Glimmers Of Hope, Part II

Barack Obama employed fear to force through his “stimulus” scam. Now Barack Obama will use “glimmers of hope” to try to prop up his failing economic policies – and his falling poll numbers, and his bumbling ways.

For us the Glimmers Of Hope are Hillary Clinton and the daily realization by many that have remained silent thus far that Obama is not up to the job and that steps will have to be taken to navigate around the boob if we are going to save the nation.

Fear or Hope, Obama is doomed to fail because his policies do not make sense. Neither the “stimulus” scam nor the 2009 budget nor the 2010 budget nor any of the other Santa wish lists Dimocrats greedily rub their palms in contemplation of, deal with the central issue of the financial crisis. We have called repeatedly for a comprehensive, coordinated, detailed, and well explained, economic plan that tackles the central financial issues and creates/saves the American financial system. Barack Obama economic “plans” provide for none of these criteria.

Respected historian Robert Dallek a few days ago echoed our additional critique of Obama “plans”, Guns And Butter: Barack Obama’s Moral Hazard And Systemic Failure, Part I. Dallek fortifies our analysis of why Obama’s Santa wish list administration will fail in an article called How Not to End Another President’s War (L.B.J. Edition)

Lyndon Johnson tried to give his nation guns and butter. In the end, he provided neither. [snip]

As Johnson soon learned, despite his protests to the contrary, he could not have guns and butter. And though, as Lady Bird Johnson said, Vietnam “wasn’t the war he wanted. The one he wanted was on poverty and ignorance and disease … ”, once he committed himself to winning the war with a broad bombing campaign and 545,000 combat troops, he lost the freedom to build a Great Society. Protests against the loss of American and Vietnamese lives and the commitment of billions of dollars to fight the war drained away the country’s energy for large-scale domestic improvements.

Now that President Obama has inherited not one war but two, does he face a similar hurdle? With the country’s economy in such poor shape and his eagerness to enact bold health insurance, education and environmental reforms, he will need to recall that wars are the enemy of far reaching change. World War I stopped Progressivism; in the 1940’s “Dr. Win the War replaced Dr. New Deal,” as Franklin D. Roosevelt said; the Korean War sidetracked Harry Truman’s Fair Deal; and Vietnam frustrated Johnson’s hopes of additional Great Society measures.

For any “journalist” who wonders why Obama never mentions Lyndon Johnson there is your answer. Pat Buchanan rejects our sobriquet George W. Obama and prefers Lyndon Baines Obama:

Democrats held 295 House seats, Republicans 140. They held 68 Senate seats to Republicans’ 32, and 33 governors to the GOP’s 17.

Democratic registration was twice that of the GOP. The liberal press was gleefully writing the obituary of “The Party That Lost Its Head.” [snip]

The GOP came roaring back in 1966 to capture 47 House seats and eight new governorships. In 1968, Nixon led the party out of the wilderness and into a White House it would hold for 20 of the next 24 years.

Full of hubris in 1965, Lyndon Johnson had seized his moment. He had launched a Great Society that would outdo his beloved patron FDR. He would dispatch 500,000 troops to Vietnam to “bring the coonskin home on the wall” and create a “Great Society on the Mekong.” Those were heady days of “guns-and-butter.”

By 1968, LBJ’s coalition was shredded. [snip]

Why did LBJ fail? He overloaded the circuits. He tried to do it all. He misread a national desire for continuity after Kennedy’s death as a mandate for a lunge to the left and a great leap forward with the largest expansion of government since the New Deal. [snip]

History never repeats itself exactly. But Barack Obama is making the same mistakes today that LBJ made in 1965.

To call Barack Obama by the sobriquets George W. Obama or Lyndon Baines Obama is actually a compliment. Lyndon Baines Johnson was a powerful political figure who cared about America and had great accomplishments. George W. Bush at least managed to bankrupt business after business using other people’s money and was, albeit in a state whose governor does not have much responsibility, Governor of the Great State of Texas. By contrast Obama has done nothing. Obama is a great big zero. The Obama “O” is realy a “0”, a big zero.

The first woman managing editor of the Harvard Law Review has no glimmers of hope about Obama:

It reminds me a little bit of my experience with him when he was president of the Harvard Law Review. You know, I hesitated to say a lot about this during the campaign because I really thought maybe it wasn’t fair. That maybe, finally, when he got to be President, this would be a job big enough to engage and hold Barack Obama’s sustained interest, because really, is there a bigger job out here?


[W]hen he was at the HLR you did get a very distinct sense that he was the kind of guy who much more interested in being the president of the Review, than he was in doing anything as president of the Review.

A lot of the time he quote/unquote “worked from home“, which was sort of a shorthand – and people would say it sort of wryly – shorthand for not really doing much. He just wasn’t around. Most of the day to day work was carried out by the managing editor of the Review, my predecessor, a great guy called Tom Pirelli whose actually going to be one of the assistant attorney generals now.

He’s the one who did most of the day to day work. Barack Obama was nowhere to be seen. Occasionally he would drop in he would talk to people, and then he’d leave again as though his very arrival had been a benediction in and of itself, but not very much got done.

So, you know, you see that and you think, gosh, maybe that’s the way the guy operates, hut then you figure ok, obviously he always had his eye on bigger and better things.

But now he’s President…there really isn’t a bigger or better thing.

Big Media and PINO Big Blogs will note that Ms Liebau is a Republican. But isn’t what she describes exactly what Americans have witnessed? Obama is at Camp David, again, this weekend. Obama is constantly either returning from or planning to go on vacation. Big shows and big displays Obama enjoys. Work? Obama does not enjoy work. Work is something Obama leaves to others. When something goes wrong, Obama blames the staff. Usually administrations write bills but Obama prefers to let Pelosi or Reid or others do the work on the “stimulus” on the 2009 budget, on healthcare, on the 2010 budget, in short on everything – Obama is too busy doing the flim-flam keep on moving scam. And we do remember how during the campaign Obama displayed petulance and fatigue when forced to campaign.

* * *

Fear and Hope are not the only Obama distractions. There is also the Obama blame game to drown the forgotten celestial choirs:

In his inaugural address, President Obama proclaimed “an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics.”

It hasn’t taken long for the recriminations to return — or for the Obama administration to begin talking about the unwelcome “inheritance” of its predecessor.

Over the past month, Obama has reminded the public at every turn that he is facing problems “inherited” from the Bush administration, using increasingly bracing language to describe the challenges his administration is up against. The “deepening economic crisis” that the president described six days after taking office became “a big mess” in remarks this month to graduating police cadets in Columbus, Ohio.

“By any measure,” he said during a March 4 event calling for government-contracting reform, “my administration has inherited a fiscal disaster.”

Obama’s more frequent and acid reminders that former president George W. Bush left behind a trillion-dollar budget deficit, a 14-month recession and a broken financial system have come at the same time Republicans have ramped up criticism that the current president’s policies are compounding the nation’s economic problems.

Obama had initially been content to leave partisan defense strategy to his proxies, but as the fiscal picture has continued to darken, he has appeared more willing to risk his image as a politician who is above petty partisanship to personally remind the public of Bush’s legacy.

Democrats used to mock George W. Bush when he blamed the wonderful Bill Clinton. Now Dimocrats and their PINO Big blogs have become what we all used to mock:

Upon entering the White House in 2001, Bush pinned the lackluster economy on his predecessor, using the “Clinton recession” to successfully argue in favor of tax cuts that won some Democratic support. But for Obama, who built his candidacy on a promise to rise above Washington’s divisive partisan traditions — winning over many independent voters and moderate Republicans in the process — blaming his predecessor holds special risks.

For Barack Obama “fear”, “hope” and “blame” are tools to distract from his own inadequacies:

“What the administration is involved in now is the politics of attribution,” said Lawrence R. Jacobs, a political scientist at the University of Minnesota. “Each week that goes by with falling job numbers and Republican criticism of the administration’s flaws means falling approval ratings. What’s the antidote? That the guilty party is George Bush.”

“The trick,” Jacobs said, “is how do you shift blame to George Bush and retain any credibility on the idea that you are looking past partisan warfare? This looks like a doubling down on a very partisan approach.”

* * *

For us the glimmers of hope emanate from Hillary Clinton.

This week Obama shut his mouth and the stock markets rose. Whether it is a Bear Market trap or not, Wall Street rose this week even though it is still down 18 percent for the year. The market rise began on Wednesday.

We’ll indulge ourselves and mock the Hopium addled addicts by calling attention to the fact that it was also on Wednesday that the New York Times published this:

On Wednesday, Bill Clinton himself will headline an Upper East Side fund-raiser for Ms. Gillibrand.

“Kirsten has inspired the band to get back together,” said Karen Finney, who was a deputy press secretary for Mrs. Clinton in the White House and is now advising Ms. Gillibrand. “It’s nice to be working for another great woman from New York.” [snip]

Ms. Gillibrand’s back-to-back campaigns will also provide an outlet to the energies and enthusiasms of Mrs. Clinton’s ardent grass-roots supporters, especially in feminist circles.

One member of Ms. Gillibrand’s kitchen cabinet, for example, is Ann Lewis, a longtime Clinton confidante and a senior adviser on the presidential campaign. Ms. Lewis recently launched, a Web site and blog, to allow Mrs. Clinton’s supporters to network and stay in touch.

“Hard-core Hillary supporters are fully expecting her to run again in 2016,” said one New York official with deep Clinton ties who demanded anonymity so as not to be seen as speaking for Mrs. Clinton. “That is one reality. Kirsten is a more local reality. But for folks in New York, she gives them a focus.” [snip]

“There are lot of people who think that Kirsten is an admirable successor,” said Ricki Lieberman, a major Clinton donor who is helping organize Wednesday’s event with the former president. “I think it’s a natural alliance.”

2016 is a polite date number said with a sly smile. And as usual Ricki is on the job.

The Wall Street traders, if they missed the New York Times article, had fun when they read their magazines:

Senator Gillibrand’s transition into office and preparation for her reelection campaign has been greatly helped by the well-oiled machine Hillary Clinton left behind. Nearly all of Clinton’s New York staff has stayed on to work for Gillibrand, her powerful network of fund-raising connections is still churning out the cash, and her other contacts are showing the upstater how to humor all of New York’s various ethnic constituencies. But today the Times briefly hits on what may be motivating some of Clinton’s most loyal hands to work so hard for Gillibrand, and it’s not necessarily the kindness of their own hearts.

In reality, like athletes working out on their own during the off-season, some of Clinton’s die-hard supporters are just trying to stay sharp for when Clinton inevitably runs for president in eight years.

“Hard-core Hillary supporters are fully expecting her to run again in 2016,” said one New York official with deep Clinton ties who demanded anonymity so as not to be seen as speaking for Mrs. Clinton. “That is one reality. Kirsten is a more local reality. But for folks in New York, she gives them a focus.”

In other words, Gillibrand is just a means to avoid getting rusty. Clinton is only 61 years old, which means age shouldn’t disqualify her from running again. And, in fact, Steve Kornacki notes today that Clinton’s time as secretary of State is already paying dividends in the popularity department — a poll released last week put her favorable/unfavorable numbers at 59–22, an “all-time high.”

Did we mention this story with that fun “2016” quote came out on the same Wednesday Wall Street rallied? Did Wall Street have a Hillary rally? Or was it simply the joy of Obama shutting up?

As we’ve said, 2016 is a polite estimate. As Obama bumbles, stumbles, and falls, Hillary Saves The World, the stock markets, and eventually the presidency.

Now that is real glimmers of hope.


155 thoughts on “Glimmers Of Hope, Part II

  1. I would think if you were ready to lead on day one, you would not be having to tell your staff to shape up. Of course he chose the staff. But then it is OK to lie about your experience, when the country is at great risk. After all, many will endorse you and save your for the sake of the Party.

    It is too bad they did not put their country First.

  2. By the way, neither O or his staff has one idea about how this budget process works, and how it can be played. I will be interesting to see what really happens with this stimulus money.

  3. “The trick,” Jacobs said, “is how do you shift blame to George Bush and retain any credibility on the idea that you are looking past partisan warfare? This looks like a doubling down on a very partisan approach.”



    Excellent article, Admin. What I love about your writing is the abundance of evidence you use to make your argument. There is no way to dispute that this man is a square peg trying to fit into a round hole, and he amply continues to provide us with ammunition to prove that he is as incompetent as they come.

  4. Host Chris Wallace asked on “Fox News Sunday” this month, “Can this now fairly be called the Obama bear market?”
    House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) said, “I want to take the president at his word that he wants to work on these problems plaguing American families,” adding that “people are looking for leadership.” “It is the Obama economy and the Obama stock market,” Cantor said. “This is about today, and he’s assumed his post.”
    For what it’s worth, here are my thoughts on the current economic crisis, and its political implications.

    1. It is clear that Mr. Obama inherited a recession, plus something far worse– an impending collapse of banking, mortgage, and consumer markets. This dire scenario was created by a number of factors, but to my mind the following are salient. First, a lack of regulatory oversight by the Democratic controlled congress. Second, laissez faire capitalism run riot as championed by the Republican Party. Third, an excess of liquidity caused by the overheated Asian economy and failure to develop consumer economies of their own to keep pace with it. And fourth, the adoption of financial practices on Wall Street which were fundamentally unsound and/or illegal.

    2. By the end of 2008, it was obvious that the macro challenge of the next president would be as follows: first, to restore public confidence (domestic and abroad); second, to formulate an economic plan to address the situation in concert with our global partners based on the right incentives; and third to establish an effective system of oversight sorely lacking in recent years. (Note: this is the same problem Hillary would have faced if she had become president. However she would have known how to handle it. In fact her campaign anticipated these problems and offered solutions to the American People, which were drowned out by the shrill tones of big media screeds in service of Obama and their own selfish interests.)

    3. Enter Barack Hussein Obama, aka The Messiah, aka Precious, aka Party Animal, grinning like a possum eating shit out of a hairbrush. We are told is the People’s Choice. . and he is, if the people you mean are big business, big media and the bamboozled element of the population who believed that hope and change were more important than solutions. I shall not scruple to call them fools for lest we forget it was Hillary who offered solutions and it was Obama who promised them only hope and change. A friend of mine pointed out to me that those same words wafted through the air of political discourse on the eve of the last three depressions–1929, 1907, 1870).

    4. When some people look at Mr. Obama they see the hope and fulfillment of all their childhood dreams, and perhaps the vindication of an ancient wrong. Those sentiments are legitimate, but they never stopped to ask whether they were investing them in the right candidate for the right reasons. It was impulse buying at its worst and they projected properties and virtues on him which do not exist. He is the political equivalent of the pet rock craze which swept over the country a generation ago. Any attempt to convince them otherwise however would be a lifetime exercise in futility.

    5. For people like us it is a little different. When we look at him, we see a grown man riding the choo-choo train and pretending to be Lincoln, strutting across the world stage behaving like Julius Caesar, throwing gala white house parties with media whores and acting as if he has done something of substance in his entire life to merit this irrational outpouring of adulation. We see his mug gracing the pages of every periodical, teleprompter in hand preaching hope, change and deliverance. It is disgusting and at some point it begins to resemble Triumph of the Will–sans Lenie Reifenstahl. There are paths in political life which lead to tragedy and despair. We worry this may turn out to be one of them.

    6. The problem we have is we cannot suspend disbelief as others have blissfully done. We have met our fair share of snake oil salesmen along the way and know one when we see one. And when we pull back the curtain on this burlesque show what we see is not a leader but a schmoozer. We see someone who is there because he has convinced the moneyed interests that he is their man, as he did with Rezko, GE and Wall Street. Someone who will do their bidding and fire on his own people if it comes to that—as they once said of Generalissimo Franco. Someone who will disenfranchise voters to win elections. Someone who appears to be the diametric opposite of Bush, but is in fact his evil twin.

    7. We are fine with his race, but we are deeply troubled by the immoral way he has used it it to achieve his career objectives. Indeed, the record is clear that Mr. Obama has played the race card both offensively and defensively. Who can forget the slanderous lies he perpetrated in South Carolina against Bill and Hillary? See Professor Wilentz. And can forget when he paced back and forth on stage and proclaimed he “does not look like those other presidents”. That little shtick lasted until McCain at least had the good sense to call him on it. It is tragic that Hillary and Bill did not do the same. To paraphrase Menken false claims of racism are the last bastion of scoundrels.

    8. Far be it from me to deny that Mr. Obama is different from other presidents. On the contrary, I agree with it wholeheartedly. I believe he is fundamentally different from those who proved themselves equal to the task of rescuing the nation from catastrophe. And the difference has nothing whatsoever to do with skin color. If you compare Mr. Obama with Presidents who succeeded in crises of this magnitude you find profound differences which are outcome determinative. Those presidents had three things that Mr. Obama appears to lack: experience, judgment and moral courage. Without those, it is hard to imagine how he is capable of solving a crisis of this magnitude.

    9. But there is one more critical factor that successful presidents have had which Mr. Obama conspicuously lacks and that is the ability to immerse himself in a crisis and to focus his attention upon it for an extended period of time. For example, think of Lincoln in the Civil War reeling from crushing military defeats, seizing his army back from McClellan, taking a chance on Grant and picture him fixating over a map of the battlefield of Cold Harbor, Spotsylvania and Petersburg where the tide began to turn from defeat to victory. In Lincoln we see a leader immersed in the problem, making hard calls without half measures. In Hillary Clinton we find those same problem solving crisis management competencies. The woman the people wanted and benighted elites refused to accept to lead our nation.

    10. Compare Barack Obama who practiced law in Illinois, and consider him as he was described to me by the attorneys who litigated against him in that venue: He (Obama) delivered powerful opening statements (speeches) and moved well around the courtroom. However, when it came to the details of the case he was not interested. He looked at those details and his eyes glazed over and he was anxious to hit the road. The goal of the opposing attorney was to get him into a settlement posture where within reason he was willing to sign whatever was placed in front of him. A show horse yes, a workhorse no. In no way shape or form a problem solver.

    11. If that is true, then it is hardly surprising that in the midst of an economic crisis of significant magnitude we would find Mr. Obama similarly disengaged and disinterested. When he should be pouring over the battle plans for our economy we find him instead running around the country campaigning, entertaining the Chicago Bulls and carrying on in such a way that they are starting to call him The Party
    Animal. Granted, he can sign laws repudiating past policies on stem cell research, but if you examine the record, what you find is an unambiguous pattern of reneging on promises made to supporters in favor of Bush redux.

    12. What would a leader do to seize the initiative? The first thing a leader would do is restore confidence. The way to do that is to cultivate what has been accurately described as “tough minded optimism”. Obama however has done the exact opposite. Instead of projecting confidence he quickly became a repository of gloom and doom, until Bill Clinton advised him otherwise. Part of the reason he did this was to extricate himself from the lavish promised he made during the election process and part of it was because he believed it. Meanwhile Republican recognizing his profound error adopted the self serving mantra that he inherited a recession and is talking us into a depression. This was a self inflicted wound by someone whom big media told us was a thoughtful man with impeccable judgment.

    13. Another thing a leader would do to restore confidence is to show others that his actions are consistent with his words. Once again, Mr. Obama has proven himself unequal to the task. Too often what he says is not what he does. He promised campaign finance reform and he reneged. He promised to protect civil liberties and he reneged. He promised to revisit NAFTA as Hillary did, and then he reneged. He promised to get us out of Iraq within 180 days and he reneged. He promised to close Gitmo and he reneged. Sometimes he does this blatantly, sometimes secretly and sometimes through weasel words. But regardless of how he does it, he does it, and when that is the case, how can anyone place confidence in his judgments? Simply put, he speaks with forked tongue. You can see it in foreign affairs as well as he reneges on promises made to Poland on missile defense, etc. and calls it a simple misunderstanding. The French President has figured him out and so have other Europeans. It is fortunate that Kissinger has chaperoned him on his trip to Russia, or someone besides him might be pushing the wrong button. Hope, change etc are not enough.

    14. Yet another thing a leader would do to restore confidence would be to be wary of what he promises. In that respect I am reminded of one of the forgotten people of the Republican primary—Rudy. Once thought to be the inevitable candidate he flamed out rather quickly. He has written a book on leadership, as he wants us to believe he has practiced it. A million words and one sentence stands out: under promise and over deliver–never ever the reverse. I asked a friend of mine yesterday how the Chinese press is reporting the progress made to date by Mr. Obama. They say he promised too much and will not be able to deliver. The world sees it even if we don’t.

    15. The second thing a leader would do is formulate a sound economic plan which is responsive to the economic crisis we are facing. Unfortunately, the wrong die has been cast. When Obama sent Emanuel to see Pelosi and she gave him the bums rush, Barack failed to back up his man. At the moment of truth, when the question of leadership was presented to him in high relief, he knuckled under—and not to Putin, but to . . . Pelosi??? Courage—thy name is Barack. Instead of merely standing his ground, he caved in completely and outsourced his economic plan to Congress, and to a woman who by virtue of seniority as opposed to sanity was Speaker of the House. Now that’s what I call unity. And she gave him a bill which was designed to perpetuate the Democratic party in the next election cycle, rather than one that address the deepening economic crisis. And what did Mr. Obama—the sworn enemy of pork do with that do that fine piece of legislation? Why he embraced it with open arms of course.

    16. Big Media followed suit and embraced him program with open arms as well. But markets reacted differently to all this misbegotten largesse. The DOW dropped 20% when it should have experienced an uptick at the departure of Bush. The reason for this was clear. Mr. Obama proved to them by his actions, as opposed to his rhetoric, that his administration would pursue political spending over fiscal responsibility. As a result, we will be forced to borrow more money, which will increase our national debt and burden the capacity of global capital market upon which others besides ourselves routinely rely. Finally, Madam Speaker included a protectionist measure to make it even more appealing to our global partners.

    17. The problem is compounded by the lack of realistic economic forecasting by his youthful budget director, whom big media assures us is a fine family man, as if that has any relevance to the analytical task at hand. But the fact remains he is as far off the mark as home plate from the left field fence in Yankee Stadium. He claims our GDP will contract by a mere 1.2% this year, while the Congressional Budget Office says 2.2% and Wall Street says 2.8% per Merrill Lynch. Even more surrealistically, he claims the GDP next year will grow at robust 3.2% while Wall Street predicts a break even 0.5% result. The game here is obvious. He has backed into those numbers to mask the impact of the Pelosi politically driven budget on the deficit.

    18. The recent article in the Wall Street Journal giving him an F is an affirmation of what markets already know. Dick Armey pinned the tail on the donkey when he said: the investor class does not want to be a part of the Obama program. Meanwhile China looking at the same set of facts is saying the same thing–they are worried about their investments in the United States and encourage Mr. Obama to honor our financial commitments. In other words they too are saying do we want to be a part of this and what other options do we have?

    19. This will make for an intriguing discussion when Mr. Obama travels to the G-20 Conference for the ostensible purpose of inspiring the world and for the subrosa purpose of getting his instructions from the countries that now hold the key to our economic future as well as their own.

    20. The propaganda coming out of this conclave as reported by idiots like Matt Lee will be meaningless. The real task will be to read between the lines.

  5. A very well thought out ans logical stance at wbboei Says:

    March 14th, 2009 at 9:59 pm .

    The only additional problem I predict is that he does not give a rat’s a$$ about any of this because he has a higher mission and it does not include the welfare of the citizens.

    I went to a political party meeting last night and they are predicting that some states will not welcome most of the $timulus $. The county Superintendent of Education said that he would refuse the money because it creates a perpetual increase in expenditures and only funds it for twelve months, at best 24 months. Smart man. He has devised ways to keep teachers and that is an even smarter man.

  6. I am reposting this from the end of the last thread…

    JanH Says:

    March 14th, 2009 at 3:42 pm
    Barack Obama’s aides admit errors are making him less popular

    Senior aides of US President Barack Obama privately admit that a series of presentational errors have contributed to falling popularity with voters and pundits alike.

    By Tim Shipman
    14 Mar 2009

    His staff are being warned to get a firmer grip now he has passed the 50-day mark in the White House, and prevent a repeat of the mistakes that marred the last seven weeks.

    A White House official last week passed details to The Sunday Telegraph of Mr Obama’s desire to avoid a repeat of such errors as the inept handling of Gordon Brown’s recent visit to Washington. A new poll revealed that the president’s personal approval ratings have slumped to levels below those of George W. Bush at the same stage of his first term, undermining the common assumption that Mr Obama is enjoying unusual levels of public popularity. The Rasmussen survey found that Mr Obama enjoys the confidence of just 56 per cent of voters, with 43 per cent who do not have confidence and a third strongly disapproving of his early performance.

    Mr Obama has now told his staff to learn from the errors made during Mr Brown’s visit and to ensure that the protocol is observed when he meets the Queen later this month. Administration officials have been warned to be better prepared for the high profile series of international meetings over the next few weeks, during which Mr Obama will travel to Europe for the G20 meeting in London, roll out a new strategy for Afghanistan at a Nato summit and make his first appearance in a Muslim nation – Turkey.

    A source close to Mr Obama’s top team telephoned this newspaper last week to say that White House officials now regard it as “a mistake” to have returned the bust of Winston Churchill that the British government loaned George W. Bush – a story first reported by The Sunday Telegraph – and then to have sent the prime minister home with a gift of 25 DVDs after his visit to Washington. “Clearly it was a mistake, and they want people to know that they know that,” the source said. “There is a collective desire to learn from the experience. They pride themselves on attention to detail. They didn’t have their eye on the ball… they all know they’ve got to do better.”

    Mr Obama is due to call at Buckingham Palace shortly before the G20 meeting.
    The source said: “The point was made that the protocol people need to be absolutely sure they are on top of everything to do with meeting the Queen and make sure that everyone knows what is expected. The Queen won’t be getting any DVDs.”

    The admission came as Mr Obama faced and upsurge of criticism from influential and previously devout supporters among American commentators, halfway through what Mr Obama hopes will prove the most consequential first 100 days since Franklin D. Roosevelt. So far he has had a radical economic stimulus approved by Congress, but faces accusations that he and his team, who regard themselves as great communicators, have made presentational errors.

    The veteran Newsweek political columnist Howard Fineman, previously an enthusiastic cheerleader, delivered a withering verdict under the headline “The Turning Tide”, which concluded: “Obama still has the approval of the people, but the establishment is beginning to mumble that the president may not have what it takes.” Camille Paglia, the feminist writer who was early and vocal Obama fan, said: “Heads should be rolling at the White House for the embarrassing series of flubs that have overshadowed President Obama’s first seven weeks in office.” She denounced “the fiasco of the ham-handed White House reception for British Prime Minister Gordon Brown” and said that Mr Obama’s aides were a “posse of smirky smart alecks and provincial rubes” who seemed like “dazed lost lambs in the brave new world of federal legislation and global statesmanship”. Ms Paglia added on that Mr Obama “has been ill-served by his advisers and staff.” Nile Gardiner, the foremost conservative expert on the special relationship in Washington, is gunning for the official at the state department who told The Sunday Telegraph last weekend that Britain deserved no special favours and was “just the same as the other 190 countries in the world”. Dr Gardiner, director of the Margaret Thatcher Centre for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation, said: “The official’s highly insulting remarks were the most offensive comments directed against Britain by any U.S. representative in recent memory. There should be a full inquiry… and the Secretary of State should be prepared to offer an unreserved apology on behalf of the Obama Administration to the British people.”

    But the criticism is not confined to conservatives. The billionaire investor Warren Buffett, a friend of Mr Obama, last week criticised the president’s determination to press ahead with expensive liberal pet projects like healthcare reforms when he should be devoting all everything to the economy.
    “Job one is to win the war, the economic war. Job two is to win the economic war – and job three,” he said. “You can’t expect people to unite behind you if you’re trying to jam a whole bunch of things down their throat.”


    “The Queen won’t be getting any DVDs.”

    Shaking my head here.

  7. wbboei: congratulations on your twenty point comments.It is by far the best analysis and comments as to the cause and effects of of idolitary and gullibility enhanced by fear of the race issue by a population that has lost interest in the realities that they face.If they could only see what we have and what could have been.This whole scenario has been planned for a long time and as bad luck would have it,Telebama was chosen by the MSM and presented him to the greedy politicians as the sacrificial lamb chop in order to deny Hillary the Presidency.The extent of their fear is very obvious in their lack of important coverage of her skills and determination to see peace the main issue in today’s world.
    When is america going to wake up to the reality that Telebama is destroying our country each and every day and then he will move on to a greater position of power with his thoughtless supporters seeing him as their saviour and Messaih.

    By ABM90 Oh what fools these mortals be.!!!!!

  8. Agreed with the post from above, wbboei your posts are very articulate and generally how I see things.
    Im not great with words so reading others thoughts that reflect my own is very nice.

    Take Obamas teleprompter away and he is nothing as we have already seen countless times. Hillary can instantly respond without a teleprompter under pressure and a involved line of questioning. That is why I believe she is excellent in her postion as Secretary of State and will restore much of our image as a nation lost over the last 8 years.

    I will keep my candle lit for 2016. I worked my butt off for her in 2008 but I will get out there twice as hard in 2016 I will lose sleep if given the opportunity again for my girl!! I wont let the presidency be stolen from her a second time the DNC better get ready for us Diehard Clinton supporters if she does run again!

  9. Agree ABM90. Mr Obama has now told his staff to learn from the errors made…..oh what fools these mortals continue to be. Or asked another way, how long will his minions tolerate being pi$$ed on?

  10. At last report Obama’s Cabinet was about 3/4 male. And they are all on Obama’s Council on Women — all Cabinet members are automatically on it. (Whether anyone else is on it, besides Jarrett and Tchen, has not been reported.)

    “While the new council does not have Cabinet rank, the whole Cabinet, from the Secretary of Defense to the US Ambassador to the United Nations, is required to serve on it.” “The members are all Cabinet Secretaries and the heads of numerous federal agencies.”

    “[It] will include every Cabinet secretary and the head of every Cabinet-level agency.” Kim Gandy, NOW

    Does anyone have a guess at to the gender ratio of “heads of numerous federal agencies”? And, thus, the overall gender ratio of the ta-da “Council on Women”?

  11. ABM 90 I wish you and I had 100 million dollars to make a movie about this. I will check the stimulus bill. I am sure they took care of their friends in Hollywood to make movies so who knows after the Geffens steal their share of it their may be a few million dollar scraps here and there to pay for our venture into movie making. You can be the director and I will be the producer or if you prefer the reverse. But I do think we should talk about something called the moral to the story, otherwise what is the point. In my opinion the moral to the Barack Obama should be that the President must be more than a puppet of special interests. His or her job is to serve the people of this country, rather than to disenfrachise them. And you may think you can make them believe you but the truth is you can fool some of the people some of the time, and with some of us none of the people none of the time because we know a charlatan when we see one.

  12. Brandon82 Says:

    March 14th, 2009 at 11:26 pm
    Agreed with the post from above, wbboei
    Thanks Brandon82. I am glad we are in general agreement.

  13. Nile Gardiner, the foremost conservative expert on the special relationship in Washington, is gunning for the official at the state department who told The Sunday Telegraph last weekend that Britain deserved no special favours and was “just the same as the other 190 countries in the world”. Dr Gardiner, director of the Margaret Thatcher Centre for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation, said: “The official’s highly insulting remarks were the most offensive comments directed against Britain by any U.S. representative in recent memory. There should be a full inquiry… and the Secretary of State should be prepared to offer an unreserved apology on behalf of the Obama Administration to the British people.”

    If so, Hillary will fire his ass. I hope it turns out not State Dept at all.


  14. Have we recently written that Obama can’t be trusted? Hillary’s health care plan assured Americans that they could keep their current health insurance if they so chose. Obama trashed McCain for proposing what Obama is now winking approval for. Obama’s latest flim-flam:

    The Obama administration is signaling to Congress that the president could support taxing some employee health benefits, as several influential lawmakers and many economists favor, to help pay for overhauling the health care system.

    The proposal is politically problematic for President Obama, however, since it is similar to one he denounced in the presidential campaign as “the largest middle-class tax increase in history.” Most Americans with insurance get it from their employers, and taxing workers for the benefit is opposed by union leaders and some businesses.

    In television advertisements last fall, Mr. Obama criticized his Republican rival for the presidency, Senator John McCain of Arizona, for proposing to tax all employer-provided health benefits. The benefits have long been tax-free, regardless of how generous they are or how much an employee earns. The advertisements did not point out that Mr. McCain, in exchange, wanted to give all families a tax credit to subsidize the purchase of coverage.

  15. Parker’s Pregnancy Gets Bad Rap
    Posted Mar 13th 2009 1:30AM by Kevin Blackistone (RSS feed)

    Filed Under: NBA

    It is a good thing for Roger Federer that he isn’t a woman. Or maybe it is too bad that Candace Parker is. After all, they are in the same boat, but in very different classes of travel. Federer is in first, while Parker appears to be in stowage.

    The ship both are sailing on is the Love Boat. Federer announced happily on his Web site Thursday that he is about to become a father. Parker is pictured on the cover of ESPN the Magazine scheduled for release on Friday in full bloom – pregnant.

    Federer is not married. Parker is — now.

    But Parker wasn’t hitched to her basketball-playing boyfriend, Shelden Williams, until last November, when the pair made news by eloping. A month later, Parker announced she was with child. The baby is due in May, which means Parker was about three months pregnant when she and Williams ran away to get hitched.

    The initial news of Parker’s blessing wasn’t warmly embraced by all, including, oddly enough, by Parker’s female boss, L.A. Sparks’ owner Kathy Goodman.

    “My first reaction,” Goodman told the Los Angeles Times, sounding like Phyllis Schlafly, “was to just shake my head. We’re inured to this by now so I guess I thought, ‘Oh, yeah, she’s having a baby. Yeah, of course.’ ”

    Goodman was recalling her disappointment years earlier when the first star of the Sparks, Lisa Leslie, announced her pregnancy during the offseason and missed the regular campaign.

    Some other crickets, however, chirped their disappointment in Parker more specifically — she got pregnant out of wedlock, at just 22 years old and selfishly knowing full well that her team, if not the WNBA, needed her, last year’s Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year.

    And you thought those fifties’ family sitcoms, where men ruled and women knew their place, were relics of the past.

    Top Couples in SportsJesse D. Garrabrant, NBAE/Getty Images74 photos Wolves forward Shelden Williams and Sparks star Candace Parker
    Relationship Status: They eloped in Lake Tahoe in November, and Parker is expecting her first child this spring.(

    Federer, in the immediate wake of his good fortune with girlfriend Mirka Vavrinec, is being celebrated and congratulated for being at the threshold of parenthood. “Federer to be a dad,” most headlines heralded Thursday.

    It wasn’t unlike the reaction to the news that the Donny Osmond of the NFL, Tom Brady, was about to become a father with a former girlfriend after having found a new one. Or the blowback to the news late last year that Lance Armstrong, who has one son and twins with his ex-wife Kristin Richards, was about to become a father again with his latest squeeze, girlfriend Anna Hansen, who Armstrong found working at his charity.

    Parker hasn’t been so lucky. Only guys can have all this fun.

    Los Angeles Times’ columnist Diane Pucin reported Thursday:

    Gary Belsky, [ESPN the Magazine] editor in chief, said the [Parker cover] story had been planned and photos shot just before Parker’s pregnancy became public — or noticeable.

    “We don’t do a lot of female athletes on the cover,” Belsky said. “Candace has made it more interesting. She’s got Adidas, McDonald’s and Gatorade as sponsors; that’s a pretty strong big three. But it’s still tough to put a woman on the cover for us.”
    I wonder if a guy who, like Parker, in one year led his alma mater to a second consecutive national title, was national player of the year, an Academic All-America, the first pick of the pro draft, the rookie of the year and league MVP in the pros — and, oh yeah, helped his team win an Olympic gold medal — would have trouble getting on the cover of a national sports magazine? Would he have to be pregnant too? (Of course, that would be a story!)

    Pucin’s story continued with Belsky:

    “But ESPN is participating in women’s sports month in March, so we thought this would be a good way. But when we found out she was pregnant we had to call and say, ‘We can’t run these pictures in March.’ ”

    So photo editor Catriona Ni Aolain reconceived the photo and spoke to Parker. “She was a little nervous,” Ni Aolain said. “She wanted to know we wouldn’t make fun of her in any way.”
    So ESPN the Magazine emblazoned a smiling Parker on its cover in a white dress cradling her tummy like a basketball next to this headline: “How Big Can Candace Parker Get?”

    How crass are we still?

  16. admin Says:

    March 15th, 2009 at 12:35 am
    Have we recently written that Obama can’t be trusted? Hillary’s health care plan assured Americans that they could keep their current health insurance if they so chose. Obama trashed McCain for proposing what Obama is now winking approval for. Obama’s latest flim-flam:

    Obama cannot be trusted Obama cannot be trusted Obama cannot be trusted Obama cannot be trusted

    I mentioned this the other day. This absolutely fries me. This taxation will hit the middle class HARD. Teachers, Nurses, Carpenters, Police Officers, Firefighters, ALL government workers, every unionized member in the country. If labor does not fight this, I will be more livid than I already am. If my benefits are taxed, I will decrease my working hours to account for the increase in my tax bill. I live in CA, and with the increases in state tax, sales tax, and increase registration fees for vehicles, we are taxed to the max. This is totally disgusting. What democrat taxes employer benefits? I would expect that from a Republican, but not a Democrat. Obama is a thoroughly disgusting hypocrit.

    Obama cannot be trusted Obama cannot be trusted Obama cannot be trusted Obama cannot be trusted.

  17. BTW, I work for a large HMO, and about two years ago, they started putting the cost of our benefits on our pay stubs. All the various benefits are listed, with the amounts that the employer pays. The cost is high. The government will mine a gold field, if they start taxing employer paid benefits. Businesses and other companies do receive a tax break for this payment. So if business lose this tax bread or it is reduced, and the onus is placed on the employee, how does this impact the revenue? I would think that employer tax breaks would decrease. I will vote against any politician that votes for this, if it makes it to that stage.

    BO has gone against just about everything he campaigned for. He is truly a sociopath.


    I got no job, got no income
    But I got Bambi
    Who could ask for anything more?
    I’ve got no home, got no worries
    Thanks to Bambi
    Who could ask for anything more?

    Old man Bambi I adore him
    Hope to find him ’round my door
    He’s got great abs
    Just ask Tweetie
    We got my bambi
    Who could ask for anything more?

    (Note: with apologies to the late George Gershwin).

  19. Obama is planning to tax health benefits. There is also the story of how the transition team spent its cash – on Obama – and Obama won’t pay taxes on his vacation:

    The Obama transition team spent $44,000 vetting donors, $5,000 shredding documents, $10 on a sewing kit and $126,000 on the charter jet that flew the soon-to-be first family to Hawaii for a pre-Inauguration vacation.

  20. wbboei, if you are still here, can you respond to this post. I featured part of your comment (shown below) on a post on MO for NQ with full attribution to you. Let me know if that is ok.. I have not released it for publication yet.

    “We the people have a right to expect a certain level of decorum from someone who presumes to serve in the august role of First Lady of the United States. We do not expect them to be talking trash about senior cabinet officials in a public ceremony. Such behavior is bizarre, catty and disfunctional. It ill serves the nation and the presidency.”

  21. admin Says:

    March 15th, 2009 at 1:08 am

    Don’t forget about the 4,000 dollars in upgrades at Blair House and another place that they stayed, prior the inauguration. The American taxpayer is getting screwed on all fronts. Our retirement funds are drastically reduced, our housing has decreased in value, people are out of work, no jobs available, and now they want to get what ever little we have left.

    Did you hear that someone proposed having vets use private insurance to pay for their care?

  22. Thanks, wbboei. I have been trying to catch you since morning (yesterday morning, that is). I left you messages on the previous thread but could not get on this until now. I will let you know when the post goes up.

  23. “Many economists and tax analysts have long argued for changing current tax law on health coverage, which disproportionately benefits wealthier workers. The law encourages people to enroll in the most comprehensive health plans on offer, the so-called Cadillac plans that provide vast coverage, mask the true cost of health care and contribute to skyrocketing costs.”

    “wealthier workers.” I guess, teachers, janitors, housekeepers, lab personnel, nurses, police officers, secretaries, receptionists, postal workers, professors, social workers, firefighters,etc., are considered wealthy to some people. This is a tax on the middle class, not wealthy people.

  24. birdgal, what kind of upgrades at Blair House?? You mean they had it remodeled for the Messiah, so it was good enough for him to live in??

  25. confloyd Says:

    March 15th, 2009 at 1:32 am

    I don’t know what type of upgrades. They stayed at a hotel for awhile, maybe it was for security. If I come across the posting again, I’ll post it.

  26. Here is the article about vets:

    “WASHINGTON (CNN) — Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki confirmed Tuesday that the Obama administration is considering a controversial plan to make veterans pay for treatment of service-related injuries with private insurance.

    But the proposal would be “dead on arrival” if it’s sent to Congress, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, said.

    Murray used that blunt terminology when she told Shinseki that the idea would not be acceptable and would be rejected if formally proposed. Her remarks came during a hearing before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs about the 2010 budget.

    No official proposal to create such a program has been announced publicly, but veterans groups wrote a pre-emptive letter last week to President Obama voicing their opposition to the idea after hearing the plan was under consideration.

    The groups also cited an increase in “third-party collections” estimated in the 2010 budget proposal — something they said could be achieved only if the Veterans Administration started billing for service-related injuries.

    Asked about the proposal, Shinseki said it was under “consideration.”

    “A final decision hasn’t been made yet,” he said.

    Currently, veterans’ private insurance is charged only when they receive health care from the VA for medical issues that are not related to service injuries, like getting the flu.

    Charging for service-related injuries would violate “a sacred trust,” Veterans of Foreign Wars spokesman Joe Davis said. Davis said the move would risk private health care for veterans and their families by potentially maxing out benefits paying for costly war injury treatments.

    A second senator, North Carolina Republican Richard Burr, said he agreed that the idea should not go forward.

    “I think you will give that up” as a revenue stream if it is included in this April’s budget, Burr said.

    Murray said she’d already discussed her concerns with the secretary the previous week.

    “I believe that veterans with service-connected injuries have already paid by putting their lives on the line,” Murray said in her remarks. “I don’t think we should nickel and dime them for their care.”

    Eleven of the most prominent veterans organizations have been lobbying Congress to oppose the idea. In the letter sent last week to the president, the groups warned that the idea “is wholly unacceptable and a total abrogation of our government’s moral and legal responsibility to the men and women who have sacrificed so much.”

    The groups included The American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

    At the time, a White House spokesman would neither confirm nor deny the option was being considered

  27. birdgal, what kind of upgrades at Blair House?? You mean they had it remodeled for the Messiah, so it was good enough for him to live in??
    Confloyd: oh come on now, what else would you expect them to do. Messiahs like Obama are more rare than Haleys Comet. That last sighting was 6000 years ago. And there is even a birth certificate to prove it . . . only no one can seem to find it. If Brown had only known that all he would get for all his effort was that good old possum grin and the top 25 Hollywood movies courtesy of David the Geek Geffen, theres no telling what Brown et ux would have done.

  28. “The official’s highly insulting remarks were the most offensive comments directed against Britain by any U.S. representative in recent memory.
    Turndown: before we jump to any rash conclusions here we must consider the possibility that the author of that comment is a veteran of the War of 1812. There are as you know some lingering animosities, especially on the Dolly Madison side of the family. Surely a conservative brit like the one who is so mortally offended by a stray comment that does not reflect in any way the views of the Secretray of State would understand how history can affect relationships. It is also possible that Barack had the little groper do it because he does not like the way Britain is treating Muslims who are seeking to acquire London Bridge, Big Ben, Lloyds of London and the Inns of Court with sleeping bags and the law of adverse possession–but that is pure speculation.

  29. $126,000 on the charter jet that flew the soon-to-be first family to Hawaii for a pre-Inauguration vacation.
    Admin: this is the anthesis of leadership. It is pure unadulterated self indulgence and conspicous consumption at a time when so many in this country are losing jobs, and retirement savings. It illustrates just how out of touch this man is with the plight of his fellow citizens and sensibilities of the country he presumes to lead. Amazing.

  30. Nile Gardiner, the foremost conservative expert on the special relationship in Washington, is gunning for the official at the state department who told The Sunday Telegraph last weekend that Britain deserved no special favours and was “just the same as the other 190 countries in the world”. Dr Gardiner, director of the Margaret Thatcher Centre for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation,
    The other thing I see is Mr Gardiner is a Thatcherite. My experience with them in the business world is limited, but I can tell you this much about the ones I have met. They were brutal practioners of free market principles, which makes you understand Pinochet–almost. Some Australians I met were of the same ilk. The British Empire is long gone but it never left the their bloodstream.

  31. A source close to Mr Obama’s top team telephoned this newspaper last week to say that White House officials now regard it as “a mistake” to have returned the bust of Winston Churchill that the British government loaned George W. Bush – a story first reported by The Sunday Telegraph – and then to have sent the prime minister home with a gift of 25 DVDs after his visit to Washington. “Clearly it was a mistake, and they want people to know that they know that,” the source said.
    Makes a nice epitaph. Less than two months in office and already Mr Obama has a diplomatic incident to deal with. Only it is not with an enemy but with a country which is widely regarded as our closest ally. And it involves his own conduct which is deemed to be an insult.

    But everything is okay now. He knows it was a mistake. He is sorry. He has learned his lesson. He wants everyone to know it. And he will try very hard not to add insult to injury. I feel much better hearing that.

  32. Hillary: The Movie’ to Get Supreme Court Screening

    At Issue Is Balance Between Political Speech and Free Speech

    By Robert Barnes
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Sunday, March 15, 2009;

    “Hillary: The Movie” came and went without much of a splash last year. Reviews were not flattering, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign waned and one devastating critique made sure that the scalding documentary would never become a blockbuster hit.

    It came from a panel of judges in Washington that said “H:TM” was not really a movie at all.

    The court sided with the Federal Election Commission and said the film was a 90-minute campaign ad “susceptible of no other interpretation than to inform the electorate that Senator Clinton is unfit for office, that the United States would be a dangerous place in a President Hillary Clinton world, and that viewers should vote against her.”

    The long article can be found here:

  33. Mideast Press Questions Obama
    Top Intelligence Pick’s Pullout Blamed on ‘Pro-Israel Hawks’

    By Walter Pincus
    Washington Post
    Sunday, March 15, 2009;

    The Middle East press has questioned President Obama’s authority over Arab-Israeli issues since Charles W. Freeman Jr.’s withdrawal from his appointment to a senior intelligence position. A commentary in Abu Dhabi’s the National, a newspaper owned by an investment fund controlled by the government, said Freeman’s decision Tuesday to withdraw as chairman of the National Intelligence Council “threw the Obama administration into the heart of a long-running controversy over the alleged supremacy of pro-Israel hawks in determining U.S. foreign policy after having taken a cautious approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict so far consistent with previous administrations.”

    The Daily Star in Beirut went further, saying Freeman’s action “is likely to be viewed as a significant victory for hardliners within the so-called ‘Israeli lobby,’ who led the movement to scuttle his appointment, and a blow to hopes for a new approach to Israel-Palestine issues under the Obama administration.” An analyst in the National pointed out that the Israel lobby may have had a Pyrrhic victory. Noting that vocal Freeman opponent Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) had publicly said, “I repeatedly urged the White House to reject him, and I am glad they did the right thing,” the analyst wrote, “A lobby that has thrived through its covert operations can claim another victory in reversing Freeman’s appointment, but this time its workings may have been too transparent for its own good.”

    Other Arab publications echoed that analysis, while at least one Israeli commentator questioned the views of Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair, who made the appointment and supported it after questions were raised about Freeman’s previous critical statements about Israel.

    Meanwhile, Obama has not discussed the matter, and press secretary Robert Gibbs has repeatedly dodged questions about it. On Friday, when asked about Obama’s “standing mute” before Freeman’s withdrawal, Gibbs said: “He’s somebody who served the country greatly but asked that his nomination not proceed, and the Director of National Intelligence accepted that.” A statement by Freeman accusing the Israel lobby of being behind his withdrawal became big news in the United States and the Middle East.
    Asked Friday whether the Israel lobby had influenced the White House, Gibbs responded as he had a week earlier, saying: “I’ve watched with great interest how people perceive different things about our policy and during the campaign, about whether we were too close to one group or too close to the other. So I don’t give a lot of thought to those.” When a reporter asked “for straight answers,” Gibbs said, “I gave you as straight of one as I can get.”

    The Jeddah Arab News online (in English) ran a commentary saying that observers in Saudi Arabia called the former ambassador’s announcement utterly disappointing. An editorial described his withdrawal as “a great victory for Washington ‘s powerful Israel lobby and a grave defeat for US foreign policy.” But it also carried this statement by senior political analyst Khaled Batarfi: “President Barack Obama . . . would have faced similar problems if his choice of Middle East envoy George J. Mitchell had gone through U.S. Congress.” A Syrian paper, al-Thawrah, said Freeman pulled out when he realized “no one is safe from the evils” of the Israel lobby.

    Caroline Glick, a columnist in the Jerusalem Post specializing in national security issues, had a different take. She described what she called “disturbing things about the climate in Washington these days.” The foremost was that Blair’s choice of Freeman, despite what she said were the latter’s known “extreme views on Israel and American Jews,” may indicate something about the DNI. She said Blair’s testimony last week to the Senate Armed Services Committee on Iran’s nuclear program showed that “America’s top intelligence officer is willing to take Iran’s word on everything,” and, “On the other hand, he isn’t willing to take Israel’s word on anything.”

  34. wbboei Says:

    March 14th, 2009 at 9:59 pm


    This is wbboei at his best. For those of you who haven’t read his thorough analysis, I highly recommend that you do.

  35. Someone was commenting yesteday that the best writers on some major newspapers are now bloggers. Hillary is 44 has a number of exeptional writers, of course being lead by Admin. Thank you for all the research you do to provide the facts, and place it on this site for all of us.

  36. Is Obama taking on too much at once, at economy’s expense?


    While the world awaits a coherent plan to fix America’s banks, the president also is urging a vast overhaul of health care, a plan to tax and thus limit tailpipe and smokestack emissions thought to cause global warming, the development of alternative energy systems, a dramatic shift of the nation’s tax burden, ambitious new education initiatives and a rewrite of financial regulations. If that weren’t enough in his first 50 days, he’s also found time to create a White House council on women and girls and to travel weekly to politically key states. This week, he heads to California for two days to talk about the economy.

    If he tries to do too much, some analysts say, he could end up a modern-day Jimmy Carter, blazing into town and throwing the kitchen sink at Congress, only to end his first year in office with a pile of broken plumbing. Andrew S. Grove, the former chief executive officer of Intel Corp. who’s now a professor at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, wrote an urgent appeal to Obama to focus on fixing the banks for last Wednesday’s Washington Post: “We have gone through months of chaos experimenting with ways to introduce stability into our financial system. The goals were to allow the financial institutions to do their jobs and to develop confidence in them. I believe by now, the people are eager for the administration to rein in chaos. But this is not happening. “Until the administration does this, we should not embark on attempting to fix another major part of the economy,” Grove wrote.

    Obama and his aides say that he can, and must, do it all. They see him as a Franklin D. Roosevelt, confronting an emergency with a New Deal-like smorgasbord of government programs. If there’s a problem, they say, it’s getting Congress to keep up.

    Republicans intend to obstruct Obama’s agenda. “It’s time to focus on the emergency that we have in front of us,” said Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, his party’s leader in the House of Representatives. “Can we really be talking about (the global warming) proposal or a government takeover of our health care system while our economy is collapsing?” Republicans fear that Obama will use the combination of an economic emergency and big Democratic majorities in Congress to ram through a liberal agenda.

    It’s not just Republicans who are worried about the breadth of Obama’s agenda, though. William Galston, a top adviser in Democrat Bill Clinton’s White House, noted that Carter, like Obama, thought it critical to enact his entire agenda as soon as possible when he took office in 1977. “Everybody has warned me not to take on too many projects so early in the administration,” Carter wrote in his diary. “But it’s almost impossible for me to delay something that I see needs to be done.”
    Yet by the end of the year, most of his agenda was stalled.

    Today, Galston notes in an essay for The New Republic, Obama appears unable to restore confidence in the financial system, arguably the key problem preventing economic recovery.
    “It is time for President Obama to focus his considerable leadership and communication skills on the financial crisis,” Galston said. “To speak candidly with the people about the magnitude of the problem, to embrace a solution commensurate with the problem and to do whatever it takes to persuade Congress and the people to accept it. If he does not, he could end up where another highly intelligent, self-disciplined and upright president did three decades ago.”

    Obama said last week that he could and should do more than just fix the banks.
    “These problems in the financial markets … are only a part of what threatens our economy,” he told the Business Roundtable. “And we must not use the need to confront them as an excuse to keep ignoring the long-term threats to our prosperity, the cost of our health care and our oil addiction, our education deficit and our fiscal deficit. “I am not choosing to address these additional challenges just because I feel like it or because I’m a glutton for punishment. I am doing so because they are fundamental to our economic growth and to ensuring that we don’t have more crises like this in the future.” Still, he felt the need Friday to stress that he IS focusing largely on the economy. “We are spending every day working through how to get credit flowing again so that businesses, large and small, as well as consumers, are able to obtain credit and we can get this economy moving again,” Obama said.

    Some close observers of the presidency think that Obama’s multi-tasking makes sense. “He ought to stick with his agenda,” said Bruce Buchanan, a political scientist at the University of Texas. “It’s true the economy is the top priority. But it’s also true that the rest of his agenda – health care, education, the environment – is integrated with the economic agenda.” Buchanan acknowledged, however, that Obama is hindered by two things, one which can be fixed – the need to staff the Treasury Department and other agencies crucial to his agenda – and one more intractable, Congress’ questionable ability to handle all the work. “It is going to overload the system,” Buchanan said.

    Many members of Congress say they’re up to it. Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., a leading Democratic moderate, said that overhauling health care, for example, might be easier than critics think. “This issue has been around for a long time, and people are familiar with it,” he said, adding that constituents know the problems, Congress knows the interest groups involved and lawmakers have spent years building bipartisan coalitions.

    However, Congress routinely fails to do its most basic task, passing the 12 annual appropriations bills that finance the government. Just last week, Congress passed and Obama signed one package wrapping up nine of the bills for the fiscal year that started last Oct. 1.
    Then the Senate said it would schedule no votes Wednesday to take a break, and the House and the Senate knocked off for the week at 3 p.m. Thursday. They’re out until Monday night.

    If there’s a problem with the crowded agenda, it’s not at the White House, but in Congress, said Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat. “How hard do you think Congress works?” Rendell asked. “Could they expand their work load? Of course they could.”

  37. Admin states:

    By contrast Obama has done nothing. Obama is a great big zero. The Obama “O” is realy a “0″, a big zero.

    Work is something Obama leaves to others. When something goes wrong, Obama blames the staff. Usually administrations write bills but Obama prefers to let Pelosi or Reid or others do the work on the “stimulus” on the 2009 budget, on healthcare, on the 2010 budget, in short on everything – Obama is too busy doing the flim-flam keep on moving scam. And we do remember how during the campaign Obama displayed petulance and fatigue when forced to campaign.

    and…Barack Obama was nowhere to be seen. Occasionally he would drop in he would talk to people, and then he’d leave again as though his very arrival had been a benediction in and of itself, but not very much got done.


    In the television and moving industry, when the set is being prepared for shooting they have what they call a ‘stand-in’ come in and stand there in place of the real actor or actress while the production crew set the lights and stage, etc…

    …this is what we have…we have a ‘Stand-In President’ – he shows up and reads what has been printed for him from the teleprompter but as Admin and others are stating he lets others do all the work…he is the ‘Stand-In’

  38. Insurance giant AIG to pay $165 million in bonuses

    AP Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger Sun Mar 15, 7:55 am ET
    AIG Bonus Backlash

    AIG Gets $30B After Losing $61.7B CNBC

    WASHINGTON – American International Group is giving its executives tens of millions of dollars in new bonuses even though it received a taxpayer bailout of more than $170 billion dollars.

    AIG is paying out the executive bonuses to meet a Sunday deadline, but the troubled insurance giant has agreed to administration requests to restrain future payments.

    The Treasury Department determined that the government did not have the legal authority to block the current payments by the company. AIG declared earlier this month that it had suffered a loss of $61.7 billion for the fourth quarter of last year, the largest corporate loss in history.

    Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has asked that the company scale back future bonus payments where legally possible, an administration official said Saturday.

    This official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said that Geithner had called AIG Chairman Edward Liddy on Wednesday to demand that Liddy renegotiate AIG’s current bonus structure.

    Geithner termed the current bonus structure unacceptable in view of the billions of dollars of taxpayer support the company is receiving, this official said.

    In a letter to Geithner dated Saturday, Liddy informed Treasury that outside lawyers had informed the company that AIG had contractual obligations to make the bonus payments and could face lawsuits if it did not do so.

    Liddy said in his letter that “quite frankly, AIG’s hands are tied” although he said that in light of the company’s current situation he found it “distasteful and difficult” to recommend going forward with the payments.

    Liddy said the company had entered into the bonus agreements in early 2008 before AIG got into severe financial straits and was forced to obtain a government bailout last fall.

    The large bulk of the payments at issue cover AIG Financial Products, the unit of the company that sold credit default swaps, the risky contracts that caused massive losses for the insurer.

    A white paper prepared by the company says that AIG is contractually obligated to pay a total of about $165 million of previously awarded “retention pay” to employees in this unit by Sunday, March 15. The document says that another $55 million in retention pay has already been distributed to about 400 AIG Financial Products employees.

    The company says in the paper it will work to reduce the amounts paid for 2009 and believes it can trim those payments by at least 30 percent.

    Bonus programs at financial companies have come under harsh scrutiny after the government began loaning them billions of dollars to keep the institutions afloat. AIG is the largest recipient of government support in the current financial crisis.

    AIG also pledged to Geithner that it would also restructure $9.6 million in bonuses scheduled to go a group that covers the top 50 executives. Liddy and six other executives have agreed to forgo bonuses.

    The group of top executives getting bonuses will receive half of the $9.6 million now, with the average payment around $112,000.

    This group will get another 25 percent on July 14 and the final 25 percent on September 15. But these payments will be contingent on the AIG board determining that the company is meeting the goals the government has set for dealing with the company’s financial troubles.

    The Obama administration has vowed to put in place reforms in the $700 billion financial rescue program in an effort to deal with growing public anger over how the program was operated during the Bush administration.

    That anger has focused in part on payouts of millions of dollars in bonuses by financial firms getting taxpayer support.

    In his letter, Liddy told Geithner, “We believe there will be considerably greater flexibility to reduce contractual payments in respect of 2009 and AIG intends to use its best efforts to do so.”

    But he also told Geithner that he felt it could be harmful to the company if the government continued to press for reductions in executive compensation.

    “We cannot attract and retain the best and brightest talent to lead and staff the AIG businesses, which are now being operated principally on behalf of the American taxpayers — if employees believe their compensation is subject to continued and arbitrary adjustment by the U.S. Treasury,” Liddy said.


    * Summers calls AIG bonuses ‘outrageous’ AP
    * Rep. Frank wants to see if AIG bonuses recoverable Reuters
    * AIG asked Buffett for help before U.S. rescue: report

  39. Emjay Says:

    March 15th, 2009 at 12:11 pm
    Insurance giant AIG to pay $165 million in bonuses


    People are being laid off left and right, can’t find jobs, losing their homes and investments, and these monsters are giving out bonuses????

    I can’t remember being so angry about all of these frauds in a long time.

    Thanks for the post Emjay.

  40. gonzotx Says:

    March 15th, 2009 at 12:37 am

    I posted the article to say…ya think? We have a long way to go and the women of America have let us down collectively as we know all to well.

  41. Emjay

    I heard that. It is so digusting. When will the American people wake up? Mr Jefferson, it is time for that revolution!

  42. Bambi – tell ya what, let’s speed up that “bonus plan” for AIG.

    Have Tim call Mr Liddy back with the message that you are stopping all aid to the fricking company…that they can get contributions from their vaunted high level employees like Beth Isreal Hospital is currently doing … if AIG employees are so selfish they won’t do it, let them go into temporary bankruptcy. The judge will do it for them, and us.

  43. Unlike Mr Obama, I do not pretend to be an economist. But in thinking about the mortgage crisis, the gross negligence of people like Franklin Raines and Barney Frank in pushing Fannie Maye to accept bad risks becomes obvious. Heres why.

    In the broadest sense, risk management whether it is practiced in a financial or an insurance environment rests on two principles: i) underwriting to correlate risk vs premium, and to weed out uninsurable risks, and ii) spreading the risks and losses over a large number of units, so those that do not suffer the losses themselves subsidize those that do.

    Years ago, I managed an insurance pool of 150 fishing vessels on behalf of the company I worked for. Those vessels operated primarily in Alaska. We insured the vessels from premium monies collected and bought reinsurance against catastrophic losses, and the risk that the total losses experienced by the group would exceed total premiums we collected for that insurance year.

    As insurance programs go this one was peanuts. However, the concept itself was viable. Which is to say it made money. Here in a nutshell is how it worked:

    Whenever a fisherman applied for insurance on his vessel, I would hire a surveyor to inspect it and certify that it was a good and insurable risk. Then, I would apply an underwriting schedule which correlated price to risk, based on certain underwriting criteria. Then we would set a high enough deductible that the vessel owner retained sufficient risk to minimize the moral hazard.

    At the same time that I was doing that, the property casualty market was collapsing. This was an insurance pool run by the real pros. They had very sophisticated underwriting capablilties run by first rate mathmaticians. But they also had investment portfolios which were making them alot of money.

    So they reduced their emphasis on underwriting and increased their selling efforts to attract more premium dollars which they could then invest. They knew those dollars could be invested today and although the loss rate would increase in the absense of underwriting standards, those losses would be paid out in the future. This gave them the time value of money or float.

    Well, it worked fine for awhile. It produced good quarterly reports and dividends. But then the losses snowballed and guess what . . .

    The principle we are talking about here is called “adverse selection”. It is not rocket science, it is risk management 101.

    In the mortage context, the typical risk I am exposed to is not that a vessel will sink, or an employee will be injured but that John Doe sitting across the table from me will take my money, not repay it and I will have to dispose of the house he purchased at a loss, plus the collection costs I will insure.

    If I am a banker and I lend money to everyone who walks through the door, at a price which does not correlate with the risk I am taking on, then it is a mathematical certainty that it will reach a point where the program will collapse. You dont need complex graphs and charts to prove this, it is axiomatic.

    So getting back to Raines and Frank, why did they push to get banks to assume bad risks? Why did they play the race card? And why did brilliant men and honest public like them push the system until it ultimately crashed, and disregard the advice of experts who like underwriters in the above example tried to sound warning bells?

    Politics, and putting their own interests ahead of those of the nation they are supposed to represent. And now they are there again trying to get the rest of us to bail out the people who were the beneficiaries of the bad risks that tanked the system.

    Why do the American People re-elect people like this? Are we stupid or what?

  44. Admin:

    Any more info on Dr. Orly Taitz’ confrontation of Justice Roberts before crowd of 8,000 (?), at university setting Fri., Mar. 13th (and interference with mysteriously being removed from the docket) concerning not hearing lawsuit filed concerning BHO’s eligibility for POTUS? Read where it’s making the rounds on several news organizational outlets – but not socialist Big Media (gasp).

  45. BRAVO! wbboei!

    As was asked up thread.. I would throughly enjoy sending your 20 points of enlightenment to several venues for republishing. (with your express permission of course). You touched every aspect of the failure of the Obama presidency. You rang every bell, dotted every “i”, crossed every “t”, closed every door and window before crossing the Rubicon. Blog readers worldwide deserve to take notice of your comprehensive analysis of this failed, poor excuse for a president forced upon us as expressed in your outline.

    wbboei- you hit this one out of the park for a Grand Slam!

  46. It has been alot of years since I worked in the risk management field, and alot has changed I am sure.

    In those days nobody I knew was talking about coverting mortages into securities, bundling them and selling them on world markets. If we were that sophisticated then I can assure you I wasnt. What we have today is the spread the risk concept on steroids.

    I can see a positive and a negative correllation between underwriting on the one hand and spreading the risk on the other. That corrolation is as follows:

    If you do a credible job of underwriting, then the risks you are spreading to the world are predominantly good ones and the bad ones can be subsidized. But if you fail to underwrite, then the principle of adverse selection mentioned above will be triggered and the risks you are spreading to the rest of the world are predominatly bad ones.

    If these securites are not diversified with other asset classes, and I doubt they were, then speading a risk of this nature and magnitude will tend to bring down the entire system.

    Emjay, you have an economic background. Mine is just business. If you see it differently, please advise.

  47. Mrs. Smith Says:

    March 15th, 2009 at 1:55 pm
    Absolutely. I have no pride of authorship on anything. I do not need accredation. If what I say is bullshit delete it. If it has merit, then send it out anywhere you think it may do some good. We are in a battle with big media. They have the microphone, but we have access to the internet and the internet is more powerful if we tell the truth and welcome feedback. Admin is the paradigm of this. I have sent out pink pages to politicans and news outlets in the past and the feedback has been extemely favorable.

  48. # wbboei Says:
    March 15th, 2009 at 2:07 pm


    Absolutely. I have no pride of authorship on anything. I do not need accreditation. If what I say is bullshit delete it. If it has merit, then send it out anywhere you think it may do some good. We are in a battle with big media. They have the microphone, but we have access to the internet and the internet is more powerful if we tell the truth and welcome feedback. Admin is the paradigm of this. I have sent out pink pages to politicians and news outlets in the past and the feedback has been extremely favorable.


    Hi-5’s, No chance, my friend. Accreditation and a link back here for more information that cannot be gleaned elsewhere. Just my luck a lurking Bot will post, “what’s a wbboei” pronounced like “Flowbee”… but with a ‘w’. heh!

  49. From my new blog,

    OT on other breaking news: ‘Council on Women’ a male-dominated sock puppet with a rubber stamp.

    For more evidence that Obama fears our power, look at how he rammed this package-deal ‘Council’ through, and how it is configured.

    There’s an article (I’ll look for the cite) quoting Alinsky’s son as complimenting Obama on setting up the Democratic Convention in August as an ‘organized’ event — meaning that there was no opportunity, ever, for other views to be heard. The establishment of this ‘Council’ has a similar pattern (though spread out longer).

    This ‘Council’ was set up with o chance ever for public input on its configuration or its leadership. Membership and leaders names were all in the Executive Order that established the ‘Council.’ The first that most of us heard of it was as a fait accompli with a big media event. (It was also set up such that those leaders did not have to go through Senate Confirmation Hearings.)

    Now look at who are already, package deal, defined as members. Obama’s own Cabinet Secretaries ( c. 75% males) plus some department heads (dunno that parity). I’m waiting for some good number cruncher (where are Anglachel and Riverdaughter when we need them?) to research this and compute a head count.
    Look at the firewalls Obama has built in here, against this ‘Council’ ever coming out with any recommendation or statement that could embarrass or incovenience him, or hamper his re-election.

    Supervised by two trusted cronies who helped him defeat Hillary and Palin. If by any chance they let something come up for a vote, the voters will be his own Cabinet appointees who owe their high paying day jobs to him.

    Even if Jarrett and Tchen were to suddenly reveal feminist T-shirts, the 75% male members are there to vote it down.

    Imo our best strategy would be to come out now, while the issue is current, strong and loud against this travesty. Use the current pro-Council publicity to get ourselves establishsed as the ‘go to’ opposition voice. Then we might have a little pressure as time goes on, to push the ‘Council’ to actually throw us a few crumbs instead of rubber stamping whatever Obama wants.

    Who can draw a cartoon of a sock puppet with a rubber stamp?

  50. Just my luck a lurking Bot will post, “what’s a wbboei” pronounced like “Flowbee”… but with a ‘w’. heh!


    It’s someone who knows what “Woe be unto thee” means.

    Just like Obama, born and named for this moment in time….

  51. S said:
    we have a ‘Stand-In President’ – he shows up and reads what has been printed for him from the teleprompter but as Admin and others are stating he lets others do all the work…he is the ‘Stand-In’


    Yep. We’ve had at least two of those: Bush Jr and Reagan. Reagan’s puppetmasters were evil but competent. Reagan was a professional actor and understood his job and didn’t make waves. Bush Jr thought he was the real thing, the ‘decider’. Obama seems smarter than Bush Jr but with grander delusions. And Favreau isn’t up to the job of Presidential Puppetmaster.

  52. S quoted a Harvard contemporaty of Obama:
    Barack Obama was nowhere to be seen. Occasionally he would drop in he would talk to people, and then he’d leave again as though his very arrival had been a benediction in and of itself, but not very much got done.


    Sounds like Caroline Kennedy’s record of ‘work’ in NY. Hm, she’s 51, he’s 47. Timing isn’t too far off, maybe they were playing hookey together.

  53. Sun March 15, 2009

    We owe oldest Americans an apology:
    Oldest Americans don’t have time for markets to turn around

    By Bob Greene

    As the country frets about extricating itself from the financial mess, there is one group of Americans to whom the rest of us owe the most sincere words of apology.

    That group consists of the oldest of our fellow citizens — the men and women who went through the Great Depression when they were young, who fought and endured World War II when they were just a little older, and who had hoped for a sense of peace and tranquility in their final years on this earth. They don’t deserve what they are going through. You hear it again and again from money experts: Take the long view of the economy. If you don’t need cash from your stock market accounts in the next five to 10 years, leave it in there. Time will heal our current woes — the economy, even when it’s in tatters, runs in cycles. Just wait it out and be patient. Especially young people — fiscal stability will arrive again in your lifetime. You’ll see.

    Nice words. Yet they leave out that one group of people — the people who have a right to be terrified when they are told the economy will only be brutal in the short term. They leave out the people to whom the short term is all they have: our parents. Our grandparents. The men and women who never should have had to worry about their personal security again.

    It’s never wise to generalize, yet it is safe to say that, as a group, the men and women who endured the Depression and World War II played it straight when it came to putting their trust in financial institutions. They didn’t try to game the system; they didn’t believe in esoteric money schemes. As a group, they were cautious, because the two defining national events of their lives taught them that you can never really count on anything. They watched their own parents suffer during the Depression, they went overseas for years on end when our nation asked them to save the world, and when they came home, to the prosperity of the Eisenhower years, they crossed their fingers and hoped the good times were not an illusion.

    The mistakes and tricks and reckless gambles of the supposedly sophisticated masters of Wall Street have wounded these men and women, many of whom, before the last year, had never even heard the names of the men who ran the biggest investment banks and brokerage firms. Which is why what those oldest Americans are going through is so unfair. Once more, in a lifetime that has been filled with sacrifices, they are having to pay the terrible price for decisions in which they had no say. For a while, after Tom Brokaw’s “The Greatest Generation” focused belated attention on the quietly heroic lives of our parents and grandparents, it finally seemed that the oldest Americans were being allowed to take a victory lap. One of the points Brokaw made was that, for all the pain those men and women lived through, they seldom complained. They just soldiered on. That appeared to be the elegiac theme of their final chapter: a warm acknowledgment by us, to whom they gave a better world, that we understood and honored their steadfastness — that we appreciated and were moved by the uncomplaining way they had made it through their hardest years.

    We didn’t realize that they would be asked to do it again, in 2009 — we didn’t realize that our parents and grandparents, the vestiges of their retirement income suddenly diminished and threatened, would be asked once more to stoically accept hardships they had done nothing to bring upon themselves. Think of the disdain they must feel for the Wall Street titans who have hurt them. When they hear about a brokerage executive who spends $1,400 on a wastebasket, their first thought undoubtedly is not that the man has taken advantage of his shareholders, or of the federal government. Their first thought — remember, these men and women were children of the Depression — is that the man must be a fool, a complete and utter sucker, to pay someone $1,400 for such an item. If you grew up having nothing, your contempt for such an idiotic expenditure is just about absolute. And you wonder about a society in which a person who would spend money that way is expected to prudently handle the money of others.

    All that the oldest Americans asked for, in their final years, is a sense of safety, of stability. Twice in the nation’s history, they knew what it was like to go to sleep night after night with their stomachs knotted in fear. What we as a country owed them was nights, at the end, when they never again had to feel that dread in the darkness. Now they are feeling it, and there is nothing that we — their sons and daughters, their grandsons and granddaughters — can do to convince them that their fear in the night is groundless. What they are being forced to go through now is — in the most elemental sense of this word — a shame. I hope they know how sorry we are.

  54. Thanks, Admin. Feel flattered that you read it. I have been wanting to write about MO for a while but was hesitant to go after her. That state dept video and her comment was the last straw.

  55. Slow news weekend imo……OB has come down to earth and but for his must addicted kool-aid drinkers, real Americans are simply worried about how to pay the mortgage, put food on the table for their kids, and manage two (2) jobs just to make ends meet…meanwhile, Bambi and company (elitists) are busy working up their campaign themes as he prepare to scare us again on why we must follow his every directive or we are racists.

  56. Hellooooo in here?

    Working long hours and haven’t had chance to read blog in depth past several days:

    Any comments on DEFENDOURFREEDOM’s Dr. Orly Taitz’ confrontation 3/13/09 with Justice Roberts on BHO’s eligibility to be POTUS? She’s CA atty who leads Alan Keyes lawsuit to challenge BHO’s citizenship.

    ALSO……has there been any mention on this site about the “accidental leaking” of Marine One’s blueprints to Iran?

    AND….any mention of 69 computers mysteriouly vanishing at Los Alamos three weeks ago?


    Documentary maker of ObamaDeception being harrassed by FBI – imagine that……folks what we have here is a REVOLUTION in the making.

  57. Anyone besides me been remembering this time last year? I keep thinking about the primaries, the phone banking, the blogging and the worry for our girl. How I wish things had gone so differently. This country is, as Hillary worried, “gone backward”. It personally is hard for me to think into 2012 or 2016 .. I know this much, I’ll NEVER cast a vote for bambi.

  58. I’ve sent out wbboei’s fine analysis to several blogging venues.

    Thanks again, wbboei for the pointed traction in your analysis. already has it posted and from what I’ve seen, the European Union and The Royals, frequent that site. BO and MO on their soon to be visit abroad may be offered a tent in the grounds keeper’s back yard after reading there.

  59. Wbboei, I think your 20 points explains what has happened very well. I will only add that even a real Messiah cannot deal with the damage left when those who consider themselves Masters of the Universe use a debt/asset ratio of 30 to 1 under which they operate… using the Federal government as a low interest-no penalty fallback pool of funds, bullying “the people,” who after all are the Federal government’s source of those funds, by saying if their precious corporations fail, the country- even the world- will fail.

    Only time, and the failures of the most egrgious of them, will take care of the situation. We will all suffer, some may never recover. But another lesson is learned–never let the Masters operate without regulation, and never let them have the advanage of a statute of limitations that can be run out. They should never be allowed to have another peaceful night. And that includes all Congressional members and their staff members and people like Freddie and Fannie CEOs

    I also am for publishing a full list of ALL corporate employees receiving bonuses from companies that have received bailout funds. Here in Des Moines area (big insurance town) there is strong feeling for making them pariahs within the banking and insurance industries. The IRS should also keep them on a special list, if that is legal.

  60. Since we have taken the contrarian position on Obama because we do not believe wild pigs have wings, we must be prepared for the inevitable argument which goes something like this: We must all support HIM because HE is OUR President. If you havent heard that one a dozen times by now, trust me you will.

    When that bromide has been hurled my way, I say something like this: Is that what you do? The inevitable answer is not just yes, but absolutely, followed by the caveat that it is my patriotic duty to support my president. To which I say you are a patriot alright, but let me ask you this. If your president told you to do something which you believed was morally wrong, would you do it? If your president ordered you to do something that was against your interests would you roll over and play dead? To expand the hypothetical to the limits of its logic, was the success of Germany and the success of Hitler directly or inversely corrolated?

    The answer I get back usually is hypothetical questions are not useful. Or we must trust him because he is a good man and a thoughtful man in a thougthful house in a thoughtful city etc. And then once in awhile they go right to the chase and tell me fuck you. Frankly, that is the response I am looking for because it is a form of surrender and a tacit admission that they have no effective rebuttal.

    I will say it again. I do not believe in unity except as an end game to a deliberative process where there is an honest exchange of differing views. I have seen examples where one side or the other had such overwhelming bargaining leverage that it could dictate the terms of surrender to the other side and did. But in all cases bar none the resulting agreement had no stablility. The other party had powerful incentives to violate its terms, and when the time came for those terms were negotiated he came back to the bargaining table with a club.

    The answer is he wouldnt ever do that, or I dont answer hypothetical questions, or give me a specific example.

  61. Emjay Says:

    March 15th, 2009 at 4:40 pm
    Well analyzed and well said.

  62. Big Pink is smoking today!

    Many of our brilliant analysts are showing up all over the blogosphere.

    Congrats to pm on another great NQ article.

    Kusos to wbboei whose 20-poiint post is now at pumas unleashed.

    And way-to-go to turndown for a terrific new blog in everyone’s fav color!

  63. ok, pm,

    I just watched that clip and Mo is classless, tasteless and utterly vulgar. ‘Notice the way she kept sticking her tongue out, scrunching her face up and twiddling her thumbs?

    She has no self-discipline whatsoever nor does she want any. She thinks she’s perfect just the way she is.

    And I agree that it was completely insulting when she said, “Secretary Clinton, I just love saying that.”

    What a bytch. I hope Karma catches up with er quick.

  64. Turndown,

    ‘Council on Women’ a male-dominated sock puppet with a rubber stamp.’


    Perfect description!

  65. basil9 Says:
    March 15th, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    Big Pink is smoking today!

    Many of our brilliant analysts are showing up all over the blogosphere.


    Yes, and well they should. Many bloggers from other forums are intimidated by the cliquishness on most blogs where they are afraid to enter for fear of reprisals because of differing opinions not as OBots but as viewing the glass half filled as neither coca-cola nor pepsi..

  66. There was a time in this country when strikes were prevalent in certain industries. If the parties were smart they did what they could to avoid them because the respective losses in terms of lost production on the one hand and lost wages on the other took years to recoup. Later, as entry barriers were removed through deregulation non union players entered those industries and took business away from unionized companies during strikes and retained it thereafter.

    Nevertheless strikes continued to occur when certain conditions were present. Most often this happen when one side or the other sought to alter the fundamental balance of power between the parties. And those strikes tended to be long and bitter. At some point they began to resemble the Hollywood silent movie where two cowboys are fighting with eachother on top of a freight train, and are so cosumed by that effort that they fail to notice theat the train is about to enter a tunnel where there is no topside clearance which means they will be decapitated if they fail to disengage.

    I think of that example when I see Obama et al contemplating a similar shift in the balance of power in this country under the code word change. The balance between private and public, markets and central planning, citizens and non citizens, racial groupings, young and old, small business and multinationals, local and national government etc. This is not intended to be a defense of the status qou, but merely an acknowlegement that evolution is generally preferable to revolution, just as labor peace with modest improvements is better than giant leaps that fail and cause everything to fall to pieces.

    One area that does need to change however is the balance of power between men and women. Most married men reach a state in their life when they realize that the women are the ones who keep it all going. If you read George Gilders defense of monogomous marriage that is one of his tenets–and he is an ultra conservative. If you read Kipling you get a sense of this in the story of the brave british officers who watched a cobra with trepedation and an even braver Indian woman who did something about it–if I remember it right. And when I was at an gala event for Hillary I chatted briefly with a well known Hollywood supporting actor named Tom (I cannot recall his last name but I think he was the sheriff in Northern Exposure, etc) told me point blank you know they are better than we are.

  67. Now I’ve heard everything…

    Michelle Obama comic book on sale in April

    Michelle Obama has already endeared herself to Americans. Now she will be a superhero in a comic book that could outsell those featuring Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton.

  68. Thanks, basil. If she thought she was being cute making that remark, she is pretty dumb and clueless. If she intended to say it in a malicious way then she deserves all the scorn people are heaping on her. In either case she does not realize the solemnity of her position or her role.

  69. pm,

    IMHO she was deliberately, maliciously and gleefully insulting HRC.

    I worked with a lot of ‘ghetto queens’ and she takes the cake. I bet it’s killing her not being able to ‘cuss HRC out and ‘get in her face’ as they do on the streets.

    Maybe her scowls are facial burps as she struggles to contain what I have no doubt is a world class potty mouth. 👿

  70. wbboei said:
    One area that does need to change however is the balance of power between men and women. [….] And when I was at an gala event for Hillary I chatted briefly with a well known Hollywood supporting actor named Tom (I cannot recall his last name but I think he was the sheriff in Northern Exposure, etc) told me point blank you know they are better than we are.


    There have been quite a few studies posted at showing that companies with more women executives did better avoiding the current crises, nations with more women in office did better…. Hm, Palin’s Alaska has been doing great. Of course that’s just luck….

  71. wbboei said:
    I will say it again. I do not believe in unity except as an end game to a deliberative process where there is an honest exchange of differing views.


    You know, I’ve heard of this great little movement called Party Unity My Ass.

  72. A bunch of unelected superdelegates selected Obama. He didn’t even win the popular vote in his own party!Hillary won the POPULAR VOTE!!
    so he is not that POPULAR anymore people are sick of seeing him trying to be on tv everyday…sayingf uhh uhhhg and steals peoples ideas,he has none of his own not one idea is his none ZIP.people are realizing he needs that teleprompter NO OBAMA IN vote from me never.

    me to admin and pm..
    Hillary Clinton 2012 date for President .

  73. curiosity said:
    Documentary maker of ObamaDeception being harrassed by FBI – imagine that…


    After 8 years of Bush paranoia, I’d expect the FBI to be full of holdovers who wouldn’t be very quick to go after dissenters to Obama. Unless Obama gave re-staffing the FBI a higher priority than the Treasury.

  74. US world news i just read this
    Hillary Clinton Most Important First Lady
    March 13, 2009 04:27 PM ET | Paul Bedard | Permanent Link | Print
    By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

    It pays to stay in the public eye, especially if you are Hillary Clinton. President Obama’s secretary of state, a controversial first lady who went on to become an effective U.S. senator, tops our Whispers poll for the most important first lady since the 1980s. By more than 2 to 1, Clinton beat another headline-gathering first lady, Nancy Reagan, and the two Bushes barely made a blip on the poll conducted March 9-11 by Synovate eNation among 1,000 nationally representative households. Barbara Bush, who recently underwent heart surgery, was last among the four, but recall that she had only one term to prove herself, while the others had two four-year presidential terms.

    The Whispers Poll
    Michelle Obama’s effort to revive the morale of the federal workforce with her listening tour has renewed attention to the jobs and influence of first ladies. Which of the most recent presidential wives do you think affected the nation most?

    Hillary Clinton 56% Way to go..OUR Girl..
    Nancy Reagan 25%
    Laura Bush 10%
    Barbara Bush 9%

  75. Hillary Clinton & Eleanor Roosevelt are my heroes.

    I can just imagine what Eleanor would have thought of the weak, stupid, totally corrupt person who is now president.

  76. me too i wonder what Eleanor would say ..i think she would roll over too and say good gawd America wake up…no doubt about it…

  77. I’d forgotten all about that Hillary-bashing movie, lol. BTW, anyone else find it ironic that the right wingers so preoccupied with preventing Hillary from becoming president will end up despising Obama more than the ever did her?

  78. JanH Says:
    March 15th, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    Now I’ve heard everything…
    Michelle Obama comic book on sale in April


    We always knew the Obamas were cartoon characters, now the World will know!
    With those biceps, I bet she can bend steel with her bare hands and he leaps buildings in a single bound… Jokers- both of them! (pathetic)

  79. Comic BOOK ..aah heck Jan what she gonna be the sleevless purple girl..
    and mrs smith yep BIG jokesters…maybe theyll leap right into prison. with there buddy rezko..

  80. Alright, Hillary supporters at Big Pink, make yourselves heard. Susan at NQ has a wonderful post on Hillary and asks what drew you to Hillary. Please go and tell her/others what drew you to Hillary. Let us show everyone one of those bastards that we won’t budge from the real winner.

  81. well folks I got banned on another blog for posting that I’d like to start a collection to have the crap beat out of Maureen Dowd! I’m glad at least here we can say whats on our mines and not be censored or ran outta dodge. I just said in an email that my blogging adventures started because of my love and respect for Hillary and desire to see her as 44.

    I’m not near good enough to pen what led me to support her. I wish I was as good as the bloggers here at that sort of stuff. She’ll always have my support. I still think about phone banking and the wonderful people I met on the phones who also love our gal.

  82. Dot, go on NQ and just type up what you said here — it is one more testimony of a real person’s support for her. They don’t require you to register. They also don’t ban people.

  83. Merkel Keeps Cashbox Closed as She Spurns Obama’s Stimulus Plea

    By James G. Neuger

    March 16 (Bloomberg) — Forget Nicolas Sarkozy. Ignore Gordon Brown. Angela Merkel, taking advantage of Germany’s economic heft, is now the European Union’s dominant figure. And leaders from Warsaw to Washington had best not forget it. Just as the German chancellor vetoed a bailout for eastern Europe on March 1, she is now leading European opposition to U.S. President Barack Obama’s call for a global pump-priming package. She’ll determine the fate of a 5 billion-euro ($6.4 billion) infrastructure proposal at an EU summit in Brussels later this week.

    “It’s Merkel who holds the key to the cashbox, and she doesn’t want to give it up,” says Jean-Dominique Giuliani, chairman of the Robert Schuman Foundation, a research center in Paris.
    Merkel’s rejection of more stimulus touched off the first trans-Atlantic clash of the Obama administration and led critics to say she risks deepening the global recession. Even as finance ministers from the Group of 20 nations were meeting in southern England March 14, seeking to paper over differences with a pledge to deliver a “sustained effort” to boost growth, Merkel was 42 miles (67 kilometers) away in London, defending her opposition to further spending.

    “Germany really has contributed its share,” said Merkel, 54, as she stood alongside Brown, the U.K. prime minister. The remarks were her third rebuff in three days to Obama’s March 11 call for “concerted action around the globe to jump- start the economy,” comments echoed by Lawrence Summers, his top economic adviser, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. It is a reversion to type for Germany, which built its postwar society on the principle of monetary stability after the economic havoc of two world wars. Germany authored the limits on budget deficits for countries using the euro currency — only to flout them during the reign of Merkel’s Social Democratic predecessor, Gerhard Schroeder.

    With the world economy set to shrink for the first time since World War II, Merkel has forged a European position not to go beyond tax cuts and emergency spending that the EU says amounts to 3.3 percent of gross domestic product. Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman says Merkel is underestimating the scope of the crisis. Germany is a “giant stumbling block” to global efforts to fight the recession, he told Der Stern magazine last week.

    Obama on March 14 said there isn’t a fundamental “conflict or contradiction between the positions of the G-20 countries” on how to deal with the crisis, only “a difference in details.”

    Merkel’s defenders point to International Monetary Fund data that show Germany spending 2 percent of GDP to fight the recession in 2010, edging out the U.S.’s planned 1.8 percent. U.S. spending of 2 percent this year will top Germany’s 1.5 percent. Germany has enacted two special spending packages since late last year, including 100 billion euros to boost company liquidity and 82 billion euros in measures including a premium for people who scrap old cars in order to buy new, energy- efficient vehicles.

    While the EU forecasts that the German economy will shrink 2.3 percent in 2009 — the second-worst in the 16-nation euro region, after Ireland — economists say its relative strength will likely re-emerge whenever the recession ebbs. Europe’s largest economy has used the 10-year-old euro to rebuild its competitiveness, and the EU’s eastward expansion in 2004 moved Germany from the edge of the European market to the center.
    “Germany is the only anchor, and everyone wants to grab it,” says Peter Becker, an EU expert at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin. “And the Germans say: ‘Please don’t everybody hold onto us, otherwise we won’t make it either.’”
    From 2000 to 2008, German labor productivity grew at an annual average of 1.1 percent, the third-fastest rate among the 11 countries that founded the euro in 1999, according to the Conference Board, a New York-based research group. In Italy, by contrast, output per hour shrank at an annual average of 0.1 percent. While the euro now locks in Germany’s terms of trade in a $12 trillion market, saving exporters from shocks like the deutsche mark’s 68 percent surge against the Italian lira from September 1992 to April 1995, the EU’s enlargement has shored up German markets in the east.

    An 18 percent jump in eastern European sales contributed to a 30 percent profit increase at Volkswagen AG’s Audi luxury division last year. SMT Scharf AG, maker of 45 percent of the world’s mining railways, expanded its workforce in eastern Europe after Poland became its top export market. German exports to the EU’s 10 eastern states totaled 116 billion euros in 2008, surpassing exports of 72 billion euros to the U.S., a country with three times the population of eastern Europe. “German dominance of the economic situation and the scene in the European Union is even greater than ever because of this colossal competitive advantage that they now have,” says Peter Ludlow, a historian and author of “The Making of the New Europe.”

    A child of communist-era East Germany, Merkel has made common cause with eastern Europe. She has bridged the continental divide in a way alien to France’s President Sarkozy, 54, who last month fumed that it “isn’t justified” for carmakers Renault SA and PSA Peugeot Citroen to create jobs in the Czech Republic instead of at home.

    Sarkozy’s slap at eastern Europe and initial plan to tie aid to French carmakers to domestic job-protection pledges squandered some of the EU-wide credibility he had banked during his first stint in the bloc’s six-month presidency last year. The French leader’s accomplishments included negotiating a ceasefire in the August war between Russia and Georgia, marshaling the EU’s emergency response to the banking crisis in October and persuading the Irish government to hold a second referendum on a new EU governing treaty that Irish voters shot down last June. The EU moment for Britain’s Brown was even briefer. His 50 billion-pound ($69 billion) bailout of U.K. banks on Oct. 8 came as the U.S. was still debating buying up toxic assets and before continental European leaders grasped the depth of the crisis. It prompted Krugman to wonder whether the U.K. leader had “saved the world financial system.” Five months later, and 15 months before the deadline for the next election, Brown, 58, is battling to save himself politically. With unemployment at a 10-year high of 6.3 percent and the EU predicting a full-year economic slump of 2.8 percent, only 28 percent of Britons trust Brown’s Labour Party to steer the economy, compared with 35 percent for David Cameron’s opposition Conservatives, according to a ComRes Ltd. poll for the Independent newspaper on March 2. “In October, he was seen as the only leader who was able to take the bull by the horns,” says Philip Whyte, a senior research fellow at the Centre for European Reform in London. “It turns out that his recapitalization of banks is insufficient and the second stage of the downturn is worse than expected.”

    The same quirks of the electoral cycle could yet haunt Merkel, who is up for a second term on Sept. 27. Her Christian Democrats plumbed a two-year low in an Infratest dimap poll released March 6, with 32 percent; still, she remains in front of the Social Democrats, led by Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, by 5 points. “Merkel is definitely a woman to watch,” says Robert Leonardi, senior lecturer in European politics at the London School of Economics. While Sarkozy may be more flamboyant, he says, “she’s emerging more and more as a strong leader” of Europe.

  84. Obama fails to halt AIG’s $165m bonus payments

    By Stephen Foley in New York
    Monday, 16 March 2009

    Barack Obama’s crusade against excessive Wall Street pay has hit an obstacle, with his administration admitting that it could not stop the nationalised insurance giant AIG from paying $165m (£118m) in bonuses.

    AIG has received $170bn in government money since being saved from bankruptcy in September. The bulk of the bonuses will go to employees in the very business division that wrecked the company’s finances.

    Politicians have reacted with fury. Members of the administration took to television studios yesterday to insist that contracts written during the boom times had left their hands tied. Larry Summers, the president’s chief economic adviser, said: “The whole situation at AIG is outrageous. What taxpayers are being forced to do is outrageous.” But he added: “We are a country of law. There are contracts. The government cannot just abrogate contracts. Every legal step possible to limit those bonuses is being taken.”

    Mr Obama, who said paying bonuses was “shameful” while companies were on government life support, has found changing Wall Street culture to be more difficult than anticipated.

    The administration engaged in a behind-the-scenes battle last week to cut remuneration at AIG. Senior executives agreed to forego some bonuses but Edward Liddy, the AIG chairman, said he was otherwise bound to pay employee’s contractual entitlements. He lobbied for the government to ease attempts to limit future bonuses, saying AIG could collapse entirely if its staff fled to rivals – it could not “attract and retain the best and brightest talent if employees believe that their compensation is subject to continued and arbitrary adjustment by the US Treasury”.

    The government has pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into financial institutions since Bear Stearns collapsed a year ago today. It is now a significant shareholder in dozens of banks and is struggling to contain public fury that companies are paying bonuses with the money. The Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner, said the government would not be able to act to repair the financial system if taxpayers believed their money was being wasted.

  85. DOT: here’s a thought. Why don’t we line up MODO and OBERSTRMFURER. Both are single, both have problems relating to the opposite sex (or the same sex for all I know) and both have homicidal tendencies, bless their little hearts. If we were able to do that then with a little bit of luck, with a little bit of luck, with a little bit of bloomn’ luck, nature would take its course, and the world would be a better place. A story book ending if there ever was one.

  86. “The whole situation at AIG is outrageous. What taxpayers are being forced to do is outrageous.” But he added: “We are a country of law. There are contracts.
    If it were me I would tell AIG that any monies they paid out in bonuses would be subtacted from the bailout monies subscribed by the taxpayers.

    I would not allow taxpayer bailout monies to be paid out as bonuses, and in no event would I allow them to be paid to the exective team who engineered, was complicit or was prsent at the time of this crisis.

    If they sued me I would argue that it was never the intent of the two (2) rounds of taxpayer bailouts to these exectives. I would also argue that these monies were not within the contemplation of the parties when those contracts were entered into and should not be part of the compensation fund.

    Now those may not be persuasive arguments, but they do pass the red face test, and I bet if you had a copy of the contracts you would find additional arguments as well.

    Would I prevail? Perhaps not. But I would rather go down fighting than concede a point which is fraught with political implications.

    Is there no one in that Administation who is on the side of the angels and the American People besides our girl? No fighters? Apparently not.

    particular firm to fund bonuses for the executive staff who engineered or were complicit in the bailout. Those bailouts were not within the contemplation of the parties when those contracts were entered into. I would send the attorneys into court with those arguments, and even if I lost I would be seen as standing up for the taxpayers. Damn it I have got to stop giving advice to Obama.

  87. wbboei,

    Re AIG, at worst why not tell AIG they will get no more new money from the taxpayers?

    Surely these contracts AIG has with the fat cats had some clauses about misbehavior, misconduct…

    Or, as you say, simply offer to fight them in court.

    But remember what happened when someone tried to investigate what the banks were doing with the money? Obama blocked the investigation (citing paperwork law!).

  88. That utter sense of relief you felt on and off today —? It was due to MODO missing in action. Not a peep from her pen or a bleat from her mushy mouth. Wonder how long she will be gone?

  89. Merkel Keeps Cashbox Closed as She Spurns Obama’s Stimulus Plea
    Jan- I have no use for the krauts but this one is going to be funny to watch.

    Prescious does not do well when he has to deal with women in power positions.

    Here he is dealing with one who could outbirgetneilson Bridget Nielson in the Bruenhilda role in Gotterdamerung.

    As someone once said–you can’t enough Wagner, but I bet he will.

    He could say hi, show me the money and she could say despite what you may think I am not your uncle tony.

    He could say show me the money and I’ll show you my abs, but she could say I already read about them in WashPo.

    He could say show me the money or I’ll show you michelle, and she would say I have no time for lightweight.

    He could say Hillary I need help and she would say that is the first smart thing you have done. I am impressed.

  90. That utter sense of relief you felt on and off today —? It was due to MODO missing in action. Not a peep from her pen or a bleat from her mushy mouth. Wonder how long she will be gone?
    She and Olberman have eloped? More likely she is drying out in the Hamptons or Atlantic Beach.

  91. “Jan- I have no use for the krauts but this one is going to be funny to watch.”


    I don’t either. And when I first read the article it brought back very bad memories for me of Germany’s history. In some ways it seems very wrong that of all the countries in the world, this one should be doing so well. I don’t mean to be biased, but something is wrong with this picture.

  92. I don’t either. And when I first read the article it brought back very bad memories for me of Germany’s history. In some ways it seems very wrong that of all the countries in the world, this one should be doing so well. I don’t mean to be biased, but something is wrong with this picture.

    Maybe, we should ask, “What are they doing right?” Merkel is apparently in favor of more regulation of the banks, which doesn’t seem like a bad idea. Throwing money away doesn’t make much sense, if there isn’t a plan or vision for it.

  93. birdgal Says:
    March 16th, 2009 at 12:04 am

    I don’t either. And when I first read the article it brought back very bad memories for me of Germany’s history. In some ways it seems very wrong that of all the countries in the world, this one should be doing so well. I don’t mean to be biased, but something is wrong with this picture.

    Maybe, we should ask, “What are they doing right?” Merkel is apparently in favor of more regulation of the banks, which doesn’t seem like a bad idea. Throwing money away doesn’t make much sense, if there isn’t a plan or vision for it.


    It’s quite a few decades now that Germany and Japan have been conquering the world with good little cars, electronics, etc.

    They were demilitarized after WWII: no more military to support.

  94. What the above article portends is a reluctance to accept US leadership on the financial front, which has been pretty much a given since the end of world war II. On the one hand this is a prima facie rejection of Bambi, but at another level it is reflective of their belief that we were the ones who creates this crisis, consistent with what I suggested this morning. In fact, there was an article in Der Speigel awhile back so stating.

  95. I’m sorry. I know this off the subject, however, I’m in a big discussion with a Clinton hater who has challenged me to name some policies that Bill Clinton put through himself that helped America…not ones forced on him by the Rep congress at the time.

    I feel like my brain has suddenly gone flat. Can anyone help me or send me to a web site?

  96. Southern Born Says:

    March 16th, 2009 at 12:25 am

    SCHIP (children’s health insurance program), ADA (American Disabilities Act), Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and a balanced budget with a surplus. There are probably more, but this is what I came up with this moment.

  97. I am a little worried as to how this game of musical chairs will work out in Europe. Somehow, Bambi notwithstanding, it is critical that we achieve a global stimulus, because the problem is global in dimension. But the Pelosi plan which Obama conceded to deprives him of the high moral ground needed to push this though. If it were me I would grab Kissinger and go talk to Putin. Russia has leverage over Germany because of natural gas. I would also be talking to China. I am sure these things are happening but that article makes me a little nervous.

  98. Southern Born, here is some information. A little long, sorry, but it’s history.


    The Clinton-Gore Administration Transformed A Nation..


    Clinton-Gore Administration Accomplishments: 1993 – 2000

    For the past seven and a half years, President Clinton and Vice President Gore have been guided by three core values: building a community of all Americans; creating opportunity for all Americans; and demanding responsibility from all Americans. Pursuing policies based on these values has resulted in tremendous progress for our nation, and a strong America at the dawn of the 21st Century. The President and Vice President are committed to a “New Opportunity Agenda” to build on our progress and expand our prosperity until it reaches every corner of the nation.

    Economy: the Strongest Economy in a Generation

    Longest Economic Expansion in U.S. History. In February 2000, the United States entered the 107th consecutive month of economic expansion — the longest economic expansion in history.

    Moving From Record Deficits to Record Surplus. In 1992, the Federal budget deficit was $290 billion – the largest dollar deficit in American history. In January 1993, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the deficit would grow to $455 billion by 2000. The Office of Management and Budget is now projecting a surplus of at least $230 billion for 2000 – the third consecutive surplus and the largest surplus ever, even after adjusting for inflation. Compared with original projections, that is over $685 billion less in government drain on the economy and over $685 billion more potentially available for private investment in this one year alone. The 2000 surplus is projected to be 2.4 percent of GDP — the largest surplus as a share of GDP since 1948. This is the first time we have had three surpluses in a row in more than a half century, and it is the second consecutive surplus excluding Social Security.

    Paying Off the National Debt. In July 2000, the Treasury Department announced that the United States will pay off $221 billion of debt this year — the largest one-year debt pay down in American history. This will be the third consecutive year of debt reduction, bringing the three-year total to $360 billion. Public debt is on track to be $2.4 trillion lower in 2000 than was projected in 1993. Debt reduction brings real benefits for the American people — a family with a home mortgage of $100,000 might expect to save roughly $2,000 per year in mortgage payments. Reduced debt also means lower interest rates and reduced payments on car loans and student loans. With the President’s plan, we are now on track to eliminate the nation’s publicly held debt by at least 2012.

    More Than 22 Million New Jobs. 22.2 million new jobs have been created since 1993, the most jobs ever created under a single Administration — and more new jobs than Presidents Reagan and Bush created during their three terms. 92 percent (20 million) of the new jobs have been created in the private sector, the highest percentage in 50 years. Under President Clinton and Vice President Gore, the economy has added an average of 248,000 jobs per month, the highest under any President. This compares to 52,000 per month under President Bush and 167,000 per month under President Reagan.

    Fastest and Longest Real Wage Growth in Over Three Decades. In the last 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased 3.8 percent — faster than the rate of inflation. The United States has had five consecutive years of real wage growth — the longest consecutive increase since the 1960s. Since 1993, real wages are up 6.5 percent, after declining 4.3 percent during the Reagan and Bush years.

    Household Income Breaks $40,000 for First Time in History. Income for median households rose $1,072, or 2.7 percent, from $39,744 in 1998 to $40,816, marking an unprecedented fifth year of significant growth in income. In 1999, the median income of African American households increased from $25,911 in 1998 to $27,910 — an increase of $1,999, or 7.7 percent, which is the largest one-year increase ever recorded. The income of the median Hispanic household, adjusted for inflation, increased from $28,956 in 1998 to $30,735 in 1999 — an increase of $1,779, or 6.1 percent, which is the largest one-year increase ever recorded.

    Unemployment is the Lowest in Over Three Decades. Unemployment is down from 7.5 percent in 1992 to 3.9 percent in September, the lowest in more than three decades. The unemployment rate has fallen for seven years in a row, and has remained below 5 percent for 37 months in a row — over three full years. Unemployment for African-Americans fell to the lowest level ever recorded, and for Hispanics it remains at historic lows.

    Highest Homeownership Rate in History. The homeownership rate reached 67.2 percent in the second quarter of 2000 — the highest ever recorded. Minority homeownership rates were also the highest ever recorded. In contrast, the homeownership rate fell from 65.6 percent in the first quarter of 1981 to 63.7 percent in the first quarter of 1993. There are almost 9 million more homeowners than in 1993.

    Lowest Poverty Rate Since 1979. In 1999, the poverty rate dropped from 12.7 percent to 11.8 percent, the lowest rate in two decades. Since President Clinton and Vice President Gore passed their Economic Plan in 1993, the poverty rate has declined from 15.1 percent in 1993 to 11.8 percent in 1999 – the largest six-year drop in poverty in nearly 30 years (1964-1970). There are now 7 million fewer people in poverty than in 1993, and over 2.2 million, or over 30 percent, of this decline occurred during the past year.

    Largest One-Year Drop in Child Poverty in More than Three Decades. Under President Clinton and Vice President Gore child poverty has dropped by 25.6 percent — from 22.7 percent in 1993 to 16.9 percent in 1999. While this is still too high, it is the lowest child poverty rate since 1979 and includes the largest one-year decline since 1966, which occurred from 1998 to 1999. The African American child poverty rate has fallen 28.2 percent since 1993, and dropped from 36.7 percent in 1998 to 33.1 percent in 1999 — the largest one-year drop in history and the lowest level on record (data collected since 1959). The Hispanic child poverty rate has fallen by 26 percent since 1993, and dropped from 25.6 percent in 1998 to 22.8 percent in 1999 — the lowest level since 1979.

    Families and Communities: Strengthening America’s Working Families

    Tax Cuts for Working Families. 15 million additional working families received additional tax relief because of the President’s expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit. In 1999, the EITC lifted 4.1 million people out of poverty – nearly double the number lifted out of poverty by the EITC in 1993. This year, the President proposed expanding the EITC to provide tax relief to an additional 6.8 million hard-pressed working families.

    Helping Parents Balance Work and Family. The Family and Medical Leave Act allows workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for seriously ill family members, new born or adoptive children, or their own serious health problems without fear of losing their jobs. Nearly 91 million workers (71% of the labor force) are covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act and millions of workers have benefited from FMLA since its enactment. President Clinton has proposed expanding FMLA to allow workers to take up to 24 unpaid hours off each year for school and early childhood education activities, routine family medical care, and caring for an elderly relative.

    Improved Access to Affordable, Quality Child Care and Early Childhood Programs. Under the Clinton-Gore Administration, federal funding for child care has more than doubled, helping parents pay for the care of about 1.5 million children in 1998, and the1996 welfare reform law increased child care funding by $4 billion over six years to provide child care assistance to families moving from welfare to work. Since 1993, the Clinton-Gore Administration has increased funding for the Head Start program by 90 percent, and in FY 2000, the program will serve approximately 880,000 children – over 160,000 more children than in 1993.

    Increased the Minimum Wage. The minimum wage has risen from $4.25 to $5.15 per hour, increasing wages for 10 million workers. The President and Vice President have called for an additional increase to $6.15 over two years.

    Enacted the Workforce Investment Act. The Workforce Investment Act reformed the nation’s employment and training system so that it works better for today’s workers. The WIA empowered individuals by giving adults more control and choice over their training or retraining and providing universal access to core labor market services; streamlined job training services by consolidating a tangle of individual programs into a simple system and creating a nationwide network of One-Stop Career Centers; enhanced accountability through tough performance standards for states, localities, and training providers; and increased flexibility so that states can innovate and experiment with new ways to train America’s workers better. All 50 states are now up and running and the number of One-Stops has reached 1,200 nationwide.

    Signed the Adoption and Safe Families Act. The Adoption and Safe Families Act, which was based in large part on the recommendations of the Clinton-Gore Administration’s Adoption 2002 report, made sweeping changes in adoption law so that thousands of children in foster care move more quickly into safe and permanent homes. In 1999, 46,000 foster care children were adopted – more than a 64 percent increase since 1996 and well on the way to meeting the President’s goal of doubling the number of adoptions from 28,000 in 1996 to 56,000 by 2002.

    Putting Families First. The President and Vice President developed and implemented first-ever plan to protect our children from tobacco and end tobacco marketing targeted to young people. They also required the installation of V-chips in all new televisions, and encouraged schools to adopt school uniform policies to deter school violence and promote discipline.

    Supporting Community Service. In just five years, AmeriCorps has allowed 150,000 young people to serve in their communities while earning money for college or skills training.

    President’s One America Initiative. President Clinton has led the nation in an effort to become One America: a place where we respect others’ differences and embrace the common values that unite us. The President has been actively involved in public outreach efforts to engage Americans in this historic effort, and followed up on the work of the Initiative on Race by appointing Robert B. (Ben) Johnson as Assistant to the President and Director of the new White House Office on the President’s Initiative for One America. The office is working to ensure that we have a coordinated strategy to close the opportunity gaps that exist for minorities and the underserved in this country, and build the One America we want for all of our nation’s children. The President’s FY 2001 budget includes $5 million for One America dialogues to promote and facilitate discussions on racial diversity and understanding. President Clinton has also appointed the most diver! se Cabinet and White House staff in history, presiding over an Administration that looks like America.

    Welcoming New Americans. Since 1993, the United States has welcomed 4.4 million new American citizens. Faced with this unprecedented number of applications, the Administration undertook an initiative that has significantly reduced the backlog of citizenship applications and is restoring timely processing. Furthermore, the Administration’s English as a Second Language/Civics Education Initiative will provide limited English speaking adults with instruction in both English literacy and critical life skills necessary for effective citizenship and civic participation.

    Providing Fairness for Legal Immigrants. The President believes that legal immigrants should have the same economic opportunity and bear the same responsibility as other members of society. In 1997 and 1998, the President fought for and succeeded in restoring disability, health and nutritional benefits for certain legal immigrants, and he will continue to press for additional restorations. The President and Vice President have also taken executive actions to ensure that immigrants who are eligible for benefits are not deterred by language or other access barriers.

    Education: Largest Investment in Education in 30 Years

    Opening the Doors of College to All Americans. President Clinton proposed and enacted the HOPE Scholarships and Lifetime Learning tax credits, which in 1999 were claimed by an estimated 10 million American families struggling to pay for college. The HOPE Scholarship helps make the first two years of college universally available by providing a tax credit of up to $1,500 for tuition and fees for the first two years of college. The Lifetime Learning Tax Credit provides a 20 percent tax credit on the first $5,000 of tuition and fees for students beyond the first two years of college, or taking classes part-time (in 2003, this increases to $10,000 of tuition and fees). In his FY 2001 budget, the President has proposed expanding the Lifetime Learning tax credit with a College Opportunity tax cut, which will give families the option of taking a tax deduction or claiming a 28 percent credit for the first $5,000 of college tuition and fees until 2002, and $10,000 thereaft! er.

    Expanding Work Study and Pell Grants. One million students can now work their way through college because of the President’s expansion of the Work Study Program, and nearly four million students will receive a Pell Grant of up to $3,300, the largest maximum award ever. The maximum award has increased 43 percent under the Clinton-Gore Administration. This year President Clinton proposed a $77 million increase in Work Study to continue to support one million awards, and a $200 increase in the Pell Grant maximum award, to raise it to $3,500.

    Making College More Affordable. The Clinton-Gore Administration has cut student fees and interest rates on all loans, expanded repayment options including income contingent repayment, and improved service through the Direct Loan Program. Students have saved $8.7 billion since 1993 through the reduction in loan fees and interest rates.

    More High-Quality Teachers with Smaller Class Sizes. The Clinton-Gore Administration won a second installment of $1.3 billion for the President’s plan to hire an additional 100,000 well-prepared teachers to reduce class size in the early grades, when children learn to read and master the basic skills. Already, 29,000 teachers have been hired through this initiative. This year’s budget provides $1.75 billion, a $450 million increase — enough to fund nearly 49,000 teachers.

    Turning Around Failing Schools. 11 million low-income students in 13,000 school districts now benefit from higher expectations and a challenging curriculum geared to higher standards through Title I-Aid to Disadvantaged Students. The FY 2000 budget provides a $134 million accountability fund to help turn around the worst performing schools through such measures as overhauling curriculum, improving staffing, or even closing schools and reopening them as charter schools. This year, the President is proposing to nearly double investment in this fund to $250 million to help ensure all children receive a quality education.

    Providing Safe After-School Opportunities for 850,000 Students Each Year. The 21st Century Community Learning Centers program will provide enriching after-school and summer school opportunities for 850,000 school-age children in rural and urban communities in FY 2000. Extended learning time has not only been shown to increase achievement in reading and math, but to decrease youth violence and drug use. Funding for this program more than doubled from FY 1999 to FY 2000. For FY 2001, the President’s budget calls on Congress to invest $1 billion in 21st Century Community Learning Centers and to ensure that all children in failing schools have access to quality after-school and summer school opportunities. This proposal will double funding and triple the number of students served to 2.5 million.

    Expanding Choice and Accountability in Public Schools. The Clinton-Gore Administration has worked to expand public school choice and support the growth of public charter schools, which have increased from one public charter school in the nation when the President was first elected to 2,000 today. More than 250,000 students nationwide are now enrolled in charter schools in 30 states and the District of Columbia. The President won $145 million in FY 2000 — and has proposed $175 million in his FY 2001 budget — to continue working toward his goal of establishing 3,000 quality charter schools by 2002.

    Teaching Every Child to Read. The President challenged Americans to commit to the effort to ensure that every child can read well and independently by the third grade — 1,400 colleges and universities took up his challenge, and 26,700 college work-study students now serve as reading tutors to help every child learn to read.

    Expanding Access to Technology. With the Vice President’s leadership, the Clinton-Gore Administration has made increasing access to technology a top priority. The President and Vice President created the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund to help connect every school to the Internet, increase the number of multimedia computers in the classroom and provide technology training for teachers. They increased overall investments in educational technology from $23 million in 1993 to $769 million in FY 2000, and tripled funding for Community Technology Centers to reach at least 120 low-income communities. Through the E-rate program, they secured low-cost connections to the Internet for schools, libraries, rural health clinics and hospitals, benefiting more than 80 percent of America’s public schools. They also increased investment in education research to ensure all children benefit from educational technology. In 1999, 95 percent of public schools were connected to the I! nternet — up from just 35 percent in 1994.

    Supporting Local Education Reform Efforts. The President signed the Education Flexibility Partnership Act of 1999 (Ed-Flex) into law in April 1999, giving all states greater flexibility in the use of federal education funds in exchange for greater accountability for helping all students reach high academic standards.

    Established the GEAR UP Mentoring Program for Middle School Children. President Clinton and Vice President Gore created and expanded GEAR UP, a nationwide mentoring initiative, to help over 750,000 low-income middle school children finish school and prepare for college. The President’s FY 2001 budget would expand services to 1.4 million students.

    Providing Early Education to Nearly 900,000 Children with Head Start. The President and Vice President have expanded Head Start funding by 90 percent since 1993. Head Start will reach approximately 880,000 low-income children in FY 2000 and, with the President’s proposed increase for the program, will be on the way to reaching the President’s goal of serving 1 million children and their families by the year 2002. The Administration also created Early Head Start, bringing Head Start’s successful comprehensive services to families with children ages zero to three, and set high quality standards for both programs.

    Crime and Drugs: Lowest Crime Rates in 25 Years

    Lowest Crime Rates in a Generation. When President Clinton and Vice President Gore took office in 1993, the violent crime rate in America had more than quadrupled during the previous three decades. Since then, America has experienced the longest continuous drop in crime on record. The overall crime rate is the lowest in 25 years, and in 1999 crime fell for the eighth consecutive year nationwide. Violent crime rate fell 7 percent in 1999 and 27 percent since 1993. Since 1993, the murder rate is down more than 25 percent to its lowest point since 1967, and gun violence has declined by more than 35 percent.

    Putting 100,000 More Police on the Streets. In 1999, ahead of schedule and under budget, the Clinton-Gore Administration met its commitment to fund an additional 100,000 police officers for our communities. As a part of the COPS Program, the President announced a distressed neighborhood grant program to increase community policing in high-crime and underserved neighborhoods. To help keep crime at record lows, in fall 1999, the President won funding for the first installment toward his goal to hire up to 50,000 more officers by 2005. This year, the Clinton-Gore budget includes over $1 billion to continue the successful COPS initiative to hire more officers, hire new community prosecutors, give police the tools and technology they need to fight crime, and to fund community-wide crime fighting efforts.

    More Than Half a Million Felons, Fugitives and Domestic Abusers Denied Guns. Since taking effect in 1994, the Brady Law has helped to prevent a total of more than 536,000 felons, fugitives, domestic abusers, and other prohibited purchasers from buying guns. In November 1998, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) took effect under the Brady Law, allowing access to a fuller set of records that law enforcement officials can use to conduct checks of all prospective gun purchases — not just for handguns. As of March 2000, NICS has conducted over 10 million background checks on gun purchasers, and stopped an estimated 179,000 illegal gun sales.

    Cracking Down on the Most Serious Gun Criminals. President Clinton and Vice President Gore have established a tough records of enforcement of our nation’s gun laws by helping law enforcement take serious gun criminals out of our communities and put them where they belong: behind bars. The number of federal firearms cases prosecuted by the U.S. Attorneys increased 16 percent, from 4,754 in 1992 to 5,500 in 1999. And, by providing federal, state and local law enforcement and prosecutors with the tools they need to crack down on gun criminals, overall gun prosecutions have increased 22 percent. In addition, the average sentence for federal gun offenders has increased by nearly two years, and federal law enforcement is successfully targeting the most serious gun offenders. Between 1992 and 1998, the number of federal gun defendants sentenced to prison for three years or more went up 20 percent, and the number sentenced to five years or more went up 12 percent.

    Largest Gun Enforcement Initiative in History. This year, President Clinton has proposed the largest gun enforcement initiative ever. The initiative would provide a record $280 million to add 500 new federal ATF agents and inspectors to target violent gun criminals and illegal gun traffickers that supply guns to criminals and juveniles, and fund over 1,000 new federal, state, and local gun prosecutors to take dangerous gun offenders off the streets. This initiative would also expand the ATF’s crime gun tracing program by providing tracing equipment and training to 250 additional law enforcement agencies and by creating the first nationally integrated ballistics testing system. The new ballistics testing system will help law enforcement use the unique “fingerprints” of bullets or shell casings left at the scene of a crime to identify gun criminals — even in the absence of a firearm.

    Developed Comprehensive Anti-Drug Strategy Including a $195 Million National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign. The President appointed Barry McCaffrey, a four-star general, to lead the Clinton-Gore Administration’s anti-drug strategy as the nation’s Drug Czar. In 1997, President Clinton and Director McCaffrey launched the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, the largest targeted effort ever to teach youth about the dangers of drugs. The Campaign uses the full power of the modern media to encourage young people to reject drug use, and helps parents, teachers and other responsible adults talk to kids about drugs and get more involved in the lives of young people. Illicit drug use among young people age 12-17 declined for the past three years, and the average age of first-time use went up. Since 1997, overall youth drug use is down by more than 20 percent, and youth marijuana use has declined by over 25 percent. Overall drug use is down since its peak in the 1970’s! , drug-related murders have fallen by 48 percent since 1992, and youth drug use is leveling off or declining.

    Preventing Violence with the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative. Evidence shows that a comprehensive, integrated community-wide approach is an effective way to address the problems of school violence and alcohol and other drug abuse and promote healthy childhood. In 1998, President Clinton unveiled the Administration’s Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative (SS/HS), an unprecedented joint effort involving the Departments of Education, Justice, and Health and Human Services to help communities design and implement a comprehensive approach, including educational, mental health, social service, and law enforcement services for to help combat youth violence. SS/HS has provided $146 million to 77 local education authorities who have established formal partnerships with local mental health and law enforcement agencies. This year, the President has called for a $100 million expansion of the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative.

    Fighting Hate Crimes. The President enacted the Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act in 1994. He held the historic White House Conference on Hate Crimes, where he called for passage of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act — bipartisan legislation which would strengthen hate crimes laws and make it clear that America will not tolerate acts of violence based on race, color, gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation or disability.

    Protecting Children from Sex Offenders. President Clinton signed Megan’s Law and the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act, requiring states to set up sex offender registration systems and require community notification when sex offenders are released from prison.

    Welfare Reform and Community Empowerment: Moving Millions of Americans from Welfare to Work

    Lowest Percentage of Americans on Welfare in 35 Years as More Recipients Go to Work. President Clinton has kept his promise to reform the welfare system and move more Americans from welfare to work. The percentage of Americans on welfare is at its lowest level since 1965 as record numbers of people move from welfare to work. Since January 1993, the number of people on welfare has fallen by more than half, from 14.1 million to 6.3 million. More than 1.3 million welfare recipients went to work in 1998 alone, and the percentage of adults still on welfare who were working reached 33 percent in 1999, compared to just 7 percent in 1992 — nearly a fivefold increase. Through the Welfare to Work Partnership launched by the President, more than 20,000 businesses have hired 1.1 million former welfare recipients since 1997.

    Creating New Tools to Help Families Move from Welfare to Work. The 1997 Balanced Budget Act signed by President Clinton included $3 billion to move long-term welfare recipients and low-income non-custodial fathers into jobs. The President’s Access to Jobs initiative helps communities design innovative transportation solutions, such as van services, to help former welfare recipients and other low-income workers get to work. President Clinton has secured 110,000 new housing vouchers in the last two years to help welfare recipients and hard-pressed working families move closer to job opportunities, and this year he is proposing $690 million for 120,000 new housing vouchers. And the Welfare-to-Work Tax Credit provides tax incentives to encourage businesses to hire long-term welfare recipients.

    Doubled Child Support Collections. President Clinton signed into law the toughest child support crackdown in history. Federal and state child support programs broke new records in 1999, collecting nearly $16 billion — double the amount collected in 1992. The number of paternities established rose to a record 1.5 million in 1999 – more than triple the number from 516,000 in 1992. The number of child support cases with collections more than doubled during the Clinton Administration, from 2.8 million in 1992 to 4.5 million in 1999.

    Teen Births Down to the Lowest Rate on Record. The teen birth rate has fallen eight years in a row, dropping 20 percent from 1991 to 1999 to the lowest rate in the 60 years data on teen births have been recorded. The teen pregnancy rate is also at the lowest rate on record. To build on this progress, the President’s budget includes funding for “second chance homes” for teen parents.

    Child Abuse Declines for Five Years in a Row. The number of children abused and neglected has decreased approximately 11 percent from a record 1,018,692 in 1993. While this represents progress, President Clinton and Vice President Gore continue to work to protect the health and well-being of America’s children, and ending child abuse.

    Expanded Investment in Urban and Rural Areas. The Clinton-Gore Administration created 31 Empowerment Zones and more than 100 Enterprise Communities, including 50 rural ECs, which have created new jobs, new opportunities and stronger communities.

    Encouraging Investment in Underserved Communities with the New Markets Initiative. President Clinton’s New Markets Initiative will help bring economic development and renewal to communities that have not benefited from the soaring economy by spurring more than $22 billion in new investment in urban and rural areas. On July 25, 2000, the House passed the President’s New Markets Initiative in a historic bipartisan agreement that included extension and expansion of Empowerment Zones, and an increase in the Low Income Housing Tax Credit. The President has taken three New Markets Tours of underserved communities, which have helped generate more than $1 billion in private sector investment commitments.

    Providing Incentives to Save. President Clinton signed legislation creating Individual Development Accounts, providing incentives for low-income families to save for a first home, higher education, or to start a new business, a key part of his 1992 community empowerment agenda. In FY 1999, $10 million was awarded to establish savings accounts for over 10,000 low-income workers in 40 communities, and an additional $10 million will be awarded in FY 2000. The President’s budget provides $25 million for IDAs in FY 2001 and proposes to allow low-income working families to use IDAs to save for a car that will allow them to get or keep a job.

    Health Care: Increasing Access and Improving the Nation’s Health

    Enacted Most Comprehensive Medicare Reforms in History. In the 1997 Balanced Budget, the Clinton-Gore Administration protected, modernized and extended the life of the Medicare Trust Fund while offering new options for patient choice and preventive care. New preventive benefits passed include coverage of annual mammograms, coverage of screening tests for both colorectal and cervical cancer, and a diabetes self-management benefit. The President proposed a plan to reform and modernize Medicare’s benefits, including an optional prescription drug benefit that is affordable and available to all beneficiaries. The President has also proposed a reserve fund to help Medicare beneficiaries with extremely high prescription drug costs.

    Extending the Life of the Medicare Trust Fund. When President Clinton and Vice President Gore took office, Medicare was expected to run out of money in 1999. Now, the life of the Trust Fund has been extended until 2025. Medicare is now in the soundest shape it has been since 1975.

    Enacted Single Largest Investment in Health Care for Children since 1965. The five year, $24 billion State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) will provide health care coverage for up to five million children. Two million children have already been enrolled, and in October 1999 President Clinton announced new outreach initiatives to enroll millions more uninsured, eligible children. Last year, the President launched a nationwide “Insure Kids Now” campaign that will bring together major TV and radio networks, healthcare organizations, religious groups and other community-based organizations to help enroll more children in the Children’s Health Insurance Program, with the goal of enrolling 5 million of the estimated 10 million children eligible for health insurance under S-CHIP within 5 years. As of June 2000, approximately 2.5 million children were enrolled in S-CHIP. This year, the budget includes sev! eral of Vice President Gore’s proposals to accelerate enrollment of children in S-CHIP. The President is also proposing a new FamilyCare program, which would give States the option to cover parents in the same plan as their children.

    Passed Meaningful Health Insurance Reform. The President signed into law the Kennedy-Kassebaum Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which helps individuals keep health insurance when they change jobs, guarantees renewability of coverage, and ensures access to health insurance for small businesses. As many as 25 million people will benefit from this law. The bill also eliminated the discriminatory tax treatment the of the approximately 10 million Americans who are self-employed; strengthened efforts to combat health care fraud, waste and abuse by creating a stable source of funding; and provided consumer protections and tax incentives for private long-term care insurance.

    More Americans Have Health Insurance. From 1998 to 1999, the number of Americans with health insurance rose by 1.7 million — two-thirds of them children. This is the first decline in the number of uninsured in 12 years. Factors contributing to the decline in the uninsured include the establishment of the historic S-CHIP program; the unprecedented outreach and enrollment efforts by the Administration and key states; and the improving economy in which increasing numbers of employers are offering health insurance. Despite historic gains, millions of Americans remain without insurance. The President and Vice President remain committed to provide health insurance coverage for all Americans.

    Enacted Historic Comprehensive FDA Reform that Expedited the Review and Approval of New Drug Products. The President signed into law the 1997 FDA Modernization Act that includes important measures to modernize and streamline the regulation of biological products; increase patient access to experimental drugs and medical devices; and accelerate review of important new medications. This reform builds on the administrative initiatives implemented under the Vice President’s reinventing government effort which have led U.S. drug approvals to be as fast or faster than any other industrialized nation. Average drug approval times have dropped since the beginning of the Administration from almost three years to just over one year.

    Signed Mental Health Parity Provisions into Law. To help eliminate discrimination against individuals with mental illnesses, the President signed into law mental health parity provisions that prohibit health plans from establishing separate lifetime and annual limits for mental health coverage. In 1999, the White House held the first-ever Conference on Mental Health and released the Surgeon General’s first Report on Mental Health. This year, the President’s budget includes an investment of $100 million for mental health services, a 90 percent increase since 1993 levels.

    Signed Legislation to End Drive-Through Deliveries. President Clinton signed into law common sense legislation that requires health plans to allow new mothers to remain in the hospital for at least 48 hours following most normal deliveries and 96 hours after a Cesarean section.

    Extended Strong, Enforceable Patient Protections for Millions of Americans. Leading by example, the President directed all federal agencies to ensure that their employees and beneficiaries have the benefits and rights guaranteed under the proposed Patients’ Bill of Rights. 85 million Americans covered by federal health plans, and Medicare and Medicaid, have the security of knowing they will have fair access to health care thanks to the President’s work. The President and Vice President have called for passage of the bipartisan Patients Bill of Rights Act, to ensure that all Americans have essential protections, such as guaranteed access to needed health care specialists; access to emergency room services when and where the need arises; continuity of care protections to assure patient care if a patient’s health care provider is dropped; access to a timely internal and independent external appeals process with a medical necessity standard; assurance that doctors and! patients can openly discuss treatment options; and an enforcement mechanism that ensures recourse for patients who have been harmed as a result of health plan actions.

    Fighting Medicare Fraud and Waste. Since 1993, the Clinton-Gore Administration has assigned more federal prosecutors and FBI agents to fight health care fraud than ever before. As a result, convictions have gone up a full 410 percent, saving more than $50 billion in health care claims. The Balanced Budget Act gave an array of new weapons in our fight to keep scam artists and fly-by-night health care out of Medicare and Medicaid.

    Released Strong New Protections for the Privacy of Electronic Medical Records. The Clinton-Gore Administration released a new regulation to protect the privacy of electronic medical records held by health plans, health care clearinghouses, and health care providers. This rule would limit the use and release of private health information without consent; restrict the disclosure of protected health information to the minimum amount of information necessary; establish new requirements for disclosure of information to researchers and others seeking access to health records; and establish new administrative and criminal sanctions for the improper use or disclosure of private information.

    Implementing Comprehensive Nursing Home Quality Initiative. The Clinton-Gore Administration has issued the toughest nursing home regulations in the history of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, including increased monitoring of nursing homes to ensure that they are in compliance; requiring states to crack down on nursing homes that repeatedly violate health and safety requirements; and changing the inspection process to increase the focus on preventing bedsores, malnutrition and resident abuse. They also won a $43.5 million increase in FY 2000 to fund more rigorous inspections of nursing facilities and improved federal oversight and enforcement of nursing home quality.

    Ensuring Safe Food for America’s Families. President Clinton created the President’s Council on Food Safety to develop a comprehensive food safety strategic plan for federal agencies. The Clinton-Gore Administration has implemented a new science-based inspection system — Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points — and reduced the prevalence of salmonella in raw meat and poultry by as much as 50 percent. The President signed the Food Quality Protection Act, which included special safeguards for kids and strengthened laws governing pesticides and food safety. The Administration also issued new rules to prevent foodborne illness caused by pathogens such as E. coli.

    Raised Child Immunization Rates to All Time High. Childhood immunization coverage rates in 1998 were the highest ever recorded. 90 percent of toddlers in 1996, 1997 and 1998 received the most critical doses of each of the routinely recommended vaccines, surpassing the President’s 1993 goal. Because childhood vaccination levels in the United States are at an all-time high, disease and death from diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella and Hib are at or near record lows. There was only one reported case of diphtheria, 100 reported cases of measles, and no reported cases of wild poliovirus in 1998.

    Promoting Reproductive Health. The Clinton-Gore Administration has taken strong steps to protect a woman’s right to choose and to promote safe reproductive health services for women. The President has provided contraceptive coverage to more than a million women covered by federal health plans; provided family planning services to low income women through the Medicaid program; stood up against attempts to prohibit the FDA from approving RU-486; and continues to fight restrictions on international family planning.

    Environment: Growing the Economy And Improving the Environment

    Preserving Our National Treasures. The Clinton-Gore Administration has protected tens of millions of acres, from the red rock canyons of Utah to the Florida Everglades. The Administration reached agreements to protect Yellowstone from mining and save the ancient redwoods of California’s Headwaters Forest. In the FY 2000 budget, the President and Vice President won $651 million (a 42 percent increase) for Lands Legacy, a historic initiative to strengthen federal efforts to preserve national treasures and provides communities with new resources to protect local green spaces. This year, the President’s budget includes a record $1.4 billion for Lands Legacy — a 93 percent increase and the largest one-year investment ever requested for conserving America’s lands.

    Created Nine New National Monuments. The Clinton-Gore Administration has created nine new national monuments: Grand Staircase-Escalante, protecting spectacular red rock canyonlands in Utah; Grand Canyon-Parashant, protecting deep canyons, mountains and buttes on the north rim of the Grand Canyon; Agua Fria, protecting extensive prehistoric ruins in Arizona; the California Coastal monument, protecting thousands of islands, rocks and reefs along the California coast; Giant Sequoia National Monument in California’s Sierra Nevada, protecting 34 groves of ancient sequoias, the largest trees on earth; Canyons of the Ancients National Monument protecting America’s highest density of archeological sites in southwest Colorado; Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument protecting unmatched biological diversity in the Cascade Range in southern Oregon; Hanford Reach National Monument protecting critical habitat for salmon spawning along one of the last free-flowing stretches of! the Columbia River in south central Washington; Ironwood Forest National Monument protecting rich stands of ironwood trees – known to live more than 800 years — in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. The Administration also expanded Pinnacles National Monument in California to better protect the area’s unusual rock formations, and designated Anderson Cottage, which served as Abraham Lincoln’s summer home while he was president, a national monument.

    Preserving Our National Forests. The President directed the National Forest Service to develop and propose regulations to provide long-term protection for 40 million acres of roadless areas within national forests and ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy the pristine wilderness. The proposed regulations would ban road building in these areas and could also prohibit logging or other activities that harm their unique ecological value.

    Accelerating Toxic Cleanups and Brownfields Redevelopment. The Clinton-Gore Administration has completed clean up at more than 530 Superfund sites, more than three times as many as completed in the previous twelve years. Clean up of more than 91 percent of all sites is either completed or in progress. The Administration’s brownfields redevelopment initiative has leveraged over $2.3 billion in private sector investment and generated 6,400 jobs.

    Keeping Our Drinking Water Safe. The President proposed and signed legislation to strengthen the Safe Drinking Water Act to ensure that our families have healthy, clean tap water. The Clinton-Gore Administration has required America’s 55,000 water utilities to provide regular reports to their customers on the quality of their drinking water. The Administration significantly tightened the arsenic standard, providing additional protection to at least 22.5 million Americans from cancer and other health problems. The Administration has adopted or proposed new standards to provide the first-ever protection against waterborne illness like Cryptosporidium, potentially preventing more than half a million illnesses each year. The Administration also proposed new rule to reduce dirty runoff and strengthen protections for 20,000 rivers, lakes and other waterways too polluted for swimming and fishing. Ninety-one percent of America’s tap water from community drinking water sys! tems now meets all federal standards.

    Clearing the Air of Unhealthy Pollution. The President and Vice President have adopted the toughest standards ever on soot and smog. They proposed significant reductions in tailpipe emissions from cars, light trucks and SUVs, and launched long-term effort to restore pristine skies over our national parks and wilderness areas. Since 1993, the number of Americans living in communities that meet federal air quality standards has grown by 43 million.

    Reducing the Threat of Global Warming. The Clinton-Gore Administration negotiated an international treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in an environmentally strong and economically sound way. The President and Vice President secured $1.1 billion in FY 2000 for research and development of energy efficiency and clean energy technologies, and set a goal of tripling U.S. use of bio-energy and bio-products by 2010. The President issued several Executive Orders. The first order directs agencies to dramatically improve energy efficiency in federal buildings, saving taxpayers over $750 million a year when fully implemented. The second order improves fuel efficiency by requiring the Federal government to reduce fuel use in its vehicle fleets by 20 percent in five years. The third order offers federal workers incentives to use public transportation, cutting fuel use and the pollution that contributes to climate change.

    Protecting Oceans and Coasts. The Clinton-Gore Administration has extended the moratorium on new oil leasing off most of the U.S. coast through 2012, and permanently barred new leasing in national marine sanctuaries. They directed the development of key recommendations for strengthening federal oceans policy for the 21st century and appointed a high-level task force to oversee the implementation of those recommendations and launched a new era of ocean exploration where federal researchers will collaborate with marine research institutions and universities for ocean exploration. The President and Vice President secured a funding increase of over 100 percent to better support national marine sanctuaries, and have led the world in calling for a global ban on ocean dumping of low-level radioactive waste.

    Science and Technology: A Strong Research and Development Agenda

    Unprecedented Investment in Biomedical Research. Two years ago, the President called for an increase of almost 50 percent over 5 years in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget as part of his Research for America Fund. Since that time, the NIH budget has increased by over $4.3 billion and with the funding proposed by the President this year, the Administration will be one year ahead of schedule in reaching the 50 percent goal. As a result, NIH now supports the highest levels of research ever on nearly all types of disease and health conditions, making new breakthroughs possible in vaccine development and use, the treatment of chronic disease, and prevention and treatment of diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, and neurological diseases like Alzheimers and Parkinsons. The Clinton-Gore Administration’s FY 2001 budget includes a $1 billion increase for NIH.

    Supporting University Research, Training the Next Generation of Scientists and Engineers. The FY 2000 budget contained a 6.6 percent increase in the National Science Foundation research budget to support science and engineering research across all fields and disciplines. This includes $126 million for the Administration’s “Information Technology for the 21st Century” initiative.

    Ensuring U.S. Leadership in Space Science and Exploration. The Clinton-Gore Administration won increased investment of $13.65 billion for NASA in FY 2000. This investment offers the potential of new scientific breakthroughs through an aggressive robotic series of exploration missions into the solar system, as well as enhancing our ability to monitor important changes in the earth’s climate systems, and strengthening aviation safety for the traveling public.

    Strengthening the Economy and National Security with Information Technology. The Administration continued our investment to help ensure that America leads the world in information technologies that predict tornadoes, design life-saving drugs, and make air travel safer and more efficient, and maintain our nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing.

    Changing the Way Government Does Business: Doing More for Less

    Results from the Reinventing Government Initiative. Overall, the Vice President’s National Performance Review recommended and Congress adopted savings of about $136 billion since 1993.

    Smallest Federal Civilian Workforce in 40 Years. Since President Clinton and Vice President Gore took office, the Federal workforce has been cut by 377,000 – nearly a fifth – and is now lower than any time since 1960.

    Lowest Federal Spending as a Share of the Economy Since 1966. The spending restraint under President Clinton has brought government spending down from 22.2 percent of GDP in 1992 to a projected 18.5 percent of GDP in 2000 – the lowest since 1966. At the same time, President Clinton has increased investments in education, technology and other areas that are vital to growth.

    Slowest Per Capita Growth of Government Spending Since the 1950’s. During the Clinton-Gore Administration, federal spending — on a per capita basis — grew at the slowest rate since the Eisenhower Administration, not including inflation.

    Increasing Participation in Our Democracy with the Motor Voter Law. President Clinton signed the National Voter Registration Act during his first year in office — making voting easier for millions more Americans, and leading to the registration of more than 28 million new voters.

    Foreign Policy: World’s Strongest Force for Peace, Freedom and Prosperity

    Promoting Peace and Strengthening Democracy

    Advancing peace in the Middle East by hosting the Camp David Summit between Israelis and Palestinians, which constituted the first high-level discussions of all permanent status issues; brokering peace agreements between Israel and its other neighbors, including the Palestinians and Jordan; negotiating the Wye River Accords; supporting the launch of final settlement negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians; and revitalizing peace talks between the Syrians and Israelis.

    Stabilizing Southeast Europe by ending a decade of repression and ethnic cleansing in Kosovo through leading NATO alliance to victory in air campaign and ushering in international peacekeepers, and by launching the Stability Pact to strengthen democracy, economic development and security throughout the region and accelerating its integration with the rest of Europe

    Helped broker the Good Friday Peace Accord in Northern Ireland, ending decades of bloodshed and empowering the people of Northern Ireland to determine their future.

    Led diplomatic efforts to end the civil war and foster multi-ethnic democracy in Bosnia.

    Restored democratic government in Haiti, ending military dictatorship and stopping refugee flows.

    Supporting transitions to democracy in South Africa, Nigeria, Indonesia, Central Europe and the Baltics and supporting the mediation of peace efforts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, Sierra Leone, Burundi, and Ethiopia-Eritrea.

    Helped end violence and protected democracy in East Timor by leading diplomatic efforts and supporting international peacekeeping mission.

    Helped settle the Peru-Ecuador border dispute and end civil war in Guatemala.

    Pressing for human rights and religious freedom worldwide, including in China, Burma and Sudan.

    Re-started talks toward a comprehensive settlement on Cyprus.

    Combating Threats

    Protecting Americans from weapons of mass destruction by working to reduce Russian nuclear arsenals through implementation of strategic arms control agreements (START) and cooperative threat reduction programs, permanently eliminating nuclear weapons from Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, easing nuclear tensions between India and Pakistan, signing the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and achieving the indefinite extension of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

    Enhancing military stability in Europe by successfully concluding the adapted Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty.
    Combating terrorism by developing a national counter-terrorism strategy, appointing a national coordinator and striking terrorist targets in Afghanistan and Sudan.

    Waging war on drugs by intensifying interdiction efforts, strengthening cooperation with allies, cracking down on drug lords and providing $1.3 billion in assistance for Colombia.

    Reducing North Korean threat through deterrence, including the forward deployment of 37,000 U.S. troops; diplomacy, including bilateral talks leading to a moratorium on long-range missile testing; and non-proliferation, including the eventual dismantling of North Korea’s dangerous nuclear facilities.

    Containing Iraq while working toward regime change through deterrence, economic sanctions, humanitarian assistance for the Iraqi people from the oil-for-food program, and support for popular opposition to Saddam Hussein’s regime.

    Addressing new threats by protecting America’s critical infrastructure from cyber-terrorism and biological and chemical weapons.

    Discussed development of a limited national missile defense to protect against attacks from states that threaten international peace and security while preserving strategic stability with Russia.

    Strengthening military readiness and modernizing our armed forces.

    Combating trafficking in persons, especially women and children, through the development of an integrated strategy that focuses on prevention, prosecution of traffickers, and protection of and assistance to victims.

    Fighting proliferation by improving controls over Russian nuclear weapon materials, and by funding legitimate employment opportunities for former Russian nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons researchers and institutes as an alternative to selling their skills abroad.

    Negotiating a protocol to the Convention on Conventional Weapons, banning antipersonnel landmines that do not self-destruct and self-deactivate, signed by all the major mine-producing nations.

    Waging war on international crime by strengthening U.S. law enforcement programs and bilateral, regional and global cooperation related to drug trafficking, money laundering and other international organized crime and by providing $1.3 billion in additional funding for critical counter-drug and related initiatives throughout the Andean Region.

    Mobilizing leadership and resources – including the development of new vaccines – to fight AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, which threaten development, economic growth, stability and security.

    Strengthening Alliances and Building Partnerships

    Fulfilling vision of an undivided, democratic and peaceful Europe by enlarging NATO, integrating Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic and Southeast Europe, and strengthening NATO’s partnerships with Russia, Ukraine and the other New Independent States.

    Building a more constructive relationship with China through engagement and frank dialogue, leading to cooperation on non-proliferation and regional security, environmental protection.

    Deepening security alliance with Japan through adoption of Defense Guidelines and Joint Security Declaration.

    Strengthening cooperation with South Korea through jointly offered Four Party Peace Talks with North Korea and the establishment of Trilateral Consultation and Oversight Group to coordinate North Korea policy.

    Supporting democracy, human rights, and market economies in Russia, Ukraine, and the countries of the former Soviet Union and promoting their international integration.

    Secured landmark agreements to develop oil and gas pipelines from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, strengthening ties in the region and ensuring Americans have continued access to vital natural resources.

    Expanding trade and strengthening democracy in Asia and Latin America through the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, the Summit of the Americas, and the Organization of American States.

    Strengthening ties with Africa by launching the new Partnership for Economic Growth and Opportunity, achieving passage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, and supporting the Africa Crisis Response Initiative and other regional peacekeeping efforts.

    Preserved U.S. leadership role at the United Nations by reaching agreement with Congress that would enable us to pay $1 billion in back dues. Deepened security ties with the Philippines through adoption of the Visiting Forces Agreement.

    **Expanding Prosperity**

    Opening markets for U.S. exports abroad and creating American jobs through NAFTA, GATT and nearly 300 other free and fair trade agreements.

    Integrating China into the world economy through landmark agreement for China’s entry into the World Trade Organization that opens markets to U.S. exports, slashes Chinese tariffs, and protects American workers from dumping.

    Established World Trade Organization to reduce tariffs, settle trade disputes, and enforce rules.

    Reduced the possibility that a future Asian financial crisis would undermine America’s prosperity by promoting structural reform — including sound monetary policies, urging banking reforms and fighting corruption abroad.

    Stimulating worldwide growth through support for the IMF and G-8 global economic strategy.

    Assisted Mexico’s economic recovery with $20 billion in emergency support loans.

    Forgave $500 million in African debt, announced initiative to link debt relief to health and education investments, and forged agreement among G-8 industrialized countries to provide additional debt relief.

    Helped to overcome the Asian financial crisis through support for multilateral and bilateral efforts and through keeping America’s markets open at a critical juncture.

    Helped facilitate disaster relief and reconstruction in Central American countries affected by Hurricane Mitch, committing $940 million to economic reactivation, education, public health, and future mitigation.

    Helped Brazil avert financial crisis by backing $41.5 billion international support package.

    ….the miracles we took for granted during the reign of the most popular president and vice president in the 20th Century..

  99. Southern,

    Show them this chart:

    h…./ no w’s

    This was the result of Bill Clinton’s budget passed when the Dems controlled Congress — not one GOP voted for it.

    There’s a site still up from years ago giving many accomplishments of the Clinton/Gore administration.

    It was cited near the last few posts at

  100. Southern,

    Ah, I found the LJ page:

    Tell your friends that unemployment for African Americans was the lowest ever IN RECORDED HISTORY during Bill’s admin!!!!!!!

    There was the biggest drop in child poverty rates in 3 decades.
    There was a huge expansion of pell and other grants for college.
    There was the largest government investment in education in 30 years.

    AA’s had the lowest unemployment rate EVER IN RECORDED HISTORY under Bill’s administration!!!

    There was the biggest investment in education than there had been for 30 years.

    There was the biggest drop in child poverty for three decades as well.

    They began HeadStart

    They expanded Pell grants and college help.

    There was the lowest crime rate in 25 years

    They gave health care to over 6 million children

    There was the highest home ownership rate IN THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF THIS COUNTRY, including the highest minority home ownership rate EVER RECORDED.

  101. Thank you, Birdgal, Mrs. Smith, and Turndownobama for your help. That why I LOVE this site and ya’ll.

    You’ve given me the amunition to head right back into the battle to defend our gal and Bill. So off I go with both guns blazing as they say.

  102. I think our little dialog box hiccuped when it was faced with illustrating 12 pages of the Clinton-Gore Administrations accomplishments. I’m sure there are more elsewhere. These are just the highlights I filed long ago.

  103. The Clinton-Gore Administration Transformed A Nation..
    . . . for the better.

    Amen, Mrs. Smith

    That is what a centrist democratic administration headed by a great leader. For the past eight years we were ruled by the neocons, and now we are ruled by the neolibs. I want no part of either extreme.

  104. wbboei, I’ve reread your 20 point contribution several times today. It’s just too awesome for a quick skim. I highly recommend everyone have a second go reading it. You aced it perfectly..

    While looking through my files for Bill Administration’s accomplishments, I found a pre-Hillary campaign mini-resume.

    Michelle, are you lookin’ here? You’ve got some awfully big shoes to fill to even come close to standing in Hillary’s ‘First Lady’ Shadow. Hillary’s SOS position is a piece of cake for her. Here’s why:


    Her historic speech at the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 not only galvanized women around the world, it helped spawn a movement that led to advances politically, legally, economically, and socially for women in many countries over the next decade. Among other initiatives, she spearheaded the Clinton Administration’s efforts to combat the global crisis of human trafficking. She persuaded the First Ladies of the Americas to use their collective power to eradicate measles and improve girls’ education throughout the western Hemisphere. And she is widely credited with helping women in Kuwait finally win the right to vote.

    As First Lady and now as a two-term senator who represents the most ethnically diverse state in the nation and who sits on the Armed Services Committee, Hillary Clinton has become a fixture on international issues over the past 15 years. She has traveled to more than 80 countries, going from barrios to rural villages to meetings with heads of state. She has consulted with dozens of world leaders – Nelson Mandela, King Abdullah, Tony Blair among them — on matters as diverse as America and NATO’s roles in Kosovo, eradicating poverty in the Third World, and the plight of women living under the Taliban in Afghanistan.

    Today, she is one of the most influential voices in the world on human rights, democracy, and the promotion of a “new internationalism” in foreign affairs that calls for a balanced use of military force, diplomacy, and social development to strengthen American interests and security globally.

    While American First Ladies historically have made great (and often overlooked) contributions to our nation, Hillary Clinton’s wide-ranging experience on international issues as First Lady is unprecedented. Indeed, she is the only First Lady to have delivered foreign policy addresses at major gatherings of the United Nations, the World Bank, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the World Economic Forum.

  105. The tragedy of the primary was the party and the nation were deprived of the services of its best leader in the office of president at a critical time in history when the fate and future of so many Americans hangs in the balance. That is a tragedy writ large, and I believe future events will bear this out.

    I have been though a number of campaigns over the years and this one was by far the ugliest. The issues of race and gender were at the forefront, and the Obama/Big Media conspirators exploited them ruthelessly, and we hold them both in contempt for that reason.

    When the conspirators played the race cards they focused on two targets: the Clintons and their African American supporters. This was beyond the pale of politics. It was pure evil Chicago style and it vitiated any claim to legitimacy which would otherwise coincide with high office.

    The attack upon the Clintons was evil for this reason. It implied that they were racists. As Hitler would say that was The Big Lie which they perpetrated.

    The truth was and is the African American community has no better friend than the Clintons, they did more to help them than any prior administration, and when the vultures were circling over Bill Clinton they were the ones he turned to outside his immediate family for support.

    When you think about it that is a profound thing. A Washington attorney said to me one time that he always kept a list of five people he would turn to for advice and counsel if he got into serious trouble. The AA community was at the top of Bills list and that tells you how highly he thought of them.

    Yet the conspirators tried to paint him out as a racist, and the Obama website was full of that stuff. Thats evil. Clyburn for example is despicable.

    Given the special bond between the Clintons and the African American community, it is hardly surpising that many of them came out for Hillary when she began her campaign. They knew they had done well under her husbands presidency and looked forward to doing well in a Hillary administation as well.

    The conspirators singled out Hillarys black supporters, threatened to primary them and accused them of not supporting their race. Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones was an example of a black supporter who resisted those pressures and threats. She stood tall with Hillary because she could read people and knew that skin color is less important than what is in your heart.

    I mention this because I think of the sacrifices I made financial and otherwise for Hillary and ultimately for our country, and I am sure you think of your own contributions in the same light. But I think special recognition should be given to the African Americans who stood by her until the end for all the right reasons. As far as supporters go, they are the real heroes.

    When we talk about how the Obama campaign played the race card against the Clintons we must not forget that they also played it against our African American friends and supporters as well.

    They stood with Hillary because they remembered the policies enacted in those years were good for African Americans and in the final analysis that is what counts. And for that they were subjected to peer group pressure from friends and family to vote for an unknown on the grounds of race.

    I was thinking about why I supported Hillary and still do after all we have been though. In the broadest sense, it is because she is a world class leader the likes of which I have not seen before. I believe she cares deeply about the future of this country. I think she has the intellect, energy and political savvy to solve the problems confronting us.

    I think she and Bill have a special place in their hearts for the African American community, his administation was good to them in many ways, and they were the ones who he went to in his hour of need. That is critical and here is why.

  106. Admin: you bring back memories of 1968 watching the Superintendant of the Naval Academy pacing back and forth across the stage warning us you cannot have guns and butter. To this day, I am not sure whether he was addressing those remarks to LBJ, congress or who all. As plebes there wasnt much we could do about it.

    There is a correlation between what the female editor of the law review said about the messiah and what litigation attorneys later said about him. But when she went on to say that she did not mention this during the campaign to be “fair” the question that went through my mind was fair to whom. Surely not the American People.

    Martin Luther once said that what is “fair” depends entirely on whose ox is being gored. In this case, I rather suspect it was the Harvard alumni.

    Item last: I quite agree. 2016 is just a polite number.

  107. Barack Obama was nowhere to be seen. Occasionally he would drop in he would talk to people, and then he’d leave again as though his very arrival had been a benediction in and of itself, but not very much got done.

    So, you know, you see that and you think, gosh, maybe that’s the way the guy operates, hut then you figure ok, obviously he always had his eye on bigger and better things.

    But now he’s President…there really isn’t a bigger or better thing.
    What this says to me is he won’t want a second term. Long before this one is over he will be looking for an escape hatch. It is his behavioral pattern.

    He could be a ghost employee in other jobs, stay home, avoid hard work, make cameo appearances and schmooooooze. But the presidency is hard work, it is 24-7 and when Harry Truman said the buck stops here he meant it. Voting present just won’t cut it. Not when you are president.

    His people will want him to seek a second term, but his psychological makeup is such that he wont want it.
    I guarantee you he hates this job. And if the country is in worse shape by then that will be another reason he punts.

  108. WOW! What a wonderful trip down memory lane. I really enjoyed reading the posts on Bill and Hillary’s accomplishments again. 🙂

    And to be fair, we should at least address the new kids on the block…b.o., m.o…. I’m sure any accomplishments, if I could think of any that is, would have to include the following descriptors:




  109. As Markets Fell, Pundits Came Down On Obama
    President Gets Blame After Just 50 Days

    White House spokesman Robert Gibbs has jousted with media critics like CNBC’s Rick Santelli, right. (J. Scott Applewhite – AP)
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    Who’s Blogging» Links to this article
    By Howard Kurtz
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Monday, March 16, 2009; Page C01

    As the Dow embarked on a long slide after Inauguration Day — a nearly 2,000-point slide, to be precise — the drumbeat seemed to grow louder.

    This Story
    MEDIA NOTES: As Markets Fell, Pundits Came Down On Obama
    Monday, March 16, Noon ET: Critiquing the Press
    “There’s no confidence in Obama’s plan,” said Fox’s Sean Hannity. “The markets respond to data. They have no confidence.”

    “The stock market is also demonstrating a lack of confidence in the president’s big government agenda,” said CNN’s Lou Dobbs.

    And it’s not just those on the right. CNBC’s Jim Cramer — an unabashed Democrat — complained that President Obama’s “radical agenda” was causing the “greatest wealth destruction I’ve seen by a president.”

    But is it fair to hurl such charges at a president who’s been in office for less than eight weeks? Isn’t Obama trying to dig out from the huge economic mess left by his predecessor?

    The chatter reflects a fast-forward culture that demands snap judgments. The cable news channels, not content to wait for the traditional 100-day benchmark — itself an artificial media construct — were grading Obama last week on his 50-day performance.

    “Fixing the economy is not a television-friendly story,” says Fortune Managing Editor Andy Serwer. “A plane crash in the Hudson where everyone survives is a television-friendly story. This is a slog.”

    The debate is also a barometer of the pain that millions of Americans are feeling as their nest eggs and retirement funds shrink dramatically. The Dow opened at 9625 on the day Obama was elected, at 7949 on the day he took office, and closed at 6547 last Monday.

    Of course, Obama’s detractors didn’t credit his policies when the index rebounded to 7224 by Friday. Republicans on yesterday’s talk shows shifted their attack to the overall economy, with House GOP Whip Eric Cantor saying on “Meet the Press” that there is a “lack of confidence” in the administration. Christina Romer, chair of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, said that “of course the fundamentals are sound,” prompting host David Gregory to observe that she and the president now seem to be echoing what John McCain said during the campaign.

    Former Business Week editor Steve Shepard dismisses the notion of attributing sharp declines in the Dow to a new president.

    “To pin the blame on him is just fundamentally unfair and wrong,” says Shepard, now dean of the City University of New York’s journalism school. “It’s the party line of the Wall Street Journal editorial page.” While there is “a germ of truth” in the criticism — Shepard says that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner unveiled a “half-baked” bank bailout plan — “the decline of the market since Obama took office is largely related to the deepening of the economic disaster.”

    The Dow’s swoon began in the last 18 months of the Bush administration, after the index peaked at 14164. Serwer says the crisis was “a generation in the making” and furthered by the Bush administration’s “malignant neglect.”

  110. I hope wbboei’s 20 points are going viral. Perhaps the following is an indication that they are (from dcexaminer this morning):

    …Obama’s approach to his presidential agenda had been to define the nature of the economic crisis, sharpen public concerns about the crisis, propose a solution and then prepare to take credit for eventual success.

    But concerns about competence may prevent him from implementing his solution, and all that defining and sharpening could make even basic governance difficult.

    As Geithner rolls out some more of his bank plan this week and Emanuel prepares to open a new front in his war against the Republican Party, concerns about competency and priorities will again be at the fore.

    To get his presidency back on track, Obama must recapture the cool technocratic confidence he had as a candidate.

    And the situation must be getting dire if even Republicans hope he gets it together.

    w w

  111. PLEASE: Ignore the previous post…lol…pushed the submit button before I could do a cleanup on aisle 5.

    As Markets Fell, Pundits Came Down On Obama

    President Gets Blame After Just 50 Days

    By Howard Kurtz
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Monday, March 16, 2009;

    As the Dow embarked on a long slide after Inauguration Day — a nearly 2,000-point slide, to be precise — the drumbeat seemed to grow louder.

    “The stock market is also demonstrating a lack of confidence in the president’s big government agenda,” said CNN’s Lou Dobbs. And it’s not just those on the right. CNBC’s Jim Cramer — an unabashed Democrat — complained that President Obama’s “radical agenda” was causing the “greatest wealth destruction I’ve seen by a president.”

    But is it fair to hurl such charges at a president who’s been in office for less than eight weeks? Isn’t Obama trying to dig out from the huge economic mess left by his predecessor?

    The chatter reflects a fast-forward culture that demands snap judgments. The cable news channels, not content to wait for the traditional 100-day benchmark — itself an artificial media construct — were grading Obama last week on his 50-day performance.

    “Fixing the economy is not a television-friendly story,” says Fortune Managing Editor Andy Serwer. “A plane crash in the Hudson where everyone survives is a television-friendly story. This is a slog.” The debate is also a barometer of the pain that millions of Americans are feeling as their nest eggs and retirement funds shrink dramatically. The Dow opened at 9625 on the day Obama was elected, at 7949 on the day he took office, and closed at 6547 last Monday. Of course, Obama’s detractors didn’t credit his policies when the index rebounded to 7224 by Friday. Republicans on yesterday’s talk shows shifted their attack to the overall economy, with House GOP Whip Eric Cantor saying on “Meet the Press” that there is a “lack of confidence” in the administration. Christina Romer, chair of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, said that “of course the fundamentals are sound,” prompting host David Gregory to observe that she and the president now seem to be echoing what John McCain said during the campaign.

    Former Business Week editor Steve Shepard dismisses the notion of attributing sharp declines in the Dow to a new president. “To pin the blame on him is just fundamentally unfair and wrong,” says Shepard, now dean of the City University of New York’s journalism school. “It’s the party line of the Wall Street Journal editorial page.” While there is “a germ of truth” in the criticism — Shepard says that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner unveiled a “half-baked” bank bailout plan — “the decline of the market since Obama took office is largely related to the deepening of the economic disaster.”

    The Dow’s swoon began in the last 18 months of the Bush administration, after the index peaked at 14164. Serwer says the crisis was “a generation in the making” and furthered by the Bush administration’s “malignant neglect.” “Any president is going to be held responsible for the economy, but it’s patently unfair to do it in such a short time frame.” Still, he says, “in the 24-hour news cycle, you’ve got to have something to talk about.”

    The president, for his part, has likened the market swoon to the gyrations of political polls, saying that “buying stocks is a potentially good deal if you’ve got a long-term perspective on it.” The White House hasn’t been shy about firing back at the critics. After Cramer, a former hedge fund manager, ripped Obama’s policies, spokesman Robert Gibbs said: “I think you can go back and look at any number of statements that he’s made in the past about the economy and wonder where some of the backup for those are, too.” (Jon Stewart seized on those statements in his “Daily Show” assault on Cramer, particularly Cramer’s repeated endorsements of the now-defunct Bear Stearns.) And after CNBC correspondent Rick Santelli, a former options trader, attacked the president’s mortgage plan — amid cheering at the Chicago Board of Trade — Gibbs said: “It’s tremendously important . . . for people who rant on cable television to be responsible and understand what it is they’re talking about. I feel assured that Mr. Santelli doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

    The public, for now, isn’t siding with the critics. In an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll two weeks ago, 84 percent of those surveyed said Obama inherited the nation’s economic conditions, while 8 percent said his policies are mostly responsible for today’s economic woes.
    At some undefined point, the battered economy will be seen as Obama’s problem. The conventional wisdom when he took office was that he had a year to show some progress. But that was before cable commentators started handing out 50-day report cards and presidents were expected to solve problems before the next round of Sunday talk shows.


    Any way you slice this, obama is responsible…responsible…responsible. And if he were a man, he would accept that and move on.

  112. Bilderberger Theory

    The BC and the Supreme world government Theory are seeing some daylight.

    the h stuff but no ws.

  113. LOL…a bit late now to try and protect your “Brylcream boy’s” image or lack thereof…

    Chia Obama? Welcome to the Selling of a President
    From the tasteless to the absurd, President Obama has become a true merchandising craze

    By Amanda Ruggeri
    Posted February 12, 2009

    It seems like the setup to a bad joke: What do Chia pets, Marvel comics, and condoms have in common? How’s “the president of the United States” for a punch line?

    Barack Obama has barely settled into the White House, and already he’s generated an economic stimulus by sparking what feels like one of the only growth sectors in the economy: Obamabilia. “I have never, ever, ever, ever seen this,” says Barry H. Landau, presidential historian and author of the upcoming The President’s Inauguration: 200 Years of an American Pageant. Landau, who tracks presidential memorabilia and owns 1.2 million items himself, estimates that Obama has four times as many products devoted to him as any past president. Presidential souvenirs go back to George Washington’s time, when people sold replicas of his monogrammed buttons. But Obama gear is in a different league. “Provenance is out the window,” Landau says. “People are just commercializing without any sense of good taste.”

    Just check out “Hot 4 Barack” hot sauce, thongs (in 25,400 Obama-inspired designs on one site alone), “iKiss Barack” lip balm, or Obama condoms (labeled “No experience necessary”). Others are simply absurd. One website offers “Obama’s White House Sword,” at $79.99 for 43 inches, alongside Lord of the Rings-inspired blades. Even Marvel got in the game with a comic featuring Obama and Spider-Man, complete with fist-bump. And then there is “Chia Obama,” available in two poses: determined or happy. Although it doesn’t debut until March, thousands have been preordered, says Michael Hirsch, vice president of the company selling the terra-cotta figurines. If the plant-growing president with the tag line “Hail to the Ch-ch-ch-chief!” proves popular, he could joinMr. T and Scooby-Doo in Chia’s annals of top sellers.

    Plenty of mainstream brands are jumping on the Obama bandwagon, too, including Southwest Airlines (with a “Yes You Can” sale) and Ben & Jerry’s, with a “Yes Pecan” ice cream flavor. Some souvenirs have clearly crossed the lines of taste. The $9.99-per-box “Obama Waffles” features a thick-lipped, grinning caricature of the president. Another illustration of Obama on the side, his head wrapped in a towel, is paired with an arrow reading, “Point box toward Mecca for tastier waffles.” The makers of the mix have insisted it is political satire. To others, it’s nothing short of racist.

    The frenzy has garnered the attention of White House lawyers, who have started brainstorming ways to protect the president’s image. But for now, the market has spoken, with Obama products knocking out the competition. “There might be a little Sarah Palin product left, but it’s minimal,” Donna Tsitsikaos says about the items left in her political souvenir chain, America! They’ve been edged out to make room for the most popular Obama seller: bobblehead dolls.


    I think I want a “chia obama” for my bird’s cage. 🙂

  114. “many top officials in Obama’s administration are involved in a clandestine global cabal bent on creating a one-world government that supersedes the United States.”


    I’m sure obama mini-me’s sit around the campfire discussing world domination and more, I just don’t think these idiots will get very far before being pulled back on their “idiot strings.”

  115. NewMexicoFan Says:
    March 16th, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Bilderberger Theory
    I have been interested in this group for several years — they seem to me to be a good thing — a forum for leaders in all fields (sciences, education, government, public health etc) to come together to air thier views and compare notes with one another in an atmosphere of their peers without pesky nosey-parkers and the press listening in and misunderstanding, misreporting, etc the ideas, speculations,etc being tossed about for discussion for better understanding of world problems.

    THe list of people who have been invited to attend these meetings is a varied as you can imagine and are not always like-minded on any topic, so I can
    tsee any validity to the conspiracy theory. Anyone want a lits(partial but long) iof attendees cantact me at — well let me know here and I’ll give email here.

  116. JanH Says:
    March 16th, 2009 at 8:23 am

    “And to be fair, we should at least address the new kids on the block…b.o., m.o…. I’m sure any accomplishments, if I could think of any that is, would have to include the following descriptors:”

    Jan, you were very generous, it seems you gave them a ‘D’…

    imho…I think they deserve an…

    FRAUD, etc etc etc

  117. lil ole grape

    What I find amazing about the Bilderbergr stuff is that anything written that controversial about O is seeing the light of day with AOL.

  118. According to a friend of mine, some of the best writters at some of the major newspapers are bloggers now. Amazing, and might I add, we have some of the best researchers writers here on Big Pink. I don’t think that can be said enough. There are some amazing people on this blog.

  119. wbboei Says:

    March 14th, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    I hope it is ok to copy and paste your 20 point essay?

  120. I am really interested in these Tea Parties that the media has been ignoring. I live in the Austin area, very liberal but if I can get some help would love to stag one!

  121. lil ole grape Says:
    March 16th, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Hate not being able to see below the frame to mend typos.


    That used to happen to me. What helped was, when beginning a post, I’d put in several blank lines at the bottom (by pressing Enter) Kind of like making some padding at the bottom. Then type or paste above them.

    Then when there was a problem, I could use Ctl-end or PageDown or something to get to the bottom, then go up from there.

    Of couse half the time I forgot to delete the ‘padding’ lines before hitting Submit…

  122. If any of you watch Jay Leno, you may want to skip his show this Thursday night. b.o. is making an appearance.

  123. Eric Holder embarrassed about enforcing civil rights in Noxubee County?

    Attorney General Eric Holder calls the U.S. “a nation of cowards” because we “do not talk enough about race.” I find this ironic, since the Justice Department seems embarrassed about a recent judgment in its favor by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. U.S. v. Ike Brown is a major Voting Rights Act case involving intentional race-based discrimination by local officials in Noxubee County, Miss.

    Got the above from Bitterpolitiz

  124. turndownobama-com Says:
    March 16th, 2009 at 12:50 pm
    thanks! let’s see if it works.

    See this?
    Everyday another headache — I really need that dartboard.
    Newt Gingrich: Obama’s Attack on Medical Civil Liberties and Moral Rights
    With little notice by the mainstream media, President Barack Obama has removed vital protections on doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals who refuse to perform abortions and other procedures they consider immoral. It is nothing less than an assault on civil liberties and medical conscience, says Newt Gingrich.

    Everyday another headache — I really need that dartboard!

  125. # lil ole grape Says:
    March 16th, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Hate not being able to see below the frame to mend typos.

    LOL…story of my life here. ANyway, I agree with above posters about the quality of contributors here. I considered myself somewhat politically sophisticated and was a Clinton follower before he/she came to the White House. However, when I compare the wealth of knowledge aand analytical essays posted here, I am lucky to have my day job as a lawyer.

  126. lil ole grape,

    the sad thing is, I don’t think obama and his henchmen even think through their decisions. They just swarm in and decide that this is their world and they can do whatever the hell they want, no matter the fallout.

  127. Grape says Newsmax says:
    With little notice by the mainstream media, President Barack Obama has removed vital protections on doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals who refuse to perform abortions and other procedures they consider immoral.


    I do wish it were so! BO has put out something but does the fine print stand up?

    These ‘immoral procedutes’ include filling a prescription for birth control pills!

  128. I heard on NPR news this morning that Nouri al-Maliki, Iraqi Prime Minister, said that the US could withdraw from parts of Iraq that are truly “under control”, but that US involvement would still be required for the areas that are not yet under control.

    I thought to myself, “Did the Iraqi PM just tell Obama what he has to do?”. I’m not sure he’d be telling W. “Do this…”. If he was dealing with POTUS Clinton or McCain, such assertions would probably not be made, or they’d be tempered differently.

    I get the feeling that world leaders seem Obama as someone who can be batted around, and intimidated.

    I don’t have any links to that story, yet…

  129. Re “The List”

    The best list I can find so far, still not complete
    from TPM Mudraker.

    Love and Best Wishes from AIG


    * Goldman Sachs
    * Deutsche Bank
    * Merrill Lynch
    * Société Générale
    * Calyon
    * Barclays
    * Rabobank
    * Danske
    * HSBC
    * Royal Bank of Scotland
    * Banco Santander
    * Morgan Stanley
    * Wachovia
    * Bank of America
    * Lloyds Banking Group


    Iraq’s al-Maliki: US will stay in insecure areas
    By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA Associated Press Writer © 2009 The Associated Press
    March 15, 2009, 3:46PM

    BAGHDAD — U.S. troops will not be removed from areas of Iraq that are not completely secure or where there is a high probability that attacks could resume after the Americans leave, Iraq’s prime minister said Sunday.

    Nouri al-Maliki said in an interview with The Associated Press that he had told President Barack Obama and other top U.S. officials that any withdrawals “must be done with our approval” and in coordination with the Iraqi government.

    “I do not want any withdrawals except in areas considered 100 percent secure and under control,” al-Maliki said during his flight from Australia to Baghdad at the end of a five-day visit.

    “Any area where there is a likelihood of a resumption of attacks, withdrawals from there will be postponed,” he said.

    The U.S.-Iraq security pact that went into effect Jan. 1 calls for U.S. combat forces to leave the cities by the end of June in the first step of a plan to remove all American troops from Iraq by the end of 2011.

    Obama wants to withdraw all combat troops by September 2010, leaving behind a residual force of up to 50,000 soldiers to train Iraqi forces and go after al-Qaida.

    In Washington, a senior administration official said Obama “has talked with and consulted with the Iraqis” and has said that “obviously we want to sustain the security gains of the last year.”

    He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was referring to private conversations.

    Al-Maliki did not specify areas where the removal of U.S. troops might be delayed. But those areas would likely include Mosul, the country’s third largest city, and Diyala province northeast of Baghdad.

    Al-Qaida and other Sunni extremist groups operate in both areas, despite repeated offensives by U.S. and Iraqi forces. An Iraqi soldier was killed Sunday in a bombing in Mosul and a police lieutenant colonel was shot dead in another part of the city, police said.

    An Iraqi woman was killed Sunday when she was caught in the crossfire during a U.S.-Iraqi raid against insurgents west of Mosul, U.S. and Iraqi officials said.

    Also Sunday, a senior U.S. officer told reporters that American troops will focus on attacking insurgent supply routes and rural hide-outs after combat troops withdraw from Baghdad at the end of June.

    Brig. Gen. Frederick Rudesheim, a deputy commander of U.S. forces in Baghdad, said the shift from the cities to large bases outside will help make the capital safer because U.S. troops can go after militants at the source: The countryside where they plan their attacks and load up on guns and bombs.

    Rudesheim spoke a week after two separate suicide attacks killed more than 60 people in the Baghdad area, raising new concerns about the readiness of Iraqi forces to take over their own security.

    “I want to leave it very clear that there’s no cessation of combat operations” after June 30, Rudesheim told reporters in Baghdad’s heavily guarded Green Zone.

    “We understand that we’re going to have the vast majority of our formations moving out of the city proper and moving to the rural belts,” he said.

    “We’re talking about an enemy that tries to establish itself in rural areas and establish support zones in the rural areas around Baghdad … and from there conducts operations into the more urban areas” of the capital, he added.

    He also said U.S. troops would continue combat operations in the cities after June 30 but from bases outside town rather than outposts that were established throughout various neighborhoods as part of the 2007 U.S. troop surge.

    He said the giant Camp Victory complex on the western outskirts of Baghdad will remain open, but the fate of U.S. military forces in the central Green Zone remains under discussion.

    “We will not forsake the security that has been established by the Iraqi security forces and coalition forces,” he said.

    Rudesheim said U.S. military transition teams that train Iraqi forces will remain at posts within the city.

    U.S. and Iraqi forces have also relied on Sunni volunteer fighters — many of them former insurgents — to maintain security in Baghdad and rural areas around the capital.

    Last year, the Iraqi government took over responsibility for paying the fighters, known as Sons of Iraq, from the U.S. military and pledged to bring 20 percent of them into the mostly Shiite army and the police. The rest will get civilian jobs, the government promised.

    But Rudesheim said he was concerned the Iraqi government’s budget problems had slowed the integration.

    Iraq’s parliament passed a $58.6 billion budget earlier this month after making drastic cuts as oil prices plunged from a mid-July high of nearly $150 a barrel to about $46. As a result, the government has implemented a police hiring freeze, said Rudesheim.

    He said the Iraqi government has continued paying the fighters but has not integrated them into the security forces “to the degree that was anticipated.”

    U.S. officials have expressed concern that some of the volunteers may return to insurgent ranks if the government reneges on its commitments.

    But a leading Sunni sheik who heads the fighters in Anbar province said the volunteers must show patience and support the government in time of economic crisis.

    “If the state is facing a financial crisis, we should help and not insist upon joining (the security forces),” Sheik Ahmed Abu Risha said. “We need to think about the future of our nation.”

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