Drag Queen Obama

Increasingly, Barack Obama is a drag queen impersonator of Condolezza Rice.

Remember Condolezza Rice? “Kind-of-sleezy” Rice, as she was unaffectionately known, hid from the obvious and made amazing excuses for why she did not see what was staring her right in the face.

Those of us who attended the hearings held to investigate events surrounding the August 6, 2001 intelligence briefing called “Bin Laden Determined To Attack Inside The United States” will always recall Rice enumerate the many reasons why she and George W. Bush were surprised when Bin Laden attacked inside the United States. The fact that a document called “Bin Laden Determined To Attack Inside The United States” existed, was prepared for George and Condi, and they actually were given the document, still did not prepare them for the “surprise” attack.

Drag Queen Rice impersonator Obama is also getting clear signals of the economic disaster the United States faces but Obama remains oblivious.

Well, not exactly oblivious. Obama is lying and misrepresenting what the critics of his “plans” are saying. Obama supporters are engaged in the same misrepresentations.

Jay Cost today calls Obama a “Sophist” – a polite, roundabout way of saying “liar” in modern day America. Jay Cost quotes Obama and eventually get’s quite angry:

This is from the President’s remarks at the National Academy of Science:

At such a difficult moment, there are those who say we cannot afford to invest in science. That support for research is somehow a luxury at a moment defined by necessities. I fundamentally disagree. Science is more essential for our prosperity, our security, our health, our environment, and our quality of life than it has ever been.

Who the hell is saying we cannot afford to invest in science? Isn’t the real argument about whether we can spend so much more (fully 3% of GDP) on science, and revitalize the economy, and save the banks, and save the Big Three, and spend more on education, and reform health care, and revolutionize the energy sector all at the same time?

I have heard “there are those who say…” from this President quite a bit in the last three months. I think it’s time he start naming names. Who are these people who hold such backward-looking, unacceptable positions? If they are elected members of the government, shouldn’t the President tell us who they are so we can vote them out? If they are unelected, how is it they have such power?

Or maybe there are no such people, at least not of such relevance they deserve specific mention by the President. Maybe this is just a rhetorical trick designed to make Mr. Obama’s position seem like the only one allowed by common sense.

Cost invokes the word “demagogic” to describe Obama’s exploitation of the current swine flu fad.

The swine flu outbreak is a reason to amp up funding for the sciences? This is playing on public fears to advance a political agenda that’s only tangentially related to said fears.

And, of course, no presidential address would be complete without a gratuitous shot at his predecessor. Even a speech on science.

Cost rightly slams Obama for mischaracterizing the position of opponents on issues such as stem cell research as well as on Obama’s attempt to divorce science from ideology (Cost lampoons politicians who make “science” decisions to further political objectives). Those of us who support stem cell research still recognize Obama’s lazy habits and cheap rationalizations for positions which require actual thought not demagogic posturing.

Cost, an Obama admirer if not a supporter, is now aware Obama is not who he thought.

One reason that I was so interested in candidate Obama in 2007 was that he seemed to have the same broad orientation to politics as I do. [snip]

Yet I am sick and tired of the President’s rhetorical sophistry – and if Frank Newport called me up today, I would say that I disapprove of the job he is doing. If Scott Rasmussen’s computer called me, I’d say that I strongly disapprove. A President should not be mischaracterizing, and working actively to alienate, as much as 40% of his consistency – especially after he promised he wouldn’t.

* * * * *

Obama and his supporters, especially the unthinking think they know-it-all Hopium addled addicts, think they know it all, and like Condi and George before them, will one day express surprise at the economic mess Obama contributes to the economic mess we are in.

Obama Big Media supporter Albert Hunt, a Tim Russert entitlement fraudster, is the latest to warn Americans of the Obama mess and warn Obama he is making a mess:

The context is a looming policy and fiscal clash: Obama’s economic, energy, health-care and education initiatives are expensive, and the U.S. faces trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see.

The president can make a compelling case that these priorities are urgent and can help revive the economy. Still, those initiatives, and a strong economy, may be unattainable without fiscal discipline elsewhere. [snip]

The small stuff, such as Obama’s directive to his agencies to cut a total of $100 million from their budgets, may score political points for the president. He’s talked a good game on some of the bigger-ticket items, while showing no inclination to fight for them. His apologists say he has higher priorities.

If it persists, this will produce one of two train wrecks: decimating his health-care and energy initiatives or imperiling a long term, fiscally sound economy.

Our British cousins are delivering the same memo to Obama about the economy and the mess that Obama is contributing:

There are three levers the federal government can pull in the face of this crisis: monetary easing, fiscal stimulus and bank recapitalisation. Obama has used all three but so far ineffectively. In each case, he has run into obstacles rooted deep in the US institutional set-up, indeed deep in the country’s psyche.

On monetary policy, Obama has remained a bystander to the efforts of Ben Bernanke at the Federal Reserve. Having reached close to zero interest rates in December, Bernanke announced the Fed would print money in an attempt to bring down real interest rates. [snip]

Obama is surrounded by decision-makers who had “drunk the Kool Aid” during the subprime bubble and were profoundly committed to the neoliberal ideology of self-regulation that has now fallen apart. Only the fiscal stimulus truly bears Obama’s chosen brand values of audacity and untaintedness. But this, too, is proving heavily problematic. [snip]

The stimulus would achieve the administration’s social objectives as well as a raw macroeconomic boost. But this has now run up against reality.

In the first place, the mechanisms for turning public money into private-sector jobs are as crumbly as the concrete that holds up America’s freeways. [snip]

But opposition to the stimulus goes much wider than this. It is visceral, widespread and real. Elkhart’s Republican congressman Mark Souder sums up the objection: “Historically, our model has a bit more of a boom-bust element to it, but every time we’ve had these busts we came roaring out. If we change to become more like Europe, sure we’ll stabilise. But we’ll never be the growth engine and the protector of the world again.”

As Obama’s 100th day approaches, the dangers looming on the economic front are clear: neither on monetary, fiscal nor banking policy is there a tangibly successful programme in place. Meanwhile, the economic pain is getting worse, encouraging his opponents to chip away at his credibility.

The bank bail-out will transfer large amounts of taxpayers’ money to the bankers, while at least some of the fiscal stimulus money will be redistributed to the poor and to the welfare system. Middle America, already mad at both policies at the gut level of economic principles, will get even madder if they don’t work.

The warning documents even come from Obama Big Media supporters at Newsweek:

The trajectory of Obama’s presidency might have been determined by what he did in his first 100 days. His budget calls for doubling the national debt in five years and almost tripling it in 10. If the necessary government borrowing soon causes a surge in long-term interest rates, the result will be the 1970s redux—inflation and stagnation.

Americans are increasingly angry with the Obama spend, spend, spend. The torrential waste of money on economic deserts will increase the anger.

Born in 1915 and still working, monetarist Anna Schwartz is also issuing a strong warning:

Inflation seems to her “unavoidable”: the Federal Reserve is creating money with little restraint, while Treasury expenditures remain far in excess of revenue. The inflation spigot is thus wide open.

Obama and his unthinking think they know-it-all Hopium addled supporters ignore the economic warnings in the same way Condi and George ignored the Bin Laden will attack inside the United States memorandum.

Obama continues to channel his inner Condi Rice.

It won’t be long before Barack borrows the fashion designer to drag queens from Michelle and dons a sleeveless frock for a night on the town.

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133 thoughts on “Drag Queen Obama

  1. rgb44hrc Says:

    April 27th, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    FOX NOT GOING TO AIR OBAMA’S 100TH TELEVISED EVENT
    ————————–

    It’s the boy who cried wolf sydrome again. He puts out these stupid events so often and for the most ridiculous reasons that nobody wants to listen anymore. I’m not a Fox fan but thank God they are at least not drinking his tainted Koolaid anymore!

    LOL…now I will go and read Admin’s newest article. The title alone makes me smile! 🙂

  2. JanH, good for Fox News. Check this story out: Evening Newscasts Have Covered Obama More Than Bush & Clinton Combined

    http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/network_newsing/evening_newscasts_have_covered_obama_more_than_bush_clinton_combined_115055.asp

    The nonpartisan research group Center for Media and Public Affairs along with California’s Chapman University released a study that found the nightly newscasts devoted 27 hours, 44 minutes to Pres. Obama’s presidency in his first 50 days. That compares to 7 hours, 42 minutes for Pres. George W. Bush and 15 hours, 2 minutes for Pres. Bill Clinton during the first 50 days of their first terms.

    Not only has Obama gotten more coverage, but that coverage has been more positive than his predecessors.

    On the ABC, CBS, and NBC evening newscasts, 58% of all evaluations of the president and his policies have been favorable, while 42% were unfavorable. That compares with 33% positive in the comparable period of Bush’s tenure and 44% positive for Pres. Clinton.

    Who gave Pres. Obama the most airtime? And where does Fox fit in?

    CBS led the coverage with 365 stories and 10 hours 46 minutes of airtime, followed by NBC with 327 stories and 9 hours 38 minutes, and ABC with 329 stories and 7 hours 20 minutes.

    The first half hour of Fox News’ “Special Report with Bret Baier,” which the study says most closely resembles the network evening newscasts, devoted 10 hours 24 minutes to the Obama administration, nearly as much airtime as CBS gave him.

    But Fox News stands apart from its competitors here – only 13% of comments* were considered favorable. On ABC, 57% of the comments were favorable, compared to 58% for CBS and 61% for NBC.

    *The figures are based on comments made by reporters and sources not affiliated with either political party.

  3. SHV Says:

    April 27th, 2009 at 3:39 pm
    *******************************************

    We will disagree on the best way to deliver health care in America….

  4. “Evening Newscasts Have Covered Obama More Than Bush & Clinton Combined”

    ——————–

    What is wrong with these idiots??? What has happened to ethical journalism???

    Admin,

    I just read your brilliant article! Despite those in the media circus who refuse to report with accuracy, the negatives are adding up for this imposter.

    Has anyone noticed how hard Hillary is working? It’s as if he has abdicated/delegated everything and absolutely everything to her that is most important, given the economy problem to impotent men to solve, and become a smirking figurehead for People magazine!

  5. NEW YORK — The Fox network is sticking with its regular schedule over President Barack Obama this week.

    The network is turning down the president’s request to show his prime-time news conference on Wednesday. The news conference marks Obama’s 100th day in office. Instead of the president, Fox viewers will see an episode of the Tim Roth drama “Lie to Me.”
    **********************************************

    Too funny, the Tim Roth drame “Lie to Me” could easily be the title of the news conference of the Frauds only with a slight twist “Lie to you”, the frauds first 100 days…

  6. Jan H

    They, the media don’t have to care anymore. They have the financing with GE, Soro’s and now Gov wants to start giving the failing newspapers bailout money. They will own them if they do not already.

  7. Harry Reid says Obama told him, ‘I have a gift’

    By KEVIN FREKING – 4 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Everyone knows President Barack Obama can deliver a great speech, including the president himself, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

    The paperback version of Reid’s book, “The Good Fight,” is coming out May 5 with an epilogue called “The Obama Era.” Reid said he was impressed when Obama, then a freshman senator from Illinois, delivered a speech about President George W. Bush’s war policy.

    Reid, D-Nev., writes: “‘That speech was phenomenal, Barack,’ I told him. And I will never forget his response. Without the barest hint of braggadocio or conceit, and with what I would describe as deep humility, he said quietly: ‘I have a gift, Harry.'”

    A copy of the book’s 15-page epilogue was provided to The Associated Press.

    Reid said he talked to Obama in 2006 about running for president, and that Obama expressed doubts about his ability to win.

    “I was resolved to stay neutral in the coming campaign, but I told him that in my view the stars could align for him. ‘If you want to be president, you can be president now,’ I said. ‘I don’t know, Harry,’ he said. ‘I don’t think so.'”

    Reid also explained why, after the presidential election, he decided against removing Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., as chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security. Lieberman had campaigned for the Republican nominee, Sen. John McCain.

    “This decision had not so much to do with forgiveness as it did with simple math,” Reid wrote. “Years of counting votes in the Senate had taught me that you never take a vote for granted.”

  8. The Mayor of Gary Indiana calls his broken down community and infrastructure an eagle ready to fly once it he received $400 million worth of stimulus. His name is Rudy Clay and he is the most corrupt mayor in the nation. He is a confidente of Mr Obama and that should tell you all you need to know right there. But he is also the one who corrupted the Indiana primary by finding more votes than voters, more absentee ballots than at any time in history, and delaying the process so the media would focus on North Carolina. Giving taxpayer money to Mr. Clay makes as much sense as giving it to Hamas. No kidding.

  9. He has a gift alright! Of making everything worse than it already is, of flimflamming wherever he goes, of being the “rainmaker” who never finds rain, of being the con man ala “The Music Man.”

  10. It will be interesting to see what the ratings are after bambi’s self-congratulatory speech on Wednesday. I hope Fox blows everyone else out of the water!

  11. The Mayor of Gary Indiana calls his broken down community and infrastructure an eagle ready to fly once it he received $400 million worth of stimulus.

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

    Wobboei,

    If you give me $400 million I can be an eagle ready to fly too!

  12. Outrage Du Jour: The Truth; Update: Artist can’t handle The Truth?

    hotair.com/archives/2009/04/27/outrage-du-jour-the-truth/

    posted by mary b@ bitter

    Artist Michael D’Antuono’s painting “The Truth” – featuring Obama with his arms outstretched and wearing a crown of thorns upon his head – will be unveiled on April 29 at the Square’s South Plaza.
    (pic of painting @ link)

    Update: D’Antuono won’t display this after all, saying that the anger over the religious elements of the painting surprised him:

  13. Low-flying jets cause panic in New York, White House apologizes

    2009-04-28

    NEW YORK, April 27 (Xinhua) — A VC-25 aircraft and an F-16 fighter jet flew low above lower Manhattan on Monday morning, causing panic among some New Yorkers fresh with memories of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, and angering Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The planes, authorized by the U.S. military on a “photo-op” mission, flew as low as 1,000 feet to 150 feet (about 305 meters to 46 meters) over Manhattan, State Island, and neighboring New Jersey, and circled the Statue of Liberty, local media reported.

    The VC-25 aircraft is the military version of Boeing 747. The one involved in Monday’s flyover was one of the customized Boeing 747s that serve as Air Force One when the U.S. president is on board.

    Thousands of people were evacuated from buildings in New York and across the Hudson River in New Jersey following the sighting of the low-flying jets, the New York Daily News reported. “I didn’t know what was going on. Some planes were circling the building. I was afraid. I was here when the World Trade Center went down,” the paper quoted Eunice Davis, who was evacuated from the New York Mercantile Exchange, as saying.

    Although authorities said state and local authorities were notified of the operation in advance, Mayor Bloomberg had no prior knowledge. Bloomberg, angry that he was not told beforehand, said a flyover so close to Ground Zero was “insensitive” and “ill-conceived.”

    New York Senator Chuck Schumer said the flyover “borders on being cruel or very, very stupid.” “If you’re going to see large jets flying low over New York City, people are going to panic,” he said.

    Later on Monday afternoon, a White House official apologized for causing “confusion and disruption” with the flyover mission. Louis E. Caldera, director of the White House Military Office, said in a statement that he approved the mission last Thursday.
    “While federal authorities took the proper steps to notify state and local authorities in New York and New Jersey, it’s clear that the mission created confusion and disruption,” he said. “I apologize and take responsibility for any distress that flight caused.”

    President Barack Obama was also furious when he learned of the episode on Monday afternoon, the New York Times reported, quoting his aides.

    news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-04/28/content_11269649.htm

    ————————-

    too little too late.

  14. OH …MY…Godess!!!!!
    You NAILED it!
    Increasingly, Barack Obama is a drag queen impersonator of Condolezza Rice.
    Remember Condolezza Rice? “Kind-of-sleezy” Rice!
    ROTFLMFAO!!!!!!!!

    On another note, about the ‘swine fluy.’ As i was driving and listening to talk radio I tuned to Michael Savage.
    yeah. I know he’s nut but his book is #1 on the bestsellers list and he sometimes says some right-on stuff.
    Tonight’s diatribe was about the swine flu and biological terrorism and his point is that he thinks it’s very possible. Now Savage, evidently, is an epidimiologist and has a medical background so i listened to his rant and what he said scared the sh!t outta me.

    His points were valid. Why are third world countries doing some sort of infrared exams of people at airports coming in from Mexico and the US? Why has Europe warned against traveling to Mexico and the US? Why are China, Malaysia and India examining ourists and yet the US isn’t doing a thing? Plus the closing of the border isn’t even on the table?

    WTF is going on????? Between the looming pandemic and the Boeing dive-bombing (snark) NYC today, something sure doesn’t feel right.

    What does everyone think?

  15. So many spelling errors! 😳

    Anyway, here’s Savage’s bio. Not an epidemiologist but strong medical background.

    He holds master’s degrees in medical botany and medical anthropology, and he earned a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in nutritional ethnomedicine. As Michael Weiner he has written books on herbal medicine and homeopathy. As Michael Savage he has written one New York Times bestseller.

  16. Yes, Jan, we know about the plane.

    if you want to really flip out check the vid’s posted on the previous thread, near the bottom.

  17. Sorry, Jan.

    That came out snippy.

    I didn’t mean it like that. Just walked in and rushing, as usual.

  18. basil,

    I realized from the last article that you knew what happened with the plane. I wasn’t sure that anyone knew that the White House had apologized or the reactions from the mayor et al so that was why I added the article here.

  19. Hmmmmmmmmm . . . .
    There’s a headline at Drudge saying a Dem congressman is calling for a border closing but the article’s been scrubbed.

    Congressman Eric Massa calls for immediate closure of the Mexican border until … and we need to close our borders to Mexico immediately and completely …

    ?????????

  20. Jan,

    Did you watch the clip?

    I spent dozens of days at Battery Park when i lived in NYC and I WAS scared even though I knew the story!

    Absolutely terrifying!

  21. OMG!
    More torture, this time from the UAE. The shiekh’s brother(?) is caught on video torturing a grain merchant he says shorted him. this is horrifying! He shoots up the sand around the guy, ties his legs, pours sand into his moputh, pours salt into his woulds and then runs him over repeatedly in his Mercedes SUV.

    this is un-f***ing believable. they are barbarians.
    I hate linking to ABC but it’s the only clip I found.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=7402099

  22. basil9 Says:
    April 27th, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    Hmmmmmmmmm . . . .
    There’s a headline at Drudge saying a Dem congressman is calling for a border closing but the article’s been scrubbed.
    ************
    Here is a link for that story-
    http: / / thehill.com/leading-the-news/lawmaker-wants-border-closed-over-swine-flu-2009-04-25.html

  23. from previous article:

    # basil9 Says:
    April 27th, 2009 at 9:51 am

    dijia,

    What do you think about Hillbuzz’s comments that the swine flu scare is a media hoax to increase ratings?????
    *************************

    I’m beginning to think this is a “hyped up” “crisis” to aid and abet the obama mob to take advantage of ” never let a good crisis go to waste”

  24. also…. it’s great distraction from things like oh i don’t know……. Birth certificate court cases? tea parties???? waterboarding memo’s and soon to come PHOTO’S?????

    CORRECT ANSWER:

    D. ALL OF THE ABOVE

  25. Wbboei, Merkel of Germany has specifically and loudly stated there will be no more bailouts or stimulus(i) bills because – she wants companies and individuals to do what they have to do and not put off taking action because of anticipated funds from the government.

    The situation is Gary is like the craziness in the stimulus bill which gave money to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to build schools even though there were 35 empty school buildings. Even if Gary gets funds the problems are much deeper than building things will solve. In Japan there was a great deal of infrastructure built but much of it was useless because the economic problems ran deeper than just pumped money.

    The mayor of Gary will waste the money on projects which will probably enrich his friends but the community will not benefit at all. Once the money dries up (after being spent in bars and on hookers) the problems will still be there. The “stimulus” wasted money and will continue to waste money and enrich Dims and other Obama friends.

  26. Basil: I will be there next weekend. I will be interested to see what New Yorkers think of this little stunt by Baracks airforce. I will ask the taxi drivers. They are the best bellweather there is. And they spend all day in the taxi talking to other people. I know litigators who preview their cases before New York taxi drivers. The believe this is a reliable indicator of how a jury would react to it. That way they know whether to amend it or settle.

  27. Basil,

    I don’t think a half-hearted apology is enough. I also don’t believe that obama could care one way or another about it. He was probably too busy looking in his mirror.

    I think those who were subjected to this terror should seriously consider suing the dims for emotional distress.

  28. Obama on the flu:

    “”We are closely monitoring the emerging cases of swine flu in the United States,” Obama said. “And this is, obviously, a cause for concern and requires a heightened state of alert. But it’s not a cause for alarm.”

    How fu*cking stupid is that? He should have stopped talking after “state of alert”. How does he know it’s not a cause for alarm..it’s too early to say that. This flu is acting similar to the 1917-1918…They were/are both Type A H1N1 and seems to be killing people in Mexico in the 20-50 yo age group just like 1917. The mortality rate in Mexico is 7.5% which is probably inaccurate because they don’t really know how many people are sick but that is a scary number. (BTW, the estimated mortality of 1917 epidemic is 2.5-5%… 50 to 100 million people.)

  29. I agree with Merkel. In Canada there are regulations in place so that even if Harper had wanted to bail the banks out he couldn’t.

    Only in obamaland does this idiot think he should rescue the monsters and let the heroes and ordinary folk sink.

  30. Admin. 100% right on all your points. You tell it how it is. I was in Indiana on the night of the primary. I think we had Robbie Mooks running the show and who was probably our best-the only area director to win in a caucus state–Nevada. We won Indiana by 3% rather than the 9% which our internals projected. The difference was this dirty man, the Mayor of Gary. He is a puppet of the Chicago Machine. Same problem in Fort Wayne and South Bend. Fraud and intimidaton writ large. I remember those things when Hillary graciously says he beat me and I say under my breath no Hillary he cheated.

    Regarding Germany is they regulate bankers. Deutsche Bank and the others, as only the German mind can. They have RULES for everything and banks are no exception. If they were faced with the situation we are I believe they would put the affected banks through an orderly liquidation, rather than doing what a thief like Obama does, which is to allow banks to inflate their value to improve their balance sheets, and then pawn them off on venture capitalists under a heads I win tales you lose arrangement for the taxpayers.

  31. SHV Says:

    April 27th, 2009 at 9:23 pm
    ***************************************************

    Are you doing anything different in your practice @ this point?

  32. Regarding Germany is they regulate bankers. Deutsche Bank and the others, as only the German mind can. They have RULES for everything and banks are no exception. If they were faced with the situation we are I believe they would put the affected banks through an orderly liquidation, rather than doing what a thief like Obama does, which is to allow banks to inflate their value to improve their balance sheets, and then pawn them off on venture capitalists under a heads I win tales you lose arrangement for the taxpayers.
    ***************************************

    wobbei I agree 100%. The avenue the Fraud and co are taking is just mind boggling. As bad as I thought it would be with him in office, never did I dream the nightmare this has become.

    I remember the night of the Indiana primary and watched in horror as Hillary’s lead was quickly stolen. If it wasn’t for the mayor, and help me here, in another city in Indiana calling him out on CNN, he would have stolen it lock and barrel. Thank God for that mayor, even though in the end it didn’t matter. They found other ways to steal the nomination. But he had courage. Something lacking in most politicians.

  33. Obama on the flu:

    “”We are closely monitoring the emerging cases of swine flu in the United States,” Obama said. “And this is, obviously, a cause for concern and requires a heightened state of alert. But it’s not a cause for alarm.”

    How fu*cking stupid is that? He should have stopped talking after “state of alert”. How does he know it’s not a cause for alarm..it’s too early to say that. This flu is acting similar to the 1917-1918…They were/are both Type A H1N1 and seems to be killing people in Mexico in the 20-50 yo age group just like 1917. The mortality rate in Mexico is 7.5% which is probably inaccurate because they don’t really know how many people are sick but that is a scary number. (BTW, the estimated mortality of 1917 epidemic is 2.5-5%… 50 to 100 million people.
    ————————————————–
    Very stupid.

    The comparison to the 1917 flu epidemic is deeply unsettling. However it has not bothered the unflabbable Obama who categorically refuses to be alarmed by it. Perhaps that is why the plodding hopium addled Feineman has dubbed him the cool president based on his stellar performance over the past 100 days. Not surprisingly, others have looked at the same evidence and concluded that Barack is a flake.

    A friend of mine was in grade school in my town when the 1917 flu epidemic hit. He recounted to me that there were 12 children in his gradeschool class when it hit. All of them got it. Only 4 survived. If epidemic is anything like that reasonable people would be alarmed.

  34. Swine Flu Alert Center

    Breaking News

    WHO Raises Pandemic Level for Swine Flu, Mexican Death Toll Mounts
    The World Health Organization has raised its pandemic alert level for swine influenza to phase 4, signifying human-to-human transmission of a virus able to sustain communitywide outbreaks. Meanwhile, the number of deaths attributed to swine flu in Mexico has increased to 149, the number of confirmed cases in the United States has doubled to 40, and cases have also been reported in Spain, Scotland, and Canada.
    Medscape Medical News, April 27, 2009

  35. If it wasn’t for the mayor, and help me here, in another city in Indiana calling him out
    ————————-
    Lakeland County.

  36. Here are excerpts from the Merkel story, April 22:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aVVHVGBxRpz4&refer=worldwide

    Chancellor Angela Merkel stood firm in rejecting any new German economic stimulus program even as the International Monetary Fund said the recession is worse than previously thought and called for measures to spur demand.

    Merkel shrugged off calls for more spending despite a report by Germany’s leading economic institutes which will show tomorrow that Europe’s biggest economy may shrink as much as 6 percent this year — almost three times the contraction of 2.25 percent forecast by the government in January.

    The coalition won’t expand its 82 billion euro ($107 billion) stimulus agreed under two separate programs, Merkel told reporters in Berlin today after a meeting with business leaders and economists.

    “We shouldn’t talk about a third stimulus package,” Merkel said. “Instead we’ll let current measures take effect.”

    The chancellor’s comments echo statements today by her finance and economy ministers underlining unity in the coalition over not stretching the budget more to pay for new stimulus steps. [snip]

    Further steps to prime economic growth now would be “counter-productive,” Steinbrueck told reporters in Berlin. “It would lull people into doing nothing as they wait for the next round of financial aid.

  37. First of all…. i am not a Alex Jones follower per se’ but i do visit his site and pick and choose things to read
    and only pass along the “relevant” stuff i find there….. i am not endorsing this site or Alex Jones himself at all
    but with that said, i do find some to be credible and worthy of consideration at least.

    comment sections are another story …….read those at your own risk and use your own BS meter LOL!!

    ARTICLES I SUGGEST READING

    infowars.com/swine-flu-in-mexico-the-new-bird-flu/

    infowars.com/flu-pandemic-hype-another-pretext-for-world-government/

    infowars.com/baxter-to-develop-swine-flu-vaccine-despite-bird-flu-scandal/

    ph.ucla.edu/epi/Bioter/shotinthedark.html

    About Division-E legislation

    Before he was voted out of office in 2006, then-senator Bill Frist (R-TN), a physician, drove through a bill that gave drug companies more immunity than any bill ever passed by Congress. The legislation, referred to as “Division-E” was tacked on to a Defense appropriations bill in the final minutes of the Congressional sessions before the Christmas recess. This bill provides at least four sweeping provisions:

    1. Immunity from liability for all drugs, vaccines, or biological products deemed as a covered countermeasure against bioterrorism in the event of an outbreak of any kind. The proposal is not only limited to new drugs or vaccines developed under the umbrella of “bioterrorism” or “pandemic” protection. The proposal is so broad that it could include drugs like Tylenol, Advil…and would have applied to Vioxx.

    2. Immunity for any product used for any public health emergency declared by the secretary of HHS. The authority to declare an emergency now rests completely in the hands of the secretary of HHS— an appointed, non-medical person who has no accountability to the general public. The president’s hand-picked person that is part of his inner circle will have the power to mandate vaccines and other medications given to the American people.

    3. Immunity from accountability. No matter what a drug company do wrong in this arena, they are protected. Even if the company’s dirty facility created a batch of contaminated vaccines that resulted in death or injury to thousands of people, the drug company will not be held accountable.

    4. Immunity from law suits. A person who suffers any type of loss will be prohibited from suing the drug companies. Vaccine manufacturers have immunity from almost everything, perhaps even murder. The bill provisions provide a mechanism for filing a lawsuit, but the language explicitly prevents frivolous suits by setting a standard for liability more rigid than any known standard of negligence.

    In simple terms, if a claim is filed by a plaintiff it can only go forward if the injured party can prove that the company performed an act of “willful misconduct” resulting in an injury or a death. In other words, the injured party would have to prove the vaccine maker intentionally caused him harm.

    Division-E goes even one step further. Unbelievably, even if a pharmaceutical company knowingly harms people, the company will be immune from legal prosecution unless the U.S. attorney general initiates “enforcement action” against the drug company in the name of the claimant. This means the U.S. government would have to go to bat for the injured party for the lawsuit to move forward, as unlikely as the current swine flu fiasco being an unplanned pandemic.

    for further reading on this division E

    Read the Bill: Secret Provision Inserted in Defense Appropriations
    By Paul Blumenthal on 03/17/09 @ 1:41 pm | 2 Comments

    Buried in the final conference report for the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2006 (H.R. 2863) was a provision providing a lawsuit liability shield for pharmaceutical companies. The provision was aimed at preventing lawsuits against drug makers working to create vaccines for biological attacks and avian flu, but went much further in protecting many more kinds of drugs. What’s notable about this provision is that no one thought it would be in the bill. The conferees did not sign off on it and the final bill was passed in less than 24 hours, providing little time to address the late night addition of this provision. This is our next case study for the Read the Bill campaign.

    blog.sunlightfoundation.com/taxonomy/term/Bill-Frist/

  38. test> my previous post didn’t show up, not even with a ” your comment is awaiting moderation” notice.

  39. ok…..so i can post…… i guess i will break apart my previous “un postable post” and post it in two parts and see if that works 😀

    part 1

    First of all…. i am not a Alex Jones follower per se’ but i do visit his site and pick and choose things to read
    and only pass along the “relevant” stuff i find there….. i am not endorsing this site or Alex Jones himself at all
    but with that said, i do find some to be credible and worthy of consideration at least.

    comment sections are another story …….read those at your own risk and use your own BS meter LOL!!

    ARTICLES I SUGGEST READING

    infowars . com/ swine-flu-in-mexico-the-new-bird-flu/

    infowars .com /flu-pandemic-hype-another-pretext-for-world-government/

    infowars. com/ baxter-to-develop-swine-flu-vaccine-despite-bird-flu-scandal/

    ph. ucla. edu/ epi/Bioter/shotinthedark. h.t.m.l.

  40. About Division-E legislation

    Before he was voted out of office in 2006, then-senator Bill Frist (R-TN), a physician, drove through a bill that gave drug companies more immunity than any bill ever passed by Congress. The legislation, referred to as “Division-E” was tacked on to a Defense appropriations bill in the final minutes of the Congressional sessions before the Christmas recess. This bill provides at least four sweeping provisions:

    1. Immunity from liability for all drugs, vaccines, or biological products deemed as a covered countermeasure against bioterrorism in the event of an outbreak of any kind. The proposal is not only limited to new drugs or vaccines developed under the umbrella of “bioterrorism” or “pandemic” protection. The proposal is so broad that it could include drugs like Tylenol, Advil…and would have applied to Vioxx.

    2. Immunity for any product used for any public health emergency declared by the secretary of HHS. The authority to declare an emergency now rests completely in the hands of the secretary of HHS— an appointed, non-medical person who has no accountability to the general public. The president’s hand-picked person that is part of his inner circle will have the power to mandate vaccines and other medications given to the American people.

    3. Immunity from accountability. No matter what a drug company do wrong in this arena, they are protected. Even if the company’s dirty facility created a batch of contaminated vaccines that resulted in death or injury to thousands of people, the drug company will not be held accountable.

    4. Immunity from law suits. A person who suffers any type of loss will be prohibited from suing the drug companies. Vaccine manufacturers have immunity from almost everything, perhaps even murder. The bill provisions provide a mechanism for filing a lawsuit, but the language explicitly prevents frivolous suits by setting a standard for liability more rigid than any known standard of negligence.

    In simple terms, if a claim is filed by a plaintiff it can only go forward if the injured party can prove that the company performed an act of “willful misconduct” resulting in an injury or a death. In other words, the injured party would have to prove the vaccine maker intentionally caused him harm.

    Division-E goes even one step further. Unbelievably, even if a pharmaceutical company knowingly harms people, the company will be immune from legal prosecution unless the U.S. attorney general initiates “enforcement action” against the drug company in the name of the claimant. This means the U.S. government would have to go to bat for the injured party for the lawsuit to move forward, as unlikely as the current swine flu fiasco being an unplanned pandemic.

    for further reading on this division E

    Read the Bill: Secret Provision Inserted in Defense Appropriations
    By Paul Blumenthal on 03/17/09 @ 1:41 pm | 2 Comments

    Buried in the final conference report for the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2006 (H.R. 2863) was a provision providing a lawsuit liability shield for pharmaceutical companies. The provision was aimed at preventing lawsuits against drug makers working to create vaccines for biological attacks and avian flu, but went much further in protecting many more kinds of drugs. What’s notable about this provision is that no one thought it would be in the bill. The conferees did not sign off on it and the final bill was passed in less than 24 hours, providing little time to address the late night addition of this provision. This is our next case study for the Read the Bill campaign.

    blog.sunlightfoundation.com/taxonomy/term/Bill-Frist/

  41. Germany’s leading economic institutes which will show tomorrow that Europe’s biggest economy may shrink as much as 6 percent this year — almost three times the contraction of 2.25 percent forecast by the government in January.
    ———————————————-
    Its a good thing we have got the estimable Peter Orazag over here telling our economy what to do. He has said it and I believe it because he has said it. Our economy will contract by only 1.2 percent as opposed to the 2.8% those fearmongers on Wall Street are whining about. And next year we can look forward to a heath reboud while those same nervous nellies think we will still be in the tank. What they fail to realize if if Moses could make the waters of the Red Sea part, then how could anyone doubt that Barack can talk the economy out of these doldrums if he would just go back to talking like he did in the primary when he bamboozled all the fools. He has just got to stop saying we inherited this problem and just fix it. Should be no problem if we believe even half of what big media is reporting as his vast successes over the past 100 days. Almost made me forget what is really going on–which is what they are after. Why? Because if he goes down so with they. The problem is you cannot make chicken salad of of chicken shit, barack.

  42. okay, for some reason i can’t post anything from the site “infowars”

    they have a few really worthy to read articles on this flu

    visit infowars dot com

    Flu Pandemic Hype: Another Pretext for World Government

    Kurt Nimmo | Ban Ki-moon said the Mexican flu outbreak is the “first test” of the “pandemic preparedness work undertaken by the international community over the past three years.”

    Swine Flu in Mexico: The “New” Bird Flu

    Sherri Tenpenny | Government plans include methods and drills for global inoculation with a vaccine that will no doubt have the same deadly consequences as the Swine Flu vaccine in 1976.

    Baxter To Develop Swine Flu Vaccine Despite Bird Flu Scandal

    Steve Watson | The fox has been given the duty of guarding the henhouse.

    Swine Flu Vaccination Propaganda from 1976

    Infowars | Another manufactured scare to get us to line up for our toxic shots?

    Seal U.S.-Mexico Border to Prevent Spread of Swine Flu, Says Democratic Homeland Security Committee Member

    CNSNews | Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.), member of the House Homeland Security Committee, is calling for the “immediate” and “complete” closure of the U.S. border with Mexico until officials in that country can contain the spread of the H1N1 virus, or swine flu.

  43. I am glad FOX has decided not to waste good air time with Obamapolution. He has no solutions for anything. Just plans to spend us into bankrupcty. He is a one trick poney and that is his only trick. It is the biggest waste of time in the world for anyone with any brains to listen to his vapid diatribes. You cannot trust him to do anything he promises–how many times do people have to get burned before they realize there is no there there. The guy is not worth listening to.

  44. here’s info not found in US news:

    excerpt from a UK telegraph article :telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/5228736/Swine-flu-what-are-the-symptoms.html

    Q: Why should we be worried about it?

    A: The World Health Organisation warned the outbreak had “pandemic potential” and countries were advised to step up surveillance and preparation in case the infection spreads rapidly.

    Flu viruses have the ability to change and mutate, making it difficult for drugs manufacturers to ensure effective vaccines are available.

    The new version of the H1N1 virus is a mix of different animal and human versions of the disease. Mixing can lead to the development of changed viruses to which humans have little immunity.

    Q: What is a pandemic?

    A: If the flu spreads over a wide geographic area and affects a large proportion of the population it goes beyond an epidemic and becomes a pandemic.

    According to the Health Protection Agency, an influenza pandemic is defined as a new or novel influenza virus that spreads easily between humans.

    When new influenza viruses are introduced into the environment, humans do not have any natural immunity to protect against them.

    Therefore, there is a risk that new influenza viruses could develop into a pandemic if the virus passes easily from human-to-human.

  45. Just a thought…….

    Has anyone yet said of the Americans infected with this “new” flu,
    how many of them have had a “flu shot” in the last 1-2 years??

    does mexico have a “flu shot”???

    could this be the reason for why mexicans are dying and Americans are not???

  46. one more thought….

    babies and the elderly are generally those who get yearly “flu shots”

    is this why this “new flu” is not infecting babies and older people??

  47. I am disappointed that we are giving 900 million to the PA even if it includes some Hamas ministers. It’s tantamount to giving aid to a governing body that only has a few Nazis.

  48. THIS IS GETTING SCARY!!

    COMMENT FROM AN ARTICLE ON THIS SWINE FLU

    iowafarmgirl 16p · 1 hour ago
    my brother was just transported to iowa city hospital.(not the flu) but 2 doors down from him they have everyone going in and out of that room gowned and masked to the hilt. a nurse said it was not confirmed but they are quite sure it is the swine flu. the lady that has it is in serious condition. 40 miles south of me an 18 year old boy died yesterday. a healthy athletic kid. his parents were told that it was not the swine flu, but a link from it?????? I don’t know what that means exactly, but it doesn’t sound right. Does that mean it was and they are not wanting to report it?

  49. Salam thinks the Establishment is so invested in Obama that when Obama fails a whole system will go down with him. Additionally Salem believes the economic crisis “is actually accelerating”.
    —————————————————————
    That is one of the many points our brilliant admin posted yesterday, I agreed with it when I read it and worried about it for several hours thereafter. I surmised that as long as their fate is tied inextricably to his that they will twist the truth and deny reality until the last do dies.

    And then I read the second sentence, pondered its implications and came to the very opposite conclusion. If this thing is going south and you were one of those high faluetion greeks who supported Obama and pledged your personal and professional reputation to him, and then you realized his policies could put us all in the tank, then what you might well be thinking about is how his failure will reflect on you.

    And in that case, rather than fighting for him to the death and going down with the Titanic, then it is more likely that you would be asking discrete questions about the where the lifeboats are located fore and aft, the procedures for lowering them into the water and how many people they hold. You might even be moving ever so discretely toward those lifeboats hoping no one else would notice.

    In this context, you might be inclined to raise little red flags large and small while agreeing vociferously with the party line that everyone is just wild about him. And the reason you raise those red flags is so you have something you can point to when it all goes to hell. For then you can say all the good things you said about him was because you were enthralled with his blackness, but you always had reservations about the impact of his policies and are not surprised they proved disaterous. Is that Machiavellian enough for you? Let me continue.

    The operative question to these people should be this: I know you love Barack passionately. You do not need to keep repeating it, we can stipulate to the fact that that you feel that way. The question I am interested in is whether you are equally confident that the economic policies he is putting forward will solve the problem , because that is what ultimately matters.

    In other words, as you sit there now, discussing the merits of Baraack Obama’s presidency now, will you put your own reputation on the line now, and say that the deficit busting budgets and high tax policies he is putting forward will solve our economic problems and restart the economy?

    Or are those policies more likely make matters worse as Gore, the two Nobel Prize winners and other experts are now telling us? Yes or no.

  50. Dijia, all,

    Here’s the article about the NYS congressman whop wants to close the Mexican Border.

    A dim with sense? Thought they were extinct.
    The “swine flu” that has infected more than 1,000 people in Mexico has led a lawmaker on the House Homeland Security Committee to call on U.S. officials to close the southern border.

    Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) said the border should be closed until the threat is resolved.

    “The public needs to be aware of the serious threat of swine flu, and we need to close our borders to Mexico immediately and completely until this is resolved,” Massa said in a statement.

    “I am making this announcement because I see this as a serious threat to the health of the American public and I do not believe this issue is receiving the attention it needs to have in the news,” Massa said.

    Swine Influenza or swine flu is a respiratory diesase of pigs caused by type A influenza that regularly cause outbreaks of influenza among pics, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The virus normally does not infect humans, but it can occur, and cases of the disease then speading human-to-human have been documented.

  51. wbboei,

    I think there’s another interpretation.

    When people become as heavily invested in a concept, an idea, a relationship. a person, and broadcast their passion to the world, it’s often impossible for them to renege on it.

    their sense of self-worth, their entire identity is too tied up with the object of obsession.

    Admitting their mistake is psychological suicide in many cases. They’d rather go dowen with the ship then admit A0 They were wrong B) they were deluded C) the object of adoration was a lying POS

  52. Four-year-old could hold key in search for source of swine flu outbreak

    Case confirmed in village in south-eastern Mexico where 60% of residents fell ill

    guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/27/swine-flu-search-outbreak-source

  53. djia@ 1:16, I heard that it takes 8 days from the time the nurse swabs the throat of a potential victim to the time of confirmation from the CDC that it is the Swine Flu. This was on Fox yesterday.

    I know there is great fear, but we have been told just to wash our hands before and after every patient. I worked over the weekend and there were lots of folks with a fever, sore throat and body aches, none tested positive for influenza type A.

  54. Great article as usual, admin. I’m popping in reading a lot, but not posting much (am moving in one week, and am trying to pack! Ugh. Hate packing.)

  55. HillaryforTexas

    I would not like to move in one week. I hope you have help. Take it easy.

    I am not sure what to make of the Swine Flu. It is almost like the germ lays dormate and for some reason comes out and starts infecting people. As all have pointed out, the age group it is affecting is interesting. I don’t know what to make of it. We are planning a reunion back east mid may. I don’t think we should cancel it.

  56. Drudge is linking to an old article today about how the CDC announced it was going to mix avian flu with a human flue to study it back in 2004!!!!

    CDC to mix avian, human flu viruses in pandemic study

    Robert Roos * News Editor

    Jan 14, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – One of the worst fears of infectious disease experts is that the H5N1 avian influenza virus now circulating in parts of Asia will combine with a human-adapted flu virus to create a deadly new flu virus that could spread around the world.

    That could happen, scientists predict, if someone who is already infected with an ordinary flu virus contracts the avian virus at the same time. The avian virus has already caused at least 48 confirmed human illness cases in Asia, of which 35 have been fatal. The virus has shown little ability to spread from person to person, but the fear is that a hybrid could combine the killing power of the avian virus with the transmissibility of human flu viruses.

    Now, rather than waiting to see if nature spawns such a hybrid, US scientists are planning to try to breed one themselves—in the name of preparedness.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will soon launch experiments designed to combine the H5N1 virus and human flu viruses and then see how the resulting hybrids affect animals. The goal is to assess the chances that such a “reassortant” virus will emerge and how dangerous it might be.

    CDC officials confirmed the plans for the research as described recently in media reports, particularly in a Canadian Press (CP) story.

    cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza/panflu/news/jan1404hybrids.html

  57. confloyd

    thanks for the info

    now i am worried about you being around all those sick people…….. you stay safe!!!!

  58. cobfloyd,

    Stay safe!

    What do you think about the fact that the US is taking so few precautions in comparison with other countries?

    “But governments in Asia were not taking any chances. Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines dusted off thermal scanners used in the SARS crisis and were checking for signs of fever among passengers from North America.

    South Korea and Indonesia introduced similar screening. In Malaysia, health workers in face masks took the temperatures of passengers as they arrived on a flight from Los Angeles.

    China said anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms within two weeks of arrival had to report to authorities.

    India will start screening people arriving from Mexico, the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Spain, Britain and France for flu-like symptoms

  59. I think there’s another interpretation.

    When people become as heavily invested in a concept, an idea, a relationship. a person, and broadcast their passion to the world, it’s often impossible for them to renege on it.

    their sense of self-worth, their entire identity is too tied up with the object of obsession.

    Admitting their mistake is psychological suicide in many cases. They’d rather go dowen with the ship then admit A0 They were wrong B) they were deluded C) the object of adoration was a lying POS
    —————————————————-
    In 1946, every Parisanne was a member of the Resistance. Every debacle demands accountability. And accountability leads to apostacy, i.e. a renunciation of one’s political faith. Simply put, Gods that fail do no survive. Those who fail to accept that reality commit mass suicide figuratively, and sometimes literally. From loves close kill to hells abyss.

  60. Will the media and obama take the responsible and ethical road of standing down? Will they cancel this narcissistically-challenged idiot’s love fest and report the news as it should be reported?

    Don’t any of them think that what is going on with this swine flu, it’s slow rise to pandemic level, the economy, Iran, Afghanistan, et al are more important than a few sound bites so that bambi’s false achievements can spread across the land like a horrible virus?

    I really take issue with this 100 day garbage!

  61. How much ya wanna bet these protestors wouldn’t have been arrested if they weren’t white?

    What a farce BO is. Apparently, as a senator he voted for changes to medicaid that would allow the infirm to use their benefits at home instead of in nursing homes.

    3 w’s dot
    youtube dot com slash watch?v=TbaDh8Ywf-s&eurl

  62. wbboei,

    Gee but you have a way with words. 😀

    ‘Simply put, Gods that fail do no survive. Those who fail to accept that reality commit mass suicide figuratively, and sometimes literally. From loves close kill to hells abyss.’

    When’s your book being released? I’ll be first in line to buy it.

  63. Admitting their mistake is psychological suicide in many cases. They’d rather go dowen with the ship then admit A0 They were wrong B) they were deluded C) the object of adoration was a lying POS
    —————————————
    Yes, there are those who commit hare kerry (as in John), or go into the back room and put a luger (as in Richard) to their head, but that is not the common reaction. The common reaction is to reject that false god and the prophets who urged them to accept him. That is the human reaction, and it is part of the survival mechanism. People will follow a leader–which means giving up some measure of their personal freedom only as long as he is leading them in the right direction. They may last four years, as they do under our system, however, the underlying mandate is fragile. I spoke to a friend of mine yesterday who says that this episode may prove to be Obamakatrina. I doubt it. But if it contributes the economic meltdown, then it may hasten his own day of reckoning. He will be held accountable for any screwup now, and screwups are bound to happen. If FOX is smart they will air something on this issue while the son of a bitch is busy bloviating and tinkering around the edges of it. The jackass has alot of positions he has yet to fill who are tasked with handling this. Sangi Gupa where are you?

  64. How much ya wanna bet these protestors wouldn’t have been arrested if they weren’t white?
    ——————
    That is a powerful question. If we can show a pattern of disparate treatement based on race that issue will have legs in this race obsessed society. That is one of the things that having a black president does–it frees us up to make this argument. And there is alot in his background and that of his wife that make them vulnerable to that charge. This can be done in a whisper campaign, as opposed to a direct confrontation. People of good will of all races will see it if we can show a pattern. And the very vehemence by which his supporters reject it leaves them open to the charge that they protesteth too much.

  65. Democrats Announce Agreement on Budget Pact

    April 27, 2009

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional Democrats sealed an agreement Monday night on a budget plan that would help President Barack Obama overhaul the health care system but allows his signature tax cut for most workers to expire after next year.
    Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., announced the agreement and key details in a statement.

    Most importantly, the congressional budget plan would prevent Senate Republicans from delaying or blocking Obama’s plan to vastly expand government-subsidized health care when it advances this fall. The $3.5 trillion plan for the budget year starting Oct. 1 embraces several of Obama’s key goals besides health care reform, including funds for domestic programs and clean energy, and a tax increase for individuals making more than $200,000 a year or couples making more than $250,000.

    But the plan would allow Obama’s signature $400 tax cut for most workers and $800 for couples to expire at the end of next year. Even after squeezing the defense and war budgets to levels that are probably unrealistic, the plan would cause a deficit of $523 billion in five years. “I think this is a good budget,” Conrad said. But, he added, “much more will have to be done to get us on a more sustainable course,” including slowing the growth of benefit programs like Medicare and overhauling the tax code. Conrad forced cuts of $10 billion from Obama’s $50 billion boost for non-defense programs funded by Congress each year — not much in the grand scheme but strongly resisted by House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D-Wis. Future increases for non-defense operating budgets would be far less generous than Obama’s budget, averaging 2.9 percent, though history would suggest that Congress won’t follow through on the long-term promises.

    While endorsing Obama initiatives, Democrats focused a lot of attention to preserving President George W. Bush’s tax cuts for middle-class workers, investors and families with children. The budget plan would patch the alternative minimum tax for three years to prevent more than 20 million taxpayers from getting socked with increases averaging $2,000 or so. The estate tax would be kept at current levels and allow for estates up to $7 million to be exempt from the tax with a 45 percent rate applying to inheritances above that.

    Under Capitol Hill’s arcane rules, the annual congressional budget produces an outline for follow-up tax and spending legislation. Most importantly, the measure would allow Obama’s health plan to pass the Senate by a simple majority instead of the 60 votes that are needed for plenty of other legislation. Democrats and independent allies control 58 Senate seats. Democrats hope the House will adopt the budget on Tuesday and the Senate on Wednesday, which marks Obama’s 100 days in office.

    Obama and his Democratic allies say they still want support from Republicans for health care legislation but need the option of expedited action in case the debate becomes overly partisan. “For this bipartisan process to take root, Republicans must demonstrate a sincere interest in legislating,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., wrote in a letter Monday to GOP Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. “Rather than just saying no, you must be willing to offer concrete and constructive proposals.”

    The fast-track rules also would apply to Obama’s plan to eliminate lender subsidies on banks and other lenders presently participating in the federal student loan program. Direct lending by the government would replace the program, with the savings dedicated to boosting Pell Grants for lower-income college students. While handing Obama a victory, there is still an extraordinary amount of work before Obama’s vision of health care reform becomes a reality, including raising taxes and cutting spending to generate $1 trillion or more over the next decade to fund the health care initiative.

    The budget plan also anticipates the expiration of former President George W. Bush’s tax cuts on wealthier people’s income and investments at the end of next year. But it ignores Obama’s calls for raising taxes to help pay for his health care initiative by reducing the benefits wealthier people take on itemized deductions like charitable gifts and mortgage interest. Moderate Democrats successfully pressed for Obama to endorse their call for a pay-as-you-go law that would require taxes and new spending on benefit programs to be offset with tax increases or spending cuts elsewhere in the budget. The obstacle for the pay-go extension is the Senate, but the moderate gang of “Blue Dog” Democrats won a promise from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., that she would exert leverage over the Senate aimed at winning enactment of a pay-go statute. The existing pay-as-you-go provision is simply a rule that has been waived on key occasions.

    nytimes.com/aponline/2009/04/27/us/AP-US-Congress-Budget.html?_r=1&ref=politics

  66. Pandemic-preparedness money stripped from stimulus

    WASHINGTON — Congress stripped nearly $900 million to combat an influenza pandemic from the economic-stimulus package earlier this year as part of last-minute negotiations to gain GOP support for the plan.

    Now, with the spread of a potentially deadly strain of the swine flu, public-health advocates and liberal bloggers are sharply criticizing the move. Key Democratic lawmakers, including Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, vowed Monday to fight for increased funding in the coming weeks. “It was a short-sighted decision,” Robert Pestronk, executive director of the National Association of County and City Health Officials, said of the cut. The lack of federal funds and recession-fueled budget cuts at the state level have “reduced the ability of state and local governments to cope” with spreading swine-flu infections, he said.

    At the center of the debate: Maine Sen. Susan Collins, who was one of three Republicans to back President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package. She opposed inclusion of the pandemic-preparedness money during a floor debate on the legislation, arguing it would not jump-start the economy. In the end, lawmakers agreed to trim more than $100 billion from the stimulus, including $870 million in flu spending. On Monday, John Nichols, blogging for the liberal magazine The Nation, accused Collins of “just playing politics, in the exceptionally narrow and irresponsible manner that characterized the Republican response to the stimulus debate.”

    Collins spokesman Kevin Kelley defended the senator’s actions and called the criticism “politically motivated.” “Senator Collins always maintained that, though very worthwhile, this funding should go through the regular appropriations process since it did not meet the test of stimulus spending,” Kelley said in a statement. He said there was no evidence that federal efforts to deal with the swine flu outbreak have been hampered.

    Collins was not the only lawmaker to criticize the spending. In February, as the Senate neared final approval of the stimulus bill, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., noted that “all those little porky things,” including flu pandemic money, had been removed.
    The money would have been the last installment of a $7.1 billion program initiated by then-president Bush four years ago to prepare for a threat of a global influenza outbreak. A key goal: to make enough vaccine by 2011 to cover every American within six months of a pandemic virus being identified. Congress already has approved more than $6 billion for the program.

    Harkin and public-health experts, such as Thomas Inglesby of the Center for Biosecurity at the University of Pittsburgh, said there was no sign that stripping the funds from the stimulus had significantly slowed the preparation of pandemic-flu vaccines. “This capacity is not there yet and would not be if we had appropriated the money,” Harkin spokeswoman Kate Cyrul said in an email. “But the current outbreak reminds us that we need to be prepared.” Harkin, chairman of a Senate panel that approves health-care spending, and Rep. Dave Obey, D-Wis., the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said they would push for additional funding in a war spending bill now moving through Congress.

    usatoday.com/news/health/2009-04-27-flumoney_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip

  67. djia Says:
    April 28th, 2009 at 9:10 am
    Drudge is linking to an old article today about how the CDC announced it was going to mix avian flu with a human flue to study it back in 2004!!!!
    CDC to mix avian, human flu viruses in pandemic study
    *********
    I don’t think Drudge is the best source of scientific information. RNA viruses like type A Flu are very unstable and naturally recombine with bits of genetic material when it infects, humans, pigs, birds etc. That is why last years flu vaccine is worthless this year. The CDC types the flu viruses that are being generated in the people/pig/bird cycle in Asia and tries to predict which one will be a problem here; giving the vaccine makers enough lead time before flu “season”. Any genetic tinkering that the CDC could do is insignificant compared to the what the flu virus can do in the bodies of billions of humans,pigs and birds in Asia.

  68. That agreement is significant. Democrats in the House agree with Democrats in the Senate and the blue dog faction is no more.

    They own it now, lock, stock and barrel. Mark this as one more step toward political accountability.

    The pay as you go provision is meaningless. The cuts are cosmetic. Its Big Government now writ large, at the very time when we can least afford it.

  69. I don’t think Drudge is the best source of scientific information. RNA viruses like type A Flu are very unstable and naturally recombine with bits of genetic material when it infects, humans, pigs, birds etc. That is why last years flu vaccine is worthless this year. The CDC types the flu viruses that are being generated in the people/pig/bird cycle in Asia and tries to predict which one will be a problem here; giving the vaccine makers enough lead time before flu “season”. Any genetic tinkering that the CDC could do is insignificant compared to the what the flu virus can do in the bodies of billions of humans,pigs and birds in Asia.
    ——————————————————-
    SHV: if you were head of CDC would you invest in a vaccine, if as you say the virus is so unstable and capable of mutation to the point that it can evade whatever vaccine you come up with? What is the alternative–quarantine. I mean what is the optimal public health response in your judgment?

  70. admin Says:
    April 27th, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    The nonpartisan research group Center for Media and Public Affairs along with California’s Chapman University released a study that found the nightly newscasts devoted 27 hours, 44 minutes to Pres. Obama’s presidency in his first 50 days. That compares to 7 hours, 42 minutes for Pres. George W. Bush and 15 hours, 2 minutes for Pres. Bill Clinton during the first 50 days of their first terms.

    Not only has Obama gotten more coverage, but that coverage has been more positive than his predecessors.

    On the ABC, CBS, and NBC evening newscasts, 58% of all evaluations of the president and his policies have been favorable, while 42% were unfavorable. That compares with 33% positive in the comparable period of Bush’s tenure and 44% positive for Pres. Clinton.

    Who gave Pres. Obama the most airtime? And where does Fox fit in?

    CBS led the coverage with 365 stories and 10 hours 46 minutes of airtime, followed by NBC with 327 stories and 9 hours 38 minutes, and ABC with 329 stories and 7 hours 20 minutes..

    But Fox News stands apart from its competitors here – only 13% of comments* were considered favorable. On ABC, 57% of the comments were favorable, compared to 58% for CBS and 61% for NBC.
    &&&&&&&&&&&&&

    Of course Obama deserves much higher coverage than other presidents. It’s because his is a “historical” presidency, and because he and Michelle are so POPULAR. Who would want to miss Christ turning water into wine?

    And of course coverage is bound to be so positive, for a president as COMPETENT and ABLE and FAIR, who as ACCOMPLISHED SO MUCH in such a short time. Mt. Rushmore awaits!!!

  71. At the center of the debate: Maine Sen. Susan Collins, who was one of three Republicans to back President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package. She opposed inclusion of the pandemic-preparedness money during a floor debate on the legislation, arguing it would not jump-start the economy.
    ——————————————–
    Of all the things Collins should have opposed in that bill, including the entire bill itself, she chose this one. Time will tell whether this makes her politically vulnerable. It shows a complete lack of policy judgment. Whether Maine voters take cognizance of it however remains to be seen.

  72. ‘I spoke to a friend of mine yesterday who says that this episode may prove to be Obamakatrina’

    Bet your friend listens to Savage. He said the same thing yesterday during his radio rant. Savage takes it a step further, saying that in fact BO was blindsided by the flu outbreak as it could conceivably interfere with the push to legalize 25+ million illegals in time for the next selection and doom BO’s emperor-for-life aspirations.

    i dunno. Savage says some interesting stuff. What really struck me in his rant yesterday was his suspicion that the flu is bioterroristic and planted by one of the al qaeda groups – or, wtf knows – maybe by a BO devotee? What do you think?

  73. But Fox News stands apart from its competitors here – only 13% of comments* were considered favorable. On ABC, 57% of the comments were favorable, compared to 58% for CBS and 61% for NBC.
    ——————————————————–
    If I were a FOX executive I would be delighted by this. Never interrupt an enemy–in this case all your competitors in the middle of a mistake. They lose audience as you gain it as people with mature judgment get sick of the adulation and move to a more rational assessment of Mr. Obamas performance as a problemsolver as opposed to a celebrity.

    By the way, did he ever meet with the captain whom the SEALs rescued, as they said he would? Perhaps he did and I missed it. If he did not you may find that significant.

  74. Before I get outta the house for the afternoon and forget to ask, anyone have a view about the GM bankruptcy with regards to that relationship to the bailout?

    I mean, i can’t figure out WTF tehyw ere bailed out in the first place just to declare bankruptcy a couple of months later.

    Who benefits from this? Why the smoke and mirrors? Why bail-out the banks and not help thousands of auto workers? And this pension-mania makes my head explode. if the UAW pension is set-up anything like the teachers system, whe have no friggin choice as to whether we want to participate. it’s the LAW in the states where i taught. hundred of dollars are automatically deducted from paychecks whether you agree to it or not. In retrospect, after 20 years in the war zone, it worked out for me. That forced savings funds my health recovery. But, point is, enforced deuctions meant 3-4 grand a year i couldn’t invest and that 5-7% state mandated deduction meant i never had enough cash left over to invest.

    No one ever mentions that. In my case, it was probably 100g over 20 years. how much would that have yielded if invested over the same time? (really – i’m asking as one of the mathematically challenged)

  75. BOB HERBERT WANTS “SOMEONE” TO DO “SOMETHING”

    He’s mad as heck and wants the ship turned around. A whole article about the government’s failure to do right by the working class, and yet the “Obama” is not in his op-ed piece. Nor is the word “president”. He does mention:

    “The employment issue is not being addressed with the level of urgency that is warranted. For all the talk of green jobs, there is no large-scale creative effort to turn this employment debacle around. There is no crash program on anything like the scale needed, for example, to rebuild the rotting infrastructure — a big-time potential source of jobs.”

    Jeez, who could POSSIBLY be in charge of such as “large-scale creative effort”, a “crash program” to “rebuild the rotting infrastructure”? Maybe the “government”? Is he saying local government? State government? That’s not large-scale. Okay, so now we’re talking the Federeal government, Congress and the Executive branch.

    Didn’t Bob Herbert himself tell us last year, when he worked tirelessly to elect Obama, that Obama needed to be elected because he had proven his leadership skills with his brilliant campaign to “come out of nowhere” and, ahem, “win” the Democratic primary? Congress creates legistlation, but the president has the bully pulpit. Herbert wanted Obama to right the wrongs of the past eight years under Bush. Now, he has to complain under shirt, that there is a void at the top, and that we’re on the same trajectory as we were under Bush.

    Bob wants someone to do something, but he doesn’t dare admit that Obama shares any of that responsibility. After all, that might come across as racist.

    nytimes.com/2009/04/28/opinion/28herbert.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

    Workers Walk the Plank
    =================

    By BOB HERBERT
    Published: April 27, 2009

    I’m sure everyone is thrilled to know that the high rollers on Wall Street are bouncing back. With profits on the rebound, the big shots at the biggest institutions are on track, as The Times reported Sunday, to make as much money this year as they were hauling in before the mega-recession began.

    The growing legions of the unemployed can be forgiven for not shouting hallelujah. It’s a little like watching the drunken driver who plowed into your family car and caused untold havoc and heartache, suddenly pulling up one morning, no worse for the wear, in a sparkling new vehicle.

    The folks who led the nation to this financial abyss are the ones being made whole on the taxpayers’ dime. We can look after them, all right. But we can’t seem to get credit flowing in any normal way again; we can’t stanch the terrible flow of home foreclosures; and we’re not doing nearly enough to address the most critical need of all: putting people back to work.

    While Wall Street is breaking out the Champagne yet again, the rest of the economy is beyond terrible, and will be for the foreseeable future.

    Heidi Shierholz, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute, offered a rundown of the unemployment crisis in remarks she prepared for a House subcommittee last week. Ms. Shierholz began by noting that next month the current economic downturn will become the longest since the Great Depression.

    “The 10 postwar recessions prior to this one have averaged 10.4 months in length, with the longest being 16 months,” said Ms. Shierholz. “The current recession is now in its 16th month and the labor market is still shedding over 600,000 jobs a month.”

    Wall Street can swallow all the Champagne it wants, and the market fanatics can obsess until their brains lock over the daily gyrations of the Dow. The simple fact is that working men and women are being squeezed in the ever-tightening jaws of a catastrophe.

    The American auto industry is fading before our eyes. Chrysler is looking to Fiat — Fiat! — as a savior. The once-impregnable General Motors is now a giant junkyard sinking in quicksand. It disclosed Monday that it will cut another 21,000 factory jobs in the United States over the next year. If G.M. were to go under it would take an enormous chain of satellite industries down with it.

    More than 13 million people are officially counted as unemployed, with some 5.6 million jobs lost since the recession started. Ms. Shierholz tells us that since the first of the year about 23,000 men and women were being added to the jobless rolls every day.

    Job losses on such a scale are knockout blows to ordinary American families.

    The importance of employment to the everyday life and long-term health of the nation is too often given short shrift. A recent report, “The 2009 MetLife Study of the American Dream,” found, not surprisingly, that “work is the linchpin holding the dream together” for most Americans.

    In fact, the mythic American dream is becoming more and more elusive. The big concern facing millions of families at the moment is economic survival. More than half of all Americans — 56 percent — are concerned that they might lose their jobs in the next year. Few are prepared for such a setback.

    As the authors of the MetLife study reported:

    “With the erosion of social and corporate safety nets, tightening credit and declining home equity, most Americans have little financial cushioning to survive a job loss. Without a steady paycheck, 50 percent of Americans say they could not meet their financial obligations for more than a month — and, of that, a disturbing 28 percent couldn’t support themselves for more than two weeks of unemployment.”

    That’s the case in an environment in which more than three million Americans already have been out of work for more than six months.

    The employment issue is not being addressed with the level of urgency that is warranted. For all the talk of green jobs, there is no large-scale creative effort to turn this employment debacle around. There is no crash program on anything like the scale needed, for example, to rebuild the rotting infrastructure — a big-time potential source of jobs.

    The financial industry is seen as essential, but millions of American workers are not. They’re expendable.

    If as much attention, energy and resources were given to the effort to put Americans back to work as has been given to putting the banking industry back on its feet, you’d have fewer Champagne toasts on Wall Street but a lot more high-fiving in family homes across the country.

  76. THIS MAY TURN OUT TO BE BIGGER THAN IT LOOKS. JUST EXACTLY THE SORT OF THING THAT STARTED THE NIXON STINK. IMPERIOUS ARROGANCE CAN’T KEEP SURVIVING THIS CORROSIVE STUFF. (more poop on Goggle News)

    By SUZANNE SATALINE, JONATHAN D. ROCKOFF and CHRISTOPHER CONKEY —- Wall Street Journal

    As secret missions go, this one was a flop.

    On Monday morning, one of the 747s used to ferry around the U.S. president was dispatched to the Statue of Liberty, escorted by a fighter jet. Assignment: Get some fresh glamour shots of the plane.

    The Air Force said the flight needed to remain confidential. So while New York police knew about it, as did at least one person in the mayor’s office, regular New Yorkers remained in the dark.
    Readers’ Photos

    View Slideshow
    [SB124084538600659501]

    * Send photos to yourphotos@wsj.com

    As a result, to onlookers Monday all across downtown Manhattan — where the World Trade Center once stood — the photo shoot looked like a terrorist attack. People watched in horror as a massive aircraft, trailed closely by an F-16 fighter jet, banked and roared low near the city, in a frightening echo of the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

    Fearing the worst, thousands of people streamed out of the skyscrapers and into the streets. Some buildings ordered evacuations. “Oh God, it was mayhem in here, just mayhem,” says Rubin Shimon, manager of Styling Haircutters, a barbershop near Ground Zero. Many people took shelter in the shop to call loved ones on their cellphones.

    It was all over in a half-hour or so. Then the finger-pointing began. “I’m annoyed — furious is a better word — that I wasn’t told,” said New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg at a news conference. He’d been scheduled to talk about a swine-flu outbreak at a Queens school, but also sounded off at the federal government for its “badly conceived” flyover plan.

    He chastised his own office for its role in keeping the flyover secret. On Thursday night, city officials say, a junior mayoral aide had been alerted to the flyover by the Federal Aviation Administration, which requested that it be kept secret. Someone in City Hall alerted the New York Police Department, but no public announcement was made.

    Marc Mugnos was reprimanded for not apprising the mayor, and a disciplinary letter was placed in his file, a spokesman said. Mr. Mugnos couldn’t be reached for comment.
    video
    Low-Flying Plane Causes Scare in Manhattan
    1:44

    A low-flying airplane escorted by military jets sent worried workers fleeing offices in the New York City area. The FAA said it was a “photo op” conducted by a unit of the Air Force.

    The email sent to City Hall describes a “flying photo op” — government-speak for a publicity photo — to include two or possibly three passes over the area. The email, sent by an FAA official and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, lists flight patterns and specifies a photo-op altitude of 1,000 to 1,500 feet.

    The email specifies that the information “only be shared with persons with a need to know” and “shall not be released to the public.” It also says that, “Due to the possibility of public concern regarding [Department of Defense] aircraft flying at low levels, coordination with Federal, State and Local law enforcement agencies…has been accomplished.”

    The email’s author, James J. Johnston, of FAA air traffic, declined to comment.

    An Obama administration official said the mission was “classified” by the military and that the FAA, which controls much of the airspace over Manhattan, did what the military asked. “The mission was to send [the aircraft] up to get a picture of it flying around the Statue of Liberty,” this person said. “They said they needed to update their photo files.” President Obama wasn’t aboard.
    More

    * Vote: How does the Air Force One “photo op” affect your confidence in White House decision making?
    * Wash Wire: Caldera Takes Blame
    * Plane Scare Has Happened Before
    * Readers’ reactions: Plane ‘Flying VERY Low’
    * Readers’ Photos: Jets Circle N.Y.
    * Send photos to yourphotos@wsj.com

    The New York photo shoot wasn’t the only one planned. The White House had scheduled a follow-up session on May 5 or May 6 in Washington, D.C., according to two government officials. The D.C. flyover has now been canceled, a government official said.

    Louis Caldera, a former Secretary of the Army who runs the White House Military Office, took the blame. “While federal authorities took the proper steps to notify state and local authorities in New York and New Jersey, it’s clear that the mission created confusion and disruption,” he said. “I apologize and take responsibility for any distress that flight caused.”

    Mr. Caldera met Monday afternoon with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina “to hear the president’s displeasure,” an official said.

    It was a beautiful spring day in the Big Apple — perfect for picture taking. The aircraft, painted in White House livery, was trailed by one F-16 fighter jet. The aircraft had flown from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, across New Jersey, down the Hudson River and then circled the Statue of Liberty before heading off.

    For many who witnessed the maneuver, it stirred dark memories. Andrew Wybolt, who works for Barclays PLC in a skyscraper that borders the Hudson, said people rushed for the windows when they heard the planes. “They just started sprinting and freaking out,” he said.
    [Louis Caldera photo in 2006] Associated Press

    Louis Caldera, pictured in 2006, took blame for the flight.

    Thousands of workers from Merrill Lynch, American Express and other companies in the buildings that ring the former World Trade Center site hustled for the exits. Many stood outside their offices, nervously looking up into the sky, while hundreds of others walked north, along the West Side Highway, as thousands of people had done the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

    “To do something like this to all these people who have already been through 9-11 is just wrong,” said Greg Forman, a broker at the New York Mercantile Exchange, which is located in a building along the Hudson river, across the street from the World Trade Center site.

    One block north, construction workers on the 43-story Goldman Sachs Group Inc. tower said they had a close-up view of the low-flying plane. “I saw that thing coming and ran down the stairs,” said Eddie Navedo, who was clearing construction debris on the 23rd floor of the new building when he spotted the plane flying low over the river, then banking sharply to the west. “Everybody was saying, it’s a terrorist attack.”

    Not everyone lost his cool. Mr. Shimon, the manager of the barbershop where people fled on Monday, was present for the attacks in 2001, and in fact at that time worked in a shop even closer to the World Trade Center than his current one. He watched the towers fall that day.

    So did the events of Monday scare him? “To tell you the truth, not really,” Mr. Shimon said. “I didn’t think it was such a big deal. I’m a New Yorker.”
    —Jonathan Weisman, Alex Frangos and Michael Corkery contributed to this article.

    Write to Suzanne Sataline at suzanne.sataline@wsj.com, Jonathan D. Rockoff at jonathan.rockoff@wsj.com and Christopher Conkey at christopher.conkey@wsj.com

  77. Here’s an example of the sort of imperious arrogance that started Tricky Dick on his slide. Spending our money and getting lot of corrosive blowback out here in America. Can’t go on much longer.

    A ‘Classified’ Photo Op Turns Into a Soaring Blunder for the White House
    Mission to Get Beauty Shots of Presidential Jet at Statue of Liberty Panics

    By SUZANNE SATALINE, JONATHAN D. ROCKOFF and CHRISTOPHER CONKEY
    Wall Street Journal

    As secret missions go, this one was a flop.

    On Monday morning, one of the 747s used to ferry around the U.S. president was dispatched to the Statue of Liberty, escorted by a fighter jet. Assignment: Get some fresh glamour shots of the plane.

    The Air Force said the flight needed to remain confidential. So while New York police knew about it, as did at least one person in the mayor’s office, regular New Yorkers remained in the dark.
    Readers’ Photos

    View Slideshow
    [SB124084538600659501]

    * Send photos to yourphotos@wsj.com

    As a result, to onlookers Monday all across downtown Manhattan — where the World Trade Center once stood — the photo shoot looked like a terrorist attack. People watched in horror as a massive aircraft, trailed closely by an F-16 fighter jet, banked and roared low near the city, in a frightening echo of the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

    Fearing the worst, thousands of people streamed out of the skyscrapers and into the streets. Some buildings ordered evacuations. “Oh God, it was mayhem in here, just mayhem,” says Rubin Shimon, manager of Styling Haircutters, a barbershop near Ground Zero. Many people took shelter in the shop to call loved ones on their cellphones.

    It was all over in a half-hour or so. Then the finger-pointing began. “I’m annoyed — furious is a better word — that I wasn’t told,” said New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg at a news conference. He’d been scheduled to talk about a swine-flu outbreak at a Queens school, but also sounded off at the federal government for its “badly conceived” flyover plan.

    He chastised his own office for its role in keeping the flyover secret. On Thursday night, city officials say, a junior mayoral aide had been alerted to the flyover by the Federal Aviation Administration, which requested that it be kept secret. Someone in City Hall alerted the New York Police Department, but no public announcement was made.

    Marc Mugnos was reprimanded for not apprising the mayor, and a disciplinary letter was placed in his file, a spokesman said. Mr. Mugnos couldn’t be reached for comment.
    video
    Low-Flying Plane Causes Scare in Manhattan
    1:44

    A low-flying airplane escorted by military jets sent worried workers fleeing offices in the New York City area. The FAA said it was a “photo op” conducted by a unit of the Air Force.

    The email sent to City Hall describes a “flying photo op” — government-speak for a publicity photo — to include two or possibly three passes over the area. The email, sent by an FAA official and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, lists flight patterns and specifies a photo-op altitude of 1,000 to 1,500 feet.

    The email specifies that the information “only be shared with persons with a need to know” and “shall not be released to the public.” It also says that, “Due to the possibility of public concern regarding [Department of Defense] aircraft flying at low levels, coordination with Federal, State and Local law enforcement agencies…has been accomplished.”

    The email’s author, James J. Johnston, of FAA air traffic, declined to comment.

    An Obama administration official said the mission was “classified” by the military and that the FAA, which controls much of the airspace over Manhattan, did what the military asked. “The mission was to send [the aircraft] up to get a picture of it flying around the Statue of Liberty,” this person said. “They said they needed to update their photo files.” President Obama wasn’t aboard.
    More

    * Vote: How does the Air Force One “photo op” affect your confidence in White House decision making?
    * Wash Wire: Caldera Takes Blame
    * Plane Scare Has Happened Before
    * Readers’ reactions: Plane ‘Flying VERY Low’
    * Readers’ Photos: Jets Circle N.Y.
    * Send photos to yourphotos@wsj.com

    The New York photo shoot wasn’t the only one planned. The White House had scheduled a follow-up session on May 5 or May 6 in Washington, D.C., according to two government officials. The D.C. flyover has now been canceled, a government official said.

    Louis Caldera, a former Secretary of the Army who runs the White House Military Office, took the blame. “While federal authorities took the proper steps to notify state and local authorities in New York and New Jersey, it’s clear that the mission created confusion and disruption,” he said. “I apologize and take responsibility for any distress that flight caused.”

    Mr. Caldera met Monday afternoon with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina “to hear the president’s displeasure,” an official said.

    It was a beautiful spring day in the Big Apple — perfect for picture taking. The aircraft, painted in White House livery, was trailed by one F-16 fighter jet. The aircraft had flown from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, across New Jersey, down the Hudson River and then circled the Statue of Liberty before heading off.

    For many who witnessed the maneuver, it stirred dark memories. Andrew Wybolt, who works for Barclays PLC in a skyscraper that borders the Hudson, said people rushed for the windows when they heard the planes. “They just started sprinting and freaking out,” he said.
    [Louis Caldera photo in 2006] Associated Press

    Louis Caldera, pictured in 2006, took blame for the flight.

    Thousands of workers from Merrill Lynch, American Express and other companies in the buildings that ring the former World Trade Center site hustled for the exits. Many stood outside their offices, nervously looking up into the sky, while hundreds of others walked north, along the West Side Highway, as thousands of people had done the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

    “To do something like this to all these people who have already been through 9-11 is just wrong,” said Greg Forman, a broker at the New York Mercantile Exchange, which is located in a building along the Hudson river, across the street from the World Trade Center site.

    One block north, construction workers on the 43-story Goldman Sachs Group Inc. tower said they had a close-up view of the low-flying plane. “I saw that thing coming and ran down the stairs,” said Eddie Navedo, who was clearing construction debris on the 23rd floor of the new building when he spotted the plane flying low over the river, then banking sharply to the west. “Everybody was saying, it’s a terrorist attack.”

    Not everyone lost his cool. Mr. Shimon, the manager of the barbershop where people fled on Monday, was present for the attacks in 2001, and in fact at that time worked in a shop even closer to the World Trade Center than his current one. He watched the towers fall that day.

    So did the events of Monday scare him? “To tell you the truth, not really,” Mr. Shimon said. “I didn’t think it was such a big deal. I’m a New Yorker.”
    —Jonathan Weisman, Alex Frangos and Michael Corkery contributed to this article.

  78. SHV: if you were head of CDC would you invest in a vaccine, if as you say the virus is so unstable and capable of mutation to the point that it can evade whatever vaccine you come up with? What is the alternative–quarantine. I mean what is the optimal public health response in your judgment?
    **************
    Way out of my field of expertise but an MD from the infectious disease div of CDC was on News Hour last night. No vaccine because the virus is here now and the time lag for vaccine is too long. The “new” H1N1 virus has been tested and is sensitive to both available anti-viral drugs and there are large stockpiles of anti-viral drugs if they are needed. She also made the point that the surgical masks are not effective filtering viruses.

  79. “Sangi Gupa where are you?”

    ———————

    Well if you really want to know, yesterday he was in Mexico monitoring the conditions. Lou Dobbs asked him why, if the U.S. had a stockpile of vaccine and masks that they didn’t give some to Mexico and stop the problem at its source. Gupa agreed that it made sense but had no answer.

  80. I didn’t answer the unstable/vaccine question. In the normal flu season cycle, the CDC makes a “guess” of which virus type will come out of Asia and the vaccine makers produce the vaccine before flu season. If they are right, that virus is the main agent for that flu season, it remains stable and the vaccine works until the next flu season when another recombined virus comes out of Asia ad seriatim. It is amazing that flu isn’t a bigger problem. Considering how fast new virus are created, there have been only 3-4 pandemics in 100 years..1917-1918 being the worst. In a normal flu season 25-30k die in the US and 250-500k world wide.

    I am not sure there is really any effective public health response other than avoiding crowds and basic sanitation. As far as border closing/quarantine..that is up to the infectious disease experts who hopefully are not pressured by political correctness or foreign policy political decisions. For the flu, I doubt any of those things are effective. An example, again, it 1917-1918. In the absence of fast global travel, that virus spread world wide in just months…probably starting in Ft Riley KS.

  81. BOB HERBERT WANTS “SOMEONE” TO DO “SOMETHING”
    —————————————————
    RGB this guy is a waste of protoplasm. He got his wish. It is not what he thought it was. But he hasnt got the courage, honor and integrity to say he was wrong. So he tries to get off the hook by blaming the system which his man is now the head of. He comes off as the farce he always was. We need to catalogue all the confession and avoidance excuses he and his ilk make, in a futile effort to hide the fact that they were wrong to elevate race over qualifications, and to discriminate as they most certainly did on the basis of gender.

  82. SHV Says:

    April 28th, 2009 at 11:44 am
    ——————————
    Thank you for the intelligent and informative response.

  83. // April 28, 2009 at 11:30 am

    news.aol.com/main/obama-presidency/article/michelle-obamas-first-100-days/

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

    Go vote. It is on MOzilla! How much you like her! By the way, Hillary is winning, not by much, the most respected first Lady…

  84. From Bitterpolitiz
    *****************************************

    americanthinker.com/blog/2009/04/medal_of_honor_sullied_by_obam.html

    Medal of Honor Sullied by Obama’s Speech

    by Larrey Anderson

    Mary Ann Glendon, a Harvard Law professor and former US Ambassador to the Vatican, will not accept the highest honor given by Notre Dame.

    Notre Dame offered Ambassador Glendon the Laetare Medal and wanted to present it to her at this year’s graduation ceremonies. The University apparently suggested that the award to the high profile — and faithful Catholic — Glendon might offset some of the criticism the University has received by inviting President Obama to address this year’s commencement exercises.

    Here is the full text of Glendon’s letter rejecting the award:

    Dear Father Jenkins,

    When you informed me in December 2008 that I had been selected to receive Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal, I was profoundly moved. I treasure the memory of receiving an honorary degree from Notre Dame in 1996, and I have always felt honored that the commencement speech I gave that year was included in the anthology of Notre Dame’s most memorable commencement speeches. So I immediately began working on an acceptance speech that I hoped would be worthy of the occasion, of the honor of the medal, and of your students and faculty.

    Last month, when you called to tell me that the commencement speech was to be given by President Obama, I mentioned to you that I would have to rewrite my speech. Over the ensuing weeks, the task that once seemed so delightful has been complicated by a number of factors.

    First, as a longtime consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, I could not help but be dismayed by the news that Notre Dame also planned to award the president an honorary degree. This, as you must know, was in disregard of the U.S. bishops’ express request of 2004 that Catholic institutions “should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles” and that such persons “should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” That request, which in no way seeks to control or interfere with an institution’s freedom to invite and engage in serious debate with whomever it wishes, seems to me so reasonable that I am at a loss to understand why a Catholic university should disrespect it.

    Then I learned that “talking points” issued by Notre Dame in response to widespread criticism of its decision included two statements implying that my acceptance speech would somehow balance the event:

    • “President Obama won’t be doing all the talking. Mary Ann Glendon, the former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, will be speaking as the recipient of the Laetare Medal.”

    • “We think having the president come to Notre Dame, see our graduates, meet our leaders, and hear a talk from Mary Ann Glendon is a good thing for the president and for the causes we care about.”

    A commencement, however, is supposed to be a joyous day for the graduates and their families. It is not the right place, nor is a brief acceptance speech the right vehicle, for engagement with the very serious problems raised by Notre Dame’s decision—in disregard of the settled position of the U.S. bishops—to honor a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice.

    Finally, with recent news reports that other Catholic schools are similarly choosing to disregard the bishops’ guidelines, I am concerned that Notre Dame’s example could have an unfortunate ripple effect.

    It is with great sadness, therefore, that I have concluded that I cannot accept the Laetare Medal or participate in the May 17 graduation ceremony.

    In order to avoid the inevitable speculation about the reasons for my decision, I will release this letter to the press, but I do not plan to make any further comment on the matter at this time.

    Yours Very Truly,

    Mary Ann Glendon

    Ambassador Glendon is truly a woman of principle.

  85. “Ambassador Glendon is truly a woman of principle.”

    —————————————

    His speaking at the commencement is becoming very controversial. She is indeed a woman of principle.

  86. Chinese Proverb: all things come to one who waits . . .
    ————————————————
    Obama’s Disapproval Rating Reaches New High
    Posted: 04/22/09Filed Under:Barack Obama, Polls 703 Comments President Barack Obama’s approval ratings have declined steadily since he took office three months ago. A new poll out today shows that as the president approaches his 100th day in office, the percentage of Americans that disapprove of his job performance has reached a new high. Rasmussen Reports’ Daily Presidential Tracking Poll shows Obama with a 54-46 percent approval rating. The approval and disapproval numbers represent record low approval and record high disapproval for the president, respectively. Moreover, the spread between respondents that strongly approve or disapprove of Obama’s job performance stands at just 34-32.

    Rasmussen’s results confirm the result of a Pew Research Center for the People and the Press poll from earlier this month. That poll showed that Obama had the most polarized poll results of any president in forty years with 88 percent of Democrats viewing his performance favorable and just 27 percent of Republicans agreeing. Overall, Pew found the president’s job approval at 59 percent, slightly higher than the 54 percent reported by Rasmussen.

    In other polling news, Rasmussen also reported that the generic Congressional ballot is tied at 39-39 percent between Republicans and Democrats. This is the second straight week that respondents have indicated no preference between the two parties in the 2010 Congressional elections. Rasmussen’s Congressional ballot has been trending toward Republicans since Election Day, but Republicans have yet to overtake majority Democrats.

    It was inevitable that President Obama’s poll numbers would come down once the euphoria of the campaign died down and he began the tough work of governing. Obama has always been personally popular, but the public is less enthusiastic with his proposals. The longer he is in office, it seems, the more Americans are beginning to identify him with the policies he is proposing, and not the grand themes and generalizations of the presidential campaign. It will be interesting to see whether President Obama modifies his positions in response to his poll numbers, should they continue to fall.

  87. BofA, Citi May Need More Capital

    AP
    posted: 3 HOURS 47 MINUTES : Financial

    (April 28) – Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc., which have each received $45 billion in government bailout funds, have been told by regulators that “stress test” results show they may need to raise additional capital, The Wall Street Journal said Tuesday.
    Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America is looking at a shortfall in the billions of dollars, the paper said, citing people familiar with the situation. Both banks plan to rebut the preliminary findings, according to the paper, with Bank of America expected to respond Tuesday ahead of its shareholder meeting Wednesday.
    Citigroup declined to comment; Bank of America officials weren’t immediately available to comment.
    As executives of the nation’s largest banks review their stress-test results, even the top performers are lobbying regulators to raise their scores before the numbers are finalized Friday.
    Fed officials told reporters Friday that all 19 banks that took its “stress tests” will be required to keep an extra buffer of capital reserves beyond what is required now in case losses continue to mount. That would mean some banks will likely have to raise additional cash. But the Fed stressed in a statement that a bank’s need for more capital reserves to meet the requirements should not be considered a measure of the “current solvency or viability of the firm.”

    Which Banks Got the Biggest Bailouts?Craig Ruttle, AP6 photos The U.S. Treasury Department is injecting hundreds of billions in capital into financial institutions to shore up their balance sheets. Check out this gallery to see which companies received the most money.(Note: Please disable your pop-up blocker)

    Federal Reserve officials held top-secret meetings with bank executives last week to give them preliminary findings of how each bank would fare if the recession got much worse. The government plans to announce the results of the tests May 4, and banks will have the opportunity to appeal the findings.
    By law, the banks cannot publicize the results without the government’s permission.
    Executives sifted through the test results over the weekend, devising arguments they hope will persuade regulators to boost their scores, according to two industry officials who requested anonymity because regulators have barred them from discussing the process.
    Banks have until Tuesday to make their cases. They will receive the final test results Friday, and the information will be released next week.
    The results will determine the fates of the companies, which together hold one-half of the U.S. banking system’s loans. Banks found to need more capital face several possibilities: The government could convert its stake in them to common shares, force them to raise money from investors or eventually release more funds from the Treasury Department’s $700 billion financial bailout.
    For Treasury, the easiest way to bolster bank balance sheets is to convert the government’s existing stake from preferred shares – a form of debt – into common shares that carry voting rights. This would help Treasury avoid returning to Congress for more bailout money – a request lawmakers are likely to rebuff.
    The banks’ options are designed to ensure banks have enough cash to withstand the mounting loan losses they would absorb in a bleaker economy.
    If the test showed a bank would need more money to endure a much worse recession, regulators will force it to meet higher standards for capital reserves, to offset possible future losses.
    Banks deemed to have enough capital may learn whether they’ll be permitted to repay billions of dollars the government injected into them last fall, analysts and officials said. Most large banks have said they want to repay the money to escape executive compensation limits and other obligations.
    Investors have grown more concerned about regional banks with many risky loans on their books. Defaults on those loans could skyrocket in a worsening economy. Banks that carry such loans are likely to be asked to improve their capital reserves.

  88. File under, “you have to be kidding”
    *******************************

    Bottom Alert for Home Prices?

    posted: 8 MINUTES AGO
    filed under: Financial Crisis, Mortgages

    APThe widely watched Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller housing index shows that home prices posted an 18.6 percent annual drop in February. The good news is that it’s the first time in 16 months that the decline did not set a record

  89. From Bitterpolitiz
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++

    And did he not say he was looking for places to cut wasteful spending? What a shame job on the American people. Please wake up America!

    hotair.com/archives/2009/04/28/postscript-what-should-obamas-next-photo-op-be/

    Update: The One formally declared this a “mistake” at an appearance this morning, you’ll be glad to know. Meanwhile, The Hill asks a good question: How much did Scare Force One’s glamour shot cost us?
    The report was prepared at the request of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) while Democrats were in the minority. (Waxman is now chairman ofthe committee). Entitled “THE COST OF PRESIDENTIAL AND VICE
    PRESIDENTIAL POLITICAL TRAVEL,” the report was clearly intended to criticize President Bush and Vice President Cheney’s extensive travel around the country to campaign for Republicans in the midterm elections.
    It reads in part: “This report assumes that flight operating costs are $56,518 per hour for Air Force One and $14,552 per hour for Air Force Two. These figures are based on the perhour cost figures cited by GAO for fiscal year 2000, adjusted for inflation.”

  90. Mary Ann Glendon is someone to remember. Until I read this letter, I belived that there were saints in this world, only I have never come across one myself. I now think I have. What an eloquent rebuttal to the move by the trustees of a venerated religious school to sacrifice its core principles on the alter of political expediency, and temporal gain by inviting the fraud to give the Commencement Speech, and to using this fine woman as a convenient vehicle to pull their own chestnuts out of the fire. Whom do they think they are–Rick Warren?

  91. I don’t think I can sleep @ night anymore. Rome is burning while the fiddle is being played….( or is that the famous JayZ and his more famous song, “99 problems but a Bitch an’t one of them” as the Fraud and his MOzilla walked out on stage after the Iowa Caucus thief!). Again posted @ Bitter…
    **************************************8

    New York City Flyover Photo Flop Triggers Recriminations

    Many in New York and Washington are asking what the White House could have been thinking when it failed to alert New Yorkers that it was sending a 747 plane over the city to take pictures of the Air Force One backup plane with the Statue of Liberty in the background.

    foxnews.com/politics/first100days/2009/04/28/new-york-city-jet-flyover-photo-flop-triggers-recriminations/

    One White House official told FOX News that all future photo-ops with the Air Force One backup plane have been banned, but another White House official would not confirm to FOX News that a reported flyover of Washington, D.C., with the U.S. Capitol as a backdrop scheduled for May 5-6 had been scrubbed.

    “I can certainly tell you that there will not be any more flyovers,” the first official said.

    Others in the White House say the flyover served as a dual photo-op and training hour, explaining the pilots needed flight hours and they wanted the pictures.

    Caldera “should resign, to be quite frank,” GOP consultant and former Bush administration official Bradley Blakeman told FOX News.

    “This is more than a lapse of judgment. This is complete stupidity in a time of economic crisis, wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars for publicity photos for Air Force One when you could have put that on your PC at home and done the same thing without that cost and disruption,” Blakeman said.

    ****
    Well, they keep changing the story. And I don’t buy these friggin lame exuses. I’ve never even heard of these photo ops.

  92. Bottom Alert for Home Prices?

    posted: 8 MINUTES AGO
    filed under: Financial Crisis, Mortgages

    APThe widely watched Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller housing index shows that home prices posted an 18.6 percent annual drop in February. The good news is that it’s the first time in 16 months that the decline did not set a record
    —————————–
    And they see land where there is no land–Captain Ahab. And what if we are within 15% of a bottom, and that bottom lasts as long as it has in Japan because the stimulus and bailout plan and investment in infrastruture which we are committed to is similar in many ways–then is this really anything to cheer about? Is it?

  93. Shit! Here comes # 60 in the Senate….

    Specter To Switch Parties

    thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/28/specter-will-run-as-a-democrat-in-2010/

    Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania said on Tuesday he would switch to the Democratic party, potentially presenting Democrats with a possible 60th vote and the power to break Senate filibusters as they try to advance the Obama administration’s new agenda.

    “Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to
    become Democrats,” Mr. Specter said in a statement. “I now find my political philosophy more in line
    with Democrats than Republicans.”

    Mr. Specter, the long-time Republican party maverick, faced a difficult re-election next year, against conservative opponent Pat Toomey, the former Pennsylvania representative

  94. Spectre has always been a man who put his own personal interests before party and country. This was an obvious move.

  95. I hope he gets defeated, but after Murtha calling his constituents racist, bitter and red necked, who knows…

  96. I think it all depends on the fate of Obama by 2010. The storm clouds are starting to gather around him. Spectre cannot be trusted by either party.

  97. The thing about 2010 is Bush will no longer cast a long shadow over the election, and dimocrat attempts to invoke his name will be drowned out by concerns over the direction of current policy and the lack of effective answers. On the other hand, if we experience the miraculous v shaped recover Orzag and Bambi have promised then it will be all beer and skittles–except for the 50 trillion in bad derivatives lest we forget.

  98. White House: President Obama “disappointed by former Ambassador Mary Glendon’s decision”

    David Brody
    April 27, 2009

    As reported earlier by the Brody File, the former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, Mary Ann Glendon, says she will not speak at Notre Dame because President Obama is speaking there as well. The pro-life former Ambassador was to receive a prestigious award from Notre Dame that day. She has declined that too.

    The White House just sent this via email to The Brody File:

    “President Obama is disappointed by former Ambassador Mary Glendon’s decision, but he looks forward to delivering an inclusive and respectful speech at the Notre Dame graduation, a school with a rich history of fostering the exchange of ideas. While he is honored to have the support of millions of people of all faiths, he does not govern with the expectation that everyone sees eye to eye with him on every position, and the spirit of debate and healthy disagreement on important issues is part of what he loves about this country.”

    cbn.com/CBNnews/589796.aspx

  99. US House voting on credit card bill Thurs

    WASHINGTON, April 27 (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives is likely to vote on credit card reform legislation on Thursday, according to several sources familiar with the chamber’s agenda. The sources, who asked to remain anonymous because the schedule has not been made public, said the timing of a vote on the pro-consumer bill was fluid and the schedule could change.

    According to one source, debate on the bill — called the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights — could start as early as Wednesday evening, followed by the introduction Thursday of amendments on behalf of the White House. Lawmakers have seized on the public outrage against high credit card interest rates and a variety of charges and fees as well as certain billing practices of credit card companies.

    The outrage was highlighted during a White House meeting last week between President Barack Obama and about a dozen credit card executives who were urged to halt what many see as unfair credit card practices and to disclose cardholder terms in language that would be easier for people to understand. The House bill would codify into law restrictions on deceptive practices issued by the U.S. banking regulators, including the Federal Reserve, in December.

    Under the Fed’s rules, card issuers would have until July 2010 to implement new rules.
    The legislation would require credit card issuers to establish a credit limit that cannot be exceeded — a provision that would prevent companies from collecting billions of dollars in over-the-limit fees. It would also ban companies from imposing arbitrary interest rate increases and penalties, while halting certain billing practices.

    In the Senate a separate bill, which narrowly passed the Banking Committee last month, includes provisions aimed at increasing the borrowing ability of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp and the National Credit Union Administration with the Treasury Department. Banks have warned that this legislation could shrink the amount of available credit to card holders and make it more expensive to use plastic to pay for groceries and online shopping.

    uk.reuters.com/article/marketsNewsUS/idUKN27150720090427

  100. ‘Arlen Spectre is what the Bosheviks used to call a “dead soul”.’

    Cracking up.

    I read gogol’s book. A ‘dead soul’ according to him was a dead peasant put on the landlord list to increase his wealth. So which wealthy ‘landowner’ owns zombie-man spectre?

    ‘In post-Napoleonic Russia, landowners owned serfs who worked the land. A man’s wealth was not only determined by the amount of land he had, but also by the number of souls he owned. Tchitchikov, the protagonist, and proclaimed hero of the story decides to purchase dead souls in order to become rich. Because a census is taken every year, he can buy the souls cheaper and then claim the dead souls as his own. The novel follows the exploits of Tchitchikov as he travels throughout the Russian countryside in the quest to buy souls from wealthy landowners.

  101. NANCY PELOSI–THE HITS KEEP COMING

    HOT UPDATE: John Boehner is taking it right to Nancy, proving that “what goes around comes around,” and that Obama just did NOT think through the torture memo “blowback.”

    Politico’s Glenn Thrush reports that Rep. Boehner is “asking the Obama administration to release CIA notes taken during a 2002 briefing session with Pelosi and other Congressional leaders.”

    Even “Dear Abby” could have given PBO the advice he needed: “THINK!. And make a careful list of the pros and cons, including the possibility you’ll throw your own party leaders under the bus (!). Your MoveOn and Kossack rabblerousers are NOT deep thinkers! Seek the counsel of savvy, experienced men and women.”

    Obama’s increasingly heavy reliance on D.C. novice David Axelrod is folly. All Axe envisioned was Republican blood in the water. But Axelrod has NO background — none, zippo! — in Capitol Hill politics warfare. Rahm? Does he think with his gonads or his brain? Methinks that, like Obama, he’s more politician than legislator, and he probably didn’t recall that both Democrats and Republicans attended those intel meetings in 2002. But now it’s too late, the water is bloodied by Democrats and Republicans alike, and here we go:

    Boehner is backing efforts by Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), the ranking member on the House intelligence committee, to release agency’s records of meetings with Congressional members from both parties.

    The GOP is hoping to spotlight the fact that Pelosi and other Democrats raised few objections when told about details of the Bush administration “enhanced interrogations” of terror suspects.

    “Congress and the American people deserve a full and complete set of facts about what information was yielded by CIA’s interrogation program, and they deserve to know which of their representatives in Congress were briefed about these techniques and the extent of those briefings,” says Boehner, backing Hoekstra’s letter to DNI Dennis Blair.

    He adds: “To date, the administration has fallen short in providing this information.

    Mr. Hoekstra’s request to Director Blair is straightforward, and the information he is seeking is essential. The American people have been provided an incomplete picture of exactly what intelligence was made available by the interrogation program. It is now the Administration’s responsibility to ensure they are given the full picture — including which members of Congress were briefed on the methods and how extensive those briefings were.”

    EARLIER POST:

    When one attempts to obsure, deflect, and outright prevaricate as much as Speaker Nancy Pelosi, one can expect critics galore. And that’s just what’s happened. Politico’s Glenn Thrush has been hammering Nancy hard. This article was published less than an hour ago:

    “Pelosi playing defense on torture“:

    Nancy Pelosi didn’t cry foul when the Bush administration briefed her on “enhanced interrogation” of terror suspects in 2002, but her team was locked and loaded to counter hypocrisy charges when the “torture” memos were released last week.

    Many Republicans obliged, led by former CIA chief Porter Goss, who is accusing Democrats like Pelosi of “amnesia” for demanding investigations in 2009 after failing to raise objections seven years ago when she first learned of the legal basis for the program.

    Had President Obama and team THOUGHT through the blowback from their we’ll-have-it-both-ways approach to the torture memos, they’d have immediately realized the can of worms they were opening for members of their own party. Furthermore, Obama’s failure to look at the entire chessboard is endangering his other programs:

    Pelosi finds herself on the defensive at a time when she needs to be on the offensive, pushing through a record-breaking budget, health care reform, a controversial cap-and-trade proposal and a supplemental funding bill for Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Someone on Pelosi’s staff spoke anonymously to Thrush:

    “As soon as the president made the decision to release [the memos], I was telling people that the Republicans were going to come after us, saying she knew about it and did nothing,” said an adviser to Pelosi (D-Calif.), speaking on condition of anonymity. “And I’m sure we’re going to get hammered again when they release all those new torture photos,” the person said.

    Republicans are grateful for the gift:

    But Pelosi’s allies were less prepared to confront the fallout from her convoluted answers during three sessions with reporters last week — answers that raised new questions and handed Republicans a fresh line of attack on a speaker at the height of her power.

    “I’m puzzled, I don’t understand what she’s trying to say,” said Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), former chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and currently the committee’s ranking minority member.

    “I don’t have any sympathy for her — she’s the speaker of the House; there should be some accountability. She shouldn’t be given a pass,” added Hoekstra.

    Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) promised to keep up the heat, telling reporters last week, “She and other leaders were fully briefed on all of these interrogation techniques. There’s nothing here that should surprise her.”

    This next quote left me both flabbergasted and infuriated — because the Dems’ main concern seems to be how they appear in the media, not whether what Pelosi did and said are right or wrong:

    “The Republicans may have won a news cycle, but we’re doing what we want to do,” said Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly, pointing to Pelosi’s legislative successes during President Barack Obama’s first 100 days in office.

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

  102. answering my own question about GM.
    ‘UAW to get 39% of GM, Obama administration 50%’

    Apparently, the bonholders, who put up 5 x the money are only getting 10% of the company under this plan.

    If GM had undergone a regular bankruptcy the bondholders, or investors would own the whole eompany.

    Pretty slick, no?

  103. A man’s wealth was not only determined by the amount of land he had, but also by the number of souls he owned. Tchitchikov, the protagonist, and proclaimed hero of the story decides to purchase dead souls in order to become rich. Because a census is taken every year, he can buy the souls cheaper and then claim the dead souls as his own
    ——————————–
    Sort of like buying or blackmailing superdelegates.

  104. pleeze pleeze pretty pretty pleeze let pooplosi crash and burn!

    the sooner the better.

    pass the popcorn!

  105. ‘Sort of like buying or blackmailing superdelegates.’

    or adding fictional people to the local poll rosters ala ACORN.

  106. Squanderer in chief
    By James Kirchick
    April 28, 2009
    » Discuss Article (101 Comments)

    At a stop on his grand global apology tour this spring, President Obama was asked by a reporter in France if he believed in “American exceptionalism.” This is the notion that our history as the world’s oldest democracy, our immigrant founding and our devotion to liberty endow the United States with a unique, providential role in world affairs.

    Rather than endorse the proposition — as every president in recent memory has done one way or another — Obama offered a strange response: “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.”

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    This is impossible. If all countries are “exceptional,” then none are, and to claim otherwise robs the word, and the idea of American exceptionalism, of any meaning. Besides, American exceptionalism is demonstrable — Cuban journalists, Chinese political dissidents, Eastern Europeans once again living in the shadow of a belligerent Russia and, yes, even some Brits and Greeks look toward the U.S. and nowhere else to defend freedom.

    Viewed within the context of the first 100 days of his presidency, Obama’s nonsensical statement is part of a disturbing pattern. Since swearing the oath of office, our president has traveled the world criticizing his predecessor, confessing America’s supposed sins and otherwise flagellating the nation he leads on the altar of international “public opinion.”

    Obama delivered his first collective mea culpa on our behalf in an interview with the Arab Al Arabiya television network, in which he said that he hoped to “restore” the “same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago.” (Would that be when Iranian revolutionaries held our embassy hostage for 444 days?) Obama neglected to identify what exactly had caused the rift between the United States and the “Muslim world,” leaving his audience to believe that Islamic radicalism is as much our fault as it is of the Islamic radicals themselves.

    But that was a mild beginning. Obama waited to ramp up the apologetics until his first trip overseas. In Strasbourg, France, he said the United States had “failed to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world” and that “there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.” Never mind the questionable basis of these statements (even if Europe played a “leading role in the world,” which it hasn’t since nearly destroying itself 60 years ago, how have Americans “failed to appreciate” it?). More troubling was the impropriety of Obama’s willingness to attack President George W. Bush in an obvious gambit to curry favor with Europeans.

    Not content with faulting Americans for their arrogance (in France, no less!), Obama delivered a speech in Prague days later where he offered a not-so-subtle apology for America’s use of nuclear weapons in World War II. “As the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act” in furtherance of total disarmament, he said.

    Yet the use of the atomic bomb in ending the war with Japan saved hundreds of thousands of lives, and America’s possession of nuclear weapons prevented the Cold War from becoming bloodier. More unsettling, however, was the implication that the U.S., and not regimes that have illicitly sought such technology, is at fault for nuclear proliferation.

    Obama apologized some more in Turkey. “I know that the trust that binds us has been strained, and I know that strain is shared in many places where the Muslim faith is practiced. Let me say this as clearly as I can: The United States is not at war with Islam.”

    Here, Obama seamlessly joined the Bush administration’s irritation at Ankara’s refusal to allow American troops’ passage to Iraq with the bogus claim that the United States has, until Obama’s presence in the White House, been “at war with Islam,” an assertion that essentially (and falsely) blames Bush for declaring such a war.

    When not establishing false premises about the previous administration (the easier to glorify his own) or apologizing for his country, Obama has shown unusual deference to autocrats. At the Summit of the Americas, he calmly sat through a 50-minute anti-American tirade by the communist leader of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, and was disturbingly ebullient in glad-handing Venezuelan autocrat Hugo Chavez. There’s nothing wrong with the president participating in a multilateral summit where criticism, even egregiously unfair criticism, of the U.S. is expressed. But if he can sit and take verbal abuse from Latin American demagogues, then surely speaking a little truth in response to their lies is appropriate.

    It was plenty controversial when, years into his ex-presidency, Jimmy Carter publicized his critique of U.S. policy by meeting with hostile governments to conduct freelance diplomacy. In 1994, Carter traveled to North Korea, called its then-dictator, Kim Il Sung, a “vigorous and intelligent” man, and took the Clinton administration by surprise, negotiating a deal empowering Kim to continue his nascent nuclear program. But Carter at least waited until he left the White House before denigrating his country.

    The ill effects of Obama’s obsequious behavior will not be immediate. His friendly handshake with Chavez will not suddenly lead to the closing of more opposition radio stations in Venezuela, nor will his bemoaning American arrogance in Europe lead to more Russian aggression tomorrow.

    But Obama’s fecklessness emboldens our adversaries and discourages advocates of liberty around the world. The consequences will be felt in damage to American prestige. As much as liberals like to claim that Bush “squandered” America’s reputation, Obama is doubling that offense by setting up his country — rhetorically and materially — to be overtaken by other powers on the international stage. He is paving the way for America’s decline.

    James Kirchick is an assistant editor of the New Republic.

  107. I found the following article encouraging only because it comes from one of the most ideological sources on the web–the WashPo subsidiary from whence cometh such stupid asses as Chuck Todd. Granted, it does give the media a de facto pass on what they have done up to now. But is also puts the issue about how they have become nothing more than puppets for this corrupt administation front and center. On the one hand this is guy is a fellow traveller with one foot on the deck of the Titanic and the other on a lifeboat. On the other hand when charter members of the Georgetown social set raise the issue, we may be approaching a tipping point, and sooner than I would have guessed. We are still in the late stages of Act I.
    —————————————
    Watchdogs are heeling for Obama
    By RICHARD BENEDETTO | 4/28/09 4:37 AM EDT
    Text Size:

    Last week, I asked my journalism and political science students at American University to grade the news media covering the Obama administration for the first 100 days. The consensus fell between a C+ and a B-.

    However, if I asked Obama’s media strategists to grade the press corps covering their boss, I bet they would mark their cards with an A.

    Why? With few exceptions, the mainstream news media have been dutifully pushing the Obama message, burnishing his carefully crafted image and offering few challenges when he makes questionable or misleading pronouncements, gestures or policy statements. In short, they seem mesmerized by the glamour of this new and different president. He is keeping them so busy with skillfully staged daily travel, speeches, meetings and photo ops that they hardly have time to ask tough questions or add context to their stories. Whatever Obama says, or doesn’t say, is usually good enough for them.

    No comment from the president on pirates taking hostage the captain of a U.S.-flagged ship? No problem.

    Get a new dog? Three days of extensive coverage everywhere.

    Obama strategists must be giving each other fist bumps as they chortle, “Boy, have we got them eating out of our hands.”
    See also
    • Liberals push Bybee impeachment
    • Democrats get budget deal
    • Swine flu has D.C. pointing fingers
    The message they’ve been successfully pushing from Day One is that Obama is not bad old George W. Bush. Everything they have Obama do or say, from apologizing for American arrogance in Europe to releasing CIA memos outlining interrogation techniques used against suspected terrorists, carries a not-Bush subtext.

    And the news media have been only too happy to press that message, even when facts suggest otherwise. The Bush brand is so damaged, and Obama is so cool, they see no need to set the record straight when it’s necessary.

    For example, when Obama spoke to the Turkish Parliament earlier this month, the big news story was his declaration that the United States “is not and never will be at war with Islam.”

    The phrase was headlined everywhere as a major departure from the bellicose Bush, who, by implication, was at war with Islam.

    But one fact was missing from most news stories. Bush said the same thing many times, including in September 2006, before the United Nations General Assembly — hardly an obscure forum.

    “President Bush tried to quell anti-Americanism in the Middle East yesterday by assuring Muslims that he is not waging war against Islam,” The Associated Press reported at the time.
    Bush’s declaration might have fallen on deaf ears for many reasons. Nonetheless, Obama was only echoing his words. To say so is context in reporting. Lending the impression that Obama said it first is not. But it is precisely the impression the White House hoped to create. The news media obliged.

    Another example: Last week, when Obama attended the Summit of the Americas, he again seemed to draw a contrast with Bush by suggesting that anti-American sentiment in Latin America stemmed from the U.S. (Bush) ignoring the region’s humanitarian needs.

    “If our only interaction with many of these countries is military, then we may not be developing the connections that can, over time, increase our influence,” Obama said in a news conference.

    The widely reported statement went unchallenged in the press. But the fact is that in fiscal 2008, the U.S. under Bush sent nearly $1 billion to Latin America for such nonmilitary needs as schools, health care, anti-poverty programs, refugee assistance and economic development.

    A few news outlets, notably The New York Times on April 3, have sporadically noted some similarities between the policies of Obama and Bush, especially in foreign affairs. Yet the media honeymoon continues:

    • Rock-star coverage by the TV networks of the president and first lady’s tour of Europe.

    • An April 12 puff piece on White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel on the front page of The Washington Post, followed two days later by a similar profile of his deputy, Mona Sutphen.

    • A touching April 19 New York Times article, fed to the paper by the White House, on how the president reads 10 letters a day from ordinary citizens who write him.

    This is all well and good, as long as we do not FORGET OUR FUNCTION AS GOVERNMENT WATCH DOG. WE HAVE.

    B- is a bit generous. C+ is about right. It’s time to start barking.

    Richard Benedetto is a retired USA Today White House correspondent and columnist. He now teaches journalism and politics at American and Georgetown universities.

  108. The so called media watchdogs are not merely heeling for Bambi. They are actively shilling for him. And that is far worse. It is conduct worthy of Goebbels.

  109. wbboei Says:
    April 28th, 2009 at 1:12 pm
    NANCY PELOSI–THE HITS KEEP COMING
    HOT UPDATE: John Boehner is taking it right to Nancy, proving that “what goes around comes around,” and that Obama just did NOT think through the torture memo “blowback.”
    **********
    Then stupidity of the Obama “inner circle” is amazing. Boehner knows that most of the Bush admin. are war criminals under US Code Title 18…2441….Obama opened the door for Boehner to use a strategy of mutual assured destruction with the Democrats. The fact that he is asking for the release of the CIA briefing minutes, indicates that he knows what Pelosi and the other Dems knew about torture and that they enabled it or didn’t try to stop it. Pelosi and the other members of Congress are war criminals based on the laws re: “Command Responsibility”. Under common Article three, she falls into the category of policy command.

  110. Pelosi War Criminal cont:

    The idea of “Command Responsibility” used in Common Article Three is in US law as the Yamishita Doctrine and in Hamdan v Rumsfeld, the SCOTUS said Common Article Three applied to the “War on Terrorism”. No wonder she is lying her ass off….If convicted under Title 1..2441, she and the rest of these clowns could get the death penalty.

  111. SHV: I agree that command responsibility applies to members of the Military establishment, but when it comes to political leaders (I am using the term loosely) could they not assert an absolute defense of sovereign immunity? If I were inclined to do the research that is the first question I would ask. There may indeed be exceptions to that doctrine or this statute may make provision for it. The old Watergate cannon that it is not the crime but the cover-up applies to Pelosi here.

  112. wbboei Says:
    SHV: I agree that command responsibility applies to members of the Military establishment, but when it comes to political leaders (I am using the term loosely) could they not assert an absolute defense of sovereign immunity?
    **********
    Who knows…. that why this stuff needs to be litigated and not decided because applying the law would interfere with Obama’s political agenda.
    Common Article 3…command responsibility:
    In the discussion regarding “command responsibility” the term “command” can be defined as

    A De jure (legal) command, which can be both military and civilian. The determining factor here is not rank but subordination. Four structures are identified:[4][5]

    1. Policy command: heads of state, high-ranking government officials, monarchs
    2. Strategic command: War Cabinet, Joint Chiefs of Staff
    3. Operational command: military leadership; in Yamashita it was established that operational command responsibility cannot be ceded for the purpose of the doctrine of command responsibility – operational commanders must exercise the full potential of their authority to prevent war crimes, failure to supervise subordinates or non-assertive orders don’t exonerate the commander.
    4. Tactical command: direct command over troops on the ground

  113. Under US law 18,2441…War Crime:
    (c) Definition.— As used in this section the term “war crime” means any conduct—
    (1) defined as a grave breach in any of the international conventions signed at Geneva 12 August 1949, or any protocol to such convention to which the United States is a party;
    (2) prohibited by Article 23, 25, 27, or 28 of the Annex to the Hague Convention IV, Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, signed 18 October 1907;
    (3) which constitutes a grave breach of common Article 3 (as defined in subsection (d)) when committed in the context of and in association with an armed conflict not of an international character; or (this is where Gonzales tried to weasel out of the law by saying Geneva didn’t apply to the WOT..SCOTUS shot that down with Hamdan)
    (IANAL but I have slept in a Holiday Inn Express, once)

  114. The thing that is “fun” about 18,2441 is that it is the product of Republican wing-nuts and it is turning around and biting them and the Dems in the ass. IIRC, the legislative history is that a former POW went to Rep Jones of NC and pointed out that the Geneva War Crimes conventions are not “self enabling” and therefor war criminals couldn’t be prosecuted under US law. The idea was that they wanted to be able to execute Vietnamese prison guards if they were found in the US or were brought to the US. Jesse Helms loved it. Some how the US military got involved and added the language that the law would also apply to US citizens who engage in War Crimes not jut the US victims. The law was passed by voice vote in the HR and by unanimous consent in the Senate and then was promptly forgotten until Albeto Gonzales figured out that he Bush/Cheney et al could get strapped to a gurney for their behavior. He tried to give them retroactive immunity in the Military Commissions Act of ’06. It all needs to be sorted out in court and not by Rahm Emanuel and Robert Gibbs saying no one will be prosecuted by order of King Obama.

  115. SHV Says:

    April 28th, 2009 at 3:28 pm
    ——————————-
    Why am I not surprised. This one is a tar baby for the Administration. The interests favor sweeping it under the rug, but the dymanics do not. They want to lay this one at the feet of the Republicans, when the truth is there is no immaculate conception here. The release of this information to the ACLU who will use it to sue people, the initial impression that this is a case of immaculate conception when it was really bi-partisanship at its worst, the fact that Pelosi has been caught in a lie, the obsession of the far left to get bush, their furor over his position of FISA, the schandenfruede of our enemies over the release of this information and other factors make a Gotterdamerung over this issue more probable than not. All the news coverage of the pandemic which does not alarm Bimbo will distract for only so long.

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