Obama and The Tiberius Lesson

Inexperienced, unqualified, treacherous, and incompetent, Barack Obama might perform an impossible Herculean task: Make George W. Bush not be the “Worst President Ever”. “Worst President Ever” is a moniker with a tag that says “temporarily occupied – reserved for Barack Obama”.

It is almost as if George W. Bush planned it all. There are Hollywood agent strategies for making yourself look “pretty” by surrounding yourself with “ugly” people or making yourself appear thinner by surrounding yourself with very large people. There are even precedents to make your political legacy better by having someone much worse than you follow your administration.

Yesterday, the Ides of March, is remembered in history as the date of the assasination of Julius Caesar. For today’s History Is A Teacher moment however, we remember March 16, 37 AD and the death of The Emperor Tiberius.

Tiberius, the George W. Bush of our narrative, sort of fell into the job of Roman Emperor. Tiberius, like George W. Bush was not really interested in governing nor in “hard work”. Like George W. Bush, Tiberius was detached and “intellectually incurious”. Tiberius was quite a mess as Emperor (like George W.) and the rule of Tiberius was a disaster (like George W. Bush). Eventually Tiberius exiled himself to the Isle of Capri and a life of sensual pleasures. Tiberius left the Empire in charge to the Cheneyesqe Praetorian Lucius Aelius Sejanus.

There was a reign of terror near the end of Tiberius’ rule, but that is not particularly relevant to our narrative even with its “national security” echoes of George W. Suffice to say Tiberius was widely hailed as “Worst Emperor Ever”.

When the reign of Tiberius ended on March 16, 37 A.D. the populace of Rome was happy. Tiberius was cremated without honors and grew as an object of derision. The Romans loved the successor to Tiberius which increased the derision and contempt for the dead former Emperor.

Tiberius knew he was the “Worst Emperor Ever” but he had a plan to make himself look good: make his successor so bad that the epithet “Worst Emperor Ever” would be handed over to the new guy.

At first the new guy, the new Emperor, was loved by the people and hailed as a savior (especially by himself). Eventually the Tiberius legacy scheme succeeded beyond expectation.

The Emperor inaugurated after Tiberius was none other than Caligula. Caligula, who thought himself a Messiah. Caligula eventually relieved Tiberius of the moniker “Worst Emperor Ever”.

From “I, Claudius: Reign of Terror (Episode 7)” (1976):

Tiberius: I shall make you my successor, Gaius Caligula. I have decided. You will stay here with me. Rome deserves you. I will nurse you like a viper in her bosom.

Caligula: Is that a joke, uncle?

Tiberius: Not yet, but it will be.



* * * * *

As our modern day Caligula, Obama backstabs Americans, particularly the middle class, on healthcare (we’ll have a lot more on this in subsequent articles), and returns to fundraising, Americans are beginning to sense that something is wrong with Mess-iah.

Yes, it’s early, but an eerily familiar feeling is spreading across party lines and seeping into the national conversation. It’s a nagging doubt about the competency of the White House.

It was during George W. Bush’s second term that the I-word – incompetence – became a routine broadside against him. The Democratic frenzy of Bush-bashing had not spent itself when a larger critique emerged, one not confined by partisan boundaries. [snip]

Which brings us to the heart of the matter: the doubts about Obama himself. His famous eloquence is wearing thin through daily exposure and because his actions are often disconnected from his words. His lack of administrative experience is showing.

His promises and policies contradict each other often enough that evidence of hypocrisy is ceasing to be news.

Even the drone of Washington’s conventional “wisdom” David Broder realizes that the bloom is off the Obama:

Among those who follow government closely, there has been an unmistakable change in tone in the last few weeks. These are not little Limbaughs hoping that Obama fails. They are politicians and journalists measuring him with the same skeptical eye they apply to everyone else. [snip]

Congress has taken note of the way Obama backed down from his anti-earmark stance, a clear signal that he is leery of any showdown with the lawmakers. Despite his popularity, Obama is not an intimidating figure and so he can expect to be tested time and again.

Meantime, on the main challenge — fixing the economy — the criticism has begun to infect the mainstream media, as well as the conservative wing. I was struck last week to read heartfelt pleas to Obama from David Ignatius of The Washington Post and David Brooks of The New York Times to get his priorities straight and concentrate on the crucial task of rescuing banking, credit, housing and jobs.

These are people who deeply admire and respect Obama and wish him nothing but success. But, like some thoughtful congressional Democrats with whom I have spoken, they worry that he has bitten off more than he can chew.

Criticism of this kind is not an augury of failure. But it does signal that the honeymoon is over.

David Broder senses anxiety among the establishment but he is wrong to say that Obama is getting anything but honeymoon treatment from Big Media and Dimocrats. Broder senses anxiety, but what is it really? – Anger.

The anger is manifest in the many protest “tea parties” thousands of Americans participate in around the nation.

Americans are angry about the probably unconstitutional “stimulus” scam and refuse to remain silent.

Caligula Obama and his Dimocrats should be worried that Americans are catching on to the flim-flams and the scams:

“Never underestimate the capacity of angry populism in times of economic stress,” said Robert Reich, a professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and labor secretary under President Bill Clinton. [snip]

The disclosure that A.I.G., which has received $170 billion in government assistance to remain afloat and avert a cascade of failures in the financial system, is paying bonuses to its executives is the latest in a series of episodes that Mr. Obama’s aides said seemed to be feeding a resurgence of public anger. [snip]

For all his political skills and his capturing of the nation’s desire for change in the 2008 election, Mr. Obama, a product of Harvard Law School who calls upscale Hyde Park in Chicago home, has shown little inclination to strike a more populist tone. The danger, aides said, is that if he were to become identified as an advocate for the banks and Wall Street, people could take out their anger on him.

The change now is you have a free-floating economic anxiety that has expressed itself in a kind of lashing out at those being bailed out and people who are bailing out,” Michael Kazin, a professor at Georgetown University who has written extensively on populism. “There’s not really a sense of what the solution is.”

“I do think there’s a potential for a ‘damn everybody in power’ kind of sentiment,” Mr. Kazin said.

The “tea parties” will continue to grow as Spring returns with many already scheduled.

Obama thought small town Americans were “bitter” last year. Wait till bitter turns sour in 2009.

George W. Bush, asleep in Texas, is smiling and audaciously dreaming of Tiberius and Caligula.

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191 thoughts on “Obama and The Tiberius Lesson

  1. Admin, amazing the analogy from the Past. Health care as well as the Economy are the critical issues here. The American public will judge him by how he handles these two areas. They have always been high on the list.

    His staff can run an illegal fraudulant campagin. However performing as staff for a President, they have already Failed.

  2. Admin:

    Thanks for the heads up on the Larry King Live Show. I recorded Bill’s interview with Gupta. Gupta was visibly impressed with Prez Clinton’s knowledge of the current problems with getting a Health Care package together and the problems to come in getting it passed. Great interview. Surprisingly, BC defended Obama’s 3 pronged approach for tackling the economy, healthcare and education all a once. The only problem I see with it is Obama is NOT a multi-tasker. He hates the responsibility of getting things done! Obama is going to crack. He’s not a pressure player… ok…got it.

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

    wbboei Says:
    March 16th, 2009 at 2:02 am

    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.

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

    Oh, I don’t think we need to wait to be convinced in the future. We knew this the moment Hillary stepped out of the race. You can disagree with me if you want to but the pivotal point, I think, came on May31 when the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee arbitrarily gave FL and MI electoral votes to BO and shut the door on Hillary permanently. Our only consolation at that moment was the brave spirited response by Harold Ickes when he roared back at the committee saying, he reserves the ‘right to appeal’ to the credentials committee at the Denver convention. Which as they knew well had the potential of triggering a floor fight.

    You mentioned Stephanie Tubbs Jones. She was the example of AA’s not taking the bait. I don’t know how many times AA’s were calling in, writing in blogs, they were sick of the bulldozing and threats accusing them of being Uncle Toms, having BO agitators throwing trash in their front yard etc. Where are those people now? Have they disappeared down the rabbit hole? Are they happy with the countless renegs of broken promises made by Obama? Are any of them living yet with buyers remorse, where they’ve gone quiet, pretending it will all be alright in the end?

    Stephanie Tubbs Jones is no longer with us.. and the unspoken words of… why not? Something should be done for her in her honor.. The dedication of a public building in her name or seeing she was such a close friend of the Clintons, dedicate a space at the WJC library with a yearly STJ scholarship fund to go with it in her honor.

    aside: I watched a Tracey Ulman HBO Special the other night. Her brand of satire always carrys a bit of truth in it. She made a reference to the Jewish people in NY (turning chameleon like into a Jewish women, accent and all, living on LI) In that persona, she made a reference to the Jews 800 years of enslavement by the Egyptians.

    She said: “yeah, we were slaves once upon a time, once upon a very long time (as she waves both arms in the air covered in diamond jewelry) BUT WE GOT OVER IT!

    The audience instantly knew what she was talking about and erupted into hysterical laughter… a left-handed barb thrown at Obama’s cries of racism! bravo, Ms. Ulman!

  3. Caligula, of course and for certain even down to the actor portraying Caligula having the same little sh!t eating grin. Thanks Admin for another stellar thought provoking article.
    Stephanie Tubbs Jones deserves to be remembered, Mrs. Smith. She was courageous and had that mega kilowatt smile that said it all. Maybe we could get something started on that level…but in her state.

  4. I remember watching the Stephanie Tubbs Jones funeral on C-span with Bill and Hillary (and the “one”) attending. A very “joyous” remembrance of a great lady. Once Clyburn/Kennedy/Team Obama pulled that act in SC it was downhill thereafter….when even John Lewis caved in, it was all but over.

  5. Admin,

    A very appropriate look at history then and now. It is to be hoped that historians, years from now, accurately record this man’s crimes, failures, and destructiveness. I hold no hope that it will be done sooner than later, but maybe after the bubble breaks and the koolaid all seeps out, we will see some accurate reporting.

  6. SANFORD ASKS OBAMA TO STOP AD

    Monday, March 16, 2009

    On Friday, we noted the TV ad the Democratic National Committee is airing that blasts South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford’s opposition to $700 million in stimulus funds for his state. “South Carolina is facing tough times,” the ad goes, “but Gov. Sanford is playing politics instead of doing what’s right. Turning down millions in recovery act funds, putting politics ahead of health care, jobs and schools.”

    Well, Sanford is now asking for Obama to stop the DNC ad. “My opposition to the stimulus bill,” he said in a statement, “was based on the merits as I saw them and has been well-chronicled, but rather than engaging our administration in that debate, Obama’s Democratic National Committee instead chose to launch a political attack ad against us for not supporting the stimulus plan exactly as the Obama administration saw fit. What may fit in one state may not fit in another, and accordingly I think tailoring stimulus responses makes sense.”

    Sanford adds, “I don’t think this approach of targeting ads against anyone who sees an issue a little differently represents the kind of so-called ‘change’ many people were voting for in November. In his inaugural, 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’s in that spirit that I’d respectfully ask him to end this ad, as it shatters the idea of change he so well articulated this fall — and to ask his Democratic National Committee to put an end to this mudslinging and get back to an honest debate about the future of our country.”

    firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/03/16/1838083.aspx

  7. Geithner told to stop AIG bonuses

    President Barack Obama has instructed US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to use every means possible to rescind $450m (£318m) of bonus payments at American International Group (AIG) as the debate intensified as to how the troubled insurer has used $173bn of government funds.

    By James Quinn Wall Street Correspondent
    16 Mar 2009

    President Obama and US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. Photo: AP Branding the situation an ‘outrage’ for American taxpayers, who control around 80pc of the company, the US President said that AIG had fallen into financial distress due to “recklessness and greed” and questioned the justification for paying out staff bonuses. Mr Geithner was instructed to “pursue every legal avenue to block” some $165m of payments due immediately to members of AIG’s London-headquartered Financial Products team, including what are thought to be several multi-million dollar pay-outs for a number of key British staff.

    AIG intends to pay out $450m within the next few weeks – part of an overall compensation pool of $1.2bn. The $165m of payments are understood to be on top of $55m of bonuses paid to members of the group, whose boss, Joe Cassano, took home £203m during his eight years at the helm.

    Further pressure was heaped on AIG after New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo – Wall Street’s enforcer – entered the fray, telling chairman Edward Liddy he must hand over names, recent performance and bonus amounts of recipients or risk being subpoenaed. Representative Barney Frank, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, said: “These people might have a right to their bonuses but they don’t have a right to their jobs forever.”

    AIG has said the payments are being made under legally-binding contracts which were signed before it received a single taxpayer dollar. Meanwhile, Congress was digesting news that $105bn of the $173bn of government funds AIG received had been channelled to a number of major banks which bought credit-default swaps from or traded securities with the insurer. Of the funds paid out, $22.4bn was as collateral, $27.1bn was to retire some derivative products, and $43.7bn related to its stock lending programme. The remaining $12bn was paid out to US states under guaranteed investment agreements. Major recipients included Goldman Sachs, which received $12.9bn, SocGen got $11.9bn, and Barclays $7.9bn, with two-thirds of the funds flowing to European banks.

    AIG released the list ahead of a hearing of the House Financial Services sub-committee on capital markets, when AIG chairman Edward Liddy is to testify.

    telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/5001947/Geithner-told-to-stop-AIG-bonuses.html

  8. Criticism of this kind is not an augury of failure. But it does signal that the honeymoon is over.–david broder-WASHPO
    ————————————–
    Good old Hogjowls and Spittles. He never disappoints. After his positively tepid critique he feels this compulsion to apologize.

    “Not an augury of failure, merely an indication that the honeymoon is over.”

    Wrong on both counts. First, if you see an iceberg coming at you and you do not change course then what you have is not an augry of failure, but a certainty of it. Second, where Washpo is concerned the honeymoon is not over, nor will it ever be.

  9. For those who missed this, just before NEW ARTICLE came up….

    rgb44hrc Says:
    March 16th, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    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.

    rgb44hrc Says:
    March 16th, 2009 at 1:55 pm
    chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/world/6312423.html

    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.”

  10. President Obama and US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. Photo: AP Branding the situation an ‘outrage’ for American taxpayers, who control around 80pc of the company, the US President said that AIG had fallen into financial distress due to “recklessness and greed” and questioned the justification for paying out staff bonuses. Mr Geithner was instructed to “pursue every legal avenue to block” some $165m of payments due immediately to members of AIG’s London-headquartered Financial Products team, including what are thought to be several multi-million dollar pay-outs for a number of key British staff.
    ——————————————-
    This one was obvious. See my post last night @11:28. The question is why did they get it wrong to begin with. Their initial position was we can do nothing about it because of the sanctity of contracts. Clueless.

  11. seems to me that the outrage is a little of “too little too late.” Have to wonder if the media and public hadn’t cried out about the injustice of providing these bonuses, if obama would have even cared.

  12. JanH Says:

    March 16th, 2009 at 3:41 pm
    SANFORD ASKS OBAMA TO STOP AD

    Monday, March 16, 2009

    ———————————————————————————————–

    Sounds like partisan politics, doesn’t it? The more things change, the more they remain the same. Seems like a dictatorship. If you don’t agree with me, I will ruin you politically.

  13. I get the feeling that world leaders seem Obama as someone who can be batted around, and intimidated
    ——————————
    rgb: in the anals of business literature, there is a leadership doctrine called the Studebaker approach to labor relations. It consisted of subconcting the managment function to shop stewards. I have dined in the Studebaker mansion in South Bend, and that is enough to assure me that there was such a company–once. But not today.

    Bambi is reinventing this approach under a different name. It is called leadership by default, or sometimes leadership by letting others push you around. Harvard Business School is studying this new doctrine with keen academic interest, and thinking it may offer clues to the endemic problems within the nations prison system.

  14. admin Says:

    March 16th, 2009 at 4:04 pm
    ————————————————————-

    Yeah, just noticed that. I guess, Bo is no E.F. Hutton.

  15. For those who follow events in the middle east, and Hillary this may be of some interest. It is an opinion piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Meanwhile, it appears the Europeans will be pushing hard for a two state solution. One of them was saying the dialogue will be different is that issue is not on the table. Also, an article today in a Jewish paper I get saying that they have found away to get assistance to the people who need it which circumvents Hamas–which is essential.
    ——————————————————–
    Worldview: Decision time on Mideast for Obama
    By Trudy Rubin

    Inquirer Opinion Columnist

    Hillary Rodham Clinton tiptoed oh-so-carefully around the Israel-Palestine issue on her recent trip to the Middle East.

    But she and President Obama will have to make some tough decisions soon, as Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu prepares to form a right-wing government. Otherwise, any prospects for a two-state solution, even in the long run, will be dead before the end of Obama’s first term.

    Netanyahu is a smooth politician with perfect American English (he attended Cheltenham High School in the Philly suburbs). But his policies are likely to complicate nearly every aspect of Obama’s strategy for the Mideast – including the Palestinian issue, and new approaches toward Syria and Iran.

    For starters, Netanyahu appears to have chosen Avigdor Lieberman as future foreign minister, a figure whose inflammatory views may undercut any new peace moves in the region. Lieberman has suggested that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak “go to hell,” and proposed that Israel bomb the Aswan Dam in the event of war with Egypt. Recall that Egypt, with whom Israel has a peace treaty, is a crucial mediator in trying to find some solution for the ongoing crisis in Gaza.

    Lieberman, a onetime member of the racist Kach Party (before it was banned in Israel), is also notorious for calling on Israel to rid itself of most of its Arab citizens and relocate them to a future Palestinian Arab “entity.” Netanyahu tapped Lieberman because he needed the latter’s party, Yisrael Beitenu (Israel Is Our Home), to form a ruling coalition. But the presence of such an outrageous figure will complicate uphill efforts to restart Israeli-Arab talks.

    As for such talks, Netanyahu doesn’t believe in the concept of a sovereign Palestinian state living alongside Israel. But unless a viable formula is found for a two-state solution, Israel will remain in permanent occupation of more than three million bitter Palestinians. That is a prescription for endless, poisonous Israeli-Arab war.

    The Israeli leader argues, moreover, that the only correct avenue toward peace is to first pursue Palestinian economic development, and consign any negotiations on sovereignty to the indefinite future. This approach is nothing but a Middle Eastern mirage. It has failed many times in the past.

    Anyone who has driven around the West Bank would understand that economic development depends on political progress. West Bank land is divided into cantons by Israeli settlements and roads that are designed to prevent any coherent territorial entity or political opposition.

    And then there is Gaza. Even before Hamas took power there, Israel’s fear of Palestinian infiltration had led to constant Israeli blockages of imports and exports from Gaza. Such uncertainty makes it impossible for Palestinian industries to develop, and ensures that foreign investors are unwilling to risk their money.

    Even when the United States paid for pricey security equipment to scan containers exiting Gaza, easy movement of goods never materialized. And these days, only humanitarian supplies are permitted into this desolate strip of land. Bottom line: Without progress on Palestinian political issues (of which progress on security is a subset), forget economic progress.

    This leads to the first decision for Obama: He must declare his administration believes “economic peace” cannot substitute for political progress. He should make clear that his administration will pursue the two-state solution.

    However, given the hawkish leadership in Jerusalem, and the weak Palestinian leadership in Ramallah, it may not be possible to move directly to political talks. In that case, Obama must ensure that the situation on the West Bank and Gaza doesn’t worsen so badly that peace talks cannot be resumed later. And he must give Palestinians some real reason to hope.

    That requires a second decision: The president should firmly confront the new Israeli government on the issue of settlement expansion, making clear that such expansion contradicts our security interests – and theirs.

    According to the Israeli group Peace Now, which closely tracks settlements, the Israeli government is planning to build more than 73,000 housing units in the West Bank, doubling the settler population there. Without a freeze on all settlement construction, the prospect for a viable Palestinian state will soon disappear.

    Netanyahu has said he supports “natural growth,” meaning the expansion of existing settlements. If Obama is unwilling to oppose this, he should admit the two-state solution is dead.

    The third decision revolves around talks with Syria. Even if talks with the Palestinians cannot be revived quickly, there may be hopeful prospects for negotiations with Damascus.

    Israel’s military intelligence is said to strongly favor such talks: If Syria could be wooed away from its alliance with Iran, this would undercut the strength of Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. And progress on Syria would give Obama more cards to play in diplomatic overtures to Tehran.

    Turkey had mediated indirect talks between Syria and Israel before Israel’s elections. The Bush administration was cool to Turkey’s move; it wanted to isolate Syria. But Obama backs a thaw; Clinton has dispatched emissaries to Damascus.

    In his election campaign, Netanyahu swore he would never return the Golan Heights to Syria. He says he’s willing to talk, but he hasn’t said he’s open to giving back territory.

    Obama must try to convince Netanyahu that such an effort is in Israel’s interest, and decide how hard to push if the Israeli leader resists. This is a crucial moment: The new U.S. president needs to show that, besides being a close ally of Israel, he is committed to a stable Middle East.

    With Netanyahu about to form a government, these decisions must be made now.

  16. Yeah, just noticed that. I guess, Bo is no E.F. Hutton
    ——————————————–
    More like Betty Hutton without the trapese.

  17. wbboei,

    Lieberman is an embarassment to the Jewish race. Syria has played both sides for so long, I really don’t trust them at all. As far as Netanyahu is concerned, emotions were very high during the elections. I really wish he wasn’t the one heading this coalition but there you go. I sometimes wonder if the Israelis will come to realize that his popularity will evaporate just as obama’s will. I have never found his accomplishments to be that amazing. As a mouthpiece he needs to shut up more often.

  18. Clinton condemns violence in Northern Ireland

    updated 2 hours, 1 minute ago

    WASHINGTON – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has harsh words for violent opponents of the peace process in Northern Ireland. Speaking at a press conference with Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin, Clinton praised Northern Ireland’s leaders for unity in condemning recent violence.

    She called attacks this month that killed two British soldiers and a policeman “an affront to the values of everyone community, every ethnicity, every religion and every nation that seeks peace.” Clinton also cut off a reporter who referred to opponents of the peace process as dissidents, saying “Not dissidents. I’m all in favor of dissidents, I’m not in favor of criminals.”

    msnbc.msn.com/id/29724326/

  19. geesh, ADMIN…your timing is errily amazing…just as Caligula, er, scratch that, Teleobama, the Stand-In President, is about to go on Jay Leno on Thursday to yuk it up…

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

    what planet does he live on? the country is going down the tubes and the Stand-In goes on a late night comedy show…

    he is beyond, well beyond, narcissism…no sense of dignity or protocol at all

  20. Why this sacred quality that surrounds our “financial markets”? Why all this “too big to fail” baloney?
    It would be a healthy tonic for all the greedheads on Wall Street to allow AIG to go belly up and roll over. That might afford an object lesson in the ultimate result of the unregulated and unconscionable race for sheer money. No honor, no honesty, no integrity, just the loot.

    It turns out that if AIG did go bankrupt – a bankruptcy judge could dissolve all those bonus contracts with the geniuses that contrived this mess. Somehow I think we could stand the shock.

  21. admin Says:

    March 16th, 2009 at 4:04 pm
    ***********************************
    No money trusts this bamboozling Fraud.

  22. Can anyone explain why AIG was bailed out?
    I don’t get it. It’s not a bank, right? So why were biliions thrown at them?
    I don’t get it.
    (have i mentioned I’m economically challenged?)

  23. basil9 Says:

    March 16th, 2009 at 5:53 pm
    ————————————————————————————-

    Apparently, AIG is HUGE and would take a lot of other companies down with it, if it folded. I think, some people thought it would be disasterous for the economy. I am also economically challenged.

  24. Well, Goldman Sachs received $6B after making a $1M Obama Contribution to obama’s campaign. And I believe they were AIG’s biggest trading partner at the time.

    Taken from:
    thebulletin.us/articles/2009/03/13/top_stories/doc49b61e46e935b133022700.txt

    And as of September 2008, AIG had contributed the following:

    Dodd, Christopher J (D-CT)
    Senate – $104,300

    Obama, Barack (D-IL)
    Senate – $45,111

    McCain, John (R-AZ)
    Senate – $41,200

    Clinton, Hillary (D-NY)
    Senate – $36,831

    Taken from:

    209.157.64.200/focus/f-news/2083881/posts

    ————————–

    Seems to me as that obama sold his soul to many of his contributors and now he is having to pay for it. His righteous indignation is a joke.

  25. The BIG ZERO is scheduled to appear on Leno this week. Since he has to use Air Force One, how many millions in taxpayer money is this little jaunt going to cost us?

  26. # jbstonesfan Says:
    March 16th, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    I remember watching the Stephanie Tubbs Jones funeral on C-span with Bill and Hillary (and the “one”) attending. A very “joyous” remembrance of a great lady. Once Clyburn/Kennedy/Team Obama pulled that act in SC it was downhill thereafter….when even John Lewis caved in, it was all but over.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    It might be an opportune time to do something for Arkansas Democratic Party Chairman Bill Gwatney too. BG and STJ stood up to the opposition. That was when I/we knew they/the BO team, were willing to do anything for the nom. I’ll never forget seeing Hillary escorted in a crush, surrounded by SS to the floor to cast her votes to Obama.. Pelosi never pausing for a response to the Nays and slamming the hammer down as a done deal. Believe me, the tears were flowing watching her speak.

    These 2 heroes need to be remembered for what they did as well as serving as a reminder to B&H the evil they are dealing with never letting their guard down for a minute thinking all is well in Obamaville. I didn’t want to go here bringing this up but for some reason my intuition is compelling me to do so,,,

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    # wbboei Says:
    March 16th, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Mrs. Smith- the mayor of Philadelphia was another African American who stood tall.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Yes, I sort of forgot about him. Someday, someone close to him should ask how he avoided the pressure experienced by every other one who dared to oppose.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    wbboei Says:
    March 16th, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    “Their initial position was we can do nothing about it because of the sanctity of contracts. Clueless.”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Laughable! BO is just getting his feet wet. How much do you want to bet he becomes a Jesse James with a pen using ‘signings’ for changing the rules under the guise of national security, just like his twin brother.

  27. ADMIN!
    Please embed.
    This is a link to Alex Jones new film, Obama Deception.
    I just watched all 1 hour and 51 minutes.
    It is chilling.
    I took notes and tomorrow I will post the main points.
    Anyone who doesn’t have time to view the whole thing, go to about the 1 hour 10 minute mark for his 10 point summary.
    MUST SEE!!!!!!!!!!
    video . google. com/ videoplay? docid = 7886780711843120756

  28. ADMIN!

    Please embed.

    This is a link to Alex Jones new film, Obama Deception.

    I just watched all 1 hour and 51 minutes.

    It is chilling.

    I took notes and tomorrow I will post the main points.

    Anyone who doesn’t have time to view the whole thing, go to about the 1 hour 10 minute mark for his 10 point summary.

    MUST SEE!!!!!!!!!!

  29. JanH Says:
    March 16th, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    Clinton condemns violence in Northern Ireland

    updated 2 hours, 1 minute ago

    WASHINGTON – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has harsh words for violent opponents of the peace process in Northern Ireland. Speaking at a press conference with Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin, Clinton praised Northern Ireland’s leaders for unity in condemning recent violence.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Really important to keep a lid on this tempestous nighmare. Seems to be something staged (by the UK) to create tumult and an excuse for breaking the accords. I’ve become almost strictly a BBC watcher and this sounds like a scheme thought up by a UK PM…

  30. wbboei, I just watched the Alex Jones “Obama Deception”. OMG, this is exactly what I have been thinking since our late night conversations during the primary.
    As I told you I always thought that Hillary was the chosen one until she started listening to the people. She was teary eyed in New Hampshire because she knew what the truth was. I also thought she fought hard against the powers thinking she could still win if the people voted her in. She was surprised at the voter manipulation and she was caught off guard. I really still do think she was threatened and Chelsea was threatened. I sometimes feel I could see it in her face as shhe campaigned for the ONE.

  31. Where are my posts, I posted the Alex Jones film and what I always thought about how the primary went down.

  32. basil9, where did you watch the whole thing. I have only seen excerpts on you tube. Its sure explains Hillary’s actions after June 6th.

  33. Lieberman is an embarassment to the Jewish race. Syria has played both sides for so long, I really don’t trust them at all. As far as Netanyahu is concerned, emotions were very high during the elections. I really wish he wasn’t the one heading this coalition but there you go. I sometimes wonder if the Israelis will come to realize that his popularity will evaporate just as obama’s will. I have never found his accomplishments to be that amazing. As a mouthpiece he needs to shut up more often.
    ——————————–
    Jan- I am where you are on this. I have admired Netanahu for many years. He is the kind of leader I would want if we needed to make war. I am not sure he is the leader we would need if we wanted to make peace. I think he may be too rigid. There is a situation you get into sometimes in bargaining where your counterpart is weak in the sense that he does not have the full support of his constituency–sometimes he is hanging on by just a thread. If you want an agreement, you need to resist the urge to roll over him and look for ways to build him up enough so he can sell what you negotiated to his constituents. I dont know if Ben can do that. If he sticks to his substantive positions there will be no agreement, and I think that is not in Israels interest. Even a bridge agreement here would be something and momentum could be built away from the bargaining table. I think King Solomon would find an agreement here, and I hope Ben does.

  34. Really important to keep a lid on this tempestous nighmare. Seems to be something staged (by the UK) to create tumult and an excuse for breaking the accords. I’ve become almost strictly a BBC watcher and this sounds like a scheme thought up by a UK PM…
    —————————————–
    I agree Mrs. Smith. The British really do treat the Irish poorly. It is a matter of history, but it is also a matter of attitude. I do not know how to read this guy Brown. So far he does not impress me.

  35. Clinton rejects charges Hill mishandled N. Korea

    Mon Mar 16, 2009

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday defended her choice for U.S. ambassador to Iraq, saying he made “lemonade out of some pretty bad lemons” in talks to end North Korea’s nuclear programs.

    The Senate Foreign Relations Committee plans on March 25 to hold a hearing on Chris Hill’s nomination, which is opposed by some Republican senators who fault his lack of Middle East experience and suggest he mismanaged talks with Pyongyang.

    “Both of those criticisms are unjustified and unfounded,” Clinton told reporters in response to the comments by Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who last week urged Democratic President Barack Obama to reconsider the nomination.

    Senator Sam Brownback, a Kansas Republican, has also voiced misgivings about Hill, calling him “a poor choice” because he does not have extensive experience in the Arab world.

    Clinton argued that John Negroponte, a former U.S. envoy to Iraq, deputy secretary of state and director of national intelligence, also lacked Middle East experience when he served in Baghdad but was backed by McCain, Graham and Brownback. She said Hill did “a very good job” in fitful negotiations with five other nations to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear ambitions. While North Korea agreed in 2005 to abandon its nuclear programs, it conducted a nuclear test in 2006 and more recently has refused to strike a written agreement on how to verify that it is giving up its nuclear efforts.

    “It is our perspective that he made a lot of lemonade out of some pretty bad lemons, and he was able to get the North Koreans on record as agreeing to certain obligations,” Clinton said. “We think he did a very good job.”

    Hill is due to meet McCain, the Republican presidential candidate in 2008, on Tuesday to try to win him over.

    reuters.com/article/vcCandidateFeed1/idUSTRE52F7K820090316

  36. Biden announces stimulus funds for Amtrak

    Tuesday, March 17, 2009

    WASHINGTON, USA (AP) – Vice President Joe Biden, once a regular rail commuter, said Friday that $1.3 billion for Amtrak in the US economic stimulus package will go toward long-overdue infrastructure upgrades and expanded passenger rail capacity.

    Speaking at Union Station, Biden said $105 million will be spent to replace a 102-year-old bridge on Amtrak’s heavily travelled Northeast Corridor. Another $82 million will be used to replace old rail cars and put them back into service.

    The national passenger railroad, long criticised for its reliance on government subsidies, has strong support from the Obama administration. As senator, Biden commuted for decades between his home in Wilmington, Deleware, and Washington. And in January, Barack Obama rode the train from Philadelphia to the US capital for his inauguration.

    Biden said every passenger rail system in the world relies on subsidies, as do airports and highways, and that for too long Amtrak has been starved for cash.
    “I’m tired of apologising for help for Amtrak,” he said. “It is an absolute national treasure and necessity.” Biden said money from the federal stimulus package will roughly double the size of Amtrak’s capital investment program over two years. The infusion of cash will help whittle down a maintenance backlog estimated at about $5 billion.

    “It’s a darn good slice of (the backlog),” Amtrak chief executive Joseph Boardman said of the stimulus. “It’s something we can make real progress with.” Boardman said the money will support about 8,000 jobs and will be put to use quickly. The largest project to receive help is the aging drawbridge spanning the Niantic River near East Lyme, Connecticut. Repairs have been planned for 20 years, but have been postponed because of a lack of funds. Further delays, Biden said, would lead to significant speed restrictions, slowing trains on the Northeast Corridor that runs from Washington to Boston.
    Repairs were expected to begin almost immediately and should be completed in two years, Boardman said.

    Amtrak has posted six years of ridership and revenue growth, due in part to high gasolene and airline prices. The railroad carried a record 28.7 million people last year.

    jamaicaobserver.com/news/html/20090316T200000-0500_147667_OBS_BIDEN_ANNOUNCES_STIMULUS_FUNDS_FOR_AMTRAK.asp

  37. Today’s Obama pep rally for small business and lenders — gloom or hope?
    How bad is the U.S. economy really?

    The U.S. economy is so bad now that Nigerians are getting financial scam e-mails from Americans. For weeks, we’ve been hearing from President Obama and VP Joe Biden how this is the worst economic crisis since even before Biden entered the Senate, which wasn’t that long after the Pony Express ran out of oats. That White House PR drive helped drive a public sense of urgency to drive the members of Congress to pass Nancy Pelosi’s non-bipartisan stimulus package, which it did.

    But the really gloomy talk, which Americans don’t like for too long (just ask Jimmy Carter), also caused a lot of folks to stop spending, which wasn’t really the idea. And it sent the stock market down around Savannah.

    If you’ve got the courage, click on this fascinating stock market chart/timeline of the market and the first half of Obama’s first 100 days from the must-read fivethirtyeight.com blog. Not good news for anyone’s mutual funds, even the few Barack and Michelle Obama owned before the election.

    Well, after weeks of hearing from President Obama that the economy is the worst since way before he was born, last week even the Chinese began expressing concern. And they were born before everybody. So the president went out of his way to seek to reassure America’s largest creditor nation, a financial reality that doesn’t reassure many U.S. minds already pondering reliance on foreign energy. (But that’s another issue.) Obama has given signs of tweaking his message in recent days. Yes, he inherited an awful mess from that profligate George W. Bush guy. Just awful.

    But the plodding Lawrence Summers, director of the National Economic Council, began talking more positively/confidently (see video just below here) last week and over the weekend, denouncing fear of fear. The fallen markets had a couple of positive days. And it was probably ineluctable that within — what? — less than eight weeks one of the president’s Harvard cronies would insert “ineluctable” into the country’s public discourse.

    The president sounds downright hopeful in the news video on the jump below. We’re likely to hear more of the same this morning when he addresses small-business owners and community lenders in a White House conference. He’ll still try to tie his historically ambitious legislative agenda to the contemporary economic troubles.

    Listen for more such positive tweaks in coming days. It’s bad. But we’re strong. If we can go to the moon, we can automate all medical records and cover everyone with health insurance and reform the country’s education system and stop foreclosures and expand the war in Afghanistan and create a federal deficit with more zeroes than most civilian calculators contain and then cut the deficit in half by giving 95% of Americans tax cuts and sticking it to a few rich people. And the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

    That and, perhaps, China calling in all its loans at once. Hopefully, that’s not ineluctable.

    latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2009/03/obama-economy.html

  38. Laughable! BO is just getting his feet wet. How much do you want to bet he becomes a Jesse James with a pen using ’signings’ for changing the rules under the guise of national security, just like his twin brother
    ———————————
    Bambi is having a hard time dog paddling in the wading pool. The Pacific Ocean is waiting for him. Red skies at night-sailors delight. Red skies at morn-sailor be warned.

  39. wbboei Says:

    March 16th, 2009 at 9:21 pm
    I think Amtrack is a good investment of stimulus moneys. I have no quarrel with that allocation.

    ——————————————————————————————

    I think MP said that the Washington-Boston corridor is the most heavily traveled line in the country. Good use of stimulus money.

  40. One of the sub allocations of amtrak monies will be to the club car which will be renamed Bidens Retreat in his honor. A full liqour license will be granted and the car will be stocked from fore to aft with cases of Ballentines and Jameison also in his honor. Happy hour to all and to coincide with the morning and afternoon hours it took him to traverse the wide expanse between Washington and Willmington when as legend has it men were men and sheep were nervous. That was right after the poney express ran out of oats and the iron horse took over–if memory serves. Its been a long binge. Nothing ineluctable about that.

  41. Birdgal: when I was travelling frequently on the east coast, I found it so much more relaxing to go AMTRACK than to fly to various destinations. I think they run an excellent organization, and am enough of a socialist to be proud of the fact that AMTRAC belongs to the American People, rather than some group of shareholders.

  42. I’ve always thought of Bush as Commodus. The Tiberius analogy has never occurred to me before. But Tiberius hated the Roman people and wanted to ensure that they suffered more after he left than they did while he was there.

    Somehow or the other I have missed this – how the stimulus plan unconstitutional? How does it differ from FDR did in that regard?

    BTW, I posted this earlier today for John West over at Alegre’s corner. It’s about the process by which Michigan and Florida moved there primaries up. You think you know this story – I’m here to tell you that it is worse than you think. This is written by Wayne Barrett – an established investigative journalist with NO ties to the American right – and posted on HuffPo. It’s from March of last year and asks the question whether Republicans will pick the Democratic nominee. And let me tell you, i t will make your blood boil.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wayne-barrett/could-the-republicans-cou_b_94158.html

  43. Tax dollars spent on $100 a pound Waygu steaks for Obama are paid for by Americans – like these:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/usnw/20090316/pl_usnw/the_american_legion_strongly_opposed_to_president_s_plan_to_charge_wounded_heroes_for_treatment

    The leader of the nation’s largest veterans organization says he is “deeply disappointed and concerned” after a meeting with President Obama today to discuss a proposal to force private insurance companies to pay for the treatment of military veterans who have suffered service-connected disabilities and injuries. The Obama administration recently revealed a plan to require private insurance carriers to reimburse the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in such cases.

    “It became apparent during our discussion today that the President intends to move forward with this unreasonable plan,” said Commander David K. Rehbein of The American Legion. “He says he is looking to generate $540-million by this method, but refused to hear arguments about the moral and government-avowed obligations that would be compromised by it.”

    The Commander, clearly angered as he emerged from the session said, “This reimbursement plan would be inconsistent with the mandate ‘ to care for him who shall have borne the battle’ given that the United States government sent members of the armed forces into harm’s way, and not private insurance companies. I say again that The American Legion does not and will not support any plan that seeks to bill a veteran for treatment of a service connected disability at the very agency that was created to treat the unique need of America’s veterans!”

    Commander Rehbein was among a group of senior officials from veterans service organizations joining the President, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki and Steven Kosiak, the overseer of defense spending at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The group’s early afternoon conversation at The White House was precipitated by a letter of protest presented to the President earlier this month. The letter, co-signed by Commander Rehbein and the heads of ten colleague organizations, read, in part, ” There is simply no logical explanation for billing a veteran’s personal insurance for care that the VA has a responsibility to provide. While we understand the fiscal difficulties this country faces right now, placing the burden of those fiscal problems on the men and women who have already sacrificed a great deal for this country is unconscionable.” [snip]

    The Legion argues that, depending on the severity of the medical conditions involved, maximum insurance coverage limits could be reached through treatment of the veteran’s condition alone. That would leave the rest of the family without health care benefits. The Legion also points out that many health insurance companies require deductibles to be paid before any benefits are covered. Additionally, the Legion is concerned that private insurance premiums would be elevated to cover service-connected disabled veterans and their families, especially if the veterans are self-employed or employed in small businesses unable to negotiate more favorable across-the-board insurance policy pricing. The American Legion also believes that some employers, especially small businesses, would be reluctant to hire veterans with service-connected disabilities due to the negative impact their employment might have on obtaining and financing company health care benefits.

    “I got the distinct impression that the only hope of this plan not being enacted,” said Commander Rehbein, “is for an alternative plan to be developed that would generate the desired $540-million in revenue. The American Legion has long advocated for Medicare reimbursement to VA for the treatment of veterans. This, we believe, would more easily meet the President’s financial goal. We will present that idea in an anticipated conference call with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel in the near future.

    “I only hope the administration will really listen to us then. This matter has far more serious ramifications than the President is imagining,” concluded the Commander.

  44. I agree 100% with you Mrs Smith. They were both true heroes and loved Hillary very much. I too cried when they forced Hillary out and attempted to humiliate her and Bill and the convention. Fortunately most of these turncoats have been exposed as two-faced hypocrites and Pelosi is universally thought of as the worse speaker of the house in modern history.

    As for Israel, Hillary will do what she can understanding that yo cannot force the only democratic government in that region, and true friend of America to keep giving up land when land has NEVER been the issue. No one wants to admit it, but there will never be peace because the Muslims/Arabs consider Jews and Israel as rats needed to be killed much like the Nazis did. They want a world under strict muslim law and it is slowly but surely happening in Europe. Trust me, if Israel goes, America is not too far behind. You cannot have peace with a enemy that is not deterred by selmutual srlf destruction and consider killing of infidels a religious duty/right.

  45. wbboei Says:
    March 16th, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    “Their initial position was we can do nothing about it because of the sanctity of contracts. Clueless.”

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

    That was his dog-whistle in fall of 2007 about the mortgage foreclosures.

  46. ““He says he is looking to generate $540-million by this method, but refused to hear arguments about the moral and government-avowed obligations that would be compromised by it.”

    ————————————-

    thesaurus definition for dictatorial: dogmatic, opinionated, despotic, arbitrary. See severity, insolence, authority.

  47. Basement Angel, we linked to why the stimulus bill is probably unconstitutional in the article. We thought back in December that the TARP bill with its odd scheme of allowing the Congress to veto a presidential request was also unconstitutional. Here is an excerpt from the article we linked to regarding the unconstitutional provisions in the “stimulus” bill:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/arts/chi-perspec0315stimulusmar15,0,216570.story

    Last month, Congress enacted the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, popularly called “the stimulus plan.” It gives billions of dollars to the states, but the gift has strings attached. One of its unique provisions changes state constitutions! That provision is unconstitutional, and its defect raises problems about the whole enterprise. [snip]

    If state law does not give the state legislature the right to bypass the governor, how can Congress just change that law? Where does Congress get the power to change a state constitution?

    It might appear quaint to note that the U.S. Constitution does not create a central government of unlimited powers. Congress only has those powers that the Constitution gives it either expressly or by implication. That’s a lot of power, to be sure, but it’s not unlimited.

  48. JanH Says:

    March 16th, 2009 at 10:27 pm
    ““He says he is looking to generate $540-million by this method, but refused to hear arguments about the moral and government-avowed obligations that would be compromised by it.”

    ————————————-

    I hope congress stops this dictator. What can one say? I have said the guy is a sociopath. He proves it everytime and everyday that he opens his mouth. Having private insurance pay for Veterans health care? It is a true disgrace, and unbelievable that POTUS would be in favor of this. It is difficult to wrap my head around this one.

  49. Confloyd, I am in agreement with you about th primaries. I felt deep in my gut that Chelsea had been threatened and will die believing that. But if I know the mother in us, there will be retribution sooner or later.
    I believe that Hillary may have been threatened but would have treated that differently; it had to be Chelsea, her mother, or Bill or all three.

  50. Confloyd, I also believe that there was the threat to her/them that what happened to Stephanie Tubbs Jones could happen again. Morbid, I know, but in my estimation, only something of that degree would have had her looking the way you and I saw her looking.

  51. Oh, yeah, I remember that article. John West was asking if he was crazy today because it looks and smells to him like Obama is part of the same power structure that Bush was part of. I dug that article up and it made my blood boil all over again. I couldn’t get all the way through it.

    I’ve been referring to obama as the Neville Chamberlain of economics. His utter lack of understanding of basic economics is clear in his muddled plans. Why invite the republicans in? How have they earned that? Is this appeasement? I dont’ know what else it could be. We have no hope of genuine success on the economic front because our president is too compromised by his own personal debts and too pusillanimous to tackle the issues that must be tackled to triumph.

    The corruption on Wall Street and in the banking system must be cleaned up if we are to send a clear message to the American people and the world that we want to fix our economy and solve the international complications, but Obama has no intention of tackling the most critical issue. He is looking the other way, whistling past the grave yard and fiddling while Rome burns.

    Character is destiny and our president has none.

  52. And admin, as always, thank you for clarifying your thoughts. And thank you, deeply, for continuing to publish.

  53. I would like to put Big Media on a lie detector and ask five questions:

    1. Do you believe we are in an economic crisis?

    2. Have you studied Obama closely?

    3. Do you really believe he can solve that crisis?

    4. Do you believe the system will collapse?

    5. Do you believe you personally will be spared?

  54. basement angel Says:
    March 16th, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Oh, yeah, I remember that article. John West was asking if he was crazy today because it looks and smells to him like Obama is part of the same power structure that Bush was part of. I dug that article up and it made my blood boil all over again. I couldn’t get all the way through it.

    I’ve been referring to obama as the Neville Chamberlain of economics. His utter lack of understanding of basic economics is clear in his muddled plans. Why invite the republicans in?

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

    So when he gives his fat cat backers what they want, he can blame it on the GOP.

  55. birdgal Says:
    March 16th, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    wbboei Says:

    March 16th, 2009 at 9:21 pm
    I think Amtrack is a good investment of stimulus moneys. I have no quarrel with that allocation.

    ——————————————————————————————

    I think MP said that the Washington-Boston corridor is the most heavily traveled line in the country. Good use of stimulus money.

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

    Are they giving money to the Washington line now? Last I heard it was just to the LA-Vegas line.

  56. Thank you, admin. We must always look to the past to define the future. We saw eerie similarities with Bush and Obama. History was our teacher and we realized that the country would fall apart at the seams with another inexperienced, unengaged leader at the helm. We realized that the economy was the most important issue of the campaign and wanted a return to Clintonomics to restore the nation to what it once was before Bush. The Obots did not look to history but to a fraud and a narcissist who wrote two autobiographies and cheated his way through Chicago politics. History will vindicate Hillary Clinton and reveal the fraud, race baiting, and sexism of Election 2008. Obama and the current media will end up losers in the history books.

  57. # wbboei Says:
    March 16th, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    Really important to keep a lid on this tempestuous nightmare. Seems to be something staged (by the UK) to create tumult and an excuse for breaking the accords. I’ve become almost strictly a BBC watcher and this sounds like a scheme thought up by a UK PM…
    —————————————–
    I agree Mrs. Smith. The British really do treat the Irish poorly. It is a matter of history, but it is also a matter of attitude. I do not know how to read this guy Brown. So far he does not impress me.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Just happened to stumble over the latest on the Lisbon Treaty. Ireland voted down the prospect of joining the EU when the referendum was on the ballot and the people voted NO. According to the agreement in play since 05′, if Ireland refuses once more to join, it will likely scuttle the hopes of the UK for a NWO and Global Union. At this moment, it is Ireland holding sway over the UK. Mr. Brown has not handled the financial crisis well in the UK or with the 27 other countries involved in the NWO scheme. And it seems the latest (staged) attack on the British soldiers subsequently blamed on the IRA, is as it seems to be, a fatal hamhanded production conjured up by a UK PM for the purposes of applying pressure to Ireland’s decision makers.
    http……. //news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6901353.stm

  58. ‘Obama’ fried chicken debuts in Germany
    Recommend Comments

    March 17, 2009

    A German food company is launching a new product, fried chicken, and calling it “Obama Fingers,” according to a Web site.

    The name may have racial connotations to Americans. But the company, Sprehe, says it was just trying to capitalize on the popularity of the president to sell frozen chicken strips. “It was supposed to be a homage to the American lifestyle and the new U.S. president,” sales manager Judith Witting told Germany’s Spiegel Online.

    “Americans are more relaxed. Not like us stiff Germans,” she was quoted as saying.

    suntimes.com/news/politics/obama/1480708,CST-NWS-chick17.article

  59. Shelby assails Geithner’s handling of AIG bonuses

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee is questioning whether Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner responded appropriately to American Insurance Group’s payment of millions in executive bonuses.

    Sen. Richard Shelby says that $165 million in bonuses have already been paid out by AIG and asks, “Will we ever get the money back.” The Alabama Republican, interviewed Tuesday on CBS’s The Early Show,stopped short of calling for Geithner’s resignation. But he did say: “What I want to ask, where was the secretary of the Treasury? Where was Treasury before this money was paid out? Why did not Treasury step in and let the American people know, just try to block it.”

    usatoday.com/money/industries/insurance/2009-03-17-shelby-geithner-aig_N.htm

  60. Anger Over Firm Depletes Obama’s Political Capital

    By Michael D. Shear and Paul Kane
    Tuesday, March 17, 2009

    President Obama’s apparent inability to block executive bonuses at insurance giant AIG has dealt a sharp blow to his young administration and is threatening to derail both public and congressional support for his ambitious political agenda.

    Politicians in both parties flocked to express outrage over $165 million in bonuses paid out to executives at the company, demanding answers from the president and swamping yesterday’s rollout of his efforts to spark lending to small businesses. The populist anger at the executives who ran their firms into the ground is increasingly blowing back on Obama, whom aides yesterday described as having little recourse in the face of legal contracts that guaranteed those bonuses.

    White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, peppered with questions about why the president had not done more to block the bonuses at a company that has received $170 billion in taxpayer funds, struggled for an answer yesterday afternoon. He explained that government lawyers are “looking through contracts to see what can be done to wrest these bonuses from their recipients.”

    Obama himself sought to channel the public’s sense of disbelief yesterday. “How do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat?” he said, declaring the bonuses an “outrage” that violate “fundamental values.” White House aides grasped for actions that could soothe sentiment on Main Street and in the halls of Congress, where the fate of the new president’s sweeping agendas on health care, climate change and education will be decided. They suggested that the government will use its latest pledged installment of $30 billion for the ailing company to recover the millions in bonuses paid Friday. But the damage control did not seem to satisfy incredulous lawmakers in both parties, who said the image of financial executives taking huge bonuses from a taxpayer-funded rescue puts the president in a politically impossible position.

    “I warned them this would be met with an unprecedented level of outrage,” Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), the chairman of the banking committee and part of a group of senators who pressed Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner to stop the bonuses, said yesterday.
    House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said the bonus issue added to his belief that there will be almost no Republican support for any expansion of a bank-bailout program that passed Congress last fall with broad bipartisan support. “What is the government’s exit strategy from this sweeping involvement in private business?” he asked in a statement, adding that “taxpayers are not receiving an adequate accounting from either the Treasury or the management of the companies that received taxpayer funds. Unfortunately, we have not yet seen such a plan.”

    The rhetoric grew so heated yesterday that Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) suggested in a radio interview that AIG executives ought to “follow the Japanese model . . . resign, or go commit suicide.” An aide later explained he does not actually want executives to kill themselves.

    More than 80 House Democrats signed a letter demanding that the money used to pay the bonuses be recouped from AIG. New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo announced that he will subpoena the Manhattan-based company, seeking data documenting who received the bonuses and the justification for them. “You could argue that if taxpayers hadn’t bailed out AIG, the contracts wouldn’t be worth the paper they were signed on,” Cuomo said.

    The Obama administration was already facing a skeptical public and members of Congress critical of the huge sums of money the government has allocated to shoring up the devastated financial system. News of the latest AIG bonuses only compounded the political problems that the huge expenditures pose for the president. The administration has tried to manage the public anger by expressing empathy with the outrage over the large outlays to financial firms, while explaining that they are necessary to stabilize the economy.

    Earlier this month, the administration added to the bailout money needed to keep AIG functioning, saying failure of the company would be disastrous for the larger economy. And the administration is all but certain to return to Congress for hundreds of billions of dollars more to aid the financial system. But the bonus issue, in particular, is hounding Obama as he pursues his larger goals, in part because of the president’s own repeated declarations of outrage — offered again yesterday — aimed especially at the firms that are feeding at the public trough.

    In February, Obama announced tough new restrictions on executive compensation that promised an end to massive salaries for executives of failing companies. Similar rules were eventually written into legislation and hailed as evidence that executive compensation would be checked. But reports about the latest AIG bonuses quickly undermined whatever political capital Obama has earned with his past efforts. Over the weekend, White House officials expressed outrage at the bonuses paid out by AIG but said there was nothing they could do to stop them. After news of the bonuses dominated news coverage for two days, the administration took a newly aggressive stance.

    Asked why the administration is attempting to claw back the bonuses now but did not do more to block the payments earlier this month when it was authorizing the latest $30 billion in new loans to the struggling insurer, Gibbs was unresponsive. “The administration is taking the steps today to go back and see what can be done,” he said.

    washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/16/AR2009031600640.html

  61. CONFLOYD!
    See my post at 7:53 for the entire video.
    add http’s and slashes.
    This film exposes everything and puts the puzzle pieces we’ve been struggling to assemble into one horrifying picture!

    Everyone, I repeat. MUST SEE! This video is especially crucial for Big Pink readers who have known something smells in Denmark but haven’t been able to connect all the dots.
    See the 7:53 post for the link coz I don’t wanna get trapped in the spam filter.

  62. Jan:

    I have always supported the moderate Israeli positions on settlements until now. I think a corner has been turned and there is no going back.
    The Palestinians have turned their backs to peace efforts too many times and chosen war and viiolence instead. Gaza should be a thriving Mediterannean tourist area by now with all the money and aid thrown to them had they chosen peace.
    The Syrians don’t have a Jewish problem because they killed them or drove them out. I have Iranian Jewish friends who remember as children their families litteraly driven out of the country with the belongings they could carry.
    My husband’s family were successful business owners in Poland before the Naziis murdered most of them. All their property and business were taken.
    My husband and his brother each received about $2500. in compensation 20 years later. That would be like someone taking your home and business, killing you and giving your children 2 cents.
    Whatever happens in the west bank, I no longer believe that the Jewsish settlements should
    have to leave…unless every arab in Israel does the same.
    Israelis have bent over backwards to make peace with their neighbors while still protecting themselves. It hasn’t worked for them.
    No one is suggesting that Europe be returned to its pre WW1 or WW2 bounderies. People start wars and they lose. There is a cost for the bloodshed.
    No one is suggesting that property stolen from Jewish families during WW2 be given back.
    This is no longer the same old discussion of settlements we were having 10 years ago. The world is a different place. I fully understand why Israeli opinion is shifting. My positions on this have shifted also.

  63. Concerning the above debate on Israel, the Rubin article, and pursuant to my own post two days ago that was reviled by Carol, JanH, jbstonesfan, and like-minded contributors, there is the following article that announces that some American Jewish leaders are in agreement with me about how the Palestinians within Israel are treated, that Israeli policy is to expel the Palestinians, demolish their homes in Jerusalem (legally, by an all-Jewish state), build homes for Jews (legally, of course) and prevent Arabs from building.

    ———–

    Rabbi group backs Hillary on demolitions
    By Eric Fingerhut · March 16, 2009

    Rabbis for Human Rights-North America is backing Secretary of State HIllary Clinton’s recent statement that Israel’s proposed demolition of 88 Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem is “unhelpful to the peace process.” Here’s their press release on their missive to Clinton:

    On March 11, 2009 Rabbis for Human Rights – North America sent Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton a letter in support of her recent statements that the proposed Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem was “unhelpful to the peace process” and “not in keeping with the obligations entered into under the ‘road map.’” Explaining that Rabbis for Human Rights – North America is an organization of rabbis from all the streams of Judaism dedicated to the human rights of all, the letter urges Secretary Clinton to insist that Israel not demolish these 88 homes in East Jerusalem and end the policy of home demolition.

    The letter acknowledges that Israel’s Palestinian home demolition policy is “fundamentally discriminatory and serves no security purpose.” Citing Israel’s 2003 Or Commission report that found the State negligent and discriminatory in its practices toward the Arab population in Israel, the letter explains that home demolitions are a way for the Israeli government to limit the growth of the Palestinian population. Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank are rarely granted building permits, while many houses are built for Jews in these areas.

    The letter states that “as rabbis deeply committed to Israel, we believe that these proposed demolitions violate the prophetic principles of freedom, justice and equality articulated in Israel’s Declaration of Independence as the central values of the Jewish state. As American citizens, we believe these proposed demolitions are in violation of the principle that under girds democracy: equality before the law. We would not allow such ethnic discrimination in our own country, nor should we allow it in other countries.”

    Rabbis for Human Rights – North America included two additional documents with the letter to Secretary Clinton: a letter signed in 2004 by more than 400 American rabbis calling for an end to Israel’s home demolition policy and the 2004 resolution passed by the Union for Reformed Judaism that also called for an end of the policy.

    Rabbis for Human Rights – North America is following up on the letter by encouraging its members to contact the Secretary of State themselves to support her efforts to prevent the homes from being razed.

    ——–

    I wish success to the Rabbis for Human Rights. I know they have many friends in France, where I lived for a long time. I repeat, as I said in my previous posting, that Israel is a race state and should be subjected to the same kind of international pressure that South Africa was subjected to. South Africa and Israel were great friends until international pressure brought a change to South Africa. Now there is no connivance between the two.

  64. I am very familiar with Rabis for Human Rights. I have met one of their prominent members and read his books. They base many of their opinions on interpreting Jewish law and Jewish values. Israelil leaders have tried to deal with the suicide bombings and violence with non lethal means. They must find solutions for the problems they face.

    I compare Rabbis for Human rights to lliberals in this country who advocate for the rights of illegals.

  65. jeswezey,

    “I repeat, as I said in my previous posting, that Israel is a race state and should be subjected to the same kind of international pressure that South Africa was subjected to.”

    ——————————-

    Shouldn’t the Palestinians, Arab states, etc… be subject to the same pressure? Why do they get a pass over and over again? Why do Hamas and the Palestinians get tears while Israel gets the cold shoulder after 7 full months of rocket bombardments? Why isn’t there any horror expressed by the international media over twisted anti-semetic actions, history, and holocaust denial?

    I respect your point of view, but I think we are going to have to agree to disagree here. As Carol said above, Jews have been pushed other of their homes over and over again, Syria, Iran, Iraq, World War II Europe, while nations turned a blind eye. This “all of a sudden” moral outrage over what Israel is planning just reeks in my opinion.

  66. Jan:

    Thank you…well said.
    This really is a powerful statement and she is, indeed, a courageous woman …. Let’s hope she survives.

    It is extremely surprising that the Arab financed television in Dubai would allow this to air.

    Be sure and watch; it is so powerful that I have no doubt she now has
    a very large price on her head.

    I also have no doubt it won’t be on the air long. This is a powerful and amazing
    statement on Al Jezeera television.

    The woman is Wafa Sultan, an Arab-American psychologist from Los Angeles. I would suggest watching
    ASAP because I don’t know how long the link will be active. This film clip
    should be shown around the world repeatedly.

    http://switch3.castup.net/cunet/gm.asp?ai=214&ar=1050wmv&ak=nul

    i have to get to work

  67. Carol Says:

    “I am very familiar with Rabis for Human Rights. I have met one of their prominent members and read his books. They base many of their opinions on interpreting Jewish law and Jewish values.”

    Yes, but in this letter to HRC they are referring to American values and law and to a generally accepted standard of human rights. Besides, American law and values are in large part based on Jewish concepts.

    Carol:
    “Israelil leaders have tried to deal with the suicide bombings and violence with non lethal means. They must find solutions for the problems they face.”

    I don’t see any evidence at all of dealing with terrorism by non-lethal means. One such means would be to establish the rule of “equality before the law” within Israel, which the Rabbis demand. Israel has never moved in this direction, but directly the opposite.

    Carol:
    “I compare Rabbis for Human rights to lliberals in this country who advocate for the rights of illegals.”

    That is, you consider the Palestinians to be illegals by nature? That is indeed the Israeli viewpoint, but it is not mine nor is it that of the Rabbis.

    JanH:
    “Why do Hamas and the Palestinians get tears while Israel gets the cold shoulder after 7 full months of rocket bombardments? Why isn’t there any horror expressed by the international media over twisted anti-semetic actions, history, and holocaust denial?”

    The 7 months of rocket bombardments produced 1 death and 1 injury. The 3 weeks of retaliation produced 1000 dead, many injuries and extensive material damage, plus resentment on the part of Israelis when the US and neighboring countries extended humanitarian aid to the Gazans through the UN. This is a ‘twisted anti-semitic action’ on the part of Israel (the Arabs are semites too).

    I don’t know what kind of horror you wish to be expressed over holocaust denial. The Austrians have passed a law forbidding the publication of anything denying the holocaust, due to the outrage at the publication of a book on the subject, and the French have done the same concerning the Armenian genocide. Nobody takes these deniers seriously anyway.

    JanH:
    “Jews have been pushed other of their homes over and over again, Syria, Iran, Iraq, World War II Europe, while nations turned a blind eye. This “all of a sudden” moral outrage over what Israel is planning just reeks in my opinion.”

    Jews have been subjected to special, and often bad, treatment throughout history. I guess that justifies their doing the same to their fellow semites and neighbors. You’ll never get me to agree that Arabs had no business living in Palestine before the Jews moved in, or that they should now be considered illegal residents and should politely leave without a fight; so I guess I “agree to disagree.”

  68. admin Says:

    March 16th, 2009 at 10:15 pm
    Tax dollars spent on $100 a pound Waygu steaks for Obama are paid for by Americans – like these:

    ———————————————————————-

    This article about private insurance paying for veteran’s benefits is so outrageous, immoral, disgusting, and arrogant that I am practically spitting at my computer. I posted the article over at TC, and this a.m. when I looked at the postings regarding the post, someone had posted the article listed below. You and fellow Big Pink posters will smile:

    “Tuesday, March 17, 2009 Email to a FriendAdvertisement
    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 37% of the nation’s voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-two percent (32%) now Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of +5 (see trends).

    Overall, 56% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President’s performance so far while 43% disapprove. Eighty-seven percent (87%) of Democrats offer their approval while 75% of Republicans voice disapproval. Those not affiliated with either major party are evenly divided (see recent demographic highlights).

    During March, the President’s overall approval on a daily basis has ranged from 56% to 60%. During February, the range was from 57% to 62%. In January, the range was from 60% to 65% (see trends).

    For an illustration of the changes, look at the graph, and see how the red and green lines are coming together.

    rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll

  69. birdgal,
    Thanks for trying to explain the AIG-bank connection but i still don’t get it.
    Why does an insurance company have to be bailed out?
    is it because it insures the banks and since all the banks have failed they’re expecting AIG insurance to kick in?
    If there’s an AIG-bank connection why bail out both?
    I am so confused about this.

    If anyone understands the issue I would be grateful if you could explain it to me!

  70. “You’ll never get me to agree that Arabs had no business living in Palestine before the Jews moved in, or that they should now be considered illegal residents and should politely leave without a fight; so I guess I “agree to disagree.”

    ——————————————————————-

    There are so many arguments I could make to this statement and others that you have thrown out there. Without getting personal and insulting, I am now going to step back and just agree with you. We don’t see the same things, I don’t know if we have the same historical backgrounds, but overall, my blood pressure is rising over your “arguments” so I am stepping back.

    As far as “Arabs” or any other group having the right to live on Israeli land, after the Jews were pushed from it over and over again, well I disagree 100%. As far as “deaths” “the holocaust”, etc… I am not even going to deign to answer what the world’s response should have been towards the Jews.

  71. basil9 Says:

    March 17th, 2009 at 10:44 am
    birdgal,

    —————————————————————————————–

    Basil, I wouldn’t begin to be able to explain the AIG-bank connection. Maybe, you are confusing me with someone else. Someone much more knowledgeable and savvy regarding this issues.

  72. Just happened to stumble over the latest on the Lisbon Treaty. Ireland voted down the prospect of joining the EU when the referendum was on the ballot and the people voted NO. According to the agreement in play since 05′, if Ireland refuses once more to join, it will likely scuttle the hopes of the UK for a NWO and Global Union. At this moment, it is Ireland holding sway over the UK. Mr. Brown has not handled the financial crisis well in the UK or with the 27 other countries involved in the NWO scheme. And it seems the latest (staged) attack on the British soldiers subsequently blamed on the IRA, is as it seems to be, a fatal hamhanded production conjured up by a UK PM for the purposes of applying pressure to Ireland’s decision makers.
    —————————
    Mrs. Smith–I believe this is another good reason (or in my case, excuse) to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

  73. The rhetoric grew so heated yesterday that Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) suggested in a radio interview that AIG executives ought to “follow the Japanese model . . . resign, or go commit suicide.” An aide later explained he does not actually want executives to kill themselves.
    ————————
    That model could apply to alot of people besides just AIG officials.

    You realize of course there is a third option here beyond resignation, or harry carey (he was a great actor).

    A full blown trial followed by state sponsored execution. That is how China dealt with rogue capitalists.

    I am glad Grassleys aid apologized for the terrible thing he said. I damned near fainted when I heard it.

    By the way what is Clyburn doing at the moment to betray the American people, and promote racism.

    If he had any honor he would follow the Japanese model. The third option is too good for him.

  74. Birdgal,

    No, you tried to explain it the other day. You said you thought AIG was too big to fail.

    I hope someone who understands can explain it. Now I’m really curious.

  75. JanH: “my blood pressure is rising over your “arguments” so I am stepping back.”

    ——–

    Well, I think ‘stepping back’ is a good thing to do. As you do so, please consider that this is an HRC-positive site, and the two articles I have posted both concerned HRC in her role as SoS. The first article two days ago was written by the Zionist Klein, and was very critical of HRC for several reasons (essentially that she is catering to Palestinians), and I took issue with the article, in favor of HRC.

    The second article (above) praises HRC for the very reasons I had given – that HRC is standing up for basic human rights for the Palestinians. I agreed with everything that was said in this article, again in favor of HRC.

    That is, in both cases, I stood up for HRC’s approach, whereas you apparently disagree with me in both cases, preferring the stance of the Zionist, against HRC.

    Regardless of your disagreement with just me, you should realize that you are disagreeing with HRC and the unfolding US policy in the Middle East. I happen to agree with her approach and remarks. HRC is known historically to be a staunch supporter of Israel, which means that she is now in a position to say ‘no’ to Israel on certain subjects, and to extend a helping hand to the Palestinians too, not just the Jews.

    She had the temerity to say that the razing of 88 Arab homes in east Jerusalem was ‘unhelpful’ to the peace process. (It will create another 88 families of potential terrorists.) The Rabbis and I agree with her statement. When you disagree with the Rabbis and me, you are disagreeing with HRC. So any arguments you have against what I have said are actually directed against HRC.

    Please keep this in mind in any reply.

  76. The executives of this country, especially the firms that have failed, are really a horrible example of self and firm first, vs country first.

    If American is really based on working your way up the hard way, and enjoying the results of success, then there is a problem. These executives are being rewarded for failure, where as the people who followed their decisions and failed are going out the door.

  77. Have I just gone over the edge with my bambi loathing that I view the media’s non-stop coverage of waffles playing hardball with AIG as just another complete manipulation.
    And has anyone else seen the commercials for free cell phones for people that make under a certain amount? Who is paying for that. Pretty sure traditional phone companies are required by law to provide low cost basic service.

  78. jeswezey Says:

    March 17th, 2009 at 11:26 am

    —————————————-

    Please do not condescend to tell me what I should or should not consider. I have read your posts thoroughly, am an avid reader of history, and by stepping back, I may be allowing you to have the last word, as you so obviously need to do so, but I am not changing views that, for me are balanced ones.

    Being an avid fan of Hillary Clinton does not mean we are attached at the hip, nor does it mean that I agree with your interpretation of her opinions.

    Have a good day.

  79. Hi all! Great post, admin. Yeah, I have still been lurking for ages, just not posting (life got crazy busy, grandbaby moved in with us, long story.)

    I just received an email for WesPac (Gen. Wesley Clark’s pac), entitled “SIMPLE QUESTION”. In it, the message boiled down to “Does this or that candidate support the stimulus package? And any candidate who does not support the president’s plan is BAD and UNCARING and must be defeated.”

    I was revolted. I have long liked and supported and respected Wes Clark, wanted him badly for president back in the day, and this made me ill.

    My reply:

    “Not so simple a question as you are putting forth.

    The TARP package? You mean the one put forth in hurried secrecy, chock full of earmarks, and giving billions to proven untrustworthy banks with ZERO oversight provisions or strings attached whatsoever? Crafted and administered with the help of the person (Geithner) who helped cause this mess, and set up the travesty that is AIG from the beginning? The plan that our Dear Leader Obama did not even want congresspersons to READ before jumping on board? That stimulus package?

    There are many valid reasons to have utterly opposed that package. It is not nearly so simplistic as “opposed stimulus package = bad guy unconcerned with needs of the people”, and you DAMN well know it.

    You know it. You know it. You are too smart and thoughtful not to damn well know it.

    Shame on you, Wes.

    Shame on you for joining in this demagoguery, and the demonizing of all who do not fall lockstep with this incompetent boob.

    Sincerely, and with continued great respect,

    Dr. and Mrs. XXXXXXXX”

  80. Asked why the administration is attempting to claw back the bonuses now but did not do more to block the payments earlier this month when it was authorizing the latest $30 billion in new loans to the struggling insurer, Gibbs was unresponsive. “The administration is taking the steps today to go back and see what can be done,” he said.
    —————————–
    He should be selling fried chicken in Germany.

  81. I have stated my position on Israel very clearly ….I will bring it up when Hillary is involved and or Obama, but am not going to get into debates constantly over Israel as this is primarily a pro Hillary web site. The middle east debates are endless , nasty, and nothing ever gets solved. Israel is a democracy , unlike it’s Arab neighbors, and simply want peaceful borders with their neighbors. Sadly, as the great lady Golda Meir stated so sadly, “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children.We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us”.

  82. It is remarkable how these titans of industry are fierce free market captalists until they land in the ditch and then suddenly they become fierce advocates of corporate welfare, and line up like with the rest of the hogs to feed at the public trough.

    When Senator Dodd who has is the top recipient of Wall Street largesse advised the benighted Obama Administration to oppose the AIG bonuses they should have listened.

    Why? Because as Justice Holmes pointed out in The Path of The Law (1896) if you want to know what the law is, don’t ask a judge, ask a thief. The same goes for political advice from the soiled dove from Connecticut. That reptillian motormouth.

  83. JanH: “I am not changing views that, for me are balanced ones.”

    Some history-reader you are, JanH! By the way, I didn’t think “stepping back” meant “stepping out.” I thought you were just going to step back and take a look at the larger picture, and the discussion could then go on. That’s what I do all the time, because I am an historian.

    “Being an avid fan of Hillary Clinton does not mean we are attached at the hip, nor does it mean that I agree with your interpretation of her opinions.”

    Certainly not attached at the hip. For example, she campaigned for bho and we voted McCain or refrained from voting. We have our own consciences. Another example is that, during the campaign season, I did not support HRC’s unswerving support for Israel and was briefly tempted to vote bho for that reason alone.

    Now, I’m intrigued by what you think are my “interpretation” of her opinions. Her statements and actions are always pretty clear to me, leaving no room for interpretation. Do you mean my ‘reaction,’ rather than ‘interpretation?’

    If that is the case, then I assume you have a different reaction to her statement that the razing of 88 Palestinian homes in east Jerusalem is “unhelpful to the peace process.” What is your reaction to that statement? Because it is central to the article written about the Rabbis, and to my contribution of the last two days.

  84. “Some history-reader you are, JanH!”

    —————————-

    LOL…insults now. I guess I’m being trolled. Always wondered what it was like.

  85. Basil, I don’t have a friggin idea why, the government won’t let AIG fail. I thought maybe the tentacles of the organization ran too deep. I don’t really know. There is an interesting post over on the Confluence that attempts to explain how AIG is holding the government hostage.

    From Riverdaughter:

    “But let’s think about this bonus-retention idea for a second. Are the AIG guys saying behind closed doors, “Give us the money with no strings attached and we’ll get you out of this mess. If you don’t, we pull the plug on the world’s markets.”? Because if they are, I’d call their bluff. No, seriously. Call me crazy but that sounds like terrorism and we don’t negotiate with terrorists. What we do with terrorists is declare them enemies, put them in jail while they’re awaiting trial and seize their property. Then we can force the shareholders to “take a haircut” as Morgenson says, provided pension funds are covered with the bailout money first. I mean, why are Geithner and Summers playing patty-cake with these people? It’s not rocket science anymore. These are bad guys. They are holding a financial gun to our heads. Throw their asses in jail already, impose some huge bail so they don’t flee and make them sit in a cold and lonely cell until they come to their senses. I give these cushy bastards a weekend before they crack.”

    riverdaughter.wordpress.com/2009/03/17/tuesday-yeah-why-are-we-giving-bailout-money-to-foreign-banks/#comment-320500

  86. HillaryforTexas Says:
    ————————–
    I think your letter is perfect. I hope he sees it. He is a good man. And you and I both know where that Citizen Kane crap is coming from–the DNC. They write it, vet it with trusted sources in Big Media, and send it out to trusted public figures to send out under their signature. That is how the game is being played. Notice you do not see Wes on television publicly defending this turkey. That is one important clue.

  87. But let’s think about this bonus-retention idea for a second. Are the AIG guys saying behind closed doors, “Give us the money with no strings attached and we’ll get you out of this mess. If you don’t, we pull the plug on the world’s markets.
    ——————–
    If that is what it is then it is the classic protection racket. But I doubt that is what it is. Not that they are not capable of burining your house and charging you for a firehose. Its just that I dont think they have any more idea on how to fix this mess than Buffett, Greenspan, Geithner, et. al. I think it was Sun Tzu who first observed that it is much easier to destroy than to create.

  88. birdgal
    again I may have become overly critical of any and all references to it by the media but the story line seems so perfect. His calling out the people who are getting bonuses is such a distraction from the state of the economy and as everyone bought everything he said hook line and sinker before I bet they are just loving him for raising the issue of the bonuses. I’m not a lawyer but it would seem to me that if they had a contract it needs to be honored. Heinous it may be, but it reminds me of Guilianni creating a stink about making it illegal for anyone to panhandle within a certain number of feet of an ATM. Sounded great. Who wouldn’t want that but the attorney Gullianni conviently forgot we have a little thing called freedom of speech. He comes out smelling like a rose when city council shot him down. The AIG facade strikes me as the same spiel.

  89. henry Says:

    March 17th, 2009 at 11:30 am
    Have I just gone over the edge with my bambi loathing that I view the media’s non-stop coverage of waffles playing hardball with AIG as just another complete manipulation.
    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

    And it may be just empty, unenforceable rhetoric. Perhaps Obama knows that he needs to bark a lot, but not bite the hands that helped elect him. So the NY Times has this piece on why he may not be able to block the bonuses…Agree with Andrew Sorkin’s ideas or not, it shows that Obama may have an “out”, and maybe he knows it.

    nytimes.com/2009/03/17/business/17sorkin.html

    The Case for Paying Out Bonuses at A.I.G.
    —————————————————–

    Do we really have to foot the bill for those bonuses at the American International Group?

    It sure does sting. A staggering $165 million — for employees of a company that nearly took down the financial system. And heck, we, the taxpayers, own nearly 80 percent of A.I.G.

    It doesn’t seem fair.

    So here is a sobering thought: Maybe we have to swallow hard and pay up, partly for our own good. I can hear the howls already, so let me explain.

    Everyone from President Obama down seems outraged by this. The president suggested on Monday that we just tear up those bonus contracts. He told the Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, to use every legal means to recoup taxpayers’ money. Hard to argue there.

    “This isn’t just a matter of dollars and cents,” he said. “It’s about our fundamental values.”

    On that last issue, lawyers, Wall Street types and compensation consultants agree with the president. But from their point of view, the “fundamental value” in question here is the sanctity of contracts.

    That may strike many people as a bit of convenient legalese, but maybe there is something to it. If you think this economy is a mess now, imagine what it would look like if the business community started to worry that the government would start abrogating contracts left and right.

    As much as we might want to void those A.I.G. pay contracts, Pearl Meyer, a compensation consultant at Steven Hall & Partners, says it would put American business on a worse slippery slope than it already is. Business agreements of other companies that have taken taxpayer money might fall into question. Even companies that have not turned to Washington might seize the opportunity to break inconvenient contracts.

    If government officials were to break the contracts, they would be “breaking a bond,” Ms. Meyer says. “They are raising a whole new question about the trust and commitment organizations have to their employees.” (The auto industry unions are facing a similar issue — but the big difference is that there is a negotiation; no one is unilaterally tearing up contracts.)

    But what about the commitment to taxpayers? Here is the second, perhaps more sobering thought: A.I.G. built this bomb, and it may be the only outfit that really knows how to defuse it.

    A.I.G. employees concocted complex derivatives that then wormed their way through the global financial system. If they leave — the buzz on Wall Street is that some have, and more are ready to — they might simply turn around and trade against A.I.G.’s book. Why not? They know how bad it is. They built it.

    So as unpalatable as it seems, taxpayers need to keep some of these brainiacs in their seats, if only to prevent them from turning against the company. In the end, we may actually be better off if they can figure out how to unwind these tricky investments.

    Not that any of this takes the bite out of paying these bonuses. For better or worse — in this case, worse — someone at A.I.G. decided this company needed to sign bonus agreements last year to keep people before the full extent of its problems became clear.

    Now we can debate why A.I.G. felt it necessary to guarantee seven executives at least $3 million apiece when the economy was clearly on shaky ground. Perhaps we will find out these contracts were a bit of sleight of hand to enrich executives who knew this financial Titanic had hit the iceberg. But another possible explanation is that A.I.G. knew it needed to keep its people.

    That is the explanation offered by Edward M. Liddy, who was installed as A.I.G.’s chief executive when the government effectively nationalized the company last fall. (He is being paid $1 a year.)

    “We cannot attract and retain the best and brightest talent to lead and staff” the company “if employees believe that their compensation is subject to continued and arbitrary adjustment by the U.S. Treasury,” he said.

    There’s some truth to what Mr. Liddy is saying. Would you want to work at A.I.G.? Sure, maybe for $3 million. But not if you could go somewhere else for even more — or even much less.

    “The jobs are terrible,” said Robert M. Sedgwick, an executive compensation lawyer at Morrison Cohen who represents a number of employees of banks that have taken government money. “You have to read about yourself in the paper every day. These people are leaving as soon as they can.”

    Let them leave, you say. Where would they go, given the troubles in the financial industry? But the fact is, the real moneymakers in finance always have a place to go. You can bet that someone would scoop up the talent from A.I.G. and, quite possibly, put it to work — against taxpayers’ interests.

    “The word on the street is that A.I.G. employees are being heavily recruited,” Ms. Meyer says.

    Of course, if taxpayers had not bailed out A.I.G., these contracts would not be worth anything. Andrew M. Cuomo, the attorney general of New York, made the point on Monday, when he subpoenaed A.I.G. for the names of the people who received the bonuses. If A.I.G. had spiraled into bankruptcy, its employees would have had to get in line with other unsecured creditors.

    Mr. Cuomo wants to know who A.I.G.’s lucky employees are, and how they have been doing at their jobs. So here is a suggestion for him. Get the list, and give those big earners at A.I.G. a not-so-subtle nudge: Perhaps they will “volunteer” to give some of their bonuses back or watch their names hit the newspapers. But in the meantime, despite how offensive and painful it might be, let’s honor the contracts.

  90. rgb44hrc
    So let’s say that while unfair that the bonuses are on the up and up. No court can stop them. Bambi screams to high heaven about how wrong it is and he comes off smelling like a rose to the American populace. yet he is an attorney and knows the law and is just playing the american populace. God I feel so incredibly sad that once upon a time I believed in this country and no more.

  91. What has happened in this Democracy. Bonuses should be paid for performance, and I see that the rule in many corporations. So what is the rule in this corporations? Bonues is an extra payment for a job well done.

  92. PS
    A few weeks ago admin drew a parallell between waffles and an upcoming NBC series called Kings. Well I wasted 83 minutes watching one dumb assed show as it is available online. I see the corrolation in that every second I have forfeited to listening to bambi was a comparable waste of my time.

  93. HillaryforTexas…great letter…so glad to see your fighting spirit is here and alive and kicking!

    …the more pushback the Dims get, the better…zombie dims…they expect us to just line up and shut up…or else…

  94. So let’s say that while unfair that the bonuses are on the up and up. No court can stop them. Bambi screams to high heaven about how wrong it is and he comes off smelling like a rose to the American populace. yet he is an attorney and knows the law and is just playing the american populace. God I feel so incredibly sad that once upon a time I believed in this country and no more.
    ———————
    Henry–cheer up. Read the WashPo article above. Bambi has got egg on his face. He is blowing the horn and clashing to symbols after the party is over. This one will haunt him. All the repos have to do is point out this is one more example of how he was for it before he was against it.

  95. Have I just gone over the edge with my bambi loathing
    —————————–
    You are on the side of the angels on that one my friend.

  96. wbboei
    I wish I felt as you do but unfortunately I think many will only see that he called them out. Most Americans get the bulk of thier news from the local paper(AP) and the 6 and 11 shows. Its a few paragraphs during a commute or three minutes while digesting. I see America seeing bambi as doing his best just like very well educated upper west siders chose to see guilliani saying panhandling was not a form of protected speech.

  97. I am actually really curious about this. I have seen/heard multiple ads for free cell phones if you make under 25K. I used google yahoo and live search and all I can come up with are pilot programs in a couple of states. I am just curious as to how this program is being funded and even more so as to why. My interest stems from a conversation I recently had in which a couple making 80k a year told me they are only marginally better off than a woman with two kids born to the same father who claims she is single. They factored in rent subsidies utilities and the biggest health insurance. Also screamed that thier kid would get no help but a student loan for college while the scam artists would get a free ride. I aske if they voted and yes they voted for icky.

  98. What has happened in this Democracy. Bonuses should be paid for performance, and I see that the rule in many corporations. So what is the rule in this corporations? Bonues is an extra payment for a job well done.
    —————————-
    Hi New Mexico- let me take a swing at that one.

    I have got to tell you in all candor I have seen this entire movie before and I know from experience where it leads–if past is prologue.

    I have been in corporate situations like this. All down arrows. Bombastic propaganda. Mythmaking. And what the leaders lack in competence they make up for in arrogance. We got bonuses and the company lost a billion dollars. They were robbing the parent company–just as bambi and company are robbing the American People. I spent a couple years trying to suspend disbelief until it was no longer possible. The end result was disaster.

    The only thing that gives me any glimmer of hope is that history never really repeats itself and the work that all of you are doing on this site, most of all admin to get the truth out. We are far out on the balance beam, and evil people are much closer in to the fulcrom. But if things go in the direction they probably will that too will change.

    One particular year I got a bonus, and Incompetent High faleutin rhetoric, the reincarnation of seigfried, bonuses inversely proportional to performance, no clear path ahead, incompetent leaders

  99. Sorry, she addresses AIG bonus toward the end. The gust of it is, they say they have to pay the bonsues because it is a contract. Judge Judy says, what about the policepeople who are being cut hours to balance a budget. Don’t they have a contract also.

    I agree, this is a travisty.

  100. Sorry the first comment went into moderation

    webmail.aol.com/41921/aol/en-us/suite.aspx

    H stuff but no ws. Judge Judy is being interviewed on Larry King live. It is long and at the end she talks about the bonuses.

  101. wbboei @ 1:17: the one other thing that sustains me is the possibility that I could be wrong–or that some magic will be produced at G-20.

  102. Breaking news

    It states that AIG paid 73 employees bonuses of $1 million or more; 11 of whom are no longer
    there, according to NY Atty. Gen. Cuomo.

  103. New MexicoFan
    Reading your last comment I was reminded of the time I spent in New York as a party planner. The gratuity was always included and as such my staff didn’t feel the need to rise to the occasion.They were getting x% no matter what so no need to perform beyond the minimum. As most hoped to be on Broadway they never considered the oppurtinity cost of the negligent behaivor, Gotta say in tribute to the Irish today, that the Americans of Irish descent had by far the very best work ethic. A party going a half an hour over the allotted time never a word of complaint or an order for more money.

  104. JanH:
    “Some history-reader you are, JanH!”

    —————————-

    LOL…insults now. I guess I’m being trolled. Always wondered what it was like.

    —————–

    Well, I’m sorry you took that as an insult. I’ll just withdraw the remark.

    But I really would like to have your reaction to HRC’s statement that razing 88 Palestinian homes in east Jerusalem is “unhelpful to the peace process.” The Rabbis and I thought is spot-on, but what about you?

  105. I wish I felt as you do but unfortunately I think many will only see that he called them out. Most Americans get the bulk of thier news from the local paper(AP) and the 6 and 11 shows. Its a few paragraphs during a commute or three minutes while digesting. I see America seeing bambi as doing his best just like very well educated upper west siders chose to see guilliani saying panhandling was not a form of protected speech.
    —————————-
    Henry, what stations are you watching? If it is cnn and msnbc, they will go down with the ship. As unemployment numbers continued to get worse, he will be seen for what he is. You have got to give this thing time. Go reread the Fineman article, the WashPo article above–it is starting to sink in. I ignore cnn and msnbc because they made their faustian pact long ago, and have prostituted themselves for bambi ever since.

  106. Today, feel free to refer to the current “ROTUS” (Resident of the United States) as O’bama.

    Or if you are not buying what he’s selling, maybe you’d prefer O’fraud, or O’bambi.

    Happy St. Patty’s Day!

  107. OH….MY….GAWD…

    Someone in the “liberal media” is finally noticing O’fraud’s hypocrisy on signing statements, and say that they’ll have to keep an eye on him. NY Times editorial page today:

    nytimes.com/2009/03/17/opinion/17tue3.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

    On Signing Statements
    —————————-

    As a candidate, Barack Obama offered withering criticism of President Bush’s signing statements — declarations that he would not enforce parts of the bills he signed. So it was encouraging when President Obama invalidated the Bush signing statements last week and explained when he would issue statements of his own.

    If Mr. Obama lives up to the principles he outlined last week, he could roll back the excessive powers that Mr. Bush claimed for his presidency, but the new president quickly issued a signing statement of his own that made us wonder just how clean a break he intended to make.

    Presidents have long issued signing statements, but Mr. Bush used them with unprecedented frequency and brazenness. When he signed a torture ban in 2005, he made a groundless assertion that he could override Congress and the courts on a major part. In 2006, the American Bar Association called on presidents not to issue statements that claimed the right not to enforce the law.

    In principle, a president should veto a bill if he believes part of it is unconstitutional. But Mr. Obama’s memo raised a legitimate concern: that Congress these days often passes omnibus bills. If a big bill has only a few problematic parts, a president has to choose between vetoing the whole bill, or agreeing to enforce provisions he believes to be unconstitutional.

    Mr. Obama said he would try to work with Congress to address constitutional concerns in advance. Once a bill passes, he said, he would object only over “interpretations of the Constitution that are well founded.”

    These are good policies, but the real test will be in how they are applied. Mr. Obama should not use signing statements, as Mr. Bush did, to assert that his own interpretation of the Constitution trumps those of Congress and the courts. If he wants to claim that his objection is “well founded,” then he should be able to point to court decisions or he should find a way to get the issue into court so the judiciary can make a call.

    Mr. Obama’s first signing statement objected to parts of a recent spending bill that he signed. Most of his points were not particularly troubling. Mainly, they focused on provisions that attempt to micromanage decisions that legitimately belong to the president. None comes close to Mr. Bush’s sweeping assertions of power.

    Still, Mr. Obama’s statement may not be entirely innocuous. One somewhat unclear objection could be read as bumping up against the rights of executive branch whistle-blowers. In any case, the speed with which he issued the statement, and the number of provisions he objected to, raise concerns that he may use these statements too aggressively. It will bear watching.

    For eight years, the Bush team did its best to disrupt the founders’ careful allocation of power among the president, Congress and the courts. President Obama’s goal should be to restore that delicate balance.

  108. wbboei
    I still percieve the fairytale that is waffles as something that requires a villian. And I think he is selling the folks from AIG as such. Legally I am pretty sure they have a right to the compensation and it allows the monster to paint himself as someone so outraged by the actions of those who have profiteered by the economic mess and come off as some great champion. I just honestly believe we are trapped in a relentless ad campaign. And as far as most Americans, they are busting a gut working and don’t have the time to search out info. What they hear at 6 they believe.

  109. And might as well throw in their take on the AIG gift giving. They note that O’bama’s bark is not matched by Summer’s bite (or was Summer’s licking AIG’s leg?):

    nytimes.com/2009/03/17/opinion/17tue1.html?ref=opinion

    The Gift That Keeps on Giving
    —————————————-

    After four bailouts totaling some $170 billion, the American International Group has finally answered some of the questions about where the money went. Unfortunately, the answers have only succeeded in raising many more questions.

    On Saturday, Americans learned that A.I.G. planned to pay $165 million in bonuses to executives and employees in the very division that caused the problems that led to the federal bailouts. Taxpayers have every right to be outraged, and President Obama was right to acknowledge that outrage on Monday, when he vowed to try to stop the payments.

    Mr. Obama’s tough talk, however, contrasted with comments made by his top economic adviser, Lawrence Summers, and by the Treasury Department. They had already expressed dismay but said that legally they could do nothing to stop the bonuses, which, in fact, had already mostly been paid on Friday.

    It is frustrating enough for Americans to try to figure out which part of that mixed message reflects the administration’s true position. But the bigger issue is that the bonuses are something of a distraction. Seen by themselves, the payments are huge, but they are less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the money already committed to the A.I.G. bailout.

    Which brings us to the second disclosure of recent days. It was common knowledge that most of the A.I.G. bailout money had been funneled to the company’s trading partners — banks and other financial firms that would have lost big if A.I.G. were allowed to fail. On Sunday, after much prodding by Congress and the public, A.I.G. finally released the partners’ identities, along with amounts paid thus far to make them whole.

    The largest single recipient was Goldman Sachs ($12.9 billion). The amount — hardly chump change even by Wall Street standards — appears to contradict earlier assertions by Goldman that its exposure to risk from A.I.G. was “not material” and that its positions were offset by collateral or hedges. If so, why didn’t the hedges pay up instead of the American taxpayers?

    Other recipients include 20 European banks that received a total of $58.8 billion and Merrill Lynch ($6.8 billion), Bank of America ($5.2 billion) and Citigroup ($2.3 billion).

    Altogether, the disclosures account for $107.8 billion in A.I.G. bailout money. Which leaves us wondering about the rest of the money. Another $30 billion was added to the A.I.G. bailout pot this month and must be accounted for as soon as it is spent. That leaves some $32 billion unaccounted for. Where did it go?

    Taxpayers also need to be told the precise nature of the banks’ dealings with A.I.G. Appearing on “60 Minutes” on Sunday, Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, described A.I.G. as a company “that made all kinds of unconscionable bets.” Well, on the other side of those bets are the banks that received the bailout money. It is possible that one side of a bet is acting unconscionably and that another side is acting in good faith. But it’s also possible that both sides are trying to play an unseemly game to their own advantage.

    Congress must investigate, and the new disclosures give them enough to get started. Untangling all the entanglements is not only essential to understanding how the system became so badly broken, but also to restoring faith in the government that it is up to the task of fixing it.

  110. Most voters do not received a $1M bonus for failure. They understand the meaning of the words bonus and failure. When they fail, they don’t get anything.

  111. New Mexico Fan
    All I believe is that all anyone is going to hear is that bambi cried out against the bonuses and nothing a bout the legality. And in the eyes of many it will make him look good

  112. Amid AIG Furor, Dodd Tries to Undo Bonus Protections He Put In

    Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) on Monday night floated the idea of taxing American International Group (AIG) bonus recipients so the government could recoup some or all of the $450 million the company is paying to employees in its financial products unit. Within hours, the idea spread to both houses of Congress, with lawmakers proposing an AIG bonus tax.

    The move represents somewhat of an about-face for the Senator.

    While the Senate was constructing the $787 billion stimulus last month, Dodd added an executive-compensation restriction to the bill. That amendment provides an “exception for contractually obligated bonuses agreed on before Feb. 11, 2009” — which exempts the very AIG bonuses Dodd and others are now seeking to tax.

    The amendment made it into the final version of the bill, and is law.

    Separately, Sen. Dodd was AIG’s largest single recipient of campaign donations during the 2008 election cycle with $103,100, according to opensecrets.org.

    Dodd’s office did not immediately return a request for comment.

    One of AIG Financial Products’ largest offices is based in Connecticut.

    Dodd Amendment Rules

    Crack down on bonuses, retention awards and incentive compensation: Bonuses can only be paid in the form of long-term restricted stock, equal to no greater than 1/3 of total annual compensation, and will vest only when taxpayer funds are repaid. There is an exception for contractually obligated bonuses agreed on before Feb. 11, 2009.
    For institutions that received assistance totaling less than $25 million, the bonus restriction applies to the highest compensated employee; $25 million to $250 million, applies to the top five employees; $250 million to $500 million, applies to the senior executive officers and the next top 10 employees; and more than $500 million applies to the senior executive officers and the next top 20 employees (or such higher number as the Secretary determines is in the public interest).

    foxbusiness.com/story/markets/industries/finance/dodd-cracks-aig—time/

    top reciepients of AIG donations:

    Name Office Total Contributions
    Dodd, Chris (D-CT) Senate $103,100
    Obama, Barack (D-IL) Senate $101,332
    McCain, John (R-AZ) Senate $59,499
    Clinton, Hillary (D-NY) Senate $35,965
    Baucus, Max (D-MT) Senate $24,750
    Romney, Mitt (R) Pres $20,850
    Biden, Joseph R Jr (D-DE) Senate $19,975
    Larson, John B (D-CT) House $19,750
    Sununu, John E (R-NH) Senate $18,500
    Giuliani, Rudolph W (R) Pres $13,200
    Kanjorski, Paul E (D-PA) House $12,000
    Durbin, Dick (D-IL) Senate $11,000
    Perlmutter, Edwin G (D-CO) House $10,500
    Rangel, Charles B (D-NY) House $9,000
    Edwards, John (D) Pres $7,850
    Corker, Bob (R-TN) Senate $7,400
    Smith, Chris (R-NJ) House $6,900

    there is more:

    opensecrets.org/orgs/recips.php?id=D000000123

  113. Henry: he is on the defensive here for the reasons I state. When the time comes the dots will be connected. Again I say–one more example of where he was for it before he was against it. The gullible people who voted for him will applaud. The rest of us will take a more sober view and ask why did he let this happen in the first place?

  114. Wow doesn’t waffles have a lot in commen with the people getting bonuses from AIG. I mean get rewrded for a job that you have not a clue as to how to perform.

  115. The rhetoric grew so heated yesterday that Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) suggested in a radio interview that AIG executives ought to “follow the Japanese model . . . resign, or go commit suicide.” An aide later explained he does not actually want executives to kill themselves.

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

    LOL! Look how standards of ethics have deteriorated since 1929! Or maybe windows have become harder to open.

  116. birdgal Says:
    March 17th, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Based on this, Dodd should have won the presidency:

    Dodd, Chris (D-CT) Senate $103,100
    Obama, Barack (D-IL) Senate $101,332
    McCain, John (R-AZ) Senate $59,499
    Clinton, Hillary (D-NY) Senate $35,965

  117. IN haste….

    Some of these fat cats may not be conspiring for the future, just running off with whatever cream they can grab now.

  118. hard to believe it was a year ago I marched with the then Senator from New York in a parade. What is even harder to believe was that same parede which drew record numbers and invoilved the Governor the mayor, a former fist lady/US Senator?presidential candidate got no coverage in the front section of the biggest local paper, HMMMM? yet an appearance by the monster mrs o was front page news when she appeared at a local university.

  119. jeswezey Says:

    March 17th, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    ———————————————-

    I have yet to hear more than one sentence soundbites from Hillary in response to questions from the media on this issue. Until she comes out with a full statement, I am not going to presume to analyze her comment.

  120. birdgal Says:

    March 17th, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    —————————————-

    Excellent article! The dims continue to wallow deeper and deeper in this mess.

  121. Look, it’s to Obama’s advantage to position himself as the heroic young reformer who is TRYING to fight the fat cats but not succeeding yet, so we have to re-elect him in 2012 to finish the job.

    This way the fat cats who are his major backers still get what they want, and he keeps his job too, and the non-fats who might otherwise cause some real trouble get pacificfied.

    Just like his ‘Council on Women’ set up to pacify us but not really get anything good done.

    Isnt’ this a pattern among some slum city ‘minority leaders’ also? If they succeeded in their ‘crusade’, they’d be out of a job.

  122. White House Fountains Dyed Green For First Time At Michelle Obama’s Request

    March 17, 2009

    The White House is going green for St. Patrick’s Day.

    The water in the fountains on the north and south lawns of the White House has been dyed green to mark the national holiday of Ireland. First Lady Michelle Obama came up with the idea for the festive touch, said spokeswoman Katie McCormick Lelyveld. She was inspired by the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in her hometown of Chicago, where the city marks the holiday by dyeing the river green. “It’s a little piece of home for our new home,” said Lelyveld, who is also from Chicago. Lelyveld said it’s the first time the water in the White House fountains has been dyed. The green hue will stay until the dye runs outs.

    President Barack Obama marks St. Patrick’s Day with separate meetings in Washington with Irish leaders and he’ll also attend St. Patrick’s Day events in the White House and on Capitol Hill.

    huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/17/white-house-fountains-dye_n_175669.html

  123. Some of these fat cats may not be conspiring for the future, just running off with whatever cream they can grab now
    ————————
    I GUARANTEE you that is their attitude.

    Shame they dont build buildings with windows that open anymore. Need to use a chair to break them, and that gets a little untidy. Especially if you can grab a million on your way out the dooor.

  124. Someone in the “liberal media” is finally noticing O’fraud’s hypocrisy on signing statements, and say that they’ll have to keep an eye on him. NY Times editorial page today:
    ————————-
    rgb: I am not as excited as you are about this one. It is the tutt tutt tapper school of journalism, which stops short of making the ultimate point and seems to apologize or qualify whatever it does say in the same breath. As criticisms go it is anemic–no fire and ice.

  125. Yahoo story, with additional follow up “story”:

    yahoo.com/s/ap/20090317/ap_on_go_pr_wh/obama_budget

    Obama defends tackling many problems at same time
    ———————————————————————–

    By JULIE PACE
    Associated Press Writer
    28 mins ago

    WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama pushed back Tuesday against criticism that he’s trying to take on too many issues at once, defending a $3.6 trillion budget that seeks to shore up the economy while also overhauling health care, energy and education.

    “To kick these problems down the road for another four years or another eight years would be to continue the same irresponsibility that led us to this point,” Obama said in an appearance with the heads of the congressional budget committees. “That’s not why I ran for this office. I didn’t come here to pass on our problems to the next president or the next generation.”

    The RGB Times was willing to print the remainder of the quote that most other news outlets edited out:

    “That’s not why I ran for this office. I didn’t come here to pass on our problems to the next president or the next generation.
    I came here to enrich myself.
    I came here to enrich my friends.
    I came here to further enrich extremely wealthy power brokers who needed another pushover puppet.
    I came here to bask in celebrity.
    I came here to make up for my deep seated feelings of inadequacy.
    I came here to get enough stuff for yet another book.
    I like a job where you get to take 4 months of vacation a year, interspersed with international travel.
    Oh, and I was kidding; I will have to pass on our problems to the next president, because I came here to build a fake ‘legacy’, and they’ll never add a fifth head to Mt. Rushmore if I am perceived to be the BIGGEST PRESIDENTIAL FAILURE EVER.”

  126. wbboei Says:

    March 17th, 2009 at 2:28 pm
    Someone in the “liberal media” is finally noticing O’fraud’s hypocrisy on signing statements, and say that they’ll have to keep an eye on him. NY Times editorial page today:
    ————————-
    rgb: I am not as excited as you are about this one. It is the tutt tutt tapper school of journalism, which stops short of making the ultimate point and seems to apologize or qualify whatever it does say in the same breath. As criticisms go it is anemic–no fire and ice.
    &&&&&&&&&

    Yeah, I noticed they provided plenty of hedging and waffle room for Mr. O’Waffles. It was just pleasantly surprising that they dared even broach the subject.

  127. Two months into his faux presidency and he is on the ropes. The campaign is over Obama. Show us the clear path forward. Forget about hope and change. Show us solutions. The clock is ticking, the jobless numbers are rising, the savings are dwindling. Where-are-the-solutions?

  128. Yeah, I noticed they provided plenty of hedging and waffle room for Mr. O’Waffles. It was just pleasantly surprising that they dared even broach the subject.
    ———————-
    That is a good description of it–hedging and waffle room. We will see more of it as big media is compelled to defend an indefensible position, my friend.

  129. JanH Says:

    March 17th, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    ———————————————-

    “I have yet to hear more than one sentence soundbites from Hillary in response to questions from the media on this issue. Until she comes out with a full statement, I am not going to presume to analyze her comment.”

    Well, here are some articles with rounded-out discussion of what she said, going beyond the destruction of “illegally built” Palestinian homes. You’re not likely to get extensive quotes anywhere, if that’s what you need before reacting.

    ——

    Clinton wary of Israeli moves
    Secretary of state critical of razings in East Jerusalem
    By Paul Richter | Tribune correspondent
    March 5, 2009

    RAMALLAH, West Bank—Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in an unusual public criticism of Israel, said Wednesday that its plan to destroy dozens of Palestinian homes in Arab East Jerusalem is “unhelpful” and contrary to Israel’s obligations under a U.S.-designed peace plan.

    Clinton, closing her first foray into Middle East peacemaking, said the implications of the decision to raze the homes for an archeological project “go far beyond” the 88 homes affected by Israel’s plans. She said she will raise that issue, as well as concern over the growth of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, with Israeli officials.

    Clinton’s comments were delivered with some emotion during an appearance with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and came at a time when both sides are scrutinizing her words to try to divine where her loyalties lie and what to expect from the Obama administration.

    Despite the criticism of Israel, Clinton moved cautiously during a two-day visit that marked the beginning of her effort to push for a “comprehensive” peace effort between Israel and its neighbors.

    Clinton also stressed in an appearance with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Tuesday that U.S. officials understood Israel’s security concerns, and she called on the militant group Hamas to halt its rocket fire into Israel.

    She also emphasized that she intends to air concerns with the Israelis only in a “constructive” way.

    Israeli authorities have been embroiled in controversy for years over their plans for an archeological site devoted to Jewish history and sites associated with biblical King David. The homeowners in the Silwan quarter have received eviction notices saying the buildings were built illegally and are to be torn down.

    The battle is part of a larger struggle for control of Jerusalem, which both Palestinians and Israelis declare to be their capital.

    Clinton held a rapid series of meetings with top Israeli and Palestinian officials beginning Tuesday morning. Her main goal in the trip, aides said, was to listen and start building key relationships.

    On Tuesday, she met with Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud party. Both vowed to cooperate closely, according to one participant, despite their apparent differences on the goal of building a separate state for Palestinians.

    U.S. Secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, criticized Israel on Wednesday over Israeli plans to demolish Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem and stated that the plan is “unhelpful” to the peace process.

    Home demolition in Jerusalem – March 4, Image by REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

    Clinton added that she plans to hold talks with Israel leaders over the issue of settlement construction and expansion in the occupied Palestinian territories.

    The visiting US official said that she intends to discuss the issue of demolishing Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem with Israeli officials and officials of the Jerusalem Municipality. Israel claims that the homes were built without permits.

    The residents of East Jerusalem face enormous Israeli restrictions barring them from constructing homes or even adding rooms to their existing homes. At the same time, Israel and the Jerusalem municipality keep pushing more Jewish settlers into the Old city to replace the Palestinian residents.

    During a press conference with the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas in the central West Bank city of Ramallah, Clinton did not call on Israel to stop its illegal settlement activities but only said that she would follow up on the issue.

    “I think we should wait until a new government is formed in Israel”, she said, “afterwards we will discuss the different issues”.

    She also said that she is in favor of establishing a Palestinian state living alongside Israel.

    Meanwhile, Abbas said that unless there is an Israeli leadership that is committed to a two-state solution, halting settlement construction, and halting violations in Jerusalem including home demolitions, the Palestinians cannot consider the new Israel leadership as a peace partner.

    Clinton: Israeli home demolitions ‘unhelpful’
    The Associated Press
    5:36 AM PST, March 4, 2009

    RAMALLAH, West Bank — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says Israel’s demolition of Palestinian homes in Jerusalem has been “unhelpful” to Mideast peace efforts.

    Israel has issued orders for the demolition of dozens of Palestinian homes in east Jerusalem in recent days. It says the homes were built illegally.

    But Palestinians say they cannot receive proper Israeli building permits, and the planned demolitions are intended to assert Israel’s control over the disputed city.

    In the West Bank on Wednesday, Clinton said they violate Israeli pledges under the “road map” peace plan. She said she would take up the issue with the incoming Israeli government, which is expected to take office in the coming weeks.

    ——–

    So there you have it. You want a lengthy transcript, but all the reporters present understood clearly her remarks and reported them the same way. It seems Hillary views the Palestinians as part of the “invisibles” she campaigned for over the last two years. Bad news for the Zionists.

  130. Yeah, I noticed they provided plenty of hedging and waffle room for Mr. O’Waffles. It was just pleasantly surprising that they dared even broach the subject.
    ———————-
    That is a good description of it–hedging and waffle room. We will see more of it as big media is compelled to defend an indefensible position, my friend
    ——————-
    One other thought on the matter. Anemic criticisms like this one are often deployed tactically to preempt the issue. They acknowlede the point, but put a benign or self serving spin on it. It is not a matter of going half the distance, so much as holding the more vigorous attack at bay by appearing to be judicous and reasonable.

  131. The litmus test of a truthful article is that it state facts sufficient to question the legitimancy of his presidency or the efficacy of his leadership, because those are the issues that matter to our future and political spin tries to hide.

    Parlor discussions which suggest inconsistency or potential problems are part and parcel of the tut tut I am jake tapper and wouldnt say shit about barack if I had a mouth full school of journalism. They have no endgame but to protect the status quo.

  132. Interesting commentary on Fox News Channel right now. Glib Gibbs trys to claim ignorance and shift blame; there are finally some pointed questions from the media, but may be diversionary. There are 3 mini screens on and two of them are about AIG bonuses. Fox had questions about whether Geitner was on his way out, though they said the blame is shifted to Geitner by those who knew, that the Huckster can not easily get rid of him now, just a scapegoat.

  133. Glib Gibbs
    —————-
    That is brilliant Shortermer. The best I could do with him was Moe, Larry and Curley all rolled into one.

  134. Admin, I tried to find an old song, iirc, it was “Who’s Got Their Hands in the Cookie Jar?” It would be so apropo for what is going on right now and would make a great background for a YouTube video. If anyone locates it, please post here.

  135. WBBOEI!!!

    Are you ignoring me?

    # basil9 Says:
    March 17th, 2009 at 11:23 am

    WBBOEI!!!!!!

    Can you answer my 10:44 question???????

  136. Gibbs was said to have detested Hillary during the campaign….he makes that guy from Bush ‘s first term look competent. Carter also used his power as a SD to forcefully argue against Hillary as VP, which, thankfully, she avoided as we see Biden less and less.

  137. Please everyone go to the Obama Deception at video dot google and watch at least the last half hour of the film.

    The main points from the Obama Deception and the real agenda according to Jones.

    1 – Put the US under the regulatory control of a private off-shore superbank of the World financed by thousands of new taxes on livestock, fossil fuels, electricity, water, trains, transportation, clothing, mining, asphalt – basically everything we use in daily life.

    2 – Establishing a ‘police state’ once BO’s charm wears thin. The groundwork has already been prepared. 20,000 battle-hardened troops have already been deployed across the country to patrol the streets. FEMA has built giant camps for detainees. Act HR645 would merge local government and police under federal control. Preparation is underway for food riots and economic collapse.

    3 – BO has signed a DOD directive creating a civilian expeditionary workforce. The website USAservice.org masquerades as a federal agency but its true purpose is setting up a separate militia outside of government control.

    BO has refused to rescind Directive 51 and the president is now virtually a dictator with the congress in a purely ceremonial role.

    One of the excerpts from the DOD directive says, “Management retains the authority to assign civilians employees voluntarily, involuntarily or on an unexpected basis.”

    4 – Disarm the American people by ending the Second Amendment. Eric Holder has already argued for disarming everyone except the military. The goal is to ban all shooting sports, shooting clubs and even YMCA organizations.

    5 – Massive restriction of freedom of speech including draconian hate-speech laws.

    6 – Further federalize health care and ration services.

    7 – Expand the DOD budget to dominate and populate Africa. Set up African bases under the pretext of humanitarian aid but the real purpose is to occupy and dominate under Africom. The goal is to get the Chinese out of Africa.

    8 – Expand government control over farms and ranches and accelerate the merger of Canada and the US.

    9 – BO’s job is to convince Americans the ‘buck stops with him’ so in 8 years he will take the blame the same way Bush is taking the blame for the previous 8 years.

    10 – Prevent Americans from realizing the presidency is pure theater.

    11- Keep the people preoccupied debating the media spectacle instead of the globalist agenda.

    12 – Bo must sell the public on globalist policies not in the American people’s best interests and protect the globalists as they complete their power grid.

    13 – BO is a Madison Avenue Corporate Media created fad and if he can distract the country for just a few more years the globalists will be able to complete their police state control grid.

  138. Why does an insurance company have to be bailed out?
    ———————–
    Massive foreign investment is the anwer I have heard. If that is the case then it sure does beg the question of exactly whom those massive foreign investors are who have so much leverage over our economic system that taxpayers should be fleeced to pay for losses which they as shareholders failed to take effective action to prevent. If thats not it, then I dont really know.

    Not that it is relevant to your question but this is the same firm that Spitizer sued when he was attorney general because they were engaged in a massive kickback scheme. As I recall they are a broker which is a spin-off of Marsh McClellan. They were placing insurance on behalf of clients and collecting undisclosed payments from those insurers. Generally speaking, companies in that position get their revenue either from the insurance companies or through the fee paid by the client but not from both ends.

  139. Thanks Wbboei.

    I’m still confused. I thought the mantra was that if AIG failed the banks would fail, too.

    So my skewed logic goes like this; if the banks fail they turn to their insurance company, AIG, and so many failed at the same time that AIG couldn’t cover all the losses?

    Of course we know it’s all bs, even if we don’t understand all the details.

  140. WHOA!!!!!!!!!UH…OH…!!!!!!!!!!

    i know alot of you are close followers of the obama birth certificate issue…. some may even visit this site
    defendourfreedoms.us/ by Dr. Orly Taitz,

    for those of you who don’t……..YOU SHOULD BE!!!

    from todays posting:
    Open Letter – Attorney General McKenna – Request for Investigation

    you will read this bit of information with in the letter……whoa!

    5) To investigate information reported in the National Databases of the same social security number reported for Mr. Obama’s Mother Stanley Ann Dunham and resident of the state of Washington Phylis Albriktson. Reports from Lexis Nexis and Choice Point of Barack Obama having around a 100 addresses all over the country with numerous social security numbers attached to those addresses, including from Washington State. That is of concern in light of the fact that Mr. Obama’s grand mother, Madelyn Dunham volunteered in Oahucircuit court probate department and had access to the Social Security numbers of the deceased persons. One of the social security numbers for Mr. Obama show him as 118 years old, which might mean that he used a social security number of a deceased person.

    6) Investigate the fact that the mother of Mr. Obama, Stanley Ann Dunham also used an alias of Shirley Ann Dunham. A company Dunham Organization, owned by Shirley A. Dunham has been operating in the state of Washington at different locations (according to Intelius information agency) and the description of this company shows it dealing with mortgages, car loans, legal services, whereby social security numbers could be accessed.
    *****************************************************************

    a bit further down in another article you will read:

    Was there an attempt to scrub Obama’s Passport Records?

    SNIP:

    Obama’s top terrorism and intelligence adviser, John O. Brennan, heads a firm that was cited in March for breaching sensitive files in the State Department’s passport office, according to a State Department Inspector General’s report released this past July.

    The security breach, first reported by the Washington Times and later confirmed by State Department spokesman Sean McCormack, involved a contract employee of Brennan’s firm, The Analysis Corp., which has earned millions of dollars providing intelligence-related consulting services to federal agencies and private companies.
    ***********************

    Remember that one from the primaries??……. he’s now obama’s top terrorism and intelligence adviser!!!

    Pay to play…..Quid pro quo

    IT’S AMAZING THE WORK THIS WOMAN HAS DONE AND HOW MUCH SHE HAS BEEN ABLE TO UNCOVER!!!!!!!! WOW!!

  141. jbstonesfan: do you have any clue as to WHY Gibbs “detested Hillary during the campaign”? Why is it so personal to these people? What was going on behind the scenes that none of us saw? From everything I was able to observe she took the high road and they most definitely did not. If anyone has a grievance here it was us not them. Think of the 2000 voter complaints in the primary which the DNC swept under the table. Are they just sick demented people or is there something here that I am not seeing. What is it with Gibbs?

  142. CHECK THIS OUT!!!!!!!!

    Geitner’s father knew and worked with BO’s mother! Here’s an excerpt from Geitner’s wikipedia page.

    Geithner’s paternal grandfather, Paul Herman Geithner (1902–1972), emigrated with his parents from the German town of Zeulenroda to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1908.[1] His father, Peter F. Geithner, is the director of the Asia program at the Ford Foundation in New York. During the early 1980s, Peter Geithner oversaw the Ford Foundation’s microfinance programs in Indonesia being developed by Ann Dunham-Soetoro, President Barack Obama’s mother, and they met in person at least once.’

  143. djia,

    You HAVE to watch The Obama Deception!!!!!!

    I posted the link way upthread.

    Video dot google dot com slash videoplay ? docid = 7886780711843120756

    Or do a google search and select the google entry. That has the entire film.

  144. CHECK THIS OUT!

    defendourfreedoms.us/2009/03/08/dossier-of-suspected-criminal-activity-and-a-demand-to-appoint-a-special-prosecutor.aspx?results=1#SurveyResultsChart

    SNIP:

    This is the dossier of suspected criminal activity and a demand to appoint a special prosecutor that was sent to Attorney General Eric Holder on March 3, 2009.

    GO TO THIS LINK TO READ THE DOSSIER
    web version h t t p defendourfreedoms.org/letterHolder.htm

  145. ROTFLMFAO!!!!!!!!

    Here’s Chuck Grassley on AIG saying it’s -sucking the tit of the taxpayer!

    www . breitbart.tv/? p=299863

  146. BASIL

    i would love to watch that…….but unfortunately… i am on dial up

    could you tell me (and others) the jest of it?

  147. djia,

    What do you mean in the post above.

    Who is the open letter to AG McKenna from?
    Who is McKenna?

  148. Now I am thinking about Powers. And McPeak. And what about Michelle.

    Hate was the watchword in the Obama campaign and I wonder about the source of it.

    From what I know of organizations this thing always starts at the top. It may be more Michelle than Obama himself.

    But I guarandamtee you that is where it germinates. And we saw it again just a few days ago from MO.

    These people are not fit for public office.

  149. Here’s Chuck Grassley on AIG saying it’s -sucking the tit of the taxpayer!
    ————————-
    It has to be connected to Obama.

  150. Wobbie

    The only thing that gives me any glimmer of hope is that history never really repeats itself and the work that all of you are doing on this site, most of all admin to get the truth out.
    ***********************

    Really?

  151. basil

    McKenna is the washington state AG, I posted only a portion of her [dr. orly taiz] letter to him.

    also see and read this letter and supporting evidence she sent to AG HOLDER asking for a special investigator to further investigate it all.

    defendourfreedoms.org/letterHolder.htm

  152. wbboei Says:

    March 17th, 2009 at 4:27 pm
    ******************************

    How classless was it that MO had the fountains @ the WH turned green for St Pat’s?

    Moving on up to the Eastside…

    sorry about misspelling your name above Wbboei

  153. Here’s more on AIG. Evidently half of their bailout money went to overseas nbanks. But I am still not getting the connection between AIG and banks.

    ‘US insurance giant AIG has disclosed that European banks including Deutsche Bank and France’s Societe Generale were among the biggest beneficiaries of its bail-out by the US taxpayer.

    AIG said more than $90 billion has been paid to various banks – including Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Bank of America – since AIG nearly went bankrupt last September.

    Other European banks that received funds from AIG since its bail-out include Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS, BNP Paribas, Banco Santander, Danske Bank and Rabobank.
    Advertisement

    The US government, which is spending up to $180 billion on the AIG rescue, extended aid to the insurer after large losses from one of its divisions’ bets on toxic mortgage assets triggered rating cuts and collateral demands that AIG could not meet.

  154. wbboei

    MO is up to her eyeballs in this

    in that link i have posted (taiz letter to AG Holder)

    scroll to the bottom, and you can read though all the BO and MO with different jobs, SSN, Addresses etc.

  155. The whole point of the AIG rescue was to keep the mega-insurer from defaulting on its obligations.

    SocGen – the biggest recipient of AIG funds next to Goldman Sachs – was exposed through AIG’s credit-default swaps activities. The French bank says it merely issued collateral calls to AIG, and was paid according to the agreements, like others.

    AIG also paid money to purchase the securities underlying its CDS from the counterparties – and SocGen got the largest chunk of the money, €6.9bn (£6.4bn). AIG may have paid too much to do this, but that doesn’t change the mix of counterparties.

    Finally some banks were clients of AIG’s securities lending business – and got back money that was basically theirs anyway: Barclays, Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas were among the main recipients.

    What this means is that AIG honoured its contracts. Whether it should have signed those contracts in the first place – or been bailed out subsequently – is another debate altogether.

    European banks simply did what it was their duty to do. Where AIG got the money from didn’t matter. Foreign banks aren’t the custodians of US taxpayers’ funds.

  156. Basil: to your question of who is rob mckenna–he is the attorney general of the state of Washinton, and unlike their governor he is a well respected state official with bi partisan support. You can google him and find out more. If I recall correctly he is a republican, which is always an anomoly in that state.

  157. I can’t help but think this whole AIG, bail out and bonus conversation is nothing more than a bone to chase.

    the media is focusing on it…so we talk about it, get consumed with that conversation
    when it is nothing more than smoke and mirrors to distract us from something bigger.

    not that it isn’t a big deal…… i just can’t help but feel it’s a distraction tactic

    everytime the MSM wants to distract us from something bigger/deeper they throw us a bone to lure us in the direction they want us to look.

  158. How classless was it that MO had the fountains @ the WH turned green for St Pat’s?
    —————-
    Green represents the envy that MO harbors for Hillary. It is poisonous.

  159. jeswezey Says:

    March 17th, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    The 7 months of rocket bombardments produced 1 death and 1 injury. The 3 weeks of retaliation produced 1000 dead
    *********************************

    So, if I am reading this right, Hamas and the Palestinians should be given support because they are, what, bad shooters and bombers?

  160. Dija: you are absolutley right about the media. We do not need all this posturing now by the same politicans who supported this bailout in the first instance. What we need from someone like Brian Ross (hint) to conduct a thouough investigation which lifts the corporate veil, and drags those dark movers behind the scences into broad daylight so we can take a good look at them, and what they are up to.

  161. I confess. Now I’m obsessed about WTF AIG has been bailed out.
    Here are snippets from an explanation even i understand (a little).

    alternet.org/workplace/129639/aig_bailed_out_again,_but_endless_fire-drills_don%27t_put_out_fires/?page=2

    AIG, a private insurance company whose claim to public funds is that it backed Wall Street’s lousy credit bets, a cry that got bipartisan belief.
    ****************************
    But, after $152 billion has already been swallowed by AIG and it posted a $61.7 billion loss, the insanity of replenishing its funds underscores rampant federal cluelessness and desire to buy into a misplaced fear that inaction is worse than action.
    **********************************
    No one has a clue about the true nature of Citigroup’s books or health, or AIG’s. Nor of Bank of America’s or Well’s Fargo’s, or for that matter, JPM Chase’s, although its CEO, Jamie Dimon, maintains the best poker face. Because the banks were allowed to grow to be too big to regulate and too complex to decipher.
    ********************************************
    No one should think of nationalizing, as in taking over and running, anything they can’t quantify. Ever. I mean, would you consider buying a car that exudes smoke from under the hood, no matter what you do to it? Of course you wouldn’t.
    **********************************
    Think about it. There were $1.5 trillion subprime loans issued between 2003-2007. About $14 trillion of asset-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations were created using those loans as collateral. Yet, we’re already in the hole about $10 trillion to “fix the banks.”
    It doesn’t compute.
    Why? Because we’re still not even discussing the borrowing Wall Street did on the back of those securities. Throw that into the equation under the very conservative assumption that all banks borrowed up to 10 times the amount those securities were once worth, and we’re looking at a systemwide maximum loss of $140 trillion
    ****************************************
    No, the fix to this is not simple, but it’s doable. It’s been done before. It entails pulling an FDR. Before he backed some of the banks, and not others, he shut them all down for four days. It was critical to evaluate them before moving forward then. And, it still is.

    Note to Washington: Take Finance 101 — STAT!
    How many Washingtonians does it take to screw in a light bulb? All of them. And, they’d still be in the dark. Indeed, murkiness is a preferred bipartisan state on the Hill. That’s the only explanation for consistently doing the wrong thing regarding the financial crisis, every step of the way and losing obscene sums of our money in the process.
    Piecemeal fire drills don’t put out fires.
    One of the first things you learn as a trader is buy the rumor, sell the news. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner missed that lesson. His latest blindfolded shoot-a-dart, save-a-bank move came on Feb. 27. That was followed by today’s confirmation to dump $30 billion more into AIG, a private insurance company whose claim to public funds is that it backed Wall Street’s lousy credit bets, a cry that got bipartisan belief.
    Last week, after leaking the Citi stock idea for a few days (giving spec-traders time to scoop up shares to later dump), the government then announced it would convert its preferred shares in Citigroup to common stock, increasing its ownership stake in the firm to 40 percent. (A note on the structure of a bank: common shareholders have no claims to repayment, preferred ones have some. If it was my money (which it kind of is), I’d shy away from that conversion trade.)
    The great part of the plan supposedly? No extra public money required! Except that Citi’s stock dropped nearly 40 percent, which equates to a $5 billion, or so, market loss. In solidarity, Bank of America’s stock dropped a mere 30 percent; Wells Fargo was down 16 percent. I’d have wanted to opt out of the next government investment round, into AIG’s coffers this week.
    But, after $152 billion has already been swallowed by AIG and it posted a $61.7 billion loss, the insanity of replenishing its funds underscores rampant federal cluelessness and desire to buy into a misplaced fear that inaction is worse than action.
    And all the explanations for this nosedive in Citi’s stock were painful. Which is why it’s likely similar conversions will take place soon for Bank of America.
    The business press said shareholders were concerned about the dilution effect on their own shares, so they dumped them. (If new shares were issued to the government, existing shareholders would own proportionately less of the new total amount.) The progressive press called it another step toward nationalization (Which it really isn’t. Purchasing stock in a black hole of a risk cesspool of a financial institution is not nationalization, it’s simply bad investing strategy). And, the conservative press considered it a step toward the destruction of capitalism (Which it really isn’t; capitalism thrives on raising funds for assets that have no value. Ask Bernie Madoff or Hank Paulson).
    My interpretation is that the savvier traders did the same thing they’ve been doing, unrestrained, throughout this crisis: they dumped or shorted Citigroup shares because they knew the government remains oblivious to the root cause of the decimation of the banking industry and isn’t asking the right questions to quantify the potential downside still out there.
    Without full disclosure, the market assumes the worst. Traders trade down. Banks don’t trust each other. And credit remains in a coffin. Throwing money at this situation reminds me of the bottomless-pit scene in the old “Flintstones” cartoon.
    The Real Problem
    Between these punts at explanation lies the true problem. It’s the same one that has been at the core of this crisis and stemmed from the complete deregulation of the industry in 1999.
    It’s that no one has a clue about the true nature of Citigroup’s books or health, or AIG’s. Nor of Bank of America’s or Well’s Fargo’s, or for that matter, JPM Chase’s, although its CEO, Jamie Dimon, maintains the best poker face. Because the banks were allowed to grow to be too big to regulate and too complex to decipher.
    The very idea that the government should capitalize these convoluted institutions rather than separating out and concentrating on the specific divisions that are fully understandable and whose risks are quantifiable, defies logic. It has also proved tremendously inefficient and costly.
    No amount of equity injections or Geithner’s stress tests or private-public government-backed investment plans will change that. No one should think of nationalizing, as in taking over and running, anything they can’t quantify. Ever. I mean, would you consider buying a car that exudes smoke from under the hood, no matter what you do to it? Of course you wouldn’t.
    The fact remains that whatever evaluation model you use for them, however you capitalize them and whatever “bad bank” construct you chose to go with, rounding up and dumping arbitrary amounts of toxic assets somewhere will not do more than calm the financial markets for the amount of time it takes to realize there’s more where that come from.
    Think about it. There were $1.5 trillion subprime loans issued between 2003-2007. About $14 trillion of asset-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations were created using those loans as collateral. Yet, we’re already in the hole about $10 trillion to “fix the banks.”
    It doesn’t compute.
    Why? Because we’re still not even discussing the borrowing Wall Street did on the back of those securities. Throw that into the equation under the very conservative assumption that all banks borrowed up to 10 times the amount those securities were once worth, and we’re looking at a systemwide maximum loss of $140 trillion.
    See, these “toxic assets” don’t live in isolation. They are like weeds overrunning a lawn. You can’t just remove a section and assume the lawn will automatically convert to pure grass. They have separate lives as collateral for other things — borrowing, credit derivatives, etc. You must determine what they connect to to decipher how much loss they represent. And that entails analyzing and reconstructing the whole system.
    No, the fix to this is not simple, but it’s doable. It’s been done before. It entails pulling an FDR. Before he backed some of the banks, and not others, he shut them all down for four days. It was critical to evaluate them before moving forward then. And, it still is.
    Then, we need to dissect all banks into manageable, backable parts by bringing back a modern version of the bipartisan Glass-Steagal Act of 1933. Wall Street screwed up then, and banks were given a choice. They could deal with citizens’ daily financial activities or speculate away. The government, however, would only back the non-speculators.
    By separating the banking landscape into less-risky commercial banks that dealt directly with consumers (and their deposits and loans) and risky investment banks (that package, leverage, speculate and trade these loans and other complicated securities), the government capped its (and the public’s) potential losses. FDIC insurance only had to cover banks whose functions were finite. It made sense.
    The same should go for today. The government should only back commercial banking activities, like injecting capital directly into loan principals.
    It shouldn’t be providing funding for speculation on the backs of other people’s money or homes or to fix the problems it creates. It should definitely not be backing insurance companies like AIG that overspeculated in credit derivatives on behalf of those banks.
    Plus, it should demand transparency, not just over where our money goes, but over what banks were doing as regular practice to begin with.
    Sure, no bank wants to disclose all its ugly information and breadth of potential losses. But, neither is anyone in Washington asking for it. This must happen.
    It should start with the biggest, most secretive bank in the country, the Fed.
    Already this informational stalemate has amounted to grand larceny, and it will continue to ooze taxpayer money until there is a complete show-and-tell of every book in the banking system. It has also frozen any confidence that once existed between banks, and as a result, credit.
    We must move past the fear of the unknown. The losses sitting on the books of banks are enormous. Denying that fact, doesn’t change it; all the secrecy only inflames the crisis. But, exposing the details, fixing the loans and reconstructing the banking system will.

  162. wbboei Says:

    March 17th, 2009 at 4:41 pm
    oh come on gonzotx, I was trying to be optimistic
    *************************

    It was the history never really repeats itself statement. I feel that’s all we have been doing. We never seem to learn a lesson, or if we do , we lose our way and elect another “I’m not a Washington politician hope and change” loser, Bush, Carter, Obama to name just a few. Big business is able to manipulate the masses quite easily. May be something to do with the dumbing down of our population. Maybe it really is all a plan. Easier to manipulate the un or undereducated.

    When did experience get a bum rap? I know I don’t want a newbie doc.

  163. BO and MO with different jobs, SSN, Addresses etc.
    &&&&&&&&&&&

    MO too??

    “Are those even your real children, or paid actors?”

  164. MO is up to her eyeballs in this

    in that link i have posted (taiz letter to AG Holder)

    scroll to the bottom, and you can read though all the BO and MO with different jobs, SSN, Addresses etc.
    —————————–
    grifters.

  165. ANYONE REMEMBER READING THIS????? I SURE DON”T !

    Key witness in passport fraud case fatally shot

    Saturday, April 19, 2008

    A key witness in a federal probe into passport information stolen from the State Department was fatally shot in front of a District church, the Metropolitan Police Department said yesterday.

    Lt. Quarles Harris Jr., 24, who had been cooperating with a federal investigators, was found late Thursday night slumped dead inside a car, in front of the Judah House Praise Baptist Church in Northeast, said Cmdr. Michael Anzallo, head of the department’s Criminal Investigations Division.

    Cmdr. Anzallo said a police officer was patrolling the neighborhood when gunshots were heard, then Lt. Harris was found dead inside the vehicle, which investigators would describe only as a blue car.

    Emergency medics pronounced him dead at the scene.

    City police said they do not know whether his death was a direct result of his cooperation with federal investigators.

    “We don’t have any information right now that connects his murder to that case,” Cmdr. Anzallo said.

    Police say a “shot spotter” device helped an officer locate Lt. Harris.

    A State Department spokeswoman yesterday declined to comment, saying the investigation into the passport fraud is ongoing.

    The Washington Times reported April 5 that contractors for the State Department had improperly accessed passport information for presidential candidates Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain, which resulted in a series of firings that reached into the agency’s top ranks.

    One agency employee, who was not identified in documents filed in U.S. District Court, was implicated in a credit-card fraud scheme after Lt. Harris told federal authorities he obtained “passport information from a co-conspirator who works for the U.S. Department of State.”

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

    so is this still an on going investigation???

    now put this together with this:

    Kucinich Calls For Congressional Investigation Into Cheney “Assassination Unit”
    Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) has called for a formal Congressional probe into allegations by investigative reporter Seymour Hersh that former Vice-President Dick Cheney had his own SS-style political assassination unit.

    AND THEN THIS ONE:

    Saturday, March 14, 2009

    Revelations that a political assassination unit which reported solely to Dick Cheney was in operation during the Bush administration are absent the fact that the unit in question, the Joint Special Operations Command, has been active for decades, has been deployed domestically in the U.S., has killed U.S. citizens, and is an integral part of Barack Obama’s expanded wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Seymour Hersh dropped a bombshell when he told a University of Minnesota audience on Tuesday that the Joint Special Operations Command is, “An executive assassination ring essentially, and it’s been going on and on and on,” Hersh stated. “Under President Bush’s authority, they’ve been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving. That’s been going on, in the name of all of us.”

    Subsequent media coverage of Hersh’s comments, such as a special feature on last night’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, has framed the story in the inaccurate context that the JSOC was a personal hit team acting on behalf of Cheney alone, when in reality the unit was created in 1980 and continues to play a central role in Barack Obama’s continuation of the so-called war on terror.

    prisonplanet.com/cheney-assassination-unit-still-active-under-obama-including-domestically.html

  166. The thought crossed my mind that this administration is an insult to our intelligence, our integrity and our life savings. Other than that they are simply divine. Other than that how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?

  167. # wbboei Says:
    March 17th, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Mrs. Smith–I believe this is another good reason (or in my case, excuse) to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

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

    If anyone wants to post a creative Limerick… go right ahead!

    (I have a class tonite…see you all at 11pm.. Lata!)

    Ah, now I understand why the stampede of dayglo ‘green’ footprints around the Guinness Tap!

    So, I’m tossing in a bit of the Blarney!

    **A fellow walked into a bar in Dublin and asked the barman if he had heard the latest Kerryman joke,
    “I’m warning you,” said the barman, “I’m a Kerryman myself.”
    “That’s allright,” said the fellow, “I’ll tell it slowly.”**

    **How do you recognise a Kerryman on an oil rig?
    He’s the one throwing crusts of bread to the helicopters..**

    **A Kerryman attended a concert where a ventriloquist who fancied himself as a comedian told about twenty Kerryman jokes in a row.

    “Look,” shouted the Kerryman, standing up in the audience, “I’m fed up being insulted by all these jokes. We’re not as stupid as you make out.” “Please sit down sir & be calm,” said the ventriloquist, “after all it’s only a joke, and don’t tell me that Kerrymen haven’t got a sense of humor.”

    “I’m not talking to you,” said the Kerryman, “I’m talking to the little fellow on your knee…” **

    **A Texan walks into a pub in Ireland and clears his voice to the crowd of drinkers. He says, “I hear you Irish are a bunch of hard drinkers. I’ll give $500 American dollars to anybody in here who can drink 10 pints of Guinness back-to-back.”

    The room is quiet, and no one takes up the Texan’s offer. One man even leaves.

    Thirty minutes later the same gentleman who left shows back up and taps the Texan on the shoulder. “Is your bet still good?” asks the Irishman.

    The Texan says yes and asks the bartender to line up 10 pints of Guinness. Immediately the Irishman tears into all 10 of the pint glasses, drinking them all back-to-back.

    The other pub patrons cheer as the Texan sits in amazement. The Texan gives the Irishman the $500 and says, “If ya don’t mind me askin’, where did you go for that 30 minutes you were gone?”

    The Irishman replies, “Oh… I had to go to the pub down the street to see if I could do it first.” **

    Thats all from me for now- Everyone enjoy yourselves and have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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