Corruption And Crimelord Barack Obama

Well, looky here: Nancy Pelosi got herself deeper into the torture hole today almost as if to buttress our article from yesterday which was mostly about her.

Reviews of her presser are not good – for her. The CIA is sure to place her atop its “it” list.

The CIA last week contradicted Pelosi, saying she had been told about the use of methods such as waterboarding, or simulated drowning, in a September 2002 briefing.

The spy agency had issued a chart saying Pelosi, then the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, and Porter Goss, the committee chairman at the time, were given “a description of the particular EITs (enhanced interrogation techniques) that had been employed.”

A besieged Pelosi held a news conference to give her side of the story, saying she was briefed that the Bush administration had legal opinions that concluded the use of these procedures were legal.

“The only mention of waterboarding at that briefing was that it was not being employed,” she said.

She accused the CIA of misleading Congress. She said the agency “gave me inaccurate and incomplete information” about the use of harsh interrogation techniques at the 2002 briefing.[snip]

CIA spokesman George Little stuck to the agency’s language.

“The language in the chart — ‘a description of the particular EITs that had been employed’ — is true to the language in the agency’s records.”

In short, Nancy had a rough day. Wait until the CIA fully responds, in that way they have, she will have an even rougher day.



* * * * *

Well, looky here – George Will has left the Obama dinner table and come over to our table. Yup – prim, proper and prudent George Will, who hosted Obama for dinner, is now pretty much saying what we have been saying: Obama is a crimelord. Will talks in Washingtonese, but Will is now saying what we got hammered for saying: Obama is a crimelord.

Prim, proper, prudent and bespectacled George Will at the end of Tincture Of Lawlessness writes:

The administration’s central activity — the political allocation of wealth and opportunity — is not merely susceptible to corruption, it is corruption.

Corruption? Why is George Will saying such things? Perhaps it is the Obama bullying of opponents with legitimate disagreements. Perhaps it is the Mafia-style protection racket:

In February, California’s Democratic-controlled Legislature, faced with a $42 billion budget deficit, trimmed $74 million (1.4 percent) from one of the state’s fastest growing programs, which provides care for low-income and incapacitated elderly and cost the state $5.42 billion last year. The Los Angeles Times reports that “loose oversight and bureaucratic inertia have allowed fraud to fester.”

But the Service Employees International Union collects nearly $5 million a month from 223,000 caregivers who are members. And the Obama administration has told California that unless the $74 million in cuts are rescinded, it will deny the state $6.8 billion in stimulus money.

Such a federal ukase (the word derives from czarist Russia; how appropriate) to a state legislature is a sign of the administration’s dependency agenda — maximizing the number of people and institutions dependent on the federal government. For the first time, neither sales nor property nor income taxes are the largest source of money for state and local governments. The federal government is.

George Will is finally upset with the “cavalier disregard of contracts” in the Obama Chrysler machinations too. Will is only now piecing together in his own mind what we have written repeatedly about – the use of government taxpayer money to achieve personal political goals along with “servile banks that are now dependent on the administration for capital infusions”.

George Will finally is also discussing Tom Lauria and the Obama threats of personal destruction.

But it is the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) which has finally and totally awakened Will’s mind sufficiently to get him to rise from the dinner table:

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.

George Will is exactly right when he terms TARP and the “stimulus” as a “slush fund”. Many Americans do not understand that when Congress appropriates money it is the executive branch that can expedite, or administratively delay forever, payments Congress intended. By giving Obama trillions in “stimulus” funds what the Congress actually did was give the Chicago thugs the ability to coerce.

Obama is now using that coercive power to threaten states and private companies into submission.

Back when PINO Big Blogs and the Hopium addled were praising the Obama budget overview we labeled it correctly as “Sleeveless, Clueless, Truthless, Hopeless, Penniless“. In our analysis of the “Flim-Flam Stimulus Scam” we stated:

This is not a “stimulus” bill. It is a political money waste designed to influence the 2010 elections.

Add to the government funded slush funds the other, TARP and Bebe Rebozo style slush funds and the corruption picture begins to take shape for those sitting in George Will’s dining room.

* * * * *

Well looky here, Associated Press is squinting its eyes open too:

In his first quarterly report on the nation’s stimulus package, Vice President Joe Biden uses anecdotes to paint a glowing picture of an economy on the rebound. In reality, the picture is incomplete and the colors far more muted. [snip]

But the effect of that spending is less clear. Many of the claims the White House is making are based on anecdotes selected to fit the Obama administration’s message. For instance, the report cites a newspaper article about workers being rehired at a factory in Chicago. That account is true, but is no more an accurate snapshot of the nation’s economy than a story, not cited in the report, about a Roanoke, Va., railcar factory closing.

Capturing the full effect of the stimulus at this early stage is difficult, but the administration has set high bars for success. In championing those successes, however, the White House plays a little loose with the facts.

AP will impress us when it stops “loose with the facts” talk and joins George Will and us at the “Obama is a crimelord” table. For now, at least AP is mocking the “created or saved 150,000 jobs” bunk coming from Obama/Biden at a time the country is losing well over a million jobs.

It’s not only AP and George Will. Others are using words which more accurately describe the Obama reality.

Fleecing lenders to pay off politically powerful interests, or governmental threats to reputation and business from a failure to toe a political line? We might expect this behavior from a Hugo Chávez. But it would never happen here, right? [snip]

The close relationship between the rule of law and the enforceability of contracts, especially credit contracts, was well understood by the Framers of the U.S. Constitution. [snip]

Hence the Contracts Clause of Article V of the Constitution, which prohibited states from interfering with the obligation to pay debts. Hence also the Bankruptcy Clause of Article I, Section 8, which delegated to the federal government the sole authority to enact “uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies.”

The Obama administration’s behavior in the Chrysler bankruptcy is a profound challenge to the rule of law.

Americans used to demand developing economies respect contracts. Americans used to value law over bullying, favoritism and cronyism.

The value of the rule of law is not merely a matter of economic efficiency. It also provides a bulwark against arbitrary governmental action taken at the behest of politically influential interests at the expense of the politically unpopular. The government’s threats and bare-knuckle tactics set an ominous precedent for the treatment of those considered insufficiently responsive to its desires. Certainly, holdout Chrysler creditors report that they felt little confidence that the White House would stop at informal strong-arming.

* * * * *

The situation is so bad even the Washington Post editorial board is coughing up objections at the Obama dinner table.

DESPITE a massive infusion of government cash, General Motors is slowly and almost assuredly limping toward bankruptcy. The company’s stock has been hovering just above the $1 mark for the past few days, and chief executive Fritz Henderson has signaled that bankruptcy court may be the best — or perhaps only — venue in which the company can come to terms with its creditors. GM — and its partner, the U.S. government, which could get as much as a 50 percent equity stake in the company — have set themselves a deadline at the end of this month to decide what to do.

And therein lies the potential danger. The government’s intervention in GM’s financial affairs tilts the scales so dramatically in the company’s (read: government’s) favor that it risks shutting out the legitimate interests of some creditors in favor of politically connected players who are owed much less and have less of a claim to the company’s money.

We’ll remind the Washington Post editorial board that the Mafia moving in on a casino is very much like what is happening as the government moves in on private business. Maybe someone at the Washington Post editorial board is reading Big Pink?

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, and it was with this thought in mind that we endorsed the federal government’s decision to pump billions of dollars into the automakers. But the spectacle of creditors being stripped of their legal rights in favor of a labor union with which the president is politically aligned does little to attract private capital at a time when the government and many companies need these investors the most. Investors’ fears will only be compounded if the administration follows a similar blueprint with GM.

One day the Washington Post will completely wake up and join us and George at the reality table. They will one day learn that Crimelords only care about themselves.

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161 thoughts on “Corruption And Crimelord Barack Obama

  1. One day the Washington Post will completely wake up and join us and George at the reality table
    *************
    Admin. please don’t invite George…He is a self-important, opportunistic sack of sh*t, IMHO.

  2. Isn’t it glorious, admin, to see poopsie floundering!

    Surely this deserves a celebratory clip. Please?

    I only hope that wherever HRC is today she’s laughing her a$$ off.

  3. Latest CIA “push-back” on lying skank Pelosi:

    “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.

    The chart said Pelosi and ex-Rep. Porter Goss (R-Fla.) received from CIA “Terrorist Busters” at the agency’s Counterterrorist Center a “briefing on EITs including use of EITs on Abu Zubaydah, background on authorities, and a description of the particular EITs that had been employed.”

    “The language in the chart’s description of the particular EITs that ‘had been employed’ is true to the language in the Agency’s records,” CIA spokesman Little said in a statement Thursday.

    ww.nydailynews.com/blogs/dc/2009/05/cia-to-cheney-and-pelosi-stop.html#ixzz0FWPprMQj&B

  4. SHV, some more CIA push-back:

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/glennthrush/0509/CIA_Pelosi_can_review_docs_immediately.html#comments

    Nancy Pelosi says she wants the CIA to make pubic briefing documents to make up her claim that Bush administration intel officials lied to her about waterboarding during her Sept. 2002 briefing.

    The CIA quickly punted the ball back to Pelosi — sending over an email saying the notes she wants to make public are already available for security-cleared staffers to review — anytime they want ’em.

    A senior Democratic staffer just kicked it back to Langley — telling me that they are “considering” the offer but classification rules will prevent them from disclosing the details.

    “We think the best way for this to come out is to release the materials,” said the aide.

  5. ROTF!
    D@mn but she has a great laugh! That snippet with her and Schieffer is priceless.

    Love the Supremes clip but that cover pic is odd as he11! Almost looks like a trio of queens.

    But the best bit so far was the gotterdamerung. (IMHO) But who is pooplosi – alberich?

  6. So poolosi thinks she was misled……

    More likely she was examinging her nails, fluffing her hair, thinking of her next tae party etc etc while being briefed….

    Let’s face it…she is not that smart!!! Maybe that is why some stupid folks elected her…..to let them do whatever they want while she just gets her wardrpbe shopping list together for her hubbie to go buy for her!!!!

  7. My statement is clear, and let me read it again. Let me read it again. I’m sorry. I have to find the page,” said a flustered Mrs. Pelosi, shuffling through papers, her hands quivering a bit, as she sought to stick to her prepared text.

    “When — when — when my staff person — I’m sorry, the page is out of order — five months later, my staff person told me that there had been a briefing — informing that there had been a briefing and that a letter had been sent. I was not briefed on what was in that briefing; I was just informed that the briefing had taken place,” she said.
    —–

    So she has an aide who does thinsg without telling her details or she just does not have time – being too busy – fighting the war in iraq…..THE SOLDIERS ARE FIGHTING THE WAR IN IRAQ _MA’AM!!!!!!!

  8. My statement is clear, and let me read it again. Let me read it again. I’m sorry. I have to find the page,” said a flustered Mrs. Pelosi, shuffling through papers, her hands quivering a bit, as she sought to stick to her prepared text.

    “When — when — when my staff person — I’m sorry, the page is out of order — five months later, my staff person told me that there had been a briefing — informing that there had been a briefing and that a letter had been sent. I was not briefed on what was in that briefing; I was just informed that the briefing had taken place,” she said.
    ………….
    I guess she had images of herself strapped to a gurney with a needle in her arm. That could fluster anyone.

  9. Wow, I miss Hillary’s laugh or cackle.

    So, Pelosi is now going to say that she can’t comment because it is top secret or classified. What a fricking piece of work

    I participated in a “die-in” at her house here with the group “The World Can’t Wait” perhaps another demonstration is in order.

    Speaking of demonstrations Janeane Garofalo is in SF this weekend at Cobb’s Comedy Club. Any “teabaggers” want to let her know how they feel about her?

    http://www.cobbscomedy.com/calendar.html

  10. If Pelosi can attack the CIA like this, then what makes her think that she can depend on them in the future, that she can depend on the FBI, or any other security group to cover her back?

    Won’t they all take a look at this moment and think twice before supporting her in the future?

  11. Admin: I have known some fine prosecuting attorneys over the years, two of whom I would consider world class. You have the same ability as they do to put a complex case together, which is the hallmark of a first rate mind. The trick is to let others like Will who are like juries not as fast or aquainted with the case as you are find the bread crumps and follow them through to the same conclusion. It is happening now, and Obama left to his own devices will provide more. He cannot stop because he is invincible–or thinks he is. That is one of his classic mistakes and it will not change.

    Honeymoon, honeymoon
    Why’d it have to set so soon
    Bots are broken when it dies
    Honeymoooon

    Sadder libs–wiser dems
    Watch it fade away and then
    Though it wont return again
    Honeymoon

  12. If Pelosi can attack the CIA like this, then what makes her think that she can depend on them in the future, that she can depend on the FBI, or any other security group to cover her back?
    ************
    The FBI wouldn’t mind seeing torture prosecutions..they have been against it and feel that torture inhibited the interrogations. I suspect the CIA isn’t all that hot to defend torture either, I suspect that the number of CIA people involved was very small since the planning and the “dirty work” went to civilian sub-contractors. They probably sub-contracted torture to create some “distance” and/or the pre-employment CIA psych. screening weeded out all of the psychopaths and they had to rent some.

  13. It is happening now, and Obama left to his own devices will provide more. He cannot stop because he is invincible–or thinks he is.
    ************
    That is why the 22,000 troops for Afghanistan is just the beginning. When that turns to shit he will double down again because HE can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

  14. My statement is clear, and let me read it again. Let me read it again. I’m sorry. I have to find the page,” said a flustered Mrs. Pelosi, shuffling through papers, her hands quivering a bit, as she sought to stick to her prepared text.
    —————–
    She was like that at the convention as well. In that case it was the stress of the situation and a slight case of delerium tremors. In this case, I think SHV has properly identified the concern: “(being) strapped to a gurney with a needle in her arm.” Champagne with a cionide chaser–its like the second martini–goes down smooth.

  15. I love seeing Pukeosi have to flounder. I hate that bitch. Is she impeacheable?

    Nancy knew. Nancy knew. Nancy knew.

    Seems too convenient that Bmabi is hiding the photos now .. since Pukosi may get her goose cooked over the waterboarding.

    They make me sick.

  16. Won’t they all take a look at this moment and think twice before supporting her in the future?
    ————————–
    If they are street smart, and you can figure they are, then they will have nothing but contempt for this woman, and if they are really street smart, and you can figure they are, they will have the same reaction to her boss. These feelings do not translate readily into trust. One of the looming questions that anyone who puts his or her life on the line for the country is this: does the boss have my back? In both cases here the answer is patently clear: when the chips are down, these two left wing ideologues will make others their scapegoat. This is a really bad situation for both of them. Bambi and Emanuel saw this as a way to rid themselves of this meddelsom priestess only they get singed in the process.

  17. Champagne with a cionide chaser
    ************
    Nah..better than that..it a triple kicker….Sedative (Pentothal), muscle relaxer (stops the breathing) and Potassium Chloride (stops the heart).

  18. wbboei Says:

    May 14th, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    ————————–

    Then it follows that as obama and pelosi backstab dims, economic/racial groups as well, the friction will be huge…

  19. That is why the 22,000 troops for Afghanistan is just the beginning. When that turns to shit he will double down again because HE can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
    —————————–
    As you said months ago that will be his Viet Nam.

    Tragically, it will be ours too.

    If only we could talk Michelle into going over there and doing a fashion show on the board walk. That would scare the hell out of the
    Taliban. I expect they would toss down their Russian made AK-47s, throw up their hands like Roberto Duran and say “no mas!” And then she would plant a victory garden featuring their national flower–the poppy. Corporate media could call this soft diplomacy but others would be inclined to call it what it is–cruel and unusual punishment.

  20. Nah..better than that..it a triple kicker….Sedative (Pentothal), muscle relaxer (stops the breathing) and Potassium Chloride (stops the heart).
    ———————————————————
    Touche.

  21. NRCC Source: Pelosi Will Be 2010 Campaign Issue

    05/14/09

    Every movement needs a good enemy to hate. Red Sox Nation needs the New York Yankees, the Washington Redskins need the Dallas Cowboys, and Barack Obama needs Dick Cheney.

    … and it turns out that while nobody knows who Harry Reid is — the Republicans may very well need Nancy Pelosi to have a chance of winning in 2010.

    Republican sources I’ve talked to tell me Pelosi’s negatives in several key Congressional districts are through the floor.

    And according to an NRCC source who spoke to me on background today, it is “impossible” for Pelosi “to campaign on behalf of any Democrat.” The source added that, “Other than out-of-touch, far-left candidates, Pelosi will have a negative impact on any campaign she touches.” Perhaps more interesting is that the source spoke these words before we learned of Pelosi’s comments today regarding how the CIA “misled” her.

    Democrats have recently attempted to run against non-candidates like Rush Limbaugh. Expect Republicans to “nationalize” San Francisco’s Nancy Pelosi in 2010 …

    politicsdaily.com/2009/05/14/nrcc-source-pelosi-will-be-2010-campaign-issue/

  22. Wow, it appears to get worse and worse for Pelosi. Is there anyone out there who is trying to defend her? Daily Kos or Olbermann maybe?

    The Politico article is very interesting. It appears that the CIA pretty much called her bluff about those briefing documents. The way I read it, Pelosi can get the documents herself, but Obama would have to declassify them before they could be made public. If these briefing documents helped Pelosi, I’m sure they would be made public pretty quickly. I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for those to be released – unless of course Barry has another “transparency” attack

  23. Senate Races in 2010 Favor Democrats

    By SUSAN DAVIS
    MAY 15, 2009

    Charlie Crist’s entry in the Florida Senate race for 2010 gives Republicans a strong player on a field that again will be tilted in favor of the Democrats.

    After picking up six seats in 2006 and nine last year, Democrats have no coming retirements and hold only two seats in 2010 races that election analysts currently consider competitive. Republicans hold four seats in races that figure to be close. Counting the two independents who tend to vote with the party, Democrats hold a 59-40 majority and would pick up their 60th vote if Al Franken, as expected, is certified the winner over incumbent Republican Norm Coleman in Minnesota.

    “Democrats will probably pad their majority for the third cycle in a row,” said Jennifer Duffy of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. “Having said that, things don’t look quite as ugly for Republicans.”

    There are 36 seats up for election next year — 19 held by Republicans and 17 by Democrats. Mr. Crist’s entry in Florida tilts that race slightly toward the GOP, Ms. Duffy said, although it wouldn’t represent a pickup, as the seat is now held by the retiring Republican Mel Martinez.

    Republicans are playing defense in Kentucky, Missouri, New Hampshire and Ohio. In Kentucky, GOP Sen. Jim Bunning, with low popularity ratings and weak fund raising, could be the most vulnerable incumbent of the cycle, although party officials believe their prospects would improve if Mr. Bunning opts to retire. In New Hampshire, the retirement of Sen. Judd Gregg also puts that seat up for grabs in a state that, like the rest of New England, has been trending Democratic. In Missouri, Rep. Roy Blunt could face a primary battle from former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman for the open seat to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Kit Bond. Secretary of State Robin Carnahan is the likely Democratic candidate.

    At least three Democrats have announced bids for the open Ohio Senate seat, while former Bush administration official and Republican Rep. Rob Portman is the early favorite for his party’s nomination. Republican Sen. George Voinovich is retiring.

    Democrats, meanwhile, will be playing defense in Connecticut and Illinois. In the former, ex-Rep. Rob Simmons is seeking the GOP’s nomination to challenge Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, a Democrat whose ties to the industries he regulates have made him vulnerable.

    In Illinois, moderate Rep. Mark Kirk is considering a bid for the Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama and now by Sen. Roland Burris. The scandal involving former Gov. Rod Blagojevich has tainted Mr. Burris, who hasn’t announced his re-election plans.

    Republicans also are trying to play offense in some solidly Democratic states by wooing popular moderate candidates. One is Rep. Mike Castle of Delaware, a former governor. Susquehanna Polling and Research this month showed Mr. Castle leading Democratic Attorney General Beau Biden by 21 points in a hypothetical matchup. Mr. Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden, is widely expected to run but hasn’t announced his plans. Sen. Ted Kaufman, who was appointed to the vice president’s Senate seat, doesn’t intend to run next year. In New York, recently appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand shows signs of vulnerability in both a Democratic primary and a general election. A top-tier candidate would be former GOP Gov. George Pataki, who hasn’t announced his intentions but who had a 46%-38% advantage over Ms. Gillibrand in a Marist poll released last week. In California, former Hewlett-Packard Chief Executive Carly Fiorina is considering a long-shot GOP bid against Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer.

    Other seats that may prove competitive include Colorado, where appointed Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, a political newcomer, is seeking re-election. And in Louisiana, Republican Sen. David Vitter could be vulnerable because of a July 2007 prostitution scandal in which Mr. Vitter was identified as a client. But the Democratic Party has yet to find a candidate to run against him.

    online.wsj.com/article/SB124234615657021813.html

  24. unless of course Barry has another “transparency” attack
    **********
    Barry doesn’t do well with stress and he hasn’t seen stress yet. Right now, four months into the job, it’s only the ACLU calling Bullsh*t on Obama..when/if the media smells blood, Obama won’t be able to handle it.

  25. dot48 Says:

    May 14th, 2009 at 8:00 pm
    I love seeing Pukeosi have to flounder. I hate that bitch. Is she impeacheable?
    **********************************8

    Yes I feel about her the same way idid Bush, but then we got the Fraud… Hoyer, becareful what you ask for…

  26. Nah..better than that..it a triple kicker….Sedative (Pentothal), muscle relaxer (stops the breathing) and Potassium Chloride (stops the heart).
    ———————————————————

    Is Dr. Kevorkian here?

  27. NEW YORK (Reuters) – Longtime technical analyst Robert Prechter, who forecast the 1987 stock market crash, predicted this week that U.S. equities may plunge to half their lows hit in March as a deflationary depression bites.

    Oil and U.S. Treasury bonds are also locked in long term bear markets, while corporate bond prices will plunge precipitously by next year as broad economy, banking system and company earnings sustain more damage from a financial crisis that’s akin to the Great Depression, he said.

    The U.S. S&P 500 stock index’s rebound by nearly 40 percent since it sagged to a 12-year closing low of 676 points on March 9 is not sustainable, Prechter said in an interview with Reuters.

    “It’s not the start of a new bull market,” said Prechter, chief executive at research company Elliott Wave International in Gainesville, Georgia. “Our models are (showing) right now that it is a much bigger bear market than most people realize, something along the lines of 1929-1932,” he told Reuters in a wide ranging interview. “It’s a very rare event,” he added.

    “I think the next leg down will be at least as severe if not more severe than what we just experienced. So you want to stay on the side of safety,” he said.

    As in his 2002 book “Conquer the Crash,” which warned of the dangers of a U.S. debt bubble and deflationary depression, Prechter continues to advocate safer cash proxies such as Treasury bills.

    SEVEN MORE YEARS?

    Riskier assets such as commodities, corporate bonds, and stocks which are currently anticipating that the severe global economic downturn may be bottoming, are likely to have short lived intense rallies, but within an inexorable long-term decline that may last another seven years, he said.

    As banks continue to accumulate losses and corporate earnings fall, “the difficulties will probably last through about 2016,” he said. “There will be plenty of rallies along the way.”

    Oil may rally further from current levels just below $60 per barrel but the upside will be capped at about $80 per barrel as the commodity is locked in a long-term bear market, he said.

    In July, U.S. crude oil hit a record peak above $147 per barrel and was just above $57 per barrel around noon on Thursday.

    “Deflation is coming, it’s going to lead to a depression. We’re not at the bottom yet,” Prechter said. “I think we are going to have bouts of deflation separated by recoveries.”

    Prechter also painted a bleak picture for commodities like silver and is largely unenthusiastic about gold, believing the precious metal made a major peak when it rose above $1,000 last year.

    While gold may have already topped at above $1,000 an ounce in March 2008, Treasury bond prices are likely to fall in a long term bear market, with huge government debt issuance being the main catalyst.

    The benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note yield, which moves inversely to its price, hit a five-decade low of 2.04 percent in mid-December.

    “People got very enamored with bonds and very enamored with gold and I don’t like to be invested in markets that are over subscribed,” Prechter said.

    “The Treasury (Department) has taken on so much bad debt” at a time tax receipts are falling, that “there will be a slow, but very steady change in the way people will view the U.S. government,” said Prechter. As a result, investors in Treasury notes and bonds will ultimately demand higher yields, he said.

    The U.S. central bank will not be able to control the government bond market and prevent yields from rising, regardless of how much money the Fed uses to buy Treasuries, he added.

    Next year, U.S. corporate bond prices will probably fall below their extreme price lows of December during the market panic of 2008 when investors fled riskier assets, he said.

    “Corporates in terms of price have the big wave down coming. This has been a prequel,” Prechter said.

    “Many corporations who (now) say we can borrow more money and take more risks: those are the ones who will get in trouble,” he said. “Many municipalities will default,” he added.

    (Reporting by John Parry, Haitham Haddadin and Ellis Mnyandu.)

  28. Then it follows that as obama and pelosi backstab dims, economic/racial groups as well, the friction will be huge…
    —————————————————-
    Right. When the need to do so arises. This gotterdamerung is probably a year out, if things continue along their present course. But if a plodder like George Will has figured out what the game was about, others are sure to follow.

    I was having this conversation with the arbitrator this afternoon and he was yelling about how stupid the American People are not to see what is happening. I told him dont fall into that trap. This aint about the American People anymore. Remember the words of Herman Goering as posted on the previous blog. It aint about the people. It is about the elites. And where as here he makes the elites uncomforable his days are numbered.

    This is about Wall Street who fought to get him in there never dreaming that he would end up regulating their wages and letting international bankers regulate their activities. It is about CIA people who as Jack Wheeler observes saw him as their man, only to find out that they are about to become his scapegoat. It is about the military, who take a rather dim view of Kingdim when he hugs Hugo and says nice things to Castro, and find the term reasonable Taliban to be an oxymoron. It is about the legitimate left wing thinkers who are beginning to see him as a corporate shill who violates their principles with respect to democracy, privacy etc. with his flip flops on FISA, public financing of elections, withdrawal from Iraq, torture evidence, arresting people protesting in favor of single payer, the threat against Laurio and his clients etc. It is about pundits like Will who are finally willing to call the game on him. Once the elites begin to realize that this sociopath is a personal threat to them, he is toast.

    If we were living in halcion times, if we were not losing half a million jobs per month, if they were not spending money we dont have on ridiculous projects, if we were not bailing out bankers who broke the rules while ordinary citizens WHO HAVE PLAYED BY THE RULES go broke then there would be less urgency to all this. The efforts of his minions to convince the public that the republican party is DOA bespeak a knowledge that his star will fade and a desperation to ensure that there is no viable alternative. If the republican party can put McCain out to pasture where he belongs, defeat Crist, and muzzle the right wing then they can say as Mark Twain did: “rumors of my untimely death have been greatly exaggerated”.

  29. Hotair, found @ BP
    *******************************************

    No joke: Obama setting advertising policy for Chrysler

    May 14, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

    Car and Driver fooled many into believing that Barack Obama had used his TARP leverage with Chrysler and GM to drop out of NASCAR. Those suckered into their April Fools Day joke can gain some vindication from an AdAge report last Monday on what the Obama administration actually has done to dictate internal policy at Chrysler. The White House forced the automaker to cut their advertising budget in half, and they wanted to eliminate it altogether:
    Chrysler wanted to spend $134 million in advertising over the nine weeks it’s expected to be in bankruptcy — the U.S. Treasury’s auto-industry task force gave it half that.
    So if GM, which is wrestling with the possibility of a Chapter 11 filing itself, is wondering how much influence the task force will have over marketing, the answer is: plenty. However, transcripts from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Southern District of New York, where the Chrysler case is being heard, proved for the first time that the task force at least understands that advertising is a necessary expense — even if it doesn’t think Chrysler needs $134 million for nine weeks of car ads.
    Robert Manzo, executive director of Capstone Advisory Group and a consultant to Chrysler, testified at a May 4 hearing that the task force “believed that it was not feasible to not spend anything on marketing and advertising for fear of eroding the image of the brand,” during the company’s planned nine weeks in bankruptcy. However, Mr. Manzo also testified that this “hotly discussed” matter resulted in the task force basically slashing in half the amount Chrysler wanted for advertising in the period.
    C&D ginned up a story in which Obama decided that NASCAR sponsorship was a waste of money, because it didn’t directly lead to selling cars. In the AdAge story, that apparently describes the attitude of both the task force and the bankruptcy judge. At one point, the judge asks, “Idle plants, why market?”, in reference to the several plants idled by Chrysler during the bankruptcy. It apparently doesn’t occur to anyone that the way to re-open idle plants is to increase sales — and that advertising is necessary for improvement.
    GM will have its turn with the auto task force next, and will likely get the same treatment. Don’t be too surprised to hear at some point that the same group of people who couldn’t comprehend why a struggling automaker needed to spend $135 million on advertising will decide that they don’t need to spend $250 million on NASCAR. Car and Driver may not have set a practical joke on its readers — they may have shown a knack for prognostication.
    Update: Can we recall a time when Obama didn’t think throwing money away on PR was a problem? Yes, we can!

  30. As Obama continues to baffle and put the country in further danger, you have people like my stupid family who says “oh, he inherited all of this, what can he do”. Damn, they can not be kin to me!

  31. The ACLU is not happy with Obama:

    “Apparently, ACLU attorney Amrit Singh is none too happy about this:

    “The reversal is another indication of a continuance of the Bush administration policies under the Obama administration. President Obama’s promise of accountability is meaningless, this is inconsistent with his promise of transparency, it violates the government’s commitment to the court. People need to examine these abusive photographs, but also the government officials need to be held accountable.”

    As PM317 informed me last night, Amrit Singh is the youngest daughter of the Prime Minister of India. I wonder if she is telling her dad not to trust Obama because he is a lying sack of sh*t?? I suspect that she is a smart, tough lawyer. Grad. of Cambridge, Oxford and Yale law school.

  32. Barry doesn’t do well with stress and he hasn’t seen stress yet. Right now, four months into the job, it’s only the ACLU calling Bullsh*t on Obama..when/if the media smells blood, Obama won’t be able to handle it.
    ——————————
    No question about it. He does well with the wind at his back. He does rather poorly when the headwind shifts and hits him in the face. When he gets hit with a gale force wind–three converging storm cells you will find out who he really is. My guess is he will be hard to find.

  33. I just re-read that:

    “President Obama’s promise of accountability is meaningless,” OUCH!!!!!

  34. wbboei Says:
    May 14th, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    If the republican party can put McCain out to pasture where he belongs, defeat Crist, and muzzle the right wing then they can say as Mark Twain did: “rumors of my untimely death have been greatly exaggerated”.

    Great comments, wbboei. One thing I’ve heard several republicans say is that they need someone kind of like Obama. Someone who is young, hip, charismatic, blah, blah. I disagree with them on that. When Obama implodes and his brand becomes tarnished, I think the country will be looking for someone very different from him.

    Of course, my dream would be if for some reason Obama does not seek reelection. Then the door would be open for Hillary to run again in 2012.

  35. “President Obama’s promise of accountability is meaningless,”
    ——————————————————
    Do you remember Bambi and Tele on the campaign trail doing their best imitation of Devon Patrick–Axelrods prior client.

    (En fortissimo) just words? . . . four score and seven years ago . . . Just Words??. . . we have nothing to fear but fear itself . . . JUST WORDS??? I will drive the lobbyists from Washington and restore honor, accountablity and transparency!!!

    Just words? In the case of Mr. Obama sadly yes. We have long known it and now the ACLU does as well. From the story of Alice In Wonderland: I can use words to mean anything I want them to mean. The same goes for Bambi in the White House.

  36. One thing I’ve heard several republicans say is that they need someone kind of like Obama. Someone who is young, hip, charismatic, blah, blah. I disagree with them on that. When Obama implodes and his brand becomes tarnished, I think the country will be looking for someone very different from him.
    ————————————–
    Independent Ben : you are right and they are wrong. When Obama implodes and the country is in worse shape than it is now, the American Idol concept of leadership will be repudiated not by history but by current painful experience. If you think back a few years you may recall when Jessee Ventura became Governor of Minnesota, the same people in the Republican Party were saying that they needed to field celebrity candidates more like him, but by the end of his disappointing term in office they do not talk that way anymore. He has corrupted the DNC and the state party apparatus. He has a formidable ground organization that committed widespread fraud, intimidation and abuse during the primary. Whether they would rally behind Hillary at that point or still attack her is an imponderable. But if you ask sophisticated people today they wish she was President. I hope that opportunity comes and if he is toxic by then that party elders force him out, as they did with LBJ.

  37. Stenoyer is waiting in the wings as there is no love loss b/t him and Piglosi…. Harman must also be breathing a sign of relief as this is a much larger distraction than her little issue with Aipac….

  38. wbboei,

    Last night O’Reilly had Dick Morris on for a segment about Hillary. Morris has never made a prediction about Hillary that has ever come true, but here he was with his latest “big” prediction about Hillary’s future. He first stated that Obama had set out to neutralize her influence by appointing all of these special envoys, like Richard Holbrooke. He predicts that Obama will get into trouble politically and that his numbers will begin to plunge. As this happens, Hillary will distance herself from him, and that by 2012 Obama will be so radioactive that Hillary will challenge him in the primary. It’s
    interesting to think about, but I don’t think that she would ever challenge an incumbent.

  39. “If it is a crime, she was part of it.” -Lindsey Graham

    The Republicans smell blood in the water.

  40. The Sunday news will still protect the “One’

    I don’t like Botox nan but it does seem that ANY female that gets close to that glass ceiling is brought down…

  41. Funny comment @ Ace…
    ****************************

    Steny Hoyer: I Think I’ll Pass on This Wonderful Opportunity You’ve Afforded Me to Support my Speaker of the House… But Thanks for Asking! No, seriously, thanks.

  42. Independent Ben Says:

    May 14th, 2009 at 10:02 pm
    **********************************************
    NEVER, but NEVER believe the TOESUCKER when he speaks of the Clinton’s…esp Hillary…..

  43. If Nancy Pelosi goes under, this will be yet another Hillary hater that implodes. Hoyer must be hoping the curse strikes yet again.

  44. IF Pelosi goes under before 2010, then Hoyer becomes Speaker….however that RACE BAITER from SC might Maj. leader of the house…that would stink very much!!!!!!!

  45. Here is an excellent summary of how Mr Obama plays politics at the expense of our nation’s security. And, he makes of the CIA a dangerous enemy. Watch:

    Obama Playing Shameful Politics With CIA

    Thursday, May 14, 2009 11:20 AM

    By: Ronald Kessler

    In the beginning, President Obama said he wanted to make us safer by letting potential terrorists know that we do not engage in torture. The idea was that sending that message would deprive terrorists of a recruiting tool.

    So, even though enhanced interrogation techniques had not been employed since 2003, and Michael Hayden as CIA director banned their use three years later, Obama said he was stopping them.

    Then Obama released Justice Department memos describing the enhanced interrogation techniques that had been used on three terrorists. In doing so, despite his claim that he did not want do so, Obama provided terrorists with ammunition to recruit more terrorists.

    At the same time, Obama chose not to release CIA documents showing that the interrogations provided leads that rolled up terrorist plots, saving thousands of American lives. The White House even went so far as to edit out a statement by Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair that enhanced interrogations provided valuable information.

    As Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, has told me, Obama has been “cherry picking” what he releases for political purposes.

    Obama’s action in releasing the memos, in turn, spurred House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to deny that she knew anything about use of the techniques, even though the CIA had briefed her on them in September 2002. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Ill., then asked the CIA to pinpoint when Pelosi and other congressional leaders had been briefed. When a CIA memo showed that Pelosi had dissembled about not being told of enhanced interrogation, she issued contradictory statements in an attempt to cloud the issue.

    In the meantime, despite President Obama’s claim that he did not want to provide ammunition to terrorists so they could recruit more terrorists, he said he would release photos showing abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    He finally backed down on releasing the photos. But having said he saw no harm in releasing them, he undermined the legal case for keeping them secret under the Freedom of Information Act.

    Now that their own actions have backfired, congressional Democrats have decided that it was all a plot by the CIA. Despite the fact that the CIA prepared a listing of the briefings in response to a request by a member of Congress, Democrats are blaming the agency for releasing the details of the briefings to the Hill.

    Charging that the CIA deliberately foisted the problem on Democrats, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., who was briefed on enhanced interrogation techniques five times between 2006 and 2007 as a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said, “I think there is so much embarrassment in some quarters [of the CIA] that people are going to try to shift some of the responsibility to others . . .”

    Focusing on the timing of the release of the CIA memo listing the congressional briefings, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said he finds it “interesting” that a document detailing congressional briefings was released just as “some of the groups that have been responsible for these interrogation techniques were taking the most criticism.”

    When asked by a reporter whether she thought the CIA was seeking political cover by releasing the documents, Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairwoman of the intelligence committee, said “Sure it is.”

    Not quite. It was Obama who started the chain of events that is now boomeranging on Democrats. By releasing the CIA memos and pointing the finger of blame for what he has called a mistake, Obama targeted CIA officers for recrimination.

    What’s more important, it is Obama — along with congressional Democrats — who has made the CIA risk-averse. Together, they have done that by demonstrating to CIA officers that when asked to engage in a risky venture that has been approved by the president, the Justice Department, and key members of Congress, they may suffer consequences if they trust those assurances.

    As former Director of Central Intelligence Porter Goss has said, “It is certainly not trust that is fostered when intelligence officers are told one day ‘I have your back’ only to learn a day later that a knife is being held to it.”

    Thus, as detailed in the Newsmax story Obama Has Paralyzed the CIA, at a time when al-Qaida is plotting to wipe us out with a nuclear attack, Obama and the Democrats have jeopardized our safety by returning the CIA to a pre-9/11 risk-averse mentality.

    Democrats’ effort to blame it all on the CIA shows they have no shame.

    Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via
    e-mail. Go here now.

    © 2009 Newsmax. All rights reserved

  46. That Levin is a contemptible swine. I remember his backstabbing duplictity at the Rules and Bylaws Committee. He is a traitor to this nation, in every conceivable respect, and a blight on the Constitiuton.

  47. If Nancy Pelosi goes under, this will be yet another Hillary hater that implodes. Hoyer must be hoping the curse strikes yet again.
    —————————————————–
    Admin: if we happened to check in on Stennie right now, we would find him in a state of semi divine remove wearing a leprachan suit, drinking quarts of Ballentines Irish Whiskey, singing Oh Stennie Boy–The pipes the pipes are calling, and kissing the blarney stone for master Obama, without whom he could have waited for ten eternities to hear those magic lilting words Mr. Speaker Hoyer. Moral to the story: there is no honor among thieves-or dims.

  48. wbboei Says:
    May 15th, 2009 at 12:48 am

    That’s a great article. The democrats’ conduct in this whole affair has been disgraceful. They have crippled and demoralized the CIA – and this type of crap does “not” make us safer.

    I can’t help but think back to the primary when Obama used to always accuse Hillary of playing “that same old politics,” when actually Hillary walked on eggshells for most of the campaign and was careful to never attack his character.

    Just typing this makes me feel pissed off – and when I think about it, that’s how Obama wants us to feel – according to the Alinsky playbook.

  49. Newsmax
    ***********
    Any organization that Richard Mellon Scaife has a part in and that Forbes Magazine called the “great right hope”, is a bit suspect, IMHO. There is no better example of the psycho-pathology of CDS than Richard Scaife, (even though he seems to have moderated recently).

  50. They have crippled and demoralized the CIA – and this type of crap does “not” make us safer.
    *********
    Bush and the wing-nuts foisted the meme on the American public that the primary responsibility of the President was to keep Americans safe……By oath, the job of the President is to protect and defend the Constitution; a job that neither Bush nor Obama take seriously.

  51. Admin: in less than two minutes, Krauthammer marshalls all the evidence which shows conclusively that Pelosi LIED. He does so in a very competent and lawyer-like manner. Towit, i) her demeanor was shifty and evasive, ii) her testimony was internally contadictory (she couldn’t even keep her own story straight), iii) her testimony was contradicted by other witnesses who were present including the Chairman of the Intelligence Committee Porter Goss, iv) her testimony was inconsistent with the memo supplied by Obama, v) her testimony was implausible on its face since it says the CIA told everyone the same thing but only misled her, and vi) stupidest of all she has declared war on the CIA at her peril.

    I am quite sure that Obama, Michelle, Axelrod and Emanuel are patting themselves on the back for eliminating yet another obstacle in their path to absolute power and taking great delight as she twists in the wind and makes bathroom noises. I rather suspect that she will be stepping down as Speaker after a respectable interval to attend to pressing family matters and prepare for her trial on war crimes charges.

  52. Yes, you are right there is “no honor among thieves-or dims”. What a bunch of chico bags. I love Krauthammer. He almost chocked on his little faux pas.

  53. prepare for her trial on war crimes charges.
    ********
    Indictment under US Code Title 18,2441..couldn’t happen to a better person.

  54. Did you hear the toe sucker say that Clinton did not catch osama because of Monica Lewinsky?

  55. Bush and the wing-nuts foisted the meme on the American public that the primary responsibility of the President was to keep Americans safe……By oath, the job of the President is to protect and defend the Constitution; a job that neither Bush nor Obama take seriously.
    ———————————————————-
    Interestingly, in one of his essays Leaned Hand confronted the question of whether we must lower ourselves to the level of our adversaries in order to survive. The question for him arose in the context of what was going on in Germany and the threat it posed to those of us who were fortunate enough to live in democracies. His conclusion was that we must respect the Constition and not lower ourselves to their standards. Bush and Cheney called it differently and I think they were wrong. That is a different question than whether torture methods should be permissable under circumstances of dire extremis. The Supreme Court of Israel faced this question a few years back and held that those methods must be approved by the legislature in advance. People like Alan Dershowitz believe there should be approved by a judge something he calls torture warrants. Larry Johnson sees no value in these techniques. Mr. Obama sees great value in them as a way to sqewer the Republicans, eliminate Pelosi, and antagonize the CIA. And why not? He knows nbc, msnbc and cnn will cover for him.

  56. Dan Balz sums up Pelosi’s day:

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/05/14/pelosi_moves_to_the_fore.html?hpid=topnews

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s extraordinary accusation that the Bush administration lied to Congress about the use of harsh interrogation techniques dramatically raised the stakes on the growing debate over the Bush administration’s anti-terror policies even as it brought troubling new questions about the speaker’s credibility.

    Pelosi’s performance in the Capitol was either a calculated escalation of a long-running feud with the Bush administration or a reckless act by a politician whose word had been called into question. Perhaps it was both.

    For the first time, Pelosi acknowledged that in 2003 she was informed by an aide that the CIA had told others in Congress that officials had used waterboarding during interrogations. But she insisted, contrary to CIA accounts, she was not told about waterboarding during a September 2002 briefing by agency officials. Asked whether she was accusing the CIA of lying, she replied, “Yes, misleading the Congress of the United States.”[snip]

    The speaker’s discomfort was evident yesterday as she was grilled by reporters for the first time since the CIA issued information suggesting that she and others were told about the use of these techniques, including waterboarding, at a classified briefing on Sept. 4, 2002. Pelosi was the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee at the time. [snip]

    Conservatives say that, if she was so opposed to torture, she should have spoken out forcefully when she learned that these techniques were being employed. Her failure to do so then leaves her in a weakened position to protest now, they argue. An op-ed article by former Bush White House senior adviser Karl Rove in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal asked directly, “So is the speaker of the House lying about what she knew and when? And if so, what will Democrats do about it?”

    Pelosi gave some ground on the question of whether she had been informed that waterboarding was being used — though by her account she did not learn this until February 2003, rather than 2002, and then only from an aide after the CIA had briefed other lawmakers on the intelligence committees. Instead of registering her protest to the administration, she said, she set out to help Democrats win control of Congress and elect a Democrat as president.

    But in attempting to defend herself, she took the remarkable step of trying to shift the focus of blame to the CIA and the Bush administration, claiming the CIA records represented a diversionary tactic from the real debate over the interrogation policies. That amounted to a virtual declaration of war against the CIA at a time when the Obama administration already has rattled morale at the agency with the release of Justice Department memos authorizing the harsh interrogation techniques.

    House Republican Leader John Boehner was quick to challenge Pelosi. Within minutes of her contentious press conference, he emerged to question her accusations. He left no doubt that Republicans believe the speaker has made a major misstep that will hurt her and perhaps her party as this controversy plays out. [snip]

    Pelosi is not out of the woods. She could have saved herself some trouble by admitting earlier that she has been informed that the CIA was using waterboarding. By doing what she did yesterday, she has assured that she will remain a central character in the political fight that is now raging. But whether by design or accident, she also succeeded in enlarging a controversy that is no longer a sideshow.

  57. SHV Says:
    May 15th, 2009 at 1:45 am

    Bush and the wing-nuts foisted the meme on the American public that the primary responsibility of the President was to keep Americans safe……By oath, the job of the President is to protect and defend the Constitution; a job that neither Bush nor Obama take seriously.

    I agree, but national defense would be pretty high on the list.

  58. Puma-SF, during interviews you can see Morris shift his eyes and grin and shift again looking for ways, no matter how tangential, to attack the Clintons. Even the hosts at Fox now try to keep Morris off the topic of the Clintons but Morris squeezes the Clinton attacks in no matter how irrelevant they are to the discussion.

  59. How much money do you think Obama has spent on his little fly overs to everywhere? It seems like he and the big armed gal don’t like spending much time in the White House.

  60. can’t help but think back to the primary when Obama used to always accuse Hillary of playing “that same old politics,” when actually Hillary walked on eggshells for most of the campaign and was careful to never attack his character
    ———————
    Ben–I agree. Professor Sean Wilentz called the game on him in an article entitled Race Man. If she had had Maggie then, she might well have gone after him. But there was always the god forsaken media. Here is what one of the more eloquent bloggers at Taylor Marsh said on that subject fourteen months ago:

    Think if you were back in second grade, and a few kids had decided to torment you for a day. Everything you do, they make fun of or ignore; any reaction you have to them, from anger, complaining, trying to talk sense to them, they mock. That’s essentially what has been happening to Hillary Clinton in this campaign, as the media is absolutely determined to destroy her, and will not let up for one moment. No matter how well she does in a debate, the media makes sure to tell us that her campaign is struggling. Any complaint she may have is always called whining. Every so-called controversy is always her fault, her campaign’s lack. Never once during this entire campaign have I seen the Obama campaign called to account for anything, forced to be on the defensive for one moment. It is always Clinton in their sights.

    It has made it absolutely intolerable for me to even watch five minutes of TV coverage. I thought the coverage of Gore and Kerry was disgraceful; this is literally a hundred times worse. This is not even debatable. It’s Goebbels-like. Some may call it sexism, but it comes from plenty of women in the media, too. As if they were the second-graders whose personal dislike of Clinton (for whatever strange psychological reason, I couldn’t even imagine) allows them to forsake any shred of journalistic integrity while they are trying to destroy her. And until and if she withdraws her candidacy, they will never let up for a moment. And since the American voter is essentially forced to obtain his or her knowledge and information from the media, this “iron curtain” of disinformation and bias inevitably has its desired effect, so that as far as I am concerned, we do not live in a democracy any more; we live in a media-controlled, media-biased propaganda state.

    Many of you feel terribly upset for Clinton herself, who has handled herself with dignity, intelligence and resolve throughout this pathetic process. I do, too; but I also am beyond upset at the knowledge that at one of the most difficult times in this nation’s history, when we desperately need a President with the intelligence, work ethic and progressive ideals which Clinton possesses, we are soon going to be left with, courtesy of our childish and selfish media, a choice between another staunch and regressive conservative, and a mostly self-indulgent and laxy novice, whose only appeal, as far as I can see, is that he orates well and that he was the media’s antidote to Clinton. When historians ultimately write the story of the decline of America, they may remark on how this country chose, or was given to choose, a series of leaders who lacked the foresight and judgment to do what needed to be done to reverse the path of decline. Life goes on, but I really feel like mourning for my country today.
    William | 02.27.2008 – 08:49 am

  61. Leaned Hand confronted the question of whether we must lower ourselves to the level of our adversaries in order to survive.
    *********
    totally OT..but Learned Hand served on the second circuit court with his first cousin Augustus Noble Hand.

  62. wbboei,

    I just re-read that Kessler article and I’m really amazed at one part. It states instances where these big dems, Feinstein, Durbin, Levin, have directly gone after the CIA for the release of that second memo that nailed dear Nancy. What – are these people nuts? That memo was released with a cover letter signed by John Padetta, Obama’s CIA Director – and only the WH can actually “declassify” top secret material.

    Are these people so terrified and intimidated by Obama that they can’t directly confront him. Or could they be in some strange denial and they can’t accept what Obama has done to Dear Nancy. 😉

  63. totally OT..but Learned Hand served on the second circuit court with his first cousin Augustus Noble Hand.
    ———————————
    Could you elucidate.

  64. Are these people so terrified and intimidated by Obama that they can’t directly confront him. Or could they be in some strange denial and they can’t accept what Obama has done to Dear Nancy
    ——————————————-
    Independent Ben: Their public statements represent an effort to shift the blame from their party to the CIA, hoping that people will miss the finer point that it was Obamas own CIA Director who released it. Privately, their motives for doing so vary. Durbin is part of the Illionis Combine and will shift the blame off Obama for that reason alone. Levin was a rules and bylaws co conspirator with Obama and that scumbag Wexler. Feinstein is most likely afraid of Obama and it is reasonable to assume that when she raised an objection to the selection of Panetta without consulting her, she was threatened in some manner. After all, that is the Chicago Way.

  65. wbboei Says:
    May 15th, 2009 at 2:16 am

    Yep, that post says alot. I spent a lot of time at Taylor’s Marsh’s during the primary and I remember William. Shame what happened to Taylor. BTW, I came across Taylor’s new article on the Pelosi matter (cough). Wow, I don’t even recognize this person.
    This starts with a quote from Pelosi’s presser:
    “… Like all members of Congress who are briefed on classified information, I have assigned oaths pledges not to disclose any of that information. This is an oath I have taken very seriously, and I’ve always abided by it. The CIA briefed me only once on enhanced interrogation techniques in September 2002 in my capacity as ranking member of the Intelligence Committee. I was informed then that the Department of Justice opinions had concluded that the use of enhanced interrogation techniques were legal. The only mention of waterboarding at that briefing was that it was not being employed. Those conducting the briefing promised to inform the appropriate members of Congress if that technique were to be used in the future. …”

    Now the trouble for Republicans is that she’s not playing along. Not only has she upped the ante, but she’s driven the narrative back to Iraq, Bush’s lies right before that election, and what Bush and Cheney were doing to drive this country to war. That the foundation of Bush-Cheney foreign policy was lies and distraction. It’s what is at the center of all the dust currently being kicked up.

    “This is a diversionary tactic, to take the spotlight off of those who conceived, developed, and implemented these policies, which all of us [Democratic leaders] opposed,” (Pelosi) said. “Understand — this is their policy, all of them.”

    The story began with Bush-Cheney getting a lot of heat on EIT, fresh off the release of the OLC memos. So much heat that Dick Cheney blasted on to a media torture tour, with his daughter batting clean-up. The job was to make sure everyone understood how important torture was to the Bush administration, but also that what they did was legal; and to mark the moment Obama dismantled the program to make us “less safe.” Oh, and because it was legal it wasn’t torture. In the sense that Bush and Cheney had lawyers distort the law through creatively written legalistic memos, which were intended as cover for the Administration.

    In the midst of the Cheney torture tour, someone decides they need another target, a Democrat, someone who they believe is a good focus to shift the blame, if not totally, then to say top Democrats knew about the torture policies and approved. They choose Pelosi, because she was briefed in 2002.

    Then the Republican machine gears into the action of distraction.

    We don’t know how this will end, but one thing is clear. Republicans might have made a fatal error in stirring Pelosi’s ire. If they’re trying to keep a Truth Commission from gearing up they just screwed up. They went after Speaker Pelosi without the goods to get her. Now she’s mad as hell and isn’t in the mood to suffer fools.

  66. # admin Says:
    May 15th, 2009 at 2:12 am

    Puma-SF, during interviews you can see Morris shift his eyes and grin and shift again looking for ways, no matter how tangential, to attack the Clintons. Even the hosts at Fox now try to keep Morris off the topic of the Clintons but Morris squeezes the Clinton attacks in no matter how irrelevant they are to the discussion.

    LOL, Morris has CDS so bad that the man turns into kind of a troll when he talks about Hillary Clinton. He starts talking out of one side of his mouth like a gangster and he gets this wild look in his eyes.

  67. gonzotx Says:
    I don’t like Botox nan but it does seem that ANY female that gets close to that glass ceiling is brought down…

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

    I’ve been noticing a little deja vu myself….

  68. Puma-SF, Mark Knoller of CBS radio is the one best known to keep records and usually is able to answer questions like the one you raise about the cost of Obama’s trips. Knoller has become more reticent as of late to volunteer answers as he gets so many questions now. It would be good to get the answer to the question.

  69. Independent Ben, when Morris gets in his gratuitous kick against the Clintons in, watch him, he salivates.

  70. TurndownObama, like GonzoTx wrote, Nancy better get a clue and realize that she is part of a pattern. The female glass ceiling pattern Obama has displayed should worry her.

  71. wbboei Says:
    May 15th, 2009 at 2:53 am

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

    But, but … shouldn’t we distinguish between Panetta whom Obama brought in from outside as a reformer of the CIA — and the real CIA people who have been there doing their job for years?

  72. admin Says:
    May 15th, 2009 at 4:27 am

    TurndownObama, like GonzoTx wrote, Nancy better get a clue and realize that she is part of a pattern. The female glass ceiling pattern Obama has displayed should worry her.

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

    Hi, you’re up late. I hope this means you’re posting from the Riveria or somewhere.

    With Pelosi, how could it be glass ceiling when she’s already at the top of her path? She’s older than Hillary and unlikely to run for POTUS. What I do see is the same pirhanas going after a woman in a way that I have trouble imaging them going after a man.

    The simple explanation is that Pelosi was standing up to Obama by supporting things like SS, family planning money, etc — ‘women’s issues.’ (And perhaps other things I don’t know about.) Back around the family planning time, iirc she said she was being thrown under the bus adn run over twice.

    I wonder if she, realizing her mistake in the primaries, was threatening to ally with Hillary in 2012. “I made you and I can break you….”

  73. Republicans might have made a fatal error in stirring Pelosi’s ire. If they’re trying to keep a Truth Commission from gearing up they just screwed up. They went after Speaker Pelosi without the goods to get her. Now she’s mad as hell and isn’t in the mood to suffer fools.
    ————————————-
    Well, here is my take. First, if I were a Republican with no filabuster at my disposal, this is exactly what I would be doing. I would tell myself these dims are cannibals, I can look good to my constituents and what do I have nothing to lose. Bipartisanship is dead. Second, I would try to get her mad because when Pelosi is mad she does not think clearly. Like most rattlers she rattles too easily. Third, I would not want a special prosecutor either but I would play the game of brinksmanship and get her to lie on the record as she has done. I defy anyone to watch her press conference and Krauthammers comments and disagree that she was lying. I give no particular credit to the Republicans for this. It was a self inflicted wound by Obama and Pelosi.

    .

  74. Just so we are clear what I said about Pelosi is completely untrue of Hillary. As we saw in the debates, when Hillary is challenged she is focused and razor sharp. Not so with Pelosi.

    Turndown: sent you cc of an email I sent to Susan Morrison at the New Yorker critical of way she minimizes the poisonous effect of big media in the primary in the latest edition of her book 30 ways of looking at Hillary. These big media people are too myopic to realize why the public does not trust them and is refusing to pay for their product.

  75. The simple explanation is that Pelosi was standing up to Obama by supporting things like SS, family planning money, etc — ‘women’s issues.’ (And perhaps other things I don’t know about.) Back around the family planning time, iirc she said she was being thrown under the bus adn run over twice.

    I wonder if she, realizing her mistake in the primaries, was threatening to ally with Hillary in 2012. “I made you and I can break you….”
    ———————————-
    Yes to the first paragraph. No to the second. IMO.

  76. Pelosi is showing mighty poor judgment is escalating the attack to the CIA in these uncertain times. She will not get much support on that issue from her colleagues in congress, other than their usual mouth and gutwind. Yet another self inflicted wound arising out of this scenario.

  77. wbboei said:
    Yes to the first paragraph. No to the second. IMO.

    ==========

    If not to ally with Hillary in 2012, how about to ally with someone in 2012 — or just to run an honest convention for a change?

  78. The office of Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has made it known that not only is FOCA is among his priorities, but the bill will be reintroduced ( he introduced FOCA twice before) “sooner rather than later.” Barbara Boxer’s office confirmed that she will introduce the bill in the Senate.
    h…/ no w’s
    jimblazsik.com/2009/03/10/obama’s-push-for-unrestricted-abortion-foca-is-coming/

    Obama has said FOCA is not a priority because he wants to ‘tamp down’ anger or some such nonsense. Like he removed family planning money from the Stimulus to appease the GOP — who refused to vote for the Stim anyway.

  79. MAY 15, 2009

    Pelosi’s Self-Torture

    The speaker is engulfed by her own game of political retribution. Given House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s acknowledged skill at torturing the Bush Administration in recent years, it no doubt afforded her critics some pleasure yesterday to watch her twist in the wind in front of the press over what she knew and when about the CIA’s terrorist interrogations. With mockery even from Jon Stewart on Comedy Central, Mrs. Pelosi has turned herself into a spectacle about a subject that she and fellow Democrats had themselves reduced to a spectacle of demagogic accusation and blame, repeatedly threatening to put Bush officials in the dock for “condoning torture.”

    Permit us, then, to reel in this travesty and attempt to put both Speaker Pelosi and her targets in the Bush Administration into perspective. No, better yet, let Speaker Pelosi’s California colleague, Senator Dianne Feinstein, do it. Asked this week about Mrs. Pelosi’s variable recollections, Senator Feinstein, who chairs the Intelligence Committee, responded: “I think it’s a tempest in a teapot really to say, Well, Speaker Pelosi should have known all of this, she should have stopped this, she should have done this or done that. I don’t want to make an apology for anybody, but in 2002, it wasn’t 2006, ’07, ’08 or ’09. It was right after 9/11, and there were in fact discussions about a second wave of attacks.”

    Indeed there were discussions about a second wave of attacks in 2002. In an interview two years ago, former CIA Director George Tenet said of that post-attack period: “I’ve got reports of nuclear weapons in New York City, apartment buildings that are going to be blown up, planes that are going to fly into airports all over again.” It was precisely in this atmosphere, months after the initial, horrific attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, that the CIA asked the Justice Department for legal guidance on the now-famous “EITs,” or enhanced interrogation techniques at the center of this current tempest.

    Bush lawyers such as John Yoo and Jay Bybee produced memorandums carefully setting out the legal limits of what the CIA could do. Also in 2002, the CIA began the briefings of Congress on these interrogations that now haunt Speaker Pelosi.

    If Washington were still able to conduct a national-security policy fitting the world’s lone superpower, the Feinstein standard would apply to both Nancy Pelosi and the Bush officials. Instead, Congressional Democrats, unable to let go of their long Bush obsession, persist in calling for a Truth Commission, as did Ms. Pelosi herself yesterday in her prepared statement.

    Amid her rope-a-dope session with a suddenly pugnacious press corps, Speaker Pelosi said one other thing that deserves attention by people still hoping to save Washington from itself. She suggested that we “must review” the National Security Act of 1947 with an eye toward giving “larger numbers of Congress” access to classified briefings. This in the interest of “proper oversight.”

    Is she serious? The mess that now engulfs her and other Democrats can be solved by giving more Congressfolk access to the nation’s most sensitive secrets? Only a Member of Congress could conclude that you can enhance political accountability by making it more diffuse.

    Back in the 1970s, Congress in the spectacle of the Church-Pike hearings pilloried the CIA for being what Senator Frank Church called a “rogue elephant on the rampage.” That exercise, it is now widely acknowledged, damaged U.S. intelligence-gathering for a generation.

    Speaker Pelosi, John Conyers, Carl Levin and their supporters are now close to repeating this destructive exercise with hearings intended to be little more than bear-baitings of the defeated Bush Administration. President Obama in his fashion tries to split the difference by asserting that the CIA interrogators will somehow be fenced off from any such exercise while leaving the door open to prosecution of those who wrote the legal opinions. This Administration uses the word “responsibility” a lot, and it would improve the charged political atmosphere of Washington considerably if senior officials there took the idea more seriously. Speaker Pelosi and other senior Members of Congress were brought into the complex loop of the post-September 11 world with a long series of CIA briefings, as the law requires. Now, when disclosure of the details of those briefings undermines the Democrats’ political game, Mrs. Pelosi tries to dump responsibility back onto the CIA. Yesterday she even said the agency “gave me inaccurate and incomplete information.” So CIA officials now led by Obama appointee Leon Panetta are lying. No wonder this draws the ridicule of comedians.

    Whatever one’s politics may be, there has to be some recognition that Washington — the U.S. government — simply can’t function if it is endlessly entangled in the exquisitely argued, one might say absurd, blame-games that she and some Democrats are running against former Bush officials, and that now threaten the political standing of the Speaker herself.

    Barack Obama won the election and as President he now has a government to run. With that responsibility comes the necessity to make difficult decisions, as those he has made on prisoner photos and military tribunals attest. If he is to succeed, he needs a capital city of responsible partners, not a running circus with the Speaker of the House at the center, blaming everyone else as she flees from any responsibility for what she heard and did.

    online.wsj.com/article/SB124234147580621265.html

  80. Some states pass sovereignty measures

    10th Amendment to the Constitution: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    States where both legislative chambers have approved sovereignty resolutions:
    Alaska, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota; Oklahoma

    States where one chamber has approved : Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, South Carolina

    States where sovereignty resolutions failed: Arkansas, Montana, New Hampshire

    By Kathy Kiely, USA TODAY

    WASHINGTON — For some states, the message to the federal government is clear: Back off. Legislatures in Alaska, Idaho, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota this year have approved resolutions asserting sovereignty under the 10th Amendment of the Constitution and suggesting that Uncle Sam “cease and desist” from interfering in their business.

    The largely Republican backers say the federal government has overstepped its constitutional bounds by meddling in local matters ranging from education to drunken driving. “It’s telling the federal government, ‘Guys, you really need to back off,’ ” said Judy Burges, a GOP state representative who is sponsoring a sovereignty resolution in Arizona.

    Oklahoma’s Senate on Wednesday gave final approval to a sovereignty resolution, in defiance of a veto from the state’s Democratic governor, Brad Henry, on a similar measure. The resolution already passed the Oklahoma House twice. Similar measures are under consideration in at least two dozen other states. State sovereignty efforts have won the endorsement of two GOP gubernatorial candidates, one of whom — Gov. Rick Perry, up for re-election next year in Texas— made headlines last month by suggesting the movement could lead to some states seceding.

    The last time that happened, when South Carolina declared its independence in 1860 followed by 12 other Southern states, it led to the Civil War that marked the presidency of Abraham Lincoln.

    Some authors of sovereignty resolutions insist it is slander to paint them as secessionists. “That’s ludicrous. That’s not what we’re trying to do,” said Rep. Manny Steele, the Republican whip of South Dakota’s House. Jeff Breedlove, chief strategist for Georgia Republican gubernatorial hopeful John Oxendine, said his boss is not supporting secession with his statement in support of state sovereignty efforts. “We love our country,” Breedlove said. “The whole point of this is to honor the founding fathers by honoring the 10th Amendment of the Constitution.”

    Others aren’t so definite. “Why would I want to rule anything out?” said state Rep. Charles Key, R-Okla. “Why would we take a position that says ‘We really don’t like this but we’re only going to go so far?’ ” Henry said he vetoed the resolution because he was concerned about losing federal funds — and found it unnecessary. “There is no need to spend valuable legislative time on a resolution expressing support for any particular amendment or constitutional right,” he wrote in his veto message.

    The effort seems to have its biggest impetus in states that President Obama lost in last year’s election. All five states where the resolution made it through both chambers of the legislature backed the Democrat’s rival, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona. Of six other states where state sovereignty has passed one legislative chamber, only Indiana voted for Obama.

    Supporters insist this isn’t a red state rebellion and that they are trying to take a stand against federal encroachment on state authority that has been going on for decades. “It has nothing to do with the Obama administration,” said Key. He first introduced a state sovereignty resolution last year, when Republican George W. Bush was still in the White House. Like a number of other state lawmakers, Key said it was a law backed by the Bush administration establishing expensive security measures when issuing drivers’ licenses — known as the Real ID Act — that prompted his action.

    Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., author of the federal law, said members of Congress “recognized the issue of federalism and state sovereignty in drafting Real ID. No state is required to adopt Real ID.”

    Michael Boldin, a Los Angeles-based web marketer said he started the Tenth Amendment Center website “as a response to George Bush and Dick Cheney.” Boldin, 36, said he opposes the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and backed Republican Ron Paul for president. Even so, there’s no question that some Obama administration moves are fueling some of these resolutions. Arizona’s Burges doesn’t like requirements that union labor be used for projects funded by federal stimulus funds.

    “We’re a right-to-work state,” she said, using shorthand for laws designed to limit the influence of labor unions at the workplace.

    The resolutions that have passed have no legal effect, but Key and Steele said they hope to organize a summit where state lawmakers could plan their next move. One possibility: organizing civil disobedience where states agree to defy a federal rule. That could trigger a legal case going all the way to the Supreme Court, now dominated by GOP appointees.

    “It’s not off the wall,” said Georgetown University law professor Paul Rothstein, “It’s quite possible that this court could go for something like that.”

    usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-05-14-secede_N.htm

  81. LMAO!!!!!!!
    I always forget to put down the coffee when i’m reading your posts, wbboei!

    “If only we could talk Michelle into going over there and doing a fashion show on the board walk. That would scare the hell out of the
    Taliban. I expect they would toss down their Russian made AK-47s, throw up their hands like Roberto Duran and say “no mas!” And then she would plant a victory garden featuring their national flower–the poppy. Corporate media could call this soft diplomacy but others would be inclined to call it what it is–cruel and unusual punishment.LMAO!!!!!!!

  82. So….any predictions on which bold Democrat will publicly call for Pelosi’s resignation in the upcoming weeks?

  83. curiosity,

    Glad as i am to see her go under the bus BO’s still there and it doesn’t look like he’s gonna do anything except consolidate and solidify his power.

    That’s what I’m worried about.

  84. MADAM SPEAKER (MADAM could be a sellout here!!!) is a disgrace to the country’s national security issues…

  85. Turndown: I think Pelosi is dead woman walking. Oh to be a fly on the wall when Waxman, Miller and the rest of her cronies congregate to decide and do their little minuete I am only thinking of her, while desperately trying to figure out whom to align themsleves to and finally deciding when it doubt haul out the prayer rug and bow to bambi. If they have any political savvy, and most likely they do, then they realize that he and Emanuel plus their uber eithical attorney general set this whole thing up, in a successful strategy to remove yet another obstace in their path to absolute power and the destruction of this country. Believe me it is not the country they are worried about–ever, it is their own political necks. They are really no better that the Duke who had changed his offices from the Longworth Office Building to Club Fed for his health. Like the great trial lawyer Jake Erlich said you can bribe 1 man in 100 with silver and the other 99 with power. In congress it is not an either or proposition. What do her constituents think? Are they in denial, or have they decided that if Nancy has no objecton to torture when the issue is ripe then it is okay with them. Being limosene liberals they can probably relate it to things in their own precious lives–like the torture they suffered when that beastly waiter at the Stanford Court Forneau Ovens brought them a rack of lamb overcooked, or made them wait for a third martini.

  86. Barack Obama won the election and as President he now has a government to run. With that responsibility comes the necessity to make difficult decisions, as those he has made on prisoner photos and military tribunals attest. If he is to succeed, he needs a capital city of responsible partners, not a running circus with the Speaker of the House at the center, blaming everyone else as she flees from any responsibility for what she heard and did
    ————————————
    I can blame the republicans for many things but not this mess. The entire responsibility rests on Bambis shoulders. This was an intentional act on his part to eliminate Pelosi, and the sooner pundits wake up to it the closer they will get to the truth. They need to take off their blinders and see the grand strategy here or their analysis will be utterly meaningless–or worse.

  87. Madeleine Albright is born, May 15, 1937

    By: Andrew Glass
    May 15, 2009

    On this day in 1937, Madeleine Albright, the nation’s first female secretary of state, was born in Prague as Maria Jana Korbelova. The daughter of Josef Korbel, the Czech press attaché in Belgrade, Albright fled to England with her family after the Nazis occupied Czechoslovakia in 1939. Raised as a Roman Catholic, she learned as an adult that three of her Jewish grandparents had died in Nazi concentration camps.

    The family immigrated to the United States in 1948 after a Soviet-backed Communist coup seized power in Prague. Her father became dean of the school of international relations at the University of Denver; one of his students, Condoleezza Rice, would later become secretary of state.

    After graduating from Wellesley College on a full scholarship in 1959, Madeleine Korbel married Joseph Albright, a newspaperman and the scion of a publishing family. The couple had three children before divorcing in 1982.

    During Jimmy Carter’s presidency, Albright worked as a congressional liaison for Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser. Long active in Democratic foreign policy circles and in party fundraising efforts, Albright first attained high office in 1993, when President Bill Clinton named her ambassador to the United Nations. In 1997, the Senate unanimously confirmed her as secretary of state to succeed Warren Christopher. In that post, Albright favored using military force to put pressure on autocratic regimes in Yugoslavia and Iraq. Albright presaged a U.S. attack on Saddam Hussein. “Iraq has a simple choice. Reverse course or face the consequences,” she said. In October 2000, she traveled to North Korea to meet with Kim Jong Il.

    Albright is fluent in French, Czech and Russian and gets by in Polish and Serbo-Croatian. She currently teaches at Georgetown University while heading the Albright Group, a global strategy consulting and investment firm.

    politico.com/news/stories/0509/22532.html

  88. FLUFFY PILLOW PRIMARY FOR ARLEN

    Instead of toughening up for a fight with the Republican nominee by engaging in a primary fight with any existing Democratic primary candidates, mystical forces have interceded on Specter’s behalf. Must be obama. The sole existing primary candidate is bowing out. Get this, because he doesn’t want the campaign to be about Specter’s past record.

    Joe Torsella said, “Now that the dust has settled, it’s clear to me that the kind of campaign this would become is not the kind of campaign you or I signed up for,” he said. “It would probably be negative, personal, and more about Senator Specter’s past than our common future. And that won’t do Pennsylvanians any good.”

    So the Dems think that pretending his record doesn’t exist means that the Repubs won’t be able to research his record. This is how to prepare Specter for the election? And who leaned on Torsella?

    cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/05/15/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry5016249.shtml

    Specter’s Primary Challenger Drops Out
    ===========================

    May 15, 2009 10:32 AM

    Sen. Arlen Specter’s only challenger in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary, Democrat Joe Torsella, has dropped out of the 2010 Senate race.

    Torsella, the former president of the National Constitution Center, announced his decision Thursday night in a statement to supporters and in a video on his Web site.

    He said Sen. Specter’s recent switch from the Republican to the Democratic party changed the nature of the primaries.

    “Now that the dust has settled, it’s clear to me that the kind of campaign this would become is not the kind of campaign you or I signed up for,” he said. “It would probably be negative, personal, and more about Senator Specter’s past than our common future. And that won’t do Pennsylvanians any good.”

    When Specter announced his move to the Democratic party on April 28, he acknowledged that his chances for re-election were stronger with the Democrats. President Obama and other Democratic leaders embraced Specter and have pledged to support him in the 2010 primaries.

    Specter brings the Democrats just one seat away from holding a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate–something that could be accomplished if Democrat Al Franken is seated after the protracted legal battle with Republican Norm Coleman in Minnesota.

    Torsella entered the 2010 race in February and was considered Specter’s main primary challenger. His decision to drop out, however, does not necessarily put Specter in the clear. Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Penn.) has remained critical of the former Republican and has not ruled out his own Senate bid.

    Since joining the Democratic party, Specter has shifted his positions on some key issues slightly to the left. He has indicated he is open to supporting a government-sponsored health plan in a health care reform package, and on Thursday, he said the prospects were good that a compromise he could support would be reached over the Employee Free Choice Act, a bill that would make it easier for workers to form unions.

    But think

  89. dot48 Says:

    May 14th, 2009 at 8:57 pm
    As Obama continues to baffle and put the country in further danger, you have people like my stupid family who says “oh, he inherited all of this, what can he do”. Damn, they can not be kin to me!
    &&&&&&&&&&

    Technically, that line of reasoning can be extended as far back as you want. “We all inherited this mess from George frikkin Washington. It’s not me. I just got here. These problems have been around for 233 years.”

  90. Independent Ben Says:

    May 14th, 2009 at 10:02 pm
    wbboei,

    Last night O’Reilly had Dick Morris on for a segment about Hillary.
    [snip]
    He predicts that Obama will get into trouble politically and that his numbers will begin to plunge. As this happens, Hillary will distance herself from him, and that by 2012 Obama will be so radioactive that Hillary will challenge him in the primary.

    It’s interesting to think about, but I don’t think that she would ever challenge an incumbent.
    &&&&

    Interesting that Morris and O’Reilly are talking about obama’s potential to implode. I mean, we here have seen lots of reasons why he is setting himself up for mega-failure: over-promising, under-delivering, unable to work the Washington game because he’s a rookie, but too proud to listen to advice.

    But when talking heads are admitting it, that is encouraging that this line of dialog is even being bandied about.

    As for Hillary, she’s probably ready to slam the door if she’s going to be undermined. And she’d know how to run a primary against a disastrous incumbent.

    Get out the pop corn.

  91. And then we have this idiot…

    Chris Matthews Says He’s ‘Extremely Proud’ Obama Thrilled Him

    Thursday, May 14, 2009
    By Nicholas Ballasy, Video Reporter

    (CNSNews.com) – Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s “Hardball,” told CNSNews.com at last weekend’s White House Correspondents Dinner that he is “extremely proud” that he had been thrilled by President Barack Obama.

    During MSNBC’s presidential primary coverage, Matthews said Obama gave him a “thrill” up his leg. On April 1, Matthews said he was getting that “thrill” again when talking about the president’s appearance at the G-20 meeting in London.

    Last weekend, Matthews told CNSNews.com that he was “extremely proud” that Obama “thrilled” him because of the “inspiring” way Obama talks about America.
    When asked by CNSNews.com at the White House Correspondents Dinner whether he still gets a thrill up his leg from Obama, Matthews said: “I’m an American. Perhaps you find that obscure. But I love my country. And when he talks about my country, he certainly did during the campaign in a way that inspires me. And he thrilled me. I am very proud of that. I have a feeling about my country. When he talked about it, I was inspired. Thrilled. I mean it. I know other people don’t report that. Maybe they don’t have that feeling. But I had that feeling and I will report it.”

    When asked if he thinks it is OK to report his “feelings,” Matthews said he likes to report the truth. “Oh, I like to report the truth,” said Matthews. “And if you have a feeling, that’s part of your reporting. A lot of people come back from a crowd and they’ll say it was very exciting, or that there was a lot of noise, or a lot of charisma. I report my reaction to what I hear. I am very proud of it, extremely proud.”

    CNSNews.com asked the Hardball host for his opinion concerning the White House press coverage of President Obama.

    “It’s been positive. It’s been a honeymoon and it’ll probably last a while,” he said.
    Matthews also said he does not think the press needs to be harder on Obama. “No, I think we have to question the numbers though. The numbers of – the amount of money that’s been printed. The size of the deficits and the addition to the debt and that’s pretty scary. These are huge numbers,” he said. “We’re going to have a debt by the end of the first term that is equal to our entire economy,” said Matthews. “Think about that. That has to be paid off. I mean, it’s interest rates and tremendous costs to the taxpayer. It’s scary.”

    Matthews said what thrilled him about Obama was what he said in his speeches.
    “What he talked about, when he was talking about my country. That’s what inspired me,” said Matthews. “He speaks about my country in a way that makes me feel very good about him and my country. And I hope it continues.”

    cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=48110

  92. With the unemployment rate rising into double digits – and that’s not counting the millions of “underemployed” Americans – consumers are hitting the breaks, which is having a huge impact, given consumer spending accounts for about 70% of economic activity.
    Rising unemployment and the $8 trillion negative wealth effect of housing mean more Americans will default on not just mortgages but student loans and auto loans and credit card debt.
    More consumer loan defaults will hit banks, which are also threatened by what Davidowitz calls a “depression” in commercial real estate, noting the recent bankruptcy of General Growth Properties and distressed sales by Developers Diversified and other REITs.
    As for all the hullabaloo about the stress tests, he says they were a sham and part of a “con game to get private money to finance these institutions because [Treasury] can’t get more money from Congress. It’s the ‘greater fool’ theory.”

    “We’re now in Barack Obama’s world where money goes into the most inefficient parts of the economy and we’re bailing everyone out,” says Daviowitz, who opposes bailouts for financials and automakers alike. “The bailout money is in the sewer and gone.”
    —————————

  93. CHRIS MATTHEWS TRANSCENDS LOGIC

    JanH Says:
    May 15th, 2009 at 11:15 am

    CNSNews.com asked the Hardball host for his opinion concerning the White House press coverage of President Obama.

    “It’s been positive. It’s been a honeymoon and it’ll probably last a while,” he said.
    Matthews also said he does not think the press needs to be harder on Obama. “No, I think we have to question the numbers though. The numbers of – the amount of money that’s been printed. The size of the deficits and the addition to the debt and that’s pretty scary. These are huge numbers,” he said. “We’re going to have a debt by the end of the first term that is equal to our entire economy,” said Matthews. “Think about that. That has to be paid off. I mean, it’s interest rates and tremendous costs to the taxpayer. It’s scary.”
    &&&&&&&&&&&

    I fed this into Translation Genie 2.0, and here’s the translation:

    “You gotta love the president. But it’s easy to see that he’s doing bad things. He’s running the country into the ground. He’s stimulating the wrong things and starving the good. The debt, Social Security, he’s doing a terrible job of managing it.

    So, “numbers”, bad. “Obama”, wonderful. Inspiring. Fashionable. Cool. Elegant. Funny. Just don’t let him make any more decisions.

  94. JanH, I went to that link, and it had this quote:

    “And I think they didn’t care,” he concludes. “And I think the view of politicians is ‘Give us the money and we’ll deal with the fallout later.'”

    Fitton says although the audiotape is not likely to be very damaging to Secretary of State Clinton, it is further confirmation that she was misleading the American people when she claimed she did not have much contact with Norman Hsu and did not know about his background.
    &&&&&&&&

    Okay, there’s this one guy they’re making a fuss about, but they don’t think it will be very damaging.

    Now what about that obama feller there, who raised super enormous sums, largest in history, many from dubious sources, with bundlers, and his web page not even vetting potential donors with names like Mickey Mouse, Gerry Garcia, Osama, etc.? Yeah, any word why you’re going to get all Judicial Watch on his a**???

  95. rgb44hrc,

    I agree. bambi keeps getting a free ride while all the while becoming a prince of darkness.

  96. HAPLESS HARRY

    Harry and new guy, Al Franken, sit there with big grins.

    It’s nice to see happy people.

    This article reveals that there are plenty of DINOs, Dems in name only. Call them Blue Dogs, or whatever, but they call themselves Dems, but for some issues, they vote like Repubs. Or like centrists. Or like pork barrelling, earmarking, opportunists eager to buy votes in their home districts.

    politico.com/news/stories/0509/22553.html

    Democrats: Al Franken isn’t enough
    =========================

    A series of setbacks in the Senate has Democratic leaders warning their supporters that they won’t be able to accomplish everything they set out to do this year — even if Al Franken joins them as a 60th vote.

    With a 59-40 majority — just short of what they need to overcome GOP filibusters — Democrats watched helplessly this week as Republicans

    blocked the confirmation of one of Barack Obama’s top Interior Department nominees.

    They also struggled with the confirmation of one of Obama’s Justice Department picks, witnessed the adoption of an amendment allowing guns inside national parks and suffered major pushback against Obama’s plans to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.

    And with contentious fights over health care, climate change and Obama’s first Supreme Court pick ahead, some Democratic senators are now convinced that they can’t wade into some of the hot-button social issues their supporters would like them to pursue.

    “They should not take anything for granted,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who as majority whip has the job of counting votes. “People keep saying, ‘Wow, if you get Sen. Franken up in Minnesota, everything is going to be fine — you’ll be at 60.’ I’ve never said that, I know, because I face these senators every day, and I know that each of them has their own mind.”

    Although Democrats now appear to have the votes to confirm David Hayes for the No. 2 job at the Interior Department, they will have trouble confirming Dawn Johnsen as head of the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel even if Franken gets them to 60. Republicans have opposed her nomination because of her past involvement with an abortion rights group, and Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) so far is determined to deny his party the votes it needs to overcome a filibuster.

    “No way I can vote for her,” Nelson said. He added that he’s undecided whether to vote to end debate on the nomination.

    Other recalcitrant Democrats will most likely keep the party from passing new gun control laws — including a high-priority effort to close the so-called gun-show loophole. The Democrats’ problems there became clear this week when GOP Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma had an easy time attaching his national parks gun amendment to an unrelated credit card bill.

    “Not interested in any more gun laws — we got plenty on the books,” said Democratic Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska. Added Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia: “I think we ought to enforce our existing rules and not add new ones.”

    Centrist Democrats like Begich and Warner — both freshmen — helped the Democrats get to the cusp of 60, but they’ll also make leaders’ lives more difficult. The Democratic caucus is more ideologically diverse than it has been in the past, thanks in large part to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the former head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee who over the past two election cycles recruited centrist and conservative candidates to compete — and eventually win — in red states.

    Schumer said recently that divisions within the caucus are a natural outgrowth of its diversity.

    “The idea that now with 60 we can pass everything quickly and easily — no,” Schumer said. “And the beauty of our caucus is, first, it’s diverse.”

    Not everyone thinks it’s beautiful.

    “Harry Reid concerns me frequently, but so do a lot of other members, like all the ones who don’t agree with me,” said Rep. John Conyers, the liberal Democrat from Michigan who chairs the House Judiciary Committee. Among the items he’s pushing are a ban on assault weapons and an independent investigation into allegations that the Bush administration engaged in acts of torture — both of which are opposed by the Senate majority leader.

    Still, Conyers is sympathetic to Reid’s plight.

    “If you have 60 cats, you got to get them all together in the same place to get something done,” Conyers said. “Herding senators and herding cats have a lot in common.”

    If the Democrats get to 60, every member will be empowered to demand concessions in exchange for his or her filibuster-busting vote. Also in the catbird’s seat: Maine Republicans Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, to whom Democratic leaders will have to turn whenever they lose one of their own.

    “They can’t be confident of which 60 they’re going to get when it comes to intricate issues and complex issues as health care,” said Snowe. Obama has worked to woo the moderate Republican; he had a 20-minute one-on-one meeting with her earlier this month just to get her “take on things,” she said.

    Added Collins: “Because there are a number of moderate to conservative Democrats, I believe that the Obama administration is still going to need to put together coalitions of centrists in order to get anything done. I don’t see the Democrats as having reached 60 in reality.”

    One of the Senate’s most liberal Democrats seemed to acknowledge as much this week.

    “The issues are there, and you try to fight to win,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.). “When you have a critical mass you win. And when you don’t, you lose.”

  97. # JanH Says:
    May 15th, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    I agree. bambi keeps getting a free ride while all the while becoming a prince of darkness.
    ***********
    “WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Obama is planning on Friday to resume the Bush administration’s controversial military commission system for some Guantanamo detainees — which he suspended in his first week in office — according to three administration officials.”

    ww.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/05/14/obama.military.tribunal/index.html

  98. Torsella entered the 2010 race in February and was considered Specter’s main primary challenger. His decision to drop out, however, does not necessarily put Specter in the clear. Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Penn.) has remained critical of the former Republican and has not ruled out his own Senate bid.
    ———————
    SHV: I wish there were some way we could get a letter writing campaign started to urge Joe to run. I suppose it should be directed to him but also to the head of the Pennsylvania Demcratic Party. I knew the guy who was the Secretrary of that Party years ago. Jim Gillen was his name and he was one of the finest people you will ever meet. But he was old when I knew him so I am sure he is no longer around. Hell he was old enough to have been an army officer at the Battle of the Bulge and that was a long time ago. Speaking of which, I need to give ABM 90 a call. I hope he is reading the blog.

  99. “WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Obama is planning on Friday to resume the Bush administration’s controversial military commission system for some Guantanamo detainees — which he suspended in his first week in office — according to three administration officials.”
    ————————————————————–
    Another slap in the face to the progressives–at least those who have eyes to see and ears to hear and brains to think. I am guessing that is about 20% of them at most. As for the rest, I suppose they are content to support a president who trashes their values. Its the smell of Aqua Velva, cigar smoke and the sight of a toga which lures these ignormuses on to their destruction. Lorelei.

  100. SHV,

    I’m waiting for him to admit that meeting with enemy countries without any preconditions is not the way to go. He is a disaster waiting to happen.

  101. # wbboei Says:
    May 15th, 2009 at 5:28 am

    Pelosi is showing mighty poor judgment is escalating the attack to the CIA in these uncertain times. She will not get much support on that issue from her colleagues in congress, other than their usual mouth and gutwind. Yet another self inflicted wound arising out of this scenario.

    The only thing I’m wondering about at this point is whether Obama will keep a damaged, weakened Pelosi as speaker; or whether he’ll kill her off politically and get someone new.

  102. “They should not take anything for granted,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who as majority whip has the job of counting votes. “People keep saying, ‘Wow, if you get Sen. Franken up in Minnesota, everything is going to be fine — you’ll be at 60.’ I’ve never said that, I know, because I face these senators every day, and I know that each of them has their own mind.”
    ————————-
    If they gave Academy Awards for Bullshit, Dick are you or have you ever been a charter member of the Illionis Combine Durbin would get my vote. Franken is no Paul Wellstone about whom I have only good things to say.

  103. The only thing I’m wondering about at this point is whether Obama will keep a damaged, weakened Pelosi as speaker; or whether he’ll kill her off politically and get someone new.
    ———————————-
    That would depend on three things: i) first, whether he could force a weakened Pelosi to do his bidding without objection, ii) second, if he removes her what message does that send to her supporters who hold key committee positions, e.g. Waxman, Miller et. al., and iii) third, does he trust Hoyer who by all appearances is a loyal company man willing to put the party ahead of the country. In the balance he may decide to keep her as a hollow faced figurehead, but if things get much hotter then he will remove her, since he is the corrupt head of a once great party who stood for the interests of working people but now sees only wall street. More republican than republicans and more is the pity for that. Who speaks for the American People anymore? No one.

  104. This thing is so fundamental yet pundits keep missing the point. When you are in the majority and are rational you speak softly and carry a big stick. When you are in the minority you must be the squeaky wheel. Yet no no nanette pelosi has it all backwards. According to the liars at msnbc she is upping the ante on the republicans. How stupid can she get. I mean really. She is playing their game and counting on Bambi to rescue her. If I were a Republican I would look at this as an opportunity. I would call her bluff and say okay but we are also going to remind the nation of 9/11 and the second wave that was averted and by the way you dims are weak on defense. The spectacle would horrify foreign audiences but I could blame Pelosi for that. My guess is that Bambi does not like her upping the ante for that reason, and because he knows that what Herman Goering said about the people is unfortunately true. The dims would come across as weak and the repugs would come across as strong and decisive. Factually, this is untrue, but that is how the political theater would play out.

  105. SHV: I wish there were some way we could get a letter writing campaign started to urge Joe to run.
    *********
    Of all of the political candidates that I have financially supported, Adm. Sestak has been the only one that has kept me up to date about what he is doing in Congress. I have sent his office several e-mails urging him to challenge the “piece of crap” Specter and to add me to his donor list for the primary.

  106. The only thing I’m wondering about at this point is whether Obama will keep a damaged, weakened Pelosi as speaker; or whether he’ll kill her off politically and get someone new.
    ***********
    From my “lefty” perspective, the Pelosi mess may turn out to be a very good thing, besides removing her from leadership. Boehner and the Republicans are gleeful at the prospect of the down fall of war criminal Pelosi and may loose their minds and support a special prosecutor. If the Dem. war criminals are the first to go down, the “political witch hunt” meme goes down with them.

  107. The question of security is main cortex material. It is the worry of parents for the safety of their childen, married people for their spouses and people at large for their friends, neighbors and cherished institutions. Gut level things like this do not lend themselves well to fine Aristoltelian arguments. It would be a battle of images and when the photos of 9/11 were juxtaposed against the photos of torture, the public mind would draw the wrong conclusion. That is why this is a black hole for bambi and he must pull back from it. Pelosi has no comprehension of this which is why I honestly believe she is stupid.

  108. That is why this is a black hole for bambi and he must pull back from it.
    ***********
    Another gutless move by Obama; so when the full Second Circuit orders the release and the SC denies Cert, then Bambi can say “Not my fault”. Typical sociopath, takes no responsibility for anything.

  109. I can blame the republicans for many things but not this mess. The entire responsibility rests on Bambis shoulders. This was an intentional act on his part to eliminate Pelosi, and the sooner pundits wake up to it the closer they will get to the truth. They need to take off their blinders and see the grand strategy here or their analysis will be utterly meaningless–or worse.

    I’m really kind of amazed at what Obama has done here. He releases top secret CIA memos which absoutely cripple and eviscerate the CIA, and he stirs up this huge firestorm over an extremely important and explosive issue. He tells us he’s doing it out of a sense of morality.

    He then tells us that there will be no fact-finding, truth-telling, or other investigation into this because we should not focus on the past.

    So Pelosi is badly damaged and hanging on for dear life. The Democrats are frustrarted, confused over Obama’s actions, and angry that there will be no investigations, prosecutions, public hangings, or whatever. The Republicans of course have been hit with a sledgehammer and publicly branded as war criminals.

    So with everybody unhappy and angry with each other, and the issue
    itself totally unresolved, Obama looks around and says “My work here
    is done. Let’s move on.”

    And the real mystery is that when you read news stories about this, Obama is not mentioned, as if he played no role in this it all.

  110. That said, I favor public hearings over the torture issue, provided all relevant evidence is allowed to come into the record. The public has a right to know what our public officials authorize whether explicitly or sub silentio when it amounts to a war crime. I think we need to know what was done, by whom, under whose instructions and whether in fact it was effective. To me that is the important thing, and let the political chips fall where they may.

  111. Another gutless move by Obama; so when the full Second Circuit orders the release and the SC denies Cert, then Bambi can say “Not my fault”. Typical sociopath, takes no responsibility for anything.
    ————————————————-
    That is what he could have done in the beginning. But that would not have drawn the partisan response which he wanted in order to undermine Pelosi. This whole thing was premeditated and deliberative.

  112. Independent Ben Says:
    May 15th, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Obama looks around and says “My work here is done. Let’s move on.”
    &&&&&&&&&&

    So THAT’S how he is bi-partisan / post-partisan. He offends everyone!

    Even his wife has very little good to say about “ole dummyhead”.

  113. Who speaks for the American People anymore? No one.

    Well, if the banks and the market come back a little, maybe some of it will trickle down. . . wait, where have I heard that before?

  114. SHV: Pelosi will be the poster child of the 2010 election. We knew that going in, but this little episode has made her an even bigger target. For that reason alone, it is more probable than not that she will be “asked” to step down, subject to what I said earlier in response to Independent Ben. Bambi is not the kind of guy to hang with someone once they have become a liability to him. The press attacks launched against her will seal her fate IMO.

  115. Let us not forget that obama is an equal opportunity back-stabber. He shares his “love” with both sides of the aisle.

  116. CIA Director Leon Panetta has weighed in and the news is not good for Pelosi. Panetta is calling for a lowering of the noise level but at the same time he is politely calling Nancy a liar.

  117. TOO BAD BROOKS DIDN’T WARN VOTERS ABOUT OBAMA LAST YEAR…

    Now Mel, I mean David, Brooks tells us how high the cliff is that obama is driving us over.

    Fiscal Suicide Ahead
    ==============

    By DAVID BROOKS
    Published: May 14, 2009

    Barack Obama came to office with a theory. He believed that the country was in desperate need of new investments in education, energy and many other areas. He also saw that the nation faced a long-term fiscal crisis caused by rising health care and entitlement costs. His theory was that he could spend now and save later. He could fund his agenda with debt now and then solve the long-term fiscal crisis by controlling health care and entitlement costs later on.

    In essence, health care became the bank out of which he could fund the bulk of his agenda. By squeezing inefficiencies out of the health care system, he could have his New New Deal and also restore the nation to long-term fiscal balance.

    This theory justified the tremendous ramp-up of spending we’ve seen over the last several months. Obama inherited a $1.2 trillion deficit and has quickly pushed it up to $1.8 trillion, a whopping 13 percent of G.D.P. The new debt will continue to mount after the economy recovers. The national debt will nearly double over the next decade. Annual deficits will still hover around 5 percent or 6 percent of G.D.P. in 2019. By that year, interest payments alone on the debt are projected to be $806 billion annually, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

    Obama believes these deficit levels are tolerable if he can fix the long-term fiscal situation, but he hasn’t been happy about them. He’s been prowling around the White House prodding his staff to find budget cuts. Some of the ideas they have produced have been significant (Medicare reforms), some have been purely political (asking cabinet secretaries to cut $100 million in waste, fraud and abuse), and many have been gutted on Capitol Hill (cap and trade, proposed changes in charitable deductions, proposed changes to the estate tax).

    In any case, these stabs at fiscal discipline haven’t come close to keeping up with the explosion in spending. The government now borrows $1 for every $2 it spends. A Treasury bond auction earlier this month went poorly, suggesting the world’s hunger for U.S. debt is not limitless. President Obama has been thrown back on his original theory. If he is going to sustain his agenda, if he is going to prevent national insolvency, he has to control health care costs. Health care costs are now the crucial issue of his whole presidency.

    Obama and his aides seem to understand this. They have gone out of their way to emphasize the importance of restraining costs. The president has held headline-grabbing summits with business and union leaders. Unlike just about every other Democrat on the planet, he emphasizes cost control as much as expanding health coverage.

    So what exactly is the president proposing to help him realize hundreds of billions of dollars a year in savings?

    Obama aides talk about “game-changers.” These include improving health information technology, expanding wellness programs, expanding preventive medicine, changing reimbursement policies so hospitals are penalized for poor outcomes and instituting comparative effectiveness measures.

    Nearly everybody believes these are good ideas. The first problem is that most experts, with a notable exception of David Cutler of Harvard, don’t believe they will produce much in the way of cost savings over the next 10 years. They are expensive to set up and even if they work, it would take a long time for cumulative efficiencies to have much effect. That means that from today until the time President Obama is, say, 60, the U.S. will get no fiscal relief.

    The second problem is that nobody is sure that they will ever produce significant savings. The Congressional Budget Office can’t really project savings because there’s no hard evidence they will produce any and no way to measure how much. Some experts believe they will work, but John Sheils of the Lewin Group, a health care policy research company, speaks for many others. He likes the ideas but adds, “There’s nothing that does much to control costs.”

    If you read the C.B.O. testimony and talk to enough experts, you come away with a stark conclusion: There are deep structural forces, both in Medicare and the private insurance market, that have driven the explosion in health costs. It is nearly impossible to put together a majority coalition for a bill that challenges those essential structures. Therefore, the leading proposals on Capitol Hill do not directly address the structural problems. They are a collection of worthy but speculative ideas designed to possibly mitigate their effects.

    The likely outcome of this year’s health care push is that we will get a medium-size bill that expands coverage to some groups but does relatively little to control costs. In normal conditions, that would be a legislative achievement.

    But Obama needs those cuts for his whole strategy to work. Right now, his spending plans are concrete and certain. But his health care savings, which make those spending plans affordable, are distant, amorphous and uncertain. Without serious health cost cuts, this burst of activism will hasten fiscal suicide.

  118. Fiscal Suicide Ahead

    By DAVID BROOKS
    Published: May 14, 2009

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

    For a quicker savings, he could try funding family planning services. A prescription for birth control pills now makes a big savings in 9 months, and from then on.

  119. Boehner and the Republicans are gleeful at the prospect of the down fall of war criminal Pelosi and may loose their minds and support a special prosecutor.
    ————————————————-
    And then as Barrister Erskin told Lord Chief Justice Mansfield three hundred years ago or so: “I will drag that dark mover from behind the scenes and let him give answer to this court for his crimes”. Lots of dark movers to deal with here. But how else can we get to the truth?

  120. But Obama needs those cuts for his whole strategy to work. Right now, his spending plans are concrete and certain. But his health care savings, which make those spending plans affordable, are distant, amorphous and uncertain. Without serious health cost cuts, this burst of activism will hasten fiscal suicide.
    ————————————
    I once believed Brooks was a first rate thinker. I changed my opinion when I watched him and Mark drink from the same Koolaide glass. I guess I hold him more culpable than other journalists who committed the same crime because Brooks was smart enough to know better.

  121. Brooks and Mark ___ who?

    Yeah, Brooks got suckered too. Not critical enough thinking. “Where’s the beef?” Is this lightweight with just half of one (unremarkable) Senate term under his belt presidential timber?

  122. I was doing a little web surfing earlier and read some blogs and articles that are written by Dems defending Pelosi in this. They all say that the Republicans have stirred all this up against Nancy. I will agree that the Republicans are enjoying the Pelosi meltdown and are gleefully piling on. But the Republicans are not the ones releasing CIA memos. It seems that none of the Dems will acknowledge Obama’s role in this. To me, it’s obvious that Obama has been playing a political game here that involved making some very sensitive info public. We now know that Obama will sacrifice national security if he can gain a political power advantage. Achieving power by any means necessary is the very heart of Alinsky’s philosophy.

  123. CIA Director Leon Panetta has weighed in and the news is not good for Pelosi. Panetta is calling for a lowering of the noise level but at the same time he is politely calling Nancy a liar.
    ————————————————
    Admin: it cannot be any fun to be Leon Panetta right now, caught between a rock and a hard place. As Bambis head of the CIA, he needs to muzzle Pelsosi before she drags EVERYONE down with her and forfeits the advantage of being in the majority because she has become the biggest squeaking wheel. And then of course he has the other matter to deal with which is the tidal wave of outrage and distrust moving across the agency from Langley to Timbuktoo and aaalll the dirty little secrets they have on politicians.

  124. Not quite. It was Obama who started the chain of events that is now boomeranging on Democrats. By releasing the CIA memos and pointing the finger of blame for what he has called a mistake, Obama targeted CIA officers for recrimination.

    What’s more important, it is Obama — along with congressional Democrats — who has made the CIA risk-averse. Together, they have done that by demonstrating to CIA officers that when asked to engage in a risky venture that has been approved by the president, the Justice Department, and key members of Congress, they may suffer consequences if they trust those assurances.

    As former Director of Central Intelligence Porter Goss has said, “It is certainly not trust that is fostered when intelligence officers are told one day ‘I have your back’ only to learn a day later that a knife is being held to it.”

    Thus, as detailed in the Newsmax story Obama Has Paralyzed the CIA, at a time when al-Qaida is plotting to wipe us out with a nuclear attack, Obama and the Democrats have jeopardized our safety by returning the CIA to a pre-9/11 risk-averse mentality.

    Democrats’ effort to blame it all on the CIA shows they have no shame.

    ———————————-

    THIS IS OBAMA”S INDIRECT WAY OF COMMUNICATING WITH THE ISLAMIC TERRORISTS!!!!!!

    He is a traitor and anybody who defends him is one too in my opionion…..he opened this can of NEW DINOSAURS!!!!!!!. THEY ARE BLAMING THE INTELLIGENCE OFFICERS…!!!! BIG BIG MISTAKE!!!!!

  125. I was doing a little web surfing earlier and read some blogs and articles that are written by Dems defending Pelosi in this. They all say that the Republicans have stirred all this up against Nancy. I will agree that the Republicans are enjoying the Pelosi meltdown and are gleefully piling on. But the Republicans are not the ones releasing CIA memos. It seems that none of the Dems will acknowledge Obama’s role in this. To me, it’s obvious that Obama has been playing a political game here that involved making some very sensitive info public. We now know that Obama will sacrifice national security if he can gain a political power advantage. Achieving power by any means necessary is the very heart of Alinsky’s philosophy.
    —————————————————–
    I agree entirely with your analysis. These are the kind of people who have a keen eye for the obvious, and no comprehension of what lies hidden beneathe the surface. Unbeknownst to them this is a battle plan and Alinsky is one of the keys needed to unlock the lock. When something does not work they write it off to inexperience, republican opposition and all the other shop warn explanations. If these people were true to their values they would stop making excuses, and examine his actions (as oppose to his words) in the cold light of day. The alternative is to go through the rest of their lives bamboozled.

  126. Leon Pannetta had two choices and he picked the right one. He stood behind his people and that says a lot.

  127. Mark ___ who?

    Yeah, Brooks got suckered too. Not critical enough thinking. “Where’s the beef?” Is this lightweight with just half of one (unremarkable) Senate term under his belt presidential timber?
    ——————————————–
    Mark Shields. Used to run into him alot at the Capitol Hyatt. I always waved to him and he smiled nodded and waved back. I never met him and he never knew who the hell I was, and it was a good thing for both of us that it remained that way.

  128. Watching Fox right now about Pelosi. I’m starting to feel like she’s not going to survive. Her credibility has been shattered and I’m sure her performance in that presser was embarrassing to a lot of big Dems. Nancy could have mitigated some of the damage if she had kept her mouth shut, and if she had any composure whatsoever. Also bad was when she was yelling for prosecutions and truth commissions – and she’s got this little problem of her own.

  129. Gingrich: ‘Absolute obligation’ to investigate Pelosi

    (CNN) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is engaging in a “despicable, dishonest and vicious political effort” to withhold what she knew about the CIA’s harsh interrogation techniques, former Speaker Newt Gingrich said Friday. Gingrich said Pelosi “lied to the House” when she earlier claimed that the CIA had never briefed her about the Bush administration’s use of interrogation methods like waterboarding, which is considered torture by the current administration. “I think that the House has an absolute obligation to open an inquiry, and I hope there will be a resolution to investigate her. And I think this is a big deal. I don’t think the speaker of the House can lie to the country on national security matters,” the Republican leader said in an interview with ABC Radio.

    Pelosi has been under fire from critics who say she was fully briefed on the techniques in 2002 and 2003. On Thursday, the California Democrat accused CIA officials of misleading her, reiterating a claim that she was briefed on such techniques only once — in September 2002 — and that she was told at the time that the techniques were not being used.

    A recently released Justice Department memo says the CIA used waterboarding at least 83 times in August 2002 in the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, a suspected al Qaeda leader imprisoned at U.S. facilities in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Pelosi said the briefing she received from the CIA was incomplete and inaccurate, and she called on the CIA to release a full transcript of the briefing. She also accused Republicans of jumping on reports of the briefings to cause a distraction.

    “She is a trivial politician, viciously using partisanship for the narrowest of purposes, and she dishonors the Congress by her behavior,” Gingrich also said in the blistering interview. “Speaker Pelosi’s the big loser, because she either comes across as incompetent or dishonest. Those are the only two defenses,” he continued. “The fact is, she either didn’t do her job, or she did do her job and she’s now afraid to tell the truth.”

    Pelosi admitted Thursday that five months after her briefing, in February 2003, one of her aides attended a briefing and was told that interrogators were using the harsh tactics. The aide informed Pelosi. Rep. Jane Harman of California, then top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, wrote a letter objecting. Asked why she didn’t do the same, Pelosi said, “No letter could change the policy. It was clear we had to change the leadership in Congress and in the White House. That was my job.”

    House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio said Pelosi’s comments “continue to raise more questions than provide answers.” Asked about Pelosi’s allegations that Republican policy was leading the country astray, Boehner said, “I think the problem is that the speaker has had way too many stories on this issue.”

    The CIA said it is standing by its records, which indicate that Pelosi was briefed on the techniques. “It is not the policy of this agency to mislead the United States Congress,” CIA spokesman George Little said.

    Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Michigan, wants the CIA to release the classified notes from the briefing. “The American people ought to know what Congress knew and when they knew it, and they’ll will recognize that not only did President Bush but Republican and Democratic leadership on the Hill supported the use of these enhanced interrogation techniques,” he told Fox News on Thursday. “I’m going to keep pushing on this. These documents will be made public. The only question is whether it’s going to take three days, three weeks or three months. But they will be made public. They have to,” he said.

    The No. 2 Democrat in the House tried to dismiss talk Thursday of what Pelosi knew or didn’t know. Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said the discussion “is a distraction from the central point”: determining what happened during the Bush administration and making sure it never happens again. Responding to a question from Republican Rep. Eric Cantor about whether he believes the CIA may have “misled” Pelosi in briefings, Hoyer said he had “no basis [on] which to base such a belief, and I certainly hope that’s not the case.” “But it is a distraction from the central point,” the Maryland Democrat said. “And I will tell my friend that I think there is far too much discussion about what was said as opposed to what was done.”

    cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/05/15/pelosi.waterboarding/

  130. OBAMA, “MAN OF WORDS”, NOT “MAN OF ACTION”

    We knew that. “Gives a great speech, but…”

    Now HuffPo is disappointed yet again. “Right words, but the actions don’t back it up”.

    Some of the good quotes found within the piece are these highlights:

    * “But when it comes to putting its rhetoric into action, the Obama administration has faltered.”

    * “Just a week after the Attorney General said there would be no more medical marijuana raids, the DEA raided a licensed medical marijuana dispensary in California.”

    * “Obama’s ’09-’10 budget proposes to continue the longstanding ban on federal funding of needle exchange programs.”

    * “The current budget is still overwhelmingly skewed in favor of the drug war approach — indeed, it allocates more to drug enforcement and less to prevention than even George Bush did.”

    Enjoy.

    huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/ending-the-war-on-drugs-t_b_203768.html

    Ending the War on Drugs: The Moment is Now
    ================================

    When it comes to addressing America’s disastrous war on drugs, the Obama administration appears to be moving in the right direction — albeit very, very cautiously.

    On the rhetorical front, all the president’s men are saying the right things.

    In his first interview since being confirmed, Obama’s new drug czar, Gil Kerlikowske, said that we need to stop looking at our drug problem as a war. “Regardless of how you try to explain to people it’s a ‘war on drugs” or a ‘war on product,'” he told the Wall Street Journal, “people see war as a war on them. We’re not at war with people in this country.”

    He also said that it was time to focus more on treatment and less on incarceration.

    Earlier this year, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the federal government would no longer raid and prosecute distributors of medical marijuana who operate in accordance with state law in the 13 states where voters have made it legal.

    Holder has also said that his department intends to eliminate the outrageous and prejudicial sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine.

    And while on the campaign trail, President Obama called for repealing the ban on federal funding for anti-AIDS programs that supply clean needles to drug users.

    All positive signs that we are ready to move beyond our failed war on drugs.

    But when it comes to putting its rhetoric into action, the Obama administration has faltered.

    Just a week after the Attorney General said there would be no more medical marijuana raids, the DEA raided a licensed medical marijuana dispensary in California.

    Obama’s ’09-’10 budget proposes to continue the longstanding ban on federal funding of needle exchange programs.

    The current budget is still overwhelmingly skewed in favor of the drug war approach — indeed, it allocates more to drug enforcement and less to prevention than even George Bush did.

    Testifying today in front of the House Judiciary Committee, Holder, in his opening statement, called for a working group to examine federal cocaine sentencing policy: “Based on that review, we will determine what sentencing reforms are appropriate, including making recommendations to Congress on changes to crack and powder cocaine sentencing policy.” A working group? Why? As a senator, Obama co-sponsored legislation (introduced by Joe Biden) to end the disparity. What further review is needed?

    (To be fair, during questioning, Holder said he and the president both favored doing away with the crack/powder disparity and said that Justice would even consider doing away with mandatory minimums altogether. But why the initial equivocation and the use of the very familiar needs-further-review dodge?)

    So the question becomes: is the Obama administration really committed to a fundamental shift in America’s approach to drug policy or is this about serving up a kinder, gentler drug war?

    And this at a time when the tide is clearly turning. Inspired by the massive budget crises facing many states, and the increase in drug violence both at home and abroad — leaders on all points across the political spectrum appear more willing to rethink our ruinous drug policies.

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has called for “an open debate” and careful study of proposals to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana. Former Mexican President Vicente Fox has also urged renewing the debate, saying that he isn’t convinced taxing and regulating drugs is the answer but “why not discuss it?” Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, pointing to evidence that Mexican drug cartels draw 60 to 80 percent of their revenue from pot, suggested legalization might be an effective tool to combat Mexican drug traffickers and American gangs.

    And, in a major shift in the global drug policy debate, a Latin American commission, headed by the former presidents Fernando Cardoso of Brazil, Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico, and Cesar Gavaria of Colombia issued a devastating report condemning America’s 40-year war on drugs.

    “Prohibitionist policies based on eradication, interdiction and criminalization of consumption simply haven’t worked,” the former presidents wrote in a joint op-ed. “The revision of U.S.-inspired drug policies is urgent in light of the rising levels of violence and corruption associated with narcotics. The alarming power of the drug cartels is leading to a criminalization of politics and a politicization of crime.”

    They called for “a paradigm shift in drug policies” that begins with “changing the status of addicts from drug buyers in the illegal market to patients cared for by the public health system.”

    And in Congress, Sen. Jim Webb has introduced legislation, with co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle, to create a blue-ribbon commission to examine criminal justice and drug policies and how they have led to our nation’s jam-packed jails — now filled with tens of thousands of nonviolent drug offenders.

    “With so many of our citizens in prison compared with the rest of the world,” Webb wrote in a recent Parade cover story, “there are only two possibilities: Either we are home to the most evil people on earth or we are doing something different–and vastly counterproductive. Obviously, the answer is the latter.”

    I understand that drugs continue to be a political hot potato, fueled by what the Latin American presidents described as “prejudices and fears that sometimes bear little relation to reality.” And I can easily picture some on the president’s team advising him to keep the issue on the backburner lest it turn into his “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

    But the cost of the drug war — both human and financial — is far too high to allow politics to dictate the administration’s actions. Indeed, with all the budget cutting going on, how can anyone justify spending tens of billions of dollars a year on an unwinnable war against our own people?

    Change won’t be easy. The prison-industrial complex has a deeply vested interest in maintaining the status quo. Which is why we need to keep the pressure on the president and his team to follow through on their drug policy promises.

    As with the regulation of Wall Street, real reform of our nation’s drugs policies won’t happen without someone in the administration making it a top priority.

    The jury is still out on Kerlikowske. His law enforcement background could make him the drug war equivalent of Tim Geithner — too enmeshed in the system he is tasked with overhauling.

    Holder shows more promise. But he’ll have to avoid the let’s-have-a-working-group-review-decisions-that-have-already-been-decided approach.

    As a reminder, I’m planning to send the Attorney General a few copies of This Is Your Country On Drugs, a book out next month on the history of drug use and drug policy in America by our HuffPost Congressional correspondent Ryan Grim. In it, he argues that the goal of U.S. policy should not be to eliminate drugs, but to prevent and treat the addiction and other problems that come with them: “As currently understood and implemented, drug policy attempts to isolate a phenomenon that can’t be taken in isolation. Economic policy is drug policy. Healthcare policy is drug policy. Foreign policy, too, is drug policy. When approached in isolation, drug policy almost always leads to unfortunate and unintended consequences.”

    With three-quarters of the drug offenders clogging our state prisons there for nonviolent offenses — and a disproportionate number of those young men of color — the time has come to wage a full-scale war on the war on drugs.

  131. Let us not forget that obama is an equal opportunity back-stabber. He shares his “love” with both sides of the aisle
    ——————————————–
    Jan–I agree. But dont you think he has a tougher time with women who are older than him and have power. I think he feels threatened by them, and perhaps he should. After all, they are less likely than others to be seduced by his big ears, scrawney body and faux intelligence. Its like Hillary said in New Hampshire: I guess I’ve lived a little long.

  132. Justice Department memo says the CIA used waterboarding at least 83 times in August 2002

    Just for the record, the way they use that 83 number is very misleading. It doesn’t mean they strapped this guy down and waterboarded him 83 times. You actually count 1 for each pour of water. So in reality he probably had something like 5 different sessions, with 15 pours of water in each one.

  133. wbboei,

    I think he is a miserable bully, nothing more and nothing less. He is an insecure, lazy, non-accomplishing person who reached for what should have been unattainable to someone as inexperienced as he is. Pelosi et al have no one to blame but themselves for pandering to this egomaniac.

    Does he have a tougher time with women? Well, with Hillary, she refused to go with the program and lavish adoration on him. She saw him for what he was. With Pelosi, she lapped up the tiny bits of attention that he threw at her and this is where it got her.

  134. Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said the discussion “is a distraction from the central point”: determining what happened during the Bush administration and making sure it never happens again.
    —————————————————-
    That tells you right there what this joker is about. Party over country. No doubt he has been briefed on the broad plenary language of the War Crimes Act. Evidently he sees that as a distraction too.

  135. wbboei Says:

    May 15th, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    ——————————–

    Not much of a surprise though. The repubs would do the same if the shoe was on the other foot.

    So much for dignity of office and political ethics.

  136. You know, there is this weird pattern I’ve noticed lately with the Dems, and it’s their refusal to acknowledge or confront Obama in any way. I’ve been seeing this everywhere. In articles they will say that the “CIA” released a memo, and not Obama.

    Another good example. When Obama released that briefings memo – the memo that really hurt Pelosi, several Dems on the Hill complained about its release. But they lodged their complaint directly with the CIA, and not Obama. After thinking about this a bit, I think I’ve finally figured it out.

    These people are not stupid. A lot of them saw what Obama did to Nancy Pelosi – someone of his own party – and they are TERRIFIED of this man – the memo releaser in chief, with access to the entire CIA database. Who’s next? I wonder if the CIA has an info about that little problem I had..? Well, you get the picture. There was indeed an intimidation factor to his takedown of Pelosi.

  137. HUFFPOSTER REALIZING PEOPLE PAYING OBAMA LIP SERVICE WERE JUST KIDDIN’

    huffingtonpost.com/jason-rosenbaum/that-didnt-take-long-insu_b_203863.html

    points to NY Times article “Health Care Leaders Say Obama Overstated Their Promise to Control Costs” at:
    nytimes.com/2009/05/15/health/policy/15health.html?_r=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

    That Didn’t Take Long: Insurance Industry Breaks Promise To President Obama
    =======================================================

    Jason Rosenbaum
    Posted: May 15, 2009 09:57 AM

    Just four days after standing next to President Obama and declaring their commitment to control health care costs to the tune of $2 trillion over 10 years, the insurance industry, drug and medical device makers, and hospital groups are backing off their promise:

    *** start Times quote ***
    Hospitals and insurance companies said Thursday that President Obama had substantially overstated their promise earlier this week to reduce the growth of health spending.

    Mr. Obama invited health industry leaders to the White House on Monday to trumpet their cost-control commitments. But three days later, confusion swirled in Washington as the companies’ trade associations raced to tamp down angst among members around the country.

    Health care leaders who attended the meeting have a different interpretation. They say they agreed to slow health spending in a more gradual way and did not pledge specific year-by-year cuts.

    “There’s been a lot of misunderstanding that has caused a lot of consternation among our members,” said Richard J. Umbdenstock, the president of the American Hospital Association. “I’ve spent the better part of the last three days trying to deal with it.”
    *** end Times quote ***

    First, these groups are showing their true, dishonest colors. AHIP, the main insurance industry lobby group, sent out this press release from their fake grassroots campaign after the announcement:

    *** start quote ***
    By reducing the rate of growth in health care spending by 1.5% each year, the nation can achieve a savings of $2 trillion over the next decade. This effort will have a direct effect on the budgets of individuals and families and will also go a long way in ensuring that every American have access to affordable, high-quality health care. Stay tuned for more information on this important initiative in the weeks and months ahead.
    *** end quote ***

    Sounds like they made a commitment, right? Well, that commitment is now pretty soft (emphasis on the softness added):

    *** NY Times again ***
    He and other health care executives said they had agreed to squeeze health spending so the annual rate of growth would eventually be 1.5 percentage points lower.

    One of the lobbyists, Karen M. Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, said the savings would “ramp up” gradually as the growth of health spending slowed.

    David H. Nexon, senior executive vice president of the Advanced Medical Technology Association, a trade group for makers of medical devices, said “there was no specific understanding” of when the lower growth rate would be achieved.

    “It’s a target over a 10-year period,” Mr. Nexon said.
    *** end Times quote ***

    So we’ve gone from commitments to eventualities, targets, and non-specific understandings.

    This just proves what the American people have known all along: You can’t trust the insurance industry with health care reform.

    Why have these commitments gone soft? It’s about profits. Every dollar of health care “waste” in the system, every dollar that goes somewhere other than to your health, that’s a dollar more in the pockets of a rich hospital administrator or insurance industry CEO. For health care costs to come down, somebody’s profits have to come down as well.

    Now, in a good reform plan, every player in the system would be squeezed a little bit to help alleviate the crushing cost on the patient. Doctors, hospitals, and other providers would charge a bit less for care and be paid based on quality, not quantity. Drug and medical device makers would be forced to sell their products at a discount in volume. And the insurance industry would trim overhead and profits to keep costs in line. Then, employers and government would pitch in to cover all individuals. It would be a system of shared responsibility.

    Clearly, the insurance industry, hospitals, and drug makers aren’t interested in shared responsibility. They don’t want to be squeezed a bit. The want to protect their profits so much that they show their two-faced nature: Standing next to the President of the United States, promising responsibility, and then backpeddling as fast as they can four days later.

    That’s why we need to make them do it. Voluntary agreements are not enough. We need regulation and we need real cost control, and that means a public health insurance option that will force these awful companies to earn their keep through stiff competition, something they’ve avoided for far too long.

    They’re liars. They’re cheats. They’re greedy. They’re untrustworthy. They cannot be trusted to come up with a health care reform plan that works for you and me. We must make them do it.

  138. And now the NY Times piece (link in previous post)

    Health Care Leaders Say Obama Overstated Their Promise to Control Costs
    =====================================================

    By ROBERT PEAR
    Published: May 14, 2009

    WASHINGTON — Hospitals and insurance companies said Thursday that President Obama had substantially overstated their promise earlier this week to reduce the growth of health spending.

    Mr. Obama invited health industry leaders to the White House on Monday to trumpet their cost-control commitments. But three days later, confusion swirled in Washington as the companies’ trade associations raced to tamp down angst among members around the country.

    After meeting with six major health care organizations, Mr. Obama hailed their cost-cutting promise as historic.

    “These groups are voluntarily coming together to make an unprecedented commitment,” Mr. Obama said. “Over the next 10 years, from 2010 to 2019, 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.”

    Health care leaders who attended the meeting have a different interpretation. They say they agreed to slow health spending in a more gradual way and did not pledge specific year-by-year cuts.

    “There’s been a lot of misunderstanding that has caused a lot of consternation among our members,” said Richard J. Umbdenstock, the president of the American Hospital Association. “I’ve spent the better part of the last three days trying to deal with it.”

    Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the White House Office of Health Reform, said “the president misspoke” on Monday and again on Wednesday when he described the industry’s commitment in similar terms. After providing that account, Ms. DeParle called back about an hour later on Thursday and said: “I don’t think the president misspoke. His remarks correctly and accurately described the industry’s commitment.”

    The Washington office of the American Hospital Association sent a bulletin to its state and local affiliates to “clarify several points” about the White House meeting.

    In the bulletin, Richard J. Pollack, the executive vice president of the hospital association, said: “The A.H.A. did not commit to support the ‘Obama health plan’ or budget. No such reform plan exists at this time.”

    Moreover, Mr. Pollack wrote, “The groups did not support reducing the rate of health spending by 1.5 percentage points annually.”

    He and other health care executives said they had agreed to squeeze health spending so the annual rate of growth would eventually be 1.5 percentage points lower.

    Under existing law, the Department of Health and Human Services estimates that health spending will grow an average of 6.2 percent a year in the coming decade, to $4.4 trillion in 2018.

    Two other lobbyists who attended the White House meeting confirmed Mr. Pollack’s account.

    One of the lobbyists, Karen M. Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, said the savings would “ramp up” gradually as the growth of health spending slowed.

    David H. Nexon, senior executive vice president of the Advanced Medical Technology Association, a trade group for makers of medical devices, said “there was no specific understanding” of when the lower growth rate would be achieved.

    “It’s a target over a 10-year period,” Mr. Nexon said.

    Democrats in Congress are looking for savings that could be certified by the Congressional Budget Office, the official scorekeeper, so the money could be used to pay for coverage of the uninsured.

    But health care executives are leery of enforceable cost controls. Mr. Pollack assured hospital executives that the promised savings “are not subject to rigid ‘scoring’ rules used by the Congressional Budget Office.”

    John A. Matessino, president of the Louisiana Hospital Association, said his members were already struggling because the state cut their Medicaid payments 3.5 percent in February and planned deeper cuts in the fiscal year that starts July 1.

    “We are very concerned about what they are doing in Washington and the speed at which it’s happening,” Mr. Matessino said. “We have hospitals in Louisiana that have put major construction projects on hold until they see what happens in Washington over the next 6 or 12 months.”

    Daniel Sisto, president of the Healthcare Association of New York State, which represents hospitals and nursing homes, said, “There is a high level of anxiety about the overall goal of $2 trillion in savings, especially in a state like New York, which has had severe cost constraints for three decades.”

    House Democrats on Thursday circulated the outline of a bill that would require all Americans to carry health insurance and would subsidize premiums for many people with incomes up to four times the poverty level ($88,200 for a family of four).

    Under the proposal, employers would have to offer coverage to employees or help finance it by paying a percentage of their payroll. The Democrats are proposing creation of a “public health insurance plan,” which would compete with private insurers.

    The public plan would probably be run by the Health and Human Services Department, according to the outline.

  139. That is what he could have done in the beginning. But that would not have drawn the partisan response which he wanted in order to undermine Pelosi. This whole thing was premeditated and deliberative.
    ************
    I would have agreed with that a few months ago..now when I apply William of Ockham’s razor to Obama’s behavior, the least complicated explanation is stupidity.

  140. Independent Ben Says:
    May 15th, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    These people are not stupid. A lot of them saw what Obama did to Nancy Pelosi – someone of his own party – and they are TERRIFIED of this man – the memo releaser in chief, with access to the entire CIA database
    ****

    Or, they don’t want to be seen as “racists”. A lot of coverage is vaguely directed in obama’s direction, but made impersonal. “The administration”. “Washington”. “The White House”. etc. All these “entities” are responsible for all the mishaps, bunglings, poor transitions, backstabbing.

    As compared to the treatment Bill Clinton got, “Bill Clinton is responsible for ___”. Anything under the sun.

  141. I would have agreed with that a few months ago..now when I apply William of Ockham’s razor to Obama’s behavior, the least complicated explanation is stupidity.

    There is a lot of premeditation with Obama in all this. Consider the release of that briefing memo. Pelosi had already been sucked into this and had been forced to go on camera and make her first clumsy denial. She tells her story: that she was briefed about the EIT’s but wasn’t told they would actually be used. Suddenly, wham – out comes a memo that perfectly counters Pelosi’s story. It states that she “was” briefed that EIT’s had been and were being used. This was not done by accident, my friend

  142. Or maybe the CIA was just covering itself very well in the case something like this happened. Pelosi was headed this way from her very first denial. I’m sure they knew who she would try to make a scapegoat.

    It plays well for bambi as he skates away clean once again.

  143. It plays well for bambi as he skates away clean once again
    ———————————————————
    Not really. The newmax article and some of the posts above call the game on him as well. This is like litigation. Sometimes you strike on cross examination. Sometimes you save it for closing statement. Frankly, I think it is a case of more chits piling up against him. After four months he is guiness book incompetent. Wait until things get worse. And how do you think this makes other dims feel toward him: more loyal or less loyal?

  144. There is a lot of premeditation with Obama in all this. Consider the release of that briefing memo.
    ************
    Again stupidity, IMO. The Second circuit had ordered the release of the Memos for the Thursday when Obama released them. He allegedly had a “circle jerk” conference with his advisors and (as they emphasized at the time) Obama made the decision to release them. The decision that he made was not to fight the Second Circuit, since he figured that he would catch crap from his base and what could the discredited Republicans do about it anyway. That was total stupidity on Obama’s part. Boehner, Goss and others knew Pelosi and other Dems were as guilty of war crimes as the Repubs. Boehner then went on a mutual assured destruction game of chicken with Pelosi and the rest is history. Even I, who thinks that all of this dirt needs to see the light of day, would have told Obama that he was stupid not to fight the court order. Let the Second Circuit take the heat. As “proof”: of this thesis, compare the political fall out of memos vs pictures. This may be one of the few times a political decision has opposite results for comparison. (Another possibility is that I am full of sh*t)

  145. I would have agreed with that a few months ago..now when I apply William of Ockham’s razor to Obama’s behavior, the least complicated explanation is stupidity
    ———————–
    SHV: please humor me a little on this one.

    William of Ocham never met Bambi. If he had he might have found a better use for his razor. If we are going to try the simplest explanation first, then I would say: i) there is a clear pattern of destroying political opponents through underhanded means which dates back to his earliest days in Chicago, ii) he is being guided here by two of the best street fighters and worst people on the current political scene–Axelrod and Emanuel, iii) the destruction and removal of Pelosi serves the desired end of removing an important obstacle in his path to absolute power.

    Therefore, I am inclined to proceed on the assumption when he does something which appears to be stupid but serves his larger ambition that it was intentional–absent clear evidence to the contrary.

    For what it is worth, I would have agreed with you a few months ago that it was stupidity and laughed about it. But I think that lets him off the hook because it allows his supporters say he is new, all presidents do it until they get their sea legs and in the not so credible words of Brian William this was something of a political lesson.

    I do not want to give him that cover, even though I do agree he is a sociopath as I understand the term. Also, I have no illusions about where he is taking the country. Nor do I think he will get better in time.

  146. Sorry to barge in, but wboei’s statement above was too cute not to acknowledge: “William of Ocham never met Bambi. If he had he might have found a better use for his razor”. I agree that BO is crazy like a fox- I try not to underestimate his deviousness, although some actions can be masked as mere stupidity and incongruity.

  147. I would argue that it was a brilliantly executed strategy by Bambi (whether or not it actually was). I would say that if he let the court act, it would not have trapped Pelosi. He knew that by hanging the repubs out to dry they would go after her, she would throw a hissy fit, the press would get involved, pelosi would go down for the count, the repubs would be tarnished again with the stain of Bush and his hands would be clean. We have seen this before when he played the race card against people who did not deserve it.

  148. wbboei said:
    he has a tougher time with women who are older than him and have power. I think he feels threatened by them, and perhaps he should. After all, they are less likely than others to be seduced by his big ears, scrawney body and faux intelligence.

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

    So are men. Maybe older women are more vulnerable, easier targets. Alice Palmer could have sued but didn’t; Hillary pulled many punches and folded early.

    Or maybe we just notice it more when it’s a woman being pilloried? (And most women who have power, are older.)

  149. SHV: please humor me a little on this one.
    **********
    You are probably right but the past four months for Bambi has been “not ready on day one” and political stupidity. MSM, however, totally covers for him. How many exec appointed job openings are still unfilled??? Who knows because the MSM isn’t doing their job. One good thing about the “Flu” was that they had to admit that the top CDC jobs were not filled. You can bet that if Hillary had been elected, that she and Bill would have gone through their rolodex and had a name for each job. The Chicago thugs are over their heads…small time crooks are now in the big time. Obama is disorganized, lazy and not that smart and I think it shows.

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