillion. That’s on top of the $10.8 trillion that we owe in national debt.
    “And if you don’t think the banks have any money, the Federal Reserve is loaning them trillions.”
    But he could have closed out that depressing little litany by saying, “Together, we are going to get out of this thing!”
    Obviously, our new president is still a stranger to us. We like him. Many trust him. We all hope he will succeed. But we don’t know a lot about his management style or the people he picked as his team (except that a few of them didn’t pay all their taxes.)
    But in the world of politics, you seldom get a second chance to make a good impression.
    The president’s news conference was the beginning of the selling process. It was a fair performance, and by the end, the stimulus bill designed by Speaker Pelosi and Appropriations Chairman Dave Obey was owned by him.
    The new Treasury secretary was the man who was supposed to lay out the plan to rescue the banks the next days. Secretary Tim Geithner’s performance Tuesday was a disaster, and his plan was nonexistent. And the market tanked.
    The Democrats will get their bill, and the president will sign it quickly. More money will have been committed in a shorter period of time than ever in our history.
    It will be declared a great victory for the new team. And we and our kids will be paying for it for a long time. I hope it works, because there is no money to try again! We will quickly learn whether social engineering really works and whether all these Keynesians are right.

  83. birdgal Says:

    February 12th, 2009 at 2:39 pm
    Marie: I wouldn’t believe Dickless Morris.

    Well I would never want to believe Dickless but I dont trust Obama so I guess it goes hand in hand. Since both of them are scum.

  84. marie3548 Says:

    February 12th, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Morris is obsessed with the Clintons. He comes across as an abnoxious idiot at the best of times. Her role is not being minimized.

    Enough said!

  85. Obama ‘inherited’ the mess?

    Poor little Obama. Hillary warned this was coming over a year ago, but he still pushed her out. The crisis began this fall, and he made fun of McCain going back to work to deal with it.

    Obama worked hard to ‘inherit’ this mess, instead of backing off and letting the grown-ups deal with it.

  86. saw they took out of the big stimulus bill the cap for big whigs pay. even more way to screw consumer

    BTW. Fuck Dick Morris.


    Help is on the way! $13 a week in Tax cuts
    February 12th, 2009
    Associated Press

    You can keep the change, all $13 of it
    Economic stimulus legislation at the heart of President Barack Obama’s recovery plan is on track for final votes Friday in the House and Senate after a dizzying final round of bargaining that yielded agreement on tax cuts and spending totaling $789 billion.
    Obama, who has campaigned energetically for the legislation, welcomed the agreement, saying it would “save or create more than 3.5 million jobs and get our economy back on track.”
    The $500-per-worker credit for lower- and middle-income taxpayers that Obama outlined during his presidential campaign was scaled back to $400 during bargaining by the Democratic-controlled Congress and White House. Couples would receive $800 instead of $1,000. Over two years, that move would pump about $25 billion less into the economy than had been previously planned.
    Officials estimated it would mean about $13 a week more in people’s paychecks this year when withholding tables are adjusted in late spring. Next year, the measure could yield workers about $8 a week. Critics say that’s unlikely to do much to boost consumption.

    Obama Misreads His Mandate
    February 12th, 2009
    By STEVEN F. HAYWARD, Wall Street Journal
    Arrogant Obama says “I won!”
    President Barack Obama’s honeymoon period seems to have ended quickly. That’s because Mr. Obama doesn’t grasp the essentials of presidential leadership. Rather than making a compelling case for his economic policies, he has resorted to curt rebuffs, such as telling House Republican whip Eric Cantor, “I won.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the same thing the same day: “We won the election; we wrote the [stimulus] bill.” This is the trope of a party that has lost its ability to make an argument.
    Mr. Obama and his team would be well advised to put aside the imperious FDR model and study Ronald Reagan’s first 200 days in office. The contrast is instructive.
    Upon entering office in 1981, Reagan’s team produced a 50-page, detailed blueprint for their first six months in office. The passage of their economic policy was the central objective.

    Obama team has rocky start in bank bailout revamp
    February 12th, 2009
    Associated Press
    Geithner blows his opening bailout pitch, Dow plummets
    That bomb of a bailout intro could make things tougher later on for the administration.
    President Barack Obama and his top financial officials will be picking up the pieces and filling in the blanks in the sprawling bailout overhaul package in the coming days. And lawmakers and market professionals suggested Wednesday that the bad early reviews from Wall Street and Capitol Hill could complicate winning public and market confidence along the way.
    Obama had said that his new treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, would deliver “clear and specific” steps to revive the nation’s financial system. “He’s going to be terrific,” Obama bragged to reporters. But Geithner’s performance was a flop.

    Pelosi’s mouse slated for $30M slice of cheese
    February 12th, 2009
    S.A. Miller, Washington Times
    This Mouse will stimulate the economy.

    $300 million purchases a fleet of these electic golf carts
    Talk about a pet project. A tiny mouse with the longtime backing of a political giant may soon reap the benefits of the economic-stimulus package.
    Lawmakers and administration officials divulged Wednesday that the $789 billion economic stimulus bill being finalized behind closed doors in Congress includes $30 million for wetlands restoration that the Obama administration intends to spend in the San Francisco Bay Area to protect, among other things, the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse.
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi represents the city of San Francisco and has previously championed preserving the mouse’s habitat in the Bay Area.

    “A $550 Billion Electronic Run on the Banks”

    This is un-frickin-believable. The financial crisis was deliberate, planned, staged. Who made the run? “Someone threw us in the middle of the Atlantic ocean without a life raft. We are trying to determine which is the closest shore and whether there is any chance in the world to swim that far. We don’t know.”

    Electronic Run On Banks – $550 Billion Withdrawn In 1 Hour, Federal Reserve Halts Withdrawals – US Economy Would Have Collapsed

    On Thursday Sept 15, 2008 at roughly 11 AM The Federal Reserve noticed a tremendous draw down of money market accounts in the USA to the tune of $550 Billion dollars in a matter of an hour or two. Money was being removed electronically.

    The Treasury tried to help, opened their window and pumped in $150 Billion but quickly realized they could not stem the tide. We were having an electronic run on the banks. So they decided to closed down the accounts.

    Had they not closed down the accounts they estimated that by 2 PM that afternoon. Within 3 hours. $5.5 Trillion would have been withdrawn and the entire economy of the United States would have collapsed, and within 24 hours the world economy would have collapsed.

    It would have been the end of our economic and political system.

    Somebody took a lot of money out of the banks. A lot.
    So where did it go?
    Who to?
    And who got it? When? And where?

    George Soros is in on the deal to buy IndyMac from the FDIC. Soros has a long history of making loads of money by first creating a financial crisis and then stepping in to grab up the bargains. Perhaps the most famous example of this tactic is “Black Wednesday,” when Soros nearly sunk the entire economy of Great Britain through currency speculation.

    George Soros has helped bankroll the campaigns of the Democrats in Congress who created this mess. Now, it appears, he is cashing in on his investment.

  89. Following Marie3548’s lead, here is in part, Michael Goodwin’s NY Daily News column yesterday:

    Change would do President Obama good: Partisan rant is bad form

    …The truth is that there is no faction of Republicans who want to do nothing. Everyone in Congress realizes this is an all-hands-on-deck emergency. The opposition, which includes 11 House Democrats, focuses on the mix of tax cuts and spending and the specifics. There is also concern about the rush, with the 800-page legislation chock full of expensive surprises. If questioning such an unprecedented outlay isn’t legitimate, what is? Yet Obama lumps all objections onto a garbage heap and douses it with gasoline. On Monday he was more solicitous of the mad mullahs of Iran than he was of Republicans. He promised to engage Iran and called its behavior “unhelpful,” a curious word for an adversary whose explosives have killed hundreds of American soldiers in Iraq. Republicans, on the other hand, were scolded for “the usual partisan games” and for plying “the failed theories of the last eight years.” He often invokes similar language, suggesting he is ticked off in an irrational way. Heaven knows, there was plenty wrong with the last eight years. But to believe the answer is a triumphalist turn of the partisan wheel does a disservice to all Americans who need and expect a united front now.

    3w dot

  90. hillarygirl Says:

    February 12th, 2009 at 4:17 pm
    Breaking News AP: Senator Judd Gregg Withdraws Nomination for Commerce Secretary


    Possible reasons:

    “ummm, i may have underpaid some taxes”
    “I want nothing to do with those Obama people”
    “Dang, they took away my census, which was what I really wanted out of the whole darn thing anyhow, to prevent Dems from rigging the census”.

  91. marie3548 Says:
    It it makes you feel any better ask yourself when was the last time you heard morris say anything positive about hillary or anything true. Keep the faith.

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