Guns And Butter: Barack Obama’s Moral Hazard And Systemic Failure, Part I

Last night’s Frontline documentary Inside The Meltdown was a dud. It was mostly a series of headlines we have already read as well as some very scarey, after the fact, rationalizations for actions taken by government/political and business leaders.

Nothing in last night’s presentation was a surprise to us. Indeed, what we saw last night reinforced our opposition to the dissolute practices we now witness daily. We have been a voice crying out in the wilderness since April 2007 warning of calamities to come. Many listened to us, but many more were bamboozled. One person who possibly sympathizes with us is Scott B. MacDonald.

* * *

Regular Big Pink readers know we are resolute in our opposition to the piecemeal, uncoordinated flim-flammery which masquerades as Obama economic plans. We insist that without a coordinated and comprehensive economic plan, and a grasp of history, the “stimulus” and its corollaries are doomed to not only failure but likely to make things much worse. Larry Summers on temporary, targeted and timely:

First, to be effective, fiscal stimulus must be timely. To be worth undertaking, it must be […] based on changes in taxes and benefits that can be implemented almost immediately.

Second, fiscal stimulus only works if it is spent so it must be targeted. Targeting should favour those with low incomes and those whose incomes have recently fallen for whom spending is most urgent.

Third, fiscal stimulus, to be maximally effective, must be clearly and credibly temporary – with no significant adverse impact on the deficit for more than a year or so after implementation. Otherwise it risks being counterproductive by raising the spectre of enlarged future deficits pushing up longer-term interest rates and undermining confidence and longer-term growth prospects.

In short, the “stimulus” money spent will not accomplish what it is supposed to do and instead will lead to backbreaking deficits and debt and the horrors thereof. The horrors might be worse than any imagined, especially by spend-happy Dimocrats not cognizant of the differences between the economy of FDR’s time and the economy in this debt ridden age.

This is a debt ridden age. In late October 2007 Scott B. MacDonald, a financial analyst and advisor wrote about the recent past and of things to come. From 2007 – Globalization and the End of the Guns and Butter Economy

Over the past 30 years, the United States has sought and to some extent achieved a guns and butter economy; that is the pursuit of both political-military objectives and an affluent lifestyle. [snip]

But in July, the US financial system signaled that the era of cheap money and lax standards was over. Two Bear Stearns hedge funds collapsed and panic hit credit markets, pounding the stock and bond values of any company associated with mortgage lending and housing. By August the rout filtered into the derivatives market (especially those structured financial products that contained exposure to US subprime debt), negatively impacting European and Asian bank and insurance investment portfolios.

The contagion eventually rippled into London’s inter-bank market, forcing central banks to inject considerable amounts of liquidity to keep the system running. Even then, nervousness about the standing of banks, especially those dependent on short-term commercial paper for mortgage lending, forced Britain’s Northern Rock into a government rescue. This was the downside of globalization.

MacDonald wrote the above in 2007, well before the calamitous financial blows hit one year later. Frontline did not mention the political three ring circus taking place at the time of the “meltdown” nor the lessons history teaches about “guns and butter” economies.

Nouriel Roubini saw the future financial crisis back in late 2006. However MacDonald, along with others, saw what was coming and provided a larger canvass of the economic challenges ahead. McDonald first documented what the big financial players were doing at the time:

The housing sector is hitting depths associated with the 1930s. The Federal Reserve’s September 18 cuts in the discount window and in Fed Funds gave markets a temporary relief, a situation helped along by private sector actions to consolidate the financial sector. This is reflected in Bank of America’s purchase of Countrywide Financial shares and Citigroup’s stepping up with credit lines for GMAC. But there remains a long distance to the shore of economic safety.

A shadow is being cast by a deficit of unresolved problems in an economy overloaded with debt, a retreating federal responsibility for national infrastructure, and large (and seemingly unending) overseas burdens. In the short term, the problem that looms is that the housing meltdown is finally chipping away at the consumer, who in the butter part of the US economy accounts for about 70% of gross domestic product.

MacDonald pitches the problems: Housing problems, home equity problems, savings problems, large inventory problems, adjustable rate mortgage problems, Why save when you are penalized (taxed) on savings amid an unrelenting society-wide pitch to consume?

And then the other big problem:

On the longer-term side of the equation, the economic landscape is chilling, considering the massive structural problems. The guns part of the economy is a concern – the war in Iraq and other missions (Afghanistan and Africa) cost somewhere between US$3-5 billion a day.

In August, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated as of June 2007 up to $500 billion has been spent on combat operations in Iraq. The CBO also noted that if the United States were to maintain 75,000 troops in Iraq over the next five years, the nation would have to pay an additional $900 billion. Moreover, there are further costs attached to training police and ground forces in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as long-term health costs associated with wounded personnel.

There are other structural problems – a long-term imbalance between government expenditures and revenues (related to ongoing pressure for tax cuts). There is a massive problem with national infrastructure – it is aging rapidly and needs to be upgraded with a price tag of $1.6 trillion. That includes roads, bridges, ports and other public utilities.

After indulging in a bit of Social Security bashing MacDonald makes a great understatement, American politics have reached a very dysfunctional stage…. That was 2007. By 2008 American politics, controlled by Big Media, became even more dysfunctional.

MacDonald follows that on-target understatement with another direct hit understatement:

The plunging value of the US dollar and the huge sell-off in US securities by foreigners in August ($163 billion) should convey the message that not all is well and that unless there is an effort to start living more within one’s means, the rest of the world is going to stop financing the North American credit glutton.

The lesson is: The days of guns and butter for the US economy are over; what is going to replace it is a much more volatile world, with substantial questions over the US dollar as the major international currency and the ability of the US consumer to absorb the world’s exports.

Someone tell Obama.

Butter, meet guns:

The Obama administration is expected to announce on Tuesday that it will send one additional Army brigade and an unknown number of Marines to Afghanistan this spring and summer. Officials spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the official announcement.

About 8,000 Marines are expected to go in first, followed by about 9,000 Army troops.

Guns, meet Butter:

The price tag for bailing out General Motors and Chrysler jumped by another $14 billion Tuesday, to $39 billion, with the two automakers saying they would need the additional aid from the federal government to remain solvent. [snip]

G.M., for example, said it would cut 47,000 more of its 244,000 workers worldwide; close five more plants in North America, leaving it with 33; and cut its lineup of brands in half, to just four: Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC and Buick.

Guns and Butter, meet Barack Obama.

* * *

Obama is on the flim-flam road again today.

Today it’s Phoenix. Phoenix, Arizona – not the sacred mythical firebird Phoenix which burns and then rises from the ashes -although that is a long-term description of the American economy which will burn before rising. And burn it will as “Obama – The Incendiary” imitates Nero and continues to light matches.

There are reports today, [HERE and especially HERE] sure to conflict with what Obama actually says and what Obama eventually does or does not do. In either case the reports will be accurate in that more money will be spent.

Already the pesky analysts ask questions:

The number of them doomed to foreclosure is growing so fast that Credit Suisse had to revise its projections twice in 2008. Its analysts now predict that some 8.1 million homes will meet that fate by 2012—an astounding one in six of all households with mortgages. [snip]

What most loan mods have done so far is dig homeowners even deeper into debt. Alan White of Valparaiso Law School, who reviewed data reflecting several million recent loan mods on high-risk mortgages, estimates that they’ve been adding $1 billion more every month to the already high total of what the nation’s borrowers owe. [snip]

Instead, the Obama homeowner bailout is expected to use government funds to supplement homeowners’ monthly payments—in the short term, a lifeline not only for homeowners, but for financial institutions, pension funds, and other stakeholders facing insolvency because their mortgage-related holdings have plummeted in value.

Then what? That’s where the picture gets gloomier. The tricks loan mods have been using to keep borrowers out of foreclosure are variations on the acrobatics lenders used during the bubble to shove customers into unpayable mortgages. A loan mod might forestall payments for a few months, then add the amount that didn’t get paid to the final years of the mortgage. Or it could reduce interest rates by a few points temporarily—but sooner or later, that interest rate must rise back up and the borrower must pay off the remaining balance as if he or she had been paying the full interest rate all along. If that sounds like an Option ARM to you, you’re catching on—many of these loans are in a state of “negative amortization,” in which the total amount owed grows instead of shrinking over time. Sooner or later—sooner, if one hopes to be able to sell the house—the total comes due. The bailout will undoubtedly lower that shocker of a final bill, but the government’s funds can only stretch so far.

Shorter: another scam gussied up.

We’ll have more on this latest Obama scheme once the actual details are published, if they ever are. But this does not look good:

The volume of anticipated foreclosures would be reduced only by half.

And realistically the number of borrowers likely to qualify for the new aid will be far lower. Millions of speculators lied on their mortgage paperwork in order to get the cheaper and looser mortgages available to homeowners, and it’s doubtful most will want to hang on to their property even if the feds are willing to help them. Among actual homeowners, spiking unemployment—some of the worst of it in the same bubble areas, like inland California, where homebuyers borrowed most excessively—will make it impossible for them to afford even the most creatively modified mortgage.

Where is Antoin “Tony” Rezko when you need him? If only bitter Americans had a Rezko to smooth the way.

Instead of liberating borrowers from the burdens of the real estate bubble, most loan mods assure them a future indentured to lenders.

Bitter Americans, meet indenturehood.

* * *

In Part II we’ll discuss Rahm Emanuel saying the “F” word, nationalization, underwater houses, the end of the world as we know it, maybe Roland Burris?, Dean/Brazile/Pelosi/Kennedy/Kerry and the moral hazard and systemic failure of the Democratic Party, and much more.


127 thoughts on “Guns And Butter: Barack Obama’s Moral Hazard And Systemic Failure, Part I

  1. Here is the Hypocrite-in-Chief laid out nicely by Jack Kelly –
    February 17, 2009
    Obama is Big on Symbolism
    By Jack Kelly

    At the battle of Asculum in 279 BC, the Greek king Pyrrhus defeated a Roman legion, but at frightful cost to his own troops. When sycophantic courtiers congratulated him on his “great victory,” Pyrrhus responded: “one more such victory, and we shall be undone.”

    President Obama plans to celebrate his Asculum — passage of the (at least) $787 billion “stimulus” bill — with a signing ceremony in Denver Tuesday. Sycophantic liberal commentators hailed this as a great victory for the president, but it comes at the cost of the illusion Mr. Obama represents a change from the corrupt old ways of Washington.

    Candidate Obama promised a new openness in government. But the biggest spending bill ever was drafted behind closed doors. Candidate Obama pledged to weaken the influence of lobbyists. But lobbyists received copies of the “stimulus” bill before lawmakers did. Candidate Obama pledged a bipartisan approach to government. But not a single Republican in the House, and only three in the Senate, voted for it.

    Mr. Obama is fond of the appearance of bipartisanship. He nominated three Republicans to his Cabinet. He’s dined with conservative columnists, and invited several GOP lawmakers to watch the Super Bowl with him.

    But Mr. Obama is like a young man who expects a girl to put out if he buys her a hamburger and a beer. If he were more concerned about the substance of bipartisanship, he’d have insisted upon a stimulus package more Republicans could support, and he wouldn’t now be looking for his third nominee for Secretary of Commerce.

    Sen. Gregg withdrew, citing “irreconcilable differences” over the stimulus package. The more important reason was because the president had made it clear Sen. Gregg was just to be window dressing. The Commerce secretary has only one important job, to oversee the decennial census. If illegal aliens are counted as citizens, several House seats could be shifted from the Republicans to the Democrats after the next reapportionment. Cheating is the Chicago Way, but Sen. Gregg is both honest and a Republican. He couldn’t be counted on to cheat. So the president announced oversight of the census would be shifted to the White House. This is probably illegal, and it made Sen. Gregg look like a chump. So he did the only thing an honorable man could do.

    With so many of the president’s nominees having to withdraw because of ethical problems, it was refreshing to have one withdraw because he had ethics. But several of the president’s courtiers in the news media described Sen. Gregg’s resignation, and the paucity of GOP votes for the porkalooza, as evidence of a Republican “war” against Mr. Obama.

    “Their clear intent is to do all they can, however they can, to sabotage the new administration,” wrote Andrew Sullivan in the Atlantic. Mr. Sullivan and others of his ilk see nothing partisan in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s exclusion of Republicans from the drafting of the stimulus bill; in the president’s refusal to make meaningful compromises, or in the transfer of census oversight to the White House.

    President Obama is very big on symbolism. He is signing the bill in Denver, the city where he was nominated for president, on Tuesday (in violation of his pledge to have at least five days elapse between passage of a law and his signing of it to allow time for public comment), because Tuesday is four weeks precisely since his inauguration.

    Symbolism is important. But presidents ultimately are judged on substance.

  2. Admin – Thanks for a great article. You are way ahead of everyone else and we are very lucky to have you. It’s amazing how the MSM are able to prattle on and still keep people utterly uninformed about what is really important and what is really going on.
    These are extraordinary events in human history and these bozos are out to lunch.

  3. “Someone tell Obama.”



    Another stellar article. I bet he gets told a lot. I bet he also plugs his ears with his dirty fingers and sticks his tongue out.

  4. basil9, I am with you on your comment from the past thread about hearing the Huckster speak. I can not even stand to see his name used and I refuse to key in his name whenever possible. [and right now HIS photo is to the right and I see it with my only good eye as I key this post in – please take it away!] And, that pointy finger thing….don’t get me started. The same goes for MO. They are soooo disingenuous and are such blowhards of the Chicago corruption combine.
    Has anyone spoken on the Larry King show and our Bill Clinton interview yet? I KNOW that he is hogtied and can not speak evil of the huckster, but I do not have a good feeling toward him when he promotes him or his agenda.
    As I listened to the interview, I thought I could detect an admiration for him in Larry King. It is so soothing to hear a calm, collected, knowledgable, thoughtful, experienced, and so well researched person speak san teleprompter with such sincerity about the really bad issues facing our nation and its citizens. And he got to speak of the GOOD things he is doing now for citizens around the world – what other FORMER president in our lifetime has done such a thing?
    The more I learn about and listen to Bill and Hill, the more I trust and admire them.

  5. basil,

    what makes it so frustrating is that he isn’t even our leader and yet so many Canadians have drunk the koolaid as well. I can’t stop in a bookstore (my favorite thing to do) and not see books with his face on them and magazines with his slimy face spread across the covers.

    I admit that Prime Minister Harper is a rather dull character as are the rest of our legislators, but usually Canadians are a lot more circumspect about this stuff. We don’t go crazy over rock stars either, the exceptions being Shania, Celine, Anne Murray, and Brian Adams of course. So it is quite the surprise that this is happening.

  6. An email just came in from, here is an excerpt:
    From the perspective of ADMIN, HCF is now neutral on Obama, being neither explicitly for nor against his presidency. Given the election is now over and Hillary Clinton is part of the Obama administration, and given the forum’s name is “Hillary Clinton Forum”, allowing an exclusively oppositional tone towards discussion of Obama across the entire forum would not be appropriate at all. Hillary and Obama are now part of the same team.

    It is also the case that my own feelings towards Obama have improved (now in the neutral category) and I would no longer feel comfortable being associated with a forum that didn’t allow expressions of positivity/support for Obama by those who wish to express them. It goes without saying, however, that criticism of all politicians should be expressed when justified & necessary. No politician, including Obama (& Hillary also), should be spared from analysis by the public and in that respect nothing has changed.

    So, individual participants at HCF can be either for or against Obama’s presidency (or neutral on the matter), but the forum per se (from an admin perspective) will not be pushing any particular theme in this regard. If those who don’t support Obama are completely unable to communicate with those who do support Obama, HCF may not be the place for you anymore. Equally, for those who support Obama but cannot communicate with those who do not support him, HCF also may not be the place for you anymore either.

    Regardless of who one does/doesn’t support politically, the standard rules of respect & civility that have always been encouraged at HCF still apply. Extremism of all types (be that anti-Hillary extremism, anti-Obama extremism, anti-Palin extremism etc) is not welcome.
    The ONLY way I will ever become neutral on the Huckster is if, by the grace of the almighty, our nation is in a better place in 2012. But my gut and my head tell me we ain’t seen nothing yet, and what is coming ain’t good!

  7. Hillary Clinton to visit U.S. military command in S Korea


    SEOUL, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit the joint South Korean-U.S. military command in Seoul during her stay in the nation, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported on Wednesday.

    Clinton will meet with military officials of the Combined Forces Command (CFC), including Gen. Walter Sharp, the commander of U.S. Forces Korea, Yonhap quoted CFC official Kim Yong-kyu as saying.

    Clinton is set to arrive in Seoul late Thursday and meet with a series of South Korean officials, including her South Korean counterpart Yu Myung-hwan, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and Prime Minister Han Seung-soo, on Friday.

    Local media expected that the U.S. – South Korean alliance, the nuclear issues on the Korean peninsula, the inter-Korean ties and economic cooperation between Seoul and Washington will be on the agenda of Clinton’s visit to Seoul.

    About 28,500 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea.

  8. Here is what Bill said about Hillary last night on Larry King:

    KING: Everyone talks about Hillary and says what makes a good secretary of State?

    CLINTON: I think first you have to have the confidence of a president and a good, open, honest and consistent way of communicating. They have that. They have a good relationship.

    Then I think the secretary of State needs to be a man or a woman who knows a lot about the world, has a view of where we are now and where we ought to be going and is comfortable implementing the strategy to get us there and using other strong people to help.

    I mean one of the issues for Hillary when she took office was, was it a good or bad thing for her to pick and for the president to approve envoys to the Middle East and to Pakistan and Afghanistan right away — and to Iran and perhaps to some other places?

    And conventional wisdom says no, you ought to try to keep all the big stuff to yourself. She said no, because we have to do too many things at once and my job is to make sure we’re moving on all tracks.

    So I think you have to understand the world, where we are, where we want to go and then be able to implement a strategy to get there.


    The rest of the interview is mostly about his global initiative and can be found, in two parts, here:

  9. February 18, 2009
    Obama’s Governing Style
    By Tony Blankley

    In the Middle Ages, when a young prince suddenly and prematurely became king, the royal court, the church leadership and other senior aristocrats would scrutinize his every word and habit for signs of what kind of mind would be deciding their country’s fate and their personal prosperity and safety. Today, around the world, President Barack Obama’s every word, every action, every inaction is being likewise scrutinized for similar reasons.

    Prior to the November election, the only evidence we had of Mr. Obama’s managing style — and that evidence was indirect — was the management of his campaign, which was brilliant. But whether he was its active manager or merely took guidance from a shrewd Svengali remains to be known.

    Since the election, we have begun to get hints of his management style in four items Mr. Obama himself has described as of the highest priority to him — and thus, one presumes, items to which he would have given his personal attention: Cabinet selection, closing Gitmo, the stimulus package and bipartisanship.

    Regarding the Cabinet selection, he famously said he “screwed up.” But from a management perspective, the unanswered question is: How did he “screw up”? Did he actively design the failed vetting process and actively assess the various negative pieces of information and fail to see their significance? Or did he “screw up” by letting others design the failed system and assess the data inflow? The former would show poor substantive judgment. The latter would show he wasn’t paying sufficient attention to a presumably vital matter. We don’t know yet which kind of “screw-up” it was.

    The second item, President Obama’s performance at the Gitmo executive order, provided brief but revealing insight into the president’s personal involvement in vital decision making. He had campaigned hard on closing Gitmo. His first public signing as president was that executive order to close it down. The central issue of Gitmo’s closing was and is: What do we do with the dangerous inmates? President Bush kept it open primarily because his administration couldn’t figure out an answer to that question.

    Thus, it was breathtaking that at the signing ceremony, President Obama didn’t know how — or even whether — his executive order was dealing with this central quandary.

    President Obama: “And we then provide, uh, the process whereby Guantanamo will be closed, uh, no later than one year from now. We will be, uh. … Is there a separate, uh, executive order, Greg, with respect to how we’re going to dispose of the detainees? Is that, uh, written?”

    White House counsel Greg Craig: “We’ll set up a process.”

    To be at the signing ceremony and not know what he was ordering done with the terrorist inmates is a level of ignorance about equivalent to being a groom at the altar in a wedding ceremony and asking who it is you are marrying.

    Once again, in the third item — the stimulus process — his lack of personal involvement in its design is curious. He recently said (incorrectly, I believe) that his presidency will be judged only on whether he fixes the economy or not. Thus, as he has identified the stimulus as essential to the recovery process, his willingness to let House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid design a bill that, even now that it’s passed, Mr. Obama has continued to criticize as needing improvement (on bank executive compensation) leaves one puzzled as to why he didn’t use his currently vast political clout with his own party allies to shape a bill more to his liking.

    The final item to examine here is his repeated campaign and post-campaign commitment to bipartisanship. While he was gracious in inviting leading Republicans to the White House for a Super Bowl party, he permitted his congressional allies to completely shut out (except for the three collaborators) all Senate Republicans and all House Republicans, including their leadership and the GOP’s titular leader, Sen. John McCain, in the drafting of the bill and the final conference committee.

    He says he wants bipartisanship. Why would he permit his congressional allies to kill any hope of bipartisanship by their egregious conduct?

    I can think of four possible explanations for this almost unprecedented presidential detachment from the decision making of policies the president publicly declared to be vital to the country and his presidency:

    1) He is a very, very big-picture man, and he delegates decisions even on the central points of vital issues.

    2) For tactical reasons, he decided these matters were not worth using up political chits.

    3) He is either hesitant or unskilled at management, and he let matters drift until it seemed too late to intervene personally.

    4) Or his personality type leaves him surprisingly uninterested in things that aren’t personally about him.

    Whatever the reason, this level of presidential detachment from high policy decision making is dangerous in a White House that has so many czars and other senior players (the West Wing staff is reputed to be more than 130 — about double the usual number) combined with emissaries and strong-willed Cabinet secretaries. It may well lead to what has been called (regarding another country’s government) “the immanent structurelessness to the running of the state.”

  10. JanH:

    Bill is so clever and absolutely makes the best use of a interview to put down unfounded rumors Hillary is being elbowed out by the addition of envoys Holbrooke and Mitchell.

    Heh, she added them to the foreign policy employee roster herself!

  11. ADMIN! BRAVO, BRAVO, BRAVISSIMO! If we knew who you are we’d send you flowers for continually drawing clear perspectives on this whole shocking political and economic mess we’re in!

  12. “Regarding the Cabinet selection, he famously said he “screwed up.” But from a management perspective, the unanswered question is: How did he “screw up”? Did he actively design the failed vetting process and actively assess the various negative pieces of information and fail to see their significance? Or did he “screw up” by letting others design the failed system and assess the data inflow?”


    I’m thinking it was probably the latter. Either way, this guy is not ready.

  13. We have to admire these Republicans – they fight hard. Hillary never fell for the celestial choirs nonsense, she mocked it. Hillay would reach out but knew when to hold her ground.

    California Republicans:

    A delicate budget fix crafted by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders was on the brink of collapse early Wednesday after Republicans in the Senate ousted their leader. The late-night coup could derail already strained budget talks by requiring them to renegotiate with a new Republican leader.

  14. Remember the Obama rush-rush razzle-dazzle?

    But even after signing it into law Tuesday, he faces another problem: virtually no one is in place at his cabinet departments to actually spend a lot of the money.

    The once efficient Obama transition has ground to a near standstill after tax problems bedeviled several of his nominees, leaving the top echelon of his government largely unassembled. Three cabinet jobs remain unfilled, only 2 of the 15 cabinet departments have deputy secretaries confirmed, and the vast majority of lower-level political jobs remain vacant.

  15. Waiting for BO to come on screen on the msn for the big announcement of how he intends to fix the mortgage crisis.


    Black Liberation Theology comes to the White House

    February 17, 2009 by Procrustes

    As mind boggling as it may sound, the Unprez has brought “black liberation theology” right into the White House.

    There can be no doubt about it. Black liberation theoloy was brought in quietly via his President’s Advisory Council, which was established by executive order as part of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

    PSBHO has appointed Rev. Otis Moss Jr. (left), pastor emeritus of Cleveland’s Olivet Institutional Baptist Church, to serve on the 25-member Council, Meghan Clyne reported in the February 23 edition of The Weekly Standard.

    If the name sounds vaguely familiar it’s because it is. Perhaps you remember Rev. Moss’s son, Rev. Otis Moss III? He’s the pastor who took over for the Unprez’s former “spiritual mentor”, Rev. Jeremiah “God-Damn-Amerikkka” Wright — after PSBHO tossed him under the bus.

    Rev. Moss III was “handpicked” by Wright to succeed him as pastor of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ (TUCC) — the church the Unprez attended for over twenty years before tossing it under the bus, too.

    Rev. Moss III, like Wright, is a proponent of “black liberation theology,” which interprets the Bible as a story about the struggles of black people, who, because of their oppression, are better able to understand Scripture than those who have suffered less, Aaron Klein wrote May 1, 2008, at World Net Daily.

    Rev. Moss III has also “called blacks ‘lepers’ with a ’skin disease,’ [and] claimed U.S. entertainment corporations operate with ‘disdain’ for black people.” Watch for yourself:

    Clyne writes that father is not so much different in his views than his son:

    The younger preacher is known for his own fiery sermons and for likening the backlash against Wright to a “public lynching.” The new member of the Obama administration, though, has plenty of ties to Wright on his own. Otis Moss Jr. and Wright shared a mentor in Samuel DeWitt Proctor, who helped give rise to black liberation theology. In fact, it was the radical Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference that sponsored Wright’s now-infamous National Press Club appearance in late April 2008–which led to Obama’s break with Trinity and Wright. Less noted was the fact that the symposium’s guest preacher that day was Reverend Otis Moss Jr. Moss has publicly defended Wright and compared his preaching to that of Amos, Micah, Malachi, and John the Baptist. […]

    Even more interesting, perhaps, is Moss’s own rhetoric. He is a political preacher and has said, “If you are preaching a gospel that has nothing about politics, nothing about economics, nothing about sociology, you are preaching an empty gospel with a cap and shoes but no body to it.” […]

    But from public lectures, one concludes that, while his style is more subdued than Wright’s (or his own son’s) and his themes more benign, there are still plenty of comments that call into question his suitability for government service. Take, for instance, this observation made at Yale in October 2004:

    You have heard that it was said, “God bless America.” But I say unto you, Pray for all of the Osama bin Ladens and the Saddam Husseins. . . . I say unto you, Be kind, be as kind to Castro as you are to the Saudi family and the leaders of China and Russia. This, however, is difficult in a society . . . when we are afflicted or infected with hubris. It’s almost an incurable disease–incurable not because of despair, but because of arrogance.

    A spokesman for Moss explains that he meant his audience to “understand that you must ‘pray for your enemies’ and those that would do you harm. No more, no less.” So in the spirit of Christ’s admonition to turn the other cheek, Moss wants us to pray for those who have killed thousands of American citizens within the last decade.

    Clyne suggests that the “quiet installation” of Moss is “part of a grander design for the faith-based office: to make it a mechanism for nationwide ‘community organizing’,” reminding us of PSBHO’s 1995 comments from the Chicago Reader:

    In every church on Sunday in the African-American community we have this moral fervor; we have energy to burn. But as soon as church lets out, the energy dissipates. We must find ways to channel all this energy into community building. The biggest failure of the civil-rights movement was in failing to translate this energy, this moral fervor, into creating lasting institutions and organizational structures.

    …. then observes: “By tapping the likes of Moss to help steer his faith-based policies, Obama could be using the White House to ‘translate the energy’ of black churches into ‘creating lasting institutions’ of left-wing political agitation.

  17. OMG- David Gregory using Soros plan for the economic recovery. Just heard him using the terms “reflexivity’ and too many foreclosures will further “overshoot” and continue the downward spiral.

    http // has the whole Soros Economic Plan out this morning.

    It appears Obama is following his advise.

  18. This is NOT a joke. “White House Plans ‘Fiscal Responsibility Summit’” (Update)

    February 18, 2009 by Procrustes


    The White House is finishing plans for what it is calling a “fiscal responsibility summit,” a three-hour bipartisan wonk-fest. Invitations are going out this week to 90 people: 30 members of the House, 30 senators and 30 scholars and representatives of advocacy groups such as AARP, according to a person familiar with the plans.

    After Mr. Obama opens the summit, the assemblage will break into six groups. Each will discuss separate topics that encompass the range of fiscal challenges that would exist even without the current recession and will endure once the economy recovers. The topics include health-care costs, Social Security, tax reform, defense procurement and the federal budget process.

    From Congress, invitees include House and Senate leaders of both parties, the Democratic chairmen and senior Republicans on several committees, and representatives of some caucuses, including the fiscally conservative Democratic “Blue Dogs” in the House.

    A footnote: The White House’s name for the budget gathering revives a word – “summit” – that long ago fell into disfavor on Capitol Hill after the bipartisan budget summits of the late ’80s and 1990 to reduce big deficits. Yet Monday’s three-hour session by itself will bear no resemblance to those long-running, hard-fought summits of years past, which yielded results but pleased few on either side by their spending cuts and tax increases.

  19. Obama’s plan- pack everyone up and send them to FannieMae and FreddieMac. We own 80% of those two banks. So in essence, Obama is a sending all the mortgages needing writedowns to Fannie and Freddy which eventually will end up Toxic Bad Banks because they will overfill them beyond capacity with bad debt. But who’s going to complain? The Tax Payer owns a hefty share of them…no worries there as long as the governemnt keeps everyone in the dark, they’re safe!

    Any thoughts of repayment of money to taxpayers from the Fannie and Freddie bail out just went out the window. Thats dead and gone forever.

  20. We don’t like the NYT most of the time, but there is a gorgeous picture of Hillary arriving in Jakarta on their site:

  21. On another subject, I wonder if Chelsea’s going to follow her parents into politics someday. Her dad told Larry King she’s interested in government and health care.

    KING: All right, how is — it’s kind of strange. I mean you’re a president. Your wife is a senator. Now she’s a secretary of State. What’s Chelsea going to be?

    I mean what — where does it — isn’t it, for want of a better term than weird, isn’t it kind of unusual?
    CLINTON: Sure it is. But she’s an unusual woman and a gifted one. And I’m very, very proud of her. And our daughter is, too. And I just want her to do whatever she finds rewarding and what makes her happy. But Chelsea has gone back — she’s in graduate school at Columbia now in public health. And she’s always…

    KING: Is she interested in government?

    CLINTON: Yes, she’s interested in government. She loved the private sector. She wanted to see how it worked. She did very well at McKenzie and when she worked at Avenue Capital, that she still does a little work with.

    She’s — she’s had a good life. But I think she really, really cares about health care. She cares about public health. She thinks that America has still got a ways to go to develop an affordable, high quality health care system. And I think she wants to be a part of it.

  22. Hillary in August 2007 discussing home ownership. Hillary labels the predatory lenders as “unsavory”. When we find her HOLC speech to the U.S. Senate will post it.

  23. JanH, That IS a great photo of Hillary in Indonesia. Thanks for posting it.

    BTW, that Michael Crowley piece is one of those “inside baseball” articles that no one cares about. All that really matters is the job Hillary does as SoS, not who occupies what office at Foggy Bottom and what aides she brought over with her. Big deal.

  24. Do you ever wonder if some of the media wannabes are afraid of praising Hillary? That they are going with the crowd because they don’t want to be in the minority? Or that this is a hold-over from the primary when they took their lead from obama et al?

  25. Shorttermer: I received the email from Admin and have been wrestling with it all morning long.

    My initial reaction was the same as yours–remember the Alamo. I even wondered whether I was getting a spanking for something I said and concluded that was not it.

    Upon reflection, I realized that the message Admin is sending us via this email is the right one. We have important things to say about the future and our message needs to be heard by a wider audience.

    Nobody knows better than we do what happened in the primary. There is no words we can say to correct those injustices. Lord knows we have tried. But if we continue on that course our enemies will marginalize us.

    The future battle is a winnable one. Our country is in dire staights. The policies Obama is promoting will be a disaster. We need to hone in on that fact with lazer intensity. If we can do this then our inflluence in the political debate will grow at a time when it is most needed.

    That is where the real game is now. Our goal is not to tell the people who voted for him that they were wrong. It is to show them that he is not the messiah they thought he was and his policies are the wrong prescription.

  26. Excellent, Admin.

    What I find especially galling about the ‘mortgage’ bailouts is those of us who DIDN’T buy properties way above our means will be paying for those who threw caution to the winds.

    When I got my MA, in NYC, in the late 1980’s, another housing bubble hadn’t yet burst and all properties within my work area, NYC, were way out of range for me.

    So I did some investigation, discovered cheaper areas of the country in need of teachers and moved to Florida. Point is, I didn’t try to get in over my head (not that you COULD have gotten one of those ridiculous no-down-payment ARM loans, then) and solved the affordability problem in another way. In Florida I was able to buy property. (Not that I stayed there but that’s another story).

    Now, I’d like to know why the heck I’m on the hook for someone else’s misjudgments, impatience and greed.. No one ever bailed me out.

  27. Burris revelations prompt perjury investigation:

    By Judy Keen, USA TODAY

    CHICAGO — U.S. Sen. Roland Burris’ admission that he tried to raise campaign funds for ousted Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich is prompting calls for his resignation and a perjury investigation.

    Burris told reporters in Peoria late Monday that he “talked to some people” last year about holding a fundraiser for the now-disgraced former Democratic governor. At the time, Burris was seeking the appointment to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Obama.

    Burris did not organize a Blagojevich fundraiser, but his latest statements about contacts with the former governor’s brother and other advisers appear to contradict previous public comments, testimony and affidavits he had given to the Illinois General Assembly.

    Burris originally told the Illinois House impeachment committee last month that he had no contact with Blagojevich or his representatives before he was approached about the Senate seat Dec. 26.

  28. Regular Big Pink readers know we are resolute in our opposition to the piecemeal, uncoordinated flim-flammery which masquerades as Obama economic plans. We insist that without a coordinated and comprehensive economic plan, and a grasp of history, the “stimulus” and its corollaries are doomed to not only failure but likely to make things much worse.
    This statement is not merely correct, it is beyond cavil. An effective economic plan requires a coodinated them and a coodinated relationship between parts. Without that it can go off track, lead to unintended consequences and lose the vital property called leverage.

    An effective president faced with a major economic crisis would never ever turn over the writing of a stimulus package to Nancy Peolosii and Harry Reid. He would give them his design and hold their feet to the fire. An effective president would never promise transparency and fail to allow them sufficent time to read it. An effective president would remain in Washington during this critical process.

  29. wbboei, just to clairify, the admin in your post is not our admin, if I understand correctly.
    I see that now. The imposter who sent it must have access to our email. I find it funny because they inadvertently provided us with a good insight–not at all what they intended. I think there is validity to what I said in response. If I only knew who they were I would thank them for being so stupid.

  30. jbstonesfan Says:

    February 18th, 2009 at 12:44 pm
    It is simply incredulous to me that MSM has skipped over the Rev. Moss appointment.


    jonestownfan, Rev Moss appointment to what? Is this the Rev Otis Moss of Cleveland, Oh? His church is Antioch Baptist Church.

    If this is the same person, when and how will he have time. His wife has cancer. I never cared for Rev Moss. He is like O, trying to run for any and every office. He never gets elected.

  31. Sorry jonestownfan should have read the above article. I was reading the post backward. It is not Rev Moss wife who is sick. It is Rev McMickles. They are all in the same group together. McMickles is the one who was going crazy over Obama.

  32. February 18, 2009 6:51 AM PST

    White House launches

    by Stephanie Condon

    The White House has launched, a site that intends to bring transparency to the government spending authorized in the $787 billion economic package the president signed Tuesday.

    “The size and scale of this plan demand unprecedented efforts to root out waste, inefficiency, and unnecessary spending,” President Obama says in an introductory video on the site. “The important decisions about where taxpayer dollars will be invested will be yours to scrutinize.”

    The site includes charts that break down how the money in the legislation will be distributed. As federal agencies distribute funds, those allocations will be added to the site. A map of the country shows the number of jobs the legislation is expected to create in each state. The site also has a separate page explaining the president’s call for transparency, as well as an “about” page that summarizes the bill and provides a timeline of its progress.

    Visitors can sign up for e-mail updates and are encouraged to share through a comment form on the site how their lives have been affected by the economic downturn.

  33. February 18, 2009 6:51 AM PST

    White House launches

    by Stephanie Condon
    Staff writer for a computer technology blog preaching party line?


    The Federal Reserve on Wednesday sharply downgraded its projections for the country’s economic performance this year, predicting the economy will actually shrink and unemployment will rise higher.

    Under the new projections, the unemployment rate will rise to between 8.5 and 8.8 percent this year. The old forecasts, issued in mid-November, predicted the jobless rate would rise to between 7.1 and 7.6 percent.

    The Fed also believes the economy will contract this year between 0.5 and 1.3 percent. The old forecast said the economy could shrink by 0.2 percent or expand by 1.1 percent.


    Fed officials, however, predicted the economy would pick up speed in 2011, growing by as much as 5 percent, which would be considered robust.

    Still, given all the economy’s problems, there are risks that the Fed’s forecasts could turn out to be too optimistic.

    And a few Fed officials — none are identified — feared that it could take five or six years for the economy and employment to get back into a sustainable mode of health.

  35. The Krugman scenario is playing itself out with dramatic precision. Obamas stimulus plan and his bank bailout and his auto industry bailout and a world wide reaction to his benighted approach drags everything down. At the moment of opportunity when there was a chance to turn this thing around what did he do? Quite simply, he blinked. Krugman could not have been clearer. And now as Jack Kelley wisely observed he has had his victory and in the words of the Greek general “one more such victory and we will be done.”

  36. I’m sure obama will find a way to spin this into his favor….i.e. the country is in dire straits, it will take quite a long time for it to bounce back, therefore, don’t judge our stimulus plan for at least 5-6 years.

  37. I do worry about Holder. I worry that he may turn out to be the guy who stirs the wrong pot at the wrong time. With unemployment levels approaching 10% this may not be the optimal time to be opening up a national dialogue on race and it may be prudence as opposed to cowardice to shy away from that discourse at this point. In the end, I am not sure it leads to closure. Holders judgment in the past, political and otherwise has left something to be desired on such diverse matters as pardons, united fruit and now this.

  38. I’m sure obama will find a way to spin this into his favor….i.e. the country is in dire straits, it will take quite a long time for it to bounce back, therefore, don’t judge our stimulus plan for at least 5-6 years.
    The problem for Obama is the jury verdict has been returned. It has removed his mantra of change, alienated finacial markets and is a very expensive very pork laden half measure.

    I am not sure that impression can be reversed. But as the situation deteriorates it will look even worse in hindsight.

    If I were in their shoes, had expended my political capital on this bill and then saw the latest fed figures, I would be kicking myself that I sat back and let congress do it for me. I would be wishing I had played an active role in the process, insisted on a more aggressive stimulus and put Pelosi in her place. I would have buyers remorse.

  39. # wbboei Says:
    February 18th, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Blue-I just love that line: Pyrrhus responded: “one more such victory, and we shall be undone.”

    That is actually the origin of the phrase “Pyrrhic victory. “

  40. Mrs. Smith–I may owe you an apology–I dont know yet. The issue is nationalization–a temporary one, as part of a larger effort to bring this economic tiger under control. I read the article you posted and assumed the opposition was based on a free market doctrine which I am not in agreement with based on where is has taken this country. However, I did see at the end of Admins post today a teaser on the same subject. Thus, I have a sneaking hunch that I am about to get educated on the subject by both of you. What worries me most at this point is that this may be something this administation is proposing and if that is the case then it warrants much closer examination than I have given it thus far. However, I still believe the taxpayers should have some recourse since their economic futures are at risk if we continue pouring money into these institutions without recourse. Possibly, there are better alternatives than nationalization.

  41. That is actually the origin of the phrase “Pyrrhic victory. “
    Yes pm that is quite true. I have used the expression many times, and can never spell it. But the quote itself is what I really enjoyed. Most of us have stood where that general was standing thousands of years ago, achieving what we thought was victory and wondering whether it was worth it. Sometimes personal relationships work out that way too. Theres nothing new under the sun.

  42. Admin: you may want to take a look at the Confidential Tips section your web page which has been disabled with a time and date superimposed on them.

    The ostensible purpose was to prevent the people who received the email from responding to you so you could take appropriate action. The posting of that message by shorttermer foiled their juvenile plot. All that remains to be done is to fix the confidential tips section of the website.

  43. HCF must have lost a lot of traffic to make such a change. Didn’t do Taylor Marsh any good. This is the time to stand strong. Those who think conversing with Bots will change anything are in for a disappointment.

  44. Al Sharpton defended Obama when Obama said “pig with lipstick”. At the time Governor Sarah Palin was well known for her joke about the difference between a pitbull and a hockey mom – answer: lipstick.

    Now Sharpton is complaining about a cartoon he finds objectionable. Possibly calling a woman a “pig” did not matter to Obama defenders. [yes, racism is wrong but so is misogyny].

    The cartoon in Wednesday’s edition of the tabloid New York Post, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, links two prominent US news stories – controversy over Mr Obama’s economic stimulus proposals and a recent incident in which Connecticut police had to shoot dead a pet chimp that went berserk and mauled a woman.

    In the cartoon, drawn by Sean Delonas, a regular Post cartoonist, two officers are staring gloomily at the blood spattered chimp’s corpse after one of them has shot it.

    “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill,” says the other officer.

    The cartoon drew immediate criticism from Al Sharpton, the black activist and community leader.

    In a statement, Mr Sharpton said the cartoon was “troubling at best given the historic racist attacks of African-Americans as being synonymous with monkeys”.

    He said that it could be asked whether the cartoonist was “making a less than casual reference to this” and could be “inferring that a monkey wrote the last bill”.

    David Patterson, the black governor of New York state, later joined Mr Sharpton in asking for an “explanation” from the newspaper.

  45. admin Says:

    February 18th, 2009 at 2:03 pm
    Not our e-mail. No surrender here.
    the admin of is now neutral on Obama?!? WTH does that mean?…I like the “No surrender here” LOL…I also received the email, I sent it to my spam filter!

  46. wbboei siad:
    What worries me most at this point is that this may be something this administation is proposing and if that is the case then it warrants much closer examination than I have given it thus far.


    Extending this past the current issue to any and all things that ‘this administration is proposing.’ My impression, perhaps wrong, is that Obama has a lot of puppet strings that are being pulled by different factions, some of which factions may be good guys — ie Hillary and others of the ‘Clinton Restoration.’ And of corse there are many bad guys pulllilng ohter strhings the hoter wya.

    So my approach would be to first get some idea on just WHO in ‘this administration’ is behind any particular proposal — and how the good guy’s strings are entangled in the bad guys’ strings.

    Or, we could just judge each proposal on its own merits.

  47. ADMIN!
    Can you embed?

    Here’s Congressman Meeks saying on Hardball that the NYPost cartoon is HORRIFICALLY racist. 😯

    JEEEEZZZZZZZ!!!!!!! This sh!t is reminding me of the Jugenlander cartoons a couple of years back when the Danish newspaper was threatened by Muslims over the Mohammed and the 77 virgins cartoons.
    I mean, c’mon! The cartoon is OBVIOUSLY referring to the CONGRESS as baboons!!!!! GAWD, but for the thousandth time in the past year I am d@#mned glad I now live far far far away from the Sharptons and Meeks of the world.

  48. admin Says:
    February 18th, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    Beware, B.O. in video. U.S. Troops to Afghanistan:





    Rahm Emanuel Ethics Abuses Pile Up

    Tuesday, February 17, 2009 9:16 PM

    By: Dick Morris & Eileen McGann Article Font Size

    News broke last week that Rahm Emanuel, now White House chief of staff, lived rent-free for years in the home of Rep. Rosa De Lauro, D-Conn. — and failed to disclose the gift, as congressional ethics rules mandate. But this is only the tip of Emanuel’s previously undisclosed ethics problems.

    One issue is the work Emanuel tossed the way of De Lauro’s husband. But the bigger one goes back to Emanuel’s days on the board of now-bankrupt mortgage giant Freddie Mac.

    Emanuel is a multimillionaire, but lived for the last five years for free in the tony Capitol Hill townhouse owned by De Lauro and her husband, Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg.

    During that time, he also served as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — which gave Greenberg huge polling contracts. It paid Greenberg’s firm $239,996 in 2006 and $317,775 in 2008. (Emanuel’s own campaign committee has also paid Greenberg more than $50,000 since 2004.)

    To be fair, Greenberg had polling contracts with the DCCC before — but each new election cycle brings its own set of consultants. And Emanuel was certainly generous with his roommate.

    Emanuel never declared the substantial gift of free rent on any of his financial-disclosure forms. He and De Lauro claim that it was just allowable “hospitality” between colleagues. Hospitality — for five years?

    Some experts suggest that it was also taxable income: Over five years, the free rent could easily add up to more than $100,000.

    Nor is this all that seems to have been missed in the Obama team’s vetting process. Consider: Emanuel served on the Freddie Mac board of directors during the time that the government-backed lender lied about its earnings, a leading contributor to the current economic meltdown.

    The Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight Agency later singled out the Freddie Mac board as contributing to the fraud in 2000 and 2001 for “failing in its duty to follow up on matters brought to its attention.” In other words, board members ignored the red flags waving in their faces.

    The SEC later fined Freddie $50 million for its deliberate fraud in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

    Meanwhile, Emanuel was paid more than $260,000 for his Freddie “service.” Plus, after he resigned from the board to run for Congress in 2002, the troubled agency’s PAC gave his campaign $25,000 — its largest single gift to a House candidate.

    That’s what friends are for, isn’t it?

    Now Rahm Emanuel is in the White House helping President Obama dig out of the mess that Freddie Mac helped start.

    The president’s chief of staff isn’t subject to Senate confirmation, but his ethics still matter. Is this the change that we can depend on?

    © 2009 Dick Morris & Eileen McGann

  50. I’m stuck in moderation coz I’m trying to link a youtube clip of Congressman Meeks saying on Hardball that the NYPost cartoon is HORRIFICALLY racist. 😯
    Guess you’ll haveta google it. (or type youtube dot com slash watch ?v
    equals KOA8-nlIprA&eurl

    JEEEEZZZZZZZ!!!!!!! This sh!t is reminding me of the Jugenlander cartoons a couple of years back when the Danish newspaper was threatened by Muslims over the Mohammed and the 77 virgins cartoons.
    I mean, c’mon! The cartoon is OBVIOUSLY referring to the CONGRESS as baboons!!!!! GAWD, but for the thousandth time in the past year I am d@#mned glad I now live far far far away from the Sharptons and Meeks of the world.

  51. djia,

    I heard about that 2 days ago and haven’t seen one report on MSM TV.

    That isn’t gonna get any coverage. (IMHO)

  52. Democrats Aim to Steal ‘D’ in D.C.

    Wednesday, February 18, 2009 9:29 AM

    By: Lowell Ponte

    It was, wrote Thomas Jefferson, the worst political bargain he ever made: agreeing to Alexander Hamilton’s fiscal scheme in exchange for putting the new U.S. capital in Washington, the District of Columbia, a supposedly neutral city to be created midway between the northern and southern states.

    Democrats are maneuvering again, by mere congressional majority fiat, to give this politicized city its own power to vote in Congress, sidestepping the difficult process of admission specified in the Constitution to grant any territory the status of one of the United States.

    Democrats are busy trying to make their control of the federal government permanent, and giving a congressional vote to this district, in which government is the only industry and voters cast their ballots 90 percent Democratic, is one more step toward enslaving America under unchangeable one party rule.

    Appropriately, this is being done within days of Marxist dictator Hugo Chavez’s gimmicking a vote in Venezuela, where he controls the levers of power and monopolizes television broadcasting with his own “fairness doctrine” that opens his way to become ruler for life.

    And yet two Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine and George Voinovich of Ohio, voted in committee in favor of giving Washington, D.C., a voting member in the House.

    “The bill’s supporters may now have the votes to pass it,” cheered a Feb. 17 New York Times editorial, “and to overcome a Senate filibuster.”

    These two Republicans, the Times noted, were swayed by a Democratic offer to grant heavily Republican Utah the next apportioned seat in Congress along with the D.C. seat.

    But, the Times added, Collins and Voinovich “know . . . that after the 2010 Census, the new House seat could end up going to another state.”

    Republicans know this because Utah clearly was entitled to an additional seat in Congress after the 2000 Census, but Democratic political machinations stole it.

    Utah’s minority Mormon population cannot automatically be labeled Republican. The Democratic leader of the Senate, Harry Reid of Nevada, identifies himself as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

    But a member of Congress from Washington, D.C., always would be a Democrat.

    Democrats rationalize that giving congressional voting to D.C. by Article I of the Constitution, which grants Congress the power “To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding 10 miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States.”

    Out of this vague “District Clause,” liberal legal scholars have fabricated for Congress the authority to grant D.C. votes able to cancel out those from genuine states like California or New York.

    Washingtonians deserve to vote, liberals argue, because this territory’s population is larger than Wyoming, but its residents are required to pay federal income taxes. The local government’s vehicles bear the honorable 1776 slogan “No Taxation Without Representation.”

    If your heart is moved by their taxation without representation, remember that two alternatives are far preferable to violating the Constitution by making D.C. a de facto state.

    Congress can simply exempt D.C. residents from paying income tax, as is the case in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. No taxation and no representation. Rich Northeastern D.C. Gucci Gulch lobbyists probably would trade in their votes happily to live tax-free.

    Or, if you prefer to see Washingtonians with a state of their own, then Congress for purposes of resident voting can return the District of Columbia to its original status.

    Before 1790, the land we now call D.C. was part of the state of Maryland. It could be returned to Maryland in a legal act called retrocession. And then D.C. members would vote as Marylanders in numbers sufficient to control a congressional district.

    But this would not expand the already-Democratic Senate delegation from liberal Maryland, a state jammed with government employees that therefore usually inclines toward ever-bigger government.

    And this, of course, is why congressional Democrats refuse to consider retrocession of D.C. to Maryland, despite their terrapin tears about the unfairness of resident taxation without representation. Doing this would not give Democrats two more senators.

    Why are Republicans justified in opposing this liberal gambit to conjure up a congressional seat in D.C.? The answer is clear: It violates the U.S. Constitution.

    If Democrats can create one voting seat in Congress by mere majority legislation, we know what will happen next. If precedent allows one seat, why not two? If a seat in the House, then why not two Senate seats?

    In fact, if the sophistry of the “District Clause” argument is permitted to triumph by two Republicans and the U.S. Supreme Court, then the power of a Democratic congressional majority is theoretically unlimited. If they can create one voting seat in D.C. by legislative fiat, then why not create five, or 10, or 100?

    If nothing in the Constitution prevents legislation pertaining to the District of Columbia, then there is no limit as to how many voting D.C. House and Senate seats a Democratic majority could install. Rest assured that these partisan lawmakers would create enough to make their power permanent and absolute.

    At a minimum we can anticipate a future where, as in ante bellum days, states were admitted in pairs with one free and the other permitted slavery, every new apportioned congressional seat likely to vote Republican would be admitted only if balanced by a new third or fourth or fifth seat for Washington, D.C.

    President Barack Obama wants to have direct control over the 2010 Census. With such control will come manifest opportunities to count invisible residents and thereby apportion new congressional seats in liberal cities, and fewer new seats in Republican regions. This will tilt the congressional playing field even farther to the left.

    Political power in America should remain A.C. — According to the Constitution — not D.C., as Democrats are trying to switch it permanently.

  53. ‘CBS cut its annual dividend by 81 per cent to preserve cash as it reported a steep 52 per cent drop in net income for the fourth quarter.’

    I can’t WAIT to see a similar report about MSNBC and CNN.

  54. ABM90

    They have updated the page –

    1 – google pbs frontline online, pick top choice

    2 – click paulson’s picture

    3 – click Home

    4 – this page is GREAT! Interviews, timeline, analysis, the full program, and more. I,m less than 30% through it.

    In three months since Election Day, at least a half-dozen prominent journalists have taken jobs working for the federal government.
    “Obama bails out more media water-carriers,” conservative blogger Michelle Malkin wrote upon hearing that the Chicago Tribune’s Jill Zuckman is taking a job with the Obama administration.

    Blogs at both the Weekly Standard and the National Review are pointing to a “revolving door” that spins between the media and the Obama administration****************************
    “When some leave journalism because of a reduction in staff, what’s the natural landing spot?” The Obama administration,” Bozell charged.
    A week before Zuckman announced that she’s headed for Obama’s Transportation Department, her Tribune colleague Peter Gosselin signed on as speechwriter for Obama’s treasury secretary, Tim Geithner.

    In December, Jay Carney relinquished his perch as Time’s Washington bureau chief to become Vice President Joe Biden’s communications director. Warren Bass left the Washington Post’s Outlook section to write speeches and advise Dr. Susan Rice at the United Nations. Daniel W. Reilly left Politico to become communications director for Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) Linda Douglass left the National Journal for the Obama campaign back in May and is expected to become assistant secretary for public affairs in the department of Health and Human Services.
    For Bozell, the ease of the transition is telling.

    “If you are in journalism, and you can so easily fit in the world of politics, it tells you something,” Bozell said, “that you were not that detached from it when you were in journalism.”

  56. Greenspan backs bank nationalisation

    By Krishna Guha and Edward Luce in Washington

    Published: February 18 2009 00:06 | Last updated: February 18 2009 00:06

    The US government may have to nationalise some banks on a temporary basis to fix the financial system and restore the flow of credit, Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman, has told the Financial Times.

    3 w’s

  57. Heard that Chris Mathews gave Hillary one of his great persons awards today I think. Anyone else know if this is true.

    Day late and a dollar short. He as much responsible for this mess as the others.

  58. BASIL… i know … sad

    anyways… its our last dart night tonight (state dart tournaments all next week i will be gone ]

    so i am out of here for now be back later on and will check in…


  59. Emjay-

    Have you ever heard of the government doing something on a temporary basis and later on handing it back? It’s a cautionary tale. Greenspan is a bought and paid for perp. Wbboei is right to a degree, Greenspan laid the foundation for this mess clearing the way for Geither to run with it.

    The financial situation we find ourselves in is all part of their well thought out plan. None of it is happenstance. We are nearing the end of the completed PNAC agreement and about to lose our sovereignty to the Global Union.

    Obama is following Soros Economic Plan to the letter. I heard the identical verbiage in Obama’s noon address today.

    Soros Economic Plan is here: http// Tell me what you think of it!

  60. # wbboei Says:
    February 18th, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Mrs. Smith–I may owe you an apology–I dont know yet. The issue is nationalization–a temporary one, as part of a larger effort to bring this economic tiger under control. I read the article you posted and assumed the opposition was based on a free market doctrine which I am not in agreement with based on where is has taken this country. However, I did see at the end of Admins post today a teaser on the same subject. Thus, I have a sneaking hunch that I am about to get educated on the subject by both of you. What worries me most at this point is that this may be something this administation is proposing and if that is the case then it warrants much closer examination than I have given it thus far. However, I still believe the taxpayers should have some recourse since their economic futures are at risk if we continue pouring money into these institutions without recourse. Possibly, there are better alternatives than nationalization.

    No worries, wbboei- I intended to slip in a Gordon Brown link for you to read when you were more receptive. I think it’s safe to do it now. I want you to know I value your friendship more than I need to be proven half right or all right. Please don’t fret about it.

    Our government and that of the UKs are standing just about on the same ground in every respect. If you listen to Brown’s speech, he’s priming the public to be accepting of the term “global/globalism”. What it really is, is government “creep”..

    Here is the site for 10 Downing Street …. http // www

    We’re standing on the same side for the Battle Royal of and for our lives. We need to keep that thought uppermost in our minds… always.

  61. Yes Chris M. Did give a glowing approval and somewhat of an apology toHillary.He awarded her the Hardball Award for guts patriotism unselfish sacrifice to keep her party united.I too have my doubts as to his motivation.With falling viewers,ratings
    and sponsers and of course an aborted senate run in PA,he had little choice.Brings to mind an oldie.If you want to get a jackass to move,hit him with a 2×4.In spite of all that ,it was an important and elevating moment for Our Fair Lady.

    By ABM90 Better days are ahead folks as we watch a world class genius at work

  62. Thanks Emjay.Great site with easy access to so many important events and personal involvment in our busy and troubled world.Everyday am able to reach out and bring my past years up to the present and it enables me to learn where I have been ,Who I am and what the immediate future holds in store for my twilight days and or hours.Sleep has become just a brief pause in my desire to stay informed and see Hillary rewarded.

    By ABM90 A grateful old blogger.


    Well he goes back and shows her in Denver, and quoting Os book, which I could have done without. However, he says he did not give her enough credit. Like I say, too little too late, and you Chris, and the meida should bear some of the responsibility for what it happen in this part of history.

    Your power is great, and so is responsibility.

  64. wbboei,

    Here is the model for mortgage banking Obama and Geithner will be heading for. Soros is a stanch proponent of the Danish Model for Mortgages and Banking practices because of the stringent guidelines and
    failsafe mechanism built into the system itself.

    http //

  65. As far as the “hardball” award goes, I say better late than never. I don’t trust the man, but I will accept those few moments that don’t consist of anger and hate spewed at this remarkable woman.

    I watched the clip (thanks NMF) and loved how she barely read from her notes when she spoke in Indonesia. This woman does her homework. obama is too lazy to do it.

  66. JanH 9:30

    That struck me also. Os delivery and words are nothing compared to hers. She speaks the truth and right at people. He paints a Disney World.

  67. NewMexicoFan Says:
    February 18th, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    Well he goes back and shows her in Denver, and quoting Os book, which I could have done without. However, he says he did not give her enough credit. Like I say, too little too late, and you Chris, and the meida should bear some of the responsibility for what it happen in this part of history.
    If only Matthews meant a single word he’s saying. Notice he gave credit for Bill’s bringing Peace to Ireland to Mitchell? Matthews also said of Hillary, “your critics” of which he was the loudest and nastiest but failed to acknowledge it during his teleprompter speech. Matthews is nothing more than a bottom feeding slug and will never be anything else. Bah!

  68. Mrs. Smith 9:36

    I have to agree. I cannot stand people who lie, cheat steal, abuse and then come back, and literally say, I was only kidding, you are a good old person. It reminds me of the abusive spouse who says they really did not mean it, and begs to be given a second chance.

  69. Emjay Says:
    February 18th, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Greenspan backs bank nationalisation
    A few years too late, a few trillion dollars gone


    “Interestingly, India’s central bank lacks the independence from government that the Federal Reserve enjoys. It is administratively subservient to the Finance Ministry. Yet, by sheer force of his personality, Reddy, who served as RBI governor from 2003 until the end of his term in September 2008, successfully resisted government pressure to deregulate banks and hastily open India to external capital account transactions. In contrast to former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan who believed in the fundamental integrity of market agents, Reddy is reported to have held the view that if bankers were given the opportunity to sin, they would.”

  70. The president’s chief of staff isn’t subject to Senate confirmation, but his ethics still matter. Is this the change that we can depend on?
    © 2009 Dick Morris & Eileen McGann


    Morris is an old Clinton hater.
    Emmanuel is/was a Clintonista.

    Enough said.

  71. blue Says:
    February 18th, 2009 at 10:11 am

    The Big Hypocrite in Chief is laid out in this little ditty by Jack Kelly –

    February 17, 2009
    Obama is Big on Symbolism
    By Jack Kelly


    Salut! Just put part of this up at the latest incarnation of Midstream News, ie The Boojum Post

    h…./ no w’s

    I’ll authorize you as a contributor over there as soon as I remember how.

  72. Yes Chris M. Did give a glowing approval and somewhat of an apology toHillary.He awarded her the Hardball Award for guts patriotism unselfish sacrifice to keep her party united.I too have my doubts as to his motivation.With falling viewers,ratings
    and sponsers and of course an aborted senate run in PA,he had little choice.Brings to mind an oldie.If you want to get a jackass to move,hit him with a 2×4.In spite of all that ,it was an important and elevating moment for Our Fair Lady
    The Chris Matthews account is far from settled.

  73. NMF, India is weathering this storm well because parts of its financial infrastructure are well regulated including its banks. The Indian counterpart for Greenspan, Reddy made that interesting statement “if bankers were given the opportunity to sin, they would,” which is what happened here in the US, the greed of the CEOs, the predatory lending, and selling of banks with toxic assets (think Wachovia buying a bank in CA which made it go under a year later — but the couple who sold that bank a year before are billionaires.)

  74. Quinn names insider with Rezko, Blagojevich ties to high-level post

    Posted by Monique Garcia

    Gov. Pat Quinn on Wednesday installed as his chief operating officer an appointee of ousted predecessor Rod Blagojevich who also has close ties to convicted fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko. The decision to name longtime friend Jack Lavin as one of his top aides raised eyebrows with some who said it might send a message of politics as usual in Illinois.

    “Certainly he comes with some baggage that we have to be very sensitive about at this moment in our state’s history, but personally I want to work with everyone right now to make sure we get through the very serious problems we’re facing,” said Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno of Lemont. “I can only hope the governor has fully vetted his association and knows full well that they won’t in any way, shape or form interfere.”

    Lavin served as Blagojevich’s director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity after Rezko recommend Lavin for the post. Lavin once worked as the chief financial officer for Rezko’s food-related business and took more than $12,000 in donations from Rezko’s firm while toying with a run for elected office in 2001.

    A Quinn spokesman would not comment on Lavin’s ties to Blagojevich and Rezko, but said the governor has “the utmost confidence in him.” Lavin did not immediately return a call seeking comment, but a spokeswoman pointed to his record running the state’s economic development agency. “The governor has shown full confidence in the director’s past success and his expectations are the same moving forward,” said agency spokesman Ashley Cross. “Director Lavin is ready for the job ahead, he has a strong record of working tirelessly to promote job opportunities and strengthen the Illinois economy, which is exactly what we need right now.”

    Lavin served with Quinn after he won the state treasurer’s position in 1990. His new duties include overseeing the distribution of federal stimulus dollars at the state level. Quinn also named about a dozen others who will serve as his chief policy, operations and legislative advisers. Most worked with him as lieutenant governor.

  75. I happened to be reading the website on James Jones the other day. He is the guy who wrote From Here To Eternity. In that novel he depicts the morals and manners of an army garrison in the Hawaiian paradise on the eve of World War II–the lives, the loves and the surrealistic sense that tommorow will be just like today.

    That same strange mood has swept over the country since the election and big media is in a giddy self congratulatory state as their worst minions move into this disfunctional administration. My sense is when the bombs start to land we will be as surprised and unprepared as we were on December 7, 1941, only this time the threat is economic.

  76. wbb – you ar very gracious in your debating. Nice to see.

    I have felt guilty all day about my suggestion that things may be rosier than they seem. Not true. Things are much worse than they seem. That does not mean, however, that we are doomed.

    I guess I think that the future is about 1/3 doom, 1/3 hard times for years, and 1/3 better than expected. The smallest 1/3 is the middle one because of my contrarian view of the economy.

    Naturally, the rich and the scam artists are exempt as always from any of this. And nothing I said yesterday was meant to be approval of any of these pathetic attempts to fix the problems. Some of them will work but the waste, fraud and abuse is excessive.

    Incidentally, the chimp cartoon doesn’t appear to be racist to me since the first name that came to mind in the “writing the stim-bill” was Nancy Pelosi and the other Dem house leaders almost all of whom are white. If I’ve missed something, I am open to correction.

  77. When people are in a giddy state they are sometimes inclined to say things which they later regret.

    I believe it is significant that sexist Hillary hating Matthews from the Misogynistic Shitfaced Nihilistic Boys Club. i.e. MSNBC did on this 18th day of February 2009 freely admit that Hillary Clinton displayed among other things “unselfish sacrifice to keep her party united”.

    Why? Because if we learned anything in this primary we leaned that the selection of the nominee is an inside game and it is not determined by what the people want all civic myths to the contrary notwithstanding.

    It therefore follows that this admission by a pasty faced spittle drenched maniac who is beset with Clinton derangement syndrome is potentially useful in futuro if she decides to seek higher office.

    The only downside is we would have to establish that the is mentally competent to testify, and that could be an insurmountable hurdle.

  78. I have felt guilty all day about my suggestion that things may be rosier than they seem. Not true. Things are much worse than they seem. That does not mean, however, that we are doomed.
    Freckles whatever you do dont feel guilty about saying things are not as bad as they seem. The truth is if the benighted Mr Obama understood how the cow ate the cabbage then he would be saying the same thing you are to reassure jittery capital markets.

    But he is so determined to frighten the American People into supporting his stimulus package that he fails to realize that there is another audience listening –the financial community and they aint much lik’n the economic Armangeddon scenario he is preaching to the great unwashed and anyone else who will listen.

  79. The RAT hiding deep inside the stimulus bill

    By Byron York
    Chief political correspondent 2/19/09
    The far-reaching — and potentially dangerous — provision that no one knows about.

    You’ve heard a lot about the astonishing spending in the $787 billion economic stimulus bill, signed into law this week by President Barack Obama. But you probably haven’t heard about a provision in the bill that threatens to politicize the way allegations of fraud and corruption are investigated — or not investigated — throughout the federal government.

    The provision, which attracted virtually no attention in the debate over the 1,073-page stimulus bill, creates something called the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board — the RAT Board, as it’s known by the few insiders who are aware of it. The board would oversee the in-house watchdogs, known as inspectors general, whose job is to independently investigate allegations of wrongdoing at various federal agencies, without fear of interference by political appointees or the White House.

    In the name of accountability and transparency, Congress has given the RAT Board the authority to ask “that an inspector general conduct or refrain from conducting an audit or investigation.” If the inspector general doesn’t want to follow the wishes of the RAT Board, he’ll have to write a report explaining his decision to the board, as well as to the head of his agency (from whom he is supposedly independent) and to Congress. In the end, a determined inspector general can probably get his way, but only after jumping through bureaucratic hoops that will inevitably make him hesitate to go forward.

    When Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley, a longtime champion of inspectors general, read the words “conduct or refrain from conducting,” alarm bells went off. The language means that the board — whose chairman will be appointed by the president — can reach deep inside a federal agency and tell an inspector general to lay off some particularly sensitive subject. Or, conversely, it can tell the inspector general to go after a tempting political target.

    “This strikes at the heart of the independence of inspectors general,” Grassley told me this week, in a phone conversation between visits to town meetings in rural Iowa. “Anytime an inspector general has somebody questioning his authority, it tends to dampen the aggressiveness with which they pursue something, particularly if it’s going to make the incumbent administration look bad.”

    I asked Grassley how he learned that the RAT Board was part of the stimulus bill. You’d think that as a member of the House-Senate conference committee, he would have known all about it. But it turns out Grassley’s office first heard about the provision creating the RAT Board last Wednesday, in a tip from a worried inspector general. It wasn’t until Friday morning — after the bill was finished and just hours before the Senate was to begin voting — that Grassley discovered the board was in the final text. “This was snuck in,” Grassley told me. “It wasn’t something that was debated.”

    Snuck in by whom? It’s not entirely clear. “I intend to get down to the bottom of where this comes from,” Grassley vowed. “And quite frankly, it better not come from this administration, because this administration has reminded us that it is not about business as usual, that it is for total transparency.”

    Maybe not this time. When I inquired with the office of a Democratic senator, one who is a big fan of inspectors general, I was told the RAT Board was “something the Obama administration wanted included in this bill.” When I asked the White House, staffers told me they’d look into it. So for now, at least, there’s been no claim of paternity.

    The RAT Board has all sorts of other things wrong with it. For one thing, it’s redundant; there is already a board through which inspectors general police themselves, created last year in the Inspectors General Reform Act. For another thing, it could complicate criminal investigations stemming from inspector general probes. And then there’s the question of what it has to do with stimulating the economy.

    But none of that matters now. It’s the law.

    Last Friday, when he learned the RAT Board was in the final bill, Grassley wanted to voice his objections on the Senate floor. But there was no time in the rush to a vote, so Grassley’s statement went unread. “It’s fitting that the acronym for this board is RAT,” he was prepared to tell the Senate, “because that’s what I smell here.

  80. Tonight I was speaking to one of those friendly and helpful computer representatives in India about and I asked him how the job market in India was right now.

    He told me in the IT sector in India is heavily dependent on businness conditions in the United States and is feeling the effects of the downturn here with thousands of jobs lost whereas peviously their market was booming.

    He also mentioned the the HB-1 visa program which allowed temportary high tech workers to come here to support businesses has been suspended as well.

    He told me that he had high hopes for Obama. So I asked him based on what? He said based on the press reports. I told him that the press also supported Bush at the beginning of his term.

    I told him it is much easier to make a promise than it is to deliver. For example, Obama has promised to create 5 million new jobs through his stimulus plan–a nice round number.

    If he does that in the next 2-3 years and if he does that then there will be a rational basis for all this optimism. But since we are projecting a 2.8% decline in our economy in the next 12 months, and today the unemployment figures were revised upward, what Obama has promised may turn out to be hot air.

  81. That POS from the ‘Misogynistic Shitfaced Nihilistic Boys Club’ can get a$$ cancer and kick the bucket as far as I’m concerned.

    Lying, hypocritical, opportunistic, fraudulent, nasty $#@#^!!!!!!

  82. Morning Joe S is consistent in his admiration for Hillary and her understanding of world affairs.He always refers to her as his girl.
    He is a loyal repub but a welcomed advocate for fairness in politics.As for tweety,more and more he resembles and smells like roadkill left out in the sun much too long.Since Timmie hit the trail to tombstone things have changed dramaticaly at MSNBC.Talking heads with lame brains fighting to get a word in the idiots forum.I manage to channel surf both fox and msnbc and it helps to see unfair and unbalanced people selling their integrity and souls for money and recognition to the assets of all that is evil in american journalism.As Bill and Hill,wisely keep their enemies close,and in a state of disarray.Smart and open politics is their ace card to counter the EZE-Pass race card that BHO uses as his guidance tool to maintain his balance as he walks the thin path at the edge of the cliff.

    By ABM90 Remember friends,the goal is Hillary 24/7

  83. ABM,

    Never fear about Timmeh. His son, an inexperienced, untested, unqualified 23 year old recent grad has landed a plum BM position and is continuing in his daddy’s shoes.

    Can you sat NEPOTISM!


  84. wbboei, you’re right. IT has slowed down in India. But I have not seen big lay offs yet in the newspapers. Where do you find those nice and friendly computer reps? 🙂 last time I talked to an AT&T rep there, he lectured me on how I should pay the bill on time (I had a credit on that account for 2-3 months prior to that and the amount I owed was less than a dollar and they were going to cut off my long distance because I was late in paying that). I yelled at him at the absurdity of their customer service training (and of course closed that account). Since I know a bit about that culture, I can see why some of them are not good at service oriented jobs — they lack people skills.

  85. basil9: Have seen and heard him twice since his annointment to the feeding trough of MSM.He is immature and shallow.The piglet following the pig.It is no wonder Tweety is having panic spells.He has been thrown under the trough by his owners.

    By ABM90 The smiles and the look in her eyes are the windows to Hillarys patriotism and love of country.They are the magic that she does..—–Remember 24/7

  86. basil9: Have seen and heard him.Immature and it shows that piglets follow the pig to the feeding trough that was once called journalism.

    By ABM90 Remember!! All Hillary 24/7

  87. Wind Snow and cold here in Steeler country.The ground hog was right on and six more weeks of winter.
    Odd picture -Hillary working day and night spreading hope for world peace.

    Obama——-Flying around the states burning up tons of fuel and his teleprompter ready for action It is a very costly way he has chosen to avoid qestions,answers and responsibility for his first month of the blame game that he plays while his house of
    cards crumbles.

    By ABM90 Oil prices falling.Gas prices rising.Please mr president,next time take the bus.

  88. There is nothing like an actual record to examine to tell how a person performs. However, there were indications that were pointed out about this man.

    Good Morning, ABM90. The sun is shining here. I will send some your way.

  89. Yahoo news reports:
    Prospect faked age, name
    The Nationals are furious after being duped by a player to whom they gave a huge bonus. » ‘Elaborate scheme’
    Any reports from MSM about fake birth certificates and phony records and lies about such things should receive this response-I can hear it now
    …..if the President can do it, you are discrimnating against me if you don’t let me do it [fake my birth certificate, etc].
    Any reports from MSM about failure to pay taxes and such things should receive this response-I can hear it now
    …..if the Secretary of the Treasury and other high ranking politicians can do it, you are discrimnating against me if you don’t let me do it [fail to pay or report, or even report correctly taxes].
    And the beat goes on…….

  90. Clinton: U.S. Preparing for Possible Regime Change in North Korea

    Clinton’s stop in Seoul, the third in her week-long tour of Asian capitals, comes amid increasing tensions between the two Koreas.

    By James Rosen
    Thursday, February 19, 2009

    The Obama administration and America’s Asian allies are preparing for a possible regime change in North Korea, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday.
    Speaking to reporters aboard her plane from Indonesia to South Korea, Clinton said “the whole leadership situation (in North Korea) is somewhat unclear.” She said the difficulties of dealing with the Stalinist regime of Kim Jong Il — who is believed to have suffered a stroke last year — have been compounded by “the uncertainties that come from questions about potential succession.”

    She said the administration and its allies in the East are studying the scenarios surrounding such a succession of power. “If there is a succession — even if it is a peaceful succession — you know, that creates more uncertainty,” Clinton said. “It also may encourage behaviors that are even more provocative, as a way to consolidate power within the society. So we will spend a lot of time — I will — trying to determine from the South Koreans and the Chinese what their information is, because obviously they have a lot of sources they can share with us.”

    Clinton’s stop in Seoul, the third in her week-long tour of Asian capitals, comes amid increasing tensions between the two Koreas. The North recently suspended its compliance with all treaties it has signed with the democratic South, and threatened over the last week to test-launch a long-range ballistic missile during Clinton’s visit to the region. She called the potential launch “of great concern” and urged South Korean leaders not to “take the bait” in response to the North’s bellicose statements. One of Clinton’s chief aims this week is to reinvigorate the stalled Six-Party talks aimed at persuading Pyongyang to dismantle its nuclear programs. The North detonated a low-yield nuclear device in October 2006. That device, and the arsenal of six to 10 nuclear bombs the North is believed to possess, was developed through the reprocessing of plutonium. Since 2002, U.S. officials have alluded to classified intelligence suggesting Pyongyang has also been operating a clandestine highly-enriched uranium (HEU) program, an allegation the North denies.

    In contrast with the Bush administration — which cited the evidence of HEU activity as the basis for scuttling earlier nuclear accords with North Korea — Clinton on this trip has repeatedly cast doubt on whether the HEU program exists. She has urged those focused on it to remember that it was the reprocessing of plutonium that enabled the North to become a nuclear state. Asked Thursday about recent reports in South Korean media alleging the existence of an underground HEU facility near Yongbyon, Clinton acknowledged the allegations as “a matter of ongoing concern.” But she added: “I mean, let’s focus on what (the North Koreans) have done, and how much easier it is to reprocess plutonium. Obviously, we’re concerned (about HEU), and as we move forward in the Six-Party talks, if we we’re ever at the point where we could create a complete and verifiable agreement, it would clearly include highly-enriched uranium. And the inspectors and the other means for testing would be charged with determining what, if anything, did exist.”

    While in Seoul, Clinton will confer with U.S. and South Korean military officials about the ongoing redeployment of the roughly 37,000 U.S. forces stationed in the region, and is also slated to conduct a town hall meeting at a women’s university. She heads next to China. At each of her stops so far, in Japan and Indonesia, Clinton has juggled a heavy schedule, meeting with government ministers, heads of state, civil society workers and young people. She conducted a spirited town hall at Tokyo University and in Jakarta toured a teeming inner-city neighborhood that has benefited from American-funded clean water projects.

    In a roundtable interview Thursday morning with seven young Indonesian journalists, all of whom received grants last year to cover the U.S. presidential campaign, Clinton made her most extensive remarks yet on her decision to join the so-called “team of rivals” in the Obama Cabinet. “I’ve been asked several times by Indonesians just in the last day how I could work for President Obama after I ran against him,” Clinton said. “And it’s because in our country, in our democracy, we try after we have elections to come together … I was, you know, very honored and surprised when he asked me to be the secretary of state.” She said she expected to go back to being a senator, “But President Obama was very persuasive in our conversations when he did ask me … I had to make a very hard decision.” “But I believe strongly in supporting my country, and serving my country, and this was another way to continue to do that … Now if I totally disagreed, that would be hard. But I don’t. I agree with what we’re trying to accomplish,” she said.

    Asked at that point how she has “survived” three decades in the political spotlight, the former first lady, senator and presidential candidate quipped: “Well, you have to have a high threshold for pain, number one.” When an Indonesian journalist wondered what Clinton would do if she “lost everything,” she smiled and said: “I don’t think about that!”

  91. ShortTermer said: Any reports from MSM about failure to pay taxes and such things should receive this response-I can hear it now
    …..if the Secretary of the Treasury and other high ranking politicians can do it, you are discrimnating against me if you don’t let me do it [fail to pay or report, or even report correctly taxes].


    Luckily the Secretary of the Treasury may have power to make the IRS rules less confusing.

    As for Daschle, who got the money from questionable sources — talley-ho!

  92. WHOA!!!!!!!!

    I heard about this on talk radio as I was driving but it’s top headline at drudge, too.



    go to to see clip.

  93. ADMIN!

    Can you embed?

    Rick Santelli; A Hero is born.
    (paraphrasing) Why shoukld we reward those who drink the water instead of those who carry the water?

    Later, in response to another talking head comment; “Rick, I want to congratulate you on your new role as a revolutionary leader,: Santelli retors: “Well SOMEONE has one (a revolution).” Priceless!

  94. I’m in moderation again.
    Rick Santelli; A Hero is born.
    (paraphrasing) Why should we reward those who drink the water instead of those who carry the water?

    Later, in response to another talking head comment;
    “Rick, I want to congratulate you on your new role as a revolutionary leader,: Santelli retorts: “Well SOMEONE has to have one (a revolution).”

  95. Oh GAWD!!!!!!! 🙄

    Now my inadvertent governor is siding with Sharpton in calling the NYPost cartoon RACIST and Sharpie’s picketing the paper.

    (In the poll, BTW, 82% saty it’s NOT racist)

    “Here, you have someone using race-tinged cartoons to racially offend the president,” The Rev. Al Sharpton said.

    Sharpton said it’s worse than Don Imus’ derogatory comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team. The Post, Sharpton said, seems to play into the old stereotype of African Americans being monkeys.

    Submit your thoughts on the Post cartoon.

    Governor David Paterson had plenty to say Wednesday on the subject.

    “They do feed a kind off a negative and stereotypical way that people think, but I think if it’s enough that people are raising this issue, I hope they would clarify it,” he said. “In a situation like this where an economic downturn has shown in the past that it does lead to a lot of unnecessary and stereotypical characterizations, an explanation is in order.”

    “I’m trying to be fair to the New York Post, who has never been very fair to me,” he added.

  96. S Says:

    February 19th, 2009 at 3:11 pm


    Thanks for the link. Amazing picture!

    Hillary is doing such a fantastic job. America should be proud and grateful that she is in their corner.

  97. Dow ends at lowest close in more than 6 years
    Wall Street slides as Dow industrials finish at lowest level in more than 6 years

    What “confidence” in Obama the folks have!!!! 🙂 The same week the BIGGEST stimilus package gets signed on.

  98. And the SMART Power of our government got it right again. Did you notice how she slipped women’s rights into the conversation with the two young female hosts on the vidoes above? She talked with them, not to them. SMART woman, a SMART American Woman.

  99. DJIA, did you notice that you were down quite a bit on the Rick Santelli video? lol

    He is right, someone needs to become the leader and there has to be a revolution. Where is the outrage of the citizens? Maybe when they can no longer provide themselves or their kids with all the electronic gadgets, they will pay attention.

    Rick Santelli said that patriots like Benjamin Franklin and the like are rolling over in their graves….time to play “Roll Over, Beethhoven!”

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