Dishonest Dirigiste Dimocrats, And Obama, Brown Boobery

Update: Obama promising U.S. taxpayers will guarantee car warranties reminds us of this guy (LINK).
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Today, Nobel prize economist Paul Krugman echoes our Saturday article The Rise of the Obama Crimelords.

Krugman cites, as we did extensively, Simon Johnson’s Atlantic article called The Quiet Coup.

In America as in the third world, he writes, “elite business interests — financiers, in the case of the U.S. — played a central role in creating the crisis, making ever-larger gambles, with the implicit backing of the government, until the inevitable collapse. More alarming, they are now using their influence to prevent precisely the sorts of reforms that are needed, and fast, to pull the economy out of its nosedive.”

It’s no wonder, then, that an article in yesterday’s Times about the response President Obama will receive in Europe was titled “English-Speaking Capitalism on Trial.”

Krugman states that the economic crisis has cost America much of its credibility, and with it much of its ability to lead. We agree. We also think having a boob in charge does not help allay the fears and contempt of our allies and bolsters the wolfish bloodlust of our enemies.

Barack Obama snubbed, a typical Obama boobery, Prime Minister Brown when Brown visited Washington. Brown, in a sure to be missed passage from “English-Speaking Capitalism On Trial” is getting his revenge.

Still, Mr. Brown may not have strengthened Washington’s confidence in him as a partner with his habit of tailoring his remarks to popular predilections on opposite sides of the Atlantic. In New York and Washington, he has been lionized for his pathfinding decision last fall to recapitalize Britain’s banks, a step later followed by the Bush and Obama administrations. He has responded by emphasizing Britain’s close ties to America, and the two countries’ responsibility to lead in reforming the system they gave the world. He frequently mentions his summer vacations on Cape Cod.

But at home, and on his visits to Continental Europe, the prime minister seems, as often as not, to cast America as the villain. In response to a wave of opposition demands that he apologize for his failings as chancellor of the exchequer, he has insisted that Britain’s financial woes, and the world’s, came “from America,” as though Britain was as much a victim as it was a perpetrator of its ills through the venality of its own financial institutions and its failures of regulatory oversight.

The lack of legitimacy of Gordon Brown was advertised by Member of Parliament Daniel Hannan when he confronted Brown last week. The reason Hannan’s clipped words resonated in America is that Hannan’s verbal assault is equally applicable to the devalued boob on our side of the Atlantic.



* * * * *

Like Chicago gangster Al Capone, Barack Obama and the Dimocrats have two sets of accounting books.

One accounting book is for public display at publicity stunts. The other accounting book is the actual costs and profits of the “operation”.

Recall, the dominant Big Media description of the Obama “budget overview”. Google reveals that Big Media aided and abetted Obama by describing the patently bogus document “honest”. No kidding. “Honest”.

The New York Times perpetuated the Obama lies by headlining “Obama Bans Gimmicks, and Deficit Will Rise“. The Times insulted its reader[s] with rubbish like this:

The new accounting involves spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Medicare reimbursements to physicians and the cost of disaster responses. [snip]

Mr. Obama’s banishment of the gimmicks, which have been widely criticized, is in keeping with his promise to run a more transparent government.

Fiscal sleight of hand has long been a staple of federal budgets, giving rise to phrases like “rosy scenario” and “magic asterisks.”

The $2.7 trillion in additional deficit spending, Mr. Orszag said, is “a huge amount of money that would just be kind of a magic asterisk in previous budgets.”

“The president prefers to tell the truth,” he said, “rather than make the numbers look better by pretending.”

The Obama proposals were a batch of strung together “rosy scenarios” and gimmicks which the Times helped sell as “honest”.

We exposed the obvious, to those willing to see, gimmicks and “rosy scenarios” in our catalog of Obama budget lies called Obama Budget: Sleeveless, Clueless, Truthless, Hopeless, Penniless. Some excerpts from our article which quoted from various sources:

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

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

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

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

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

In that lengthy article we outlined many of the Obama gimmicks.

There are now more examples of Obama gimmicks and mistruths.

Remember that New York Times article which praised Obama’s budgetary “honesty”? It had this to say about the difference between the Obama budget and the George W. Bush budgets: “As for war costs, Mr. Bush included little or none in his annual military budgets, instead routinely asking Congress for supplemental appropriations during the year. Mr. Obama will include cost projections for every year through the 2019 fiscal year to cover “overseas military contingencies” — nearly $500 billion over 10 years.”

That was then. This is now:

The officials declined to put dollar figures on aspects of the strategy other than the cost of U.S. combat forces in Afghanistan. Initial funding requests for hundreds of additional U.S. civilian officials to be sent there, as well as increased economic and development assistance to both Afghanistan and Pakistan, will come in a 2009 supplemental appropriation that the administration has not yet outlined.

The irresponsible supplemental appropriations are back – but you won’t hear it from Big Media because it is now the Third Bush Term – Barack Obama – with the irresponsible and dishonest supplementals.

Tim Russert died but his crusade to destroy Social Security and other “entitlements” is not dead while David Broder lives. In the latest misinformed attack on Social Security Broder slashes at the “honest” Abe Obama publicity. Broder’s article is called “Hiding a Mountain of Debt“:

With a bit of bookkeeping legerdemain borrowed from the Bush administration, the Democratic Congress is about to perform a cover-up on the most serious threat to America’s economic future. [snip]

The real threat is the monstrous debt resulting from the slump in revenue and the staggering sums being committed by Washington to rescuing embattled banks and homeowners — and the absence of any serious strategy for paying it all back.

The Congressional Budget Office sketched the dimensions of the problem on March 20, and Congress reacted with shock. The CBO said that over the next 10 years, current policies would add a staggering $9.3 trillion to the national debt — one-third more than President Obama had estimated by using much more optimistic assumptions about future economic growth.

As far as the eye could see, the CBO said, the debt would continue to grow by about $1 trillion a year because of a structural deficit between the spending rate, averaging 23 percent of gross domestic product, and federal revenue at 19 percent.

The ever-growing national debt will require ever-larger annual interest payments, with much of that money going overseas to China, Japan and other countries that have been buying our bonds.

Broder also employs the words “bookkeeping gimmick” to describe the Obama Dimocrats dishonesty. And again Big Pink gets an echo:

The Democrats did not invent this gimmick. They borrowed it from George W. Bush, who turned to it as soon as his inherited budget surpluses withered with the tax cuts and recession of 2001-02. But Obama had promised a more honest budget and said that this meant looking at the long-term consequences of today’s tax and spending decisions.

It is sad, astounding, and disgusting that Karl Rove “Bush’s Brain” is a reliable critic of the Obama Dimocrats and their dishonesty. If “flattery is the sincerest form of flattery, Rove must be blushing with this ugly Obama Dimocrat flattery.

Not even Team Obama can forestall unpleasant reality. And among those America now faces is Mr. Obama adding $3.2 trillion to the national debt in his first 20 months and 11 days in office, eclipsing the $2.9 trillion added during the Bush presidency’s entire eight years.

Another reality is that Mr. Obama’s fiscal house is built on gimmicks. For example, it assumes the cost of the surge in Iraq will extend for a decade. This brazenly dishonest trick was done to create phony savings down the line.

Mr. Obama’s budget downplays some programs’ true cost. For example, his vaunted new college access program is funded for five years and then disappears (on paper); the children’s health insurance program drops (on paper) from $12.4 billion in 2013 to $700 million the next year. Neither will happen; the costs of both will be much higher and so will the deficits.

Mr. Obama’s budget also assumes the economy declines 41% less this year and grows 52% more next year and 38% more the year after than is estimated by the Blue Chip consensus (a collection of estimates by leading economists traditionally used by federal budget crunchers). If Mr. Obama used the consensus forecasts for growth rather than his own rosy scenarios, his budget would be $758 billion more in the red over the next five years.

Then there’s discretionary domestic spending, which grows over the next two years by $238 billion, the fastest increase ever recorded. Mr. Obama pledges it will then be cut in real terms for the next nine years. That’s simply not credible.

Then there’s his omnibus spending bill to fund the government for the next six months, laden with 8,500 earmarks and tens of billions in additional spending above the current budget. What happened to pledges for earmark reform and making “meaningful cuts?”

* * * * *

To the cartoonish boobery and the dishonesty add the dirigiste signals of potential Fascism.

World markets see the dirigiste threat and they sharply declined overnight.

World stocks hit a one-week low and government bonds rose on Monday after General Motors and Chrysler edged closer to bankruptcy as their turnaround plans were rejected and tensions rose in Europe’s banking sector.

The Obama administration’s autos task force rejected multi-billion dollar pleas from the two U.S. automakers for more funds and warned both could be put through bankruptcy to slash debts. The auto industry woes are putting more pressure on Group of 20 leaders as they meet in London this week to discuss measures to tackle the crisis.

As ugly as potential bankruptcy is for major automobile companies – the American government “firing” a corporate head threatens to become a multi-headed Hydra. When it came to his high finance donors on Wall Street Obama dared not touch “contracts”. The “contracts” were sacred he said. When it comes to auto workers however it is Obama time to break contracts.

And there is budget dishonesty in the latest “firing” news as well. The latest government “guarantees” are a big question mark:

“No American should worry in buying a car from Chrysler, GM over this next period of time,” said the official, who added that the administration has no cost estimate for the “Warranty Commitment Program.”

The administration also announced that to help the affected communities, it is naming a Director of Recovery for Auto Workers and Communities. The post will go to Edward Montgomery, a labor economist and former Deputy Secretary of Labor, whose job will be to “work to leverage all resources of government to support the workers, communities and regions that rely on the American auto industry.”

Not only does the government have no cost estimate for their “warranties” – the “Director of Recovery for Auto Workers and Communities” has, to borrow from MEP Hannan a whiff of a “Brezhnev era apparachik”.

* * * * *

Former Obama worshipper William Greider of Obama worshipping The Nation a while back confessed he was “duped” by Obama:

A year ago, when Barack Obama said it was time to turn the page, his campaign declaration seemed to promise a fresh start for Washington. I, for one, failed to foresee Obama would turn the page backward. [snip]

In some important ways, Obama’s selections seem designed to sustain the failing policies of George W. Bush. [snip]

Those of us who expected more were duped, not so much by Obama but by our own wishful thinking.

“Duped” Greider now has some words which are wise. Words the Hopium addled addicts who wish to recover should listen to as well:

Most Americans are not financial experts. It’s very difficult, nearly impossible, for normal mortals to sort through the dense policy talk and conflicting opinions to figure out if the rhetoric of reform is real. Confusion is widespread in the land. Most Americans want to believe this president is leading us out of the swamp, but how can they know? I say, trust your gut feelings. They are as reliable as the learned experts. [snip]

This may be one of those moments where people can find some guidance from their moral convictions. They do not need to know all the details to ask simple questions. Does the outline of what’s happening to rescue major financial institutions seem morally wrong? Or is it justified by the larger necessities of the national predicament? Is the government insufficiently tough in demanding reciprocal commitments from the beneficiaries? Should Washington pursue larger structural changes in the banking system?

Hopium addled addicts especially, along with all Americans need to remember:

Obama simply cannot be trusted. Obama cannot be trusted on any issue. Obama cannot be trusted by his friends. Obama cannot be trusted by his enemies. Obama cannot be trusted.

Trust your gut feelings.

Rely for guidance on your moral convictions.

Get off the Hopium.

You know we are, and have been, on target.

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219 thoughts on “Dishonest Dirigiste Dimocrats, And Obama, Brown Boobery

  1. Bravo Admin! Another winner!

    ““The president prefers to tell the truth,” he said, “rather than make the numbers look better by pretending.”

    —————————-

    That’ll be the day!

  2. Detroit News editorial:

    http://detnews.com/article/20090330/OPINION01/903300317/1008/Editorial++Rick+Wagoner+s+ousting+had+more+to+do+with+politics+than+his+ability+to+revive+GM

    Well, at least now we know who’s running General Motors. The Obama White House, in an extraordinary expansion of the government’s reach, Sunday demanded and got the head of Rick Wagoner, the automaker’s embattled chief executive. In doing so, the president brushed aside GM’s board of directors, selected by shareholders and entrusted with the power to hire and fire executives, and assumed that role for himself.

    While GM’s board had been often restless with the transformation of GM under Wagoner’s leadership, it maintained its confidence in his ability to get done a very tough job.

    Shareholders can read the handwriting on the wall — this isn’t their company anymore.

    That’s the risk you take when you go hat in hand to Washington. It ought to be a red flag for other companies and industries that might be thinking a federal bailout is the answer for surviving the recession.

    President Barack Obama is using the $13.4 billion in federal loans as leverage to re-create GM in the image of a Washington with little apparent affinity for manufacturers.

    The president will lay out his vision for General Motors and Chrysler this week, and has said he’ll seek changes in the product line-up to produce larger numbers of small, fuel-efficient vehicles, an initiative already underway at both companies, but at a pace sensitive to the marketplace. Too slow, apparently, for the White House. [snip]

    The president also needs a scalp to wave before both a Congress growing queasy about federal bailouts and the automaker’s bondholders, who aren’t happy about granting a huge discount on their GM debt.

    The trick now is to find someone to run the automaker. Good luck with the headhunting.

    How many top-notch corporate executives will jump at the chance to lead a company that is sinking like a rock? Who will be willing to share the corporate suite with federal bureaucrats? And by the way, the job pays a buck a year, and if you need to fly, it better be coach. [snip]

    There’s another thread running through this story.

    Obama has been banged around the last couple of weeks because of the bonus scandal at AIG. His administration, with the help of Congress, botched the aid package to the failed insurance giant, allowing the indefensible bonuses to be paid and triggering public outrage that is increasingly focused on the White House.

    Dumping Wagoner lets Obama deflect attention away from Wall Street, where his Treasury Department is still moving through quicksand, and turn it on Detroit.

    He can portray himself as being tough on the corporate executives who are ruining America, without having to draw blood from the bankers.

  3. Drug denial: U.S., Mexico must start by dealing with root causes

    Houston Chronicle
    March 29, 2009

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke some truths the other day that may be difficult for many Americans to hear. Clinton acknowledged that our drug habits and the ready availability of guns in this country are implicated in the escalating drug violence scarring Mexico.

    And so they are. Getting out of denial about this could be our first step toward tamping down the narco-terror that threatens to spill over into this country.
    Focusing on our own piece in this is not to ignore Mexico’s role in the worsening situation. Not at all. The corruptibility of that country’s police and bureaucracy contribute enormously to the mindless brutality. In 2009, the term drug war is no longer metaphorical. Innocent lives are being lost on all sides.

    Clinton was right to summarize things unflinchingly. “We have accepted that this is a co-responsibility,” she said on her visit last week to Mexico. “We see it as a responsibility to help the Mexican government and people defeat an enemy.”

    Victory will only come if both governments are willing to address root causes. For the Mexicans, that means cleaning up a legal and policing system that is still susceptible to the influence of la mordida, “the bite” taken by public officials in exchange for favors large and small.

    On this side of the border, the day is coming when the country must look seriously at ways to rein in the multibillion-dollar market that enriches the drug lords while filling American prisons with inmates. This means reassessing the generation-long national drug war, and should include debate on the merits and pitfalls of legalization of drugs. It must also feature a reasoned discussion on better controlling the flow of automatic weapons across the border. Surely by now, people in both countries have had enough of finger pointing.

    What’s the old saying? Be careful: When you point your finger at someone else you have three fingers pointing back at yourself. When it comes to drug traffic, that’s achingly true for both Mexico and the United States.

    chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/6349076.html

  4. ‘Superstar’ Obama finds admirers are losing faith

    By Tom Baldwin
    Monday March 30 2009

    Having proclaimed the dawn of a “new era of American leadership”, President Obama is embarking on a three-summit, five-nation, eight-day tour that may demonstrate that much of the world is unwilling — or unable — to follow.

    When Air Force One lands at Stansted tomorrow evening Mr Obama will be accompanied by all the accoutrements of global superpower, including 500 staff and the nuclear codes that could blow us back to the Stone Age. World leaders will still queue up to share in the reflected glory of a global superstar whose ascent to the presidency dazzled the planet last year. Yet his international summit debut at the G20 meeting in London on Thursday is shaping up to agree little more than vague pledges of good intent that reflect how these unwieldy events have a tendency for — in the words of Mr Obama’s inauguration speech — “standing pat, protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions”.

    Over the weekend the White House effectively conceded defeat in its efforts, enthusiastically supported by Gordon Brown, to get a deal by which G20 nations would spend 2pc of the value of their economies on stimulus efforts. Instead, Mr Obama’s officials are emphasising a broad consensus on the need for unspecified stimulus measures, while highlighting a likely agreement on reforms of the global financial system, including regulation of hedge funds and offshore tax havens, which have been pushed by the French and German governments.

    There is a recognition in Washington that during his first months of office dominated by domestic concerns, Mr Obama may have been too optimistic about his ability to overcome entrenched interests or show sufficient understanding of national sensibilities. Developing economies, having been lectured by successive US administrations about the joys of the free market and the need for deregulation, are in no mood to share the burden for fixing a crisis that they blame squarely on America.

    European countries, which already spend much more than the US on welfare while harbouring deep-rooted fears dating from the past century about debt and inflation, have refused to heed Mr Obama’s exhortations. Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, said: “I will not let anyone tell me that we must spend more money.” Mirek Topolanek, the Czech Prime Minister, whose country holds the presidency of the EU and will host Mr Obama at an EU-US summit on Sunday, has condemned American-style spending as “the road to hell”.

    Michael Froman, Mr Obama’s economic adviser, said on Saturday: “Nobody is asking any country to come to London to commit to do more right now.” Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, added: “The President and America are going to listen in London, as well as to lead.” On Wednesday the president will hold substantial talks with Gordon Brown and participate in a full press conference that will be in marked contrast to the casual Oval Office affair in Washington.

    Mr Obama’s sights have similarly been lowered for the next legs of his tour. A Nato summit at the Franco-German border on Friday and Saturday will not, as was once expected, include Mr Obama urging allies to commit more troops to Afghanistan. He knows all too well that the answer would be negative. Instead he will make a speech musing on the nature of the transatlantic alliance. From there he travels to Prague where, on Sunday, he will deliver another address on nuclear proliferation. Attention will focus on any sign that he plans to abandon US plans to station missile defences in the Czech Republic and Poland. On Monday, Mr Obama will be heading into another diplomatic minefield with a trip to Turkey: a key Muslim ally in Nato, as well as a possible diplomatic bridge to Iran and Syria.

    independent.ie/world-news/superstar-obama-finds-admirers-are-losing-faith-1690886.html

    —————————————-

    LOL…lowering expectations because he has already failed big time.

  5. Hum, the G20 people are just not going to cooperate. I guess it is time for a media blitz of those countries, addressing the people and telling them that they are not playing fair with O. That was O technique during the Campaign, that has been his technique with errant Dim Politicians, so I am sure that will be his technique internationally. Did I mentioned for the umpteenth time that O is not a negotiator, which of course we all know he needs internationally.

    Hay SUPERDUDS how did you think he was going to pull this off with no experience, a lack of negotiating skills, and a lack of really people skills.

    Of that is right, the whole world would drink the Kool Aid (I guess that did not happen).

    Unfortunately, the bullying techniques I saw employed during the campaign, are the major thrust of his WH. Did we really think a leapard would change his spots.

    In addition, the internet which they say he worked so well actually has people who read the legislation, who analyze the budgets, and who can dig through the crap published. I guess we just did not get the email about lowering expectations, and to knock that shxt off.

  6. JanH, this part is laughable:

    There is a recognition in Washington that during his first months of office dominated by domestic concerns, Mr Obama may have been too optimistic about his ability to overcome entrenched interests

    Give me a break. It’s not that he is having difficulty overcoming them, it’s that he HAS NO DESIRE to overcome them, and never did. Put down the Hopium bong – he has been a PART of those entrenched interests from the beginning!

  7. OH BOY…….IT’S SO HARD TO COME OFF THAT HOPIUM HIGH LMAO!!!

    It looks like obama firing wagner yesterday[forcing him to resign] has caused a major conversation over at the daily kooks

    if you want to take a peek and have a LOL go here:

    dailykos.com/story/2009/3/30/714529/-Obama-forces-Wagoner-Out..Contracts-only-matter-when-they-belong-to-WS

  8. This is the plan/pattern that has emerged:

    1) Give a huge taxpayer bailout with no strings attached, no forethought, no insistence on an orderly bankruptcy, etc.

    DO NOT, whatever you do, hammer out any deals or concessions or conditions BEFORE dispersing the funds.

    DO NOT do anything practical like allowing a company to fail, unwinding assets and allowing the free market to take it’s toll, while cushioning the general economic blow with judicious taxpayer funds linked to them being broken up and returned to a smaller competitive status. Just dump a bunch of the people’s money on them in one fell swoop.

    2) Gin up public anger at the companies themselves

    3) Use that anger to come in and grab control of industries and markets in a draconian way, that never would have passed public muster had it been suggested on the front end, rather than the back end.

    Voila! Hopenchangen!

  9. Oh, I forgot, there is a banner story, like it is a big deal, Os efforts to green the WH. It starts out with all the stuff BC did, and how Bush did a few things. MO has started her garden, and O wants to wonder around turning off lights. I kid you not. It sound like that inflate your tire stuff.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I wonder around turning off lights, but I think most of American already does that. I have dimmers, I have all the energy efficient light bulbs, and I keep my heat low (Hay O have you done that yet), with small space heaters in areas where I need to work, and it might be cold. Yes, I inflate my tires, but the big thing I did was got rid of my Gas guzzler, and I purchased one that get 48 miles to the gallon (I need to coast into stop lights).

    So O, please tell me something I do not know about energy efficiency, because right now all you have done is just look like your are trying to catch up with the rest of us.

  10. The “H” in Obama’s middle name stands for “Hypocrite or Hypocrisy.” Bailing out Wall Street, but forcing GM to go through restructuring is the epitome of hypocrisy and cronyism.

  11. NewMexicoFan Says:

    March 30th, 2009 at 10:29 am
    ——————————————————————————

    Jimmy Carter had solar panels installed at the WH, but Raygun had them removed. BO should start with lowering the thermostat in the Oval Office. Also, he might consider decreasing the number of his outings, which are very expensive expenditures of energy. It takes a lot of gas to run all those SUVs, Marine One, and Air Force One.

  12. NMF, I want a teeshirt with a pic of Obama’s face in that fascist style, with “Submit to Dear Leader” and “Hopenchangen!” on it.

  13. NewMexicoFan Says:

    March 30th, 2009 at 10:29 am
    ———————

    Yep! Saw one article titled that he “might have trouble greening the White House” and just yawned.

    Heck! He has trouble tying up his own shoelaces!

  14. BO certainly proved us correct..unready, untested, unqualified, and quite frankly, he and MO undignified as representatives of the American People.

  15. Good Morning all. I have looked at my carbon footprint (there is a website you can do that on), and birdgal, you are right, the use of jets etc really mangnifies your cabon footprint. Teleconferences (could that be a cousin of teleprompter) work for some instances, and would set a great example. Polosie’s trips to CA on her private jet should be replace with something mroe energy efficient also.

    Hillaryfor Texas, I want one of those T-Shirts too.

  16. wbboei Says:

    March 30th, 2009 at 3:08 am
    So Obama has fired the head of GM, tommorrow the stocks will fall, how much, no one knows? My guess he is getting ready to go to the G20 and agree with Russia and China and a single monetary system and money is just what the doctor ordered
    ———————–
    Confloyd: treat this as pure speculation:

    1. economy collapses

    2. bambi declares dollar worthless

    3. bambi issues the Amero as legal tender

    4. bambi declares North American union to lift economy out of doldrums

    5. eventally, the Amero and Euro are converted into a common currency

    6. after 2 the IMF establishes a new reserve currency backed by all G-20 members

    7. eventually world currency

    8. then centralized world government–the new level of sovereignty is: world constitution, then national constitution, then state constitution, with a revised supremecy clause.
    **********************************
    I can’t imagine all the Gov’s actually being able to come to a consensus about this. That is probably our salvation

    And what is this talk of a “First President’? I wouldn’t support anyone, including Hillary, for anything like that.

    I keep going back to the lives of million’s that have been laid down for this great Country and feel an overwhelming sadness @ what is being done to her now…

  17. gonzotx

    The Euro was the great experiment of this, and what have we found out? The Euro was great fro some, and not for others.

    So why would we enter into this agreement based on history. Sorry, I forgot, we care nothing about history and experience.

    Superduds, where is your money invested now. I assume you got a heads up on this, and have been able to make your investment adjustments.

  18. Admin: another truly superb article which tells anyone who will listen where this runaway freight train is headed. The engineer aint Casey Jones–its the engorged financial community which controls monsterobama.

    The question which sensible people should be asking at this point is not only where is the bottom in the stock market plunge (this interim dead cat bounce to the contrary notwithstanding), but no less where is the bottom when it comes to government bailouts of financial institutions and the return of central economic planning which was the failed experiment of the twentieth century.

    It is one thing to set regulatory boundaries, quite another to operate major companies. I would sooner put the three stooges in charge of the nuclear facility at Hanford Washinton than turn General Motors over to the likes of Axelrod–or whoever he would appoint.

    By any math you conjure up Obamaeconomics is unsustainable. It is not a policy of recovery, it is a policy of liquidation, and it is the path to national bankruptcy. As the French say of similar things which strain credulity–it is impossible. And they should know.

    My hunch is that Obama’s Waterloo will come at G-20, if not this one then the one that follows.

    There is probably enough momentum behind the legacy of US leadership to allow him and his staff of 500 to skate by. Also, the opposing forces have not coalesced into a unified challenger this time around. But it is the broad outline is forming around Germany and Russia on the one hand, China on the other. Two to those three have called for an end to the dollar as the world reserve currency. That is the tell.

    On a historical note, it is ironic that Obama has assembled an impressive army of 500 staff people, and their wives, children, cousins and aunts to go on this adventure to save western civilization (meaning banks), whereas it that it took only 300 Spartans to defend western civiliation against a Persian invasion at Thermopylae in 480 BC. But unlike Obamas army they were not forced to survive on caviar, dom Periogne and $100 kobi steaks.

  19. B.O. is having TelePrompter problems this morning. He stumbled several times during his latest publicity show, the one about auto companies.

  20. Regarding carbon footprints, there is this today from the NYTimes:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/28/business/energy-environment/28bulbs.html

    It sounds like such a simple thing to do: buy some new light bulbs, screw them in, save the planet.

    But a lot of people these days are finding the new compact fluorescent bulbs anything but simple. Consumers who are trying them say they sometimes fail to work, or wear out early. At best, people discover that using the bulbs requires learning a long list of dos and don’ts.

    Take the case of Karen Zuercher and her husband, in San Francisco. Inspired by watching the movie “An Inconvenient Truth,” they decided to swap out nearly every incandescent bulb in their home for energy-saving compact fluorescents. Instead of having a satisfying green moment, however, they wound up coping with a mess.

    “Here’s my sad collection of bulbs that didn’t work,” Ms. Zuercher said the other day as she pulled a cardboard box containing defunct bulbs from her laundry shelf.

    One of the 16 Feit Electric bulbs the Zuerchers bought at Costco did not work at all, they said, and three others died within hours. The bulbs were supposed to burn for 10,000 hours, meaning they should have lasted for years in normal use. “It’s irritating,” Ms. Zuercher said. [snip]

    Some experts who study the issue blame the government for the quality problems, saying an intensive federal push to lower the price essentially backfired by encouraging manufacturers to use cheap components.

  21. Is this one more way of obama covering up his screw ups by pushing nice but not as important issues to the forefront?

    Greening the White House, Climate, online chats, gardening, fingerpointing and firing GM’s, etc…?

  22. B.O. is having TelePrompter problems this morning. He stumbled several times during his latest publicity show, the one about auto companies.
    ———————-
    Admin. I have it on good authority that tele has anticipated passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, signed a union authorization card, and the Brotherhood of Teleprompters and Artifical Intelligence Union has made a formal demand for recognition.

    Bambi has reacted violently as you would expect from a sociopath, and there is trouble in paradise. The trouble Bambi is having now is because Tele is throwing him some high inside fast balls which he cannot handle because his game is as you know hoops.

  23. When the Nazis installed the Quisling government in Norway, and the Petan government in occupied France, I wonder how long it took for the critcal mass of people in those countries to react and revolt. Would they have revolted as all en masse if it had not been for the liberation by the allied armies?

  24. Dija, the temptation is great to post the sulferous DailyKooks “diary” as a guest article here. It would drive them crazy (um, crazier).

  25. Clinton seeks support on Afghan plan

    Mon Mar 30, 2009
    By Sue Pleming

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was en route to the Hague on Monday, set for her first contact with Iran at an international meeting and seeking support for Washington’s new war strategy in Afghanistan. U.S. officials said Clinton did not plan “substantive” talks with Iran on the sidelines of a conference on Afghanistan in the Netherlands but she hoped Tehran’s presence there would be helpful and could set a good tone for future engagement. “We hope they will sit down with us all at the table and that the Iranians will come ready, willing and able to help Afghanistan and Pakistan,” said State Department spokesman Robert Wood, who is travelling with Clinton to the Hague. “We want them to play a positive role,” he told Reuters.

    The White House said it would like specifically to see Tehran’s help in fighting drug trafficking from Afghanistan, pointing to problems with heroin abuse in Iran. The Obama administration, in a reversal of predecessor President George W. Bush’s policy of isolating Iran, wants to engage Tehran, particularly on areas of mutual concern like Afghanistan. But U.S. officials have made clear pleasantries exchanged between Clinton and the Iranian delegation expected in the Hague will not end three decades of hostility with Tehran. The demand remains that Iran must stop sensitive nuclear work the West says is aimed at building an atomic bomb and Iran argues is for electricity. “Iran has a right to be a member of the international community, but with that right comes responsibilities — principally as it relates, in this instance, to its nuclear program,” said Denis McDonough, White House deputy national security adviser, in a weekend conference call.

    Clinton proposed Tuesday’s one-day conference in the Hague, held under U.N. and Dutch auspices, and said Iran should be there along with delegates expected from over 80 nations. She sees the conference as an opportunity to win global support for the Obama administration’s new strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which was announced last Friday. “We are looking for buy-in, first and foremost,” said a senior State Department official of the new U.S. plan.

    President Barack Obama’s goal is to crush al Qaeda militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan and adopt a more regional approach to the conflict by involving neighbours such as Iran, as well as players India, China and Russia. The United States also plans to send 4,000 more troops to train the Afghan army, along with hundreds of civilians to improve the delivery of basic services. This is in addition to 17,000 combat troops being added to Afghanistan before August elections.

    Wood said Clinton was not going to the Hague armed with a “shopping list,” but others must do more and could offer practical help with equipment, transportation, training for Afghanistan’s police force and reconstruction projects. “Failure is a real possibility. We have got to marshal all of our resources in a coherent and coordinated fashion.” Former U.S. envoy to Afghanistan, James Dobbins, said he expected European countries could match U.S. offers in terms of economic resources and civilian personnel. “I think that within reason the Europeans are going to respond,” said Dobbins, now with the Rand Corporation think tank. Dobbins said while Afghanistan would be the main focus at the meeting, Pakistan would have at least equal priority on the fringes of the conference.

    The United States hopes a strong statement will emerge at the end of the meeting, emphasizing “unity of purpose” in tackling al Qaeda in Afghanistan and safe havens in Pakistan. “It’s really a matter of coming together on the basic strategy,” said the senior State Department official.

    uk.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUKTRE52T3TX20090330

  26. Two of the major successes of the oligarchy who are bringing this country down have been:

    1) Convincing Republican voters that what Wall Street was doing was actually “free-market competition” when actually it was the furthest thing from it.

    2) Convincing Democratic voters that it was always those evil Republicans in bed with the thieves, not them.

    Hopefully people on both sides of the aisle are waking up to The Big Scam.

  27. Monday, March 30, 2009

    Banks Retreat, Treasury’s Geithner Sees More Help Needed

    Greg Morcroft
    MarketWatch Pulse

    NEW YORK — Shares of top U.S. banks fell Monday as investors backed away from the sector after Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner warned of continuing losses at the nation’s banks and further needs for capital support. “Some banks are going to need large amounts of assistance,” Geithner told ABC News on Sunday. The KBW Banking ETF fell 6%, and in the broader financial sector, the Financial Select Sector SPDR fell 5.5%. Citigroup , Bank of America , Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan Chase all fell in active trade. Citi led the way down, falling 13%.

    foxbusiness.com/story/markets/industries/finance/banks-retreat-treasurys-geithner-sees-help-needed/

  28. Admin

    While I am not the bulb expert, I have had only two bulbs fail ealy, and I shop at Costco (actuallly they know my name at the door). Anyway, yes there might be a quality control problem, but in our state the energy group subsidizes the purchase of these bulbs, and we get the discount right away at the register.

    You just have to get use to the fact that they have to warm up. Now I all I have to do is learn how to coast my car.

  29. Re: my last comment, a poster on NQ put it this way:

    what in effect is happening though is the enablers are “herding” us. Ever watch “Rawhide”? We as a people are being “driven” by the enablers of the oligarchy. Driven either left or right as need be by the media, driven against one another by class, age, belief by government policies, when in reality we are all in this together… just one big herd.

  30. More help needed? Or a bottomless pit? The role of big media is to anesthesize the public, like they anesthesize cattle prior to slaughter.

  31. NEW YORK — Shares of top U.S. banks fell Monday as investors backed away from the sector after Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner warned of continuing losses at the nation’s banks and further needs for capital support
    ——————————
    The Obama Administration has the proven abililty to move markets–down, down, down.

  32. When Air Force One lands at Stansted tomorrow evening Mr Obama will be accompanied by all the accoutrements of global superpower, including 500 staff and the nuclear codes that could blow us back to the Stone Age.

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

    Assuming anyone actually gave him the real codes.

  33. This could be bad news for a lot of people:

    “WASHINGTON – Just months before the start of last year’s stock market collapse, the federal agency that insures the retirement funds of 44 million Americans departed from its conservative investment strategy and decided to put much of its $64 billion insurance fund into stocks.” (snip)
    Last year, as director of the Congressional Budget Office, Orszag expressed alarm that the agency was “investing a greater share of its assets in risky securities,” which he said would make it “more likely to experience a decline in the value of its portfolio during an economic downturn the point at which it is most likely to have to assume responsibility for a larger number of underfunded pension plans.”
    However, Charles E.F. Millard, the former agency director who implemented the strategy until the Bush administration departed on Jan. 20, dismissed such concerns. Millard, a former managing director of Lehman Brothers, said flatly that “the new investment policy is not riskier than the old one.”(snip)

    ww.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2009/03/30/pension_insurer_shifted_to_stocks/?page=full

  34. The White House said it would like specifically to see Tehran’s help in fighting drug trafficking from Afghanistan, pointing to problems with heroin abuse in Iran.
    *****************************************

    I wonder how many trillion’s of Euro’s we will have to dish out for this to be a reality!

  35. What is the carbon impact of that trip with 500 vs turning off your lights. He always looks at the little stuff, and ignores the big stuff.

  36. Admin, great work, again. The Daniel Hannan video resonates.

    From the earlier thread in discussion of Hillary ‘not’ taking it to convention, I would like to put forth what I believe may be the reason.
    The YouTube video that a supporter and backer placed online went viral. And it was not good news for the huckster and the DNC camps;it looked like it was to be a success. Up until that point taking it to the convention was not believed to by those WhoDoneIt; it was a wake up call that she had the support behind her to do it, but after the video the possibility was squashed. It was at that point that I witnessed our Hillary looking downtrodden. It has been my contention that she/her family/or all of them were threatened – likely by the Party leaders and the Chicago Corruption Combine. And I can not erase from my memory her being ‘marched’ Gestapo style down the aisle by Rangle/Schumer and other thugs to give away her delegates. I will never forget her being manhandled and the look on her face. She was not there by choice IMHO.

  37. Admin, great work, again. The Daniel Hannan video resonates.

    From the earlier thread in discussion of Hillary ‘not’ taking it to convention, I would like to put forth what I believe may be the reason.
    The YouTube video that a supporter and backer placed online went viral. And it was not good news for the huckster and the DNC camps;it looked like it was to be a success. Up until that point taking it to the convention was not believed to by those WhoDoneIt; it was a wake up call that she had the support behind her to do it, but after the video the possibility was squashed. It was at that point that I witnessed our Hillary looking downtrodden. It has been my contention that she/her family/or all of them were threatened – likely by the Party leaders and the Chicago Corruption Combine. And I can not erase from my memory her being ‘marched’ Gestapo style down the aisle by Rangle/Schumer and other thugs to give away her delegates. I will never forget her being manhandled and the look on her face. She was not there by choice IMHO.

  38. I almost choked on my food when I heard the Fraud talking about the Gov backing car warranties. Now the US gov is what, a huge garage?

  39. “However, Charles E.F. Millard, the former agency director who implemented the strategy until the Bush administration departed on Jan. 20, dismissed such concerns. Millard, a former managing director of Lehman Brothers, said flatly that “the new investment policy is not riskier than the old one.”

    ———————————-

    And I wonder just how mcuh Millard took with him/received in his golden buy out. Of course he could care less now.

  40. Former Obama worshipper William Greider of Obama worshipping The Nation a while back confessed he was “duped” by Obama:

    A year ago, when Barack Obama said it was time to turn the page, his campaign declaration seemed to promise a fresh start for Washington. I, for one, failed to foresee Obama would turn the page backward. [snip]

    In some important ways, Obama’s selections seem designed to sustain the failing policies of George W. Bush. [snip]

    Those of us who expected more were duped, not so much by Obama but by our own wishful thinking.
    —————————-
    Duped NOT SO MUCH BY OBAMA???????

    My friend you are still being duped!!!!!!!

    You remain in a state of stupification.

    You are like the heroin addict who has kicked the habit but still feels an emotional bond to the pusher.

  41. This could be bad news for a lot of people:
    —————————————-
    Everywhere you turn another down arrow.

  42. In a collapsing economic system taxes become harder and harder to collect. It is not because people are tax cheats, but because they need the money themselves and see that if it is given to the government it will be used for purposes beneficial to others not them. Also, the moral justification for government is collapsing as more and more people realize who is pulling the strings. I would not want to be sitting on a warehouse full of obamabrickback right now because it would be harder and harder to move until next winter when firewood will probably be needed.

  43. The words of Daniel Hannan MEP now ring in my ears every time I see a picture of the Obamaclown: “pathologically incapable of accepting responsibility.”

  44. Government is always an inside game. The people are not parties to the governing process. It is simply not practical. However, it is imperative for government to convey the plausable impression that government is being run consistent with their interest and ideally in furtherance of them, and never at cross purposes to their interests. Yet that is where we find ourselves today with Massaobama and his predecessor whose name is unworthy of mention. The other thing that government must have is a plausable claim to a mandate to govern or rule as Howard Dean so deftly put it. Here again, the claim to legitimacy is illusory, given the way the forces behind Obama disenfrachised the American People in complicity with Big Media. No Administration can survive indefinitely under these conditions, when the economic state of the nation is deteriorating as well.

  45. The huckster is assured at least 500 worshippers at the Temple of the Messiah on the G20 vacation. Why is MO going? She could not even bring herself to attend the 9/11 commemoration. She does not represent the decorum required of our leaders of our once great nation.

  46. Wbboei, more on the insider game:

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/mar/30/aig-chiefs-pressed-to-donate-to-dodd/print/

    As Democrats prepared to take control of Congress after the 2006 elections, a top boss at the insurance giant American International Group Inc. told colleagues that Sen. Christopher J. Dodd was seeking re-election donations and he implored company executives and their spouses to give.

    The message in the Nov. 17, 2006, e-mail from Joseph Cassano, AIG Financial Products chief executive, was unmistakable: Mr. Dodd was “next in line” to be chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, which oversees the insurance industry, and he would “have the opportunity to set the committee’s agenda on issues critical to the financial services industry.

    “Given his seniority in the Senate, he will also play a key role in the Democratic Majority’s leadership,” Mr. Cassano wrote in the message, obtained by The Washington Times.

    Mr. Dodd’s campaign quickly hit pay dirt, collecting more than $160,000 from employees and their spouses at the AIG Financial Products division (AIG-FP) in Wilton, Conn., in the days before he took over as the committee chairman in January 2007. Months later, the senator transferred the donations to jump-start his 2008 presidential bid, which later failed.

    Now, two years later, Mr. Dodd has emerged as a central figure in the government’s decision to let executives at the now-failing AIG collect more than $218 million in bonuses, according to the Connecticut attorney general – even as the company was receiving billions of dollars in assistance from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). He acknowledged that he slipped a provision into legislation in February that authorized the bonuses, but said the Treasury Department asked him to do it. [snip]

    Despite all the claims that Washington has changed, the tale of Mr. Dodd’s lucrative political ties to AIG is a fresh reminder that special interests continue to use donations and fundraising to sow good will with powerful lawmakers like Mr. Dodd.

    “The message seems clear: The boss says I want you to support the senator,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, which studies political fundraising and ethics. “And I think the employees got the message.” [snip]

    A recent Quinnipiac University poll found Mr. Dodd lagging 43 percent to 42 percent behind former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons, a Republican who plans to challenge Mr. Dodd, in a hypothetical race.

    “The concern and the question is whether AIG was purchasing kid-glove treatment from their home state senator – from the senator chairing the committee charged with overseeing their industry,” Ms. Krumholz said. [snip]

    The Dodd campaign collected $162,100 from AIG-FP employees and their spouses within six weeks of the e-mail, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics and the Federal Election Commission. [snip]

    Watchdog groups say Mr. Dodd’s close association with AIG – over his career, the company’s employees have been one of his largest donor bases – raises questions about his and his committee’s ability to provide objective oversight. It was the $218 million in bonuses paid by AIG that became the focus of public outrage, igniting a torrent of criticism and congressional hearings in the wake of federal loan packages.

    Earlier this month, Mr. Dodd defended the amendment to an economic stimulus bill that exempted bonuses to which companies receiving federal bailout funds previously agreed. He initially denied having any role in crafting the language, but he later said Treasury Department officials pressured him to make the change to protect the government from lawsuits.

  47. Wbboei, even more insider game:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=7208201&page=1

    Rick Wagoner will leave his post as CEO of bailed-out General Motors with a $20 million retirement package, the company’s financial filings show.

    Although the Treasury Department has barred GM from paying severance to Wagoner or any other senior executive, Wagoner is eligible to collect millions in retirement benefits from his former employer, according to the documents reviewed by ABC News.

  48. admin at the top has this:

    Krugman states that the economic crisis has cost America much of its credibility, and with it much of its ability to lead. We agree. We also think having a boob in charge does not help allay the fears and contempt of our allies and bolsters the wolfish bloodlust of our enemies.

    Here are the first two paragraphs:

    America the Tarnished
    ——————————

    Published: March 29, 2009
    Ten years ago the cover of Time magazine featured Robert Rubin, then Treasury secretary, Alan Greenspan, then chairman of the Federal Reserve, and Lawrence Summers, then deputy Treasury secretary. Time dubbed the three “the committee to save the world,” crediting them with leading the global financial system through a crisis that seemed terrifying at the time, although it was a small blip compared with what we’re going through now.

    All the men on that cover were Americans, but nobody considered that odd. After all, in 1999 the United States was the unquestioned leader of the global crisis response. That leadership role was only partly based on American wealth; it also, to an important degree, reflected America’s stature as a role model. The United States, everyone thought, was the country that knew how to do finance right.

    How times have changed.

    (snip)
    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&

    Krugman’s assignment of blame for the lack of leadership is a little vague. He cites the three economic giants, but they have been in and out of government. Basically, Krug is saying we’ve lost credibility since the Clinton administration.

    That in turn implies that W. helped bungle us into this situation. Eight years of disastrous policy and lack of oversight.

    However, he also seems to be implying that Obama is not up to the job of changing course, that he’s not able or not willing to change Bush policies. A strong and experienced leader would realize that Bushonomics needs to reversed. obama the Tepid is not sure of what powers he has, and what powers and leverage the other players have, so The Kid has to rely on tutors and surrogates to “guide” him. The Boy King cedes his power to his handlers. Just like W.

    &&&&&&&&&&
    Krugman ends his piece admitting that obama’s words are right, but wonders if they carry any weight:

    Now, in fairness we have to say that the United States was far from being the only nation in which banks ran wild. Many European leaders are still in denial about the continent’s economic and financial troubles, which arguably run as deep as our own — although their nations’ much stronger social safety nets mean that we’re likely to experience far more human suffering. Still, it’s a fact that the crisis has cost America much of its credibility, and with it much of its ability to lead.

    And that’s a very bad thing.

    Like many other economists, I’ve been revisiting the Great Depression, looking for lessons that might help us avoid a repeat performance. And one thing that stands out from the history of the early 1930s is the extent to which the world’s response to crisis was crippled by the inability of the world’s major economies to cooperate.

    The details of our current crisis are very different, but the need for cooperation is no less. President Obama got it exactly right last week when he declared: “All of us are going to have to take steps in order to lift the economy. We don’t want a situation in which some countries are making extraordinary efforts and other countries aren’t.”

    Yet that is exactly the situation we’re in. I don’t believe that even America’s economic efforts are adequate, but they’re far more than most other wealthy countries have been willing to undertake. And by rights this week’s G-20 summit ought to be an occasion for Mr. Obama to chide and chivy European leaders, in particular, into pulling their weight.

    But these days foreign leaders are in no mood to be lectured by American officials, even when — as in this case — the Americans are right.

    The financial crisis has had many costs. And one of those costs is the damage to America’s reputation, an asset we’ve lost just when we, and the world, need it most.

  49. ShortTermer Says:

    March 30th, 2009 at 1:22 pm
    The huckster is assured at least 500 worshippers at the Temple of the Messiah on the G20 vacation. Why is MO going?
    &&&&&&&&&&&

    To show off her latest tacky sleeveless dress, so MoDo can pant over MO’s muscular arms.

  50. LOL…and m.o. has been telling the media that it is her husband that has no style sense. Together they look like clowns.

  51. For years, people like Pete Peterson, Warren Rudman, the Concorde Institute, the CBO and many others have deplored the lack of savings by Americans compared to the Asian countries. The hopium of Madison Avenue was too powerful, and there is a genetic predisposition in most human beings who have not taken the oath of poverty, chastity and obedience to spend. The 1950s never really ended in this respect.

    But not now, according to McKinsey–the worlds premier management consulting firm. Now,suddenly and abruptly we have become a hording nation–the nice word is saving, or the even nicer one deleveraging.

    This sea change will wreak further havoc with the economy unless we can achieve a corresponding growth in income and productivity. The condition precedent to that is jobs. Yes jobs, more so than endless bank bailouts. Further evidence of the failure of Obamaeconomics.
    Here is their take on the subject>
    ———————————————————–
    The economic impact of increased US savings
    US consumers are spending less and saving more. The economic impact of that combination will depend upon how fast incomes grow.
    MARCH 2009 • Charles Atkins and Susan Lund

    In This Article
    Exhibit 1: The rise in household leverage from 2002 to 2007 raises concerns about the effects of deleveraging in the years ahead.
    Exhibit 2: The decline in household net worth relative to income has erased all of the increase in wealth since the early 1990s.
    Exhibit 3: In the third quarter of 2008, household net new borrowing fell sharply, turning negative.
    About the authors
    Letters to the editor

    Two forces that until recently turbo-charged US consumer spending—growing household debt and a falling savings rate—have gone into reverse. In late 2008, as households started reducing their indebtedness and saving more, consumption tumbled.

    New research from the McKinsey Global Institute shows that the economic impact of further US consumer deleveraging will depend on income growth. Without it, each percentage point increase in the savings rate would reduce spending by more than $100 billion—a serious drag on any recovery. Relatively healthy income growth, on the other hand, would help households reduce their debt burden without trimming consumption as much.

    The significance of any fall in consumption could be profound. US consumers have accounted for more than three-quarters of US GDP growth since 2000 and for more than one-third of global growth in private consumption since 1990. These trends were fueled by a surge in household debt,1 particularly after 2000 (Exhibit 1), and a decline in the personal savings rate—to a low of –0.7 percent, in 2005. From 2000 to 2007, US household debt grew as much, relative to income, as it had during the previous 25 years.

    Back to top
    Appreciating household assets—the “wealth effect”—enabled consumers to spend and borrow more even as they saved less. The value of US household assets rose by some $27 trillion from 2000 through 2007. Rising home values, as well as stocks and other financial assets, accounted for more than two-thirds of this gain.

    This dynamic sputtered to a halt when the housing bubble burst and the financial and economic crisis ensued. Falling values for homes, stocks, and other assets have battered US households: from mid-2007 through the end of 2008, their net worth fell by roughly $13 trillion. These recent losses erased all the gains in net worth, relative to disposable income, since the early 1990s (Exhibit 2). It’s not surprising that US consumer spending fell at a 4.3 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2008—a major reason for the broader economic contraction.

    Back to top
    The flip side of falling consumption is a rising personal savings rate, which reached 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008. Net new borrowing by households also has fallen sharply from its 2006 peak. In the fourth quarter of 2008, it turned negative for the first time since World War II (Exhibit 3).

    Back to top
    Several forces underlie these shifts. Some households are responding to worries about possible unemployment or underwater mortgages by paying down debt or avoiding new debt. Others have found their credit lines shut down or can’t get new credit, because banks have tightened their lending standards.

    How far these trends will go is a critical economic uncertainty in the months ahead. The economic impact of today’s deleveraging will depend on how it unfolds—through income growth, higher savings, or some combination of the two.

    If incomes stagnated, for example, households could deleverage only by saving more. Every percentage point reduction in the debt-to-income ratio would require nearly a one percentage point increase in the savings rate. The US personal savings rate reached 5 percent in January, 2009. If this level prevailed and incomes didn’t grow, this would reduce the household debt-to-income ratio by five percentage points—which still wouldn’t be enough to restore the levels of indebtedness prevailing in 2000, before borrowing started to accelerate.

    But if incomes rose, households could both reduce their debt burden significantly over time and continue to consume. If US incomes grew by 2 percent a year, for instance, households could reduce their debt-to-income ratio by as much as they would in the scenario above—but with a personal savings rate of only 2.3 percent.

    These different scenarios have serious implications for the US and global economies because, holding incomes constant, each percentage point increase in the savings rate translates into roughly $100 billion less in consumer spending¬. A 5 percent savings rate would mean $530 billion less in spending each year if US incomes fail to rise; if they rose by 2 percent a year, a 2.3 percent savings rate would mean $250 billion less spending, all else being equal.

    In short, the importance of income growth is difficult to overstate. With it, households can simultaneously reduce their debt burden, rebuild savings, and boost consumption. But without significant income gains, deleveraging could undermine consumption and the global economy for years to come. One implication: policy choices that favor productivity and employment growth—critical determinants of income growth—will make deleveraging less painful. Efficiency breakthroughs in sectors, such as health care and government, that employ large numbers of people—but that have not enjoyed productivity revolutions similar to those experienced in industries like retailing and wholesaling—would make a dramatic difference.

    About the Authors
    Charles Atkins is a consultant in McKinsey’s San Francisco office, and Susan Lund is a consultant in the Washington, DC, office.

  52. LOL…and m.o. has been telling the media that it is her husband that has no style sense. Together they look like clowns.
    ————————————————–
    What an evil thing for scoopjaw to say about the venerable clothiers of Saville Row. Lord Highcross sends him to his private fitter. On the other hand, she may be right that Bambi himself has no style but his fitters do. By the way, who is demimonde mobo to be lecturing anyone on the subject of style?

  53. Admin:

    Todays post is firing on all cylinders. Between BO and GB they intend on unlimited spending worldwide until the Public into infinity is bled bone dry!

    Gordon Brown’s £ 1.4 Trillion Spending Blueprint Leaked

    the article just posted at :

    h….pumasunleashed.wordpress.com

  54. Something has been bothering me for a long time now. I first noticed it with Kristen Whatshername. She and another young pundit allowed themselves to be positioned so that their every body move could run a thrill up legs natioinwide. I doubt that many remember anything they said, and they were gorgeous. In the last few months, I have noticed Megyn Kelly outfitting herself with dresses down to there and up to there. My opinion is that she is drop dead gorgeous without dressing slutty. I remember an embarrassing moment when I was in Junior High and my Daddy [who is rolling over in his grave now as one of the underage soldiers during WWII] said to me, “If that is what you want, why not wear a billboard?” I never dressed again in a manner that would displease my father or represent myself as anything other than dignified.
    So, why do the girls on tv do this when it only makes their message look cheap? If they do not know better, their mothers do!

  55. Awhile back I read somewhere, it isn’t legal for Congress to keep legislating Taxpayers into debt. A cite was given for preventing the Federal Government from overpowering the states.

    Is there an truth to the concept?

  56. Harry Reid is emailing and begging me for money yet again. I replied thusly:

    You can keep your HopenChangen, thanks. Dear Leader Obama is horrifying me and the rest of the country on a daily basis.

    Americans are onto the scam perpetrated on us by the Democratic Party, and are not going to let you get away with it just because the Republicans are worse.

    At this point I’d take a Republican over the fraud in the Whitehouse and his enablers, any day – and that is saying something for a liberal, Bush-hater extraordinaire such as myself. Congratulations – you helped lie and scheme and arm-twist delegates until you managed to get a Democrat as president who is making even GW look good in comparison, and that is quite a feat.

    Want some support, Harry? Tell it to your enforcer thugs who tried to intimidate and steal the caucuses in Nevada and other states. Get Obama’s hateful juvenile “army” to come help you out now, if you are not already under the bus. I think you’ll find their attention span is short, and you’ll get no help from the old-school Democratic faithful, whom you and Donna Brazile and Axelrod and Rahm decided the party didn’t need anymore.

    We’re onto you, Harry – the whole stinking lot of you, all scrambling like mad to sell our country down the river in order to protect your paymasters and prop up that empty suit that YOU elected president.

  57. However, he also seems to be implying that Obama is not up to the job of changing course, that he’s not able or not willing to change Bush policies. A strong and experienced leader would realize that Bushonomics needs to reversed. obama the Tepid is not sure of what powers he has, and what powers and leverage the other players have, so The Kid has to rely on tutors and surrogates to “guide” him. The Boy King cedes his power to his handlers. Just like W.
    ——————————————-
    There you have it. In one paragraph. The reason why the globalists sabotaged Hillarys campaign through traitors like Russert.

    If I had to go to the bathroom real bad, and was standing next to Russert’s grave, and no one was looking, I just might piss on it, figuring that it would hit him in the face when he looked up from the sulferous cavern he is standing in now.

    But we digress . . .

  58. haha! While Obama is driving around in his “Socialist” Cadillac..

    If Geithner would only keep his mouth closed! The Stock Market would rally inside of dumpster dive!

    (ht/JanH)

    Banks Retreat, Treasury’s Geithner Sees More Help Needed

    Greg Morcroft
    MarketWatch Pulse

    NEW YORK — Shares of top U.S. banks fell Monday as investors backed away from the sector after Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner warned of continuing losses at the nation’s banks and further needs for capital support. “Some banks are going to need large amounts of assistance,” Geithner told ABC News on Sunday. The KBW Banking ETF fell 6%, and in the broader financial sector, the Financial Select Sector SPDR fell 5.5%. Citigroup , Bank of America , Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan Chase all fell in active trade. Citi led the way down, falling 13%.

  59. DEMAND DODD’s resignation NOW!!!!!!

    Let Governor Rell fill in a moderate repub for this senate position!!!!

    WE NEED THIS TO HAPPEN ASAP!!!

  60. Harry Reid is emailing and begging me for money yet again.
    —————————————————–
    If harry reid is hurting, why doesnt he just go ask his bud Chief Justice Roberts for a loan. He stands as good a chance of getting money out of him than he does most democrats.

  61. What’s more…I want some of those CT dem house reps falling down to indies and repubs in 2010 mid term elections….

  62. OBAMAS MANTRA AINT HOPE AND CHANGE ANYMORE.

    OBAMAS NEW MANTRA IS CAPITALIZE THE GAINS–SOCIALIZE THE LOSSES–SO NO BANKER OR GLOBALIST IS LEFT BEHIND.

    THE COST OF THIS PROGRAM WILL BE IMPOSED ON THE YOUNGER GENERATION WHO VOTED FOR HIM, AS WELL AS US.

  63. wbboei Says:

    March 30th, 2009 at 1:06 pm
    The words of Daniel Hannan MEP now ring in my ears every time I see a picture of the Obamaclown: “pathologically incapable of accepting responsibility.”
    *********************************************
    As I said earlier,if we had to have an illegitimate Prez, why couldn’t we have someone by the name of Daniel Hannan!
    ***************************************
    Krugman
    ****************************

    He STILL drinks the Fraud juice…the Fraud has it right? PLEASE……

  64. admin Says:

    March 30th, 2009 at 2:27 pm
    Obama, handing out warranties:
    **********************************

    Admin,

    That is Hilarious!

  65. FROM bITTERPOLITIZ

    Dear Leader’s Lapdog Appeals To G20 Protesters “Give Us A Chance”

    http://nosheepleshere.blogspot.com/2009/03/dear-leaders-lapdog-appeals-to-g20.html

    As tens of thousands of G20 protesters marched in London, Germany, France and Italy, Dear Leader’s lapdog, Joe-Joe Biden, implored, er, begged them to give the politicians of the G20 governments a chance to tackle the economic crisis.

    Well, alrighty then. Let’s see, we’re in debt up to and beyond our wazoos and so are our children and their children with the stimulus bill, the omnibus bill and the sure-to-be approved $3.6 trillion budget. We’re bailing out banks, car makers, insurance companies, home owners, candlestick makers, bakers, butchers, etc. like a freaking Pez© machine. Of course, the people of Europe and the rest of the civilized world should trust politicians like Chairman Maobama and the “Devalued Prime Minister of a devalued government” Brown. Seems perfectly reasonable to me. How’s about you?

    U.S. billionaire and Chairman Zero puppet master, George Soros, told the British Broadcasting Corporation the G20 meeting was “make or break” for the world economy. “Unless they do something for the developing world there will be serious collapse in that part of the world,” Mr. Soros said.

    British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who has recently been excoriated by Daniel Hannan and Nigel Farage, said he understood why people were demonstrating in the United Kingdom. “We will respond to [the protest] at the G20 with measures that will help create jobs, stimulate business and get the economy moving,” he said.

    But Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva told the Chile meeting that everyone was suffering from the recklessness of those who had turned the world economy into “a gigantic casino. We are rejecting blind faith in the markets,” he said.

    In London on Saturday, demonstrators demanding action on poverty, jobs and climate change called on G20 leaders to pursue a new kind of global justice. Police estimated 35,000 marchers took part in the event.

    A series of rallies are planned for Wednesday and Thursday by a variety of coalitions and groups campaigning on a range of issues from poverty, inequality and jobs, to war, climate change and capitalism and there have been reports that banks and other financial institutions could be targeted in violent protests.

    In Berlin, thousands of protesters took to the streets on Saturday with a message to the G20 leaders: “We won’t pay for your crisis.” Another march took place in the city of Frankfurt. The demonstrations attracted as many as 20,000 people. In the Italian capital, Rome, several thousand protesters took to the streets and in Paris, around 400 demonstrators dumped sand outside the stock exchange to mock supposed island tax havens.

    Time to gird your loins fellas!

  66. Also from Bitterpolitiz…
    ***********************

    DetroitNews Editorial: Rick Wagoner’s ousting had more to do with
    politics than his ability to revive GM

    “Dumping Wagoner lets Obama deflect attention away from Wall Street, where his Treasury Department is still moving through quicksand, and turn it on Detroit.

    He can portray himself as being tough on the corporate executives who are ruining America, without having to draw blood from the bankers.”

    http://tinyurl.com/c3fnds

  67. HillaryforTexas Says:

    March 30th, 2009 at 2:39 pm
    Harry Reid is emailing and begging me for money yet again. I replied thusly:
    ====================

    Love the letter!!!lol…hope you don’t mind, I’m stealing a few of your lines!!

  68. Why does Wall Street receive a bailout, no strings attached, but GM has to restructure and the chief is asked to resign???? Hmmm………….

  69. Unveiling the Government Car Warranty

    http://hotair.com/archives/2009/03/30/unveiling-the-government-car-warranty/

    Good news, American auto owners! If you’ve been eyeballing a Lexus or a CRV because you want to own a car whose maker will be around long enough to honor the warranty, take another look at Detroit. Instead of handling their own warranties, Uncle Barack and his dog Spot will handle your warranty — along with a hefty new bureaucracy

    More @ link
    ***************************

    also from my other “home” Bitterpolitiz…

  70. birdgal Says:

    March 30th, 2009 at 3:44 pm
    Why does Wall Street receive a bailout, no strings attached, but GM has to restructure and the chief is asked to resign???? Hmmm………….

    ************************************
    *************DetroitNews Editorial: Rick Wagoner’s ousting had more to do with
    politics than his ability to revive GM

    “Dumping Wagoner lets Obama deflect attention away from Wall Street, where his Treasury Department is still moving through quicksand, and turn it on Detroit.

    He can portray himself as being tough on the corporate executives who are ruining America, without having to draw blood from the bankers.”
    ********************************

  71. An email received from our friend, and former poster:

    Hi Everyone!

    Please join us this Monday night, March 30th for “Sins of Omission” on NoQuarter Radio at 9 pm (EST)
    as we discuss media bias and the 2008 election with 9 time Emmy Award winner, Bernard Goldberg—
    author of the New York Times bestseller: “A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (and Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media”
    http://www.blogtalkradio.com/NQR “Sins of Omission”

    Bio:
    Bernard Goldberg, author of “A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (and Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media” (which hit #2 on the New York Times Bestseller list) is a nine-time Emmy Award Winning American writer, journalist, and political commentator.
    Goldberg is currently a commentator for Fox News and a correspondent for HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.

    In 2001, his first book, “Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News” was published and became a number one New York Times bestseller.
    Goldberg followed Bias with two more national bestsellers — “Arrogance: Rescuing America from the Media Elite” in 2003 and “100 People Who Are Screwing Up America” in 2005.
    In 2007, Goldberg wrote the national bestseller “Crazies to the Left of Me, Wimps to the Right: How One Side Lost Its Mind and the Other Lost Its Nerve” .

    Goldberg has been awarded an Emmy for journalism nine times (six at CBS News, three at HBO). For his June 2000 segment “Dominican Free For All”, in which he investigated corrupt Major League Baseball recruiting practices in the Dominican Republic, Goldberg won a Sports Emmy for “Outstanding Sports Journalism”. He won that award again in 2005 for his story exposing Saudi Arabia’s illegal use of young boys as camel jockeys and in 2008 for a story about post-concussion syndrome suffered by some former NFL players. Goldberg received the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award in 2006 for a story on the exploitation of children in the United Arab Emirates. It marked the first time that a sports program had won a DuPont award.

  72. 03/30/09; Calum Davey

    College senior will work under Hillary Clinton in State Dept. next year

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton doesn’t spend all her time chatting with interns – but College senior Rafaela Zuidema will still have a good chance of seeing her around the office this summer. Zuidema will start work in the State Department just one week after graduating, providing day-to-day support to Clinton in the Office of the Secretariat. The office drafts documents, writes contracts and manages logistics, but Zuidema doesn’t yet know what her precise role will be.

    “I’ve been told to memorize the names of all of the offices in the State Department,” she said, which suggests she may work with internal coordination. As a Pickering Fellow, Zuidema receives State Department sponsorship helping with education, internships and training.

    It was through a Career Services e-mail that initially learned of the fellowship, which she applied to in her sophomore year. The Pickering Fellowship is offered to 20 undergraduates nationwide each year and represents a major commitment between the scholars and the State Department, Zuidema said. An in-depth interview conducted by State Department officials in Washington, D.C., ensures the scholars will be able to cope with the unique pressures of diplomatic life, she said.

    Zuidema, who has travelled extensively in her lifetime, sees the opportunity as “an adventure” and said that while acknowledging the unique pressures of the lifestyle, all of the students on the program share a passion for international affairs. After the summer in Clinton’s office, Zuidema will spend two years in graduate school before joining the State Department permanently. She said she does not expect to stay in the country long after that – Clinton’s predecessor, Condoleezza Rice, favored placing new recruits in “hardship posts” involving conflict or extreme poverty.

    Zuidema said she hopes to be a voice “for positive change” in the department, adding that she would not have decided to work there without the firm belief that the U.S. can be a force for good in the world.

    dailypennsylvanian.com/media/storage/paper882/news/2009/03/30/News/College.Senior.Will.Work.Under.Hillary.Clinton.In.State.Dept.Next.Year-3687304.shtml

    ———————————–

    Lucky girl!

  73. Mar 30 2009, 12:05 pm by Chris Good

    New Hampshire Polling: What Went Wrong?

    The American Association for Public Opinion Research (professional consortium of pollsters) has published a detailed report on polling in the 2008 primaries, inspired by the New Hampshire debacle. As many readers will recall, polls leading up to the New Hampshire primary had Barack Obama ahead by an average of eight percentage points, while some major polls had him up more than 10; Hillary Clinton ended up winning by 2.6 percent.

    This roiled the political world, leaving everyone with the question: how could the pollsters have been so wrong?

    The AAPOR report finds that the early primary date, underrepresentation of Clinton-supporting groups, an influx of first-time voters, and the race of survey interviewers could have caised the New Hampshire errors. From the report:

    Factors that may have influenced the estimation errors in the New Hampshire pre-primary polls include:

    1. Given the compressed caucus and primary calendar, polling before the New Hampshire primary may have ended too early to capture late shifts in the electorate there, measuring momentum as citizens responded to the Obama victory in the Iowa caucus but not to later events in New Hampshire.

    2. Patterns of nonresponse, derived from comparing the characteristics of the pre-election samples with the exit poll samples, suggest that some groups that supported Senator Hillary Clinton were underrepresented in the pre-election polls.

    3. Variations in likely voter models could explain some of the estimation problems in individual polls. Application of the Gallup likely voter model, for example, produced a larger error than their unadjusted data. While the “time of decision” data do not look very different in 2008 compared to recent presidential primaries, about one-fifth of the voters in the 2008 New Hampshire primary said they were voting for the first time. This influx of first-time voters may have had an adverse effect on likely voter models.

    4. Variations in weighting procedures could explain some of the estimation problems in individual polls. And for some polls, the weighting and likely voter modeling were comingled in a way that makes it impossible to distinguish their separate effects.

    5. Although no significant social desirability effects were found that systematically produced an overestimate of support for Senator Obama among white respondents or for Senator Clinton among male respondents, an interaction effect between the race of the interviewer and the race of the respondent did seem to produce higher support for Senator Obama in the case of a black interviewer. However, Obama was also preferred over Clinton by those who were interviewed by a white interviewer.

    The AAPOR committee broadly indicts polling firms for not disclosing their New Hampshire methodologies “in a timely manner,” leaving its researchers without sufficient information. As a result, some of the more interesting theories could not be studied empirically:

    Finally, factors that appeared to be potential explanations for estimation errors, but for which the committee lacked any empirical information to assess include:

    1. Because of attempts by some states to manipulate the calendar of primaries and caucuses, the Iowa and New Hampshire events were rescheduled to the first half of January, with only five days between the events, truncating the polling field period in New Hampshire following the Iowa caucus.

    2. The order of the names on the ballot – randomly assigned but fixed on every ballot – may have contributed to the increased support that Senator Hillary Clinton received in New Hampshire.

    So that’s the answer–or at least as good an answer as we’re likely to get.

    politics.theatlantic.com/2009/03/new_hampshire_polling_what_went_wrong.php

  74. In other words…

    March 30, 2009; by Ben Smith

    What happened in New Hampshire

    The American Association for Public Opinion Research has produced a thick new report from that finds several factors conspiring to produce such wildly misleading polling in the run-up to Hillary Clinton’s New Hampshire primary win, which was probably the biggest political surprise I’ve ever covered.

    The factors include a failure to detect late shifts, the fact that under-polled groups were likely to be Clinton supporters, and flawed models.

    Mark Blumenthal writes:

    In other words, what happened in New Hampshire wasn’t one thing, it was a likely lot of small things, all introducing errors in the same direction. Various methodological challenges or shortcomings that might ordinarily produce offsetting variation in polls instead combined to throw them all off in the same direction. Polling’s “perfect storm” did not materialize this past fall, but that label seems more apt for the New Hampshire polling debacle.

    The report also produces evidence that rules out a number of prominent theories, among them the so-called “Bradley Effect.” The authors claim they saw “no evidence that white respondents over-represented their support for Obama,” and thus, no evidence of “latent racism” benefiting Clinton. Fair enough, but they do report evidence of a “social desirability effect” that led respondents reported “significantly greater” support for Obama “when when the interviewer is black than when he or she is white” (although Obama still led by smaller margins among when interviewers were white — see pp 55-59 of the pdf report).

    politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0309/What_happened_in_New_Hampshire.html

  75. 2. The order of the names on the ballot – randomly assigned but fixed on every ballot – may have contributed to the increased support that Senator Hillary Clinton received in New Hampshire.
    **********************************************

    Jesus, it couldn’t be because she was the better candidate could it? Or the Fraud coming out on stage after the Iowa thief, to the music, ’99 reasons but a Bitch ain’t one of them”, could it?

  76. gonzotx Says:

    also from my other “home” Bitterpolitiz…

    ===========

    I’m glad to see biterpoliticz being quoted, looks like they’re going strong.

    I was in that crowd at TM and for a while afterwards but never got registered after they became members only.

  77. turndownobama-com Says:
    *********************************************

    It is going strong, very close community actually. Not hard to join. I thought TM was nuts from the beginning, but my beginning was about 4-5 months before her going to the dark side. There was just something about her I didn’t like. And the adulation, had a creep feeling to it.
    This site is hands down one of the most informative. I couldn’t ever post for a really long time, but I read it daily.

  78. Class struggle?
    But that was yesterday
    And yesterdays done
    Now the masters of the universe
    Are clueless as everyone else
    —————————
    As we enter the Year of the Ox, it is instructive to see whose ox is being gored.

    Amidst all of her considerable posting goodness today, Yves Smith offered up this excellent piece, “Treasury Soliciting Bankruptcy Funding for GM, Chrysler” in which she says (my emphasis):

    Let’s see. Citigroup has gotten $45 billion of TARP funds, and backstops on a net of roughly $250 billion of crappy loans after Ciit’s first loss and allowing for the split between Uncle Sam and Citi on the balance. And it is pretty unlikely that we have seen the end of Citi’s funding needs.

    GM and Chrysler, by contrast, have borrowed (un, loans are higher in priority than TARP-y equity) $17.4 billion and are seeking an additional $21.6 billion. So the total they want is less than that already handed to Citi, well less than what AIG received.

    The Treasury is threatening to put the two car manufacturers into bankruptcy, and is moving forward in exploring feasibility. This may merely be high stakes poker, but the bluff looks pretty serious.

    Do we see anywhere near as rough treatment for companies that not only drove themselves off the cliff, but are taking the economy with them? Ah, but of course. Who has given more to pols in DC, Wall Street or Detroit? Case solved.

    I think it’s a little more complicated than that, though Yves has put her finger squarely on the problem. Let’s jump over to Barry Ritholtz who asked much the same question today from the opposite direction, “Why Bankruptcy For Autos But Not Banks?”. He wants to find some silver lining in the cloud, mostly because he prefers cleaning out the stables to moving piles of horseshit around, but his honesty brings him up in the end (my emphasis):
    The Obama administration is undergoing a battle between its own good instincts with those of its Treasury Secretary.

    Away from Treasury, on the side of intelligence, new policies, a clean break from the Paulson/Bush plans — I believe during the campaign, it was called CHANGE — and inevitability, are prepackaged bankruptcies, clean balance sheets, and a fresh start. This is reflected in the Fed exploration of $40 billion in bankruptcy funding for GM.

    On the side of more of the same, bad decision making, regulatory capture, worshiping sacred cows, and a hard-to-understand goal of saving the banks rather than the financial system, is the utterly absurd proposal to somehow spend 10X the market cap of Citigroup for a 40% stake in the apparently insolvent firm.

    This is an accounting maneuver, a convertible preferred that greatly dilutes the common shares, and adds no new capital. Put on paper, it allows the leverage to look less egregious.

    One can imagine an incredulous junior Treasury staffer — one who hasn’t been captured by the big banks, and is capable of basic arithmetic — saying the following:

    “Explain this to me again: We put in many times the value of this company — we have already given them $45 billion dollars, and guaranteed almost $300 billion dollars worth of bad paper — and we get less than 50%? WTF? How the hell does THAT work?”
    Its apparent that this sleight of hand doesn’t work to just about everyone except Tim Geithner (and a few others).

    At the same time, an industry that had nothing to do with the current crisis is on the fast track to a healthy pre-packaged bankruptcy.

    Moral Hazard aside, the different approaches reflect the relative importance of different sectors. Banks must be saved at all costs, but GM and Chrysler must go the bankruptcy route. The only explanation in treating the two industries so radically differently is an overt hostility to Unions on the part of many.

    Moving a step away from Yves’ blunt (and not innacurate) assessment that there is a financial quid pro quo at work here, what Barry gets to almost by accident is the class bias that has been present in the current administration since the primary campaigns began, the one I wrote about month after month last year. I think the situation is more nuanced than just hating unions, though that is certainly a major contributing factor, and has a great deal to do with Whole Foods Nation’s disdain for the laboring class and its entirely too good opinion of the value of its own work in the cubicle cities and cool development spaces that symbolic analysts occupy.

    Motor City vs. Wall Street.

    There are two ways to look at the contest, neither of which are more right but each of which captures aspects of the contesting constituencies. One is of core political interest groups. Obama explicitly campaigned on a platform of throwing away “the old” base Democratic interst groups and of bringing new voters (i.e., constituents) into the mix. His economic policies, the attention to the financial industry, directly rewards the people who were most likely to compose that group, which is more than just the bankers and brokers. Any industry that, like the finance sector, delievers intangibles and/or goods inseparable from the professional services that support them is an industry where Obama supporters are over-represented. The constituencies that rejected him in the primaries and again in the general are more likely to be found in industries where the goods to be delivered can be divorced from the service and support provided. This is in accord with the argument Yves puts forward, where the people who bought you are the people who you serve.

    The other way to view this is as a cultural argument, whereby the cultural losers, the people who have been falling further and further behind since the Movement Conservatives came to power with Reagan, are not seeing any change in the attitude that they are losers and need to be dismissed, pushed away, wiped out (get rid of the old junker car and get a Prius, why don’t you?), while the cultural winners, the Masters of the Universe and the other hip and cool guys who know an Apple a day keeps the dull PC work away, are being treated as due the spoils of their electronic wars – trading shares and doing deals as though it is just another RPG, like World of Warcraft. The executives of the auto industry are not dumb and no doubt gave generously to open doors and bend ears with the new administration (and who will personally be just fine, no matter the economic fallout), yet they find themselves lumped together with their own lumpenproletariat manning the assembly lines in Detroit, determined to be unworthy of the care lavished on the people who created the crisis in the first place. This is more in keeping with Barry’s claims about hatred of unions.

    Clean creative class types get the benefit of the doubt, not just to preserve their stock values (and, btw, as a holder of some substantial retirement accounts, I really don’t want to see their value trashed. Just sayin…) but to preserve their way of being in the world. They are presumed to be doing a good job, as befits members of the winner class.

    The Bunkers and Bubbas who (it is imagined) live in the burned out cities and trashed trailers of sweaty America are told they will feel pain, their greedy unions having killed the goose and brought to a permanent end the golden eggs they never deserved in the first place. No health care for you, no seriously expanded public works projects which might employ you, penurous loans and enforced bankruptcies instead of bags of money and lavish bonuses for having screwed things up beyond hope of repair.

    The sacred cows watch, chewing their cuds, while the oxen are turned into stew meat.

    Anglachel

  79. Admin at the top had this:

    But at home, and on his visits to Continental Europe, the prime minister (Gordon Brown) seems, as often as not, to cast America as the villain. In response to a wave of opposition demands that he apologize for his failings as chancellor of the exchequer, he has insisted that Britain’s financial woes, and the world’s, came “from America,” as though Britain was as much a victim as it was a perpetrator of its ills through the venality of its own financial institutions and its failures of regulatory oversight.
    &&&&&&&&&

    obama thinks he can outwit and outclass and out-orate and outshine Brown, and other world leaders. Though not as flashy as obumma, the less charismatic but more experienced and politically savvy world leaders will enjoy dining on the tender flesh of the inexperienced US president.

    “Ummmm, delish.”
    “Pass the A1 sauce”
    “Pass the 1966 La Foote cabernet”.

  80. wbboei Says:

    March 30th, 2009 at 5:25 pm
    ********************************************

    This really is what is happening and really is every bit as depressing as it reads…

  81. gonzotx Says:

    March 30th, 2009 at 7:04 pm
    GM now stands for Government Motors..NQ

    ————————-

    Yep! Wonder who’s next…

  82. # admin Says:
    March 30th, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Dija, the temptation is great to post the sulferous DailyKooks “diary” as a guest article here. It would drive them crazy (um, crazier).
    *********************************

    OH PLEASE DO IT ADMIN!!! we’re so do a great big ” i told you so” and what better way than to post their own diary here 😀

  83. The Creditors Bawl Amid Soaring Deficits

    By RANDALL W. FORSYTH

    THE BOND VIGILANTES ARE BACK. and this time they’re circling the globe. They haven’t been heard from for some time, but they’re riding the range again, and they’re beginning to stoke the fears of governments that have become dependent on selling their bonds as never before.

    After having been bamboozled for decades into accepting bond yields that provided little or no cushion over inflation, the vigilantes forced yields all the way up to 15% for long-term U.S. government bonds by 1981. Even in the 1990s, the bond vigilantes were still lurking around. When the Clinton administration was in its infancy, adviser James Carville was stunned by the bond market’s clout in the realm of government policy. “I used to think if there was reincarnation, I wanted to come back as the president or the Pope or a .400 hitter. But now I want to come back as the bond market. You can intimidate everybody,” Carville famously said.

    Since then, the bond vigilantes have been pretty quiet, as inflation came under control. Moreover, there seemed to be an insatiable appetite for bonds, especially those issued by the U.S. government and its agencies, among foreign investors. As countries such as China accumulated vast amounts of dollars as a result of their burgeoning trade surpluses, they parked them mainly in Treasuries. But with governments around the world facing unprecedented budget deficits, requiring the issuance of bonds in volumes that once were unimaginable, the vigilantes started making noises again.

    They were loudest on the other side of the Atlantic. Last week, a sale of long-term U.K. government bonds failed to draw sufficient bids to sell the entire issue, something that hadn’t happened since 2002. The interaction between politics and the market again was apparent. The failed auction came after Bank of England Governor Mervyn King pointedly warned the government to be “cautious” about further expanding deficits. That was mild compared to the series of rebukes delivered by the People’s Bank of China, that nation’s central bank, to the West and the U.S. in particular over the financial crisis and the need for monetary reform.

    In the story that garnered the most attention, PBOC head Zhou Xiaochuan called for an alternative to the dollar as the key international reserve currency, including the expansion of the use of the International Monetary Fund’s SDR, or special drawing right, which is based on a basket of currencies. That call was echoed by a United Nations panel also urging a new international reserve currency not tied to a single country.
    Zhou’s call was but one of a series of essays posted on the PBOC’s Internet site which turned the tables on U.S. criticism of China’s economic policies and were timed ahead of this week’s meeting of the Group of 20 in London.

    China has been increasingly outspoken in its concern about the safety of Treasuries and the dollar. Last month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton turned bond sales-rep in chief on a trip to Beijing. Then, just a few weeks later, Premier Wen Jiabao expressed concern about the safety of U.S. Treasury securities. Hence, the call for a substitute for greenbacks as an international reserve currency. And it comes just as the U.S. Treasury needed buyers from every corner of the globe as never before. Even the stock market took notice Wednesday when an auction of five-year notes garnered tepid demand. Eventually, last week’s slate of $98 billion of new notes was absorbed.

    Still, supply pressured the yield on the benchmark 10-year note up 13 basis points on the week, to 2.77%. In essence, the 10-year yield reversed half of its half-point drop the preceding week following the Federal Reserve’s announcement it would buy up to $300 billion in Treasuries. Fed buying was a major support for the market.

    As economist Ed Yardeni, who coined the term bond vigilante, observed, buying by Ben (Bernanke) may outweigh buying by Wen (Jiabao). But this is unlikely to be the last time challenges to the dollar’s hegemony are heard.

    online.barrons.com/article/SB123819675197561583.html?mod=googlenews_barrons

  84. Clinton Says Many Afghan Aid Projects ‘Don’t Work’

    By Indira A.R. Lakshmanan

    March 30 (Bloomberg) — The Obama administration’s review of its Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy revealed widespread failures in aid programs, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said as she traveled today to a United Nations conference. There’s been “very little credibility for what’s already been invested,” Clinton told reporters en route to the Netherlands for the gathering on Afghanistan tomorrow. “A lot of these aid programs don’t work.” The new U.S. strategy involves “looking at every single dollar as to how it’s spent, and where it’s going, and trying to track the outcome.”

    The one-day summit in The Hague will be an opportunity to share those findings with 72 other nations and more than a dozen international organizations, and discuss how each can contribute more effectively to development and anti-terrorism efforts, Clinton said. A prominent participant will be Iran, which borders Afghanistan and was invited at the urging of the U.S. Clinton said Iran has a special interest in counter-narcotics efforts and border security, citing Iranian work on both fronts following the 2001 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan to oust the Taliban regime.

    “The fact they accepted the invitation to come suggests they think there is a constructive role,” Clinton said of Iran.

    Limiting Involvement

    Citing problems of staffing, implementation and accountability in many existing civilian projects in Afghanistan, Clinton said the U.S. would limit “where we intend to participate” to those efforts with a demonstrable “payoff for the American taxpayers and for the people on the ground.”

    One of Afghanistan’s immediate tasks is carrying out an election for president, scheduled for Aug. 22. Clinton said the U.S. will contribute $40 million toward the UN’s appeal for $220 million to support a “fair and secure” vote. Clinton said the U.S. has no favored candidate in the vote, and wants elections that have “legitimacy and credibility.”

    In Washington, the State Department said it welcomed a decision by the Afghan Supreme Court to endorse President Hamid Karzai’s continuation in office until the election takes place. His term is scheduled to end on May 22.

    ‘Level’ Field

    Acting deputy spokesman Gordon Duguid said in a statement that the U.S. would concentrate on “helping to create a level playing field for all candidates.” Clinton didn’t spell out what requests, if any, for additional assistance the administration would make of NATO, the European Union, and other countries attending the forum in the Netherlands.

    NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer in Brussels called for more European troops for Afghanistan as President Barack Obama expands the U.S. presence there. Obama has committed to send an additional 17,000 U.S. combat troops this year, increasing the U.S. force level to 55,000, compared with 32,000 from the rest of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He also wants to send 4,000 more troops to train Afghan troops. “This is not President Obama’s war,” de Hoop Scheffer said today. “Allies need to do their part.”

    NATO countries have been reluctant to commit new forces for a war that has dragged on for almost eight years and become unpopular with the European public.

    Giving Money

    “Some may add to troops,” Clinton said, “but there are equally important development and financial contributions,” including training the Afghan police and spearheading agricultural development programs as an enduring alternative to illicit opium poppy cultivation. The goal of the conference, she said, is to “internationalize support for security and stability” in Afghanistan.

    Afghanistan, the largest producer of opium poppy in the world, is the source of the vast majority of heroin trafficked in Iran, Europe and Russia.

    bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=a2FjllE81gQ8&refer=us

  85. Obama Intimately Tied To Phony Environmental Movement
    President helped fund profiteers of carbon tax program he is now seeking to implement

    Steve Watson
    Infowars.net
    Monday, March 30, 2009

    A combination of interesting mainstream and alternative media reports reveal compelling links between president Obama and a privately owned carbon trading group, which also has direct ties with elitist groups such as the Club of Rome and the Trilateral Commission.

    Judi McLeod’s excellent article for Canada Free Press, which she expanded from a Fox News piece, highlights how years before he became president, Obama helped directly fund a carbon trading exchange that will likely play a critical role in the proposed cap-and-trade carbon reduction program.

    The charity was the Joyce Foundation on whose board of directors Obama served and which gave nearly $1.1 million in two separate grants that were “instrumental in developing and launching the privately-owned Chicago Climate Exchange, which now calls itself “North America’s only cap and trade system for all six greenhouse gases, with global affiliates and projects worldwide.”

    Essentially Obama helped fund the profiteers of the carbon taxation program that he is now seeking to steer through Congress.

    McLeod also notes that The Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) has direct ties to both Al Gore and Maurice Strong, two figures intimately involved with a long standing movement to use the theory of man made global warming as a mechanism for profit and
    social engineering.

    Gore’s investment company, Generation Investment Management, which sells carbon offset opportunities, is the largest shareholder of CCX.

    While Maurice Strong, who is regularly credited as founding father of the modern environmental movement, serves on the board of directors of CCX. Strong was a leading initiate of the Earth Summit in the early 90s, where the theory of global warming caused by CO2 generated by human activity was most notably advanced.

    (Article continues below)

    [you must read the rest of this…….so much info!!!]

    infowars.net/articles/march2009/300309Carbon_tax.htm

  86. Hillary Clinton the Tomboy and Her “Ah-Ha” Moment

    March 30, 2009

    In an appearance at the Women’s Museum in Dallas on Friday, a transcript of which was released over the weekend, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke candidly about the challenges she faced in breaking the glass ceiling, and referenced her run for the presidency last year.

    Clinton revealed that she was “sort of a tomboy” when she was a young girl. “I did love to play sports and played with a lot of the boys in my neighborhood,” she said. She said the experience instilled a thirst for competition that served her well later. “I wanted to be a baseball player,” she told an amused audience. “I wanted to be a journalist. I know you’ll never believe that.”

    Clinton told the story about her aspirations to be an astronaut, one of her earliest encounters with the glass ceiling. “I think I was thirteen or so, and so I wrote to NASA to ask how I could become an astronaut. And I got a response back which was, ‘We’re not interested in women astronauts,'” she said.

    She spoke of the obstacles she faced in pursuing her professional and academic goals. “When we were growing up, there were just so many overt and implied obstacles to what young women could aspire to. There were certainly schools you couldn’t go to, scholarships you couldn’t apply for – jobs that were not available to you,” Clinton said. “You really have to prepare. And you have to get knocked down, and you have to pick yourself up, and you have to keep going,” she added later.

    Clinton referenced her lost bid for the Democratic nomination last year. When asked about an “ah-ha” moment that she was going to be able to meet the lofty goals she’d set for herself, Clinton said there was another “ah-ha” moment of another manner. “I had an ah-ha moment that I wasn’t going to be the Democratic nominee for the presidency of the United States,” she said as the audience laughed. “That’s a kind of different ah-ha moment.”

    blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2009/03/hillary-clinton.html

  87. Monday, March 30, 2009
    By Bret Baier

    Promises Promises

    When President Obama signed the omnibus land conservation bill this afternoon, he again broke his campaign promise to post bills on the Web for five days before adding his signature.

    The bill passed the House last Wednesday, but the White House did not post the document for comments until Friday, leaving just two weekend days for the public to register comments.

    White House press secretary Robert Gibbs addressed the shortened time saying: “Although not perfect, I think the president has made a greater step forward in transparency and feels like we’re making progress on ensuring that the American people can see and read what their president is going to sign into law.”

    Of the nine bills President Obama has signed, six of them have not been posted the full five days. Officials say some of those bills were emergency legislation and therefore do not qualify for the five day minimum posting. And adding another excuse, White House officials said — in the most recent case — the President is leaving for Europe Tuesday.

    foxnews.com/story/0,2933,511659,00.html

  88. Get your burkas ready, ladies!

    Read about Obama’s latest pick to be one of the USA’s top lawyers, Harold Koh:

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/03302009/postopinion/opedcolumnists/obamas_most_perilous_legal_pick_161961.htm

    This guy thinks US law should “follow the norms” of other countries. And then there’s this:

    in addressing the Yale Club of Greenwich in 2007, Koh claimed that “in an appropriate case, he didn’t see any reason why sharia law would not be applied to govern a case in the United States.”

  89. Get your burkas ready, ladies! Read about Obama’s latest pick to be one of the USA’s top lawyers, Harold Koh:

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/03302009/postopinion/opedcolumnists/obamas_most_perilous_legal_pick_161961.htm

    This guy thinks US law should “follow the norms” of other countries. And then there’s this:

    in addressing the Yale Club of Greenwich in 2007, Koh claimed that “in an appropriate case, he didn’t see any reason why sharia law would not be applied to govern a case in the United States.”

  90. I thought Obama was elected POTUS. Thank GAWD I found out today it was all a nightmare, and he is President of GM.

    PHEW!
    *********************************************

    Found that @ NQ, cute….needed a laugh!

  91. Fox News Host Beck Slams Connecticut AG: ‘You are an Insult to George Washington’
    Attorney General Richard Blumenthal admits bonuses are not against the law, but ‘should be.’

    By Jeff Poor
    Business & Media Institute
    3/30/2009 7:30:42 PM

    Send this page to a friend! (click here)

    Fox News Channel host Glenn Beck has already shown he’s a rating success and is leaving a mark in cable news. However, he may have pulled one of his most successful performances yet.

    Beck interviewed Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal on his March 30 broadcast. But, the radio and TV host took the opportunity to tell Blumenthal what he thought of his investigation into the bonuses received by American International Group (AIG) executives – whose company received federal bailout money.

    “Look, you know what you have done, know what you have done?” Beck said. “You have – you are an insult to George Washington, sir. George Washington made it very clear that we are a respecter of laws, not of men. For your own political gain, you have decided to go after these people at AIG because it is a popular thing.”

    Beck pressed on, demanding to know what law the AIG executives broke that warranted Blumenthal’s involvement.

    “And while I may agree with you that it is obscene, I would like to know, is not what’s right as a rule of thumb – not what makes us feel good,” Beck continued. “You, sir, are to protect people and, and to stand for the law in Connecticut, so, again, I ask you, sir – what law gave you the right to go after them? What law did they break?”

    Blumenthal claimed the AIG executives were “undeserving” of the bonuses. Blumenthal also pointed out the bonuses paid out were to increase next year. However, Beck pressed Blumenthal on the legality of that and Blumenthal came up blank in this exchange:

    BECK: Is that against the law?

    BLUMENTHAL: Well, it is against public policy. And it is unsanctioned by law.

    BECK: Is that against the law?

    BLUMENTHAL: It should be against the law.

    BECK: Is it against the law?

    BLUMENTHAL: It’s against the public policy and against the taxpayer…In my view it is unrequired by law.

    BECK: It is a yes or no question. Counselor, it is a yes or no question. Is it against the law?

    BLUMENTHAL: It is not against the law and I have never said that it is against the law, and I have never said that we would bring an action.

    BECK: Then you know what you should do? You should enforce the law. You shouldn’t use your bully pulpit to gain popularity.

    After another exchange over Blumenthal’s behavior, Beck likened Blumenthal and New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to a “vampire,” accusing him of capitalizes on a populist sentiment.

    “You are twisting it,” Beck said. “It has everything to do with the excuse that AIG used to say we had to do that. And you’re exactly right – it has nothing to do with that. But that has nothing to do with the little vampire fangs that you all of a sudden sprouted and tried to grab on to – to make yourself, you and Andrew Cuomo, tried to make yourselves the king of the world, and look at me – I’m the savior here. I’m going to help everybody, the little people. All you’re doing is trying to make yourself look good in a populist move. I think it’s wrong.”

    Beck’s broadcast style has drawn a lot of attention since he made the move from CNN Headline News to Fox News earlier this year. He was featured in a front-page article in the March 30 New York Times that examined his sudden rise in popularity.

  92. The article should be titled “What went right in NH and wrong everywhere else
    —————
    That is a classic.

  93. UH OH….. DON’T LOOK NOW BUT THE BLACK CAUCUS IS WAKING UP FROM THEIR HOPIUM SLUMBER AND THEY DO NOT LIKE WHAT THEY ARE SEEING!!…… BUSH lll …..THOSE BIG OBAMA-BUSH BUS WHEELS ARE ABOUT TO RUN OVER THEM SOON…

    Black caucus calls for more diversity in bailouts

    WASHINGTON – Members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Monday criticized the lack of minority participation in the government’s financial bailouts and suggested that President Barack Obama isn’t doing much better than his predecessor to ensure diversity.

    Giving Obama some leeway with only two months in office, the lawmakers voiced their concerns during an all-day summit on Capitol Hill that drew several hundred minority- and female-owned business leaders to hear guidance from federal officials such as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

    Many said the officials were receptive to the idea of more diversity but short on details for how to make it happen

    “What I heard today from the administration seemed to be a continuation of the status quo,” Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., said at a news conference outside the event. “It is time that we wake up.”

    Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., noted that no women were in the group of bank leaders who met with Obama last week and warned that the country could end up relying on the same people who created the need for a rescue if it doesn’t branch out.
    .

    Fattah and others said they were optimistic that the administration would focus more on diversity moving forward. But they noted that the money is being spent quickly and said minority accountants, banks, financial advisers and law firms will be left out almost entirely without immediate changes.

    For example, the lawmakers said the government will begin hiring financial firms in early April to manage the latest program for buying up bad assets from troubled banks. Firms must have management portfolios worth at least $10 billion to apply, they said, making the program off-limits not just to minority-owned companies but also to other small businesses.

    One suggestion the lawmakers said they would pursue is adding incentives for larger firms to partner with minority businesses.

    “We are not going to sit by and allow billions of dollars to be dumped into this economy and have the same old players being advantaged by it,” said Rep. Maxine Water, D-Calif. “We are tired of being overlooked.”

    When the initial $700 billion bank bailout was passed under the Bush administration, some black lawmakers initially wanted requirements for minority participation. But the provision was left out over concerns that it could slow down urgently needed assistance for troubled banks.

    news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090331/ap_on_go_co/bailouts_minorities;_ylt=AuF7yqzEOTZaRons6ip1YB.yFz4D

  94. This afternoon I spoke the a friend who teaches at the university level and has a counselling and has run a rural mental health clinic. I asked her if she were asked to describe Obama in one word what would it be? And she gave me the one word answer I was expecting with no prodding from me: sociopath. Whereupon I asked her whether in the course of her practice she had occasion to treat people who suffer from that condition and she again gave me the answer I was expecting: yes, many times.

    Whereupon I asked her what single characteristic best describes someone with those tendencies and she said: you never know what they are going to do, and there is no consistency in their behavioral pattern, they are one way one minute and the opposite way the next; sometimes they operate in their own self interest and sometimes they do not; their word means nothing and they are most influenced by whomever they talked to last.

    What that suggests to me is that bambi may be just a touch difficult to work for. This may explain the bewildered look on Robert Gates face and the blank stare on Hillarys face last Friday, as our friend ABM 90 reported. It may also explain the comments made by Gates over the weekend concerning Iraq–specifically the need to consider economic sanctions and to bargain from a position of strength–especially now since they rebuked his letter of good will which I seriously doubt he ran by either Hillary or Gates. But then again what else would you expect from a sociopath. Big Media which is out to destroy the country made a big deal of this hoping to start trouble in this Administration.

  95. You know what they say about first impressions–right 70% of the time. Well, there were some members of the black caucus who saw through Obama in the first place, and noticed things like he did not participate in the civil rights struggle and his community organizing was not a sincere commitiment to the cause but a political ploy. But over the course of the campaign most of them rolled over because he played the uncle tom card on them–this man who is half white. And he threatened to primary them. And with the backing of George Soros (who democratic strategist don iverson claims is the kingmaker of the party because of his ability to direct hundreds of millions to candidates and causes of his choice (some of it his own money and some of it from the European Banks like Wolfe at the Swiss Bank UBC that planned Obamas campaign in January 2008) that was a credible threat for anyone who lacked a strong backbone. As I have said before, the mayor of Philadelphia and the late Congresswoman from Ohio stood their ground but the rest of them including Rangel folded–his was the unkindest cut of all, as Mark Anthony said of Brutus.

  96. wbboei Says:

    March 30th, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    ————————–

    wbboie, I am honestly in awe of all the fascinating people you seem to know. Thanks for sharing.

  97. Great Find djia:

    Obama is the sum total of everything corrupt. Our focus MUST stay on him.

    Thanks for posting a proof the OBots need to hopefully see they have been unwittingly duped as tools helping “the one” ascend POWER.

    “djia Says:
    March 30th, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    Obama Intimately Tied To Phony Environmental Movement
    President helped fund profiteers of carbon tax program he is now seeking to implement

    Steve Watson
    Infowars.net
    Monday, March 30, 2009

    A combination of interesting mainstream and alternative media reports reveal compelling links between president Obama and a privately owned carbon trading group, which also has direct ties with elitist groups such as the Club of Rome and the Trilateral Commission.

    Judi McLeod’s excellent article for Canada Free Press, which she expanded from a Fox News piece, highlights how years before he became president, Obama helped directly fund a carbon trading exchange that will likely play a critical role in the proposed cap-and-trade carbon reduction program.

  98. wbboei, I felt for many of those AA friends of Hillary who were so cruelly pressured and threatened. I’m still mad at the ones who turned, but I give them credit for at least trying to stick it out.

    And if Nutter ever runs for anything in this world, I will vote for him. I LOVE that man.

  99. I have had occasion to evaluate management teams during the course of my tenure–those that succeeded and those that failed.

    The Obama team aint gonna cut it. The chance they will succeed is zero. The question is whether they will destroy the country in the process.

    This Sunday night massacre on the head of GM is a sociopathic move. He is in front of the cameras every day. Why did he do it this way with no forewarning. It was a Machiavellian political move.

    Mark this well. No one is safe while monsterobama is on the lose. No one. His demise will occur when enough people in positions of power come to the realization that they could be the next ones under the bus.

    A sociopath with unfettered power is a terrible thing to waste.

  100. And if Nutter ever runs for anything in this world, I will vote for him. I LOVE that man.
    ——————
    Me too. Wish he would run against Spectre, whom monsterobama would support to show he is bipartisan.

    I think Dellums stood his ground as well. If so then it is likewise a tribute to his character and Paris Island boot camp.

  101. I am feeling very sorry for tele right now. She does all the work and he takes all the credit and his 27 year old advisor, speechwriter and all around brain is a serial groper. She needs union representation, and perhaps a Loretta Bobbit autographed Bowie knife.

  102. Thanks, Mrs. Smith

    I just wish it wasn’t the obots that needed waking up, i wish it was the rest of us

    oh how i wish ….i was waking up from this nightmare to find it was just that a night mare and all is ok with the world

  103. wbboei Says:
    March 30th, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    “As I have said before, the mayor of Philadelphia and the late Congresswoman from Ohio stood their ground but the rest of them including Rangel folded–his was the unkindest cut of all, as Mark Anthony said of Brutus.”

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

    I can only hope their deaths weren’t in vain. They were very strong and committed without reservation to Hillary.

    What does that say about the strength of the opposition?

    Who felt just (2) people totally committed to Hillary were a threat to their livelihoods. Imagine if there were 100 of us, a thousand, ten-thousand. I think they’d be running for the hills.

    We lost the last round because we had no idea how fierce the opposition was prepared to fight… Well, what are we, a bunch of whimps? I don’t think so… we’re smarter than them all day long.

    They are home free if they think they can cast doubt on Hillary’s character and intimidate people by undermining their confidence at will. There isn’t anyone else in the political spectrum we can trust… especially another democrat seeing the current lawmakers were Obama’s enablers..all along.

    Hillary needs the strong to stand with her through thick and thin.. ‘SHE is the ONE’… the only one that can help us..and she needs us now more than ever…

  104. djia Says:
    March 30th, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    Thanks, Mrs. Smith
    I just wish it wasn’t the obots that needed waking up, i wish it was the rest of us

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

    It is the rest of us. The old axiom, “He who hesitates is lost.” And the same goes for having too many irons in the fire. We have to prioritize and cut to the chase and stay focused. I have a strong feeling time is of the essence, we need to be vigilant and pay fast attention to Obama and what is going on around us….

    Big Brother is running rampant over us while we’re in this financial crisis. When the dust settles, we’re going to be tied in so many knots we won’t be able to move without the threat of incarceration.

  105. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,511470,00.html

    Angie Harmon is not afraid to come out and say she doesn’t like how President Obama is handling the job — but she’s sick of having to defend herself from being deemed a racist.

    “Here’s my problem with this, I’m just going to come out and say it. If I have anything to say against Obama it’s not because I’m a racist, it’s because I don’t like what he’s doing as President and anybody should be able to feel that way, but what I find now is that if you say anything against him you’re called a racist,” Harmon told Tarts at Thursday’s Los Angeles launch of the new eyelash-growing formula, Latisse. “But it has nothing to do with it, I don’t care what color he is. I’m just not crazy about what he’s doing and I heard all about this, and he’s gonna do that and change and change, so okay … I’m still dressing for a recession over here buddy and we’ve got unemployment at an all-time high and that was his number one thing and that’s the thing I really don’t appreciate. If I’m going to disagree with my President, that doesn’t make me a racist. If I was to disagree with W, that doesn’t make me racist. It has nothing to do with it, it is ridiculous.”

    Speaking of dislikes, the starlet has also had enough of the double-standards in the media.

    “I do think McCain would have done a better job, only because I think he has more experience. I also think if W or John McCain or Reagan would have gone and done a talk show, the backlash would have been so huge and in his face, and ‘What is our president doing? How unclassy!’ But Obama does it and no one says anything,” Harmon said.

    And in spite of the scornful opinions most of her Tinseltown counterparts have shared on Gov. Sarah Palin, Harmon remains a true fan.

    “I admire any kind of woman like her. My whole motto is to know what I stand for and know what I don’t stand for and have the courage to live my life accordingly and she does exactly that. The fact that this woman has made the decisions she’s made and literally lived her life according to that and takes heat for it is absolutely disgusting to me,” she added. “People cannot look at this woman. I really think they’re afraid of her and her morals, ethics and values and the fact that she hangs on them. Is she the most experienced person in the world? But she was running to be the Vice President, so we then put the most inexperienced person as the President. That didn’t make any sense to me.”

    However Harmon is definitely in the Hollywood minority when it comes to her criticism of Obama as other lasses at the Latisse party were quick to advocate their unequivocal support.

  106. WOW! I’ve always been a huge fan of Angie Harmon. So many of my favorites have disappointed me lately. It’s great that Ms. Harmon hasn’t drunk the koolaid.

    Bravo!

  107. Mrs Smith..et all

    this canada free press article says it all

    America’s Eyes Wide Shut!

    canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/9767

  108. Go read this whole article at Zero Hedge. It will blow your mind. The info was emailed to them by an anonymous trader. READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE, but here is a small piece:

    AIG, knowing it would need to ask for much more capital from the Treasury imminently…gifted major bank counter-parties with trades which were egregiously profitable to the banks, and even more egregiously money losing to the U.S. taxpayers, who had to dump more and more cash into AIG, without having the U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner disclose the real extent of this, for lack of a better word, fraudulent scam.

    In simple terms think of it as an auto dealer, which knows that U.S. taxpayers will provide for an infinite amount of money to fund its ongoing sales of horrendous vehicles (think Pontiac Azteks): the company decides to sell all the cars currently in contract, to lessors at far below the amortized market value, thereby generating huge profits for these lessors, as these turn around and sell the cars at a major profit, funded exclusively by U.S. taxpayers (readers should feel free to provide more gripping allegories).

    What this all means is that the statements by major banks, i.e. JPM, Citi, and BofA, regarding abnormal profitability in January and February were true, however these profits were a) one-time in nature due to wholesale unwinds of AIG portfolios, b) entirely at the expense of AIG, and thus taxpayers, c) executed with Tim Geithner’s (and thus the administration’s) full knowledge and intent, d) were basically a transfer of money from taxpayers to banks (in yet another form) using AIG as an intermediary.

    And one poster at the Confluence’s take on it:

    If true, this is beyond criminal. Is Obama doing to the U.S. financial system what he did in Chicago, when he funneled government funds to guys like Tony Rezko, who were supposedly going to fix up slum housing but instead pocketed the money? Basically, what many have suspected may be true–that Geither, Summers, and Obama have been using AIG as a money-laundering operation.

    I KNEW IT! As did many here. When this shit first started going down, I kept wondering why the heck we were bailing out AIG, which is not a bank. Yeah, they insure most of the banks assets, but if we were already on the hook for and guaranteeing the banks, why would the additional protection of AIG be needed? Isn’t that double insurance?

    I said then (as did many here) that AIG was the key to the whole scam. They were the money launderers. They were the funnel to hide where the money was really going.

  109. Oops, need the link to the article:

    zerohedge.blogspot.com/2009/03/exclusive-aig-was-responsible-for-banks.html

  110. When this trip to the G-20 summit is over,Telebama is going to return to a growing trend here at home for a time set on starting impeachment proceedings against him.Unfortunately he could care less.His illusions of grandure are so immense and his sociopathic brain so saturated with self love,he will listen to no one and could care less about what is happening to this country and the worldwide spread of his race baiting tactics.He has one goal in mind and that is to become the leader of all global blacks.POTUS is just a step he had to take in order to reach his goal of awesome and supreme power.He long ago shed the half white in his life and never mentions it now that he is not campaigning.To the victor go the spoils and america is going hungry and homeless.His table of plenty is very evident every wed.night as he honors his fat cats with those $100 steak dinners.I wish that I could send him some of the C-rations that WWII GI’s had to live on.The cost still burns in my mind as the answer to our complaints was very well described as “There is a war going on and some belt tightening is the order of the Army”
    This was the formula “17 cents per meal per day for combat troops”.The Navy and The Airforce had the best chow of all.
    An oldie from years back is fitting

    “Save The Bones From Emperor Jones For WE Don’t Get No Meat”

    By ABM90 This week will be another winner for our Hillary.

  111. Harmon, imo, certainly is no supporter of Hillary or Bill. I have no problem with her critique of Obama, but I doubt any of us would share her views on the Clintons…Glenn Beck is another “Fox” guy whom I would never remotely consider reasonable when it comes to Hillary or Bill. I can’t watch any network as the bias in both directions must make Edward R. Murrow roll in his grave.

  112. A commenter at Naked capitalism explained it best:

    “It’s not too complicated; Tyler’s just using fancy terminology. AIG was closing out bundles of trades at bargain prices, so it was paying big money to counterparties on bundles of trades where AIG was in the hole. Sort of like an airline sitting on a bunch of leases and offering to pay its lessor huge money to terminate the leases early. Or a car dealer, pricing lots of cars significantly below market to clear out inventory.

    AIG was basically intentionally losing money, since the losses were on the taxpayer’s nickel. And Treasury was happy to have AIG do it because that funneled money to banks that are insolvent and need money to service their massive debt loads.”

  113. H4T

    I also posted a couple articles over the last couple weeks about how those foreign banks AIG gave portions of the bailout money it had received were sharia banks.

    no one here seemed to notice them or didn’t under stand it? perhaps i don’t even really

    but what i got from it was this

    tax payers give obama our $$$ who in turn gives bailout money to AIG who in turn gives it to foreign, sharia owned banks who in turn gave it to terrorists organizations who in turn use the money to attack USA

    congress and obama give more of our $$$ to military to fight these Terrorists

    if i am correct, then……… Americans are funding terrorists and the war full circle

    if i am not right…… please let me know

  114. djia, they are making us pay for the downfall of our own country, on many levels.

    This is getting insane. I heard a VERY reasonable person (at least I’ve always known them to be) today speculate on an eventual armed revolution to stop this shit. People are that pissed, and scared.

  115. I also hear a lot of conversations from the people in our neighboring towns here in SD about how WE NEED TO HAVE A REVOLUTION they are stocking up on guns and ammo and preparing for it

    of course there are more that are not talking or not willing to see what is happening too.

    this is a “regular” conversation at the bar amongst neighbors and friends

    still strikes me as ODD as i have been saying this to my husband for 2 years now and I am sure he secretly thought i was NUTZ but i’m pretty sure he has since come to see me differently LOL

  116. I’ve been suspicious of this whole ‘carbon footprint’ thing for a while, but if Gore is really involved, I’m sure at least his company is legit.

  117. djia, it makes me glad I live in Texas – Texans will freakin secede if push comes to shove! They are pretty proud and ornery. 😀 Texas also has lots and lots of military bases, and I am hearing rumors that the troops are quietly saying that they will be on the side of the People, not the govt, if it ever comes to that. These young soldiers go the bars and whatnot and talk, and that is what they are saying.

    I know, I know, tinfoil hat and would likely never come to pass. But it is a sign of how bad things are that “normal” people (not wacko survivalists) are even bringing it up.

  118. A commenter at Naked capitalism explained it best:

    “It’s not too complicated; Tyler’s just using fancy terminology. AIG was closing out bundles of trades at bargain prices, so it was paying big money to counterparties on bundles of trades where AIG was in the hole. Sort of like an airline sitting on a bunch of leases and offering to pay its lessor huge money to terminate the leases early. Or a car dealer, pricing lots of cars significantly below market to clear out inventory.

    AIG was basically intentionally losing money, since the losses were on the taxpayer’s nickel. And Treasury was happy to have AIG do it because that funneled money to banks that are insolvent and need money to service their massive debt loads.”
    —————————————-
    Then someone needs to bring a court action because that is theft. Thirty years ago I had a bankruptcy case in Los Angeles. My company at the time had sold a large amount of frozen salmon, and halibut to a seafood broker who filed for reorganiztion and sought protection from the court under the equivalent of chapter 11.

    The problem was that broker was selling some of that inventory on the side without notifying the creditors. And obviously the practical effect was to reduce the value of the business against which they were asserting their claims. Simply put, it was a fraud on creditors.

    The law at that time treated all transfers of assets made within 180 days of filing for bankrupcy as illegal transfers if those assest were given away or sold at less than fair market value. The rational was that this would reduce the value of the business and the corresponding right of creditors.

    Arguably, the same principle would apply in this case. For when AIG sold assets to counterparties at less than fair market–assuming that is what happened, it reduced the value of AIG holdings to the detriment of taxpayers. And if this happened at or near the time that bailout monies were received counterparties were unjustly entriched and taxpayers had to subscribe more money to enable AIG to meet its obligations which smells to me like fraud.

    If that is in fact what happened, and if I were . . . say US Attorney for the Southern District of New York like Rudy and Mary Jo White once were, I believe I might be taking a hard look at the Racketeer Influenced And Corrupt Organizations Act for guidance and possible prosecution.

    Incidently, one of our fellow creditors in the Los Angeles case was a Boston supplier who got burned far worse than we did and was out for blood as well as 30 cents on the dollar. He was represented by an attorney whose partner was named Boxer and was from New York. I always surmised that was Barbara Boxers’ husband but never bothered to inquire.

  119. H4T
    I have many military friends and family and heard the same thing from all over not just Texas

    and if you read comment sections on the web you will notice some military guys saying just that in their comments

    Turndownobama

    gore’s company is real…..legit? is another story……..

    read this article , it explains Gore’s connection and how he stands to bennefit from “global warming” and the “cap & trade”

    canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/9629

    here’s a portion of that article:

    The charity was the Joyce Foundation on whose board of directors Obama served and which gave nearly $1.1 million in two separate grants that were “instrumental in developing and launching the privately-owned Chicago Climate Exchange, which now calls itself “North America’s only cap and trade system for all six greenhouse gases, with global affiliates and projects worldwide.”

    And that’s only the beginning of this tawdry tale, Mr. Barnes.

    The “privately-owned” Chicago Climate Exchange is heavily influenced by Obama cohorts Al Gore and Maurice Strong.

    For years now Strong and Gore have been cashing in on that lucrative cottage industry known as man-made global warming.

    Strong is on the board of directors of the Chicago Climate Exchange, Wikipedia-described as “the world’s first and North America’s only legally binding greenhouse gas emission registry reduction system for emission sources and offset projects in North America and Brazil.”

    Gore, self-proclaimed Patron Saint of the Environment, buys his carbon off-sets from himself–the Generation Investment Management LLP, “an independent, private, owner-managed partnership established in 2004 with offices in London and Washington, D.C., of which he is both chairman and founding partner. The Generation Investment Management business has considerable influence over the major carbon credit trading firms that currently exist, including the Chicago Climate Exchange.

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

    CAN YOU SAY OBAMA- GORE SCAM AND FRAUD SCHEME?? NO WONDER GORE ENDORSED OBAMA!!

  120. wbboei, I think that this three-card-monte with AIG is the reason that they DID NOT want those banks to go into chapter 11 under any circumstances. If they got restructured, then this stuff would be pored through by a bankruptcy judge, and come to light.

    Much easier to hide it this way, and it is going to take a Ballsy DA (Cuomo, maybe?) to go after it. There was a time when I would have said a good reporter to dig it all out and pursue it, but sadly our media are now titless lapdogs of the oligarchy, who wiggle all over and pee themselves with delight over “access”, and never question what Massah is feeding them in that little jeweled bowl.

    HI, BEN!!!!

  121. I’ve been suspicious of this whole ‘carbon footprint’ thing for a while, but if Gore is really involved, I’m sure at least his company is legit
    ——————————————–
    No doubt about that.

  122. OMG!! IS THIS PATHETIC OR WHAT??? LMAO!!!!

    ALAN COLMES : “Leave Obama alone. Stop it. Stop it now. We’re not headed toward communism. We’re not becoming a socialist nation. (We already became one under Bush). The middle class is not disappearing. (That, too happened during the last 8 years and the stimulus will hopefully bring that back.) Leave him alone. The next election will be here soon enough. Leave him alone. Go about your business. And have a nice day.”

    enter at your own risk!! if you’re stomach can handle more of the same
    foxforum.blogs.foxnews.com/2009/03/29/colmes_obama/

  123. I also hear a lot of conversations from the people in our neighboring towns here in SD about how WE NEED TO HAVE A REVOLUTION they are stocking up on guns and ammo and preparing for it

    of course there are more that are not talking or not willing to see what is happening too.

    this is a “regular” conversation at the bar amongst neighbors and friends

    still strikes me as ODD as i have been saying this to my husband for 2 years now and I am sure he secretly thought i was NUTZ but i’m pretty sure he has since come to see me differently LOL
    ———————————————–
    The same is true all over the country.There is a local gun stores I go to once a week or so. They are doing a land office business. They sell ammo fast as they get it. Friends in other states tell me the same thing.
    Their customers used to be hunters, military types and collectors. Now it is ordinary law abiding citizens who never owned a gun before but feel the need to buy one now. I think this is good risk management. If a real crisis hit you would find the same thing as you did in New Orleans that some police you might expect to protect you will go home to protect their families. Therefore it comes down to all of us to take responsibility for defending ourselves. It seems scarey now but 150 years ago they would have thought nothing of it.

  124. ALAN COLMES : “Leave Obama alone. Stop it. Stop it now. We’re not headed toward communism. We’re not becoming a socialist nation. (We already became one under Bush). The middle class is not disappearing. (That, too happened during the last 8 years and the stimulus will hopefully bring that back.) Leave him alone. The next election will be here soon enough. Leave him alone. Go about your business. And have a nice day.”
    —————————————————-
    Alan: do you really think these concerns are all in our heads? If so then it is your own head you need to get concerned about.

  125. I doubt I will ever trust or believe anyone again for as long as I live.

    I always thought Gore was a really good guy and now this.

  126. bluegirl, I will reserve judgement on Gore until I learn more. He’s earned at least that. It’s one story, and not sure how reliable it is.

  127. Dija said:
    if i am correct, then……… Americans are funding terrorists and the war full circle

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

    I don’t know about the AIG money, but I recently read the same idea about some money that is going openly from the US as foreign aid and miliary aid to the Afganistan government etc. The article said some of it was being stolen for the terrorists, and then we spend more to fight those same terrorists.

  128. bluegirl Says:
    March 31st, 2009 at 1:40 am

    I doubt I will ever trust or believe anyone again for as long as I live.

    I always thought Gore was a really good guy and now this.

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

    Gore is a good guy. I suggest you never believe such newspaper articles again.

  129. “Save The Bones From Emperor Jones For WE Don’t Get No Meat
    ——————————
    He’s emperor Jones
    He skipped the bones
    And ate the kobe beef

    With dom Perigon
    He set the tone
    And served the caviar

    While evil meesch
    Threw out the kiche
    And stole the silver ware

  130. Mind you, I would be careful about endorsing the British Conservative Party, the party of Daniel Hannen. The Conservative Party believes that we should sit back and do nothing about the recession.

    It is also famously the party that said that unemployment is a price worth paying and they also introduced monetarism in the early 80s which created almost unprecedented levels of unemployment in Britain. This was despite the fact that the policy was a proven failure in Chile. It was a success for the rich though, as it kept them rich and this is what makes the Conservative Party happy.

  131. djia and Hill 4 TX,

    djia Says:

    March 30th, 2009 at 8:00 pm”Obama Intimately Tied To Phony Environmental Movement President helped fund profiteers of carbon tax program he is now seeking to implement”

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

    If all things were as they should be, this would be big news. Not that it isn’t. People spending time looking for a job or worrying about losing their job are under so much stress as it is… they can’t handle the mental strain to be involved.

    # HillaryforTexas Says:
    March 31st, 2009 at 1:46 am

    I will reserve judgment on Gore until I learn more. He’s earned at least that. It’s one story, and not sure how reliable it is.

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

    Sounds like theres more there than meets the eye… and I don’t mean in a bad way. Someone might find the backstory..and post it here..

    Thanks, H4T for posting the pulse in TX on our current situation…

  132. wbboei Says:
    March 31st, 2009 at 5:32 am

    I haven’t heard a limerick for Biden in a long time.

    Listening on the car radio, there was Biden waxing poetic…saying, “Remember, the three letter word Obama stands for, JOBS!”

  133. U.S. state secretary calls for regional engagement in Afghanistan

    2009-03-31

    THE HAGUE, Netherlands, March 31 (Xinhua) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday called for the engagement of Afghanistan’s neighbors in solving Afghanistan’s problems, as a NATO-led military operation is failing to find a solution. Speaking at an international conference on Afghanistan, Clinton said the Afghan problem cannot be solved without the engagement of all Afghanistan’s neighbors.

    “Just as these problems cannot be solved without the Afghan people, they cannot be solved without the help of Afghanistan’s neighbors,” she told the conference. She said narcotics, violent extremism, economic stagnation, water management, electrification and irrigation are all regional challenges that require a regional solution. She said the United Nations has the prime responsibility for coordinating regional efforts and Washington would support the world body in its work.

    Clinton also called for broader international support for the West-led efforts in Afghanistan. “Our failure to bring peace and progress would be a setback not only to the people of Afghanistan but to the entire enterprise of collective action in the interest of collective security. Our success, on the other hand, will not only benefit Afghanistan, Pakistan and the region, but also the blueprint for a new diplomacy powered by partnerships and premised on shared interests,” she said.
    “In Afghanistan and Pakistan, we face a common threat, a common enemy and a common task,” she added.

    Clinton said despite the financial crisis, the international community should redouble its efforts to bring peace to Afghanistan. She distanced the Obama administration’s Afghanistan policy from that of the Bush administration, indicating that the Afghanistan campaign was under-resourced and under-financed. “The challenge is great. But the opportunity is clear if we move away from the past,” she said. “Our collective inability to implement a clear and sustained strategy has allowed violent extremists to regain a foothold in Afghanistan and in Pakistan and to make the area a nerve center for efforts to spread violence from London to Mumbai,” she said.

    She outlined U.S. President Barack Obama’s new strategy, which brings together Afghanistan and Pakistan, military and civilian efforts and the emphasis on capacity building of the Afghan security forces. The international community would train a 134,000-strong Afghan national army and a 84,000-strong police force by 2011 so that the Afghans can take up security challenges in their own hands, she said. Clinton also announced that the United States would commit 40 million U.S. dollars to fund the August presidential elections.

    news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-03/31/content_11108193.htm

  134. Apr 1, 2009

    China’s White House hostage
    By Peter Navarro

    The more trillions of dollars that the Barack Obama administration throws at the current economic crisis with its stimulus and rescue packages, the more the new US president runs the risk of mortgaging America’s future to the Chinese. Indeed, the ultimate success of the Obama plan increasingly rests on the willingness of the Chinese central bank to continue financing America’s massive budget and trade deficits.

    During the George W Bush administration, the Chinese government willingly financed the American deficits as a necessary by-product of its currency manipulation. In order for China to maintain its fixed peg with the dollar – and thereby keep the value of the yuan artificially low – China has to recycle its export dollars back into US treasuries.
    If, however, China were suddenly to refuse to finance those deficits, the value of the US dollar would plunge, interest rates and mortgage rates would spike, world financial markets would crash, and the US economy would surely plunge deeper into recession.

    In the short run, it remains in China’s interests to continue financing the US deficits. With its own economy sputtering and tens of millions of Chinese on the unemployment line, the Chinese central government continues to believe it needs a cheap yuan to drive an export-led recovery. That said, there is mounting political pressure in China not to finance the US deficits. On the left, hard-core Maoists see the current crisis as a golden opportunity to crush the West, thereby allowing China to emerge as the world’s reigning superpower. At the same time, Chinese pragmatists understand that the Obama economic policies and collateral massive deficits and growth in the US money supply must ultimately devalue the dollar and thereby devalue China’s foreign reserves held in dollars. Accordingly, more and more Chinese pragmatists want out of the financing relationship as well.

    As a practical matter, China is unlikely to stop financing the US trade and budgets deficits any time soon. This is because the current relationship may be described as a form of financial “mutually assured destruction”. It’s the same kind of balance of terror that existed between the Soviet Union and the United States during the Cold War over nuclear weapons. In this version, China needs to sell exports to the US to grow and the US needs China’s money to finance its lifestyle.

    Ultimately, the real danger of the Obama plan is not that China won’t continue to finance our deficits. Rather, it is that China will use cooperation on such financing as a bargaining chip on a whole variety of key issues. Two obvious issues that spring to mind are weapons sales to Taiwan and human rights issues in Tibet. In fact, on the Tibet question, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has already kow-towed to the Chinese central government on the issue – effectively promising to remain silent. A more critical issue for long-term economic reform is trade reform and putting an end to Chinese currency manipulation. This issue is critical because without a meaningful structural change in the US-China trade relationship, the US will be unable to restore its industrial base and China will remain unable to prosper except by selling exports to the West. Neither country will prosper under this status quo.

    Ultimately, then, the worst side effect of the Obama economic plan may well be a loss of political sovereignty and a form of involuntary servitude to the Chinese government – hostage as Obama’s “recovery” plan will be to the addiction of Chinese capital.

    atimes.com/atimes/China_Business/KD01Cb06.html

  135. Good Morning All.

    Thanks JanH. I knew about how indebt we were to the Chinese, but I did not understand some of the deeper issues.

  136. DAVID BROOKS TO OBUMMA REGARDING GM: “YOU BARACK IT, YOU BOUGHT IT”

    nytimes.com/2009/03/31/opinion/31brooks.html?_r=1

    Car Dealer in Chief
    ===============

    Some companies are in the steel business, some are in the cookie business, but General Motors is in the restructuring business. For 30 years, G.M. has been restructuring itself toward long-term viability.

    For all these years, G.M.’s market share has endured a long, steady slide. But this has not stopped the waves of restructuring. The PowerPoints have flowed, and always there has been the promise that with just one more cost-cutting push, sustainability nirvana will be at hand.

    There are many experts who think that the whole restructuring strategy is misbegotten. These experts think that costs are not the real problem. The real problem is the product. The cars are not good enough. The management is insular. The reputation is fatally damaged.

    But if you are in the restructuring business, you can’t let these stray thoughts get in the way of your restructuring. After all, restructuring is your life. Restructuring is forever. Restructuring is like what dieting is for many of us: You think about it every day. You believe it’s about to work. Nothing really changes.

    When the economy cratered last fall, the professionals at G.M. went into Super-Duper Restructuring Overdrive. In October, they warned the Bush administration of a possible bankruptcy filing and started restructuring. In December, they came back asking for a loan while they … (wait for it) … restructured.

    The Bush advisers decided in December that bankruptcy without preparation would be a disaster. They decided what all administrations decide — that the best time for a bankruptcy filing is a few months from now, and it always will be. In the meantime, restructuring would continue, federally subsidized.

    Today, G.M. and Chrysler have once again come up with restructuring plans. By an amazing coincidence, the plans are again insufficient. In an extremely precedented move, the Obama administration has decided that the best time for possible bankruptcy is — a few months from now. The restructuring will continue.

    But this, President Obama declares, is G.M.’s last chance. Honestly. Really.

    No kidding.

    Could this really be true? Could the Harvard Business Review’s longest-running soap opera possibly be coming to an end? Could President Obama really scare the restructural recidivists in Detroit into coming up with changes big enough to do the job?

    Well, the president certainly acted tough on Monday. In a show of force, he released plans from his Office of People Who Are Much Smarter Than You Are. These plans insert the government into the car business in all sorts of ways. They pick winners (new C.E.O. Fritz Henderson) and losers (Rick Wagoner). They basically send Chrysler off into the sunset. Joe Biden will be doing car commercials within weeks.

    The Obama team also raised the bankruptcy specter more explicitly than ever before. Even more tellingly, the administration moved to “stand behind” the companies’ service warranties. That lays the groundwork for a bankruptcy procedure and should be a sharp shock to Detroit.

    And yet by enmeshing the White House so deeply into G.M., Obama has increased the odds that March’s menacing threat will lead to June’s wobbly wiggle-out. The Obama administration and the Democratic Party are now completely implicated in the coming G.M. wreck. Over the next few months, the White House will be subject to a gigantic lobbying barrage. The Midwestern delegations, swing states all, will pull out all the stops to prevent plant foreclosures. Unions will be furious if the Obama-run company rips up the union contract. Is the White House ready for the headline “Obama to Middle America: Drop Dead”? It would take a party with a political death wish to see this through.

    Furthermore, there’s no reason to think the umpteenth restructuring will produce compelling results. Cost control without a quality revolution will make little difference. There’s no reason to think Americans are going to flock to G.M. cars. (The president lauded their fantabulousness, but G.M. sales fell 51 percent during the first two months of this year while the overall market declined by 39 percent.) Politically expedient environmental demands will make the odds of profitability even more remote.

    Corporate welfare rarely works when the government invests in rising firms. The odds are really grim when it tries to subsidize fading ones. (In the ’80s, Chrysler already had the successful K-car in the pipeline.)

    The most likely outcome, sad to say, is some semiserious restructuring plan, with or without court involvement, to be followed by long-term government intervention and backdoor subsidies forever. That will amount to the world’s most expensive jobs program. It will preserve the overcapacity in the market, create zombie companies and thus hurt Ford. It will raise the protectionist threat as politicians seek to protect the car companies they now run.

    It would have been better to keep a distance from G.M. and prepare the region for a structured bankruptcy process. Instead, Obama leapt in. His intentions were good, but getting out with honor will require a ruthless tenacity that is beyond any living politician.

  137. I hope Hillary goes nutzoid on their asses for this…..

    Tuesday, 31 March 2009

    Afghanistan’s President, Hamid Karzai, has signed a law which “legalises” rape, women’s groups and the United Nations warn. Critics claim the president helped rush the bill through parliament in a bid to appease Islamic fundamentalists ahead of elections in August.

    In a massive blow for women’s rights, the new Shia Family Law negates the need for sexual consent between married couples, tacitly approves child marriage and restricts a woman’s right to leave the home, according to UN papers

    “It is one of the worst bills passed by the parliament this century,” fumed Shinkai Karokhail, a woman MP who campaigned against the legislation. “It is totally against women’s rights. This law makes women more vulnerable.”

    The law regulates personal matters like marriage, divorce, inheritance and sexual relations among Afghanistan’s minority Shia community. “It’s about votes,” Ms Karokhail added. “Karzai is in a hurry to appease the Shia because the elections are on the way.”

    The provisions are reminiscent of the hardline Taliban regime, which banned women from leaving their homes without a male relative. But in a sign of Afghanistan’s faltering steps towards gender equality, politicians who opposed it have been threatened.

    “There are moderate views among the Shia, but unfortunately our MPs, the people who draft the laws, rely on extremists,” Ms Karokhail said.

    The bill lay dormant for more than a year, but in February it was rushed through parliament as President Karzai sought allies in a constitutional row over the upcoming election. Senator Humeira Namati claimed it wasn’t even read out in the Upper House, let alone debated, before it was passed to the Supreme Court. “They accused me of being an unbeliever,” she said.

    Details of the law emerged after Mr Karzai was endorsed by Afghanistan’s Supreme Court to stay in power until elections scheduled in August. Some MPs claimed President Karzai was under pressure from Iran, which maintains a close relationship with Afghanistan’s Shias. The most controversial parts of the law deal explicitly with sexual relations. Article 132 requires women to obey their husband’s sexual demands and stipulates that a man can expect to have sex with his wife at least “once every four nights” when travelling, unless they are ill. The law also gives men preferential inheritance rights, easier access to divorce, and priority in court.

    A report by the United Nations Development Fund for Women, Unifem, warned: “Article 132 legalises the rape of a wife by her husband”.

    Most of Afghanistan’s Shias are ethnic Hazaras, descended from Genghis Khan’s Mongol army which swept through the entire region around 700 years ago. They are Afghanistan’s third largest ethnic group, and potential kingmakers, because their leaders will likely back a mainstream candidate.

    Even the law’s sponsors admit Mr Karzai rushed it through to win their votes. Ustad Mohammad Akbari, a prominent Shia political leader, said: “It’s electioneering. Most of the Hazara people are unhappy with Mr Karzai.”

    A British Embassy spokesman said diplomats had raised concerns “at a senior level”.

  138. ShortTermer Says:

    March 30th, 2009 at 12:32 pm
    Why is my comment being moderated, it did not contain any hs or ws?
    &&&&&&&&&&&&&

    Because we just didn’t like it. Harrrrumph.

  139. HUFFPOSTER CESCA ADMITS: “YEAH, OBUMMA IS BUSH III, SO WHAT”

    This HuffPost piece by Cesca is an excuse maker. It doesn’t say “Obama is competent”, it says, “To those who claim obama is _____ (lazy, incompetent, evil, etc), well, Bush did the same thing”. Just look at his list. Bob, thank you very much for compiling such a succint list of obama’s shortcomings.

    My $$$ comments inserted here and there.

    Why Does Obama’s Teleprompter Hate America?
    ====================================

    Bob Cesca
    Thu Mar 26, 3:40 pm ET

    Without a doubt, many of the attacks from the far-right against President Obama have amounted to nothing more than the political equivalent of speaking in tongues. The attacks are only marginally more coherent than Steve Carell’s Brick Tamland character from Anchorman shouting “LOUD NOISES!” for the sake of shouting something. Anything.

    The most ridiculous of the loud noises are the ones that entirely ignore the legacy of the previous president. Specifically, the very same people making the loudest noises about President Obama have also spent the last eight years spastically applauding President Bush’s worst trespasses every step of the way. The far-right’s staggering disregard for the significant flaws of the former Republican president confounds logic when measured against their ridiculous attacks on the current president.

    ATTACK: President Obama took a vacation to Hawaii.
    REALITY: President Bush set a record for presidential vacations during two wars and a major hurricane.

    $$$ One eensy weensy vacation? What about the summer. Then post election.

    ATTACK: President Obama’s budget could double the national debt.
    REALITY: President Bush’s spending actually did.

    $$$ If obumma doubles Bush’s debt, that’s twice as much as Bush’s increase.

    ATTACK: President Obama is “shredding the Constitution.”
    REALITY: You mean there’s a Constitution left to be shredded?

    ATTACK: President Obama chuckled while talking about bailing out the auto industry.
    REALITY: President Bush routinely smirked and grinned while talking about the significantly more serious issues of war and military casualties.

    $$$ Bush was callous and fatuous. That makes obama…come on, Bob, you can say it….”callous”, “fatuous”.

    ATTACK: President Obama is incompetent.
    REALITY: Do I even need to do the list?

    $$$ Wonderful. The follow up to a deficient Republican is a deficient Democrat.

    ATTACK: President Obama is presiding over a one-party fascist government.
    REALITY: This is not a joke.

    So. Loud noises!

    This is sort of like a fan of the Jonas Brothers accusing Death Cab for Cutie of selling out. Devoid of logic or basic consistency, these attacks are reduced to being nothing more than angry shouting. Speaking in tongues. All told, there isn’t a single Bush flaw that hasn’t been hamhandedly projected onto President Obama, and we’re not even three months into the Obama presidency.

    $$$ obama’s whole candidacy was that “Bush bad, me clean up.” So where’s the cleaning up? Where’s the competency? Where’s the leadership?

    But wait. There’s more.

    As has been the case for too many years, more than a few of these crazy bombs have made the too-short journey from the far-right’s psychotic pit of despair and into the establishment press. But in the case of the newest round of loud noises, the opposite is actually true.

    ATTACK: President Obama uses a teleprompter when delivering prepared remarks. This clearly means he’s a moron and intellectually incurious and incompetent and hopelessly doofish. Impeach! Impeach!

    $$$ Yes, politicians don’t know their stuff so well that they can speak freely…unless they are Bill Clinton. But even the mainstream press has been scratching their heads at how overly reliant obama is on a teleprompter for even the simplest things. Not crazy bloggers, but the same MSM that planted all those positive stories about him, and now they’re going “WTF??”.

    This one appears to have started with a February item by Dean Barnett in the self-satirical Weekly Standard in which he wrote that President Obama is unable to deliver prepared remarks without a teleprompter. You mean the president doesn’t memorize his speeches like other modern presidents? And by “other modern presidents,” I mean zero other modern presidents. Shocking.

    $$$ Shut up Bob.

    Then, earlier this month, Carol Lee wrote a piece for the Politico. Her angle was, in essence, that President Obama’s New Fangled Word Squares from Outer Space sometimes make it difficult for photographers and videographers to get a clean view of the president. Poor, poor news media. Why does President Obama’s teleprompter hate America?

    $$$ Because he hates America?

    In the past couple of weeks, the teleprompter attack has gone full-blown viral among far-right tea baggers and bloggers (who, by the way, still haven’t “gone Galt” as promised). Michelle Malkin, for example, posted a series of terrifically unfunny photoshopped images of the president and his teleprompters. Drudge ballyhooed a hilarious blog written by — get this — the president’s teleprompter. And random members of broader wingnuttia have taken to calling the president “TOTUS” (Teleprompter of the United States).

    $$$ But Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert and Keith Olbermann mocking W. was “fantastic”, “spot on”, “rolling on the floor”.

    So funny! I tell you what, here’s more fuel for the far-right bloggers. A gift from me to them. President Obama, it turns out, needs a pen — a PEN! — in order to write words on paper and to sign his name. Zing! Pow! Time to work up some awesome Obama’s Pen photoshops. In Pen We Trust! Barack HusseINK Obama! Sharpie of the United States — or “SOTUS.”

    But okay, I get it. The claim from the far-right is that, without his teleprompter, President Obama is a dumb stupid. Yes, far-right Bush dead-enders are equating verbal performance with intelligence.

    Say what you will about his politics, but no one with any degree of honesty can claim with a straight face that President Obama isn’t one of the smartest presidents of the last 50-plus years. The president’s impromptu speaking style, which the far-right misperceives as somehow “stupid,” is actually the president being thoughtful and prudent. And yes, he occasionally stammers and uses common verbal tics, but does that mean he’s “stupid?” Or disconnected? The same faction of people who proudly champion anti-intellectualism as a virtue are currently accusing a very smart man of being an idiot. Let me know if you can figure that one out. While you’re at it, what the hell is a “peeance freeance secure Iraq?”

    $$$ Here we go with the “Obama the Genius” spiel. Mini-vomit. Actually, obama is good at feiging listening and pretend-caring. But he really is incurious. How do you become the Harvard Law Review President and not write a single thing, except an order for Chinese take-out.

    The teleprompter attacks have become so inexplicably widespread that, Monday night, David Letterman aired a bit called “Teleprompter vs. No Teleprompter” about how stupid the whole teleprompter thing has become. Leading into a video comparing a clip of President Obama using a teleprompter and George W. Bush stammering without one, Letterman basically said (paraphrasing): “This is seriously all they’ve got?”

    Little did Letterman know that on Tuesday night the Great War on Teleprompters would reach new levels of hackery. Immediately following the end of the president’s prime time press conference, David Gregory on NBC and Brett Baier on FOX News Channel reported that the president used a teleprompter for his customary prepared statement at the top of the event. As if that was somehow unusual. Baier, by the way, read his remarks from a teleprompter.

    Meanwhile, the AP’s Washington Bureau Chief and Karl Rove Enabler, Ron Fournier, described the teleprompter as a “crutch.” Fact: all presidents read a prepared statement at the outset of their press conferences. More on that presently. The whole Fournier item is one long, shameless, desperate grab for far-right blog links. (Quick aside: in the comments under the Breitbart posting of Fournier’s article, a far-right commenter wrote: “Grab some John Galt gear from [Café Press store link] and join us at your local Tea Party this April 15th.” Yeah do that, because nothing says “deliberately not earning money and withdrawing from society in order to bring down the economy” quite like promoting and selling John Galt swag. Consistent!)

    A “crutch,” is what Fournier called it. This implies that using a teleprompter is somehow easier than reading from printed pages. That’s definitely not always the case. Just ask John McCain. If you’ve ever tried to read a speech or some dialogue from a teleprompter, it just rolls along — sometimes too quickly, other times too slowly. If it’s manually operated, you have to rely on the judgment of the operator and hope they’re paying attention. It’s really quite unnerving unless you’ve really mastered it. But if you have, why go back to reading from pages? There’s no point. It’s like learning to pilot a jet, but then only ever traveling bareback on a donkey.

    In politics and the media, teleprompters are about as commonplace as microphones and people named “O’Donnell.” Some use a teleprompter, some use paper, some use cue cards, some use both. Really, what difference does it make whether prepared remarks are read from paper or Perspex? Either way, we’re talking about prepared text printed on a readable medium. The teleprompter isn’t some space-age interdimensional portal that automatically injects your audience with nitrous oxide and mild doses of heroin, drugging them into an involuntary state of euphoric torpor. It simply allows the reader to deliver a speech without looking down at the podium. That’s all.

    Once again, there’s no other way to describe this attack other than to call it “loud noises!” amounting to schizoid, nonsensical garble. Just like any Glenn Beck show, in fact — maudlin platitudes that, if shouted loudly enough, sound very serious.

    So ultimately if the intention is to turn “teleprompter” into a bad word, then good luck running Sarah Palin in 2012. Sarah Palin — whose one bright shining moment came complete with a teleprompter, and whose most damning moments came without one.

  140. HillaryforTexas Says:

    March 30th, 2009 at 9:40 pm
    And the truth comes out….

    In the congressional hearings on ACORN, a witness/informant working with the NYT has said point blank that the NYT deliberately killed their stories on ACORN early in the primaries once it became clear that they were closely linked to Obama, because “it would be a game-changer.”
    &&&&&&&&&&

    HillaryforTexas, thanks, good story. Worth listing this section:

    During her testimony, Ms. Heidelbaugh said Ms. Moncrief had told her The New York Times articles stopped when she revealed that the Obama presidential campaign had sent its maxed-out donor list to ACORN’s Washington, D.C. office.

    Ms. Moncrief told Ms. Heidelbaugh the campaign had asked her and her boss to “reach out to the maxed-out donors and solicit donations from them for Get Out the Vote efforts to be run by ACORN.”

    (snip)

    U.S. Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisc., the ranking Republican on the committee, said the interactions between the Obama campaign and ACORN, as described by Ms. Moncrief, and attested to before the committee by Ms. Heidelbaugh, could possibly violate federal election law, and “ACORN has a pattern of getting in trouble for violating federal election laws.”

    He also voiced criticism of The New York Times.

    “If true, The New York Times is showing once again that it is a not an impartial observer of the political scene,” he said. “If they want to be a mouthpiece for the Democratic Party, they should put Barack Obama approves of this in their newspaper.”

    Academicians and journalism experts expressed similar criticism of the Times.

    “The New York Times keeps going over the line in every single campaign and last year was the worst, easily,” said Mal Kline of the American Journalism Center. “They would ignore real questions worth examining about Obama, the questions about Bill Ayers or about how he got his house. Then on the other side they would try to manufacture scandals.”

    Mr. Kline mentioned Gov. Sarah Palin was cleared by investigators of improperly firing an Alaska State Trooper, but went unnoticed by The Times.

    “How many stories about this were in The New York Times,” he asked.

    “If this is true, it would not surprise me at all. The New York Times is a liberal newspaper. It is dedicated to furthering the Democratic Party,” said Dr. Paul Kengor, professor of Political Science at Grove City College. “People think The New York Times is an objective news source and it is not. It would not surprise me that if they had a news story that would have swayed the election into McCain’s favor they would not have used it.”

  141. And yet by enmeshing the White House so deeply into G.M., Obama has increased the odds that March’s menacing threat will lead to June’s wobbly wiggle-out. The Obama administration and the Democratic Party are now completely implicated in the coming G.M. wreck. Over the next few months, the White House will be subject to a gigantic lobbying barrage. The Midwestern delegations, swing states all, will pull out all the stops to prevent plant foreclosures. Unions will be furious if the Obama-run company rips up the union contract. Is the White House ready for the headline “Obama to Middle America: Drop Dead”? It would take a party with a political death wish to see this through. (snip)

    The most likely outcome, sad to say, is some semiserious restructuring plan, with or without court involvement, to be followed by long-term government intervention and backdoor subsidies forever. That will amount to the world’s most expensive jobs program. It will preserve the overcapacity in the market, create zombie companies and thus hurt Ford. It will raise the protectionist threat as politicians seek to protect the car companies they now run. (snip)

    It would have been better to keep a distance from G.M. and prepare the region for a structured bankruptcy process. Instead, Obama leapt in. His intentions were good, but getting out with honor will require a ruthless tenacity that is beyond any living politician.
    ——————————-
    Even if it were true that “his intentions were good” as Brooks so naively asserts, the road to hell is paved with good intentions-Montaign.

    BThe game here is obvious: Obamamonster is once again using taxpayer dollars to buy political support for the dimocratic party.

    By keeping the auto companies alive but on life support he ensures they will vote for dims even if they ran adolph hitler, which argubaly they have.

    The strategy here is Machiavellian to the core but it causes the forever bamboozled Brooks imputes high motives to yet another ploy.

    If you look at it in the context of the stimulus plan both use taxpayer money not for sound economic reasons but to secure votes.

    It is politically risk only if he faces the music and renegotiates the union contract, directs plant closures or puts them through bankruptcy–which he won’t.

    If that ultimately happens, he will keep that safe distance Brooks pretends he no longer has. He is wrong. Again.

    When will this dolt Brooks wake up? When will he get wise to who this charlatan is. He needs to acquaint himself with the meaning of the word “sociopath” so he understands th real agenda.

  142. In the congressional hearings on ACORN, a witness/informant working with the NYT has said point blank that the NYT deliberately killed their stories on ACORN early in the primaries once it became clear that they were closely linked to Obama, because “it would be a game-changer.”
    ——————————————–
    The Josef Goebbels school of journalism.

  143. I am sure there is interest in this….and there should be

    In surfing the net today , i came across this article: New York Times Killed Stories of Obama’s Links to Vote Fraud/ACORN During Campaign

    link: tinyurl.com/cs9l2m

    in that article i found this information:

    The New York Times decided suddenly to drop all efforts last October to publish stories about the Association for Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) because it came to light that ACORN was a big donor to then presidential candidate Barack Obama’s campaign. The Times is said to have told ACORN insider Anita Moncrief that they were dropping the story because it was a “game changer” for the election and might hurt Obama’s campaign.

    Heidelbaugh, who worked for the Penn. Republican State Committee in a vote fraud lawsuit against ACORN, told a House Judiciary subcommittee on March 19 that she had found a close link between ACORN, Project Vote and the Obama campaign through the inside information from former ACORN worker Anita Moncrief.

    snip:

    Moncrief also has an interesting and deeply detailed website where she discusses her experiences at ACORN and all the criminal activity there. In January, Moncrief also wrote a piece detailing the links.

    *****

    LINK TO MONCRIEF’S WEBSITE: anitamoncrief.blogspot.com/
    LINK TO MONCRIEFS ARTICLE: theunionlabelblog.com/2009/01/19/acorn-project-vote-and-the-eac/

    *****

    I have not had time to read it all but thought some of you may want to as well … I would appreciate hearing back from those who do and what their thoughts/reactions etc are.

  144. Jan-here is more on this guy Navarre. Associate Professor of Economics at University of California Irvine. Harvard and Tufts. What got me curious about him was the hit piece posted above on Obama and by to a certain degree Hillary as well. When academicans like Peter want to front end load the issue of human rights, I get suspicious and think of Carter. It is one issue on the agenda, and should not be allowed to block progress on all other issues.

    It turns out he has written a book on the subject called The Coming China Wars which lays out his perspective on the broader array of issues. To characterize this administration as a hostage to China however is to miss the larger point which is they have major leverage and contrary to his assumption, they can indeed move away from financing our economy through t-bills into hard goods if they foresee a worldwide depression, our consumption of their products drops precipitously because we are saving more and spending less, and if they see Obamaeconomics as a return to old unhappy far off policies which are destined to failure.
    ————————————————————
    China’s breakneck industrialization is placing it on a collision course with the entire world. Tomorrow’s China Wars will be fought over everything from decent jobs, livable wages, and leading-edge technologies to strategic resources such as oil, copper, and steel…even food, water, and air. In The Coming China Wars, best-selling author Peter Navarro previews all these potential conflicts-and reveals the urgent, radical decisions that must be made to avoid catastrophe. You’ll learn how China’s thirst for oil is driving nuclear proliferation in Iran, genocide in the Sudan, even Japan’s remilitarization. You’ll discover China’s shocking role in the drug trade and how its reborn flesh trade may help trigger tomorrow’s worst AIDS crisis. Navarro also reveals how China has become the world’s most ruthless imperialist…how it is promoting global environmental disaster… and, perhaps most terrifying of all, how this nuclear superpower and pirate nation may be spiraling toward internal chaos. The threat is real. We all must come to understand it and then act! Start here and now by arming yourself with the information and insights of The Coming China Wars. The “China Price”: Conquering the world’s export markets The real story behind China’s “weapons of mass production” China versus U.S.: The “blood for oil” flashpoints The coming U.S./China showdown over oil Pirate Nation: China’s state-sanctioned thievery How China’s counterfeit drugs and products can literally kill you Triggering tomorrow’s worst AIDS crisis China’s 21st century flesh trade: The seeds of a global health disaster
    “Peter Navarro has captured the breadth of areas where China and the United States have fundamentalconflicts of business, economic and strategic interests. He puts this into a global context demonstrating where China’s current development course can lead to conflict. His recommendations for nations to coalesce to respond to the challenges posed by China are practical. This book should be in the hands of every businessperson, economist and policy-maker.” -Dr. Larry M. Wortzel, Chairman, US-China Economic and Security Review Commission “The Coming China Wars is a gripping, fact-filled account of the dark side of China’s rise that will be of interest to anyone interested in this complex and fascinating country. Navarro makes no pretense toward searching for the middle ground in the China debate. He issues a call to arms for China and the rest of the world to act now to address the country’s mounting problems-pollution, public health, intellectual property piracy, resource scarcity and more-or risk both serious instability within China and military conflict between China and other major powers.”

  145. Even if it were true that “his intentions were good” as Brooks so naively asserts, the road to hell is paved with good intentions-Montaign.
    *****************************
    I agree Wbboei! Brooks just can’t stay away from the koolaid. It’s killing him to even try to be a journalist…

  146. Last night on the way home, I caught the show Marketplace discussing the GM situation, and the interviewee said that the unions share some of the blame for GM’s woes, and that as well as Wagoner, Obama should have asked union leaders to step down as well. His gist is that they hardball negotiated a sweet set of deals that wound up helping further cripple GM.

    He mentioned that GM’s help care costs are double that of Japanese manufacturers. It reminds me, all the years that we boasted how proud we were to be true capitalists, damn the social safety nets, the fact is that lack of a good government run health care system has foisted those costs onto the corporate sector, which in turn makes it harder for them to compete.

    Hillary as POTUS would be actively pushing for something smelling and looking like single-payer health care, something obama will never try. He’s Mr. Half-measure.

    Here’s the link, and the transcript. Enjoy.

    marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2009/03/30/pm_auto_unions/

    Auto union drove GM to trouble
    =======================

    Tess Vigeland: As we discussed earlier, the Obama administration forced General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner to resign this weekend as part of the government’s effort to save the ailing automaker. The firing-by-any-other-name was positioned as being in the best interests of GM’s future. But with or without Wagoner, GM’s future remains in question. Commentator Kevin Hassett says there may be more politics than economics at work here.

    ——————————————————————————–

    KEVIN HASSETT: President Obama has a huge political debt to the unions and that’s why he’s avoiding the obvious solution to the auto crisis.

    Historically, failing American companies like GM have entered bankruptcy. In bankruptcy, they either liquidate or, if the firm is worth saving, reorganize.

    Bankruptcy reorganizations are painful for stakeholders. Hard-nosed judges give workers, managers and debtors severe haircuts in order to reshape a firm into a new organism that can thrive again. But bankruptcy can work. Most everyone has flown on an airline that has emerged from a successful bankruptcy.

    This economic crisis is unique in history in that troubled firms have sought protection from politicians, rather than bankruptcy courts. Why? Because if you’re politically connected, you can expect a much better deal from politicians than you would ever get from a worldly and experienced bankruptcy judge.

    GM is in deep trouble mostly because the United Auto Workers have festooned the company with rigid work rules and extravagant costs. The 2007 collective-bargaining agreement, for example, required the automaker to pay up to $140,000 in severance to a worker whose position was eliminated. And that is nothing compared to the enormous health-care costs these companies are laden with. The average cost of employing a worker at the Big Three, including benefits, was nearly twice that of Japanese automakers. No wonder the automakers are hemorrhaging cash.

    A bankruptcy judge would bring some reason to labor costs and create a GM that could emerge stronger. But the unions have a better idea. They plan to use taxpayer money to fund their juicy compensation. And they know they can count on Obama and the Democrats to help them. All told, organized labor contributed over $74 million in the 2008 campaign cycle, 92 percent of that went to Democrats.

    History will tell a simple story about GM: Union bosses successfully negotiated sweetheart packages that destroyed GM’s competitiveness. If Obama was serious about creating an enterprise that can thrive in the future, he would have demanded that the union bosses resign along with Wagoner. Instead, it’s payback time.

    VIGELAND: Kevin Hassett is the director of economic studies at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C.

  147. Let that one stick out:

    $$$$$
    And they know they can count on Obama and the Democrats to help them. All told, organized labor contributed over $74 million in the 2008 campaign cycle, 92 percent of that went to Democrats.

  148. What the hell are the markets doing up after the GM debacle? Must be Soro’s and Co.Unbelievable.

    110 ^Dow

  149. gonzotx Says:

    March 31st, 2009 at 11:40 am
    Even if it were true that “his intentions were good” as Brooks so naively asserts, the road to hell is paved with good intentions-Montaign.
    *****************************
    I agree Wbboei! Brooks just can’t stay away from the koolaid. It’s killing him to even try to be a journalist…
    &&&&&&&&&&&&&

    For someone who is supposedly a kookaid imbiber, even he is finding fault with obama’s course of action. He doubts obama will follow through on his strong words. And he writes:

    “And yet by enmeshing the White House so deeply into G.M., Obama has increased the odds that March’s menacing threat will lead to June’s wobbly wiggle-out. The Obama administration and the Democratic Party are now completely implicated in the coming G.M. wreck. Over the next few months, the White House will be subject to a gigantic lobbying barrage. The Midwestern delegations, swing states all, will pull out all the stops to prevent plant foreclosures. Unions will be furious if the Obama-run company rips up the union contract.”

    Yoda say: “Couching his criticism is Brooks”.

  150. Daily Finance
    ***************************************

    Home prices drop a record 19 percent
    Joseph Lazzaro
    Mar 31st 2009 at 11:00AM

    Yet another devastating data point for the U.S. housing sector.

    Home prices in 20 U.S. cities declined at the fastest annual pace ever in January — plunging 18.9 percent. Prices were weighed down by foreclosures and bank efforts to unload houses, according to the S&P / Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price survey (pdf).

    Housing slump far from over

    The latest data provides more evidence that the nation’s record housing slump is far from over.

    Further, the index has fallen every month since January 2007. Home prices fell 18.5 percent in December 2008 on a year-over-year basis. What’s more, home prices have now declined about 30 percent since their peak in 2006.

    The study’s co-author, Yale University economics professor Robert Shiller, is not optimistic about prices, at least in the near future.

    “At this point it doesn’t look great for the near-term,” Shiller told Bloomberg Radio Thursday. “I don’t give quantitative forecasts, but one thing [study co-author Karl] Case and I documented is that there is substantial momentum in home prices. Home prices are not stock prices. The real estate market is not efficient. It moves in trends. …It is very trendy.”

    And right now that trend remains decidedly negative. Every city in the 20-city index registered a decrease in January, on a year-over-year basis.

    Further, prices in the 10-city survey plummeted a record 19.4 percent on a year-over-year basis.

    Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected home prices in the 20-city Case-Shiller survey to decline 17.2 to 19.0 percent in January on a year-over-year basis.

    The areas with the largest annual percentage declines were: Phoenix, -35.0 percent, Las Vegas, -33.5 percent, San Francisco, -32.4 percent, Miami, -29.4 percent, Los Angeles, -25.8 percent, and San Diego, -24.9 percent.

    Year-over-year percentage price changes in other major U.S. cities were as follows: New York, -9.6 percent, Chicago, -16.4 percent, Boston, -7.3 percent, Washington, D.C., -19.3 percent, Atlanta, -14.3 percent, Dallas, -4.9 percent, Denver, -5.1 percent, and Seattle, -15.0 percent.

    Index closely followed

    Originally greeted by Wall Street with a shrug, S&P / Case-Shiller home price data rose to market-mover status in 2008 as it became clear that the United States’ housing boom during the past decade was, in fact, a bubble fueled considerably by mortgage market excesses, from borrower to lender. The bursting of that bubble triggered record home mortgage foreclosures and mortgage back securities defaults (toxic assets), which led to the financial crisis that the U.S. and world are still trying to end today.

    As a result, investors, economists, home builders, and homeowners alike now closely-monitor Case-Shiller home price data in order to discern clues as to when the housing slump may end — a recovery that historically has contributed to U.S. GDP growth.

    Housing problem: high inventories

    The housing market’s primary problem remains unsold homes stemming from 2008’s very high home foreclosure level. Foreclosures jumped 29.9 percent in February from a year earlier after rising 17.8 percent in January, according to data compiled by RealtyTrac.

    Inventories of both new and existing homes are 9-10 month levels at the current sales pace — well above normal market inventories. Until that excess inventory has been worked-off, home prices are not likely to bottom, economists and real estate analysts agree.

    Further, even though lower prices are beginning to attract buyers in selected markets, that additional demand is being offset by more-rigorous mortgage qualification requirements, and the outlook for the economy. Many people who would typically consider buying a home now are holding off, due to concern that the U.S. recession will force businesses to make more cuts. During recessions, both home and auto purchase decisions are typically delayed, and that has certainly been the case with the current downturn.

    Falling prices delaying purchases

    The experience of Mike Murphy’s family is one example. His daughter Kelley and her husband Tom Stevens, expecting their first child, were set to buy their first home, a three-bedroom in the New York City suburb of White Plains, N.Y. Mike Murphy was planning in helping with the down payment.

    “They need the space, with the new baby on the way, but it just doesn’t make sense, given that prices are still dropping, and the economy remains weak,” Mike Murphy said. “Tom’s job is relatively safe [he’s s civil engineer], but in this recession no one knows what’s going to happen next. So they’ve decided to delay the home purchase for six months, hoping the economy improves.”

    Hence, economists generally agree that home buyer traffic — and by extension, home prices — are not likely to begin to bottom until citizens see a reduction in lay-offs.

    “Arresting the slide in home prices will be key to ending the recession,” John Silvia, chief economist at Wachovia Corp. in Charlotte, North Carolina, told Bloomberg News Thursday.

    Housing Sector Analysis: There’s no way to sugar coat it: very poor housing conditions persist. Home buyers remain sidelined on the U.S. economy’s weakness, concerns about future layoffs, and the belief that housing prices will continue to decline. As a result, it would be optimistic to suggest a U.S. home-price bottom by the end of Q3 2009. More than likely, a bottom will not occur until Q1 2010. Further, given the importance of housing to the U.S. economy (at least historically), that suggests that an economic recovery would be hard-pressed to start before Q4 2009.

  151. When will this dolt Brooks wake up? When will he get wise to who this charlatan is. He needs to acquaint himself with the meaning of the word “sociopath” so he understands th real agenda.
    ***************************************************

    Wbboei One Kinobi….

  152. Just got this from Kerry, read it and laugh. I sent him a message….

    Hello Sandra,

    The Republicans will do anything to stop President Obama from winning the 60 Senate seats he needs to pass his agenda. That’s why they’ve set their sights on taking down Ted Kennedy’s partner on the biggest progressive fights on the last twenty nine years: my friend Chris Dodd.

    We can’t let them. We need to stand with Chris Dodd now.

    We need to stand with Chris because while others were afraid to fight, he took a stand on civil liberties and battled the Bush Administration over immunity for illegal eavesdropping.

    We need to stand with Chris because while others said it couldn’t be done, he wrote and passed the landmark Family and Medical Leave Act to help parents care for a sick child without losing their job.

    Chris has been a great friend to anyone who cares about progressive politics.

    And now he needs our help.

    Republicans are desperate to try to hold the line in the Senate, to give them the bare minimum needed to keep up their games of obstruction and delay. And they know Chris is a champion for our side. So they are gunning all out for Chris Dodd, but Chris Dodd is a fighter and he’s come out swinging.

    But he needs our help in this fight. Republican operatives and their allies in the right wing media have been personally attacking Chris for months. They will keep up the attacks, hoping to bring down a great Senate leader and an indispensable ally of President Obama.

    We can’t let them do that. Please follow this link to help keep Chris Dodd in the Senate:

    http://www.actblue.com/page/kerry4dodd

    We have so much work to do to get our country back on the right track, and we need Chris Dodd to be a big part of that.

    Thank you for your help.

    Sincerely,
    John Kerry

  153. ShortTermer Says:

    March 30th, 2009 at 12:32 pm
    Why is my comment being moderated, it did not contain any hs or ws?
    &&&&&&&&&&&&&

    Because we just didn’t like it. Harrrrumph.
    ________________________________________
    I am sorry you did not like my comment, and if you speak for the entire group and Admin, I will gladly remove myself from this blog. I spoke as a female who has witnessed and endured some of this misogyny over the years.

  154. OBAMA’S MOST PERILOUS LEGAL PICK

    JUDGES should interpret the Constitution according to other nations’ legal “norms.” Sharia law could apply to disputes in US courts. The United States constitutes an “axis of disobedience” along with North Korea and Saddam-era Iraq.

    Those are the views of the man on track to become one of the US government’s top lawyers: Harold Koh.

    President Obama has nominated Koh — until last week the dean of Yale Law School — to be the State Department’s legal adviser. In that job, Koh would forge a wide range of international agreements on issues from trade to arms control, and help represent our country in such places as the United Nations and the International Court of Justice.

    It’s a job where you want a strong defender of America’s sovereignty. But that’s not Koh. He’s a fan of “transnational legal process,” arguing that the distinctions between US and international law should vanish.

    What would this look like in a practical sense? Well, California voters have overruled their courts, which had imposed same-sex marriage on the state. Koh would like to see such matters go up the chain through federal courts — which, in turn, should look to the rest of the world. If Canada, the European Human Rights Commission and the United Nations all say gay marriage should be legal — well, then, it should be legal in California too, regardless of what the state’s voters and elected representatives might say.

    He even believes judges should use this “logic” to strike down the death penalty, which is clearly permitted in the US Constitution.

    The primacy of international legal “norms” applies even to treaties we reject. For example, Koh believes that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child — a problematic document that we haven’t ratified — should dictate the age at which individual US states can execute criminals. Got that? On issues ranging from affirmative action to the interrogation of terrorists, what the rest of the world says, goes.

    Including, apparently, the world of radical imams. A New York lawyer, Steven Stein, says that, in addressing the Yale Club of Greenwich in 2007, Koh claimed that “in an appropriate case, he didn’t see any reason why sharia law would not be applied to govern a case in the United States.”

    CONTINUE TO PAGE 2

    nypost.com/seven/03302009/postopinion/opedcolumnists/obamas_most_perilous_legal_pick_161961.htm

    is there anything we can do to stop this???

  155. Here’s an op-ed column from the Alaska governor that was published in print over the weekend:

    Stimulus dollars must not result in government expansion

    By GOV. SARAH PALIN
    Published: March 28th, 2009 05:28 PM

    “My job is to help Alaskans count the cost for the long term, not sell our birthright for short-term gain. Alaskans must acknowledge that if we dig a fiscal hole, it will be filled by our families and businesses. Reliance on Washington is not our only option. We could exercise fiscal responsibility and prudent planning, develop our resources, energize Alaskans and revitalize our spirit. We are up to the challenge. This is the best lesson we can teach our children.”

    adn.com/opinion/story/739833.html

  156. gonzotx, Thanks. I did not mind being taken out behind the woodshed, but I was very offended by the “Harrrrumph”. That was so like Donald Rumsfeld’s, “Good, Lord” [iirc or words to that effect,] in response to Hillary. Neither was warranted.

  157. djia, what Sarah is saying is what every politician and governing entity in America should be saying. It makes perfect sense. Some are. It appears that the legislature may oppose our Gov Crist who wants to accept the $ from the government.

  158. moon,

    I’m seeing red. I hope Hillary tears a strip off them for this misbegotten, disgusting legislation.

  159. 🙂 back at you JanH. I love all the posts here. This is where I stay informed without propaganda chugged down my throat.

  160. ShortTermer Says:

    March 31st, 2009 at 12:52 pm
    gonzotx, Thanks. I did not mind being taken out behind the woodshed, but I was very offended by the “Harrrrumph”. That was so like Donald Rumsfeld’s, “Good, Lord” [iirc or words to that effect,] in response to Hillary. Neither was warranted.
    &&&&&&&&&

    It most certainly was a joke. I put in the harrumph for effect. I wasn’t even sure what your comment was….

  161. Clinton offers olive branch to Taliban

    Tue Mar 31, 2009; By Sue Pleming

    THE HAGUE (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday at a U.N. conference on Afghanistan that Taliban members in Afghanistan who abandoned extremism must be granted an “honorable form of reconciliation.” “We must also support efforts by the government of Afghanistan to separate the extremists of al Qaeda and the Taliban from those who have joined their ranks not out of conviction, but out of desperation,” Clinton said at an international conference on Afghanistan in the Hague. “This is, in fact, the case for a majority of those fighting with the Taliban,” she told delegates from more than 70 countries at the meeting.

    Clinton’s comments echo those of U.S. President Barack Obama who said this month that he was open to the idea of reaching out to moderate elements of the Taliban.
    “They should be offered an honorable form of reconciliation and re-integration into a peaceful society, if they are willing to abandon violence, break with al Qaeda, and support the constitution,” Clinton said.

    In veiled criticism of Afghanistan’s current leaders, Clinton said there needed to be a government that was “legitimate and respected” and there was no room for corruption. “Corruption is a cancer — as dangerous to our long-term success as the Taliban or al Qaeda. A government that cannot deliver for its people is a terrorist’s best recruiting tool,” Clinton said. She urged an “open, free and fair” election in August and announced $40 million in U.S. funding to help the United Nations prepare for the poll, urging others to do the same.

    Clinton was at the conference to give details of the new U.S. war strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which involves a more regional approach to the conflict bringing in neighbors such as Iran. The Obama administration has also pledged an additional 21,000 troops to the war effort, including some 4,000 forces to help train Afghanistan’s army. “The international community must meet this challenge as well,” said Clinton, appealing for more international help in stabilizing Afghanistan.
    “We should provide every army and police unit in Afghanistan with an international partner that can help with training and build capacity,” she said.

    Clinton said the global effort should ultimately stand up an Afghan army of at least 134,000 and a police force of at least 82,000 by 2011.

    U.S. foe Iran is also attending the conference along with other neighbors and, without mentioning Tehran, Clinton said Afghanistan’s problems could not be solved without the help of its neighbors. “Trafficking in narcotics, the spread of violent extremism, economic stagnation, water management, electrification, and irrigation are regional challenges that will require regional solutions,” she said.

    reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE52U2EC20090331

  162. ShortTermer Says:

    March 30th, 2009 at 12:31 pm
    Admin, great work, again. The Daniel Hannan video resonates.

    From the earlier thread in discussion of Hillary ‘not’ taking it to convention, I would like to put forth what I believe may be the reason.
    The YouTube video that a supporter and backer placed online went viral. And it was not good news for the huckster and the DNC camps;it looked like it was to be a success. Up until that point taking it to the convention was not believed to by those WhoDoneIt; it was a wake up call that she had the support behind her to do it, but after the video the possibility was squashed. It was at that point that I witnessed our Hillary looking downtrodden. It has been my contention that she/her family/or all of them were threatened – likely by the Party leaders and the Chicago Corruption Combine. And I can not erase from my memory her being ‘marched’ Gestapo style down the aisle by Rangle/Schumer and other thugs to give away her delegates. I will never forget her being manhandled and the look on her face. She was not there by choice IMHO.
    &&&&&&&&

    …And I actually agreed with your comment 100%. The Dems treatment of Hilllary was disgusting, and yes, I too wonder about what sort of threats or intimidation were behind her complicity to fold.

    Harrrumph indeed!!!

  163. wbboei Says:

    March 31st, 2009 at 11:26 am

    “To characterize this administration as a hostage to China however is to miss the larger point which is they have major leverage and contrary to his assumption, they can indeed move away from financing our economy through t-bills into hard goods if they foresee a worldwide depression, our consumption of their products drops precipitously because we are saving more and spending less, and if they see Obamaeconomics as a return to old unhappy far off policies which are destined to failure.”

    ————————————————–

    Well said!

  164. Now MY comment is in moderation. Harrumph.

    rgb44hrc Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    March 31st, 2009 at 12:59 pm

  165. AOL is showing a banner story on Oprah’s school in Africa. Evidently there is another sex scandal which is amoung the students this time.

    As I remember, Oprah did not want to build a school like this in the US as American children needed to many things, and I got the impression they were not grateful enough.

    Well, I wonder how she is feeling about her international school experience at this point.

  166. ShortTermer Says:

    March 30th, 2009 at 12:31 pm
    —————————-
    I am so sure that what you are saying is true that I would bet my life on it–and never look back.

  167. NewMexicoFan, I have wondered for years why Harpo had not taken the Mississippi girls under her wing. It did not make sense to me. The most of them would likely appreciate a hand up instead of a handout. She got her breaks from someone, but has failed to give the same opportunities, and she could easily afford to do so, to others who experience the same plight. I will never forgive her for forcing the huckster on all of us. She shares as much blame and I can barely stand to even hear her name anymore. She duped the American women into becoming sheeple. Shame on her.

  168. Mar 31, 2009

    Pakistani Taliban threatens attack on White House

    By ASSOCIATED PRESS

    The commander of the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility Tuesday for a deadly assault on a Pakistani police academy and said the group was planning a terrorist attack on the White House that would “amaze” the world. Baitullah Mehsud, who has a $5 million bounty on his head from the US, said Monday’s attack on the outskirts of the eastern city of Lahore was retaliation for US missile strikes against militants along the Afghan border. “Soon we will launch an attack in Washington that will amaze everyone in the world,” Mehsud told The Associated Press by phone. He provided no details.

    Mehsud has never been directly linked to any attacks outside Pakistan, but attacks blamed on his network of fighters have widened in scope and ambition in recent years. The threat comes days after President Barack Obama warned that al-Qaida is actively planning attacks on the United States from secret havens in Pakistan.
    Pakistan’s former government and the CIA named Mehsud as the prime suspect behind the December 2007 killing of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Pakistani officials accuse him of harboring foreign fighters, including Central Asians linked to al-Qaida, and of training suicide bombers. In his latest comments, Mehsud identified the White House as one of the targets in an interview with local Dewa Radio, a copy of which was obtained by the AP.

    The US Embassy in Islamabad declined to comment on the threat.

    Mehsud also claimed responsibility for a suicide car bombing that killed four soldiers Monday in Bannu district and a suicide attack targeting a police station in Islamabad last week that killed one officer. Such attacks pose a major test for the weak, year-old civilian administration of Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari that has been gripped with political turmoil in recent weeks.

    An Interior Ministry spokesman said it was too early to respond to Mehsud’s claim, but the Interior Ministry chief said Monday that authorities had information linking the attack to Mehsud. He said at least one of the attackers arrived in Lahore about 15 days ago from Mehsud’s stronghold of South Waziristan near the border with Pakistan and rented a house. The gunmen who attacked the police academy killed seven police and two civilians, holding security forces at bay for about eight hours before being overpowered by Pakistani commandos. Some of the attackers wore police uniforms, and they took hostages and tossed grenades during the assault.

    Earlier Tuesday, a spokesman from a little-known militant group linked to the Pakistani Taliban also claimed responsibility for the attack and a similar ambush-style attack against the Sri Lankan cricket team earlier this month in Lahore. It was not immediately possible to reconcile the two claims. Omar Farooq, who said he is the spokesman for Fedayeen al-Islam, said the group would carry out more attacks unless Pakistani troops withdraw from tribal areas near the Afghan border and the US stops its drone strikes. The group previously said it was behind the deadly September bombing of the Marriott hotel in Islamabad that killed 54 people.

    Mehsud declined to comment on Fedayeen al-Islam’s claim that it carried out the attack or to say whether the group is linked to his own. The Pakistani Taliban leader also said he was not deterred by the US bounty on his head: “I wish to die and embrace martyrdom.” The AP has spoken to Mehsud several times in the past and recognized his voice, and a request for an interview with Mehsud was submitted through his aide. The militant leader also granted phone interviews to other media organizations.

    The Pakistani Taliban has links with al-Qaida and Afghan Taliban militants who have launched attacks against US and NATO forces in Afghanistan from a base in the border region between the two countries. Pakistan faces tremendous US pressure to eradicate militants from its soil and has launched several military operations in the Afghan border region.The US has stepped up drone attacks against militants in the area, causing tension with Pakistani officials who protest they are a violation of the country’s sovereignty and kill innocent civilians.

    Monday’s highly coordinated attack highlighted that militants in the country pose a threat far outside the border region. It prompted Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik, Pakistan’s top civilian security official, to say that militant groups were “destabilizing the country.” After gunmen stormed the academy, masses of security forces surrounded the compound, exchanging fire in televised scenes reminiscent of the militant siege in the Indian city of Mumbai in November and the attack on Sri Lanka’s cricket team. Officials Tuesday were still trying to sort out how many attackers were involved, giving varying accounts to the media. A senior Lahore police investigator, Zulfikar Hameed, told the AP that three of the attackers blew themselves up when commandos retook the police academy and one was shot by security forces. Hameed said it was difficult to say precisely how many militants carried out the attack and some may have escaped. A senior military official said security forces arrested three attackers, including one who was trying to throw a hand grenade at a helicopter. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.
    Tasneem Qureshi, a top official at the Interior Ministry, told an Express News TV that four attackers were in custody and “one, who was wounded, managed to escape.”

    Punjab police chief, Khawaja Khalid Farooq, said one of the captured militants had provided useful information and that about 50 other people in Lahore were detained overnight for questioning.

    jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1238423653979&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

  169. White House dismisses fresh G20 division reports
    1 hour ago

    LONDON (AFP) — A senior White House official on Tuesday dismissed fresh reports of division between the United States and key European partners on how best to revive the global economy, ahead of the G20 summit. Mike Froman, a deputy national security advisor for international economic affairs, argued that the summit on Thursday would end with broad agreement on the need to do whatever was necessary to restore growth. He spoke amid fresh suggestions that key European powers were not satisfied with the level of regulation being offered by President Barack Obama after balking at his calls for more rigorous economic stimulus measures.

    “Despite the back and forth in the press, nobody at any point has any expectations that countries would come to this meeting… and say ‘I am going to do another point of stimulus,'” Froman said. “That is not what these summits are about, this is not a pledging conference. Right now there is vigorous debate in Europe as to whether more stimulus is necessary or prudent.” “Countries have done stimulus, those stimulus plans are being implemented, and from our point of view, all that is necessary down the road, if growth is not restored, how will countries react?”

    New hints of division emerged on Tuesday after French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said France was prepared to “walk away” from the summit if it fails to secure agreements on issues it wants. “President (Nicolas) Sarkozy was very clear on that front, he said if the deliverables are not there, I won’t sign the communique,” Lagarde, who spoke in English, told the BBC. “It means walking away. I think he’s very determined.” On a visit to the central French town of Chatelleraut, Sarkozy said there was “no choice” but for the summit to get results. “The crisis is too serious for us to hold a summit for nothing,” he added.

    Froman also said that though the final shape of the Group of 20 communique was still being hammered out, the shape of a consensus was emerging. “There is agreement for example to expand the scope of regulation to any institution, market or product that is systemically important to the international financial system and that could include hedge funds.” He also said that recommendations would be made on capitalizing debt-ridden financial institutions. “My sense is that there will be a credible and legitimate package of steps both on the restoring side and on the regulatory reform side.” Froman spoke in London, as Obama flew across the Atlantic on Air Force One for his first major overseas trip, which includes the G20 summit, a NATO summit in France and Germany, meetings with the European Union in Prague and an onward trip to Turkey.

    google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5g0XjKquLmXCg7AaGbRyOF3R1U8vQ

  170. March 31, 2009

    LONDON — Hoping to disarm nations ready to lay the blame for the international economic slump at the United States’ feet, a senior White House official said Tuesday Washington will not shy away from accepting some responsibility for the crisis in international financial markets. He also laid out how a new financial regulatory structure could be policed. “President Obama has been fairly open in sort of saying what he believes the causes of crisis are, and that some of them rest in the weakness of the regulatory system in our country,” Michael Froman, deputy White House national security adviser for international economic affairs, told reporters here. “I don’t think we are at all averse in having an open dialogue about the causes of the crisis. … We’re not here to be defensive or to be shirking any responsibility.”

    He said the summit of the Group of 20 nations here will expand the reach of the Financial Stability Forum, an organization crafted by the nations with the seven largest economies, to include representatives from all 20 members of the G-20, to give large developing countries, such as Brazil and China, more say in the regulation of cross-border financial institutions. The forum would also be charged with implementing a crackdown on tax havens that will be recommended Thursday when the G-20 summit concludes.

    Mr. Froman’s overtures come as many members of the G-20 are looking to punish the United States and Britain for what they see as a free-wheeling style capitalism that led to the crisis crushing their economies. “This crisis was caused by no black man or woman or by no indigenous person or by no poor person,” Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva said last week after talks with Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain. “This crisis was fostered and boosted by irrational behavior of some people that are white, blue-eyed. Before the crisis they looked like they knew everything about economics, and they have demonstrated they know nothing about economics.”

    Mr. Froman tried to deflect such recriminations, saying the nations of the G-20 have already come together to embrace a four-part agenda of “sustained” economic stimulus, international financial regulations, free trade and aid to the poorest countries buffeted by the crisis. The members have already agreed to “expand the scope of regulations to any institution, market or product that’s systemically important to the international financial system,” he said, mentioning hedge funds in particular.

    “The stakes for this summit are very high,” he said.

    blogs.wsj.com/economics/2009/03/31/white-house-to-accept-some-blame-for-economic-crisis/

  171. What ever comes out of the G-20 in the Press and at the WH will be deemed a resounding success. However, the real success will be told by the back door. I not sure if we can take any more good news that is really bad.

  172. Finally!
    I went down to the local Board of Elections and I officially changed my voter registration from Dem to Independen.

    That was right after I pulled the lever for Tedisco. . . as a still registered dem.

    I hope Tedisco gets Gillibrand’s seat and shows the BO teflon wearing off. People upstate are furious about everything Dem, including the
    inadvertent governor, and talk radio stations are hitting the S word (seceding from NYC) hard.
    If only!

  173. TO Senator Horseface Kerry:

    Forget about the republicans; This former Democrat, now an independent wants DODD OUT TODAY!!!!!!

    TO SENATOR DODD:
    You have been corrupt in many ways the latest being AIG….An I will never forget what you said in one of the early debates in the primaries last year….”We in the DEM PARTY do not knwo if we wish Hillary to be nominee” when asked whether they would support the final nominee….

    And you did not do you job on the finance committee AT ALL.

    RESIGN TODAY!!!!!!

  174. In response to my post at 11:46 am regarding Marketplace interview with Kevin Hassett, many of the comments at marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2009/03/30/pm_auto_unions/

    said Hassett was dredging up old Republican ideas that “unions are the root of all evil”, etc. Like this one:

    By Citykid ptarmigan
    From Anchorage, AK, 03/31/2009

    I think you should get rid of Kevin Hassett because he is a liar. He is perpetuating the myth that labor is what has damaged the US automakers; a myth that has been floating around since the Reagan Administration. The reality is, and has been for some time, that 90% of the labor cost to manufacture a car in the United States goes to management – not to the folks building the cars. One need only look at the divide between management salaries at Toyota, now the leading auto manufacturer in the world and GM, Chrysler, or Ford. It’s management at the big 3 (didn’t there used to be 4) that has damaged the U.S. auto industry – not the folks who really build the cars. Shame on you for allowing Hassett to spread the big lie. Your show lost more than a few points, in my book, by letting this guy have air time.
    &&&&&&&&&&

    Now don’t get us wrong, many/most of us here at Big Pink are quite pro-union. We have a huge problem with Repubs trying to undermine the little guy.

    But with obama, the nexus between him and the union heads seems to be a quid pro quo arrangement, that in exchange for union support, obama was going to give them a lot in return. The idea seeems to be that they are going to use government (the taxpayers) to help solidify Democrats in power with unions benefiting.

    We didn’t like our taxpaying dollars going toward entrenching Repubs (remember just two years ago, the “Permanent Republican Majority” was just a couple of election cycles down the road?), and it’s not right to help The Other Guys either.

  175. Why is it that two people saw fit to take me to task for the small comment about Gore, but nobody saw fit to say anything to the person who put the post up to begin with.

    I didn’t read it anywhere but here. Perhaps I either should’t believe anything that’s posted here.

    All I said after reading that post, was that I thought he was a good guy and now I don’t know if I’ll ever trust anyone again. I didn’t post the possible erronous article.

    People here are always posting things from other sites and newspapers and no one is making any comments about whether or not it is 100% true, but let me make a little comment on one of them, then I hear about it. Why is that? Hmmm?

    It makes me think that possibly I should’t put too much stock in anything posted here. Is that what you are trying to tell me?

  176. bluegirl,

    I don’t trust Gore, either. IMHO the global warming issue is a complete farce.

    And I wouldn’t worry about posting whatever you like, here.

    We’re all entitled to our opinions.

  177. bluegirl Says:

    March 31st, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    —————————–

    Posters here are allowed to disagree with other poster comments. It happens all the time and you are not being singled out. Your choice to evaluate articles posted here in any way you like.

  178. Oprah doesn’t know what to do with herself anymore. She’s gone round the bend in her maniacal
    obsession with Obama, as ‘the one’. Maya Angelou tried dissuading Oprah from declaring for Obama early on- Oprah would have none of it.

    Maya stuck with our Hillary to the bitter end; while Oprah binged on cream puffs and mac and cheese. Subsequently, she blew up like a tick, gaining another 100lbs.

  179. BLUEGIRL

    I have been busy today trying to catch up on house work and with politics..i’ve been working around the clock lately

    so i am not so sure i have followed enough today to know where your coming from exactly..so bare with me please

    seeing as i didn’t really see any posters taking you to task i can not make a comment in regards to that
    but i think? the orginal poster of the article in which you refer too was me

    as for it being 100% true……. the article is referenced by fox news originally , then canada free press picks it up and adds to it then infowars.com picked it up and did their thing….. so IMHO after 3 articles written by 3 respective media outlets an no one was disputing anything written/reported by the other i feel safe to assume it is correct information

    take it as you will, or do some investigative work of your own and feel free to come back here with YOUR INFO
    and share with the rest of us what you fi

    that is how this site works.

    IMHO hillaryis44 is a collective of thoughts, knowledge and info sharing brought forth from around the world/web/and life experiences by people of all walks of life and educations….all brought here to discuss as a group think tank.

    bluegirl, I would like to encourage you or anyone else here for that matter to bring forth information that either disputes that article about Al Gore or supports it, and then we can discuss that as we “try” to discuss everything brought here.

    but to whine that someone is picking on you and suggest and speculate that this site does not post 100% true information
    is totally out of line and unfair.

    Big pink has a awesome track record of honest information and Admin being 100% correct on everything they have written. that is something we are very proud of and will defend!

    which is why the bots hate us here soooooooooo much!!

  180. ShortTermer Says:
    March 31st, 2009 at 12:12 pm

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

    Someone was kidding! The WordPress software has a built-in filter that puts random posts in moderatin for random reasons.

  181. Basil,
    I hope Tedisco gets Gillibrand’s seat and shows the BO teflon wearing off.

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

    Huh? BO was AGAINST Gillibrand, he wanted Caroline Kennedy. His pet NYT puffed CK and is now trashing Gillibrand.

    HIllary and Bill are backing Gillibrand, and have been for years.

    The way to hurt Obama’s faction is for us to support Gillibrand.

  182. A senior White House official on Tuesday dismissed fresh reports of division between the United States and key European partners on how best to revive the global economy, ahead of the G20 summit. Mike Froman, a deputy national security advisor for international economic affairs, argued that the summit on Thursday would end with broad agreement on the need to do whatever was necessary to restore growth. He spoke amid fresh suggestions that key European powers were not satisfied with the level of regulation being offered by President Barack Obama after balking at his calls for more rigorous economic stimulus measures.
    ——————————-
    Yes Mike–its all just a figment of their imagination. There is no division, no dissention, no diagreement and no trouble in paradise. Everyone is just fine with the downturn, agrees it is healthy, and is determined to follow the inspiration leadership of massaobama and partake of his nickel a bag hopium. Also, they are happy about his transparent effort to stage a D-Day type invasion of fortress europe with a staff of 500 whose role will be to bamboozle the mass media and make a direct appeal to the masses over the heads of their leaders. What will come out of this meeting will be blue smoke but the backchannels will tell the real story. My guess is he will get star billilng in the satires and cartoon strips in Europe.

  183. turned down,

    I’m talking about the run-off election in the 20th congressional district to replace gillibrand since she was named senator.

    i have no problem with gillibrand but i’m hoping her seat goes to the repub, tedisco, instead of the dem, murphy.

    that would send a message that bo’s coat tails aren’t that long.

  184. basil9 Says:
    March 31st, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    turned down,

    I’m talking about the run-off election in the 20th congressional district to replace gillibrand since she was named senator.

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

    Oh, thanks. I was really puzzled for a minute. 🙂

  185. Bluegirl,

    It’s easier to Reply to a short post than a long one. That’s why I replied to yours instead of to the original.

  186. djia Says:
    March 31st, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    You might as well add: NO Hillary bashing here allowed, unless a policy issue is up for discussion.

  187. JanH Says:

    March 31st, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Clinton said in her speech today….She urged an “open, free and fair” election in August !!!

    Hmmmm, amazing…Hillary’s asking for something for Afghanistan, that the US couldn’t deliver for her last August!!! Ironic isn’t it…and sad.

Comments are closed.