Silence And The Scams, Part II

Laughter is the sound that breaks the silence. Those poor dumb Dims.

In A Specter Is Haunting Dems the dullard Dims who enjoyed the political corruption “fix” during the 2008 Democratic primaries are now complaining because the fix this time is against them. Those poor dumb Dims:

Upstart progressive populists, the very people that turned the party’s fortunes around in recent election cycles, have been given a very clear message from the bosses: Welcome Specter. “Our goal in 2010 is not to have a primary,” Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chairman T.J. Rooney told reporters.

In other words, forget the fact that on his first day as a Democrat, Specter said he would support a filibuster of the Employee Free Choice Act. On his second day, he voted against the Obama budget. On the third day, he voted against the housing bankruptcy reform legislation, which would have given a break to families facing foreclosure. And he continues to oppose a healthcare reform bill that includes a public option.

These Dimocrats were silent, nay, gleeful, when the 2008 primaries were manipulated by party bosses, Dean/Pelosi/Brazile/Kennedy/Kerry, to drive Hillary Clinton out and gift Obama the nomination. Now these Dimocrats are complaining that Obama and his corrupt Party pals, are doing to them what they did to Hillary. Only now do the Dims understand that:

Primaries are the main mechanism of internal party democracy, by which the parties’ rank and file selects candidates for general elections.

The same Obama who was gifted the nomination by corrupt party officials, who ignored the electorate and tampered with the “main mechanism of internal party democracy”, is now gifting the U.S. Senate Seat to “stimulus” voter Specter.

We hope Specter is defeated in as many ways as possible. Unlike the Dims, we know Specter is getting his pay for screwing the country and getting Obama almost a trillion dollars to waste. Specter scratched Obama’s corrupt back. Now Obama is scratching Specter’s corrupt back. It’s all done silently. The sound you can hear between the Obama laughter, is those poor dumb Dims crying.

* * * * *

Nancy Pelosi, trashed Hillary Clinton privately and publicly during the 2008 primaries. Pelosi imperiously did as she pleased to gift her pal Obama the nomination. When it came to blocking the “main mechanism of internal party democracy” Pelosi made a lot of noise.

But Pelosi, after trashing Republicans, has been strangely silent about torture. Perhaps Pelosi should be waterboarded until she truthfully tells us everything she knows about torture.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi learned in early 2003 that the Bush administration was waterboarding terror detainees but didn’t protest directly out of respect for “appropriate” legislative channels, a confidant of the San Francisco Democrat said Monday.

The Pelosi camp’s version of events is intended to answer two key questions posed by her critics: When, precisely, did she first learn about waterboarding? And why didn’t she do more to stop it?

Pelosi has disputed a CIA document, released last week, that shows she was briefed in September 2002 on the “particular” interrogation techniques the United States had used on Al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah. Pelosi has said she was told then only that the Bush administration was considering using certain techniques in the future — and that it had the legal authority to do so.

But there’s no dispute that on Feb. 4, 2003 — five months after Pelosi’s September meeting — CIA officials briefed Pelosi aide Michael Sheehy and Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), then the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, on the specific techniques that had been used on Zubaydah — including waterboarding.

Harman was so alarmed by what she had heard, she drafted a short letter to the CIA’s general counsel to express “profound” concerns with the tactic — going so far as to ask if waterboarding had been personally “approved by the president.”

Nancy is now silent, as silent as when she was told about waterboarding. Republicans, especially some of our very least favorite Republicans, are not silent and make some very strong solid statements and ask some very good questions we want answers to too.

Why didn’t Nancy Pelosi do more to stop waterboarding?

With the “what did she know and when did she know it” questions more or less resolved — Pelosi learned that the Bush administration was waterboarding detainees no later than February 2003 — Republicans are now directing their attacks on the muted, indirect way in which she responded.

On Tuesday, GOP leaders openly scoffed at Pelosi’s claim she was prevented from opposing the policy six years ago because the briefings were classified.

“If she felt it was wrong, she should have acted,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a longtime waterboarding critic, told POLITICO on Tuesday. “Let me just tell you, I was briefed on it — and I vehemently objected to it. We did the Detainee Treatment Act, which prohibited cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.”

The entire issue of torture had been silenced. Then Obama, presumably with knowledge of Pelosi’s early knowledge (from published reports going back years), reopened the controversy by releasing Bush era memoranda. If Obama ever wanted to get rid of a potential power rival, he hit on a shrewd way to torture Nancy. Now Nancy, who thought after gifting Obama the nomination she would have a “yes” man in the White House, not a strong woman like Hillary, is discovering that Obama has thrown her to the wolves.

Only now is Obama realizing that the torture issue has flames lapping at the White House. Only now is Obama realizing that the damage to Nancy is done and that the flames will scorch him. Only now is Obama realizing that release of torture photos, is not wise for him – politically.

And the wolves are biting:

Over the past week, a half-dozen senior Republican and Democratic aides canvassed by POLITICO have outlined a menu of options Pelosi could have pursued to protest harsh interrogations.

All agreed she could have written a classified letter to the CIA — as Rep. Jane Harman, her successor on the intelligence committee, did after she was briefed on the technique in February 2003.

Pelosi, they said, also could have pressured President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney directly by requesting a meeting with them, or by buttonholing them during previously scheduled meetings, or by writing a letter to them.

“To the best of my knowledge, she didn’t do any of those things,” said Rep. Pete Hoeskstra (R-Mich.), currently the ranking member of the House intelligence committee.

We have supported and continue to support a special prosecutor to get to the bottom of these tawdry events and even tawdrier people. Let’s investigate. Lamar! Alexander:

“If we’re going to look backwards, as some have insisted, then we need to make sure we talk to everybody instead of just harassing lawyers who were asked for their opinion in the Department of Justice,” he said. “And let’s talk to members of Congress who knew about them and may have encouraged them.”

Even some of Pelosi’s supporters are frustrated with her obtuse, less-than-direct answers to questions about classified briefings — as well as her claim, advanced through aides, that she had no “appropriate” avenue of protest in 2003.

“She’s done a horrendous job,” said a top Democratic consultant who otherwise is a Pelosi fan. “She’s really dug herself a hole.”

Let’s investigate what Nancy knew and when she knew it. Waterboard her if necessary to get the facts – but we do prefer a special prosecutor to get the serial liars:

Pelosi has said she never did anything to encourage the interrogation practices — and she has told reporters that she supported Harman’s missive to the CIA, which registered “profound” concerns about the tactics employed.

But Pelosi didn’t co-sign Harman’s letter — and, even by her own team’s account, she communicated her support to Harman indirectly, through an aide. Harman’s office has refused repeated requests over the past three days to comment on Pelosi’s involvement — or lack thereof — in drafting the letter.

And some independent observers have begun to question Pelosi’s account of her own actions.

On April 23, Pelosi told reporters: “We were not, I repeat, were not told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation methods were used.”

But this week, sources close to Pelosi admitted that Mike Sheehy, a former top intelligence aide, was, in fact, briefed on waterboarding on Feb. 4, 2003.

Sheehy informed his boss of the technique shortly after, sources said.

Such inconsistencies prompted PolitiFact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking arm of the St. Petersburg Times, to give Pelosi’s statement a “false” rating on its widely cited “Truth-O-Meter.”

In April, Nancy has been making tortured excuses for herself. Those excuses are no longer “operative”.



Nancy knew.

Let’s end the silence with a series of special prosecutors. We agree with the repugnant Republican Pete Hoekstra:

Hoekstra spokesperson Jamal Ware says that Hoekstra is now seeking the release of the memos and notes that comprised the basis of the documents that came out today that claimed Dems had been briefed on enhanced interrogation techniques.

“He has seen documents that would clarify exactly what the Speaker was briefed on,” Ware tells me, “including whether she was briefed on all enhanced interrogation techniques that had been used.”

Asked if those techniques included waterboarding, Ware replied: “Yes.”

Coming on the heels of the Hill story posted below, this bodes very ill for the Speaker. She said she’d never been briefed on these techniques, then she said she’d been briefed that they could be used but not that they would or had been used, and now the CIA is saying that she was briefed and Hoekstra is claiming on the record that those briefings included details on the waterboarding of Abu Zubaydah.

How can Democrats in Congress possibly investigate the alleged abuses of the Bush administration when their own leader was complicit in approving the very techniques they would now call torture? If Democrats are at all serious about making this anything but a partisan witch-hunt, the first thing they’ll need to do is get their own house in order.

Nancy Pelosi is about to learn something about silence. Silence is acquiescence. We’ll let Sir Thomas More explain to Nancy how silence can “speak”. Qui tecat consentereSilence gives consent.



There is a lot of silent consent these days as the crimelords firm their grip on Washington and the nation.

We need special prosecutors to loosen some tongues.

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174 thoughts on “Silence And The Scams, Part II

  1. Nancy and the other three member of the “Gang of four”: are War Criminals under US law. The idea that it was “against the law” for her to object or speak out works about as well as “I was following orders of a superior officer”…IIRC, that defense ended up with ropes around necks.
    The Republicans are using the strategy of playing chicken with Nancy and the Dems….Porter Goss knows that he is likely to be convicted if brought to trial but if he makes War Crimes bipartisan, he likely has nothing to worry about. IMO, the best defense is a good offense.

  2. US Code Title 18..2441…the Republicans that drafted this law weren’t fooling around; if convicted, the maximum penalty is Death

    “Title 18..2441..War Crimes

    “(a) Offense.— Whoever, whether inside or outside the United States, commits a war crime, in any of the circumstances described in subsection (b), shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both, and if death results to the victim, shall also be subject to the penalty of death.
    (b) Circumstances.— The circumstances referred to in subsection (a) are that the person committing such war crime or the victim of such war crime is a member of the Armed Forces of the United States or a national of the United States (as defined in section 101 of the Immigration and Nationality Act).
    (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
    (4) of a person who, in relation to an armed conflict and contrary to the provisions of the Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices as amended at Geneva on 3 May 1996 (Protocol II as amended on 3 May 1996), when the United States is a party to such Protocol, willfully kills or causes serious injury to civilians.
    (d) Common Article 3 Violations.—
    (1) Prohibited conduct.— In subsection (c)(3), the term “grave breach of common Article 3” means any conduct (such conduct constituting a grave breach of common Article 3 of the international conventions done at Geneva August 12, 1949), as follows:
    (A) Torture.— The act of a person who commits, or conspires or attempts to commit, an act specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control for the purpose of obtaining information or a confession, punishment, intimidation, coercion, or any reason based on discrimination of any kind.
    (B) Cruel or inhuman treatment.— The act of a person who commits, or conspires or attempts to commit, an act intended to inflict severe or serious physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions), including serious physical abuse, upon another within his custody or control.

  3. “She’s done a horrendous job,” said a top Democratic consultant who otherwise is a Pelosi fan. “She’s really dug herself a hole.”
    ——————————————————
    The hole Pelosi dug for herself on the torture issue reminds us of the old Watergate saying–it isn’t the crime; its the cover-up. But the hole she has dug for herself is as nothing compared to the one she has dug for the country, with every passsing day she serves as Speaker.

  4. IMO, the best defense is a good offense.
    ————————————–
    It always is.

  5. SHV: do you have any idea as to the legislative history of this statute? What about sovereign immunity?

  6. WHY WAS AFGHANISTAN TOP COMMANDER REPLACED? AND BY WHOM??

    Yesterday, NPR talked about obama’s new choice to take over top command in Afghanistanm Stanley McChrystal. Turns out he’s got some shady issues that might complicate whatever nomination process is needed:

    a) Oversaw a task force that was criticized in 2006 for abusing detainees and harsh interrogation methods at Baghdad’s Camp Nama.

    b) Singled out in a March 2007 report by the Pentagon inspector general for his role in the death of ex-NFL star and U.S. soldier Pat Tillman. Though the two-year investigation cleared McChrystal of any official wrongdoing, it faulted him for failing to immediately notify Tillman’s family of the military’s suspicions that Tillman’s death was the result of friendly fire.

    And he’s replacing General David McKiernan. Why is he being replaced? The evasive answer is that, “The focus here is simply on getting fresh thinking, fresh eyes on the problem”, according to Sec. of Def Robert Gates. But isn’t the real reason that obama wants to throw McKiernan under the bus for the civilian deaths in the American bombing? Obama doesn’t want to take any credit for that one???

    Here’s the first article, about the replacement.

    time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1897542,00.html

    Stan McChrystal: The New U.S. Commander in Afghanistan
    =========================================

    By M.J. Stephey
    Tuesday, May. 12, 2009

    With violence and anti-American sentiment on the rise, it’s plain to see that military operations in Afghanistan are not going well. But if Defense Secretary Robert Gates is right, three-star Army Lieut. General Stan McChrystal is just the guy to turn things around. On May 11, Gates announced plans to install the former Green Beret as the top U.S. and NATO commander for the troubled nation. Some analysts hailed the surprising overhaul as proof that the U.S. is rethinking its conventional approach to combat, especially given McChrystal’s background as commander of the military’s clandestine special operations in Iraq.

    “Nothing went wrong and there was nothing specific,” Gates said of asking General David McKiernan, the outgoing commander, to step down just 11 months into a two-year post. “The focus here is simply on getting fresh thinking, fresh eyes on the problem.” But McChrystal’s role in the friendly-fire death of former NFL star Pat Tillman — as well as prisoner abuses allegedly committed on his watch at Baghdad’s Camp Nama — mean his Senate confirmation might not go as smoothly (or swiftly) as Gates hopes. (Read Joe Klein’s take on McKiernan’s Afghan exit.)

    Fast Facts:

    • Graduated from West Point in 1976 and began training at the Special Forces School at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, two years later.

    • Moved to South Korea in 1981 to work for the U.N. Command Support Group.

    • During the Persian Gulf War, served as an Army briefer and commanded the 75th Ranger Regiment in Saudi Arabia.

    • Completed yearlong fellowships at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1998 and in 2000 at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City, where he reportedly ran 12 miles every day from his Brooklyn home to his Manhattan office.

    • In 2001, was appointed chief of staff of military operations in Afghanistan. Two years later, he was selected to deliver nationally televised Pentagon briefings about military operations in Iraq.

    • From 2003 to 2008, led the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), which oversees the military’s most sensitive forces, including the Army’s Delta Force. McChrystal’s leadership is credited with the December 2003 capture of Saddam Hussein.

    • Oversaw a task force that was criticized in 2006 for abusing detainees and harsh interrogation methods at Baghdad’s Camp Nama.

    • Praised (and inadvertently outed as a commander) by President George W. Bush in June 2006 after his special-ops team located and killed Abu Mousab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq. McChrystal reportedly accompanied his men to the bombed-out hideaway in Baquba where al-Zarqawi lay to help identify the body.

    • Singled out in a March 2007 report by the Pentagon inspector general for his role in the death of ex-NFL star and U.S. soldier Pat Tillman. Though the two-year investigation cleared McChrystal of any official wrongdoing, it faulted him for failing to immediately notify Tillman’s family of the military’s suspicions that Tillman’s death was the result of friendly fire.

    • As commander of special-operations forces in Iraq, he sent troops returning to the theater back to their original neighborhoods — a system he has suggested for general infantry soldiers in Afghanistan as head of a recent task-force review.

  7. (CNN) — President Obama has ordered government lawyers to object to the planned release of additional detainee photos, according to an administration official.
    **********
    The ACLU will love this…The release of the photos wasn’t exactly voluntary..The DoD had lost in court at least twice and had pretty much exhausted blocking the release in court. Now Obama wants to cover up War Crimes, I wonder if Nancy go to him?

  8. …and one about the civilian deaths, of which I really didn’t hear much about from MSM

    democracynow.org/2009/5/6/afghan

    Up to 150 Afghan Civilians Killed in US Attack on Western Province
    ==============================================

    Dozens of Afghan civilians have been killed in what may be one of the deadliest US bombings of Afghanistan to date. We go to Kabul to speak with Jessica Barry of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Kabul. [includes rush transcript]

    Jessica Barry, Communications coordinator and spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Kabul.

    AMY GOODMAN: Dozens of civilians were killed Tuesday in a US bombing in Afghanistan in what may be one of the highest civilian death tolls of the war. Witnesses say US warplanes bombed scores of homes during clashes with Taliban fighters in the western Afghan province of Farah. The Pentagon says it’s investigating.

    Estimates of the dead range from fifty to as many as 150. A Red Cross team reached the scene of the air strikes yesterday afternoon. They say dozens of civilians were killed, including many women and children.

    Jessica Barry is the communications coordinator and spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross. She is in Kabul. She joins us on the telephone from there.

    Welcome to Democracy Now!, Jessica. Can you tell us what you understand has happened?

    JESSICA BARRY: Yes. When our team from the ICRC went in on Tuesday afternoon, they came to two villages which have clusters of houses around them. They did indeed see dozens of bodies, they saw graves, and they saw burials going on.

    We had been contacted by the tribal elders of the villages the night before, when the fighting took place. And they told us that there were civilian casualties, and they asked for our help. What we did, as we always do when there are clashes and incidents like this, we contacted all the different sides—the armed occupation, the international military forces, the Afghan forces. We said to them that civilians were there, that they should not be harmed, they must be protected, and we asked for the security guarantees to let our team go in independently, which is what we did.

    AMY GOODMAN: Where exactly did this take place?

    JESSICA BARRY: It’s in the western part of Afghanistan in a district called Bala Baluk. And these are small villages, rural villages. In those villages, there are Afghan Red Crescent, which is a part of the Red Cross, Red Crescent Movement. They have community volunteers to do first aid. This is in all—many cities across or many villages across Afghanistan. There were community first aid volunteers in those villages. They were helping with the injured. And very tragically, one of them, with his family of thirteen members, who was taking shelter in a house, joined the fighting, died with his whole family when the house was hit.

    AMY GOODMAN: And exactly when do you understand this happened and the circumstances under which it happened?

    JESSICA BARRY: Well, it was on Monday evening that the tribal elders first contacted our teams in Farah and in Herat. This was already ongoing, and they said that they’re fighting and the raids, the air raids, were going on. We were then in contact, as I say, with all the different sides from that time on, so throughout Monday evening. And then, we were able to get in on Tuesday afternoon. By that time, the injured—we didn’t see injured people. The injured people had already been taken out. But as I say, when we got there, people were burying the dead.

    AMY GOODMAN: And any firsthand accounts that you got from Red Cross who were there speaking to people on the ground, the survivors?

    JESSICA BARRY: As I say, it was the—the worst part for us was the volunteer from the community-based first aid, from the Afghan Red Crescent, who was killed.

    But it’s so much more important than the individuals in this situation. Whenever there is fighting, civilians are always the ones that get caught up in it. And it is really a message which the ICRC passes to all of the sides, whether it be Taliban suicide bombers who blow themselves up in markets, whether it be air strikes, whether it be night raids, whether it be fighting. Where there are civilians and where this happens in populated areas, it’s absolutely essential that the civilians are spared and kept safe as much as possible.

    This, very sadly, is not the first incident that there has been civilian casualties. As you well know, over the past year, civilian casualties have gone up in Afghanistan. The fighting is intensifying. It’s spreading. And it’s a huge priority to make sure that civilians are safe, that they are kept free from harm, and that situations like this do not happen.

    AMY GOODMAN: Well, I want to thank you very much for being with us. Jessica Barry is communications coordinator and spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross. She was speaking to us in Kabul. The killings took place in the Farah province in western Afghanistan.

  9. rgb44hrc Says:
    May 13th, 2009 at 11:15 am

    turndownobama-com Says:

    RBG, your posts are great! But would you consider markers like [[[ …. ]]] for your inserted comments? It’s not always clear where yours leaves off and the quoted part resumes.
    &&&&

    Thanks. I usually delineate my comments by separating it from the referred to text by separating it using &&&&&&&.

    When I insert comments throughout, I usually start my comment w/ $$$. But maybe ending with $$$ would make it crystal clear.

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

    Even more clear would be some delineator that has a right side and a left side, like [ ] or { }.

  10. “Nancy Pelosi, trashed Hillary Clinton privately and publicly during the 2008 primaries. Pelosi imperiously did as she pleased to gift her pal Obama the nomination. When it came to blocking the “main mechanism of internal party democracy” Pelosi made a lot of noise.”

    —————————————

    And that is why I will never trust this woman. She does not inspire any confidence in her ability to lead honestly. She is woefully out of her league an obama cultist. She knew about the tortures, she lied about what she knew. It is beyond me how she could get even one person to vote for her.

  11. NPR mentioned that civilian Afghan families were being given grief compensation of $2,000 per family member killed. That is a LOT of money, but how can anything compensate for the loss of family members?

  12. latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-afghan-civilians13-2009may13,0,1662624.story

    Afghan villagers get payments for battle that killed civilians
    =========================================
    EPA

    Afghan men search for their belongings amid rubble of their destroyed houses after an airstrike in Farah province, Afghanistan, on May 5.

    A government commission concluded that 140 civilians died, more than twice the figure cited by the United States.

    By Laura King, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
    4:29 AM PDT, May 12, 2009

    Reporting from Farah City, Afghanistan — Turbaned elders and weather-beaten farmers trekked to this provincial capital today to accept reparation payments from a government commission that concluded 140 civilians were killed in a fierce battle last week between Taliban fighters and coalition troops.

    If the figure arrived at by the commission is correct, it would make last week’s fatalities in rural Farah province the worst single episode of civilian casualties since the U.S.-led invasion more than seven years ago.

    “This was an accident, and we offer condolences,” provincial Gov. Rosul Amin told the somber, ragged assemblage of villagers. Relatives received about $2,000 for family members killed and $1,000 for those injured.

    “It doesn’t make the pain in my heart go away,” said Abdul Farahi, a trucker whose brother and two nephews were killed in what villagers and international observers have said was U.S. bombardment in the village of Garani. “We all have to leave this earth, but this cannot be explained.”

    The U.S. military has said it believes the number of civilians killed was much lower, in the neighborhood of 50. American officials acknowledge bombing the area, but say at least some of the deaths were caused by insurgents.

    Twenty-five militants were also killed in the fighting, according to the commission, which was appointed by President Hamid Karzai.

    Karzai, who visited Washington last week, has been sharply critical of foreign forces over repeated instances of civilian casualties. He has called for an end to airstrikes by Western troops, a demand that U.S. officials have rejected.

    The challenges facing Western forces and the Karzai government were underscored today by a brazen insurgent attack on two government buildings in the eastern city of Khowst. At least six people were reported killed in synchronized suicide bombings outside the governor’s compound and a municipal building.

    The assailants tried to overrun the governor’s compound but were driven back, according to Interior Ministry spokesman Zemery Bashary. U.S. and Afghan forces were searching the city for some attackers who got away, he said.

    The Taliban, meanwhile, mocked the ousted commander in Afghanistan, U.S. Gen. David McKiernan, who was replaced a day earlier by Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal. The move was interpreted as reflecting the Obama administration’s dissatisfaction over the course of the conflict.

    The abrupt change in command comes as more than 21,000 additional American troops have begun arriving in Afghanistan. Most will be deployed in the south, the center of the insurgency.

    Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi, reached by telephone, said the decision showed that American officials knew they were losing the war.

    Afghan officials said the appointment was an internal U.S. matter, but expressed hopes that it would bring about a reduction in civilian casualties.

  13. In the article we speculate on reasons why Obama released the torture memos (side benefit is to get Nancy, a powerful legislator, in trouble) and why Obama now does not want the pictures released (the flames are licking the White House and the Pentagon and CIA will not be happy and might take revenge).

    We are also hearing increased speculation (we wrote this would happen in January) that Obama will approve military tribunals (he opposed them during the campaign) and that Guantanamo will still be open a year from now (no surprise to us either, we wrote about that repeatedly months ago). The Dims, we predict will be glum but mostly silent.

  14. Clinton coaxes students to engage in world affairs

    google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j8HBXR4UkzF4T28XgChFlVB88ACgD985G7FG0

  15. # wbboei Says:
    May 13th, 2009 at 1:43 pm
    SHV: do you have any idea as to the legislative history of this statute? What about sovereign immunity?
    *************
    From memory: a brief outline of the legislation was that Congressman Jones R-NC was informed by a former POW of the Vietnam war that even though the US was signatory of the Geneva and other conventions related to the “Rules of War”, these conventions were not “self-enabling” into US law. The concern was that if Vietnamese war criminals were found in the US or were brought to the US, they could not be prosecuted under US law. The initial legislation only applied to US citizens who were victims of War Crimes, the DoD wanted to add US citizens as perpetrators also, for some reason the Republicans did that. Senators such as Jesse Helms spoke for passage and the bill was passed by voice vote in the House and by unanimous consent in the Senate and signed into law by Bill Clinton and forgotten.

    Obama/Holder are trying the Sovereign Immunity ploy in the EFF/ACLU wiretap cases. Basically they are saying even if you can get past the State Secretes hurdle and prove the law was broken, you can’t sue because of Sovereign Immunity. If this twisted legal logic is upheld for wiretaps and War Crimes..then this country is now a dictatorship, with the President deciding the law. Adm. is right…A Special Prosecutor needs to be appointed.

  16. KRISTOL LOOKED INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL

    He predicted that….

    Obama seeks to block release of abuse photos
    =================================

    yahoo.com/s/ap/us_pentagon_abuse_photos

    By JENNIFER LOVEN, AP White House Correspondent Jennifer Loven, Ap White House Correspondent – 37 mins ago
    WASHINGTON – In a reversal, President Barack Obama is fighting the release of dozens of new photos showing U.S. personnel allegedly abusing prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan, a White House official said Wednesday.

    Obama’s decision came after the top military commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan told the president they feared the release of the photos could endanger their troops.

    Obama decided he did not feel comfortable with the release and last week instructed his legal team to challenge it in court, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the president’s decision had not yet been made public.

    Obama has instructed administration lawyers to make the case that the national security implications of such a release have not been fully presented to the court, the official said.

    The president informed Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of U.S. troops in Iraq, of his decision during a White House meeting on Tuesday.

    Gen. David Petraeus, the senior commander for both wars, had also weighed in, as had Gen. David McKiernan, the top general in Afghanistan. Defense Secretary Robert Gates fired McKiernan on Monday for unrelated reasons.

    Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said military “commanders are concerned about the impact the release of these photos would have for the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq,” and that Gates shares their concerns.

    In Afghanistan, release of the pictures this month would coincide with the spring thaw that usually heralds the year’s toughest fighting. Morrell also noted the release as scheduled would come as thousands of new U.S. troops head into Afghanistan’s volatile south.

    Federal appeals judges have ruled the photos should be released.

    Through an arrangement with the court, the Pentagon was preparing to release, by May 28, two batches of photos, one of 21 images and another 23. The government had also told the judge it was “processing for release a substantial number of other images.”

    The American Civil Liberties Union, which is suing the government for the release, criticized the decision.

    “The decision to suppress the photos is profoundly inconsistent with the promise of transparency that President Obama has made time after time,” ACLU lawyer Jameel Jaffer said.

    The Obama official said the president believes that the actions depicted in the photos should not be excused and fully supports the investigations, prison sentences, discharges and other punitive measures that have resulted from them. But the president does not believe that so publicizing the actions in such a graphic way would be helpful.

  17. http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/graham-threatens-to-pull-pelosi-into-senate-torture-probe-2009-05-13.html

    Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), an influential Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has threatened to call House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) before the Senate for an investigation of abusive interrogation techniques used during the Bush administration.

    “I don’t want to retry Nancy Pelosi — that’s not my goal — but if you’re going to accuse these people in the Bush administration of being evil and committing a crime, then if she was told about [interrogation tactics], I want to know what she was told,” Graham said during a break in a hearing on Bush-era interrogation practices. [snip]

    Democratic leaders have resisted the rush to investigate, however, amid questions of whether Democratic leaders such as Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) were briefed on and acquiesced to such techniques.

  18. admin Says:
    May 13th, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    In the article we speculate on reasons why Obama released the torture memos..
    **********
    I think the reason that the torture memos were released was for the same reason the “Pictures” were to be released…the DoD, DOJ has pretty much reached the end of the legal line in blocking it. Obama learned from the memo stupidity and has now blocked the release of the Pictures..it’s now back to court. As more of this goes on, hopefully Obama supporters who don’t have permanent Kool-aid brain damage will realize that Obama = Bush III. The only group that is giving the Obama thugs real headaches is the ACLU all of the other so called “liberal” organizations are still wearing their knee pads.

  19. “The American Civil Liberties Union, which is suing the government for the release, criticized the decision.”

    Lemme guess. They supported Obama over McCain because obama would bring transparency to the WH, and end needless wars (Iraq), and not get into other wars (Afghanistan, etc.), that he’s close down Gitmo, and get to the bottom of what bad stuff was going on during the W. administration.

    ACLU, did you support Obama for those reasons? Are you feeling a little “under the bus” right now? Try new Bus-off, you’ll feel free and less tread-worn. Comes in three yummy flavors: humble pie, crow, and cowardly yellow.

  20. The Obama official said the president believes that the actions depicted in the photos should not be excused and fully supports the investigations, prison sentences, discharges and other punitive measures that have resulted from them. But the president does not believe that so publicizing the actions in such a graphic way would be helpful.
    ************
    Easy solution, appoint a Special Council for War Crimes.

  21. Gibbs is trying to explain the latest Obamaism but not doing very well. Reporters are asking him if Cheney was right because it seems Obama is now saying what Cheney has been saying.

  22. ACLU, did you support Obama for those reasons?
    ************
    ACLU doesn’t support candidates but I suspect that I was the only card carrying ACLU member who didn’t vote for Obama. I am very proud of my blue ACLU card, I carry it in my wallet next to my Concealed Weapons Permit.

  23. Pelosi should be brought to task for this. Graham is right even though I do think Bush is/was reprehensible. If Pelosi is so against torture then she should have spoken up.

    Obama isn’t going to release the photos because they could harm the troops. He doesn’t do anything unless it will advance his own self serving interests.

    It’s deja vu all over again.

  24. SHV, I didn’t want to paint all ACLU folks with one brushstroke. I happen to agree with them on most issues, and am happy they exist and fight.

    But like many liberal groups (NARAL, NOW, Greenpeace, the list is endless), ACLU members almost certainly voted for obama in higher percent than McCain. Not sure how all these people voted in the Dem primary… But after obama stole the nomination, they very quickly fell in line and said, “Support Obama or we’ll have McCain continuing Bush’s policies”. Little did they know that obama would be Bush III.

    But we knew. We closely followed candidate obama. We knew he could not be trusted. W knew he’d be shedding his campaign promises like a cat shedding fur in May. No surprises to us here.

    Gee, maybe you should research / vet your candidate.

  25. If Pelosi is so against torture then she should have spoken up.
    **********
    JUST four members of Congress were notified in 2002 when the Central Intelligence Agency’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” program was first approved and carried out, according to documents released by the agency last week. They were Senators Bob Graham and Richard Shelby and Representatives Porter Goss and Nancy Pelosi, then the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate and House intelligence committees — the so-called “Gang of Four.” Each was briefed orally and it was understood that they were not to speak about the program with anyone, including their colleagues on the committees.

    ww.nytimes.com/2009/05/13/opinion/13divoll.html

    Since the group was so restricted, I think that they would be considered as “High Ranking Government Officials” and could be indicted under the doctrine of “Command Responsibility” and US law the Yamishita Standard.

  26. Pelosi War Criminal con’t:
    Command Responsibility: 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, monarch

    The first international treaty to comprehensively codify the doctrine of command responsibility was the Additional Protocol I (“AP I”) of 1977 to the Geneva Conventions of 1949.[4][6][7] Article 86(2) states that:
    “the fact that a breach of the Conventions or of this Protocol was committed by a subordinate does not absolve his superiors from …responsibility … if they knew, or had information which should have enabled them to conclude in the circumstances at the time, that he was committing or about to commit such a breach and if they did not take all feasible measures within their power to prevent or repress the breach.
    Article 87 obliges a commander to “prevent and, where necessary, to suppress and report to competent authorities” any violation of the Conventions and of AP I.
    In Article 86(2) for the first time a provision would “explicitly address the knowledge factor of command responsibility.”[5][7][17]

  27. I should have pointed out that the “key’ wording for Pelosi and the other Congressman is:

    “if they knew, or had information which should have enabled them to conclude in the circumstances at the time, that he was committing or about to commit such a breach and if they did not take all feasible measures within their power to prevent or repress the breach.”

    No wonder Pelosi is lying her ass off!!!

  28. OFF TOPIC, BUT HEY, IT’S ABOUT “EQUAL RIGHTS”…

    …for a horse.

    You go girl!!! This horse just might beat the boys.

    Jockey Calvin Borel, who rode her to a 20 length victory in the Kentucky Oaks, the day before he rode Mine That Bird to victory in the Kentucky Derby, said she might just be the best horse in the country. But I’m not sure which horse he’ll be riding.

    Filly Rachel Alexandra is entered in Preakness
    ================================

    BALTIMORE (AP)—Rachel Alexandra is among 13 horses entered for Saturday’s Preakness Stakes.

    The standout filly was entered Wednesday to run against the boys, along with 50-1 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird and Derby runner-up Pioneerof the Nile.

    Rachel Alexandra’s new owners paid a $100,000 supplemental fee to get her in because she wasn’t nominated to any of the Triple Crown races. The expectation was that she would compete only against her own gender.

    Also entered for the 1 3-16-mile Preakness were beaten Derby favorite Friesan Fire, Big Drama, Flying Private, General Quarters, Luv Gov, third-place Derby finisher Musket Man, Papa Clem, Take the Points, Terrain and Tone It Down.

    The field fell one short of the 14-horse limit, which hasn’t been reached since 2005 when Afleet Alex won.

    Post positions will be drawn and odds set later Wednesday.

  29. OFF TOPIC, BUT HEY, IT’S ABOUT EQUAL RIGHTS…

    for a horse.

    Filly to run in Preakness against the boys. You go girl!!!

    yahoo.com/rah/news;_ylt=AtIvDHX_WHtWkzY.VXwXme9__rkF?slug=ap-preakness&prov=ap&type=lgns

    Preakness entrants wary of filly Rachel Alexandra
    ==================================

    BALTIMORE (AP)—Having already been soundly defeated twice by Rachel Alexandra, trainer Larry Jones has come to this realization as he prepares Kentucky Derby favorite Friesan Fire for a redemptive ride in the Preakness:

    “If I have any shot at beating her,” Jones said Tuesday, “it’s going to have to be with a boy.”

    That boy will be Friesan Fire, who finished a disappointing 18th out of 19 horses in the Derby. The colt had cuts on his left front hoof and all four legs after being bumped early in the race at Churchill Downs, but the Louisiana Derby winner looked sharp while covering five furlongs at Pimlico Race Course on Tuesday morning in a blistering 58.4 seconds.

    “I was very pleased with the way he healed,” Jones said. “If you didn’t know he had an issue, you wouldn’t know it. All is well. We’re ready to go.”

    Problem is, so is Rachel Alexandra. The filly has won five consecutive races by a combined 43 1/2 lengths, including a 20-length victory in the Kentucky Oaks the day before the Derby.

    “Anytime a horse is as fast as her, you wish you didn’t have to run against them,” Jones said. “I raced her twice with fillies; I got beat 19 1/2 lengths with one filly, but all of a sudden, that don’t sound so bad after she won the Oaks by 20. My wife’s horse only got beat by eight (lengths), so I think my wife’s horse is a star.”

    A filly hasn’t won the Preakness since Nellie Morse in 1924, but this is no ordinary lady.

    “This filly here is something that we haven’t seen in horse racing in a while. This really might go down in the record books as being one of the nicest to ever wear a tack,” Jones said. “I’m very impressed with her.”

    Jones knows a thing or two about a filly competing in a Triple Crown race. In last year’s Kentucky Derby he saddled Eight Belles, who finished second before she broke her front ankles past the finish line. The horse had to be euthanized on the track.

    Jones contended that the accident had nothing to do with pitting a filly against a field filled with colts.

    “That wasn’t why Eight Belles had her problem,” he said.

    Many of the trainers in the Preakness are wary about going up against a filly, for reasons that have nothing to do with the health of Rachel Alexandra. Actually, it’s because the horse is so darn good.

    “There is going to be a lot of excitement with that filly in there. She’s a wonderful filly. She’s an incredible athlete,” said Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who plans to bring Pioneerof the Nile from Kentucky to Baltimore on Wednesday.

    The jockeys are thinking about her, too.

    “It’s a real nice filly. Now it runs with boys, let’s see,” said Gabriel Saez, who will ride Friesan Fire. “There’s going to be a little more pressure on her this time.”

    All the talk about Rachel Alexandra has deflected attention from Derby winner Mine That Bird, who won by seven lengths as a 50-1 long shot. If Mine That Bird is to keep his Triple Crown hopes alive, he will do so with a different jockey in the Preakness because Calvin Borel has committed to riding Rachel Alexandra.

  30. nytimes.com/2009/05/14/business/14aig.html?_r=1&hp=&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1242241767-UunIZwIta88AQL20UcDD3Q

    A.I.G. Says It Needs 3 to 5 Years to Overhaul Itself
    ===================================

    WASHINGTON — Edward M. Liddy, the chairman of American International Group, said on Wednesday that the company would probably need “three to five years” to carry out its restructuring plan and repay the taxpayer money used to bail it out.

    A.I.G., once the nation’s biggest insurance conglomerate, has received more than $170 billion from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury since it collapsed in September.

    The Treasury owns almost 80 percent of the voting shares. The Fed and Treasury have provided the company with about $83 billion in loans, and the Treasury has provided an additional $30 billion credit line. On top of that, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has purchased tens of billions of dollars worth of its toxic assets and is holding them in two “special purpose vehicles.”

    Testifying on Wednesday before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Mr. Liddy — whom Fed and Treasury officials recruited to run A.I.G. after it collapsed — outlined efforts so far to unwind its losses from exotic financial instruments and to spin off A.I.G.’s comparatively healthy insurance businesses. but he warned that the company would not sell businesses cheaply in order to raise cash more quickly.

    “We must take the time and exercise the diligence to do this restructuring properly,” Mr. Liddy told lawmakers. “Let me be clear — our plan is explicitly designed to avoid having to divest A.I.G. assets at fire-sale prices.”

    Asked by lawmakers to be more specific, Mr. Liddy estimated the entire plan would take “three to five years” to complete. But he warned that such estimates were fraught with uncertainty and could be too optimistic if the economy proves worse than expected or if market prices for its assets remains depressed.

    Lawmakers at the oversight hearing questioned Mr. Liddy about his plans. Lawmakers were also set to question the three little-known trustees who were chosen by the government to vote its shares in A.I.G.

    “The one thing that stands out most about the collapse and rescue of A.I.G. is the shroud of secrecy that has blanketed the entire sequence of events,” said Representative Edolphus Towns, Democrat of New York and chairman of the oversight committee.

    In a recent memo to A.I.G. employees, Mr. Liddy said the company had developed a restructuring plan called “Project Destiny” that entails either spinning off many of the insurance subsidiaries, either by selling them to other companies or by turning them into independent companies and selling minority stakes through in public stock offerings.

    The hearing marked the first time that the three trustees have spoken in public since they were appointed in January. The trustees, who were intended to be independent of both the company and the government, and are supposed to vote the government’s shares in A.I.G. — which account for 77.9 percent of its common stock — in a way most likely to “maximize” value for taxpayers.

    The Fed and the Treasury have provided more than $170 billion in assistance to A.I.G. since its collapse. The company imploded primarily because of losses tied to credit-default swaps — essentially insurance contracts to protect investors against bond defaults — tied to mortgage-backed securities. The government is now trying to salvage the more traditional insurance and financing subsidiaries, most of which remain comparatively healthy.

    Lawmakers in both parties have expressed confusion about the entire governance arrangement, and committee members are expected to grill the trustees about their unusual role.

    “We recognize that we are in uncharted waters,” the trustees said in an unusual joint statement submitted in advance to the oversight committee. “With no history or precedent to which we can look for guidance, our anchor is the trust agreement itself.”

    The three trustees are Jill Considine, a former chairwoman of the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation in New York; Douglas Foshee, the chairman of El Paso Corporation in Houston; and Chester Feldberg, a retired top official with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and former chairman of Barclays Americas.

    The trustees are not supposed to get involved in any day-to-day management or even to act as “shadow” directors on A.I.G.’s board. They are also supposed to be independent of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which is the agency supervising the A.I.G. bailout.

    In their prepared statement, the trustees acknowledged that they had been caught in the middle of a political firestorm over A.I.G.’s commitments to pay $165 million in “retention bonuses” to senior executives.

    “We are well aware of the Congressional and public concern over bonuses paid to employees of recipients of federal funds in the current environment,” they said, adding that they were pushing Mr. Liddy and the A.I.G. board to come up with a “fair one effective compensation system.”

  31. OFF TOPIC, BUT HEY, IT’S ABOUT “EQUAL RIGHTS”…FOR A HORSE

    Rachel Alexandra will run with the boys at the Preakness. Calvin Borel, who rode her in the Kentucky Oaks to a 20 length victory, and who also rode Mine That Bird to victory at the Kentucky Derby, said she just might be the best horse, regardless of gender, in the US. He’ll be on the filly.

    sports.yahoo.com/rah/news;_ylt=AtIvDHX_WHtWkzY.VXwXme9__rkF?slug=ap-preakness&prov=ap&type=lgns

    BALTIMORE (AP)—Having already been soundly defeated twice by Rachel Alexandra, trainer Larry Jones has come to this realization as he prepares Kentucky Derby favorite Friesan Fire for a redemptive ride in the Preakness:

    “If I have any shot at beating her,” Jones said Tuesday, “it’s going to have to be with a boy.”

    That boy will be Friesan Fire, who finished a disappointing 18th out of 19 horses in the Derby. The colt had cuts on his left front hoof and all four legs after being bumped early in the race at Churchill Downs, but the Louisiana Derby winner looked sharp while covering five furlongs at Pimlico Race Course on Tuesday morning in a blistering 58.4 seconds.

    “I was very pleased with the way he healed,” Jones said. “If you didn’t know he had an issue, you wouldn’t know it. All is well. We’re ready to go.”

    Problem is, so is Rachel Alexandra. The filly has won five consecutive races by a combined 43 1/2 lengths, including a 20-length victory in the Kentucky Oaks the day before the Derby.

    “Anytime a horse is as fast as her, you wish you didn’t have to run against them,” Jones said. “I raced her twice with fillies; I got beat 19 1/2 lengths with one filly, but all of a sudden, that don’t sound so bad after she won the Oaks by 20. My wife’s horse only got beat by eight (lengths), so I think my wife’s horse is a star.”

    A filly hasn’t won the Preakness since Nellie Morse in 1924, but this is no ordinary lady.

    “This filly here is something that we haven’t seen in horse racing in a while. This really might go down in the record books as being one of the nicest to ever wear a tack,” Jones said. “I’m very impressed with her.”

    Jones knows a thing or two about a filly competing in a Triple Crown race. In last year’s Kentucky Derby he saddled Eight Belles, who finished second before she broke her front ankles past the finish line. The horse had to be euthanized on the track.

    Jones contended that the accident had nothing to do with pitting a filly against a field filled with colts.

    “That wasn’t why Eight Belles had her problem,” he said.

    Many of the trainers in the Preakness are wary about going up against a filly, for reasons that have nothing to do with the health of Rachel Alexandra. Actually, it’s because the horse is so darn good.

    “There is going to be a lot of excitement with that filly in there. She’s a wonderful filly. She’s an incredible athlete,” said Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who plans to bring Pioneerof the Nile from Kentucky to Baltimore on Wednesday.

    The jockeys are thinking about her, too.

    “It’s a real nice filly. Now it runs with boys, let’s see,” said Gabriel Saez, who will ride Friesan Fire. “There’s going to be a little more pressure on her this time.”

    All the talk about Rachel Alexandra has deflected attention from Derby winner Mine That Bird, who won by seven lengths as a 50-1 long shot. If Mine That Bird is to keep his Triple Crown hopes alive, he will do so with a different jockey in the Preakness because Calvin Borel has committed to riding Rachel Alexandra.

    [snip]

  32. OFF TOPIC, BUT HEY, IT’S ABOUT “EQUAL RIGHTS”…FOR A HORSE:

    Numero uno filly Rachel Alexandra will run with the boys at the Preakness. Calvin Borel, who rode her to a 20 length victory in the Kentucky Oaks, and also rode Mine That Bird to a mega-upset victory the next day in the Kentucky Derby, will be riding the filly.

    (Yahoo link keeps causing this not to be posted)

    Preakness entrants wary of filly Rachel Alexandra
    ==================================

    BALTIMORE (AP)—Having already been soundly defeated twice by Rachel Alexandra, trainer Larry Jones has come to this realization as he prepares Kentucky Derby favorite Friesan Fire for a redemptive ride in the Preakness:

    “If I have any shot at beating her,” Jones said Tuesday, “it’s going to have to be with a boy.”

    That boy will be Friesan Fire, who finished a disappointing 18th out of 19 horses in the Derby. The colt had cuts on his left front hoof and all four legs after being bumped early in the race at Churchill Downs, but the Louisiana Derby winner looked sharp while covering five furlongs at Pimlico Race Course on Tuesday morning in a blistering 58.4 seconds.

    “I was very pleased with the way he healed,” Jones said. “If you didn’t know he had an issue, you wouldn’t know it. All is well. We’re ready to go.”

    Problem is, so is Rachel Alexandra. The filly has won five consecutive races by a combined 43 1/2 lengths, including a 20-length victory in the Kentucky Oaks the day before the Derby.

    “Anytime a horse is as fast as her, you wish you didn’t have to run against them,” Jones said. “I raced her twice with fillies; I got beat 19 1/2 lengths with one filly, but all of a sudden, that don’t sound so bad after she won the Oaks by 20. My wife’s horse only got beat by eight (lengths), so I think my wife’s horse is a star.”

    A filly hasn’t won the Preakness since Nellie Morse in 1924, but this is no ordinary lady.

    “This filly here is something that we haven’t seen in horse racing in a while. This really might go down in the record books as being one of the nicest to ever wear a tack,” Jones said. “I’m very impressed with her.”

    Jones knows a thing or two about a filly competing in a Triple Crown race. In last year’s Kentucky Derby he saddled Eight Belles, who finished second before she broke her front ankles past the finish line. The horse had to be euthanized on the track.

    Jones contended that the accident had nothing to do with pitting a filly against a field filled with colts.

    “That wasn’t why Eight Belles had her problem,” he said.

    Many of the trainers in the Preakness are wary about going up against a filly, for reasons that have nothing to do with the health of Rachel Alexandra. Actually, it’s because the horse is so darn good.

    “There is going to be a lot of excitement with that filly in there. She’s a wonderful filly. She’s an incredible athlete,” said Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who plans to bring Pioneerof the Nile from Kentucky to Baltimore on Wednesday.

    The jockeys are thinking about her, too.

    “It’s a real nice filly. Now it runs with boys, let’s see,” said Gabriel Saez, who will ride Friesan Fire. “There’s going to be a little more pressure on her this time.”

    All the talk about Rachel Alexandra has deflected attention from Derby winner Mine That Bird, who won by seven lengths as a 50-1 long shot. If Mine That Bird is to keep his Triple Crown hopes alive, he will do so with a different jockey in the Preakness because Calvin Borel has committed to riding Rachel Alexandra.

  33. OFF TOPIC, BUT HEY, IT’S ABOUT “EQUAL RIGHTS”…FOR HORSES

    Filly Rachel Alexandra is entered in Preakness
    =================================

    [SNIP]

    Many of the trainers in the Preakness are wary about going up against a filly, for reasons that have nothing to do with the health of Rachel Alexandra. Actually, it’s because the horse is so darn good.

    “There is going to be a lot of excitement with that filly in there. She’s a wonderful filly. She’s an incredible athlete,” said Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who plans to bring Pioneerof the Nile from Kentucky to Baltimore on Wednesday.

    The jockeys are thinking about her, too.

    “It’s a real nice filly. Now it runs with boys, let’s see,” said Gabriel Saez, who will ride Friesan Fire. “There’s going to be a little more pressure on her this time.”

    All the talk about Rachel Alexandra has deflected attention from Derby winner Mine That Bird, who won by seven lengths as a 50-1 long shot. If Mine That Bird is to keep his Triple Crown hopes alive, he will do so with a different jockey in the Preakness because Calvin Borel has committed to riding Rachel Alexandra.

  34. EQUAL RIGHTS…FOR HORSES!

    Filly Rachel Alexandra will run with the boys in the Preakness. Jockey Calvin Borel said she might just be the best horse in the US bar none. He rode her to a 20 length victory in the Kentucky Oaks, then next day rode Mine That Bird to victory in the Kentucky Derby. He’ll be on the filly.

    You go girl!!!

  35. 5 OUT OF 5 NY TIMES READERS NOT THRILLED WITH OBAMA’S SHAM REFORM OF HEALTH CARE

    nytimes.com/2009/05/13/opinion/l13care.html?ref=opinion

    To the Editor:

    Paul Krugman (“Harry, Louise and Barack,” column, May 11) is absolutely right: the Obama administration should always remember the self-serving profit motives of the health care industry.

    But this is not 1993, and most Americans are now clamoring for health reform. The administration is not without leverage at the bargaining table; in fact, it comes with a strong hand. If industry is endorsing quality, efficiency and best of all, prevention, let’s make it walk the talk.

    The administration can (and should) demand that a reformed approach to health include substantial investments in prevention. This may be America’s chance to create a health system that truly protects and promotes our health; old villains cannot stand in the way.

    Larry Cohen
    Executive Director
    Prevention Institute
    Oakland, Calif., May 11, 2009

    To the Editor:

    Paul Krugman outlines proposed cost-cutting by the “medical-industrial complex.” Why, thank you, medical- industrial complex! How nice to suggest lowering costs.

    At the risk of seeming ungrateful, I wish to point out that the problem with voluntary cost reduction is that it’s voluntary. As long as the logic of our system is set by a huge for-profit multipayer bureaucracy, we will continue to get low value on the health care dollar.

    Our nation’s ability to afford decent health care for all our citizens must not depend on voluntary self-regulation of for-profit entities. We need single-payer national health insurance. Let’s circle the wagons around health care, not around private insurance companies and Big Pharma.

    Laura S. Boylan
    New York, May 11, 2009

    The writer, a clinical associate professor of neurology at New York University School of Medicine, is on the board of directors of Physicians for a National Health Program, Metro New York.

    To the Editor:

    The rumor mill has it that the health insurance lobby has deemed universal health care a done deal as long as the public option is taken off the table. But Paul Krugman is right. The Obama administration should say no and gird for a fight.

    Conservatives consider government too incompetent to run anything, and would outsource all public administration to the private sector given the chance. But these same conservatives declare government-sponsored health insurance to pose unfair competition with private insurers. If such a government enterprise would be, by its nature, inefficient and incompetently administered, how could it be unfair competition and a threat to private enterprise? Which is it?

    Is government an inefficient monolith, or a more effective conduit of health care for the American people? Conservatives cannot have it both ways.

    Tom Predhome
    Brooklyn, May 11, 2009

    To the Editor:

    Re “Health Care Industry Is Said to Promise to Hold Down Costs Voluntarily” (news article, May 11):

    The offer by the stakeholders in the health care industry to cut the rate of increase in health care spending is deceptive and merely an attempt to delay the enactment of reform measures that include realistic cost constraints. How much could actually be saved by lifestyle changes in the population, better management of chronic illnesses, the use of electronic health records and so forth is uncertain, though these efforts would certainly improve health care.

    The two largest components of health care costs today are administrative expenses (estimated at between 20 and 25 percent of spending, or $450 billion or more) and unnecessary or excessive care (estimated at between 20 and 30 percent). Unless reducing costs in these two areas is pursued aggressively, health care spending will continue to balloon, increasing the unfinanced government liabilities and damaging the economy.

    Robert A. Levine
    Norwalk, Conn., May 11, 2009

    The writer, an attending neurologist at Norwalk Hospital, is the author of the forthcoming “Shock Therapy for America’s Health Care System.”

    To the Editor:

    How soon we forget. The Bush administration’s notion of “voluntary compliance” as a regulatory tool was found to be utter nonsense. Now the Obama administration is pushing the same idea for getting industry to control health care costs. It’s still utter nonsense.

    The only effective cost-control mechanisms are competition and consumer choice. Both are in short supply.

    Ron Sheppe
    Rochester, N.H., May 12, 2009

  36. NICE TO HEAR I WAS RIGHT

    …but this guy provides some juicy details, and a good analysis.

    realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/05/13/obama_health_lobby_use_misdirection_on_reform_96475.html

    Obama, Health Lobby Use Misdirection on Reform
    ===================================
    By Robert Robb
    May 13, 2009

    The country is about to have a very frustrating debate over health care, characterized more by misdirection than an honest discussion of the alternatives.

    A good illustration was provided by the confab at the White House Monday, in which health care executives committed to reduce expenditures by $2 trillion over the next decade.

    Or did they?

    President Obama, in his remarks, said that they did: “they are pledging to cut the rate of growth of national health care spending by 1.5 percentage points each year – an amount that’s equal to over $2 trillion.”

    The actual letter signed by the executives, however, says something importantly different: “we will do our part to achieve your administration’s goal of decreasing by 1.5 percentage points the annual health care spending growth rate – saving $2 trillion or more.” “Our part” is much different, and far more ambiguous, than “we will do the whole thing.”

    This is best seen as collusion by the health care industry and the Obama administration to misdirect the American people.

    In the first place, what health care expenditures will be over the next 10 years is unknowable. So, the “pledge” is written on water.

    More importantly, the commitment was made by trade associations that don’t actually deliver health care. What happens on the ground with health care costs is unaffected by press events held by politicians and lobbyists.

    Most importantly, what happens on the ground already provides incentives for true economies. There are serious distortions in the health care marketplace, but market share can still be gained by reducing costs and prices.

    The real significance of the press event wasn’t the phony pledge of cost savings. The event signaled the political capitulation of the health care industry. They will now accept whatever role in the health care system the politicians assign them.

    The more substantive event that happened that day was the release of an “options” paper for health care reform by Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley. But, again, “options” is a misnomer. This paper doesn’t really spell out fundamentally different approaches. Instead, the choices are all a variation on a single theme: a government-managed system of private health insurance.

    Existing plans would be grandfathered in. But all future health insurance would have to be purchased through a government exchange. The government would decide the benefit options insurers could offer, and insurers would have to offer all options. Pricing would be strictly circumscribed. Medical underwriting would be prohibited.

    The fight over whether there would be a “public option,” a health plan actually administered by the government, is misplaced. If government controls the benefits and pricing of private plans, politicians and bureaucrats are in charge irrespective of whether there is a formal public plan.

    The political need for action is driven by the uncertainty over coverage in the American system. The gaps in coverage are hugely worrisome even for those who currently have good insurance.

    This uncertainty, however, is easily eliminated at no cost to the taxpayers. There is already a national health care plan, Medicaid for the low-income. Universal access could be provided simply by allowing any legal resident to buy into Medicaid at the government’s cost.

    The system as a whole, however, makes no sense. Obtaining health insurance through your employer is an artifact of World War II wage and price controls.

    Some Republicans want to eliminate this dependence and stimulate a market for individual health insurance. That makes more sense, but the public is unlikely to be comfortable with such a radical restructuring without a government backstop, such as the ability to buy into Medicaid.

    This debate will be sad and frustrating. And the end result will probably be neither fish nor fowl – a system that provides neither the certainty and security of a European-style national health care system, nor the choice and freedom of a vigorous individual health insurance market.

    &&&&
    Robert Robb is a columnist for the Arizona Republic and a RealClearPolitics contributor

  37. The truth about Social Security and Medicare
    Social Security is a tiny problem, but Medicare is entirely different. It’s a monster.
    =========================================================

    By Robert Reich
    May 13, 2009

    What are we to make of yesterday’s report from the trustees of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds that Social Security will run out of assets in 2037, four years sooner than previously forecast, and Medicare’s hospital fund will be exhausted by 2017, two years earlier than predicted a year ago?

    Reports of these two funds’ demise are not new. Fifteen years ago, when I was a trustee of the Social Security and the Medicare trust funds (which meant, essentially, that I and a few others met periodically with the official actuary of the funds, received his report, asked a few questions, and signed some papers) both funds were supposedly in trouble. But as I learned, the timing and magnitude of the trouble depended a great deal on what assumptions the actuary used in his models. As I recall, he then assumed that the economy would grow by about 2.6 percent a year over the next seventy-five years. But go back into American history all the way to the Civil War — including the Great Depression and the severe depressions of the late 19th century — and the economy’s average annual growth is closer to 3 percent. Use a 3 percent assumption and Social Security is flush for the next 75 years.

    Yes, I know, the post-war Baby Boom is moving through the population like a pig through a python. The number of retirees eligible for benefits will almost double to 79.5 million in 2045 from 40.5 million this year. But we knew that the Boomers were coming then, too. What we didn’t know then was the surge in immigration. Yet immigrants are mostly young. Rather than being a drain on Social Security when the Boomers need it, most immigrants will be contributing to the system during these years, which should take more of the pressure off.

    Even if you assume Social Security is a problem, it’s not a big problem. Raise the ceiling slightly on yearly wages subject to Social Security payroll taxes (now a bit over $100,000), and the problem vanishes under harsher assumptions than I’d use about the future. President Obama suggested this in the campaign and stirred up a hornet’s nest because this solution apparently dips too deeply into the middle class, which made him backtrack and begin talking about raising additional Social Security payroll taxes on people earning over $250,000. Social Security would also be in safe shape if it were slightly more means tested, or if the retirement age were raised just a bit. The main point is that Social Security is a tiny problem, as these things go.

    Medicare is entirely different. It’s a monster. But fixing it has everything to do with slowing the rate of growth of medical costs — including, let’s not forget, having a public option when it comes to choosing insurance plans under the emerging universal health insurance bill. With a public option, the government can use its bargaining power with drug companies and suppliers of medical services to reduce prices. And, as I’ve noted, keep pressure on private insurers to trim costs yet provide effective medical outcomes.

    Don’t be confused by these alarms from the Social Security and Medicare trustees. Social Security is a tiny problem. Medicare is a terrible one, but the problem is not really Medicare; it’s quickly rising health-care costs. Look more closely and the real problem isn’t even health-care costs; it’s a system that pushes up costs by rewarding inefficiency, causing unbelievable waste, pushing over-medication, providing inadequate prevention, over-using emergency rooms because many uninsured people can’t afford regular doctor checkups, and spending billions on advertising and marketing seeking to enroll healthy people and avoid sick ones.

  38. On Drudge they have a headline to the effect that “Savage asking Hillary ” for help getting off UK list. I tend to think she has more impt things to do, but agree, he should not be on it.

  39. OBAMA OPTING FOR McCAIN’S HEALTH CARE SOLUTIONS?

    The money quote:

    The idea seems to be classic Obama: empirical, pragmatic, bipartisan. Unfortunately, it happens to be an idea that John McCain campaigned on last year and that Mr. Obama, sensing a political opening, blasted as a tax increase. “Taxing health care instead of fixing it,” intoned the narrator in an Obama campaign advertisement, with ominous music playing in the background. “We can’t afford John McCain.”

    The whole deal is here:

    nytimes.com/2009/05/13/business/economy/13leonhardt.html?ref=politics

    Health Care, a Lesson in Pain
    =====================

    By DAVID LEONHARDT
    Published: May 12, 2009

    The events of the last few weeks have raised the odds that a health care overhaul will really happen this year.

    Democrats have suggested that they are willing to play hardball and pass a bill without Republican support. Arlen Specter, the senior Pennsylvania senator, became a Democrat, potentially adding one more vote. At the White House on Monday, lobbyists for doctors, insurers and other industry groups pledged to reduce the growth of medical spending.

    Yet none of these developments has removed the main hurdle to health care reform: the matter of the missing $90 billion.

    Providing health insurance to the roughly 50 million people without it will cost something like $120 billion a year. President Obama has proposed $60 billion or so in new revenue for this purpose — a “down payment,” his advisers say. But Congress seems set to reject about half of the down payment (a plan to limit high-income families’ tax deductions for charitable giving and other such things). That makes for the $90 billion health care hole.

    And no one is quite sure how to fill it.

    Because Mr. Obama has made it clear that health care is his top legislative priority, the $90 billion hole has become one of the biggest political issues of 2009. The Obama administration’s health care team is now preoccupied by it. On Tuesday, the Senate began to consider it, at a packed round-table discussion among 13 prominent health experts and members of the finance committee.

    “Now it’s time to think about money,” said Max Baucus, the Montana Democrat who heads the committee.

    The experts at the round table — liberal and conservative — actually agreed to an impressive degree about the best way to fill the hole. They urged the senators to limit the tax deduction for employer-provided health insurance.

    The deduction may seem a wonderful thing, but it isn’t. It benefits the wealthy more than anyone else. It encourages employers to overspend on health insurance, because $100 in untaxed medical benefits is more valuable to workers than $100 in taxed income. And, as Mr. Baucus said, the deduction has a certain Willie Sutton appeal for Congress: it’s where the money is.

    The government forgoes $250 billion a year in taxes because of the deduction. Capping it, to apply only to reasonably priced health plans, would bring in enough money to fill most of the $90 billion hole.

    The idea seems to be classic Obama: empirical, pragmatic, bipartisan. Unfortunately, it happens to be an idea that John McCain campaigned on last year and that Mr. Obama, sensing a political opening, blasted as a tax increase. “Taxing health care instead of fixing it,” intoned the narrator in an Obama campaign advertisement, with ominous music playing in the background. “We can’t afford John McCain.”

    Mr. Obama’s economic advisers would be happy to see him reverse his position. But his political advisers remember that ad and know it could be used against him. Further complicating matters, labor unions and Charles Rangel, the influential Democratic House member, say they remain firmly opposed to capping the deduction.

    All of which means that filling the $90 billion hole is going to be very tricky.

    If the tax deduction can’t be touched, the first alternative is simply to add the $90 billion a year to the deficit, to cover the uninsured now and pay for it later, as President George W. Bush did with his tax cuts, the Iraq war and the Medicare prescription drug benefit. In another time, this might have been politically palatable. But it isn’t now, not when this year’s deficit is projected to be larger than any since the end of World War II.

    That leaves two ways to pay for an expansion of health insurance: raise taxes or cut health spending.

    Economically, spending cuts have a lot to recommend them. The United States spends vastly more per person on medical care than any other country. Much of that spending does nothing to improve health, as chronicled in this newspaper’s recent “Evidence Gap” series. Getting rid of such waste could pay for universal health insurance, several times over, and prevent Medicare from going bankrupt.

    The $30 billion that remains of Mr. Obama’s down payment plucks the low-hanging fruit of cost reduction, like the subsidies for private insurers to provide the same coverage as Medicare at a higher cost. But the precise strategy for finding a lot more savings is still murky. “Reducing spending without also affecting services that do improve health,” says Douglas Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, “is challenging.”

    The Obama administration is laying the groundwork for a more efficient system by pushing for more research into medical effectiveness. But we’re not there yet, and getting there won’t be easy. Consider that some of the same industry groups that pledged to reduce medical spending this week are also trying to block effectiveness research — the very thing that would tell us how to reduce spending without damaging people’s health.

    So over the short term, tax increases are probably necessary, though they have their own problems. Will the 85 percent of people with health insurance be willing to pay higher taxes for something approaching universal coverage?

    Congress has already rejected several of Mr. Obama’s proposals to reduce the budget deficit, including the plan to limit charitable deductions for the affluent. The other ideas that have been floated, like taxing high-calorie sodas, wouldn’t raise anywhere near $90 billion a year.

    You can imagine a bill that mixes together lots of different revenue sources, in typical sausage-making style. But it’s hard to get to $90 billion without changing the deduction for employer-provided health insurance. “I just don’t know where else you get enough money,” says Jonathan Gruber, an M.I.T. economist and one of the round-table panelists.

    One possibility is that Congress will pass a bill capping the deduction, and Mr. Obama will be able to claim that he is signing it reluctantly. Another possibility, however, is that we need to begin thinking about whether health care reform is possible even if some significant number of people remain uninsured.

    What might that look like?

    The subsidies for insurance, which make up most of the $120 billion price tag, would have to be reduced, leaving some people unable to afford coverage but also cutting the bill’s cost. That would be the painful compromise.

    The second, crucial step would be doing everything possible to get rid of wasteful medical spending: using the force of law to hold medical providers to their cost-reduction pledges; moving Medicare away from a fee-for-service model that pays for quantity, not quality; encouraging low-cost hospitals to grow and high-cost hospitals to change — or shrink.

    During the campaign, Mr. Obama emphasized universal insurance more than costs. Since taking office, he has shifted his focus somewhat. “What we have done,” Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, told me this week, “is raise cost control to the same level as expanded coverage.”

    Cost control has the political benefit of appealing to the 85 percent of people with insurance. And it has enormous economic benefits, too. If costs can be reduced, the price of covering the uninsured will come way down. Put differently, the only way to have a sustainable universal health care system is to control costs.

    In an ideal world, Congress and Mr. Obama would find the $90 billion to cover all the uninsured now. But if they don’t, health care reform is not an all-or-nothing proposition.

  40. Sorry about the multiple posts about the horse. It kept not going through, and then suddenly they’re all there.

  41. rgb44hrc Says:

    May 13th, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    ————————————–

    I love that story! I hope she wins!

  42. ROBERT, YOU’RE REICH AGAIN!!!

    Obama, where’s the pressure on health insurers?
    ====================================

    If the president’s healthcare reforms don’t include the option of government-funded insurance, there’s no reason to think the private firms will really change their behavior.

    By Robert Reich
    May 12, 2009

    The only troubling thing about the President’s statements today concerning health care reform was what he did not say: that he wanted any health plan that emerges from Congress to include a public insurance option for Americans who do not want to buy private insurance. But without this option, there will be no pressure on private insurers to adopt all the other reforms to control costs or give all Americans access to affordable care.

    Every other reform proposal announced to date — electronic medical records, comparative effectiveness research, prevention of chronic disease, payments for services rather than for outcomes, and so on — has been talked about for years. The reason none have been adopted is health providers and insurers can make more money without them. Only with a government plan that competes with private insurers, and offers Americans lower costs if the providers and insurers fail to reform themselves, will the system be genuinely reformed.

    Hopefully, the President’s failure to mention a public insurance option today was not intended to signal to Congress that the White House is no longer especially interested in it. The Administration should quickly inform policymakers how important this option is as a spur to real change.

  43. Go ACLU !!!! Calling the fraud out:

    ” Amrit Singh, an attorney with the ACLU, said the president’s decision “makes a mockery” of his promise of transparency and accountability.

    “Essentially, by withholding these photographs from public view, the Obama administration is making itself complicit in the Bush administration’s torture policies,” Singh said. “The release of these photos is absolutely essential for ensuring that justice was done … for ensuring that the public could hold its government accountable, and for ensuring that torture is not conducted in the future in the name of the American people.”

    Singh said his organization is prepared to “do whatever it takes” in order to have the photos released.
    *************
    Obama = Bush III..we told them so..

  44. Amrit Singh is the daughter of the Indian Prime Minister!!

    ———-

    SHV Says:
    May 13th, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    Go ACLU !!!! Calling the fraud out:

    ” Amrit Singh, an attorney with the ACLU, said the president’s decision “makes a mockery” of his promise of transparency and accountability.

  45. Admin,

    Another stellar article

    You are the BEST at filtering through the BS, sifting through the sand and illuminating the truth of these complex tales.

    Without your knack for elegant simplicity I would never be able to follow some of these plots. THANKS!

  46. rgb,

    I hate to say this but I sure hope Rachel Alexandra doesn’t suffer the same fate as Eight Belles. That was such an omen for what happened to HRC . . . .

    🙁

  47. Rgb,

    Where’s my post?

    I said I hope Rachel Alexandra doesn’t suffer the same fate as Eight Belles.

    that was such a tragedy, and an omen for what later happened to HRC.

  48. Rgb,

    I hope Rachel Alexandra doesn’t suffer the same fate as Eight Belles.

    that was such a tragedy, and an omen for what later happened to HRC.

  49. pm317 Says:
    May 13th, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    Amrit Singh is the daughter of the Indian Prime Minister!!
    *********
    Interesting..Is she Sikh???

  50. The idea seems to be classic Obama: empirical, pragmatic, bipartisan.

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

    Please

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

    I must be the only person on this board that believes torture has it’s place. obviusly you do not torture everyone, nor everytime, but it has it’s place and I don’t feel one bit guilty saying it.

  51. Where are my posts?

    Now I have 2 . . . ADMIN ——I just watched that Man for all Seasons clip. brilliant choice!

    Rgb,

    I hope Rachel Alexandra doesn’t suffer the same fate as Eight Belles. (Can’t help thinking about that and how it seemed to foretell what would happen to HRC at the RBC meeting)

  52. Obama to Ration Health Care
    Written by Ann Shibler
    Thursday, 07 May 2009 01:36

    In mid-April President Obama was interviewed by a journalist on a number of topics, one being health care reform. The president has more than hinted that there will be rationing of health care under the heading of entitlement reform, particularly for the elderly, once the government takes over.

    Economic journalist David Leonhardt of the New York Times sat down with the president and asked questions mostly pertaining to the current economic debacle. When the subject of health care came up, Leonhardt asked Obama how going to the doctor in the future will be different under his system. The president responded: “There’s going to be an asymmetry of information between patient and provider. And part of what I think government can do effectively is to be an honest broker in assessing and evaluating treatment options. And certainly that’s true when it comes to Medicare and Medicaid, where the taxpayers are footing the bill and we have an obligation to get those costs under control.”

    While the government has never done anything “effectively” it didn’t stop the president from saying that they will use “comparative-effectiveness studies” to rein in costs; it won’t be micro-managing mind you, it’s just that there are “distortions in the system,” and they have to objectively choose treatments that “yield significant savings and significant benefits.”

    Excerpts from the interview:

    Pres. Obama: Now, I actually think that the tougher issue around medical care — it’s a related one — is what you do around things like end-of-life care… I mean, the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out here.

    Leonhardt: So how do you — how do we deal with it?

    Pres. Obama: Well, I think that there is going to have to be a conversation that is guided by doctors, scientists, ethicists. And then there is going to have to be a very difficult democratic conversation that takes place. It is very difficult to imagine the country making those decisions just through the normal political channels.

    So will “normal political channels” be abandoned in favor of something more extreme — and unconstitutional — in order to ram this down our throats?

    From a March 24 news conference, Obama’s own projections show that deficits would go out to 2019 at least, but that “additional adjustments” would be interjected in future budgets. What are those mysterious “additional adjustments”? No one seem to know.

    Charles Krauthammer, a syndicated columnist with the Washington Post, has charged that while the whole point of Medicare and Medicaid is to decrease costs, the only way Obama can do it is through rationing of health care. While his insistence that the best system would be a “highly competitive, privatized health insurance,” propped up by a “government-subsidized transition to portability, breaking the absurd and ruinous link between health insurance and employment” is absurd and faulty in itself, Krauthammer is more than willing to admit that the president is moving toward a universal health system that would see survivability criteria used for a rationing system.

    Krauthammer:

    Why do you think the stimulus package pours $1.1 billion into medical “comparative effectiveness research”? It is the perfect setup for rationing. Once you establish what is “best practice” for expensive operations, medical tests and aggressive therapies, you’ve laid the premise for funding some and denying others.

    It is estimated that a third to a half of one’s lifetime health costs are consumed in the last six months of life. Accordingly, Britain’s National Health Service can deny treatments it deems not cost-effective — and if you’re old and infirm, the cost-effectiveness of treating you plummets. In Canada, they ration by queuing. You can wait forever for so-called elective procedures like hip replacements.

    Things don’t look so well for grandma and grandpa under Obama’s vision for universal health care, given that the new system the administration seems to desire amounts to a passive approach to euthanasia.

    It is conceivable and even probable that given the present administration’s commitment to abortion on demand, the government option may be to earmark millions of dollars for covering baby killings, wiping out a younger generation, and an older one at the same time.

    Do the American people know the truth about the bill of goods they are being slickly sold?
    *******************************************

    The answer would be NO…

  53. gonzotx Says:

    May 13th, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    ————————–

    Excellent gathering and downloading of research on this critical issue.

    Thank you.

  54. freerepublic.com/focus/news/2240628/posts

    Funny photo shop pics of air force one debacle! From BP

    Thanks Jan. I sure can cut and paste!

  55. Krauthammer:

    Why do you think the stimulus package pours $1.1 billion into medical “comparative effectiveness research”? It is the perfect setup for rationing. Once you establish what is “best practice” for expensive operations, medical tests and aggressive therapies, you’ve laid the premise for funding some and denying others.
    **************
    No kidding!!! Sometimes I think that something happened to Krauthammers mind when he broke his neck….That is the idea behind “Comparative effectiveness Research”,. Why pay for “treatments” that at best don’t work and at worst damage and kill people. Sometimes it takes years to determine if a treatment works or even to understand what causes a disease. When long term follow-up and results of treatment are not collected and evaluated then medicine is guess work and hit or miss. As an example, it wasn’t until 1994 that it was proven that most recurrent Stomach and Duodenal ulcers are caused by a bacteria and the treatment is antibiotics how many people could have been spared surgery and problems with ulcers if that had been proven thirty years earlier??

  56. SHV Says:

    May 13th, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    ************************************************
    I do not trust the fraud’s overseeing this “Comparative effectiveness Research”. I believe they will look and foremost @ cost and give very little time to long term research. They will make the decisions to what they will pay for, even more restrictive than present, in the VERY near future.

  57. Yes. Singh is a Sikh last name. If you have seen pictures of the Indian PM, Manmohan Singh, her dad, you would see his turban, that is the Sikh attire (because they don’t cut their hair). Indian elections got done today and it remains to be seen if he will come back as the next PM. BTW, Sikh is a minority group and he is a PM from a minority group. India probably has had the most minority participation in both the PM and the President’s offices than other countries.

    # SHV Says:
    May 13th, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    pm317 Says:
    May 13th, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    Amrit Singh is the daughter of the Indian Prime Minister!!
    *********
    Interesting..Is she Sikh???

  58. I heard a lot of chatter on talk radio on the drive home about 1) Michael Savage asking Hillary to get him off UK ban list and 2) tape of Hillary thanking donor who was later indicted. Anything to either story?

  59. Not sure about Savage, but I read that they played a phone tape of Hillary praising Hsu (a big donor to her campaign) about the money he was bringing in to help her.

    The media is trying to kill her with this but she didn’t know that he was guilty of a fraud scheme at the time.

  60. Jan- which media is making an issue of this. Hillary never denied he was a donor. He also donated to Ogama. She is beyond the political process now. Nor does this in any conceiveable weigh justify the sexist way they treated her and disrespected her supporters. It is a waste of time–UNLESS they can show that she knowingly accepted fraudulent campaign contributions. Clearly, there is no evidence to that effect or it would have come out. Why dont they investigate the foreign donors who lined Ogama’s pockets. Or would that distrupt out good relations with terrorist countries that he is working so hard to cultivate.

  61. Jan- I should have asked: who is making the issue? Is it right wing talk radio, or is it the corrupt nbc/msnbc or the corrupt cnn? Given a choice between nuts (rw radio) and maggots (ge&aol networks) I will take nuts every time.

  62. It’s all over the place. Here is one link from abc news.

    I didn’t post anything about it because I see it as just another smear against her.

    abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=7577579&page=1

  63. The news was getting too positive re Hillary. My God, her approval rating was higher than the Frauds! I don’t put it past him and his ‘maggots’ to have pushed the story!

  64. From BP

    Most Ethical Congress Evah kills ethics probe into PMA … for the eighth timeposted

    on May 13, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

    Nancy Pelosi cracked the whip effectively enough to turn back an eighth attempt to investigate the relationship between Congressional earmarks and donations arranged by lobbying group PMA. The Democratic Speaker won her gavel by running against the “culture of corruption” exposed by the Jack Abramoff scandal and promising to run “the most ethical Congress ever” if given the majority:

    House Democrats on Tuesday stopped a Republican plan to force a campaign finance inquiry that likely would have investigated several influential Democrats. It was the eighth time since late February that the Republican move was halted.

    One of the biggest recipients has been the chairman of the defense appropriations subcommittee, Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania.

    The vote was 215-182 to stop consideration of a GOP resolution to initiate a House ethics committee inquiry. It called for an investigation into campaign contributions to House lawmakers by recipients of pet project money and their lobbyists. …

    The Republican resolution focused on a lobbying firm, PMA, which was raided by the FBI last year. The company’s political action committee records were carted off, along with files of some of its lobbyists.

    In 2007 and 2008, Murtha, Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va. and Rep. Peter Visclosky. D-Ind., directed $137 million to defense contractors who were paying PMA to get them government business.
    At the same time, the three lawmakers received huge amounts of political donations from PMA lobbyists and their clients. Murtha has collected $2.37 million from PMA’s lobbyists and the companies it has represented since 1989, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks political money. Visclosky has collected $1.36 million; Moran, $997,348.

    Pelosi sued the FBI to block a judically-approved search warrant for then-Rep. William Jefferson’s offices in a bribery probe, joined in that effort by then-Speaker Denny Hastert. Pelosi and Hastert insisted that Congress itself had jurisdiction in investigating misconduct on Capitol Hill. A judge agreed with her in part on appeal and blocked prosecutors from access to part of the material seized in the search.

    So far, it seems that Pelosi is less interested in cleaning up Congress than in covering up wrongdoing by her Democratic colleagues. An ethics probe would still get run by Democrats, as they control all committees in the House and Senate. Pelosi won’t even let a probe get that far, which should cause American voters to wonder what she really knows about potential PMA corruption and her allies John Murtha and Pete Visclosky. (via Instapundit)

    hotair.com/archives/2009/05/13/most-ethical-congress-evah-kills-ethics-probe-into-pma-for-the-eighth-time/

  65. your democratic senate majority at work…they can’t even lower the damn interest on credit cards while they rob our treasury and give our money to god knows who…what a bunch of phonies!

    senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=111&session=1&vote=00191

    thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/13/senate-rejects-limit-on-credit-card-interest-rates/

  66. S Says:

    May 13th, 2009 at 9:36 pm
    ************************************************
    Yes, but they put the Fraud on TV telling everyone how he is fighting the Credit card Co’s for the consumer and NO ONE calls him on it, not even Fox, because they really don’t want to make the Corporations mad @ them . That’s their base!

  67. I do not think this story makes any difference at this point. I doubt that it will have any impact on her favorables. Her stock price has already discounted this information.

  68. Madison, Wisconsin, the bastion of liberalism? I found this @ Ace of Spades…
    ***************************

    MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin police can attach GPS to cars to secretly track anybody’s movements without obtaining search warrants, an appeals court ruled Thursday. However, the District 4 Court of Appeals said it was “more than a little troubled” by that conclusion and asked Wisconsin lawmakers to regulate GPS use to protect against abuse by police and private individuals. As the law currently stands, the court said police can mount GPS on cars to track people without violating their constitutional rights — even if the drivers aren’t suspects. Officers do not need to get warrants beforehand because GPS tracking does not involve a search or a seizure, Judge Paul Lundsten wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel based in Madison. That means “police are seemingly free to secretly track anyone’s public movements with a GPS device,” he wrote.”

  69. pm317: I am glad to see you back. We have missed your insightful comments over the past couple weeks.

  70. Credit card companies piling on fees, raising rates ahead of new federal rules

    Matthew Scott
    May 13th 2009 at 1:30PM

    It appears that credit card issuers are insisting upon exercising their right to abuse their customers in the name of higher profits. A survey of recent activities by the top eight credit card issuers reveals that since the Federal Reserve announced rule changes designed to curb unfair credit card industry practices last December, the companies have implemented even more onerous practices, raised interest rates more aggressively and increased the number of fees that they can impose on their customers.

    The Center For Responsible Lending (CRL) released its findings on Monday and according to the report, Citigroup (C), Bank of America (BAC), J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM), Capital One (COF), HSBC (HBC), Discover (DFS), American Express (AXP) and Well Fargo (WFC) have each increased interest rates on existing balances for many of their account holders on an “any time, any reason” basis within the last six months. This practice will be illegal under the new Fed rules which take affect in July 2010. The CRL estimates that at least 10 million card holders have been affected, and some have seen increases of 10 percentage points or more on their existing rate at a time when many consumers are having trouble staying afloat.

    “This shows that they are trying to get as much money as possible before the rules change,” said Kathleen Day, a spokesperson for the center.

    Day said the companies were “revving up” practices that they know are unfair. The companies fear their revenues will be affected when the practices are banned or curtailed after the Fed rules take affect. Legislation moving quickly though Congress could also put a damper on revenues. The result is that the companies are hitting their “best” customers — those that have been able to continue to pay even as the recession has worsened — with additional fees and charges to offset lost revenues when these practices are outlawed, and to hedge against losses from possible credit card defaults as the recession continues.

    “New rules have to be put in place sooner rather than later because we see how the industry is reacting,” said Day.

    The CRL report highlighted several changes that top credit card issuers have made that are adversely affecting consumers. Perhaps the most onerous practice was put in place by American Express, which Day said has started charging some cardholders three percent of their balance as a late penalty instead of a fixed fee. With this change, a consumer with a balance of $5,000 would be subject to a $150 late charge instead of the $39 most companies impose. “Going to a percentage of available balance is pretty steep,” said Day.

    The report also said two of the top issuers have raised balance transfer and cash advance fees to an unprecedented level of four percent per transaction.

    Several issuers have shortened grace periods between the issuance of a bill and the assessment of a late fee. The new Fed rules require longer grace periods.

    And most credit card issuers have broadened the definition of over-the-limit, returned payment and convenience-check fees so that more customers are required to pay.

    All of these practices would be eliminated under the new legislation. “Nothing that they are doing is new, but it’s more of the same and it’s worse,” Day said.

    The report did point out that some credit card issuers have taken steps to implement a few of the changes the Fed rules will bring, but on the issues that save consumers the most money, there has been no progress.

  71. Gee, that is sweet, wbboei. Thank you. You guys do fine without me. I have been reading off and on but lost the password to log back in until I found it this afternoon. Weren’t you talking about a Buddhist friend one time. I have a post on Buddhism at NQ now, if you’re interested.

  72. I suspect you could avoid this trap by converting from a credit card to a debit card–assuming you maintain sufficient money in your checking or savings to cover the cost of purchases. In that case they could raise the interest rate to 100% and it would not matter. They would have far fewer customers as well and that would serve them right.

  73. I have a post on Buddhism at NQ now, if you’re interested.
    ————————————————
    I will check it out first thing in the morning.

  74. Clinton to visit Latin America

    2009-05-14

    WASHINGTON, May 13 (Xinhua) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday said she will visit El Salvador and Honduras in the coming weeks. “I will be traveling to the region again later … to attend the inauguration of the president-elect in El Salvador … and to attend the OAS general assembly in Honduras,” said Clinton at a meeting of the Council of Americas.

    Mauricio Funes will be sworn in as El Salvador’s president on June 1, while the Organization of American States (OAS) general assembly is scheduled for June 2-3. The visit will be a fresh effort taken by the U.S. administration to continue warming up ties with Latin American neighbors.

    Dismissing his predecessor’s policy toward Latin America, President Barack Obama and his administration have been seeking for a new approach to strengthen predominance in the region, which has traditionally been viewed as the U.S. “backyard.” During his first presence before Latin America’s leaders, Obama reached out to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega at the Fifth Summit of the Americas, held from April 17 to 19 in Trinidad and Tobago. At the summit, President Obama also vowed to seek “a new beginning” in U.S.-Cuban relations and move the relations in “a new direction.”

    The current leaders of Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Bolivia have been viewed by Washington as the harshest critics of the United States.

    xinhuanet.com/english/2009-05/14/content_11371329.htm

  75. Video of Hillary speaking at NYU graduation ceremony…and no totus to be found anywhere.

    ny1.com/content/top_stories/98997/secretary-clinton-speaks-at-nyu-graduation/Default.aspx

  76. Obama picks Cleveland native/Clinton veteran to be chief of protocol

    by Stephen Koff
    May 13, 2009

    WASHINGTON — Capricia Penavic Marshall’s career, already impressive, just got more exciting. President Barack Obama today named her chief of protocol, which carries the rank of ambassador.

    The Cleveland native, a graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Law, will be in charge of all activities involving chiefs of state and their interactions with the White House.

    The State Department’s website describes the job: “Whether rolling out the red carpet for a King visiting the President at the White House, hosting a Prime Minister at the President’s guesthouse, traveling overseas with the President, credentialing a new foreign Ambassador, or planning events for the Secretary of State, the duties of the Office of the Chief of Protocol are many and varied.”

    Marshall is a longtime friend and ranking aide to both Bill Clinton, when he was president, and Hillary Rodham Clinton during and after her presidential campaign. After law school, Marshall joined Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign as special assistant to Hillary Clinton, then became Mrs. Clinton’s special assistant in the White House. Then she became a deputy assistant and social secretary to the president — at 32, the youngest social secretary in recent history.

    During President George W. Bush’s years in office, Marshall worked as a consultant to nonprofit and private organizations, according to the White House. But in 2006, she joined Hillary Clinton’s political staff, first working on a Senate reelection campaign and then on the race for the White House. Marshall was a senior advisor in Sen. Clinton’s presidential primary race, in charge of surrogate speakers and helping coordinate women’s outreach.

    She then became executive director of Hillpac and Friends of Hillary, both of which she is now helping to close.

    cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2009/05/obama_picks_cleveland_nativecl.html

  77. Clinton Wants Healthy Banks Encouraged to Repay TARP

    By Hans Nichols

    May 13 (Bloomberg) — Former President Bill Clinton urged the Obama administration to make a “genuine effort” to encourage healthy banks to repay the Troubled Asset Relief Program so financial institutions can set executive compensation without fearing a public backlash.

    “Give them a chance to pay it back and maybe just give it back without the interest or anything else,” Clinton said in an interview with Bloomberg News. The government could say, “You’re back on your own; pay whatever you want” to executives, he said. The administration should “go back to all these TARP recipients who in effect were told by” former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to accept funds and let them repay loans, Clinton said. “The people who were told by the previous government that they had to take the TARP money, once these restrictions came down, they should have had the opportunity to give the money back to avoid” government interference on pay for executives and other matters.

    The former president also said in the interview, after appearing on a panel at Brookings Institution in Washington, that Larry Summers, Clinton’s last Treasury secretary, would make a good chairman of the Federal Reserve. He said he also likes Summers in his current role as head of President Barack Obama’s National Economic Council. “I like knowing that he’s where he is,” Clinton said, “for the simple reason that he lived eight years through this system we set up.” Asked if Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke should be reappointed, Clinton said, “That’s beyond my pay grade. Whoever the president appoints is fine with me.”

    Views on Greenspan

    Clinton defended former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan and said that as president, he made “absolutely” the right decision to reappoint him. Still, he faulted Greenspan for arguing against regulation by the Securities and Exchange Commission of derivatives trading and said that he regretted not challenging the Republican-controlled Congress to insist on regulation. “He was wrong about one thing,” said Clinton, citing Greenspan’s position on derivatives regulation and how he persuaded Clinton’s economic advisers to adopt a hands-off approach. “I regret that and even though I could not have succeeded, the Republicans would have blocked me, I wish I really would have raised a lot of Cain about that.”

    “What I missed was you got a gazillion billion dollars in derivatives, even if only five people got hurt directly, millions of people would be hurt indirectly by the crashing impact on the market,” he said.

    On executive compensation, Clinton said that “as a general philosophical matter, the government should not set corporate salaries.” Still, he said the current situation, with firms such as American International Group Inc. largely owned by taxpayers, created a dilemma and that compensation at these businesses should be limited. He called the argument made by some banks that they needed to pay big bonuses to retain talented workers “bull.”

    Clinton also said Congress needs to act on legislation to cut U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions before the global warming summit in Copenhagen this December. “We’ll either need a bill by then or it needs to be fairly clear that we’re going to pass a good bill,” for the U.S. to persuade China and India to agree to a new treaty, Clinton said.

    Copenhagen Summit

    He declined to say if Obama, who hasn’t announced whether he will go to Copenhagen, should attend. Clinton said he expects that the president, Vice President Joe Biden or Clinton’s wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will lead the U.S. delegation. “The main thing is the president has given it a high priority,” the former president said.

    On Capitol Hill yesterday, Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee reached a compromise to cut U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions 17 percent by 2020. That figure exceeds the target sought by Obama, who had recommended 14 percent. Obama today hailed the agreement, calling it “a major step forward in building the kind of clean-energy economy that will reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil,” Obama said.

    Clinton gauged the prospects “good” for Congress to pass this year the energy bill and an overhaul of the health- care system sought by Obama. Proposals to tax employees for the health-care premiums that their employers pay for them are unlikely to pass Congress because of opposition from House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel, a New York Democrat, Clinton said. Still, he said he liked the idea of taxing the premiums as a way to force Americans to dedicate more resources to prevention and their individual wellness. “I wish what the law would say is that if you want full tax deductibility, you’ve got to have this, this, and this,” Clinton said.

    bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601070&sid=ao_HF3q1o3Rc&refer=home

  78. gonzotx Says:
    May 13th, 2009 at 10:10 pm
    Madison, Wisconsin, the bastion of liberalism? I found this @ Ace of Spades
    ***********
    That is the tip of the iceberg…The next great idea is to tax drivers for miles driven, makes sense..maybe, but the way to track mileage is to have every car have GPS reporting back to a central location reporting where the car has traveled. This kind of shit is why it is important to roll back the wiretaps, Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act, etc….once the path to a totalitarian state has begun, its very difficult to stop and this country is well on its way on that path. Obama DOJ is worse than the Bush DOJ..at least Bush didn’t have the brass balls to try and push “Sovereign Immunity”…Basically they can break the law but they are above the law.

  79. pm317 Says:
    May 13th, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Yes. Singh is a Sikh last name. If you have seen pictures of the Indian PM, Manmohan Singh, her dad, you would see his turban, that is the Sikh attire (because they don’t cut their hair). Indian elections got done today and it remains to be seen if he will come back as the next PM. BTW, Sikh is a minority group and he is a PM from a minority group. India probably has had the most minority participation in both the PM and the President’s offices than other countries.
    **********
    Thanks for the info…In doing a little research, I hadn’t realized that Sikhism is a mono-theistic religion.

  80. If I were Hillary I would tell Drudge where to stick it. I wouldn’t help that man cross the street after he published that horrible pic of her in New Hampshire knocking on doors in the snow. They had to have made her look like she was 75 years old.
    I have seen Hillary in person and very close up, she is gorgeous.

  81. admin, I haven’t commented here in a while, but I do read all of your pieces. The one today is almost exactly what I’ve been saying on some other blogs.

    Let’s not forget that it was Obama, the master Alinsky-trained agitator, who stirred-up this current firestorm by releasing those CIA/DOJ memos. I personally don’t think Obama ever intended that there would be prosecutions or even a truth commission. This was a big-time political power play that accomplished three goals: further demonize the Bush admin, totally distract the media and the American people, and throw Nancy Pelosi under the bus.

    Of course Obama knew what the reaction would be when he released those first CIA memos, and he knew that Pelosi would get wrapped around the axle. She became expendable when her initial job was done, which was putting together the massive stimulus bill. And by opening the door for potential investigation and/or prosecution of Bush admin officials, he guaranteed that they would be forced to respond. What fun it is for the Dems to have the Bush admin and Dick Cheney in the public eye.

    Obama has called the shots the whole way. The memo detailing all the briefings that Pelosi received was released with a cover letter from Panetta that said something like: this is not evidence by itself but would require witness testimony. Now, with the republicans further damaged politically and on the defensive, and Pelosi comfortably under the bus, Obama signals it’s time to move on by flipping on the release of those photos. Anyone who was hoping for an accounting or even a truth commission to explore these issues has been “played” by Obama and his Chicago cronies.

    Meanwhile, Obama and the Dems are gonna fast-track this huge health care plan with very little debate over its details, and Obama’s cap and trade bill is being debated. Nobody is certain how our economy is going to sustain all of this in the middle of the steepest recession since WWII, but yet almost nobody is talking about it.

  82. pm317, your post on NQ was really interesting. I’ve been interested in Buddhism since college. I liked this quote:

    &&&&
    For a while I had a rule in my house of not having any religious symbols in any part of the house. Then I came across this beautiful idol of Buddha in an artsy store near Big Sur, CA and I had to have it. …. He sits in the center of my living room now to everyone’s attention. In stressful periods in my life, I had a ritual — coming down the stairs every morning, I would call out jauntily “Hello Mr. Buddha, how are you today?”
    &&&&

    I once hitchhiked out in CA to see the Grateful Dead New Year’s show to ring in 1981, and afterwards, coming down the coast toward LA, I camped out in Big Sur. Wow. What a place.

  83. Independent Ben Says:

    May 14th, 2009 at 10:15 am
    admin, I haven’t commented here in a while, but I do read all of your pieces. The one today is almost exactly what I’ve been saying on some other blogs.
    &&&&&&&&&&

    Hey, welcome back, IB.
    Just curious, which blogs have you been involved in?

  84. Independent Ben Says:

    May 14th, 2009 at 10:15 am

    ———————————————-

    Well said!

  85. Independent Ben: how would you propose to counter the Alinskey strategy under these circumstances, e.g. with the press in his hip pocket, total control of congress, an aggressive ground game planned, the proven ability to corrupt the electoral system, no ostensible leadership in the opposition party, no opposition within his own party, the world madly in love with him, and the future of ordinary Americans going down to drain due to his policies now, no longer Bush? Do you have any thoughts on that subject because I must tell you that is what has been occupying my free time.

  86. rgb, thanks for reading! Yep, I got the Buddha in the Nepenthe center. Big Sur, what beauty, ha, most of CA coast is just amazing. I wish I could move there.

    You know I just started doing that (calling out “Hello Mr. Buddha..”) one fine day and it turned out to be quite therapeutic. Everyone under stress should get an emotional barometer like that.

  87. OBAMA PLAYING POLITICS WITH GM BANKRUPTCY??? SAY IT AIN’T SO…

    Excellent analysis. The article has quite a few links to sources it refers to, so here is that link:

    bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&refer=columnist_reilly&sid=a8gcKnWHJGWk

    GM Retirees Bully Bondholders With Obama’s Help
    ===================================

    David Reilly
    May 13 (Bloomberg)

    General Motors Corp.’s likely bankruptcy filing is being cast in some quarters as a fight between “money people” intent on making a killing and honest efforts by the government to save a company and jobs.

    In reality, GM’s demise comes down to a fight between retirees.

    On one side are GM’s unionized retired workers. On the other, are the rest of us — either in retirement or saving for it. Guess who will lose as things now stand?

    Under the restructuring plan on the table, GM’s retirees would get 39 percent of the company, along with the promise of a $10 billion payment into their health-care trust fund. That is in exchange for $20 billion GM owes the fund.

    Not making out so well are current or future retirees who depend on the performance of mutual funds, 401(k) plans and insurance companies that invested in GM bonds. These debt investors, who are owed about $27 billion, will get just 10 percent of the company.

    And that probably won’t change. GM Chief Executive Fritz Henderson said on a conference call Monday that there are no plans to modify the terms on offer to bondholders, even as he said a bankruptcy filing now looks “more probable.”

    ‘Waterboarding’ Investors
    ——————————–

    That’s outrageous. The deal is nothing short of a political rip-off, with the Obama administration currying favor with an organized voting bloc in the form of the United Auto Workers union at the expense of unorganized retirees.

    The current deal “can be seen as one that serves up bondholders on the altar of political self-interest,” CreditSights Inc. analyst Glenn Reynolds wrote in a report last week titled, in part, “Waterboarding Bondholders.”

    “The powers that be will not face any major constituency risks by screwing some mutual funds, insurance companies, pension managers, and hedge funds (who often manage pension and endowment money etc.) out of their fair and equitable treatment,” Reynolds wrote.

    Not that you’ll hear much about the rights of these investors if and when the fur starts flying over a GM bankruptcy filing. Instead, we’ll again hear talk about the “money people” — the label President Barack Obama pinned on debt investors at Chrysler LLC who refused to swallow the terms foisted on them by the company and government officials.

    Expect the fight at GM to be cast in similarly expedient terms of “working man vs. evil money people,” Reynolds’s report noted. And those who raise objections to the government’s plans “will be dubbed Wall Street holdouts and obstructionists.”

    Hardly ‘Money People’
    —————————-

    Yet the “money people” label will be particularly unfair at GM. Unlike Chrysler, whose debt was concentrated in the hands of a small group of institutions, GM’s bonds are held far and wide.

    The holders include Fidelity Management and Research, Franklin Advisers Inc., and Pacific Investment Management Co., which manage the retirement savings of millions of Americans.

    The Polish Beneficial Association, the Knights of Columbus, and the Grand Lodge Sons of Hermann in Texas were also recent owners of GM bonds. Not your typical Masters of the Universe.

    Then there are mom-and-pop investors, who may not be happy with the terms on offer. Some of them have gone so far as to create a Web site to air their grievances. This site is backed by the 60 Plus Organization, a senior advocacy group that bills itself as a conservative alternative to the AARP.

    Backing Down
    —————–

    That’s not to say that the Chrysler experience won’t cow some GM bondholders. Loomis Sayles & Co. said last week that it had sold all its GM bonds in April and had quit the bondholder group trying to negotiate a better debt-exchange offer.

    The odd thing is that the administration probably recognizes that it can’t, and shouldn’t, rob bondholders. So it came up with a proposal that they will have little choice but to reject.

    GM’s offer “must look to bondholders like something Tony Soprano dreamed up,” Gimme Credit analyst Shelly Lombard said in a research note late last month.

    No wonder GM’s bondholders have groused that Steven Rattner, the Treasury Department’s chief auto adviser, has acted as if he has them over a barrel.

    Scoring Political Points
    —————————-

    The administration, meanwhile, will be able to blame the bankruptcy filing on the “money people.” Then, it can go out and attack the bondholders, scoring more political points.

    While potentially bringing short-term political gain, this strategy has a long-term cost: further erosion in investor confidence in the financial system.

    After all, if bondholders know that the government will deliberately try to trample their rights, or demonize them for trying to exercise them, there are two options. Shy away from purchasing debt that exposes an investor to the government, or charge more for the increased risk.

    Neither is good for markets or the non-unionized retirees who depend on them. It’s also strange coming from an administration that, along with the Federal Reserve, has pledged $12.8 trillion to try and restore investor confidence in the financial system.

    (David Reilly is a Bloomberg News columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)

  88. Wbboei, you might be interested in John Judis’ article today. Judis, an Obama supporter is preparing the Hopium addled for a dip in Obama’s poll numbers:

    http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=bd815f64-36e5-4310-be37-733482bad8cc

    But I expect that Obama’s popularity will begin to fall, even plummet, as the leaves turn brown. That’s not to say he is doing a bad job, but that the tasks he faces in fixing the economy remain daunting, and beyond resolution in his first year or, perhaps, even first term.

    But confidence talk can backfire if actual, rather than virtual, growth in employment and output doesn’t materialize.

    and

    There is reason to be worried that we’re still a long way from seeing growth rather than slower decline. Much of a recovery will rest on a growth in consumer demand, but the most recent figures show a 0.4 percent decline in retail spending from March to April–and an 11.4 percent decline from the previous April. That’s not the stuff of growth.

    Obama and his Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner are betting a lot on the bank bailout. Geithner announced yesterday that the financial system is “healing,” but a Wall Street Journal study last month of the big banks that received massive government funds showed a drop in lending. I am agnostic on the subject, but tend to agree with Financial Times columnist Martin Wolf that the best one can hope for from the bailout is that it will allow the banking system to tread water rather than drown, and that the key to getting the economy ashore is the stimulus program. But while Obama pumps billions of dollars into the bailout, it is starting to look like the stimulus program may not be large enough, and could take a long time to get going.

  89. BTW, if anyone is watching TV, turn to a channel covering Pelosi’ press conference. Pelosi has just declared war on the CIA. Pelosi is saying the CIA lied to her. Pelosi is not doing well in this presser.

    Wait until the CIA responds in the way the CIA responds. Nancy Pelosi might just have cooked her own goose.

  90. Many religions started in India as a response to what they perceived as the negative aspects of Hinduism, Sikhism is one from the 15th century but it was also a response to the Muslim invasion — Guru Nanak’s famous quote is “there is no Hindu, there is no Muslim” meaning we’re all one. Buddhism, Jainism are other well known ones but much older (6th century BC). In the south, you find many other smaller religions that also rose in response to Hinduism. All this went on in the middle of Muslim (with Moghal invasion) and Christian (colonizations) conversions.

    Sikhs are mostly in the western part of India, like Punjab. They see themselves as a warrior class and you find many of them in the Indian army. Just as I wrote this I noticed Pakistani army is also run by Punjabis. Punjab got split between India and Pakistan during the partition and most of Hindu and Sikhs were made to go to the Indian side.

    ———————
    # SHV Says:
    May 14th, 2009 at 2:05 am

    Thanks for the info…In doing a little research, I hadn’t realized that Sikhism is a mono-theistic religion.

  91. admin Says:
    May 14th, 2009 at 11:16 am
    But while Obama pumps billions of dollars into the bailout, it is starting to look like the stimulus program may not be large enough, and could take a long time to get going.
    &&&&&&&&&

    Agreed, the stimulus needed to be larger, for the right things.

    It also misspends on the wrong things. For example, giving banks money to stimulate lending resulted in them putting it under the mattress to shore up their liquidity. “Give us round two, and maybe then we’ll consider lending again”.

    It also is used more for political favor giving, quid-pro-quo, and the hopes of buying future votes.

    So it is too big, too small, too unfocused, and too partisan.

  92. PELOSI’S RIGHT HAND MAN AND CLYBURN TRY TO KEEP THE NEWBIES IN LINE: “LET’S NOT GET ALL ETHICAL ABOUT MURTHA”

    From politico.com

    politico.com/news/stories/0509/22500.html

    Top Dem: ‘Don’t be a Flake’
    ===================

    As the House prepared to vote this week on Republican Rep. Jeff Flake’s push for an ethics investigation involving Rep. John Murtha and other senior appropriators, Democratic leaders sent an unmistakable message to their members: “Don’t be a Flake.”

    That was the subject line of an e-mail that staffers for first- and second-term Democrats received Tuesday from Rep. Chris Van Hollen, assistant to Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The message said that Democrats would once again be “voting to table another Flake resolution” — and it made clear that leadership would have its eyes on any Democrats even thinking about defecting.

    Not that they needed reminding.

    In another pre-vote e-mail, the office of House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) warned Democrats that they would suffer in 2010 if Republicans succeeded in forcing an ethics investigation into the relationships Murtha and other veteran Democratic lawmakers had with the PMA Group.

    “If the Flake resolution is referred to the Ethics Committee, members can expect attacks ads to be run against them alleging members to be ‘under investigation by the House Ethics Committee,’” the whip’s staff warned members. “The Flake resolution is nothing more than a fishing expedition.”

    The Clyburn-Van Hollen double-team worked — for now.

    When the House took up Flake’s resolution Tuesday night, Democrats once again voted overwhelmingly to table it. But the 29 Democratic votes the measure got this week was the highest tally yet — and further evidence of a generational divide that’s pitting newer House members who want to “drain the swamp” against veteran members who don’t want to see their colleagues investigated.

    So far, the younger members are getting trounced — but the momentum is in their favor.

    Despite the directives from Van Hollen and Clyburn, two more Democrats voted for Flake’s resolution Tuesday, and they are the two newest Democrats in the House: Rep. Scott Murphy of New York and Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois.

    “This is who I am,” Quigley, an outspoken reformer from a safe seat in Chicago, told POLITICO afterward. “You can’t change your DNA when you get here.”

    Recently elected Democrats worry that their party is at increasing risk of looking hypocritical for winning elections by promising to clean up Congress and then refusing to do so once comfortably in office.

    “We need to have an institutional capacity to do some tough self-policing,” said Rep. Ron Kind, a Wisconsin Democrat who has voted in favor of the Flake resolution. “Our party needs to be careful not to appear hypocritical on this stuff.”

    New Hampshire Rep. Paul Hodes — one of the first Democrats to back Flake’s resolutions — said more junior lawmakers are more inclined to support a beefed-up ethics committee and broader ethics reforms.

    “Having not been in Congress a long time, it may be easier for the younger members, the more junior members, to push for these reforms than it may be for more established members,” he said this week.

    But more senior Democrats expressed little enthusiasm for policing their colleagues — and made it clear that they don’t want more junior members to let that happen.

    “I just want to remind you that we will be voting to table another Flake resolution later today,” Van Hollen’s office said in the message to staffers of first- and second-year members this week. “This resolution is the same as the previous Flake resolution. … Your boss should vote the way he or she did on the previous Flake resolution. The roll call number is 175. … If your boss is going vote differently than the way he or she voted on the previous Flake resolution, please let me know immediately.”

  93. A few good quotes from George Will’s op-ed “Tincture of Lawlessness” (May 14). The whole deal is at:

    realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/05/14/tincture_of_lawlessness_96482.html

    Anyway, the Obama administration, judging by its cavalier disregard of contracts between Chrysler and some of the lenders it sought money from, thinks contracts are written on water. The administration proposes that Chrysler’s secured creditors get 28 cents per dollar on the $7 billion owed to them, but that the United Auto Workers union get 43 cents per dollar on its $11 billion in claims — and 55 percent of the company. This, even though the secured creditors’ contracts supposedly guaranteed them better standing than the union.
    [snip]

    The Economist says the administration has “ridden roughshod over (creditors’) legitimate claims over the (automobile companies’) assets. … Bankruptcies involve dividing a shrunken pie. But not all claims are equal: some lenders provide cheaper funds to firms in return for a more secure claim over the assets should things go wrong. They rank above other stakeholders, including shareholders and employees. This principle is now being trashed.” Tom Lauria, a lawyer representing hedge fund people trashed by the president as the cause of Chrysler’s bankruptcy, asked that his clients’ names not be published for fear of violence threatened in e-mails to them.
    [snip]

    The Troubled Assets Relief Program, which has not yet been used for its supposed purpose (to purchase such assets from banks), has been the instrument of the administration’s adventure in the automobile industry. TARP’s $700 billion, like much of the supposed “stimulus” money, is a slush fund the executive branch can use as it pleases. This is as lawless as it would be for Congress to say to the IRS: We need $3.5 trillion to run the government next year, so raise it however you wish — from whomever, at whatever rates you think suitable. Don’t bother us with details.
    [snip]

    The Obama administration’s agenda of maximizing dependency involves political favoritism cloaked in the raiment of “economic planning” and “social justice” that somehow produce results superior to what markets produce when freedom allows merit to manifest itself, and incompetence to fail. The administration’s central activity — the political allocation of wealth and opportunity — is not merely susceptible to corruption, it is corruption.

  94. TRUST OBAMA COUNTING PEOPLE? VOTES? MONEY?

    online.wsj.com/article/SB124226239168917717.html

    Census Nomination Reignites Debate Over How to Count Population
    ================================================

    By TIMOTHY J. ALBERTA
    MAY 14, 2009

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s nomination of Robert Groves to head the Census Bureau has resurrected a fierce debate over how to get the most accurate count of the population — not just in 2010 but for decades to come.

    The conflict is expected to be front and center at Friday’s confirmation hearing for Dr. Groves, director of the University of Michigan’s Survey Research Center and a former Census Bureau official. Some lawmakers are uneasy about Dr. Groves’s longtime advocacy of “sampling,” extrapolating a larger population from a smaller slice of it.

    Critics say sampling violates the Constitution, which calls for an “actual Enumeration” of the population every 10 years. They worry it would subject the results of the census — used to apportion seats in the House of Representatives as well as federal funds — to political meddling. But proponents argue that attempting to count every person individually leaves portions of the population undercounted — usually minorities living in large cities — and say sampling would produce a more accurate total.

    Much of Friday’s hearing is expected to focus on Dr. Groves’s history of supporting sampling — and whether he plans to use it at the bureau if confirmed.
    [snip]

  95. Rgb44hrc, Pelosi might not have much time left. We wrote a quick note earlier about today’s press conference which was a disaster.

  96. President Obama tells Arizona State graduates: ‘I heartily concur … that I haven’t done enough in my life’ : Responds to ‘snub’ of not receiving honorary degree at commencement speech

    May 13, 2009
    BY ASSOCIATED PRESS

    TEMPE, Ariz. — President Obama didn’t shy away from the “snub” by Arizona State University officials who said he hadn’t accomplished enough yet to earn an honorary degree. In a commencement speech Wednesday to a stadium full of young graduates, he said the officials were right. “I come here not to dispute the suggestion that I haven’t yet achieved enough in my life,” Obama said. With a smile he added: “First of all, Michelle concurs with that assessment. She has a long list of things that I have not yet done waiting for me when I get home.” “But more than that I come to embrace the notion that I haven’t done enough in my life. I heartily concur,” the president said. “I come to affirm that one’s title, even a title like ’president of the United States,’ says very little about how well one’s life has been led.”

    Obama challenged the graduating class to find new sources of energy, improve failing schools and never to rely on past achievement. He congratulated them on earning a degree, and said the next steps mattered more than a piece of paper or a tassel. “I want to say to you today, graduates, class of 2009, that despite having achieved a remarkable milestone in your life — despite the fact that you and your families are so rightfully proud — you, too, cannot rest on your laurels. … Your own body of work is also yet to come,” the president said, wearing a black gown with red embellishments and a blue color.

    Commencement speakers typically are awarded honorary degrees as a sign of respect and appreciation. Arizona State officials, however, did not award any such degrees this year. “His body of work is yet to come. That’s why we’re not recognizing him with a degree at the beginning of his presidency,” university spokeswoman Sharon Keeler said after the school’s student newspaper first reported the decision.

    To quell the controversy, the university instead renamed a scholarship for the nation’s 44th president. At the beginning of his remarks, Obama thanked the school for the gesture.

    Obama plans to deliver the commencement address Sunday at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend.

    suntimes.com/news/nation/1573853,obama-arizona-state-graduation-051309.article#

    ———————————

    How he could say all that with a straight face…I just don’t know.

  97. admin’s 11:16 am referred to the Judis piece, which points to the NY Times piece, “Stimulus Aid Trickles Out, but States Seek Quicker Relief”:

    nytimes.com/2009/05/13/us/politics/13stimulus.html?_r=2&partner=rss&emc=rss&src=ig

    Which contains this excerpted section:

    [snip]
    Although states around the country are beginning roadwork projects, the Department of Transportation had spent only about $11 million on highway projects through the first week of May.

    The intent of the stimulus program was to pump money into the economy quickly, and many members of Congress said at the time of its passage that speed was of the essence. But the huge program has been a challenge to administer for both a new administration and for states and local governments grappling with their own fiscal problems.

    Some states and cities are beginning to complain that the money has yet to reach them. Others have been slow to get their paperwork to Washington; Virginia has yet to send the Transportation Department its list of road projects.

    At the same time, some economists have questioned the administration’s claims that the bill has saved or created 150,000 jobs.
    [snip]

  98. rgb44hrc Says:
    May 14th, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Hey, welcome back, IB.
    Just curious, which blogs have you been involved in?

    Thanks. 🙂 Mostly NQ and TD’s blog.

  99. I am surprised by how quickly Pelosi is being brought down..0bama is ruthless. So he will install his puppet speaker and the congress will be made impotent. Things may not change in 2010 either (they will manipulate election results just like they did before).

  100. # admin Says:
    May 14th, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Rgb44hrc, Pelosi might not have much time left. We wrote a quick note earlier about today’s press conference which was a disaster.

    I saw it and she was horrible. She’s getting no cover from the press either. If she survives, the last thing she would want is some truth commission where she would be put under oath. I think Obama would rather have her as a damaged speaker, under the bus and under his thumb.

  101. my bookie says….

    Rachel Alexandra is 8-5 Preakness favorite

    BALTIMORE (AP)—Rachel Alexandra was made the early 8-5 favorite Wednesday for the Preakness Stakes, the first filly accorded that status since 1988.

    She brings a five-race winning streak into Saturday’s 1 3-16-mile race at Pimlico.

    Trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Calvin Borel, Rachel Alexandra drew the No. 13 post on the far outside.

    “It’s beautiful. She’s going to be able to get position,” said Scott Blasi, Asmussen’s assistant.

    Borel chose to stay on as Rachel Alexandra’s regular rider, switching off Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, who gets Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith.

    “Calvin knows this filly so well, I don’t think we have to tell him anything about where he wants to be with her,” Blasi said. “He’s very comfortable with her and we’re very comfortable with him.”

    No filly since Nellie Morse in 1924 has won the Preakness. The last filly to go off as the wagering favorite was Winning Colors at 2-1 odds in 1988. She finished third.

    “I am trying to help the industry,” said Jess Jackson, the filly’s co-owner. “I hope this helps revive horse racing in the United States.”

    Jackson, who founded Kendall-Jackson winery, and Harold McCormick bought Rachel Alexandra for an undisclosed price last week. They paid a $100,000 supplemental fee—above and beyond the entry fees—to get her into the Preakness because she wasn’t nominated for the Triple Crown races by her previous owners. They had expected her to only run against fillies.

    “I think the fans deserve to see the best horses compete regardless of sex,” Jackson said on a conference call. “This isn’t about male or female, it’s about the best athletes.”

    Rachel Alexandra has a front-running style, and hasn’t been farther back than second while running her last five races.
    [snip]

  102. wbboei Says:
    May 14th, 2009 at 10:36 am

    Wow, I wish I knew exactly what to do. At the moment I’m just watching with amazement. I’ll keep saying what’s on my mind and just pray that the country wakes up sooner or later.

  103. Pelosi now says CIA misled…..funny how one by one all the Clinton haters are “having their chickens come home to roost’.

  104. i watched the poopsie presser… and enjoyed every poopsie squirm towards the exit
    and totally enjoyed when she got dragged back to the podium each time she would inch 5 feet away from it 😀

    The wheels on the bus go round n round!

    that poor taxidermist of her’s will never get those tire treads out of her face this time!
    CIA=PERMA TREAD …LOL!

  105. SEEMS TO ME…

    Poopsi of all people know where the bodies are buried….. i wonder how many she will take down with her??

    Barack hussein Obama’s birth certificate anyone??

    dare to dream!!!

  106. After reviewing the above tape and noting the wonderful contribution Nanny Poopie made to our country and the world by maintaining her silence when she was presented with evidence of extreme interrogation techniques on more than one occasion, I have only one question. It goes to the comments of that Uria Heap from Indiana:

    Question: when the estimable Congessman Roemer (D-In) gives those two I Love Poosie buttons to his “5 year daughter old Sara and his 2 year daughter old Grace”, and tells them “how the talent and dreams of women and people (Q: I never knew there was a difference) around the world are boundless tonight because of what a spendiferous example Poopsie has set”, will he also tell them about waterboarding? Or, will he wait a few years and deal with it in the context of the birds and bees?

    The cia has provided information question of water boarding was discussed

  107. There is zero question in my mind that this was a set up. Just remember, when Raul Emanuel went to see Pelosi while she was busy larding the stimulus bill with so much pork that it was coming out her ears and asked sought to intervene in that process on behalf of Bambi to make sure his Chicago backers were greased she told him to tell his boss that she ran the House not him. At that point, I said he would have to get rid of her. And now, with the release of this interrogation information, he has set the wheels in motion to do so. Hoyer is a worm. Perfect for the job. He will always do his masters bidding. He has the backbone of a jelly fish/ In that respect, he resembles our dearly beloved big media.

  108. Nancy hasn’t learned that when you are in a hole…Stop digging……Even with her lie that “they said they were thinking about torture and hadn’t done it”, is an admission to being a War Criminal:

    “if they knew, or had information which should have enabled them to conclude in the circumstances at the time, that he was committing or about to commit such a breach and if they did not take all feasible measures within their power to prevent or repress the breach.”
    (“AP I”) of 1977 to the Geneva Conventions of 1949

    “Or about to commit”…She is toast…indict, prosecute, sentence (Under US law the max sentence is death)

  109. I’m not so sure this is the end of Pelosi. She has a lot of power behind her, knows some politically-damaging secrets I’m sure, and my understanding is that a number of dems are supporting her against obama about this.

  110. Or about to commit”…She is toast…indict, prosecute, sentence (Under US law the max sentence is death)
    ——————————
    When it comes to the sentencing phase, I would argue on behalf of the American People that this is no time for half measures.

  111. here’s a link.

    now I’m gonna go watch. hehehehehe

    yidwithlid dot blogspot dot com/2009/05/video-of-pelosis-press-conference dot html

  112. wbboei Says:
    There is zero question in my mind that this was a set up.
    *************
    Indirectly by the Republicans. I think Boehner, Goss are using a brilliant strategy to get the previous administration out of the “torture investigation” sights. They are telling Obama, with the example of Pelosi, that they will use a strategy of “mutual assured destruction” and it’s working. Obama’s sudden flip on the “pictures” is proof that it is working and that he doesn’t have the balls to play hard ball.

    The damage done to Pelosi by release of the memos was, IMO, stupidity and not malice. They were in the same situation with the memos as with the pictures; an appeals court had ordered release under FOI and Obama felt the lesser problem was to release rather than go back to court in a futile effort to block release. Obama has now gone back to his tried and true tactic, let someone else (the court) do the dirty work and then blame them for the problems.

  113. I’m not so sure this is the end of Pelosi. She has a lot of power behind her, knows some politically-damaging secrets I’m sure, and my understanding is that a number of dems are supporting her against obama about this.
    ———————-
    Jan: if it is not the end of pelosi, then it is the tipping point in bambi’s power grid. She is now the living example of torture three steps down in the line of succession. He has made a big production out of being unalterable opposed to it. It is the centerpiece of his I am not Bush message to the world. If he cannot see it through it is a sign of weakness. No question he wants her out of the way so he can eviscerate social security.

    I am not sure Nancy realizes that Bambi and Emanuel were the architects of her demise. But I believe some of her staffers and allies are smart enough to figure this out. Repugant though it may seem, Liberals (as opposed to Republicans) are potential allies in this struggle against this front man for the Corporate State. To be clear however, I am not talking about bots. I am talking about the thinking ones, who believe their values are more important than their allegiance to that General MacArthur in an entirely different context once described as “these temporary occupants of the White House.”

  114. ANOTHER FLIP FLOP IN THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION…..THIS TIME ITS NEPALITANO’S TURN

    DHS report withdrawnposted

    at 9:29 am on May 14, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

    DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano finally acknowledged defeat publicly on her department’s report on right-wing extremism. In a hearing yesterday held by the House Homeland Security Committee, Napolitano acknowledged that the report should never have been issued, that it replaced specific threats with generalities, and that the new report would focus on actual threats. The person who released the report faces “personnel action”:

    A contentious “Rightwing Extremism” report that warned of military veterans as possible recruits for terrorist attacks against the U.S. was not authorized, has been withdrawn and is being rewritten, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told Capitol Hill lawmakers. …
    Ms. Napolitano said the report titled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” is not the only report she has seen that says veterans are targets for recruitment by racist and other hate groups.
    “It was an assessment, not an accusation,” Ms. Napolitano said.
    “It didn’t say that,” [Rep. Christopher] Carney [(D-PA)] interrupted.
    “That’s right,” Ms. Napolitano responded. “That is why it should not have gone out.”
    Asked whether the person who wrote the report is still employed, Ms. Napolitano said, “Appropriate personnel action is being taken.”

    It was actually neither. Unlike its counterpart report on the left wing, it mentioned no actual threats nor reviewed any specific groups with histories of violent action. Those groups exist, and they do try to recruit people, including but not limited to military veterans. Instead of focusing on the groups, though, the DHS report instead chose to associate broad policy positions with violence as well as describe returning veterans as a potential national-security threat in and of themselves.
    Napolitano then told the committee that no process for vetting reports existed, and that DHS is now working to fix that. However, that’s not true either. We already know that civil-liberties lawyers at DHS saw the report before it went out and objected to it. DHS released it over their objections. Obviously, a vetting process does exist; it just got overruled. Who made the decision to send out the report over their objections? Why didn’t the vetting process that apparently took place get taken seriously by senior DHS leadership? Is it because they themselves believe what the report said about conservative positions on federalism and abortion?
    There still seems to be an honesty problem at DHS, and there is still a personnel problem — at the very top.

    hotair.com/archives/2009/05/14/dhs-report-withdrawn/

  115. Well, I HATE linking mess nbc but this is a better version fo the pooplosie presser.

    thecaucus dot blogs dot nytimes dot com/2009/05/14/pelosi-cia-misled-congress-over-waterboarding/

    scroll halfway down the page for the video.

  116. Wow, Ben. What an analysis!

    ‘I personally don’t think Obama ever intended that there would be prosecutions or even a truth commission. This was a big-time political power play that accomplished three goals: further demonize the Bush admin, totally distract the media and the American people, and throw Nancy Pelosi under the bus.

    Of course Obama knew what the reaction would be when he released those first CIA memos, and he knew that Pelosi would get wrapped around the axle. She became expendable when her initial job was done, which was putting together the massive stimulus bill.

  117. IF YOUR BOYS ARE IN BOY SCOUTS….. THIS IS A MUST READ!!

    Boy Scouts Train to Become Homeland Gestapo
    Kurt Nimmo
    Infowars

    Once upon a time the Boy Scouts were about camping, backpacking, and canoeing. Boy Scouts were into high adventure and sporting activities. Scouts were about preventing forest fires and “Do a Good Turn Daily.” Scouts worked with the Salvation Army and the Red Cross. They cherished ideals such as the Cub Scout Promise and the Law of the Pack.

    Now the Boy Scouts have a new mission — fighting terrorism, rounding up illegal aliens, search and destroying marijuana fields, and embracing the SWAT mentality.

    “The Explorers program, a coeducational affiliate of the Boy Scouts of America that began 60 years ago, is training thousands of young people in skills used to confront terrorism, illegal immigration and escalating border violence — an intense ratcheting up of one of the group’s longtime missions to prepare youths for more traditional jobs as police officers and firefighters,” reports the New York Times.

    Homeland Security and the FBI are behind the effort to indoctrinate and train the Boy Scouts to become tomorrow’s Gestapo. “Our end goal is to create more agents,” April McKee, a senior Border Patrol agent, told the New York Times. “Before it was more about the basics,” said Johnny Longoria, a Border Patrol agent. “But now our emphasis is on terrorism, illegal entry, drugs and human smuggling.”

    READ MORE HERE:

    infowars.com/boy-scouts-train-to-become-homeland-gestapo/

  118. djia Says:
    May 14th, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    IF YOUR BOYS ARE IN BOY SCOUTS….. THIS IS A MUST READ!!
    ***********
    I guess they got a copy of the “Hitler Jungen” manual

  119. Indirectly by the Republicans. I think Boehner, Goss are using a brilliant strategy to get the previous administration out of the “torture investigation” sights. They are telling Obama, with the example of Pelosi, that they will use a strategy of “mutual assured destruction” and it’s working. Obama’s sudden flip on the “pictures” is proof that it is working and that he doesn’t have the balls to play hard ball.
    ———————————————————
    SHV: there is no question that Boehner wants to force his opponent off balance since she has been rolling over him quite alot in recent days.

    But on the larger question of how does this whole controversy got started, I am more inclined to attribute this mishap to intelligent design, than to negligence or crass casualty. There is strong circumstantial evidence to that effect. Admin is suggesting as much, and so does Independent Ben.

    I have come to believe that there is a very ambitious game plan at work here, to convert our country into a socialistic model, and to subordinate our sovereignty to world regulatory bodies. I agree entirely with the sociopathic leader analysis, but beyond that I also think there is a gameplan it which is being pursued to screw the American People, even more than Bush did.

    There is a type of machiavellian leader who creates problems so he can solve them. A type who undermines people who get in his way. A type who when he gets caught, blames other people, calls it a mistake, and gives a speech. Isn’t that really who we are dealing with here. And therefore ought we not to consider that these things are intentional moves in a preordained gameplan.

    I may be assuming too much. But I don’t think so.

  120. bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&refer=columnist_reilly&sid=a8gcKnWHJGWk

    GM Retirees Bully Bondholders With Obama’s Help
    David Reilly
    May 13 (Bloomberg)

    In reality, GM’s demise comes down to a fight between retirees.

    On one side are GM’s unionized retired workers. On the other, are the rest of us — either in retirement or saving for it.

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

    Oh, what bullshit!

    Here’s Bloomberg casting the elderly workers who earned their retirement contract benefits and are too old to start over — as somehow less important than outside investors.

    Sounds like an example of what Litle at Taipan was talking about — except that the writer does not think Obama is doing enough for the bondholders.

  121. BLOGGING ABOUT BLOGGERS….BLAH BLAH BLOG

    realclearpolitics.blogs.time.com/2009/05/13/dscc-hires-daily-kos-blogger

    May 13th, 2009
    DSCC Hires Daily Kos Blogger
    =====================

    The netroots’ increasing influence on the national political scene has just taken another step forward. On Monday, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee hired Arjun Jaikumar to serve as the blog and netroots outreach manager.

    Jaikumar is better known in the netroots community as Brownsox, a frontpage blogger for Daily Kos.

    “We are thrilled to have Arjun join our team,” DSCC spokesman Eric Schultz wrote in an e-mail to RCP. “He’s talented, smart, and will help strengthen our relationships with the ever-expanding netroots community.”

    RCP spotted Jaikumar in Arlington, Va., on Monday at a fundraiser for gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe. He said he was there unofficially and noted that he had just been hired by the DSCC.

    Earlier in the day, Jaikumar wrote in his final blog post on Daily Kos that this was “a great moment for the netroots – three and a half years ago, I was an anonymous, underemployed college graduate who stumbled across Daily Kos while looking for news on Senate races. Now, I’m going to be employed by one of the party committees.”

    The DSCC is not alone in its strategy for netroots outreach. Hotline’s Blogometer noted yesterday that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-N.Y.) campaign has also hired a netroots blogger — MyDD’s Todd Beeton.

  122. wbboei Says:
    May 14th, 2009 at 10:36 am

    Independent Ben: how would you propose to counter the Alinskey strategy under these circumstances, e.g. with the press in his hip pocket,

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

    Big Media is a sand castle. Blog away, one grain at a time.

  123. wbboei said:
    Repugant though it may seem, Liberals (as opposed to Republicans) are potential allies in this struggle against this front man for the Corporate State.

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

    And this may, repugnantly, include the Botoxed Backstabber herself.

  124. gameplan it which is being pursued to screw the American People
    **********
    I agree..the actor on stage have changed but the script writers haven’t.

    ******
    I am more inclined to attribute this mishap to intelligent design, than to negligence or crass casualty.
    *******
    That was my initial impression but I am beginning to think that these are two bit political hacks who are out of their class on the national level. Obama is a dumb as a box of rocks and doesn’t want to be bothered actually doing work, so I am not sure who are the people calling the plays, especially at DOJ.

  125. SHV Says:
    I think Boehner, Goss are using a brilliant strategy to get the previous administration out of the “torture investigation” sights. They are telling Obama, with the example of Pelosi, that they will use a strategy of “mutual assured destruction” and it’s working.

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

    And the CIA can create evidence by the barrelfull.

  126. # JanH Says:
    May 14th, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    I’m not so sure this is the end of Pelosi. She has a lot of power behind her, knows some politically-damaging secrets I’m sure, and my understanding is that a number of dems are supporting her against obama about this.

    Agreed, but she knows that Obama is in control of whether there will be a special prosecutor or a truth commission. I think getting put under oath is what would finish her off at this point. In that respect, she’s pretty much under his thumb.

    The damage has been done to Pelosi and the Bush crowd in the court of public opinion, and I would be shocked if Obama now flips and orders a truth commission or personally releases any further memos. What the CIA says about Pelosi is a different story, and I’m sure they will react since she’s accused them of lying. If Obama says anything further, he will fall back on national security and express his desire to “move on” and not dwell on the past.

  127. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano finally acknowledged defeat publicly on her department’s report on right-wing extremism. In a hearing yesterday held by the House Homeland Security Committee, Napolitano acknowledged that the report should never have been issued, that it replaced specific threats with generalities, and that the new report would focus on actual threats.
    ——————————
    Sounds like a perfect candidate for the Supreme Court. When they got around to the governor of Washington I figured Bambi could never go lower. With his recent mention of this incompetent fool for the Supreme Court he has proven everyone wrong. How would you like to read an opinion by Associate Justice Napolitano in ALR?

  128. And this may, repugnantly, include the Botoxed Backstabber herself.
    ———————————————————-
    Oh, but it does, most definitely. Through Ted Kennedy and his exectutor Felix Rohatin right to Wall Street. The liberal progressive facade was always a front. Like her daddy before her–the one time mayor of Baltimore.

  129. turndown: belay my last. I misundertood. I thought you were saying that she too was a representative of the corporate state. She is and that is what I said. But when you say she may turn against Bambi for that reason I am not sure. Read what Independent Ben said about it above and see if you do not agree. He can hold the threat of appointing a Special Prosecutor over her head and get her to march to his drum. Obama is a back shooter and that is his style.

  130. CIA hits back at Pelosi bad memory:

    “(snip)
    Pelosi kicked things off early by charging that CIA briefers lied to her seven years ago when they said they had gotten legal approval to waterboard captured Al Qaeda ally Abu Zubaydah but had not used the brutal technique on him yet.

    Au contraire, sayeth CIA spokesman George Little, who noted that a chart recently given to Congress listing every briefing to them on “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” (EITs) since 9/11 shows that Pelosi was indeed told in September 2002 that CIA had begun waterboarding Zubaydah a month earlier, in August 2002 – 83 times, in fact.

    Read more:ww.nydailynews.com/blogs/dc/2009/05/cia-to-cheney-and-pelosi-stop.html#ixzz0FVT48dQj&B

  131. The damage has been done to Pelosi and the Bush crowd in the court of public opinion, and I would be shocked if Obama now flips and orders a truth commission or personally releases any further memos. What the CIA says about Pelosi is a different story, and I’m sure they will react since she’s accused them of lying. If Obama says anything further, he will fall back on national security and express his desire to “move on” and not dwell on the past.
    ————————-
    Will that be enough, though, to satisfy those on his left flank? This is where they live. Not the bots, the thinkers–like the ACLU/

  132. wbboei,

    I’m sorry my posts have been so badly written lately (health problems). I thought I was agreeing with you. It is repugnant to think of having to ally with the Botoxed Backstabber on anything, but lately she does seem to have stood up for family planning and SS and I forget what else — against Obama’s corporate agenda.

    I’m sure she too is a product and tool of the rich, but she has been standing up against a few of the worst things lately.

  133. I tend to think Pelosi will survive and thrive…lots of power being SOH, and lots of loyalty.

  134. From the “America’s Finest News Source”, the Onion:

    theonion.com/content/news_briefs/hillary_clinton_launches

    Hillary Clinton Launches Intimidating New Fragrance Line
    ========================================

    April 21, 2009

    CHAPPAQUA, NY—Unveiling a bold scent described by its manufacturer as “steely, bracing, and curt, with notes of patent leather, sandalwood, and wool serge,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched her own line of soaps, eaux de toilette, and body splashes Thursday. The new fragrance, called “Authorité,” was designed to evoke the olfactory equivalent of sensible shoes clicking purposefully down a marble-tiled hallway. “Our distinguished parfumeurs—and, more importantly, Madame Secretary—have created exactly the right tone, a scent that brooks no argument,” spokesperson Etienne Falbaum said. “This is a controlled, competent, and, above all, patient essence that makes men sit up, take notice, and not speak until spoken to.” Advertising inserts scented with Authorité will be featured in upcoming editions of Elle, The Economist, and The New York Review of Books.

  135. Independent Ben Says:

    May 14th, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    I would be shocked if Obama now flips and orders a truth commission or personally releases any further memos.

    ************************
    what will it say to the american people about BHO & the dims if he [bho] doesn’t???

    does he not find himself in a place where he is FORCED to call a “truth commission” into place on this???

  136. For those who think the press cannot fairly cover Obama, The Onion has this story that confirms this.

    theonion.com/content/news/media_having_trouble_finding_right

    Media Having Trouble Finding Right Angle On Obama’s Double-Homicide
    ==================================================

    April 14, 2009

    WASHINGTON—More than a week after President Barack Obama’s cold-blooded killing of a local couple, members of the American news media admitted Tuesday that they were still trying to find the best angle for covering the gruesome crime.

    “I know there’s a story in there somewhere,” said Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, referring to Obama’s home invasion and execution-style slaying of Jeff and Sue Finowicz on Apr. 8. “Right now though, it’s probably best to just sit back and wait for more information to come in. After all, the only thing we know for sure is that our president senselessly murdered two unsuspecting Americans without emotion or hesitation.”

  137. Will that be enough, though, to satisfy those on his left flank? This is where they live. Not the bots, the thinkers–like the ACLU/
    **********
    This is part of an e-mail from the ACLU

    “he debate about the release of these photos will continue in the courts, and the ACLU will be there to argue for transparency and to insist that a democracy thrives on the free flow of information.
    I urge you to act on your deepest beliefs about what kind of country we are. Join the ACLU in calling on President Obama to put the full weight of his leadership behind our call for transparency and accountability.”

    They still are giving him some cover, but the ACLU e-mails are getting more “pissed off” at Obama. The ACLU will be like the wife who has been cheated on, Obama played them for fools…I think this has now become personal with the ACLU lawyers.

  138. wbboei said:
    I have come to believe that there is a very ambitious game plan at work here, to convert our country into a socialistic model

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

    Facists in socialist clothing?

  139. SHV Says:
    May 14th, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    That was my initial impression but I am beginning to think that these are two bit political hacks who are out of their class on the national level. Obama is a dumb as a box of rocks and doesn’t want to be bothered actually doing work, so I am not sure who are the people calling the plays, especially at DOJ.

    I’ll agree that Obama is out of his league when it comes to governing, but we all know that he and his Chicago inner circle are masters at this kind of politics. He’s perfected his role of appearing to be “above the fray,” when he is the one who is actually pulling all the strings in this torture firestorm that has consumed Washington. Alinsky would be proud. Obama says let’s move on, and leaves both sides pissed off at each other. Those who want prosecutions or at least some kind of truth commission will be frustrated, and the Bush folks can’t be too happy about publicly being accused of war crimes.

  140. Facists in socialist clothing?
    **********
    Good description!!!

    The National Socialist German Workers’ Party was big on social welfare, govt health care, govt child care but I don’t think anyone would call Hilter a lefty.

  141. I’ll agree that Obama is out of his league when it comes to governing, but we all know that he and his Chicago inner circle are masters at this kind of politics. He’s perfected his role of appearing to be “above the fray,” when he is the one who is actually pulling all the strings in this torture firestorm that has consumed Washington. Alinsky would be proud. Obama says let’s move on, and leaves both sides pissed off at each other. Those who want prosecutions or at least some kind of truth commission will be frustrated, and the Bush folks can’t be too happy about publicly being accused of war crimes.
    **********
    Good description of the Chicago Mob tactics but after only four months there are big cracks appearing in his political base. Time will tell but I think that Obama, Axelrod, Jarrett, Pritzker et al are way over their heads.

  142. Kremlin says battle for resources may lead to wars
    1 day ago

    MOSCOW (AP) — A Kremlin policy paper says international relations will be shaped by battles over energy resources, which may trigger military conflicts along Russian borders.

    The National Security Strategy paper also says Russia will seek an equal partnership with the U.S. But it says American missile defense plans are among top threats to national security.

    The document lists the main challenges to national security and lays out government priorities through 2020. It has been signed by President Dmitry Medvedev and was posted on the presidential Security Council’s Web site Wednesday.

    Medvedev’s predecessor Vladimir Putin has previously accused the West of trying to expand its clout in the ex-Soviet nations and push Russia out of its traditional sphere of influence.

    google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gvR1U7EQ6mod-sV5DLg68uAlq65wD98596J03

  143. “I’ll agree that Obama is out of his league when it comes to governing, but we all know that he and his Chicago inner circle are masters at this kind of politics.”

    Ben, aptly put. I will sit tight and wait to see what will come back to haunt him. He has to push his luck too far at some point, no?

  144. There was an article in the Wall Street Journal this weekend about efforts by the administration to set wage rates for investment bankers for TARP and non-TARP recipients. Shortly thereafter, Bill Clinton was asked about this and he said these banks should pay off taxpayers within five years but should be free to set their own standards of compensation.

    What he did not say is that New York and London are in competition to be the financial center of the Western World, and government regulation of compensation practices (as opposed to investment stategies) could force a brain drain to London. (Note: this is not a brief for 45 million dollar bonuses–that is abusive).

    The Journal article noted that this move to take over compensation practices of Wall Street would be “controversial”. I don’t see why. After all, this is merely an attempt to take over our finacial system. What harm could there possible be to that. After all, it is a well known fact that goverment bureaucats can be trusted to act only in the public interest, and never exceed the scope of their mandate.

    Before you dismiss this concern as fantasy island, think about it in the context of his unilateral decision to subordinate our economic system to world government regulation. Here is the rub: before he made his trip to Europe for the G-20 meeting American Corporations were regulated by Treasury and the Security and Exchange Commission. During the course of that meeting Bambi agreed to subordinate the regulatory authority of those two agencies to a body of 20 world bankers in which we would have only one vote. This applies to any American Corporation which has a substantial effect on global commerce.

    This is all part of an uber gameplan, and it must be seen in that light–not episodically, but systemically. As the evidence continues to mount, I am forced to the conclusion that his domestic goal is socialism, his international goal is to subordinate our sovereignty to world bodies. If socialism guaranteed a distribution based on merit, I might not be opposed to it. If world bodies had the proven ability to respect our rights as Americans I would be more sanguine. Unfortuately, the weight of the evidence is all to the contrary.

    I ventured over to the FOX website last night and they had some egghead phd who was saying that Clinton and Reagan were more alike than different–a dubious proposition at best. But when they asked him the pregnant follow-up question what about the current administration, he cowered and did not respond. Instead he contended that he did not know what Obama stands for because we are in a crisis. He reminded me of he man who did not know Hitler invaded Poland because he was standing on the shore of Normandy watching the gulls fly, and picturing a Monet painting.

  145. djia Says:
    May 14th, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    what will it say to the american people about BHO & the dims if he [bho] doesn’t???

    does he not find himself in a place where he is FORCED to call a “truth commission” into place on this???

    I don’t really think so. For what polls are worth, a recent Rasmussen found that about 53% are opposed to investigations and prosecutions over this issue. Sure, there will be plenty of people upset that there isn’t at least some kind airing of all the facts, but most will get over it. Obama is being applauded right now by many conservatives, and the media is picking up on the meme that he was initially motivated by morality and transparency in releasing the CIA memos, but now Obama has listened to his generals and has realized that he must put national security and the safety of troops in the field first.

  146. DISTRACTION OF THE DAY: ANOTHER TOWN HALL PHOTO-OP, MORE “OBAMA: MAN OF ACTION” THEATRICS

    Lemme guess. Real issue, fake solutions. Promise reform, deliver a bill written by industry insiders.

    Lemme guess. “The details will be released real soon”.

    Obama urges Congress to act on credit card bill
    =================================

    By DARLENE SUPERVILLE, Associated Press Writer Darlene Superville, Associated Press Writer – 50 mins ago
    RIO RANCHO, N.M. – President Barack Obama urged Congress on Thursday to quickly send him legislation ending abusive credit card practices. But his populist appeal also included a stern warning to shoppers whose eyes are bigger than their budgets.

    “There’s no doubt that people need to accept responsibility,” Obama said at a town hall-style appearance at a high school here. “This is not free money — it’s debt and you should not take on more than you can handle.”

    Obama’s event began with a testimonial from a woman who said she had been mistreated by her credit card company when her interest rate inexplicably and suddenly shot up to 30 percent. Obama’s audience also included several dozen other people who have expressed frustrations in letters and e-mails to the president about their credit card companies.

    He asked for accountability from individual citizens who often buy far more than they can afford.

    “Banks are businesses too. So they have a right to insist that timely payments are made,” Obama said.

    Still, his main purpose in appearing here was to lobby Congress from afar to make it harder for credit card companies to hike interest rates precipitously, charge unfair late fees, or impose other impossible conditions on consumers.

    “Those days are over,” he said.

    “This is America and we don’t begrudge a company’s success when that success is based on honest dealings with consumers,” Obama said. “We need reform to restore some sense of balance.”

    With Obama demanding a bill on his desk by Memorial Day, the House has approved legislation containing some of the protections Obama seeks. A slightly different version is pending in the Senate, where a vote could come as early as this week.

    Both measures would ban interest rate increases on previous balances in most cases, and require that customers be given 45 days notice before their rates are hiked. The bills also would deter companies from giving a credit card to minors.

    The issue is a top one for Obama, particularly as the recession continues and consumers complain about being abused by credit card issuers. Nearly 80 percent of U.S. households have a credit card, and just under half carry a balance, according to the White House.

    Obama also discussed the bill in his radio and Internet address last Saturday. And he had industry representatives come to the White House for a meeting last month.

    “We didn’t agree on anything — everything — as you might imagine,” Obama said about the meeting, then laughing as he realized his verbal mistake. “That was a slip of the tongue,” he joked. “We didn’t agree on everything.”

    Indeed, as the industry isn’t sitting quiet.

    The American Bankers Association has warned senators that the measure could backfire by restricting credit for consumers at a time when they need it the most. The industry also argues that new rules by the Federal Reserve, scheduled to take effect in July 2010, address many of the concerns expressed by Obama and members of Congress. Obama doesn’t believe those rules go far enough to fix the problem.

  147. I don’t really think so. For what polls are worth, a recent Rasmussen found that about 53% are opposed to investigations and prosecutions over this issue.
    ************
    The Rule of law shouldn’t be a popularity contest or at a minimum, the President shouldn’t be the one deciding which laws should or shouldn’t be enforced. If Obama feels that we should move on, then he has the power of Presidential pardon.

  148. independent ben

    next question then…. can BHO stop a truth commission from happening??

    and if he does then what does that do to him ?

    isn’t he screwed in the minds of most [not socialists or bots of course] of the american people either way it goes down??

  149. The quote from above might be an indication of who is going to be involved in writing the legistlation. Toward the end of the AP article:

    “Obama also discussed the bill in his radio and Internet address last Saturday. And he had industry representatives come to the White House for a meeting last month. “
    &&&&&&&&

    Hey, obama, why didn’t you invite advocates of credit card oversight and reform? And isn’t your veep’s home state Delaware capital of credit card sleeze?

  150. OBAMA’S FAUX HUMILITY:

    NQ has this link showing his attempt at being humorous, but to me, it comes off as smug. He also makes a stupid sports joke, and then makes another tasteless joke about sic’ing the IRS on the ASU dean. He wants to get credit for his effortless career path. Yeah, dude, WHAT have you accomplished??

    1 minute 50 seconds, if you can handle listening to his voice (vomit alert)

    noquarterusa.net/blog/2009/05/14/obamas-confession-at-asu

  151. Nunc pro tunc??? (then as now???) Perhaps not. But the similarities are, to say the least, striking. How do you think it will look a year from now? Will more people awaken? Time will tell.

    1. James A. C. Brown, quotes about Nazi: Communism and fascism or nazism, although poles apart in their intellectual content, are similar in this, that both have emotional appeal to the type of personality that takes pleasure in being submerged in a mass movement and submitting to superior authority.

    2. Joseph Paul Goebbels: During a war, news should be given out for instruction rather than information. Not every item of news should be published. Rather must those who control news policies endeavor to make every item of news serve a certain purpose.It is the absolute right of the state to supervise the formation of public opinion.

    3. Hermann Goering: Why of course the people don’t want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don’t want war neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

  152. This is what one organization is blast faxing to congressmen and congresswomen in re. Pelosi. And what is her defense? That she was misled. That is the kind of lie that will make every CIA operative across the world bristle and wonder who has got their back.

    Meanwhile, Stennie is putting brasso on his newly acquired admirals stars, to the tune of out with the madwoman in with the worm. The botox industry will never be the same, but stock in old crow corn whiskey just went though the roof. Buy a case and get a botox treatment free. And don’t say we never looked out for you.
    ————————————–

    Does Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi think the American people are stupid or is she just A LYING HYPOCRITE?

    It is now all but obvious that Pelosi not only knew about the enhanced interrogation techniques being used by U.S. intelligence officials on terrorist detainees in the aftermath of 9-11…

    ..but Pelosi seemingly condoned the harsh interrogations as far back as 2002.

    As first reported by The Washington Post back in December 2007, a group of lawmakers, including Pelosi, “was given a virtual tour of the CIA’s overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.”

    “Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding. … no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.”

    In the same Post article, one U.S. official present during the early briefings stated:

    “[T]here was no objecting, no hand-wringing. The attitude was, ‘We don’t care what you do to those guys as long as you get the information you need to protect the American people.’ ”

    Yet Pelosi — who is now second in the Presidential line of succession — continues to try to weasel her way out of public scrutiny as SHE PUTS POLITICS AHEAD OF OUR NATION’S SECURITY.

    As she ramps up calls to investigate, prosecute and even jail Bush Justice Department officials and U.S. intelligence agents who were following orders and working to prevent another terrorist attack on U.S. soil, Pelosi has the audacity to look the American people in the eye and seemingly lie about what she knew and when she knew it.

    Back in April of 2007, Pelosi accused then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales of lying and demanded his RESIGNATION.

    “… Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has lost the trust of the American people. The nation cannot have a chief law enforcement officer whose candor and judgment are in serious question. The president should restore credibility to the office of the attorney general. Alberto Gonzales must resign.”

    Pelosi was right about what should happen when the American people lose trust in our nation’s leaders. So to her statement, we would like to add the following:

    By her actions, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has lost the trust of the American people. The nation cannot have a Speaker of the House — a person who, by law, stands right behind the Vice-President in the presidential line of succession — whose candor and judgment are in serious question. Credibility must be restored to the House of Representatives. Nancy Pelosi MUST RESIGN.

    PELOSI SET THE STANDARD; SHE MUST NOW SET THE EXAMPLE AND LIVE UP TO IT.

    She cannot credibly join extreme leftists in Congress and call for “investigations” and “hearings” into the aggressive interrogation techniques used against terrorist detainees and jeopardize our national security and potentially put the lives of innocent Americans at risk… now that it is known that she was FULLY BRIEFED and RAISED NO OBJECTIONS MORE THAN 7 YEARS AGO.

    Her lack of “candor” in the matter simply CANNOT be tolerated.

    Nancy Pelosi MUST RESIGN.

    ——————————————————————————–
    Use the button below to send your urgent Blast Faxes to Barack Obama and EACH AND EVERY Member of the Leadership of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate. Tell them in no uncertain terms that Nancy Pelosi’s actions go beyond hypocrisy and games of political gotcha.

    Tell them that Pelosi’s willingness to compromise national security, potentially ruin the lives of patriotic Americans and place American lives at risk is a betrayal of the American people whom she is duty-bound to serve. Tell them you do not simply want Pelosi investigated… you do not simply want to compel her to testify.

    Tell our elected officials that you want Pelosi gone.

  153. Clinton welcomes North Korea trial date for reporters

    Thu May 14, 2009

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States welcomed on Thursday North Korea’s decision to set a trial date for two U.S. journalists arrested in March and said there was an “open door” to resume talks on ending Pyongyang’s nuclear programs.

    However, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also told reporters that the United States was not interested in “chasing after” North Korea or offering the impoverished communist state incentives to return to the negotiating table.

    North Korea said it would put the two journalists, who were arrested along the North Korea-China border and accused of illegally entering North Korea, on trial on June 4.
    Analysts said the reclusive North sees them as bargaining chips to try to win concessions out of the government of U.S. President Barack Obama, which is pressing Pyongyang to return to stalled nuclear disarmament talks.

    Clinton welcomed the fact that the trial was set to begin shortly, adding “the fact that they are now going to have some process we believe is a signal that there can be, and I hope will be, a resolution as soon as possible.” “We intend to have an open door for a return to the six-party talks,” Clinton added, referring to talks among the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States on ending North Korea’s nuclear programs.

    “The ball is in the North Korean court. We are not concerned about chasing after North Korea and offering concessions to North Korea.”

    reuters.com/article/vcCandidateFeed1/idUSTRE54D5GH20090514

  154. Clinton: Myanmar should release opposition leader

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is urging Myanmar to immediately release pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi (ahng sahn soo chee).
    Clinton told reporters at the State Department on Thursday that she was deeply troubled by Myanmar’s “baseless charge” against the Nobel Peace laureate. She says the government is looking for a “pretext” to place further unjust restrictions on Suu Kyi (soo chee).

    Suu Kyi faces new charges less than two weeks before her house arrest is due to end after an American man swam across a lake and entered her home.

    Supporters accused the military government of using the incident to keep her in detention ahead of general elections scheduled next year.

    google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hGMfx81z4NHlmqmyuU597mpoeKXwD98673P82

  155. House Approves War Funding as Democrats Criticize Obama Policy

    By Brian Faler

    May 14 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. House approved a $96.7 billion bill that includes money for President Barack Obama’s troop buildup in Afghanistan, a strategy some Democrats said they doubted would work. The chamber voted 368 to 60 today to approve the legislation that also funds the war in Iraq. Several lawmakers said the administration has one year to show its plan to send 21,000 additional troops to Afghanistan is enough to turn around the seven-and-a-half-year-old conflict.

    The lawmakers questioned the Afghan and Pakistani governments’ ability or willingness to root out extremists and added provisions to the bill ordering the White House to submit a progress report on the war next year, before it asks Congress for more money. “I don’t believe in the operation,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, a Wisconsin Democrat. He said lawmakers are giving Obama “every single thing he asked for and then some so that a year from now we can have an honest, hard-nosed review about whether or not that policy is receiving the kind of cooperation and whether those two governments are demonstrating the kind of activities and competence” needed to succeed. Obey, a 40-year veteran of the House, said he had “very little faith” the U.S. efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan would work. “Those governments are corrupt, they are weak, they are chaotic, they appear to lack the focus and cohesion and effectiveness to turn the countries around.” He also said, “It’s a mess and let’s hope that, with God’s help, we can get out of it in a reasonably decent time.”

    Lawmakers rejected elements of the administration’s war funding proposal, including its request for money to shut down the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Some House members said the administration hasn’t adequately explained what it intends to do with those held there.

    Added Money

    Democrats, who control the House, added $12 billion to the administration’s spending request, including $2.25 billion to buy eight C-17 aircraft the Pentagon did not request. Representative Jerry Lewis of California, the top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, said he supported the legislation. He expressed concern, though, that it didn’t go far enough to ensure the Defense Department does not use other funds to move prisoners at Guantanamo to civilian facilities in the United States.

    The Senate Appropriations Committee took up its own version of the legislation today. The panel intends to omit funding for the C-17s while adding Obama’s request for additional funding for the International Monetary Fund. Senate Democrats aim to complete work on the legislation by the end of next week.

    The administration last month requested $83.4 billion to help fund the conflicts this year in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as other initiatives. The spending would boost the total cost of the wars to more than $900 billion.

    More Troops

    Obama announced in February and March he would send a total of 21,000 additional troops to Afghanistan. That’s designed to bring the total number of U.S. troops there to 68,000 by the end of this year. Obama sent the spending bill to Congress last month, stressing the need for more money to fund the war in Afghanistan. “This funding request will ensure that the full force of the United States — our military, intelligence, diplomatic and economic power — are engaged in an overall effort to defeat al- Qaeda and uproot the safe haven from which it plans and trains for attack,” he said in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat.

    In subsequent congressional hearings, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Envoy Richard Holbrooke faced skeptical questions from lawmakers about whether the administration is making an open-ended commitment to the war in Afghanistan. The lawmakers also complained about corruption in the Afghan and Pakistani governments, the poppy trade there and the treatment of women in the region.

    Pentagon Announcement

    The Pentagon announced this week it was replacing the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, General David McKiernan, with Lieutenant General Stanley McChrystal.
    Representative Jim McGovern, a Massachusetts Democrat, said Obama’s troop buildup would only make it harder to withdraw from a war that lacks a “clearly defined mission.” “I wish the current administration would do in Afghanistan what I asked the previous administration to do in Iraq: And that is to simply put forth a clearly defined policy, a clearly defined mission — it’s not a radical idea,” McGovern said. “I am tired of wars with no exits, no deadlines and no end.”

    The bill is H.R. 2346.

    bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=au7jAdKzr4xY&refer=us

  156. # djia Says:
    May 14th, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    next question then…. can BHO stop a truth commission from happening??

    and if he does then what does that do to him ?

    isn’t he screwed in the minds of most [not socialists or bots of course] of the american people either way it goes down??

    I’m not 100% positive but I believe the president would in fact have to appoint a bipartisan truth commission. Remember after 9/11? GWB initially opposed a commission and really gave no good reason for doing so. He eventually caved to political pressure because an overwhelming majority of Americans wanted one.

    I’m not trying to downplay the seriousness of this issue; I just don’t think there is that kind of momentum, either in Congress or nationally, for months of investigation and public hearings into the waterboarding of three al-Qaeda guys back in 2002 and 2003. I also think that the media for the most part will fall in line. The spin has already begun that Obama is a pragmatist after all, and that he has now become the great war-time president who made a tough decision in the interests of national security and the safety of the troops.

    Of course, I could be dead wrong about all of this. Perhaps I wouldn’t feel so cynical about all of this if there was even one example of him ever standing up for something based on principle or morality.

  157. Bush Justice Department officials and U.S. intelligence agents who were following orders..
    ***********
    Ah…..The Nuremberg defense.. “I vas only following orders”…those guys ended up getting strangled.

  158. President Obama: Media Critic

    May 14, 2009

    Annoy the media, elect Obama?

    It hardly seems likely that such a slogan would catch on, as did a version for President George HW Bush in 1992. Especially so soon after President Obama told attendees of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner that they all voted for him.
    That said, the president likes to take issue with the media here and there.

    “I just want to make a little commentary about the media here, if you don’t mind,” Mr. Obama said this afternoon in Rio Rancho, NM, at a town hall meeting on credit card reform. “When Congress included in last year’s budget a whole bunch of earmarks, you remember there was a week worth of stories about how terrible these earmarks were,” the president recounted. “You remember this…a week’s worth of stories: ‘Oh, these earmarks, this is what’s blowing up the deficit, this is terrible,’ blah, blah, blah.”
    Continued the president: “And yet, as I said before, that was less than 1 percent of that entire budget that had been signed. When we find $17 billion worth of cuts in programs, what do the same folks say? They say, ‘Oh, that’s nothing.’…That’s not significant. That’s not important.’ “Well, you can’t have it both ways,” the president said. “If those earmarks were important, then this money is important, too.”

    It’s an interesting point, the converse of the point many of us in the White House press corps have made about the White House: that when the president and his aides discussed non-stimulative spending in the stimulus bill, or earmarks in the 2009 omnibus spending bill — or when then-candidate Obama discussed Sen. John McCain’s crusade to end earmarks — he belittled the savings, and when he trotted out more than 100 programs he would seek to cut, he made it sound quite important.

    “$17 billion is a lot of money,” he said at the time.

    Of course, it’s probably worth saying that the $17 billion in cuts — assuming they actually go through — is not a cut per se, it’s just a re-allotment of that money to other programs in the $3.55 trillion budget.

    **

    At another moment during the town hall meeting, the president was asked by a voter if he could “break those lines of bipartisanship, and get these laws and this help that we need to us, the people?” The president said that “it’s very important to understand that since I came into office, I have said to my Republican friends in Congress, ‘I want to work with you.’ I’ve had them over to the White House more than they were over in the White House during the Bush administration.”

    The crowd laughed.

    “That’s true!” the president said.

    The president then detailed philosophical differences about deficit spending that Republicans had with him on the stimulus bill. “I have to say they weren’t as worried when the previous administration was running up and doubling our national debt, but –but having said that, having said that,…that’s part of what our democracy is about, to disagree with us on this,” he observed. The president then accused Republicans of not believing that the US should “reform our health care system in a way that includes more people. They think that the free market can solve the problem.” The president then noted that “this credit card bill, when it passed in the House, we actually got 100 Republican votes. On our children’s health insurance bill, we got some Republican votes.”

    Added the president: “The media likes to focus on where we disagree; they don’t tend to focus on the areas where we are actually working together.”

    blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/05/president-oba-6.html

  159. Ah…..The Nuremberg defense.. “I vas only following orders”…those guys ended up getting strangled.
    ————————–
    And that is why it cannot be allowed to stand. Several months ago, I made reference to a comment by a friend of mine who was a junior officer in Viet Nam, and has had forty years to think about what he went through as a young man. In fact he has more time than ever now since he has suffered a stroke, from which he will never fully recover. I posted what he said here while it was still fresh in my mind, but if memory serves it was something like this: in WWI only 1 out of 3 army enlisted would shoot to kill on command, by Korea it was 2 out of 4 and by Viet Nam it was 2 out of 3. The difference was a matter of training. The other thing he said, since he is a bit of a moral philosopher is that 2 out of 3 soldiers will do what they know is morally wrong if they are ordered to do so. That is why it is important to not stop the inquiry with the Nueremberg defense. We need to get to the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. HuffPo is not the one to give us the truth on anything least of all this.

  160. HuffPos left wing extremism impairs their ability to separate fact from fiction and get to the truth.

  161. The other thing he said, since he is a bit of a moral philosopher is that 2 out of 3 soldiers will do what they know is morally wrong if they are ordered to do so..
    **********
    It appears that as far as CIA torture is concerned, it was devised and executed by “contractors” not by CIA employees who were order to do so. From the FBI agent’s testimony before Congress, it sounds like the CIA contracted out what could be describes as an “animal lab experiment” that was conducted in a way similar to a time before research animals had to be treated humanely. The FBI and CIA guys would do conventional interrogation, getting information and then the contractor would come in and torture the guy and then the CIA and FBI would come back and now have to interrogate a guy who is uncooperative. They would get the guy talking again and the contractor came in and the process started all over again.

  162. The FBI agents testimony was also consistent with others with “hands on” experience that the torture protocols were counter productive. It is interesting that FBI and CIA interrogators say that torture is counter productive and the “arm-chair” tortures and Dick Cheney say it works. I wonder who we should believe??

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