Obama Budget: Sleeveless, Clueless, Truthless, Hopeless, Penniless

Update: New York Times is catching up to our analysis:

The economy is spiraling down at an accelerating pace, threatening to undermine the Obama administration’s spending plans, which anticipate vigorous rates of growth in years to come.

A sense of disconnect between the projections by the White House and the grim realities of everyday American life was enhanced on Friday, as the Commerce Department gave a harsher assessment for the last three months of 2008. In place of an initial estimate that the economy contracted at an annualized rate of 3.8 percent — already abysmal — the government said that the pace of decline was actually 6.2 percent, making it the worst quarter since 1982.

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We thought there was a financial crisis. We heard something about a near depression or a bad recession or something like that. You would never know there is an economic crisis by the latest Obama publication.

We do know Obama released an 134 page “budget overview” yesterday which experience tells us will differ from the actual submitted budget to be published in April. But there has been so much hubbub about the Obama “budget overview” we decided to provide a brief “budget overview” overview.

Before proceeding with our “budget overview” overview, today is Chelsea Clinton’s 29th Birthday – here is a lovely picture of a Chelsea’s lovely presidential mother, taken this past Tuesday.


Hillary Laughs

* * *

One of our criticisms of Obama’s economic “plans” which is shared by many is that the “plans” are really an uncoordinated mess which do not relate to other Obama “plans” and certainly have not been explained fully.

We, thus far, do know that Obama’s “budget overview” unfortunately maintains the practice of offsetting the deficit with money reserved for future retirees. As a result, its estimates for future revenue and deficits are optimistic, even quixotic. We also know that the deficit is projected to rise steadily as the economy grows, instead of shrinking as it did in the 1990s.

To understand what an intelligent explanation of economic plans looks like we need look no further than Bill Clinton’s Address Before A Joint Session Of Congress in February 1993 (the equivalent of this past Tuesday’s Obama prattle) and Franklin Roosevelt’s First Fireside Chat on “The Banking Crisis”.

Both Clinton and Roosevelt were inspirational as well as detailed and explained how the solutions to the complex pieces of the economic puzzle were related. After listening to either discourse the American people knew where they were headed under the leadership of these respective presidents.

With Obama all we hear is lots of hopey words, a lot of “fill in the blank slate”, but little explanation of what all the plans for the economy actually are. This past week we were subjected to a four hour “fiscal responsibility summit” which left more questions than answers and next week we will be subjected to a “health care summit”. This week we were additionally subjected to a prime time speech and the “budget overview” release along with several other big speeches which lead to more confusion instead of enlightenment. We suspect the confusion is intentionally generated.

One word we have heard repeatedly from the Obama press corps is how “honest” he is in the budget overview. “Honest” was the word drummed into the willing White House press corps by Obama flacks apparently. Obama boasts that he includes items such as the Iraq war in the budget that Bush dumped into “emergency” appropriations and thus he is “honest”. It is true that Obama is budgeting war costs, but how “honest” is the Obama budget overview? Are the Obama projections realistic?

Some gimmicks in the Obama budget are thoroughly familiar. The administration assumes the economy will rebound faster than most other economists. But maybe these White House projections are more optimistic, you say, because they account for the effects of the recently passed stimulus bill. No dice: When I asked an administration aide if any forecasters had updated their economic outlook based on the stimulus bill, I was told that private-sector forecasts had already anticipated the stimulus’s effects.

Assuming a growing economy allows administration number crunchers to assume more tax revenues, which means a smaller deficit. This helps Obama make the bold claim that he will cut the deficit in half by the end of his term. Proving that he’s fiscally serious helps the president counter worries about the billions and billions that are going out the door to bail out homeowners, bankers, automakers, insurers and anyone else I may have overlooked.

Obama claims that he’s found $2 trillion in savings over the next 10 years. To achieve some of that savings, he inflates what’s known as the baseline—the metric against which the costs of policy changes are measured. [snip]

In this manner, the Obama administration pretends that some of the Bush tax cuts are going to affect the budget years after they are set to expire. It also assumes higher Medicare physician payments than projected under current law requirements. The same is true with the accounting for the Iraq war. The baseline assumes the war will be funded at high levels for the next 10 years, even though Obama is planning to bring 100,000 troops home in the next 19 months.

By tweaking the baseline, an administration gets credit for deficit reduction without having to make the hard choices necessary to really tame the budget—which Obama says is a key goal of his administration.

Are the Obama projections realistic?

President Barack Obama’s ambitious goal of cutting the federal deficit in half relies on a perfect – some might say improbable – convergence of factors: a recovered economy, a tax boost for the rich and success in easing foreign entanglements.

In calling for a deficit of about $530 billion in four years, Obama has established a marker by which to measure his first-term performance as president. The dollar figure could be his albatross or his badge of success. [snip]

For Obama, the challenge is clear: He will have to increase spending on health care and energy if he wants to accomplish the policy overhaul he promised during his campaign, yet he also needs to cut spending elsewhere and increase revenue to meet his deficit goal. [snip]

For him to succeed, the economy will have to meet current forecasts that it will begin to turn around gradually during the second half of the year. Even so, Obama might still have to seek billions more to help rescue the beleaguered financial sector.

Administration officials say Obama will also achieve budget reductions through lower spending on the war in Iraq. However, it is unclear how much of those savings he will then devote to Afghanistan, where he already has agreed to boost troop strength. [snip]

“A lot of things have to go right between now and then,” Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com, said in an interview before he addressed the White House summit. “The policy response to the crisis has to work for the budget to stick to the script.”

Barack Obama in his budget overview exhumes the cadaver of Rosie Scenario. The Obama “budget overview” is a mirror of the old “trickle down economics” of Ronald Reagan. In the Obama version of “trickle down” the American government can spend more on more things and yet reduce the deficit. Many Dimocrats deride those who care about deficits and debt as “deficit hawks”. The derided “deficit hawks” have been proven right about the dangers of debt in the private sector – but of course there is still mockery associated with showing concern about public, government, debt.

Obama says he’s concerned about deficits:

Obama’s target would place the deficit at about 3 percent of gross domestic product. The GDP is a measure of a country’s economic activity and many economists say deficits during a stable economy should amount to no more than 2 to 2.5 percent. At $1.5 trillion, the deficit would hit a whopping 10.6 percent of GDP this year.[snip]

Obama’s 3 percent goal would still only lower deficits to ranges similar to those under Bush.

The Economist thinks Obama should also worry about the debt, deficits, and a longer than Obama anticipates recession:

A longer recession or long-term stagnation pose two distinct fiscal risks. First, Mr Obama will be (rightly) reluctant to raise taxes and tempted to extend parts of the stimulus package if unemployment is not dropping by 2010. Premature fiscal tightening, after all, could lengthen the recession, as Japan learned in the 1990s.

Second, a longer recession makes it harder for America to grow out of its debt burden as it, and other countries, have done at previous debt peaks. Because of stagnating output and declining prices, Japan’s nominal GDP in 2005 was smaller than in 1996, contributing mightily to a climb in that country’s net debt from 29% of GDP to 85% (it will reach 98% this year). One worrying parallel for America is that its nominal GDP will probably decline this year for the first time since 1949 (the administration optimistically sees it creeping up by 0.1%)

So Mr Obama’s 3% deficit target may be much harder to reach than he thinks; and it may not be tough enough anyway. Using reasonable policy assumptions, Alan Auerbach of the University of California at Berkeley, and William Gale of the Brookings Institution, think the deficit will bottom out near 5% of GDP in 2013 then climb to almost 6% by 2019, while debt continues to rise as a share of GDP. That is before the government has to deal with the full impact of the surge in health and pension entitlement costs. The academics reckon higher taxes or lower spending equal to a staggering 8% of GDP a year are necessary to contain those costs and stabilise the long-run debt.

An L.A. Times editorial adds, If not for $1.5 trillion in projected savings on the wars and nearly $650 billion in new levies on emissions, Obama’s proposal wouldn’t make a dent in the deficit. And even with those controversial elements, his budget still leaves half of the deficit-cutting job undone.

Americans need to know what Obama plans in regards to stabilizing banks and restructuring the finance system BEFORE considering budgets or taxes or new or better programs. Was it our imagination that there was a major economic crisis that needed to be addressed immediately?

Americans via their government need to address growing income inequality and act to achieve Universal health care – but first we need to know if there will be banks or financial institutions and/or what kind of financial institutions – and what the price will be to the depleted national treasury.

For months CitiGroup has been mocked as CitiMorgue – today that once robust bank is dependent on even more government money for its continued existence. Where is the always promised, never delivered, Obama economic plan? Has anyone see Tim Geithner lately?

Americans who say “Show me the money plan” are not unreasonable. This morning the still leaderless Commerce Department released a report stating The economy contracted at a staggering 6.2 percent pace at the end of 2008, the worst showing in a quarter-century, as consumers and businesses ratcheted back spending, plunging the country deeper into recession. This 6.2 percent decline was much worse than the estimated 3.8 percent drop which had earlier been estimated.

Even with the benefit of hindsight the government is surprised at how bad the economic drop was, yet Obama wants Americans to believe in fairy tale future numbers. What happens if Obama is wrong and the turnaround does not start in the middle of this year? What happens if the the economy gets worse?

Looking ahead, economists predict consumers and businesses will keep cutting back spending, making the first six months of this year especially rocky. [snip]

The faster downhill slide in the final quarter of last year came as the financial crisis — the worst since the 1930s — intensified. [snip]

Fallout from the housing collapse spread to other areas. Builders cut spending on commercial construction projects by 21.1 percent, the most since the first quarter of 1975. Home builders slashed spending at a 22.2 percent pace, the most since the start of 2008.

A sharper drop in U.S. exports also factored into the weaker fourth-quarter performance. Economic troubles overseas are sapping demand for domestic goods and services. [snip]

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke earlier this week told Congress that the economy is suffering a “severe contraction” and is likely to keep shrinking in the fix six months of this year. But he planted a seed of hope that the recession might end his year if the government managed to prop up the shaky banking system.

Even in the best-case scenario that the recession ends this year and an economic recovery happens next year, unemployment is likely to keep rising.

After all the bailouts (which we wisely opposed) and all the Federal Reserve transfers the finance sector as well as car manufacturers are still asking for more money. Bloomberg News outlined the yelps for money and the “budget overview”:

President Barack Obama’s first budget request would provide as much as $750 billion in new aid to the financial industry, as well as overhaul the U.S. health-care system and launch a program to cut carbon-dioxide emissions. [snip]

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the White House hasn’t decided whether the $750 billion in additional aid to the financial industry will be needed. He said it will be put in the budget as a “placeholder.”

The official said the aid would appear in the budget as about $250 billion because the rules require policy makers to record the plan’s net cost to taxpayers. The government anticipates it would eventually recoup some, though not all, of the money expended to help financial companies.

The funds would come on top of the $700 billion rescue package approved last October by Congress.

The biggest deficit since World War II and we wonder why we might not even have banks!

A very big deficit to add to an already huge debt.

That is equal to 12.3 percent of U.S. gross domestic product — the largest share since 1945 when the country ran a shortfall of 21.5 percent of GDP.

Dimocrats and even some real Democrats are happy that the latest travesty from Obama is a mirror image of the Bush budgets. These Dimocrats are happy because now it is “our side” that is getting the goods. It is “our side” that gets the loot. It is our side acting irresponsibly and depending on money from a possibly hostile but surely a competitor, China.

Democrats must know that there are negative effects to even well intentioned initiatives. For instance “tax the rich” ignores the negative effects on charitable tax deductions. Taxes on businesses, particularly “carbon” taxes dubbed “cap-and-trade” designed to “slow” global warming will be passed on to consumers. The stated goal is for “low-income” customers of utility companies to get some of the money raised from the “carbon” revenue raiser but the middle class will be left in the cold. The “carbon” tax will raise hundreds of billions a year from businesses and those hundreds of billions are sure to be passed on to bitter Americans.

In the heartland of America—places where they cling to their guns and their religion—they burn coal. Lots of coal. If Obama and the Democrats push this plan, a regional war will erupt. It will be ugly and it won’t shape up along party lines.

Farm subsidies will be protected no matter what Obama dreams. “Tax the rich” schemes on upper income deductions for home mortgage interest as well as caps on itemized deductions for state and local taxes will be opposed too – by Democrats. “A dagger aimed right at the heart of New York” is how Senator Schumer characterized a similar proposal by George W. Bush.

Plans to do away with or limit the deductibility of state taxes have been proposed—and rejected—under the last three Republican presidents. [snip]

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush proposed capping the deduction for state and local taxes at $10,000, an initiative similar to Obama’s plan. School boards and business warned of “devastating consequences for state and local governments throughout the Northeast,” according to a New York Times article from that year. Local officials said their ability to raise revenue through property taxes would be hurt, and the plan died.

Clueless Obama should call Chuck (on Wednesday Schumer left the White House unhappy) and ask him about the Reagan years:

Schumer used apocalyptic terms to describe the consequences of killing the deduction. “This is a dagger aimed right at the heart of New York,” he warned. “We have to stop it dead in its tracks, with no compromises…. We should be against all forms of double taxation.”

Inceased rates of income inequality must be addressed. But “tax the rich” is not the home run some Dimocrats think it is.

And just as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s tax increases on the wealthy followed a stock market crash, which had already depressed their incomes, Mr. Obama’s proposals — if they become law — would too. The combination has the potential to reverse a significant portion of the inequality trends of the last few decades.

But for the country to repeat the post-World War II pattern, the incomes of most families would also have to begin rising at a faster rate than they have since the 1970s. That outcome remains deeply uncertain. Economists who study economic growth say the American economy is unlikely to grow nearly as fast in coming years as in the 1950s and ’60s.

Americans need answers to how Obama “plans” relate one to the other.

We will have to wait and see if Obama keeps to his promise to finally return to pay-as-you-go rules which require tax cuts or increases in federal beneifts to programs such as Medicare be paid for with tax increases or spending reductions.

The stimulus law includes language preventing the alternative minimum tax from raising levies on millions of middle-class families this year. If the pay-as-you-go rules were applied to that tax provision, it would have forced Obama and Congress to find $70 billion in savings to pay for it – an exercise none of them would have enjoyed.

The Times of London editorialized on the latest from inexperienced Obama:

It is a political commonplace that you campaign in poetry and govern in prose. But the sound of Mr Obama’s prose has begun to jangle. “Now is the time,” he said lulling his congressional audience, “to act boldly and wisely – to not only revive this economy, but to build a new foundation for lasting prosperity.” The trouble is that this wasn’t the first time that Mr Obama told Americans that “it’s time to act”. Nobody doubts that now, in the teeth of the cruellest economic crisis in decades, it is time to act. But the world is still not clear what actions Mr Obama plans to take. What unnerves it even more is that when he has acted, his judgment has not always matched the sturdiness of his campaign rhetoric, let alone its slick, skilful execution. He has been ambushed in traps too often of his own making. [snip]

Mr Obama’s has also been bruised by his inexperience with the ways of Wall Street. The President assiduously, and unwisely, stoked expectations for his Treasury Secretary’s bank rescue plan. When the plan that Tim Geithner eventually unveiled turned out to be so lacking in details that, in Wall Street’s eyes, it had as much substance as fog, stock markets duly plunged.

* * *

We’ll comment on the Obama health care plans after Monday’s “health care summit”. Health care advocates will surely watchdog the fine print on the final Obama budget. It is always wise to wait and see what Obama actually does rather than what he says.

We will comment on the health care component later but it does not bode well that there is no Health and Human Services Secretary, Ted Kennedy on his death beach, and the money supposedly for health care reform will come from a dagger aimed at high tax states.

Today the stock market has capped another horrible month and is apparently about to drop below 7,000. In a recession higher costs will be imposed on businesses which will then impose those costs on consumers.

There are many worthy items we all have wish lists about. But right now the economy has a wish list too: a plan for rescue.

The economy needs a clearly explained and accepted practical plan for economic recovery and sustained growth.

This past Tuesday the nation, wrapped in sweaters, listened to Obama give a speech. Mary Todd Michelle Obama had no sweater on. Indeed Mary Todd Michelle adorned herself in a sleeveless dress. A sleeveless dress – in February. Americans are turning down the thermostats because they cannot afford to heat their homes properly – yet on TV they see the Obama’s – one sleeveless and both clueless.

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140 thoughts on “Obama Budget: Sleeveless, Clueless, Truthless, Hopeless, Penniless

  1. jbstonesfan Says:
    February 27th, 2009 at 4:26 pm
    how to see what I am typing after a few paragraphs.

    ===============

    That occasionallly happened to me. I found that going to the end of what I’ve tiped and adding a few blank lines with Enter helped. Of course to ‘go to the end’ I had to use Ctl-end.

  2. JanH Says:
    February 27th, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Admin,

    Thank you for continuing to fight the good fight!

    ==============

    Right!!!!!!! Without admin as a touchstone of unwavering sanity, I might have lost mine long ago.

  3. The tea parties got a 5 minute feature on the BBC just now. They interviewed the Washington organizer…he was ok… not great, as a spokesperson – not clear on the intent…too much of his own “stuff” in it. Did you go wbboei?

  4. Anyone notice: another day, another Obama speech, another stock market drop.

    We are loathe to quote from their site, but Family Research Council has a list:

    http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=WU09B19&f=PG07J01

    November 5, 2008 (Wednesday after Election Day): -486 (5.0%)

    January 9, 2009 (one day after Obama speaks at George Mason University on “need” for $800 billion stimulus package): -143 (1.6%)

    January 20, 2009 (Inauguration Day): -332 (4.0%)

    February 10, 2009 (one day after Obama declares that without a stimulus, “an economy that is already in crisis will be faced with a catastrophe”): -382 (4.6%)

    February 17, 2009 (market opens for the first time after Congress passes $787 billion stimulus on February 13; Obama signs bill into law, declaring, “The stimulus lets Americans claim destiny.”): -298 (3.8%)

    February 19, 2009 (one day after Obama announces potential mortgage relief plan): -90 (1.2%)

    February 25, 2009 (one day after Obama’s first speech to the full Congress): -80 (1.1%)

  5. Oh, well, cause and effect? How about, the stock market is trending down for many reasons. Every time it sinks, that causes Obama to make a speech. When it continues sinking the next day, propter hoc.

    Sorry..

  6. Or, anotehr day, another speech. If the market ever goes up for any reason, he’ll take the credit for havng said the right thing twice a year.

  7. A SLEEVELESS budget!

    That is toooooooo funny!

    And ”one sleeveless and the other clueless’ is even better.

    Kudos Admin.

    Because of your amazing reader-friendly posts I’m finally beginning to understand a little about economics.

  8. DARN that spam filter!

    Now THIS is TERRIFIC!

    Pics from hillbuzz of the Chicago Tea Party Protest today.

    3 w’s then foundingbloggers.com/wordpress/2009/02/breaking-chicago-tea-party-pictures/

  9. Clinton set to name Posner to top rights job
    By Ron Kampeas · February 26, 2009

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — Hillary Clinton is set to nominate a Jewish activist who has led efforts to counter anti-Semitism as her human rights czar.

    The secretary of state soon will name Michael Posner, a founder of Human Rights First, as assistant secretary for democracy, human rights and labor, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday. Posner, a lawyer, has broad legal experience in the field of human rights, helping to draft anti-torture legislation in the United States and to set up human rights tribunals in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.

    Human Rights First is unique among the major human rights watchdogs in that it targets governments for not doing enough to combat hate crimes.

    “Anti-Jewish bombings, arson, and personal assaults in Europe are proliferating in an environment of incitement to violence,” Posner told a U.S. Senate hearing in April 2004. “Yet despite a continued high rate of antisemitic threats and attacks in large parts of Europe, only a handful of the fifteen governments of the European Union systematically monitor and report on these and other manifestations of racist violence.”

    jta.org/news/article/2009/02/26/1003329/clinton-set-to-name-posner-to-top-rights-job

    —————————–

    Thank you Hillary!

  10. Geeeeeezzzzzz!

    More tea parties.

    Here’s Joe the Plumber at a DC rally.

    (Admin can you embed)

    3 w’s then youtube.com/watch?v=3c570na2mhU&eurl

  11. Clinton faces tough task in mending Russia ties

    Sat Feb 28, 2009

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hopes to close a troubled chapter in U.S.-Russia relations when she meets Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov next week, but experts and officials say a major breakthrough will take time.

    The Bush administration had fractious ties with Moscow, clashing over a U.S. missile shield in Europe, Kosovo’s independence, Russia’s brief invasion of Georgia last year and how to get Iran to curb its nuclear program.

    Clinton will meet Lavrov in Geneva next Friday after first conferring with fellow NATO foreign ministers in Brussels.
    The United States and Russian have engaged in fierce rhetoric over moves by the ex-Soviet states Georgia and Ukraine to the NATO military alliance but President Barack Obama has indicated he wants a more cooperative relationship. “This is a new relationship that they hope to develop and a positive one. There is a lot of business the secretary has to do with her counterpart,” said State Department spokesman Robert Wood of the Lavrov-Clinton meeting.

    Russia experts in Washington said Clinton had an uphill task to repair relations and work better with Moscow on challenges from the Arab-Israeli conflict to Iran and North Korea’s nuclear programs. “We have to be clear-eyed over the differences but see if we can make some practical progress in some areas,” one State Department official said. “I am not suggesting any breakthroughs,” he added.

    Former U.S. ambassador to Moscow, Thomas Pickering, said Clinton had an “enormous opportunity” to change the tone. “She needs to establish a good, close personal relationship where there is trust,” said Pickering, ambassador during the administration of Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton. Pickering said President Clinton had a “superb” relationship with Russia’s then-President Boris Yeltsin but did not click in the same way with his successor Vladimir Putin, who as current prime minister is still a key player.

    U.S. Vice President Joe Biden signaled the wish of the Obama administration to change tack with Russia, telling a security conference in Germany this month that it was time to hit the “reset” button with Moscow. But Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Dan Fried pointed out that Biden had some cautionary notes in his speech too, such as that Washington would not recognize a Russian “sphere of influence” and former Soviet states such as Georgia and Ukraine had a right to seek NATO membership. “That makes for a complicated relationship but we believe that it is right to emphasize the positive,” said Fried.

    William Burns, a senior U.S. diplomat and former ambassador to Russia, laid the groundwork for the Clinton-Lavrov meeting with a visit to Moscow with ideas to improve ties. Burns indicated possible compromises on missile defense, telling Russian officials the Obama administration was willing to slow plans for a shield in eastern Europe if Russia agreed to help stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

    in.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idINIndia-38256420090227?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0

  12. basil9: great info on the Tea Party. I especially like the graphic with the Huckster portrayed as Robin Hood with the caption – Robbin Hood!

    Admin: one sleeveless and both clueless. Absolutely accurate.

  13. If raising taxes on “rich people” (couples over 250K) is such a great idea, and the situation so dire, why is Obama waiting until 2011? I know, for “political considerations”… but doesn’t Obama “hold all the cards”, with enough Dems to ram through **well-crafted legistlation**??

    And Krugman and NY Times are satisfied with budget plan. Shall we believe Obama has the determination to enact the pieces of the budget that will make this “plan” viable? Or is this more of Obama’s “tell them what they want to hear” approach?

  14. I just got the following email from the Simon Wiesenthal Center:

    Breaking News: U.S. Pulls Out of Durban II – SWC Commends President Obama’s Decision

    Calls For U.S.-Led ‘Human Rights Coalition of the Willing’ to Convene Parallel Human Rights Conference

    The Simon Wiesenthal Center commends President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton for their decision not to attend the UN Durban II conference. Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, SWC dean and founder and associate dean, received confirmation during a conference call between senior White House and State Department officials and leaders of major Jewish groups.

    “It’s a clear signal to the international community that this Administration refuses to validate the hijacking of human rights by regimes led by Libya and Iran,” the Rabbis said. “To further isolate the haters, we call on the Administration to forge a ‘human rights coalition of the willing’ led by the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and European Union in tandem with the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) and convene a parallel conference on April 21st to openly grapple with racism and discrimination in all its manifestations,” Center officials added.

    Wiesenthal Center officials served as spokesmen for Jewish participants at the 2001 Durban I ‘hate-fest’ that took place in Durban South Africa just days before 9/11. SWC International Relations Director Dr. Shimon Samuels has also attended many Durban II prepcoms manipulated by Libya, Iran and other serial human rights abusers to single out Israel alone for criticism, nix any discussion of Islamist extremism and clear the way for Holocaust deniers to be heard.

  15. From Larry Kudlow;
    ‘Noteworthy up here on Wall Street, a great many Obama supporters — especially hedge-fund types who voted for “change” — are becoming disillusioned with the performances of Obama and Treasury man Geithner.
    There is a growing sense of buyer’s remorse.
    Well then, do conservatives dare say: We told you so? ‘

    And another one bites the dust.

    An annual convention of newspaper editors has been canceled for the first time since World War II, undone by the worst economic crisis since that harrowing era.
    The American Society of Newspapers Editors’ decision to skip this year’s meeting was announced Friday.”
    Until now, 1945 had been the only year that the American Society of Newspaper Editors didn’t meet since the group’s first convention in 1923. The newspaper industry weathered through 10 U.S. recessions since the last cancellation.

  16. shorttermer;

    That’s a good one.
    I also liked these;
    ‘Give me liberty, not debt’
    ‘Honk if you want to pay my mortgage’

    jan,
    yeah those pics are great. and i gotta say it’s friggin ENCOURAGING to see people out there PROTESTING this SH!T!!!!!!!!!!

  17. I’m happy Bankers can squander our money in broad daylight while thumbing their noses at Obama.

    It almost makes the Bail-Out worthwhile!

    http //pumasunleashed.wordpress.com

    Then there is Hillary, finally able to be herself.. Love the pic

    Bill should frame that one in a sterling frame and keep in on his desk!

  18. Paula,

    Maybe obama has a crystal ball or something. I’m not sure how he can predict some of this stuff with a straight face.

  19. Obama is now under fire by members of both parties and the list gets longer by the day.He is being exposed to the world as a totally inexperienced power hungry threat to this struggling country.What happens next is up to the spineless group of inept members of congress that ignored the all the signs of a coming power grab and where this con man would take this country.I am afraid that he is fast becoming impossible to remove from office for the good of the country.He has created a mindset of fear as he continues to destroy this great democracy with that ugly race card that he constantly waves in our faces and that evil mocking smile of an egomaniac hell bent on controlling our destiny.

    By ABM90 Where is the outcry of rage America?

  20. “He has created a mindset of fear as he continues to destroy this great democracy with that ugly race card that he constantly waves in our faces and that evil mocking smile of an egomaniac hell bent on controlling our destiny.”

    ————————-

    ABM90,

    I have long thought that Hillary would have benefited from you being on her speech writing team.

    Well said!

  21. # JanH Says:
    February 27th, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Woah, Mrs. Smith,

    That takes me back in time.

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

    I happened to stumble on his book in the attic last week. It was buried under some Sat Eve Post mags. My Dad thought Joyce disgraceful and forbid us reading his work. Of course, I didn’t listen..

  22. Wbboei, only have a second. Did not have time to check the site yet (thanks) , however, my spouse found info today which may be included in the link you menitoned.

    Mar is Chinese for “horse”. On each blade coming from Mar’s operation, the Chinese figure that means “horse” is worked into his standard signature.

  23. More confirmation:

    28/02/2009

    U.S. to boycott Durban 2 summit on racism

    By Shlomo Shamir and Natasha Mozgovaya, Haaretz Correspondents

    The United States will not attend a United Nations conference on racism that critics say will be a forum to criticize Israel, and will no longer participate in planning sessions for it, a senior UN source told Haaretz on Friday.

    The conference is a follow-up to the contentious 2001 conference in the South African city of Durban which was dominated by clashes over the Middle East and the legacy of slavery. The U.S. and Israel walked out midway through that eight-day meeting over a draft resolution that singled out Israel for criticism and likened Zionism – the movement to establish and maintain a Jewish state – to racism.

    Israel and Canada have already announced that they will boycott the upcoming World Conference Against Racism in Geneva from April 20-25, known as Durban 2, but President Barack Obama’s administration decided to assess the negotiations before making a decision on U.S. participation.

    The decision to drop U.S. involvement comes one day before U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leaves on her first trip to the Middle East in her new capacity, including stops in Israel. A U.S. delegation took part in negotiations this month on summit. Referring to the content of draft resolutions formulated during the preparations, the source said that during negotiations “a bad document became worse,” prompting the U.S. to end its affiliation with the conference.

    The U.S. decided the final document that will be produced by the conference is “not salvageable,” another official said. “The document being negotiated has gone from bad to worse, and the current text of the draft outcome document is not salvageable,” State Department spokesperson Robert Wood said. “As a result, the United States will not engage in further negotiations on this text, nor will we participate in a conference based on this text. A conference based on this text would be a missed opportunity to speak clearly about the persistent problem of racism.”
    “The United States remains open to a positive result in Geneva based on a document that takes a constructive approach to tackling the challenges of racism and discrimination,” Wood said.

    Critics of the April conference, say Arab nations will use it as a forum to bash Israel and charge that the draft document will limit freedom of religion and speech.

    Last week, Haaretz learned that the draft resolutions for the conference branded Israel as an occupying state that carries out racist policies. They refer to “the plight of Palestinian refugees and other inhabitants of the Arab occupied territories,” apparently meaning Israel itself. The senior UN source told Haaretz that the U.S. ended its contact with the nations that drafted the resolutions, which will be voted on during the summit. The Americans did not want a draft resolution reiterating the decisions of the first Durban summit, held in 2001, to be brought to a vote, the source said. They also insisted that no country would be specifically mentioned by name in any resolution and even objected to an initiative by Muslim countries to ratify a law banning criticism of any religion in the media, the source added.

    The 2001 World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban was meant to lay down a blueprint for nations to address sensitive issues. Israel and the United States walked out in protest over a draft text branding Israel as a racist and apartheid state, language that was later dropped.

    haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1067506.html

  24. The Jerusalem Post also gives confirmation of the U.S.’s non-participation in Durban II on their site.

    jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1235410736783&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

  25. OH yes Protest protest About time we Americans wake up..the fraud is dooming us robbing our future,i love it when the lady says these democrats who never read the bill..we need to retire them if they cant do there job she is so right lets retire them pelosi all of the bad ones,so glad they are protesting i wish i could join them…but to much snow to go anywhere lol..Every American needs to watch this President,those lies are so big and getting much bigger..he is full of it…lazy lazy lazy..Impeaching..might be the right thing to do..or One term we cant let him be President for 8 years we are doomed now…we have got lots o Americans that..we need to start finding ones who can do the JOB..and do the Congressand senate..we have smarter Americans than this President and reid and poopsie

  26. boy alan keyes is getting his base fired up after communist obama..lol..Lots of Newt going after Pooposie..there are being exposed whoever said that is right this is not going away mike huckabee get rid of the irs its a stupid system now ya got a tax cheat running the dept..The white house is being exposed for no EXPIERENCE Baobamaa is a spening fool..and he wont quit. The Afircan Americans have been sucked up by a fraud except a few i met a couple man and wife AA’s and they regret it they told me that..now they see him as a destroyer not ever vote for him again wake up AMerica.. while Hillary is watching over us..lets get competent people in that white house..that we pay for

  27. JanH : Thanks not qualified .only inspired byou and my many new friends her on this inspirational site and of course our wonderful girl Hillary.

    By ABM90 Nite All

  28. just a thought…remember years ago when congress passed a ‘luxury tax’ on high end boats and yachts, etc…the dems were feeling so proud of ‘taxing the rich’…it sounded like it made sense…until the yachts stopped selling and they started laying off people who worked in the boat building and yacht industry and it all backfired and had to be repealed

    “Starting in 1991, Washington levied a 10 percent tax on cars valued above $30,000, boats above $100,000, jewelry and furs above $10,000 and private planes above $250,000. Democrats like Ted Kennedy and then-Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell crowed publicly about how the rich would finally be paying their fair share and privately about convincing President George H.W. Bush to renounce his ‘no new taxes’ pledge,” the newspaper said in an editorial.

    “But it wasn’t long before even those die-hard class warriors noticed they’d badly missed their mark. The taxes took in $97 million less in their first year than had been projected — for the simple reason that people were buying a lot fewer of these goods. Boat building, a key industry in Messrs. Mitchell and Kennedy’s home states of Maine and Massachusetts, was particularly hard hit. Yacht retailers reported a 77 percent drop in sales that year, while boat builders estimated layoffs at 25,000. With bipartisan support, all but the car tax was repealed in 1993, and in 1996 Congress voted to phase that out too. January 1 was disappearance day.

    “The end of any federal tax is such a rarity that it’s well worth celebrating. And the luxury-tax lesson of economic damage is worth keeping in mind as politicians begin to wail that President Bush’s new tax proposals aren’t punitive enough on the rich.”

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

    that was then, this is now…and our current circumstances seem much more dire…people are even more afraid to spend money, particularly with our banking system in a state of collapse and their homes literally being taken from them…(watch for charities to take a hit because of the change in deductions)

    …will this Congress and Obama learn from the past or just dig us into a deeper hole???

    btw…re: MO and protocol:

    “‘Does the lady not understand that these Big Speech Events are serious and important? Not a cocktail party?'” wrote one Chicago Tribune reader. “”The season is winter. The occasion is business. Dress was wrong place and time.'”

    Social Secretary Desiree Rogers defended the decision, telling the Washington Post that Mrs. Obama’s feeling is “If I want to wear no sleeves to hear my husband speak, that’s what I’m going to do.”

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

    …this is the mentality we are dealing with…they are going to do whatever the hell they want and ‘tough luck’ if we don’t like it…

  29. Mo’s sense of style leaves something to be desired. She can do whatever she wants, but she looks out of place, and not classy whatsoever. Maybe, she is trying to set a trend by going sleeveless, or maybe she is going through the change and is having hot flashes. God only knows.

  30. St. Louis Arch Tea Party Draws 1,500 Protesters!

    gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2009/02/tea-party-at-st-louis-arch-draws-1500.html

  31. MO’s posture in her official WH photo looks odd. Like her shoulders are so stooped forward that if she wore a normal blouse it would hang too loose in front.

  32. Wbboei, only have a second. Did not have time to check the site yet (thanks) , however, my spouse found info today which may be included in the link you menitoned.

    Mar is Chinese for “horse”. On each blade coming from Mar’s operation, the Chinese figure that means “horse” is worked into his standard signature.
    —————————-
    Southern Born, I called the company this morning, they sent the ceo a text message, he left a message for me stating that the logo was the chinese spelling for “mar” which is their name. I did not realize the name meant horse. Thanks very much for the research. I assume you saw my post with a picture of the item in question from this morning.

  33. Excellent move by Hillary in appointing Posner–for two reasons.

    First, he is the perfect choice to tackle growing anti semistim in certain parts of the world. It is critical for tha issue to be addressed for the sake of humanity at large. Those groups and individuals who advocate the destruction of Israel must be dealt with. That is a moral imperative. Posner is the one to do it.

    Second, the choice of Posner counters the corrosive influence of Mortimer Zuckerman. The attack he is launching on Hillary now for innocent statements about Palestian prisoners and expediting aid to the Gaza Strip is not a case of first impression.

    As you may recall, he is the owner of The New York Daily News, and the employer of Michael Goodwin. As such he undoubtedly approved Goodwins scurrilous attack on Hillary in South Caroina, twisting her reference to RFK into something it never was and bleating in the newspaper for her to withdraw from the race.

    I realize Mort is a real estate billionaire, I know he owns a fine magazine called US News and World Report, and I know union attorneys who dealt with him during the strike years ago, when they had to roll in the late Cardinal O’Connor.

    I realize Mr Zuckerman is anxious about the relationship between the Obama administration despite Bronfmans assurances. Welcome to the club. And it is easier for him to attack Hillary whom he tried to drive out of the race than to attack Obama whom he supported. But it is a cheap thing to do.

    If Zuckerman has a problem with Administaton policy and wants to send a message then the honorable thing for him to do is to take it up directly with the man he supported, Obama. He has the money and the clout to do that. He could even bring Bronfman.

    To sum up, the goal here should be to do what is right for America, Israel and the world. Hillary will do that if she is supported. We dont need Zuckerman undermining her yet again. Once is enough.

  34. Even the New York Times is catching up to our analysis:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/28/business/economy/28recession.html?_r=1&hp

    The economy is spiraling down at an accelerating pace, threatening to undermine the Obama administration’s spending plans, which anticipate vigorous rates of growth in years to come.

    A sense of disconnect between the projections by the White House and the grim realities of everyday American life was enhanced on Friday, as the Commerce Department gave a harsher assessment for the last three months of 2008. In place of an initial estimate that the economy contracted at an annualized rate of 3.8 percent — already abysmal — the government said that the pace of decline was actually 6.2 percent, making it the worst quarter since 1982.

    The fortunes of the American economy have grown so alarming and the pace of the decline so swift that economists are now straining to describe where events are headed, dusting off a word that has not been invoked since the 1940s: depression.

  35. Our ongoing battle to fight off the terrible effects of the Obama hope and change campaign to solidify his base his cult and bribees,has opened a can of worms that we must fear.The list of his foreign backers led by geo.soros and other world control supporters seem endless.Another list that many of us can learn from is the names of the wealthy millionaire msm,bankers,
    manufacturing,environmental,transportation,publishing,lobbyist
    legal,political,and the food chain.We are now learning that they and their love child Obama are the real and present danger that we face.We must also be thankful for Bill and Hillary on our side and willing to take the hits that these enemies of our state can impose on them in attemps to silence them.We are in a time of our lives that we must take a stand and say enough is enough.Let us stick together and continue the fight.Our lives and our family futures depend on our courage and convictions.

    By ABM90 Media coverage of the Tea Parties was a welcomed sight,but missing entirely were the AA that are aware of the path that Obama has chosen for their restitution payments but they too fear that ever present RACE CARD.

  36. For those who can tolerate a glimpse of MO, here’s her ‘official’ WH photo and yup –she’s sleeveless!

    What an A$$!

    (Oh – and they’re comparing her to Jackie-O, of course. They must be blind)

    http://www.nypost.com
    (it’s on page 3)

  37. $#%$%$#!!!!

    I REMOVE the h t t p’s but they pop back up and my posts get banned! Grrrrrrrrrrr………..

    One more time.
    For those who can tolerate a glimpse of MO, here’s her ‘official’ WH photo and yup –she’s sleeveless!

    What an A$$!

    (Oh – and they’re comparing her to Jackie-O, of course. They must be blind)

    3 w’s then nypost.com
    (it’s on page 3)

  38. “A sense of disconnect between the projections by the White House and the grim realities of everyday American life”

    —————————–

    The media’s darling, his cult (inclusive of the dimmest dims) have been disconnected to every grim reality since the very beginning.

  39. Tea Party Mania.

    put h t t p then 3 w’s

    features.csmonitor.com/politics/2009/02/27/budget-debate-launches-new-tea-party/

  40. And here’s a link with pics from tea party protests in a dozen cities.

    )the usual h t t p slash slash :

    northshorejournal.org/tea-party-news-and-views

  41. Budget debate launches new tea party

    By Patrik Jonsson
    February 27, 2009
    ATLANTA

    Several thousand neopatriots – some shouting “Give me liberty or give me death!” – took to the streets in over 30 US cities Friday, representing what some of them call the beginning of a new conservative counterculture in America. “The spark has been lit,” says Ben Mihalski, a “house husband” from Cobb County, Ga., one of at least 300 protesters who gathered in a hefty downpour outside the Georgia Capitol on Friday to protest what they see as profligate spending by Washington.

    Protesters with sign-slogans like “Pillage and plunder: At least the Vikings did it openly” fanned out across capitols and courthouses in cities from Nashville, Tenn., to Los Angeles, objecting to bailouts and policy changes since the inauguration of President Obama. The Tea Party USA movement also added some symbolic flourish, vowing to gather tens of thousands of tea bags to be dumped on the floor of the US Congress. In Atlanta, the brand was Luzianne.

    Critics call the protests a predictably partisan, ill-informed and unhelpful development in the midst of a deep-sink US recession. But the largely grassroots show of force hints at a sharpening thorn for Democrats and a potential powder keg that could threaten to blow ahead of the 2010 congressional elections. “It’s worth remembering that the rise of the New Right and the Christian Right, one after the other, were both spurred by tax issues, the whole idea of paying for things they don’t believe in,” says sociologist Eugenia Deerman at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston who studies conservative social movements.

    To be sure, the federal spending package includes tax cuts for most Americans, and Obama has promised to eventually halve a US deficit the Democrats have largely blamed on the Bush administration. But protesters like Kevin Tanner of South Dakota said deficit spending by both parties has unnerved Americans. “The Republicans have their own problems because we elected them and they didn’t do what we wanted,” says Mr. Tanner.
    Many protesters expressed a sense that basic American freedoms of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are threatened by new Washington policies seen by many as more socialistic than capitalistic. The proposed taxpayer bailout of homeowners who may have inflated their earnings in order to secure mortgages is one example, says Jeff Crawford, a protester from Dacula, Ga.

    “The first year after the Mayflower arrived, the colonists tried a communal method of storing and sharing food and it failed miserably,” says Mr. Crawford. “Why are things any different now?” Eighteenth-century symbolism was rife at the Atlanta event as speakers drew comparisons with the Boston patriots who dumped the King’s tea in Boston Harbor to protest taxation without representation, an act that began the American Revolution and the founding of the United States. Some kids at the Atlanta protest wore tri-cornered hats, and one held a sign that said, “When I grow up I want to be free.”
    In Tampa, two dozen protesters held handwritten signs with slogans like “Keep Your Bailout; I’ll Keep My Freedom.” About 300 people showed up in 25-degree weather in Wichita, Kansas, and someone brought a pig.

    In St. Louis, local media expected about 50 people to show up while actual turnout surged to over 1,000 people.
    Sparked in part by the unity of House Republicans in saying no to the $787 billion stimulus package and a well-publicized rant against a proposed mortgage bailout by CNBC reporter Rick Santelli on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the protests represent the largest turnout of conservative activists since the anti-gun control rallies of the early 1990s, says Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform. “Fiscal responsibility is the new counterculture, and that’s what we’re seeing here,” says conservative columnist and blogger Michelle Malkin. “People were so mad about how the bill was passed, not just what was in it, and the lack of deliberation that preceded the signing.”
    “It’s given voice to a fledgling grassroots movement … a ragtag bunch of homeschooling moms and little bloggers and a lot of people who are really deciding to get into grassroots activism for the first time,” she says.
    How grassroots the movement really is, is debatable, says Ms. Deerman at Eastern Illinois University. “I’m suspicious only because … the conservative movement has repeatedly used this tactic of creating an appearance of grassroots activism when they’re actually very well orchestrated,” she says. “It allows them to mask this ongoing ideological battle that’s super-invested in small government, low taxes, and a free market.”

    The protests have happened with remarkable speed, spread by Twitter and Facebook groups and the now famous TV rant by Mr. Santelli, who yelled “It’s lunacy!” as he complained about the spending package. The White House has fueled the fire, protesters say, by taking on conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh and even Mr. Santelli by name. Some rallies that took place Friday were organized in less than 48 hours and had a raw, unrehearsed edge to them. “One of the challenges the Bush administration had when they decided to invade Iraq … was they took the MoveOn.org institution from a sleepy group apologizing for Clinton’s personal behavior and turned it into a juggernaut,” says Mr. Norquist. He says a similar phenomenon is happening now with the tea party movement. “When you do things that poke the other team, they react.”

    The tea party phenomenon has largely been derided by progressives who say it’s fueled by big-money Republican interests opposed to the philosophical shift in Washington that they say will benefit working class Americans.
    “Something tells me … that the Republican leadership has a lot more tea parties to throw – and a long way down the rabbit hole to fall – before they see what really concerns Americans nowadays,” writes Huffington Post blogger Jeffrey Feldman.
    But Mr. Crawford, one of the protesters, says it’s not easy to get conservatives to take to the streets. The protests, he say, speak to a deepening concern about the direction of the country, especially future tax obligations. He says the $13-a-week tax cut for individual Americans included in the stimulus bill is small change when it comes to the tax implications of the country’s growing deficit, now tagged at $1.75 trillion. In a recent study, the Rockefeller Institute estimates that states will have to raise at least an extra $100 billion in revenue to cover new obligations once the stimulus bill monies run out in 2012. Calls to roll back the spending bill are farfetched, protesters agreed, but said the real prize is the 2010 Congressional elections. “These protests remind people that there’s opposition to taxpayer-funded bailouts, and people in the streets means that Americans will be asking, ‘Why are they objecting? Tell me what’s happening here,’” says Norquist. Given the dramatic circumstances of the Boston Tea Party, tax revolts are actually quite unusual in the US. “The most interesting thing about the American people is that we are generally compliant in paying taxes, and tax revolts that seem surprising here are fairly common in a country like France where those farmers, if they get upset, they simply don’t pay,” says Mary Segers, a political scientist at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. “Americans are a strange people with respect to taxes, so this revolt is very interesting for that reason alone.”

    features.csmonitor.com/politics/2009/02/27/budget-debate-launches-new-tea-party/

    ——————-

    “the real prize is the 2010 Congressional elections.”

    I sure hope so.

  42. Now this is chilling.
    Homeland Security confiscate a woman’s sign, search her house and charge her with inciting riots against a prez for displaying an anti-BHO sign.
    (from TD)
    “What will YOU do when “they” come for your neighbor???”
    From Patriotic Resistanc

    I was in the chat here last night and heard an absolutely chilling tale. One of our members here put a sign in her yard. Within NINETY MINUTES of that sign being posted on her own property, a news van pulled up to the curb, followed closely by an unmarked sedan. In that sedan were members of Homeland Security.

    The HS men shooed the news van away (and it actually LEFT instead of finding another vantage point to cover the NEWS).

    The HS men then grilled the homeowner about her sign. It was a 4′ x 6′ sign stating “Obama is a traitor – make a citizen’s arrest now”.

    Harmless enough, wouldn’t you think? Heck, some of my bumperstickers make a bolder statement than that. But oh no. Homeland Security, as she told us, not only confiscated the sign, they searched her home, and have summoned her to court under the charge of “inciting an uprising gainst the President”

    What will YOU do when “they” come for your neighbor???

    I was in the chat here last night and heard an absolutely chilling tale. One of our members here put a sign in her yard. Within NINETY MINUTES of that sign being posted on her own property, a news van pulled up to the curb, followed closely by an unmarked sedan. In that sedan were members of Homeland Security.

    The HS men shooed the news van away (and it actually LEFT instead of finding another vantage point to cover the NEWS).

    The HS men then grilled the homeowner about her sign. It was a 4′ x 6′ sign stating “Obama is a traitor – make a citizen’s arrest now”.

    Harmless enough, wouldn’t you think? Heck, some of my bumperstickers make a bolder statement than that. But oh no. Homeland Security, as she told us, not only confiscated the sign, they searched her home, and have summoned her to court under the charge of “inciting an uprising gainst the President”

  43. Grrrrrrrrr . . . . .
    From Fox news.

    Cavuto clip on Mad as He!! tea parties.

    ADMIN!
    Can you embed?
    h t t p slash slas 3 w’s dot then

    foxnews.com/video-search/m/21935372/mad_as_hell

  44. Basil,

    Next major headline to come:

    U.S. Civil Rights/Human Rights/Freedoms Take a Nosedive Under obama’s Watch:

    Yes you can protest. Yes you can speak out. Just make sure it is in favor of the dims and dimwitted obama and not against.

    Just as McCarthy cast a dark shadow with his “commie trials”, so will obama’s henchmen if you try to, as they will coin it, commit treason against their holy man.

    America the beautiful, America the land of democracy as you have known it is no more.

  45. Jan,

    You’re right. that’s what he wants but I don’t think he’ll succeed. I have more confidence in the American spirit than to think that clown is gonna take us down.

    Don’t get me wrong. He’ll do everything in his power to destroy the country but in the end at least 67% of Americans did NOT vote for him.

    The next few years ain’t gonna be pretty but I predict he will fail. It’s just a godd@mn shame we gotta go through this. oh well. Maybe at the end of the day we’ll appreciate what we have and not be so quick to give it up.

  46. BTW,

    I’m disappointed that HRC is supporting the 900 mill for Gaza refugees and the plan to bring some of them to the US.

    I am glad we’re pulling out of the Durban summit.

  47. basil,

    I don’t take issue with the 900 mill except for one thing. It needs to go to the families who need it, to much needed infrastructure, and not be criminally funnelled to Hamas through clandestine means.

    Unlike Israel, who fought long and hard to build their democracy, the Palestinians have allowed their corrupt leadership to brainwash them (with skewered Koran teachings) into wanting total anihilation of the Israelis/Jews. School books and media there are rife with anti-semitic doctrine.

    At one point, Palestinians worked alongside Israelites in harmony. Suicide bombings and the likes by zealist idiots put a stop to that.

    As well, Arab nations surrounding Israel and Palestinian settlements have not been innocent in all this. You have one Arab country who kept the Palestinian people in camps for many years. You have others who have twisted history to give a bogus claim to Jerusalem more stature.

    Personally, I have never understood why it is just Israel that needs to give up land and subsidize a group that hates its very existence. I believe that the land parcels should be given up by Israel as well as other bordering Arab nations in equal amounts.

  48. I know, what is with the sleeveless? I saw her on PBS welcoming artists to the WH and she was wearing a kind of Olive green, sleeveless thingy; I saw her wearing a polka dot purple thing for a tour of the WH and again in a sleeveless thingy. This woman is weird.

    She is probably saying “I never have to walk out in the dead of cold winter like you little people.”

  49. I don’t have a problem with her wearing sleaveless outfits when appropriate, but state functions require some sort of decorum and she has yet to come across as a dignified first lady. She is no Jackie O. and the idea that media are trying to make her into a fashion maverick and trend setter is ludicrous.

  50. Mr Obama receives unearned respect and deference from many people throughout the world. These people perceive him as a man with the genius of Einstein, the charity of mother Teresa, the leadership abilities of Lincoln, Roosevelt and Kennedy, and the curative powers of spirituality of Christ, Mohammed and Buddah.

    Its all in their head.

    And it is having no positive effect on the people who move markets. In fact, every time he makes a hopey changey this is gonna be harrrd but we will get throught it because we are all americans and we have been though much worse–the market goes down. That is worrisome.

    Does that mean he is having no impact, or a negative impact. If you listen to what China has said about reducing the deficit, and their concerns about the fate of our consumer economy, and then look at the money he is spending without proper oversight, and the inflation it will produce the answer becomes obvious. He should have exercised oversight on the congressional process, and instead he backed down.

    The NYT article posted above is an attempt to impute what is essentially a failure of leadership to forces beyond his control. The truth is he can make things worse or better depending on how he approaches the problem. And, right now it isnt looking good. The fate of our country and the world hangs in the balance. If we cannot hack it here they will turn away from us in the future.

  51. We are all Israelis.

    The threat of annihation is a function of modern life. Once they split the atom there was no turning back. And when it is on your doorstep, its far worse.

    The thing that has changed is the level of violence. The scale has gone down. At one time it emanated from silos and submarines at sea. Now it can come from a single deranged individual with a political agenda.

    It is always an advantage to put territory between yourself and the source of the threat. That gives you time to identify the threat and react. But even here with friendly neigbors the borders and seaports are pourous. Territory alone is not a buffer.

    The answer is to maintain good intelligence, interdict threats where possible, and to build bridges to other populations. The internal network must be highly developed, you must be talking to eachother, and there must be a process of full engagement.

    The historical problem with Palestine has been there was no one credible to engage with. Much hope was put in Arafat and he was never Sadat. Today, the major player is Hamas, and they are a terrorist organization. If you negotiate with them you legitimitze them. It is a bit like the IRA conundrum. George Mitchell will bring those insights to this process.

    I do not know what the exact answer is in the middle east. Everyone has a grievance against everyone. Our first commitment should be to Israel. They are the only democracy in that part of the world. But we must be smarter about it than Bush was.

  52. “The historical problem with Palestine has been there was no one credible to engage with.”

    —————————

    Exactly.

  53. Jan,

    I think the money’s going straight to HAMAS. 😡

    pm,
    Here’s a portion of my sleeveless MO rant on another site.

    IMHO, she knows exactly what she’s doing, which is a deliberate FLAUNTING of any historical precedent for first ladies.

    It’s like the ghetto boys in-your-face hostile rap lyrics – it’s the visual rejection of EVERYTHING the US stands for.

    It’s her f**k-you-honky-bytches way of saying she’s black, she’s proud, she WON and screw all those who GAVE her an undeserved stint at Princeton, a 300G+ salary at a Chicago hospital, a 1 mill+ home.

    She’s the modern day equivalent of angela davis minus the big hair and machine gun.

    It’s her way of sticking it to the ‘man.’

    With every passing day i despise her more and more.

  54. basil, I completely agree with you.. That is my view of it too. I would say: It is her way of sticking it to the white people.

  55. pm,

    The rant continued;

    That portrait will appear in classroom history books and, IMHO, sends a terrible message to girls.

    There’s a reason official formal events (not PARTIES) require a modest dress code.

    it’s the same reason judges in the court room still wear long black robes.

    It’s an expression of respect for the office one holds.

    By the way she dresses MO shows she despises the US and is “still NOT proud of her country.”

    Dres, appearance, wardrobe are crucial to public perception. it
    s why even some public schools are embracing the uniform standards for their students.

    I can’t tell you the number of school functions i went to as an urban teacher where the parents were even more risque than their kids. it was revolting and you could tell the kids were mortified.

  56. I honestly think that m.o. has the ego to think she is a goddess who can do no wrong now that her hubby stole the White House for her.

  57. The fault lines which now divide what we used to admire about the Democratic party are making the party more and more irrelevant. We must act to turn this thing around if we ever expect to accomplish genuine change and fairness to all.
    Here’s a good reprise of how the gap splits us down the middle and weakens us so seriously…
    tion
    The Democratic Party Could Face an Internal Civil War
    ‘Gentry’ and ‘populist’ factions square off on energy and the environment.

    By JOEL KOTKIN

    This is the Democratic Party’s moment, its power now greater than any time since the mid-1960s. But do not expect smooth sailing. The party is a fractious group divided by competing interests, factions and constituencies that could explode into a civil war, especially when it comes to energy and the environment.

    Broadly speaking, there is a long-standing conflict inside the Democratic Party between gentry liberals and populists. This division is not the same as in the 1960s, when the major conflicts revolved around culture and race as well as on foreign policy. Today the emerging fault-lines follow mostly regional, geographical and, most importantly, class differences.

    Gentry liberals cluster largely in cities, wealthy suburbs and college towns. They include disproportionately those with graduate educations and people living on the coasts. Populists tend to be located more in middle- and working-class suburbs, the Great Plains and industrial Midwest. They include a wider spectrum of Americans, including many whose political views are somewhat changeable and less subject to ideological rigor.

    In the post-World War II era, the gentry’s model candidate was a man such as Adlai Stevenson, the Democratic presidential nominee who lost twice to Dwight D. Eisenhower. Stevenson was a svelte intellectual who, like Barack Obama, was backed by the brute power of the Chicago machine. After Stevenson, the gentry supported candidates such as John Kennedy — who did appeal to Catholic working class voters — but also men with limited appeal outside the gentry class, including Eugene McCarthy, George McGovern, Gary Hart, Bill Bradley, Paul Tsongas and John Kerry.

    Hubert Humphrey, a populist heir to the lunch-pail liberalism of Harry Truman (and who was despised by gentry intellectuals) missed the presidency by a hair in 1968. But populists in the party later backed lackluster candidates such as Walter Mondale and Dick Gephardt.

    Bill Clinton revived the lunch-pail Democratic tradition; and the final stages of last year’s presidential primaries represented yet another classic gentry versus populist conflict. Hillary Clinton could not match Barack Obama’s appeal to the gentry. Driven to desperation, she ended up running a spirited populist campaign.

    Although peace now reigns between the Clintons and the new president, the broader gentry-populist split seems certain to fester at both the congressional and local levels — and President Obama will be hard-pressed to negotiate this divide. Gentry liberals are very “progressive” when it comes to issues such as affirmative action, gay rights, the environment and energy policy, but are not generally well disposed to protectionism or auto-industry bailouts, which appeal to populists. Populists, meanwhile, hated the initial bailout of Wall Street — despite its endorsement by Mr. Obama and the congressional leadership.

    Geography is clearly a determining factor here. Standout antifinancial bailout senators included Sens. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, Tim Johnson of South Dakota, and Jon Tester of Montana. On the House side, the antibailout faction came largely from places like the Great Plains and Appalachia, as well as from the suburbs and exurbs, including places like Arizona and interior California.

    Gentry liberals, despite occasional tut-tutting, fell lockstep for the bailout. Not one Northeastern or California Democratic senator opposed it. In the House, “progressives” such as Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank who supported the financial bailout represent districts with a large concentration of affluent liberals, venture capitalists and other financial interests for whom the bailout was very much a matter of preserving accumulated (and often inherited) wealth.

    Energy and the environment are potentially even more explosive issues. Gentry politicians tend to favor developing only alternative fuels and oppose expanding coal, oil or nuclear energy. Populists represent areas, such as the Great Lakes region, where manufacturing still plays a critical role and remains heavily dependent on coal-based electricity. They also tend to have ties to economies, such as in the Great Plains, Appalachia and the Intermountain West, where smacking down all new fossil-fuel production threatens lots of jobs — and where a single-minded focus on alternative fuels may drive up total energy costs on the farm, make life miserable again for truckers, and put American industrial firms at even greater disadvantage against foreign competitors.

    In the coming years, Mr. Obama’s “green agenda” may be a key fault line. Unlike his notably mainstream appointments in foreign policy and economics, he’s tilted fairly far afield on the environment with individuals such as John Holdren, a longtime acolyte of the discredited neo-Malthusian Paul Ehrlich, and Carol Browner, who was Bill Clinton’s hard-line EPA administrator.

    These appointments could presage an environmental jihad throughout the regulatory apparat. Early examples could mean such things as strict restrictions on greenhouse gases, including bans on new drilling and higher prices through carbon taxes or a cap-and-trade regime.

    Another critical front, not well understood by the public, could develop on land use — with the adoption of policies that favor dense cities over suburbs and small towns. This trend can be observed most obviously in California, but also in states such as Oregon where suburban growth has long been frowned upon. Emboldened greens in government could use their new power to drive infrastructure spending away from badly needed projects such as new roads, bridges and port facilities, and toward projects such as light rail lines. These lines are sometimes useful, but largely impractical outside a few heavily traveled urban corridors. Essentially it means a transfer of subsidies from those who must drive cars to the relative handful for whom mass transit remains a viable alternative.

    Priorities such as these may win plaudits in urban enclaves in New York, Boston and San Francisco — bastions of the gentry class and of under-35, childless professionals — but they might not be so widely appreciated in the car- and truck-driving Great Plains and the vast suburban archipelago, where half the nation’s population lives.

    If he wishes to enhance his power and keep the Democrats together, Mr. Obama will have to figure out how to placate both his gentry base and those Democrats who still see their party’s mission in terms that Harry Truman would have understood.

    Mr. Kotkin is a presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University and executive editor of http://www.newgeography.com. He is finishing a book on the American future.

  58. Hope and change to O, MO , and the Kool aid drinkers really means going against tradition, to include dress. We get that all the time from Hollywood.

    But true historically good hope and change, fixes the stuff that needs fixing, and respects the traditions and things that do not.

    They think they are bringing this country into a new age. The question is a lot of voters are older, and you have to wonder how they feel about some of this change.

  59. basil, MO has the wrong idea (why am I not surprised?). She thinks she needs to make statements with her appearance but in the process she reveals that she does not understand the power of the position she holds.

  60. Israel and India, both will not get the attention they deserve in an 0bama WH. Kevin Williamson, Dy Managing Dir of National Review in writing about the movie Slumdog Millionaire in an Indian newspaper said how we need to treat India not as just a counter weight to China and also how we need to separate it out from Pakistan. It is quite an established thing that Republicans are in general better for India.

  61. basil9 Says:
    February 28th, 2009 at 7:20 am
    $#%$%$#!!!!

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

    Yes, basil9. I agree and you’re on a roll today! The undignified portrait of Michelle (if you look at it again) it’s the shift of the hips (hip swagger) in the portrait that is so declasse. She should have been standing straight with her weight equally distributed on both feet. To them, a formal portrait means not in jeans and a sweatshirt. They really are en embarrassment as the representatives of this country. Every representative of their country be it their president or their PM, dress in good taste,as their physicalness becomes part of the chronology of theirs and our history.

    Michelle=fist bump, Hussein=shoulder flick. Thats about the summation of their lack of class.

  62. “Although peace now reigns between the Clintons and the new president, the broader gentry-populist split seems certain to fester at both the congressional and local levels — and President Obama will be hard-pressed to negotiate this divide.”

    ———————————-

    Blue,

    I would argue that this so-called “peace” between the Clintons and obama is a farce/not much more than lip service. For the party and for the country, Hillary is playing well with him. But I don’t think for a minute that either trusts the other in any way, shape or form.

    Hillary’s brilliance in diplomacy, her getting the popular vote, her vast knowledge, all combine to make this little man scared of his own shadow. I think her wants her to like him. I think m.o. wants him to hate her. I think Hillary is in a perfect position to add positively to her already burgeoning legacy and “he who wanted so much adulation” is going to find himself wallowing in the hatred of Americans who are just now turning on him, more and more everyday.

  63. February 27, 2009 – 12:21 PM

    Clinton set to meet Lavrov in Switzerland

    The new American Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, will be in Geneva on Friday next week for delicate talks with her Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov.
    The Bush administration had difficult relations with Moscow, clashing over a planned United States missile shield in Europe, the independence of Kosovo, last year’s Russian intervention in Georgia and how to persuade Iran to curb its nuclear programme.

    Clinton is scheduled to meet Lavrov after talks with Nato foreign ministers in Brussels.

    “This is a new relationship that they hope to develop and a positive one. There is a lot of business the secretary has to do with her counterpart,” commented State Department spokesman Robert Wood about the meeting. “The United States and Russia have a complex relationship but we want to find common ground,” he added.

    swissinfo.ch/eng/news_digest/Clinton_set_to_meet_Lavrov_in_Switzerland.html?siteSect=104&sid=10386527&cKey=1235733701000&ty=nd

  64. US promises to lobby for more countries to recognise Kosovo – reports

    Sat, Feb 28 2009

    United States has reconfirmed its support for the new state of Kosovo and has promised to lobby for more recognitions, according to a report in Pristina daily Koha Ditore. The newspaper said that Kosovo leaders president Fatmir Sejdiu, prime minister Hashim Thaci and foreign minister Skender Hyseni were given these guarantees in a meeting on February 26 2009 with US secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

    “The US together with its European allies will continue to give its large and substantial support for the newest democracy in the world,” Koha Ditore quoted Clinton as saying. “Support for Kosovo is coming from both (Democrat and Republican) parties. And has been continuous over three administrations, beginning with the administration of my husband, Bill Clinton, and then with Bush’s and now Obama’s. I have told both of them, the president and the prime minister, that the USA will always support and work with your state,” Clinton said.

    According to a US state department transcript, Clinton said that she had “congratulated the president and the prime minister for Kosovo’s progress in its historic first year as an independent state. And it is a great privilege and honor to see the many accomplishments of Kosovo since the terrible time of repression and war 10 years ago”. “The president and prime minister and I discussed the economic and political tasks ahead and the need to provide an increasingly secure and prosperous life for the people of this country. The president and prime minister outlined their vision of a multiethnic democracy at peace within itself and with its neighbors. The vision is reflected in Kosovo’s flag, whose stars represent the different peoples – Albanians and Serbs, Roma, Bosniacs, Turks, and others – who have their home in Kosovo,” Clinton said. “I emphasised that the United States, working with our European partners, will continue to extend strong and substantial support for the world’s youngest democracy,” the transcript quoted Clinton as saying.

    Sejdiu said: “We had the chance to express our vision that Kosovo is essentially interested to become a part of the European Union and Nato, and with a special bond and a special friendship that will continue forever with the United States of America. “Kosovo has so far been recognised by 55 countries throughout the globe, and we were delighted to get a confirmation from the United States of America that we will continue to get their support in also getting the recognition from other countries, and also the support for a speedy economic development of our country, and the support for our vision to create a country which is democratic and a country for all its citizens,” Sejdiu said.

    sofiaecho.com/2009/02/28/682919_us-promises-to-lobby-for-more-countries-to-recognise-kosovo-reports

  65. Geithner’s damp squib fuels de-globalisation:

    biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/2/23/business/3324643&sec=business

  66. Mideast peace, Russian ties top Hillary Clinton’s 2nd foreign tour
    1 hour ago

    WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is using her second overseas trip to assess Middle East peace prospects, reconnect with European allies and remind her Russian counterpart that U.S. efforts to rebuild relations with Moscow have their limits.

    She kicks off the weeklong tour by attending an international conference in Egypt, where on Monday she will announce a U.S. pledge of up to $900 million in humanitarian aid for rebuilding of the war-shaken Gaza Strip.

    The Palestinians are seeking $2.8 billion. The United States does not recognize the Hamas movement that rules Gaza and will not allow aid money to flow through Hamas. Because of disagreements between the two Palestinian factions, some major Arab pledges – $1 billion from Saudi Arabia, $250 million from Qatar and $100 million from Algeria – have not materialized, an Arab League official said Saturday.

    The pledge conference reflects in part a U.S. effort to move quickly to influence events there, where the fighters of Hamas are aligned with Iran and opposed to peace talks with Israel. Hamas is at odds with the other Palestinian faction, Fatah, which takes a more moderate approach toward Israel.

    Clinton also will visit Israel to show President Barack Obama’s commitment to finding a “two-state solution” that establishes a sovereign Palestinian state at peace with Israel. After elections Feb. 10, Israel is operating under a caretaker government. The hawkish Benjamin Netanyahu is attempting to form a coalition government but the timing and outcome are in doubt. Among leaders Clinton would be expected to visit in Israel are Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, leader of the centrist Kadima party, which won one more seat in the election than Netanyahu’s Likud. Netanyahu, who opposes moving forward in peace talks with the Palestinians, was asked to put together the next government because he has the support of a majority of the elected legislators.

    Israel edged closer to a government of hawks and right-wing religious parties Friday after Netanyahu failed to persuade Livni to join a coalition that could help avert a showdown with the Obama administration. Obama has pledged to become “aggressively” involved in pursuing peace.

    Clinton also will go to the West Bank to meet with leaders of the Palestinian Authority, including Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and President Mahmoud Abbas.

    google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5iq1VemLDMJv_T-84aZ12y448c6bQ

  67. wbboei
    I have always focused more on Mr. Zuckerman’s philanthropic endeavors and strong support of Israel, and have not been aware of any efforts on his part to undermine the Clintons. You make, however, some very good points which I was unaware of.( see Goodwins negative Hillary article today ) . I shall contact some of my family members who still live in NYC, and get their take. I am always learning new things here, and I am open to listening, even if it hurts my pre-conceived notions of a person/issue.

  68. jbstone: its what I am seeing. If you get a different read please let me know. He was a hero of mine for number of years. And he has done alot of good with his money.

    I think he is sending a signal to the administration and he has the right to do that. My concern is he is doing it at Hillarys expense. He needs to convey his views directly to Mr Obama and not pretend Hillary is acting on her own.

  69. Everybody is talking like Hillary is on her own. Any day now I expect Obama to disavow all knowledge of the Secretary’s actions.

  70. obama will take the successes and drown her in the failures, bask in the accolades and throw her to the sharks for the rest.

    Only difference here is that Hillary is way too smart to let him get away with it, and in the long run he will look like a whiney child who needs a permanent time out.

    And already, those in the know realize just how little he understands anything about leading the country and how much she knows about that and much more.

  71. Hold on to your hats- This is for real folks.

    “Obama Nominated for Nobel Prize”

    http//www dot puma08 dot com/2009/02/28/barack-obama-nominated-for-nobel-peace-prize/

  72. JanH Says:
    February 28th, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    obama will take the successes and drown her in the failures, bask in the accolades and throw her to the sharks for the rest.

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

    Damn straight, he will. Her best defense is Bill standing behind her. He won’t put up with an iota of crap and will signal an interview, the minute Obama or anyone connected to him starts any BS about Hillary. I imagine negatives would come from the eco-academic pos Samantha Power. She’s a piece of work.

  73. Can we nominate him for stooge of the year? Charge him with war crimes? Being unconstitutional? Being UnAmerican? Theft of the White House?

    Anything?

  74. the MOho is sleeveless cause BOtheturd has the thermostat set on about 100F. I’d go sleeveless too if I could afford that. Fuck MO and BO, I loathe them!

  75. President Obama asked Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas to
    become his nominee for secretary of health and human services
    on Saturday.
    ———————-
    Yet another triumph of hope over experience. Highly predictable.

    If this is supposed to be shrewd positioning I am underwhelmed. She is dull as paint, with a thin resume and very uninspiring.

    If she seeks higher office someone is bound to ask–and just how long were you governor of the great state of Kansas? And what exactly did you accomplish?

  76. wbboei,

    I knew that was coming, hoped it was just an ugly rumor. I guess it wasn’t. I really, really, really, hope she’s got some major skeletons in her closet and crashes during the nomination process.

    LOL…I know that is mean, but a girl can hope can’t she???

  77. Saw this at pumapac.org.

    In his Note 2 in this article, How He Did It: A Diagrammatic Analysis of the Obama Campaign, [the author] says, “The present diagram applies only to the post-nomination phase of the Obama campaign. The campaign against Hillary Clinton had a somewhat different and more orthodox set of strategies and tactics.”

    I emailed him as follows:
    “A quibble about the reference to the primaries. I suggest you get in touch with some of those (PUMAs) who went through that ordeal first-hand. If overt thuggery (blocking delegates from voting booths, theft of voting forms, etc.) and cooptation of party leaders to browbeat and actually force mis-direction of committed votes and delegates, e.g., are “orthodox” methods, then it’s news to them — many of whom had many election cycles of experience in the party on which to base their expectations.”

    To which he responded, “Send me some information and links aboaut thuggery during the primaries and I’ll try to use it. Or better yet, write a blog for the American Thinker about it.”

    The American Thinker author is “Paul Shlichta”,
    crystal at scattercreek dot com.

  78. President Obama asked Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas to
    become his nominee for secretary of health and human services
    on Saturday.

    ============

    That’s what we get when we press Obama to appoint more women. The first time it was a couple of bots from U Berkeley (Romer and Melody something).

  79. Sebelius posted on DU during the campaign. I’ll guarantee, she won’t last, when the Republicans start picking her programs apart, she’s gonna crack. She is very thin skinned and a statistic freak. She plays hide and seek with those babies.

    When she was proven wrong in her state percentage quotes, her old standby retort was, it’s the nationals that are important. I predict she will resign within a year. Health and Human Service in the Obama Administration is a ticking time-bomb. Somebody has to do it, and I’m glad it’s her.

  80. What was Michael Goodwin’s article today about? He’s been a Hillary basher for a while. Let me guess: Like everyone else, he conveniently forgets Hillary’s implementing Obama’s foreign policy, not her own.

    BTW, I always figured she’d get much better press coverage from the foreign press as SoS, and that’s already the case. Big Media here just can’t stand her, no matter hat she does.

  81. I watched the windbag Rush in an hour long speech at the cpac war planning gathering,only to hear his Obama comments and it was worth the agony to hear him really pound BO with no holds barred.Rush used the race card against him and pounded him all through the speech.I have to admit that Rush is a talented speaker and he noted that he does not use teleprompters.It was an hour wasted in most respects but he was able say what many of us would like to say. Hillary is head and shoulders above all these Boviates that waste airtime i.e. O’reily.Morriis,Hannity.Tweety and the list goes on and on.We sure are experiencing change with no hope of anything to look forward unless BO is removed from office for being unqualified to hold the office.

    By ABM90 This country needs Hillary more than ever before.

  82. http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/columnists/goodwin/index.html

    Another very anti-Hillary article by Goodwin. Everyone viewed her China trip as smart and practical given the limitations which Hillary has to deal with. Goodwin, as noted ,has been in the Obama tank since the beginning and gets plenty of airtime on CNN.

    Wbboei-I understand exactly the point you are making. Without having an opportunity to speak to anyone in NYC this evening, I will speculate that many people are simply afraid of criticizing BO as they saw what happened to Bill in SC. Given the current economic situation, and the embarrassment that Madoff has caused Jews everywhere. many Jews, imo, are kapprehensive about attacking anyone in power. This is particular true when , unfortunately, many of my fellow Jews erroneously supported BO despite his clear pro-Arab/Muslim lennings. I have written to my Congressman for an explantion of the deafening silence, and have, as of yet, received no reply.

  83. Only have a minute once again…Wbboei, thanks for calling and getting the info.

    My spouse loves the Al Mars and has Ospreys, Hawks, and Falcons (the smaller ones). He does not an any from the Eagle collection…yet. The super thin quality, contours and shapes while being so well made are hard for him to resist.

    My spouse got some of his collection from A.G. Russell in Springdale, AR. They carry a good variety.

    He was wondering if you knew what year Al Mar passed away?

  84. Ooooooh, lovely!

    h…../ no w’s
    donnadarko.wordpress.com/2008/08/12/the-most-significant-movement-of-our-times/

  85. hillarygirl Says:

    February 28th, 2009 at 12:14 am
    St. Louis Arch Tea Party Draws 1,500 Protesters! boy that is great because he won st louis dont piss em off i think that city will never vote for him again.lotts of AA;s great city.well I hope there is like 37 million protetors against this phony ob..all spring and summer long..

    that is good news admin… for the NYT they better start telling the truth before ob will have that building for left wing nuts.to run offices out of…never know what he has in store for Americans i will never ever believe him…
    Hillary won this election..its just a shame Our future and kids will never be out of debt ..he stoled it form us ALL AMericans Children..

  86. Paula: an email I am sending to Michael Goodwin, for your reading pleasure:
    ———————————-
    Michael–

    I was rereading some of your hateful diatribes from last year Michael. Towit:

    “God, I hate that bitch Hillary Clinton”
    by Michael Goodwin, mind reader and whore. Remember that one Michael? Sure you do. And there were others.

    More recently, you seemed to shut up but now I see that was merely a hiatus and you are back to your old tricks. You just can’t help yourself–can you?

    When it comes to honest journalism, you are like a Mountain Beaver. Do you know what a Mountain Beaver is Michael? Let me give you a clue: It does not live in a mountain, and it is not a beaver. It is a burrowing rodent.

    I did not know we had Moutain Beavers east of the Mississippi– until I saw you and read your obscenity. This is a great scientific discovery Michael.

    But the more profound mystery is why you still have a job. What is wrong with the New York Daily News? And Lou Dobbs–a hero of mine and a standup guy? Have they no standards?

    Finally Michael, a word of advice: before you presume to call anyone a whore, you need to know what one looks like. So take a long hard look in the mirror.

    You can spend the rest of your life looking but you will never find a better example of what a whore is than that.

    Michael.

  87. Mrs. Smith Says:
    February 28th, 2009 at 6:13 pm
    “Obama Nominated for Nobel Prize”
    &&&&&&&&

    Let’s just rip the band off and get this over with: make Obama King of the World for Life, give him a Nobel and a Pulitzer, and be done with it.

    Ya know, for all the things he’s accomplished: being black, making history, and giving speeches.

  88. I would like to know exactly why he was nominated? What the “heck” has he done to deserve such a prestigious honor? What are his accomplishments?

    No one could name them during the primaries, remember? His cult all said he could learn on the job…and oops if he makes a mistake…like pressing the wrong button…well we all make mistakes and he can learn from it…NOT!

    So what the heck has he done? Advanced racial relations? Not a Chance! Plagiarized someone? Lied? Cheated? Re-written the U.S. constitution?

    What???

  89. He was wondering if you knew what year Al Mar passed away?
    ———————–
    Southern Born: I know it was several years back, and I dont know that the precise circumstances were. I will see what I can find out.

    I got the two Al Mars I have at a smokeshop. The owner knew him and said he was very agile and muscular. He told me it was billed as death by natural causes, but he thought it might have occurred while he was working undercover for the government.

    It would not be the first time that a seal, green beret or force recon marine went from military service to security or undercover work and lost his life in that capacity through some mishap, e.g. Blackwater in Iraq–although he died well before that.

  90. # rgb44hrc Says:
    February 28th, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    Mrs. Smith Says:
    February 28th, 2009 at 6:13 pm
    “Obama Nominated for Nobel Prize”
    &&&&&&&&

    Let’s just rip the band off and get this over with: make Obama King of the World for Life, give him a Nobel and a Pulitzer, and be done with it.

    Ya know, for all the things he’s accomplished: being black, making history, and giving speeches.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    We agree BO is a media creation. The election was an orchestrated farce, his presidency is via a consesus of “principals” telecommuted by teleprompter. When his image is in danger of deflation; his credibility is revived with a credible award for excellence (tbd). He and the wife are so far out of the spectrum of reality; they may as well be thought of as holograms challanging Capt Kirk.

    This is exactly the reason why I don’t bother kvetching about the stealth theft of the primaries. We’re so beyond that when our primary concern lies in our own survival and living long enough to fight another day. I’m not diminishing the work done in documenting the events that transpired as real and true. All I’m saying, is there is no one with the authority willing to do anything about it… So you move on looking ahead dodging the landmines as they appear saving what you know for another day. In case that day arrives in the balance of our lifetime.

    If Obama works out as the “principal” are planning, he will remain the president indefinately. You can read the articles verifying that fact posted on 01/18/09 and 01/19/09 at http //pumasunleashed.wordpress.com

    If he begins to think of himself as a ‘real’ president with infinate power and fails to do their bidding; the ‘principals’ will pull the plug on his presidency so fast it will make his head spin. They are holding the Trump Card of his ‘alien status’ (not Natural Born) over his head for that very reason. If the SCOTUS released a statement tomorrow saying they have proof he cheated the people who voted for him and is not a NBC… the country would turn on him in an instant. He would be reduced to a simpering fraud, ostracised and forced to move back to his homeland, Indonesia, where he is a legal citizen and live out his life in relative obscurity marked forever by the stain of disgrace.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    JanH Says
    February 28th, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    So what the heck has he done? Advanced racial relations? Not a Chance! Plagiarized someone? Lied? Cheated? Re-written the U.S. constitution?

    What???
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I incorporated a response to you in the above post… of course, your astute observation is 100% correct.

  91. JanH,

    The question of why the DNC selected Obama has been discussed quite a lot here. Apparently Dean and Brazile had been setting up for someone like him for several years.

    Here’s one bit of evidence, that I don’t have the stomach to cut and paste.

    h…..w’s.
    google.com/search?hl=en&rlz=1C1GGLS_en-USUS299US303&q=brazile+2004+kerry+hate+democrats&btnG=Search

    Emjay had some other good references, CSPAN iirc.

    Of course there were many factors, Wall Street money among them.

  92. jbstonesfan: I tried to find it and didnt see it. I have not sent the email to Goodwin yet and will not until I see exactly what he said. Goodwin is very tactical. If I am right then he is attempting to weaken her influence when she goes to the middle east. If so then the Posner appointment will help to blunt his efforts.

  93. Brazile and Dean are disposable tools. They are not the principals. The principals are the World Bankers, the IMF, CFR, and the reason why Obama’s aloof attitude screams “you can’t touch me “..because for now, he is correct.

  94. Re abortion rights, heads up, here’s something we might want to follow:

    TOPEKA, Kan. – National anti-abortion groups promise a vigorous fight if President Barack Obama nominates Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as U.S. health and human services secretary.

    No place to comment on this article, but the issue may show up elsewehre.

  95. Ah, here’s a good place to comment on the Sebelius/abortion issue.

    ABC: Abortion Foes Vow to Fight a Sebelius Nomination
    National anti-abortion groups promise a vigorous fight if President Barack Obama nominates Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as U.S. health and human services secretary. Abortion foes said Friday an important issue is a reception Sebelius once had with a late-term abortion provider who’s now facing criminal charges. Administration officials disputed the idea that abortion is an issue as to whether Obama nominates Sebelius.

    h …. / no w’s
    abcnews.go.com/Politics/comments?type=story&id=6977201
    Comment box here. ABC is sneaky, after you type your comment it brigns up a login box. However we’ve had several alerts here so I was already registered, and they let you sign in by email address.

  96. To elaborate a little further, Hillary came out of the China trip with the wind at her back as she travels to other hot spots in the world.

    Her adversaries have tried to slow her down by making a big thing out of her pragmatic approach to human rights. Given the existential issues at stake their criticism has not been effective.

    Goodwin is clearly an adversary. Therefore, he is likely to weigh in on that issue.

    If he does, then her appointment of a Jewish activist who has led efforts to counter anti-Semitism as her human rights czar, plus her refusal to attend Durbin II blunts the argument he is trying to make.

    Why? Because it sends a powerful message that human rights will not be neglected in the discussion with respect to any country including China. It is a brilliant move on at least five levels.

    So how else could Goodwin attack her to dimish her influence? I suppose he could say is Hillary is being too blunt in her approach to diplomacy and must be more indirect, circumlocuitous, oblique, opaque, enigmatic and unintelligble like traditonal diplomats typically are.

    The simple answer for that one is when the world is in a crisis situation people need to be clear on what they mean and not mince words. We have existential problems to address, time is of the essence and therefore we must be straightforward.

  97. Some PUMAs may want to comment against the nomination of the backstabber Sebelius, some may want to comment pro-choice … some may do both. Anyway here are some more places to comment.

    h…./ no w’s
    preview.tinyurl.com/anxldv

  98. Southern Born: Al Mar also did a Bowie Knife which I believe was dedicated to the US Marine Raider Batallions which were the most elite units that fought in the South Pacific in World War II. It was standard issue for them. There were four such Batallions. The First Raider Batallion was commanded by Red Mike Edson who received the Congressional Medal of Honor for our victory in the Battle of Guadalcanal, was the first president of the National Rifle Association, saved the Marine Corp when Harry Truman and others move to abolish it and committed suicide as a result of a domestic dispute. The second Raider Batallion was commanded by Carlson, who learned guerilla tactics under Mao Tse Tung. The fourth Raider Batallion was commanded by Jimmy Roosevelt who was the son of FDR, and the father of that guy who showed up at the RBC hearing in May 31. During plebe summer 1968 at Annapolis we were told to report to the auditorim to meet the best combat commander. His name was General Lewis Walt and he was the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps–the commandant was just a staff guy. There is a good write up on him in Wikopedia plus a picture. He was the commander of company A First Marine Raider Batallion on Guadalcanal. Two navy crosses. He is one of the two best leaders I have ever met. The other is Hillary. If your husband is interested here is part of the video on the Raiders. But if he can find the Al Mar Bowie knife I am told it is really something.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wx50o-eAYdA

  99. wbboei

    Is this the Goodwin garbage you were looking for?
    ————————————————
    In China, Hillary Clinton plays a weak hand
    Tuesday, February 24th 2009, 6:57 PM

    Considering how she often warned in recent years about the dangers of China being America’s banker, Hillary Clinton must have swallowed hard before setting foot in Beijing this week. More accurately, it was her knee that touched the ground, for Clinton practically begged China to let us get even deeper into hock.

    What a difference a financial meltdown makes when you’re secretary of state. I wonder if Clinton realized taking the job meant she would be President Obama’s Treasury saleswoman to the Communists.

    And that she would have to zip her lip about human rights, freedom of religion, trade violations, Tibet, Taiwan – in short, anything that might give offense to her authoritarian hosts. Such is the fate of the diplomat representing a tin-cup nation, one that has lost control of its own finances and has to depend on the tender mercies of rivals.

    “It’s a safe investment. The United States has a well-deserved financial reputation,” Clinton chirped to viewers on Chinese television about American bonds.

    You almost expected her to put up an 800 number and say, “Call now!” and we’ll throw in a set of kitchen knives. Pity her, for she now does sales for The Merchant of Debt, as one writer labeled America.

    Clinton’s pitch didn’t end there. She went on to describe a new version of Mutually Assured Destruction, one that involves our economies instead of nuclear weapons.

    “We are truly going to rise and fall together,” she said to her audience. “Our economies are so intertwined, the Chinese know that to start exporting again to their biggest market the United States has to take some very drastic measures with this stimulus package, which means we have to incur more debt.”

    Richard Nixon must be howling in his grave. Thirty-five years after he helped open China to the world, America’s top diplomat says we’re co-dependents.

    We live in a time when breathtaking events happen almost daily. Yet for Clinton to say matter-of-factly that America needs – needs – China to keep lending us trillions is truly historic.

    Mark the moment. It means the good old U.S.A. is starting to resemble a giant subprime mortgage.

    So much so that Clinton reportedly had to reassure Chinese leaders that Obama’s bailouts, all of which will use borrowed money, would ultimately be good for their investments in American debt, including the $1.5 trillion or so they already have.

    It would be nice if she and Obama could make the same pledge to the American investors who have lost trillions in wealth in the market meltdown.

    Clinton’s not to blame for her begathon, of course, though she could have been more circumspect on human rights. Just 20 years after the massacre at Tiananmen Square, I’m sorry she found it necessary to say so directly that rights issues “can’t interfere” with the big picture. The same pressure stops her from complaining that China is using the recession to gobble up metals, oil and natural gas around the world.

    Clinton herself saw all this coming. Two years ago, in the early stages of her presidential campaign, she warned we were undergoing “a slow erosion of our own economic sovereignty” because of our growing indebtedness to foreigners, who, according to some estimates, hold about half of our government-issued securities.

    The day she made that warning, a selloff in the Chinese stock markets led to a plunge on Wall Street. In a letter to then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, then-Sen. Clinton said the dynamic “underscores the exposure of our economy to economic developments in countries like China.”

    About the same time, according to a published report, she told the story of a New Yorker who complained to her of China stealing manufacturing jobs and asked, “Why can’t we get tough on China?”

    Clinton said she replied: “How do you get tough on your banker?”

    Apparently you don’t.

    mgoodwin@nydailynews.com

  100. To comment on the Goodwin garbage:

    h …..w’s
    nydailynews.com/opinions/2009/02/25/2009-02-25_in_china_hillary_clinton_plays_a_weak_ha.html#community
    Comment box is under the article, above the comments. My name was already on it. We’ve had many alerts here. 4 comments so far.

  101. To comment on the Goodwin garbage:

    Add the h thing and the w thing.

    nydailynews.com/opinions/2009/02/25/2009-02-25_in_china_hillary_clinton_plays_a_weak_ha.html#community

    Comment box is under the article, above the comments. My name was already on it. We’ve had many alerts here. 4 comments so far.

  102. Well, phooey. The spam filter strikes for no reason I know.

    To comment on the Goodwin garbage:

    Add the h thing and the w thing.

    nydailynews.com/opinions/2009/02/25/2009-02-25_in_china_hillary_clinton_plays_a_weak_ha.html

    Comment box is under the article, above the comments. My name was already on it. We’ve had many alerts here. 4 comments so far.

  103. Okay, spam filter, eat this!

    To comment on the Goodwin garbage:

    Add the h thing and the /thing, no w’s.

    preview.tinyurl.com/bk7eex

    Comment box is under the article, above the comments. My name was already on it. We’ve had many alerts here. 4 comments so far.

  104. Mrs. Smith,

    Re Madoff, I thought he had just Ponzied it all. Paid it out as bait to new investors.

  105. turndown/Mrs Smith

    Except for the $15 million Mrs Madoff took out of their shared account just before Christmas…$5M first in early December and $10M a couple weeks later. Guess she had some Christmas shopping to do. That was also when he got caught mailing $1.5M worth of jewels to family members.

  106. Prediction:There never be peace in the hell hole that has drivenBill and Hillary to make it their prime goal in calming a troubled world.They gave their all and continue to do so and have suffered greatly for it.Msm continues to fuel the fires of devide and conquer.Dominance,weaponry,containment are the key elements of policies that will perhaps never allow peaceful existence by any of these nations.Goodwin represents all that is evil in so-called Media and its paid character asassins,the likes of which this troubled country has ever seen.
    Yesterday the cpac straw poll chose their nominees for 2012 in this order, romney-jindal-palin.Six weeks into the Obama disaster for both parties,the next campaign begins.They have three immediate fears that must be address now and,namely Barack Hussein Obama holding that inundating Race Card,the fact that they have no viable candidate and of course the universal favorite of the entire world,Hillary Rodham Clinton.
    Her destruction first is their agenda.Obama must not be slowed by his path of self destruction along with our country and then their success will be assured.
    We as loyal and patriotic Americans must protect and preserve this embattled an politically battered National Teasure that we call our Hillary.The MSM is now the greatest enemy within that we have just now begun to realize is in control of minds and political process.This scenario did not just start yesterday.I watched it unfold in 1967 when the middle east exploded and the world we fought and died for in WWII,would never be the same again.
    Please Americans throw up a protective shield around Hillary,
    believe nothing that you read and hear being thrown out there to bait us into doing nothing,that things will take care of themselves and all work out.Yeah suckers,listen to us and life liberty and the pursuit of happiness will only be for those us
    who make it big in life and could care less about the failures.

    By ABM90. This is what my troubled sleep at night inspires me to write and fight for.For you out there that have no dreams and fewer good memories,”Try it You’ll Like it”

  107. When I had my discussion with a AA Republican the other day, he swear that it was Os group who brough the Economy crisis on, which he said won the election for him.

    I would be interesting if this is true, and that the thing he used to win, he could not turn off now, and is his downfall.

  108. As to his Selection from Kansas, the women’s groups made their choice and they can now live with it. Watch, this will not change because they object. O ignores women.

  109. As far as the Goodwin piece goes, who cares? If that is the worst he can say, that she “begged” well… What exactly did he want her to do? Turn into the “ugly American” and go off all arrogant and dictatorial on China of all places?

    When it comes to knowing the political climate, current affairs, and just about everything but the kitchen sink, Hillary can run circles around Goodwin. I didn’t see her begging so much as taking the rotten job obama gave her to do and finding a way to come out on top. She made the U.S. look great, she gave obama a boost, she signaled that it was out with the old form of shoved-in-your mouth diplomacy and in with a new and better form of state diplomacy ala Hillary Clinton.

  110. UNRWA apologizes for giving Kerry letter from Hamas

    Letter passed to senator during his visit to Gaza, calling on Obama to launch direct dialogue with Palestinian organization, leads to discomfort in US. Now UN agency head says she ‘deeply regrets any awkwardness’ transmission may have caused.

    Ynet Published: 03.01.09, 08:43 / Israel News

    The United Nations Relief and Works Agency apologized to the American government on Thursday night after it was criticized for passing to US Senator John Kerry a letter from a Hamas representative calling on President Barack Obama to launch a direct dialogue with the Palestinian organization, British newspaper The Independent reported over the weekend.
    The letter was passed to Kerry by Karen Koning AbuZayd, the agency head. According to the spokesman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, chaired by Kerry, the senator left Gaza without reading the letter because it was sandwiched among UN promotional papers he had received. He left the letter with the US consulate in Jerusalem.

    Ten days after the incident, AbuZayd said she “deeply regrets any awkwardness” the transmission of the letter may have caused for the government, which has refused any direct contact with the Palestinian Islamist faction that rules Gaza.

    Kerry did not meet with Hamas members during his visit to the Strip, and movement sources have denied the reports about the letter, despite the confirmation offered by the US State Department.

    According to UNRWA, the letter was left by Hamas representatives outside the organization’s offices in Gaza. However, the agency did not respond to the question why Kerry was unaware of the letter’s content. A Palestinian source said the letter was worded by Ahmed Yusuf, an advisor to Hamas’ foreign ministry, and that he was acting on behalf of himself and not on behalf of the movement.

    According to the New York Times, Hamas asked Obama in the letter to launch a direct dialogue with the Palestinian movement. This was the first such appeal to the

    http://www.7340,L-3678969,00.html

  111. Mideast peace, Russian ties next up for Clinton:

    On her second overseas voyage as the top U.S. diplomat, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will depart Washington today for Europe and Russia.

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is using her second overseas trip to assess Mideast peace prospects, reconnect with European allies and remind her Russian counterpart that U.S. efforts to rebuild relations with Moscow have their limits.
    Clinton, who departed late Saturday, kicks off the week-long tour by attending an international conference in Egypt. On Monday she will announce a U.S. pledge of up to $900 million in humanitarian aid for rebuilding of the war-shaken Gaza Strip.

    The Palestinians are seeking $2.8 billion. The United States does not recognize the Hamas movement that rules Gaza and will not allow aid money to flow through Hamas. Because of disagreements between the two Palestinian factions, some major Arab pledges — $1 billion from Saudi Arabia, $250 million from Qatar and $100 million from Algeria — have not materialized, an Arab League official said Saturday.

    The pledge conference reflects in part a U.S. effort to move quickly to influence events there, where the Islamic militants of Hamas are aligned with Iran and opposed to peace talks with Israel. Hamas is at odds with the other Palestinian faction, Fatah, which takes a more moderate approach to Israel.

    Clinton also will visit Israel to show President Barack Obama’s commitment to finding a “two-state solution” that establishes a sovereign Palestinian state at peace with Israel. After elections Feb. 10, Israel is operating under a caretaker government. The hawkish Benjamin Netanyahu is attempting to form a coalition government but the timing and outcome are in doubt. Among leaders Clinton would be expected to visit in Israel are Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, leader of the centrist Kadima Party, which won one more seat in the election than Netanyahu’s Likud. Netanyahu, who opposes moving forward in peace talks with the Palestinians, was asked to put together the next government because he has the support of a majority of the elected lawmakers.

    Israel edged closer to a government of hawks and right-wing religious parties Friday after Netanyahu failed to persuade Livni to join a coalition that could help avert a showdown with the Obama administration. Obama has pledged to become “aggressively” involved in pursuing Mideast peace.

    Clinton also will go to the West Bank to meet with leaders of the Palestinian Authority, including Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and President Mahmoud Abbas.

    After focusing her first foreign trip on Asia, Clinton now is trying to build on what the administration believes is early enthusiasm in the Mideast and Europe for changing the dynamic of relations with America. Daniel Fried, the assistant secretary of state for European affairs, said Friday a main theme of Clinton’s visit to Brussels, on Thursday will be “a sense of consolidating some of the enormous political good will on both sides of the Atlantic, and harnessing it to a common agenda — not an American agenda but a common trans-Atlantic agenda.”

    On Friday, Clinton is scheduled to meet in Geneva with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. He had a sometimes rocky relationship with Clinton’s predecessor, Condoleezza Rice, a Russian affairs specialist. Lavrov was quoted by Russian news agencies on Friday as saying he expected the meeting to focus on arms control. That was an issue of great frustration for the Russians during the Bush administration. President George W. Bush abandoned the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty early in his first term in order to accelerate the development of a missile defense opposed by Moscow.

    Clinton has said the administration is willing to move ahead quickly on a replacement for the START arms treaty that is due to expire in December, and to consider deeper cuts in nuclear weapons. Fried said that although the administration is interested in improving relations with Russia, Lavrov will be reminded that the U.S. does not accept the Russian argument that it has a sphere of influence in Central Asia and Eastern Europe that gives Moscow special say on issues like missile defense. The administration’s interest in engaging Russia is tempered by “cautionary notes,” Fried said. That includes a concern that Moscow has gone too far in flexing its muscles in places such as the former Soviet republic of Georgia, where Russian troops fought a brief war last summer, and in opposing the NATO membership aspirations of countries including Ukraine, a a former Soviet republic on Russia’s border. “The most productive way (to move forward with Russia) is to do so building on areas where we have common interests, but also mindful of our differences — not shying away from them, nor abandoning our values and our friends,” Fried said. “That makes for a complicated relationship with Russia.”

    Clinton plans to wind up her trip with a stop in Ankara, Turkey, to discuss a range of topics, including Obama’s review of war strategy in Afghanistan. The Turks think the U.S. should put more focus on expanding and improving the Afghan security forces and on pressing Afghan authorities to reconcile with elements of the Islamic insurgency, rather than on putting tens of thousands more U.S. troops.

    usatoday.com/news/world/2009-03-01-clinton-trip_N.htm

  112. Mar 01, 2009

    Choice of Sebelius likely to renew abortion debate

    The news this first Sunday in March is led by reports that Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has accepted President Obama’s offer to be the next secretary of Health and Human Services.

    It’s not a surprise. Since former senator Tom Daschle withdrew his nomination last month following reports about $140,000 in back taxes and interest he had to pay to make up for not having previously told the IRS about a car and driver he had been loaned, Sebelius’ name has been prominent on the list of likely replacements.

    Now, though, it appears the wait is over. The Associated Press says it’s been told by a “White House source” that the announcement about Sebelius’ nomination will be made tomorrow.
    Politico, which says it got its information from a “senior administration official,” writes that “Obama will introduce Sebelius Monday afternoon at the White House. … He begins his push for a health-care overhaul in earnest Thursday with a forum that brings together members of Congress, health care interest groups and everyday Americans.”

    The Washington Post adds that “an administration source said it is likely that Obama will nominate someone else for a second post Daschle had created for himself: director of a new White House Office of Health Reform. One name mentioned for the job is former Clinton administration adviser Nancy-Ann DeParle, who would take over the effort to conceive, sell and implement a wide-ranging health-care overhaul.”

    As for how news of the nomination is being received, The Topeka Capital-Journal writes that: Sebelius, who has called for higher state tobacco taxes to finance health programs, is unlikely to face broad opposition at her confirmation hearing. Her voting record as a Kansas House member and positions as governor on abortion could draw the greatest scrutiny. She has sought to reduce the frequency of abortion, but she blocked efforts to deny women access to the procedure.

    And, indeed, Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody thinks the president is “about to get pummeled by pro-life groups. They view the Kansas governor as way out of the mainstream on abortion.” Groups are already alerting the news media about where they stand. The Christian Defense Coalition, co-founded by anti-abortion activist Randall Terry (known for Operation Rescue), is opposed to the choice of Sebelius. Catholic United says it favors the choice.

    content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2009/03/63488541/1

  113. Obama’s Massive Budget Faces High Hurdles in Congress
    While tackling the economic crisis, President Obama is asking Congress to enact contentious measures that have been debated, but not decided, in calmer times.

    Breathtaking in its scope and ambition, President Obama’s agenda for the economy, health care and energy now goes to a Congress unaccustomed to resolving knotty issues and buffeted by powerful interests that oppose parts of his plan.

    Perhaps the only things as high as Obama’s goals are the hurdles they must clear.

    While tackling the economic crisis, he is asking Congress to enact contentious measures that have been debated, but not decided, in calmer times: cut subsidies for big farms; combat global warming with a pollution tax on industries; raise taxes on the wealthy; and make big changes to the health care system.

    Standing alone, any one of these proposals would trigger a brawl in Congress and fierce debates outside Washington. Obama wants the proposals done largely in concert, as an interrelated plan to undo major elements of President Ronald Reagan’s conservative movement.

    Obama outlined the approach in a budget proposal Thursday, a sprawling road map that will require several hard-fought pieces of legislation.

    He launched his campaign for the package Saturday with a fiery, populist radio and Internet address that depicted his critics as champions of “the interests of powerful lobbyists” and “the wealthiest few.”

    “I realize that passing this budget won’t be easy,” the president said, because it “represents a threat to the status quo in Washington.”

    “They’re gearing up for a fight,” he said. “So am I.”

    If his rhetoric was tough, the challenges he faces are downright daunting. The economy contracted by a stunning 6.2 percent in the final three months of 2008, its worst showing in a quarter-century. Obama says the crisis calls for gutsy actions, and many groups feel he has delivered.

    “We’re struck with how bold and courageous a budget it is,” said James Horney of the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which supports the president. “There are a whole lot of things that are going to be extremely difficult because there are very powerful vested interests out there that will fight them.”

    Obama is not simply proposing a budget that assumes a jaw-dropping deficit of $1.75 trillion this year, a quadruple increase from the year before. He’s trying to redirect strong currents in American society.

    The wealthiest 5 percent would pay a whopping $1 trillion in higher taxes over the next decade, while most others would get tax cuts. Industries would buy and trade permits to emit heat-trapping gases. Higher-income older people would pay more for government health insurance benefits. Drug companies would receive smaller profits from the government. Banks would play a much smaller role in student loans.

    Obama’s climb is steep. Even with solid Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, he secured a $787 billion stimulus package only after accepting compromises that irked liberals but won the support of three Republican senators.

    Not a single House Republican backed it. Judging from House Republican leaders’ immediate condemnation of his budget blueprint, Obama can expect more of the same.

    More troubling for him, however, are the divisions quickly emerging among Democratic, liberal and centrist constituencies that either backed the stimulus or stayed on the sidelines.

    Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, the House Agriculture Committee chairman, criticized Obama’s plan to cut direct payments to farms with sales exceeding $500,000 a year. “Now is not the time” to reopen a recently passed farm bill, he said.

    Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, one of the stimulus bill’s three Republican backers, said it is hard to see how Obama can meet his new deficit-reduction targets. He called Obama’s chief energy proposal “entirely speculative” and urged the president “to forgo the tax increases” in the plan.

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which also backed the stimulus bill, said Obama’s budget blueprint “appears to move in exactly the wrong direction. More taxes, heavy-handed regulations, and command-and-control government will not hasten recovery… You don’t build a house by blowing up its foundation.”

    That sounded like a jab at Obama, who said Thursday: “There are times when you can afford to redecorate your house, and there are times when you have to focus on rebuilding its foundation.”

    Some Washington veterans say that if anyone can overcome the hurdles, it is Obama.

    “He has such enormous popularity right now,” said Scott Lilly, who spent 31 years as a congressional aide before joining the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress.

    Obama’s political gifts are extraordinary, Lilly said. No one expects the president to get everything he’s asking for, he said, “but I think he could get a big share of it.”

    Pushing his tax and health proposals through the Senate Finance Committee “is going to be one hell of a fight,” Lilly said. The committee chairman, Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, sometimes parts ways with Democratic leaders on important issues such as tax cuts and health care.

    Stiff resistance awaits Obama at almost every turn.

    “Class warfare” is how Republicans label his plan to raise taxes, starting in 2011, on households making more than $250,000 a year.

    Some liberal-leaning foundations are unhappy about his proposed reduction in the tax deductibility of gifts to charity from wealthy people.

    On health care, Obama wants to cut payments for Medicare and Medicaid, the government programs for the elderly, disabled and poor. Taking hits would be insurance companies, home health services, hospitals and drug manufacturers, all of which are powerful lobbies in Washington.

    On energy, Obama wants to reduce greenhouse gases and raise money for clean-fuel technologies, such as solar and wind power, by auctioning off carbon pollution permits. The proposal, known as cap and trade, will lead to a bruising fight in Congress, which may be divided more by region than party.

    William Kovacs, who oversees regulatory affairs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, says Obama is pushing too fast for such a dramatic policy change.

    “Any support that there was for cap and trade from the business community,” he said, was based on the assumption of “a long-term transition.”

    Some government veterans, however, think doubters are underestimating Americans’ hunger for change. For example, every individual and institution is hurt by the ever-rising cost of health care, and many are ready to shake up the system to make it less expensive, said Bruce Reed, who oversaw domestic policy in Bill Clinton’s White House.

    “The country wants it, the economy needs it, businesses large and small know that they can’t afford not to have it,” said Reed, who now heads the Democratic Leadership Council, a center-left group. “I don’t think a do-nothing caucus will get anywhere on health care.”

    Reed added, however: “Health care has always been the Middle East of domestic policy.”

    On energy, he said, “Congress ought to be able to pass a cap and trade bill. The rest of the industrialized world is doing emissions trading. A broad swath of American industry wants this question to be answered.”

    The president’s agenda is vast and ambitious, Reed said, but the times call for it. After all, he said, “Obama didn’t have the luxury of saying, ‘I’ll handle the economic crisis and then get back to you on the rest of America’s future.”‘

  114. “He launched his campaign for the package Saturday with a fiery, populist radio and Internet address that depicted his critics as champions of “the interests of powerful lobbyists” and “the wealthiest few.”

    —————————–

    LOL…now I’ve got it! He doesn’t really want to be president. He wants to be a radio/television personality ala “The Price is Right!”

  115. JanH Says:
    March 1st, 2009 at 9:13 am

    UNRWA apologizes for giving Kerry letter from Hamas

    the senator (Kerry) left Gaza without reading the letter because it was sandwiched among UN promotional papers he had received. He left the letter with the US consulate in Jerusalem.

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

    yeah, right!

    The schemer stays up late at night thinking up new entrapments for Hillary.

Comments are closed.